From a plan to pave Wilson streets to a heated argument over the name of an Ardmore road, cruise through these historic stories from Carter County newspapers.
100 years ago – 1922
Sing Me A Song – Multiple newspapers across the county were lauding a performance by world-renowned opera singer Ernestine Schumann-Heink nearly a full week after her appearance in Ardmore. Rather than the commonly known high notes associated with women in opera, the Austrian-born singer was a contralto with an exceptionally wide rage to her voice. According to The Ardmore Statesman and Weekly Ardmoreite on May 4, 1922, it was students and teachers at the junior high school who sold the $2,000 minimum worth of tickets to secure her Convention Hall appearance.
Paving The Way – Civil engineers were in Wilson to consider a paving project where public support seemed high. The Wilson Good Roads Gazette on May 5, 1922, reported details of a plan to pave several blocks intersecting Main Street north to “C” street. The plan further called for four blocks from 3rd Street through 6th Street being paved from the railroad north to “C” street, where “nearly one hundred percent” of residents reportedly supported the move.
50 years ago – 1972
Naming Names – An Ardmore City Commission meeting got heated over the name of a southwest Ardmore road, according to The Daily Ardmoreite on May 2, 1972. Resident George Ramsey reportedly charged the city’s planning commission of arbitrarily naming Byrd Road without input from property owners who wanted the name changed to Hickory Creek Road. Lyndall Byrd, for whom the road was named, accused Ramsey of pushing the name change “for personal gain.” Commissioner Weldon Harris suggested naming the road after an elderly woman who had lived there since before statehood, and all parties walked away happy with the new name for Hedges Road.
25 years ago – 1997
Ardmore Man’s Killer Avoids Death Penalty – Jurors took more than two hours to reject the death penalty recommendation for Mikey Joe Barnes, who was convicted of murder in the 1996 death of Corey Roberts, of Ardmore. According to The Daily Ardmoreite on May 2, 1997, the jury had spent a total of over six hours deliberating that week before handing down a guilty verdict and sentence of life in prison without parole. Barnes was found guilty of beating Roberts at a scenic overlook on Interstate 35 in Murray County and transporting him to Wynnewood in the trunk of his car before stabbing and shooting the Ardmore man. While the motive was reportedly “muddied throughout the investigation,” investigators believed the men may have had a brief relationship.
Funny Money in Ardmore – Ardmore police were warning merchants about counterfeit money being circulated in the area. An Ardmore police captain told The Ardmoreite that he understood many of the bills were passed at peak hours but “the quality of the bills is very bad and not at all difficult to identify as counterfeit.” The bills being passed were $10, $50 and $100 bills.