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PLAT converted to TABLE and annotated by ALAN KIMBALL

The "old" Mathewson Cemetery contains 247 lots. There is a "new" Mathewson Cemetery across the county road just west of the old. The TABLE below, based on the PLAT, does not contain data on the new Mathewson. The TABLE is based solely on the PLAT and has not yet been confirmed by an on-site visit.

Columns and Rows: Geography of the Cemetery

In old Mathewson, 247 lots are arranged in the following order. Thirteen lots run from west to east from the county road. In the TABLE below, these are designated columns "A" through "M". Each column contains 19 rows, from north to south, 01 through 19. The designation of lots by column and row, e.g., "B06", is not indicated on the PLAT. Columns and rows are introduced in the TABLE below in order to give a comprehensive compass orientation to the location of each lot.

The system of numerical identification used on the PLAT is somewhat disorienting, though not irregular. It gives no easy indication of the geo-physical location of lots, and certain PLAT numbers repeat themselves. It is possible that the PLAT numbering system is a loose variation on the zigzag system by which township sections were numbered in Oklahoma townships, such as Mathewson Township itself.

The PLAT numbering system suggests that the cemetery was laid out over time in three parcels of lots. The first parcel is described by PLAT numbers 1-100. This would be columns A-J and rows 10-19, i.e., the southwest quadrant of the Cemetery. PLAT numbering begins with "1" (A10 on the TABLE). This is the central point on the western border of the cemetery. This western border runs north-south parallel to the county road. From this west-central point, PLAT numbers run eastward in a straight row from 1 to 10 (A10 to J10). Dropping straight south to the next row, the PLAT numbering system continues back westward from 11 to 20 (J11 to A11). Dropping straight south again, the numbers run eastward again, 21 to 30 (etc., until reaching the southern border of the cemetery). The ten lots along the southern border of the cemetery (91-100) are for the most part inscribed by hand after the printing of the PLAT, suggesting that the first 90 lots are part of the original cemetery and the final ten a later expansion. PLAT number 1 is A10, PLAT number 2 is B10, and PLAT number 3 is C10. On the PLAT, C10 is identified as "3 Stanton (First Grave)".

The second parcel is described by PLAT numbers 1A-90A. This would be columns A-J and rows 1-9, the northwest quadrant. These 90 lots are located just to the north of the first parcel. In their arrangement they suggest a mirror image of the first 90 lots in the first parcel to the south. They run from 1A at the SW corner of the second parcel to 90A at its NE corner. Lot 1A on the PLAT is located adjacent to and on the northern edge of lot one in the first parcel. Similarly, 2A abuts 2, etc. eastward to 10A, which abuts 10. Then the PLAT numbering system jumps north to the next row and runs back westward, 11A to 20A. Then it jumps north to the next row and runs back eastward 21A to 30A (etc., until reaching the northern border of the cemetery).

The third parcel is described by PLAT numbers 1-57. It occupies the whole eastern edge of the cemetery, from north to south (columns K, L and M and rows 1-19), furthest from the county road. These are the latest lots to be sold. Lots in this third parcel repeat the numbers of the first 57 lots in the first parcel. In the TABLE that follows, PLAT numbers in the third parcel are distinguished by "x", as in 01x to 57x.

With exceptions soon to be noted, each lot is 20' along north-south side and 12' east to west. The exceptions are row 1, thirteen lots from A01 to M01 at the northern boundary of the cemetery. These 13 lots are 10' by 12', i.e., half the size of all remaining lots.

A six-foot easement or walkway separates north-south columns. A three-foot wide easement or walkway separates east-west rows.

Owners and/or Occupants

In addition to number, one or more names identify individual lots on the PLAT. In the TABLE, these are labeled "Owners". On five (or perhaps more) occasions, lots have been subdivided and appear to have at least two owners. It must be remembered that the name or names on the PLAT indicate the owner of the lot, not necessarily the person or persons buried there.

Individual Gravesites

Each lot appears to have capacity for up to four gravesites. Thus the 247 lots (13 of which are half lots) create a potential for 1066 gravesites in old Mathewson. The PLAT and therefore also the TABLE do not often indicate individual gravesites, only lots and their owners. Individual gravesites, when they are known, are identified on the TABLE under "Column-row". They are labeled from north to south within each lot, "a" through "d". For example J05a might be the individual gravesite of William Heilig Kimball on his half lot.

Under notes, "P|" means that the source is the PLAT. Other sources are also indicated there. The entry "O|" will indicate personal perusal of the gravesite. BXO means that Kimball Files contain a biographical entry under the name.

More about the PLAT and the TABLE

The PLAT used here to create the TABLE is a photocopy of the original. The original lettering is sometimes written over by hand. While the original lettering is perfectly clear, the handwritten additions or amendments are not always legible. I indicate text lined out with the notation "[out]" and penciled additions with the notation "[add]". Two question marks indicate unsure text. The word "flag" has been entered in pencil in several instances.

In the TABLE that follows, PLAT numbers one through nine (1-9) have a zero placed before them in order to assure proper ordination.

In the Notes, KSB means the scrap book kept by Laura Kimball, containing many obituaries and funeral programs. The funeral programs are small 2x3-inch booklets titled "In Remembrance". They contain vital information on the deceased and the funeral. On a facing opposite page, all such booklets contain one of the following two curious poems, either "Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant (in the majority of cases) or "Brotherhood" (anonymous)


So live that when they summons comes to join, The innumerable caravan which moves, To that mysterious realm where each shall take, His chamber in the silent halls of death,

Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed, By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch, About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. --William Cullen Bryant


An old man, traveling a lone highway, Came at evening cold and grey, To a chasm vast and deep and wide. The old man crossed in the twilight dim, The sullen stream had no fear for him; But he turned when safe on the other side, And built a bridge to span the tide." Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near, Your are wasting your strength with building here; Your journey will end with the ending day, You never again will pass this way; You've crossed the chasm deep and wide, Why build you this bridge at even-tide?" The builder lifted his old grey head- "Good friend, in the path I have come," he said, "There followeth after me today, A youth, whose feet must pass this way. This chasm, which has been as naught to me, To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be; He, too, must cross in the twilight dim-Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

PLAT converted to TABLE and annotated by ALAN KIMBALL