Another Oak Ridge listing on this site

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By Gary Schilling
The following submitted by Darrell Wells

Lies on the side of a wooded hill almost four miles west of Davis, Oklahoma.  Oak Ridge Cemetery, which has not been in use since approximately 1937, stands as a monument to our past.  Practically untouched by recent civilization, Oak Ridge Cemetery is the final home for many people who still have relatives in the Garvin and Murray County areas.  The cemetery was donated to the people of the community by Dr. Tom Howell, a well known personality in the history of Southern Oklahoma.

Recreating the scene, there was a schoolhouse and many homes in the area.  An old road passed almost directly in front of the cemetery.  This old road brought many people from the Hennepin and Woodland communities to Davis, since the highway as we know it today did not exist.  Oak Ridge is about 1/3 to 1/2  mile north of the present day State Highway 7.  The school was about one half mile past the cemetery on the old road.  Religious services were held every Sabbath at the schoolhouse.   It seems this school was closed sometime about 1923. 

There are two standing theories about this almost forgotten cemetery.  

First, could it contain the bodies of some of the dead of Fort Arbuckle.   Although far from being proven, it is a very thoughtful likelihood.  Oak Ridge is located almost halfway between the old Fort Arbuckle and Davis.  Many written documents state that the graves were moved from the fort to Fort Sill, but this is questionable.  There are many unmarked stones at Oak Ridge and it is the nearest location to the fort grounds to bury a body.  There is even a greater possibility that soldiers who were stationed at Fort Arbuckle and lived to see it's removal could be buried at Oak Ridge.  Take into consideration, there is a marker stating the death of Corporal W.W. Smith (1837 - 1897) and his relative Mary J. Smith (1819 - 1897). Could this be a key to the mystery of some of the lost graves of Fort Arbuckle?  The cemetery was on the land owned by Dr. Howell and he did have some association with the fort.

Second, why is there a community cemetery of measurable size so close to another larger cemetery in nearby Davis?  It seems that the Washita River was a problem for the transport of wagons into Davis.  Wagons were of wide use in the days this cemetery was in use.  There is a recollection of the death of W.B. Wells.   The story related that it was the family's intention for Mr. Wells to be buried in Davis but due to rainy weather, the wagons could not make the trip into Davis.  Every so often on the journey from Mr. Wells' home, the wagons had to stop for people to use poles to punch mud out of the spokes of the wagon wheels. 

It is a great possibility that this graveyard served many people as a convenience for local residents.  Since its peak days, the cemetery has seen ruin and decay.  There seems to have been no organized cleanup day since the late fifties.   Between the destruction caused by cattle and tornadoes, only a few standing markers denote its location. 

Thanks for the verbal help of Mrs. Ella Stephens for this article.

Oak Ridge Cemetery Listing

Roll Marked Tombstones
Allen Seargy, Feb 8, 1850 - July 29, 1916
Burrel H. Christy, March 13, 1889 - July 16, 1919
Judy Parlee Farris, Dec. 26, 1873 - Jan 14, 1918
James Dunaway, Sr., Sept 21, 1833 - Oct 22, 1895
Aaron; Herman Aaron buried two babies here, unmarked graves
Allen, Elizabeth; b. 1901 - d. 1902, daughter of J.R. Allen
Allen, Russell; b. Dec 7, 1903 - d. Sep 5, 1904
Bentley, Jim; unmarked grave, son of Tom Bentley
Bentley, Nancy; wife of Tom Bentley, unmarked grave
Bentley, T.B.; died 1937, 32 Years old
Byrd, Esther; unmarked grave
Byrd; Esther Byrd buried six babies here, unmarked graves
Christy, Burrel H.; Mar 13, 1889 - d. Jul 17, 1919
Copeland, J.F.; b. July 1, 1895 - d. Jun 27, 1902
Cordell, J.F.; 1852 - 1907
Digby, B.F.; b. Mar 4, 1835 - d. Mar 13, 1920
Digby, Luecendie; b. Aug 10, 1893 - d. Sep 10, 1924
Digby; family plot, unknow number of graves.
Dunaway, James, Sr; b. Sep 21, 1833 - d. Oct 22, 1895
E.V.; foot marker only
Emmons, William; 1845 - 1901
Farris, Judy Parlee; b. Dec 26, 1873 - d. Jan 14, 1918
Ferguson, Jodie V.; b. Dec 1, 1895 - d. Jul 1, 1900
Field, Chester; b. Aug 4, 1892 - d. Sep 23, 1918, US Army, died at Camp Nix, New Jersey
Gilliland, Nettie; unmarked grave
Gilliland, Nora; unmarked grave
Gilliland, Pearl; unmarked grave
Greer, Dink; b. Feb 9, 1907 - d. Jan 17, 1911, daughter of WH & Ellen J.
Greer, O.C.; b. Dec 16, 1916 - d. Sep 25, 1920, son of WH & Ellen J.
Harmon, Amos Lee; b. Feb 29, 1901 - d. Mar? 20, 1902, son of W. & M. Harmon
Harmon, W.A., b. 1866 - d. 1905
Hunt, Alice; unmarked grave
Hunt, Dan; unmarked grave
Hunt, John; unmarked grave
Hunt, Missy; unmarked grave
Hutchinson, M.M.; b. June 23, 1859 - d. Oct 18, 1911
Hutchinson, William Paul; b. Oct 19, 1894 - d. Nov 2, 1894
Jeter, A.M.(Allen Monrow) ; b. Jan 11, 1845 - d. Nov 10, 1923 - Full name submitted by  Janice Cates, current head of cemetery association
Jeter, James Madison: b. July 8, 1873 - d. April 12, 1960, unmarked - from Fox Funeral Home of Davis records submitted by Janice Cates
Kuykendahl, Mrs; unmarked grave
Peel, C.B.; b. Jul 1, 1873 - d. Oct 6, 1919
Peel; 'Little Brother' born Nov 29, 1909, son of W.E. & Nancy
Priest, Herman; b. May 12, 1904 - d. Sep 12, 1905, son of  Robert & Edna
Priest, R.; b. Mar 13, 1878 - d. Jan 25, 1926
Rayburn, Nancy; unmarked grave
Rayburn, Roxie; unmarked grave
Roark, Harriet; 1891 - 1909, Huntington, TN
Roark, Mary Jane; b. 1856 - d. 1906, Huntington, TN
Scribner, James S.; b. Jan 10, 1904 - d. Jan 9, 1923
Seargy, Allen; b. Feb 8, 1850 - d. Jul 29, 1916
Shelton, McKinley; b. Jun 19, 1897 - d. Jul 27, 1898, son of JB & DC
Smith, Mary J.; b. Jun 6, 1819 - d. Feb 2, 1897
Smith, W.W.; b. Sep 19, 1837 - d.Feb 11, 1897, Corp'l, Co H, 5th MO Cav
Solman, Lizzie; unmarked grave
Weaver, Harve H.; 1884 - 1909
Wells, Robert; unmarked grave - Bill Wells Dad, Our Granddad
Wells, Sarah Ann; unmarked grave - Our Grandmother
Wells, W.B.; b. Jan 16, 1857 - d. Dec 22, 1923
Wells; Infant son of Robert Wells, unmarked grave - Wendall -Aunt Sis's twin
Willis, Maude; b. Jun 10, 1889 - d. Sep 5, 1904, daughter of David and Julie
Wilson, Isreal; Jun 19, 1901 - d. Apr 6, 1905

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