The Old Cemetery
Pauls Valley, 1868 - 1901

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The legend has grown that Indians used the Old Cemetery as a burial ground before the coming of the whites.  There is no proof of this idea and it is probably untrue.   Before the Choctaws and Chickasaws were moved to this section, the plains Indians, the Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches, Wichitas and possibly some others, hunted in this area but had no permanent abode here.  The plains Indians usually buried their dead near the place they died. 

The first marked grave was dated in 1868, and the last known burial was in 1901.

Time has taken its toll.  Located near turbulent Rush Creek, many floods have swept over the burial ground, tipping over and displacing some of the smaller stones.  Domestic animals have been tethered to graze in the Old Cemetery and in many instances displaced the stones to which they were tied.  Vandalism, too, has played its part.  Members of the Paul family report that as late as 1937 vandals removed some of the stones which covered the grave of Jesse Paul.    A restoration of the cemetery began in 1954.  A fence was built around the cemetery, the grounds were mowed and cleared, and the gravestones were repaired when possible.  Maintenance of the cemetery has been assumed by the City of Pauls Valley.

The types of graves reflect several influences.  Several tribes of Indians such as Comanche's buried their dead on the ground and then covered the grave with stones to protect these dead from wolves and other animals.  Some of the Southern Indians used a grave house, which was in actuality a small house that covered the grave.   A few of the graves in the cemetery combine these methods of burying with the familiar way of burying beneath the ground.  Some of the graves in the Old Cemetery were covered with symmetrically cut stones placed in a systematic pattern.  They combine the white man's way of placing the body in a dug grave and improved the Indian's manner of covering the grave with a mound of rocks.  The Old Cemetery contains the only known graves of this type.

The Old Cemetery is representative of life and times in Pauls Valley during the last half of the nineteenth century.  Notable personalities that contributed to the growth and development of the area and laid the foundations for statehood are buried there.

In 1868, the Caddo Indians in Cherokee Town (north of Wynnewood) were suffering from a severe epidemic of small pox.  They were over-crowded, poorly housed, and had little or no food and medical supplies.  Smith Paul, moved by the unfortunate conditions of these Indians, wrote to the Office of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C., requesting aid for the Caddos.  The office wrote back, appointing Paul as the Indian agent.  He immediately moved the Caddo Indians to Pauls Valley so they could be properly cared for.  The Indians who died from small pox were buried in unmarked graves on South Walnut (area of the Old Cemetery).  Unfortunately Paul's grandson, at age eight months, caught the small pox from these Indians and died.  His grave was the first marked grave in the cemetery.

The Paul family contributed much to the state of Oklahoma, and several members are buried in the Old Cemetery.  Smith Paul was one of the earliest settlers in the area and is credited as the founder of Pauls Valley.  He married Ellen McClure, a Chickasaw Indian woman, who arrived in Oklahoma on the "Trail of Tears".  Ellen had two children, Tecumseh and Catherine, from her previous marriage.  Smith and Ellen had four children of their own, Hogan, Sam, Sippie, and Jesse.  All of the Pauls mentioned, except Sippie, are buried in the Old Cemetery.

The half brothers, Samuel Paul and Tecumseh McClure, were both active in the Chickasaw legislature, and both served as heads of the Senate.  Tecumseh was a leader in the Nationalist Party, which wanted to halt the thrust of white civilization and prevent white domination of the Chickasaw Nation.  The original settlement of Pauls Valley was on land controlled by Tecumseh.   The railroad wanted to build a line through Pauls Valley, but Tecumseh refused to cooperate.  Samuel Paul invited the railroad engineers to his land which was to the north of Tecumseh's and invited them to build their road there.  The engineers accepted and Pauls Valley was eventually relocated.  Samuel was a leader in the Progressive Party, which wanted to join with white civilization in developing the area.  Samuel Paul was the first Indian to advocate the acceptance of Indian allotment in severalty in the Curtis Act of 1898.   Samuel started the Pauls Valley Enterprise and later set up newspaper press in Ardmore.

Jesse Paul served as a scout for Custer during the raid on Black Kettle.   When he returned to Pauls Valley, there was a great victory celebration called the 'scalp dance'.  Jesse died at the age of twenty-three and was buried with his sleigh bells.  His funeral was put off a month after the burial because his spirit was believed to be restless.  His sister Sippie, took food to his grave everyday until the funeral.

Among other interesting people buried in the cemetery is Chisholm Barnett.  He was a lawyer and one of the early settlers.  At one time he intended to write a history of Pauls Valley.  John Burks was the first lawyer to practice in the area.  His mother was instrumental in starting the Methodist Church in Pauls Valley.  F.T. Waite was Speaker of the House in the Chickasaw legislature in 1889 and was a candidate for the Senate of the Progressive ticket in 1890.  Earlier he had been a member of the Indian Police and from some accounts also rode with Billy the Kid and was in the Lincoln County Wars.

One man buried in the cemetery rode with Quantrill's Raiders and was visited by Jesse James.

No plots of land were set aside in the cemetery.  The Indians did not conceive of individual land ownership, and then the Curtis Act of 1898 set aside certain lands for public use, including the cemetery.  People were buried where one could find room.  The cemetery ceased to be used because there was no space left.   The last person to be buried there was Myrtle Thrasher in 1901.  She died at the age of nineteen and it was said she was very beautiful.  She was engaged at the time of her death to the later well-known lawyer, Moman Pruitt.

There are many infant graves in the cemetery.  Many of these children died in their second summer.  T.A. and Mary McClure had five children buried there, with at least four of them being under two years of age.

J.G. and Nancy Thompson had five infant children buried in the cemetery.

Some of the tombstones bear the Masonic emblem.  Masonry was introduced to this area by Albert Pike when he was recruiting for the Confederacy.   Father Morrow was also influential in spreading Masonry.

The old Cemetery contains a variety of types of people.  The West was wild, not only in terms of violence, but also in the combination of people who came together and contributed their part to the settling of the frontier.  The Old Cemetery contains both Indians and white men.  Of the Indians, some welcomed the advance of the white men and others opposed this advance.  Lawmakers and law enforcement officers are buried with outlaws.  There are both lawyers and farmers.   There are people that came to Indian Territory voluntarily and those that came on the "Trail of Tears".  Many were born in Pauls Valley.  Confederate and Union soldiers are side by side.  Men who were involved in building newspapers, churches, and businesses are in the Old Cemetery.  Each of these persons had a contribution which helped to mold the character of the West.


Indian Pioneer Papers, Volume 111, Microfiche #6016976

Founded about 1870 by Russ Mitchell and Hill. Abandoned  1902  due to growth of city.  Pesent owner - City of Pauls Valley. Original owners--Russ Mitchell and John Hill. (see above information)

Approximate number of graves - 250. Approximate number of marked graves - 95. General condition of headstones, including inscription -  Fair  (Feb. 3, 1937). Condition of premises well kept and fenced.

Legal description -Garvin County, Section 17 T 3 N  Range 1 E

See Picture page 1 - assorted scenes                      See Picture page 2 - unidentified stones

(Click on  underlined names to see a tombstone photos)





Unreadable   July 13, 1883(?) broken & unreadable

Baker, Gertey

Nov 11, 1886

Oct 16, 1900

dau of Z. and L. Baker, Tread softly by the grave of one, our hearts had learned to love

Barnett, Chisholm W.

Oct 28, 1859

Feb 19, 1899

"Mason" They who knew him best will Bless his name, And to keep his memory dear while life shall last

Bradberry, Frank

Aug 09, 1873

Sep 28, 1898

Weep not he is at rest

Brooks, Charles M.B.

Mar 06, 1868

Sep 24, 1894

Tis hard to break the tender cord When love has bound the heart Tis hard so hard to speek the word we must forever part. Dearest Loved one we have laid thee In the peaceful grave's embrace But thy memory will be cherished Till we see thy heavenly face.

Brown, John G.

Jun 16, 1817

Dec 21, 1888


Burks, John W.   April 6, 1892 aged 33 yrs 11 mos 23 ds, In Memory of
Burks, Zuleika Oct 6, 1884 April 28, 1898 Thou aren't gone but not forgotten

Campbell, Infant



Little infant son of J.Y. and S.J. Campbell, Asleep in Jesus

Campbell, James W.

Apr 09, 1881

May 15, 1881

Asleep in Jesus,  Infant son of J. Y. and S. J. Campbell

Campbell, Jessey

Sep 13, 1883

Oct 20, 1883

Asleep in Jesus,  Infant son of J. Y. and S. J. Campbell

Campbell, Sallie R. Houston & twins May 10, 1870 July 16, 1900 Mother, buried with twin infants

Cecil, Emma A.

Sep 04, 1871

Sep 04, 1892

dau of Miles and Annie L. Cecil,  Gone but not forgotten

Cecil, Louisa Anne July 14, 1864 July 1, 1893  

Chiles, D.B.

Nov 24, 1826

Aug 22, 1899

How sweet to the soul are the breathing of peace when the still voice of pardon bids sorrow to cease when the welcome of mercy falls softly on the ear. Come hither ye laden. Ye weary, draw near.  Double stone

Chiles, H.T

Aug 11, 1825

Aug 15, 1898

How sweet to the soul are the breathing of peace when the still voice of pardon bids sorrow to cease when the welcome of mercy falls softly on the ear. Come hither ye laden. Ye weary, draw near.  Double stone

Cochet(Gochet?), Nancy      

Copeland, Searcy

Jan 10, 1878

Aug 18, 1883

son of J.F. Copeland

Copeland, Van

May 09, 1859

May 09, 1901

Woodsmen of the world memorial

Couch, J.F. 



Rock marked grave 

Craig, Sarah 


Dec 07, 1892

Age 41 years, wife of G.W. Craig,  To forget is vain endeavor loves remembrance last forever.

Crawford, Clemmie      

Crawford, Edward M.


May 17, 1890

son of J.H. and L.P. Crawford, age 13 days old, Sleep on sweet babe and take thy rest God called thee home, He thought it best.

Crawford, Kate & Will     Williams Military Headstone
Crookshanks(?), E.B.     unreadable
Dobbs, N.J.(?) 18?? Feb 14, 1884 dau(?) of  J.?. & Nancy Dobbs

Dunn, W.S.

Aug 04, 1871

Apr 26, 1899

Those who knew him best loved him most.

Edwards, H.A.

Dec 08, 1838

Oct 31, 1895

Dear Wife and Child weep not for me from you a husband and father Christ doth call

England, Sallie E.

Jan 18, 1862

May 02, 1892

wife of E.T. Emgland, A fairer bud of promise never blossomed

Forgey, A. Fay

Jun 02, 1890

Dec 02, 1892

son of A. and A.L. Foregey, He was the sunshine of our home, an angel to us given but when we learned to love him most, God called him home to heaven

Frederick, Russell

Sep 17, 1870

Jul 01, 1891

son of R.H. and A. Frederick,  Forever with Christ.

Galt, Roy H.

Oct 16, 1897

Jan 02, 1899

son of G.E. and A.V. Galt

Gardner, Ellen

Jul 16, 1871

Sep 14, 1877

dau of  J. and E. Gardner   At rest earths broken buds bloom in Heaven.

Gardner, Elzira

Jul 16, 1871

Sep 26, 1877

dau of J. and E. Gardner ,  At rest earths broken buds bloom in Heaven.

Gardner, George(?) E.   Setp 6, 1872(?)  

Gibson, Liddia Ann


May 30, 1894

Consort of Geo. Gibson,  born in Marshal Co. Miss., died in Pauls Valley - In Memory of

Giddings, F.


Jul 31, 1892

Age 27 years, 5 months, 16 days,  No pains, no griefs, no anxious fear can reach our loved one sleeping here.

Gogswell, David H.

Feb 04, 1832

Jul 06, 1872

To the Memory of

Henderson, Rev. J.T.

Sep 16, 1842

Jan 08, 1900


Hewitt, Levina

Dec 16, 1856

Jun 06, 1896

wife of Samuel L. Hewitt, As a wife devoted, as a mother affectionate, as a friend ever kind and true.

Hewitt, Nora Ellen

May 17, 1885

Mar 10, 1900

Tread Softly by the grave of one our hearts had learned to love.

Hewitt, S. L.

Mar 3?, 1847

Sep 29, 1887

Samuel L.

Hill, Mary M. March 7, 1861 ?? ?? of J.T. Hill

Hoggard, A.J.

May 30, 1868

Dec 04, 1883


Holford, Amanda

Apr 01, 1862

Dec 07, 1879

wife of D.B. Holford

Howell, Sarah F. - - wife of A.C. Howell

Hunter, Willie May

Jul 02, 1897

Jun 11, 1899

Beautiful, lovely, she was but given a fair bud to earth to blossom in Heaven.

Jackson, James M.

Oct 25, 1881

Sep 23, 1884

son of R.H. and Lille Jackson, A little bud of love to bloom with God above

Janeway(?), John     son of William & Rhody

Janeway, Rhody


Oct 13, 1892

Age 62 yrs. 7 months,  wife of Wm. Janeway,  Here I lay my burden down change the cross into the Crown

Janeway, Vesty


Sep 13, 1883

age, 2 years, dau of M.E. Janeway, Budded on earth to bloom in Heaven

Jett, Infant

Feb(?) 3, 1899

Feb 5, 1899

Son of J.B. and M.B. Jett

Jett, James B.

Oct 11, 1896

Apr 22, 1898


Jones, Earl Palmer 1872 1898  
Jones, Elisha Ann 1849 1899  
Jones, F.J. 1844 1900  
Jones, F.J.     Second stone? Or a different F.J. Jones? Or family stone?
Jones(?), William H.   Feb 22, 1876(?) aged 5 mos

Kimberlin, Saley G.

Sep 12, 1879

Jul 08, 1883

dau of  Grant and Elizabeth Kimberlin

Kukuk, Bertha

Sep 24, 186?

Jul 15, 1890

wife of J.W. Kukuk, Since thou canst no longer stay to cheer me with thy love. I hope to meet with thee again in yon bright world above.

Lambert, Emily

Jan 20, 1830

Oct 27, 1885

In memory of,  Age 54 years and 10 months,  wife of H. Lambert

Lambert, H.

Jan 24, 1818

Jun 10, 1883

To the memory of, Weep not for me

Langdon, D.W. Dec 19, 1858    
Langdon, Floyd(?) July 30, 1891 Mar 23, 1898(?) son of ? & M.E. Langdon
Langdon, Joseph Dec 14, 1854(?) Jan 12, 1886  
Langdon, Samuel      
Langdon, W.H. July 4, 1864 Aug ??, 1888 Son of  S. & Amanda Langdon

Leewright, B.T.

Feb 15, 1824

Feb 25, 1895

Age 71 years and 11 days, In memory of 

Malchon, Fred


Oct 04, 1898

Age 53 year, Odd Fellow., May the souls of the departed. Through the Mercy of God. Rest in Peace

Math, William E.

Sep 06, 1872

Dec 05, 1876


Mee(k?), Effie May Nov 29, 1895(?) ??? 23, 1896(?) Dau of G.W. & J.L. Mee(k?)

McClane, Mary J.

Dec ?, 1838

Sep 08, 1878

wife of H.H. McClane

McClure, Allin


Jul 15, 1872

son of T.A. McClure

McClure, Gink

Nov 09, 1884

Jun 04, 1887

son of T.A. and Mary McClure

McClure, T.A.


Mar 13, 1902 

age about 67 years,  As a father affectionate, as a friend ever kind and true.

McClure, Mary


Dec 25, 1897

Age about 55 years,  wife of T.A. McClure 

McClure, Peter

Nov 19, 1886

Jun 11, 1887

son of T.A. and Mary McClure

McClure, Silbia

Sep 19, 1882

Jun 25, 1887


McCracken, Authur



Double with Rebecca

McCracken, Rebecca



Double with Authur

McKee, Tamora

Aug ?, 1896

Feb ?,  1898


McHenry, Infant

Mar 23, 1892

Mar 26, 1892

Infant daughter of P.E. and Emma McHenry, Another little lamb has gone to swell with him who gave.

McKee, Tamora(?) Aug 1893(?) Feb 1898(?)  
Miller, Zina E. Aug 26, 1848 Oct 3, 1890 Mother
Mitchell, B.M.      
Mitchell, George? July 5(?), ???? June 5, 1895(?) son of J.W. & S.?. Mitchell, 
Moore, Robert Nov 18, 1874(?) Oct 9, 1898  
Morris, Infant March 7, 1889 March 7, 1889 son of W.F. & S.M. Morris(?)
Patchell, Lulu Cline 1897 1900  

Paul, Ellen



died in the year 1871,  aged 74 years,  wife of Smith Paul

Paul, Hogan

born A.D. 1868


age 8 mo, son of Sam and Lucy Paul, double with infant Paul

Paul, Infant

born A.D. 1875 


died age about 2 mo, Infant son of Sam and Sarah Paul, double with Hogan Paul

Paul, Irene(?) Jan 30, 1888 ??? dau of Joe & ??? Oaul
Paul, Jessie 1850 1873  
Paul, Joseph Oct 31, 1869 April 8, 1895 "Joe", Weep not for me
Paul, Sammie(?) Oct 28, 1885 ???? son(?) of Samuel & ??? Paul

Paul, Samuel


Dec 19, 1891

aged 46 years,  In the midst of life we are in death. In Memory of Ex-Senator

Paul, Samuel Garvin

Oct 24, 1899

Dec 15, 1899

Our little boy sleeps sweetly here.

Paul, Smith

May 27, 1809

???. 13, 1893

He was the first to make this valley yield of its wealth.

Paul,  Victoria Sue(?) July 2, 1905(?) Feb 2, 1907  

Pearson, J.A.

Jun 05, 1860

Feb 02, 1901

In God we Trust (Joseph Alexander Pearson)

Plemons, C.L.

Mar 24, 1868

Jan 04, 1888

son of H.C. and S.A. Plemons, Gone but not forgotten.

Rankin, W.F. April :, 1881(?) ???  
Ross, James Jan 31, 1870 Nov 4, 1900  
Rosser, Susan D. Lumkpin Dec 23, 1825 Nov 10, 1900  

Sercy, Alonso

Jul 24, 1876

Oct 2, 1877


Shannon , Viva B.

Jul 29, 1886

Apr 30, 1885

death date earlier than birth date?  dau of J.M and M.J. Shannon

Shelton, Sadie Emma

Apr 04, 1883

Nov 27, 1883

dau of A.W. and A.B. Shelton

Shepherd, Rufus A.

Feb 27, 1857

Mar 05, 1892

Loving husband, a father dear, a faithful friend lies buried here

Simmons, R.F.

Mar 12, 1872

Apr 16, 1889


Smith, Thomas 1885 1903  

Speed, Annie E.

Dec 29, 1867

Nov 17, 1900

wife of James L. Speed, As a wife devoted, as a mother affectionate, as a friend ever kind and true.  

Speed, Baby



Infant of James L & Annie

Spicer, C.L. Jun 10, 1880 Nov 18, 1884 Dau of Henry & Melvina

Spicer, Henry L.

Jul 07, 1850

Feb 08, 1883

Farewell my wife, and children all from you a father Christ did call mourn not for me. It is in vain to call me to your sight again.

Stallcup, John

Mar 26, 1844

Feb 01, 1900


Sutterfield, James M.

Mar 05, 1839

Nov 17, 1891

We will meet again

Taylor , E.G.

Oct 31, 1859

Jan 02, 1884


Terry, Georgia Grace Aug 5, 1897 Aug 4, 1898  
Thomas, Nettie? 1803(?) Aug 27, 1883(?)  
Thompson(?), ?????   Oct 8, 1874 aged 3 yrs 9 mos & 12 ds

Thompson, Andrew V.

Oct 25, 1829

Jul 19, 1872

Age 42 yrs, 8 mo, 24 days

Thompson, Elgie A. Jan 16, 1880 April 8, 1898 Double with Thomas J.
Thompson, Infant   Feb 10, 1874 dau of J.G. & Nancy J. Thompson
Thompson, Infant     dau of J.G. & Nancy J. Thompson
Thompson, Infant   Dec 26, 1879 son of J.G. & Nancy Thompson
Thompson, Infant Oct 15, 1888   dau of J.G. & N.J. Thompson, Budded on earth to bloom in Heaven

Thompson, James W.

Sep 27, 1874

Nov 01, 1874

son of W.H.G. Thompson, For such is the Kingdom of Heaven

Thompson, Thomas J.

Mar 03, 1841

Sep 15, 1897

Double with Elgie A.  Image

Thompson, William H.

Sep 02, 1827

Oct 18, 1878

Gone Home

Traylor, N.C.(?) Oct 31, 1839(?) Jan 2, 1894(?)  

Vanderford, Sylvester

Jul 21, 1832

May 01, 1885

Gone but not forgotten.

Waite, Catherine


Jul 24, 1895

Age 64 years, wife of T.F. Waite

Waite, Ellen

Dec ?, 1895

Mar ?, 1889

Gone to Rest

Waite, F.T.

Sep 23, 1853

Sep 24, 1895

Gone but not forgotten

Waite, T.F. 

Feb 21, 1827

Apr 28, 1874

One of the first settlers in Pauls Valley .

Warlick, Chalmers

Mar 29, 1888

Jan 02, 1889

Our Darling one has gone before To greet us on the Blissful Shore, double with infant .

Warlick, Infant

Oct 26, 1894

Oct 26, 1894

dau of J.W. and A.C. Warlick, Budded on earth to bloom in Heaven. Double with Chalmers

Worlick, Sanford

Jan 07, 1884

Nov 17, 1895

Weep not father and mother for me. For I am waiting in glory for thee.

West, Cyrus Owen

Jul 09, 1888

Sep 05, 1888

son of G.L. and B.M. West

White, Samuel


Jan 09, 1892

Age 46 years, 2 mos. 12 days, Close me they sweet eyes, from this world of pain, But we trust in God, To meet thee again

Whitefield, Linaro P.

Jan 20, 1897

Feb 14, 1901

son of J.B and R.A. Whitefield, Tread softly by, The grave of one, Our hearts had Learned to love

Williams, Essie B.


Oct 02, 1893

Age 1 month 23 days. dau of  F. and M.E. Williams, Just when we learned to love her most, God called her back to heave

Williams, Frank

Feb 11, 1849

Mar 29, 1900

born in Kentucky

Williams, Ida Mary (May?)


Feb 21, 1891

Daughter of F. and M.E. Williams, age 3 Mo. 28 days, Her spirit smiles from that Bright Shore and whispers weep no more

Williams, Mary

Jan 18, 1847

Feb 28, 1891

wife of Frank Williams, Dearest wife and mother thou art gone. Tis God that hath bereft us. He can all our sorrows heal

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