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- - - - HISTORY OF ELMWOOD CEMETERY - - - -

OKLAHOMA COUNTY OK

Most of the following information was obtained from Choctaw Oklahoma and Eastern Oklahoma County - A History by the Choctaw Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Centennial Committee and compiled by Doris E. Ellis, published by Eagle Printing, Harrah, Oklahoma, 1993.
Elmwood Cemetery is a fairly large cemetery with internal roads dividing it into sections. There were a few legible 1890 tombstones in 1993. The original cemetery was established in the southwest corner of the Sanders W. Walker homestead shortly after Mr. Walker settled upon the land in May of 1889. At that time, the cemetery was known as the Walker Cemetery. Old-timers in the area have said that the early part of the cemetery might have been used as a "boot hill" as there were a few unmarked graves on the hillside before Sanders Walker homesteaded the land. If this is true, those buried there may have been cowboys from the 7C Ranch. The ranch headquarters was 1 1/2 miles northeast of the cemetery.
According to some early day residents, the old cemetery was first founded on a one-acre tract when lightning killed a man and they needed a burial spot. E. Cook and Jesse Harris planted a row of elm trees on the north edge of the cemetery and Mrs. Watterson {Waterson} named the cemetery, Elmwood, when her little boy was buried there.
On December 1, 1894, Sanders W. Walker deeded the south 1/2 of his homestead {80 acres} to Frank Cook. These 80 acres included Elmwood Cemetery. On April 29, 1897, Frank and Ella Cook deeded a three-acre tract of land that included the cemetery, to the Trustees of Elmwood Cemetery, Oklahoma County or their successors for the sum of $25.00 and other valuable considerations. It was filed for record May 6, 1897.
If there were ever records of the early day burials, they no longer exist. According to some of the early residents, many of the early settlers are buried in the original cemetery and upkeep was the responsibility of the families.
Tom and Stella Seaman operated the cemetery in the 1940s. They extended it onto their land adjoining the north side of the old cemetery and called it the first addition. In 1957, Stella Seaman, Gordon T. and Georgia E. Lapham deeded this 0.85 of an acre to the Board of Cemetery Trustees, Town of Choctaw. In 1979, James V. and Alma E. Cherry deeded a second addition of 3.89 acres to the cemetery, adjoining it on the east side. The total area of the cemetery was approximately 7.74 acres in 1993.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints made a canvass of the cemetery in 1963. An alphabetical listing of 394 legible surnames was recorded at that time. Currently the Choctaw Elmwood Cemetery is maintained and operated by the City of Choctaw. In more recent years a section for veterans was added in the far northwest corner.
{Information obtained from OK County Cemetery Index - compiled by OK County HCE Genealogy Group, page 17.}


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