A Short, Concise History of Enid Cemetery

 

After the land run of 1893 the early pioneers in the Enid area began to settle in and develop the necessary institutions and refinements required for a more civilized way of life. One of those necessary institutions would have to be a cemetery, and so the community early set aside a site for burying their kinsfolk and peers. This early cemetery was located at the corner of South Van Buren and Owen K. Garriott streets, close to the Champlin home, in what is now known as the Kisner Addition.

Among the early settlers were Hymen H. Anderson and his wife Cora. They staked a claim on the southeast quarter of Section 31, Township 23, Range 6. Their home was just south of Oxford Street, on the north edge of our cemetery. On May 30, 1897, their second son, Lee Stuart, died at the age of one year, three months, and was buried south of their house in a pasture. His grave is pictured at the top of this page.

Only two weeks later, on June 13, Peter J. Bradley, aged 67, was buried nearby. Very soon another was buried nearby in the area, an infant named Johnson, and thus the precedent to use the area as a cemetery was well established, and our cemetery as it is today grew out of these beginnings.

In 1898 Mr. Anderson sold 10.56 acres of land on the northwest corner of North Grand and West Willow to the Reverend Meerschaert, Bishop of the Indian Territory. Reverend Meerschaert became the first Catholic Bishop in Oklahoma. The area of land he purchased became the Catholic Cemetery, and is called Calvary Cemetery today.

The Andersons sold the remainder of their farm in 1899 but retained the fifteen acres that contained the first three graves; this was to become the original addition of the Enid Cemetery. This plot of land was under the control of H. M. Spaulding of the Spaulding Bank of North Enid. In 1903 Mr. Anderson recorded a quitclaim deed to the Enid Cemetery, with twelve grave lots reserved for his family. Only his son and his parents are buried there, and nine spaces remain empty.

In 1913 a Board of Directors was elected to govern the cemetery. In 1913 ten more acres were bought from Zachary Taylor for $2,000. In 1918 First Addition was platted. In 1919, Plat A was added and negotiations began for a contract to construct our mausoleum. In 1920 the Second Addition was platted for the cemetery. The mausoleum was essentially completed by the end of 1921. In 1923, five more acres were purchased and became the Evergreen Addition.

The cemetery grew very rapidly in its early years, and more than two hundred graves were relocated from the earlier temporary cemetery to the new Enid cemetery. Ultimately, a few bodies were left in the older temporary cemetery location, as no relatives were found to pay for the costs of relocating them. Among those never moved was an early day outlaw named Nelson Ellsworth Wyatt. His body had been buried in an unmarked grave. Years later when the old cemetery was developed as a housing addition construction workers reported striking old caskets while excavating for foundations for new homes.

About 430 pioneers who made the famous Cherokee Strip land run are buried in the Enid Cemetery. About 106 farms staked by these original land run pioneers are still owned by their descendants.

This short historical sketch is necessarily brief. However, there are additional historical archives available for interested visitors to read at our cemetery office, and the staff is more than happy to make these available to visitors. Some of the history of families whose members are interred in our cemetery is very colorful and adventurous, and makes for fascinating reading- all the more so because it is true. Please make plans to visit our beautiful cemetery. It is an integral part of our community heritage.

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