WEATHERFORD, Okla. (KFOR) — The dead themselves may tell no tales, but Anita Crawford and Laura McCormick still do every October.
“It’s kind of like history gone by,” says Anita.
“Everyone has a story,” adds Laura.
The first permanent residents at the Greenwood cemetery started arriving in 1889.
The Western Plains Weatherford Genealogical Society has grounds to keep tabs on everyone who’s moved in since then.
“We specialize in family and people searches,” states McCormick.
They organize a yearly cemetery walk to highlight some of the interesting stories they unearth.
Re-enactors dress up in period costume and talk about people like Powhaten James Ayers who fought for the Rebel side in the Civil War, or Sarah Milliken who spied for both sides in that conflict and got arrested for it.
Laura says her research reveals that, “Hiram Miliken, her husband, actually escorted her to prison.”
Bruce Rainey is buried next to his parents.
He was a city marshal in 1941 when he was shot with his own gun trying to make an arrest.
Laura found a lot of newspaper articles about the case from that summer.
“We have an obituary for more than half of the people buried here,” she says.
Crawford adds, “We go through and try to pick someone that does have connections to Weatherford.”
No cemetery tour would be complete without one spooky tale, true or not, which brings us to the grave of a certain ‘Little Ruffie’.
No one knows why urban legend stuck him with the alleged murder of five young women at the college on hill.
For years, local kids have been sneaking in on Halloween night to see if the ghost stories are true.
McCormick relates, “It’s said that on Halloween night Ruffie’s eyes follow you back and forth.”
As the days get shorter, and the golden light of fall evenings give way to dark shadows, the rest of the souls in the Greenwood Cemetery wait their turn.
A city’s history lies here.
Telling it only takes a little bit of digging.
The annual Weatherford Greenwood Cemetery walk is scheduled for Monday, October 19 at 6 p.m.
Admission is free but the Genealogical Society does ask for a donation.
For more information go to their Facebook page here.
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