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Scout replants crosses at Route 66 cemetery January 3, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Preservation.

KOTV in Tulsa unearthed this remarkable story about a Boy Scout and a cemetery for a long-gone poor farm along Route 66 near Bristow, Okla.

NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com |

Richard Dye, 17, was the one with the idea to plant new and improved white crosses at the 77 graves at Poor Farm Cemetery.

“I decided to make it into something special,” Dye said. “The whole cemetery, it was all cockeyed and out of line. I wanted to be respectful to the people that are buried here and make it look nice.” […]

The crosses that were here before were made of wood. They were deteriorating, the white paint had chipped away, but they’ve now been replaced with long-lasting crosses made of steel.

“It lasts for decades, even centuries and that wood would only last a couple years, if that,” Dye said.

Stillwater Steel made and donated $2,000 worth of crosses. Sisk Sandblasting painted them for half price.

Then Richard, very strategically, spaced out the crosses and set them in concrete.

“I’m sure these things will be here long after we’re gone,” said Alex Rodriguez with the Knights of Columbus.

Dye did this for his Eagle Scout project.

More about the Poor Farm Cemetery may be found here and here. Someone was buried there as recently as 1990. The graveyard also is known as County Farm Cemetery.

The cemetery is on Oklahoma 66, at Road E0830. I found the coordinates, and here’s a link via Google Maps:

View Larger Map

(Hat tip to Linda Ford of Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy)


1. Susan Yates - January 3, 2014

Great kid. Great story. 77 on 66–somehow that seems just right.

2. Scott Piotrowski - January 4, 2014

That is absolutely amazing of both him and his family for footing the bill on the difference in cost. Kudos all around.

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