The Indian Agency Cemetery:
Its Restoration and Preservation
This web site is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the Indian Agency Cemetery. The intent of the web site is to make public the unvarnished truth about the cemetery’s treatment by the Army and to foster information which will ensure the cemetery is never again lost to memory.
At an uncertain date, perhaps as early as 1870, a little cemetery was begun on a grassy knoll midway between the original Fort Sill Military Reservation and the nearby Kiowa-Comanche Indian Agency. In 1917, after Fort Sill absorbed or annexed the land on which the cemetery lies, it became a part of the Military Reservation. Specifically, it is located on Fort Sill’s Henry Post Army Airfield.
Simply put, the Army did all it could to erase the cemetery from the minds of the Comanches who had family buried in this hallowed ground. The Army took down what few upright markers were there, fenced off the whole airfield, covered with in-ground concrete slabs what graves could be located, and to one extent or another used the site as a part of airfield operations.
This abandoned cemetery became virtually lost over time, except in the memory of a few Comanche elders, owing to the deliberate efforts of the Army to minimize or erase its existence.
Today remnants of old landing lights can be found within a few feet of the graves. Irrefutable documentation has been found of the Army covering the concrete grave slabs with soil so as “not to interfere with planes landing.” The cemetery remains behind a locked security gate. Access can be obtained only by permission of the airfield operations staff. An escort must remain with those who may wish to visit the site to pay homage to their relatives or fellow tribal members.
Attempts to secure the cemetery’s restoration and preservation were made as early as 1982 by various groups or individuals from the Comanche tribe. For one reason or another, those attempts faltered. In late 2006, Wahnne Clark contacted COL William Greer, then Chief of Staff, to reinvigorate the restoration and preservation efforts. The project has worked its way through all levels of command since that time. Fort Sill’s hands have been tied due to existing bureaucratic entanglements and shifting priorities. Additionally, the Army has had to contend with various well-intentioned Federal requirements that have added to the project’s delay and, at times, even confusion. The project has apparently “turned the corner” and seems on track for some sort of resolution. As recent as December 22, 2009, the Commanding General at Fort Sill, MG David D. Halverson, pledged his support to see this cemetery project move toward completion. The project objectives are outlined in the Section entitled "List of Ten." Unfortunately, General Halverson left on May 4, 2012, and did not give his unqualified support for the project as he had promised.
With unswerving dedication, Rosemarie, Wahnne's wife, has spent countless hours working toward the same goals. Her contribution to the research put into this project is only equaled by her sound counsel and ideas for advancing this worthy cause.
Just when we can write the epilogue is not known. In the meantime, patience and perseverance remain the watchwords.
On the following pages you can follow the saga this historic cemetery and the efforts that have been undertaken in behalf of its restoration and preservation.
Rosemarie & Wahnne Clark
"Show me your cemeteries and I will tell you what kind of people you have."
- Benjamin Franklin