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Posts tagged ‘Right of Way Graves’

The Edmond Right-Of-Way Graves

Bre's mid Oct 2015 018

So everyone knows that the intersection of Broadway and 33rd Street in Edmond is bad.  Poor design, too much traffic, and lights that never seem to change.  I hate that intersection and try to avoid it at all costs but when I do get stuck there, I wonder if the traffic troubles in the area are a ghostly legacy of the two men buried near there.  What?  What do you mean?  There isn’t a cemetery near there, can’t be any graves.  Well that is where you are wrong, they aren’t easy to get to but yes, there are two graves just northwest of the intersection along the railroad tracks.

Let’s go back to 1886, surveyors for the Southern Kansas Railway (later part of the Santa Fe Railway) picked a location at mile marker 103 (it means one hundred and three miles south of Arkansas City, Kansas) for a coaling station on the rail line.  A few months later in September the crews came through to “scrape” the land and prepare the grade for the rail line to be laid.  On September 17th, two members of this crew, Frank Mosier and Willie Davis were killed in a fight and then buried along the rail line just a few miles south of marker 103.  What was the fight about?  Did they kill each other?  Was there really a fight?  Did they die of something else, disease or heat exhaustion maybe?  Many historians have tried to uncover the truth but what really happened to these two men is lost in time.  All we really know is that the two men were buried along the railroad right of way, side by side.

For many years the railroad tended to the graves.  There were two markers for the men, Willie Davis has a small iron cross and Frank Mosier had a stone with his name carved into it.  But as time went on, the graves had become overgrown with weeds and grass.  There have been some people who tried to take care of the graves but with the development of Edmond it was hard to keep the location clean.  At some point vandals broke Mosier’s stone and scattered the pieces in the field.  Some Edmond residents put up a wooden cross and someone has put gravel over the graves.  In 1979 the Oklahoma Historical Society put a granite marker at the site and embedded Mosier’s stone into it.  The Santa Fe railway still owns the site but has not done a good job tending to it.

This is not an easy place to find.  There is really no way to the graves.  You can try to park along the businesses that backup to the rail line but there is a very big ditch to get through in order to get to the tracks.  The other option is the one I took, park at the business on 33rd Street, then walk the rails around the curve to the site.  I will warn you- this is not safe and possibly illegal.  It is a blind curve and if you aren’t paying attention the train can come around very quickly.  I went to the site on a slow rail traffic afternoon, so I was lucky but it was still scary and any little noise sent me down the rail grade to the ditch.  I’m also not going to say the site is haunted, but I just wanted to get out of there, felt very uncomfortable.

So every time you are around the intersection of Broadway and 33rd Street in Edmond, look to the northwest at the railroad track and think about the two men who lost their lives and now reside permanently in that location.  Maybe they are “controlling” the traffic flow at that intersection.

Bre's mid Oct 2015 014

The grave marker of Willie Davis, Edmond, Ok, 2015.

Bre's mid Oct 2015 021

The granite marker with Frank Mosier’s headstone embedded next to the grave site, Edmond, OK, 2015.

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