1918 – Fire at Hospital – Norman, Oklahoma

In the early morning of Saturday, April 13, 1918 a fire broke out at the State Hospital in Norman, Oklahoma.

When the fire finally consumed the structures and the fire was out, the bodies of 40 people were found.

One was identified but the 39 others were placed in wooden boxes and interred in a mass grave.

In 1918, a family member who was placed in a mental hospital was usually dead to the family and he/she was never talked about. So the 39 bodies of all boys or men were placed in the common grave and forgotten. Not even a marker was placed over the grave.

It took 96 years until the grave was finally found and a proper burial and memorial was erected in 2014 for those 39 souls.

I was doing some research for a Greenwalt family member and came across a “Claud Greenwalt” in the Find A Grave web site.

LInk: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Greenwalt&GSiman=1&GScid=1057310&GRid=34736607&

I forgot about Claud and now just wanted to learn more about the fire and the names on the marble slab.

I found many quick references to the fire in history web sites but none that had an orderly list of the names on the memorial slab.

 

The memorial slab lists the names but they are not in a smooth alphabetical order that members of the family can easily find.

I decided to create a list so that family members would be able to identify their relatives. I wanted the names to be captured in search requests and the slab does not do that for the family.

I hope this list will help you find that illusive relative that is mentioned in records but then just vanishes… maybe he will be found on this list.

 

Norman, Oklahoma State Hospital Fire

13 April 1918

Altgeld William
Anno Thomas
Austin Chester
Babbington Elmore
Breedlove Henry
Brown Eugene
Creston John
Davis Herman
Eckles Walter
Ewing Willie
Fanning Robert L.
Frank Richard Thomas
Greenwalt Claud
Grose Robert
Gvasdanogitch Pete
Herring Ira
Holmes Gilbert
Hurst William Chesley
Johnson William
Litrell Stephen
Matheny George
Mattoon John V.
Maxwell Richard
Miller Ben
Pinix H.M.
Regnier George
Roop C.I.
Russell Thomas
Smith Ernest B.
Smithers Claud
Stewart William H. Sr.
Tatum Charlie
Teague Secrist
Vawter Boon
Waterman Joseph
Waton Edgar
West Joe S.
Wheat Steve
White Charley

 

Thank You

 

Jose from Clarkston, Michigan

 


text file of names:

——————-

Altgeld, William

Anno, Thomas

Austin, Chester

Babbington, Elmore

Breedlove, Henry

 

Brown, Eugene

Creston, John

Davis, Herman

Eckles, Walter

Ewing, Willie

 

Fanning, Robert L.

Frank, Richard Thomas

Greenwalt, Claud

Grose, Robert

Gvasdanogitch, Pete

 

Herring, Ira

Holmes, Gilbert

Hurst, William Chesley

Johnson, William

Litrell, Stephen

 

Matheny, George

Mattoon, John V.

Maxwell, Richard

Miller, Ben

Pinix, H.M.

 

Regnier, George

Roop, C.I.

Russell, Thomas

Smith, Ernest B.

Smithers, Claud

 

Stewart, William H. Sr.

Tatum, Charlie

Teague, Secrist

Vawter, Boon

Waterman, Joseph

 

Waton, Edgar

West, Joe S.

Wheat, Steve

White, Charley

 


Links to news items:

——————–

GenDisasters.com

Norman, OK State Hospital Fire, Apr 1918

Submitted by Stu Beitler

Oklahoma | Fires | 1918 | State Hospital Fire

http://www.gendisasters.com/oklahoma/9820/norman-ok-state-hospital-fire-apr-1918

========================

Long Lost Mass Grave Discovered In Norman

Posted: Mar 26, 2014 6:57 PM EST Updated: Mar 27, 2014 9:49 AM EST

http://www.news9.com/story/25083832/long-lost-mass-grave-discovered-in-norman

====================================

Norman State Hospital Fire

http://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php?title=Norman_State_Hospital

================================

Victims killed in 1918 Norman hospital fire found buried in mass grave site

Posted 6:44 pm, March 26, 2014, by Vi Nguyen, Updated at 03:18PM, March 27, 2014

http://kfor.com/2014/03/26/victims-killed-in-1918-norman-hospital-fire-found-buried-in-mass-grave-site/

===============================

Oklahoma State Hospital fire…

http://www.rarenewspapers.com/view/558213

================================

State mental patients killed in 1918 fire to get markers after long-lost gravesite found in Norman cemetery

The graves of 39 state mental patients who were killed in a tragic 1918 fire will finally be marked.

By JANE GLENN CANNON NewsOK.com May 12, 2014 0

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/state-mental-patients-killed-in-fire-to-get-markers-after/article_ac1653ec-fcd9-5fa4-94e4-9c6495ac20e4.html

====================================

April 13, 1918 Blaze Claims 40 At Norman Asylum ‘Firetraps’ Spurred Safety Steps

Michelle Sutherlin Published: April 18, 1999 12:00 AM CDT Updated: April 18, 1999 12:00 AM

http://newsok.com/article/2649935

=================================

Brainy History

April 13, 1918 in History

Event:

Electrical fire kills 38 mental patients at Oklahoma State Hospital

https://www.brainyhistory.com/events/1918/april_13_1918_79196.html

==============================

Oklahoma Dept of Mental Health

and Substance Abuse Services

08 Apr 2015

Memorial

Click to access 1918%20fire%20victims%20memorial%20ceremony.pdf

========================

13 Apr 1918

Fire

Oklahoma

buried at 100F Memory Garden Cemetery

 

By Jose A Munoz

Retired General Motors designer who now works on subjects dealing with genealogy. I create trees using items I find in old Google News Archive newspapers and I contact other tree owners notifying them about the news item concerning their relative and send them a link to the tree I created. I post a screen print of the news item on the tree for others to copy, so that my work will benefit others. Occasionally, I will post about the tree I created or the item that I found, always with a "how to" in-bedded in the post. I want my blog posts to help others with their family trees or with their genealogy experiences.

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