Forgotten Legacy Bruner Koweta Mission Cemetery
The small town of Coweta Oklahoma was established along the Arkansas River in Muskogee Creek Territory in 1840. In 1843 Minister Robert Loughridge received permission from the tribal council to come to the Muskogee territory to establish a Presbyterian Mission. He named the mission The Koweta Mission after what was then the Capital of the Muskogee Creek Nation.
The Koweta mission operated as a school for Creek children. Loughridge's wife Olivia taught at the school until the time of the American Civil War when The missionaries left the area. In later years the Koweta school was closed due to area illness. The school was moved and reopened 16 miles east and 10 miles west of Ft. Gibson. Eventually, the Koweta Mission and school were completely abandoned and burned down.
In recent years, local Coweta resident Mike Walker became well-versed in the history of the long-forgotten Koweta Mission as well as the Bruner Family Cemetery where Oliva and two of her and Roberts Loughridge's children are buried. Mr. Walker found that the Bruner cemetery had been neglected for many years, and started with three friends and a weed eater. He then recruited local residents, friends, and family to volunteer to clean the grounds.
Volunteers spent months clearing the land of debris, resetting the headstones, and caring for the grounds. The Creek Nation was very supportive and sent out a crew with Ground Penetrating Radar and GPS to help map out the cemetery. It was discovered there were quite a few Military graves possibly Native American Military. The crew was able to locate many unmarked graves, and although there are no records of who may have been buried there, Mr. Walker felt nobody should be forgotten.
When the cemetery was restored, Mr. Walker decided it was time for him to hand over the reins to a new caretaker. Sadly, those that agreed to take over the restoration and maintenance were unable to tend to the grounds and the Bruner Family Cemetery was abandoned again.
In 1973 the Koweta Mission was added to The National Register of Historic places in Oklahoma.
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