Polson Cemetery Entrance Arch - Rural Delaware County, Oklahoma
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 36° 31.521 W 094° 38.169
15S E 353516 N 4043465
Quick Description: The Polson Cemetery is the resting place for Stand Watie, Major Ridge, and John Ridge. Polson Cemetery is located on E340 Road about 2 miles west of Southwest City, Missouri.
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 7/5/2019 6:59:34 PM
Waymark Code: WM10XC6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 4

Long Description:
This entrance arch is made of metal poles. It has been painted white. At the top are the words: "Polson Cemetery". A gate has been incorporated into the arch and the words: "Watie Ridge" are located on it.

Left on this road to POLSON CEMETERY, 6 m., where the Cherokee Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie is buried. In Cherokee history, this part-Indian loomed large as one among the insignificant minority of the tribe who signed the spurious "treaty" under which the Federal government acted in removing them from Georgia and Tennessee in 1838. Three other signers - Elias Boudinot, Watie's brother; Major Ridge; and his son John -- were killed, after the removal, by Cherokees who regarded them as traitors. From that time on Stand Watie became a bitter opponent of Chief John Ross, titular head of the tribe for almost forty years, whom he accused on no better evidence than unfriendly gossip of instigating the killings. Many other killings followed, and at one time Watie gathered a force to overthrow the Ross government.

Committing himself and his adherents to the Confederate cause at the outbreak of the Civil War, Watie recruited a regiment of Cherokees, took part in the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, was made brigadier general and put in command of an Indian brigade. According to local history, he was the last Confederate officer to surrender, two months and more after Appomattox. At one time during the Civil War he laid claim to the office of chief of the Cherokees, but his right to the office was recognized only by his own limited following.

- Oklahoma, a guide to the Sooner state, 1941, pg. 399

Polson is the typical rural cemetery, a relatively level field of native grass with a few random trees. It is fenced and quite well cared for. Visitors can walk in at will, but a locked gate ordinarily bars automobiles. At the south entrance stands the large granite memorial bearing the likeness of Stand Watie and some details on his life and career.

An ornate granite marker stands at the head of Watie's grave. Erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, it bears this legend: "Gen. Stand Watie, only full-blood [actually three-quarter] Indian brigadier general in the Confederate army. This brave Cherokee rendered heroic service in the Confederate cause in Indian Territory." Near by are the stones to mark the graves of Major Ridge, his son John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot, all three killed in the June 22, 1839, assassination that was to have included Watie. The Major Ridge memorial marker came from the War Department in recognition of his service in the War of 1812. (Ironically, he served under Andrew Jackson against the Creeks... that is, against fellow Indians under a man who, as President, was more responsible than perhaps anyone else for the forced removal of Cherokees and Creeks to the west.) Near Watie, too, are the graves of eight Watie relatives, removed to Polson in 1971 from an abandoned cemetery in the area.

- National Register Application

Type: Gateway

Subtype: Municipal/Regional Entrance

Location: Polson Cemetery

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