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Lewis Perryman built a log cabin near what is now 33rd and Rockford and ran a successful cattle operation in the years before the Civil War. Lewis fled to Kansas at the outbreak of the war and died there in 1862. After the war George Perryman, Lewis’ son, moved back to Tulsa to resume the family cattle operation. George married Rachel Alexander in 1868 and at one time their ranch, located between Tulsa and Broken Arrow, encompassed nearly 60,000 acres and 3,000 head of cattle. It was the largest ranch in the Creek Nation.

The Perryman family, friends and unknown soldiers in the Civil War were buried in the cemetery. The earliest gravestone belongs to Lydia Perryman Beaver, who passed away in 1879; the most recent is William B. Shirk, who died in 1941. Other prominent people in Tulsa history buried in the cemetery are George [died in 1899] and “Aunt” Rachel [d. 1933] Perryman; Tulsa’s first postmaster, Josiah Perryman [d. 1889] and Trail of Tears survivor Hannah Hayes Alexander [d. 1899].

By the 1960s, the Perryman Cemetery had fallen into disrepair with overgrown grounds and vandalized grave markers. Forced relocation of the bodies buried at the cemetery and development of the land was a real possibility until it was deeded to the Tulsa Historical Society in 1971. W.E. “Dode” McIntosh said the gift was “giving us the history of the Perryman family, which is Tulsa.”

Chronological order of deaths of people buried
in the Perryman Cemetery

1879: February 14, Lydia Perryman Beaver
1880: April 2, David Milton Beaver
1883: February 1, Samuel Tucker
1883: August 4, John H. Perryman
1886: February 12, Mary Jack
1886: April 10, China Perryman
1888: November 26, Delilah Perryman
1889: March 3, Josiah Chouteau Perryman
1891: February 2, Amos Beaver
1892: August 22, Louisa Partridge
1892: September 18, Hattie Perryman McElroy
1894: October 30, Andrew J. Perryman
1895: February 27, Kizzie Partridge
1898: February 22, Harriet Ann (“Hattie”) Dunbar
1899: no date, Hannah Hayes Alexander
1899: April 21, George Beecher Perryman
1899: April 30, Emmett Smiley
1899: May 1, Rachel F. Drew
1900: February 20, Noyal Perryman
1900: March 12, Horner (infant girl)
1900: May 4, Lela C. Drew
1901: February 8, Mose S. Perryman
1901: February 20, Charles Clinton Atkins
1901: March 3, Helen Lucille Atkins
1901: March 25, Gracie O. Perryman
1901: September 1, George R. Perryman
1902: February 12, Marguerite Beaver
1904: January 7, Jennie Miller (Arparye)
1904: July 17, Elsie Drew
1904: July 17, Luella (“Lulu”) Drew
1905: May 29, Theodore E. Perryman
1905: June 2, Sarah Rosalie Perryman
1905: November 1, Luther Drew
1905: December 28, Abner Q. Perryman
1907: March 12, Charles Drew
1908: March 27, Moses Warner Drew
1912: March 10, Peter Grayson
1913: February 18, Emma Perryman Drew
1922: February 5, Legus Chouteau Perryman
1926: Mary Deere Marshall Grayson
1930: March 26, Pleasant Porter Perryman
1933: February 6, Rachel Alexander Perryman
1937: no date, George Beecher Perryman, Jr.
1941: July 5, William B. Shirk

Burials with unknown dates of death: Hanna Ellick, Orven S. Tunnell and five unmarked graves.

Tulsa Historical Society & Museum