Tiger Bone Cemetery

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"William Bruner, old-time Town King, rests in the Tiger Bone Cemetery near other members of his family including Annie Bruner, his mother; his daughters, Esther Bruner Reno and Stella M. Goodwin; his sons, Lewis and Emanuel Bruner; his sister, Jemima Rodgers and her daughter, Lucy Rodgers; Flora Bruner and several other unmarked graves. He asked to be buried there among his people and near the Old Coyote Trail where he had hunted when a youth, twenty miles southwest of Tulsa."

As printed in The Chronicles of Oklahoma - Winter 1952-53 (PDF Article Below)

Tiger Bone Cemetery is just 1/10 of a mile down the road from our Firey Trails turn-in on our neighbors property.  It was established long before statehood in 1887 when Tiger Bone, a *Euchee Creek scout, was the first to be buried there.  William G. "Billie" Bruner, his mother, Annie, and many other members of Billie Bruner's family chose this tiny cemetery as their final resting place.  The cemetery was desecrated in the 50ís by artifact hunters and has fallen prey to vandalism and neglect since.  Since sometime in the mid to late 80ís, most of the hundred year old headstones had been either broken, turned over or stolen.  Tiger Bone and Billie Bruner, especially, had prominent large headstones which are now nowhere to be seen. Only a few small headstones can been seen scattered here and there among the weeds. 

Itís such a shame, but now itís very hard to distinguish the memorial grounds (fenced with barbed wire) from the pasture land that surrounds it on three sides.  The tiny cemetery seems to be destined to fade into an anonymous oblivionÖ.A sad commentary for such a historic, hallowed piece of ground.  (Written by Diana Firey in 2005.  See the developments since below.)


*Euchee is also referred to as "Yuchi"

On previous postings, we had typed the name of the cemetery as Tigerbone (one word).  Since the cemetery is named after an actual person with a first and last name, we will refer to it by its proper name Tiger Bone from now on.

Forgotten faded flowers at Tiger Bone Cemetery







 Current Update   (May 5, 2009)  -  On January 23, 2009, we received an email from Jay Isley who lives in the Oklahoma City area.  Jay is the great, great grandson of Billie Bruner.  He knew that his great, great grandfather was buried at Tiger Bone Cemetery but had no idea of the location of the cemetery.  While researching the phrase "Tiger Bone Cemetery" on the internet, he came across our website and replica Tiger Bone Cemetery (because Tiger Bone Cemetery is always featured with our visitors and is prominent on our website).  He said his heart skipped a beat when he realized that we knew exactly where the cemetery was located (since we had the phrase that the actual cemetery was 1/10th of a mile from our replica at Firey Trails.)  Since then, Jay and his wife, Niki, have visited us and have been able to visit the cemetery for the first time.  Jay is currently in correspondence with the Creek Nation regarding the eventual restoration of this abandoned cemetery.  After all these years, looks like Tiger Bone Cemetery might not stay forgotten after all !


Jay and his sister, Jennie, visiting Tiger Bone Cemetery on 4-26-09


A Sad Update After the above was posted.  Jay Isley (May 9, 1974-October 9, 2010) succumbed to what is believed to be a spider bite.  His wife planned to spread his ashes in the Tiger Bone Cemetery.  RIP, Jay.


As time allows, we will post PDF files about those buried in Tiger Bone Cemetery and also fascinating PDF files of people LINKED in some interesting way to those buried there. Since we have gathered information here and there from various sources, most of the PDF accounts will be "paraphrased" as accurately as possible in our own words, condensing to the most important information.  The exception is the first PDF below which is an actual account found in an "out of print" Chronicles of Oklahoma from 1952-53:

William G. "Billie" Bruner - Creek Nation House of Kings     1861 - 1952

Billie Bruner has to be the most famous of those buried at Tiger Bone Cemetery.  The birth year of 1861 is inconclusive and we are basing this on reports of him as a baby at the battle of Round Mountain (fought November of 1861).  The PDF file is scanned from an article in the Winter, 1952-53 Chronicles of Oklahoma - Volume XXX Number 4.  The account includes the sworn testimony of Grat Dalton (when he was still on the right side of the law) against Billie Bruner.  Although legible, the text is irregular at times because of how the digital reader "scanned" the text.  The above article was posted May 6, 2009. 

Tiger Bone, Yuchi Scout  1805 - 1887

The name sake of the cemetery, Tiger Bone, is a colorful Euchee (Yuchi) Creek frontiersmen and expert scout.  The above link is a paraphrased PDF biography of his life from the facts we have been able to gather.  The above article was posted May 7, 2009 and is subject to addition or change as we research more about his life.




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Last Updated: 11/16/2022 03:15 PM