Fort Supply State Hospital

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Fort Supply State Hospital
Established 1875
Opened 1895
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Fort Supply, OK
Alternate Names
  • Western State Hospital
  • Western State Psychiatric Center
  • Western Oklahoma Hospital
  • William S. Key Correctional Center (current)



History

Fort Supply was officially closed in September of 1894 and turned over to the Department of the Interior on February 26, 1895. In May of 1908 the first patients arrived at the Western Oklahoma Hospital that used the old post's buildings and grounds as the state of Oklahoma's first mental health facility. The Oklahoma Historical Society currently administers five structures and a replica stockade as the Fort Supply Historic Site. The grounds of the old post are also occupied by the Western State Psychiatric Center and the William S. Key Correctional Center. The Fort Supply Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 (NR 71000675).

Cemetery

There are 961 persons buried here. The burial site contains graves of patients from a state-run mental hospital that took over the fort facilities. Plain, gray name markers date to 1908, the year Western State Hospital was established.

Sprinkled in among patient markers are older headstones of civilians affiliated with the military camp, opened in 1868 as a supply post for that year's winter campaign against the Plains Indians. Other graves may be those of squatters and homesteaders who moved in after the camp closed. Bodies of old soldiers formerly buried here were moved to Leavenworth, Kansas.

The most recent grave is that of former Western State Superintendent Dr. William Blyth, who died in 1982. The oldest represents Toch-e-me-ah, wife of Army scout Ben Clarke; Company B Indian Scout Bad Face, and three men believed to have been employees of the Quartermaster's Department.

Toch-e-me-ah's headstone, perhaps the tallest in the cemetery, indicates she died in 1875 at age 22.

Images