Chain Family Cemetery, Dewey Co., OK
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Chain Family Cemetery

NE Section 11- Twp 18 - Range 15


from Selling: 9 mile Southeast on 270/3 Highway to 51 Highway Junction 3 mile East on 51 Highway on South side of road.

from Canton: 9 mile West on 51 Highway.

After Lenard passed away, his son, Ralph, reflected on his fatherís love of the land and the pleasure he derived from managing cattle and farmland.

He decided it would be a nice tribute to his fatherís life-time effort to bury him on his own land.

The site selected is on a gentle hill, across the road south from the original 160 acres that started Chain Ranch.

The family burial site is close to several large black jack oaks. Lenard always marveled at how or why this grove of trees somehow escaped the prairie fires. The surviving trees were a determining factor for the selection of a family burial site.

Lenard related how his mother would take him to an open, plowed field for safety whenever a prairie fire would be threatening their survival.

Also in the area of the family cemetery is a log cabin that was moved from the South Canadian River. It is one of the first, perhaps the first, log cabin built in Dewey County. John Bonto built it in 1893 near the edge of the river. Bonto led settlers across the treacherous river to get to the County Seat.

Punkin Ridge School House was moved to the site and has been completely restored. Desks, chalkboard, wood stove, and other memorabilia of the era are in place inside the classroom. The land, approximately 10 miles from where the school now sets, is owned by Chain. The old school building was in bad shape and was somewhat in the way, so Ralph decided to burn it. When he got to the school he looked it over and recalled his father telling him that he had viewed his first silent movie in the school. Ralph realized that other memories were attached to the school and decided he did not want to forever lose this history of Dewey County. The matches were not used.

A large marble cross has been erected at the cemetery. As a symbol of endurance, the marble was imported from Italy.

Inscribed on one side of the cross is Isaiah 40:28-31
Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.Ē (NRSV)

On the other side of the cross is the Chain Family history, beginning in 1893 when Oscar Chain traded a shot gun and $50 for a quarter of ground (SE 2-18-15)

Ralph and Darla now live on the original 160 acres.
CHAIN Grace D. SNYDER18 Jun 190726 Jul 1991w/o Lenard
CHAIN Lenard Nelson  04 Aug 190423 Sep 1987s/o Carlie Oscar & Laura

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