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Marker will find World War I soldier's grave after 55 years

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Headstone for Ulysses G. Moore, found by a man in his back yard at 2304 E Madison St. behind Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2301 NE 23. [PHOTO PROVIDED BY TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH]
Headstone for Ulysses G. Moore, found by a man in his back yard at 2304 E Madison St. behind Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2301 NE 23. [PHOTO PROVIDED BY TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH]

U.S. Army Pvt. U.G. Moore's military headstone is in safe keeping now, a few weeks after a new resident was startled to discover it in his back yard at 2304 E Madison St., and 55 years after it was delivered — but not to Moore's final resting place.

Jack Werner, owner of A to Z Inspections, volunteered time and labor to move the marker. Plans are under way to place it, with appropriate ceremony, at Moore's unmarked grave at Trice Hill, a large African-American cemetery at NE 50 and Coltrane Road in Forest Park.

The mystery surrounding why the marker never was placed at Moore's gravesite — nor any other memorial stone — might never be unraveled. Alma Lucas, his granddaughter, now living in Texas, and the last family member to own the house said she never knew why the marker was deposited there.

Andre Head of The Coltrane Group, consultants in preserving the history of Oklahoma's historic black towns and African-American history generally, volunteered to take the lead in researching Moore's service record and determining whether an appropriate ceremony should involve military or veterans groups.

That could depend on whether Moore was honored at the time of his death and burial. Something was missed for whatever reason or the marker would have been placed in 1964. In any case, some kind of ceremony is planned to commemorate Moore's service and the placing of the stone.

Moore, born June 10, 1896, died Jan. 20, 1964, and served at the tail end of World War I.

According to the headstone, he served in Company M of the 65th Pioneer Infantry. The division formed in October 1918, at Camp Funston, near Junction City, Kansas. The war was over in December, the soldiers' only foe being Spanish flu, which swept the camp.

Moore was inducted at the height of the Spanish flu pandemic in Oklahoma City. Newspaper reports show that 100 people died in the city between Oct. 1 and Oct. 12, when the population was less than 90,000. Schools and other public places, even churches, were closed for most of the rest of that month. The worst was over by Nov. 1, according to The Daily Oklahoman.

Thanks to Werner, Head and others who have expressed interest in this history mystery and correcting it. A glitch kept me from receiving email for most of the week. It has been fixed. Please try again.

You can email Real Estate Editor Richard Mize at rmize@oklahoman.com.

Richard Mize

Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked... Read more ›

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