Dr. Caroline Eaton Author and Supt. of Public Instruction portrayed by Jess Ammons

Tombstone Tales Cast October 2020

JM Bayless Entrepreneur portrayed by great- grandson Tom Bayless

Dr. Caroline Bassmann Physician portrayed by Lane Dolly

John Bullette Claremore Businessman portrayed by Dale Brown

Mary Rogers wife of C.V. Rogers portrayed by Brandy Lee

Elijah Hicks Cherokee Statesman and oldest tombstone marked in the cemetery portrayed by Keith Austin

J.H. Moore Claremore Undertaker portrayed by playwright Mark Ogle

In lieu of our usual mystery dinner fundraisers, we created a new historic event for October 2020- TOMBSTONE TALES. Guests enjoyed a guided, evening walking tour to five grave sites at Claremore's Woodlawn Cemetery where they heard short biographies of five historic residents. Elijah Hicks, Cherokee statesman and leader on the Trail of Tears, was portrayed by Cherokee Tribal Councilor Keith Austin. John Bayless, early Claremore entrepreneur and builder of the Belvidere Mansion, was portrayed by Mr. Bayless's great-grandson, Tom Bayless. Dr. Caroline Eaton, author, Rogers County Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Oklahoma Hall of Fame Inductee, was portrayed by local actress, Jessica Ammons. Dr. W.F. Hays, one of Claremore's first doctors and board chairman of Mr. J.M. Bayless's bank, was portrayed by Dr. Hays's grandson, Hays Gilstrap. John Bullette, Claremore developer and entrepreneur, was portrayed by local actor Dale Brown. Other cast members were Dr. Caroline Bassman, played by author Lane Dolly; Mrs. Nellie Kates, President of the Ladies Cemetery Association, played by Christa Rice; Mr. James Latta, farmer, played by local actor John Newby; Mr. J.H. Moore, Undertaker, played by local playwright Mark Ogle, Mrs. Mary Rogers, second wife of C.V. Rogers, played by Brandy Lee, and the Ammon brothers who portrayed graveyard attendants. We appreciate Tim Sang and the Woodlawn Cemetery staff for permitting us to do this event and the many volunteers, such as Cliff Lee, and the RCHS Executive Board who helped to make this event a great success.

Photo Credits: Christa Rice