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Friday, June 24, 2016

Voices from a 'Silent City'

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

OBERLIN, Kansas -- There are 137 bodies buried in the oldest corner of the cemetery in Oberlin, Kansas. Sharleen Wurm, curator of the Decatur County/Last Indian Raid Museum in Oberlin, said coordinators of the "Voices from the Silent City Tour" believe they could have done a story on every one of them.

"Each and every one of them has a story," Wurm said, after she herself told the story of families devastated by the historic 1878 Indian raid in Decatur County, the county's worst tragedy, 134 years to the day before the cemetery tour on Sunday, Sept. 30.

The county's second worst tragedy, Wurm said, was the 1942 tornado that killed 15 county residents and destroyed countless homesteads, homes and buildings.

While death visited mass numbers in those tragedies and in the epidemics that took great numbers of children, it came one at a time to most of the other historic figures whose lives were highlighted in the tour of gravemarkers.

Early settlers, visionary business owners, a young mother and her baby, beloved brothers and feuding brothers, soldiers who fought to defend their country, fathers who unintentionally left widows and young children to fend for themselves, the mothers who picked up the pieces -- each went to the grave with a story of his or her own.

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Sharleen, you do such a great job at the museum and Oberlin is so fortunate you married my cousin and are part of the community. Wish I could be there this weekend, but impossible. Take care Phyllis

-- Posted by FillUsmck on Fri, Oct 5, 2012, at 8:02 AM

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