Prison Pauper's Cemetery Turns 100

Jul 7, 2013

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — The paupers' cemetery outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester is home to hundreds of prisoners who have no one to come forward to claim their bodies after they die. The cemetery is 100 years old this year. The prison is about five years older. The graveyard is home to executed inmates and also those who die in custody with nowhere else to go. Inmates refer to the site as "Peckerwood Hill" but it's not a hill at all — just a flat stretch of land under unkempt cedar trees. The most recently executed inmate — 39-year-old Brian Davis — could have ended up there if his family hadn't claimed his remains. The Ponca City News reports a memorial service was held Friday for Davis.

The prison grave yard at McAlester
Credit S.W. Times-Record