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FORT CROOK/OFFUTT CEMETERY

Interestingly enough, the military cemetery at old Fort Crook, later renamed Offutt Air Force Base, began as a cemetery for an infant, like so many of the family cemeteries in the county. This first burial is unmarked.

The following article appeared in the Springfield Monitor on 29 Jul 1897:
"The first death for Fort Crook City occurred Saturday. It was the infant son of Samuel Pittson, of the quartermaster's department. A permit, by telegraph, was received from Washington to set apart a portion of the military reservation for a cemetery in which to bury soldiers and members of their families. The first burial was Sunday afternoon."

An article published in the 11 Nov 1895 edition of the Omaha World Herald perpetuated a mistaken idea that the first burial was in 1893:
"The first grave at the Offutt cemetery was dug in early 1893. Its granite marker says ; 'Joseph Ferguson, Private, Company F, 22nd U.S. Infantry.' The first veteran buried at the cemetery was James L. Ward, a retired Army private. The date of his funeral: Nov. 11, 1909. The cemetery has 27 gravesites, but all have been asked for by veterans."

I believe the records at the base have an "1898" date, misread as "1893".

Gary Iske, Sarpy County Genealogical Society, 1995.

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