Man ignites social media firestorm after posting he purchased long-lost death records for $75

Published: 06/02/2022, 7:06 PM
Edited: 06/03/2022, 1:54 PM
0
0
0

(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) An Oklahoma City man has come forward saying he bought historic death certificate ledgers from a local thrift store, containing thousands of records of Black and Indian people who were buried between 1910 and 1916 in Muskogee County. 

Pages of the ledgers have “Vital Statistics of Muskogee County” printed at the top. 

The man, who goes by “Orange Rex” on Facebook, announced the find in the Muskogee and Muskogee County History Facebook group on May 29. 

“Pictured are ledgers containing the Death Records for Muskogee County from January 1910 to August 1916,” Rex posted in the group, along with some images. “I bought them recently at an Oklahoma City thrift store. Super Triple History Score for only $75. I don't know much about Muskogee history, so I've joined your group.” 

STORY CODE: HISTORY

VNN asked him via Facebook Messenger if he would be providing the documents to historical organizations to be made public.  

Rex told us not yet, because he did not want to lose his power for change. He told us he has received offers for them already though, including one “More than I paid for my house”. 

He also said he would not sell the ledgers until the cemeteries are cleaned up. 

VNN has reported on the abandoned and neglected historical cemeteries of Muskogee in the past, particularly Union Agency Cemetery

Union Agency Cemetery is a predominantly Muscogee Creek Freedmen cemetery, and one Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band Leader Rhonda Grayson says her organization has been trying to clean up and preserve for some time. 

“Many of our ancestors who served in the House of Kings and the House of Warriors, many of them served in the Civil War,” Grayson said. “They’re veterans. They deserve to rest peacefully. And so, we want to be able to preserve that legacy of the cemetery.” 

Learn more about the Freedmen here.

Comments

Ann Marie Worthley
06/07/2022, 11:04 PM

I think this person is selfish & definitely should donate to a historical society.

Click here to read more stories from VNN