Tulsa Cemetery Owner Responds To Claims Of Negligence

Friday, June 8th 2018, 9:48 pm
By: Amy Avery

The owner of a Green Country cemetery is responding to claims he's neglecting his property.

06/07/2018 Related Story: Grave Sites Left In Disrepair At Historic Tulsa Cemetery

Headstones sunken missing or just piled around a shed all problems Aric White says were already there before he took over and he has the photos to prove it.

Crown Hill has been here since 1931 and it's filled with a lot of history. Owner Aric White says he's doing everything he can to get it back to looking its best, despite not having records for where everyone is buried here.

"I've spent thousands of dollars trying to make the place operational," said White who took over Crown Hill Cemetery in November of 2015. Since then he's purchased new mowing equipment painted the gazebo and put in a new fence for more security.

"I work 6 days a week. I have been for 9 years so I don’t sit in an office in a suit in air conditioning. I’m out here in the heat working"

White has court documents proving he purchased the property from a sheriff sale and they show former owners weren't compliant with State Law.

"These papers clearly prove that were not in a dispute,” Said White. I feel like it’s a witch hunt or they are trying to use me for the whipping post for the disrepair that this place has been in for a decade

There are multiple headstones with various dates sitting out in front of this shed but Aric White tells me these were here before he even took ownership.

"I have pictures of the first day when I came out here and all of those headstones are in the same place."

White says plans to put them in their rightful place but some of the records aren't accurate and there are no records for the front section so the only way he knows who's buried there is by looking at the headstones.

“The only time I bury here is if someone can prove to me with paperwork that they already purchased a plot”

But despite the hardships, he's doing everything he can to get it back on track.

“I purchased it so it would continue to stay in black hands and I wanted to get the cemetery back into a decent standard for the community of Tulsa

White tells says he is going to be adding even more security measures. They also plan to get their office up and running in the near future. Right now White says he's operating on a cell phone so he asks that you bear with him throughout this process.