The curious came bundled up in jackets and sported walking shoes as they lined up from the Sherman Museum’s first stroll through West Hill Cemetery fundraiser Saturday.

The curious came bundled up in jackets and sported walking shoes as they lined up from the Sherman Museum’s first stroll through West Hill Cemetery fundraiser Saturday.


Charlotte English said the 11 a.m. tour sold out, and they were expecting lots of people in the tours that would follow Saturday. She said it is the first time the tour has been done in Sherman, but members of the Museum’s Board have been to similar tours in other places. "The one in Nachez, Miss.," she said was one. Another person mentioned one in Tyler, Texas. English said the response to the fundraiser was really good.


Becky Shires of Calera, Okla. attended the 11:30 tour and said she was excited to be there. "I grew up in Sherman," she said and added that she would visit the cemetery with her grandfather when she was younger and was always impressed with it.


"It has got great old monuments and … just a sense of history," she said as she waited for the tour to begin.


The Sherman Museum is a nonprofit, educational institution that preserves items of historical significance and displays them for educational purposes. It was founded in 1976, and it is housed in the Carnegie Library building.


The first stop on the tour took the group just a few feet away to the grave of John Taylor, a Sherman High School football star who went to college at Wichita State University to play football. He died of injuries he sustained while flying with the football team on Oct. 2, 1970.


Mark Bruce told the group the story of the Taylor’s life and death. Bruce said his brother was Taylor’s best friend and was on the plane too when it went down in some trees in Colorado. Though 29 people died in the crash, Bruce said, Taylor lived several weeks. He endured horrible pain attributed to the severe burns he sustained in the crash. Bruce said hospital staff told him Taylor never yelled out during his treatments.


Though Bruce wore Wichita garb while telling the tale of the fateful flight, tour participants were also regaled with stories of heroic and tragic deaths by local history buffs dressed in period clothes.


Other graves that were visited during the tour included that of Noble Allen Birge Jr. who lived from 1875 to 1952; Kese Pipkin Loving, 1835 t0 1919; Seaborn Carpenter, 1870 to 1896; John Henry LeJellier, 1842 to 1913, who was an educator in Sherman and a Civil War veteran; John Sillman Moore, 1840 to 1903, who was on the Austin College Board of Trustees and who pastored the First Presbyterian Church in Sherman from 1879 to 1903; Tom Randolph, 1854 to 1918; Olive Oatman Fairchild, 1837 to 1903, who was captured by Indians at the age of 13. She later married into Sherman society.