This was posted a few years ago, but seems a fitting tribute to repeat this weekend. Undoubtedly one of the largest funerals ever held in Caddo.
October 21, 1921
Soldier Funeral Attended by Thousands
Sunday morning at eleven o’clock the funerals of Corporals Elmer Keith and Corbett Benefield were held at the Presbyterian Chapel lawn, attended by fully three thousand people. The sermons were delivered by Rev. Rylant of the Baptist church, and Rev. Naylor of the Methodist church.
The remains were taken in charge by the Elmer Keith Post American Legion, proceeded with it to the cemetery, followed by the largest cortege ever had in Caddo. There the salute was fired and the bodies laid to rest side by side.
The funeral offerings were very numerous and exquisite, by friends of the families and by the Ladies Auxiliary.
Rev. Beasley, as chaplain, and Grover Braudrick, as commander of the Post, delivered the eulogies and prayer at the grave.
Fitting as in life- these soldiers lived as buddies, as comrades, as boys-they were buried together.
It is estimated that fully three thousand people were here on this occasion, a fitting tribute to the American lads who laid down their all, that us at home might be safe from the hand of the ruthless invader. They came from all the country aroundabout, from Atoka, from Caney, from Kenefick, from Bennington, from Bokchito, from Durant, came the multitude thus to honor the soldier dead. The band from Durant, twenty strong, came and rendered the appropriate music, adding solemnity and color to the occasion.
More than three hundred autos, wagons, and carriages were in the sad procession that marched to Gethsemane, filled each with its load of grateful people. None other Caddo people had done so much for America as these lad; they paid the big price, and nothing the folks at home could do will ever repay or requite them, but the nation will know that a grateful folk live in the boundaries of Caddo, and their graves will ever be green, kept by loving hands and loyal hearts.
Elmer Keith was the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Keith and Corbett Benefield was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Benefield who live near Caddo. They were members of the same regiment and company, trained at the same place, went away together, fought together, died together, came back together, and buried simultaneously, no difference will there be in the esteem in which they are held.
The attention paid these comrades by the American Legion, is also worthy of mention. Diligent watch was kept at the Chapel by details in uniform of the Post. Each member seemed to be glad to do for their fallen comrades, and their attendance in uniform, fully a hundred strong, attested also that the spirit that went to France still lives in the hearts of the citizen soldiery.
The Herald can add nothing to the honor of these dead heroes, voicing the sentiment of their fellow townsmen we can but say we shall remember them in kindness and honor.