Fort Sill in Comanche County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
Built of native limestone and local timbers, this little outpost of Christianity was the first structure of the post visible to weary travelers coming in by stage from the distant settlements in the eastern states.
Captain Jeremiah Porter was the first to hold services in the chapel on Christmas Eve, 1875. By January 1876, he requested a bell to announce services across the post. This bell apparently disappeared many years ago and the present bell was installed in December 1930.
Father Isadore, noted Catholic priest who founded the mission at Anadarko, and Reverend Frank Wright, son of the Choctaw Indian who named Oklahoma, both conducted services in the chapel from time to time.
School was also held in this building for the children of the post. The teachers were usually Sergeants paid at the rate of fifty cents per day for their efforts. Children of the officers, as well as of the Indian women who sometimes worked in the family quarters, all attended school in the little chapel.
Parties were frequently held in the chapel also.
In 1930, the old stone latrines behind the family quarters were torn down and the stone used to construct a vestry on the north side of the building. During the same time other changes were made to the building interior including new benches, railings and ceiling fans.
In its setting of quiet beauty, the little chapel remains as a hallowed symbol of the place that religion has held in the lives of the military personnel of this nation.
Location. 34° 40.295′ N, 98° 23.079′ W. Marker is in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in Comanche County. Marker is at the intersection of Ganahl Road and Back Access Road, on the left when traveling north on Ganahl Road. Touch for map. Marker and chapel are located at the northeast corner of the Old Post historical area of Fort Sill. Note that Fort Sill is an active military installation and appropriate identification is required for entry. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Sill OK 73503, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Post Headquarters (approx. 0.2 miles away); Infantry Barracks (approx. Post Guardhouse (approx. ¼ mile away); 280mm Heavy Motorized Gun M65 (approx. 0.4 miles away); Proud American (approx. 0.4 miles away); Under the Southern Cross Americal (23rd) Infantry Division (approx. half a mile away); Fort Sill (approx. 0.7 miles away); Quinette Crossing (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Sill.
More about this marker. On the bottom is a photograph with the caption, "The Post Chapel was also used for a schoolhouse during the week. Children pose in front of the chapel about 1896."
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Education • Forts, Castles •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 623 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 14, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.