The gravestones with no names

This headstone once bore a child’s name, but it has been chiseled off. All other markers in the cemetery are likewise erased. Where is it?

By David L. Bristow, Editor


This headstone once bore a child’s name, but it has been chiseled off.

Names have also been erased from these military headstones.

Who would do such a thing, and why? Here’s a clue: it wasn’t vandals, and no bodies lie beneath the headstones.

Do you know where to find this strange cemetery? If you don’t already know, try to guess where such a place might be and then scroll down to find out.











The grave markers stand in the old post cemetery at Fort Robinson. Even if you’ve visited the fort, you might not have seen the cemetery, which is tucked away on a back road. (The Fort Robinson History Center has driving tour booklets with directions, historic photos, and a fold-out map.)

Between 1875 and 1945, some 258 people were buried at the post cemetery, but the location is prone to flooding—it’s on bottomland near the confluence of Soldier Creek and the White River. In 1947 the Army disinterred the graves. The bodies were reburied under new headstones at Fort McPherson National Cemetery.

The marble headstones shown here were left behind and the names chiseled off. The area is still labeled and fenced in recognition of its former role, and out of respect for any unmarked and unidentified graves that might remain.

The fort closed in 1948. Today a state historical marker tells the cemetery’s story. It is one of several markers on the grounds of what is now Fort Robinson State Historical Park.

A sign on the cemetery gate:


(Posted March 3, 2022)

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

The Woman on the White Horse

The Woman on the White Horse

The Silver Bugs of 1896

The Silver Bugs of 1896

Marker Monday: Japanese Balloon Bombs

Marker Monday: Japanese Balloon Bombs

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

Education Digital Learning Resources

Find games, lists, and more to enhance your history education curriculum.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

History Nebraska Services

Digital Resources

Find all of our digital resources, files, videos, and more, all in one easy-to-search page!

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.