Western Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium

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Western Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium
Established 1921
Opened 1922
Closed 1975
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Clinton, OK
Alternate Names
  • Clinton Veterans Center (1972)


It was clear that the private sanatorium was not the answer so in 1921, the Oklahoma Legislature established the state's first sanatorium in Talihina. A year later, in 1922, the Western Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium was established in Clinton and the Soldiers' Tubercular Sanatorium was created in Sulphur, OK. These became the mainstays of tuberculosis treatment in Oklahoma. The City of Clinton donated 100 acres of land one mile south of the city for the Western Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium which opened April 3, 1922 with beds for 100 patients.

In 1931, the Negro sanatorium at Boley, OK closed and patients were given a separated building at Western State Sanatorium. By the time it closed in 1975, it had grown to 356 beds. The Clinton Veterans Center now occupies these grounds; few of the WOTS buildings that were in operation are still on the grounds.


The cemetery is located on the Veterans Center property. It was severely overgrown and being used as part of a livestock grazing area. The grave markers are a flat concrete slabs with handmade brass plates attached to them. A group from the Southwestern State University unearthed grave markers with a metal detector in 2012. One marker had no plate attached to it and several graves were unmarked.