Yellowstone Genealogy Forum

 

Yellowstone County Cemetery History

(Compiled from the YGF Tombstone Records)

Rev: 17 April 2003 [Added IOOF Cemetery in Park County]

 

The YGF Cemetery Book, from which these locations are represented, may be purchased from the YFG for a nominal fee. They form a vital role in the research and identity of your relatives. The three-volume book is certified by the Montana Statehood Centennial Commission and contains extensive details. Additionally, most of the burial location details and tombstone transcriptions are available for those that might be interested in specific persons. Contact the Web Master for details. There have been numerous re-internments from one cemetery to another, and it appears that not all of these have been recorded. This process is normally performed under the jurisdiction of a funeral home, and if paid for the service, they generally kept a record of the transfer. Normally the procedure is: “The relative desiring to make a transfer secures a permit from the appropriate County Courthouse Health Office for the reburial (or the funeral home performs this task). The permit is then presented to the gravesite custodian who removes the casket. He signs the permit and returns it to the Courthouse. The casket is released to the relative (or funeral home.) In Billings, these records only date back to 1974. A block of numbers were issued to each county in Montana specifically for disinterment, but few are actually used. Records of such transfers, using these numbers, are supposed to be filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Dept of Health, Helena, MT 59601. The YGF has some files that identify the transfers, where sent and related death certificates. The Calvary Cemetery on Broadwater Avenue in Billings had numerous transfers into the Holy Cross Cemetery after its formation in the 1950’s.

The Carbon County Bowler Cemetery location is added, since there have been several inquiries as to its location. See bottom page.

 

Antelope Valley Cemetery – Also known as “21 Mile” or “Hoskin’s Basin” Cemetery

 

The cemetery is located is located on the south side of 21 Mile Road (State Route 328 leading to Broadview) and approximately 3.7 miles west of Hwy 87 between Billings and Roundup, four miles from the Musselshell County line. It is 220 ft square on each side, and runs north and south, with a gate in the center on the north side by the road. In 1980 the ownership of the surrounding land, and probably the cemetery itself, belonged to the T1Bar Ranch (Fox & Cattle Company). The Weir Funeral home in Roundup administered some of the burials. It is located just west of Hoskin’s Basin Road, and is considered to be inactive. A “Hoskin Basin Memorial Cemetery” was created 3 miles south of 21 Mile Road on the Hoskin Basin-Alexander Road but no burials occurred. It was originally fenced and a name attached. These were removed when the property was sold to Bill Fox. There was a sign reading “$25 Reward to be Buried.”

BLM records for the original land ownership of this section in Broadview state:

Patent #530430 for Lots 1 & 2 plus the east of the NW of Section 30, Tp 4N, Rn 26E consisting of 149.97 acres on May 25, 1916 was granted to John Spitzer. (The cemetery is on his land.)

Patent #529131 for Lots 3 & 4 plus the east of the SW of Section 30, Tp 4N, Rn 26E consisting of 150.47 acres on May 16, 1916 was granted to Jacob Kramilick.

Patent #521847 for NE of Section 30, Tp 4N, Rn 26E consisting of 160 acres on March 27, 1916 was granted to Frank O. Becht.

Patent #545637 for SE of Section 30, Tp 4N, Rn 26E consisting of 160 acres on September 13, 1916 was granted to Herman H. W. Petrausch .

During the homesteading days there were large herds of antelope in the area, thus the name “Antelope Cemetery” came to be. It is also referred to as “The 21-Mile Cemetery”, noted for being located on the 21-Mile Road. A small German Lutheran church was built on the north side of route 328 (21-Mile Rd) and just at the bend of the road west of the cemetery to serve the Lutherans in the small farm community. The church was sold to a farmer in Shepherd and moved to the new site for use as a farm building. In the early days there were seven schools in the district known as Hoskin’s Basin. Early homesteaders and descendant histories reported by the homesteader’s relatives and neighbors (Ed Cromley, John Wilkins Sr. and Jr. - from Charles Harmon interviews) are:

“Erna Glock, daughter of Albert from Roundup area, married Ed Lackey, and later remarried (name unknown). Ed or Albert worked for the Propane Company in Billings. John Spitzer’s wife died in the 1918 flu epidemic. Jacob Kramilick’s son William married Hulda Rose Kamrath and moved to Livingston area. Another son, Harold, resided in Billings at 38 Alderson. Albert Glock was a blacksmith, and had a shop one block west of Silver Dollar Bar. A three-year old Glock girl died during the flu epidemic and was buried there. A steel cross with a box attached was placed as a marker. The box contained information about her. Someone shot holes in the box. In about August 1980 someone erroneously placed a headstone on the grave identifying the child as a “Glock” girl.” [The identity of this person has not yet been made, but the headstone error needs to be corrected.]

“Bert Kamrath in Shepherd, is brother to K. P. Kamrath. According to Harold Kramilick, John Spitzer used to wear dark glasses and people thought he was blind. He had a summer kitchen and when butchering time came, in the fall, children thought it was a great treat to go to the Spitzer’s and watch the activities and get together. Neighboring families were: Cromlys, Opps, Wilkins, Jake Eding, Bill West, Barbara & Jake Jacobss, Farnes, and Langs. Bert’s mother was 13 when she came to this country from Germany, planning to go to her half-sisters in California. She was working her way across the country as a waitress, got to south Dakota, met her future husband, married him, and homesteaded in 1913 near the cemetery. In 1927 they moved to Shepherd. They placed their belongings in a wagon, and Bert trailed the cows behind. All homesteaders had a cow or two, a few pigs, chickens and a garden. They never went hungry. Hulda was a cook for the Shepherd school for many years.”

“Harold maintains the gravesite for the Kramilicks. Someone came in the early years and dug up Mr. Opp’s corpse, leaving a hole in ground. The hole rounded off due to weathering over the years, and is now it’s only a mound.”

In this farm community are two other cemeteries, also referred to as Antelope Cemetery, but are actually family burial plots. One is located in section 24, Rn 26 E, Tp 4N. This is located at the end of 21 Mile Road, on the east side of Hwy 87, about 1.8 miles. Some Cromly family children are buried there. The other is at Section 10, Rn 26 E, Tp 4N. It is about 2.8 miles north of the 21 Mile Road, and west of Hwy 87 about mile. There is no entrance to the plot. It used to be fenced, but has since been torn down. A Walter Slagle baby boy is buried there.

 

Assumption Catholic Cemetery – Also known as “Broadview Catholic Cemetery

Cemetery is located in Stillwater County, S20, Tp 4N, Rn 22E, and served the Catholic community of Broadview and Wheat Basin. To get there take “1st Road” west off Hwy 3 in Broadview for about 2 miles, then south on a gravel road for mile, then west for 5.2 miles where the road turns south and continue for .45 miles. The cemetery is located adjacent to the Assumption Catholic Church property. The church is located south of the cemetery. The cemetery is 360 ft (east to west) by 450 ft (north to south). Shortly after leaving Broadview, one can see the church, which is located upon a small hill.

There is a large wooden marker painted white (CROSS) in center of cemetery. Church service is no longer held here. Settlers from the Wheat Basin constructed the church and cemetery. Additionally, there is a single grave located northwest of the church.

Beth Aaron Cemetery

Located at 1709 Broadwater Avenue in Billings.

Boothill Cemetery – Also called “Boot Cemetery

Located in Billings, near junction of Main Street and Hwy 3. See Boothill for details on burials, Indian smallpox deaths and other information. (Historic Landmark)

Broadview Cemetery

Cemetery is located at corner of Frey & Cemetery Road turnoff from Hwy 3 going north, just south of the town of Broadview. It is in SW Section 15, Tp 4N, Rn 23E. The property is fenced. On September 15, 1910 concerned citizens formed the Broadview Cemetery Association, and four acres of land was purchased at a cost of $150.00 for the site. Seven members put in $15 each. First burial was the next day, September 16, 1910. The community serves an area of about 1,800 square miles, and is the center of the Great Lakes Basin District. The United Evangelical Church and the Community Church were located in the town. The Catholic Church was to the west.

Calvary Cemetery

Located at 1725 Broadwater Avenue in Billings.

Castle Buttes Cemetery

Cemetery is located half-way between Castle Butte and Elephant Rock, 14 miles north of Pompeys Pillar, in Section 24, Tp 5N, Rn 30E, Dora Harris deeded the land to the “Castle Butte Cemetery Association” on 27 April 1927. Access is from the north off Pineview-Castle Butte Road. This road passes through the Eddelman Ranch nearby, and cattle guards have to be traversed to reach the site. It is a local area family cemetery.

Comanche Cemetery – Also known as “Helm Memorial Cemetery

Cemetery is located approximately mile south of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the south edge of town in Section 16, Tp 4N, Rn 23 E, just off Hwy 3. The cemetery was created in 1925 after the Helm memorial Cemetery association was incorporated on January 7, 1925. The site is 206’ wide by 715’ long. Earlier the association committee met on October 18, 1924 for the purpose of procuring and holding cemetery land. O. Armstrong was chairman, and Mrs. Rose Ballard secretary. Land surrounding the cemetery was owned by Mrs. William E. (Tillie) White. At the time of formation, the community had 60 residents. Earlier it also had a Lutheran Church. On March 27, 1911 Lola D. Helm deeded the land to the church site. The cemetery is built on the highest hill in the area, and fenced with barbwire. Graves are positioned so that the head points west.

Custer Cemetery – Additional Family Burial Plots of “Rancher, Myers, Hawk Creek, & Fort Pease Cemeteries

Land for the cemetery was surveyed by Leo F. Garrison June 10-16th, 1932. The plat was filed on March 6, 1933. The Custer Cemetery association dedicated the site on November 21, 1932, ahead of the filing. It is located in NW , Section 1, Tp 4N, Rn 33E, 8/10’ths of a mile west of Hwy 310 (center of Custer), and just south of US 10. I94 is south of the cemetery. It is an odd rectangular shape of land, approximately 300’ square. The family burial plots below have not been cataloged. Custer had a population of about 300 at the time, and two churches; Union Congregational and Catholic. Joyce Obland, uploaded the site on Apr 03, 2001, last updated Aug 06, 2001. Total records = 446.

Rancher Cemetery located in Section 16, Tp 35E, Rn 6N in Treasure County.

Chapman Cemetery located in Section 28, Tp 7N, Rn 31 about 26 miles northwest of Custer. Single Grave: Mrs. C. A. Chapman.

Myers Cemetery located in section 28, Tp 6E, Rn 3S 1 mile west of Hysham on south side of river in Treasure County.

Hawk Creek Cemetery located near Roundup on north side of Musselshell River, and close to town of Musselshell.

Fort Pease Cemetery located at upper end of valley near the fort. See Paul McCormick biography for details.

Holy Cross Cemetery

Located at 1601 Mullowney Lane, south of I-90 at west end of Billings. Formed in the 1950’s.

Huntley Cemetery – Additional Family Burial Plots of “Robinson & Sage Creek Cemeteries”

Located in SE SE Section 20, Tp 2N, Rn 28 E on N 4th Road about .35 miles south of US 10, near center of the town. There are two sections in the cemetery.

Robinson Family Plot was located in W section 7, Tp 1N, Rn 28E. It was located where the Pryor Creek Road passes south of Huntley about 3.6 miles. According to local residents[1] the graves were dug out when the road was created. The bulldozer operator was asked to “take a very light cut” but he cut down about six inches too deep and uncovered a round glass-covered coffin with gold handles. The cutting crushed the glass top. The dozer operator simply pushed the remainder of the coffin and the contents and mixed them into the road construction materials. There were two small coffins, but no mention by the dozer operator about what happened to them. The family who lived near the site was unaware of the road construction. Had this been made public, they would have demanded the construction be stopped so as to not disturb the burial ground. It was believed that the site contained an Irish squaw man named “Peg Ann__”, Jack Robinson, and two small Indian children.

Sage Creek Cemetery is located 2.7 miles south of the freeway where US 10 & SR 312 connects. There is a small hill rise on the east side of the road opposite a mailbox. There are two or three unmarked graves at the site.

 

Junction City Cemetery – Also called “Boothill Cemetery” or “Junction Graveyard”

The Junction City residents filed and recorded the cemetery plot on March 8, 1883 in Custer County. On September 1, 1884 they refilled and recorded it in Yellowstone County. Earlier it had been known as “Terry’s Landing.” The Yellowstone County Commissioners “vacated” the area. Bozeman civic leaders conceived Junction City in 1875, and some started it in June 1877 by William Taylor, who opened a trading there. The cemetery is located in NE Section 36, Rn 5N, Tp 33 E. It is mile north of the Hwy 312 Bridge that crosses the Yellowstone River and continues into Custer. The road changes name to Buffalo Creek Road as it passes by the cemetery. The “Old-Old Road to the ferry” is directly on the east side of the cemetery. The site is fenced; and there are two additional graves on the hill to the west, outside of the cemetery, about 300 ft to the northwest and they enclosed with hog wire and wood posts. This small site is about 30’ x 18’ in size. The town itself was south of the cemetery, and over the years has been washed into the river. Additionally there are numerous unmarked small or single gravesites in the area where soldiers or trappers were buried where they fell. Many of the locations are identified, but the names of the persons buried there were not preserved. Two of these are:

Fort Pease Cemetery – Various gravesites at the fort, some of which have been relocated. See Paul McCormick’s biography for details.

Guy Cemetery – Located on a hill at the upper end of Pease Bottom

Kelly’s Grave

Yellowstone Kelly, Chief Scout for General Miles in the Wolf Mountain Range died in California. He is buried in Kelly's Grave on "Kelly Mountain" about 1 mile east of the airport, on Black Otter Trail (Hwy 3) in Billings. Luther Sage Kelly at age 14 studied for the Methodist ministry in New York, his native state. He joined the Civil War in 1863, before reaching 18 years of age, and was given the nickname “Yellowstone” by a man named Ball when he was 19. He died December 17, 1928 in Paradise, California. His wife brought his body to Billings and placed into the concrete tomb on the cliffs on June 26, 1929.

Laurel Cemetery

Located in NE , Section 4, Tp 25, Rn 24 E, immediately west of and adjacent to the St. Anthony Cemetery. It is just off Hwy 532, 1.75 miles north of Laurel underpass going to Laurel Airport Road. There is an un-named cemetery:

Rural Cemetery – one mile north and one mile east of East Laurel Interchange. It is enclosed with barbwire and contains three graves.

Mountview Cemetery – Originally was known as the “O’Donnell Cemetery”

Located at 1704 Central Avenue in Billings. Founded in 1881 just before Boothill Cemetery was closed. The O’Donnell Cemetery is generally referred to as “The Old Section”. Originally there were plans for expansion to the west, and until that time arrived a Par-3 golf course was erected on the site. The expansion has been abandoned, and additional graves are available at other cemetery locations in the County.

Pease Evangelical Cemetery

Located in Section 1, Tp 2N, Rn 27E, Lot #3, Block 1. (Certificate of Survey #1206.) It is just north of the Lutheran Peace Church (Emmanual Lutheran) in Shepherd north of the Shepherd-Acton Road, west of SR 304. There are 60 gravesites platted.

Pleasant View Cemetery – Also called “Ballantine Cemetery”

Located south of Ballantine in NE Section 7, Tp 2N, Rn 29E, mile north of I-94 and 1/5th mile west on road leading to Ballantine. The gate leading into the cemetery has a plaque that reads “In Memory of Jesse and Esther Davidson”. At the entrance is another one that reads “Pleasant View Cemetery_Presented by _ Friends and Family _ In Memory of Ellen A. Stout _ 1973.” This is a large, active cemetery.

Riverside Cemetery

Basically an old cemetery started about 1931, located just off Riverside Drive and Bitterroot Street near Two Moon Park in Billings. Eagle Cliff Manor joins the site.

St. Anthony Cemetery –Also called “Laurel Catholic Cemetery”

Located in NE , Section 4, Tp 25, Rn 24 E, immediately east of and adjacent to the Laurel Cemetery. It is just off Hwy 532, 1.75 miles north of Laurel underpass going to Laurel Airport Road.

Scandia Cemetery

Located in NW NW Section 35, Tp 3N, Rn 27 E, it is three acres in size, and referred to as “Parcel 2.” It is 2 miles north of Shepherd on the Shepherd Road. It is fenced and well maintained. .” The land was donated by R. E. Shepherd

Shepherd Cemetery

Located in NW Section 35, Tp 35, Rn 37 E, it is about size of the Scandia Cemetery, and is referred to as “Parcel 1.” The land was donated by R. E. Shepherd. There are small additional gravesites in the area:

Emmanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery (was Christian Reformed Church) where “Dutch families” are buried.

Emmanuel Evangelical Church Cemetery - 4 miles northeast of Shepherd.

Scandinavian Cemetery – Lutheran group burials located 2 miles north of Shepherd.

Sunset Memorial Gardens

Located at 1721 Central Avenue, Billings.

Terrace Gardens Cemetery – Also called “Terrace Lawn Memorial Cemetery”

Located in NE , SE , Section 2, Tp 1S, Rn 25 E, at 304 34th St West, Billings.

Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park

Located at 3605 Grand Ave, Billings.

 

Carbon County Cemetery Locations

 

Bowler Cemetery “Bean Cemetery”

 

 

Bowler Village in Carbon County, just south of the Yellowstone County line was settled in 1892 on the B&M RR & Sage Creek, 40 miles east of Red Lodge. [Was a ghost town, but no evidence of it exists today]. The Bowler cemetery (abandoned) is located about 3.9 miles south of the old townsite, just off the west side of Pryor Mountain Road approximately mile. It is (was) visible from the road. The cemetery is rectangular and runs N-S. Access through the townsite (third location) is closed by fencing, and is now farmland. You reach the cemetery by driving north around the farm, and then back south along the gas pipeline. On the “Bridger” BLM Topo Map, Section 17, which is southeast of the cemetery, there is a windmill marker just to the east of the railroad grade (current road). One-half mile further north and on the west side will be a major fence line that marks the ranch property’s southern boundary on the Section line, (the ranch entrance is about four miles north.) The windmill may be used as a landmark in locating the cemetery. If you park on the road, and look to the west, and slightly north, just below the ridgeline, the top wire of the cemetery fence is barely visible.

The cemetery is located in south east of Section 7, Township 8 south, Range 25 east, along the east side of Sage Creek on the high ground. The Bridger Cutoff trail passes through its location. There is a barbwire fence surrounding the property. Be sure to ask for permission to enter the property. The two small dots in Section 6 represent the ranch.

There are 21 identified gravesites with markers, and 23 unidentified. [Picture November 2002]

 

 

Park County IOOF “Clyde Park” Cemetery

This cemetery is located at the junction of Cottonwood Creek & Shields River, just to the east of Highway 89. Records are stored in Word format.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[1] Names available upon request.