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WPA Historical Records
Benton Co., Oregon
Mark Phinney













Oregon - Benton County. 16 May 1938

There are in Benton County a number of little cemeteries which were in the beginnings nothing more than
family burial grounds. Some of these never were more than that. Others were opened on occasion to
transients or to neighbors who might not have a satisfactory site on their own farms. Naturally, in a
country of excessive rainfall, the lowlands were not well drained and a commanding knoll was often sought
as the last resting place of the dead.

One such burial place is the one now commonly referred to as the Armstrong Cemetery, from the name of a
former owner. This is in Section 31, Tp. 12, S: R. 5 W.  Here are about twenty graves, thirteen of which are
so marked as to be identified. The oldest date recorded here is the death of Michael H. WALKER who died
in 1869 at the age of 67 years. His wife, Sarah, lived to be more than 90, and was buried at his side in
1893, and an unmarried daughter, Martha, who lived to be 71, is buried not far away. Another daughter,
Mary Jane, lies with her husband, William HINKLE, in an adjoining lot.

The WALKER family came from Iowa in 1853 with what is commonly called the HINKLE migration.
Ichabod HINKLE, who settled on the south fork of Mary's River, was the leader of this party, and many of his
descendants are scattered over Oregon today. William HINKLE was a nephew of Ichabod HINKLE.

WALKER and William HINKLE settled in the beaver Creek community. None of the HINKLE descendants
are now living in the community. The only descendant of WALKER that has been located is a granddaughter,
Mrs. James WATKINS, of Philomath. (See, interview with Mrs. WATKINS.) Jesse WALKER, son of Michael,
who was thirteen at the time of migration, died recently at the age of ninety-six.

Another pioneer family represented in the ARMSTRONG Cemetery is the IRWIN family which was in Oregon
at least as early as 1854. William IRWIN was buried in 1876 at the age of 77. William IRWIN (his son?) was
born in 1834 and lived 65 years. Gilla Ann, wife of William IRWIN, died in 1934 at the age of 95.

R.M. and Barbara HANSON who are buried in this cemetery may have been pioneers, but this could not be verified.

- - - -

There is no record in the County Courthouse that the ARMSTRONG Cemetery was ever dedicated as such.
No plat is on file. The place is not cared for and the only recent burial is that of Gilla Ann IRWIN who was placed
beside her husband.

- - - -

Obituary of Gilla Ann IRWIN. - From a newspaper clipping.

Mrs. Gilla Ann IRWIN was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky, in 1839. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William JASPER who came to Oregon in 1854. Gilla Ann walked much of the way and carried a small child in her arms at times.

In 1855 she married William P. IRWIN and settled in the Beaver Creek community. Later they moved to Philomath.
She died 10 July 1934 and is to be buried in the ARMSTRONG Cemetery. Her husband and her son Robert died
some years ago. There are living three grandchildren, Wallace IRWIN, Mrs. Ella BUCKNELL, and Anna IRWIN;
also two great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.





The Bellfountain Cemetery is located about one half mile east of the hamlet of Bellfountain on a gentle slope near the southern foot of a high hill. The Cemetery, which comprises about one and one-half acres, is surrounded and sheltered by a line of tall fir trees which were planted soon after the cemetery was first established.

H.G. BUCKINGHAM, who came to the neighborhood in 1848, took a donation land claim just south of Bellfountain. He also bought a part of the Jonas BELKNAP donation land claim and in the early 'fifties gave ground for a cemetery. This land was first deeded to a board of trustees to be held for the use of the community. Soon a corporation was formed, to which the cemetery was deeded. Lots were sold at a nominal price which insured a fund to keep the plot well fenced, but not enough to care for the grounds. So far the grounds are kept in passable shape by community pride and by efforts of those whose dead rest here. The oldest marked grave in this cemetery is that of the infant daughter of J. & P. KELSEY which died in 1859.

The oldest pioneer grave here is that of Alexander LIGGETT (1788-1864). LIGGETT came in the 'forties and took a claim near the Independent school house southwest of Corvallis. In 1852 when the county organization was perfected and school districts formed, there was already in existence a LIGGETT schoolhouse. This was the first schoolhouse in what is now the Independent district.

Another of the old timers here is the donor of the ground, H.G. BUCKINGHAM (1812-1881). By him is his wife, M.J. (1833-1885). Many of their descendants are buried here also.

James E. EDWARDS (1817-1906), and his wife Mary (1819-1885). EDWARDS came in 1852 as a member of the United Brethren Missionary party. This party was led by Rev. T.J. CONNOR, who founded Philomath College, and by Rev. Jeremiah KENOYER. EDWARDS took a donation land claim on the Alsea River below the site of the present village of Alsea, but soon came across the hills and located near Bellfountain. It was he who gave his name to what had first been the REEVES Cemetery, about a mile north-east of the Bellfountain Cemetery.

The FOSTER family are better represented here than in the older REEVES or EDWARDS burying ground. Among the members are John FOSTER (1822- ? ) and his wife Eliza (1831-1889). Andrew

FOSTER and Elizabeth, his wife. (This stone bears no dates. It is said to have been erected years after the death of the pioneers, when exact dates were probably forgotten.) At least two members of the FOSTER family had donation land claims on Beaver Creek, and one of them, in partnership with one BRYANT, operated one of the first grist mills in Benton County. The mill was built at least as early as 1853, and was in 1857 moved to Starr's Point, now Monroe.

Another large family still represented in Benton County is the PORTER family. Two of the brothers are buried here, along with numerous descendants. They are McCauley PORTER (1829-1923) and William G. PORTER (1820-1908).

About eight or nine miles to the northeast of Bellfountain Cemetery are two considerable buttes which are now commonly called Wagner Buttes but were originally called Winkle Buttes. These were named for the WINKLE family who held the claim which included them. Isaac WINKLE, head of the family, is reported to have been buried on the Butte, Wiley WINKLE (1828-1912), and his wife Pamelia (1834-1905) are in Bellfountain Cemetery. At the foot of Winkle Butte in the 'fifties and 'sixties was the post office and store of Jenneyopolis. This store and post office was kept by Richard IRWIN who had the claim adjoining the WINKLES. This family is represented here by Richard IRWIN (1857-1920) and his wife Effie M. (1858-1935).

There is a tradition that in the early days if the settler you met in the southern part of Benton County was not named STARR he was a BELKNAP. As might be expected, many of the STARR family are buried in the Simpson Chapel Cemetery, about two or three miles to the southwest. Among the STARRS are:

Rev. John STARR (1794-1869) and his wife Eliza A. (1818-1893). M. Lee STARR (1837-1916); and Oren Henry STARR (1847-1926) and his wife Mary Ann (1858-1922).

Other pioneers here are Rev. A. LARKIN (1839-1918); Ann, wife of A. HURLBURT, 1809-1863); R. A. HURLBURT (1830-1916) and his wife Sophia (1835-1909); J. H. KINDALL (1798-1875) and his wife Fanny (1800-1870); and Joseph GRAGG (1827-1906) and his wife Lovina (1843-1903).

H.G. BUCKINGHAM, (1848) purchased a part of the Jonas BELKNAP Donation Land Claim, and in the early 'fifties he gave ground for the Bellfountain Cemetery. This cemetery is located in a grove on the hill back of the Bellfountain Church.

- - - - -

On the EDWARDS D.L.C. a short distance northeast of Bellfountain is an old cemetery in which are buried members of the EDWARDS family and other pioneers. This is known to be one of the first burying places in the county. Use is said to date from 1850 or earlier. Only part of the graves were permanently marked. Anyone wishing to visit this cemetery must come prepared to cut a way through briars and poison oak.




16 May 1938

This cemetery is on land that was a part of the farm of Perman HENDERSON who settled in the Beaver Creek community in 1857. (see, interview with Mrs. J.P.G. HENDERSON.) Perman HENDERSON settled first near Wren, Oregon, in 1853, but in 1857 moved to the community north of Beaver Creek and about three and one half miles south of Philomath, where his grandchildren still live.

HENDERSON kept adding to his original purchase until at one time he owned more than 1,300 acres. The HENDERSON Cemetery was started as a family cemetery, but neighbors were buried there at various times. The ground was never dedicated as a public cemetery and no plat was ever filed in the County records, but the plot was reserved when that part of the farm was sold.

The marked graves in this cemetery are those of Perman HENDERSON (1801-1894), his wife, Sarah (1805-1887), his son Lewis (1838-1929), his son James P.G. (1844-1937), and M.E. HENDERSON (his son?) (1860-1885) - - - Among others known to be buried here are Mr. and Mrs. BRUMFIELD, parents of a pioneer family whose members are no long found in this community.

- - - - -

The HENDERSON Cemetery is on a private road and is a half mile or more west of the old Perman HENDERSON - J.P.G. HENDERSON home. This home is about three and one half miles south of Philomath and about a half mile or less south of the Independent Schoolhouse.






This cemetery of about two acres is beautifully situated on a low hillside about three quarters of a mile north of the village of Monroe. It is an open, well drained location, shaded in part by the native oak trees. At the time of its development no provision was made for care and grounds are unimproved, and are kept in shape only by the public spirit of the community and by the interest of individual families in the resting places of their own dead. There is a tendency to a more secluded grouping of family plots, and many fine stones bear witness that the more substantial families of the county have plots here.

The location is on the original donation land claim of Rowland and Elizabeth HINTON, who settled here in 1847. Like most of the early cemeteries, it started as a family burying plot. The oldest marked grave is that of one of the HINTON children in 1850. Elizabeth HINTON herself was buried here in 1860. There are a smaller proportion of unmarked graves in this cemetery than in other early burying places in the county and fewer early dates on the markers. It would seem possible that it was not widely used in the early days.

Among the older graves are those of the donor, Elizabeth ROWLAND, 1860; Nancy, wife of Aaron RICHARDSON, 1862; James MURRAY, 1794 - 1862; Robert HERRON, 1821-1855; George CARSON, 1808-1869; Augustus HONIG, 1826-1866.

One suggestive inscription reads, 'Claborn W. WILD / drowned / Feb. 14, 1857 / aged 33 years.' No birth date, no relatives. It is understood that this man was a stranger whose people were unknown. Few cemeteries testify more strikingly to the hardiness of the pioneers which enabled them to endure the privations of a new country and live to a ripe old age. The following inscriptions are in point. Elizabeth COYLE,  1802-1885. The COYLES were pioneers of 1849 and settled near Monroe. Minerva INGRAM, 1824-1904. An island in the Willamette has been known from early days as Ingram Island. Joel HIRLBERT, 1824-1913. The mother of Louis Albert BANKS, Oregon's noted preacher, lecturer, and author, was of this family. Harlowe BUNDY, 1825-1896. A bridge across the Long Tom River has been known since the organization of County Government as BUNDY'S Bridge. An early bridge at this site was made into a drawbridge by order of Federal authorities, because the Long Tom had been declared a navigable stream. Michael TRACER, 1821-1901. S.M. FARLEY, 1830-1911.

Among the pioneer families whose names recur from generation to generation are the HERRONS and the RICKARDS. A large part of the cemetery is taken up, of course, by the dead of later comers.

 Historical Records Survey
                                        Oregon - Benton County


About a mile west of Summit is a "lost" cemetery, called formerly the MAYS Burying Ground and
later the STROUTS Burying Ground, from the names of successive owners of the farm where it is located.
This plot, probably less than an acre in extent, lies several hundred yards from the road on the top of a
rather steep, conical hill in a grove of large fir trees. It was never surveyed nor dedicated as a cemetery, but
was apparently at first a family cemetery opened to neighbors as a matter of good will and convenience.
The plot is reached by a hidden trail along an old worn fence badly grown over with brush, and can be
found only by local direction. There are about twenty marked graves, and perhaps as many unmarked.

The oldest are

Eda Margaret, daughter of C.B. & S.E. MAYS     1862-1872

Frank R. MAYS, son of C.B. & S.E. MAYS        1882

Edward F. STROUTS, 1851-1912, was a late comer to this community.

Several member of the HAMAR family, which settled near Nashville, about two miles west, in the
early sixties found a resting place here. The father of this clan was James HAMAR, 1822-1907. His
tombstone tells us he was a pioneer of 1862. Oliver HAMAR, a brother of James, is buried at Summit
Cemetery. Living members of the clan are scattered through the Willamette Valley. They have an
organization and hold regular reunions.
Other graves in this plot are

Malinda VANCE, 1828-1889
Samuel DAVIS, 1842-1923
Robert MORRIS, 1844-1935

These are believed to be old timers, but no one of their names lives near, and no definite
information is at hand.




May 1938

This cemetery is a little country cemetery by the Oak Ridge Church about six miles southwest of
Corvallis. The earliest date on a marker there is 1883. The cemetery was dedicated and the plat filed in
1890, but the church was incorporated in 1879. The cemetery seems to be incidental to the church.
However, unlike some others, this cemetery was surveyed almost as soon as it came to be used, and a
complete record of lot ownership is in the hands of Clarence BAREINGER, one of the trustees, who lives
on the adjoining farm.

None of the well known pioneer family names are seen in this cemetery. Apparently the pioneer
families had formed attachments elsewhere before this cemetery was opened, and only families of later
comers are represented.

The Oak Ridge cemetery has in recent years been poorly cared for. Larger cemeteries in more
sightly locations with better organization and upkeep are located nearby, and already several bodies have
been removed from Oak Ridge.



July, 1938

Many cemeteries are claimed as the oldest in Benton County. After the lapse of so many years
and in the absence of any definite records this question is impossible to decide finally. However, a strong
case can be made out for Philomath.

Mr. Jerry E. HINKLE, born in 1843 and in Oregon since 1853, remembers when the cemetery at
Philomath was in use, and when the bodies were moved. The engineers who surveyed the section lines and
donation land claims for the federal government in their notes give bearings from which the cemetery may
be located exactly, and these notes were made in 1852-3. Traces can still be found on the lot owned by E.E.
HARRIS, whose home is on B and North Streets in Philomath. These traces consist of two rows of shallow
depressions left when the bodies were removed, -- about a dozen in all -- and a rough stone about twelve by
sixteen inches (estimated) which has a slot cut in one side to hold a marble head slab.

Then there is the testimony of Mrs. Fred YATES of Corvallis. Mrs. YATES' grandfather, Joseph
HUGHART took a donation land claim north of Corvallis. But he stayed for a time with his wife's brother,
D.C. HENDERSON, whose land claim was later laid out into the townsite of Philomath. Here Mrs.
HUGHART died, and was buried on a knoll on her brother's farm. The stone over Mrs. HUGHART's grave
in Locke Cemetery gives the date of her death as 19 May, 1846. Since not more than one or two families
are known to have lived in Benton County through the winter of 1845-46, there seems a strong probability
that Mrs. HUGHART was the first to die and be buried and Philomath Cemetery the first cemetery in the


Pleasant Valley Cemetery is located about three miles southwest of Philomath, Oregon, near the
dividing line between Secs. 16 &21, TP 12 S., R 6 W. It is on a commanding knoll a few rods about
Highway Ore. 34. The cemetery is on the REXFORD donation land claim and the first acre was donated by
Charity Ann REXFORD. The first grave was opened about 1850. In later years an association of the
people of the community has been formed and about five acres has been added to the holdings. This
furnished land for approaches and for roadways, as well as for future expansion. The organization is not on
a basis to provide care for the graves, and such work as is done to keep the plot in shape is by individual
effort or by community cooperation.

This cemetery contains about a hundred permanently marked graves and a considerable number
identified only by wooden headboards. Others have lost all marks of identification. Such records of the
cemetery as remain are in the possession of Miss Flossie OVERMAN of Philomath. This cemetery seems
to excel others of the county in the percentage of names that recall pioneers and pioneer doing.

The most frequently appearing name is that of HENKLE. The HENKLE party came from Iowa in
1853. The leaders of this clan were Jacob HENKLE, 1788-1875 and Anna, his wife, 1786-1856. A stone of
the second generation marks the grave of Jacob HENKLE, 1825-1914 and Elizabeth HENKLE, 1828-1904,
while a third has the inscription, Jacob HENKLE 1857-1931 and Susan his wife, 1863-1936. This last was
J. Layton HINKLE, more commonly known as Layt. He was not a son of the second Jacob HENKLE.

 Another one of the clan buried here is Ichabod HENKLE, 1810-1903, and by his side lies his wife,
Elizabeth CONGER HENKLE. Ichabod HENKLE built the first sawmill of this immediate locality on Rock
Creek in 1853 or 1854 and sawed lumber for many important buildings in Corvallis and Philomath. Among
these were Philomath College and some of the early building of Oregon State College. Another stone is
marked, J.E. HENKLE 1843 ----- and Elizabeth A. HENKLE, his wife, 1854-1876. Here will be buried Jerry
HENKLE, last of the remaining HENKLES of the first migration, who is still hale and hearty in his 96th

The fourth generation is represented by the son and daughter-in-law of Jerry HENKLE, Otis C.
HENKLE, 1875-1838, and Ada Bell, his wife, 1879-1933. Jesse HENKLE, 1833-1910, is of the second
generation. There are also several children of the HENKLE name in this cemetery.
One stone marks the graves of Christina BARKER, 1816-1902, her son Jacob, 1832-1858, and her
son Jeremiah, 1853-1886. This woman was the wife of Clement BARKER and daughter of the first Jacob
HENKLE. A grandson, Burt Brown BARKER, is now president of the University of Oregon. The
BARKERS were a part of the HENKLE migration. Other members of the clan buried here are David
KING, 1818-1890, and Mary, his wife, 1822-1908, and also Caroline WOOD, 1835-1869. Both Mrs. KING
and Mrs. WOOD were HENKLES.

Another stone is inscribed G.W. MASON, 1812-1894, and Elizabeth, his wife, 1813-1866. The
MASONS came in 1853, but with the CONNOR - KENOYER missionary party. MASON had a sawmill in
the early days at Harris Station, about seven or eight miles above Philomath on Mary's River, where he was
a partner of Sol KING, a pioneer who came with the KINGS of Kings Valley in 1846. It was at the KING-
MASON sawmill that the revival meeting was held in the 'fifties that led to the organization of the
United Brethren Church at Wren. MASON also had a sawmill in pioneer times near the head of Greasy
Creek about eight miles southwest of Philomath, on what was later known as the Jackson WHITE place.
J.L. SHIPLEY, 1840-1877, is also buried here. It was SHIPLEY'S father who in 1853 brought from
Missouri to Oregon his motherless boys and the slave, Reuben, whom he set free on arrival in Oregon.
Reuben had been more like an elder brother to his master's orphaned boys and lived for years as a friend
and neighbor in the Plymouth community near Philomath. Reuben SHIPLEY earned money, bought a
farm and then bought a wife from one FORD of Polk County who had brought Negroes from Missouri and
was still holding them as slaves. The giant black locust tree which he planted to shade his cabin in still
pointed out.

Another interesting stone is that marks the graves of J.B. MAY, 1809-1892, and Delia, his wife,
1807-1901. These people are said to have crossed the plains about 1850. Mrs. MAY is reputed to have been
a cousin of Daniel BOONE, the pioneer of Kentucky. George BOONE, a brother of Mrs. MAY, took a
claim in this vicinity, but did not remain.

The family of the donor of the cemetery is recalled by the stone inscribed, Phebe, wife of
J.REXFORD and daughter of S. & E. GATES, 1849-1879. The GATES and REXFORD families were early
pioneers whose descendants are no longer to be found here. In another lot three stones mark the graves of
three bachelor brothers: Sam McCLAIN, 1828-1910, Charles McCLAIN, 1830-1891, and James
McCLAIN, 1833-1900. Sam McCLAIN was one of the early friends of Philomath College, to the
endowment of which he turned over most of his large holdings of land.

Another pioneer family of Benton County is represented by Solomon MULKEY, 1822-1902
and Mary, his wife, 1831-1896. Solomon MULKEY was a nephew of Johnson MULKEY who came to
Benton County and remained through the winter of 1845-6. Only one other settler is known certainly to
have been in the county through that winter. Johnson MULKEY had two or three brothers with large
families who came to Benton County before 1850 and the name is a familiar one through the upper
Willamette Valley.

Not far from the MULKEY monument is that marking the resting place of Jesse HUFFMAN,
1812-1893, and Morning, his wife, 1810-1885. HUFFMAN settled in 1847 at Aurora. When the founder of
the Aurora Cooperative Colony came to Oregon in 1865, he bought the HUFFMAN claim, among others,
and HUFFMAN came to the Pleasant Valley community. Here he lived and died, and here his descendants
remain. For years HUFFMAN ran a sawmill on the hills to the west.

William ALLEN, 1828-1902, and Mary, his wife, 1841 ----- are another pioneer couple who left a
large family of children to aid in the development of the Valley. Andrew GELLATLY, 1838-1898 and
Isabelle LYLE, his wife, came to Benton County in 1870, but of their children contributed a sheriff to
Benton County and a lieutenant governor to the State of Washington.
Many of the pioneers mentioned have young children buried beside them, as a token of the greater
hazards of pioneer life. However this is not so noticeable as in many other cemeteries of the county.



May, 1938

The cemetery at the hamlet of Wren shares a five-acre lot with the community church. It contains
about two dozen marked graves and thirty or more which have no means of identification. Some of these
are known relatives of the deceased; the identity of others is entirely lost. The land was deeded in 1859 to
be held for the use of the United Brethren Church, but no plat of the cemetery was ever filed and no record
of the sale of lots or burials can be found.

The ground was given by George WREN who gave his name to the railroad station and to the post
office. This was the WREN who was for a short time in 1858 sheriff of the county by appointment, and
who for years was fire chief of Corvallis and met death in the line of duty. (A monument to his memory at
Fourth and Madison Streets in Corvallis has been described by the Historical Records Survey.) In the Wren
Cemetery an unmarked line of eight graves is said by old residents of the community to be members of the
WREN family. George WREN may be supposed to be one of them. No one has been found to identify the
individual graves.

The oldest marker in the Wren Cemetery marks the grave of Andrew J., son of B. & P. WOOD,
died in 1857. This would indicate that like so many of the old cemeteries this one came to be used before it
was set apart as a cemetery.
Two members of the KING Family of Kings Valley are buried here. They are Charles KING
(1848-1915), and his wife Margaret (1860-1927). Charles KING was the son of Nahum KING, whose
donation land claim was on Marys River about a mile west of Wren. Nahum KING is said to lie in an
unmarked grave on the old claim.

Other pioneers whose graves can be identified are W.F. HERNDON (1825-1901), his wife
Francinous (1826-1867), and James BRIEN (1829-1873). James BRIEN came west to California in
1849 and a little later to Oregon. He has one son, W.E. BRIEN, who lives just north of Corvallis. The
HERNDONS are remembered as early settlers but none of their descendants have been located in the
- - - - -
The Wren cemetery has been badly neglected, but within the last year the Wren Community Club
has undertaken to give better care. The fences have been repaired and brush and weeds are being somewhat
restrained. Burials are still being made here.

The cemetery is on lot adjoining church in rear. It was dedicated at the same time as the church.
Many of members of the first families are buried here; many of the older graves are unmarked. The oldest
marker bears the date 1857. With the decay of the local church the cemetery has come to be badly



23 June, 1938


The country about Summit (Upper Marys River) was not settled, at least to any extent, until some
time in the 'sixties. The cemetery was established, so far as can be learned, about 1870. It is situated on a
hill about a mile east of Summit Station, on the road to Blodgett. The earliest burial date on a stone there in

The old part of the cemetery is laid out somewhat irregularly, indicating that there was probably no
survey at first. Apparently each family chose its own plot and pains were not taken to keep different plots
in alignment. The graves are in north and south rows, but the rows are sometimes staggered a bit. More
recently there has been a survey and plot corners are marked, but in most cases there is room only for a
narrow pathway between the graves of one plot and those of another. Just recently an addition has been
graded and surveyed, and is now ready for use.

In this cemetery are buried many of the pioneers of the Upper Marys River section. In one plot we
find the names of

Morgan R. SAVAGE, 1825-1904
Frances A. SAVAGE 1828-1909.

Morgan was perhaps the first man to bring his family to this section. One old timer said, "The
SAVAGES were here before the Indians." Morgan SAVAGE was a blacksmith, a trade most necessary
under pioneer conditions. He further won the good will of his neighbors by importing and keeping for
public service the first purebred stallion (Morgan breed) ever brought to the neighborhood.

The Morgan SAVAGE claim on the West Fork had almost the only body of old grown timer in
this vicinity to escape the "big burn" which swept this country before the coming of the white men. This
timber was milled to furnish construction material for the building of the Yaquina railroad.

Another stone bears the inscription,

Carter TROXEL, 1822-1892
Rebecca TROXEL, 1828-1907.

Carter TROXEL and his brother Fred came to Summit soon after 1860. Their claim to
remembrance by old timers was that they were skilled carpenters and furniture makers. Fred TROXEL gave
most attention to furniture, which he made by use of a foot power lathe and hand tools from maple and ash
timber which he cut and seasoned himself. Many chairs made by him are still in use in the homes of this
and neighboring communities and are still "as good as new."

Another stone:

Joseph SKAGGS, 1829-1916
Mary SKAGGS, 1841-1936.

Joseph SKAGGS is remembered as the builder of the oldest house on Upper Marys River, the
SKAGGS homestead built in 1876. Two of Joseph SKAGGS [children?] are still living in the old house,
and other descendants live not far away.

Oliver B. HAMAR, Co. B, 11th Kansas Cavalry
Mary HAMAR, 1835-1915

The HAMARS came in the 'sixties. A son still lives at Summit and nephews and other relatives in
the vicinity of Nashville.

Frankie BAUGHMAN, son of D.C. and C.I. BAUGHMAN, 1873-1874. D.C. BAUGHMAN is
remembered by old timers as a preacher who homesteaded on the East Fork. No one of the family is left

 In another we find a group of stones:

Annie Lohman WINKLER, 1866-1926
J. Wilhelmina LOHMAN, born in Germany, 1840  died, 1899.
Richard C. COOTE, 1853-1933
Clara COOTE, 1874-1936

A touch of practical romance is recalled by these graves. Gustave WINKLER had married Annie
LOHMAN in Saxony. The couple came to the United States and to Summit in 1888. Here they came to
know an Englishman, Richard COOTE. Later COOTE furnished money to pay the passage of Mother
LOHMAN and her two unmarried daughters, Clara and Freda. Clara became the wife of COOTE and Freda
married a man named STEIDLE.

Other names of those who came a little later are:

Brinton D. PETTIT, 1838-1904
Ellen B. PETTIT, 1833-1899
John McDOWELL, Co. D, 4th Cal. Inf.
Peter RYSDALE, Minn. 1st Sgt. 20th Inf., 10th Div.
Jasper MILLER, 1845-1928
Martha J. MILLER, 1847-1921
Corporal C.J. BUNNELL, 5th Ill. Inf.

The names SORENSEN, LARSEN, and PETERSON indicate a Scandinavian element larger than
seems to be common in rural Oregon.

Of the hundred or more graves, about one-third are adequately marked. Some others have
wooden headboards. A contrast to older cemeteries is the much smaller proportion of children's graves.

25 July, 1938

The Gingles Cemetery is one of the earliest cemeteries of Benton County. Like many of the others
it seems to have been opened as a family burying place and to have been opened up to neighbors as a
matter of accommodation.

This cemetery was on the donation land claim of James GINGLES and some time before his
death Mr. GINGLES deeded the property to the school district to be used for a free cemetery. It is located
about a mile and a half east of Wells Station, one half mile off the county road, and is now on the farm of
E.C. TOMLINSON, a grandson of GINGLES.

It is said that the first burial here was a Mr. MILLER, a brother of Mrs. GINGLES, who died just
before reaching Benton County on his way from the east. The earliest death date on a tombstone is Hiram
HARDIE, 1807-1852, who is buried by his wife, Elizabeth HARDIE, 1816-1862. Mrs. HARDIE was said to
be a relative of the GINGLES family.

Perhaps the largest stone in the cemetery has these inscriptions: James GINGLES, 1819-1889 -
Sarah, wife of Jas. GINGLES, 1823-1853 - Tabitha, (wife) 1821-1873. GINGLES' influence in the
community is indicated by the fact that he was one of the first men to be elected county commissioner and
that he served several terms.

Another stone: Abner FICKLE, 1803-1892 - Susan (wife), 1811-1869 - Survina (wife), 1807-1897.

One of FICKLE'S daughters was the wife of Drury HODGES, one of the first settlers and a leading citizen
of this part of the county.

 Isaac MILLER, 1789-1870, and his wife Martha, 1798-1886, were the parents of GINGLES' first wife. The name still lives in the King Valley

Another group of stones bears these inscriptions:

Henry FLICKINGER, 1830-1910
Martha Ann, his wife, 1839-1873
Joseph W. SUVER, 1814-1890
Delilah, his wife, 1836-1860.
David VANDERPOOL, 1827-1899

These persons were all pioneers whose [names?] have been kept alive and whose descendants have
an active part in affairs today. For one of them the station of Suver in Polk County was named.

On other stones the names BEVENS and PYBURN recall that these families paused here and left
their dead before moving further west in the county. The BEVENS family had much to do with the
development of the Kings Valley and Airlie country and the PYBURNS are still remembered at Wren.
Gingles Cemetery was never platted and after the building of the North Palestine Church nearby in
the 'eighties, and the establishment of a cemetery there, this cemetery fell into disuse. Many of the stones
are down and the unmarked graves are lost. The lot is a jungle of brush and poison oak with fir trees more
than sixteen inches in diameter. When David VANDERPOOL, 1865-1938, was to be buried by his father,
the grave diggers in their first two starts encountered earlier unmarked graves.



16 May 1938
  There is no record of the beginning of the Kings Valley cemetery. The first settlement was in 1846,
and it is known that deaths among children and mothers were all too common in the new country. It is
altogether likely that there were deaths within the first year of so, and this cemetery was probably the place
of the first burial in this community. Among the first or earliest marked graves are those of Samuel
HUFFMAN and his daughter Chloa who died in 1854. {x see page 2} HUFFMAN was twenty-eight and
the girl two years old. Almost all the first settlers are buried here, and in most cases from one to three or
four small children are buried beside their parents. Sometimes a single date on a small stone suggest that
lack of competent care at childbirth and before was the cause of death. Sometimes two or more of various
ages died almost at the same time, and we are sure that some epidemic was the cause.

One name that is missed in the old part of the cemetery is the name KING. Of the four KING
Brothers who came to Oregon in 1845, three settled in Benton County in 1846 and gave their name to this
community. Amos KING settled at the site of Portland and his name is preserved in Kings Heights. Isaac
KING died in 1866 and was buried on his donation land claim in the valley. Nahum KING was buried on
his claim near Wren, about four miles south of Kings Valley. Solomon KING, who had a turn for public
life, moved to Corvallis and served the county for several years as sheriff. He is buried in one of the
cemeteries at the county seat.

Another one of the Kings Valley pioneers who took to the city and public life was "Judge" F.A.
CHENOWETH. "Judge" seems to have been a courtesy title, but the records show that Mr. CHENOWITH
was very prominent and active in the legal affairs of the young county.

 Judge CHENOWETH and his wife Elizabeth are buried in the Kings Valley cemetery. With them is a son
who died in young manhood.

The pioneer of Kings Valley who perhaps best served the community was Nahum CHAMBERS,
builder of the grist mill. That this service did not go unrewarded is proven by the fact that when he died in
middle age he had $20,000 in a safe in his bedroom. He (1813-1870) and his wife, Louisa KING
CHAMBERS (1826-1889), have graves in a prominent place in this burying ground. By them are two
children who died two days apart.

The KING party stopped in the fall of 1845 in Yamhill County, and during the winter prospected
for claims. The thing that made them decide on this valley was the fact that a number of strong creeks
flowed westward from the hills to the river at such intervals that each claim would have a creek of its own.
One of these is now called Maxfield Creek from the man whose claim was near the source. E. C.
MAXFIELD (1826-1887) is buried here with his wife Jane (1826-1909).

Although the men of the KING family found burial places elsewhere, the women members of the
family are represented in this cemetery. Beside Lucius C. NORTON (1819-1859) is his wife Hope KING
NORTON (1816-1892). Beside them are three children, one of which was born and died in 1850. This is
the earliest recorded burial here.

Another member of the KING family is Lucretia KING HALLOCK (1806-1860), wife of H.S.

James WATSON (1808-1861) and his wife Mary (1811-1873) in addition to the stones on their
grave have a memorial in the old house they built in 1852, which is still standing in excellent condition
almost as they left it. It is said to have been one of the first plastered houses in Oregon, and also to be
one of the best preserved old houses built here. (See interview with James PRICE, who now lives in the

 Among other early pioneers buried at Kings Valley, and whose graves are marked with stones are
the following:

Reason McCONNELL (1837-1904) and his wife Jane MAXFIELD McCONNELL (1826-1909)
George M. FOWLER (1823-1844) and his wife Philena (1825-1901)
Andrew KINNEY (1804-1885)
James M. TOWNSEND (1834-1892) and his wife Sophronia (1844-1923). They have two infant
children beside them.
Richard GRANT 91826-1891) and Sarah Jane GRANT (1826-1913). They also have two children
buried here.
Gabriel LONG (1825-1908) and Phoebe LONG
Samuel RICE (1828-1898) and Bertha J. RICE (1828-1900)
Wm. M. PITMAN (1826-1886)
J.M. HUSTON (1804-1875)
S.A. FRANTZ (1823-1891) Mr. FRANTZ bought the reservation at Fort Hoskins when it was
abandoned by the government in the 'sixties.
David GRUBBS (1811-1886)
Hetty Ann, wife of Charles ALLEN (1809-1864)
John S. MILLER (1831-1910) and Viena F. MILLER (1837-1906)
David KIBBEY (1807-1888) and Elizabeth KIBBEY (1806-1882)
Lazarus VAN BEBBER (1807-1899) and Martha VAN BEBBER (1807-1883)

The pioneer of the PRICE family, Larkin PRICE, is not buried here but of the second generation
we find John B. PRICE (1841-1909) and Mary E. (1847-1915); Preston PRICE (1851-1926); J.W. PRICE
(1846-1908); Willard PRICE (1850-1911) and Sarepta (1850-1908).

A leaning marble slab bears this inscription: "H.H. GASBER, 2nd Lieut., 4th Infantry, U.S.A. Died
at Fort Hoskins, Oct. 12, 1859. This stone erected by his comrades." Near this grave were several others
marked with flags but with no note of identification. It is said that several soldiers who died at Fort Hoskins
were buried here. Doubtless they lie in these unmarked graves.

On stones such as the Federal Government places over the graves of veterans were found these

Lieut. J.M. PITMAN, Co.A, 71 Ohio Infantry
Josiah CAVES, Co. A, 1st Oregon Infantry
George W. OWEN, Co. D, 5 Mo. S.M. Cavalry
Benjamin F. OWEN, Co. H. 1st Oregon Infantry
- - - -
Kings Valley Cemetery is situated on a hill rising about 75 [feet] above the Luckiamute River on
the south (or here, the east) bank about midway between the villages of Hoskins and King Valley. The site
is on the Charles ALLEN donation land claim. The place was used as a burying place as early as 1850, but
there is no record that it was ever dedicated to public use. It is reported that a gift was made either by
ALLEN or by one of the later owners, but there is no plat on file and no records of lots or burials is known.
Since there is no organization to care for the graves and so many of the old families are no longer
represented in the neighborhood, the old cemetery is badly neglected and overgrown.
The Odd-Fellows Lodge of Kings Valley has bought the land joining on the east and south and are
managing a well-cared-for rural cemetery, in which the more recent burials are made.


Mark PHINNEY 1 August 1938

                                                            SKETCH OF LOCKE CEMETERY
July, 1938

Locke Cemetery (sometimes called Mt. Union or Lewisburg Cemetery) is about four and one-half
miles north of Corvallis on Highway US 99W. It is located on a commanding knoll about a quarter mile
west of the road. The site is on the original donation land claim of A.N. LOCKE who came in the 'forties.
There is no plat of the cemetery on file but the Deed Records in the Courthouse at Corvallis show
that on 21 August 1855 A.N. LOCKE deeded to the citizens of Benton County, to be used as a cemetery,
"All that portion of land contained in the burying ground enclosed by a plank fence on the land claim of the
said party of the first part . . . . . except forty feet square in the southwest corner of said buying ground,
which the said party of the first part reserves for himself." This reserved space is now largely filled by the
graves of members of the LOCK family.

The original plot contained about two acres, which is now almost filled. An additional tract about
the size of the original has been secured and is to be added to the cemetery. The hill is bare of timber, but
several trees have been planted in the cemetery, mostly fir and maple.

The earliest date noted here was on the tombstone of Anna HUGHART, who died 19 May 1846.
Mrs. HUGHART is said to have been the first immigrant to die in the present limits of Benton County. At
the time of her death the family was living on what is now the site of Philomath. The HUGHARTS were
staying for a time at the home of D.C. HENDERSON, Mrs. HUGHART's brother. When the woman died,
she was buried on a knoll on the HENDERSON claim. This burying place never contained many graves
and these were later removed to more favored sites. Mrs. HUGHART's body was moved to Locke

That the Locke Cemetery was one of the earliest opened to the public is clear not only from the
dates on the tombstones, but from the names of pioneers buried here from a large part of Benton County.
Many graves bear dates before or soon after 1850. Among those who early found a resting place there

Joseph HUGHART, 1804-1886
Ana, his wife, 1808-1846

David HENDERSON, 1803-1872. HENDERSON was a brother of Mrs. HUGHART. His donation land claim was afterward purchased (1865) by the
founders of Philomath and became the original townsite of Philomath.

John WILES, 1804-1886
Martha Ann (HUGHART), his wife, 1833-1895. The WILES claim was in the Tampico region.

Joshua ADKINS, 1809-1852
Sarah ADKINS, 1783-1866. The ADKINS' claims were in the extreme eastern part of the county.

William RYALS, 1831-1914
Emeline, his wife, 1829-1899. The RYALS were in the Soap Creek region.

Reuben C. KIGER, 1838-1907. The KIGERS had settled in the Willamette River bottoms above Corvallis.

Andrew J. YOUNG, 1835-1908
Huldah S., 1845-1875

John LEWIS, 1785-1854
Elizabeth, 1786-1852

William H. ELLIOTT, 1826-1881
Elizabeth, 1834-1902

Richard JACOBS, 1810-1890
Permelia, 1814-1890

Emily, wife of A.J. HUNSAKER, daughter of R.C. and M.G. HILL.
R.C. HILL was a well known physician and Baptist preacher who preached far and wide over the county. He was for years pastor of the North
Palestine Church.

Martin WILLIAMS, 1824-1907

David BLAKE, 1826-1915
Emily BLAKE, 1839-1912

Eliza J., wife of Green Berry SMITH, b. 1828, m. 1848, d. 1849
Green Berry SMITH was a settler about 1846, south of Corvallis. His name was given to Greenberry Station, eight miles south of Corvallis. He
owned much land about Tampico and was one of the large taxpayers of the county.

T.M. READ, 1812-1892
Nancy, his wife, 1815-1895

Mary A. HAWKINS, 1835-1870
wife of J. WHEELER

Hamen C. LEWIS, 1809-1889
Mary LEWIS, 1821-1889

Alfred FLICKINGER, 1857-1917

Arnold FULLER, 1802-1875. Arnold FULLER's claim was about a mile northeast of the cemetery. The FULLER Schoolhouse, built about 1850,
was the first meeting place of the County Commissioners of Benton County.

F. WRITSMAN, 1801-1877
Lucinda, 1809-1899

Many other names less well known in the early history of the county appear, and while the graves
here are better marked than in some cemeteries, doubtless many have been lost.



 15 August 1938

This cemetery is about two miles northeast of the hamlet of Bellfountain on the original donation
land claim of Thomas REEVES. The little plot of ground, less than five rods square, never was surveyed
nor dedicated as a cemetery and has long ceased to be used as a burying place. It is on a knoll at the foot of
a higher hill and slopes east toward the road which is about two hundred yards away. The original county
road No. 1 went directly by this place, but the road has since been changed and in part abandoned, and the
remaining part is now only a side road. By permission of the owner of the farm the plot has recently been
securely fenced and some attempt made to clear away the poison oak and briers.

The earliest marked graves here date from 1849. Of the fifteen stones almost all bear names of well
known pioneer families. It is said that there are several unmarked graves, but there are no visible signs of
these. Many of the stones have already toppled over and some are broken.

Of the fifteen persons whose graves are marked, only three are men and only two are over thirty
years old. Seven are young mothers from nineteen to thirty. A group of three FOSTER children all under
four, indicate the higher infant mortality of the pioneer days.

The earliest graves are those of Laurena FOSTER, born and died in 1849, and Sally A. CURRIER,
wife of A.L. HUMPHREY (1822-1849). Sally was the sister of J.M. CURRIER, whose wife, Maria
FOSTER (1834-1859), is buried nearby. The FOSTER family is further represented by Mary A., wife of
John FOSTER (1823-1854), by the three children of John FOSTER (mentioned above), and by Isaac
FOSTER (1829-1856). Isaac FOSTER met death by drowning. Mary FOSTER was the daughter of
John LLOYD, pioneer of 1846. It was this Mary LLOYD who is said by one tradition to have been the
person for whom Marys River was named. A niece of Mary LLOYD, Mrs. Anna STARR, tells the story
this way:

Thomas REEVES had come to Benton County in 1845 and had settled on his claim some ten or
twelve miles south of Marys River. John LLOYD and others came the following year and REEVES had
come to Marys River to help the LLOYD party cross. In the lack of a bridge the trunks of small trees had
been placed in the stream to keep the oxen on the ford. The rear wheel of the wagon in which Mary
LLOYD was riding ran over one of these logs and dropped down so violently that Mary was thrown off into
the water. Mary was nineteen years old at the time, and perhaps to soothe her chagrin at the accident, they
proposed that the stream should be called Mary's River.

By Mary FOSTER is buried her mother Nancy, wife of John LLOYD 91799-1853), and nearby is
her sister-in-law, Lucinda E. , wife of William LLOYD (1850-1869).

One of the tragedies of the pioneer conditions is suggested in a group of three stones. These are
the graves of William MILLER (d. 1853, aged 28), Eliza, his wife (1831-1853), and their infant daughter.
Other graves are those of Sarah Jane CARR, (1853, aged sixteen) and Nancy J., wife of Conrad SLAGLE
(1850-1875). Although a new and better located cemetery had been established nearer to Bellfountain,
Thomas REEVES who lived until the 'eighties was buried in the plot he had given for his friends.
Descendants of the CURRIER, FOSTER, and REEVES families are still numerous in the county.

The present generation of the LLOYD family are living in the vicinity of Waitsburg, Washington.


General History

  1st cemetery in county
                                   INTEROFFICE CORRESPONDENCE
                                        Federal Writers' Projects
                                           Myler Building
                                           Portland, Oregon


To: Miss LEE Date: 27 September 1937

From: Mrs. CHURCHILL Re: Cemeteries - BENTON COUNTY

In a letter from Grace E. COOPER of Corvallis, relating information concerning her mother Anna Charlotte REEVES-STARR, I found the following: "The first cemetery of the county (Benton) was established on grandfather's place and he and several of his children are buried there.  It is no longer in use but several of the old headstones mostly dated around 1852 are still standing."

This cemetery is in the Bellfountain community.

According to Mrs. COOPER, her grandfather, Thomas REEVES was the first man to build a house in Benton County. He was an 1846 pioneer.

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