Est. # Burials:
T 11S, R 4W, 12
Size in Acres:
Albany 7th & Broadway
Linn Co. Tax Assessor:
The following information is transcribed from the WPA Linn County Cemetery Survey, researched & prepared by Leslie L. Haskin on 2/7/1940:
The Masonic Cemetery at Albany is situated just outside of the Albany city limits at the west end of seventh street and is in Section 12, Township 11 South, Range 4 West, Linn County. The land where the cemetery is situated is a part of the Harvey Gordon Donation Land Claim….
Much is lacking of the history of this burying place. The first burial of record here is perhaps that of Sarah A. Graham, a child of some 9 months, who died Aug. 31, 1853. John W. Althouse, a youth of 24 years, also died in 1853. Following these comes Delazon Smith, one of Oregon’s first U. S. Senators who died November 18, 1860, and America A. Simpson who died the same year. The latter was a child of about one year.
The oldest birth date recorded here was Thomas Froman, born 1798. The oldest native westerner is undoubtedly Cyrus Walker. No birth date is here given for Mr. Walker but he long bore the distinction of being the “oldest born native Oregonian.”
How the Masonic Lodge obtained possession of this particular tract of land is a rather interesting one. For the following fact I am indebted to Miss Emma Smeed, daughter of Albany’s first permanent settler, who still resides at this place.
“My father was Hiram Smeed. He came to Oregon in the year 1845. In the fall of the same year he, in company with Abner Hackleman, explored the site of present Albany. Father and Hackleman each took up a claim here; father remained in charge of the two claims while Hackleman returned to the east to bring on his family. (Abner Hackleman died on this return trip and his land claim was later taken up by a son, Abram Hackleman.) My father spent the winter of 1845-1846 in a cabin near the present corner of First and Ellsworth Streets here in Albany, being thus the first permanent settler of the town.
“In the year 1848 or 1849 my father, being short of money, sold out his claim to the Monteith Brothers for the sum of $400. He then went to the California gold mines but returned within about one year and himself purchased a claim in what is now known as “Sunrise Addition” of Albany. This second claim was excellent land but wanting in timber. To remedy this lack father [asked?] a young man named Harvey Gordon to settle on a tract further west. Gordon was to perfect title to that tract while father paid all his expenses with the understanding that when the deed was secured he should transfer it to father. (Note—A rather fraudulent transaction but one countenanced because of the need of the times.) However, before the title was transferred Gordon contracted typhoid and died. My father, though he actually bought and paid for the land never really owned it. Upon Gordon’s death, he being a very active Mason, the estate was administered by the Masonic Lodge which, in the end, took over title to the claim. This is the claim where the present Masonic Cemetery is situated, the Masons setting apart a portion of the land for burial purposes." (Note—Harvey Gordon’s grave could not be found in this cemetery. Where he was buried is not known.)
In 1867, a deed was given by P. S. Willis, guardian of H. Gordon Heirs, to the Corinthian Lodge No. 17, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. This P. S. Willis is shown to have been the guardian of Sarah and Ellen Gordon, minor heirs of Harvey Gordon, deceased. (Record of Deeds, Book I, p. 481, March 26, 1867)
Historical & Biographical Notes:
F. W. Launer. 1867-1932. A prominent Evangelical minister in Oregon.
James R. Robnett M.D. 1871-1926. A prominent physician in Albany.
Sarah. A. Graham. 1852-1853. Died Aug. 31, 1853. Aged 9 months, 14 days. One of the first burials of record here.
Hon. Delazon Smith. 1816-1860. A prominent citizen of Pioneer Oregon. Born in New Berlin, N. Y. came to Oregon in 1852(?). Admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court during Territorial days. With Joseph Lane he was elected first United State Senator from Oregon. Was often called “America’s Lost Ambassador” because while serving in the diplomatic service in South America he traveled across the South American Continent and was lost from all public knowledge for a long time. He founded the Oregon Democrat at Albany, Oregon, in 1859.
John W. Althouse. 1829-1853. One of the very early burials in this cemetery.
Samuel H. Althouse. 1825-1888. One of the founders of the Magnolia Flouring Mill which was established in Albany in 1851. The other partners in this industry were J. Driggs, Samuel Hill and Walter and Thomas Monteith. This mill which remained standing until comparatively recent years was situated at the west end of First Street on the banks of the Calapooia River. Its power was first drawn from the waters of the Calapooia River, later from the Santiam Canal.
D. M. Thompson. 1833-1879. An Oregon pioneer of the year 1852.
David P. Mason. 1846-1931. A prominent pioneer druggist in Albany. His firm, Foshay & Mason is still [ in 1940] in active business.
Bazzel W. Cooper. 1833-1907. He was an Oregon pioneer of the year 1847. Mined in California in 1855. A native of Indiana. Was a Linn County Commissioner for several years. His father’s name was Samuel Cooper, also a pioneer of 1847.
Sarah E. Cooper. 1834-1923. Wife of last. Her maiden name was Humphreys. A pioneer of 1853. Her parents were Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Humphreys.
J. L. Hill. 1845-1919. A pioneer Albany physician. He was a son of Dr. r. C. Hill who was also a physician. Dr. J. L. Hill was also a writer, newspaper man and naturalist.
Mary P. Hill. 1850-1895. Wife of the last.
Dale S. Hill. 1877-1932. Son of the last two. A prominent attorney in Albany for many years. Was also much interested in gardening and in iris breeding.
Thomas Froman. 1789-1880. The oldest birth date recorded in this cemetery.
Elizabeth Froman. 1802-1886. Wife of the last. She was a daughter of a revolutionary war soldier. (Father’s name not learned.)
Isaac R. Froman. 1835-1907. An early pioneer in this region. A railroad Station on the Lebanon branch of the S. P. Ry. Is named “Froman” after this family. Isaac Froman’s D. L. C. was situated on the line of the Santiam Canal about four miles southeast of Albany.
Isaac Conn. 1842-1911. A prominent member and one of the organizers of the “Trinity Chapel” Methodist Church a few miles east of Albany. (This church is more often called the “Geisendorfer Church.”)
James K. Weatherford. 1849-1935. Came to Oregon when he was thirteen years of age (1863?). He was an orphan at that time, his parents having already died. He was born in Missouri. On reaching Oregon he worked for four years in the Brownsville Woolen Mills, then entered the preparatory class at Oregon Agricultural College, Corvallis. After graduating at Corvallis he taught school at Brownsville and was later elected Superintendent of Schools for Linn County. In 1876 he was elected to the Oregon Legislature and although only twenty-four years of age he was chosen Speaker of the House. He was also a member of the Oregon State Senate for sixteen years. Was twice elected as mayor of the city of Albany. Was a member of the Board of Regents of Oregon State College for forty years. (Or more). Was president of that board for twenty-five years. Practice law at Albany for many years.
John W. Cusick. 1835-1910. Prominent Albany Business man for many years. Founder of the Cusick Bank.
Cyrus H. Walker. (No dates given). This is a son of Rev. Elkin Walker, pioneer missionary who came to Oregon in 1838. Cyrus Walker was born at that mission near Spokane. For many years before his death he claimed to be the oldest living white child born west of the Rockies. He was a Lieutenant in the Us. Army, also a pioneer school teacher.
Mary F. Walker. 1859-1906. Wife of the last. Daughter of Jason Wheeler who was the first Sheriff in Linn County, (under the provisional government).
Jason Wheeler. 1823-1907. An Oregon pioneer of the year 1847. Was the first sheriff of Linn County under the provisional government. (This according to local tradition. There are no official records of this fact since all were destroyed.)
Francis M. Redfield. 1842-1928. A pioneer merchant of Albany.
1828-1878. A son of Rev. E.
E. Parrish, early Methodist Circuit Rider.
Jesse Parrish came to Oregon in 1852.
He first settled on a claim about three miles southeast of Albany.
There he built a house which is still standing.
(Built probably in the late 1850’s).
Later he sold out and removed to the Sodaville neighborhood where his old
house also stands.
[NB: This biographical note appears to be in error. Jesse B. Parrish (1819-1898), to whom this note refers, is buried at Lebanon Pioneer Cemetery. Jesse Parrish (1828-1878), buried at Albany Masonic, is perhaps a son or other relative of Jesse B. Parrish.]
Abigail Parrish. 1840-1920. Wife of the last.
Wallace Howe Lee. 1861-1936. A well known and loved professor at Albany College. A Presbyterian Preacher.
Grant Pirtle. 1865-1931. Well known Albany hotel man. Builder and owner of Albany’s large “St. Francis Hotel.”
Nimrod Price. 1822-1916. A prominent early settler in this region. His Donation land claim was situated about three miles southeast of Albany.
Nicholas B. Sprenger. 1845-1921. Born at Albersweiler, Germany. Came to Oregon in 1852. Settler a few miles north of the town of Shedd, Oregon, in what is known as the Kendall’s Bridge neighborhood. His neighbors at that place were Rev. Thomas Kendall and Rev. Thomas Condon, both prominent pioneer figures. Sprenger was a prominent Presbyterian layman.
D. M. Jones, M.D. A well known pioneer physician at Albany. In his age he retired and lived at Sodaville.
Reuben Coleman Hill. 1809-1890. Pioneer physician, Baptist Preacher and school teacher. Educated in Kentucky. Married Margaret Graham Lair Oct. 1, 1832. Crossed the plains to the California gold mines in 1850. “Labored as a preacher and a physician among the miners.” Came to Oregon in 1851. First lived in a tent at Corvallis. Soon came to Albany and was appointed to preach in the Monteith House, perhaps the first sermon in Albany. Preached the first Baptist sermon in Marysville (Corvallis). Taught school in Albany. Organized the Corvallis Baptist Church, the North Palestine church in Benton County and the Good Hope church on Oak Creek in Linn County. Assisted in organizing the First Baptist Church of Albany in 1867. Was the first pastor of the church. He was the father of J. L. Hill of Albany, and the grandfather of Gale S. Hill, prominent Albany Attorney.
Margaret Graham Hill. 1809-1890. Wife of the last. A native of Kentucky. Came to Oregon with her husband about the year about 1852.
Milton Hale. 1821-1911. A pioneer to Oregon in 1845. Settle din Linn County in 1846, having spent the first winter with Harrison Wright on the Molalla. When he came to the Santiam river on his way southward he found the stream too high to ford so he built a ferry boat, the first on that stream, and this ferry he operated for many years. In making his first ferry Hale had no tools save an ax, an adz, augur and a pocket knife. His second child, born April 17, 1846 was perhaps the first white child born in Linn County. She died Dec. 10, 1852. The town of Syracuse was founded on his claim. In 1865 he owned and operated a ferry across the Willamette at Albany at the point where the present Albany bridge now stands.
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Lisa L. Jones prepared and is solely responsible for the content of these pages.