Bunker Hill

Also Known As: Savage Butte

Online Map Photos




Nearest Town:

Shedd, Boston

Est. # Burials:

< 20


T 13S, R 3W, 8

Size in Acres:


USGS Lat/Lon:

442734N 1230407W


Driving Directions:

From O 99 and Shedd, East on Plainview Drive 1.6 miles, on South, Cemetery.


Contact Info:

Linn Co. Tax Assessor: Lot 100
SHEDD OR 97377-0000
 Deed Ref: W 6-48


The following information is transcribed from the WPA Linn County Cemetery Survey, researched & prepared by Leslie L. Haskin on 1/4/1939:

This cemetery...is situated on a rocky, low hill or butte which, in this neighborhood, goes under two names. One name is Savage Butte, so named after the man who first settled there, Americus Savage. The other name is "Bunker Hill" and the origin of that name is an interesting one. It runs as follows; according to neighborhood tradition: Americus Savage settled on this land and built his first house directly upon the summit of the hill. His nearest neighbor to the south was one Robert Elder. Now Americus Savage and Robert Elder seemed to have been naturally incompatible. Besides this incident occurred which made them active enemies. One night Richard [sic] Elder took another man with him and went and knocked on Savage's door. When Savage opened the door Elder hit him upon the chest with a black-jack. Savage leaped out of the door and returned the attack. It was a battle royal, in which Savage, being a very large man, came off the victor. That battle became a neighborhood tradition and since the town of New Boston, or Boston, and the Boston Mills was near at hand it naturally followed that any notable battle should be known as the "Battle of Bunker Hill" and thus the place has been called ever since.

To reach this cemetery drive east from the town of Shedd for a distance of about two miles. Here will be found the Thompson Flouring mills, (Formerly the Boston Mills) and a crossing of the Calapooia River. Continue eastward, after crossing the Calapooia, for about one half mile when the butte may be seen to the south at a distance of a short one-eight mile. It is a low rounding hill and must not be overlooked or mistaken for the higher, more prominent Saddle Butte which looms up about a mile further on. From the County road a gate leads through a low pasture to the foot of the hill. [NB: How accurate are these directions in 2001?]

This cemetery tract consists of ten acres upon, and surrounding the butte, but the cemetery proper is much smaller, the fenced and occupied part being only four by eleven rods in extent. The land belongs to the Americus Savage heirs but is set apart permanently for cemetery purposes, being so designated in Americus Savage's will.

The cemetery is well fenced but otherwise little cared for. Much of the cemetery proper is a rocky, outcropping ledge. The graves occupy the lower, eastern and northern portion exclusively.

The earliest burial in this tract is that of Columbus, Son of A. (Americus) and M. A. Savage, who died October 5, 1852. The earliest birth date recorded is that of Americus Savage, June 9, 1815.

Historical & Biographical Notes:

Columbus, Son of A. & M. A. Savage. 1851-1852. The first burial of record in this tract. Believed to be an infant son of Americus Savage.

Mary Ann Savage. 1818-1886. Believed to have been the wife of Americus Savage.

John Morgan 1833-1910. Believed to have been a pioneer of 1852.

John B. Cornett. 1832-1911. He was a pioneer of 1850.

Americus Savage. 1815-1876. The man who established this cemetery. He took up the surrounding land as a donation claim. He owned the land on the opposite side of the Calapooia River and sold a portion of it to Richard C. Finley and P. V. Crawford for a site for a flouring mill, then known as the Boston Mill, which was built some time during the 1850's. That was the second flouring mill in this region. After a trip to his home in the East, following (reputed) marital troubles, he returned to this butte on August 9, 1876. He first cleared a spot on the north slope of the hill for a grave. He then proceeded to the foot of the hill, wrapping himself in a red blanket, and committed suicide by shooting himself. In a last message he instructed that he be buried in the cleared grave site and with his head to the southward so that he might look out over the pleasant northward scene. That his request was complied with may be seen by visiting the grave. In his will he set apart ten acres to be perpetually reserved for cemetery purposes. The fenced cemetery is only a small part of this tract but all ten acres is still reserved in perpetual trust.

Online Transcriptions:

In 1994 the Linn Co. Planning & Building Dept. prepared a history and conducted a survey of this cemetery - available at Jan Phillips' website.


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References used to prepare these cemetery pages are provided.
Lisa L. Jones prepared and is solely responsible for the content of these pages. 
Copyright 2001.