Central Christian

Also Known As: Santiam Central

Online Map Photos




Nearest Town:


Est. # Burials:



T 11S, R 2W, 6

Size in Acres:


USGS Lat/Lon:

443812N 1225840W


Driving Directions:

About 4 miles east of Albany, 1 mile SE of Knox Butte on Harbor Road, north of Highway 20.


Contact Info:

Linn Co. Tax Assessor: Lot 1500
ALBANY OR 97321-0000
Site: 36381 HARBER RD NE
ALBANY OR 97321-0000
Deed Ref: 105-383


The following article appeared in the Albany Democrat-Herald, Sept. 23, 1966:

"Vandalism of grave markers in the Central Cemetery on Knox Butte is being investigated by Linn county deputy sheriffs. They said some 43 headstones, some weighing as much as 800 pounds, were toppled and broken by persons who apparently entered the cemetery without unlocking the gate."

(Photo of toppled tombstone of Preston Morris, who died in 1869, accompanies the article.)

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

The Central Christian Church Cemetery is situated in Section 6, Township 11 South of Range 2 West, in Linn County.  It is situated on a portion of the Reuben Streitoff Donation Land claim….

The name, “Central Christian Church Cemetery”, comes from the fact that it was founded by the membership of the Central Christian Church, a pioneer religious society now completely lapsed.  The history of the Central Christian Church seems to be as follows.

In 1851 Elder John Powell and his brother, Alfred Powell, emigrated to Oregon and settled on the Santiam River about seven miles east of Albany.  Both of these two brothers were ministers of the Christian Church.  John Powell was the first Christian Church missionary to Oregon.  These brothers, with the aid of other Christian church members, organized the Central Christian Church in the year 1851.  John Powell was the pastor and preached the second and fourth Sundays of each month.  Alfred Powell was assistant pastor and preached on the first and third Sundays.  Later John Powell carried on the pastorate alone and so continued until the time of his death in the year 1880.

In 1854 a church building was erected on the John Powell claim.  The lumber for this building was mostly supplied by John Powell who operated a “sash mill” on his own place.  In 1876 a new church building was erected about one mile further west of the original site.  This building stood back from what is now the Albany-Lebanon highway and perhaps one eight of a mile south of the cemetery site.  It was a well built frame structure, painted without and plastered within.  It had a tall steeple over the front entrance.  This church society lapsed about the year 1927 and a few years later the building was razed.  The cemetery is still used even though the church is no more, and recently a new addition has been platted to fill the needs of continued burials.

This is rather an old cemetery.  The first burial of record is that of George McFadden, son of W. & M. McFadden, who died on October 7th, 1856 at the age of 1 year, 1 month, and 17 days.  The second burial is that of Cyrus, son of F. S. & L. J. Powell, who died October 11 (only 4 days later than the first), 1856, at the age of 2 years, 5 months, and 22 days.  The oldest adult burial is that of Hannah, wife of Alfred Powell, who died May 18, 1859.  This seems to have been the first wife of Alfred Powell.  Another wife, Abigail, died in 1873.

The oldest birth dates recorded here seem to be those of Bennett and Martha Creecy, 1786 and 1794 respectively.

Historical & Biographical Notes:

Preston Morris.  1802-1969.  [NB:  date is as typed in Haskin manuscript, and clearly a typographical error.  Probably 1869]. A prominent early settler in the “Forks of the Santiam” region.  His D. L. C. was situated in Section 18, Township 11 South of Range 2 West. (About three miles east of the South Santiam River.)

Bennett Creecy.  1786-1866.
Martha Creecy.  1794-1874.  These are among the earliest birth dates recorded here.

Nathan W. Bond.  1816-1889.
Elizabeth Bond, his wife, 1823-1896.  These are Oregon pioneers of the year 1853.

Benjamin F. Bond.  1834-1870.  Son of the above.  A young doctor who came to Oregon with his parents in 1853.  An early graduate of Willamette University Medical School.  Born in Iowa.

Barnet Ramsay.  1814-1872.  Oregon’s first potter.  Came to Oregon in the year 1852.  Took up a donation land claim in Lane County, about ten mile east of Eugene City on the Mohawk River.  Is believed to have run a pottery at that place soon after his arrival but this is not certain.  Sold his claim on the Mohawk and removed to the Santiam region about ten miles east of Albany where he operated a sawmill.  Later, about 1862, he disposed of his sawmill and removed to a place about six miles east of Albany where he opened a pottery.  This he conducted between the years 1862-1864.  Again removed, t his time to land purchased north of the present town of Halsey.  Here he operated another pottery between the years 1864-1868.  This he called the “Peoria Pottery” since the town of Peoria, to the westward, was at that time the principal business center of the region.  He finally sold the site of this pottery in 1868 and is believed to have engaged in other business.  He died at “jump-off-Joe” in Southern Oregon on August 26, 1872 and was buried near that place.  Upon the death of his wife, Elizabeth Ramsay, in 1886, his body was removed and brought to this place.

Elizabeth Ramsay. 1810-1886.  The wife of the last.

Everett E. Earl.  1869-1880.  Son of J. & J. Earl.  John Earl, believed to be the father of this child, was one of the very earliest settlers south of the Santiam River in Linn County.

Elder J. A. Powell. 1807-1880.  An Oregon pioneer of  1850—or 1851.  He was born in  Madison County, Ohio.  He was an elder of the Christian Church and in 1852 became the first Missionary of the Christian Church to Oregon.  In 1851 Elder Powell (his Christian name was John) organized the Central Christian Church on his own donation land claim on the Santiam River.  (This is the church after which the Cemetery of this survey was named.)  The original church was on the Santiam to the eastward of this cemetery.  John Powell was the first pastor and preached on the 1st and 4th Sundays of each month.  His brother Alfred Powell preached on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays.  John Powell continued to serve this church as pastor until a few weeks before his death in 1880.   The first building for this church was erected on the Powell claim in 1854, John Powell supplying most of the lumber from his own '‘ash Mill"”  Later a frame building was erected further west and on a piece of land situated about one eight of a mile directly south of the cemetery.

Savilla Powell.  1810-1889.  Wife of the last.

J. W. Propst. Born 1837.  (No death date given).  This man, born in April, 1837, is still living [in 1939] at the age of almost one hundred and two years.  He is a pioneer of the year 1852.  A complete interview and life history of this man has been sent in.  He still [in 1939] lives on the land purchased soon after he arrived in Oregon and on which there has never been a cent of indebtedness.  [NB:  underlined emphasis provided by Haskin.]

Margaret J. Propst.   1843-1918.  Wife of the last.  Her maiden name was Margaret Cole, daughter of Elizabeth and chancy Cole, pioneers in the Scio neighborhood in the year ____(?)

 Alfred Powell.  1810-1881.  Brother of John Powell previously mentioned.  An Oregon Pioneer of 1851.  He helped to organize, and was co-pastor of the Central Christian Church of this region—the church after which this cemetery was named.

[End of Haskin survey.]

(Click here for more information on the Powells, Central Christian Church & Cemetery, with links to photos.)

Online Transcriptions:

   Surveyed in 1999 by Jan Phillips and available at her site.


Return to Linn County Cemeteries


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.