Crawfordsville Union


Online Map Photos




Nearest Town:

Crawfordsville, Brownsville

Est. # Burials:



T 14S, R 1W, 17

Size in Acres:


USGS Lat/Lon:

442105N 1225020W


Driving Directions:

East of Brownsville on O 228 about 6 miles to Crawfordsville. 0.4 m to Marcola Jct.
0.1 m on R, or S, turnoff for cemetery.


Contact Info:

Linn Co. Tax Assessor: Lot 2100 Union Cemetery Association 1046 Turbyne Rd Sweet Home, OR 97386-2730 541.367.2358 Deed Ref: 137-249,MF53-848


From "Sweet Home: In the Oregon Cascades" by M. Carey & P. Hainline:

"It is believed that the cemetery began with the burial of Rhoda Shanks in 1852. The original deed is from Noah Shanks, prominent pioneer of that time. More land was deeded to the cemetery in 1928 by J. R. Cairnes.

"John W. Gray, 1828-1905, is buried here, although some accounts say he died and was buried in the mountains during a second trip over the Wiley Trail. He accompanied Andrew Wiley on his trip in 1857 when they discovered the Santiam Pass. James Norval Rice, 1832-1909, an Oregon Indian war veteran with Jonathan Keeney's C Company, was a member of the legislature in 1882. Timothy Riggs, 1825-1905, was very active during the early settlement of the area. Among other families represented in this cemetery are Splawn, McKercher, King, McCaw, Robnett, Weddle, Matlock, Colbert, Malone and McQueen. The cemetery is still in use and is well cared for."

The following information is transcribed from the WPA Linn County Cemetery Survey, researched & prepared by Leslie L. Haskin on (undated, ca. 1940):

This cemetery is situated about one half mile east of the town of Crawfordsville, Linn County, Oregon, on State Highway 228. This cemetery is well fenced and cared for. It is free from brush or rank growths and remarkably so from introduced pests such as broom, Vinca, or perennial pea vines so often planted in such places.

This cemetery is owned and cared for by a community cemetery association. Just when it was opened is not positively known, but common report says that the first grave here was that of a child, a member of a Shanks family, and opened about 1852. This, in all probability is the "Rhoda Shanks" in Section 2 who - "Died January 28, 1852."

The original deed for this cemetery is from Noah Shanks and wife to the President and directors of the Union Cemetery Company....

This cemetery is said to contain the bodies of three Oregon Indian War Veterans, they are- J. N. Rice (Section 1) Wm. Splawn (no marker found) F. M. Malone (no marker found). Other unmarked burials of importance of which no mark could be located are- Mr. & Mrs. P. V. Crawford, after whom the town of Crawfordsville was named.

Historical & Biographical Notes:

Nancy Gray. 1793-1887. One of the few birth dates in this cemetery dating previous to 1800. She was among the very early settlers of the Crawfordsville region.

John W. Gray. Probably a son of the last. He, with a few companions, among them Andrew Wiley, were the first to pass over the Cascade Mountains by way of the South Santiam pass. John Gray wrote a very extensive account of this trip which is preserved in the first volume of an old newspaper, the "Albany Democrat, published at Albany, Linn county by Delazon Smith.

Wm. McCaw. 1819-1896. Three Probate Judges were elected to act jointly for Linn County in 1848. They took office in 1849. Wm. McCaw was one of the first three judges.

Nancy, Wife of Joseph Robnett. 1787-1864. One of the very early birth dates of this cemetery. This woman was the mother of William Robnett (1809-1886...) The grandmother of David F. Robnett, 1855-1931, and the great-grandmother of Mrs. Edna Slavins of Crawfordsville who is the secretary of the Union Cemetery Association.

J. N. Rice. 1832-1909. He was an Oregon Indian war veteran.

Rhoda Shanks. Died Jan 28, 1852. Believed to be the earliest burial in this cemetery.

Timothy Riggs. 1825-1905. Was an influential early settler of this region. Became Linn County's first elected assessor in 1849.

Robnett. David F. 1855-1931. Luella S. 1854-19-- The latter is still living [1938] and is one of the best informed natives remaining in this region. Her father was G. F. Colbert.

Jonathan Edwards 1806-1894. Interesting name and inscription.

Viola A. Colbert. 1858-1885. Daughter of the next. Died on the eve of contemplated marriage. The house built by her bridegroom for her still stands in Crawfordsville.

G. F. Colbert.
E. A. Colbert, his wife. This couple were married at Brownsville in the "Father John McKinney Meeting House, first Methodist Church building in this region. The ceremony was a double one, and the other contracting parties were Z. f. Moody, later Governor of Oregon and his bride. Mrs. Colbert was the second school teacher in Brownsville, succeeding Rev. H. H. Spalding in that position. Moody's bride was one of Mrs. Colbert's scholars. The ceremony took place as a complete surprise to the community and followed a program celebrating the close of the school. After the closing school exercises the teacher invited Rev. John McKinney to address the gathered congregation. He complied, eulogizing the blessings of matrimony and as he finished the two young couples came forward and were married. This incident is spoken of by pioneers as NE of the most romantic and notable events of the early settlement. This wedding is believed to have taken place in 1852.

Daniel McKercher, 1861-1895. This man was an innocent bystander at the locally well-known murder of the Montgomery family in 1896. Mr. & Mrs. Montgomery and McKercher were all shot by Montgomery's son.

Julia A. Wife of J. R. Wiseman. 1851-1891. While this survey was being made workmen were digging a grave near by to receive the body of a murdered man, reputedly killed by this woman's son in a fit of insane anger.

[end of Haskin survey]

Online transriptions:

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


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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.