Franklin Butte


Online Map Photos




Nearest Town:


Est. # Burials:



T 10S, R 1W, 19

Size in Acres:


USGS Lat/Lon:

444047N 1225043W


Driving Directions:

From Scio, south on Hwy 226 1.7 m, on Right


Contact Info:

Linn Co. Tax Assessor: Lot 700
SCIO OR 97374-0000
Deed Ref: MF37-873


From Albany Democrat-Herald, May 13, 1966:

"The hilltop cemetery, located two miles out of Scio, was established at about the same time of the city's incorporation by No. 39 AF&AM Masonic Lodge. The first five acres were purchased for $100 by Peter Bilyeu on July 1, 1869.

"According to the minutes of the meetings, the highest bid established the price of the lot .... which at that time was $10 a lot. The 10 by 40-foot lot was to hold eight graves.

"The original plotting was made by J. S. Morris, father of Scio's late barber, Dean Morris. The yellow and cracked map is dated Feb. 2, 1889.

"It is believed that Mrs. I. C. Dickey, Francina, who died on June 21, 1869 at the age of 29 years, one month and 11 days, was the first person to be buried there. (Her husband was the first recorder for the city of Scio, and years later was sheriff of Linn county).

"A few years ago an additional 10 feet was purchased on the north, and now there are two roadways to the cemetery.

"For some unknown reason, in the years past, persons of Czech descent were buried in the southwest section of the cemetery. There many tombstones are inscribed in the native language, and a shrub of the country grows on many of the graves."

The following information is transcribed from the WPA Linn County Cemetery Survey, researched & prepared by Leslie L. Haskin on 7/2/1940:

The Franklin Butte Masonic Cemetery is situated at the summit of a hill of moderate height on the Lebanon-Scio road (which is also the Crabtree-Scio road) in Section 19,Township 10 South of Range 1 West in Linn county.  Apparently the cemetery occupies the extreme southeast corner of this section and is a portion of the E. H. Randall Donation Land Claim….

The cemetery is owned [in 1940] and administered by the Scio Masonic Lodge, but little of its history could be learned.  It is not an extremely old cemetery but without more extensive research its date can not be fixed.  The inscriptions on the stones are of little aid in fixing the date of establishment for it is definitely known that many older burials were removed here from a site somewhere south and closer to Scio.  Studying dates carefully it is this writer’s believe that all stones dated before 1873 were so removed from some other site for there seems to be a definite hiatus between burials here dated in the early 1850s and 1860s and those beginning in the early or middle 1870s.  The records run as follows—First death date, Nancy Jane Morris, March 27, 1859, Evans Morris, 1862; and Mario Wheeler, 1864.

The origin of the name “Franklin Butte” is also a matter of some mystery.  No man by the name of Franklin took up a claim in this region.  No early pioneer of that name could be learned of.  None of the pioneers interviewed could give any positive derivation for the name.  The hill where the cemetery is located is not generally thought of in the region as Franklin Butte.  Indeed it is too small and indefinite to be commonly thought of as a “Butte.”  One pioneer questioned hazarded the belief that the name was in honor of Ben Franklin and that the original Butte in question was the one situated south, or slightly southeast of the village of Scio. This is given greater plausibility when it is known that in pioneer days the precinct in this community was called Franklin Butte Precinct.  A cemetery established in the Franklin Butte Precinct might well be called “Franklin Butte Cemetery” without actually being situated on the Butte itself.  The maps in Illustrated Historical Atlas Map of Marion and Linn Counties, published by Edgar Williams & Co., San Francisco, 1878, names the Precinct surrounding the cemetery as “Franklin Butte” at that date, and a historical sketch of Scio, published therein, says—

Scio Precinct lies in the forks of the Santiam River, and was originally known as McDonald Precinct, the first voting in which was done in 1848; a regular precinct was not formed until 1854.  In 1856 it was divided as follows—Franklin Butte, Scio and Rays.”

The personal informant above-mentioned (O. B. Cyrus, born in 1866, son of William Cyrus a pioneer of 1747 [sic; prob. 1847] and the second settler in the Santiam Forks region) said that Franklin Butte was situated just south of Scio; that the next hill to the east of Franklin Butte was, in pioneer days, called Mount Perfect, and that the narrow valley between was Richardson Gap, so named for a Richardson family, four members of which, (J. W., W. W., James and John Richardson) too up donation claims there at a very early date.  He further stated that in recent years the name of Mount Perfect was being changed, (by popular usage) to Rodgers Mountain, Eli C. Rodgers having been an early land claimant at its base and his descendents still owning large holdings there.  (Note—The above has been inserted simply to help in a more perfect location of Franklin Butte.  L. H.)

(Note:  An early settler and a prominent one in this region was Benjamin Franklin Munkers.  It has been suggested that his name might have had something to do with the name of the Butte.   L. H.)

Historical & Biographical Notes:

Job Crabtree. 1806-1878.  A pioneer of the year 1845.  Settled in the Forks of the Santiam region in Linn County in 1846.  Was born in Kentucky.

James P. Crabtree. 1837-1909.  Came to Oregon with his father, John Crabtree, in 1845.  Moved to Linn County in 1846.  A brother of the last.  Was born in Missouri.

Eliza E. Crabtree.  1849-1926.  Wife of the last.  Her maiden name was Eliza Burtenshaw.

Newton Crabtree. 1845-1929.  He was born on a raft on the Columbia River while his parents were coming to the Willamette Valley in 1845.  The exact place of his birth was “Somewhere near The Dalles.”  He was one of twins.  His twin brother was named Jasper Crabtree.   The parents were John and Malinda Yeary Crabtree.  The Crabtrees settled in Linn County in 1846.

Rebecca Morris.  1842-1937.  Her maiden name was Rebecca Crabtree.  She was a sister of the last, next above.  Born in Missouri three years before the Crabtree family came to Oregon.  For a number of years she was the elected queen of the Linn County Pioneer Association, and reigned at their annual picnic at Brownsville.  Came to Oregon in 1845.

Elizabeth Griffin Gaines.  1840-1931.  Her maiden name was Elizabeth Crabtree.  She was a daughter of John J. and Malinda Yeary Crabtree and came to Oregon with her parents in 1845 when five years of age.  Her first husband was Isaac Griffin.  Her second husband was Samuel Gaines.

Isaac Newton Gaines.  [sic – last name should be Griffin.]  1832-1898.  Born in St. Clair Co., Ill.  Came to the California gold fields in 1849.  Later came to Oregon .  First husband of the last above.

Riley Shelton.  1858-1939.  A prominent pioneer and historian of the Scio neighborhood for many years.  His father was Harvey Shelton who settled in Linn County in 1847 and took up a claim on Crabtree Creek.

William W. Richardson.  1822-1901.  Belonged to the family of Richardsons who by settling in that neighborhood at a very early date gave name to “Richardson’s Gap”, a region south and east of Scio.

Harvey Shelton.  1822-1898.  An Oregon pioneer of the year 1847.  Was born in Patrick County, Virginia.  Moved from Virginia to Missouri and from thence to Oregon.  Was a Cayuse Indian War veteran.  Member of the Oregon Legislature in 1872, 1874, 1880 and 1884.

Caroline Shelton. 1832-1901.  Wife of the last.  Her maiden name was Caroline Thomas.  Born in Missouri.  Came to Oregon in 1851.

N. G. McDonald.  1818-1893.  Born in Orange County, Mo.  A pioneer of 1846(?) (Perhaps a year or two later).  Married Rebecca J. Munkers, daughter of Benjamin F. Munkers who came to Oregon also in 1846.  The Scio region was first called “McDonald Precinct.”

R. J. McDonald. (Rebecca J.) 1825-1900.  Daughter of B. F. Munkers, pioneer of 1846.  The Munkers first settled near Salem but later removed to Linn County, to the Forks of the Santiam.  Wife of last above.

Elisha H. Randall.  1810-1883.  An Oregon pioneer of the year 1847.  Came to Linn County in 1849 and took up the Donation Land Claim where this cemetery is located.  His old house, now in ruins, still [in 1940] stands at the curve in the road about one mile north of the cemetery.

Susannah Randall.  1816-1899.  Wife of the last.

Robert Cary.  1829-1903.  A pioneer in this region in the year 1850.  His D. L. C. was situated about one mile of the present Providence Church, southeast of Scio.

John M. Bilyeu.  1822-1903.  An Oregon pioneer of the year 1853.  Came to Linn County in 1854.  He settled on the upper waters of Thomas Creek.  That neighborhood due to the settlement of a number of Bilyeu families there and the fact that it was rather isolated in winter, became known as “Bilyeu Den.”  It is still so commonly known.

Rachel Prine.  1915-1916.  A remnant of the Prine family which settled here at an early date and later moved to Eastern Oregon.  Prineville received its name from this family, especially from “Barney” Prine, who was born 12 miles form Kansas City in 1841, came to Oregon and settled in “The forks Region” in 1853.  Later moved to “Prineville.”

Thomas L. Dugger.  1846-1928.  Prominent pioneer school teacher and newspaper man in this region.  A Civil War veteran.  He ran a newspaper at Scio for many years.

Georgiana Dugger. 1846-1921.  Wife of the last.  She was a daughter of George Crawford, pioneer of 1852 and came to Oregon with her parents when five years old.

[end of Haskin survey.]

Published Transcriptions:

    Morgan, Cathy Crenshaw. Franklin Butte Cemetery, Linn County, Oregon, two miles south of Scio, Masonic / compiled and documented by Cathy Crenshaw Morgan. Scio, Or. : C.C. Morgan, [198-?]

Online Transcriptions:

    Surveyed in 1999 by Cathy Morgan, and 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.