Hale, Milton

Also Known As: Syracuse

Online Map Photos




Nearest Town:


Est. # Burials:



T 10S, R 3W, 3

Size in Acres:


USGS Lat/Lon:


Driving Directions:

Just E. of Dever-Conner overpass on I-5 N. of Albany
From I-5, take Dever-Conner Exit
0.2 m., "T", Turn L.
0.4 m., on L, and 220 yrds thru field


Contact Info:

Linn Co. Tax Assessor:  Lot 1007
Milton Hale owner, Milton Hale DLC

The following information is transcribed from the WPA Linn County Cemetery Survey, researched & prepared by Leslie L. Haskin on 3-4-1940:

...The history of this cemetery is fairly well known. In the year 1845 Milton Hale arrived in the Willamette Valley from Iowa. He spent the winter at the Harrison Wright place on the Molalla but during that time he visited present Linn County and selected a claim on the south banks of the Santiam River. Early in the spring of 1846 he moved his family south to settle on that claim. Reaching the Santiam River he found the waters too high to ford so he erected a temporary shelter on the north bank and proceeded to construct a ferryboat for crossing. In this task he had no tools for use save an axe, an adz, an augur and a pocketknife.

The ferryboat completed, Mr. Hale moved his family, at that time consisting only of his wife and one small child, to the Linn county side and settled there, earning extra money by his ferriage trade, this being the first ferry ever operated across the Santiam.

In the Hale pioneer cabin, on April 17th, 1846 a second daughter was born and named Jane. This is claimed by members of the family to have been the first white child ever born in Linn county. She died on December 10, 1852 and was buried in this cemetery.

Jane Hale, however, was not the first burial there. In the winter of 1847-1848 there was an epidemic of Diptheria in the region. At that time three small children of a neighbor died of that disease. The men first selected a hill nearby (Hale's Hill) as a suitable burial place, but upon digging every grave immediately became filled with water. Next they tried a piece of lower ground, and this being found satisfactory the cemetery was there located. A daughter of Milton Hale, still [in 1940] living at Albany, Mrs. J. B. Burkhart, stats that the cemetery is situated "immediately back of the original ferry site." (Note - The names of the first three child burials here could not be learned. Dates of burials and of births given by members of the Hale family do not always agree with those on the cemetery stones. Future students may choose which to believe. --L. Haskin, field worker).

The earliest birth dates recorded in this cemetery are those of William Hale, 1799, and his wife Sarah Hale, 1797. The most recent burial here is that of William Henry Woolridge, in1919. Burials have been discontinued here because of the threat that the cemetery might be entirely washed away by the changing course of the Santiam River.

Because of this danger of washing, Milton Hale, the original owner of the land, is not buried here. In his later years he resided at Albany and both he and his wife are buried in the Riverside Cemetery at that place. Milton Hale died December 14, 1911. His wife, Susanna Hale, died November 14, 1919.

Milton Hale sold that portion of his claim surrounding the cemetery to his daughter, Sarah Ann Hale Simison. Her husband's name was Dayton Simison. For this reason the cemetery is sometimes called the Simison Cemetery by local residents....

The deeded portions of this cemetery as stated above consist of only 9 x 9 rods square. A number of Indians are also buried here but their graves lie outside of the deeded tract. These Indian graves, apparently, are along the west side and not far from the grave of Isaac Meeker's wife....Among these Indian graves are those of "Old Pete" and "Old Lucy", man and wife, members of the Calapooia Tribe who formerly made their home on "The Island", that is, what is now Albany's Bryant Park. When they died Milton Hale had their bodies buried in his own cemetery. These two were well known characters about early day Albany. Another Indian buried here is "Jim", a Santiam Indian who made his home in a hidden cabin on the John Meeker farm north of Millersburg after all the other Indians had been forced to leave and go upon reservations.

Mrs. Lee Miller, now [in 1940] living near Millersburg, reports, "I can remember when all that ground bordering the east edge of the cemetery was covered with gives and "property" placed upon the graves by the relatives of those buried there."

[end of Haskin survey]

Online Transcriptions:

    Available at Linn Genealogical Society website.



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.