Halsey Pioneer

Also Known As: Smith or Rust

Online Map Photos




Nearest Town:


Est. # Burials:



T 14S, R 4W, 11

Size in Acres:


USGS Lat/Lon:

442150N 1230805W


Driving Directions:

At Halsey and 0 99 South to Crook Street, turn West
0.7 m, Powerline Rd. turn South
1 m, turn R onto farm lane (26560 Powerline Rd.)


Contact Info:

Linn Co. Tax Assessor: Lot 700
HALSEY OR 97348-0000
Deed Ref: N-75


On private property. On D.L.C. of James M. Rust.

From "Halsey" by M. Carey & P. Hainline:

"The Halsey Pioneer, or Smith Cemetery, is located ... southwest of Halsey.. It is on the Donation Land Claim of James M. Rusk [sic], but the name "Smith" probably comes from the fact that the land was owned by J.P. Smith before 1878.

"The first recorded burial was an infant in 1855, and the earliest recorded birth date is that of Thomas Watts, 1785-1977.

"Seth Whipple Hayes, 1825-1876, murdered by K. Neal, is buried here, as is Edward Jewett, 1863-1935, an early Halsey historian. Others are Sarah Hayes Ribelin, 1843-1923, widow of Seth W. Hayes and daughter of the early miller, R. C. Finley. Other names are Bond, Rust, Thomas, Savage, Warmouth, Powell, Smith."

The following article appeared in Albany Democrat-Herald, Oct. 13, 1964

"Cemetery Reorganization Starts"

"A reorganization of the Pioneer Cemetery Association at Halsey is scheduled.... New officers and directors will be selected for the restoration of the pioneer cemetery two miles southwest of Halsey.

"Started in 1858, it was the only burial ground in that area for many years. It was known years ago as the Russ [sic] Cemetery, but has been called Pioneer cemetery in recent years.

"Of the more than 75 known graves, many were for pioneers of the migration of 1853, including Seth Whipple Hayes and his brother Ebenezer Hayes, who gave the Halsey townsite to Ben Holladay when the railroad came down the valley. Solomon and Hulda Bond, pioneers of 1853 and progenitors of many of the Bonds in Oregon, have graves in the cemetery; also Gullifords, Savages and LaRue families.

"The last meeting of the cemetery association took place in 1947. The last burial was that of Edward Jewett in 1934, related to both the Hayes and the Bond families. The cemetery was abandoned later and has become overgrown with brush, weeds, and downed trees. A campaign to restore the cemetery was undertaken two years ago by John K. Standish of Eugene, great-grandson of Seth Whipple Hayes. An access is being built into the cemetery, and a general cleanup job will be carried out by relatives and friends during the next three months...."

[NB: I visited this cemetery on Aug 28,2001. It appears that the restoration attempts mentioned above were short-lived, as the cemetery seemed very neglected. Located on private property, the homeowner's kindly allowed me to access the cemetery, by retrieving their horses, then letting me drive through the barnyard and across a dry field. No other access road was evident. Sheep were grazing in and around the fenced cemetery. Many tombstones are toppled.]

The following information is transcribed from the WPA Linn County Cemetery Survey, researched & prepared by Leslie L. Haskin on (not dated, circa 1940):

Little could be learned concerning the history of this burying ground. The first burial of record is that of Caroline A. Rust who died October 23rd, 1855 at the age of 9 months and 23 days. The second burial of record is that of Jacob W. LaRue who died Sept 17, 1857 at the age of 34 years, 9 months and 26 days. The third burial recorded is James I. Rust, an infant of 7 months and 2 days who died October 8, 1863. (Note- McWilliams (sic) Illustrated Atlas Map of Marion and Linn Counties, 1878, records this as the James M. Rusk D.L.C. It has been suggested that this may be a mistake and that the name should be Rust, in which case the above Rust children might be of the family of the original claim owner. This is a mere suggestion and subject to further research. L. Haskin, field worker.) [NB: BLM database indicates this D.L.C. as belonging to James W. Rust.]

The earliest birth date of record here is that of Thomas Watts, born September 21, 1785; died Oct 5, 1877. The second is that of Joseph Ogle, born April 1905 and died Apr. 28, 1877. Rebecca T. Ogle, wife of the last, was born Oct. 6, 1812.

Historical & Biographical Notes:

Wm. Chastain, 1831-1885. His donation land claim was in Section 14, immediately south of the cemetery tract.

Charlotte Chastain, 1825-1907. Possibly the wife of the last.

Jacob LaRue, 1823-1857. His D.L.C. was directly south of the cemetery tract.

Seth W. Hayes. Died Nov. 1, 1876. He died in his fifty-second year. His donation land claim included much of the present town of Halsey. When Mr. Hayes deeded the land for a town site he included the stipulation that it should never be used for the sale of liquor. A would-be saloon keeper named Neal became angered at this stipulation which hindered his business and he shot and killed Hayes.

Edward Jewett. 1863-1935. Mr. Jewett was an early day resident of the town of Halsey. He wrote a sketch of the early history of the town which was published in the Halsey Journal for September 29, 1932. One of the best published sketches of Halsey.

Sarah Hayes-Ribelin. 1843-1923. Widow of S. H. Hayes and later married to Ribelin. She was a daughter of R. C. Finley, the early Linn County mill builder.

Thomas Watts. 1785-1877. Oldest birth date here.

Caroline A., Dau. of J. W. & S. L. Rust. 1854-1855. Earliest burial of record here.

[end of Haskin survey]

Online Transcriptions:

    Partial listing 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.