Knox Butte


Online Map Photos




Nearest Town:


Est. # Burials:



T 10S, R 3W, 35

Size in Acres:


USGS Lat/Lon:

443918N 1230111W


Driving Directions:

From I-5, Knox Butte Exit
0.2 m., turn E.
2.2 m., turn L onto Scravel Hill Rd.
0.6 m., on R., Knox Butte Cemetery.


Contact Info:

Linn Co. Tax Assessor: Lot 314
ALBANY OR 97321-0000
Deed Ref: 48-274,MF211-893


Located adjacent to James Knox D.L.C.

The following information is transcribed from the WPA Linn County Cemetery Survey, researched & prepared by Leslie L. Haskin on 1/8/1940:

The Knox Butte Cemetery is situated on the slopes of the Butte of the same name and on a considerable rise at the extreme west end of the butte.  This is in Section 35, Township 10 South, Range 3 West, Linn County….

The name “Knox Butte Cemetery” comes, of course, from the Butte on which it is situated.  This in turn received its name from the Pioneer Knox family who settled here in the year 1846.  James Knox was the head of that family.  (He came to Oregon in 1845 and spent his first winter in the lower valley.)  In the spring of 1846 he came on to Linn County and took up a claim on the foot of Knox butte, being, according to the claims of his descendents, the first permanent settler in Linn County.  (Note:  This honor is hotly disputed by members of the Earl family who settled east of Knox Butte, and the Milton Hale family who settled at Syracuse on the Santiam River.  Since all three of these families entered Linn County on the same day the dispute is scarcely worth consideration.  The honor should be given jointly to all.)

James Knox gave (or sold) the land for this cemetery.  It was really a gift since the consideration, according to local historians, was “one dollar and promise to fence.”

The first burial of record here, and probably the first in fact, is that of Henry Spalding who died September 22, 1853.  No information could be obtained concerning this boy’s history.  He was a son of H. & R. A. Spalding and was born July 3, 1843.

The second burial here was Albert Chambers, a boy of five years who was a son of M. C. & Margaret Chambers.  M. C. Chambers was a pioneer of 1847 and his wife Margaret was a daughter of James Knox.  Albert Chambers died on July 24, 1862.

Following the two above children’s burials there is no recorded deaths here until the year 1874.  In that year there were three adult deaths as follows:

James Knox, September 7, 1874.  This is the man previously mentioned who gave the land for the cemetery.  He was born on October 21, 1789.

Ann Cordelia Haight.  Died October 11, 1874.  Aged about 19 years.  She was a daughter of Silas Haight who was another pioneer of the year 1845 and came in the same train with the Knox family.

Rev. Edward Evans Parrish.  Died in 1874.  (No month or day given.)  Rev. Parrish was born in 1791.  He came to Oregon in 1844 and settled in the “Parrish Gap” region of Marion County.

Two of the above mentioned persons were born before the year 1800.  A third early birth date recorded here is Letitia, wife of James Knox who was born on Feb. 6, 1795.

The cemetery is now [in 1940] owned and administered by the Knox Butte Cemetery Association.

Historical & Biographical Notes:

George Knox.  1828-1908.  A son of James Knox.  Came to Oregon with his father in 1845.  Took up a D. L.C. on the Santiam River a few miles north of Knox Butte.

M. G. Chambers. 1823-1898.  He was a pioneer of the year 1847.  He took up a D. L.c. adjoining the James Knox claim on the southwest corner of Knox Butte.  A son, J. W. Chambers, still [in 1940] lives on the original claim.  M. C. Chambers, his full name was Mathew C. chambers, was born at Bridgeport, Vermont.  Later moved to Ohio.  He married Margaret Mary Knox, a daughter of James Knox, on Thursday, March 27, 1851.  Was an Indian War veteran, and a California gold miner.

Mary M. Chambers.  1836-1923.  Wife of the last.  Came to Oregon with her father, James Knox, in 1845.  she was the mother of eleven children.

Henry Spalding.  1843-1853.  A boy of ten.  The first burial of record here.  Nothing was learned of the Spalding history.

Silas Haight. 1818-1885.  A pioneer to Oregon in 1845.  Settled and took up a D.L.C. on the valley just north of Knox Butte.  He was born in New York.

Ellis L. Knox.  1831-1894.  A son of James Knox.  Came to Oregon with his parents in 1845.

James Knox.  1789-1874.  A pioneer of the year 1845.  Came to Linn County in 1846.  Took a D.L.C. on the Butte which now bears his name (Knox Butte).  Gave the land for this cemetery.  Was one of the first three men to enter Linn County as permanent settlers.

Letitia Knox.  1795-1878.  Wife of the last.  Came with him to Oregon in 1845.

Rev. Edward Evans Parrish.  1791-1874. A pioneer to Marion County, Oregon, 1844.  He settled in the “Parrish Gap” neighborhood.  Born in Virginia (?).  Was a prominent Methodist Circuit Rider.  Married Elizabeth Bussy [sic] March 31, 1814.  To this marriage six children were born.  Their names were: --

        Adonizah Parrish.  Born March 28, 1815.
Hesbon Parrish.  Born Apr. 11, 1817.  (He was a prominent physician in early Oregon.)
Jesse Bussey Parrish.  Born March 28, 1818.  Lived in Linn County.
Gamaliel Parrish.  Born July 7, 1821.  Lived north of Brownsville, Linn County.  His old house, built in 1852, still [in 1940] stands.
Serepta Parrish.  Born July 7, 1821.  Married Hugh Nicherson..
Permina (sic) Parrish.  Born Oct. 11, 1824.  Her married name Colgate (sic).

(Note:  Parrish descendant Linda McClure Wiley adds the following correction to the line above:  Correct name is Pernina Colgate Parrish.  She married Denny Hoge McClure in Ohio and they came to Linn County in 1851. )

E. E. Parrish married again in (?).  Second wife was Rebecca Maple.  To this marriage were born:

        Elizaneth [sic] Parrish.  Jan. 1, 1825.
        Thomas Maple Andrew Jackson Parrish.  Jan. 9, 1830.
        Rebecca Shin Parrish.  Mar. 9, 1834.  She married a son of James Knox of Knox Butte.
        Edward Evans Parrish.  Nov. 29, 1836.
        Rachel Miranda Parrish.  Oct. 7, 1838.

Rev. E. E. Parrish was a distant cousin of J. L. Parrish of the Jason Lee Mission at Salem.  Died 1874 at the home of his daughter, Rebecca Shin (Parrish) Knox near Knox Butte, Linn County.

Frank Lines. 1855-1920.  A pioneer son-in-law of the Geisendorfers next following.

John Geisendorfer.  1826-1923.
Mary G. Geisendorfer. 1827-1906.

Man and wife.  Were prominent early citizens of the region although not early enough to take up D. L. Claims.  John Geisendorfer was active in organizing the Methodist Trinity Chapel which was built on his land.  (Organized 1872.)  (This church was situated about two miles south of the cemetery.  A small group of maple trees and scattered foundation stones still mark the spot where the church stood on the west side of the road.)  Trinity chapel was perhaps more commonly known as “The Geisenderfer Church” than by its real name.

“After building the church the members decided to put out a grove of trees for shade and to protect the church from the south storms.  After setting out the quota of trees there were three left.  Mr. (James) Knox, Mr. Conn and father (John Geisenderfer) set the three trees west of the church, each marking his tree. **** After getting to be quite large trees Knox’s tree died; inside of 18 months Mr. Knox died.  The other two grew well.  Later the Conn tree died, also Mr. Conn inside of 18 months.  Father’s tree got to be quite a large three and thrifty.  Finally, for no cause that we could see it also died and father was gathered home at the age of 97 years.”  Letter by G. M. Geisenderfer. [NB:  Haskin used both spellings – Geisenderfer and Geisendorfer – throughout this article.]

In section two of this cemetery, In the center of the south side, there is a noticeable group of graves forming a close-packed “community” by themselves.  Graves are close together.  All stones are small.  All names seem to be of German extraction—Roths, Neuschwanders, Kennels, Kuhns, and Heyerly.  No explanation of this “colony” was obtained but it is presumed that these are the graves of Mennonites who are fairly numerous in the neighborhood.  The names “Roth” and “Kennel” are typical Mennonite names for the region.

[end of Haskin survey.]

Published Transcriptions:

   Obituaries : Knox Butte Cemetery, Linn County, Oregon. Albany, Or. : Linn Benton Business & Genealogical Services, [1988]

    Kenagy, Ray U. Gone but not forgotten : Knox Butte Cemetery, Linn County, Oregon / [compiled by Ray U. Kenagy]. Albany, Or. : Linn Benton Genealogical Services, [1986]

Online Transcriptions:

    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.