Est. # Burials:
T 11S, R 3W, 4
Size in Acres:
North from Albany on Old Salem
Linn Co. Tax Assessor: Lot 3600
Located within City of Albany's Waverly Park, on what was D.L.C. of Robert Houston.
(The Haskin manuscript, below, describes this cemetery as poorly cared for, and cites it as the location of the "Potter's Field" of Albany. Though the conditions of this cemetery have changed since 1939, I thought it of historical interest, so include it in its entirety as described by L. Haskin.)
The following information is transcribed from the WPA Linn County Cemetery Survey, researched & prepared by Leslie L. Haskin on July 7, 1939:
The Houston Cemetery is situated on the south side of Highway US 99E and about one and one half miles east of the Albany Court House. It lies on the banks of Cox’s Creek only a short distance beyond the eastern edge of Albany’s suburbs, in Section 5, Township 11 South of Range 3 West in Linn County.
Conspicuous landmarks in the vicinity are – Cox creek on the banks of which the cemetery lies; Albany Civic Airport at the intersection of three roads and only a few rods to the east; the St. Johns Public Cemetery (Formerly the Hebrew Cemetery) directly across the Highway, and the very large excavations being made on the banks of Cox Creek to obtain dirt for extensive fills in present highway improvement through Albany.
The first part, or cemetery proper, is well fenced but otherwise little cared for and is grown up to poison oak, wild brush, weeds and tall grass. It is, however, a nicely sit6uated tract which by a little work could be made extremely attractive. Not so the gully at the west end which is used as a Potter’s Field. No more disgraceful spot can be found in all Linn County. If the authorities had deliberately searched for a place with the intent of scorning and insulting the poor they could have done no better. It is a rough, eroded stream-bank of bleak coarse gravel grown up to the most unattractive of weeks and poison oak, subject to overflow in the winter and in summer dry and arid. The burials here are a perfect example of the despite visited by the smugly prosperous upon all who have not attained to monetary prosperity, to financial success—a place to dump human refuse in as shameful a manner as possible.
The name “Houston Cemetery” comes from a pioneer family named Houston who reached Oregon in the year 1848. This family seems to have consisted of the parents, Robert Houston and his wife Mary Brown Houston and, it is believed, five sons. Robert Houston took up land just east of this cemetery, part of which is now occupied by the Albany Airport. Some of his sons, including one named Newton Houston, took up land further north and east in what is now known as the “Houston School District.” The cemetery, however, is believed to be on a portion of the Anderson Cox donation land claim, part of which was later owned by the Houstons.
The first burial of record here is that of Robert Houston Jr. who came to Oregon with his father, Robert Houston Sr., in the year 1848. At the time of the emigration he was but four years of age and his death occurred on October 9, 1851. The second burial here was Mary Brown Houston, wife of Robert Houston Sr., who died on October 25th, 1851. Her birth date is 1805. The earliest birth date recorded here is that of Robert Houston Sr., 1793.
(The principal informant concerning the history of the cemetery was Mrs. Calista Houston Custer, only surviving daughter of Newton Houston, and a granddaughter of Robert Houston Sr.)
Historical & Biographical Notes:
Louisa Parrish. 1838-1897. she was the wife of Newton Houston. She, with her husband, lived on a donation land claim in what is now known as the Houston School District to the northwest of Knox Butte. Their descendents still occupy part of the land. Her granddaughter, Mrs. Callista Houston Custer was the principal informant in this survey. Louisa Parrish Houston was a daughter of Evans Parrish. She started for Oregon with her father’s family in the year 1852. On the way the train was attacked by cholera. Her father, Evans Parrish, was rated as something of a doctor and administered medicine to both of his own family and of other trains. He finally gave away his last portion of medicine and within four days was himself a victim of the dread disease. He was buried “beside a large tree” on the emigrant road. His family continued on to Oregon without him. Evans Parrish was a brother of Rev. E. E. Parrish, pioneer Methodist circuit rider who settled at “Parrish Gap”, near Marion, Marion Co., in 1847. He was a distant cousin of J. L. Parrish, blacksmith of the Jason Lee mission.
Newton Houston. 1828-1904. Husband of the last. Son of Robert Houston Sr. His donation land claim was in the Houston School District near Knox Butte. He, with his father, was a pioneer of the year 1848.
Caroline Houston. 1846-1871. Believed to be a sister of the last. If so, then a pioneer (in infancy) of the year 1848.
Robert Houston Jr. 184401851. A son of Robert Houston Sr., and of Mary Brown Houston. A pioneer in infancy of the year 1848. First recorded burial in this cemetery.
Mary B. Houston. 1805-1851. Mother of the last. Wife of Robert Houston Sr. A pioneer of 1848. Second burial of record here.
Robert Houston Sr. 1783-1876. Believed to have been the founder of this cemetery. His DLC was just eastward and included the Albany Airport. A pioneer of 1848. The earliest birth date of record in this cemetery.
Ephraim B. Hughes.
Mary A. Hughes. 1820-1890. Pioneers of the year 1874 from Iowa. This pioneer couple, born the same year, died within a few days of each other.
Robert Evans Houston. 1855-1935. A son of Newton Houston (?). His names are from his grandfather, Robert Houston, and his grandfather, Evans Parrish.
Albert B. Custer. Believed to be the husband of the chief informant and a son-in-law of Newton Houston.
(The Potter’s Field. A disgrace. Even the city dump has what this tract is denied—a caretaker to keep it from becoming too offensive.)
Howong Chung May. 1852-1927. Here, too, is a pioneer who might well be honored for his struggles in reaching this far-off land.
Everett Ampiala. 1872. “Father, I love you, John.” This inscription written in ink beneath the original inscription typifies the tragedy of this whole field of disgrace. Seemingly this burial was not allowed the honor of even a wooden marker. Who shall say, however, that “John’s” love for his father was not as great as though able to erect the most magnificent granite tomb.
[end of Haskin survey]
Surveyed in 1999 by Jan Phillips and included at her website.
Surveyed in 2000 and online at internment.net.
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used to prepare these cemetery pages are provided.
Lisa L. Jones prepared and is solely responsible for the content of these pages.