Death Records for Polk County Oregon


     At Ballston, Polk County, Friday, April 11, 8 P.M., George Fairgraves, aged 66 years.
He was a native of Scotland, and will be mourned by his family and a large circle of friends which he made during his many years residence in Oregon.

Morning Oregonian, Portland Oregon  April 23, 1890

©Shauna Williams

     Dallas, Oregon-Following a sixty day fast in jail, George F. West, alleged wife-murderer, is dead today.
     West came here last December from Willows, Calif., and went to a nearby ranch where his wife, from whom he had been separated was working as housekeeper. A quarrel ensued and West was alleged to have shot and killed his wife.
     The husband unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide immediately after the shooting and refused to touch food after going to jail. Only on a few occasions during the sixty days did he drink water.

February 19, 1921 Sheboygan Press, Sheboygan Wisconsin

©Shauna Williams 

The Oregonian of the 12th inst gives the sad intelligence of the death of three children of Mr. and Mrs. J.N. Fordcye, at Dallas, Oregon, all occurring within the period of one week. It also states that their third eldest child is sick with no hopes of its recovery. This distressing news will be received with deep sorrow by the friends and relatives of the family throughout this region.

January 27, 1881 Cambridge Jeffersonian, Cambridge Ohio

©Shauna Williams

The Dallas Itemizer, published at Dallas, Oregon, contains a notice of the death, on the 16th ult., of Mr. Oliver P. Williams, who formerly resided in this county. He suffered a long and severe illness, and, being a member of the C. of R.C., was buried with the beautiful and imposing ceremonies of that order.

   The same paper contains the following item: A Touching Sight-Last Tuesday as the funeral procession of O.P. Williams wended his way to the graveyard to deposit his mortal remains in their last resting place, quite a touching scene occurred on the road. A dog, of the grayhound species, came out to the road and commenced to howl piteously as the funeral van passed along. The dog seemed cognizant of what was the matter, and seemed very much affected and very sympathetic. He stood by the train and moaned till it passed, and for some time after.

Freeborn County Standard, Albert Lea Minnesota September 9, 1875

©Shauna Williams

A young child of David Hunter, living near Dallas, Oregon, crawled upstairs, fell through the boards, struck the stove, upset a kettle of boiling water, and scalded itself to death.

Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville Illinois August 24, 1871

©Shauna Williams

Floyd Selina Bateman  Nov. 23, 1915

Oregon Death Index, 1903-1930

©Jon Ridgeway

Blair, Cyrus 17-Jun-25
Blair, Nathan 24-Jan-25
Buell, female 7-Sep-18
Buell, female 29-Jan-20
Buell, Henry 10-Nov-26
Buell, male 26-Sep-23
Carey, Rose May 28-Apr-18
Conner, Martha 24-Feb-13
Davis, John J 24-Mar-25
Davis, Vironica 24-Oct-21
Duvall, Rose 31-Aug-15
Farley, Charles Robert 23-Dec-04
Farley, William J 23-Apr-06
Franklin, William 21-Dec-16
Kibbey, female 9-May-15
Kibbey, male 9-May-15
Kinney, Addie M 9-Feb-27
Ridgeway, Charles Nelson 28-Jul-29
Ridgeway, Elva Mabel 19-Feb-20
Ridgeway, John 25-Apr-14
Ridgeway, Joseph Wilson 22-Nov-21
Ridgeway, Laura Ellis 17-Jun-18
Ridgeway, Matilda Jane 19-Aug-20
Ridgeway, Teddy Armond 14-Sep-16
Syron, Daniel 3-Dec-17
Syron, Elsie V 12-Feb-29
Syron, John F 7-Jan-12
Syron, Mary J 19-Jun-04
Syron, Peter 15-Jan-06
Syron, Vesta E 28-Nov-04

Oregon Death Index, 1903-1930

©Jon Ridgeway

Independence, Ore. – Flora McLeod Lewis, who died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. H. Matteson, in this city, August 28, was born in Washington county, Oregon, near Gaston, in 1851, and was married to F.M. Lewis of Lewisville, Ore. May 30, 1869, and with him settled on his farm at that place, where they spent the intervening years in peace, prosperity and usefulness. About the time of her marriage she professed Christianity and was faithful to her death. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. I.A. Campbell. Her husband, a daughter, two brothers and a sister survive her. The Spokesman Review, Sept. 10, 1907, Spokane, Washington (Submitted by Robyn Greenlund)

Dallas, Ore. Alexander H. Collins, one of Polk county’s pioneers, died here July 3 after a long illness. He was 63 years of age. Two years ago Mr. Collins fell from a street car in Portland, and was seriously hurt. He recovered enough so that he resumed his business, but it is not thought that he ever fully recovered. He was born on the old donation claim near Suvec, Ore, in 1847, and was one of the state’s oldest native sons. Spokane-Review, Jul. 12 1910 pg. 8 *Submitted by Robyn Greenlund*

December 18, 1924
The times is again called upon to list several deaths which have occurred since our last issue. Obituaries will appear later.
Adrian Vandehey of Grand Ronde, died in the McMinnville hospital Tuesday. Funeral services were held today.
(Submitted by Dianne H.)

October 16, 1924
Willamina Times, Oregon
Frank Harpole, who was hurt recently while putting up wood at the home of his son Ray, in Willamina, passed away Tuesday at the home of his daughter in Corvallis, where he had been taken from the McMinnville hospital. Funeral services will be held in McMinnville this afternoon at 2 o'clock. Obituary next week. (Submitted by Dianne H)

October 16, 1924
Willamina Times
Pioneer Passes Away
Joel Flanery died at his home 7 miles west of Willamina, Friday afternoon, after an illness of several months. In the passing of Mr. Flanery this community loses one of its most honored pioneers. He was truly an Oregon pioneer builder, having been born at Perrydale on August 10, 1852, on the donation land claim of his parents were were among the earliest pioneers to cross the plains. For many years he was a leading figure in the upbuilding of this part of Oregon, having come to Willamina with his widowed mother in 1887. In 1986, he was united in marriage to Miss Carolyn Frauendiener, a member of another local pioneer family. In 1856 a large number of Indians were gathered together and brot to the Grand Ronde country which the government had set aside for a reservation. A government store was opened at old Fort Hill in 1860. When the reservation was thrown open for settlement, this store was purchased by C.C. Litchfield and later by Ellis Brothers who operated it until 1896 when it was bought by Mr. Flanery, who was engaged in the mercantile business till 1917. After disposing of his business interests he retired to the farm near Butler, where he spent the remainder of his years in peaceful quietude, exerting a silent influence for the good and upbuilding of his neighborhood. By his genial manner and upright dealing with his fellow men he made many friends. It was said of him "his word is as good as his bond." Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Flanery, all of whom, together with their mother, survive to mourn their loss: Dr. H.W. Flanery, Wheeler, Ore.; the Misses Velena and Teresa, who are teachers in the Willamina schools. Two brothers, Winfield Flanery, Perrydale, Ore. And Benton Flanery, Corallis, Ore. and one sister, Mrs. Martha J. Campbell, Portland, Ore. also survive him. Funeral services were conducted at the Methodist church Sunday afternoon, under the direction of the local I.O.O.F. lodge of which he was a member. The funeral sermon was delivered by Rev. C.T. Cook, who had charge of the services. The edifice was filled to capatcity which testified to the high respect in which Mr. Flanery was held by the citizens of his community. The body was laid to rest in the local cemetery, by the Odd Fellows, who used the ritual of the society at the grave. (Submitted by Dianne H)

December 25, 1924
Willamina Times
In the demise of Jesse Edwards, often called the father of Newberg, this community loses not only one of its oldest citizens but one who has perhaps done as much or more than any other for the development of the community in which we live. Mr. Edwards was taken sick less than a month ago and last week submitted to an operation from which he never fully recovered and finally passed away at 11:30 o'clock Tuesday night. It is often said of a man that he was a leading citizen but of no man was it ever more truly said than of Mr. Edwards who led the community into much development and who himself sponsored numerous ventures which resulted in better things for the city and surrounding country. Not only was Mr. Edwards' influence felt in the business life of this city but it was felt in the church life and the school life and also in the political life. Like all men who do things, he made mistakes, but he will be remembered by friends and foes alike as one who strove to better his home city and community and as one who really accomplished much along those lines. (Submitted by Dianne H)

Willamina Times
H.J. Ames, husband of a niece of Al Dundas died Saturday at the age of 54 years, of pneumonia following an operation for appendicitis. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock. (Submitted by Dianne H)

Two Are Shot by Drink-Crazed Man Dallas, Or. - In the little village of Ballston, Lou W. Davis shot and killed his mother-in-law, Mrs. Eliza J. Stewart, and shot and mortally wounded Ben Agee, a neighbor. Slayer blamed parents of his wife because of the fact that she refused to live with him and had brought a divorce suit.

The Ontario Argus (Ontario, OR) Thursday, July 3, 1913 Contributed by: The History of Today
H. B. Simkins Dead

Mr. H. B. Simkins, who lived four miles north of Lincoln, Polk county, died this afternoon at 12:15 this morning, after an illness of several weeks.  He was born in 1826 in Green county, Pennsylvania, and came to Oregon in 1847.  He leaves eight daughters and four sons, all in Oregon.  He was a member of the Evangelical church and of the Masonic fraternity, and his funeral will be held at Hopewell cemetery Thursday forenoon at 11 o'clock.

Daily Capital Journal (Salem, OR) – Tuesday, December 26, 1905
Christopher P. Zumwalt, a pioneer of 1845, died at his home, near Perrydale, Polk county.  He was born in Missouri, August 12, 1827.  He married Irene Goodrich in August, 1849, and they settled in Polk county two years later.

East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) – Saturday, June 9, 1900
Indian Hangs Himself

Enoch Andrew Spores, an Indian Well Known in This City, Hangs Himself

Dallas, Or., Nov. 23 – Enoch Andrew Spores, imprisoned in the county jail in this city, under accusation of having murdered his wife, Adaline Spores, committed suicide last night by hanging himself from a steel bar in the corridor in front of his cell.  The body was found and cut down by Sheriff J. M. Grant, when he went to take the prisoner his breakfast, early this morning.

Spores had improvised a rope from his handkerchief and a pair of leather shoe strings, climbed up on a chair to fasten it to the bar, and then kicked away the chair.

Two letters were found written by the suicide upon scraps of paper picked up in his cell, but in neither did he definitely declare his guilt, although he indirectly admitted that he might have slain the woman while he was intoxicated.

The shorter letter, address to Jake Fearn, Anlauf, Oregon, runs as follow:

Dallas, Oregon, Nov. 22, 1907

I am going to hang myself here in this Jail Because I ant going to worry as my best friend she has left me her death came first and my death ending last God be with you tell we meet again we have made out promise never to part and we will never.  I have loved her in my true heart.  I have no father nor mother nor brother of sister, so I am better of than see another day will not think of her no more.

Rememberance of my last describing this will be in to think how I meeting my temptation.  Good by.

To Jake Fern, anlauf Ore.  Pease send it to him.

Enoch Andrew Spores born Cottage Grove, Ore Sept. 26, 1880
5 o’clock P.M.

The second letter contains a rambling and disconnected story of his wife’s death in which he says that he does not remember fighting with her although she abused him all night.  He said he had land allotment near Cottage Grove, consisting of 480 acres.  This he desired to have divided between Polk Scott, of Grand Ronde and Jake Fearn, of Anlauf.

Spores was a man of fine physical development.  He was usually of a quiet and peaceable disposition except when intoxicated.  He was comparatively well educated, having been for some time a student at the Chemawa Indian school.  He was writing the two letters when Deputy Sheriff John Richter carried his supper to him, but Mr. Richter paid no attention to the fact and had no suspicion of the prisoner’s intention.

Bohemia Nugget (Cottage Grove, OR) – Wednesday, November 27, 1907
JONES – At his home in West Salem, on Sunday, November 27, 1904, M. P. Jones, at the age of 58 years, 8 months and 3 days.

Deceased suffered from paralysis, this being his third and fatal stroke.  He was born in Missouri and moved to Polk county in 1864, crossing the plains with an ox team.

He settled in Perrydale, and a short time ago moved to West Salem. His wife, three brothers and two sisters survive him.

The funeral took place from the home at 8 o'clock this morning, and the remains were interred in the Bethel cemetery.

Daily Capital Journal (Salem, OR) – Tuesday, November 29, 1904
Came West in 1853

AMITY, Or., Dec. 19 – (Special) – Valentine Sears, who died at Ballston, Or., December 14, was born near Greenville, Floyd County, Ind., December 9, 1825.  He married Miss Sarah Ann Boston, who died in Tillamook in 1883, and soon after his marriage moved to Jefferson County, Iowa.  After a few years’ residence there, he started West in the Spring of 1853, accompanied by his wife and two young sons.  He settled on Salt Creek, in Polk county, where he lived until the late ‘70s, when he moved to Tillamook County.  After his wife’s death he returned to Polk County.  He is survived by two sons, Jonathan G., of Hillsboro, and Charles W., of Beaver.

The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Sunday, December 20, 1908
FATAL ACCIDENT – Mr. Jesse D. Walling, living in Polk county, about eight miles from Salem, was killed last Monday, while endeavoring to catch a horse.  The animal ran against him with such force as to knock him down, causing almost instant death.  Mr. Walling was about 55 years of age, was an old resident of Oregon, and one of the most substantial farmers of the country.  He was widely known, and universally esteemed, and leaves a host of friends who mourn his loss.  The funeral took place on Wednesday, with ceremonies of the Masonic fraternity, of which Order the deceased was a member.

Willamette Farmer (Salem, OR) – Saturday, May 14, 1870
Funeral of D. S. Nash

INDEPENDENCE, Or., June 2 – The funeral of D. S. Nash, a prominent resident of McMinnville, who died May 31, occurred yesterday, under the auspices of the G.A.R. of this city, interment being in the Buena Vista cemetery.  Among the children that survive the deceased are: Mrs. Marguerite McLane and Jake Nash, of Buena Vista; Mrs. Mary Rathburn, of Portland; Mrs. Martha Gray, of Lawen, Or., and Eunice Bonney, of Woodburn, Or.

Mr. Nash has resided in Oregon 38 years.  He served in the Civil War, and in the war against the Blackhawk Indians.

The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Tuesday, June 3, 1902
George Ritchey died at the residence of H. Lindsay, in Monmouth, Oregon, on the 28th of March, 1872, aged ninety years, two months, and six days.

Willamette Farmer (Salem, OR) – Saturday, April 6, 1872
OLD SOLDIER DEAD – Mr. Hugh Thompson, late of Polk county, died at Salem this week, at the age of 82 years.  He was a soldier in the war of 1812.

Willamette Farmer (Salem, OR) – Saturday, April 13, 1872
Gilbert E. Smith

Grand Ronde -- Gilbert Edward Smith, 54, of Grand Ronde, died Tuesday at his home.

Born in Gervais, he was a retired logger, living in Grand Ronde the past 15 years.

Survivors include widow Charlene; sons Steven, in Vietnam, and Cleve, Grand Ronde; daughters Mrs. Sharyl Pagel, Grand Ronde, Mrs. Lucille Baldoni, Dayton, and Mrs. Nadine Reis, Portland; brothers Donald, Aurora, and Merril, Texas; three sisters in California; three grandchildren.

Services will be 10 a.m. Monday in Adamson's Sheridan mortuary. Rev. Morris Pierce officiating. Interment will be in Green Crest Memorial Park. The family suggests contributions to the Cancer fund.

Statesman, Salem, Ore., Thursday, August 6, 1970
Lloyd B. Harris

Dallas -- Lloyd Bennett Harris, 72, of 321 Washington St. died Wednesday at a Dallas hospital.

Born in Minnesota, he lived in Washington prior to coming in 1943. He retired as office manager at Willamette Industries of Dallas in 1963.

Survivors include widow Lilllian; son John, Gaston; sister Lydia Luader, Corvallis; brother Lillard [sic], Portland.

Services will be 1:30 pm Saturday in Bollman mortuary, Rev. John B. MacDonald officiating. Interment will be in Miller cemetery, Scio.

Statesman, Salem, Ore., Thursday, August 6, 1970
Mrs. M. M. Morrow Is Dead

Pioneer of 1847 Dies at Home of Daughter in Independence

INDEPENDENCE, Or., July 16 – (Special) – Oregon lost another pioneer when Mrs. Mary Martin Morrow died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. H. D. Brunk, in this city Sunday, July 13.  Mrs. Morrow was born in Lee County, Iowa, March 11, 1844.  Three years later she came to Oregon with her parents.  She was married at the age of 18 and bore seven children, five of whom survive.  In 1877 she was left a widow, with her home mortgaged and with seven children to take care of.  By hard work she paid off the mortgage, and at the time of her death was in comfortable circumstances.  She lived on her farm at Rickreall for 40 years.

Those surviving Mrs. Morrow are two sisters – Mrs. Adeline Walker, of Philomath, and Mrs. Rosa Launders, of Chicago; three brothers – Manly Martin, of Rickreall, Elemuel Martin, of Salem, and Orlando Martin, of Halsey; four daughters – Mrs. Olive Doucette, Tacoma; Harriett R. Brunk, Independence; Mrs. Winnie Austine, of Utica, Neb.; Mrs. Adeline Dickinson, of Dallas and one son, William O. Morrow, of Rickreall.

The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Thursday, July 17, 1913
David Johnson, Pioneer of 1844, Dies at Age of 92

INDEPENDENCE, Or., March 10 – David Johnson who died Saturday morning at the home of his grandson, Fred Hooper, at the age of 92 years, was born December 12, 1815, in North Carolina.  In 1844 he came to Oregon, crossing the plains with an ox team and settling upon a donation land claim of 321 acres.  He was married to Arrominto Thorp and to them were born three children – Richard and Angeline, living in Seattle, Wash., and Charles, who is dead.  After the death of his wife he was married again to Miss Loretta Webb, who died several years ago.  One child, Anna Hooper, was born, but died many years ago, leaving a son, Fred, with whom Mr. Johnson had made his home during his 10 years illness.

The Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) – Wednesday, March 11, 1908
Lafayette Williamson, residing near Wheatland, Polk county, was hooked down and then stamped to death by an infuriated cow one day this week.

The Oregon Scout (Union, OR) - Saturday, September 5, 1885
Fatal Accident

About 9 o'clock on Wednesday morning, says the Daily Standard, Frank Compton, a carpenter employed on the railroad bridge in course of construction across the Sandy river at Kibblin's Ferry, met with an accident from the effects of which he died in a short time.  It seems that Compton, with another man was engaged in guying a heavy stick of timber, when the rope upon which they were hauling broke.  Compton's companion succeeded in clinging to the timber of the bridge and saved himself, but he was thrown to the ground a distance of about thirty feet.  The contractor came to the city at once to procure a doctor, but his services were not required, as Compton died in an hour and a half after the fall.  The body was brought to the city last evening.  He is the man who was so badly injured at the time a portion of the bridge across the Santiam was blown down.  He was about 28 years of age and leaves a wife and child who reside at Dallas, and a father living at Lebanon, Linn county.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, February 18, 1882
Frozen To Death

From a resident of Polk county the Salem Statesman learns the following interesting particulars concerning the death of Marion Nealy, who perished form exhaustion and cold in the hills bordering the Luckiamute river on Tuesday, Feb. 14th.  The unfortunate young man was out hunting Monday with two friends, the snow being about three feet deep.  They had walked around all day in search of game and were nearly exhausted, but not desiring to camp in the mountains over night they started for the valley.  After they had wandered for a long time in the cold night air, with the snow about their knees young Nealy became completely tired out.  One of the party had gone on ahead and the other, unable to carry Nealy, started for his friend to assist him.  When they returned, to their great grief and dismay, he was frozen to death.  Every effort possible was made to restore animation, but without avail, and in sorrow they brought the lifeless body to his parents.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, February 25, 1882

J. S. Holman, one of Polk county’s most honored citizens, died at his residence in Monmouth last week, aged 67 years.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, January 24, 1880

Murder an Monmouth
Salem Statesman, Feb. 4th

From Mr. William Graves, who arrived from Independence last evening we learn that a murder was committed at Monmouth yesterday afternoon under the following circumstances:  A rather notorious character named Dick Johnson, who resides somewhere on the Luckimute, came to Independence with his wife to do trading, and while there fell in company with a young man named Crosserly and the three left Independence and got as far as Monmouth on their way home, when Johnson and Crosserly had some bitter words and a fight was imminent, and as Crosserly raised his hand as if to strike, Johnson drew a revolver and shot him, the ball taking effect in the bread just below the left nipple and causing death almost instantly.  Johnson then took a horse that he had tied to the hind end of the wagon and rode back to Independence – leaving his wife sitting alone in the wagon.  After arriving at Independence he hurriedly transacted some business with his brother-in-law named Butler, he again mounted his horse and left for parts unknown.  The sheriff and a posse of men started out a few minutes later in search of the murderer, but at the time our informant left no tidings had been received.  Monmouth is wild with excitement over the affair, as Crosserly was well known there and liked by all.


A preliminary examination of Johnson, who gave himself up to the nearest magistrate, was held at Monmouth, Saturday, resulting in his being bound over to await the action of the grand jury.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, February 14, 1880

Stella, youngest daughter of E. S. Hosford, of Polk county was drowned on Tuesday in a tub of water standing near the house.  The child was two and a half years old.  It is not known how long she was in the water as no one saw her fall in, but all efforts to resuscitate her proved fruitless.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, August 28, 1880

John Crowley, an old pioneer of Polk county, died on the 30th ult. At the age of 70 years.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, September 11, 1880

Mrs. W. H. Sloper died at her house in old Independence, on Saturday morning of apoplexy.  The death was sudden, the lady falling dead while cleaning the floor.  She was buried at the Monmouth cemetery on Sunday.  She leaves a family of small children and her husband.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, July 23, 1881

Death of Dr. Belt – Dr. A. M. Belt died Friday morning, Aug. 19th, at his residence in Independence, Polk county.  He was buried this afternoon at Salem, Rev. J. W. Sellwood of East Portland conducting the services.  Dr. Belt was one of the early pioneers of this State and resided for many years in Salem where he reared a large family.  His kindly nature endeared him to a large circle of friends and his death will be mourned by many whom he has befriended in the course of a long and useful life.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, August 27, 1881

Mysterious Affair

On Tuesday evening, Nov. 29th. Mr. G. W. Teller, who lives about three miles from Salem, says the Dallas Itemizer, died suddenly, in convulsions.  It seems that Mr. Teller was at home alone, and after eating his supper became very sick and went to the door and called some Chinamen who were working near by, to one of whom he gave a note to be delivered to his neighbor, Mr. Wicks.  The Chinaman took the note and hurried to the house and handed it to Mrs. Wicks, but Mrs. Teller, who was at Mr. Wicks’ snatched it from her and started for home.  In the meantime, Mr. Teller had written on another piece of paper the following:

“Nov. 27 or 28: My wife poisoned me to-day.   G. W. Teller”

This he gave to another Chinaman, telling him not to let Mrs. Teller have it.  He then had another spasm and expired.

By this time some of his neighbors had arrived, and one of then went immediately to Salem and secured Drs. Reynolds and Hall, who made an examination and pronounced the cause of his death to be a rupture of the right auricle.  A jury, summoned by T. Pearce, Justice of the Peace, acting as Coroner, rendered a verdict I accordance with the testimony of the physicians.  The stomach and heart were taken to Salem, where it is proposed to make a chemical analysis to determine whether or not he was poisoned.  Mrs. Teller was arrested and held without bail until the chemists can report.

Mr. and Mrs. Teller have for several years been having trouble, and have separated two or three times, and the affair, to say the least, has an ugly look, and should be closely investigated.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, December 10, 1881

No Poison – The examination of the stomach of Mr. Teller by two Salem physicians failed to disclose any poison, and Mrs. Teller, accused of his death, was acquitted.  Some parties however were not satisfied and sent portions of the heart and stomach to Dr. Rex, at Portland.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, December 17, 1881

Not Poisoned – It will be remembered that about a month ago a man named Geo. W. Teller was found dead near Lincoln, Polk county.  It was supposed at the time that he had been poisoned and suspicion pointed to his wife as the one who administered the poison.  She was arrested and placed in jail to await the result of the coroner’s inquest.  The stomach of the dead man was taken out and given to a physician of Salem to ascertain whether the man had been poisoned.  He could detect no traces of poison in the organ.  Meanwhile Mrs. Teller was released from jail.  The friends of the dead man were not satisfied with the decision of the Salem physician and the stomach of Teller was sent to Dr. Rex of Portland for further chemical analysis.  Dr. Rex Monday announced the result of his investigation and reported that he could not find the slightest indications of poison in the organ.  It is now the prevailing impression among medical men that Teller died of disease of the heart.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, January 7, 1882

Wm. Stump, son of Jesse Stump, of Polk county, died on the 12th inst. of consumption, aged 21 years.  He was one of the class of ’80 from Willamette University.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, April 22, 1882

Chas. Saunders, Sr., an old resident of Independence, died at his home in that place of heart disease on the 14th inst.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, May 27, 1882

A Murderer Under Arrest

The following particulars in regard to the killing of Wm. Frakes and the capture of his murderer we clip from the Dallas Itemizer:

On Tuesday evening last William Frakes, an old resident of this county, was murdered at Bear Camp, on the Salmon river road, by N. L. Nott.  From the information we have been able to obtain, it seems that Nott had formerly been keeping some stock for Mrs. Frakes on the shares, and some misunderstanding arose regarding the matter.  On Sunday last Mr. Frakes started from home to bring back a cow and calf, which had been in Nott’s possession, and had been left on the range.  On Tuesday, Nott, James Crowley and Billy McKinney started from Salt creek with some stock they were taking to Salmon river.  They met Frakes at the place where he was murdered, and it is said that Nott remarked to McKinney that he had a job to attend to, and left him, and in a few minutes shots were heard and Nott came back, announcing that he had killed Frakes.  McKinney was then sent to the house of Mr. Mulligan, about a mile distant, and when he arrived at the camp Crowley and Nott had eaten their supper and were there.  Mr. Mulligan was requested to take the body to Perrydale, which he consented to do, and on Wednesday he brought the remains to the place named.  Nott, Crowley and McKinney proceeded on their way to Salmon river.  John Crowley started after them on Wednesday, and Nott was met by Sheriff Hall at Grand Ronde on Thursday.  He claimed he had acted in self-defense and was coming back to give himself up.  He was brought to Perrydale and his examination  postponed until Wednesday next.  He is now in jail at this place.

Frakes received four shots, one in the breast proving fatal.  Both arms were broken and he was shot through the thigh.  It is supposed he was on his horse when shot.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, June 10, 1882

Probable Suicide

James F. Brown, Justice of the Peace of Dallas Precinct, says the Dallas Itemizer, was found in his bed on Thursday morning in an unconscious condition and died soon after, notwithstanding vigorous efforts were made by Dr. J. N. Smith to resuscitate him.

Mr. Brown had for many years been a sufferer from asthma and had been in the habit of using chloroform in excessive quantities.  He had suffered more than common of late and had used such a great quantity of chloroform that the doctors of this place had refused to prescribe it for him any more.  On Saturday last he went to Salem and on Tuesday he obtained a prescription from Dr. H. R. Holmes and had it filled at a Salem drug store.  He returned to the drug store soon after and told the druggist he had broken the bottle and wished to have the prescription refilled.  He came home on Wednesday and when he was found on Thursday morning the vials obtained in Salem were found by his bed empty.  Dr. T. J. Lee, Coroner, was sent for and held an inquest, but the jury were unable to determine whether he had taken the medicine with suicidal intent or not.

Brown lived in Eugene a number of years, at first keeping a barber shop, afterwards practicing law and filling the position of Justice of the Peace.  He was known as a peculiar but inoffensive German, and was a widower without any known relatives on this coast.  He left Eugene for Dallas about four years ago, and at the time of his demise was about 60 years of age.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, June 24, 1882

The following particulars of the accidental death of a little son of Mr. Tatom of Polk county, two weeks ago are furnished.  An older son of Mr. Tatom was engaged in hauling gravel and two little brothers had got upon the gravel rack to take a ride.  Just as the team was driven through the gate one of the horses commenced kicking, and Arthur fell off, and was run over by the wagon, being so badly injured that he died in less than an hour.  In trying to save his brother the driver lost all control of the team and they ran for over half a mile before he could stop them.  The other little one clung to the wagon and was not injured.  The deceased boy was aged 6 years and 3 months.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, July 1, 1882

Geo. S. Gibson, a resident of Polk county since 1852, died on the 8th inst., aged 76 years.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, August 19, 1882

Another Pioneer gone

Mrs. Ellen Scott, widow of Felix Scott, Sr., and mother of Rodney Scott of this city, died in Dallas, Polk county, Oregon, on Saturday, December 9, 1882, aged 77 years.  Mrs. Scott was an early pioneer, having emigrated to Oregon in the year 1846, and settled in Lane county in 1849 with he husband, on their donation land claim in Springfield precinct, where she continued to reside until 1880, when she removed to Dallas, Polk county, to reside with her daughter, Mrs. Lyle.  Mrs. Scott was beloved by all who knew her, was kind and benevolent to the needy and afflicted, and had the resolution to battle with difficulties on behalf of those dear to her.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, December 16, 1882

James E. Hall, who accidentily shot himself in Polk county last November, died on the 11th inst. from the effects of the wound.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, January 25, 1879

H. D. Hall died at his home [? At] Buena Vista last week after a sickness of seventeen months.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, August 16, 1879

Mr. J. B. V. Butler died at his home in Monmouth, Polk county, on Saturday, October 18, 1879, aged 70 years and 1 month.  Mr. Butler was born in New Hampshire on September 18, 1809, and had lived in Oregon since 1849.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, November 1, 1879

S. K. Waymire, a well known citizen of Polk county, died on the 9th inst.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, November 22, 1879

Junction City

Mrs. Riely Kays, formerly of this city, recently died at her home in Polk county.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) - Saturday, January 13, 1883

Death of G. J. Baskett

Among the pioneers of Oregon few are better known than G. J. Baskett, who came to Oregon in 1848 and settled upon a donation claim adjoining Col. Nesmith's place at Dixie, Polk county, and his death will be read with regret by all who knew him.  He died at San Louis Obispo, Cal., last Thursday.  For some time Mr. Baskett has been in poor health, and through advice of his physician he sought a milder climate in hopes of improvement, but the disease - dropsy - had taken too firm a hold, and on last Thursday the sad news was received by his family that he was dead.  Mr. Baskett was married at Pleasant Hill in Lane county in 1850, to the sister of E. L. Bristow, of this city, who, with a family of grown children survive him.  Mr. B. always took a special interest in the improvement of horses, and some of the best ever run on our turf were raised and owned by him.  He was a gentleman in every sense of the word, a good neighbor, husband, and father.  His remains will arrive on the Oregon and be taken to Dixie for interment.   - Standard

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) - Saturday, January 13, 1883

Rev. N. Lee, an old resident of Polk county, died on the evening of the 11th at his home in Dallas.

Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Saturday, July 26, 1879

MOUNTS - Bobbie Joe Mounts of 262 South Monmouth Avenue, Monmouth, Oregon, formerly of North 54th Street, Springfield, passed away January 5, 1968 in Vietnam.  He was born April 18, 1944 in Portland, Oregon, and was a member of the U.S. Army.  He is survived by his parents: Mr. and Mrs. Joe Mounts of Monmouth, a grandmother, Mrs. Nora Smith of Dallas; 3 aunts: Mrs. Hattie Hafie of Lubbock, Texas, Mrs. Ivan Smith and Mrs. F. F. Powler, both of Dennison, Texas; 3 uncles: P. R. Smith of Springfield, Luther Mounts of Amarillo, Texas, and Leland Mounts of Mileshoe, Texas.  Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 17th at 2 p.m. in BUELL CHAPEL.  Reverend Loren Hall of hte St. Paul Methodist Church officiating.  Interment to follow at Lane Memorial Gardens.

The Eugene Register-Guard (Eugene, OR) - Thursday, January 11, 1968

Rice W. Simpson, a pioneer of 1845, died at his home on the Luckiamute on the 14th inst.  He was born in Georgia in 1808, removed to Tennessee in 1814, thence to Kentucky in 1830, and thence to Missouri in 1833.  He settled on the Luckiamute four years after he arrived in Oregon, and had lived there ever since.

The Eugene City Guard (Eugene, OR) – Saturday, March 24, 1883

Drain Notes

DRAIN, April 1 – (Special) –

Son-in-Law Dies
Mrs. Hickethier received word of the death of her son-in-law James E. Yokum of Perrydale, Saturday morning.  The funeral was held Monday at Dallas.  He leaves a wife and two sons, besides other relatives.  Mrs. Yokum will be remember by many as Miss Mamie Hickethier.

Attend Funeral
Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Hickethier left for Dallas, Monday morning to attend the funeral of their brother-in-law, J. E. Yokum.

Eugene Guard (Eugene, OR) – Tuesday, April 1, 1930

July 9, 1926 - September 17, 2012

DALLAS - Service 9:30am Thurs, Sept 20th in the Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center graveside service at 12 noon at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

The Statesman-Journal (Salem, OR) - Thursday, September 20, 2012

From Eola

Mrs. Louisa Massey of this vicinity, died on Saturday the 18th inst. at 8 o’clock a.m. after a long and lingering illness of three months, aged 27 years.  She leaves a husband and three children to mourn her loss.  Mrs. Massey was faithful member of the M. E. Church.  She was respected by all who knew her.

The East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) – Saturday, February 1, 1879

Funeral Thursday – Funeral services for Ralph Finn, of Goldson, who was accidentally shot by hunters Monday, will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Hinkle-Thomas Funeral Home in Dallas with interment in the Dallas cemetery.  The Branstetters chapel of Eugene will be in charge of the services.

The Eugene Guard (Eugene, OR) - Wednesday, January 29, 1930


Funeral services for Mrs. Mary Jane Gradtke were conducted here Wednesday afternoon from the W. L. Smith funeral chapel at 2 p.m. The services were in charge of the Monmouth assembly of Primitive Seventh Day Adventists. J.R. Alexander assisted  by R. V. Sittser, officiating.

Mary Jane Fisher was born in Iowa February 15, 1858. In 1890 she came to Oregon where she has lived ever since, spending the greater part of her time in Monmouth. She was 76 years old at the time of her death. She passed away quietly on Monday morning after an illness of several months duration.

In 1909 she was united in marriage to Fred Gradtke, who with two sons, Gilbert of Portland and Leon of California, six grandchildren and one sister, Mrs. Fred Hogue of Portland, survive.

Her father William P. Fisher and a brother Frank Fisher, both dead, were Evangelical ministers. Mrs. Gradtke was one of Monmouths' pioneers and has been closely associated with the city's growth.

The floral tribute by her many friends was large and beautiful.

The Monmouth Herald (Monmouth, OR) - June 28, 1934
Submitted by: Jeanne Linn

Funeral Is Today For Mrs. Gradtke

Monmouth, June 26 – Mrs. Fred Gradtke, resident of Monmouth for over 40 years, died at her home here.  Funeral services will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Smith funeral parlors here, Rev. Robert Alexander of the Adventist church officiating.  Interment will be in the K. of P. cemetery.

She was the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. William P. Fisher, and came to Oregon with them in her youth.  She was born in Iowa February 15, 1858.  She was married four times, the last time in 1909 to Fred Gradtke here.

Besides Mr. Gradtke, surviving are two sons, Leo Fisher Lawson in California and Gilbert Jarvis in Portland; also a sister, Mrs. Esther Houge of Portland, and six grandchildren.

The Oregon Statesman (Salem, OR) – Wednesday, June 27, 1934

Jarvis- At the Oregon state insane asylum, Sunday night, June 25, 1899, Gilbert Jarvis, aged 82 years,

Mr. Jarvis was received at the asylum from Independence, Polk county only about two weeks ago. The deceased  has been a resident of this state for about twelve years, coming to Oregon from Michigan, although he is originally from New York.                                                                                
The deceased is survived by ten children, all of whom are married, his wife having preceded him to the grave about three years ago.

Funeral services will be conducted in Independence at 11 a.m. today, by Rev. Black, of the Baptist church. The remains will be given interment in the cemetery near that city.

Unknown paper (OR) - June 28, 1899
Submitted by: Jeanne Linn

Jarvis Infant Buried

Graveside funeral services were held Monday afternoon at the old cemetery west of town for the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Jarvis, who died at birth at the home of Mrs. Fred Gradtke, Friday. The child had been named Frederick William. The Jarvis' have three daughters, Lucille, Dorothy and Frances. Walter Smith was in charge.

The Monmouth Herald (Monmouth, OR) - August 6, 1931
Submitted by: Jeanne Linn


Levinah Y. Fisher, nee Esslick, was born in Taney County, Missouri, September 7th, 1839. While she was still small her father moved to Iowa, where, in 1856, she was married to Wm. P. Fisher. To this union ten children were born, five of them dying in infancy. One has since died, and the others remain to mourn the loss of a loving, kind, self-sacrificing mother. Came to Oregon in April 1890, making Monmouth their home since. Was a charter member of the Evagelical [sic] church, and signed the recommendation of her son, F.M. Fisher, for license to preach. Was long deprived of church privilege through sickness, but was always deeply interested. When her son told her he was to enter the ministry she said: "I have expected that. I dedicated you to the Lord for that purpose."

Over fifty-eight years of wedded life was granted to Father and Mother Fisher, and we were permitted to hear her clear testimony that she was ready to go. She could truthfully say, "O come angel band. Bear me away on your snowy wings. To my eternal home."

She died February 12th, 1915, aged 75 years, 5 months and 5 days.

How we shall miss you Mother but we shall join you where partings are no more.  A Friend.


We, the undersigned, wish hereby to offer our sincere thanks to neighbors and friends for he sympathy, kindness and help during the illness and death of our dear wife and mother.
     W.P. Fisher
     Mr. and Mrs. F.M. Fisher
     Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Fisher
     Mrs. M.J. Gratke [sic]
     Mr. and Mrs, F.E. Hogue

The Monmouth Herald News (Monmouth, OR) - Friday February 19, 1915
Submitted by: Jeanne Linn

Cottage Grove, Jan. 6 – (Special) –
Andrew Jackson Turner, who died Saturday at his home in Falls City, was a brother of Frank Turner of Divide, and lived at Cottage Grove several years ago.  He leaves three daughters, Mrs. Anna Cain, Mrs. Edna Ames and Mrs. Mabel McFarland of Salitz [Siletz].  The funeral will be today from the Mills chapel, Rev. Walden officiating.  Burial will be in the Hawley cemetery.

The Eugene Guard (Eugene, OR) - Tuesday, January 6, 1925


Died – Near Monmouth, Polk county, of typhoid fever, Feb. 16, 1858, Miss Martha Haley, daughter of Patrick Haley, aged 17 years.

The Oregon Argus (Oregon City, OT) – Saturday, March 20, 1858


At Monmouth, O.T., on the (no date sent), Electa L., consort of James T. Murphy, aged 17 years.

The deceased was a daughter of C. B. Hull, and left a son but a few days old.  Our esteemed friend J. E. Murphy, in writing to us, says – “She who has left us was one of the most pleasant, amiable, affectionate creatures I ever knew.  I doubt not she is now in a more congenial sphere for she was a devoted Christian.”

The Oregon Argus (Oregon City, OT) – Saturday, May 29, 1858


At Monmouth, Polk county, Sept. 23d, 1858, Mrs. Rutha Young Mulky, wife of Mr. Luke Mulky.  Mrs. Mulky was born in Kentucky Dec. 12, 1812, and united with the Christian Church at Dover, Lafayette county, Mo., when about 14 years of age.  She lived a cheerful, devoted disciple of Christ, and died in triumph.  She was frequently heard to say, just before her departure, “Bless the Lord, he has been so good to me.”  Just before she died, like Stephen, she said, “I see Jesus.”  Sister Mulky has left her companion and children to mourn her death, but they sorrow not as those that have no hope.

The funeral sermon was preached in the Monmouth University school-house by Eld. J. E. Murphy to a very large, attentive and sympathizing audience.

Missouri papers please copy.

The Oregon Argus (Oregon City, OT) – Saturday, November 6, 1858


Of consumption, after severe illness of over three months, in the hope of a blessed immortality, on the 11th March, 1859, in the 56th year of her age, Nancy C., consort of Jas. B. Riggs, of Polk county.

The Oregon Argus (Oregon City, OR) – Saturday, March 26, 1859


Near Bethel, Polk county, June 27, Martha Jane and Sarah Margaret Frier, aged 12 years and four months, and 10 years and two months, of putrid sore throat, caused by using water from a foul well.

The Oregon Argus (Oregon City, OR) – Saturday, July 30, 1859

Drowned – Eli Hedges, a young man, son of Israel Hedges, of Monmouth, Polk county, was drowned near Independence, on the 25th of August.  His body has not yet been found.  He was about twenty-four years of age.

The Oregon Argus (Oregon City, OR) – Saturday, September 17, 1859

Fatal Accident – Mr. Barnet Haggard of Polk county, was found dead, with his neck broken, in that county on Saturday last.  He had been in the store of Mr. Cluff, in that county, trading, and started home in his wagon.  Between the store and his home his body was found in the road.  He is said to have been intoxicated, and it is conjectured that he fell from the wagon upon his head, breaking his neck.  He leaves a family in Polk county.  –Statesman, Oct. 18.

The Oregon Argus (Oregon City, OR) – Saturday, October 22, 1859

Frightful Calamity – A terrible calamity happened to Mr. Gwinn, of Eola, Polk county, as he was driving his team to this city yesterday, with a load of flour.  He was accompanied with his family, and when about nine miles west of Portland, in a section where the woods were on fire by the roadside, a burning tree fell across his wagon, the crash resulting in severe injury to Mrs. Gwinn and her infant child, and killed a little son three years of age.  – Oregonian, 18th.

Oregon State Journal (Eugene City, OR) - Saturday, October 22, 1864

Accident – A man by the name of Jackson was killed, on Thursday of last week, in Polk county, by a team running away and throwing him out of the wagon.

Oregon State Journal (Eugene City, OR) - Saturday, September 9, 1865

The Olympian (Olympia, WA) — Thursday, December 2, 2004

Celia Amelia Rippley, 99, a resident of Monmouth, Oregon and formerly a resident of Olympia and Tumwater, Washington, died at her home on Sunday, November 28, 2004. She was born in Lind, Washington on December 24, 1904.She is survived by her son, Melvin Collins, of Monmouth, Oregon; daughter, Carol Lee Strickland, of Lee Summit, Missouri; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a sister, Ruth Juno, of Olympia, Washington; and many nieces and nephews. Graveside services will begin at 12:00 noon on Friday, December 3, 2004, at the Odd Fellows Memorial Park in Tumwater, Washington. The Dallas Mortuary Chapel in Dallas, Oregon is handling the arrangements.

John Waltner is Buried Sunday

John Waltner, pioneer resident of the Menno area, who died at a hospital at Dallas, Oregon, was buried Sunday, the Rev. P.D. Unruh officiating.
[Menno Cemetery, Ritzville, WA]

Pallbearers were Jno. C. Jantz, Leonard Franz, C. Nightingale, Emil Schrag, Frank Dyck and Henry Peters.

Mr. Waltner was a native of Russia, where he was born February 27, 1863. He came to America at the age of 11 with his parents, and at the age of 20 moving to Dallas, Ore. He was married in 1889 to to Maria Schrag of Burton, Kans., and they lived in Oregon until 1900, when he came to Adams county. Mrs. Waltner died May 16, 1922.

During the past two years he had been in failing health, and during the past six weeks was hospitalized in Dallas.

He is survived by five daughters: Mrs. Rose Wedel, Lindsay, Cal.; Mrs. Ella Dyck, Colfax; Mrs. Florence Gering, Ritzville, and Mrs. Lillian Jantz, Marlin; two sons, Carl Waltner, Dallas, Ore., and Walter, Odessa; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; one sister, Fannie Graber, Freeman, S.D.; one brother, Joseph W. Waltner, Freeman, S.D., and seven half sisters and three half brothers.

[Unknown Newspaper - August 1947.  Submitted by T. Earl]

John Waltner, son of Joseph and Anna Preheim Waltner, was born February 27, 1863, in Poland (Wolhynian Government) Russia. He came with his parents to South Dakota in 1874. In 1889 he was united in marriage to Maria Schrag, who preceded him in death in 1922. First they lived in Oregon and then later in Adams County, Washington, where they homesteaded. The remainder of his life was spent here, building a home for the family and being instrumental in the establishment of the Mennonite church of the community.

He passed away August 7, 1947. Suriving him are the following children: Carl of Dallas, Oregon; Walter of Odessa, Washington; Rose Wedel of Lindsay, California; Ella Dyck of Colfax, Washington; Florence Gering and Hilda Gering of Ritzville, Washington; and Lillian Jantz of Marlin, Washington.

[Unknown Newspaper - August 1947.  Submitted by T. Earl]


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