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Cedar Mill History

Union Cemetery

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Whether they died of old age, accident, disease or unknown causes, many of the first residents of Cedar Mill found their final resting place in Union Cemetery. The origin and early history of this cemetery on NW 143rd Avenue is surrounded by doubt, although burials probably began sometime between 1856 and 1858. There is uncertainty as to that was the first pioneer laid to rest here, and several graves may have existed before the land was formally designated as a cemetery.

The land, according to Washington County deed records, was given "for use of common schools, orthodox churches and burying ground for the consideration of one dollar." In 1860, John and Elizabeth Campbell, who had purchased the adjacent McGuire claim, donated an additional 1.2 acres "for the use and benefit of the public for a School House, Burying Ground and Meeting House to be free for all Orthodox religious societies to worship in."

In 1878, the 3.8 acres occupied by the Union Schoolhouse and cemetery were legally transferred to the directors of School District #6. School administrators serving during that year were Betsey Miller, George Reeves and Paul D. Shackelford.

The school directors managed the cemetery until 1903, when the burial ground was incorporated under state laws and named Union Schoolhouse Cemetery. A board of directors was created which included William Graf as chairman, George Reeves, Robert Thompson, Andrew Eggiman and H. Ross Findley, clerk. Grave sites, available for one dollar, were sold by the directors who had received title for the cemetery portion of the tract from the school district.Over the years, the cemetery grew to include five acres. Hazel P. Young, secretary-treasurer of the cemetery association from 1970 to 1975, has provided records of subsequent land acquisitions. The Forestal family, who was adjacent property owners, donated .57 acre for cemetery use in 1910. The largest land increase occurred in 1949 after Union School District #6 closed; the vacant school grounds were deeded to the burial site. Two smaller parcels, .23 acre given by Helen Forestal in 1949 and .57 acre donated by Phillip and Maude Blampied in 1950, completed the present tract occupied by the cemetery.

In 1949 Union Schoolhouse Cemetery officially adopted its present, Union Cemetery of Cedar Mill. Maintenance of the grounds has been provided by association members and by Cedar Mill Garden Club on a volunteer basis. In 1972 Ellsworth Young designed a brick entrance to the cemetery; a cyclone fence has since been erected to protect the property.


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