William C. Brown Cemetery Web Site
Compiled by Tom Branigar, Tracey Saucy, Addie Rickey, Stephenie Flora and the many family members who have contributed data and photographs for the website.
We wish to acknowledge the early cemetery inventory of Helen Weaver and later cataloging of burials by the members of the former Polk County Genealogical Society. Those cemeteries were shepherded to publication by Ruth McKibben and Katherine Johnson, both now deceased. We also value the assistance of the Polk County Historical Society in their ongoing preservation and research activity, as well.
William C. Brown Cemetery is 1.25 miles northeast of Dallas on the west side of Kings Valley Highway (#223) between North Dallas junction and Oregon State Hwy #22. The cemetery is located in SE ¼ of Section 15 of T7S, R5W and is shown on the Dallas Quadrangle map (7.5').
Ownership of the cemetery is traced to the properties of Absolom Smith, his wife, Hilah Kimsey and to Absolom's brother Ira Perry Smith and his wife Achsa Kimsey, all pioneers of 1846, who proved up on Donation Land Claims in Polk County, Oregon.
Date of first burial is not known. An early marker was placed for Henry B. Smith, son of Absolom & Hilah (Kimsey) Smith, who died November 14, 1854 at the age of 18 years. Another early burial was Edna Smith, 8 year old daughter of Ira and Achsa (Kimsey) Smith, who died in October of 1856.
Ownership of the cemetery passed to William C. Brown, an early day Dallas merchant who was known for his generosity to penniless early settlers of the area. In 1903, William C. Brown deeded the cemetery to Jennings Lodge #9. A. F. & A. M. together with an amount of money to aid in the preservation and upkeep of the cemetery. The Masonic lodge has now passed the cemetery back to the Brown family.
Surrounding lands are devoted to farming and residential uses, along with some commercial businesses near the intersection of Hwy. #223 and Polk Station Road.
This cemetery is close to an area included in the Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties of Polk County as Inventory No. 39 - Polk Station. Inventory remarks:
The Polk Station was first settled between 1845 and 1847 by Ira P[erry] Smith, J[ohn] Waymire and Asa Shre[ve]. Located approximately three miles northeast of Dallas, the locale remained a general farming area until 1880, when the narrow gauge railroad [Oregon Railway Line], was constructed. Polk Station became a stop and small shipping site along the railroad.
Polk Station was never surveyed or platted. A one-room school was built near the site in 1891, District No. 18. Rev. Gustave Schunke extended his state missionary work to the area, and the Polk Baptist Congregation was formed. The first post office was opened on April 12, 1899 with Peter R. Graber as postmaster.
Polk Station never expanded beyond its original use as a small station stop serving local farmers. The post office was closed February 15, 1902. The Agricultural Soil Survey Map of 1922 (US Geological Survey) indicate only four structures on or near the site. The school continued in operation until 1848 [sic 1948] when it was closed and later remodeled for use as a residence.
This cemetery has suffered from vandalism over the years.
A rather unusual tomb was created for William C. Brown at the time of his death in 1909.
Poison oak is present on the property, which has been surrounded with a fence and locked gate in recent years. A pedestrian gate is in working order. Permission to enter with a car or truck needs to be requested from Bollman Funeral Home (694 Main Street, Dallas, Oregon, 97338; Phone #503-623-3286).
Unmarked graves number in the teens, perhaps more. Please get in touch with the us (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the Polk County Historical Society Museum (http://www.polkcountyhistoricalsociety.com), if known burials exist which are not listed on this site.
DICTIONARY of OREGON HISTORY by Howard Corning, pub. 1956, Binfords & Mort. Portland, Oregon.
GENEALOGICAL MATERIAL in OREGON DONATION LAND CLAIMS published by the Genealogical Forum of Portland, Oregon. Volumes 1-4, plus a supplement to Vol. 1.
HISTORY OF POLK COUNTY OREGON, Taylor Pub. 1987
OREGON GEOGRAPHIC NAMES by Lewis A. McArthur, editor, 4th and/or 5th edition
PIONEER DAY of OREGON HISTORY by S. A. Clarke. Portland, J. K. Gill Co., 1905
POLK COUNTY PIONEERS, A Study of the Inhabitants Listed in the 1850 Federal Census of Polk County, Oregon by Shirley H. O'Neill. Published by Author in 2002.
CEMETERIES of POLK COUNTY, OREGON, by Polk County Genealogical Society.
Metzger Maps of 1929 and 1942
Polk County Surveyors Office
Donation Land Surveys via BLM
Polk County Agricultural Survey Map of 1922
US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY Dallas Topographical Quadrangle (7.5')