Records Show Cemetery Deeded to School in 1875 (Oregonian 11 Dec 1960)
SILVERTON (Special) – There may be things a school board wished to bury, but the Victor Point School Board, southeast of Silverton, decided this week it would prefer not to own the burial ground. Board members learned that they own a 90-year old cemetery in the Silver Cliff area.
Robert Humphreys, board clerk, reports that shortly after the knowledge was brought to light, the board called a meeting of area residents. A new cemetery organization was formed and the board deeded its cemetery to this group.
Heading the new Silver Cliff Memorial Cemetery Association is F. W. Krenz as president; Mrs. Kenneth Warnock, vice president; Leslie Lowery, secretary-treasurer, and Jake Doerfler, Mrs. Fred Taylor and Floyd Fox Jr. directors.
Dates to 1875-
Records show that the cemetery was first deeded to the Silver Cliff school District in 1875. When Silver Cliff was taken over by Victor Point in a consolidation move a few years ago, Victor Point automatically – if unknowingly – also took over the pioneer cemetery.
Some 60 graves are reported in the cemetery which lies on an acre taken out of the Fred Taylor farm. The have been no burials there for almost 20 years.
The new group says it will reset the tumbling tombstones and build a fence around the hollowed spot.
Just why the Silver Cliff School District was deeded the cemetery in the beginning is not clear.
Maple Tree Stands Sentinel (Oregon Statesman 25 May 1969)
By Daniel W. Davies
SILVERTON – A lone maple tree stands sentinel at Lewis Cemetery 7 ½ miles southeast of Silverton.
To the northeast of the one-acre hilltop site tumbles Silver Creek through a deep gorge. To the west in the distance is Salem. Beyond, the Coast Range can be seen on a clear day.
About 70 persons are buried in the recently restored community cemetery, estimated to be about 100 years old. There is space for another 70 graves.
The cemetery was gift to the Silver Cliff community from Daniel P. and Margaret Lewis, whose grandson Daniel died 98 years ago. His parents, Samuel and America Lewis (son and daughter-in-law of Daniel P. and Margaret), occupy near graves, as seen in foreground of picture above [a photograph accompanies the original article]. The senior Lewises are buried nearby.
The cemetery, like uncounted others in the mid-Willamette Valley, had fallen into disuse in recent years until James Mulkey spearheaded an interest in its reclamation four years ago. Toppled tombstones were repaired, ground hugging myrtle was removed and grass was seeded.
“Neighbors are now taking an interest,” noted Mulkey, of the cemetery located at the end of Marion County Road 784. His grandfather, Charles Mulkey, and the latter’s wife are among others buried there.
Another grass mowing is in prospect and special attention to individual graves can be expected as Memorial Day nears.
And the scene will be repeated elsewhere, although not all cemeteries can boast such a picturesque setting, bathed by fresh winds, rain and sunshine as the seasons dictate.
Help Needed at Little-Known Cemetery
Vandals Topple Ten Gravestones (Silverton Appeal-Tribune 15 Jan 1970, pg 7)
Gravestones toppled by vandals were replaced Saturday afternoon at the little-known Lewis Cemetery in the Victor Point School District.
James Mulkey, who was 76 Tuesday, is pictured here [original story accompanied by photograph] replacing part of the headstone of Samuel and America Lewis, who died a one day apart om 1891. In the background are Mr. Mulkey’s sons-in-las, Les Lowery and Willis Dunagan, and Dunagan’s sons, Mark and Scott.
Ten of the headstones were overturned…and one was broken…at the cemetery that lies between the Lowery place and the former Fred Taylor place.
For years, Mr. Mulkey has taken on the task of “keeping up” the cemetery. He has plotted the graves, planted grass seed and trees and kept the grass mowed. But the work has been getting too much for him lately to do all by himself. So efforts are underway to try to create a perpetual care fund that will ensure that the cemetery will be maintained.
The cemetery lies on what is known as the Lewis donation land claim, homesteaded a century ago by Daniel Lewis. The land commands a sweeping view…one of the most beautiful in the valley.
Mystery grave is found in cemetery at Silverton (Capital Journal 16 May 1977)
SILVERTON – Marion County sheriff’s detectives are being asked to find out who or what is buried in a mystery grave found in the Lewis Cemetery near here.
Dennis F. Taylor, 2538 Driftcreek Road NE, Silverton, last Thursday discovered a new grave on the small one-acre tract that serves as a community burial spot. The cemetery is located in Taylor’s grass seed field.
Taylor said he was pitting a “new seeding of grass in” when he came upon the three-by-three foot grave and what appeared to be a homemade cross. The cross carried the name “Bill” on it and the years 1976-77. The message was simply “RIP” (rest in peace).
Taylor said the cemetery site, about seven miles south of Silverton, was donated to the community long ago through a donation land claim.
Taylor said he expected detectives to come out and look over the most recent grave.
“I wasn’t going to put a shovel in”, he said.
Les Lowery, who lives in the area, is voluntary caretaker of the cemetery.
“We do get notification of everybody buried there,” he said. “Somebody did it without checking with any of us.”
He said the burial site is a “real old cemetery used extensively before the 1900’s.”
Marjorie Worley, of Silverton, said she believes it was her grandfather, Miles Lewis, who donated the land to the community. He died in 1917.
He walked across the plains to Oregon from Kentucky when he was age 14, she said.
Mrs. Worley, 65, also said her Aunt America and Uncle Sam, who died within days of one another in an 1891 flu epidemic, also are buried in Lewis Cemetery.
A county sheriff’s detective said someone probably would investigate the grave today.