Where: Gingles (pronounced Jingles) Pioneer Cemetery, near Albany, Oregon. Meet at 9:00 a.m. sharp at the GAPS administration building, which is the former Maple School at seventh and Maple in Albany, Oregon. There is limited parking at the Cemetery so we will park behind the GAPS office and travel by bus to the site.
When: Saturday September 12th, 1998
What to Bring: Wear old work clothes and bring your gloves, ax, saw, clippers, cutters, shovels, water, lunch, calamine lotion, and your good attitude. Restroom facilities will be provided.
Why: This cemetery is a beautiful pioneer cemetery that has gone
to ruins. It is overgrown with vines and plants including Poison
Oak. Over 64 Oregon pioneers are buried in Gingles Cemetery, many
of them came to the Willamette Valley via The Oregon Trail and were
important people in the local communities.
Gingles cemetery is one of the oldest pioneer cemeteries in Benton County, Oregon. The cemetery started as a family plot for the Gingles and the Millers but became a community cemetery as a matter of accommodation. Some of the interned had the following surnames: Bevens, Bowers, Daniels, David, Dickson, Fickle, Flickinger, Gilbert, Gingles, Ground, Hardie, Hodges, Holman, Miller, Moore, Pyburn, Ray, Rinehart, Rodgers, Russell, Suver, Vanderpool, and Williamson. The oldest known grave is of a Mr. Miller who died coming over The Oregon Trail, in The Dalles in the fall of 1851. The earliest death date inscribed on a tombstone is 1852 for Hiram Hardie. The most recently marked grave is that of David Vanderpool in 1938. With the development of the nearby North Palestine Cemetery the use of Gingles Cemetery diminished.
The cemetery was willed to the Albany school district back in 1886 by James Gingles to be used as a free cemetery. Perhaps the most famous resident of the cemetery and for whom it was named is James Gingles. He served as a Benton County Commissioner and was a member of The Oregon House of Representatives. In 1880, James Gingles also became the first postmaster at the Benton County town of Wells.
The Mid-Valley Genealogical Society has compiled information about the Benton County Cemeteries into four volumes. The Linn County Genealogical Society has purchased a copy for use at the Albany public Library.
Clean up day has been organized by Glenn Harrison & Bill Dixon of Albany, & other interested people. Albany Student Clubs restored the cemetery in 1987, however to our knowledge it has not been cleaned since.
Doris Dannen and Mrs. Bob Graham have supplied their permission for access to the cemetery as their property borders it.
Neil from Eugene Granite and Marble Works has generously volunteered his time and staff for some stone clean up and repair. Their phone number is (541) 484-1523.
If you are involved in a historical society, school, boy/girl scout troop, are a descendant, or just want to help, please show up on September 12th! The Oregon Vintage Times staff will be there and will be taking photos and will write a short follow-up story. If you have any questions, please call (541) 683-6070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Glenn Harrison, and Judy Juntunen (asst. director and librarian of The Benton County Historical Society and Museum) for the information they submitted.