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Michigan Cemetery

Compiled by Sherry (Woods) Kaseberg
Michigan Cemetery, 1965 Survey with Note

Michigan Cemetery, named for settlers who came from Michigan, is in T3S, R16E, NW ¼ of NW corner, NW ¼ Section 16, next to the Highway 216, about five miles SW of Grass Valley. The Michigan School was located in T3S, R16E, NW ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 20.

In 1965 Sherry Kaseberg recorded gravestone information that was published in Yesterday’s Roll Call by the Genealogical Forum of Portland, Oregon in 1970. Additional information is provided by Emma Jean (Eakin) Smith and Chris Sanders of Kettle Falls, WA who transcribed obituaries and death notices from Sherman County’s microfilmed newspapers on microfilm.

Chancy A. and Eliza J. Heath of Grass Valley, Oregon, in consideration of one dollar, conveyed to the Trustees of Michigan Cemetery Association, a tract “commencing at the NW corner of Section 16, running south of section line between 16 and 17, five hundred feet, thence due east two hundred and fourteen feet, thence north five hundred feet, thence west two hundred and fourteen feet to place of beginning, in Twp. 3 South, Range 16 East, W.M…  October 23, 1901.”

In January 1902 Michigan Cemetery Association was formed. The Grass Valley Journal noted on 20 January 1901 that, “A meeting will be held tomorrow at the Michigan Cemetery for the purpose of perfecting a corporation, to be known as the Michigan Cemetery Association. Mr. Heath has donated the necessary ground, which has been plotted for some time, and when the incorporation papers are complete, deeds can be given.” Some reports stated that Benjamin and Josephine (Heath) Downing provided land for the cemetery in 1888. The survey was recorded 20 January 1910.

Sherman County Deed Book: “Michigan Cemetery Association Rules and Regulations:

  • The lots in this cemetery are designed for the burial of only such person or the families as have purchased and paid for the same, unless otherwise provided by the Trustees of the Michigan Cemetery Association.
  • No person shall be allowed to erect any unsightly or otherwise obnoxious structure, to set out or plant any objectional trees, plants or shrubbery within these grounds.
  • No person shall be allowed to obstruct any roadway or alley within the Cemetery by fencing or otherwise.
  • No person shall be allowed to deface or destroy any fence, tombstone, monument, plants, trees, shrubbery of any kind, unless to make place for better improvements.

“These rules may be added to or amended from time to time as may be found necessary by the Trustees. Any person guilty of violating any of these rules shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” By order of the Trustees of the Michigan Cemetery Association; A.B. Craft, Notary Public for Oregon, it was witnessed and certified on October 10, 1902 that Leroy R. French and Chancy A. Heath, President and Secretary of the Michigan Cemetery Association of Sherman County, Oregon, were personally known to him. Heath certified he was the legal custodian of the corporate seal of the Association.

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William A.

27 April 1856 – 2 February 1889

William Alexander Blaylock married 4 August 1878 Josephine L. Prevost 1857-1941 who is buried in Hood River, OR; came to Sherman County from Villisca, IA; father of Ernest R., Pearl E. m. Ordway, Verna Fay m. Eakin, Fred A., Nellie G., Lida and Alma.


Alfred E.

16 December 1817 (?) England –

20 May 1889

Husband of Louisa M. Hodges 1837-1918; m. 12 December 1863 WI; to CO, then OR; farmer; operated a Grass Valley jewelry store; father of Martha Katherine m. French, James H., George D. d. 1920, and Carrie E. m. Hays. [GVJ, 18 January 1918: Grandma Clements, Louisa M. Hodges, born Springfield, IL 12 December 1837, died 14 January 1918 Grass Valley, funeral Methodist church, interment in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Rev. A.O. Hammond officiating; GVJ, 8 October 1920: George Clements, 48, died at Bend October 1, 1920, burial Grass Valley, one son Duke, sisters Carrie Hays and Katherine Mooney, brother Henry.]


Charles E.

-29 April 1891, 20y 4m 22d.

[GVJ, 3 May 1907: Mr. E. C. Davis transferred remains of his oldest son from Michigan Cemetery to the IOOF Cemetery (Grass Valley), buried 16 years ago.]



6 March 1907 – 26 April 1907

Vern, infant son of John H. and Ada Dugger, born 6 March 1907, died 26 April 1907 at the home of John H. and Ada Dugger; buried Michigan Cemetery 28 April. [GVJ, 3 May 1907]


Bessie E.

16 March 1871 – 4 July 1891

Married Leroy Ransom French 14 October 1890 Wasco Co., OR, his 2nd wife; Sherman County deeds show that L.R. French purchased W half of Lot #61 and Lot #15 in row __ in Michigan Cemetery for $14 while he was President of Michigan Cemetery Association. [SC:FTR]


Lydia M. (Gilbert)

-13 December 1887, 22y

Born MI; married Leroy R. French 12 April 1887 Wasco County, OR [SC:FTR]


Rosa A. (Maricle)

-8 November 1901, 29y, 10m 12 d

Rosa A. Maricle married Leroy R. French 1893, Sherman County, OR, his 3rd wife; died near Grass Valley, rheumatism of the heart; mother of Giles L. and Beatrice who were reared mostly by Rosa’s mother, Alvira (Huff) Maricle McFarland; funeral at Baptist church,  [GVJ, 15 November 1901; SC:FTR #1-1; SC:FTR] ~ [Leroy Ransom French was born in OH in 1861 to Ransom E. & Clarissa Phidelia (Heath) French and died in Portland, OR 1939; he lived OH, MI, to WA 1883, to Sherman Co., OR 1884; he m4 Hattie Jones and m5 Leota Harvey Homewood who had children by a former marriage.]


Roy M.

-30 January 1889, 8m

Son of C.N. and E.M.; Charles and Estella Gilman filed a timber culture claim & on railroad land and lived in Sherman County until about 1901.



-3 September 1888, 1m 21d

Son of Chancy A. and Eliza J. (Rhodes) Heath who were married in Kent County, MI 1865; grandson of Albert and Lucy (Cook) Heath


Ona L.

Top of Heath stone is engraved “Ona L. Heath” Chancy A. Heath of Andover, OH came to Sherman County, engaged in real estate and loans in 1905 at Grass Valley, land and mining interests in central Oregon. He m1 Eliza J. Rhodes in 1865 in Michigan; m2 Susan Simmons in Michigan in 1896; father of Elmer Health m. Maggie Curl, daughter of Caleb; brother of Herman, Adinoram, William H., Clarissa m. Ransom E. French of Grass Valley, Betsey and Josephine.

[The Illustrated History of Central Oregon, 1905, GVJ, 3 October 1919: Mrs. C.A. Heath died Albany, OR 21 September 1919, born Schuyler County, NY 1846; m. C.A. Heath; five sons, three died in infancy; member Grass Valley Baptist church; GVJ, 8 June 1928: Lester A. Heath died The Dalles, OR 4 June 1928, born Michigan 24 October 1871; to Sherman County age 12; to Grants Pass, then Sherman County on the Dr. Taylor farm; m. Cassie Bailey; father of Lorene, Meriam and Millard; brother of Elmer; burial Grass Valley IOOF Cemetery.]



1833-January 1896

Born Germany; m. Elizabeth Patjens; to USA 1894; father of Johann, Catrine and Klaus who remained in Germany, and Margaretha Anna m. von Borstel, Dietrich who came to America 1891, Henry, Andrew and Dorothea Marie m. Reckmann; died Kent, OR  [Shaniko People by Helen Guyton Rees, 1983; Hinton Cemetery, Wasco County, OR]



5 June 1835-22 May 1922

Wife of Deidrich; born Germany; mother Johann, Catrine and Klaus who remained in Germany, and Margaretha Anna who m. von Borstel, Dietrich, Henry, Andrew and Dorothea Marie m. Reckmann; 39 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; died near Shaniko at son Andy’s home, aged 86 years, 11 months and 13 days; funeral at Grass Valley Methodist church, Rev. J.K. Craig officiating;  [GVJ, 26 May 1922; Shaniko People by Helen Guyton Rees; ODI#69]




Settled on a ½ section of land; died of injuries sustained in an accident hauling wheat to Biggs; unmarried. [GVJ, 20 July 1906: remains of Gustave Patjens who died about 12 years ago were transferred to IOOF Cemetery at Grass Valley along-side the grave of his father, Andrew, who died in May 1906.]




Son of Diedrich & Elizabeth; sheep man; m1 Elsa (Volquartzen) of Iowa, a niece of Chris and Hans Koepke of Sherman County, divorced; he m2 Bertha. [Shaniko People by Helen Guyton Rees]




Heinrich, son of Herman Heinrich & Katharina D. Reckmann; brother of Diederick m. Dorothea Maria Patjens 1900, John m. Mary Stilling 1888, Gesche/Jessie m. John Detjen of The Dalles & Herman.[TDC 10 July 1916: Herman Reckmann, father of Mrs. John Detjen, The Dalles, seriously ill; TDC 13 July 1916: Remains of Herman Reckmann sent to Grass Valley for interment.]


Julius H.

22 August 1860- May 1937 “Erected by his friends.”

Born Germany; to CA as a young man with wife Augusta and stayed many years; she returned to Germany; he rode for stock in NV; in 1886 rode across Oregon to visit his friend Carsten von Borstel; his homestead was #025231 near Grass Valley, OR. lived in Sherman County 50 years near & with the von Borstels;  a brother in Hamburg [GVJ, 20 June 1902 reported death of a brother of Julius Rhuberg in Germany; SCJ 7 May 1937: “…as a little boy he saw the Danes driven out of Hanover, his homeland,  remembered the tired soldiers marching past his father’s farm…the days of 1872 when Bismark sent his Teutonic legions against France to win unification for…the German people…traveled over much of Europe…came to California where his uncle Miller (was) a San Francisco butcher with the firm of Miller & Lux … survived by his widow Augusta who has lived in Germany for thirty years and by a brother in Hamburg…”]



Unidentified grave inside and left of the gate.



The Stanton family came to Sherman County in 1891 from Michigan and homesteaded and purchased land seven miles SW of Grass Valley in what became known as the Michigan District. [Deed filed 10 August 1903 conveyed Michigan Cemetery Lot #44 to G.H. Stanton for $8.]

He who knows best knows how little he knows. –  Thomas Jefferson