Veterans to receive headstones at Mountain View Cemetery
Members of the local Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Friends of Mountain View Cemetery will dedicate a headstone to George Wendover, a Civil War veteran who previously had been buried in an unmarked grave. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at Mountain View Cemetery, 500 Hilda St., Oregon City; all are invited to attend.
This all came about because Karin Morey, a local historian and member of the Friends of Mountain View Cemetery, had a friend who used to walk his dog in the cemetery, making a note of graves from the Civil War era. He noted that some veterans did not have headstones, and this caught Morey's interest.
"There are 152 graves of those who served in Oregon (during the Civil War). Two were Confederates and the rest were Union soldiers," she said.
The men belonged to the 1st Oregon Infantry or the 1st Oregon Calvary. They were called up to protect the state when the Army was pulled out to fight in the war, Morey said.
After consulting obituaries on a handwritten database, she discovered that at least 10 additional Civil War-era veterans were buried with no headstones, along with veterans of many wars that are in unmarked graves.
"We figured out where they are buried, and we decided to start with the Civil War veterans and make sure they have headstones," Morey said.
Wendover was born Oct. 9, 1842, in Auburn, New York, and died Dec. 29, 1936, in Oregon City. He was 94 years old.
He served in the Civil War from beginning to end, and was with Gen. William Sherman in his march to the sea.
William H. Collier
During her research, Morey also came across a young man also buried in an unmarked grave.
His name was William H. Collier; he was born in 1902, in Minneapolis, and drowned in the Willamette River in 1922.
He also was a veteran, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in California from 1920-22.
While in California, "he met two brothers from Oregon City, and he came here with them and got a job at a paper mill," Morey said.
Collier was invited to share living quarters with a co-worker who lived on a houseboat on the river, and one day the co-worker came home to find that Collier had disappeared.
His body was then found in the river, and, because he had no family, the American Legion arranged for his funeral.
"But they never arranged for a headstone," Morey said.
The Friends of Mountain View Cemetery will dedicate a headstone to Collier at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27 — Memorial Day. A VFW chaplain will do a short presentation.
Morey added, "There's somebody under every inch of that ground — all buried at the county's expense."
Honor those who served
What: Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Friends of Mountain View Cemetery will dedicate a headstone to George Wendover, a Civil War veteran; public invited
When: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4
Where: Mountain View Cemetery, 500 Hilda St., Oregon City
Coming up: A headstone will be dedicated to William H. Collier, a veteran who died in 1922, at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, Memorial Day, at the cemetery.