Hillsboro Pioneer Cemetery
Hillsboro, Washington County, Oregon
|Hillsboro Pioneer Cemetery|
GPS: 45.520556, -123.006106
SW Baseline Street (Oregon Highway 8)
Hillsboro, OR 97123
Published: July 16, 2016
Total records: 3,453
Hillsboro Pioneer Cemetery is owned and maintained by the City of Hillsboro.
The cemetery is situated on the western edge of town. Travel west on Tualatin-Valley Highway (Oregon Hwy. 8) towards Cornelius. As you approach the outskirts of Hillsboro, the highway takes a northerly turn. As you follow the signs for Hwy. 8, you'll eventually head west again. This part of the highway is described as SW Baseline Street. Travel about 1.5 miles west; the first of three driveways will appear on the north side (to your right). There is no sign to the cemetery, across the street is a WinCo grocery store. You will not be able to access the cemetery from an east-bound direction, as the cemetery is at the edge of a one-way traffic grid.
The Hillsboro Pioneer Cemetery was officially established in 1860. Originally it was a part of the David Hill land claim. David Hill came to Oregon via wagon train and established a land claim of 640 acres. David Hill was a prominent member of the new community and the town was named in his honor upon his death in 1850.
Ten years later the International Order of Odd Fellows and the Masons each acquired portions of the land, creating Gardens A through D. Additions to these gardens came later, expanding the cemetery extents to the north and to the west. The IOOF and Masons were responsible for maintenance and operations of the cemetery. In 1952, the Hillsboro Cemetery Endowment Association took over operations of the cemetery, these efforts were supported through fundraising and donations.
The Tongue family, a prominent Hillsboro family, owned a small portion of the cemetery in the southeast corner. This portion was privately maintained by the family until 1965 when the plot became a part of the larger cemetery.
The cemetery property was dedicated and accepted by City Council Resolution in 1973, and the city officially took over operations and maintenance. Cemetery records are maintained by the Hillsboro City Recorder's office, and maintenance is provided by Hillsboro Parks and Recreation. The cemetery is an Irreducible Fund Cemetery, where only the interest earned on cemetery funds can be used for maintenance so that the principal is never reduced.
The northeast portion of the cemetery was acquired by the Washington County Hospital for burials. Also known as the County Poor Farm, the hospital housed and cared for indigent members of the population. A new hospital building was constructed in 1923 after the previous structure burned down in 1920, and it has been recorded by Kimberli Fitzgerald and Deborah Raber in "Images of America: Hillsboro", that a small cemetery was located there. In 1950 the County Hospital building became the Washington County Extension Office. The occupants of the small cemetery were reportedly disinterred and relocated to the northeast portion of the Hillsboro Pioneer Cemetery, presumably sometime between the Hospital construction in 1923 and when it was repurposed in 1950. There were no records kept for this corner of the cemetery, and no markers were made to locate the people interred there. As a result, very little is known about how many or who may be buried in that portion of the site.
Records published here were acquired from the City of Hillsboro on July 15, 2016.
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