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 Hezekiah Davidson Burkhart

Hezekiah Davidson Burkhart

Albany, Linn County, Oregon, USA
Death 25 Jul 1924 (aged 71)
Linn County, Oregon, USA
Burial Albany, Linn County, Oregon, USA
Memorial ID 26376983 · View Source
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Hezekiah Davidson Burkhart was the first of six children borne of the union of Leander Columbus Burkhart (1823-1875) and Melissa Ann (Davidson) Burkhart (1835-1898). Leander and Melissa had been in the same wagon train with their parents when they took the Oregon Trail in 1847 to the Willamette Valley in the Oregon Territory, arriving in the Albany township on Oct 16, 1847. Leander was a young man of 23 yrs. one of twelve children who had been born to John and Rebecca (Baltzell) Burkhart, who had been long time friends of Melissa's family, her parents being Hezekiah and Melissa Ann (Page) Davidson. I don't know when he began to look at their daughter as more than just a friend of his family, but I do know that he waited for her to turn 16 yrs. old in May of 1851 so that he could marry her on July 31st, 1851 at Rickreal, Polk County, Oregon Territory. Leander was very industrious, as he not only was a farmer but also was a teamster who cared for horses for sale and also needed by the stagecoach that took the routes between Portland, Salem and other towns to Albany, then South to Brownsville, Halsey and Eugene, then on to Ashland. In the 1850's and 1860's, prior to the railroad establishing their route thru the Willamette Valley of Oregon, horses were the only mode of transportation, be it on horseback, by stagecoach or wagon train [other than by foot]. Leander also built a brickyard with his brother, George Washington Burkhart, as bricks were much in need due to the continued growth of Albany and the surrounding areas. He also ran a sawmill and was a carpenter, building the home that he and his bride would occupy following their wedding. And so, this was the world that Hezekiah was born into on March 21st, 1853, in the family's home in the eastern part of Albany, Linn County, Oregon Territory, a 1st generation Oregonian, named in honor of Melissa's father. He was the eldest of six children, his younger siblings being:
Frances Ann "Fannie", b. Aug 6, 1856
Nellie Olivia, b. Aug 6, 1859
Robert Leander, "Rob", b. Nov 10, 1864
William M. Chester "Will", b. Nov 27, 1871 and
Bessie Beatrice, b., May 17, 1874.
All were born in their family's home in the eastern part of the now thriving town of Albany in Linn County. Hez's father built a 2nd, nicer home for his family which was completed before May 1874 as there is a photo of Bessie and her mother with the notation that Bessie was "born in the new house". Hez was old enough by this time to help his father and uncles with the completion of his family's new home, in addition to helping on his parents' donation land claim (DLC#981, registered Feb 20, 1858) of 680 acres, valued at $32,000 when the 1870 Census was taken on June 29, 1870. Hez also attended Oregon School of Agriculture (now Oregon State University in Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon) where he majored in Animal Husbandry.
Tragically, Leander Columbus Burkhart died just 11 days before his 52nd birthday, on Nov 3, 1875, in Albany, Linn County, Oregon. His wife, Melissa, Hezekiah's mother, was just 40 years of age with six children to raise. Hez was the eldest, just 22, Fannie was 19, Nellie was 16, Rob was almost 11, young Will was almost 4, and little Bessie was just 18 months old. I can only imagine how difficult it was for her and how it was a blessing that four of her husband's brothers lived in the area, although they had their own farms to tend to. The Geisendorfer family also lived in the area, just five farms away, and young Emily Mary Geisendorfer, who had been born in the Washington Territory in 1860, was 15 years of age the year Hezekiah lost his father and, possibly, his heart. Hezekiah continued to live on his family's farm, helping his mother to raise his younger brothers and sisters and taking over the chores once done by his father. When the 1880 Census was taken in early June, 1880, Hezekiah was now listed as "Farmer" [usually given only to those owning land] and his brother, Rob, now 15, helped on the farm but also attended school, as did Nellie and young Will. Fannie, who had been attending school at St. Helens Hall in Portland, had become quite ill and finally died in 1879 from "Consumption" [aka Tuberculosis]. She was buried at Riverside Cemetery in Albany, in the same plot where her father had been laid to rest just four years previously. Melissa Burkhart would never remarry, remaining a widow until her death while visiting relatives in Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon on the 4th of July, 1898 [She herself had not felt well for quite some time]. Her remains were returned to Albany, where she was interred with her dear husband and daughter at Riverside Cemetery. Hezekiah Davidson Burkhart and Emily Mary Geisendorfer were wed on Oct 25th, 1881. Hez continued to farm the land his father had once farmed, although the Donation Land Claim had been divided among his heirs. I believe that "Grandmother Burkhart", as Melissa was fondly referred to, lived with him and his family prior to her death, although this is an assumption based upon the fact that Rob, Will and Bessie were all living together in 1900 in the Price Pct. (eastern area adjoining Albany), Linn County, having attended college during the latter part of the 1800's. Rob attended Armstrong Business College and was farming the land he had inherited from his father. Will had attended college as well, graduating and becoming a pharmacist and part owner in the pharmacy in Albany (he later bought out the other owner, who wanted to retire). Bessie had graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Marion County, Oregon, which is where she met her future husband, Ernest Daring.
Hezekiah had, himself, lost his dear wife, Emily, on March 14th, 1889, leaving him a widower with three small children to raise. He and Emily had been married just short of six and a half years. When the 1900 Census was taken June 19, 1900, his land was near his sister and brothers in Price Precinct (so named for the family which had originally owned it) and his occupation was "Farmer" of the land he had inherited. His three children were all attending school and were:
Leander Kenneth, b. Sep 15, 1882,
John Geisendorfer, b. July 22, 1884, and
Verna Hezekiah, b. Apr 13, 1888.
His children had all been born in Albany, probably at home on their father's portion of the old Leander and Melissa Burkhart Donation Land Claim with it's rich soil that yielded fine crops in all of the years that it was farmed. Hezekiah finally remarried on Nov 23, 1904 to a widow, Mary Caroline "Carrie" (Mitchell) Staney, b.1855, Ohio, whose husband, Alvin A. Straney, had died in 1900. She brought two sons with her to her marriage, who were still in the home when the 1910 Census was taken, on Apr 26th. Hezekiah was now 57, still a farmer; his son, Leander Kenneth, now 27, was also listed as a farmer so had been named as a property owner of the old donation land claim [I have copies of the papers he gave to verify ownership, following the death of his father]. Carrie was 54; her mother, Martha E. Mitchell, 80 yrs. of age, was in the home, as were sons Clinton O. Straney, b.1889 in NE., who was a butcher at a meat market, and Orral J. Straney, b.1897 in OR., who was in school, age 13. The 1920 Census now had the farm as a part of Albany, Linn County. Hezekiah, now 66, still was listed as Farmer. Mary C., now 64, was still in the home but listed she was born in Iowa. Hez's son, "Lee" (Leander Kenneth), now 37, was also listed as "Farmer". The farm was owned so there was no mortgage. That was to be Hezekiah's last Census as he passed away on July 25th, 1924 at the age of 71 yrs. He was buried with his dear Emily at Knox Butte Cemetery from whom he'd been separated so many years ago.
Carrie M. Burkhart relocated to Salem Road in Albany, where she was living alone in a home valued at $1700 when the 1930 Census was taken on Apr 24, 1930. She had no radio set (a census question that yr.) and listed no income, although she lived next door to her son, Clinton O. Straney, now 41 yrs. old, living in a home valued at $3,500 (sans radio set), with his wife of 20 years, Anna V., age 40, and their three sons, Gene A., 17, Bruce, 7, and Richard C., age 4. All children had been born in Oregon. Clinton stated he performed Lard Rendering at a Meat Packing house.
Carrie died on July 3rd, 1931 after having lived over 75 years [she would have had her 76th birthday in 3 months and 1 day] and was buried next to her own dear first husband at Riverside Cemetery, in plot 24n, although it appears that her year of death was never entered on the headstone she shares with Alvin A. Straney. May they all Rest, at Peace, in Paradise.

*He is listed as a "Woodsmen of the World" on his headstone. I looked it up on line and found it is a fraternal organization that helps those in need and also provides life insurance options as well as investment options.


Here Lies A Woodsman of the World*
Hezekiah D. 1853-1924
Emily M., His Wife

Gravesite Details His father is my maternal great, great grandfather. Thank you to Ancestry Seeker for the transfer.

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  • Maintained by: Kathie L. Webb Blair
  • Originally Created by: Ancestry Seeker
  • Added: 24 Apr 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 26376983
  • Kathie L. Webb Blair
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hezekiah Davidson Burkhart (21 Mar 1853–25 Jul 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 26376983, citing Knox Butte Cemetery, Albany, Linn County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Kathie L. Webb Blair (contributor 47399339) .