Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Cemetery Mistake

Published in July of 1910 by the Oregonian out of Portland, Oregon
GRAVE MYSTERY SOLVED
MISTAKE IN CEMETERY SURVEY IS HELD TO BLAME 
Byron P. Vincent Buried in Absence of Sexton – Hannah Smith Still Cannot Be Found. 
The mystery involving the disappearance of Hannah Smith, May 8, appears to be no nearer solved than nearly two months ago, when the woman with $600 she drew from the bank, dropped out of sight completely.
     The thread of belief that the mysterious grave in Baker Cemetery 14 miles east of Portland on the Base Line road, might offer a clew as to what became of Hannah Smith, was exploded yesterday by Sheriff Stevens, after a thorough investigation of the graveyard incident that set Fairview and that community agog with gossip.
     The new mound of earth was discovered by Mrs. O. H. Jenkins, of Fairview, May 29, when she went to trim and decorate the graves of her father, mother and sister. She was astonished to find a newly-made grave on her family lot. She reported the circumstance to D. W. McKay, the sexton, who lives a few hundred yards from the cemetery.
     The headboard bore the inscription: “Byron P. Vincent, died 1905.” McKay had no record of a Vincent having been buried there and the mystery deepened. A theory was advanced that the grave might contain the body of Hannah Smith.
     While Sheriff Stevens was conducting an investigation yesterday morning he learned that the grave contained the body of Byron P. Vincent, a son of Dr. A. W. Vincent, 207 West Leavitt street, St. Johns, who died five years ago. Dr. Vincent explained the circumstance. He said that when his son died he was unable to find the owner of the cemetery or the sexton at the time, so the burial took place without the sexton having a record. He said that the grave had been partially obliterated by earth from other graves being thrown upon it and when he renewed the mound for Memorial day it had all the appearances of a new grave. He also said there was a mistake in the property lines and that the grave is not in the lot of Mrs. Jenkins, as supposed.