Gresham Cemetery


                                                              Whitman County, Washington


                                                    Submitted by Marge Womach




Gresham Cemetery is located in Sec 2 T 19 R 39, 11 miles SE of Sprague on Hwy 23, or 2 miles SE of Lamont. Reportedly established June 22, 1891. A 1973 survey and report was written in 1973 by Lorraine Cook White and Margie Freier Robertson. A 1999 survey was done by Bud and Richard Engelhardt.


I walked and recorded this cemetery on March 30, 2001. Cemetery sits in a low area of the rolling hills of wheat country. The farmland to the North and West is higher than the cemetery level, which causes a flow of dirt into the cemetery and onto the flat or fallen gravestones.  Marge Womach    



                                                     Platting of Tombstones in Gresham




            1            2            3            4            5                      6            7                      8                  9

       10       11

12   13


                                    14    15            )                                                                                     tree


                              17       18               )           19                                    16



                          20m  [                                        ]

                                   [           21           22          ]

                            23m[                                        ] 24    25                                                       26

       27  28                  [     29                  30          ]

                                   [                    31                ]

                                   [                    32        33     ]


1. mother Hannah                                           26. Edna Walker

2. father Wm                                                 27. Melville Folsom

3. Frank N Jr                                                  28. Hiram & Stella Folsom

4. Daniel M                                                      29. Margaret Folsom

5. Wm T                                                          30. ? ft stone

6. Henry & Eliz. McElroy                             31. Walter G Folsom

7. W E Gresham                                             32. Walter ft stone

8. James & Mary Calfee                               33. Hiram J Folsom

9. Alfred E Nelson

10. Swannack

11. Swannack

12. Jervis

13 Wallula E

14. J & V Swannack

15. James & Beulah Wiley

16. John & Anna Murphy

17. James Swannack

18. Viola Swannack

19. Martha Terbush

20. metal marker

21. John Folsom

22. Marion Folsom

23. metal marker

24. Lottie J Morton

25. Wm V R Morton


Obituaries and Data Collection:


Austin, Orval:  “The six months old son of Mr. & Mrs. Earl Austin died Wednesday of dysentery. The funeral was held from the Gresham church yesterday, Rev G H Wilbur officiating.” (Sprague Times-20 Nov 1903) “Little Orval Austin, aged 6 months, son of Mr. & Mrs. Earl Austin, died at 5:30 o’clock Wednesday morning, Nov 18th, 1903. The funeral services were held Thursday morning at the Gresham church conducted by Rev Wilbur. The services were impressive and in keeping with the solemnity of the occasion, text being the 18th chapter of St Matthew.” (Sprague Times-27 Nov 1903) “Card of Thanks. We extend to our kind friends who assisted us during the sickness, death and burial of our darling babe. Mr. & Mrs. Austin.” (Sprague Times-27 Nov 1903)


Barry, Mrs. Ora:  “Mrs. Barry, w/o Ora Barry, of Lamont, d. Dec 31, 1918 at Lamont from pneumonia; funeral held at Gresham Cemetery at 2:30 pm on Jan 1, 1919; certifying physician = Dr J. E. Bittner of Sprague; b. April 1884 in MN; age 34; housewife; married; protestant; Interment at Gresham Cemetery.” (Sprague Funeral ledger)


Calfee, James Luther:  “James Luther Calfee, residing Idaho, died Idaho on May 9, 1925 from apoplexy; b. Feb 14, 1857 in WV; age 68 yrs 2 mos 15 days; farmer, widower, protestant, Certifying physician = E. E. Getzloff of Priest River, Idaho; Father = Nelson D. Calfee b. VA; Mother = Mary Davis b. VA; Interment at Gresham Cemetery.” (Sprague Funeral ledger) 


Folsom, Hiram Gilliam:  “Hiram Gilliam Folsom, the four year old son of Mr. & Mrs. H. G. Folsom, died at his parents’ home southeast of Sprague yesterday. The little fellow died of lung trouble following measles and whooping cough. The funeral was held in the Gresham church at 2 o’clock this afternoon. Mr. & Mrs. Folsom have the sympathy of friends and neighbors in their bereavement.”  (Sprague Times-13 March 1903; Edit: the TS appears as H. J. Folsom)


Folsom, Walter G.:  “Walter G. Folsom, the 9-year-old son of Mr. & Mrs. H. G. Folsom, died Thursday night after an illness of two weeks with encephalitis. The funeral took place at Gresham church Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Mr. D. E. Davies, who had married Mr. & Mrs. Folsom, preached the funeral sermon. Interment was in Gresham Cemetery. A large number of friends of the family from Sprague and vicinity followed the body to the grave. The little fellow was a precociously bright boy but was never very robust and it is probable that the trouble which resulted in his death was of long standing, as is often the case with brain trouble. Walter had, during his nine years of life, made many friends, who regret his untimely death. It is useless for the Times, or, in fact any one, to attempt to say anything that will to any great degree assuage the grief of the sorrowing family. Such a loss is a personal one to such an extent that no one except those near and dear to the loved and lost can appreciate its poignant bitterness. No philosophy of life suffices; the only thing possible under the circumstances is an assurance of heartfelt sympathy, and in the name of the family the Times extends such sympathy.”  (Sprague Times-9 Feb 1906)


Hare, Charlotte:  “Charlotte Hare, residence Lamont; d. Lamont; widow of John; b. 2-12-1852; d. 7-07-1938; age 86 yr 4 mo 25 days; b. Indiana; housewife; maiden name Charlotte Hawkins; F = Richard Hawkins b. England; M = Levina Hull b. OH; cause of death = senility; Physician: Dr G H Howard of Sprague; Burial Lamont at Gresham Cemetery. Funeral at Lamont at 2:30; Date of burial: 7-10-1938” (Sprague Funeral ledger)


King, infant of Thomas:  “The infant child of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas King died Saturday afternoon at two o’clock. The funeral took place from the home Sunday afternoon. Interment was in Gresham Cemetery.”  (Sprague Times-12 Jan 1906)


McElroy, Henry:  “Henry McElroy, aged 90 years, died at the home of his son, J H McElroy, yesterday of general disability. He was a venerable old patriarch who had seen much of western life and with the western spirit drew to him a host of friends who mourn his death, even though he had passed the four score and ten year mark. Mr. McElroy had been an Odd Fellow since early manhood and many members of the order will attend the funeral services. The funeral services will be held at the residence of J H McElroy at 12 o’clock today, interment being in the Gresham Cemetery.”  (Sprague Times-10 Apr 1903)


Milliken, James F.:  “James F. Milliken. Died. Sept 29, 1898 at his home in the Gresham community with funeral at the Gresham church. He was a member of the Davenport GAR. He is survived by his wife, Georgeannah Milliken.” (lost source: Georgeannah nee Morton Harper Milliken)


Murphy, Anna R .(Phillips):  “Mrs. A. R. Murphy, widow of the late A. R. (error-John W.) who died of cancer about seven months ago, peacefully passed away last Friday morning and her spirit winged its way to the Great Beyond to join that of her husband. Mrs. Murphy was 58 years of age. She came to this country from Missouri, 13 years ago. She was the mother of five daughters, four of whom, Mrs. Hazlett, Mrs. Thos King, Mrs. J. A. Folsom, and Mrs. Dock Folsom, reside in this neighborhood. The funeral services were held in the Gresham church Sunday afternoon. Rev R A Armstrong of the ME church preached the funeral sermon. Her remains were laid by the side of her husband’s in the Gresham Cemetery. A large crowd of sorrowing friends and neighbors paid the last tribute of respect to the departed one. Mrs. Murphy was a patient, loving Christian woman. With great fortitude she bore her own suffering and attended to the wants of her late husband. To her daughters and grandchildren, who have sustained this double loss in so brief a time, is extended the tenderest sympathy.”  (Sprague Times-10 June 1904)


Murphy, John W.:  “J. W. Murphy, a Gresham farmer, died Monday night after many years of suffering from cancer. Mr. Murphy was a man well along in years and had resided in this locality long enough to be well known and respected by many of our readers. He was a man of noble traits, perfectly reliable and thoroughly honest. His demise will be mourned by his many friends. The funeral services were held in the Gresham church Wednesday morning. Rev R A Armstrong of the ME church of this city preached the funeral sermon and consigned the remains to their last resting place in the Gresham cemetery. Mr. Murphy was the father of Mrs. John Folsom and Mrs. Dock Folsom. These and Mrs Murphy reside in this locality and sincerely mourn the loss of a beloved father and husband.” (Sprague Times-27 Nov 1903)


Robertson, Emmaline:  Reportedly born 12 June 1853 and died 25 Feb 1927. Her first husband was George Robertson (died prior to 1904); her 2nd spouse was Louis Baud. Emmaline’s name at death should read Emmaline (nee Grisham) Robertson Baud. (Source for this is Bud Engelhardt’s 1999 listing)


Robertson, Joseph Shelly:  “J S Robertson, b. 11 May 1875 (to George and Emmaline Gresham Robertson);  d. 13 April 1927; buried in Gresham Cemetery on April 15. Cause of death: suicide at the farm; married, h/o Emma Cook” (as shown on form, but reportedly he was the husband of Rose Cook, daughter of Ira and Kitty Caverly Cook,  who is buried in the Colyar Cemetery, two miles southeast of Gresham).(Sprague Funeral ledger); “J. S. Robertson, age 51, pioneer farmer of the Sprague district, committed suicide last Wednesday by shooting himself through the head with a revolver. Despondency is supposed to have caused the act. His funeral was held at Gresham church Friday.” (Odessa Record: 4-22-1927)


Schell, Will Harvey:  “Will Harvey Schell, adopted son of Mr. & Mrs. W. S. Schell, died at the home Saturday June 9, 1917, age 1 month and 9 days. Funeral services were held Sunday at 3 PM from the home, and burial was in the Gresham Cemetery. Rev O. E. Faulkner of Sprague officiated at the service.” (Sprague Advocate-15 June 1917; poem deleted) “William Harry Schell, adopted child of W. S .Schell, d. June 6, 1917 from cardiac failure; age 1 month 11 days; b. Apr 30, 1917; residence E of Lamont; funeral June 10, 1917 by Rev Faulking; Interment at Gresham Cemetery.” (Sprague Funeral ledger)


Swannack, Infant:  “Infant Swannack, stillborn of Frank Swannack of Lamont; Certifying physician: Dr Bittner of Sprague. Interment at Gresham Cemetery.” (Sprague Funeral Ledger)


Swannack, James:  “James Swannack, s/o Wm Swannack; residence = SE of Lamont; d. Oct 21, 1918 at Myrtle Hospital in Sprague; Cause: ruptured intestine caused by fall; certifying physician: Dr D. M. Strang of Sprague; b. Apr 27, 1878 in Australia; farmer, married, protestant; aged 40 yrs 6 mos 14 days; Father = Wm Swannack b. England; Mother = Annie Nicholas b. England; Interment at Gresham Cemetery.” (Sprague Funeral ledger)


Swannack, Jervis D.:  “Jervis D. Swannack, husband of Wallula Hardy, residing at Lamont, d. Nov 26, 1931 from heart failure; at the Sprague Hospital; certifying physician: Dr G. H. Howard of Sprague; b. Aug 1, 1871, Australia; father = Wm Swannack b. England; mother = Hannah Nicholson b. England; occupation = farmer; protestant; age 60 yrs 3 mos 25 days; funeral at Gresham church Nov 29, 1931.”  Interment not shown. (Sprague Funeral ledger)


Swannack, William:  “William Swannack, order given by Joe and Lee Swannack; d. Aug 29, 1921 at home, residence SE of Lamont; b. Mar 14, 1839 in England; cause: apoplexy; age 82 yrs 5 mos 15 days; Father = David Swannack b. England; Mother = Mary Goose b. England; Certifying physician = Dr J E Bittner of Sprague; Funeral Aug 31, 1921 at Gresham Church at 3 PM; farmer, married; retired; Methodist; Interment at Gresham Cemetery.” (Sprague Funeral ledger)" Another Pioneer has gone to his reward and permanently left the scenes where he toiled and struggled for a great many years to bring civilization into a wild and undeveloped country.  William Swannack, a resident of the Lamont country for 35 years died at the old home two miles southeast of Lamont, Monday, August 29, at the age of 82 years, 5 months and 15 days.  On Friday morning, August 26, he had suffered a stroke which was the first intimation that death was near.  Otherwise he had been in fairly good health altho he had given up the active management of his farming interests several years ago.  Mr. Swannack was born in Kirkstead, Lincolnshire, England.  March 14, 1839.  When a young man of 21 he went to Australia where he lived for 25 years.  In 1885 he emigrated to the United States coming first to California where he remained one year.  In  1886 he brought his family to Washington and settled in the locality where he spent the lat 35 b years of his life. He at first homesteaded and has since added to his holdings until the estate now comprises 1500 acres.  He was  married in 1870 while in Australia and his wife and companion and helper for 51 years of wedded life survives him.  To their union has been born thirteen children as follows, all living in the Lamont vicinity except two who are dead and five whose addresses are noted: Jervis D.; Mrs. Mary E. Misner, Melrose, Idaho; William T. ( deceased); Louis, Chicago, Ill; James H.; Geo. E., Clagstone, Idaho; Alfred Joe; Mrs. Ethel Hatlin, Oakland, Cal.; Mrs. Martha W. Powers, Spokane; Frank N. ; Leslie W.; William C.; and Daniel M. ( deceased).  Besides his wife and eleven  children which survive him he is also survived by 31 grandchildren.  Mr. Swannack enjoyed an exceptionally large circle of friends and among the many who attended his funeral were a large number of pioneers who gathered from near and far to pay their last tribute to one whom they had known so long and so favorably.  Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at the Gresham church.  Rev. Zabel officiated assisted by Rev. Foster and Rev. Knoll.  The remains were lad to rest, in the Gresham cemetery.  ( Sprague Advocate, Sep 01, 1921) Submitted by Barbara Curtis


Walker, Edna May:  “Edna May Walker, infant daughter of Mr. & Mrs. W. L. Walker, died last Sunday at the family home, south of Sprague, from pneumonia. The funeral services were held in the Gresham church Monday afternoon, Rev G. R. Schlauch officiating. The remains were interred in the Gresham Cemetery. Mr. & Mrs. Walker have the sympathy of their friends in the loss of their baby, who is said to have been a most beautiful child.” (Sprague Times-13 May 1904)


Wiley, Beulah May:  “Beulah May Wiley, the six-year-old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Wiley, late arrivals from West Virginia, died in this city (Sprague) yesterday afternoon. The remains were interred in the Gresham Cemetery this afternoon.” (Sprague Times-19 Sept 1902)


Wiley, James:  “The seven months old child of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Wiley died yesterday of pneumonia. The funeral will be held today at 2 PM in the Gresham church.” (Sprague Times-6 Feb 1903)



 Gresham Obituaries, Gresham, Whitman County,

Washington, submitted by Marge Womach November 2009

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