Daily Scoop: Historic group helps at historic cemetery

In my opinion, one of the jewels in Philomath’s crown can be found on the outskirts at Mount Union Cemetery. There is so much history in this beautiful acreage that serves as the final resting place for many individuals and families from the community’s past.

The story of the cemetery’s beginnings with former slave Reuben Shipley donating 2 acres of his farm land on the condition that black people could be buried there makes this place even more special.

So, it’s always warming to hear about some work that someone or an organization has done to help out the cemetery. It’s been about seven weeks ago now, but on Oct. 11, the Winema Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution out of Corvallis came over to Mount Union. The cemetery’s Janet Cornelius said the DAR chapter helped prepare damaged flags for proper destruction, cleaned out bluebird boxes and washed flower holders.

While many of us know about the cemetery’s fascinating history, I wondered about the Winema DAR chapter. To start, who does the name refer to?

DAR volunteers at Mount Union Cemetery
A patriotic moment during the DAR’s visit to Mount Union Cemetery. (Photos submitted by Janet Cornelius, Mount Union Cemetery)

According to the organization’s website, the chapter was named Winema out of a suggestion that came from Oregon State College Professor J.B. Horner. Winema was the name given to the daughter of a Modoc chief by Col. A.B. Meacham, the peace commissioner during the Modoc War of 1872-73.

“Winema gained national attention because of her role in the Modoc War. The name Winema means “Woman with Brave Heart,’” the website’s history section explains.

The chapter was organized in Corvallis on Dec. 28, 1920, so this organization will soon be celebrating its centennial. Congratulations to that group on its 100th birthday and thanks for helping at Mount Union Cemetery.

(Daily Scoop is a blog published by the Philomath News. This blog often contains news items but also could include opinions of Brad Fuqua, publisher/editor).

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