Ewanida Rail Records


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Pioneer Memorial Gardens
Wheeler, Grant County, Washington

14403 Road 2 NE,
Wheeler WA 98837-9324

Lat: 47 06' 58"N, Lon: 119 10' 46"W
T19N R28E Section 28

Transcribed by Maggie Rail, © Nov 16, 2005, last edited Nov 25, 2010 [mrail@asisna.com]. Total records = 5,179.

From I-90 driving west as you are entering the Moses Lake area, take the Wheeler turnoff, turning right onto Wheeler Rd NE and continue to Wheeler. Turn right or south onto Road O for one mile, then turn right or west onto Road 2NE. The cemetery is on the south side of the road. Be sure to get permission at the office first before entering the cemetery.

Pioneer Memorial Gardens was established in 1905, it was a one acre City Cemetery, then it was deeded to the Oddfellows in the 1950s, who expanded it to about 9 acres, and in 2001 it was purchased by the Benson Family who are expanding it again. - per Susan Benson

I tried to physically read this cemetery when I visited it on Jul 17, 2005, and was told by Mr Benson to remove myself from the property and was unable to gain permission from him to return to the cemetery to read it myself. One must obtain permission to enter this cemetery from the main office and I was told I needed to have a family member buried there to visit only their burial site.

In my frustration I did some research, trying to find at least some of those buried here. My main source being the Grant County Genealogy Society, who allowed me to re-publish records they have in their library. These records included work done by Shane Palmer to earn his Eagle Scout degree in 1990.

After transcribing from those I compared with other records, such as Social Security records, obits and other public records. Thus I did not copy totally from any one source, and all are previously published records. I ask anyone who has the name and dates of someone buried in this cemetery to please consider sharing them with me, if they are not listed. If you have a photo in digital format of the stone I would like to see that also. Obituaries or other public records will be gladly accepted.

Listings with an asterisk are those I do have a photo of the stone. Some photos are not good, since the area I was in had very poor stone care. Some stones were buried under grass, others covered with lichen etc. They mow the lawn, but there is not much care around some of the stones I saw.

I was warned of this when I was reading other Grant County cemeteries, but I really did not believe it could be true, after all the hundreds of cemeteries I have read. Later I find out there have been demonstrations at this cemetery, carried out by the neighboring townspeople, according to the local newspapers and law enforcement office. Also it is said that some have removed their loved ones from this cemetery to another cemetery, because of the new business practices and no freedom to visit the burial sites. It would be wonderful if the townfolks platted out land and created a new cemetery that is open to all.

At that time the owners, the Benson Family, did not understand that searching of names requires first knowing the name of the person who is actually buried there, or having the name but have no idea what cemetery they are buried in. Mrs Benson informed me that she is there to help anyone if you give her the name to look up. What she did not understand at that time was that many do not have the needed information to ask her. This is one reason why I do this hard work. I am not reimbursed in any way for doing any of this transcribing.

New Chapter:

I the summer of 2010, Susan Benson provided me with a list of all of the burials in this cemetery. I have spent many months researching these names using the SS death index and the Washington State Archives trying to acquire the birth and death dates for each person. There are hundreds that I could not find this information for, which are now only listed with the name, burial date and location. I also compared this list with what I had, combining when I could and I now have a much larger cemetery transcription than I had at first.

This now includes the locations of each burial from the cemetery sexton files. Some at first names I had listed a different location, which I changed to be the same as the cemetery sexton has. If anyone does know the birth and death dates (or death and age) of any I do not have I would be very happy to add that information. Visiting the cemetery is possibly different now, I suggest you contact the cemetery to find out.

The record I first had was fairly complete up to the year 2000 with many errors. Additional names were added as I found them, but not a complete listing after that date. Entries followed by initials are names submitted to me to add to my listing from others, which were not found in the sexton files. This is now a complete listing of all names up to the Aug 01, 2010.

- Maggie Rail

b. = born
c/o = child of
d. = died
d/o = dau of
FH = Funeral home
m. = married
s/by = stone by

s/o = son of
s/w = stone with
w/o = wife of
* = have a photo
Gr = grave

[BL] = per Beth Lee

Garden of Communion - GC
Garden of Deseret = GDes
Garden of Devotion = GDev
Garden of Holy Cross = GHC
Garden of Love = GL
Garden of Meditation = GMd
Garden of Memories = GM
Garden of Good Shepherd = GGS
Pioneer Section = P
Garden of Serenity = GSer
Garden of Tranquility - GT
Garden of Peace = GP
E Columbarium = ECol
W Columbarium = WCol
Tranquility Columbarium = GT Col
Memories Columbarium = GMem Col

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