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Historic Cemeteries of Ashland Oregon

United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service

Historic Cemeteries of Ashland Oregon and Environs 1851-1925

Section number E Page 3

Hill-Dunn Cemetery, established in 1853 on the Isaac Hill Donation Land Claim, is approximately three acres in size and is situated approximately three miles east of Ashland near Nighway 66 and Emigrant Lake.  The family burial ground was originally opened to accept the bodies of individuals killed in Indian-settler conflicts and was gradually expanded to contain the graves of many of the east Ashland area's earliest Euro-American settlers.  Among the graves are those of members of the Hill, Dunn and Russell families.  Hill-Dunn Cemetery, with vegetation typical of the valley floor and bordering uplands at the time of initial imigration intact, represents one end of the spectrum of landscape qualities of the community area's pioneer cemeteries.

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Section number 8 Page 8

James and Ann Hill Russell

The excellent marble work of the Russells developed from years of experience at their trade.  James Russell was born in Tennessee on April 5, 1823.  He received his earliest instructions in the stonecutter trade after joining a railroad construction force.  After an apprenticeship at the trade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Russell left the east for California and the Gold Rush.  He moved to southern Oregon in 1851 and opened the Mountain House near the base of the Siskiyous.  Russell married Ann Hill on May 9, 1854 and after working and living in Yreka, California for four years returned to Jackson County to erect a marble mill near Phoenix, Oregon.  After a brief period in Idaho mines, James Russell settled in Ashland on April 14, 1865 and built a marble mill on Ashland Creek.  Here he is credited with creating the first marble monuments in Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Klamath and Lake Counties and in Siskiyou County, California.  James Russell was assisted in the marble and monument business by his wife who excelled in both design and carving.  Russell died in Ashland on October 1, 1895 after prolonged rheumatic difficulties. (28)

During James Russell's illness and following his death, his wife operated the marble monument business alone.  Ann Hill Russell, born in Sweetwater, Tennessee, came to the upper Bear Creek Valley with her parents, Isaac and Elizabeth Hill in the spring of 1853.  Mother of eleven children, Ann Russell had assisted her husband at his work through the years and after his death continued the work on her own, earning a reputation as a fine marble carver.(29)   In 1908 the Ashland Tidings quoted an article from the Monumental News, a Chicago published trade journa, regarding Mrs. Russell's skilled work.
 

Mrs. Ann Hazeltine Hill Russell of Ashland Oregon enjoys the distinction of being a skillful, practical marble cutter and carver.  She owns a marble shop in Ashland and does all kinds of stone work, making a specialty of carved monumental work.

Mrs. Russell learned her trade from her husband in lettering and carving and she finally surpassed her teacher.  She has conducted the business since her husband's death, and does all the lettering, carving, and designing and attends personally to setting up each monument.  Ann Hill Russell was quoted in the article:

'[In 1865] Mr. Russell built a marble mill here run by water power, and supplied the trade of four counties in Southern Oregon.  He worked exclusively in Oregon marble -- white crystal marble from a quarry about sixty miles northwest of Ashland.  After the railroad came, Vermont marble almost entirely supplanted Oregon marble in our shop.  I delight to carve in Vermont marble, as it is so much softer than the Oregon stone, and the latter is almost as hard to work as granite.' (30)

Local monuments credited to James or Ann Hill Russell in Ashland Cemetery include, among others, those of Ernest and Ella Wagner, Oscar and Lucinda Ganiard, E.K. nderson, John McCall, J.C. Tolman, thomas smith, and J.H. Chitwood. (31)  For these stones and many others carved during the period the Russells worked in Ashland, granite and marble material was taken from several quarries in the area including Marble Mountain in Josephine County, and the Tolman, Praytor and Blair Quarries near Ashland.

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(28) The footnote was not included in the copy of the nomination I received.
(29) The footnote was not included in the copy of the nomination I received
(30) The footnote was not included in the copy of the nomination I received
(31) The footnote was not included in the copy of the nomination I received

Last updated by William P. Russell onSaturday, 24-Nov-2007 15:41:58 MST