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Boise, Ada County, Idaho
Pioneer Cemetery, Boise, ID
GPS: 43.610948, -116.189230
460 E Warm Springs Ave
Boise, ID 83712
Published: December 24, 2019
Total records: 1,829
Pioneer Cemetery is owned and operated by the City of Boise, ID.
The land on which Pioneer Cemetery sits had been in use as a burial ground going back to when Boise was settled in 1863. Ada County records indicate that in 1868 a businessman named Michael Keppler was granted a Federal Land Grant Patent for 120 acres that today includes Pioneer Cemetery. Keppler then sold the land to John Krall, a local business proprietor, in February of 1869.
A small section of the property continued to be used as a public burial ground until 1872 when Krall sold a 5-acre plot to two prominent Lodges – the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows – to be used by members and their families. Following the purchase of these 5 acres, Ada County Surveyor P.W. Bell completed a platt map dated Oct. 1, 1872, designating separate areas of the cemetery to each lodge. This arrangement remained in force for the next 48 years with the two lodges dividing expenses for maintenance.
Increasing expenses made operating the two burial grounds difficult. Moreover, the establishment of the newer Morris Hill Cemetery, established in 1882, made the Masonic Cemetery too expensive. The Odd Fellows deeded their section to the City of Boise officially on June 1, 1920 and has been maintained by Boise Parks and Recreation since.
There are 1,796 marked graves at Pioneer Cemetery, though it is the final resting place of many more than that. Deaths were not recorded in Idaho until after the turn of the 20th century. Often, deaths were not listed in newspapers, leaving only grave markers and mortuary records to determine the earliest burials. The very first interments were likely the task of family or friends, and many markers, particularly those constructed of wood, have disappeared with time.
The earliest recorded burial in Pioneer Cemetery was Carrie Logan, daughter of Thomas and Caroline Logan, who died Aug. 22, 1864 on the Camas Prairie, at age of five years, 11 months and five days. Hers is the oldest legible grave marker in the cemetery today.
Records linked below were acquired from the City of Boise in electronic database format on December 22, 2019. Dates of death in these records range from 1862 to 2019.