Welcome!

August 14th, 2016

…to the home page of the Hewitt-Matheny-Cooper Family Association. We are descendants of 3 related families that came to Oregon in the great Migration of 1843. On these pages you will find news of our annual reunion, articles documenting our family histories, current events in our families and more. Feel free to jump in and see what we have here, read about our family, and attend the reunion. Then join in the discussions on our HMC Family page at Facebook.com. [See how in sidebar to the right.]

 

Just to start off, you’ll find links and excerpts to 5 of the posts (articles) on this site following this welcome message. You’ll also notice comments by other readers in the sidebar to the right.  But, as mentioned above, we have moved our interactive feature to our Facebook page.  For those who don’t do Facebook, you are welcome to email your comments, articles, pictures, etc. to newsletter@hmcfamily.org. and we will post them for you on Facebook and on the website.

2021 REUNION

August 2nd, 2021

Our first virtual Reunion was a success and a learning experience. The minutes with details and the recording are coming soon.

Meanwhile, see the map and locations list for family history sites following. It is a family project so join in with anything you know, or heard rumor of, and pictures by posting on the Facebook page HMC Family or sending to newsletter@hmcfamily.org.

THE HMC MAP

July 17th, 2021

This map was created by family in 1959. We have added some to it and referred to it by the numbers in the HMC LOCATIONS list following.

This will always be a work in progress. Please send us an information and pictures you have to add to it, especially Cooper input. You can send it to newsletter@hmcfamily.org or to the Facebook group, HMC Family, and we will incorporate it into the map and locations list. Comments and corrections are also welcome.

HMC FAMILY LOCATIONS

July 17th, 2021

CHAMPOEG: The name of Adam Hewitt, brother to Henry Hewitt who married Elizabeth Matheny, is listed on the monument as one of the people who voted on whether Oregon would go with Britain or the U.S. Adam was a mountain man who went back East to convince his brother, Henry, to come to Oregon. Henry and Elizabeth waited a year so her Matheny family could come also.

MISSION BOTTOM: was the first European settlement outside of Fort Vancouver. The trappers who left the Hudson Bay Company with their Indian families settled it.
The site of the old Jason Lee Mission. where the first mission for American Indians was founded in the 1830’s.

In Into the Eye of the Setting Sun, Charlotte Matheny Kirkwood told a lot of stories that took place where the Willamette Mission State Park is now. The story about the cows following her took place there.

The nation’s largest black cottonwood is in the park, which is over 250 years old. (would have been over 70 years in 1843)

Don Rivara helped write signs about the Mathenys for the Park. The outlook by the lake may have something about our family.

There is a paved trail to the Matheny ferry from the park.

Several of the family had land there. William S. Cooper and Isaiah Matheny had property there.
Mary Garrison was just down the road.

In 1852, William Matheny a cousin, who crossed the plains later, recorded the land around the ferry after the others had abandoned it for other land. He eventually sold it to Greenville Blake. Charlotte Blake owned part of that later. She was William S Cooper’s oldest daughter by a second marriage.

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JOSEPH AND MARY MATHENY GARRISON DLC
The barn was built in 1840. It had a sign on it “built 1840”. The missionaries had built the barn just before moving the mission to Salem. The home was one that the Garrisons built, before the flood. It was not the log home the missionaries had built and the Garrisons lived in at first. The Garrison house was standing until 1993, when it was torn down. Mary Garrison said later that she was never as happy as she was here. Joe Garrison was part of the provisional government and started Willamette University in 1842??

Eleanor Beers lived just across and down the road.

“Into the Eye of the Setting Sun” stories that took place here: Foster’s ghost,
the lady’ foot falling through the ceiling and laughing; and kicking the dog.

LOCATION: Go up to the junction of Wheatland Road and Matheny road [.5 mile]. Turn right – it’s still Wheatland Road. Go 1.0 mile to the old Garrison DLC

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Monument which reads:
MATHENY PIONEER MEMORIAL
IN MEMORY OF
CAPTAIN DANIEL MATHENY (1793-1872)
AND HIS WIFE
MARY COOPER MATHENY (1800-1856)
Who came to Oregon with the first Great Wagon Train Migration in 1843. This monument stands on the original Matheny Donation Land Claim and marks the location of Matheny’s Ferry, the oldest ferry across the Willamette River. Established by Captain Matheny in 1844 and operated by him for many years….it also
marks the site of the pioneer river landing town of Atchison, founded by Captain Matheny in 1847 and later renamed Wheatland because of its importance as a wheat-shipping point…

According to the homeowner, the maple tree was planted in 1861.
Daniel Matheny and his brother, Henry Younger Matheny, bought the original ferry and replaced it with one that could carry a team and wagon. The ferry boat itself and all of its subsequent replacements have been named the Matheny Ferry. The crossing is called the Wheatland Ferry.
Jasper Matheny was left to run the ferry when he was 14 years old while the adult men went to the gold mines.

LOCATION: 45 5’30”N, 123 2’59”W
On side of road at 18270 Wheatland Rd.; right side of road as you approach the Willamette River; just before a large maple tree. Last house before you go down to the ferry. 0.9 mile from Maud Williamson State Recreation Site

ON MAP

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THE DANIEL MATHENY FERRY

Daniel Matheny and his brother, Henry Younger Matheny, bought the original ferry and replaced it with one that could carry a team and wagon. The ferry boat itself and all of its subsequent replacements have been named the Matheny Ferry. The crossing is called the Wheatland Ferry.
Jasper Matheny was left to run the ferry when he was 14 years old while the adult men went to the gold mines.

The Daniel Matheny V ferry at the Wheatland Ferry crossing August 2021

LOCATION: Wheatland Ferry crossing

MAP: shows ferry crossing

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DANIEL AND MARY COOPER MATHENY HOME SITE

Now a grain field.
Third home paid for by California gold.  (Where in recent years there was a small, blue, one story house.)

LOCATION: 45 5’29”N, 123 2’56”W across the road from the memorial.
LOCATION: Going north on Wallace Road, to the left is the site of the third home of Daniel and Mary Matheny,
MAP: shows DLC
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ADAM MATHENY DONATION LAND CLAIM

LOCATION: Maud Williamson State Recreation Site is on the DLC. On Wallace Road across from intersection with Wheatland Road.

MAP: #1

Marker for Maud Williamson Park given as a memorial to her mother. (Not related to us.)
The shelter in Maud Williamson State Recreation site on the Adam Matheny DLC, where we hold the Reunions

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CHARLOTTE MATHENY KIRKWOOD’S DAUGHTER, NELLIE WALLING’S, HOME
To the right there will be an old house with a mobile home next to it. This was Charlotte’s daughter Nellie Walling’s home. Nellie’s great grandson lived here also.

LOCATION: From Maud Williamson park, at the stop sign, turn left onto Wallace Road and proceed north. 

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GRANGE STORE

was where the block building is now. The small block building was a grocery store when Jean Kerr was in first grade, approximately1931.

LOCATION: On Wallace Road at intersection with Grand Island Road, which is called Grand Island Junction

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LEETA HEWITT AND ED COATS’ STORE

Also, owned by Henry (Hank) Taylor (nephew to Henry Kerr, husband of Sylva Hewitt Kerr, who was Leeta Hewitt Coats’ sister). There was a gas station on the left side of the Highway and the far side of Grand Island Rd. They had a gas station and a store.
Probably just Margaret Kerr and Jim Kerr (of the Kerr children) were alive then. Dad (Henry Kerr) would work out. Mom (Sylva Hewitt Kerr) tended the store. Uncle Bryant (Kerr relation) came and he helped them with the store. Al Stoutenburg came and bought 10c worth of sugar and 50c worth of chewing tobacco. Aunt Leeta’s land was across the road.


There was a family there who had some boys. Hank had his nephew taking care of the service station. There was a young man named Richmond. He was put up to robbing the store. The Richmond boy went in there and got in a fight with Billy and he stabbed Billy’s arm with his knife. Billy ran down to where his dad (Hank) was. Hank came up and went to the guy who had started the trouble. They got in a fight. The fight went up to Grandma’s (Mary Jane Rose Hewitt) house and back to the store and back to Grandma’s field. On the second trip he knocked him out put him on his shoulder and took him to his home and put him to bed.

LOCATION: On Wallace Road at intersection with Grand Island Road. The intersection was called Grand Island Junction.

GAS STATION

Hank Taylor built the store to begin with and had a Texaco station. It was the only Texaco station for miles around here. He had a tough time paying bills and all that and finally went broke. Other people took it over. Then, after WWII, Elois and Mason Demaray took it over and had a restaurant. Mason drove truck for Alderman Farms. Elois ran the store. Marjorie went in there one day and Richard kicked her. Aunt Leeta owned that farm I think 20-30 acres and she had a little house there down the road about a quarter mile.

LOCATION: SE corner of Wallace Rd. (Hwy 221) and Grand Island Rd.

MAP: #5

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METHODIST CHURCH

built in 1907 and moved across road after World War II

LOCATION: at Grand Island Junction

MAP: #4

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Unionvale community church has the Methodist church as part of the building

LOCATION: South of Unionvale Road and east of Wallace Road at Grand Island Junction

MAP: #3

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GRANDMA HEWITT’S GRAIN FIELD AND LEETA HEWITT COAT’S HOME

The filbert orchard was Grandma Hewitt’s grain field on Grand Island Road SE corner.
Leeta Hewitt Coats had about 30 acres. It started at the intersection of Wallace Road and Grand Island Road and across from Grandma Hewitt’s grain field. Former location of Leeta Coats’ original house and silo. The oak trees are still there, especially the ones way back in the corner.

LOCATION: About 17270 Grand Island Rd., L45◦7’44” N, L123◦ 3’35”W

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Leeta Hewitt Coats divided her land between her children, and Elois Coats Demaray & Mason Demaray built this brick house.

LOCATION: 17340 Grand Island Rd.

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ANTRIM’S GROVE

The site of several of the early Reunions. It was a grove of nice fir trees not more than 100 ft. deep and without buildings and clear of underbrush so you could see right through it. It was known as Antrim’s Grove but probably owned by LaDru Thornton. [“LaDru Thornton was a Hewitt cousin. He made his living selling used cars. He invested wisely and bought up a lot of land around there.”] Both the Sawyer’s and the Hewitts’ Reunions were held here. Some of the trees remain.

LOCATION: Across the road(north) from 17770 Grand Island Rd.

MAP: #6

17770 is George Antrim’s house. Antrim’s were not related but Mrs.(Ollie) Antrim made the coffee for the Reunion and Mr. Antrim fixed the tables. The family paid them $3.

Their grandson, Melvin Penrose, and Kerwin and Jean Kerr used to go fishing together. Like all the kids then, they fished with a piece of string and a bent pin. On one of their fishing trips, Kerwin caught a five pound bass, the biggest ever caught in the area. Melvin was worried that he had stayed out too late, so Kerwin gave him the fish to take to his mother. She was angry with him until she saw the fish.

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LA DRU THORNTON’S HOMESITE

LOCATION: east of Antrim’s Grove

MAP: #7

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OLIVE HEWITT AND ROLLIE SMITH’S HOME

[Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt>James Andrew Hewitt>Olive Hewitt]

The existing barn was there when they bought the place. The builder of the house was Charlie Sergeant, who was famous as a builder in Yamhill County. The back part of the house is a later addition. There used to be steps there going down to the basement. Jean Kerr (1925-2019) remembers them pouring the concrete when he was pretty small. Elsie Smith

Warmington was married there in 1922.

They had 15-20 cows and four horses. There was a big corral to the left of the barn where they kept the bull. To the right of the house as you face it, was a large vegetable garden where they raised a tremendous amount of kale and cabbage.

Rollie would go to work in the mountains for the summer and return in the Fall. His dog would know when he was coming and go out to wait for him a good four hours ahead of time.

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FORMER SITE OF THE COMMERCIAL CANNERY AND HOME BUILT AND RUN BY HENRY AND SYLVA HEWITT KERR

“They canned everything; berries, tomatoes. They picked wild blackberries. They got the produce that they canned down on Grand Island. There were all the farmers down there. They either had to haul it to Salem and take a chance or can it there. Everybody had gardens, peaches, …” “We would process the stuff and put it into tin cans.” “The cans were filled by hand.”
The concrete warehouse is still standing.
There weren’t as many machines as you might think. There was a long belt
Steam processor
Had a very good reputation with that process Never had any trouble selling
“Dad built the cannery. One of the canning companies financed him on a lot of that machinery that he had there- that chain, conveyor belt and all that stuff and the retort. American Can Company I think supplied that.”
It was built before my time
In the 1930’s there was nothing left but the foundation [of the building]. Price of sugar went up to a hundred dollars a sack. That spelled the end of the cannery
“Down in the bottoms, there were tons and tons of [blackberries]. [Jean Kerr’s]Dad used to pick them and take them to town and sell them.” “That’s how [Olive Johnson’s] Mom and my aunt earned money to help send them to college.
Going south on the property, past the existing more modern house, is a very large apple tree in front of former site of the house they built and lived in from 1926 until they moved to their homestead on High Heaven Rd. in McMinnville in 1929. Jean Kerr (b.1925) remembers hating that tree because it was the source of the switches with which he was disciplined. The property was about 14 acres that Sylva Kerr had inherited and was referred to as the Old Dorsey Place. “Grandpa and Grandma Kerr built the house at what was referred to as the Old Dorsey Place. I don’t know why it was called that. They built it on probably about fourteen acres Grandma had inherited.
She had to go down the bank (about 80 feet high) to get to their garden on the slough in the area known as the Sand Garden.

LOCATION: 45 7’41” N, 123 3’14”W
On the same lane as Olive & Rollie Smith’s house but on the south side of Grand Island Rd. and on the edge of the bluff overlooking the slough.

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CORNER OF HENRY AND ELIZABETH MATHENY HEWITT DONATION
LAND CLAIM

LOCATION: 45 7’28”N, 123 2’14”W Intersection of Grand Island Rd and SE Upper Island Rd. (which is on Grand Island) Is this the same spot?
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ENOCH COOPER’S DONATION LAND CLAIM AND HOUSE

LOCATION: The other side of Alderman Road from Hewitt DLC . 1.8 miles north of Grand Island Junction.

MAP: shows Enoch Cooper DLC

************************************************************************HENRY AND ELIZABETH MATHENY HEWITT DLC
James Andrew Hewitt’s inheritance is the land immediately north of the junction. To the right is James Andrew Hewitt’s home [one of them]. Grandma (Mary Jane Rose) Hewitt’s grain field was referred to as Grandma Hewitt’s farm because she did the farming. James Andrew was more of a gentleman farmer

LOCATION: The land north of Grand Island Rd. at Grand Island junction.
Traveling north on Wallace Road from Grand Island Junction, you have entered the Hewitt Donation Land Claim. “Hewitt’s down Wallace Road to hit Unionvale.” The hamlet of Unionvale is on Hewitt land. The grain field was northeast of Wallace Rd. (Hwy 221) and Grand Island Rd. This intersection was known as Grand Island Junction.

MAP: shows Hewitt Donation Land Claim

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THE NEIGHBORHOOD SWIMMING HOLE

The bridge was close to where the new one is now and was made of wooden planks.

LOCATION: North side of Grand Island Bridge

MAP: shows bridge

************************************************************************THE SAND GARDEN (OR THE SAND PATCH)

was a section of the farm area down on the slough. It was a little ledge that flooded during the winter and they used it to plant their gardens. “We had field corn down there, and we had sweet corn, we had peanuts and cantaloupes, those little round ones. Golden nuggets, or something like that.” The river frequently flooded the area leaving silt that made the soil rich.
“I always liked the lake that was down there with waterlilies, the old yellow ones, and the turtles; that little lake over by the gardens.”
”Down there in the Sand Garden there was that grape that hung down.” Grapes were very sweet. They were tough.”
“That’s where Kerwin caught the big bass.”

LOCATION: South of Grand Island Bridge but not visible from the bridge

MAP: shows bridge

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Three acres of land owned and farmed by Sylva Hewitt Kerr. She had to go down the bank (about 80 feet high) to get to their garden on the slough in the area known as the Sand Garden.

LOCATION: on the right after crossing the bridge onto the island

MAP: shows bridge

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OLIVE HEWITT SMITH’S FRUIT STAND

where she sold peaches and pears that they raised on the island.

LOCATION: just past her sister Sylva’s land

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SITE WHERE LEETA HEWITT COATS HAD HER PASTURE

LOCATION: 45 7’33”N, 123 2’30”W

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CORNER OF THE HEWITT DONATION LAND CLAIM

LOCATION: 45 8’13”N, 123 3’39”W

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JAMES ANDREW HEWITT’S BIRTHPLACE

site of little house where James Andrew Hewitt was born on the Hewitt Donation Land Claim

LOCATION: West of Wallace Rd(Hwy.221) just north of intersection with Grand Island Rd.

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HOME OF JAMES ANDREW AND MARY JANE ROSE HEWITT

built in 1916. There was a big mulberry tree north of house by the road. “Grandpa and Grandma Hewitt built a big, nice house we always called the Green House because for 65 to 70 years it was painted green. [It is now blue.] It was the first house as you went north of Grand Island Junction. It was well built and had its own water system. It had a well and a pump system and even a toilet. At that time there were very few houses with toilets in that neck of the woods.” “It had an unfinished upstairs (attic) and a full basement. She had a wood range in the basement and did her cooking in the basement in the summer.”
“Grandmother raised cows and thought she was making a living, but it was a pretty poor living. Kerwin and Conrad and I stayed there to take care of Grandmother one winter. I went to school in the first grade at Unionvale School.” The cows were pastured just north of the house.


Grandma had a lot of chickens. She’d take all their eggs and put them in this huge great old basket and give them to Kerwin and me to haul all the way down to the Grange store. Once a week Grandma would have this huge big old basket she put the eggs in and we’d haul it. Kerwin was 10 I was 7. Once I had to carry that basket all by myself. Whatever the value of the eggs were, he gave her that many groceries. – Jean Kerr (1925-2019)


Mary Jane Rose Hewitt continued to live there after her husband James Andrew Hewitt died (in 1925) until she moved in 1935.
Elmer Hewitt’s and Leeta Coats’ families both lived there.
Elmer Hewitt was born in a house across the road. It is now a gravel pit.

LOCATION: 45 7’50”N, 123 3’41”W; On intersection of Unionvale Road and Wallace Road; A little bit north on Wallace Rd; A little back off road ************************************************************************

HENRY AND ELIZABETH MATHENY HEWITT DONATION LAND CLAIM MONUMENT

erected in 1939 by the Hewitt family association in the middle of the DLC in front of where the family home was. The home was destroyed in the early 1920’s.  The first Reunion was held at their house.

LOCATION: West side of Wallace Rd.(Hwy 221)about .5 mile north of Grand Island Junction

MAP: #9

Monument for “Donation Land Claim of Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt 1843”

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ADAM HEWITT’S HOME AND ADAM’S GROVE
Look north of the monument to the grove of oak trees on the left to see where Adam Hewitt lived.  The Reunions of 1925-1927, and 1930 were held there, in what was referred to as Adam’s Grove.
After his parents, Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt, died in 1899,
Adam (b. 4/2/1849) settled in the northern portion of their Donation Land Claim. His brother, James Andrew, farmed the southern portion of the Hewitt Donation Land Claim. Adam married one of the Pittman girls, who had attended the Hewitt school on his parents’ land. Later, Adam bought out James Andrew’s portion of the land.
His house was built in the grove of oak trees.
“Adam Hewitt’s house was across the road from the schoolhouse on the highway going towards Dayton a mile north of the intersection of Grand Island Junction and the Salem highway.
Adam raised dairy cows and skunks. He sold the skunks hides and knew how to neutralize their His house was built in the grove of oak trees.
“Adam Hewitt’s house, built about 1900, stands next to a grove of oak trees on the left. It is the original structure except for a small, tin roof addition. The Reunion was held here for several years under the oak trees. “Uncle Adam raised dairy cows and skunks. He learned how to deodorize skunks. He’d raise them to market size, skin them, and sell their hides. He raised a few cows, selling some cream.” “He was the only one of the nine Hewitt boys that turned out to be a farmer.” ??
“Uncle Adam was a small man, good-natured and hardworking. His son Otis made a living training and racing racehorses.”

LOCATION: Across Wallace Rd.(Hwy 221) from the Unionvale School site, a mile north of Grand Island Junction. North of the Hewitt DLC monument
MAP: #10
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THE HEWITT SCHOOL

Field where the Unionvale School probably was. The Unionvale School was the Hewitt School. It was started by Henry and Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt for their children. The first Hewitt school was on wheels and they moved it around.
John Cooper taught Jasper Hewitt there.
Elma Hewitt attended first, second, and third grades and Jean Kerr (1925-2019) attended first grade there. He walked the mile from Grandma (Mary Jane) Hewitt’s house to school down Wallace Rd. Elma Hewitt had five girls and a boy in her class. There were two wings. Grades 1 through 5 were in one room and 6 through 8 were in the other.

LOCATION:

LOCATION: 45 8’31”(or 27”)N, 123 3’38”W In Unionvale, on east side of Hwy. 221 Wallace Road; On the northwest corner of the Hewitt DLC, near the oak trees.
MAP: see Hewitt DLC
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BOUNDARY BETWEEN THE HEWITT DLC AND THE ENOCH COOPER DLC The tree is the SW corner of the Henry & Elizabeth Matheny Hewitt DLC. This part of Unionvale Rd. is the boundary between the Hewitt DLC and the Enoch Cooper DLC.

LOCATION: 45 8’13”N, 123 4’20”W. From Hwy 221 going north, turn left (west)onto Unionvale Rd. Proceed to tree standing almost in the road where the road makes a right angle turn to the south. A little ways after the right angle turn.

MAP: see Hewitt and Enoch Cooper DLCs.

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NORTHWEST CORNER OF HEWITT DONATION LAND CLAIM

LOCATION: To the left down Alderman Road off Wallace Road going north is an oak tree. Nailed on this tree is a survey marker showing this to have been the northwest corner of the Hewitt DLC.


LORIN HEWITT had a house near there.

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CHURCH BUILT BY ENOCH COOPER

The church (now Seventh Day Adventist)  built by William S. Cooper’s son, Enoch, who was a carpenter.  Charlotte Kirkwood attended this church in her later years

LOCATION: From Hopewell, turn right toward Wheatland on the Lafayette Highway. Located immediately after returning to the Lafayette Highway. Building is still there right across from Hopewell School.

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CHARLOTTE MATHENY AND JOHN KIRKWOOD’S HOME
The site of Charlotte Matheny and John Kirkwood’s home.

LOCATION: To the left immediately after the church on Lafayette Highway, are two oak trees that are set back from the road. This is where the house was.

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DANIEL B. MATHENY’S DONATION LAND CLAIM

LOCATION: behind Charlotte Matheny and John Kirkwood’s DLC

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JOSEPH AND LOUISA MATHENY KIRKWOOD DLC

Louisa (a.k.a. Lucy Ann in her younger years and Louisiana in her later years)  (1829-1908) married Joseph Kirkwood in 1847. She was the daughter of Henry Younger Matheny and Rachel Cooper.

LOCATION: Head north toward Hopewell on Hopewell Road, but before arriving there, turn left on Jerusalem Hill Road. Proceed to the site. Back in the trees, behind Hopewell Cemetery is a spring where they lived.

HOPEWELL CEMETERY
When the first death occurred in the area, because their claim lay on high ground, Rachel Cooper Matheny and Henry Younger Matheny donated a portion of their land as the local cemetery. A monument honoring her is next to the church in the cemetery.  The majority of those buried here are descendants.
Charlotte Matheny Kirkwood tells the story of the first burial – (Mr. Kay story. Reuben was the one who married into our family.) in her memoirs, Into the Eye of the Setting Sun.  She also tells the story of our own family’s first burial there which was for Sarah Jane Matheny Layson, who died in the California gold fields.  There is a question if her body had really been brought back and buried here.  
LOCATION: On a hill by a church on Lafayette Highway, north of the town of Hopewell
MAP: #2
Gravesite of Daniel and Mary Cooper Matheny in Hopewell Cemetery