Pauper Cemetery

Back Ground

The Yamhill County Poor Farm or the farm for the aged surfaced in Yamhill County in 1903 when the county commissioners purchased for $40 an acre the Jonathan Todd farm. One year after the purchase a barn was ordered by the same county commissioners, beginning the lifespan of the poor farm. The county commissioners gave the orders and paid the bills according to documented history. The county commissioners had established a poor farm with the aim of saving money and fulfilling their duty of providing welfare services. In 1939 it was announced in the local paper that the county was abolishing the farm for the aged and in 1942 the county sold the property which caused the residents to be dispersed to homes around Yamhill County. 39 years the county of Yamhill paid for the needs of the Yamhill County Poor Farm.
The small Paupers Cemetery at the Southeast corner of the property of the McMinnville Masonic Cemetery is all that is left of the acreage that was purchased by the county commissioners in 1903. In reality it is all that is left of the memory of the farm with the exception of the old home that is privately owned as of 2023.

It is known by shared family histories that the people buried within the poppers cemetery were residents of the poor farm, burials paid by the county of Yamhill all of which have no markers except a few that have metal markers that are not legible. Up to two or more than fifty other barrels were placed in unmarked graves from the poor farm throughout the McMinnville Masonic cemetery. These plots for the residents of the poor farm were sold by the masonic lodge in McMinnville for a small amount which is documented within the cemetery ledgers. These plots and all burials paid for by the county of Yamhill.

The names of the people buried outside of the Pauper Cemetery within the McMinnville Masonic cemetery are known, however their location of burial is not.

When a new community was created the developers surrounded the Pauper Cemetery with a chain link fence. The cemetery became un kept and abandoned.

In 2022 St. Barnabas Church in McMinnville Oregon adopted this cemetery.

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