EUGENE: Pioneer Cemetery Ceremony

11:00am to 12:15pm

Eugene Pioneer Cemetery
1001 E. 18th Avenue
Eugene OR, 97403

[The Cemetery is adjacent to the campus of the University of Oregon across University Street from McArthur Court and behind the Knight Library]

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Memorial Day in Eugene
The Memorial Day service at beautiful Eugene Pioneer Cemetery is one of the oldest traditions in the state. 150-300 people attend each year.
Memorial Day in Eugene
Eugene Pioneer Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places. 10% of its graves are those of veterans. These include 145 Civil War veterans. both Union and Confederate, who resettled in Oregon. The heart of the cemetery is the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) plot pictured above. This plot contains 51 Civil War veterans and six women and children family members. In the center of the plot rises a 25-foot, 7-ton blue marble statue of Union soldier John Covell, whose grave is in the plot.

Among the notable graves in the G.A.R plot at Pioneer Cemetery is that of Lane County’s only Medal of Honor winner from the Civil War. Corporal Louis Renninger, was one of the few wounded survivors of a failed 150-man assault on the Confederate heights at the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863.

An Oregonian Killed in Action in WWI

Leslie Tooze has a special plot in Pioneer Cemetery, marked with an honorary granite headstone from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

1st Lieutenant Leslie Tooze graduated from the University of Oregon in 1916 and started his law school education at Harvard along with his twin brother, Lamar. They both left school to fight in World War I. After fighting mostly apart, they were finally stationed together in the 364th Infantry on the edge of northeast France’s Argonne Forest. Weeks before the Great War would end, on October 25 1918, Leslie led his men into battle. Killed in action, he would receive the Silver Star for his valor that day. After being buried hastily in France, Tooze was re-interred in Pioneer Cemetery in 1921. Although his mother relocated his remains to Portland, Tooze retains a special plot in Pioneer Cemetery.

2 thoughts on “”

  1. I quite appreciate you sharing this. I grew up in Mississippi in the ’50s and ’60s, a period during which Civil War remembrances were still important to many. When my wife and I moved to Eugene in ’86, we were delighted to live in a “Yankee” state, although we miss having the old battlefields close at hand.

    Leslie Tooze was a fine looking young man, and I’m sorry his life ended so soon after it started.

    1. Thank you. Appreciate the kind words. I went to University of Oregon and have fond memories of living in Eugene. I plan to visit the South and see some of those battlefields. God bless! -Marc

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