Buell, Oregon Ghost Town

Buell, Oregon Ghost Town

The town of Buell is located about 8 miles almost directly south of Sheridan Oregon, on Highway 22/Willamina-Salem Highway/Dallas Coast Highway in Polk County, Oregon.

In 1847 Elias Buell led one of the 26 wagon trains that left that year to Oregon. His Brother was also on the trip, along with his Wife, Sarah Hammond. Other members of the Wagon Train were the Bateman, Carey, Conner, Findley, Franklin, and Putman families.

The Buell family arrived at Fort Vancouver via the Columbia River, instead of the Barlow trail. Records show that they made it there on November 15th, 1847 and took out Land Claim #4165 for an area in Polk County. History of Oregon by William Henry Gray stats that Elias was a blacksmith. He went to California in 1848 as part of the Gold Rush, coming back with $2000 in gold. He used this money to start a saw mill and flour mill on Mill Creek, which runs through his land claim.

Today the “town” consists of a couple of houses, a grange hall, and the school house which has obviously been turned into a residence.

Buell, Oregon Ghost Town

A small park next to the grange hall completes the town. From a map I have seen, it looks like the mill would have been located in the general area of the park.

For more information about the Elias Buell Family and relatives, see these threads on Ancestry.com:



I have also been informed that there is further information about the Buell Family at the Polk County Historical Society. If any family members have a copy of Elias’ diary, or even copies by any other members of the family I would be interested in posting it here for all to see.

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  1. Elias’s mill was south of Buell at falls through a narrow rock channel; the area by the park is too flat for a mill. -Elias wrote his name E Buell July 10 1847 on Independence Rock, along the Oregon Trail. His granddaughter Sarah Findley Redford described the 1847 trip in Transactions of the Oregon Pioneed Assn June 17 1926. More information about Elias can be found at his memorial at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Buell&GSfn=Elias&GSbyrel=in&GSdyrel=in&GSst=39&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=10439625& – Life in the small community in the early 20th century is described in “A Slice of Country Life” by George F. Walker