Historic Hood River
Doc Winchell Farmhouse
This is identified as Doc Winchell’s farmhouse, built in 1903 on “the original homestead.” I think this is Arline Winchell Moore’s family. A few of the people are identified: Doc Winchell, Mrs. Winchell, Maude and Margaret.
The first family of Virgil “Doc” Winchell at their home in Pine Grove on what I grew up knowing as “Winchell Butte.” The Winchell land butted up on the west to my grandfather's orchard. His parents were Jerome Winchell and Julia Ann Neal (of the old Neal family for which Neal Creek is named.)
Doc homesteaded there with his mother in 1882 and put in 55 acres of fruit and the rest was hay for the livestock. He married Margaret “Maggie” Knapp and their children were:
Arline married Max Moore
Edith married Samuel Dietrich
George married Jessie Stockwell
Grace married Arthur Hansen
Maud married Richard Weber
Margaret married Ivan Husbands
In 1906 little Lena got sick and Maggie (Mrs. Winchell) was not feeling well. Doc decided to take Lena to Portland to a doctor. While he was there he received notification that Maggie had died. He left Lena in the hospital and raced home, only to soon be notified that little Lena had also died. Doc was born in Hood River on 30 August 1865 and died on 30 September 1932. He is buried, as are many of the Winchell family in the old part of Pine Grove Cemetery.
“Doc” would marry again to Helen Powell. She was born in 1887 in Pennsylvania and died in Washington D. C. in 1967. She is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery They would have two children Ruthanna and Virgil.
So why was he called â€œDocâ€?
The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., February 23, 1940, page 1
PINE GROVE CEMETERY IS REAL GOD'S ACRE
Area Was Set Aside Fifty Years Ago
To assist with their maintenance fund, the Butte Cemetery Association members are putting on a chicken dinner at the Pine Grove church parlors at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24. The committee assures there is to be a real feed with lemon pie to “top off” and the charge is only twenty-five cents per plate. The support of all the friends of the members and all community spirited person will be appreciated by these people.
Fifty-one years ago this month Virgil (Doc) Winchell and his young wife Margaret (Maggie Knapp) deeded the old Neal-Winchell family burial grounds to a board of trustees “forever to be used as a public burial ground.” About the same time and they set the ground aside for the present church “for purpose of a church.”
Immediately they, with the assistance of D.A. Turner, Hans (Father) Lage, R.E. Harbison, Sam Harbison, John Monroe and a few others organized an association for cemetery purposes with D.A. Turner the first president and John Monroe, secretary. The group chose the name Butte Cemetery Association for their organization and one of the rules laid down was that their meetings should always be held in the little church near the burial grounds. Another was that “the last Saturday in February is forever to be the annual electoral meeting.”
For some twenty years these grounds were consistently used then as better, more modern grounds were built up by the new citizens which flocked to this country near the beginning of this century, this old pioneer burial place fell into disuse and became badly neglected.
During the past several years, the sons and daughters of those early organizers resurrected the old rules, modernized them as much as they could and still retain as much as practical of the original plans. The grounds have been reclaimed. Once more the little piece of “Gods Acre” at the foot of Van Horn Butte “belongs”. Once more the use and beautification of this peaceful resting spot is a community enterprise.
Â© Jeffrey L. Elmer
……………and it was non other than Arline (Winchell) Moore who got the ball rolling to get what we know as Pine Grove Cemetery all cleaned up. For years it was largely neglected and people were ashamed of it, therefore many families opted to take their loved one to Idlewilde for burial. If you go over to Idlewilde and wander around, one area in particular you will find many of the names totally associated with Pine Grove families.
Once Grandma Moore as I knew her as got on her soap box she got things going and they have continued to this day. Each spring there after there was a Saturday set aside for cemetery clean up. All the men, and yes some women got out there and got busy. At noon there was a huge pot luck dinner at the Pine Grove Church.
I haven't a clue as to why Virgil Winchell was called Doc. However, I just might be able to find out.
Also it was Winchell who gave the land for both the Pine Grove School and Pine Grove Church.
Virgil Winchell was exceptionally good with animals. He was very concerned that they be well taken care of and he worked closely with his own if there were any health issues, wounds, etc. He became so good at it and everyone around knew of his wonderful help where animals were concerned that they turned to him for advice or actual help. Thus the name “Doc.” This is what Arline said of her father whom she had the utmost respect for.