Filed Under Wolf Creek

Dearborn Cemetery

Pioneers, homesteaders, ranchers, veterans, and children are among the silent occupants who lie beneath the sod in this small, still active, community cemetery. The area has a rich cultural heritage. Before the arrival of trappers, traders, homesteaders, and ranchers, generations of Native Americans hunted buffalo nearby. They left pictographs on cliff faces and remnants of tools and weapons scattered across the landscape. Lewis and Clark trekked through in July 1805, naming the Dearborn River for Secretary of War Henry Dearborn. The Mullan Road, completed in 1860, cut a primitive swath through that area. Dearborn Crossing sprang up soon after. The rural community quickly grew from a remote stage station along the road from Helena to Fort Benton into a bustling settlement that included a substantial hotel and a school. The Dearborn Crossing Cemetery, located circa 1868 on a high knoll overlooking the Dearborn River, served the early community. When the Montana Central Railroad bypassed Dearborn City in 1887, the settlement died out, and the Dearborn Crossing Cemetery was abandoned. However, families continued local ranching and agricultural operations. In 1909, a tragedy prompted the founding of this burial ground. William A. and Minnie Reinig put their toddler to bed and of necessity left him sleeping as they went out to attend to evening chores. The little boy awakened, crawled out of bed, and pulled a candle off the table. He suffered fatal burns. His grandparents, rancher Frank Reinig and his wife Hattie, gave the land to establish the Dearborn Cemetery in Arthur’s memory. Arthur Reinig was the first person interred here. The cemetery incorporated in 1964, and longtime board treasurer and secretary Gary Murphy built the gate. The adjacent log chapel commemorates local ranchers Mary Burggraff and her son Adolph and daughter-in-law Ann, who died in an automobile accident in 1956. The cemetery continues to serve the local community.

Images

Dearborn Cemetery
Dearborn Cemetery Gate Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Ellen Baumler Date: Unknown
Dearborn Cemetary
Dearborn Cemetary Chapel Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Ellen Baumler Date: Unknown
Headstone
Headstone Arthur E. Reinig was first person interned here Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Ellen Baumler Date: Unknown

Location

5394-5398 State Highway 434, Wolf Creek, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Dearborn Cemetery,” Historic Montana, accessed April 14, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2361.