Hillside Cemetery and Rose Ann Countryman
- Created: September 10, 2016
- Written by: Kim Henrick
Horace Countryman was the first homesteader in what would become the heart of Reno. He arrived in Nevada in 1861 with his wife and five children (and Horace's four brothers and their families). They first settled in the Washoe Valley area and by 1863 the whole clan had moved north to the new settlement on the Truckee River. Horace Countryman paid $1.25 per acre for 127.54 acres of land north of the river, west of Lake's Bridge. On this land he and his family lived in the house below (according to Annie Prouty in her 1917 master's thesis published in the Nevada State Historical Society Papers, Vol. IV, 1923-1924).
Imagine a small girl playing along the Truckee River with her many siblings and cousins. Her name was Rose Ann Countryman (daughter of Horace Countryman) and she was important to the history of our city and Hillside Cemetery. Rose Ann died before the Countryman families left the area in 1865. Her small body was buried in what became Powning's Addition and on March 26, 1889, her remains were moved to the south end of Hillside Cemetery. An entry from a Countryman family bible reads: "Rose Ann Countryman, who died on the 8th day of April A. D. 1864 on Truckee River near Lakes Crossing, Washoe County, State of Nevada. Aged Five years six months and four days." [Note: some sources incorrectly called her "Grace C. Countryman." I found an undertaker's entry "Grace C." but I imagine whoever wrote the entry in the family bible most likely knew her correct name.]
Rose Ann's remains will again be dug up and reburied if the current proposal to "restore" (or let's call it what it is—repurpose) the southern end of Hillside Cemetery comes to pass. Here are some images from this under-appreciated, historical site. Please get involved and check out the Facebook page for the Hillside Cemetery Volunteers at https://www.facebook.com/HillsideCemeteryVolunteers/ and the Hillside Cemetery Foundation Preservation site at http://hcpfoundation.squarespace.com/
There are petitions to sign, donations to be made, meetings to attend, voices to be heard…