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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Alonzo Gesner ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Alonzo Gesner
BORN: 2 Mar 1842 DIED: 6 Mar 1912 BURIED: 8 Mar 1912
BIRTH PLACE:  Illinois
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
OSBH Marion Co., #697: Reuben A. Gesner, male, married, Civil Engineer, res. of 195 S Cottage St., b. March 2, 1842 in Illinois, d. March 6, 1912, age 70 years, 2 days; son of Reuben A. Gesner, b. New York, and Mary Bailey, b. Illinois; W. T. Rigdon Funeral Home, burial March 8, 1912, IOOF cemetery, informant LeRoy Gesner.

RETURNED -- Hon. A. Gesner returned Thursday from the Warm Springs Indian agency, where he had been settling up his affairs as late agent.  The new agent has retained all the old employes except young Mr. Culver of this county, who was replaced by a democrat.  J. M. Patterson of this city remains there for the present.
Oregon Statesman, Oct. 24, 1885, 3:3
Former Senator from Marion and Linn -- Held Other Offices. Resided in Vicinity Sixty-six years
Widely Known as a Surveyor. 
Alonso Gesner, former joint senator from Marion and Linn counties, Salem city councilman and city and county surveyor, and honored pioneer, died at his home, 195 South Cottage street, at 10 o’clock yesterday at the age of 70 years. 
Mr. Gesner has resided in this vicinity since he was 4 years of age, the last thirty-five years of his life having been spent at his home in this city, and the previous years of the period on the old Gesner farm six miles southeast of Salem, excepting periods when he was absent fulfilling the duties of various offices. His death was due to the weaknesses of old age. 
Two Terms as Senator. 
Mr. Gesner served Marion and Linn counties in the state legislature as joint senator two terms during the 90's. As a member of the Salem city council he served four terms. He was a surveyor of ability, and aside from holding the position of city surveyor and county surveyor, he held many contracts for surveying work for the government. He was first elected county surveyor in 1872 and was re-elected for the term of 1876-78. Mr. Gesner was appointed Indian agent for Warm Springs reservation by President Arthur in 1992 and served in that position until the opening of the Cleveland administration nineteen months later. Served in Militia. The pioneer was a member of the state militia for nine years. For nearly three years of that time he was captain of Company I, Second regiment, Oregon National Guard, the headquarters of which was at McCoy. Mr. Gesner came across the plains to Oregon with his parents in 1846. Upon reaching The Dalles after coming to Oregon the family discovered that there was no road over the Cascade Mountains, and were compelled to come down the Columbia on rafts and in canoes and guided by friendly Indians. At that time the donation act was resulting in a very heavy immigration from the east to Oregon. The Gesner family came directly to Marion county and settled upon the section of land six miles southeast of Salem, which is still in the possession of the family. 
Endured Hardships. 
In his boyhood in this county Mr. Gesner and his people endured all the hardships of the frontier pioneers. All wearing apparel was manufactured at home, buckskins being converted into clothing and cowhide into shoes by the men, while the women made their dresses from wagon cloths or other similar materials. In those days there was little money in circulation in this country. As a substitute, wheat was accepted as legal tender, valued at $1 per bushel. Because of the large immigration of 1852 what was held at that time at $5 a bushel. 
Educated at Willamette. 
Mr. Gesner obtained his advanced education at Willamette university. After leaving that institution he followed teaching for a year. Preferring the farm to the schoolroom he began cutting cordwood and made money enough in one season to purchase thirty acres of land near the Gesner homestead. It was in 1872 that Mr. Gesner began work as a surveyor, and in that work formed a partnership with a Mr. Wilkins of Lane county. His election to the office of county surveyor followed a short time afterward. 
Once Owned Statesman
In 1882 after having served the county and the government as a surveyor, Mr. Gesner with General Odell purchased the Oregon Statesman. Mr. Gesner, however, retained his interest in the newspaper for only about eight months, selling his share to accept the appointment as Indian agent for the Warm Springs agency by President Arthur. When Cleveland was elected president Mr. Gesner returned to his farm, where he remained until 1889, when he was elected city surveyor. 
In 1875 Mr. Gesner was married to Miss Rhoda E. Neal, who survives him. He is also survived by three children-LeRoy Gesner, a musician of Spokane; Mrs. Stella Hodges of Boise, Idaho, and Miss Rhoda Gesner of Salem. All were at his bedside when he died. Funeral Friday. In politics the pioneer was a Republican. He was a Mason and also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Full arrangements for the funeral have not yet been made, but the service will be conducted Friday at the Rigdon undertaking chapel and will be under the auspices of the Masonic order. 
Daily Oregon Statesman 7 Mar 1912 1:6 & 4:5.
Alonzo Gesner 
1852 - 1912 

(West face of Gesner monument) 
OSBH DC (Marion Co., 1912) #697 
S&H pg 40 
OS, Oct. 24, 1885, 3:3
OS 7 Mar 1912 1:6 & 4:5
Debbie Hedges (Subject line: Family Tree)
LOT: 549 SPACE: 2 NW LONGITUDE: N 44° 55.209' LATITUDE: W 123° 02.876'

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