Hillcrest and St. Francis Cemeteries

Just to the south of Harrington proper is the Hillcrest and St. Francis cemeteries, which are owned and maintained by the city. The Hillcrest grounds were designated and purchased as a cemetery in 1898 with the death and burial of Georgia May Bethel, the 13 year old daughter of Charlie and Belle. Georgia had contracted diphtheria, and she was the Bethels only child; they later left their ranch and built a Spanish style home on first street. Prior to this there had been an unofficial cemetery outside of town whose inhabitants were later exhumed and re-interred at Hillcrest. The St Francis cemetery was originally maintained by the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church but with the decline of the town transferred to the city.

Situated on a slight hill with ample trees for shade and windbreak it is a very tranquil resting place. There are headstones of all shapes, sizes and material that despite age have been well maintained. With old interspersed with new, as the plots are situated by family not date. The obvious wealth that the wheat fields yield can be seen when looking at the quality and ornate markers to families and individuals.

Scattered records shed light on two interesting inhabitants of the cemetery. First is Naomi Trumble who at the age of 25 was committed to the Medical Lake Insane Asylum in 1885 and then again in 1886. She would remain there until her death in 1928. Then there is poor misguided William Trumble who in 1886 was only 18 when first accused of horse theft. He died in 1888 of unknown causes. You will also find the inventor and maker of the Harrington harvester among the headstones. Charles Erich half of Dunning and Erich who for 13 years manufactured the harvester before a fire destroyed their factory including all foundry moulds.