WARRENTON, Ore. — The man who wrote the lyrics to Oregon’s state song has a new headstone at Ocean View Cemetery in Warrenton.
John Buchanan’s granddaughter and the Daughters of the American Revolution raised more than $8,500 for the new headstone that was installed Thursday, The Daily Astorian reported (http://bit.ly/2wgJkNy).
Buchanan’s resting place had been marked by a headstone that included his name and the years of his birth and death. The new headstone includes the lyrics from “Oregon, My Oregon.”
Buchanan wrote a two-stanza poem for a statewide contest in 1920 to select the state song. The words were set to music by Portland organist Henry Murtaugh, and their collaboration was chosen from more than 200 entries.
The Oregon State Legislature officially made it the state song in 1927.
“It’s something he did for the state . and it’s pretty much forgotten,” said his granddaughter, Carol Lambert. She hopes the new headstone will help more people take notice.
Born in Iowa, Buchanan lived in two other states before moving to Monmouth, Oregon, in 1875. He attended Oregon State Normal School (Western Oregon University).
He later started a law firm in Roseburg and was the city’s justice of the peace.
Buchanan served two terms in the state House of Representatives representing Douglas and Jackson counties. As a member of the Oregon National Guard, he served in World War I as an artillery commander at Fort Stevens in Warrenton.
After the war, Buchanan and his family moved to Astoria, where he set up a legal practice and became a city judge. He died in 1935.
Buchanan published a book of poetry, “Indian Legends, and Other Poems,” in 1905, although its release was limited to 25 copies after the collapse of its publishing warehouse in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
A second collection of his poems, “Sunset at the Bar,” was published posthumously.
Information from: The Daily Astorian, http://www.dailyastorian.com