Sparta was one of the earlier mining camps, gold being discovered there in 1863. It is now a ghost town, practically deserted. An old cemetery is located there which old-timers believe was started about 1870. It is located on land now included in the Mackey homestead.
To reach Sparta, take State Highway 86 out of Baker for about 18 miles where it crosses the Powder River, then take the first road to the left eight or nine miles. The graves are to the left of this county road when traveling in an easterly direction.
There are many early graves unmarked or marked with wooden headboards, markings on which have now disappeared. The cemetery is in the field of a homesteader, is fenced and well kept up by relatives and friends. It is on high dry ground, wild flowers are abundant here. About eight years ago descendents of those buried at Sparta erected a large and very beautiful common stone marker in the cemetery on which it is stated that the cemetery was begun in 1870.
There are three graves on a hill south of the old Sparta townsite. The hill is known as Boot Hill. The story is told that these men were killed in a gun fight in the 1860’s when Sparta was booming and things were wild and rough.
Known to be buried in the cemetery at Sparta are the followings, as listed in 1966:
Allen, Charles Albert d 1894
Arthur, Elizabeth b 1837; d 1907
Buckland, William d 1880
Burnside, Ray d 1940
Burnside, Texie Gorgia d 1924
Clough, Capt. E.E. b 1834; d 1903
Fake, Jacob Henry d 1923
Hammond, Sarah M. d 1918
Hearst, Jane b 1871; d 1902; name also given as Hurst
Hoke, Baby d 1934; child of George & Grace.
Jones, Hazel C. d 1922
Jones, Jess d 1930
Jones, Mrs. John (Williams) 1882-1938 Obit
Jones, Rose M d 1935
Jones, Velma d 1921
May, Alvin S. d 1924
Macy, Baby Baby of John & Irma
Macy, Cashius M. d 1925
Macy, Elizabeth d 1934
Mach, James M. d 1923
Mackey, Frank Stewart b 1878 d 1965; Obit
Mackey, Minnie (Hurlbert) b 1878; d 1939
Mathix, Mrs. Lois A. b ? d 1980 Obit
McKnight, Clyde 1906-1977
Mitchel, Allen d 1931
Motley, O. V. b 1852; d 1900
Parker, William J. 137th Ill. Inf.
Rone, Clifford d 1913
Rone, Kenneth d 1920
Stouder, Edith May d 1888
Weir, Marshal d 1934
Wilson, Ada Viola d 1903
Wilson, Ernest V. d 1895, baby
Wilson, May C. b 1890; d 1905
Wilson, Walter L. d 1939
Younger, John d 1907
Our thanks to the Baker Family History Center for allowing us to use their copies of these cemetery records.