Willie Keil Grave

Menlo, Washington

Hwy 6 about a mile north of Menlo

Willie Keil was the 19-year-old son of William Keil, the leader of the Bethel Colony that headed west in 1855 to settle in Washington. Willie died in May 1855, just four days before the group was to leave Missouri. Because of Willie's desire to go west, the group decided to take his body along. They placed his body in a lead-lined coffin and filled it with alcohol to preserve it. One of the wagons was remodeled into a hearse, and that wagon led the Bethel wagon train west.

The group reached what is now Menlo, Washington that November. Willie was buried on a hilltop there the evening of November 26.


hillside cemetery willie keil grave

Willie Keil Grave (W11A0293)

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