Bonesteele Park's Namesake
Bonesteele Park is named after the Bonesteeles, a prominent Oregon family. The patriarch, Harry F. Bonesteele, was born in Rochester, New York, on March 17, 1869. He married Miss Effie Shannon, of Montana, in 1898. They had four boys: Ernest, Russell, Wallace and Raymond.
Mr. H. F. Bonesteele and his wife arrived in Oregon around 1906 and bought a home near Portland. He financed the construction of two warehouses near Tigard and began his career as a broker for Sealy Mattresses and various hardware specialties. Bonesteele then progressed into the automobile field, and established a Ford dealership in 1915.
In 1916, Bonesteele, a well-known and successful businessman, moved to Salem where he began operating a Dodge dealership, the Bonesteele Motor Company, downtown near Commercial Street. In 1922, he built a new office at the dealership and expanded his business into other areas including automobile repairs, services and parts.
The land for Marion County's Bonesteele Park was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Russell F. Bonesteele on December 18, 1972. Russell, the son of H.F. Bonesteele and an active resident of Salem, served several terms as mayor and as a state legislator in the mid 1900s. He and his wife were also well-known benefactors to the Salem Memorial Hospital.