This acreage was originally owned by the estate of Aaron Meier, one of the two founders of the Meier and Frank Company. The local Boy Scouts were allowed to use the property and the cabin on it and the timber rights were sold to a logging company. Aaron's son, Oregon Governor Julius Meier, had been approached about donating the property for a park, but the estate declined until 1938 when it made a gift deed to the City on November 8. The Boy Scouts and other groups worked to reforest the property and contiguous property. The Linnton schoolhouse is located in the southeast corner of the park.
The park was named for Lewis F. Linn, the U.S. Senator from Missouri from 1834 until his death in 1843, who was the author and advocate of the Donation Land Act which gave free land to settlers in the Oregon Territory. His efforts carried the bill through the Senate and he was hailed as the "Father of Oregon."