Recently, one of our readers wrote to us and suggested that we write about famous people that are buried in some of Southern Arizona’s cemeteries. Although it is true that we have an article on some of the Cemeteries in Southern Arizona, we have never approached it through the lens of notable people in Southern Arizona and where they are interred. There are many who have and FindaGrave keeps a database of cemeteries and bygone people, so if you know who you are looking for or simply wish to know who is buried in a particular cemetery, it is a good place to start. Additionally, FindaGrave.com can usually tell you the plot, so you don’t have to spelunk. Nonetheless, I was curious and thought it might be useful for future ideas. So here is my list. You will also find links in their names to our stories about many of these people.
Tucson Evergreen Cemetery
There are so many historical pioneers interred in Tucson’s Evergreen Cemetery, it would be a monumental effort to name them all. Here are but a few. Where we have stories about these people, we have provided links.
Roy P. Drachman – 1906 – 2002 – Several of the Drachman family are buried here. The Drachman family were pioneers, living in Tucson, starting with Philip, who immigrated from Poland and landed in Tucson in 1866. His family has been influential in building Tucson for over 100 years. His grandson Roy, donated $200,000 to Pima County toward the purchase of Agua Caliente Park. You can read his story about Tucson here.
Samuel C. Hughes – 1829 – 1917 – Sam Hughes is considered one of the founding residents of Tucson. He was a philanthropist, who believed in education and donated to many worthy causes. He was also involved in an egregious attack against the Aravaipa Apaches. Well regarded in historical papers, his animosity towards the Apaches came with the times. He was so influential in the history of Tucson, that they named a neighborhood and a school after him.
Tom Jeffords – 1832 – 1914 – was an Apache Indian agent and the only white man to know where Cochise was buried, somewhere in the Dragoon Mountains.
Hiram Stevens – 1932 – 1893 – Friend and partner with Sam Hughes. Hiram was initially buried in Holy Hope Cemetery. Well, good old Hiram had committed suicide as well as trying to kill his wife, Petra, so perhaps those Catholics kicked him over to the Protestant Cemetery. Suicide, as well as murder, are “Mortal” sins in the Catholic religion, and I doubt if he had time to confess and ask for forgiveness. The Stevens’ home is now part of the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block.
Frank Stillwell – 1855 – March 21, 1882 – murdered by Wyatt Earp in front of the Tucson Train Depot.
Stillwell is buried in an unmarked mass grave in Evergreen Cemetery, Tucson.
Larcena Pennington – 1837 – 1913 – Ms. Pennington Scott has a street named for her in Tucson. And her second husband, William F. Scott, 1831 – 1914, is the Scott in Scott Street in Tucson. They are buried not far from each other.
Quite a few Indian Scouts from the Apache Wars are buried here. Two of note are Shorten Bread and Shorten Bread Jr. As you walk about the cemetery you may see signage pointing out some of the more notable tenants. It is a peaceful place.
Texas John Slaughter – 1841 – 1922 – is buried in Douglas Cemetery. He has an interesting history as Sheriff of Cochise County. At that time Tombstone was the County Seat of Cochise County. Read the story.
Tumacacori Mission Cemetery
Most of the people who are buried in the cemetery at Mission Tumacacori are family members who went to this church, lived in the town, and may even have relatives who live close by. I have seen fresh flowers on one of the graves here. The following one sets itself apart.
John A. Powers, 1827 – 1860, aka Jack Powers, was a gambler, gangster, and murderer who was himself murdered in 1860 by vaqueros in Calabasas. According to Find a Grave he is buried in the Mission cemetery. If you find it, take a picture and send it to us.
Holy Hope Cemetery
Or as I like to call it: The Plastic Flower Cemetery. Basically that is how you tell the difference between Holy Hope and Evergreen to the south. Both of them are off Oracle in Tucson between Prince to the north and Miracle Mile to the south.
Petra Stevens 1844 – 1916 – Petra survived an attempted murder by her husband, Hiram. Hiram was initially buried in Holy Hope cemetery but moved to Evergreen at some point. Rumor is that Petra did not want to be buried in the same cemetery as her former husband, who killed himself after attempting to kill his wife.
Johnny Behan – 1845 – 1912 – First sheriff of Cochise County whose seat was, at the time, Tombstone. He was sheriff when the Gunfight at the OK Corral took place and a witness at the trial thereafter.
Joey Bonanno – 1905 – 2002 – Crime boss. I suppose he must have repented to get into the Catholic cemetery. His inscription reads God • Family • Tradition. He died shortly before we arrived in Tucson. Have heard nothing about the family since.
Joseph Muheim – 1867 – 1951 – Saloon keeper, then owner, who became a real estate developer and important part of Bisbee. You can visit his family’s home at the top of Brewery Gulch.
George Warren – 1893 George was credited with laying claim to the Copper Queen Mine. Rumor is, his picture is on the Arizona Seal.
Ella Greene – 1856 – 1899 – Wife of William C. Greene, miner, and rancher, who lost their daughter in a tragic accident on the San Pedro River. She is buried next to her daughter, Ella, 10 years old.
Harry Wheeler – 1875 – 1925 – Ranger and Sheriff of Cochise County. Wheeler was an important figure in the Bisbee Deportation of 1917.
The next three characters were killed as a result of the Gunfight at the OK Corral.
Billy Clanton – 1862 – 1881 Young Billy had no business at the OK Corral except to try to talk his Brother Ike out of what he had planned. Wrong place, wrong time. Ike got away. The Clantons owned a ranch outside of Tombstone. They were interchangeably known as the “Cowboys”. You can still see what remains of the ranch, (not much) if you know where to look. Talk to the Friends of the San Pedro River. They can tell you.
Tom Mc Laury – 1853 – 1881 – Tom was one of the unlucky ones on that infamous day. Tombstone lives on because of that famous 30-second gun battle on Fremont Street. Tom was one of the group known as the “Cowboys”. Watch this video reenactment where Tom speaks out before the Gunfight. You might witness something like this today as you explore Tombstone’s streets.
Frank McLaury – 1848 – 1881 – According to legend, Frank was probably not one of the instigators in this gun battle. He paid for it with his life.
China Mary – aka Ah Chum – 1839 – 1905 You can read more about China Mary in our article here.
John Heath – 1855 – 1884 – Took part in what is called the Bisbee Massacre and was hanged from a telegraph pole on Toughnut Street in Tombstone by a mob.
Warren Earp – 1855 – 1900 – Murdered by Johnny Boyette in Willcox.
By the Side of the Road
Johnny Ringo – 1850 – 1882 The gunslinger was found dead by the side of the road, up against a tree and was buried where he died. A State Historical Landmark, it resides on private property and there is a gate there. You are allowed to pass.
Rex Allen – 1920 – 1999 – Singer and Movie Star- There is a memorial at Railroad Ave., Willcox. They say he is buried there.
Hi Jolly – 1828 – 1902 – Buried near Quartzite, Arizona is another pyramid memorial with a camel atop it. Hi Jolly or Hadji Ali was hired by the US Army for an experiment with camels as pack animals in the desert. That experiment ultimately failed, but makes for an interesting story. When driving west on the I-10, stop in Quartzite and visit the memorial. Can’t miss it.
Ed Scheffelin – 1847 – 1897 – Ed was, of course, the founder of Tombstone Mine and the reason for the town’s name. He is buried outside of town, just past the City Cemetery. You can’t miss it. Just keep going. For those of you who are not familiar with this famous tale of how the town was named when Ed was prospecting land in the area, some told him it was going to be his tombstone. Thus the name.
Charles Poston – 1825 – 1902 – Considered to be the “Father of Arizona”, Mr. Poston is buried on top of a hill overlooking Florence, AZ. Check out our page on Florence to see what else there is to do up there. It has a lot of history.
Chief Cochise – 1823 – 1874 – The great Apache Warrior is buried somewhere in the Dragoon Mountains, in an area called Cochise Stronghold, where he and his band held out for years. The only white man, Tom Jeffords, knew Cochises’s true resting place.
Tombstone’s Modern Cemetery
Camillus Fly – 1849 – 1901 – “Buck” Fly was a photographer who had a studio in Tombstone in the era of the OK Corral. He famously took the photo of a group of Apaches, including Geronimo, still at war with the United States.
Chief Nino Cochise – 1874 – 1984 – Son of Taza and Grandson of Cochise. Nino played Cochise in a 1967 episode of the High Chapparal.
If you are looking for someone specific or simply wish to browse, try the website FindAGrave.com