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Yuma Territorial Prison Cemetery
Click photo to enlarge
Yuma Territorial Prison Cemetery
Click photo to enlarge
Yuma Territorial Prison Cemetery
Click photo to enlarge

Yuma Territorial Prison Cemetery
Yuma, Yuma County, Arizona

Compiled and contributed by Steve Paul Johnson [steve@cleardigitalmedia.com].  Total records = 112

There were a total of 111 prisoner deaths occuring within the prison. A total of 104 persons, all prisoners, were buried at the cemetery. Bodies of the other 7 prisoners were claimed by families. There was a 112th death, that of Pete Devaux, a convict on his way to Yuma, tried to escape by jumping off the train, but hit his head on a rock on the way down, and died. Only one female died in prison, Pearl Eiker.

This page contains a list of the 111 prison deaths, plus the death of Pete Devaux. I don't know which of the 7 were claimed by family. This information was compiled by myself from prison records made available to me from the Arizona State Parks, as well as information on display within the museum.

The Yuma Territorial Prison was the first state penitentiary in Arizona. On July 1, 1876, the first seven convicts entered the prison. Over the next 33 years, the prison would become home to 3,026 convicts. The prison was under continuous construction, with labor provided by the prisoners. When the prison ran out of land to build on, a new facility was built in Florence. On September 15, 1909, the last prisoners were transferred to Florence.

Burials were simple and quick. A shallow grave was dug where a wooden casket containing the body was lowered, covered with the caliche soil and then overlaid with rocks.

The Tucson Citizen printed the following paragraph in their November 24, 1906 edition describing death at the prison:

A Convict's Funeral: Death is the tyrant that strikes fear into the hearts of most of the convicts. It means those that are not claimed and are without friends will lie beneath the barren plot just outside the penitentiary - the convict's cemetery. Piles of rocks shaped like a grave with a plain slab giving the name and number mark the final resting place. Services are brief at a convict's funeral. There are no mourners, no tears, no flowers - a simple burial service by a minister or priest, and that is all.

Forty-six prisoners died of Tuberculosis (Consumption), which tends to circulate quickly in the densely packed quarters of the prison cell blocks. In later years, the prison became overcrowded, and often packed as many as 10 prisoners per cell, which measured about 8 feet by 10 feet.

Most of the grave markers remained intact for as late as 1950. Since then, nearly all of them were taken by souvenir hunters or deteriorated under the weather. Only one grave marker has been found, that of J.F. Floyd, which is now on display inside the prison museum. Grave markers were typically made into a slab of wood, with the prisoner's name, number, and date of death.

Al Goon, #761, d. 9 Sep 1893, Phithisis
Aldrete, Simon, #2000, d. 16 Aug 1903, Stabbed by another prisoner
Alejandra, #121, d. 24 Fec 1884, Consumption
Alveres, Thomas, #136, d. 4 Jan 1885, Pneumonia
Armbula, Tomas, #1550, d. 1 Feb 1904, Bad physical condition on entering prison
Arnett, William, #1140, d. 26 Oct 1900, Congestion of Lungs
Arvizu, Gregorio, #2001, d. 25 Jun 1906, Consumption
Baca, Antonio, #1531, d. 9 Jul 1900, Typhoid fever
Bat Dish, #699, d. 30 Jul 1897, Consumption, Apache Indian
Brooks, John, #111, d. 8 Sep 1884, Accident - Bank cave in
Brown, John, #1543, d. 3 Oct 1906, Homicide - struck by rock
Bundy, Geo., #431, d. 23 Dec 1888, Heart attack (2nd term)
Bustamente, Ezequiel, #326, d. 27 Oct 1887, Shot - Escape attempt
Camedo, Louis, #434, d. 6 Dec 1889, 90 yrs, Old age
Candelario, Andrew, #226, d. 4 Oct 1886, Consumption
Carebella, Dionocio, #1155, d. 25 Apr 1898, Pneumonia
Carillo, Jesus, #2575, d. 11 Jan 1908, Tuberculosis
Carson, Joe, #2277, d. 29 Dec 1908, Tuberculosis
Chamberlain, F.J., #1553, d. 9 Aug 1901, General Debility
Corrales, Jesus, #30, d. 16 Apr 1885, Phithisis
Day, Charles, #2048, d. 4 Apr 1905, General Debility
Deraux, Peter, #198, d. 2 Dec 1883, Jumped from train in attempt to escape
Dill-Z-Hay, #648, d. 10 Jul 1892, Consumption
Domingo, Guadalupe, #22, d. 12 Dec 1882, Consumption
Dominguez, Bonito, #651, d. 2 Dec 1892, Tumor of Brain
Douglas, William, #2906, d. 30 Nov 1908, Suicide
Edwards, J.M., #2794, d. 19 Jan 1909, Dropsy & Ossification of Liver
Eiker, Pearl, #2616, d. 10 Jan 1908, Obstruction of bowels, Only female to die in prison
Encino, Angel, #771, d. 29 Feb 1892, From bullet wound - before entering prison
Es Kay Da Pany, #985, d. 18 Mar 1899, Rattlesnake bite
Es Ket Soce, #1778, d. 23 Jul 1902, Consumption
Esh Kay-He, #1863, d. 16 May 1903, Consumption
Eu Des So Da, #666, d. 26 Feb 1897, Consumption
Fleming, John, #138, d. 10 Jul 1883, Falling rocks while excavating
Floyd, J.F., #73, d. 22 Aug 1883, Consumption, Originally from Massachusetts
Fong Ah Inn, #610, d. 16 Apr 1890, Blood poisoning
Gallagher, Charles, #1609, d. 31 Jan 1901, Consumption
Garcia, Francisco, #1747, d. 16 Jun 1905, Legally hanged by Yuma County, Also known as "Martin Ubillos"
Garcia, Jesus, #1848, d. 4 Jul 1908, Heart Failure
Garcia, Pedro, #1792, d. 28 Jul 1905, Peritonitis
Gis-Ga-Ah, #645, d. 16 Sep 1891, Consumption
Gonzales, Bergino, #1882, d. 20 Sep 1906, Consumption
Gonzales, Francisco, #2025, d. 10 Mar 1904, Bad physical condition on entering prison
Gonzales, Marcelino, #2583, d. 12 Jul 1909, Bright's Disease
Guadalupe, #701, d. 22 Jan 1897, Tuberculosis
Halsey, J.W., #2034, d. 22 Sep 1904, Pneumonia
Has Cal Te, #691, d. 1 Apr 1894, Consumption
Hasty, H.B., #1476, d. 17 Apr 1899, Consumption
Heenan, Hughie, #1074, d. 12 Jul 1896, 20 yrs, Accident - drowned
Helm, Charles, #674, d. 5 Dec 1892, Heart Failure
Hernandez, Antonio, #1775, d. 12 Jan 1907, Pneumonia
Hernandez, Feliciano, #1540, d. 23 Mar 1902, Ulceration of stomach
Hernandez, Juan, #2658, d. 22 Jun 1908, Tuberculosis
Jacobs, Samuel, #165, d. 9 Aug 1883
Jo No Do, #744, d. 7 Jan 1893, Paralysis of Brain
Jones, Abraham, #1359, d. 16 Apr 1898, Consumption
Juardiola, Miguel, #1480, d. 16 Mar 1900, Escape attempt - shot
Killiland, Daniel, #132, d. 7 Mar 1885, Aneurysm of aorta
Kuen, Tom, #2403, d. 07 Oct 1906, Suicide
Larkin, Joseph, #2146, d. 29 Sep 1904, 76 yrs, General Debility
Laustannau, William H., #2029, d. 20 Aug 1906, Heat prostration, Also known as "Three Fingered Jack"
Leyvas, Francisco, #2302, d. 10 Nov 1907, Tuberculosis
Loache, #978, d. 26 Feb 1897, Consumption
Lopez, Andrew, #679, d. 8 Aug 1893, Consumption
Lopez, Francisco, #718, d. 17 Apr 1893, Consumption
Lopez, Garbino, #741, d. 25 Aug 1893, Paralysis of Heart
Lopez, Jose, #454, d. 27 Oct 1887, Shot - Escape attempt
Mascon, Pablo, #1546, d. 4 Jun 1900, Tuberculosis
Mendoza, Jose M., #2591, d. 14 Nov 1907, Cancer
Meras, Cornelio, #972, d. 28 May 1899, Consumption
Morales, Santos, #71, d. 21 Apr 1883
Moreno, Jose, #2071, d. 19 Jun 1906, Remittant fever
Moreno, M., #539, d. 28 Dec 1888, Bank cave in
Morin, Daniel, #61, d. 16 Aug 1883
Na E Sah Da, #1884, d. 6 Sep 1906, Tuberculosis
Nas Good, #664, d. 23 Mar 1895, Acute Dysentery
Ocano, Francisco, #1922, d. 6 Mar 1903, Escape attempt - shot
Orosco, Rafael, #1631, d. 24 Jan 1906, Heart Disease
Ortega, Refugio, #1892, d. 5 Aug 1904, Consumption
Otero, Angel, #1496, d. 20 Jul 1909, Tuberculosis
Parra, Guadalupe, #806, d. 23 May 1895, Dropsy & Heart Trouble
Pennington, John, #354, d. 13 Dec 1885, Rec'd dead at prison
Pueblas, Librado, #465, d. 27 Oct 1887, Shot - Escape attempt
Quong, Sing, #474, d. 9 Jun 1888, Suicide (hanging)
Ramirez, Cisto, #1958, d. 8 Mar 1903, Escape attempt - shot
Ramirez, Diego, #1111, d. 11 Nov 1896, Consumption
Ramirez, Jose, #208, d. 28 Dec 1885, Escape attempt - shot
Ramon, Jose, #261, d. 18 Apr 1885, Diarrhea
Robles, Ynocente, #1917, d. 25 May 1907, Tuberculosis
Rodriguez, Samuel, #1539, d. 20 Oct 1908, Tuberculosis
Rogers, James F., #1388, d. 2 Sep 1898, Consumption
Rojo, Pedro, #1226, d. 28 Feb 1899, Pleurisy of effusion
Ruibal, Juan, #38, d. 27 Mar 1883,
Russel, Richard, #120, b. Iowa, d. 1 Nov 1882, First death in prison
Ryan, John, #1660, d. 6 May 1903, Suicide, Also known as "Dan"
Salvaterra, Guadalupe, #1904, d. 5 Jan 1905, Consumption
Samaripa, Fortunato, #2073, d. 9 Feb 1908, Tuberculosis
Say Es, #694, d. 29 Mar 1894, Consumption
Silvas, Ygnacio, #2286, d. 30 Oct 1905, Obstruction of bowels
Smith, John, #2131, b. Scotland, d. 10 Oct 1907, Suicide
Soto, Jose R., #1891, d. 30 Apr 1904, Tuberculosis
Soto, Manuel, #1606, d. 30 Apr 1903, Consumption
Stapleton, James, #1561, d. 17 Mar 1900, Heart Failure
Valdez, Urbano, #1997, d. 17 Nov 1907, Tuberculosis
Valencia, Meriano, #768, d. 14 Mar 1893, Phithisis
Vasquez, Fernando, #467, d. 27 Oct 1887, Shot - Escape attempt
Verdugo, Trinidad, #696, d. 9 Jun 1891, Acute Catarrh
Waters, Donald, #1643, d. 5 Aug 1904, Consumption
We-Kin-Ga, #665, d. 18 Jan 1893, Bronchitis
Whatuaquam, #1781, d. 17 Mar 1903, Consumption
Wilson, Henry, #1503, d. 8 Mar 1907, Tuberculosis

 

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