Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Masons Cemetery Scavenger Hunt


Photo by Sterling Foster

Masons Cemetery Scavenger Hunt!  

the masons are a fraternal order that have been around for centuries.  the organization's goals focuses on philanthropic work, as well as developing good character traits.  In the 1800s, the masons purchased a section of land for burials, and is now part of our historical cemetery block.

We use the term "masons" (without the apostrophe) Cemetery as this reference is in most of the records we have of the section.

Clark Churchill was a proud Politician and buried in the Masons Section.

Here are some other individuals who are also buried there.  

The answers can be found on Find a Grave.  Our volunteers have placed all of our interred on this platform.  

Can you Figure out the clues?  Good Luck!

Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records

1.  Married to the first mayor of Phoenix.

2.  School teacher, and buried in 1901.  Husband is not buried with her.

3.  Grave marker marked "Epworth League".  Fatally shot in the foot by a falling gun in 1901.  Previously had survived surgery on her skull for a brain tumor.

4.  Little boy who drowned while "bird's nesting" in 1898.  

5.  First burial in the Masonic section, and died from ingesting morphine pills.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

A.O.U.W. Cemetery Scavenger Hunt


Photo by Sterling Foster

The A.O.U.W. purchased land in approximately 1884 for their fraternal order, along with several other orders.  

Several members of the osborn family are buried here.

On to our scavenger hunt......

The following answers can be found on "Find a Grave". The Pioneer Cemetery Association has posted all of its interred on this platform.

1.  What does A.O.U.W stand for?

2.  Coal passer on the USS Commodore.  Died in 1894

3.  Teacher.  Square shaped marker, and died in 1899.

4.  Involved in the Pleasant Valley Wars, and buried next to his infant daughter.  Born in 1854.

5.  Married to the editor of the Arizona Republican.  Died in 1897.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

K. of P. Cemetery Scavenger Hunt

    PCA Archives 

The K.of P.  created this section of the cemetery for their fraternal order in approximately 1884.  Several membeers of the Coyle family are buried here.  

The following answers can be found on "Find a Grave". The Pioneer Cemetery Association has posted all of its interred on this platform.

1.  What are the Knights of Pythias?

2.  Died in 1902.  Mother took her life, as well as his stating "she couldn't leave him".

3.  Children of the family who are noted for the mansion at Heritage Square, Phoenix.

4.  Little girl who died of a head injury in 1901 and buried in a white casket.

5.  Child of  the family who owned a packing plant, and the "wedding cake" structure near Van Buren.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Coins on a Grave


Picture created by Val (AI)

Have you ever been through a pioneer cemetery and seen coins on a Headstone?  What do coins have to do with a final resting place?  Unknown to some, this custom dates back to the stories in ancient Greece mythology of Charon the ferryman.  charon would bring souls across the river from the world of the living to the world of the dead. The trip would cost the family of the deceased an “obol” for passage into the afterlife.

Typically, the family placed the coin in the mouth of the deceased. Later, they were also placed over the eyes. The family buried their loved ones with this coin. Today, the coin symbolizes respect and remembrance, especially for those who have served. there is a meaning behind each type of coin:

  • Penny - A penny at the gravesite means that someone visited the grave that is not related to the person but wants to pay honor to the person and their service in the military.  
  • Nickel - A nickel is left by someone who trained at the same boot camp.  
  • Dime - A dime means that someone served with the person at some point in the military
  • Quarter - a quarter means that the person was there when the service man or woman died.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Porter Cemetery Scavenger Hunt


Photo by Sterling Foster

Porter cemetery was acquired by Lulu porter, the wife of deforest porter, an Association Justice of the Arizona Territorial Supreme Court and a mayor of Phoenix.  It was Quit Claimed to her by J.M. Evans in approximately 1887.  The first burial there was her father, james Cotton, in 1888, along with Deforest himself at a later time.  

Sections of porter were sold to residents for burials.  This was a common practice of many cemeteries.

To get you better acquainted with each cemetery, we will be posting some scavenger hunts.  

The answers can be found on Find a Grave.  Our volunteers have placed all of our interred on this platform.  However, we do hope you will join us in Person soon.  Good Luck!

Can you figure out who Lies in Porter Cemetery?  Post Your answers in the Reply Section.  Good Luck!

Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records

1.  Lamb on the marker meaning "innocent".  Died in 1893, and was the daughter of a merchant.

2.  Phoenix grave digger.  Buried many at the PMMP.   Died in 1912.

3.  Grave marker labeled "Our Darling".  Father owned Star Bakery.  Died in 1896.

4.  From England, and born in 1858.  Found to have several stashes of rare and elegant jewelry upon death.  

5.  Grave marker adorned by a large sphere.  Died in 1897.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Francis Eugene Lake - Civil War Veteran

Picture Created by Val (AI)

Francis "Frank" E. Lake was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1845.  Not much is known about Frank, other than his military record and history of illness. He died in June of 1890 at the county hospital after a long struggle with consumption, and was buried with military honors in Porter Cemetery.  He served in the 72nd Illinois Infantry, Company F, known as the Chicago Board of Trade Regiment, during the Civil War.  Frank Lake served from 1862 to 1865.  The infantry lost 242 men during its time in the war to disease and battle.  

It is not known if Frank was ever married or had children.  His military records state that when he was mustered in at 17, he was a farmer in St. Joseph, Michigan.  He was single, and stood 5'5" with black hair and blue eyes.  He had apparently contracted consumption during his service in the war.  It is not known when he came to Phoenix, although an 1884 voter registration log was found with his name in it.  

The sentiments of a newspaper reporter described his funeral procession as a "sad and pitiful cortege passing down Washington" in which 15 union veterans from G.A.R. followed stepping in time to the Death March.  There were no other mourners.  The reporter went on to say "No flag was half-mast, no secession in the busy rush of trade....not many seemed to know or care that one who bared his breast to the shock of war from which they today enjoy an undivided country" was being laid to rest, reflecting a sentiment that some shared that society was forgetting about those who had fallen for freedom.  

Frank died in poverty, and was buried by his Union comrades.  He is marked with a simple military marker.



Monday, April 3, 2023

Alexander Peter Petit - Architect

rosson house, Library of Congress

Alexander Peter Petit was a well-known architect of his time in 1850s California designing theaters such as the National Theater and the New Pacific Theater.  Born in Pennsylvania around 1819 he and wife Catherine arrived in Phoenix about 1878 from California. 

Shortly after his arrival, he designed the Irvine Building on First and Washington Streets, one of the first two story brick buildings in Phoenix.  Petit and his wife moved to Tucson where he designed and built some of the commercial buildings along Congress Street, including the Henry Buehman Photography Studio and Gallery and a school near Military Plaza.  The Arizona Daily Star erected in 1883 is the only remaining evidence of Petit’s work in Tucson.

The Petits returned to Phoenix where in February 1891 Catherine died after a short illness.  She was buried in the IOOF Cemetery at the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park. 

Petit continued his work and his last design was the Rosson House located at 6th Street and Monroe.  The Rosson House was completed a month before Petit died in March 1895. 

Alexander Petit’s contributions to Arizona have faded over time and one must search for his history.  The Petits’ graves were unmarked for many years in the cemetery making finding the Petits even harder to any historian.  In 2015 the Pioneers’ Cemetery Association, through our Memorial Marker Program, placed two new markers on the Petits’ graves in the I.O.O.F. 

-Donna Carr

Monday, March 27, 2023

Anasazi D.A.R Honors Florence Mann, Educator


Last weekend, the Anasazi D.A.R. chapter in Glendale, Arizona honored one of our pioneers in the City Loosely Cemetery for Women's History month.  her name was Florence Mann, and she was an educator in Phoenix in the 1890s.  We extend our sincerest thanks to the Anasazi D.A.R chapter for having us at their wonderful event and honoring one of our enterprising ladies of PMMP.  Thank you so much!  Please feel free to watch the presentation below on Florence Mann, which was written, Illustrated, and narrated by Val with demonstrations and Grave marker History Notes by Patty.  

Florence Mann- Arizona Territorial Educator

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Weekly Vintage Chuckle


Trolley Car, Library of Congress

A small boy who had recently passed his fifth birthday was riding in a Trolley
car with his mother, when they were asked the customary question,
"How old is the boy?" After being told the correct age, which did not require
a fare, the conductor passed on to the next person.

The boy sat quite still as if pondering over some question, and then, concluding that full information had not been given, called loudly to the conductor, then at the other end of the car: "And mother's thirty-one!"

 Jokes, Stories, and Quotations - 1916

Monday, March 20, 2023

Rosa Santa Cruz O’Meara - The Death of an Innocent Bystander


Picture Created by Val (AI)

Rosa Santa Cruz was born in Arizona, June 1876, to José Maria Santa Cruz and Espectacion Lorona.  She was the second oldest of their four children. Since José Santa Cruz was a blacksmith by trade and also involved in mining, the family moved often. In 1880, they were living in Signal, Arizona. The 1882 Arizona Territorial Census recorded them living in Maricopa County. José then moved his family to the area of Superior, Arizona, where Rosa and her sisters were attending the Silver King School in 1884. Later, the family moved to Florence. 

The Santa Cruzes were back in the Salt River Valley by the time Rosa’s sister, Ramona, married Simon Robles in 1896.  José’s wife Espectacion died in Phoenix November 15, 1897.  Eighteen months later, Rosa married Edward O’Meara on May 1, 1899.  Edward, who had arrived in Phoenix in 1895, was a bricklayer by trade and thirteen years older than Rosa. The couple had two children, Lawrence Francis “Frank”, born 1899, and Mamie, born 1902.  

While their children were still young, Edward became paralyzed and was placed in Sisters’ Hospital.  Rosa moved her family to the small town of Winkelman, Arizona. Times were hard.  during the hot summer, she and the children lived in a shed with only three walls and a blanket covering the open side. It was located behind a general store owned by merchants Akel and Tilly.  Near Rosa’s humble abode was a tent belonging to Pablo Ortega.  

Ortega had an ongoing feud with the merchants because they threw their slops out the back door of the store on to the ground in front of his tent. At 5:40 a.m. on July 31, 1909, an irate Ortega fired several shots at Akel and Tilly, striking both. However, when the shooting stopped, neighbors discovered that Rosa O’Meara had also been hit. She had been standing out of view behind the blanket covering the front of her shed when a bullet pierced her right shoulder, exiting through her left shoulder.  She died 30 minutes later.  Rosa’s sister Ramona had her body brought back to Phoenix for burial in Loosley Cemetery.  At this time, the location of her grave is unknown.

-Donna carr

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Weekly Vintage Chuckle

Picture Created by Val (AI)

Teacher: "In which of his battles was King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden slain?"

Pupil: "I'm pretty sure it was the last one."

Jokes For All Occasions - Clode, 1912

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Headstone Symbolism


During the Victorian era, headstones were often elaborately decorated with symbols and motifs that reflected the beliefs, values, and social customs of the time. Some common Victorian symbols found on headstones are:

  • Anchor - hope and steadfastness
  • Broken column - a life cut short
  • Crown - victory over death and the attainment of eternal life
  • Drapery - veil between life and death or 
  • Hands clasped in prayer - devotion and faith
  • Ivy - immortality and eternal life
  • Lamb - innocence and the soul of a child
  • Open book - the Bible or a book of life, representing the deceased's faith and knowledge
  • Sunflower - adoration, loyalty, and devotion
  • Torch - the spirit of life and enlightenment
  • Urn - mourning and the soul's immortality
  • Weeping willow - A symbol of grief and sorrow
  • Winged hourglass - A symbol of the fleeting nature of life and the inevitability of death

These symbols continue to serve as reminders of the values and beliefs of this unique period in history.  Here are some examples of these symbols at the PMMP.  Come visit us soon! (Photos from PCA Archives)


Monday, March 13, 2023

Jennie Isaac - Women's History Month

Jennie Isaac with Husband, PCA Archives

Jane “Jennie” Netherton Isaac was born 1827 in Tennessee. She married William in 1848 and they would eventually have 11 children, 8 survived to adulthood. The family moved to California around 1860 and in 1870 were in Gilroy where they were farmers. William would also serve as a Baptist Minister and on the Board of Education. Education would continue to be a priority for this family. 

In the Spring of 1875, Jennie packed up her household and all headed for Prescott with two wagons, each pulled by four horses. It took two months to arrive, at one point crossing the Colorado River. The family would remain in Prescott until the Spring of 1876, moving temporarily to a small adobe house in Phoenix. A home was built on 400 acres of land at what is now 35th Ave. & McDowell Rd. The Isaacs needing to educate their children, donated the land founding Isaac School. That school is still in existence. 

The Isaacs prospered and in 1884 Jennie began conducting business in her own name dealing with stock and farming products. The Arizona Legislature had given married women that right in 1865. In 1887 Jennie helped start a chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star as William was a Mason. Jennie held the office of the “Electa,” who shares the lesson of Charity and Hospitality. Jennie’s husband William died March 23, 1900. Jennie lived alone until she developed grippe, the flu, and died after seven days on February 10, 1902.  Jennie is buried in the Masons Cemetery next to her husband.

-Donna Carr