Mass Burial of Yavapai Indians


Unknown Unknown 1512-2123-0000.jpg Yavapai County People & Family Collection_PC-50; Hance Family Folder B&W 1512-2123-0000 IN-Y-2123p Print 5x7 Photo Collections c. 1906 Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


Mass burial of five Yavapai Indians that were killed near Cottonwood, Arizona by an Apache-Mohave Indian identified as Justin Head.  The Yavapai Indians that were shot have been identified as Jim Stevens, George Beauty (thought to have survived), Chapo, the wife of George Russell, and two unidentified males: an Indian man and a seventeen year old boy.  Judge George Hance is conducting the funeral service.  The burials took place in the Middle Verde area.

Justin Head belonged to the Apache Nation, and spent a number of years at the Carlisle Industrial Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  He later returned to the San Carlos Indian Reservation in Arizona.  On November 6, 1906, he killed seven other Native Americans with a rifle in a rampage.  Convicted of second-degree murder, he was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Territorial Prison at Florence, but was paroled in 1912.

The history of the Yavapai Tribe has its origins in the prehistory of the southwestern portion of North America.  From prehistoric times to the early 1860s, the Yavapai lived within an area covering more than 9 million acres, known today as central and western Arizona.  Although there were four divisions of Yavapai, they considered themselves to be one people who spoke the same Yavapai language and shared the same beliefs and customs.  They often traveled in groups made up of extended families.  The men hunted with bows and arrows for deer, mountain sheep, and other game; the women and children gathered seasonal berries, seeds and fruit.  The Yavapai women wove magnificent baskets, which were used for the storage of food and other items.


Newspaper Articles - Prescott Journal Miner, November 8 & 9, 1906

Handout - Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe Culture Research Department


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