Del Rio Cemetery
detailsUnknown Unknown c0105p.jpg C-105 Color 1020-0105-0001 c0105pa Print 3x5 Historic Photographs c. 1965 Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives
East of US 89 along the Santa Fe railway line is Del Rio Springs, the site of the original Fort Whipple. Soldiers camped at this site in 1864 prior to the establishment of a new Fort Whipple on the outskirts of the new territorial capital at Prescott. It was in this area that Territorial officials set up a temporary capital, while they looked for a more suitable place closer to the gold prospectors on Granite Creek. After the troops withdrew, an ex-soldier named Robert Postle filed a claim at the site.
In 1867, the Shivers family passed through and stayed briefly. When the Shivers moved on, one of their daughters, fourteen- year-old Hannah remained with Postle. They had several children before he died, leaving Hannah a widow at the age of nineteen. This remarkable young woman improved her homestead by having a large adobe house built on the land and she remained at Del Rio Springs throughout her life.
Following the fire that wiped out Prescott’s business district in 1900 a water line was run out of the springs. In 1910, the Santa Fe Railroad ran a huge ranch in this area, which raised livestock for the Fred Harvey houses along the main rail line. In addition, a train hauled water to both Ash Fork and Grand Canyon Village each day from the springs. During the off-season, mules from the Grand Canyon were pastured at the ranch where they recuperated from hauling tourists.
The historical Del Rio Springs Cemetery is located on private property near the town of Chino Valley. In 2009, the Chino Valley Historical Society members along with members of the Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project, worked on preserving this cemetery by mapping it. Together these groups were able to determine the full size of the cemetery and found markers and other info that went 400’ beyond the fenced in cemetery section. Inside the wire cemetery fence contained a small decorative fence of marble and pipe, which is the area containing the Shivers women graves.
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