Book Review: Southern Arizona Cemeteries, by Jane Eppinga

By Editor
7/30/2014 • Wild West Reviews

Southern Arizona Cemeteries, by Jane Eppinga, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S.C., 2014, $21.99

One can get a taste of pioneer life by visiting the grave sites of settlers. When it comes to the pioneer past in her favorite state, Arizona author Jane Eppinga makes getting a taste much easier. One doesn’t even have to leave the living room couch. This book, part of Arcadia’s popular Images of America series, features black-and-white photos (yes, mostly of graves but of people, too) from the author and others, as well as extensive caption information (including brief biographical information where possible). The opening chapter, “Babyland,” presents children’s poignant tombstones, on which lamb carvings often appear. The next chapter offers a look at marked graves of “Potter’s Field.” Eppinga notes, “Every county in Arizona provides for burial of the dead who have no funds or family to pay funeral expenses.” The last three chapters focus on graves and cemeteries from three counties—Cochise, Pima and Santa Cruz. Some familiar names turn up on these pages, such as Ed Schieffelin, the prospector who found a rich silver claim he called Tombstone; the Clanton and McLaury Cowboy brothers; photographer C.S. Fly; the lynched John Heath; Apache leader Geronimo; Wyatt’s brother Warren Earp; and Army scout Thomas Jeffords. Some of the graves, however, belong to people who were never famous and remain little known today. The back of the book contains an index of cemetery locations.

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