A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Darby Wells Cemetary

This find really took me by surprise for it was way out on this desert road over five miles from Ajo completely isolated from anything anywhere. 

All the graves were Hispanic and most before 1990
 although there were a few recent as much as to 2011.
Several were veterans of WW2 but lived on a long life afterwards.
A couple from the Vietnam conflict period also.

Someone liked unicorns.  No name or dates.
I'd guess close to half were nameless.

This was the most elaborate grave I saw.

I wondered about the significance of that middle name.
And the Coca Cola can too.


  1. I was intrigued by that grave and searched around on the net. I turned up a lady called Ofelia Zapeda who is a poet and expert on the language of the O'odham people. In a talk by her on YouTube she mentions that her people came from Mexico but did not settle in the reservation but around about it in towns like Ajo, Gila bend and Stansfield. I'm guessing that you stumbled upon the cemetery of her people and that Octavia Claybasket Zapeda was the daughter of the poet.

    1. Thank you all that great information John. Now I wonder if Ofelia was there nearby. I do remember some other sites with the name Zapeda so I may have seen it not knowing what I was looking at.

    2. According to Wikipedia: Zepeda is a professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona and is well known for her efforts in the preservation of and the promotion of literacy in her native language. She served as director of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Arizona from 1986 to 1991. She is also known for her work as a consultant and advocate on behalf of a number of American indigenous languages. Her book A Papago Grammar is the standard textbook used to teach the Tohono O'odham language. She was a student of MIT linguistics professor Ken Hale.

      Zepeda has worked with her tribe to improve literacy in both English and Tohono O'odham. In 1983 she developed A Papago Grammar from tapes of Native speakers because no textbook existed for the classes she taught. Her work with the reservation committee for Tohono O'odham language policy yielded an official policy that encourages the speaking of the Native language at all grade levels. In 1995 she published a book of poetry, Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert, and she titled the introduction, "Things That Help Me Begin to Remember".

    3. John: that was a fine bit of research. Thanks for the education!

  2. A strange place, looks so remote and barren.

  3. It's sad when a grave is nameless. That is an impressive name. Well researched John.

  4. Always find cemetery's interesting to find & look aroind

  5. Wonderful research that John did! The graves are very nicely maintained which is nice.


I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.