Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 020111






GPS Coordinate: N33 56 1.93, W112 41 39.94


By Neal Du Shane



Martin Family Marker

Photographs by: Joyce Du Shane


Researching Unmarked Graves. 4

Map of Brill Ranch (Martin Gravesite) Cemetery. 5

Locating Unmarked Graves. 6

Pat Ryland. 6

Ground Flag Placement 7

Isabella Roarke Brill 7

Ben Weaver. 7

John H. and Frances E. Sanger. 7

Photo Gallery. 8


At the request of the Hassayampa River Preserve we were asked to give their staff a presentation on APCRP and Finding Unmarked Graves; then to see the number of graves we could identify at or near the Martin Family Graves on the former historic Frederick Brill Ranch.


The Martin Family after threats and unfair business practices of a competitor (Alleged, Charles Stanton) in the mercantile business in Stanton, AZ, packed up their belongings and left their home to resettle in the Phoenix area. Believing the Martins had several thousand dollars in gold and coin in their possession, Stanton instructed a group of his unsavory acquaintances, to ambush the Martins, steal their valuables and destroy all the evidence.




                                                                    Martin Family picket fence enclosure                Brill Ranch House & Stagecoach stop


It is historically written: ranch hands from the Brill Ranch found the charred remains. The owner of the ranch asked that the Martin family’s remains be brought to the property for proper burial.

Researching Unmarked Graves


Research & Training at the Brill Ranch Cemetery


It was believed, the Martin family after the massacre and with burning of the remains were put in a “Candle Box” for burial at the present enclosure.  We discussed within the research group and we are uncertain of the size of a “Candle Box” but arguably assume it about the size of a shoe box. 


After two days of research by the APCRP Certified Coordinator Team, it was discovered there are actually twenty-four graves here within a short distance of the Martin Picket Fenced area, thirteen are female and eleven male.


Map of Brill Ranch (Martin Gravesite) Cemetery



It is believed the remains of the Martin family are not in a “Candle Box” rather Barney’s (the father) grave is closest to the current wooden marker and parallel to the fence. Placement in the grave is head to the south, feet to the north, next is John (13 yrs old) in the same configuration as Barney; then Rosa aka Rosia Martin, in the same configuration as Barney and John but the fence at the east end of the existing enclosure crosses over the middle of her grave. William Martin (11 yrs old) is interred just outside the existing picket fence on the south, within the pathway, in the same configuration as the rest of his family.

Locating Unmarked Graves


HRP Staff and APCRP Coordinators research ground for graves


The Brill Ranch served as a stagecoach way station, approximately three miles southeast of Wickenburg on the Hassayampa River. Stagecoach way stations normally were established to exchange teams of horses only and usually passengers did not disembark; however, several of the interred are believed to have been killed by Indians but we couldn’t determine if they were traveling by stage, horseback or walking. The train didn’t go through this area until 1895, speculation none of the graves were of train passengers.


Pat Ryland APCRP CC


"I rechecked my papers about James Roarke & Ellen Baxter. They are brother & sister. In the 1880 census there was also a brother William who I will research a little for clues.


All I had was a small death mention from a newspaper. I do know that Baxter was one of the pioneer Wickenburg families. I think the conclusion was that Isabella, Ellen & James were very likely siblings more than parents & children."


Ground Flag Placement


Identifying unmarked graves with ground flags


Isabella ROARKE BRILL's marker is at Loosley Cemetery but arguably it is generally believed this marker is a memorial not her actual grave.


Ben Weaver; On April 10, 1865, Apaches also killed Pauline Weaver’s son, Ben, on the Brill Ranch, three miles below Wickenburg on the Hassayampa River. Ben, who apparently had enjoyed no more success as a miner than did his father, was wrangling a herd of fifteen very valuable horses which had just arrived from California when the Indians attacked him. According to Ray Weaver, the grandson of Pauline’s brother, Duff:


“Ben’s body was found full of arrows and one large rifle slug. The arrows were all broken off so as to strip him of his clothes. He was buried on this ranch, the grave is not located”.

John H. and Frances E. Sanger


A question arose as to the burials of John H. and Frances E. Sanger being in this cemetery. After research it was found that the Sangers were in this area on the 1910 and 1920 Census. It is believed they moved back to Massachusetts in their latter years and would be interred there.


Our sincere gratitude to Bernadine McCollum Project Coordinator, and the staff of the Hassayampa River Preserve for their hospitality. APCRP Certified Coordinators (CC) Bonnie Helten, Pat Ryland, APCRP Booster’s, Trudy Mertens, Shelley Rasmussen, and Janice Taylor for their instruction, dedication and exceptional research capabilities.


A special note of appreciation to Pat Ryland APCRP CC for the diligent research on many of the names believed to be buried at this cemetery.


We acknowledge documentation may exist and there are memorials in other cemeteries for some of those interred here. APCRP’s learned professional opinion is our research is believed accurate. The names presented are interred in the graves identified in this cemetery.
















Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 020111


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