Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 061109



Chino Valley, Arizona





By: Cindy Enos – APCRP Certified Coordinator - Historian


partial graveyard.jpg


Mary 29, 2009 found Bonnie Helten and I pulling into McDonald’s parking lot at Chino Valley, Arizona. Ahead of schedule we sat chatting about what to expect of the day while waiting to meet up with a group from the Chino Valley Historical Society. We were both excited to be invited to visit and research the historical Del Rio Springs Cemetery. Nor were we disappointed in the day.









After their arrival and quick introduction we drove to the entrance of the Del Rio Springs. Here, we met up with Paul Aslanian, (photo left) who gave us access into the area which is all private land. The members of the Chino Valley Historical Society were very concerned about trying to preserve the historical cemetery. They believed the original cemetery was larger than just the fenced area which our combined research proved this to be correct.













Everyone from the historical society pitched in and went to work without hesitation. Bobbi Wicks, Kay Lauster, Kay Jones, Sue and Bill Mitchell had the perimeters paced off in no time at all. Bill estimated the area to be about 400 ft. further around the fenced in area. Even Paul chipped in and was a great supporter to researching this fascinating place steeped in history.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L-R Bill Mitchell, Sue Mitchell, Kay Lauster,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kay Jones, Bobbi Wicks


Inside the wire fence contained a small decorative fence of marble and pipe. A very special area containing that of the Shivers women. Only one headstone and a memorial remain.


 A second headstone, that of Mr. David W. Shivers was tucked under the railing.









Also inside the wire fence remains one other marker. A wooden post wrapped in metal inscribed with the date 1930. Although many other graves were inside the fence, not all were visibly marked with stones.









There was also much discussion about future outings and possible restoration of the cemetery. All agreed the deterioration or destruction of the cemetery and surroundings farm buildings would be such a big historical loss.









We were invited to tour the rest of the settlement. Our guides were very knowledgeable and informative of the whole area. The outing ended with a short drive to the actual springs, which was still flowing with cool clear water. As I bent down to touch flowing water I thought, what a wonderful and exciting place this once was.







                                                                                                                                                  L-R. Sue Mitchell, Bobbi Wicks, Cindy Enos


Photo’s: courtesy Bonnie Helten



Del Rio Springs History


East of US 89 along the Santa Fe 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.  Territorial officials also set up a temporary capital at this site 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.


Casa Del Rio

Photo: Courtesy Bobbi Wicks

Robert Postle moved into this adobe house in 1864.

It burned down in the 1960’s


All that remains of Case Del Rio, May 2009

Photo: Courtesy Bonnie Helten


Barns in the above photo were build in 1909-1912

The ranch supplied beef, milk & eggs to the

Western division of the Harvey House.

Photo: Courtesy Bonnie Helten May 2009


In 1867 a family of immigrants named Shivers 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 lady improved her homestead-she built a large, comfortable adobe house, and lived out her life at Del Rio Springs.


Following the fire that wiped out Prescott’s business district in 1900 a water line was run out of the springs. A huge ranch was run by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1910 - it was used to raise livestock for the Fred Harvey houses along the main line. Also, a train hauled water to both Ash Fork and Grand Canyon Village each day from the springs. An agreement existed between the company and the union that even during a strike, the water train would still haul water to the thirsty communities along the line. During the off season, mules from the Grand Canyon were pastured at the ranch while they recuperated from hauling tourists.


Roadside History of Arizona


Marshall Trimble


Reproduction of this article was approved by Marshall Trimble


Del Rio Springs Ranch, Photo: Courtesy Bonnie Helten, May 2009


Del Rio Springs, Photo: Courtesy Cindy Enos, May 2009




Echoes of the Past


Yavapai Cow Belles


...... Upon a wind-swept knoll, almost in sight of the historic house, (no longer there) there is a marble monument marking the burial ground of the family of Shivers.  It is believed that one of the unidentified graves that are in evidence about the central marble shaft, is the final resting place of Hannah Shivers Postle Rees. On one face of the marble is plainly inscribed the name of her mother, Mrs. D. W. Shivers: born March 18, 1830; died March 9, 1899. On another face are names believed to that of her brother, John and his wife. One of the footstones marks the grave of her father, D. W. Shivers.


An observer who kneels to peer closely at the weathered lettering upon the base of the monument on the northward side may read in letters almost defaced by time:


The light of her young life went down

As sinks behind the hills

The glory of a setting star-clear,

Suddenly, and still.


That might have been said of Hannah, because-whichever her particular plot may be in relation to the marble monument marking the general family burial area-we are assured that Hannah lies not far from the historic house which was her home, and almost within sound of the gurgling waters of the great Del Rio Springs which we know as a source of water historically important in the development of a part of the West-but which was beloved by Hannah as the spring which watered her home- stead on the Arizona frontier at Casa Del Rio.....


Photo: Courtesy Bobbi Wicks


Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 061109


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