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Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 1127082

 

GLEESON, ARIZONA

 Information: Ed & Kathy Block

Map by: Neal Du Shane

 

Gleeson Cemetery

1890 saw the opening of the post office under the name Turquoise. The Turquoise post office closed in 1894.

 

October 15, 1900 found the opening of the Gleeson Post Office and it was closed on March 31, 1939. The community of Turquoise was originally located a few miles away.

 

Fire was an ever present hazard in these tinder-dry mining communities and in 1912 fire ravaged Gleeson, burning down 28 buildings. The town was rebuilt after the devastating fire. By 1940 the mines had played out and Gleeson became the semi-ghost town. Today there are a few residents still living there, hanging on to the quality of life here.

 

Gleeson’s population was said to number approximately 500 people during its peak years, the majority of the population was mining copper.

 

The hills surrounding Gleeson (Turquoise), specifically on the South of Dragoon Mountains were used for mining for many years by Indians who made decorative turquoise. When the white man came to the area, they found copper, lead and silver, but they kept the name of the camp - Turquoise.

 

The town hosted a post office in 1890.  In 1894 the mines closed and the town was abandoned after Jimmie Pearce found the gold by Commonwealth lode.

 

An Irish mine-worker from Pearce, Arizona by the name of John Gleeson in 1900 searched the Turquoise area and patented a claim by the name Copper Belle mine.

 

Other mines in the area operated over the years, by the name Silver Belle, Brother Jonathan, Pejon and Defiance were developed and operated after the Copper Belle.

 

 

Gleeson Cemetery

 

The original town of Turquoise was moved approximately three miles south, from the hills to the flatland and come closer to the water resources. The community of Turquoise who closed the post office in 1894 opened again as Gleeson in 1900. John Gleeson sold his patented lots in 1914, but progress continued and copper production flourished during WWI.

 

After World War One, prices dropped, production was reduced and the mines closed. Post office closed for the final time on March 31, 1939. Gleeson was town with about 500 people, the majority who were employed extracting copper ore at the various mines.

 

When the mines ceased operations in 1940, Gleeson became ghost town.

 

Gleeson is a great place to explore, turning back the pages of time and history. North of the Gleeson main street, is a large ruin of the Gleeson Hospital. There is evidence of the mine tailing piles in the hills behind the hospital.

 

Down the road from the hospital was combination saloon and general store. Both of which opened and closed a couple of times over the years. The saloon is closed now awaiting its next owner.

 

Across from the store, there are jail ruins and vague evidence of the foundation for the Gleeson School.

 

The road leading north from the remnants of the general store will bring you to the ruins of nearby Musso House, but is blocked with No Trespassing sign.

 

 

Map by: Neal Du Shane

 

The Gleeson Pioneer Cemetery is located west of the Gleeson on the main road to Tombstone. It is estimated by APCRP there could be over 50 graves in this cemetery more research is needed to determine the total amount of graves in this cemetery. Many of the graves do not have headstones or markers of any type.

 

Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

Internet Presentation

Version 1127082

 

WebMaster: Neal Du Shane

 

n.j.dushane@comcast.net

 

Copyright ©2003-2008 Neal Du Shane
 All rights reserved. Information contained within this website may be used
 for personal family history purposes, but not for financial profit.
 All contents of this website are willed to the Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project (APCRP).

  

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