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Keith Davis
Tombstone News from the Past
Thu Aug 9, 2012 3:51am

Tombstone Epitaph, August 5, 1937


New Voices Propound Theories, Adding New Fuel to Sepulchral Query!


Dank breezes from Boothill cemetery; moldy breezes from 1881; low-flying, swishing, moaning breezes from the grave are tormenting Tombstone, routing theories in the sepulchral controversy.
The first breeze comes from Jack Chamberlain of Bowie, Ariz., who quotes a letter from Mrs. Mary E. Cumming O'Brien of Santa Monica, Calif., to the effect that her mother does not lie in the enfenced grave at Boothill, as is locally contested, inasmuch as "My mother died in Tombstone, December 3, 1883, and was buried in the 'old cemetery.' When the new cemetery was laid out we moved my mother there." Which eliminates Mrs. J. H. Cummins.
Over fifty intervening years comes the voice of Mrs. S. C. Bagg, widow of that fiery-spirited pioneer editor of the Tombstone Prospector and Epitaph, routing assertion of George M. Swain of Los Angeles that no iron fences were in Boothill in the days when the pioneers were young. For Mrs. Bagg remembers attending a funeral of a cowboy in Boothill the day after her arrival in Tombstone in 1881 and recalls that she noted this iron-fenced grave and thought whimsically, "it must b e the grave of a child thus protected from the spirits of the men buried here with their boots on." Which appears to eliminate Mr. Swain's argument on the location of iron fences.
Mrs. Bagg goes on to assert: "Mrs. Stumpf could never have preempted that grave, as she was alive and full of energy for years after '81. I remember her well." Which appears to eliminate Mrs. Stumpf.
What to do about it? Writes Mrs. Bagg from Santa Barbara, Calif.: "I think archaeologists would be fully justified in exhuming some of these bodies and definitely, if possible, establishing their identity."

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