A visit to a cemetery

Bonanza, Idaho

Yankee Fork Historic District, July 28, 2010

Alice Davenport, Age 7, Jan 2, 1928 to September 2, 1935, Bonanza Cemetery, Idaho

The Bonanza Cemetery provides an example of the many ethnic groups attracted to the Yankee Fork.  Despite the harsh living conditions, the promise of good times and prosperity brought immigrants from many countries.  Cornish people, referred to as “cousin jacks,” worked for the English owners of the Custer mine.  Austrian crews built roads and many Italians lived at Bayhorse.  The Custer County census of 1890 indicates sizable populations of Canadian, German, English, Irish, Italian, and Swedish residents.  The largest single ethnic group found in the Yankee Fork Mining District came from China.  Though prejudice kept the Chinese from working at most mines, they worked unwanted placer claims, operated laundries, or worked as cooks…. most Chinese initially buried here were later disinterred by relatives and friends and returned to their homeland.

from sign at cemetery

Bonanza Cemetery

Sego Lily, Calochortus nuttallii, the state flower of Utah.

Sego Lily, Calochortus nuttallii, the state flower of Utah. Storm cloud Sego Lily, Calochortus nuttallii, the state flower of Utah.

Insect getting nectar from wild rose.

Insect getting nectar from wild rose.

Lizzie King and her husbands on Boothill

2010 07 28 058cropped

Lizzie and Richard King lived in Bonanza where Richard worked in real estate.  A heated argument with a business partner left Richard dead and Lizzie alone.

Lizzie and close friend Charles Franklin purchased the gravesite for Richard and two more next to it, presumably for themselves.  Soon, Charles and Lizzie began courting and a wedding seemed eminent.

To everyone’s surprise, Lizzie married Robert Hawthorne, a newcomer to Bonanza.  Six days later, both were found shot to death.  Soon after, Franklin left the area for a secluded cabin near Stanley where, years later, he was discovered dead.  Clutched in his hand was a locket which held the picture of Lizzie King.

Due to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Lizzie King, Bonanza residents chose to bury their loved ones elsewhere, leaving Lizzie and her husbands alone on Boothill.

from sign on Boothill


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