Globetrotting: Old Globe Cemetery

Recommending you spend a pleasant afternoon in a cemetery may seem macabre, but not at our Old Globe Cemetery.  In fact, you may be surprised how much you enjoy spending a little time with dead folks.

Visiting a cemetery was not something I ever considered doing outside of times spent honoring deceased family members; however, upon first moving to Globe, I was erroneously informed that Doc Holliday’s girlfriend, Big Nose Kate, was buried in the Old Globe Cemetery.  I spent several Sunday afternoons exploring the site looking for her grave before discovering she is actually buried in Prescott.  However, even on this wild goose chase, my time was not wasted.  These afternoons ambling around the cemetery reading interesting headstones were immersing me in Globe history and providing a deeper understanding of this place I now called home.  

Globe manages one of only a few city-run cemeteries in the state and it dates back to 1876 when Thomas Hammond was buried by his brother on a hill overlooking the city after dying in an interaction with Apaches.  Our cemetery contains a number of notable historic individuals, like Al Sieber, Judge Aaron Hackney, and Sheriff “Rimrock” Henry Thompson.  It also has fascinating sections within the cemetery for fraternal orders and different ethnic groups, as well as special distinctions for military veterans like the six Buffalo soldiers who served in the US Cavalry during what was called the Indian Campaign Wars.  

I was drawn back to the Old Globe Cemetery in 2008 when I was informed that we had more Spanish American War veterans buried here than in any other non-federal cemetery in the country.  While I could not confirm the “most Spanish American veterans” assertion when I called the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration, it does point to another interesting chapter in our history.  As told to me, the fascinating Buckey O’Neill recruited “rough riders” among his mining and cowboy peers in Arizona to fight under Theodore Roosevelt in the 1898 war in Cuba.  These including a large contingent of men from the Globe-Miami region and many who died in battle had their bodies returned to Arizona.  If you visit, look for the “Sp.Am.War” distinction on headstones.

In 2013, Kip Culver wanted to celebrate our heritage by telling the stories of famous and infamous characters buried at the cemetery, as well as highlight every-day folks who made up the rough and tumble mining region during the territorial days.  This was not intended to be a scary or ghost-focused evening, but a respectful presentation of local history.  His profound and well-written script was enacted by thespians from the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts.  During an evening walking tour led by lamplight, visitors were invited to stop at gravesites and hear first-person accounts by period-attired performers sharing stories of individuals buried at those locations.  This very moving experience has been repeated several times since then.  If you attend, bring tissue as the silent horse-mounted territorial lawman and hymn-singing grieving mother seen wandering among the tombstones may draw tears.

If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend the fascinating and well researched piece on the cemetery written in 2017 by Jenn Walker for Globe Miami Times (https://www.globemiamitimes.com/exploring-globe-cemetery-lesser-known-stories/).  As odd as it seems to admit it, the Old Globe Cemetery is one of the many things I love about our region.