Lindo/Old County Cemetery
1890 and 1951, more than seven thousand early Phoenix residents
were buried in the first Maricopa County Cemetery (also known
as the Salt River Cemetery) now located at South 15th Avenue and
Durango, just north of the I-17 freeway. They were tuberculosis
patients, indigents, children and "just plain folks".
In 1890 the Maricopa County
Board of Supervisors accepted a bid of $1,250 in County scrip for
ten acres of land for a paupers’ burial ground. The first
burial is believed to have taken place in 1891.
A 1943 survey shows that there
were 1,339 markers at that time. One of the oldest known headstones
carried birth and death dates of 1868-1913. That headstone has
The cemetery was closed to
new burials in 1951. Around 1961, Maricopa County deeded the
property to the City of Phoenix and it was renamed Cementerio Lindo.
In 1967, workers employed under the City's LEAP program beautified
the cemetery with shrubs and trees. Between 1990 and 1992, annual
remembrance ceremonies complete with mariachi bands were held there.
Photographs show that until
the mid-1990s, the cemetery had trees and grass. However, when the
irrigation system failed, the appearance of the cemetery began to deteriorate.
The trees died, and runoff from the adjacent freeway buried some of
the headstones under several inches of mud.
Nevertheless, the dead
have not been forgotten. Bouquets of flowers continue to appear
year after year on the graves that were still identifiable. A news
article which appeared in the April 27, 2007, edition of the Arizona
Republic newspaper generated additional publicity.
To combat the neglect and vandalism
of the remaining headstones, the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation
Department is working with Pioneers' Cemetery Association (PCA)
to improve conditions at Cementerio Lindo. As with any project
of this nature, public support--your support--is needed. Descendants
and relatives of those buried in Cementerio Lindo can contact their
city councilpersons to demonstrate their support for the rehabilitation
of Cementerio Lindo. Using special funds, the City of Phoenix erected
a decorative wrought-iron fence around the cemetery in late 2010.
An arch over the entrance is in the planning stage.
The PCA has undertaken to
reconstruct the list of persons buried in the old County Cemetery.
While the total number of graves is unknown due to a fire in 1951
that burned most, if not all, of the County burial records, it is
thought that there may have been over seven thousand burials at this
location. Although the original records have been lost, death
certificates for the vast majority of people interred here are available
online. These records are searchable by name, year and county but
--unfortunately--not by cemetery.
If you have any information
about the cemetery or know the name of someone who was buried there,
please download, fill out and return the Burial Contact Form as an email attachment
to the PCA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also contact the PCA by phoning 602-534-1262 on Thursdays
or by writing to the PCA at PO Box 63342, Phoenix, AZ 85082-3342.
In keeping with the
Pioneers' Cemetery Association's policy of providing free information on
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message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may not be
reproduced in any format for profit, nor for commercial presentation by any
other organization. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material
for purposes other than as stated above
must obtain express written permission from