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Mesa County Genealogical Society

Potters' Field

1881 - ????

It appears that there may have been several different cemeteries designated as Potters' or Pauper's Field. Research will need to be tackled to separate the burials.

Potters Field Cemetery Potters Field Cemetery- **Photo Credit: DRJ 2004

Potters Field History

The history of Potters Field's in Mesa County seems to be very convoluted. The 'Find a Graves' data seems to indicate that there may have been various Potters Field cemeteries in Mesa County. Kathy Jordan submitted a great deal of details that can be found here.

Joseph Harper homesteaded the property in 1883 and sold it to William Palmer [deed recorded 23 June 1884] who owned the property until 1911. There is nothing in the description that indicates there was a cemetery on the property. Kathy Jordan stated that there were no known burials during the time that Mr. Palmer owned the property. If that is the case, where were the following individuals buried? Thomas J Allison, 1905; Lawrence Gaffney, 1866; Nils Larson, 1892; etc.

Potters Field

Potter's Field, GJ News, 04 July 1885, Sat, pg 3

20-30 Club Seeks Information on City's Forgotten Cemetery

Burials after Potters Field property was sold to C.L. Connely in 1911.[Two in 1911, and two in 1913. However Find a Grave shows five in 1913]. Last burial in 1936.

Cemetery sold to the City of Grand Junction in 1919.

Potter's Field was also the center of a ghost search in 2007 and 2010.

'Talking to the Undead'; Free Press 31 Oct 2007.

"Hunting the Haunted"; Daily Sentinal, 23 May 2010.

"Hunting the Haunted" continued.

Several files been located named "Cemetery Potter" that includes research done by Harold Hawkworth, President of the Telephone Pioneers of America with details of research from 1894/85. They also include 'Historic Preservation survey forms. On line #18 of these forms there is the following note: "Disturbance: moderate; "Vandals have removed headstones, weathering has obscured headstones or destroyed them. Threats include Erosion, Neglect and Vandalism."; A note from Gladys Tovrea Brandstoettner regarding a contribution of information to the USGenWeb Archives; Several tombstone photographs; a copy of a telephone interview from January 1986 with Don Riggle of the defunct 20-30 Club; notes by Billie Richardson of the Mesa County Genealogical Society; land records; obituary copies; a list of 'pauper burials'; the application for registry on the Register of Historic Places, etc. The documents have been scanned and will be included here.

Find a Grave - Potters Field.

Additional information on this cemetery can be found here including individuals buried, tombstone photographs and a detailed cemetery history by local researcher Kathy Jordan.

Gate Location Address: 26 3/8 Rd; Lat/Long; Status: Inactive


Directions: From Highway 50 take Canon St. (26 1/4 Rd) South to B 3/4 Rd. Turn West and go to 26 3/8th Rd, then South about 1/4 mile to Cemetery on left Side (East). Just north of Police firing range.


Potter's Field Burials/Obituaries

Burials from Find-A-Grave, 33 listed (**see note below). Additions of obituaries is in progress.

Apparently the names of the individuals are on the back of the cemetery sign although my understanding is that they are not correct. A photo would be a great addition.


Possible Burials? If the location of these burials are correct they would have been made prior to the creation of Mesa County, CO (1883) on land that was not homesteaded by Joseph P Harper until 23 June 1884 [Book 13, Page 230, Mesa County Recorder (a better copy of this entry would be helpful)]. At the time of these burials In this area was been part of Gunnison County, CO. On familysearch.org the earliest land records filmed are the 'The Register of Timber Culture Entries' beginning in 1882; they are not indexed however, and they do not seem to be applicable for the research of this property.

  • Baby Garland - December 1881
  • Benjamin A. "Ben" Scott - 1 April 1882; drowned in Grand River.
  • Patrick Henry Gordon - 01 Apr 1882 (?)

The following is a list of some of the burials from Find-A-Grave. ** Note: It seems likely that this list is a consolidation of several 'Potters Field' cemeteries.

  • Clarence Adams - dates unknown. There is no tombstone photograph and no indication of any sources for this burial. The listing was created by Bill Bagley in 2011.
  • Thomas J Allison - ????- 12 Jul 1905. Death notice mentions relatives in California.
  • James Bowman - dates unknown
  • Samuel E "Cherokee Bill" Cowell Column 1; Column 2, - 23 April 1923 (possibly born in 1819?).
  • Pat D - 06 Dec 1927
  • Lawrence Gaffney 09 Nov 1896 (where was he actually buried?)
  • Frank Flannery - 17 Feb 1913
  • Lettie Hammond
  • Bertha Kaufman - 1908/1911
  • Nils Larson - Jul 1892
  • Infant Lowe
  • Monroe Loyd - 31 Mar 1913
  • Alice Adelia Synder Middaugh - 25 Aug 1913
  • Mary Middaugh 06 Jul 1913.
  • Thomas Mullen - 26 Jul 1895
  • Julian Pacheco - 28 Sep 1936 [last burial?]
  • Mrs Seville Pacheco - 09 Aug 1898 (where is she actually buried?)
  • Infant Palmer
  • Elmer Price - 1911
  • Reither - 30 Oct 1888
  • Edward Russell
  • Frank Ryan - 19 Dec 1910
  • JB Scott - 1865 - 9 Sep 1895
  • Ira J Smith - 16 Feb 1896
  • Jack Smith - 9 Sep 1895
  • John H Smith - 19 May 1913
  • Scotty Smith - 25 Apr 1902
  • Mrs Joesph Steele - 4 Aug 1888
  • John Sunshee - 17 Feb 1909

Additional possible Potter's Field Burials found in 'Potter Field' files.

  • Garcia, Danarco, DOD May 16, 1926, Buried Paupers - paid for by D&RGW
  • Robert Pauley, DOD March 11, 1929, Buried Paupers
  • Junie Potter, DOD June 12, 1932, Buried Paupers - count paid (sic)
  • William Roberts, DOD Aug 27, 1932, Buried Paupers [Interestingly this individual is listed as being buried in the Mesa-Molina Cemetery on Find a Grave, but there is no tombstone photograph.

Back to Cemetery Alphabetical List


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