Old Cemetery


Harry Fisher and Carlos Cruz moved the old cemetery to the Mt. View Cemetery beginning in 1919 and completing the move in 1923.

Harry Fisher came to Casa Grande in 1919 establishing the Fisher Funeral Home. 

He was contracted to move the graves but not for money but for a deed for a block of land directly behind the old cemetery where his widow built a home and apartment buildings. The old burial ground is under what used to be the old Safeway store and is now the Checker Auto Parts store. It laid far and wide on both sides. Automobiles by the hundreds drive up and down Florence Blvd never realizing that beneath the road sleeps many an unmolested grave that was completely missed during the exodus of graves to the new Mt. View Cemetery.

Mr. J.F. Brown donated the land, 42 acres, for Mt. View Cemetery. The first burial in the new cemetery was Mrs. W. J. Hamilton who was buried 16 August 1916. The second burial was of a child, Alice Kruse. She was 8 years old at the time of her death. She attended school at Casa Grande Central School. She donated the old olive trees growing around the school.

Mr. Fisher contracted Carlos Cruz who owned a local trucking and transfer company to help with the removal of graves. Carlos was the brother of Al Cruz and Dave Cruz, businessmen in Casa Grande.

There were many graves to be moved from the site. There was the solid citizen section with high fences and fancy headstones, as well as all the unknowns or the boot hill section where many a man was buried in a blanket or wagon tarp and children whose graves resembled small prairie dog mounds with no markers to claim them, only God alone knew who was buried in those graves.

Mr. Cruz hired men to help with the move. At the completion of the exodus Mr. Fisher was given the deed to the agreed upon property. He took the deed to Florence to have it recorded and after coming home he was struck and killed by an oncoming train in Casa Grande. He is buried in Mt. View Cemetery.

His widow Mrs. Mary Plenz is also buried next to him at the cemetery.

Carlos Cruz is also buried in Mt. View Cemetery.

During the removal of graves from the old cemetery to the new cemetery Mr. McNatt helped move an uncle of a young man.  The young man accompanied the workers and they were very careful and they took him out of the ground.  He was buried in a home-made box made by this young man's father.  It had a glass front over his face and chest, then a protective cover.  As the men removed the cover over the glass, the young man became very nervous but one look at Old Jinks, as Mr. McNatt  was called, told him that everything was going to be ok.

When they removed the cover and Jinks and the young man looked in at Uncle Elmer he looked the same as he did the day they buried him.  Jinks and party got in the truck and went out to the new cemetery with Uncle Elmer and when the men started to put him in his new grave they thought they would take a last look and bid him good-bye.  They took the cover off the glass and looked in and low and behold, Uncle Elmer was gone.

On the way back to town, Uncle Jinks told of how a log burned to solid ashes, may seem perfect for one moment, then when disturbed, it will fade completely away.  So, 'twas with Uncle Elmer.  It is like Jinks said, "He ain't got much body, but he had a lot of soul."

 

 

 

 

 

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