Rough, short, lives
Visiting the Fourr Cemetery and Oatman Massacre site are an interesting side trip from the Painted Rock Petroglyph site.
Twenty-something years after the Oatman Massacre, William and Lucinda Fourr, and their family settled in the area., where William ranched and served as agent at the Butterfield Stage stop. Of the six children they had between their marriage in 1868, and when they left in the area in 1880, four died here. The Fouur Cemetery is where the children are buried: Seven year old A.F., month old F.F. -- on the same sad date in January, 1877 -- and an unnamed baby, still born. (I'm not sure about the fourth child.) The Fourrs eventually had eight children who survived to adulthood, with William living until 1934, and Lucinda 1942. Stanley Heisey, a Life scout of Troop 263, has installed a bench, a log book, and otherwise restored the site.
After paying your respects to the Fourr children, it is a slippery, dusty, one-mile drive to the Oatman Memorial. As the area is Gila River flood plain, and at least semi-functional farm, there may be brush that has been washed / plowed into the road. You may need to stop short, and walk a bit.
The Oatman family were Mormon pioneers in a party that left Independence, MO, in August, 1850. The original party of 85-93 schismatic Brewsterites, further splintered as it travelled west, until the Oatman family was going it alone when they reached this area. Despite being warned about hostile Indians, they proceeded. It was not a wise choice. The parents, Royce and Mary, and four of the seven children were killed. A son, Lorenzo, 15, escaped despite being wounded. 14-year old Olive, and 7-year old Mary Ann were captured. Mary Ann died during a later famine at age 10 or 11, while Olive assimilated, possibly having children, before being repatriated at age 19.
The Daughters of the American Revolution erected a memorial to the Oatman family in 1954. It, however, is not the massacre site, which is where the Oatmans who perished are buried. The actual massacre site is a quarter mile WSW, on top of the Gila River's south bluff, a short additional walk.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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