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Owing to the generosity of the City of Yuma, the Yuma Territorial State Historic Park will remain open through March 2013. The park was threatened with closure in March 2010 owing to state budget deficits.
The Territorial Prison began operation on August 1, 1876 and continued until September 15, 1909 when the remaining prisoners were relocated to the Florence Territorial Prison. There were 3,069 convicts total including 29 women; 104 are buried on site. In total, 111 convicts died here while serving their prison sentence. They died of disease, murder, suicide, and in the attempt to escape. The graves are not marked, just rock mounds in neat rows. There were no executions as capital punishment was administered by the county. For additional historical information see the state parks website
The Tucson Citizen printed the following paragraph in their November 24, 1906 edition describing death at the prison:
"A Convict's Funeral: Death is the tyrant that strikes fear into the hearts of most of the convicts. It means those that are not claimed and are without friends will lie beneath the barren plot just outside the penitentiary - the convict's cemetery. Piles of rocks shaped like a grave with a plain slab giving the name and number mark the final resting place. Services are brief at a convict's funeral. There are no mourners, no tears, no flowers - a simple burial service by a minister or priest, and that is all."