|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
During the violent and bloody Pleasant Valley War, known also as the Graham-Tewksbury Feud, the three cowboys buried here were under the arrest and protection of J. D. Houck, a sheep man and some time law enforcement officer. The three had perfectly good alibis for the offense which they were accused and Houck was aware the men were innocent. En route to Prescott a group of masked vigilantes known as the Committee of Fifty intercepted the posse and made off with the prisoners. The posse and the vigilantes were in cahoots and it was all prearranged. The three men were hung at this location and three days later their bodies discovered and buried here.
These graves are in a remote, isolated location along the Black Canyon Trail which is also identified as Forest Road 86 in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. From Payson the trail is accessed just east of Forest Lakes and .1 mile east of mile marker 291 on Arizona 260 and is clearly marked. Turn right and follow the signs. From Show Low and other easterly destinations the trail is accessed as Black Canyon Trail and is the last road in Heber just before Arizona 260 starts up the hill. Turn left and stay on FR 86. The trail is 16.8 miles long and 16.3 miles is unpaved, but easily traversed by the family SUV. The entire trail is worthy of visiting and the beauty is marred only by the scaring of the Rodeo-Chedeski fire. The graves are located near the end of trail closest to the Forest Lakes entry. When you see a sign identifying Auto tour Number 7 and/or the Hangman Trail park you vehicle. The graves are located one mile up Hangman Trail which is closed to all vehicular traffic. It is an easy hike with an upward slope going to the graves and downhill coming back. You might even see some deer and other wild life.