|Death: ||Nov. 21, 1849, USA|
The grave is especially important because, as far as is known, it is the only grave on the trail that has an original marker with the name and death date of the occupant. Also, John's death is chronicled in the diary of Benjamin Hayes, a member of his party.
QUOTE: Mr. John Chaffin had been indisposed since we left Socorro, but always rode out the day's journey. Last night I learned he had become worse; on rising at daylight I was informed that he was dead. We are now in camp waiting for the grave to be finished. The morning is very cold, with a piercing wind from the southwest; a few drops of rain fell at an earlier hour; a genuine November day. Although he died at half past ten o'clock last night, the event made little stir amongst the sleepers round him. It was very sudden; very few imagined that his condition was dangerous. The grave was dug near the roadside; cedar logs were procured on the hills half a mile from the camp. There was no material to make a coffin. He was wrapped in a blanket, then laid in his overcoat, as if the more to protect him from the chill sod. Cedar logs were laid above and filled with sprigs of cedar; then a layer of earth and in finally, large rocks above to prevent the wolves from opening the grave. The rest, like this, was done by friendly hands, and we bade farewell to our worthy companion. He was an amiable and excellent man. He leaves in Platte county, Missouri, a wife and four children. Not one of us, I dare say, but thought of her bright hope for him at home. It will be long before the sad intelligence shall come to her from this wilderness. This mournful duty was ended by ten o'clock. At sunset we were camped on the Mimbres, distant 21 miles.
Died Nov 21 1849
Santa Fe Trail
New Mexico, USA
Plot: Coordinates: 13S 0250455 E
Created by: Ellajean
Record added: Mar 26, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50277580
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