Merejildo Grijalva was born around 1840 to 1842 in Bacachi, Sonora, Mexico. He was of the Opata Indian tribe. He was kidnapped by Apache Indians around the age of ten. He was raised as an Apache, but after about ten years in captivity, he escaped and eventually came to the United States where he became a famous scout, tracker and interpreter for the U.S. Army. When Cochise and his band would be suspected of robberies, murders and pillaging, Merejildo Grijalva would be found with the cavalry in pursuit of the Apache devils. He had the uncanny abilty in tracking and of course had the knowledge of the places the Chiricahua people used for hideouts. He was of great value to the U.S. Army. The name Merejildo Grijalva was as well known as Cochise.
Merejildo's wife, Rosa Cortez, was kidnapped at the same time he was. I do not know how they kept in touch, but they were married in 1867. A beautiful little canyon in the Graham Mountains was named for him. For his dedicated service to the U.S. Army, the government awarded Merejildo some land about seven miles south of Safford, Arizona where he built a home of native stone. The ruins of this old home may still be visible. In later years he served as constable in Pueblo Viejo, near the present day community San Jose, Arizona. He was elected to the Statehood Convention in Phoenix as a delegate from Pueblo Viejo. When he got older, he lived in the town of Solomonville, Arizona. He died in 1912 at the age of 72. His final resting place is the rocky hilltop cemetery south of the little town of Solomon, overlooking Pueblo Viejo to the east and Mount Graham to the west.
My father, who lived in Solomonville, had many visits with this old scout and often said what a wise old fellow he was.
The memorial stone was presented and erected by the Graham County Historical Society in 1970.
Rosa Cortez Grijalva (1844 - 1931)
S Merejildo Grijalva (____ - 1872)*
Created by: Nancy E Brown
Record added: Jan 03, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23729815