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 James William “Jimmy” Dayton

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James William “Jimmy” Dayton

  • Birth 29 Feb 1832 Geneva, Ontario County, New York, USA
  • Death 24 Jul 1898 Death Valley Junction, Inyo County, California, USA
  • Burial Inyo County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 6199258

Western Folk Figure. He was the summer caretaker at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, and before that, a swamper for the 20 Mule Team wagons. On July 24, he complained about not feeling well, but set out on foot for Daggett to get supplies. When he didn't show up, a search was made. He was found dead about twenty miles from Furnace Creek, curled up in what little shade he could get from a mesquite bush, and fifty feet away from his wagon, with two full canteens and three barrels of water. His six mules were also dead, and his dog barely alive. His illness made him more susceptible to the desert heat, and he was buried where he was found. His eulogy was "Well Jimmie, you lived in the heat and you died in the heat, and after what you've been through, I guess you ought to be comfortable in hell". The marker on his grave states that he died in 1898, but Richard Lingenfelter's "Death Valley and the Amargosa, a Land of Illusion" (the definative history of Death Valley) states that he died in 1899. His friend, Shorty Harris, is buried with him.

Bio by: Alan Lopez


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Alan Lopez
  • Added: 20 Feb 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6199258
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James William “Jimmy” Dayton (29 Feb 1832–24 Jul 1898), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6199258, citing Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .