Amado Cemetery Family Connection

Location and Background

The Amado Cemetery is located on the southwest side of I-19 near Arivaca Jct. It is in the Arizona Historic Graves and Cemeteries. Its not to be confused with the Sopori / Pennington cemetery located to the west or the Arivaca Jct cemetery located to the north west.

Around 1900 many ranching and farming families re-settled the Santa Cruz River and Sopori Creek area. Cattle from the area would be driven to the stockyard and shipped out. Smaller family farms would sell their produce near the stockyard. **

  • Antonio Amado sold Sonora cattle ranch and moved all cattle to Santa Rita mountain ranch. – Border Vidette, 12/05/1908
  • Amado station is recognized with the opening of the Calabasas line from the Southern Pacific Railroad. –Arizona Daily Star, 07/02/1910
  • Demetrio Amado establishes a commission forward agency. Paper states Amadoville. – Arizona Daily Star, 01/28/1911
  • New county road wanted from Amado to Canoa. Railroad will put in Halfway station. – Arizona Daily Star, 06/20/1911
  • New school district created Amado #29. – Arizona Daily Star, 10/11/1911
  • New road proposed from Amado to join the Sopori Southern Pacific Railroad station. – Arizona Daily Star, 10/21/1911
  • Automobile stage line from Amado to Arivaca and Oro Blanco is operated by Gavino Grijalva. – Tucson Citizen, 05/23/1912
  • Mrs Ysmael Amado sells all stock but keeps land. – Arizona Daily Star, 03/23/1913

The earliest grave site can be traced to Jose Maria Ahumada, who was born about 1873 and died of bronchitis on March 10, 1918. He lived with his wife Julie and children near Arivaca, AZ. His death certificate states burial at Amadoville, AZ. This makes the Arizona Historic Graves and Cemeteries paperwork incorrect with the earliest burial at 1920.

There are over 55 memorials registered on A handful of death certificates state there are more people buried in the cemetery. It is visited by a few descendants and the occasional curious 4x4er on a weekend drive. You can find an article or two written by the local newspapers.

My Ancestors

This is an ongoing project and it’s great to see all the different families interested. I have been to clean up family grave sites and document the locations a few times. But there has a been a time or two when I just pay my respects because it’s just too much. Families DO go out there, its not abandoned. The desert will take over faster that you think.

My great Aunt Olga Valenzuela Camacho said she bought family the “newer headstones” but I failed to ask when that was. If it was after 1962 I wonder why she didn’t buy Phoebe Valenzuela Proctor one. I believe Phoebe is buried immediately south of her parents and would be the most recent family burial. I found an old tin site marker, it had a water damaged paper inside but partly legible was MRS, 196 and dies. *Note on Phoebe. This is all just a guess because there is also an unmarked grave site to the north of her brother Mike. Hopefully someone knows where she is buried and we can get a marker.

I noticed that Francisco ‘Papa Kiko’ Valenzuela birth year maybe off by a year. We found his baptism document from February 1866 and he celebrated his birthday on September 7. Other records give a varying birth year.

Benigina ‘Mama Nina’ Valenzuela died in Amado, AZ on February 20, 1943. 1944 is on headstone.

William P Chance Jr died at 8 days old. He was the infant son of Margaret ‘Mage’ Valenzuela and Bill Chance. Grandson of Papa Kiko and Mama Nina. His grave site is enclosed by a cement square with his name written at base.

Gertrudes ‘Tula’ Valenzuela Proctor died from a ruptured ulcer at St. Mary Hospital in 1934. In the late 1940s, Frank B Valenzuela, Henry P Proctor and his son LeRoy came back to the Amado cemetery and built the cement encasement. LeRoy said they brought the sand and cement from Box Canyon ranch and mixed on a very cold day. Daughter to Papa Kiko and Mama Nina.

Miguel ‘Mike’ Valenzuela worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad and died at age 19 in 1926. His grave site is west of Tula. Son to Papa Kiko and Mama Nina.

** My great grandfather Francisco B Valenzuela was a rancher and grocery store owner from about 1908 to 1925. More can be found on Amado Schoolhouse: A Family Compilation