Bonanza Cemetery

Submitted by Dorothy M.H. Wren and W. G. "Bill" Haley

From Challis, take Hwy 75 west to Sunbeam, turn right and proceed to Custer, approximately eight miles. (The Challis Forest Service calls this: Bonanza Cemetery Gravesites).

The townsite of Bonanza was laid out in 1878 by Charles Franklin. In 1881 it had a peak population of 600. In 1889, and in 1897, fire destroyed much of Bonanza, and many merchants relocated to Custer. . .Custer was two miles upstream from Bonanza City. -- Cort Conley. Idaho for the Curious/A Guide. Backeddy Books, Cambridge, Idaho. 1982. (p.359f)

Conley also writes of three isolated burials 0.2 miles past "Boothill Cemetery" - English immigrants
Richard King,
Agnes Elizabeth King
and Agnes' second husband Robert Hawthorne.
For the story on these people, see Conley's book, or Land of the Yankee Fork by Esther Yarber, which Conley references.

AH SAM Died 1894, Gunshot wound. Shot by the Chinese cook at the Blacks Mine. Reported in the Silver Messenger, 11 Sep 1894.
AH YOUNG Worked as a cook on the Stanley Gold Dredge. When he died of a heart attack, he was buried there, then exhumed and transported to the Bonanza graveyard. He received his residence paper #136652 from Helena, MT.
ANDERSON, Chris Native of Sweden. Approximately 53 yr old. Died at Custer, ID on 9 Dec 1903.
BAIRD, Edward Born, 1837. Died 3 Jun 1897. Old timer in the area who had been a soldier. Died by his own hand, suicide by gunshot, as reported by the Silver Messenger, 3 Jun 1897
BARKER, Martin Died in Custer, at the Nevada House on Monday, 25 Mar 1889 of spinal meningitis at age 35. He was a prospector on Sheep Mt. and Seafoam areas. Owned Vanity, Mountain King, Ella Day, MKH and other claims. Born in Bash Co., KY.
BELLAMY, Harry Birthplace unknown. Born 1850. Died at Custer . on 2 Dec 1912.
BENEFIEL, Emma Born 1843, wife of John R. Benefiel of Custer . Died on 13 Oct 1880.
BENERELLI, Eliza Died Oct 1880 at age (38 or 88). Buried in Bonanza."Sacred to the Memory of Eliza Emma, wife of J.R. Benerelli"
BURTON, Estella M. Born 23 Oct 1851. Died at Custer, ID. 1 May 1903.
BURTON, James W. Died 21 Nov 1895 at Custer. Age 55. Was scratched while unloading a truck, consequently, he died of blood poisoning. He was a merchant, postmaster and GAR of Lincoln Post #15 of Challis.
CAREY, Mike Born 1850 in Ireland..Died at Custer on 21 Oct 1897.
CEARLEY, James L Born in North Carolina in 1839. Died at Custer on 17 Mar 1902. Killed in an accident at the Lucky Boy Mine. Had nine children, served as a lieutenant of the volumteers in the Nez Pierce War.
CEARLEY, James Jr Born 1882 at Bonanza. Worked at Clayton Silver Mine. Died from Miner's Lung at Bonanza on 8 May 1937. Died sitting in front of the small house at the lower end of Bonanza.
CENTAURAS, Henry Born in Hanover, Germany in 1847. Mined along the Salmon River from Sunbeam Dam to Burnt Creek. Made a stake and returned to Germany where it is reported the fortune was taken away by authorities. He returned to Idaho and started mining again to make another fortune. He died at Custer on 16 Jul 1921.
CENTAURAS, Herman Born 1849 in Hanover, Germany. Died 1923.
CENTAURAS, Margaret Born in Hamburg, Germany on 28 Mar 1855. Came the (Myers) U.S. at age 17. Maried Herman Cenetauras in 1878. Lived for 42 yr in Custer Co. Died of pneumonia on 1 May 1929 at Challis. Taken to Bonanza Cemetery for burial.
CENTAURAS, May (Mary) Born 23 Oct 1883. Died 18 Sep 1900 at age 17. Died of typhoid fever.
CERAMELINE, Andrea Born in Italy. Died 8 Jul 1910 when the air shaft to the Sunbeam mine plugged with ice and snow, Andrea climbed up from inside and placed a charge of black powder at the plug. He miscalculated the time necessary to reach safety and was killed in the explosion.
CEREGHINO, Joseph Native of Italy. Born in 1848.died at Bonanza on 31 Oct 1905. Left three sisters living in Italy.
CLAUDE, Joseph Born 1834. First mining death at Golconda Mine, by injuries due to falling rock on 15 Sep 1879. Buried one mile west of Bonanza.
CLAWSON, Calvin C. Born in Lancaster, PA in 1840. Died at his home between Custer and Bonanza on 15 May 1911. He had been a writer for the Silver Messenger under the non de plume of "Graph" for 30 years. Crossed the plains with oxen teams in 1866. Came to Custer County in 1878.
CLAWSON, Czarina (Llewellyn) Born 29 Jan 1840 at Morgantown,West Virgina.Died at family home between Custer and Bonanza on 14 Feb 1905. Was Welsh descent.
CRAFTS, Trevor Born Sep 1881. His father owned Blacks Mine.
CROGEN, A.M. Died 1896.
CROSS, Julius W. Born Oct 1865 in Indiana. Died at Custer on 2 Dec 1905.
DAVENPORT, Alice Leona Born Jan 1928. Died Sep 1935 in Hailey. from blood poisoning. This was caused from a cut on her foot or a black widow spider bite.
DAVIS, John D. Died 14 Feb 1904. Killed by a snowslide on the trail to the Charles Dickens Mine.
DeLAVILLIE, GODFREY POQUETTE Native of Canada. Born in 1820. Died at Bonanza on 19 Nov 1905 from injuries suffered in a fall at his sawmill on West Fork, Salmon River.
DUDLEY, John P. Born 1847 in KY...Died 14 Mar 1907 at Custer.
DUNN, Margaret"Biddy" Born in Ireland in 1856. Came to the U S when she was two yr old. Lived in Massachusetts, came to Custer in 1885, ran the Nevada House. Died 9 Nov 1908.
DUNN, William Born 1843. Died on 6 Jul 1907.
DUVALL, John Born 1833 in MO. Died 1 Aug 1890 at Custer. He mined near Custer.
ERNST (Baby) Was born and died 1899 in Bonanza. Child of George and Susie (Williams)
GEER, Jasper Son of D.& M. Geer. Two yr, five mo, and four days.
GEER, W. Son of D.& M. Geer Four yr and nine mo old.
HARDY, George Born 1876. Died of suicide by knife at Custer 5 Aug 1902.
HARVEY, John Died 1917 at Custer.
HARVEY, Louise (French Louise) Wife of John Harvey. Died from injuries sustained in a fall, 1909.(Some question on date of death, Silver Messenger mentions her at Thanksgiving 1911.)
HIENS, George Died at Custer on 17 Sep 1898.
JOHNSON, Kathy Born 6 Jul 1880..Died 1891. The daughter of Peter and Annie (Ryan).
KNAPP, Henry M. Born 1823 in Florida. Died at Sunbeam 2 Dec 1909 of "senility".
LAYTON, William (Banjo Bill) Birthplace and age unknown. Died at Custer on 20 Oct 1897.
LAUNDRY, George Birthplace and age unknown. Died at Custer on 3 Mar 1905.
LEE, John H Born Jul 1847 in Illinois..Died 24 Jan 1888. Age 41 yr and 6 mo. Owned a store in Custer, had resided in Rocky Bar earlier.
MacNAMER, Timothy Born in Baltimore, Maryland Aug 1829..Died at Bonanza on 12 Jul 1910.
McGOVERN, Thomas Born 1851 in Massachuests..Died 19 Nov 1909. Lived on the Yankee Fork thirty years, had claims on Fourth of July Creek named High Tariff, Union, Maggie and Dewey.
McMAHON, William Native of CA. Born 1870..Died in a snowslide at Montana Mine on Mt. Estes on 16 Jan 1906.
McNAB, John Born 1852 in Texas..Died 20 May 1897.
McNAUGHTON,Charles (Thomas) Born in Belfast, Ireland in 1867. Died at Custer on 6 Mar 1907.
MOORE, John Born 16 Dec 1840..Died 2 Jul 1883. Mined at Loon Creek in the 1870's, mined at Stanley, sold the Yellow Jacket, Red Jacket and Blue Jacket mining claims to A.P. Challis and Henry Sturkey.
MONROE Triplets Died at birth in 1896. Their father was Dr. Monroe second doctor in Custer.
MULLEN, John Born in Ireland in 1847. Came to the US with his parents at the age of two yr. Grew up in Brooklyn NY. Died at Custer on 26 Mar 1907.
MURPHY, William Birthdate unknown. Died 12 Dec 1900.. Suicide by gunshot. He "borrowed" the weapon from the McGowan's Saloon.
OLLSON, Charlie Died 5 Sep 1880."He fell from the framework of the Custer Mill last Sat. morning, died at 6:00 P.M. Sunday evening. He was buried the next day, the funeral being well attended. The wounds that caused his death were compound committed fracture of both the right and left tibia fibula, and fracture of the base of the skull. Ollson resided in CA a long time."
OLSEN, George Birthplace unknown. Born 1877.. Died at Custer on 3 Nov 1900. Has an iron bassinet around his grave.
PIERCE, Clifford C. Born 1908 in MT, married Lucille (Shoemaker). Died 26 Jan 1992 in Andaconda, MT. Ashes and memorial only.
PIERCE, Clifford L. Son of Clifford C. and Lucille (Shoemaker) Pierce. Died 17 Jul 1936.
PIERCE, James Chester Born 2 Nov 1873..Died 30 Jul 1935 of suicide due to extremely painful cancer of the lower intestines. He had mentioned to his son that "If I hadn't been a man in this country, I would have liked to have been a tree." Years later after the old man had died, a tree sprang from the exact spot where his heart was buried. To this day, his family half believe the tree is the fulfillment of the old man's wishes.
PIERCE, Lucille Wife of Clifford C. Died 31 Mar 1991.
PIERCE, Sara J. Born Jan 1887...Died 22 Aug 1953.
PIERCE, Shirley Mae Baby daughter of Clifford and Lucille Pierce who died 29 Nov 1935.
POQUETTE, Jerry Lived across the river from Jerry's Creek. The creek had been named for him. Died 29 Nov 1905.
RAPP, Benjamin Franklin Born in PA, 1841, operated a livery stable in Bonanza, had claims in Joe's Gulch near Stanley and was the postmaster in Stanley when he Died on 28 Oct 1901.
REECE Youngest Boy Birthdate unknown..Died 8 Jun 1882 of Scarlet Fever.
RILEY, James Birthplace and age unknown. Died at Custer on 19 Feb 1897.
ROMER, Silas Born in Ohio, Jul 1852..Died 4 Oct 1903. He carried mail from Custer to Sunbeam, and on to Loon Creek area. When a child became sick at Sunbeam and needed medicine from Custer, Silas, against his better judgement, volunteered to make the trip. He made it to Custer but was caught by a snowslide on the return trip, and was killed. The child is said to have recovered.
STEEL, James E.J. Born 1835..Died 4 Mar 1880 of cold and fever. From Ohio.
STEEN, John Worked for Morrison at Jordon Creek, owned the Morrison claim by 1895. Born 1862, St. Clair, New Brunswick, Canada..Died of diabetes, 12 Jun 1900.
STRATTON, Jacob H Born 1836 .. Died 11 Jul 1906.
SULLIVAN Child The two yr old child of Mr and Mrs Michael Sullivan died at Custer on 15 Mar 1889.
SWENSSON, F. O. Sacred to the Memory of F. O. Swensson. Died Nov 1880.
SWENSSON, Johanna Born 1842 in Sweden..Died 28 Sep 1880. Wife of F. O. Swensson, owner of Franklin Hotel. Service by Reverend J.F. Taylor.
TAYLOR, Edna Age 4, eldest child of J. F. Taylor and Rose D. Born 1875 ..Died 1879. First natural death, abscess of the throat (Yankee Fork Herald.)
TAYLOR, John Born in China, Buried in the Chinese section. While the coffin was being transported from Custer, it slipped off the wagon and slid down the hill. There it stayed until spring weather made it possible to retrieve the coffin and proceed with the burial.
TERRY, Mike Died Oct 1897 at Custer.
TULLY, Francis S. Born in England, 1828.. Died at Custer on 21 Mar 1898.
TURNBULL, Anna Born in Ontario, Canada in 1852. Died at Bonanza, ID. on 20 Nov 1894. Wife of James Turnbull. Age 42 Died in Childbirth.
TURNBULL, Thomas Born 1878 .. Died in Bonanza as a young man.
VARNEY,Dudley B "Captain" Born in New Hampshire in 1838. Died at Custer on 7 May 1906. Was a member of the Jim Bridger expedition through the Big Horn and Yellowstone countries in 1864. Came to Loon Creek in 1869. Became one of the owners of the Montana Mine on Mt. Estes. Elected to Idaho Territorial Legislature from Lemhi County in 1878. Lived in Custer for many years. Received a spinal injury when a horse fell with him, that was ultimately the cause of his death.
WILSON, Jack J. Born 1881.. died 10 Feb 1933 of sickness and old age.
WRIGHT, E.J. "Buck" Born in Ireland, 1858.. Died in Custer of suicide by morphine, on 27 Sep 1900.


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