The Mustang 4-H Club Clover Buds helped to preserve the community’s past on April 10. This project started late last year, when the group learned about an unkempt burial plot southeast of the Sonoita Fairground near the 3Bar3 grain store. At the time, the wooden grave marker had weathered and become illegible.
The name of the grave’s occupant was discovered after years of searching and a fortuitous find (see “Century Old Grave Gets TLC” in the Nov. 2021 issue of the PRT).
Albert Hall was in Sonoita in 1914, working on a New Mexico-Arizona Railroad work crew repairing flood damage. He was high on a trestle when the Sonoita winds blew him off the structure. Albert fell, broke his neck and died of his injuries on the spot. The crew brought him back to where the railroad workers were camping in Sonoita. Since the railroad didn’t have any information on next of kin, they buried him at the campsite. A simple wooden marker with “Albert Hall 1914” was placed over his resting spot.
In October 2021 the Clover Buds cleaned up the grave plot, planted flower bulbs, painted the marker pole, placed reflectors, and installed a donated cement headstone.
In attendance was Derrick Cass, who had brought his granddaughter to the Clover Bud meeting. Cass was inspired to build not only a handmade metal grave marker, but a decorative metal fence to be placed around the gravesite. The fence has a train motif along with the name of the New Mexico and Arizona Railroad.
On April 10, 2022, the Clover Buds gathered and began moving rocks and tidying up the site. Clover Bud adults helped by digging post holes and pouring concrete. The marker and fencing were placed, and Clover Buds helped place the marking stones and tidy up.
The group talked about how their efforts would hopefully last another 100 years. Maybe then another group of caring people would step up to help Albert keep his name.
Clover Buds would like to share a huge thank you to Derrick Cass! Without his caring and artistry, this wouldn’t have been possible.