The Gatlin Jones Cemetery in Patagonia was established in 1907 with the burial of Bessie Inez Jones Gatlin who died at the age of 19 from kidney problems. [The Oasis 7/13/1907]. This private cemetery is located at 508 S. Third Avenue, Township 22S, Range 16E, Section 7. Bessie was the daughter of James Isaac Jones (1849-1931), and the daughter-in-law of James Smith Gatlin (1849-1937). James Jones and James Gatlin most likely met when serving in the Texas Rangers in the 1870s. Both families moved from Texas to New Mexico in the late 1800s and by 1904 had moved to Santa Cruz County, Arizona. The account that follows focuses on James Gatlin and his children.
James Smith Gatlin was born in Bastrop, Texas in 1849. He drove cattle on the Chisolm Trail and served in the Texas Rangers from 1869-1872. [Arizona Daily Star, 10/21/1937]. In 1872 he married Elizabeth Celeste Kidd. They had six sons and two daughters.
By 1904 most of the family moved to Arizona to homestead in several areas of Santa Cruz County. James S. first ranched in the Red Rock area near Patagonia, and in 1914 was elected to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. [The Border Vidette 11/7/1914]. By 1930 he and Betty were retired and living in Patagonia. James S. died in 1937, and Betty died a few month later in 1938.
The Gatlin daughters, Nora and Texas Nancy married and ranched with their husbands. Nora remained in New Mexico. Texas Nancy married William R. Stevenson in 1907. The couple had five children and ranched in the San Pedro Valley near Hereford.
The eldest son, Harvey Gatlin, married Minnie Earl in New Mexico in 1898; they had 12 children. They first settled near Patagonia but by 1920 were ranching on the Blue River in Greenlee County. Harvey and Minnie divorced in the 1930s; about that time Harvey returned to Santa Cruz County to ranch in the Sonoita area. He died in 1949.
The youngest son, Ibrey, was tragically killed during a cattle drive in 1913 when he fell from his horse. He was only 17 and was the second to be buried in the Gatlin Jones cemetery.
James E. Gatlin married Ella Hayes in 1901, and they had four children. He homesteaded 160 acres in the San Rafael Valley southeast of Patagonia. By 1919 the family had moved to Gila Bend to ranch. [Border Vidette 6/21/1919]. Ella died in 1946 and James in 1968.
Jesse Gatlin (1883-1935) married Houstin “Hucie” Jones, another of James I. Jones’ daughters in 1908. They homesteaded southeast of Patagonia and had two children. Hucie died in 1919. Jesse married Nona Williams in 1920 and continued to ranch in the Patagonia area.
Starting in 1922 Jesse led a troubled life. After selling his ranch early that year he declared bankruptcy. [Arizona Daily Star, 3/25/1922]. Several months later he was arrested for violating the prohibition act; he had 19 cases of tequila in his car. [Arizona Republic 7/28/1922]. He was eventually convicted and sent to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.
He returned to Patagonia after serving his sentence, and married Forrestine Hooker. The couple moved to Ajo where Jesse began work as a miner. In February 1935, after a night of drinking and quarreling, Jesse shot and killed his wife and himself. [Arizona Daily Star, 2/26/1935].
Albert Gatlin (1885-1957) married Bessie Ynez Jones in 1906. They homesteaded southwest of Patagonia and he also worked as a forest ranger. After Bessie’s death in 1907, Albert married Leota Sipes and had two children. Albert began work as a customs agent in the 1920s. He and Lon Parker discovered a cache of hidden liquor in the Locheil area; and Albert arrested three Yaqui Indians planning to smuggle 1,000 pounds of ammunition and three rifles into Mexico. [Arizona Daily Star, 6/23/1925, 11/29/1929]. Albert died in 1957 and Leota in 1984.
William “Woody” Gatlin married Gladys Maud Denton in 1916 and they had two sons. In 1924 he married Elizabeth Purcell and they had two sons. Woody was primarily a businessman, working in various stores in the Patagonia area. He served as Patagonia’s postmaster from 1939-1962. Woody died in 1983 and Elizabeth in 1986.