Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery Overview
You can’t visit an old ghost town without having an old — and possibly haunted — cemetery nearby! When visiting Nevada’s most popular ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada, be sure to stop by the Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery on your way into the area or after you leave.
Some call it the “spookiest cemetery in Nevada” (while others say that the Old Tonopah Cemetery is.) Once the sun sets, anything can happen! Some people who are researching the paranormal are known to hang out to see if they can witness the reported odd sounds and orb appearances by other visitors.
The cemetery is made up of three recognizable rows and within them, you will find a mix of unmarked graves, mounds of dirt, fencing around an area, headstones, and some with signs or plaques.
View more information about the Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery on Find a Grave.
The official date is unknown to us at this time and we will update you once we know more. The plaque for the cemetery states 1904-1912, and I am not sure what the dates reference since there are persons buried before 1904. The last person to be buried there was in November 1991.
The earliest grave in the cemetery is of Louis Strad, who passed away in January 1902.
The most interesting people that we know of so far would be the graves of James C. Clayton and John Sullivan. (One clipping is below and we have more at the bottom of this article about the incident.)
VOLUME LXX, RENO EVENING GAZETTE, RENO, TWO MEN KILLED IN SHOOTING-SCRAPE IN TOWN OP RHYOLITE – Special to the Gazette. GOLDFIELD, Nevada, December 15.
James Clayton, one of the original locators of the Amethyst mine and a heavy stockholder in the Polaris, and John Sullivan, a bartender, were shot and almost instantly killed in a pistol duel at Rhyolite, in the Bullfrog mining district last night. The two men quarreled over the alleged shortchanging of Clayton by Sullivan and as they were sworn enemies guns flashed into view at once.
Clayton fired the first shot from a small caliber revolver and then jumped behind the bar and picked up a forty-zve caliber Colts and fired again. Reeling from a fatal wound Sullivan drew his revolver and with one- shot sent a ball through Clayton’s lungs killing him instantly. Both men fell to the floor while the crowd that was in the saloon fled to the open to escape the fusilade of shots.
The double killing created a tremendous sensation as both men were widely known in the Bullfrog district.
For several months Clayton and Sullivan had been bitter enemies. They had quarreled before and ugly word and threats passed between them. Each suspected that the other was waiting for an opportunity to kill and all night the spectators were on the qui vive.
Clayton had just sold out his interests in the Polaris and the Amethyst mines and was on a spree. He was drinking excessively and finally become quarrelsome. His antipathy to Sullivan showed Itself the moment he received the change after he had paid for a round of drinks for the crowd. He accused Sullivan of short-changing him and the latter called Clayton a liar. Clayton drew and shot first, then rushed behind the bar and securing a heavy revolver shot again. He fired with terrible effect but Sullivan steadied himself in spite of his fatal wounds until he could secure a good aim and with a single shot sent Clayton to the ground, with blood gushing from a hole through his lung,
RHYOLITE, Dec. 15. James Clayton and John J. Sullivan, are both dead as the result of a pistol duel in Rhyolite, a town one mile north of Bullfrog, last night.
The tragedy occurred in Bevis and Turpin’s saloon and was brought about by Clayton charging Sullivan, who was a bartender at the place, with giving him short change.
Max Resenburg, a cook, was at one of the gaming tables and tried to duck under the table but received a 45-caliber bullet just above the right nipple. He will recover.
Sullivan, who was 28 years of age, leaves a young wife in Rhyolite. He came from Butte, Montana, some time ago.
Clayton was thirty-eight years old and was a miner and leaves a wife either in Creede or Colorado Springs. Colo.
Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery History
The Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery was shared between two towns.
Not much is known about the older graves of the people buried at the cemetery. One can assume they belong to the original residents of the now ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada.
Latitude: 36.882, Longitude: -116.8293
Beatty, NV 89003
How to Get to Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery
If you are heading to the Goldwell Open Air Museum, the cemetery is right after you turn off NV-374 before you get to the Pioneer Road / Goldbar Road intersection.
Obituaries and News Clippings
The Goldfield News and Weekly Tribune – Goldfield, Nevada -15 Dec 1905, Fri • Page 9
FATAL SHOOTING AFFRAY
Two Men Killed in Saloon Duel at Rhyolite Last Night
Dispatches received at The News office this morning from Rhyolite, a mining camp in the Bullfrog country, 75 miles south of Goldfield, announces the killing there last night of William Sullivan and James Clamton as the outcome of a duel which occurred about 10:30 o’clock. Details of the affair are meager but so far as ascertained appear to be as follows:
Sullivan, the bartender at Jenks and Whipps saloon, where the affair took place, Clayton and another man, whose name could not be ascertained at the hour of going to press, had been opening wine during the earlier hours of the evening and eventually became involved in a dispute in which guns were pulled and used with fatal effect. In all seven shots were fired. It would appear as though Clayton and Sullivan allied their forces against the unknown, but whether they or he first opened fire or which of the trio was the aggressor is problematical. A bullet pierced Clayton’s head early in the fusilade and he sank to the floor, dying instantly. A second later another bullet from the unknown’s weapon entered Sullivan’s breast just above the left nipple and he fell unconscious, dying within a half hour.
Mr. Sullivan formerly resided in this city and was for a considerable period in the employ of the owners of the Hermitage saloon on Main street. He was well liked in this community, was abstemious in his habits and had the reputation of being quiet and unoffensive. So far as can be ascertained Clayton was unknown here.
Later advices would indicate that Sullivan and Clayton were the only participants in the affray and that each tilled the other.
GRAVE SEALS TRAGEDY
The body of John Sullivan, who was killed in a revolver duel with J. C. Clayton at Rhyolite Friday night was brought to this city Tuesday morning by Wells Fargo express and will be interred today, the funeral to be held under the auspices of the Bartenders’ union of which the deceased was a member. The other victim of the double tragedy, J. C. Clayton, a Colorado mining man, was buried at Rhyolite Thursday morning. His widow came from Colorado Springs immediately upon receiving advices of the death of her husband and reached the southern camp in time to attend the funeral.
MEN FOUGHT WITH DESPERATE COURAGE
GOLDFIELD, Nev., Dec. 21.
Several eyewitnesses to the Rhyolite shooting affair have arrived in Goldfield and their statements all tend to show that the duel between Sullivan and Clayton was fought to end with a desperate courage, such as is seldom excelled even in a western mining camp. Clayton it appears, was shot clear through the Intestines before he ever attempted to shoot. Those who stood by state that – he never wheeled nor flinched, but drew his own gun out of his hip pocket and began firing in return.
Sullivan then grabbed another gun of larger caliber from the back bar and rushed toward his opponent firing all the while. As he approached he received a bullet through the right chest and wheeling around fell to the floor unconscious. Clayton, now weak and faint, and about to fall also, grasped his revolver with both hands, steadying himself as best he could and fired his last shot as he fell over dead, scarcely sixty seconds having – passed from the time he received the bullet through his abdomen.
As he fired at Sullivan who lay prone upon the floor he had not the remaining strength to hold the gun and as it dropped in his weakened grasp the bullet struck Sullivan in the ankle.
This aroused the prostrate man and Clayton fell over dead Sullivan grasped him by the throat. When the bystanders drew them apart Sullivan was unconscious and died ten minutes later after regaining consciousness for a few moments.
FOUND DEAD ON RHYOLITE DESERT BODY OF TIM CROW FOUND IX FUXERAL RAXGE NEAR THE CAPRICORX ROAD. The remains of Tim Crow were discovered Thursday by Joseph Shand who was returning to Rhyolite from a prospecting trip in the Funeral range. Mr. Shand came across the body at a point about two miles from the Capricorn, the body lying within a few feet of the old wagon road, under a bunch of greasewood. The authorities were notified, and Judge Kalaher and Undertaker Bacl-galupl drove out to the range and secured the remains, bringing same to Rhyolite, where an inquest was held Thursday evening. The verdict of the coroner’s jury was that the man came, to his death from natural causes. Tim Crow . had been employed at the Keane Wonder mine, leaving that point about the first of July. He was on his way to Rhyolite across the hills when death overtook him. In his clothes were found $60 cash and two Keane Wonder checks, $81 and $91, one of the checks bearing date of June 30. .The man had been dead nearly two months. Within reach of his arm , was an empty canteen, with the cover off. Crow had lived in this vicinity for about four years and was a member of Bonanza miners’ union at Rhyolite. Mrs. Anna Crow, a relative residing In St. Louis, has been notified of his death. The funeral took place yesterday and the remains were laid to rest In the cemetery on the desert. Rhyolite Herald.
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