This writer first learned of Angeline’s grave from a former coworker. He explained that he and his friends from a Prescott, Arizona high school would drive out to the grave site and camp nearby. They would dare each other to climb over the iron fence and stand near the grave of little Angeline. He reported the tombstone glowed in the dark and the ground trembled whenever a brave soul climbed over the forbidden black iron fence.
Naturally a visit to the site was needed in order to test out the earthquake tremors theory. Before a journey to visit this misfortune little soul, more information about Angeline was in order. Being a member of the Pioneer’s Cemetery Association in Phoenix, Arizona led to a contact member of the Yavapai Cemetery Association in Prescott, Arizona—the nearest town to the grave of Angeline.
She sent several old newspaper articles that told the plight of this young pioneer. Angeline was born about October 1, 1886. Her short life ended on January 15, 1889 near the town of Prescott, Arizona. Her final resting place sits near the bank of Lynx Creek in what is now a housing division called Lynx Estates. The grave is on private property along Lynx Creek Road—also known as the Old Black Canyon Highway and was once the main roadway link between Prescott and Phoenix.
Tales of Angeline’s death state she died on a wagon train heading west, and was buried on the spot. Another version of the story says she was killed by Indians, or she was attacked and killed by a Lynx cat. Others claim her family lived on Lynx Creek near their placer-mining claim. It is believed that Angeline was stricken with pneumonia. Her parents, David and Catherine Hoagland, were taking her to a doctor in Phoenix when she unfortunately died along the way. Without explanation, they buried sweet Angeline at the spot where she passed away. Whatever the case might have been, Angeline was not forgotten by her family or generations of residents of Prescott thereafter.
Soon the ore ran out near the tiny mining settlement near Angeline’s grave. The residents moved on into Prescott or other mining towns. The buildings eventually eroded away. David Hoagland is rumored to have left the family unit, while his wife, Catherine, stayed behind in Prescott. She took in washing and ironing and lived out her life in a home on the corner of Sheldon and Virginia Streets.
The tale of Angeline’s tombstone glowing in the dark might have a simple explanation. It is made from a stone with minerals that absorb light during the sun lit hours, and becomes luminous after dark. When the passing cars shine their headlights on the headstone it gives the appearance of glowing in the dark.
After receiving special instructions in how to locate Angeline’s grave, the MVD Ghostchasers drove out to the site to snap a few photos and to test the theory of the glow in the dark tombstone. Chris leaped over the iron fence to pose by the grave and reported the ground did not shake or tremble. He just felt the joy this little girl must have brought to her family in her short life. We tidied up the gravesite and placed a fallen vase back on its pedestal.
Sharlot Hall, the celebrated writer and poet of the late 1800’s, wrote the poem which became the inscription on Angeline’s headstone.
Here lies our baby Angeline
For which we weep and do repine.
She was all our joy and all our pride
Until the day our baby died.
We hope in heaven again to meet
And then our joy will be complete.
But until our Maker calls us there
We trust her to His righteous care.
If you are in the Prescott area for the weekend, take a little side trip back in time down the old Black Canyon Highway. Look off to your left as you pass by Lynx Creek. Glowing off to the distance you will find Miss Angeline’s tombstone. Don’t forget to bring the flowers!
Revamped from a July 3, 2009 Arizona Haunted Sites story by Debe Branning