he City of Prescott was founded in 1864. The same year, Citizens Cemetery, which has also been known as the Town Cemetery, Prescott Cemetery, City Cemetery, County Cemetery and Citizens Burying Ground, was first utilized in June of that year with the burial of Colorado Legislator Joel Woods. Located on East Sheldon Street, Citizens Cemetery was purchased from private parties by the County in 1884. The cemetery was in use from 1864 until 1933. Subsequently, the cemetery was permanently closed to new burials by the Board of Supervisors except for those who had already leased plots at $99 per plot. No additional plots were leased after that date. A stone wall was constructed around the cemetery in 1934 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In the last 15 years, the cemetery has been partially fenced, primarily through the efforts and fund-raising of Yavapai Cemetery Association.
Citizens Cemetery consists of approximately 6.5 acres of land only a mile from Prescott’s historic downtown. When the cemetery was founded, it was far from town and was considered to be a quiet and peaceful place for the eternal rest of Arizona’s early citizens. It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000 burials at Citizens Cemetery. Of these, fewer than 1,000 are marked. Citizens Cemetery contains the remains of a wide spectrum of individuals who settled and developed central Arizona during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The young share their final resting place with the very old, the wealthy with the poor and the bad with the good. Veterans of several wars are interred at Citizens Cemetery.