Bonanza Cemetery, Big Horn County, Wyoming

Bonanza was named because oil was discovered seeping from a spring here in 1887. Oil was so good it could be burned in lamps without refining. Promoters thought they had found a “bonanza,” but it did not prove so and rigs pulled out in 1890. Deeper drilling has now brought back the Bonanza oil field, but the town remains a ghosttown. If you visit the cemetery, you’ve seen everything.

The Bonanza Cemetery is located about 8 miles west of Hyattville at the junction of Hwy 31 and Road 31 1/2. Turn left or south on the dirt Road 31 1/2 and drive .2 mile. The fenced cemetery is to your right, or west, on a knoll. You turn from the Bonanza Oil Field Road and wind your way through the sagebrush and up the hill to the cemetery, another .5 mile. The cemetery is well cared for under the circumstances of its isolated locality. Ah! the smell of sagebrush.

N 44 12.573 W 107 45.084

Altitude 4878′

There are 42 known graves representing 9 surnames.

  1. Diehl (baby) 26 Sep 1902, age 1 month
  2. Baby (no dates)
  3. Baby (no date) (possibly Mayer)
  4. McDermott (baby) (no dates)
  5. McDermott, Mrs (no dates)
  6. McDermott, Mr (no dates)
  7. Pug (?) (no dates)
  8. Madden, Pete (no dates)
  9. Madden, Pete’s brother (no dates)
  10. Taylor, Lon (no dates)
  11. Taylor, Charles E. 4 Oct 1889–10 Jun 1900
  12. (Adult unmarked grave next to Charles Taylor)
  13. Sheldon, Sam (no dates)
  14. Mayer (baby) (no dates)
  15. Mayer, Donna Jean 1928–1929
  16. Mayer, Mavin I. 1937
  17. Mayer (no dates)
  18. Mayer (no dates)
  19. Mayer (no dates)
  20. Mayer, Dora Rose 1903–1917
  21. Mayer, Pearl 1908–1910
  22. Mayer, Robert I. 1930
  23. Mayer, Samuel 1915
  24. Mayer, Vera M. 1928
  25. Mayer, Vernon I. 1925
  26. Mayer, Winona Mary 1933-1933
  27. Paumer, (baby) 1914–1914
  28. Paumer, John B. 1910–1981
  29. Paumer, Josephine 1873–1928 (two stones)
  30. Paumer, Mike A. 1907–1988
  31. Paumer, William 1858–1940
  32. Boyd, Delvina Pearl 26 May 1882–31 Aug 1925 (dau of W. A. Rettinghouse)
  33. Rettinghouse, Dora E. 2 Mar 1892–18 Jun 1918
  34. Rettinghouse, Elizabeth L. 12 Jan 1863–16 Mar 1894
  35. Rettinghouse, Encil A. 8 Mar 1888–9 Sep 1903
  36. Rettinghouse, J. F. (no dates)
  37. Rettinghouse, M. (no dates)
  38. Rettinghouse, Mary (no dates)
  39. Rettinghouse, Mary E. 12 Oct 1909–20 Jun 1918
  40. Rettinghouse, William Andrew 1853–12 Jun 1931
  41. Rettinghouse, William F. 8 May 1913–27 Jan 1919
  42. Rettinghouse, John 1870–26 Nov 1936 age 57 yrs

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