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Billings in Yellowstone County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Boothill Cemetery

 
 
Boothill Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
1. Boothill Cemetery Marker
Inscription. Named Boothill because so many of its occupants went to their deaths with their boots on, this cemetery was the burying ground for Coulson, Yellowstone River town existing from 1877-1885 on the edge of what was to be Billings. Most famous buried here was H.M. (Muggins) Taylor, scout who took news of Custer massacre June 25, 1876, from the battle area to Bozeman. Taylor, later a Deputy Sheriff, was gunned down in 1882 in Coulson's laundry as he attempted to stop the laundress' drunken husband from beating her.
 
Location. 45° 48.139′ N, 108° 28.852′ W. Marker is in Billings, Montana, in Yellowstone County. Marker is on 6th Avenue Bypass 0.1 miles south of E. Airport Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located just north of the parking lot to Applebee's Neighborhood Grill off of E. Alkali Creek Road. When site was visited in late March 2009, major roadway construction was taking place in this area and the 6th Avenue Bypass was closed to through traffic so access was obtained through the Applebee's property. Marker is in this post office area: Billings MT 59102, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Place Where the White Horse Went Down (a
Boothill Cemetery Marker with concrete frame image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
2. Boothill Cemetery Marker with concrete frame
few steps from this marker); Along the Zimmerman Trail (approx. 6 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker is unlike most of the Montana highway markers, as it is made of a piece of sheet metal formed into a concrete base, with the lettering cut stenciled through the sheet metal. There are a number of additional monuments in this same location, including some grave related monuments and "The Place Where the White Horse Went Down" monument.
 
Additional comments.
1. "Historical Significance" monument text
Boothill Cemetery plaque given by the City of Billings to describe the Historical Significance and Deceased buried at the cemetery. It reads as follows:

Fact, fiction, or legend? Coulson Hill Cemetery, as it was originally called, served the residents of the free-wheeling river town of Coulson in the late 1880's and is now the only visible reminder of the once thriving Burg. Gunfighters, Indian tribesmen, soldiers, railroad workers, lawmen, women and children were all put to rest in shallow graves here. Although the number of people buried is uncertain, the deaths were caused by disease, accidents, suicides, and murders aplenty. A typical burial would consist of the corpse being thrown over a horse and
Boothill Cemetery grave markers image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
3. Boothill Cemetery grave markers
hauled out to the cemetery where it was laid to rest. After a brief moment of silence, the mourners got back on their horses and raced back to the saloon. Most of the time, the mourners left the boots on the dead bodies, giving the cemetery the nickname "Boothill." The name was widely disputed until Luther S. "Yellowstone" Kelly, a well-known scout in the area, requested being buried in Boothill. After his request, the cemetery's identity was solidified as Boothill Cemetery and it has maintained its unique flavor that keeps the Old West alive today.

Deceased:

Alderson, Ellen Barns, Archie Barns, Fred Brown, Sand Bar Carter, Louisa "Lulu" Christie, Thomas Currier, David Dill, Clint Dwyer, Patrick Faulkes, Judge Edward Foster, Peter Fowler, Allen Hart, John Hope, Edward M. Johnson, Louis "Bud" Kinse, Henry Leahy, Dan Needum, Billy Prebbles, Capt. Ed Preston, William "Billy" Redmond, Joe Reed (infant) Russel, James D. Seafer, (unknown) Smith, Danny Smith, Hugh Stoltz, William "Dutch Bill" Summers, Milton Taylor, H.M. "Muggins" Toplift, Clarence Walker, Ben *Unknown - 13 Soldiers *Unknown - 3 Men *Unknown - 11 Soldiers *Unknown - 2 Soldiers
*Unknown - Soldier *Unknown - Infant Josephine *Unknown - Infant *Unknown - Several Infants *Unknown - Mourner *Unknown - Railroad Conductor *Unknown
Boothill Cemetery monument to those buried in cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
4. Boothill Cemetery monument to those buried in cemetery
Concrete tablet in center of monument states "Died 1877 to 1882". There are also 4 concrete tablets at the base of the monument; one on each side.
- Chinese *Unknown

Rest In Peace Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted March 21, 2010, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland.

 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesNotable EventsNotable PersonsNotable PlacesSettlements & SettlersWars, US Indian
 
Boothill Cemetery monument - close up #1 image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
5. Boothill Cemetery monument - close up #1
"This monument marks a historic seot (sic) where thirty-five lie buried. They played the drama called life for fortune and fame. Lost their lives, lost their game."
Boothill Cemetery monument - close up #2 image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
6. Boothill Cemetery monument - close up #2
"In memory of those who blazed the trail and showed to us our west in boots and spurs they lie and on this hill find rest."
Boothill Cemetery monument - close-up #3 image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
7. Boothill Cemetery monument - close-up #3
"Upon this rugged hill the long trail past, these men of restless will find rest at last."
Boothill Cemetery monument - close-up #4 image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
8. Boothill Cemetery monument - close-up #4
"The stream flows on, but it matters not to the sleepers here by the world forgot. The heroes of many a tale unsung, they lived and died when the west was young."
Boothill Cemetery monument with description of Historical Significance and the Deceased buried there image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
9. Boothill Cemetery monument with description of Historical Significance and the Deceased buried there
Boothill Cemetery Historical Significance monument - close-up image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 22, 2009
10. Boothill Cemetery Historical Significance monument - close-up
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 21, 2010, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,635 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on March 21, 2010, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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