Watts Valley Cemetery
Trimmer, Fresno County, CA
Compiled by Charles M. Ashley and Betty Ashley, who live in Watts Valley.
Transcribed March 15, 2004
Submitted 30 Mar 2004
Located about a half mile southwest of the intersection of Watts Valley and Maxon Roads,
on private property. To get there driving from Fresno or Sanger, one can take two routes:
(1) From the intersection of Academy Avenue and Ashlan Avenue, drive east on Ashlan and
continue past River Bend Avenue, about a quarter mile beyond which Ashlan turns about 45
degrees left (northeast) and becomes Watts Valley Road. Continue on Watts Valley Road
approximately 10 miles to the intersection of Watts Valley and Pittman Hill Roads (a corral
is at the intersection) and turn right on Watts Valley Road. Continue approximately seven
and one-half miles until you see (at left) an address sign reading 30500. Take the next right
(a couple of hundred more feet) onto a dirt road and continue for about one-half mile past two
residences on the left and through a gate and over a cattle guard. At this point the cemetery
will be visible on a hill on the left side of the road. If you get to the intersection of Watts Valley
and Maxon, you have gone too far.
(2) From Fresno or Clovis, travel east on Highway 168 to Sample Road. Turn right (east) on
Sample and continue approximately five miles to the intersection of Sample and Pittman Hill
Roads. Turn right on Pittman Hill and continue approximately one and one-half miles to the
intersection of Pittman Hill and Watts Valley Roads. (There is a corral at the intersection.)
Turn left (east) on Watts Valley Road. Continue approximately seven and one-half miles until
you see (at left) an address sign reading 30500. Take the next right turn (a couple hundred
more feet) on a dirt road and continue for about one-half mile past two residences on the left
and through a gate and over a cattle guard. At this point the cemetery will be visible on a hill
on the left side of the road. If you get to the intersection of Watts Valley and Maxon, you have
gone too far.
The cemetery is on private property. So it's best to give notice to the landowners before visiting
the cemetery. I don't want to cause them bother, so I will take care of this part. Please contact
me by email or at (559) 855-6376 and leave a message. I will then contact the landowners and
I also have uncovered an old record at the California Room of the Fresno County Free Library,
which adds one name to the records and clears up one mystery.
This record (May 1965) was originally published in the Ash Tree Echo. I don't know the date of
the issue. It is now available in v.1 of a three-volume set of articles and records published in ATE,
Fresno County Historical Articles from the Ash Tree Echo 1966-2000 (pp. 250-1), available in the
California Room at the Fresno County Free Library.
The record from ATE quotes Mrs. Faye McMurtry (now deceased), "at one time there were about
one hundred grave sites." Mrs. McMurtry was a life-long resident and would have known this.
Faye and her husband Leight were old family friends of ours. She lived for many years in the house
a few hundred yards west of the cemetery, within easy viewing distance, and many of her relatives
are buried there.
In any case, this record adds one record and clarifies another:
Louis J. Houser (1870-1946) is also buried here. He was the son of John Neeley Houser and Lucinda
(Hole) Houser, of the extensive Hole family prominent in Watts Valley from about 1875 until a little
after the turn of the 20th Century. William Hole brought his extended family (he had at least twn children)
to California from Ohio in the early 1870's and settled in Watts Valley about 1875 or a little earlier.
The surnames Rice, Houser, Brandon, Qualls--all are intermarried with the Holes.
The 1965 record also clears up the mystery caused by the broken marble stone on which I could only
read "___na." According to the 1965 document, This at one time read "Leona A." for Leona A. Hole.
Harry W. HOLE; Died May 25, 1897; 22 yrs. old
______na [name incomplete] HOLE; Died 8-25-1884 Aged 9 mos old
Children of J.B. and E.T. HOLE
Large Granite Stone:
John B. HOLE; April 11, 1841; Sept. 6, 1914
Elizabeth T. HOLE; Jan. 10, 1842; April 20, 1922
Small Granite: C.B. WATTS; 1826 - 1907
Large Granite: John Wesley RICE; April 27, 1885; Feb. 28, 1894
Large Marble: Dorcie B. WILLIAMS; Died 2 -13 - 1895, Aged 22 years; Asleep in Jesus.
Large Marble, similar to previous stone: west side: Beuna V. Buchanan; Dec. 17, 1873, June 19, 1902
“Weep not, father and mother, for me, For I am waiting in glory for thee.”
East side: Bessie D. Craghead; June 25, 1878-Mar. 3, 1890; “How desolate our home bereft of thee.”
Largest Granite: (one name each side)
James BURROUGH; 1876 - 1892
W.H. (William Henry) BURROUGH; 1836 - 1910
Wiley BURROUGH, 1811 - 1891
Three Small Granites: J.B.; W.B.; H.B.
Concrete: Lulu BURROUGHS; 1933
Concrete: Mamie McMURTRY; 1916 - 1946
Under Tree: John BURROUGH
Concrete Stones (under tree by South Fence): Sarah McMURTRY; 1843 - 1934
Under Tree: Molly WATTS
Laurence HIGGINS; 1904 - 1940 William F. McMURTRY; 1887 - 1940
Twelve markers of wood or metal - - all illegible