Tomb of Charles Poston,
"Father of Arizona"
 

Marker:
Monument and Tomb of Charles Debrille Poston

Location:
Poston Butte
13993 W. Hunt Highway
Florence, Pinal County, Arizona
33.055285, -111.408983

Directions:
Take State Road 79 north from Florence, then head west on Hunt Highway about 13 miles. The pyramid can be seen from the road.

Historical Significance:
Charles D. Poston (1825-1902) was instrumental in creating the territory of Arizona and is known as the “Father of Arizona.” He was Arizona’s first delegate to Congress from December 5, 1864, to April 26, 1865.

Poston was Superintendent of Indian Affairs and the territorial agent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His later life included travel to the Far East, and he became interested in Zoroastrianism and sun worship. In 1878, on top of a 250-foot-tall hill near the town of Florence, he built a “fire temple”; the hill subsequently became known as Poston’s Butte.

Poston, a native of Kentucky, died in poverty on June 24, 1902, and was buried in Phoenix, Arizona. Poston’s remains were moved from Phoenix to Florence, Arizona, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, and buried on Poston’s Butte, where he had never completed his “Temple to the Sun.” He was entombed in an official ceremony led by Governor George W. P. Hunt.

Due to concerns about vandalism, the original copper plaque was removed from the monument by the Pinal County Historical Society in 1925 and placed in the society’s museum.

Marker Date:
1925

Dedicated:
April 26, 1925, 23 years after Poston’s death, when his pyramid was completed

Sponsor:
Arizona State Society DAR

A photograph of a group of people dressed in 1920’s clothing gathered in front of a stone pyramid about 12 feet tall.
Dedication of the Charles Poston Monument in Arizona on April 26, 1925. Dignitaries include Arizona State Senator Fred T. Colter and Governor George W. P. Hunt. A print of this image with notations is held by the Arizona State Archives.
A studio photographic portrait identified as Charles D. Poston, a middle-aged man, bearded.
Portrait of Charles Poston, ca. 1864. Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes. Digital file provided by the National Archives and Records Administration. Image is in the public domain.
Collage of three snapshots: a long-range view of a desert scene with Poston Butte showing a silhouetted pyramid; an approach shot of the stone pyramid; a close-up of wording on the side of the monument that reads: “Charles D. Poston, Erected by the Territory, 1907”
Views of the Charles D. Poston monument, September 2018 and February 2019.

  

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Unless otherwise noted, images are courtesy of Arizona State Society DAR Daughters.

 

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