Tombstone Silver

Nicolas McCormick

Nicholas was believed to be murdered during a robbery and the theft of his burro.


Nicholas McCormick was born in Ireland in 1812 and died August 25, 1887, in Arizona. He was 75 years old when he died. Nicholas was believed to be murdered by two Mexicans, apparently during a robbery and the theft of Mr. McCormick's burro.

Newspaper Accounts

The following storie about Nocolas' death was found in the Tombstone Epitaph. 


Cold-Blooded Murder Nicholas McCormick
Two Mexicans Supposed to Be the Assassins

The corner's inquest on the body of Nicholas McCormick, an estimable old gentleman who was murdered in cold blood near Bisbee last Thursday week, developed suspicions that strongly pointed to Mexicans named Manuel Grijalba and Cornelio Pas, as the murderers. Michael O'Reilly a mining partner of McCormick's, testified that he (McCormick) left his cabin about a mile below Bisbee, about 4 o'clock on Thursday afternoon of 25 August, and by the evidence adduced before the inquest it was ascertained that the above named Mexicans let the blacksmith shop below town at about the same time. They were mounted on sorrel and grey horses respectively, and leading a pack mule. Mr. McCormick was mounted on a burro; the distance between both parties at the start was about 1 mile. The Mexicans when they started headed down the canyon they were seen about a mile below town still going in that direction; this was the last that was seen of them; but as they were mounted on horses, they could easily overtake Mr. McCormick at the point on the road where the murder occurred. On Sunday morning a party of seven started out and went to where Mr. McCormick's body was found, and that about 100 feet from where the body lay, they discovered the tracks of a mule that had been newly shot, and these shoes were smooth; they also discovered the tracks of two horses, the rider of one of the horses apparently leading the mule and the other rider urging the mule along, as the trail showed the animals were kept on the lope for some 8 miles, heading from where McCormick's body was found toward the southeast end of the San Jose Mountains. The trailers followed on and tracked them to the Gailina Ranch (or Mescal Ranch); there they made inquiry, but as usual the Mexicans knew nothing of the men, while at the same time Manuel Grijalba is a partner in the ranch. Grijalba had his pack mule shod at the blacksmith shop here, and the smith testified that the mule was shod with new shoes and smooth, without heel or toe calks; this corresponded with the shoes on the mule that the trailers were after. Two other parties were out, but elicited nothing further.

There is a report that the men had been captured and hung by one of the parties, but there is no foundation in the report. The last news that we have had that is in any way authentic, is that the Mexicans were heading for Cumpas.

Coroner's Verdict

Territory of Arizona
County of Cochise
Before S. C. Perin, J. P. Acting as Coroner.

We, the undersigned, the jurors summoned to appear before S. C. Perin, Justice of the Peace, acting as Coroner for the County of Cochise, Territory of Arizona, at the town of Bisbee, in said above named County and Territory, on the 26th day of August, A. D. 1887, to inquire into the cause of the death of Nicholas McCormick, whose body was found lying on the road leading from Bisbee to the Whitetail Deer Mine, and about 3 miles from Bisbee, having been duly sworn according to law, and having made such inquisition after inspecting the body and hearing that testimony adduced, upon our oaths, each and all do say that we find the deceased was named Nicholas McCormick, was a native of Ireland, aged about 75 years. That he came to his death on the 25th day of August, 1887, in this county by pistol shots fired by some person or persons unknown to the jury, and we further find from the evidence adduced that suspicion points to Manuel Grijalfa and Cornelia Paz as the persons by whose act the death of Nicholas McCormick was occasioned. All of which we duly certify by this inquisition in writing, by us signed this 26th day of August, A.D. 1887.


Nicholas McCormick is buried in the Tombstone City Cemetery, Section B, Row 3, Plot 11. The Goodenough Historic Trolley Tour passes the city cemetery, but I do not mention Nicholas' death during the tour.