George Daves and Petra Edmunds: Tragic Tombstone Love Story May Not Be What It Seems
Have you heard of George Daves and Petra Edmunds? Legend has it these lovers took part in an attempted murder-suicide in front of the Buford House in Tombstone in the late 1880s. However, our friends at Paranormal Intuitive Investigations in Sierra Vista may have debunked the lore.
When researching historical documents – including a 22-page coroner’s report, eye witness testimony and tax records – Rhonda and Dwight Hull discovered George didn’t live in the Buford house, and the notorious crime apparently took place a block north of Safford Street. Here, Rhonda breaks down the details:
In 1888 the Buford House had a tenant named George Daves. George was in love with a young girl named Petra Edmunds, who lived a block away. George left Tombstone to work in a mine in Casa Grande so he could earn enough money to marry and support his beloved Petra. Upon his return to Tombstone, George saw that Petra had taken up with another man. He became so distraught he retrieved a gun from his house, walked over to Petra and fired four shots at her. He then turned the gun on himself.
The evening of April 12, 1888, George Daves and his family hosted a party at their home, located near Third Street and Safford. As the party was ending, per witness testimony, George wanted to escort Petra home. She was not ready, so he ended up leaving with another girl.
Later that evening, George went to the home of Ida Mandich. He told Ida that Petra could go to hell, she was a flirt, she had promised to marry him, and that he would shoot her and then shoot himself before it was all over.
Shortly after 2 p.m. on April 13, 1888, Petra Edmunds was seen talking to another young man at the gate of her house on Third Street. At the coroner’s inquest, several witnesses corroborate both Petra and the young man walked up Third and crossed the street near Safford in front of the Daves home. George came out of the house, and upon seeing George with a gun, Petra ran diagonally across the roadway to her house. George followed, firing and hitting her twice as she fled up her porch. He then turned the gun on himself and pulled the trigger. With one shot, he lay dead right outside of the Edmund’s gate.
While we may never know the nature of their relationship, we can safely assume that George and Petra had some type of relationship. However, in reading much of the testimony, it appears George may have been more obsessed with Petra than anything else. We also know Petra probably had many suitors. She was young, beautiful and her family was wealthy. Although George took his life that day, he did not take Petra’s. She not only survived her wounds, but lived to the age of 89. She married Louis Lombardi on November 1, 1890 and lived in Tombstone on Second Street and Safford until her death July 24, 1960
We can presume from the testimony, tax records and newspapers of the day that George was never a tenant at the Buford House. Although living only a block away, it’s almost certain he knew the Buford family. Despite the fact that George Daves did not live at the Buford House, there is sufficient evidence that the Buford House is still haunted by several spirits.
To learn more about the Tombstone’s haunted history, contact Rhonda.