Thomas H. Balke Grave
Near Blue, Catron County, New Mexico
Submitted by Nancy Brown
10 November 2006 Return to Catron County Cemetery Page

Thomas H. Balke
1890 - 1894

Thomas H. Balke was the son of Max August and Rachel Balke, long time residents of Blue, Arizona. When Thomas was four years old, in 1884, Max was working on the old Dry Blue wagon road from the Blue to Luna Valley. They were camped just inside of the New Mexico state line. Little Thomas got sick with a high fever and died. He probably had typhoid or diphtheria. He was buried by a little creek that runs into Dry Blue.

Thomas was a special child. Everyone called him "Little Pinto" because his hair parted in the center and one side was almost white and the other side was dark brown. He had a blue eye and a brown eye. He was a joy to all who knew him. What the people didn't know at that time was, that he had what was later called Waadenburg Syndrome, named for a Dutch eye doctor named Petrus Johannes Waadenburg who first discovered the syndrome.

Location of grave is just east of the New Mexico state line about 1/4 mile up Dry Blue. The grave is on the north side of Dry Blue Creek about 300 yards from the stream. The Blue Cowbells had the stone made and erected the fence around the grave. They have marked other graves as a Community Pride project. Great work Cowbells!

Cousin, Clyde Brown, stands at grave.

The little glade where Thomas lays sleeping