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Me Mudder Poem from Old Territorial Prison - Yuma, Arizona

Updated on September 4, 2016

Yuma prison main guard tower

Yuma prison main guard tower
Yuma prison main guard tower | Source

Gile Monster

Heloderma suspectum Gile Monster at Arizona Desert Museum
Heloderma suspectum Gile Monster at Arizona Desert Museum | Source

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Arizona

Poem titled "Me Mudder"



" When my prayers were early said

Who tucked me in my widdle bed

And spanked my ass till it was red?



Me Mudder



Who lifted me from my cozy cot

And set me on an ice cold pot

And made me pee if I could or not?



Me Mudder



And when the morning light had come

In my widdle crib I dribbled some

Who wiped my tiny little bum?



Me Mudder



Who did my hair so neatly part

And pressed me gently to her heart

And sometimes squeezed till I'd fart



Me Mudder"


................................................................


"Who looked at me with eyebrows knit,

And neatly had a king size fit,

When in my Sunday clothes me shit?



Me Mudder.



When at night the bed did squeak,

Me raised me head to have a peek,

Who yelled at me to go to sleep?


Me Fadder."


Photo of my Grandparents

My maternal grandparents.
My maternal grandparents. | Source

Yuma desert - Shows racing vehicles

Is the Yuma prison haunted?

Yuma, Arizona and environs

Picking Winter Lettuce in Yuma, Arizona

Yuma River Tours

Yuma, Arizona


Discovered during my grandparent's travels...


This poem was discovered and carefully hand copied by my maternal grandfather who saw great humor in it while visiting the old territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona.


My grandparents often escaped the cold Wisconsin winters by traveling south. They had the time to leisurely explore the many southern states and check out the different sights and places of interest that crossed their path.

Yuma Territorial Prison State Park

One such location that they discovered on their sojourns is now a State Historical Park in Yuma, Arizona. It was the first prison in that part of the country and operated from 1876 to 1909. The three foot granite walls actually changed purpose during the years between 1910 to 1914 and became that area's high school. During the Great Depression it served to shelter homeless families.


After the old territorial prison no longer functioned as a useable building for housing prisoners, much of the materials used for construction were hauled off and utilized by the community of people residing there for other purposes. What remains to be seen today are the cells, the main gate and the guard towers.


This State Historic Park sits high up on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River. The Sonoran Desert surrounds this area and it is a hot and dry location.


At the time the prison was built, the land adjacent to it would have been inhospitable and because it was remote from other more settled locations, escapes were seldom. If escapees were found, they would then have a ball and chain attached to their leg to wipe out any further thoughts of doing such a thing. A few people were killed during escape attempts. 104 people are buried in that prison cemetery.


Overall, other than putting up with loss of freedom and having to withstand the extreme heat of the area, the prison experience there was actually rather humane for its time. Read some of the highlighted links for further information.


This poem so amused my grandfather that he memorized it and often recited it through the years to groups of family members and friends. Supposedly it was written by one of the inmates of the prison. (Author unknown).


I thought that I would share this bit of my family's history with you so that you can enjoy this bit of humor that we have thought amusing for many years.


Though my grandfather has long ago gone on to the next life, this hand-written bit of poetry that he copied down on a piece of paper has survived to entertain future generations of people who may never get to read the original in the old territorial Yuma prison.


2 Vintage postcards of the same motel in Yuma, Arizona

Source
2 Vintage postcards of the same motel in Yuma, Arizona
2 Vintage postcards of the same motel in Yuma, Arizona | Source

Two vintage postcards


My grandparents when they traveled took a few photographs but they largely relied upon picking up postcards of places that they visited and in which they stayed while on vacation. Both of these vintage postcards above show the same lodging from different angles. On the back of both the same is written...


Coronado Motor Hotel

233 4th AVENUE - YUMA, ARIZONA - On U.S. 80

Recommended by Best Western Motels, AAA and Duncan Hines. Telephone 3-4453. Room phones. The Sunshine Capital of the United States.

Color Photo by Bob Van Luchene

Published by Petley Studios, Phoenix, Arizona


Would you like to visit this old territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona?

See results

Yuma, Arizona

A markerYuma, Arizona -
Yuma, AZ, USA
get directions

If you enjoyed this funny poem + learning about this old territorial prison in Yuma, please give it a star rating. Thank you!

5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Me Mudder Poem + Old Prison Info, Yuma, AZ

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcome.

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    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Suzanne,

      Every time I am reminded of this poem often recited by my grandfather, it makes me smile. So thanks for your comment and votes. Smiling!!!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      Interesting information with a cute personal touch! Voted up and interesting! :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Vinaya,

      This is a funny little poem. Nice to know that you enjoyed it. Yuma, Arizona is an interesting place that I have never seen in person although I have been to many other places in Arizona. That prison must have been something in its day! Thanks for your comment.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I don't know about the background, but enjoyed reading this cute little poem. The imagery and choice of expressions are wonderful.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Sadie14,

      That "Me Mudder" poem has obviously been passed around for many years now and people have had fun reciting it. Nice to know that your family also had fun with it. Thanks for your comment.

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 5 years ago from U.S.

      Haha! My grandma used to tell me that poem! It's cool to see things that that brought up on here :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Charlu,

      My grandfather always had such a smile on his face when he would recite this funny poem. Brings a smile to my face just remembering him doing that! Glad that you liked this. Thanks for your comment. :)

    • Charlu profile image

      Charlu 5 years ago from Florida

      Hysterical poem and fabulous hub. The things people think about in prison :) All the ups for this one!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mark,

      It is a funny little poem. Glad that you liked learning a bit about Yuma, Arizona. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello frogyfish,

      I agree that the poem "Me Mudder" is hilarious. Glad you enjoyed this hub including the video. Thanks for your comment.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

      Interesting hub with LOTS of great inviting detail. The poem was hilarious, no matter who wrote it. Enjoyed the river walk, but toned down the cars while I flew over Yuma. It appeared much different than I would have expected, even seeing the clouds on the video.

      Great hub and thanks for sharing!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ann,

      I never did find out the author of that poem but whoever wrote it surely had a sense of humor. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Oh my gosh..........did you ever find out the author of that poem....funnnnnnny.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello melodyandes,

      Glad that you enjoyed this whimsical poem. Thanks for your comment. :))

    • melodyandes profile image

      melodyandes 5 years ago

      Very interesting. i love the poem.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      As far as heat goes in Yuma, Arizona verses Texas...I'll bet Texas would be vying for those high temps this year! At least it seems so (from our perspective).

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 6 years ago

      Yuma can't be much hotter than Houston at times :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello lilyfly,

      Since that old territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona closed for use as a prison back in 1909, was that an old family friend who was imprisoned there? Do you know the story? Might make for an interesting and historical hub? Thanks for your comment.

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 6 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      had a friend there in prisons... be well, be happy

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Tony,

      My grandfather surely recited this poem that he found after visiting that territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona for many years and people always seemed to enjoy it. Glad that you also found it enjoyable. Thanks for the comment.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      I really enjoyed this read - funny and poignant.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Eiddwen,

      Glad that you enjoyed this poem that my grandparents found in that ole territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona. My grandfather certainly enjoyed reciting it through the years! Thanks!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi Peggy,

      A great read with such a history.

      I now looking forward to reading more of your work.

      Take care.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello epigramman,

      Micky Dee pointed me in your direction with his brilliantly written hub featuring you. I am happy to have re-discovered your writings. Glad that you found this old poem "funny and timeless" and thanks for the comment.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      .....what a brilliant life affirming hub this is - and surely has become one of my all time favorites - and of course the 'discovered' poetry is the icing on this proverbial cake which is so funny and timeless but for some reason with me (because it came/or was found in prison) there is a touch of sadness here.

      As always your hubs are a labor of love they touch upon so many 'life' bases and you really know how to make them look so beautiful and so very enlightening!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello saddlerider1,

      Loved your comment! Haha! Nice to know that your "mudder" raised you up to be such a "fine feller" and that this poem brought a smile to your "kisser." I'm now smiling too! :-)

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 6 years ago

      If it wasn't for me dear old mudder this cowboy would still be a twinkle in my old man's eye, but he's gone to.

      Yes me dear old mudder was my angel and savior God bless her cotton picking heart, I can only thank me mudder for raising me up to be a fine feller. I love this poem, sure put a smile on me kisser:0) Hugs

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Granny's House,

      Glad that you liked this poem found in an Arizona prison of Yuma discovered by my grandparents so many years ago. Thanks for the comment.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      That was great, thank you so much. I am going to bookmark and share. Will rate up.

      Thanks again, Tina

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi billyaustindillon,

      Yuma, Arizona without air-conditioning would certainly have been a tough spot for a prison...although back when this poem was first written, air-conditioning was probably not a common commodity. Yes...hot, hot, hot!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      That poem is timeless - there is a good movie a few years back about Yuma from Russell Crow - tough town as your hub shows well - hot hot hot!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi again lindsay,

      Happy to have been able to fill in the last two verses for you. Old postcards do have some minor value, but it sounds as though you are enjoying the poem better framed and hanging on your wall than any dollar amount it is possibly worth. Am sure it brings smiles to the faces of anyone reading it. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks sameerk.

    • profile image

      lindsay 7 years ago

      Peggy W. The back of the postcard is blank. It was purchased but never mailed. In addition, I guess the card is to small for the entire poem. I never new the last two verses untill I read it on this site. Thank you for posting it.

    • sameerk profile image

      sameerk 7 years ago from India

      nice hubs

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lindsay,

      I have a bunch of old postcards from the days of my grandparent's travels also. They did not get a postcard of the "Me Mudder" poem but actually wrote it down by hand from what they found in that old territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona when traveling through there years ago. My grandfather recited it for years bringing laughter to each group who heard it. Thanks for the comment and good luck with getting a value on that postcard. Any credits on the back of the postcard?

    • profile image

      Lindsay 7 years ago

      Hi Peggy W. I found a postcard in my Great Grandmothers storage room years ago. It has the Me Mudder poem on it. While trying to find its value, I stumbled onto this site. I thought the poem was so cute and funny, its framed and hanging on my wall. Maybe the author was from Rochester Michigan. Because thats where I found the postcard.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky,

      You can come back as often as you wish to read this poem found by my grandfather posted in that old territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona. It is a good one! :-)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      I had to read this one again! And again!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi habee,

      Not sure who wrote this poem but as you say...it would make for a good story. The fact that it was left in an old territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona...it surely meant something to the author! Ha!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Loved the poem. Wonder who wrote it? Bet that would be a great story, too!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Moulik Mistry,

      It is a cute poem that my grandparents discovered when traveling to Yuma, Arizona. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 7 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      Beautiful hub, loved the poem very much...

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Becky P,

      I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. I just lost mine a few weeks ago also. Sounds like they had a great many similarities........both wonderful and loving and with great a great sense of humor. Love and hang on to those memories! Nice that you have kids and grandkids with which to share them.

    • profile image

      Becky P 7 years ago

      My Mother passed away recently. She read this poem to me for as long as I can remember. I was very happy to find it. They don't write like that any more!! It is one more thing I will treasure and pass on to my kids and grandchildren. In memory of Hazel Leone Nordman, a wonderful loving Mother with one hell of a sense of humor.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Hokey,

      It is fun to travel and find unusual things like this poem in the prison of Yuma, Arizona. My family has had much fun with it through the years due to my grandparent's discovery of it. Glad you liked it. Thanks for the comment.

    • Hokey profile image

      Hokey 7 years ago from In the energy.

      This is really cool. I have done alot of traveling and found some neat stuff along the way. Thanks.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello MFB III,

      Point taken! Obviously prisoners have way too much time on their hands, unfortunately. Glad you liked this poem found in that old territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona. Quite funny, I thought. Thanks for the comment.

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 7 years ago from United States

      I also enjoy touring and reading the graffiti that has been scrawled on prison walls by men with way too much time on thier hands, and long past the scrutiny and correction of thier mudders. It is a form of poetry coerced into a wall of verse, by the lonely and the castoffs of society. There can be many lessons learned from such thoguht. great hub~~~MFB III

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky Dee,

      Happy to hear that you enjoyed this poem that my grandfather first spotted in that old territorial prison in Yuma, Arizona. It has brought much in the way of smiles and laughter to my family through the years. Thanks for the comment.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Very nice! I love the poem. I love your work.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Greetings Pachuca213,

      I totally agree that this poem from the prison in Yuma, Arizona is funny. Brings a smile to my face every time I am reminded of it.........so thanks for the comment and reminder.

    • profile image

      Pachuca213 7 years ago

      This was funny! =)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello bananas09,

      Whether your family member authored it or not (as you say many are taking credit) it certainly is a fun poem. That link you gave in your second comment certainly has a bunch of great poems in it which people might enjoy reading. Thanks for that and thanks for your comment. Nice to see a new face here!

    • profile image

      bananas09 8 years ago

    • profile image

      bananas09 8 years ago

      Just thought I'd share. I googled some more and found it here on this site http://www.thankyouink.com/textdisplay.php?display... apparently someone else wrote it in the 1930's. Yet it made its way to Yuma...but I have found it previously in other geneology sites saying its even older. Wow lots of people taking credit, wonder if this woman really did write it, so much for family folklore and stories, lol. Its a great poem nonetheless~

    • profile image

      bananas09 8 years ago

      Could be my family folklore but I grew up being told my family wrote this. I believe it was my irish great grandmother that was given credit, she was a writer, or maybe it was one of her kin? Wouldn't be surprised if it were her husband that wrote it on the wall, he disappeared when my grandfather was a babe...makes me think more now and want to ask more questions. Thanks for the history lesson~

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi DarwinsLaureate, Glad this could bring some laughter into your life tonight. Boogie away! LOL

    • profile image

      DarwinsLaureate 8 years ago

      This is delightful. I couldn't help but to laugh hysterically, and now I'm in the mood to get down and boogie.

      Thanks. :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Pete.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 8 years ago

      That is a fine piece of American history.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Anna Marie, Thanks for your added bit of information. Makes this all the more interesting. Thanks!

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida

      Great Hub!!! I have been there, and surprizingly, the cells are warm, but not all that hot. They have thick walls and don't get a lot of light. It is a creepy place, and I wouldn't be surprized in the least if it was haunted. I had goosebumps when I went there, despite the warm temps.

      On another note, the movie "3:10 to Yuma" was about transporting prisoners on a train to that very prison. They never show the prison, but that's the reference.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      You are welcome, Tom. Glad that you enjoyed it.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      Loved this....Thanks! :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Sally's Trove, I love history now that I am older and am no longer being tested on memorizing things. Yes......stories make it so much more interesting and often easier to remember as you indicated. Thanks for your comments.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Very entertaining read, both the poem and your family reminiscences. If I had learned history this way as a kid, through personal experience stories, I'd have retained a lot more than I did. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We will undoubtedly never know that. Hopefully he got out alive. If you looked at the causes of death within the prison, there was lots of TB back then among other things. At least he had fun with this poem.........as other people have (like my grandfather) since that time. And now you! (Smile)

    • MellasViews profile image

      MellasViews 8 years ago from Earth

      : ) I loved it. It would be so neat to discover who the author was, his history/life and all that, and of course what landed him in jail.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, MellasViews.

    • MellasViews profile image

      MellasViews 8 years ago from Earth

      Loved the poem, and the story on how it was obtained.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi again AEvans, I agree that history is fun. I appreciate it more now than when I was being tested on it in school many years ago.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I love it and had to come back and rad it again, as you can see a gentleman probably in his late 20's early 30's someting like this, history has always been intriguing to me.:)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Iphigenia, I added another link above as to the origin of the word Yuma. You guessed correctly that it is both Indian and Spanish. Read the details above. You'll find it interesting.

    • profile image

      Iphigenia 8 years ago

      Funny poem and great family history - so imporant to preserve even the smallest of family memories. Never heard of Yuma before today ... where does the place name come from linguistically? American Indians? Spanish?

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Goldentoad, Yes, the heat must have been awful then prior to air-conditioning. The only relief would have been to jump in the Colorado River. Wonder if they let the prisoners bathe in the river back then on occasion?

      Greetings AEvans, My cousin found two more paragraphs by googling the poem. Will go back......edit.......and add them to the poem. They were not copied down by my grandfather nor recited through the years to us by him, but they sound as though they belong.

      Google does not credit the poem's author nor origin. So we can all just speculate. Even if a prisoner was not the author, the fact that he wrote it down while in the prison at Yuma makes it a very old poem and memorable at least to him. Thanks for your comments.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      The poem was hilarious and I do agree with GT I would being crying however for more then my mother, I would also be crying for my iced latte' !!!:) With all of that heat one would have a serious caffeine headache as well. :)

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      I can't believe people existed in Yuma before Air Conditioning, why would they even need a prison there, just drop them off in the area and leave with their horse, I'd be crying for my mama too.