ⓘ John the Baptist Mountains. The John the Baptist Mountains are a small mountain range in western Pima County, Arizona, approximately 8.5 miles southwest of the ..

                                     

ⓘ John the Baptist Mountains

The John the Baptist Mountains are a small mountain range in western Pima County, Arizona, approximately 8.5 miles southwest of the town of Ajo, Arizona. The range is approximately three miles long and about one mile wide at its widest point. The highpoint of the range is 2.161 feet above sea level and is located at 32°1524"N, 112°5424"W. The bulk of the range lies on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, and a small portion extends westward into the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

The series is named in honor of John S. Butala, a hermit who lived for several years in a shack on the mountain ranges of the Eastern side. Butala was born in 1880, and served in the Spanish–American war 15th Minnesota volunteer infantry regiment. He chose to spend the last decades of his life as a hermit living in the desert. There was some belief locally that he was wounded during his military service, but this is not confirmed. He was known as an eccentric with long matted hair, and most of the year he will be wearing only shoes and a loincloth made out of gunnysacks. He was also known for feeding and supporting a variety of desert wildlife around his camp, and some became so tame that they eat out of his hand. It is likely that the nickname "John the Baptist", derived from this behavior and his appearance as a crazy prophet in the wilderness. Despite his eccentric lifestyle, he was known for his mechanical and technical abilities, and he regularly called to the city for the repair of vehicles and heavy equipment to the new Cornelia mine. At the end of his life he withdrew entirely from society, and died from malnutrition in 1961 at the age of 81 years. He was buried in AJO.