Used by permission from Sharlot Hall Museum
“She received each person as if their interests were her only one, and was always patient and considerate, even in the most harried of times.”
— Elizabeth Ruffner, former co-worker
Florence Brookhart Yount shaped the medical history of Prescott as the first woman physician to devote her career to that community. To help children, she specialized in obstetrics and pediatrics, but she also energetically supported civic projects that improved public health. This determined, take-charge person won the love and respect of her neighbors by her life-long willingness to help those in need.
Florence Hecune Brookhart was born to Smith Brookhart and Jennie (Hecune) Brookhart on March 5, 1909. Growing up in a small midwestern town, as one of seven children, probably formed the values of her life. She commented once that all her neighbors were friendly and interested in each other, wanting everyone to do well. Her father fostered independence with his philosophy that “Children should do what they wanted to do, but they had to take the results of their own bad judgments.”
In 1922 Smith Brookhart was elected to the United States Senate, and five years later the family moved to Washington, D.C., to be with him. There Florence attended George Washington University and medical school. At an early age, she had expressed interest in science, which developed into the desire to study medicine. Her father tried to dissuade her, fearing that being a doctor would be too hard a life. When she made him realize that she did not want to be anything else, he gave his full support. Florence succeeded as one of five women in a class of eighty-eight.
She met her future husband, C. E. “Ned” Yount, Jr., at school. From Prescott, he had chosen medical studies so that he could join his father’s practice. After finishing their internships at the Washington, D.C., hospital, Ned returned to Prescott to begin practicing, and Florence went to do a residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital in Chicago. When she completed her studies, she and Ned married on June 22, 1936, at her parents’ home in Iowa. For their honeymoon, they traveled to Prescott.
Upon her arrival, Florence took the state medical board examination so that she could practice in Arizona. When she received her license, she joined her husband and father-in-law’s practice in the old Masonic Temple building. The office had its own x-ray equipment and laboratory suited to their practice of general medicine. At first Florence encountered some prejudice against women doctors, but she took it in stride, feeling that it was their problem, not hers.
She proved to be an excellent physician with a personal touch. Soon Florence had many loyal patients. Always gracious and attentive, she made house calls, tended to emergencies involving children at the county hospital, answered questions by phone, and saw patients at her office. If someone could not pay cash, she accepted payment in kind, usually flagstone from the quarry workers near Prescott. She also received the respect of the other doctors in town, as they appreciated her skill and specialized knowledge. Eventually, “Doctor Pat” delivered entire families and subsequent generations.
Florence was proud of these babies, and she followed their activities as they grew, cheering them on. A loyal fan of the Prescott High School Badger football team, she was especially proud when one of “her babies” was playing. She paid special attention to children who had survived premature births thanks to improving technology.
Shortly after setting up practice, Florence noticed that the state did not have a well-baby clinic. Therefore, she established one at an existing medical clinic in Prescott. The staff gave out canned milk and vitamins in great quantity, conducted physical checkups, and provided shots. At one point, the clinic saw as many as thirty babies in one day. Following the instruction she had received during her training in Chicago, Dr. Yount limited the use of drugs and encouraged good diets to create “Grade A” babies, as she called them. After a year, the county physician credited the clinic for the good news that not a single child had died during the summer. As the Depression of the 1930s faded, the need for the well-baby clinic lessened.
During World War II, Dr. Yount played a significant role in the Prescott medical community. As the younger doctors, including her husband, left for the war, she, her father-in-law, and a few other older doctors were all that remained to care for the people of Prescott. Consequently, she became more involved in obstetrics than ever before.
Most of her work — general cases as well as deliveries and pre-natal care — took place in her office. The only hospital in the region, Mercy Hospital, had burned down in 1940. A limited facility run by registered nurse Catherine Lennox took accident and maternity cases. Here Florence gave birth to her son John in 1940.
Dr. Yount led the movement to reopen a community hospital in Prescott. The town’s leaders decided to remodel the unused Jefferson School — a mammoth task since funds, materials, and equipment were being funneled to the war effort. Florence gathered items wherever she could. Once she used a portion of her precious gasoline ration to drive to the abandoned Golden Turkey Mine to claim a stove for the hospital. She also persuaded retired nurses to come back to work. Finally everything was ready. The new Prescott Community Hospital opened March 1, 1943, and Florence delivered the first baby there at nine o’clock that evening.
The hospital expanded after the war, but eventually doctors and patients could no longer make do in the crowded space. Led by Florence, the medical community started lobbying the people of Prescott to build a new, well-equipped hospital that could serve everyone. Campaigning for the new hospital took much of Florence’s time, but she lent her aid to other medical causes as well. She participated in county, state, and national medical societies, and worked to bring Blue Cross and Blue Shield to Arizona. She also helped organize the polio campaign for Yavapai County, with the goal of immunizing everyone.
In 1949 she joined the State Public Welfare Board, which oversaw the distribution of grants to programs helping crippled children, the blind, Indian children needing an education, and many others. She dealt with political issues and limited funds during her time on the board.
Florence had lively interests outside the medical field. She belonged to the United Methodist Church and headed the teenage division for Sunday School. A charter member of the Mountain Artist Guild, she enjoyed the outdoors and her flower garden.
In 1973 Florence and her husband retired. In later years, she discovered “rock hounding” when her sister took a geology course at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Florence collected many specimens, displaying her rocks in the flower beds and along the top of the fence. Another hobby was a labor of love: every fall she opened the “Yount Cookie Factory,” baking hundreds of cookies to distribute to friends and patients on Christmas Eve.
Through her husband’s family, Florence developed a keen interest in the history of Prescott. She, herself, knew such historical figures as Sharlot Hall and Grace Sparkes. Using her knowledge of medicine, Dr. Yount researched the history of Prescott hospitals and of territorial medicine. See Echoes of the Past, volume 2, edited by Robert C. Stevens for her work in the latter topic. She also wrote a history of the Methodists in Prescott as historian of the centennial committee at her church. For many years she was an active member of the Sharlot Hall Museum, and helped in the acquisition and restoration of the Fremont House, having done research on John C. Fremont and his family.
Dr. Florence B. Yount had a lasting impact on the medical community of Prescott. As the first woman physician to devote her life to that town, she overcame prejudice by her total concern for each and every patient. She also worked outside her office to remedy the medical needs of the community. This well-loved, well-respected woman died on November 25, 1988. Her contributions professionally and personally to Prescott will always remain.
Used by permission from the Arizona Historical Society
Born in Biscoe, North Carolina on May 28, 1905, Clara Lee (Fraps) Tanner was an Arizona resident for 90 years. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Archaeology at the University of Arizona and was one of the first three students there to receive a Masters Degree in Archaeology (1928). She pursued graduate studies at the National University of Mexico and at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Arizona in 1983.
Clara Lee Tanner was appointed to the faculty of the University of Arizona in 1928 where she taught in the Department of Anthropology for half a century. She specialized in Southwest Indian arts and crafts and authored an extensive list of articles and books ranging from newspaper articles to college textbooks in addition to being a regular contributor to Arizona Highways Magazine.
For many years she was the recognized authority on Southwest Indian culture and arts. As a highly sought after public speaker she was able to communicate appreciation of the artistic achievements of these people in both the United States and abroad and inspire other’s interest.
Among her numerous awards were the Sharlot Hall Award in 1985, given to a living Arizona woman who has made a valuable contribution to the understanding and awareness of Arizona’s history, and in 1993 she was given an National Lifetime Achievementin the Crafts Arts Award sponsored by the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Tanner’s many publications have been praised by professionals and the public, and her major works have been distributed in 85 foreign countries. She won numerous Arizona Press Women First Awards and three awards from the National Federation of Press Women for her books on Southwest Indian craft arts, Southwest Indian painting and Apache baskets, and prehistoric southwest arts.
This remarkable lady uniquely combined the attributes of inspiring teacher, outstanding scholar, stimulating writer, and dedicated public speaker to serve with vigor and grace both the profession of anthropology and the artistic creativity of the Indians of the American Southwest.
Clara Lee Tanner died in Tucson, Arizona on December 22, 1997 at the age of 92.
Used by permission from the Arizona Historical Society
There was a time when progress in Yavapai County was spelled S-P-A-R-K-E-S, Grace M. Sparkes.
Matter of fact, there was a time when progress in the state was spelled the same way, and Sparkes was synonymous with the terms Arizona booster, patriot and public servant. That time is long past; Arizonans as a whole no longer recognize her name, but Grace M. Sparkes continues to touch their lives – even today.
Do you like sightseeing in northern Arizona? Have you driven to the West Coast on I-10? Then say thank you to Grace Sparkes because she campaigned for good roads across the state, including a shorter, more direct route – and bridge – to California.
She coordinated and bossed the Prescott Frontier Days rodeo, becoming known throughout the West as “the girl who bosses 200 bronco busters.” And she helped establish rodeo rules, many of which are still used by professionals today.
In 1920, she threw her efforts behind a group of Prescott citizens who wanted to build a first-class hotel in town. By February of that year, $30,000 had been raised for the newly organized Hassayampa Hotel Co., and by June, 1925, the Prescott Kiwanis Club had raised $150,000 toward the $350,000 goal. The hotel, which opened in November 1927, is on the National Register of Historic Sites today.
Born February 23, 1893, in Lead, South Dakota, Grace was 14 years old when she came to the Arizona Territory with her family in 1906. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Prescott and Lamson’s Business College in Phoenix before going to work for the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, forerunner to the Yavapai County Chamber of Commerce, in 1911. She became secretary for that organization, continuing in the job until August 1945, when she resigned to oversee her own mining interests in Cochise County.
In 1921 she helped organize the Smoki People of Prescott, a group of business and professional men and women dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Indian lore, rituals and dances. To promote Prescott and the Smokis, she went to Washington, D.C., in 1924 and made President Calvin Coolidge an honorary member of the organization.
She joined Sharlot Hall, noted historian, author and poet, in efforts to establish a permanent reservation for the Yavapai Indians near Prescott. Of that effort, Murray Bemis wrote in 1938:
“The spot preferred by the Yavapai group was a picturesque location about a mile north of the city of Prescott. This was formerly a part of Whipple Barracks Military Reserve. Through the efforts of Miss Hall and Miss Sparkes, approximately 75 acres were transferred from the Department of Interior by Act of June 7, 1935. This 75-acre tract is held in trust for the Yavapai Indians as the Yavapai Reservation. Thus, the ancient tribal designation, Yavapai, dropped for several decades from the census rolls of the Indians, is once more included.”
Eight years later, November 17, 1943, more land was added to the Montezuma Castle National Monument, thanks to Grace Sparkes, and a year later, she began her campaign to get the Cornado Entrada area in Cochise County proclaimed a National Monument.
While known mainly for her work in local and state chambers of commerce, Grace also served on the Arizona State Board of Welfare, was coordinator for a special Arizona exhibit at the Chicago Century of Progress World’s Fair of 1934, and was volunteer secretary of the Northern Arizona State Fair Association.
She worked to secure approval of many federal projects, including the establishment of a Veterans Hospital at old Fort Whipple, the renovation of Tuzigoot Indian Ruins and the restoration of the Old Governor’s Mansion on west Gurley Street in Prescott. Upon her retirement in 1945, she moved to Cochise County to oversee her own mining interests in Texas Canyon near Benson.
She died at age 70 on October 22, 1963.
Used by permission from Sharlot Hall Museum
In 1929, Minna and Charles H. Orme founded the Orme School on their Quarter Circle V Bar Ranch, twenty miles east of Mayer. What began as a country school for the Orme children and those of ranch employees, eventually became a private boarding school with a theatre, athletic fields and modern classrooms. Minna Orme remained involved in the school from 1929 to her death in 1970.
Minna Vrang grew up in Ross, California and attended Stanford University where she studied botany. In 1917, she married her college sweetheart and fellow Stanford graduate, Charles Orme. The couple moved to the Charles’ family ranch, the Orme Land and Cattle Company, 10 miles west of Phoenix. In 1929, Charles Orme suffered a severe case of sun stroke and the family decided to move to a cooler climate. The new location was the Quarter Circle V Bar Ranch, made up of nearly thirty thousand acres with excellent grazing for cattle and the scenic Ash Creek. The ranch was in a remote area of primitive roads and few neighbors. Minna and Charlie Orme applied to the Yavapai County School Superintendent to establish a rural school on the ranch. The superintendent approved of the plan and agreed to give them $10 per student per month toward the salary of a resident teacher.
Early in the fall of 1929, Minna and Charlie Orme drove to the neighboring Dugas Ranch where a schoolhouse had been at the turn of the century. They found old desks which had been nailed to railroad ties and brought them back to Orme Ranch. They created a classroom in the old ranch house which became the Orme Ranch School.
In the beginning, the school served only the children living on the ranch, but before long friends and neighbors applied to the Ormes for their children to be included. Often eastern families, whose children suffered from asthma and needed the high dry climate of Arizona for relief, sought placement. Many overcame their health problems quickly, but there were many occasions when Minna sat up all night with a child suffering from an asthma attack.
During the Great Depression, operation of the Orme School brought in needed funds so the ranch could survive the 1930s economic downfall. By 1945, the school had become a private boarding school exclusively.
Minna Orme did not teach in the classroom but acted as housemother for all of the students and assigned everyone work around the ranch. She also grasped any opportunity to teach the students about the world around them, using her training in the natural sciences. She was an amateur astronomer and taught children the constellations at night. Minna also loved the literary arts and poetry readings.
In 1948, high school became part of the Orme School curriculum, and the school became more formalized. Young Charlie Orme returned from his studies at Stanford University and took the position of headmaster. Minna Orme continued to work for the school as recruiter and by relentlessly pursuing a quality education for the students.
Following her death in 1970, the school continued operating as a boarding and college preparatory school. What began as a simple country school eventually became a very successful college preparatory school attended by students from all over the country.
“I shall love the years that are ahead, because I haven’t had time to accomplish much yet, and the world Is so full of a number of things that I’d still like to do.”
Hattie Lockett, in an interview with the Phoenix Gazette
When seventeen-year-old Hattie Myrtle Greene moved with her family from Bushnell, Illinois to Scottsdale in 1897, she probably never expected to raise sheep or to study archaeology. And yet it is for skills developed in these areas, along with her talent for writing, that Hattie is best remembered.
Hattie came to Scottsdale with a diploma from the Bushnell Normal College. The principal of Phoenix Union High School, George Blount, wanted Hattie to teach at Scottsdale’s new elementary school, built only the year before. He bent the rules a little so that Hattie could teach before she turned eighteen. She taught in Scottsdale for two years, and then attended the Tempe Normal School, from which she graduated in 1901. She taught for a year in Kyrene and then moved to Washington, northwest of Phoenix, in order to teach there.
While teaching at the one room Washington school, Hattie boarded at the ranch of Henry Claiborne Lockett, a sheep rancher and Republican senator representing Coconino County in the territorial legislature. Henry was a widower who lived with his three children and his mother.
Hattie and Henry married in 1905, and had two children, Claiborne and Robert. In 1912, Hattie founded the Washington Women’s Club, which worked to turn the Washington School into a center of community life. This was the first of many community groups Hattie would help to organize.
When Henry Lockett died in 1921, Hattie was determined to keep the ranch going until her sons were old enough to run it themselves. She surprised local woolgrowers with her knowledge of the sheep business and her interest in meetings of the Wool Growers Association. Hattie won many awards for her prize sheep.
Hattie worked with the U.S. Forest Service in instituting grazing reform and helped foster a spirit of understanding in cooperation between sheep ranchers and the government. Eventually, her son Robert, who majored in business administration and animal husbandry at the University of Arizona, took over the ranch.
Once her stepchildren were married and her sons were attending the University of Arizona, Hattie decided to get a college degree herself. She earned a Phi Beta Kappa key, and received her Master’s degree in archaeology in 1932. Her thesis, which became a popular book, was The Unwritten Literature of the Hopi: First Hand Accounts of Customs, Traditions and Beliefs of the Northern Arizona Indian Tribe. Hattie gathered the material for her thesis in her home near the summer pasturing area of her flocks in Flagstaff.
Between 1941 and her death in 1962, Hattie wrote many poems and short stories. She was president of the Arizona branch of the League of American Pen Women, and served as their poetry chairman. She inaugurated Arizona Poetry Day in honor of Sharlot Hall. She was president of the Phoenix Musicians Club, and was a member of the Altrusa Club and the Phoenix chapter of the American Association of University Women. In 1952, she was placed on the honor roll of the American Artists and Professional League for her skills as an orator and poet, and for her work with the advisory board of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and the National Arts Society.
Hattie Greene Lockett died on May 23, 1962, at the age of eighty-two.
Used by permission from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
“This old house has a soul and that soul was born of the pioneer life of Arizona and I long to restore and reveal it to the Arizona of today and of the future.” — Sharlot Hall, speaking of the Old Governor’s Mansion, which she restored and turned into a museum.
Sharlot M. Hall was an historian, but more than that, she was a dreamer and a romantic, a teller of tales whose stories and poems have helped keep the early days of Arizona alive. Born in Lincoln County, Kansas, October 27, 1870, Miss Hall came to the Arizona Territory in 1882, settling with her family at Lynx Creek, 12 miles southeast of Prescott. She had been writing songs and poems almost from the time she had learned to talk, so it was only natural that she would record her impressions of that time.
“In mid February of 1882 I rode into Prescott on a long legged dapple gray mare who had just left her footprints the full length of the old Santa Fe trail. We had been three months coming, three winter months with covered wagons and a caravan of loose horses like Abraham and his family seeking new grazing ground … As I followed down the trail that is now East Gurley street I looked over across Granite creek to a sprawling gray log building in a cluster of tall pine trees and I was told that it was the first governor’s house, a governor’s mansion of hewed pine logs with a ‘shake’ roof but grand enough to me who remembered the sod houses and ‘dug outs’ of the Great American desert which we had just crossed.”
That was the beginning of her lifelong fascination with the place she called “a house of memories,” the house that became the Sharlot Hall Museum.
“It seems to me worthwhile to have one place just for remembering and holding in honor the simple but great things of the past … I have tried and am still trying to hold here the memories of the past on which the present rests …”, Miss Hall once said of her efforts.
The first article she published was in the regional magazine Land of Sunshine, which was headquartered in Los Angeles. Four years later, in 1902, the editor asked her to write a poem in honor of the magazine’s name change to Out West. Her poem by the same name was so popular that it was widely reprinted, set to music, collected in anthologies and even made required reading for students.
Her most notable work, however, was the poem, “Arizona” which she wrote in 1906. It ridiculed eastern lawmakers for planning to admit Arizona and New Mexico into the Union as one state. Arizona’s territorial leaders saw that a copy of the poem was placed on the desk of each member of Congress. Not only that, they had it read on the floor of both houses and it was reprinted in several publications. Who can say just how much the poem and articles written by Miss Hall in 1906 swayed Congress? This much can be said: Congress amended the joint statehood bill that year and permitted the two territories to vote separately on the issue.
Miss Hall became an associate editor and continued to write for Out West magazine until 1909, when she was appointed territorial historian by Governor Richard Sloan. She thus became the first woman to hold public office in Arizona. Her official duties were to collect documents, books and other written records of Arizona’s history. However, she felt the gathering of oral histories was more important. So for the next 14 months, she visited every city and nearly every mining camp in Arizona collecting reminiscences.
She resigned her position in 1912, returning home to the family ranch where she cared for her ailing parents. There she remained until their deaths, re-entering public life briefly in 1924 when, as one of Arizona’s presidential electors, she was chosen to hand carry the state’s vote to Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Miss Hall’s “house of memories,” the Old Governor’s Mansion, was bought by the state and given to Prescott in 1917. In 1927 Prescott leased the house to Miss Hall for life. While she lived there, Miss Hall used her own money and raised public funds to restore the home.
“I asked for no money, either from the city of Prescott or from the state,” she said later. “I began with the sale of a few cattle which bore the brand of my father’s ranch, a brand he had used for 40 years.”
Miss Hall was drawn to the house by what she called “the sweetest and saddest story.” It had been told to her years before by an old caretaker who tended the roses in the yard. Margaret Hunt McCormick, wife of the second territorial governor Richard McCormick, had come to live in the house as a young bride. She planted a red rose bush with cuttings she brought from her home in Rahway, New Jersey. About a year later she died in childbirth and was buried with her baby in her arms with the buds of the roses on the handmade coffin. Remembering the days when she passed the house on her way to school, Miss Hall later said, “… I seemed to see a lovely young face behind the window of the room where she had died, a face that had been as sweet and friendly as the roses …”
Despite her romantic nature, Miss Hall never married. In a letter to a friend, she explained:
“In all the homes I knew, then and over most of my life … I saw women crucified by the insatiable passion of men so dull and stolid and stupid that it was a calamity to the race that they were able to reproduce their kind … I tell you honestly that the very thought of love became an abomination to me.”
Perhaps her feelings sprang from watching her mother work so hard all her life and the fact that her father, though he was proud of Sharlot, never understood her desire to write and not to work in a field alongside a farmer husband.
“I had a fatal gift for logic even at ten,” she wrote once, “and used to point out to my father that his hired help all chewed tobacco and ‘cussed’ and never took a bath except when it was warm enough to go in the creek … and even then had to get me to print out their love letters.”
The romance in her soul helped her to love the women and men who built the state, so much so that preserving their memories became and remained her one true goal.
Sharlot Hall died April 9, 1943, in Prescott at the age of 72.
Used by permission from the Museum of Northern Arizona
Katharine Bartlett was involved with the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) for sixty years and helped shape it into an internationally recognized museum and research center. She began working at the newly created Museum in 1930 after completing her Masters Degree in Anthropology. She served as the Curator for Anthropology from 1930 to 1953, during a time when women in archaeological professions were relatively rare, then as the Curator of Books and Records from 1953-1975. She established cataloging and preservation guidelines and techniques for the archeological and ethnological specimens being accessioned into the fast growing MNA collections. Her guidelines became a model for others in the state with similar materials. Her breadth of knowledge included diverse are as such as archeology, Hopi and Navajo ethnology, the history of Spanish exploration in the Southwest, and Native American craft arts. She published over 50 articles between 1928 and 1981 and became a major contributor to the literature on Arizona’s native Americans, past and present.
Another enduring contribution was her systematic work with MNA Director Harold Colton on the archeological site survey that documented all site locations by assigning numbers to each site and collecting archeological items that were later catalogued into MNA collections. She worked with Native American artists to preserve their traditional crafts. During the 1950s she and her housemate photographed and recorded historic and pre-historic spots along the Colorado River channel and side canyons. Her research on Glen Canyon prior to the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam is a legacy This collection is one of the few extant records of the archeological evidence and stunning beauty of Glen Canyon.
She was a charter member of the Arizona Academy of Science, an organization that stimulates scientific research and education and promotes fraternal relationships among those engaged in scientific work. She was also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association and a Fellow of the Society of American Archaeology. She was a charter member of the Arizona Association of University Women and was listed in the 1959 edition of Who’s Who of American Women. In 1984 she was named the first Fellow of the Museum of Northern Arizona. In 1986 she was named a “Daughter of the Desert,” a Smithsonian exhibit highlighting the work of early women anthropologists in the Southwest. She received the prestigious Sharlot Hall Award in 1991 for having made valuable contributions to the understanding and awareness of Arizona and its history.