Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
ALICE BUTTERFIELD HEWINS

Alice, daughter of William and Nora Seeley Butterfield, was born on May 26, 1878, in Sacramento, California. After graduating from Stanford University in 1901 with a degree in Library Science, she joined her mother in Arizona.

Nora had remarried W. P. Nichols, who was the Arizona Territorial Secretary and interim governor when Governor William Brodie retired from office in 1905. Alice was very fond of Nichols and referred to him as her Dad.

Alice taught at Stanford and took a teaching position at the University of Arizona. During university breaks and summers, she would stay with her parents in Phoenix. While living in Phoenix, she met two people who became very important in her life.

In the spring of 1904, her mother attended a meeting of the Arizona Federation of Women’s Clubs in Bisbee, where she met Sharlot Hall. Nora found Sharlot very entertaining and invited her to visit so that her husband and Alice might have the pleasure of knowing her. From that time on Sharlot, made the Nichols' home her headquarters whenever she was in Phoenix, and Alice and Sharlot became life-long friends.

While staying with her parents, Alice met Levi Edwin Hewins. Levi had come to Arizona in 1885 and settled in the Salt River Valley where he developed mining and water interests. He elegantly courted Alice for many months and the couple married in 1907.

Then the Hewin’s home became Sharlot’s port of call whenever she was in Phoenix. She would telegraph Levi, who was as equally fond of her as Alice was, tell him when her train would be arriving from Prescott, and he would always go and personally pick her up at the station.

Alice and Levi also frequently visited the Orchard Ranch (Sharlot’s home outside of Prescott) in “horse and buggy days,” as Alice wrote. They would hire a driver to take them out to the ranch, and, later when they had their own car, they would drive up from Phoenix.

Alice helped organize the Phoenix Library and was later assistant librarian there. She also helped to organize the Phoenix Musicians Club, was a member of the Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church, and active in the Phoenix Women’s Club, Order of the Eastern Star, Daughters of the American Revolution, and served on the Selective Service Board during World War II.

Alice and Levi had no children, but Levi’s niece and ward lived with them for a time. When Levi became ill, Sharlot came to stay with Alice before his death in 1936. When Alice learned of her old friend’s death in 1943, she wrote: “Her death, when it came, was not a shock to me, and yet I felt bereft as she had been so closely associated with my young womanhood and married life...it was like the going of one of my very own.”

In 1963, Alice became a resident of the Arizona Pioneers' Home where she died on October 3, 1963. She was buried in the Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona.


Donor: Frances Hewins Olmstead Ackerman and Norma Merwin Orr,

Sharlot Hall (left) and Alice Hewins (right) shown in picture.



Additional documentation and photographs may be available in the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.