Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
ASENATH PHELPS ALKIRE
Asenath, daughter of Asenath Arick Copes and Harlow Jefferson Phelps, was born on August 27, 1865, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her father was a prosperous Louisiana cotton broker and exporter. Shortly after the end of the Civil War, the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where "Senie" met her future husband.

Frank Alkire came to Arizona in 1886. He built a cabin in Tonto Basin that was later acquired by southwestern writer Zane Gray. He purchased the Triangle-Bar Ranch on the Old Black Canyon Road north of Phoenix, Arizona, at New River. He met Asenath again, whom he had known in St, Louis, while on vacation in San Diego, Claifornia. They were married on April 10, 1889, in San Diego.

Frank and Asenath had three children: Josiah Franklin, born January 28, 1891; George Copes, born May 20, 1903; and Anne Asenath, born December 19, 1906. Asenath was a devoted wife, mother and homemaker and did volunteer social welfare work through her church in the Phoenix area and among the Arizona Indians.

She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Phoenix, the Phoenix Women's Club, and the Arizona Parent-Teachers Association that she helped organize, and an early director of the Florence Crittenton Home and was active in its management for many years.

During the cotton disaster of the early 1920s, Asenath formed the Food Relief Group that collected food from ranchers, farmers and merchants and helped feed families who suffered in the crash. It was estimated she provided thousands of meals to needy people.

Frank and Asenath built the first summer home in the village of Iron Springs outside of Prescott, Arizona, and were members of the Iron Springs Club. Mr. Alkire served on the Board of Directors for 15 years. Asenath was a friend of Sharlot Hall.

Frank Tomlin Alkire was a prominent civic leader in the early years of Phoenix. First as a cattleman whose shipping pens later became Alkire Park, then owner of the Alkire Dry Goods and Clothing Company and finally as owner of Manufacturing Stationers Printing Company. Mr Alkire helped grow the economy of Arizona.

As a National Guard captain, he took Arizona's team to the National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. It was at the suggestion of the Arizona Rifle Team that the Arizona flag was designed by Colonel Charles W. Harris, Adjutant General of Arizona, in 1910.

Perhaps Frank Alkire's greatest contribution was as a representative of the City of Phoenix to the Salt River Valley Water Users Project, which became Salt River Project, bringing a source of permanent water to the Valley. He served on the Salt River Project Board of Directors for 60 years.

Asenath died on March 1, 1950, and was buried in Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery in Phoenix.

Donor: George C. Alkire, Jr.
March 2000


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