Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
MARGARET WILLIAMS EHLE

Margaret was born on October 14, 1817, in Ohio, the daughter of Henry and Amy Bell (or Beale) Williams. Her mother was descended from the Dunbarton Oaks Beales.

Margaret married Joseph Ehle in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1835 or 1841. They accompanied the first U. S. troops to be stationed at Fort Whipple and arrived in Prescott on July 28, 1864. In 1865, they established the first government road station at Skull Valley.

The Ehles were the proprietors of the Montezuma Hotel on the corner of Montezuma and Willis; they lived next door. The Arizona Miner referred to her in 1880 as "one of God's best women, one of the first ladies that settled in Prescott." In her obituary, written by Sharlot Hall, she was called "a pioneer of the pioneers in Northern Arizona." She brought the first sewing machine, a Grover and Baker, to Prescott and helped women learn dressmaking.

She also brought with her a "Bouncing Bet" plant from Iowa to brighten her new home. A midwife, she tended Margaret McCormick at the time of her death and dressed her for burial.

The Ehles were the first settlers to have honeybees and chickens, as well as a yellow house cat. According to Sharlot Hall, Margaret "bore her full part... Past the toil and struggle of the early days, she lived to a serene and stately old age that was like a benediction to all who knew her."

The Ehle children were: John Henry, Mary Jane Dickson (whose marriage to John Dickson on November 17, 1864, was the first in Prescott and performed by Governor Goodwin in the Governor's Mansion), Olive Bowers-Crouch, Emma Elizabeth Silverthorn-Sanders, Margaret Viola Foster, and Sarah F. Baker.

Margaret Ehle died of pneumonia on November 5, 1905, and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery.

Donor: Mrs. Fred Schemmer



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