Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Duke was born on January 7, 1887, in Gunnison, Colorado, the daughter of Agnes Ann Brown and Dr. Wilbur Wright Lewis. She came to Prescott in 1889 when she was two years old. Duke's family lived with Judge Brooks until their home was built.

Duke was active in Prescott's earliest social club for women--"Red Lids." She went to Barnard College in New York and entered nurses' training in Santa Fe. She was a nurse and a school teacher in Prescott. She had learned a great deal from her father, a physician in mining towns.

On September 11, 1912, she married Charles Elmer "Brownie" Gentry in Prescott. He was a pharmacist who became County Assessor. They had four daughters: Edna (Mrs. F. L.) Gifford, Roma "Jim" (Mrs. Russ) Duquette, Dorothy (Mrs. Jack) Post, and Virginia Leigh (Mrs. Carl) Jones.

"Brownie" died in 1930, but Duke stayed in Prescott to educate her children through high school and college. Duke was a charter member of the Lady Elks. She was chairman of the sewing room and helped many untrained persons to hold their jobs to support their families during the Depression. She was a tower of strength to her family--even her grandchildren heeded her loving advice.

"Mama Duke" and her silent ways were loved by many for many reasons: sincerity, understanding, courage, wisdom--even for her hash and hot biscuits. Her home at 527 West Gurley was an open house to anyone seeking conversation, food, warm cups of coffee or chocolate, and even solace.

"When in doubt," she advised, "follow your heart and not your mind. When you make a mistake of the heart, you don't feel so bad."

Duke died "gently and with all the dignity that had marked her living" on December 16, 1964, and was buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

Donor: Mr. and Mrs. O. Bozarth

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