Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Annie was born in Marfa, Texas, on November 11, 1897. Her parents, Marion and Josie Peter Cagle Aiken, moved their family to Jerome Junction, Arizona Territory, when she was a young girl. Her mother died when Annie was a child, leaving Marion to raise her and her six siblings. Annie spent time with her aunt, Laura Johnston, in Jerome Junction. Her father went to work on the Perkins Ranch, three miles away.

The Aiken children walked to school Annie remembered. “We children could have driven a horse and buggy to school, but we preferred walking so we wouldn’t have to take care of the horse at noon."

The Aiken family was not affected by the Depression. “We were always poor but well fed and clothed and loved." Annie’s father always had a beautiful garden with a variety of vegetables. He stored potatoes, cabbage, turnips, carrots and pumpkins in a ground cellar for consumption during the winter. They had beef, chickens and eggs, and milk and butter from their milk cows. Mr. Perkins always gave her father a quarter of beef when he butchered. Sometimes they would raise a pig. All in all, a very well-balanced diet.

Annie graduated from elementary school in Jerome Junction, and she boarded with families in Prescott to attend high school. She attended Tempe Normal School and became a teacher.

She taught in Globe, Miami, Inspiration and Midland City as well as Jerome Junction, Washington School in Prescott, and Roosevelt School in Phoenix. She was in the W.A.C. branch of service for a while during World War II.

After 45 years of teaching, Annie retired in Phoenix, where she was active with the Phoenix Boy’s Choir. She then moved to Douglas to live with her sister Amy and be close to her sister Josie. She cheerfully said, “Phelps Dodge’s smoke did not bother us. We realized that the company provided jobs for many people. Also, the company did a lot of charity work and helped many students who were going to college or university."

Annie passed away on May 22, 1992, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Donor: Betty Wells, niece
July 2004

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