Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Edith was born September 17, 1884, in Leadville, Colorado, while her parents were visiting relatives there. She was the daughter of Samuel Christy (Chris) and Alice Robertson, who had traveled by wagon train from St. Joseph, Missouri, via Leadville. They were hauling mining machinery to Tombstone, Arizona Territory.

They returned to Tombstone when she was seven months old. The family arrived in there on Christmas Day, 1880, and were residents of Cochise County for the remainder of their lives.

Edith was 11 years old when her mother died and 15 when her father was murdered in the nearby mining town of Pearce. The family of five children was declared wards of the court and wee allowed to live in the family home in Tombstone.

Edith graduated from the equivalent of 8th grade, which was as high as the school went in Tombstone. In 1900, she successfully completed classes at The University of Arizona in the newly formed Commerce Department. She then returned to Tombstone, and at the age of 16 was the first woman employee of Cochise County in the tax assessor’s office.

In 1902, Edith married Norman Barr, a journeyman machinist in the mines. For the next several years they lived in mining camps, including Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, and in the Kofa Mountains near Ehrenberg. After the loss of her husband, Edith returned to Tombstone with her two children, Norma (Mrs. J. P. Rockfellow) and John. Edith returned to work at the Cochise County Courthouse. Arizona was becoming a state at that time (1912).

In 1917, Edith married Harry E. Macia, who was the younger brother to J. H. (Bert) Macia, husband of Edith’s sister, Ethel. So two sisters married two brothers. From her second marriage, Edith had two children: Betty (Mrs. E. W. Newell) and Harry, Jr.

In 1928, Edith became postmistress at Tombstone and served eight years. Following this, the family moved to Los Angeles, where Harry found employment.

In 1943, Edith became an undercover agent for the FBI. She was a card- carrying member of the Communist Party, and for five years she reported their activities to the FBI. In 1953, Edith appeared as a “surprise witness” before the House Committee on Un-American Affairs, and her testimony broke up an important Communist cell.

For her outstanding work for her country, Edith received a number of citations. On April 17, 1953, she was awarded the American Legion Citation of Honor, from the 17th District, Department in California. On May 10, 1953, she received a citation from the Los Angeles Lodge No. 99 of the Benevolent Order of Elks as the Outstanding Mother of 1953.

On May 12, 1953, before a gathering of 50,000 Veterans of Foreign Wars at San Francisco, she was given a Certificate of Appreciation. On February 22, 1954, she was the proud recipient of the Freedom Foundation George Washington Award. The most recent citation was dated March 12, 1962, when she received the Distinguished Citizen Award for 1962 from The University of Arizona.

Edith moved to Prescott in 1963 where she lived at 944 Apache Drive in the Pinecrest Historic District until her death in 1974. She was buried in Santa Ana, California.

Edith's sisters, Ethel Maud Robertson Macia and Olive Christina Robertson Hood, are also commemorated in the Rose Garden.

Donor: Betty Newell, daughter
July 2008

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