Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Edith, the eighth child of Frances Mariah Adair and Alfred Bryan Peach, was born on December 26, 1885, in Strawberry, Arizona Territory. Her parents and older siblings had moved from Utah to Round Valley. In 1883, the Peaches homesteaded in Strawberry Valley. The homestead was located south of Fossil Creek Road and south of Strawberry on what is now known as Fuller Road.

Edith received her education through the eighth grade in Strawberry. When Yavapai County sold a large acreage to Gila County, the Peach family became residents of Gila County, and a dispute about the school boundary arose so Mr. Peach built a school on his property, elected himself and two cowboys as trustees and then hired a teacher.

When Edith was eight years old, her father got a contract for hauling surveyors for the planned Peavine Railroad. Alfred took the family with him, and they lived in a tent, moving every few weeks until the job was completed.

In 1902, Edith left home for the first time to attend the Normal School in Flagstaff, where she boarded in a large house rented by the school. She made her trips back and forth from home to school in her father’s freight wagon.

After graduation, Edith taught at her first school in Star Valley and a summer session at the Rim Rock School. Then her father asked her to come to Strawberry to teach in their ranch school where two of her brothers were students. Edith was the last teacher to teach in the old log schoolhouse after the spring of 1907.

On January 6, 1908, Edith married Drayton Martin, who had been courting her for more than a year. Drayton was Forest Supervisor of the Apache National Forest. The couple moved to Springerville, where the headquarters for that forest had been relocated from Clifton. Later they bought a ranch near Eager.

The couple had two good horses, and Edith used to ride through the forest with her husband until she became pregnant. Son Fred was born on February 9, 1909, and daughter Frances Elizabeth was born on February 3, 1923.

Edith taught in Colter until her daughter was five years old and then taught in Eagar. She served in several other schools in adjacent counties and was Apache County school superintendent. She retired from teaching in 1946 but remained active in the hospital auxiliary and other civic projects. She was an honored guest at the dedication ceremonies of the Old Strawberry School when it became a museum in 1967.

Sometime after Drayton retired from the Forest Service, he sold their ranch, and the couple bought a little house in Eagar. Drayton died on May 8, 1948.

In 1955, Edith married Joe Slaughter, a long-time friend. After Joe’s death, she lived alone in in her little house in Eagar until she became ill and moved to Orangewood Baptist Estates Retirement Center in Phoenix in 1964. Edith died on January 21, 1984, and was brought back to Springerville to be buried next to Drayton Martin in the Springerville Cemetery.

Donor: Kitty Butler, granddaughter, and family members
February 2003

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