Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

"Maxie" was born in the midst of a blizzard on March 8, 1888, in the old Webster Homestead, called "The Maples," in Sennett, New York, the daughter of Florian and Marie Webster. She first attended an old stone schoolhouse, then the Sennett Schools. Maxie went to Mt. Holyoke College, where she was a member of Gamma Kappa Sorority.

At a lovely wedding in her home on September 13, 1910, Maxie and Charles Hutchinson Dunning, a mining engineer, were married. They honeymooned in the Adirondacks, then went to New York City and boarded a ship for New Orleans. From there they went by train to Phoenix and came by wagon to a little house in the mountains near Prescott. Her husband managed the Big Pine Mine on Mt. Tritle in the Bradshaw Mountains. They had four children: David (1911); Mary Max (Mrs. King) Beeth (1917); Charles (1923); and Richard (1927).

In 1916, Maxie wrote to the national headquarters of the Girl Scouts for an appointment as "captain" of a troop in Prescott. She did not receive the appointment until 1918, but in the interim she had secured a Girl Scout handbook and provided a program.

The Dunnings moved to Phoenix in 1927 where Maxie served on the first State Girl Scout Council and on the first board for the building of Scout camps. She became president of the Arizona Girl Scout Council. Under her guidance, the Girl Scouts secured the property that had been the old Civilian Conservation Corps camp on Groom Creek. In 1942, Camp Maripai, which is still in operation today, was born.

At the age of 59, she hiked the Grand Canyon with her beloved Girl Scouts, and at 65 she worked as a program staff member all summer at Camp Maripai. Her camp name was "Packrat," because she "picked things at one place and took them to another." A tribute to her in the Girl Scout Council paper continues: "She moved good ideas and inspiration around as well as material things...a woman whose very life personified the Girl Scout Promise and Law."

In addition to her involvement with Girl Scouts, Maxie was active as an art docent at the Heard Museum, in the Friday Club, and with the League of Women Voters. She was the founder of Las Madrinas (The Grandmothers), a support system for the San Pablo School for homeless and troubled boys. In Prescott, Maxie lived at 311 South Mt. Vernon and at 811 Boulder Drive. She belonged to St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Maxie died in Claremont,California, on December 8, 1984. At her request, her ashes were returned to Prescott "where it all began" and were interred at Mountain View Cemetery.

Donor: Charles E. Dunning

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