|Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden|
GRACE AMY REEVE FENNELL
Grace Amy Reeve was born April 21, 1875 in Greenville, Tennessee, daughter of Colonel and Mrs. Reeve. She met Cecil G. Fennell, a mining engineer from Tunbridge Wells, England, when he came to Greenville to work with his brother on a telephone company installation. At the time, Grace was engaged to a local man but she fell in love with Cecil. Her parents were opposed to their marriage so Grace and Cecil eloped and were married on May 17, 1897.
They came to Arizona and together in 1898 through 1907 founded and operated the Val Verde smelter near Humboldt, where they also resided. Grace welcomed the ladies from Fort Whipple to visit socially and have a bath in the first real tub in the area.
Grace and Cecil had three children: Cecil Gordon, Ernest and Geraldine Eliot. Grace returned to Tennessee for the births of her children. She told her daughter she didn't mind living with drunken miners and rattlesnakes, but she wouldn't have her children without doctors and nurses. In 1899, the Fennells rented the T. W. Johnson house on Mt. Vernon Street in Prescott.
Wherever Grace lived, she was always a true southern lady, gracious and beautifully dressed and groomed. She had a great love of life and people and was an accomplished side-saddle equestrian.
During her early life, she contributed many short stories to current magazines, such as Collier's and Redbook, and sustained an interest in literature and poetry all her life. She was also famous for her home-made fresh coconut white cake with raisins (made whenever a coconut could be had).
After Cecil sold Val Verde, he helped develop and manage the Gladstone and McCabe mines where he gained the nickname "the Duke of McCabe." During their time in Arizona, Cecil and Grace became friends with both Senator Ashurst and Sharlot Hall.
Following their time in the Prescott area the Fennells moved to other mining sites throughout the country, all managed by Cecil. They left mines in Idaho and their home in Spokane, Washington, in 1951 when Cecil had a stroke. They went to live with their daughter and son-in-law in Phoenix. They were again able to enjoy picnicking and hiking in the Mingus and Bradshaw Mountains from their daughter's summer home in the Iron Springs Club.
Cecil died in 1958, and Grace died in Phoenix in 1970. Both were buried in Greenwood Cemetery next to their daughter and son-in-law Geraldine and William C. Eliot.
Donors: Granddaughters Alice Schofield and Elizabeth Langdon.
|Additional documentation and photographs may be available in the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.|