Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Lilly May, daughter of Jonathon and Arabelle Milligan, was born on February 7, 1876, in Missouri. She received her education in Walsenburg, Colorado.

Her parents had a farm on the Big Muddy Creek near Gardner, Colorado, but they and other families could not get legal water rights since the farmers down stream had obtained the first water rights. A water commissioner came and locked their gates, making the farms worthless. Jonathon had been seeing brochures and ads giving wonderful accounts of a land in the desert of Arizona that was to be developed for farming, and settlers were wanted. The area was called Paradise Valley.

Disliking the cold weather in Colorado, Jonathon and Arabelle decided to move to that part of Arizona Territory. They sold their cattle, kept a few horses and the wagon and gave away the farm. But Jonathon broke his leg so the trip was postponed until June 1896. May, her parents and brothers began their trek to the new territory, traveling by covered wagon, horseback and, when the going really got rough, on foot. May kept a diary of their trip from Colorado through New Mexico to Arizona that was published in the Prescott Courier in the summer of 1973.

After entering the new territory, they came to Stoneman Lake. Since their eldest son, Eugene, was having stomach pains, they stayed there ten days. Some people by the lake had a cow and a big garden and generously shared their larder with the Milligans. Some hunters also provided game to the family, which was most welcome as they were almost out of food.

Some other travelers stopped at Stoneman Lake on their way from the Salt River Valley. They related that there was no water yet in Paradise Valley, and the whole area was as hot as Hades. So Johathon changed his plans, and traveling south the family finally settled in the Agua Fria River Valley near present-day Dewey, Arizona, that August of 1896.

May did not have a lot of formal education, but she was tall, slender, nice looking and had a certain presence. The Dewey School Board was desperate for a teacher for their school, so they hired May. She taught one year in the one-room schoolhouse with eight grades. She also taught in Jerome and Yaeger Canyon, where some families ran a sawmill. The Yaegar schoolhouse later became a Forest Service Ranger Station.

In 1902, May married Dempsey Powell, and the couple had two children; Velma Powell Files, born on October 6, 1903; and Virgil John Powell, born on December 4, 1904.

Her second marriage in May of 1913 was to Arthur Randolph Human, also a blacksmith. She would not marry Arthur until he made a home for her and her two young children. Arthur homesteaded in the Humboldt area, dug a well, acquired cattle and built a frame house for his new family. May and Arthur had a daughter Mary Belle Human Smith, born on July 31, 1917, in the smelter hospital at Humboldt, Arizona.

In addition to being a wife and homemaker, May belonged to the Womanís Club and the Baptist Church. She knew Sharlot Hall when Sharlot lived at the Hall family Orchard Ranch and was a delighted visitor to the Governorís Mansion when Sharlot started the museum in Prescott.

May died on December 26, 1954, at Cottonwood and was buried in Middle Verde Cemetery in the Human family plot.

Donor: Mary Bell Human Smith, daughter
July 2003

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