Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
Marie, daughter of Jean and Leonie Warlop, was born in Wervik, West Flanders, Belgium, on May 8, 1879. She was a twin and the youngest of 16 children.

In 1903, she came to Prescott, Arizona, where two brothers and a sister were living. One of her brothers ran a bakery on Cortez Street. At this time, Marie worked at the Hotel St. Michael. By 1910 she was married and living in Parker, Arizona. Her husband died before the birth of their son, Parker (born January 1911), who was the first Caucasian boy born in that town.

Marie moved to California, where she married Samuel Alexander Leffingwell, the father of her other four children. Samuel was a sea captain and ran a pilot boat that led the big ships into port; at one time he owned a small vessel, the Anita D. They lived in various towns along the coast, and each child was born in a different locality three in California and Don, born in Seattle, Washington. The children were: Dora Anita (Wilson), born in 1914; Hiram Cyril, born in 1916; Dona Laura (Whitehead), born in 1918; and Alice Marie, born in 1922.

The family moved to Baja California, Mexico, where the older children attended school in the Ensenada area and, of course, learned the Spanish language. Marie also learned to speak Spanish, adding it to the four languages she could already converse in: Flemish, French, German and English.

Returning to California, the family settled in the Imperial Valley, where Samuel died. It was a difficult time financially during which Marie worked as a housemaid for several families. She married Jack Baron, a marriage that soon ended in separation.

In 1930, the family loaded up the Model T and went for a two-week vacation on a ranch in Yavapai County. Parker went back to his job in the Imperial Valley, but the rest of the family liked it so well in Arizona they stayed on. They moved into a house at the Walker Place on the Walnut Grove Road and lived there for several years. The children attended school in Kirkland.

Marie bought a small parcel of land with a rough cabin on it miles from any town in French Gulch. It was during the Depression, and the nearby Zonia Mine had a bankruptcy auction. Marie bought a one-room cabin for $10, and she and the children dismantled it, loaded it on the Model T and moved it several miles down the creek. They added it to their existing structure, and it was the best room in the house!

Some years later, Parker opened a garage at Kirkland Junction and built his mother a home there. Marie was a courageous woman who managed, as a single mother, to raise her family during the Great Depression.

She died at Kirkland Junction on May 5, 1945, and was buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

Donor: Alice Leffingwell, daughter
April 2003

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