Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Mary, daughter of William and Mary Sanderline Lowe, was born in Albany, Wisconsin, on November 19, 1848. At a tender age she moved with her parents to California. She grew to womanhood in Eldorado City, California, and was married to Mr. Hanson.

After her husband's death, Mary moved to Prescott, Arizona, with her two sons, Robert M. and William C. Hanson and her daughter Mary C. (who later became Mrs. Serata). R. M. and William became prominent citizens of Yavapai County, both involved in mining. Mary E. became the grandmother of ten grandchildren. In the later 1870s Mary became the bride of Dr. Smith who died in the 1880s.

Mary is remembered as one of the talented women in Arizona for her line of literary work. Her poems attracted wide attention, and she contributed to many of the leading magazines, winning high renown for her altruistic ideas. Her home life consistently followed along these lines, and her generous nature knew no limit. She figured conspicuously in charitable works and was a strong advocate of women's suffrage and an ardent believer in temperance.

On September 6, 1909, Mary married Joseph P. Merrick in a ceremony the Prescott Courier hailed as the most novel wedding in Yavapai County history.

The Courier along with leading merchants and businessmen of the community sponsored the promotion of a Labor Day wedding, and the identity of the couple was not known until they appeared at the front door of the Courier office on their way to the platform for the ceremony. At that point, they were married by the "Marrying Justice" Charles H. McLane. It was reported that the bride was tastefully gowned in gray silk, elaborately trimmed in pink and white lace, carrying a handsome bouquet of white roses, the gift of Mrs. W. N. Kelly.

After the ceremony and the presentation of a cash reward from the Courier as well as many valuable presents, the couple was driven to their comfortable bungalow on South Mount Vernon Street in a taxicab, the use of which was donated for the memorable event by John Massing.

Mary died on July 23, 1918, at the Arizona Pioneers' Home and was buried in the Pioneer Cemetery.

Donor: Grace Hubbs, granddaughter
May, 2001

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