Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
Matilda was born on June 26, 1850 in Muhlenburg, Kentucky, the daughter of Richard J. and Mary Langly Lambuth. She married Alfred B. Spence in 1873 and came to Arizona from Missouri in a covered wagon. They settled on Banning Creek, where they worked the sawmill.

Later, they founded a ranch and constructed a log house in Crook Canyon in the Bradshaw Mountains. The location was selected because it was half way between Prescott and the Peck Mine, which was then one of the most prosperous mines in the territory.

In 1875, the Spences built Palace Station, 14 miles southwest of Groom Creek. The station served the needs of the miners, ranchers and travelers. Here many a meal was prepared for weary travelers on the Prescott to Phoenix stage route, and the horses were also watered and rested.

Matilda had eight children: Belle Johnson Crume, who is also represented in the Rose Garden, Elsie “Dolly” Evans; Ida Appalstill, Florence Beck Dozier, Maude Thompson; M. Olin, Roy and Willis Spence.

Matilda sold the Palace Station in 1910 after the death of her husband. She was a member of the Methodist Church. She died on April 14, 1929, at the Arizona Pioneers' Home and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

Donor: Elsie “Dolly” Evans

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