Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Mona, daughter of Lucille Singletary Denson Yopp, was born on
October 14, 1907, in Bisbee, Arizona. A graduate of Tempe Normal School in 1929, Mona taught English as a second language to Hispanic children in Avondale. She was "Miss Smoki" in 1929 in Prescott.

When she married Walter Lange on December 14, 1934, she eloped with him to Florence and kept their marriage a secret until the end of the school year so she could keep her teaching job. Mona became deeply involved in the day-to-day activities of a ranch wife at the Charles Ward Ranch, Rimrock (1938-1939); Yolo Ranch, Camp Wood (1940-1948); Willow Springs Ranch, Oracle (1949-1950); SV Ranch, northeast of Wikieup (1950-1971).

She worked hard cooking for round-ups, rising at 4:00 in the morning to cook steak and egg breakfasts before the crew started its long day. Then she was busy cooking most of the day to have another hearty meal ready when they returned at 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. Depending on where the cowboys were working and the availability of a four-wheel drive road, she took lunches to holding corrals where they were working cattle.

Her duties also encompassed occasional substitution for the choreman, which involved caring for animals, milking the cows, nursing bunged-up cowboys, and driving long distances to shop for supplies and food in large quantities.

Mona always welcomed people into her home and acquired a great variety of friends. She worked as an election volunteer when her husband was foreman of the Yolo Ranch, and neighbors filed through the cookhouse to cast their ballots. She was interested in nature and loved the outdoors. She often sent plant samples to The University of Arizona for identification and, in her later life, she gathered dried pods and plants for sale to a Tucson wholesale florist.

When her daughter, Mona, who was born in Prescott on March 23, 1938, started high school, she moved to Phoenix and secured a job in the school library. The two Monas commuted to the ranch (some 180 miles one-way) every weekend for four years. Mona died in Phoenix on June 21, 1971, and her ashes were scattered over the SV Ranch near Wikieup (Yavapai/Mohave County).

Donor: Mona Lange McCroskey

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