|Sharlot Hall became Arizona's Territorial Historian in 1909, the first woman to hold public office in Arizona. Arizona territory had been founded in 1863 and by 1900, many of the early settlers had died, along with their stories. As Territorial Historian, she traveled the territory collecting documents, oral histories from old timers and both Native and pioneer artifacts. She also worked on the family's ranch outside of Prescott and greatly enjoyed life outdoors, writing that she could not be a "tame house cat woman."
Hall also wrote articles and poetry, frequently publishing in the regional magazines, Land of Sunshine and Out West. In addition, Hall became associate editor for Out West. Later in her life, she restored the old Governor's Mansion in Prescott, through her own funds and fundraising efforts. Eventually it became a museum, containing her extensive collection of artifacts. Today it is part of the Sharlot Hall Museum complex in Prescott.
Sharlot Hall's diligent efforts in preserving Arizona's history inspired others to become involved in historical preservation, saving early Arizona history. After her death in 1943, a historical society continued to build the complex that became the Sharlot Hall Museum. In 1981, Hall became one of the first women selected in the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame.
Visit the Sharlot Hall Museum at 415 W. Gurley Street in Prescott to see the Territorial Governor's Mansion that Hall restored. Learn more about Sharlot Hall who creatively documented life in the Arizona territory, saving history for future generations.
To learn more see the following:
Hall, Sharlot. Sharlot Herself : Selected Writings of Sharlot Hall. Nancy Kirkpatrick Wright, ed. Prescott, AZ: Sharlot Hall Museum Press, 1992.
Hall, Sharlot. Poems of a Ranch Woman. Prescott, AZ: Sharlot Hall Museum, 1989.
Maxwell, Margaret. A Passion for Freedom: the Life of Sharlot Hall. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1982.
Sharlot Hall - Courtesy of Sharlot Hall Museum
Sharlot Hall Museum and Territorial Mansion - Courtesy of Sharlot Hall Museum