|Sedona Miller Schnebly and her family were early farmers in the Oak Creek area. Sedona's husband, Theodore Carl (T.C.) Schnebly, organized the town's first post office and gave the new town his wife's name. Sedona boarded visitors, organized Sedona's first Sunday school and fundraised for the Wayside Chapel, which was completed and dedicated to her in 1950. She is representative of the hardworking farm women who helped to build their family farms and communities.
Region: North Central Arizona
Theme: Women in Domestic Life, Women and Community Building
|Sedona Miller was born in Gorin, Missouri, in 1877. The name Sedona was "just thought up" by her mother because she believed it sounded pretty. Sedona married T.C. at the age of 20, and the couple moved to the Oak Creek area in 1901, following T.C.'s brother, Ellsworth, who had arrived earlier and encouraged them to move to Arizona. The Schneblys built a large two-story home and farmed successfully on their eighty acres, raising cattle, vegetables and fruit. T.C. and Ellsworth spent six months and $600 of their own money working with road crews to build what is now known as Schnebly Hill Road, to have a better way to take their crops to market in Flagstaff. They also ran a general store and boarded visitors in their large home, which was located where Tlaquepaque and the Los Abrigados Resort and Spa now stand. Guests never paid more than $1 a day for room and board. Sedona cooked for everyone and performed the numerous chores of a farm woman, tending the garden, helping to herd and brand the cattle, caring for her six children, sewing clothing, making soap, and canning fruits and vegetables.
After the tragic, accidental death of their daughter Pearl, who was trampled in a horse accident, T.C. and Sedona returned to Missouri. They lived in their home state and then homesteaded in Colorado, but due to hard times and T.C.'s poor health, they returned to Sedona in the 1930s. At that time, there was nothing left of their homestead, so they moved into a small one-room house on Jordan Road. Sedona washed and ironed Civilian Conservation Corps boys' uniforms for 10 cents per shirt. Both Sedona and Carl worked for Ruth and Walter Jordan in their orchards.
Sedona Schnebly also began to save funds to build a chapel. During World War II, Highway 89A was finally completed into Sedona, and more tourists began to visit. Donations poured in, and the Wayside Chapel was completed and dedicated in 1950 to Sedona Schenebly. She was suffering from cancer at that time, and died a short time later.
Visit the Sedona Schnebly Memorial Garden at 260 Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona.
Photos courtesty of the Sedona Heritage Museum