The Old Trails Museum will host our 2022 Summer History Highlight on Saturday, July 23, at 2 pm, in the Winslow Arts Trust Museum at La Posada Hotel, when author Jan Cleere will present Saviors and Saints on the Arizona Frontiers.
Health care in early Arizona was hardly reliable and frequently nonexistent. Settlers were often on their own when tragedy struck, with women taking on the responsibility for the well-being of their families. And if women were considered incapable of earning the title “Doctor,” they could certainly save souls. Meet a handful of women who influenced the history of the territory through their medical expertise and their spiritual leadership.
Despite her tough self-reliance, Winslow’s own “Doctor” Grandma French was known for her healing abilities and gentle nature. Theresa Ferrin’s comprehensive understanding of healing herbs earned her the title “Angel of Tucson.” Florence Yount is recognized as Prescott’s first woman physician, while Teresita Urrea was sometimes lionized for her hands-on healing powers. Saint Katharine Drexel invested much of her vast fortune in educating Navajo children. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet trudged across the blazing desert enduring untold hardships before arriving safely in the territory to administer to the health and well-being of the children of the desert.
Cleere is an award-winning author, historian, and lecturer who writes and presents extensively about the desert Southwest, particularly the pioneers who first settled Arizona Territory. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Arizona State University West with a degree is American Studies, and the author of six historical nonfiction books about the people who first ventured west. Her freelance work appears in national and regional publications, and she writes “Western Women,” a monthly column for Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star that details the lives of some of Arizona’s early amazing women. OTM’s 2022 Summer History Highlight is made possible by Arizona Humanities, and we are grateful to them for giving us the opportunity to offer this program.