Ola Gertrude (Henry) Pitchford, the daughter of George Samuel and Anna Maria (Bartlett) Henry, was born in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, on June 14, 1899.  Her father was a carpenter.  Following graduation from Prescott High School in May 1917, she attended the Northern Arizona Normal School at Flagstaff and the Tempe Normal School, where she received her lifetime teaching certificate on June 20, 1919.  She taught in the Prescott schools and in Clemenceau, Yavapai County, before and after her marriage. 

Ola and Gilbert Lawrence Pitchford (1892-1972), a mining engineer, were married in the Congregational Church in Prescott on her birthday in 1922.  They lived at 320 N. Mt. Vernon Street and on Alarcon Street in Prescott and from 1921 to 1931 in Clemenceau.  The Pitchfords had two daughters: Marjorie Jean (Pitchford) Prince (b. May 29, 1923 in Prescott), and Carol (Pitchford) Clare (b. July 8, 1925 in Prescott).

Ola was a dedicated teacher, her favorite students being the appreciative Native American and Mexican-American pupils she taught in the Verde Valley.  She often substituted in one-room rural schools.

Ola spent many hours in community service, including caring for several families at Christmas-time during the Depression.  Ola visited the homes of the needy to find out what each child wanted Santa Claus to bring him or her.  She managed to collect, clean, and repair the clothes and toys.  Then she delivered them along with baskets of food to each family on her list.

Ola was a member of the Congregational Church, the minister of which, Fred W. Neidringham, said of her: “There are hundreds in our communities in northern Arizona who are better men and women because of her work and influence as a teacher…a kind and sympathetic friend.”

She was a member of the Mothers’ Club, was active in the Parent Teachers’ Organization, and was president of the American Legion Auxiliary, Ernest A. Love Post.  Her mother, Anna Maria Henry, is also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.

At the time of her death on September 22, 1937, Ola was living in her old childhood home at 605 Maple Street in Prescott.  She was buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

Donors: Marjorie (Pitchford) Prince and Amelia Oldershaw
Photo Located:  PB-148, F-9, I-9
Updated:  06/01/2018, Tom Collins