Rose Garden PhotographsIda (Fries) Budd was born April 21, 1867, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Albert and Dorothera (Van Rosenthal) Fries. Her father was a noted amateur horticulturist. Ida, the last child, was born late in her father’s life. She learned from him the botanical names of all plants, as well as how to plant, nurture and graft. Ida retained her interest in horticulture all her life. She was not sent to college but learned piano, china painting, Battenberg lace making and poetry writing.

The family lived in New Lots, Kings County, New York, and sometime before 1880 moved to Mayport, Duval County, Florida, where her father listed his occupation as “fancy poultry raiser.”  The census does not indicate if Ida or her two older sisters, Anna and Eugene, attended school. 

According to the 1900 census record, Ida and Oswald Budd were married in 1892 and were living in Waycross City, Ware County, Georgia.  She came to Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, in September 1907 when her husband began a job in Prescott as an accountant with the Santa Fe Railroad. The Prescott Journal Miner dated June 18, 1913, carried an item stating, “Ida Fries Budd desires a divorce from her husband, Oswald Adam Budd.” 

After the divorce, Ida found that all her cultural skills could not support her and her family.  Hence, she became skilled in baking bread and sold all that she could bake. She raised her four daughters: Leslie, born in Georgia; Lucille Juliani, born in Georgia; Evelyn (Mrs. Richard Merritt), born in Louisiana; and Mabel, born in New Mexico. Oswald died in the Maricopa Tubercular Hospital April 15, 1915.

Evelyn recalls that on the weekends Ida would take her daughters into the hills with a picnic lunch so they could observe the flora and pick black walnuts, wild grapes for jelly and anything else that grew wild and was edible.

Ida corresponded with George W. Parks, who published Parks Floral Magazine, and wrote stories for this publication. Her newspaper obituary, published in the Prescott Evening Courier reported, “She had made a name for herself as a botanist and during the latter years of her life contributed many articles to the floral publications.”  Ida died June 4, 1926, in Phoenix, after a lingering illness and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

Ida’s daughter Evelyn (Budd) Merritt is also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.

Donor: Evelyn Merritt
Photo Located: PB-146, F-18, I-3
Updated: 9/22/2015, D. Sue Kissel