Rose Garden PhotographsAbbie Harriet (Wright) Raudebaugh was born June 5, 1886, in Clifton, Iroquois County, Illinois, the daughter of Mary (Harling) and Charles Wright. Abbie had two younger brothers, Willard and Guy. Unfortunately, Willard lost his life during World War I.

Like many women of her time, Abbie endured hardships and sorrows but continued to live with diligence, sweetness and humor.  Abbie lost her mother when she was quite young and was not treated kindly by her stepmother.  She attended school in Chicago as a teenager, while living with her father, stepmother and brothers.

By 1904 Abbie was living in Herington, Kansas, where she met and married her husband, Edgar B. Raudebaugh on July 22, 1904. He was a cement contractor and carpenter.  Their first child, Violet Irene Wilson, was born there in 1906 and then the family moved to Port Lavaca, Texas, where their second child, George Francis “Buster,” was born in 1907.

They moved back to Herington, Kansas, and their third child, Mary Jane Belluzzi, was born there, but California beckoned them with a promise of more jobs and easier living.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, they ended up in Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona Territory. There they remained and had another daughter, Vera Isabella. Sadly, young Miss Vera died at age thirteen during a polio epidemic.

Books were always of great interest to Abbie.  She volunteered as the public library was being organized  by the Flagstaff  Women's Club. Later, she was hired as a full-time librarian and carried out that job with integrity and dedication for sixteen years without the benefit of any formal training or equipment, beyond an old typewriter.

Abbie's husband, Edgar, was a deputy sheriff in Coconino County in the 1920s and began his very successful career in concrete.  He worked on large projects throughout the county, such as the dam at City Park Lake and many Flagstaff sidewalks. The couple retired to Cottonwood, Arizona, in 1953.

Abbie, loved and respected by those who knew her, had a positive influence on many people of all ages whom she met at the library and her Episcopal Church of the Epiphany.  Her positive example and loving countenance were of great benefit to her family.  Abbie died on December 22, 1977, and was buried in Citizens Cemetery in Flagstaff.

Donor: Mary Lou Morrow, February 1999
Photo Located: RGC MS-39, Box R, F-Raudebaugh, Abbie
Updated: 10/09/2015; N. Freer