Rose Garden PhotographsAileen Agnes (Powers) Tracy, daughter of Benjamin and Jessie Grace (Durbin) Powers, was born on May 22, 1905, in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, in a home shared by her parents and grandparents. Her grandmother became the caretaker of Murphy’s Park in 1909 after Frank Murphy, a local businessman and philanthropist, donated land in west Prescott for a zoo. As Aileen grew older, her friends liked to visit her home so that they could see all the animals kept in cages and wandering the grounds.

Aileen attended St. Joseph’s Academy through twelfth grade. In her early school years, she walked to school from the “Park” every day. Later, when the family moved into town and lived on Summit Street, the walk was very short. Aileen recalled walking with her grandmother from the Park into and across town to visit Mrs. Murphy at her Gurley Street home on her visiting day. After a short visit with the hostess, Aileen was sent to the kitchen to be watched by the maid, who was usually polishing silver, so that the older ladies could chat.

After her graduation from high school in 1923, Aileen attended Northern Arizona Normal School at Flagstaff, the University of Arizona in Tucson and Tempe Normal School, where she graduated in 1925 with a two-year diploma.  In 1930, she graduated from Arizona State Teachers College with a three-year diploma.  She taught at St. Joseph’s Academy in Prescott from 1925 to 1928, St. Joseph’s Academy in Tucson from 1928 to 1929, and Pendergast School in Tolleson from 1930 to 1934.

On June 28, 1934, Aileen married Ralph Fred Tracy at St. Joseph’s Academy in Prescott. The couple had one daughter, Patricia Jane Tracy (Atchison), born September 4, 1937. Aileen was a member of the Prescott Sacred Heart Church, the Phoenix Trinity Cathedral, and Epsilon Sigma Alpha (International Business Women’s Sorority) of both Prescott and Phoenix, serving as a chapter, state and international officer.

The Tracys moved to Elgin, Illinois, where they lived until Ralph joined the military. At that time Aileen and her daughter returned to Prescott to live with her parents while her husband served in World War II. She worked at the Prescott “Power Company” (now Arizona Public Service) from 1943 to 1946 and was the program and activities coordinator for the WWII Servicemen’s Center in Prescott. When the war ended, the family moved to Phoenix where Aileen taught at Monte Vista School from 1952 to 1962. Arizona State College in Tempe awarded her an Applied Behavioral Analysis degree in education in 1952.

Aileen died on April 9, 1992, in Walnut Creek, California, and her ashes were scattered in Prescott.

Donor: Patricia T. Atchison, daughter, April 2003
Photo Located: Bate Studio Collection PC-1, Box 2, Folder 8
Updated: 5/31/2015, D. Sue Kissel