Alvina Maria (Rodriquez) Bennett, daughter of Andrea de Albelino y Josefa Vasquez and Apolonio Rodriquez, was born on February 3, 1853, at Half Moon Bay, California. 

Alvina was a great-great-granddaughter of Juan Antanasio Vasquez and Maria Gertrudes Castilo de Vasquez, who had come to Alta California with the De Anza expedition from Villa de Sinoloa, Mexico, in 1769. Half Moon Bay was originally called San Benito and later Spanishtown. It was located near Rancho Corral de Tierra, the Vasquez family ranch, received through a land grant from the Spanish government. Approximately 4,200 acres of the original grant remained intact in 2007, and the land was purchased by a private foundation to be attached to Golden Gate National Park.

On September 10, 1870, Alvina married Charles Henry Bennett at Santa Clara, California. Alvina and Charles had 10 children: Charles Wallace, born October 17, 1871; Susan Caroline Modesto Bennett Whiteside, December, 17, 1872; Emma Christine Bennett, January 30, 1876; Jennie Christine Bennett, August 8, 1878; Robert Lorenzo, January 1, 1879; Alvina Elizabeth Bennett Mackin Clyburn, April 22, 1883; Bertha Jane Bennett Eckert, May 14, 1885; Grant Thomas, December 22, 1887; Birdie Josephine Bennett Maxwell, May 9, 1889; and Allie Bridget Bennett Johnson, January 28, 1893. 

Alvina and Charles and their first four children came to Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, in 1876 for Alvina’s health. She had a brother who had been here, and he advised them of the dry climate. They went back to California after a short time but returned permanently in 1878. 

Their first home was on the site of the new Banning Creek dam that was being erected at that time. They later moved to what became known as the old Bennett homestead that was located about a mile north of the Banning Creek dam site. There they engaged in ranching and homesteading. The old ranch site is now covered by Goldwater Lake. 

Alvina was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Prescott. As the mother of one of the larger families in Yavapai County, she was a busy and dedicated mother, homemaker and wife.

Alvina died on July 1, 1923, in Pomona, California, while visiting her daughter. At the time of her death, she had thirty grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Prescott.

Alvina’s daughter, Alvina Bennett Mackin Clyburn, her daughters-in-laws, Catherine Cecilia Healy Bennett and Fannie Elizabeth Lindsay Bennett, and her granddaughters, Eileen Bennett Seaman and Evelyn Mackin Zuchero, are all commemorated in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden. 

Donors: Robert E. Mackin, great-grandson and Anita (Mackin) Chronister, great- granddaughter, May 2007
Photo Location: RGC-MS-39,Box B, F-Bennett, Alvina
Updated: 4/6/15; D. Sue Kissel