Rose Garden PhotographsAngela (Hutchinson) Hammer, daughter of Sarah Agatha (O'Higgins) and William Tallentyre Hutchinson, was born November 30, 1870, in Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada. She and her parents came to Picket Post, Pinal County, Arizona Territory, in 1883.

Angela received her teacher’s certificate and taught in Arizona territorial schools. On April 5, 1896, she married Joseph S. Hammer, a building contractor, in Phoenix, Arizona Territory. Angela and Joseph had three children: Louis Joseph Fairfax, born April 16, 1897, in Arizona Territory; William, born May 13, 1899, in California; and Marvin, born March 17, 1902, in Texas. The Hammers spent time at Silver King, Crown King, Phoenix, Wickenburg, Gila Bend and Casa Grande. Angela reportedly was granted a divorce but no divorce record has been located at this time; however, Angela did classify herself as divorced when the 1910 census was taken in Wickenburg.

Angela became a newspaper publisher and journalist. A newspaper article carried in the Tombstone Weekly Epitaph dated July 26, 1906, reported: “The News-Herald of Congress formerly Martinez, Arizona has changed hands, Eli Perkins, the former owner, having disposed the paper to Mrs. Angela Hammer, now the only woman editor in the territory.” She used the editorial power of her various newspapers to effect social change, bringing order and lawfulness to early mining towns, as well as promoting woman's suffrage and statehood.  Later she advocated for the conservation of groundwater and agricultural irrigation dam projects.  She purchased several newspapers in small Arizona towns, including The Casa Grande Dispatch.  An article in the Dispatch on September 27, 1919, stated:” The Casa Grande Dispatch has again changed hands, Mrs. Angela Hammer having taken over the property.  The lady has sold and leased the paper several times during past six years, but like the cat, it always comes back.”

Angela was active in several organizations, serving as an officer of the Phoenix Business and Professional Women’s Club, chair of the state Social Security and Welfare Board in 1938, and member of the Phoenix Writers Club.  She also belonged to the Democratic Women’s Club and was state chairman of the National Consumers Tax Commission.

Angela has the distinction of holding membership in the Arizona Newspaper Hall of Fame and the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame.  Additionally, she was included in the Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail. Betty E. Hammer Joy described her life in Angela Hutchinson Hammer: Arizona's Pioneer Newspaperwoman.  Her story is also included in Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Writers and Journalists 1912 – 2012, edited by Brenda Warneke, Carol Hughes, Lois McFarland, June Payne, Sheila Roe and Pam Stevenson.

Angela had a cabin in Prescott in the Hassayampa Mountain Club area where she spent time with her children during the summers.  She died April 9, 1952, at the Butler Rest Home in Phoenix and is buried in Greenwood Memorial Park, Phoenix, Arizona.

Donor: Betty E. Joy
Photo Located: PO-2546P
Updated: 10/31/2015, D. Sue Kissel