Rose Garden PhotographsEffie Maxon "Maxie" (Webster) Dunning was born in the midst of a blizzard on March 8, 1888, in the old Webster homestead, called "The Maples," in Sennett, New York, the daughter of Florian Emerson and Marie (Maxon) Webster. She first attended an old stone schoolhouse and then the Sennett Schools. Maxie went to Mount Holyoke College, where she was a member of Gamma Kappa Sorority.

At a lovely wedding in her family home on September 13, 1910, Maxie and Charles Hutchinson Dunning, a mining engineer, were married. They honeymooned in the Adirondacks, then went to New York City and boarded a ship for New Orleans. From there they went by train to Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona Territory and then traveled by wagon to a little house in the mountains near Prescott in Yavapai County. Her husband managed the Big Pine Mine on Mount Tritle in the Bradshaw Mountains. They had four children: David Webster, born July 30, 1911; Mary Maxon (Mrs. King) Beeth, born May 16, 1917; Charles Emerson, born October 10, 1923; and Richard Eaton, born December 9, 1927.

In 1916, Maxie wrote to the national headquarters of the Girl Scouts for an appointment as "captain" of a troop in Prescott. She did not receive the appointment until 1918, but in the interim, she had secured a Girl Scout handbook and developed a program.

The Dunnings moved to Phoenix in 1927 where Maxie served on the first state Girl Scout Council and on the first board for the building of Scout camps. She became president of the Arizona Girl Scout Council. Under her guidance, the Girl Scouts secured the property that had been the old Civilian Conservation Corps camp on Groom Creek. In 1942, Camp Maripai, which is still in operation today, was born.

At the age of fifty-nine, she hiked the Grand Canyon with her beloved Girl Scouts, and at sixty-five, she worked as a program staff member all summer at Camp Maripai. Her camp name was "Packrat" because she "picked things at one place and took them to another." A tribute to her in the Girl Scout Council paper continues: "She moved good ideas and inspiration around as well as material things...a woman whose very life personified the Girl Scout Promise and Law."

In addition to her involvement with Girl Scouts, Maxie was active in other organizations.  She was an art docent at the Heard Museum, a member of the Friday Club and a participant in the League of Women Voters. She was the founder of Las Madrinas (The Grandmothers), a support system for the San Pablo School for homeless and troubled boys. In Prescott, Maxie lived at 311 S. Mount Vernon Street and at 811 Boulder Drive. She belonged to St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Maxie died in Claremont, California, on December 8, 1984. At her request, her ashes were returned to Prescott "where it all began" and were interred at Mountain View Cemetery.

Donor: Charles E. Dunning, 1992
Photo Located: RGC MS-39, Box D, F-Dunning, Effie
Updated: 11/08/2015, D. Sue Kissel