Elizabeth (Davis) Densmore was born in Morgan County, Ohio, in 1833, the daughter of Sarah (Moore) Davis of Centre, Beaver County, Pennsylvania and John Davis of Beaver, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth married Joel “Henry” Densmore of Chelsea, Vermont, in Lee County, Iowa, on April 28, 1856. This couple had eight children: Ida Sarah Durbin (born July 31, 1859, in Wisconsin); Henrietta Maxwell (born November 12, 1861, in Colorado); Eva B. Nesbit (born in 1863, in Colorado); Nellie Lu Chartz Crosby (born May 1866, in Colorado); Viola Gilmore (born in 1871, in Colorado); Edwin “Edward” Joel (born December 16, 1872, in Iowa); Willis (born in 1878, in Arizona) and Paul Henry (born June 15, 1880, in Arizona).
The Densmore family came to Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, in 1875. In January 1879, Elizabeth and Henry settled on 160 acres near Granite Creek about two miles south of town. (Now, this ranch is in the area off White Spar Road called Haisley Homestead). They raised some stock, and Joel registered the brand “Bar O” for the Densmore Ranch. On October 4, 1884, Joel had an unfortunate accident with a shotgun and died as a result of the injuries suffered. He had been trying to shoot at a hawk; however, the butt of the gun hit him in the abdomen. The ever courageous Elizabeth became a widow with five children dependent on her.
In order to support her children, she gardened on the land and nursed sick people in the community. In 1885, Elizabeth applied, through the Homestead Act, for ownership of the land under and surrounding her house. The patent for the property was issued to her November 2, 1891, by the Bureau of Land Management. She displayed true pioneer spirit by homesteading independently.
Elizabeth entered the Yavapai County Hospital in November 1903, where she remained until her death on January 22, 1907. She is buried in Citizens Cemetery in Prescott.
Elizabeth’s daughter, Ida (Densmore) Durbin, and granddaughter, Jess (Durbin) Powers, are also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.
Donors: Patricia Atchison, great great-granddaughter, April 2003 & Dennis J. Lessard, June 2015
Photo Located: Benjamin Powers Family Collection
Updated: 10/24/2015, N. Freer