Rose Garden PhotographsElizabeth Jane (Wells) Scholey, the daughter of Sara Elizabeth (Johnson) and David O. Wells, was born in White Oaks, New Mexico, on June 25, 1884. She traveled to the Arizona Territory with her family in 1888, a three-month journey in a covered wagon. In June, they arrived at the Willard Ranch in the Verde Valley, Yavapai County, where her older sister, Ila, was nursed back to health from typhoid fever that she contracted on the way.

The family moved to Mescal Canyon about five miles south of Jerome, where the eleventh Wells child was born, and where Elizabeth's twin sister, Susan, died of an insect bite. The Wells family moved to Prescott in the fall of 1891 and later to the American Ranch where Elizabeth attended a one-room school.  It had cracks in the floor and let in cold air, nearly freezing the students' feet.

David Wells traded the old American Ranch for Granite Mountain Ranch, (both in Williamson Valley, just north of Prescott city limits). It was the most beautiful place imaginable, but the family could not live on scenery. Rains failed to come, cattle starved, and, in despair, the family came back to Prescott.

When Elizabeth was sixteen, her father arranged her marriage to George Terrill Scholey, a cowboy and hard-rock miner, who was twice her age. The wedding took place in Prescott on December 24, 1900. "There was never any courting done," Elizabeth remembered in an interview published in the Phoenix Gazette in 1974, "and he never kissed me before we married. My father liked George. Dad gave his consent and that was all there was to it."

George took Elizabeth by wagon to his family's ranch on the Agua Fria River. There the first three children were born: Ila (1901-1912), Edward Donald (1903-1975) and George Thomas (1906-1981).

The Scholeys moved to Mayer, where four more children arrived: Gladys Louise McNulty (1909-1984), Laura Marie Armstrong (1913), Lena Bark Franks (1913), and John Albert (1916-1936). In 1928, Elizabeth moved the family to Prescott so that the youngest children could complete high school, and they lived in various houses on Pleasant, Mount Vernon and Grove streets.

As George was a miner, he was seldom at home, and Elizabeth raised her seven children on a very limited income. She was determined that they would all receive the education that she never had.  She was self-educated and wrote poems and short stories.

Elizabeth belonged to the Ladies' Aid Society in Mayer and was active in the Protestant churches wherever she lived. She loved Arizona and instilled in her children and grandchildren the same love and respect for Arizona and its heritage.

Elizabeth became a resident of the Arizona Pioneers' Home before moving to the Beatitudes Nursing Home in Phoenix, Arizona.  She died in Phoenix on September 10, 1976, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Prescott.

Donors: Laura Armstrong, Lena Franks and Pamela Franks
Photo Located: Yavapai County People & Family Collection – Scholey Family Folder
Updated: 09/04/2015, N. Freer