Emily Ann Saunders (alternate spelling Sanders) Young was born on December 16, 1844, in London, England, the daughter of Charles Saunders. She came to America on a sailing vessel in 1848.  In February 1863 at Sabrecka, Nebraska, she married Dewitt Clinton Young, who had been a government scout on the Oregon Trail. They moved to San Bernardino County, California, before they joined a wagon train and traveled to Willows Ranch in Williamson Valley, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, in 1878.  

When the census was taken in June 1880, the family was living in Yavapai County where Dewitt was a stock raiser. Emily kept house for her growing family of seven children.  Five of the children were attending school.

Emily Ann was exceptionally well read and taught many young people. She played the organ and sang well, as did all of her children. She taught the children on the wagon train to sing, and since her organ went with her everywhere, she conducted sings wherever she went, and in her home after they settled. She was known as an interesting conversationalist, a very witty person and a good storyteller.

Emily Ann and Dewitt had ten children: Jeff, Alice (Mrs. Charles) Allen, Maggie (Mrs. George) Barrett, Lucy (Lucy died in 1883), Lon, Joe, Tot, Roy, Daisy (Mrs. William) Johnson and Etta (Mrs. Clarence) Denny. Her son Joe was Sheriff of Yavapai County from 1915 to 1918.  Her daughter, Etta A. Denny, is also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.

Emily’s husband died in November 1904, after a long illness. His funeral was held in Williamson Valley. 

Emily Ann was a true pioneer woman who left her mark on family, friends and community.  She died on May 14, 1919.  Her obituary, published in the Prescott Journal Miner on May 16, 1919, described Emily: “Mrs. Young in life and when in good health gave thrilling recitals of her vicissitudes, which were borne cheerfully and without a murmur.  As a mother, she was kind and indulgent, and her life in this section was noted as a model one.  She made many friends and there is no doubt but what her death will be universally mourned in this county, where her friends were legion.”

Her last rites and religious services were held in Prescott, and she was buried in Williamson Valley Cemetery, by her husband’s side.

Donor: Mrs. W. C. Denny
Photo Located: PVF - PO 2211p (Oversize)
Updated: 4/18/15; D. Sue Kissel