Rose Garden PhotographsEtta Allen (Young) Middleton Martin Denny was born in Williamson Valley, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, on September 7, 1884, the daughter of Emily Ann (Sanders/Saunders) of London, England and De Witt Clinton Young, a U.S. Army scout. She was the youngest of ten children. The Young family settled in the Walnut Creek and Williamson Valley areas in 1878.

Etta married a Marine, Josiah “Archie” Middleton, on April 23, 1906, in Prescott.  Etta and Archie had a son, James Arthur, born February 3, 1908, in California.  James went by his middle name.  Tragically, Archie died while playing a game of tennis on September 16, 1919, in Prescott. 

Etta and Arthur moved to Big Spring, Texas, in the 1920s, and at some point Etta married Rueben Smith Martin.  The Big Spring Daily Herald, dated November 25, 1940, stated: “In 1919, when Mrs. Etta Martin resided in Arizona, she fell heir to a beauty parlor and knowing absolutely nothing about the business hired an experienced operator to run the place, took off for the nearest school and learned the business from top to toe.”  Etta was the president of the Texas Association of Accredited Beauty Culturists in 1935 and ran a very successful beauty shop in the Crawford Hotel in Big Spring, until she sold it in January 1941.

While no divorce records were found for Etta and Rueben, she married Clarence Denny in January 1948. Etta and Clarence had been childhood sweethearts, both raised in Walnut Creek in the Arizona Territory. Clarence owned the 7-Up, Fort Rocks and Denny ranches. The Denny family lived at 859 Valley Street in Prescott.

Etta was a worthy matron of the Order of the Eastern Star and a charter member of the Yavapai Cowbelles.  She was also a life-long member of the United Methodist Church of Prescott. Her mother, Emily Ann (Sanders/Saunders) Young, is also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.

Etta died December 5, 1971, at the Yavapai Community Hospital.   Her funeral services were held at Ruffner Funeral Home with Reverend Lloyd Ewart of the United Methodist Church officiating. She is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Prescott.

Donor: Yavapai Cowbelles
Photo Located:  PO-2618p (PVF-Oversize)
Updated: 11/2/2015, D. Sue Kissel