Rose Garden PhotographsGrace (Jimulla) Mitchell was born on November 6, 1903, in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory. Born in a grass and deer hide wikiup, she was the second daughter of Viola and Sam “Red Ants” Jimulla. Sam was born in 1877 in San Carlos, Gila County, Arizona Territory. He became chief of the Yavapais in the mid-1930s.

Grace’s older sister Daisy died shortly after her birth in 1902. Her other sisters are Lucy (Jimulla) Miller (1906-1984), Amy (1912-1940) and Rosie (1913-1914).  Grace was the first member of the Prescott Yavapai Tribe to graduate from high school in Prescott, but many others attended boarding schools in other towns.

Her mother, Viola, became tribal chieftess after the death of her husband Sam on May 21, 1940, when he fell from a horse. Grace became head of the tribe after her mother’s death on December 7, 1966.

Grace married Don Mitchell on January 12, 1939, in Prescott, Arizona.  Don was Yavapai and Apache, but he became an enrolled member of the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe. Their children were Richard, Ruth Welsh, Marjorie and Donald.

Grace loved and believed in her people and worked hard for their betterment. She taught the Yavapai children language, history and tribal customs. She believed that the answer to the tribal struggles was knowledge. Fulfilling several roles as mother to many, leader and friend, she was loved and respected by many people. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and an honorary member of the Monday Club.

Grace died on March 5, 1976. She is buried in the Yavapai Reservation Cemetery. According to her obituary, she was instrumental in getting the 1,000-acre reservation set up as the tribe’s permanent home.

Grace’s mother, Viola, and her grandmother, Who-wah Pelhame, are also are represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden. 

Donor: Yavapai Tribe
Photo Location: RGC MS-39, Box M, F - Mitchell, Grace
Updated: 4/16/2015, Gretchen Hough Eastman