Rose Garden PhotographsMargaret “Maggie” (Wickson) Bigelow was born on September 15, 1880, in Higgins, Texas to Robert W. and Sarah E. (Porter) Wickson. At the age of sixteen, Maggie married William Rufus Bigelow on August 29, 1897, in Grand, Day County, Oklahoma Territory. After the wedding, the couple lived in Oklahoma for a few years, where they had their first three children, Louise, Ernestine and Edna. The family had moved to Lipscomb County, Texas when the census was taken June 1900.

In 1907 the Bigelows moved to the Arizona Territory, where they had two more children, Inez and Paul. While living in Globe, they operated a freighting business and were contracted for the excavating and hauling at the Miami smelters. William contracted inflammatory rheumatism, however, and was forced to sell all of his stock and equipment and move to Phoenix where they sent their children to school.

This work hiatus was short-lived, and in 1915 the Bigelows acquired more stock and equipment and moved to Clarkdale, Arizona where William went into the freighting business once again. Here, he hauled most of the equipment for the Copper Chief Mine at Jerome and did much of the hauling for the Hopewell Tunnel. Maggie’s mother, Sarah, was living with the family in Clarkdale when the 1920 census was taken.  After about twelve years of working in Clarkdale, the family returned to Phoenix once again where their younger children completed their schooling.

Sadly, on October 24, 1938, Maggie and William’s youngest son, Paul, was killed in a hunting accident at the young age of twenty-five.  His shotgun accidently discharged while he was opening the cover of his car’s baggage compartment. He left behind a wife, Earlene, and a two-month-old son, Paul Jr.

William passed away June 10, 1941 in Phoenix, but according to Maggie’s Pioneers’ Home records, the couple had separated prior to his death. Consequently, in 1962 when she entered the home in Prescott, she registered under her maiden name, Wickson. Maggie’s mother, Sarah, also had lived at the Pioneers’ Home before her death.  Maggie was a guest there for five years until her death on October 23, 1967.

Maggie was remembered as a devoted homemaker and mother. At the time of her passing she was survived by her four daughters, five grandchildren, twelve great-grand children and one great-great-grandchild. She was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Phoenix next to William.

Donors: Ernestine and Albert French
Photo Located: RGC-MS-39, Box B, F-Bigelow, Maggie
Updated: 4/11/15, D. Sue Kissel