Rose Garden PhotographsMargaret (Williams) Ehle was born on October 14, 1817, in Ohio, the daughter of Henry and Amy (Beale) Williams. Margaret married William Joseph Ehle in Washington County, Iowa, on December 9, 1841. By 1860 the family had moved to Colorado. They accompanied the first U. S. troops to be stationed at Fort Whipple and arrived in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, on July 28, 1864. In 1865, they established the first government road station at Skull Valley.

The Ehles were the proprietors of the Montezuma Hotel on the corner of Montezuma and Willis, and they lived next door. The Arizona Miner referred to her in 1880 as "one of God's best women, one of the first ladies that settled in Prescott." In her obituary, written by Sharlot Hall, she was called "a pioneer of the pioneers in Northern Arizona." She brought the first sewing machine, a Grover and Baker, to Prescott and helped women learn dressmaking.  She also brought with her a "Bouncing Bet" plant from Iowa to brighten her new home.

A midwife, she tended Margaret McCormick during the birth of her stillborn baby and at the time of her death.  Margaret, who was also called Grandma Ehle, also dressed Margaret McCormick for burial.

The Ehles were the first settlers to have honeybees and chickens, as well as a yellow house cat. According to Sharlot Hall, Margaret "bore her full part... Past the toil and struggle of the early days, she lived to a serene and stately old age that was like a benediction to all who knew her."

The Ehle children were John Henry, Mary Jane Dickson (whose marriage to John Dickson on November 17, 1864, was the first in Prescott and performed by Governor Goodwin in the Governor's Mansion), Olive Bowers-Crouch, Emma Elizabeth Silverthorn-Sanders, Margaret Viola Foster, and Sarah F. Baker.

The Weekly Journal Miner carried an item: “Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ehle will celebrate their golden wedding next Thursday, December 8th, at their residence on Montezuma street.”

Margaret Ehle died of pneumonia on November 5, 1905, and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery. Joseph died November 30, 1912, and his newspaper obituary published in the Weekly Journal Miner December 4, 1912, recalled that when they came to Prescott from Colorado, “Mrs. Ehle brought along a yellow house cat, and this feline attracted very much attention, being the first of its race, along with the fowls, to reach this section.”

Donor: Mrs. Fred Schemmer
Photo Located: RGC MS-39, Box D-F, F-Ehle, Margaret
Updated: 6/8/2015, D. Sue Kissel