Rose Garden PhotographsMarie Flavee (Warlop) Leffingwell Baron, daughter of Joseph and Leona Warlop, was born in Wervik, West Flanders, Belgium, on May 8, 1879. She was a twin and the youngest of sixteen children.

In 1903, she came to Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, where two brothers and a sister were living. At this time, Marie worked at the Hotel St. Michael. By 1910 she was married to Constatin Fieber and living in Parker. Her husband died before the birth of their son, Parker (born January 1911), who was reportedly the first Caucasian boy born in that town.

Marie moved to California, where she married Samuel Alexander Leffingwell, the father of her other four children. Samuel was a sea captain and ran a pilot boat that led the big ships into port; at one time he owned a small vessel, the Anita D. They lived in various towns along the coast, and each child was born in a different locality – three in California and Dona, born in Seattle, Washington. The children were: Dora Anita (Wilson), born in 1914; Hiram Cyril, born in 1916; Dona Laura (Whitehead), born in 1918; and Alice Marie, born in 1922.

The family moved to Baja California, Mexico, where the older children attended school in the Ensenada area and learned the Spanish language. Marie also learned to speak Spanish, adding it to the four languages she could already converse in: Flemish, French, German and English.

Marie separated from Sam and returned to California, settling in Imperial Valley with the children.  Samuel died in 1934. It was a difficult time financially during which Marie worked as a housemaid for several families. She married Jack Baron, a marriage that soon ended in separation.  No divorce records have been located for Marie, but when the census was taken in April 1930, Marie Baron was listed as a widow living in El Cajon, California.

Later in 1930, Marie and the children loaded up the Model T and went for a two-week vacation on a ranch in Yavapai County. Parker went back to his job in the Imperial Valley, but the rest of the family liked it so well in Arizona that they stayed on. They moved into a house at the Walker Place on the Walnut Grove Road and lived there for several years. The children attended school in Kirkland.

Marie bought a small parcel of land with a rough cabin on it miles from any town in French Gulch. It was during the Depression, and the nearby Zonia Mine had a bankruptcy auction. Marie bought a one-room cabin for $10, and she and the children dismantled it, loaded it on the Model T and moved it several miles down the creek. They added it to their existing structure, and it was the best room in the house!

Some years later, Parker opened a garage at Kirkland Junction and built his mother a home there. Marie was a courageous woman who managed, as a single mother, to raise her family during the Great Depression.

She died at Kirkland Junction on May 5, 1945, and was buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

Donor: Alice Leffingwell, daughter, April 2003
Photo Located: RGC-MS-39, Box B, F- Baron, Marie
Updated:  4/2/2015; Brenda Taylor