Rose Garden PhotographsMary Louise (Evans) Bashford was born February 16, 1850 in Ohio and came to the Arizona Territory from Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  She joined her sisters, who had already established themselves as society leaders in Prescott, Yavapai County.

On June 29, 1876, Louise married William C.  Bashford, the owner of Prescott's Bashford Mercantile Store. The wedding was performed by Reverend Gilmore and took place in the home of her sister, Rebecca Buffum, on Gurley Street. The Arizona Weekly Miner dated June 30, 1876, reported: “We add our congratulations to Mr. Bashford, and rejoice in his good fortune in securing such an amiable and excellent young lady for a companion in his journey through life.”

In 1878, her husband bought her the house that became known as the Bashford House, then located at 403 E. Gurley Street. After extensive renovations and additions, their home became one of Prescott's showcases.

On their 25th wedding anniversary, the Bashfords entertained in this beautiful Victorian house. For the event, the Prescott Band played, and their yard was illuminated with Chinese lanterns of various colors, while the interior of their home was festooned with evergreens. Over the window of the parlor, where the couple received their friends, was a cluster of electric lights of various colors, forming the numbers 1876-1901. In April 1974, the home was moved to the Sharlot Hall Museum grounds, where it serves as the gift shop for the museum.

In 1902, the Bashfords moved to California.  The Los Angeles Herald dated April 27, 1902 carried an article stating, “Mrs. W. C. Bashford of Prescott, Ariz., is a recent arrival at the Beacon.  Mr. Bashford will join her here soon.”  They retained some property and mining claims in Prescott until William’s death March 3, 1915. Louise died February 17, 1928, a day after her seventy-eighth birthday, with a brief death notice in the Oakland Tribune. She was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.

Donor: SHM Rose Garden Committee
Photo Located: Burmister-Bashford Store & Family Records, MS-87
Updated: 9/21/2015, D. Sue Kissel