Mattie Belle (Tuttle) Aitken was born in August 2, 1868 in Hudson, Michigan to Levi and Emma (Packard) Tuttle. The family had moved to Gilroy, California, and she was living with her mother and siblings when the 1870 census was taken. Mattie came to visit her sister, Mrs. John C. (Eva) Martin, in Prescott in May of 1891. John C. Martin was the editor of the Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner. She quickly became an active part of the community, receiving accolades from the Masonic Lodge, becoming a member of the Wyckoff Club as a soprano, part of the planning committee for the Leap Year Ball, and beginning to teach school in August 1891.
Mattie tendered her resignation as school teacher effective December 31, 1892 and on January 5, 1893, married Hedrick Douglas Aitken in the home of her sister, Mrs. J. C. Martin, on North Pleasant Street. According to the Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner, she "stood beneath a beautiful wedding bell of spotless white around which was twined a clematis vine. Rev. C. J. Chase of the Methodist Church performed the ceremony."
Hedrick Aitken was an official of the Bashford-Burmister Company and chief of the Prescott Volunteer Fire Department. Their first son Douglas was born November 1893, son Kenneth was born July 1896 and daughter Jean was born September 1901. Mattie belonged to the Prescott Bridge Club, where she was frequently awarded high score and Five Hundred parties. The Aitkens lived at 127 N. Pleasant Street and at 127 S. Mount Vernon in a house that was built in 1893.
Husband H. D. traveled to Honolulu in May 1900 to recuperate from the arduous duties of his position as secretary of the Bashford-Burmister company, hoping the sea voyage would brace up his health. Mattie and her two sons left Prescott in March 1901 for a two-month visit to Mattie’s mother, Mrs. E. B. McClure, in Gilroy, California.
Mattie was the president of the Monday Club, from 1929-30 working untiringly, to help secure a club building for the club. Mattie was also active in the work of the Methodist Ladies Aid and other church work. She was a member of Golden Rule chapter, Order of Eastern Star.
On April 27, 1904 the Weekly Arizona Journal-Miner reported Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Aitken would take part in an Automobile Tournament, the first in the Territory. Their route was Prescott to Tucson via Iron Springs, Skull and Kirkland Valleys. The family owned the first Cadillac in Prescott and was part of that motorcade with the Heslas, Andersons and Fosters who drove Oldsmobiles.
Mattie and H. D. celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January of 1943. Her husband died November 4, 1944 several years after retiring from Bushford-Burmister. Mattie died on April 23, 1945 from carcinoma of the pancreas and was buried at Mountain View Cemetery.
Donor: Kenneth Aitken
Photo Location: RGC-MS-39, Box A, F-Aitken, Mattie
Update: 3/26/2015, D. Sue Kissel