Minerva (Denney) Scarborough was born in Jackson City, Madison County, Tennessee, on February 4, 1837, to Charles Crockett and Mary Polly (Bryan) Denney.  Nothing is known of her childhood or teenage years.

She married William B. Scarborough (b. 1827 in North Carolina) in 1858 (no record of the marriage exists), and the couple settled in Spencer, Van Buren County, Tennessee, where William was a merchant by profession.

The Scarboroughs had five children: Mary Ova (Scarborough) Bunch (1859-1943), Sarah Avo (Scarborough) Jones (1861-1956), Nancy “Nannie” E. (Scarborough) Norris (1864-1894), Joseph C. Scarborough (1872-1901), and Maude (Scarborough) Lentz (1875-1952).

No records exist of William and Minerva’s life together prior to Minerva’s relocation to the Arizona Territory around the year 1888.  An article in the Arizona Champion (August 18, 1888) reports that Mrs. Minerva Scarborough (clearly at this time a widow), along with her daughter Miss Maud(e) Scarborough, her son J.C. Scarborough, and twelve other people set out in carriages from Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona Territory, for a trip to the top of Agassiz Peak.  It is likely that Minerva and her unmarried children were either visiting or living with her daughter Sarah, who had married Jerome Edwin Jones in 1881 and moved to Flagstaff, where their son Charles was born (February 1889).

According to the 1900 Federal Census, Minerva was living at 121 Pleasant St. in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, with her son Dr. Joseph C. Scarborough.  Her daughter Nancy, “Nannie,” had married Thomas G. Norris (November 25, 1883, in Arkansas) and moved to Prescott, where she died on December 6, 1894.  Nannie’s illness may have brought Minerva to Prescott in 1894.  Joseph became terminally ill and died in 1901.  Evidently at some time thereafter, Minerva moved to Flagstaff to live with her daughter Sarah and her son-in-law Jerome Jones.  The 1910 Federal Census lists Minerva as a member of their household.

Minerva became a member of the Grand Canyon Chapter No. 4, Order of the Eastern Star and was elected Chaplain of that organization in December 1910.  The 1920 Federal Census finds her living, at age eighty-three, in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, with her sixty-year-old daughter Mary, who had married F. S. Bunch.  In 1923 she is listed in the City Directory of Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, living at 1614 N. Central Ave. with her son-in-law Dr. William G. Lentz (dentist) and her daughter Maude.

Minerva died on October 25, 1924, in Flagstaff and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery.

Donor: William Norris
Photo Located: No Photo Located
Updated:  10/28/2017, Tom Collins