Rose Garden PhotographsOphelia (Peterson) Close was born on July 14, 1877, in Longview, Gregg County, Texas, the daughter of George W. Peterson (1820-1898) and Lucinda Jeffrey (1837-?). George was a farmer from North Carolina and Lucinda came from Georgia. The family lived in Hallsville, Harrison County, Texas. All Ophelia's siblings were born in Texas; they were Thomas, Angie, Charlie, John, Shaw, and Effie, Ophelia being the youngest child.

She married David Close, almost twenty years her senior, in Red River County, Texas, March 1, 1896. They had a son Tom the following year. Later the Closes had John Hubert, “Hub,” born August 21, 1899, in Paris, Lamar County, Texas; and daughter Georgia Belle, born July 10, 1901, also in Paris. Another daughter, Katherine or “Katie,” was born September 2, 1902; and a son, Monroe, was born May 17, 1906, in Kymishy, Texas.

The Arizona Republic article dated 31 December 1999 gave an account of Ophelia and David Close’s life in Arizona by Colleen Close Ashurst: “My paternal grandmother (Ophelia Close) arrived by train at Dewey, Yavapai County, Arizona in 1906. With five children (one a babe in arms) to meet her husband David Close, who had preceded her.”  After living in Prescott a couple of years they moved to Phoenix, where they built a grocery store located on Glendale avenue and Lateral 21, which they sold in January 1929.  In April 1929 they opened a grocery store with gasoline pumps at the corner of Lateral 20 and Christy Road. When Ophelia registered to vote on April 24, 1913, she described herself as being an American female, five feet four inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, with brown hair. 

Her daughter Katie (Close) Cavaness died December 15, 1928, at her parents’ home in Glendale; Georgia (Close) Cummins died 29 March 1938 in Douglas, Cochise County, Arizona; husband David died August 21, 1945 in Prescott; son John died in September 1948 at the Whipple Hospital in Prescott.  Ophelia entered the Arizona Pioneers Home from Yavapai County, October 10, 1950, where she passed away May 16, 1954, and is buried in the Glendale Memorial Cemetery in Glendale, Maricopa County, Arizona.

Donor: Tara Close Young, 2015
Photo Located: RGC-MS-39, Box C, F - Close, Ophelia
Updated: 1/25/17: D. Sue Kissel