The First Old Age Home in Prescott Arizona

February 6th Celebrates The First Old Age Home in Prescott Arizona

Today on Days to Remember we celebrate how on February 6th 1911, the first old age home for pioneers opened in Prescott Arizona.

When we think of Old Age Home we think of friendly safe environment where our loved one may stay at?

However today story is is based on National Register of Historic Places, which was set up as State Hospital for Disabled Miners, as retirement home in Prescott Arizona. The home is operated and funded by the state of Arizona.

How this idea all came about was in the early 1900s, the idea for a retirement home in the Arizona Territory originated with three prominent Arizonans: Major A. J. Doran, a judge and territorial representative; rancher Johnny Duke; and businessman Frank M. Murphy, the brother of former Arizona territorial governor Oakes Murphy.

They thought that Arizona should provide a rest home for aging settlers who moved to Arizona to help establish the area.

When the home was first built, the rest home could hold 40 men. It was open to destitute men who were at least 60 years old and who had been living in Arizona for 25 years.

In 1916, a private endowment provided for expansion with a women’s wing added to house 20 women. The building was opened to disabled miners in 1927.

Big Nose Kate, born Mary Katherine Horony, was admitted to the home in 1931 after six months of applications, finally appealing successfully to her longtime friend, Governor George W. P. Hunt.

Kate, once the common-law wife of Doc Holliday and later the wife of blacksmith George M. Cummings for only a year, had first gained notoriety as the madam of a brothel. She stayed at the rest home until her death in 1940 at the age of 89.

The expanded complex of buildings can hold 155 residents, and was at 71% capacity in October 2010.

Its operating expenses are provided mainly by about $5 million each year from the state, and by some residents who pay a portion of their own care.

Applicants must have lived in Arizona for 50 years. In 2011, the retirement home celebrated its 100th anniversary with tours and open-house events.

As we remember how on February 6th 1911, the first old age home for pioneers opened in Prescott Arizona.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


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