Saturday, August 29, 2009

Martha Jane Human 1875 - 1969

Martha was born in Middle Verde, Yavapai County, AZ on October 27,  1875 to James William Human and Mary Engeline Bristow.  Martha Jane married William Alfred Jones and had four children.  After his early death, his widow (Martha Jane Human) supported herself and their 3 boys by doing laundry in a mining camp.  They were very poor and consequently she was no longer able to pay her
offerings to the local Baptist Church to which she belonged.  Because of that, she was kicked out of the congregation.  This really offended her oldest son, George Jones.  After all, the church had been founded by her grandfather and the current
minister was her uncle.  According to George's daughter, Norma, this was why George never had any interest in or use for organized religion.  Martha Jane's financial situation improved after she married another miner, Jackson Henderson.  He was good to her and they worked well together.  In later years they owned the largest ranch in the Verde Valley.”  Janna Goodman, (great-granddaughter)

“Martha and Jackson had a son named Perry.  Perry was born in the Middle Verde Valley.  His parents were pioneers, his mother, Martha Jane Human was the first North American child born in the Verde Valley.  In him we find the type of the real cowboy.  He was born to the saddle, and many who cheered the events at Prescott's rodeos during the years from 1926 until 1943 remember his fine horsemanship and excellent conduct in the arena, not only as a top contestant but also as a successful arena director.  But Perry was never a professional showman.  Rodeo was his hobby but he was a rancher, then as he is today, having entered the cattle
business for himself in 1922.  Running the Half Box Six brand at his ranch near Dewey, he started competing in the famous Frontier Days show at Prescott in 1926.

He worked at perfecting his skill until 1935 when he won the coveted award of the “World Champion Bronc Rider”, and claimed the gold medal set with diamonds, which was at the time, the most sought after trophy of its kind in the West.  Among the broncs he rode the year he won the bucking contest were the “Crying Jew”, and “C. Y. Jones”.  But of the event and all that it entailed for him, Perry only says today, ‘Pshaw, I won because the other boys got bucked off.’”  Echos of the Past, Tales of Old Yavapai Arizona, page 149

“Martha had a number of grandchildren and when they came to visit she had a little dish on her chest of drawers where she kept it filled with small change that she got by selling eggs.  She told her grandchildren that whenever they needed money they could come into her room and pick some money out of the dish.  Martha Jane is buried on the Henderson Ranch.”  James Brown

See more on Martha Jane's life: Suzanne's Heritage Video

Birth: Oct. 27, 1875
Middle Verde
Yavapai County
Arizona, USA
Death: Oct. 1, 1969
Yavapai County
Arizona, USA

Martha Jane Human Henderson, later in life:

Henderson Cemetery
Yavapai County
Arizona, USA