Sun, Dec. 15

Verde Heritage -- 1868-1954: T. C. "Carl" Schnebly.


"Hard by the booming center of Sedona village an old man sits today in quiet repose beside his plain frame home turning the thought that though the town below him daily grows and changes, half a century has not warped the face of the great rocks all around him. At 85, T. C. Schnebly is able to reflect without bitterness on the forces which have altered the landscape he knows so well and which have largely passed him by."

"'I'd be half a millionaire if I'd sold it out like they did,' he says, 'but I'm just as happy as a millionaire. Nobody's more contented than I am. I just live from month to month.'"

"SEDONA SCHNEBLY: 'She was a wonderful, wonderful woman,' he says of his wife, Sedona, who died three years ago, 'and it wouldn't worry me to meet her tomorrow.'"

"He summed up his feelings about Sedona best, perhaps, a full 20 years ago when, plagued by bronchial trouble, he was persuaded by his doctor in Colorado to move to Phoenix."

"'I didn't get any better there,' he remembers, 'And Phoenix had changed. I stood it as long as I could and then I said, "I'd rather die on Oak Creek than live here."'"

"'I wrote a letter to Joe Farley, who lives across from the post office now, and asked him if he had anything I could do. He said, "you bet."'"

"A FARMER AGAIN: At 64, Mr. Schnebly set about clearing ground for fruit trees. In three weeks he gained 14 pounds. As he analyses it today, 'I was happy and contented again.'"

"Years ago, in 1901, he had brought his family here from Gorin, Mo., via a railroad 'emigrant car' to Jerome. Furniture, family, wagons, farm tools and livestock shared the same space."

"Brother Ellsworth, who had come to Oak Creek for his health, had written that here was a land with deep grass, crystal clear air and plenty of room."

"T. C. leased the ranch now partly owned by Mrs. Sally Black from a Texan named Owenby. The Schneblys raised cattle and fine fruit and vegetables. They boarded tourists from Phoenix who traveled up in covered wagons."

"ROAD TO FLAGSTAFF: Farms and ranches had sprung up all along the Verde River to feed the miners in Jerome. The Schneblys reasoned they could do better in Flagstaff markets."

"Working with Coconino County, which matched the $500 they invested, they built the Schnebly Hill Road --- 11 hours to Flagstaff. Too steep for cars, it was moved east years later."

"Then in 1905, tragedy struck. A daughter named Pearl, was dragged to death by a horse. The Schneblys sadly turned the ranch over to brother Ellsworth and moved back to Missouri."

"T. C. started in the clothing business in Memphis. Then he filed a homestead in Lincoln, Co., Colorado, raising cattle until two terrible blizzards followed by the great drought of the early thirties nearly wiped him out."

"COMES HOME: He moved to Phoenix, then back to Sedona. He sent for his family."

"He has lived there ever since, an institution now, content as he says, in making visitors (900 from 39 states in the past year) to sign his register, look at his yellowing photographs and recognize the animal forms immobilized in the encircling sandstone crags."

"On short walks down the road to town he seeks out tourists, anxious that they know the wonders of the land around them. His name for this has spread. Although it was Ellsworth who named the area, Mr. Schnebly proudly shows a letter he received from a Flagstaff visitor last winter:"

"'To T. C. Schnebly,' it says, 'Mayor, Sultan, Pioneer, Homesteader, Trailblazer, Road Builder, Chieftan, Chamber of Commerce (one man), Welcoming Agent: tourist information authentic and furnished free by the man who named it: SEDONA, ARIZONA.'"

(The Verde Independent; Thursday, July 16, 1953: pages 1, 10.)


"Funeral services for T. C. Schnebly, ... were held in Sedona Monday at Wayside Chapel, of which he was a charter member."

"Mr. Schnebly died Saturday at his home. ... He was known to thousands of visitors who came to sign the guest books he and his wife Sedona, who died in 1950, kept, and who took home the small section of century plant stalk he gave away as pin cushions." ...

After returning to Sedona, "he built a home on the George Jordan ranch."

"Survivors include two sons, Ellsworth of Sedona and Henry of Denver, two daughters, Mrs. Clara McBride of Denver and Mrs. Margaret Wallace, of Silver City, N. M.; a brother, Melvin, of Kahoka, Mo.; 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren."

"Rev. Carl Hansen of Prescott officiated at services and burial was in the Sedona Cemetery on Grasshopper Flat." ...

(The Verde Independent; Thursday, March 18, 1954; pages 1, 2.)

THEODORE CARLTON "Carl" SCHNEBLY was born near Hagerstown, Maryland on December 29, 1868. He is the son of Daniel Henry and Maria Elizabeth (Davis) Schnebly, Jr. He arrived in Jerome on October 23, 1901, then lived with his family on Oak Creek.

"Carl" died in Sedona on March 13, 1954, then was buried in the Cook/Cedar Glade Cemetery.

SEDONA "Dona" ARABELLA SCHNEBLY was born in Octavia (now Gorin), Scotland Co., Missouri, on February 24, 1877. She is the daughter of Phillip and Amanda (Shaffer) Miller. She died in Sedona on November 13, 1950, then was buried in the Cook/Cedar Glade Cemetery.

(Information from Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives.)

Event Calendar
Event Calendar link
Submit Event