Verde Heritage 1968: Loving Care Preserves Purtymun Cabin

"By Florence Smith."

"Leaving Sedona on a beautiful Sunday morning the Sedona Westerners took a potluck lunch and were guests of Frank Gold and Tommy Anderson of Oak Creek Canyon."

"Gold told us about his coming from Kansas in 1913 with tuberculosis and a limited time to live. We all had to admit he is the youngest looking 89er we have ever seen. He showed us through the large house with quite a bit of old furniture. He was very proud of his old waffle iron and hot cake griddle. He told us about the puncheon flooring in the north room. This building is the oldest still standing in Oak Creek Canyon."

"Steven and Martha Purtymun came to this area and had squatter's rights; later it was homesteaded. Martha and Steven had 9 children and, as they grew up and married, some of them came home to live."

"Clara Purtymun, a Sedona Westerner, married Albert, a son, and lived there briefly several times, the first being in 1905. She told a story of her daughter hiding in one of the lovely old cupboards, while everyone was looking for her for hours and afraid for her life because of bobcats. Clara also told that at one time the place was sold for $150."

"Charles Thompson, Clara's brother, remembered his first visit to the place 70 years ago."

"Charles Smith showed the Westerners the cherry tree he once sat under in 1917 and ate 'an awful lot of good cherries.'"

"Anderson, being a long-time friend, is so proud of his part in this old place and he has worked hard to preserve as much as possible. The cement for the chinking was gathered right on the property and he laughed when he told us that the old chinking was holding up better than the repair he made."

"He showed us the original shake roof he has protected with another roof. He told us that Martha Purtymun had made most of the shakes. The original porch posts are very sturdy. Anderson proudly told of the friends of the Purdymuns who still stop by to visit the home. Everything that he has added he is proud to say is as near as possible to the original. We all agreed it looks wonderful."

"After the potluck lunch, we went down the old road from Flagstaff and were taken on a tour of the garden and orchards and shown a spot where there had been a 100-year-old apple tree, taken out only a few years ago."

"We had a wonderful day and certainly felt proud to have met two such wonderful men as Gold and Anderson. We appreciate their efforts in preserving the wonderful old peaceful 'Purtymun Homestead.'"

"Westerners present were Charles Thompson, Clara Purtymun, Grace Everett, Martha Everett, Lee Christopher, Nina Boyle, Ollie Simoa, C. L. Kanus, Ivy Smith, Lillian Stephenson, Alice Harris, Phoebe Reed, Bert Reed, Ott Sollars, Norene Sollars, Mildred Westrup, Louise Mezinness, Charles Smith, Evelyn Wright, Mike Wright, Larry Mingus, Pat Mingus, Chrissann Mingus, Lisa Mingus, Florence and Darrel Smith."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, May 9, 1968; page 22.)

Albert Elmer Wesley Purtymun was born at Ventura, California, on May 17, 1881. He is the son of Steven and Martha Ellen (Howard) Purtymun, who were parents of 9 children (2 boys, 7 girls). Albert married Clara Ellen Thompson. She is the daughter of John James "Jim" and Elizabeth (James) Thompson. Clara was born in Yavapai (now Coconino) County, Arizona Territory, on April 7, 1887, and was the 3rd of their 9 children (7 boys, 2 girls). Albert Purtymun died at Cottonwood on May 6, 1961. Clara Purtymun died in the Arizona Pioneer Home at Prescott on July 15, 1982. They are buried in the Red Rock/Schuerman Cemetery.

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