In 1896 in a tiny Arizona town, Annie Box Neal presided over her luxury hotel and her elite guests from Europe, Asia, and America. It was a list that included Italian Countesses, Russian Princes, Ambassadors, and the wealthy. Annie treated them all the same and gave them a good taste of western hospitality. In some ways her guests left their mark on this frontier village. Some helped build a town, Buffalo Bill went gold hunting, and most just enjoyed the clean air, Annie’s cooking, and her unexpected, fun games. It was a profound experience and all would remembered Annie and their visit to “the most luxurious hotel in the west.”
Arizona history did not sneak up on Barbara Marriott but arrived with guns blazing and the air filled with hootin’ and hollorin’. It captured her so completely that she wrote eight books about living in Arizona’s unpredictable small Territorial towns. Most of her books are award winners. Living in various states and two foreign countries has taught her to watch, listen and learn. Earning a Ph.D. gave Marriott the tools to capture the vivid, fascinating history of the southwest. Among her other ventures Marriott started a popular newspaper in France, wrote a series of information booklets for American children living in foreign countries, and foreign port booklets for the US Navy.