Women of many faiths cared for the bodies and souls of Arizona’s early inhabitants. Meet five of these altruistic women who influenced the history of the territory. Theresa Ferrin’s holistic practices and comprehensive understanding of healing herbs earned her the title “Angel of Tucson.” Florence Yount is recognized as Prescott’s first woman physician. Teresita Urrea was considered a saint for her hands-on healing powers. St. Katharine Drexel invested much of her vast fortune to educate Navajo children. And the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet trudged across the blazing desert enduring untold hardships (and marriage proposals!) before arriving safely in Tucson.
Historian, author, and lecturer, Jan Cleere writes extensively about early settlers of the desert Southwest. An American studies magna cum laude graduate of Arizona State University West, she is the author of the award-winning books Levi’s & Lace: Arizona Women Who Made History; Amazing Girls of Arizona: True Stories of Young Pioneers; Outlaw Tales of Arizona; and More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Nevada Women. She has presented papers at numerous Arizona history conventions and has received recognition and honors from organizations such as the Arizona Newspapers Association, Arizona Book Publishers Association, and the Nevada Women’s History Project.