“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Prescott in Yavapai County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Grace M. Sparkes

1893 – 1963

Grace M. Sparkes Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, July 7, 2010
1. Grace M. Sparkes Marker
Inscription.  There was a time when progress in Yavapai County was spelled S-P-A-R-K-E-S. Grace M. Sparkes came to Prescott, Arizona Territory, at the age of 14 in 1906. By 1911, she was working for the Yavapai County Chamber of Commerce as Secretary, a job she held for 34 years. In this capacity, and due significantly to her influence, the economy of Yavapai County remained stable through her tenure with a diverse base of tourism, health, mining, ranching and forestry. Among many other accomplishments, Miss Sparkes was the producer of the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo for 30 years and developed the "Prescott Rules" used widely for rodeos across the West. She was involved in funding for the Hassayampa Hotel, was the publisher and editor of Yavapai Magazine, helped organize the Smoki People, and joined historian Sharlot Hall in securing a reservation for the Yavapai Indians in 1935. She worked to enlarge the Montezuma Castle National Monument and campaigned for good roads across the state. As Yavapai County Immigration Commissioner and member of the Arizona State Board of Welfare, she directed the Works Progress Administration for the County. Projects constructed
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under her supervision include the Sharlot Hall Building (the House of A Thousand Hands), the Hospital at Ft. Whipple, the Smoki Museum, Ken Lindley Field and Stadium, Prescott High School (now Mile High Middle School), Goldwater Dam and several street bridges.

In 1945 Grace resigned her position as Secretary of the Yavapai Chamber of Commerce and moved to Cochise County. She died October 23, 1963 in Bisbee.
Erected by City of Prescott.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsEducationIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansWomen. In addition, it is included in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects series list. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1864.
Location. 34° 32.529′ N, 112° 27.511′ W. Marker is in Prescott, Arizona, in Yavapai County. Marker can be reached from East Gurley Street east of North Arizona Avenue. Marker is near the southwest corner of the Grace M. Sparks Activity Center Building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 824 East Gurley Street, Prescott AZ 86301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Prescott National Guard Armory (here, next to this marker); City Park and Ballfield (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); VFW Bucky O'Neill Post No. 541
Grace M. Sparkes Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, July 7, 2010
2. Grace M. Sparkes Marker
(about 700 feet away); Citizens Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of the O'Neill/Munds House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Washington School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Prescott High School and the Yavapai Club (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Day Octagon (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Prescott.
Regarding Grace M. Sparkes. Grace Sparkes was inducted into the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame in 1985.
Grace M. Sparkes image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, July 7, 2010
3. Grace M. Sparkes
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,154 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 16, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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May. 27, 2024