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Minnie Jane (Fenter) Perry

Minnie Jane FenterMINNIE JANE FENTER was born to Sarah Elizabeth Parker and William Duke Fenter on May 12, 1871.   Our family claims that Minnie Jane Fenter was the first white child born in Phoenix - Arizona Territory.

The Parker family traveled from Missouri by wagon train heading toward California in 1849 – early gold rush days.  I understand the Parker’s traveled part way with the Donner Family before they split-up to try and find a shorter route to California.  The Parkers explored several California homestead sites in San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles before moving to Arizona. 

The Fenter families’ were also early pioneers in the newly formed Arizona Territory of 1863 – a result of the Mexican-American war of 1848 that acquired most of the western United States.  The Fenters first settled in Yavapai County [present day Prescott] around 1869.  I believe around this time and place is when Sarah Parker and William Fenter first met and married. 

William Duke Fenter later became a prominent rancher, politician and is considered one of the founding fathers of the City of Phoenix.  William Duke Fenter was a participant in Jack Swilling’s water canal projects that made agriculture possible in the Phoenix area along the Gila River and the Salt River Valley.

Some years later the Fenter Family moved to the southern part of Pima County – current day Tucson – Harshaw - Patagonia – Nogales.  The Parkers and Fenter family each have amazing pioneer stories to tell of personal tragedies, Indian massacres and a rich ranching history and their contribution to the development and prosperity of Arizona.

I recall my father once telling me that Pete Perry said that his mother recalled seeing Geronimo and other Apaches riding through their homestead.   She said that they never had any encounters with the Indians, but that their friends and neighbors, the Peck Family, were massacred by the Apaches not far from where they lived.

After Albert Emmet Perry died in 1898, Minnie Jane (Fenter) Perry was left a widow to raise her three sons.

Minnie with Boys
Minnie Jane Perry
Glen Emmet Perry, 7 – “Pete” Miles Herbert Perry, 2 – Guy Lee Perry, 5


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