Jayne Peace, a charter member of the Daughters of the Gila County Pioneers, was honored as the group's Woman of the Year last week and its 18th inductee to the Gila County Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame.
The group has more than 100 members and chose Peace for her ongoing contributions to the organization and the community, according to fellow member and close friend Anna Mae Deming.
Peace was instrumental in the creation of the group's popular book, "A Cultural History of the Pioneer Women of Gila County, Arizona and Their Descendants," last year. That was one of the major contributions the women wanted to acknowledge, Deming said.
Peace is a fifth-generation resident of Gila County. Her family came to the area in 1889. She is related to the pioneer families of Hale, Neal, Jackson, Greer, Martin, Griffin and Haught. Peace is the oldest daughter of Anna Mae (Hale) and Calvin Peace.
"Jayne considers her deep roots in Gila County a blessing and spends much of her time recording the history of the old families because she feels she has an obligation to preserve the histories," her cousin, Barbara Hale Ashby said.
Peace wrote and published "The History of Gisela" in 1981, and plans to re-publish this September.
"Jayne considers her deep roots in Gila County a blessing and spends much of her time recording the history of the old families because she feels she has an obligation to preserve the histories," her cousin, Barbara Hale Ashby, said.
Peace became a journalist in 1983, going to work for the Payson Roundup. After serving as the society editor, an investigative reporter and managing editor, she resigned in 1989.
After leaving the Roundup, Peace went to college and became a teacher. She was hired by Payson High School in 1996, where she worked for five years.
Peace and Jinx Pyle now own Git A Rope! Publishing, Inc. She said the company produced six books the first year it was in operation.
"At this time in her life, Jayne is happy to be a mother, a grandmother and a business woman," Hale said. "The Old West intrigues her. She loves to read and write about it since her ancestors participated in settling it."
"The last couple of years have been rough, but the old families have stood by me," Peace said. "I'm truly thankful for the honor the Daughters have given me. It has extra special meaning to me because my mother, Anna Mae Peace, was the Gila County Pioneer Woman of the Year in 1998."
Peace's mother died in 2001, and she is now taking care of her father in her home in Payson.