A Rim Country native and daughter of several generations of area pioneers, Jayne Peace Pyle has been honored by the Sharlot Hall Museum of Prescott as “a living Arizona woman who has made valuable contributions to Arizona and its history.”
Sharlot Hall Museum has awarded the honor since 1984. Peace Pyle joins a distinguished list of extraordinary past recipients that have included Nancy Burgess, Melissa Ruffner, Joan Baeza, Elisabeth Ruffner and Thelma Heatwole, just to name a few.
She is a native of Gisela and makes her home in Payson.
Like Hall, she grew up on a ranch. And also much like Miss Hall, Peace Pyle heard stories as a young girl about the past (in particular from her grandmother) that captured her young imagination. Although she loved these thrilling tales, she soon learned that careful research would be needed to capture the historical record accurately. Consequently, she has spent much of her life delving into old papers and written records that might provide clues about some missing pieces of history. In the process, she blossomed into an outstanding genealogist and author beginning in 1981 with her first book, “The History of Gisela, Arizona.” Other titles soon followed including “A Cowboy,” “Cooking for Zane Grey,” and her novel, “Muanami.”
When not working on her own publications, she fosters interest among others through such undertakings as Daughters of Gila County Pioneers, which she founded and for which she served as president on numerous occasions.
In addition, she and her husband, Jinx Pyle, established the Arizona Heritage Research Foundation (AHRF), which first collected and filed volumes of Gila County and Arizona history. The foundation expanded its mission to buy and preserve historic houses in Payson.
Elisabeth Ruffner, who submitted the nomination, concluded “Jayne is always learning more about Arizona history and finding ways to share it with others ... I know of no one more deserving of Arizona’s top historical award for women.”
She will be presented with her much-deserved award at the banquet concluding the annual Western History Symposium at the Hassayampa Inn on Aug. 3.
The Western History Symposium will feature key historians and speakers covering such interesting topics as the Hash Knife Cattle outfit, homesteading, Alexander Brodie, the Battle of Big Dry Wash, the Fight at Salt River Canyon and Doc Holliday.
For more information on this free event, check out the Prescott Corral of Westerners Web site at www.prescottcorral.org.