Gila Valley History: William Edward McBride and Mary Elizabeth Lines McBride

Contributed Photo: William Edward McBride and Mary Elizabeth Lines McBride

By Edres Bryant Barney

William Edward McBride was born on 12 October 1868 in Santaquin, Utah, Utah.  He was the second of 12 children born to William Andrew McBride, Sr., and Elizabeth Clark McBride.  Mary was born on 10 March 1875 in Goshen, Juab, Utah to Henry Lines and Emily Weech Lines, the third of their eight children.  They both came to Pima in their youth.  William’s life was normal for a boy in a new settlement.  Being the second oldest in his family, it was early in his life that he began freighting with his father.  His memories of Willcox were that it was a camp full of whiskey, and the only warm spot available was in a saloon.

Mary’s memories of her youth are intertwined with her Uncle Hyrum Weech and his daughters.  Their trips to the Ft. Thomas store, where it was cool inside due to the damp, dirt floor and fond memories of ginger snaps and cheese bought for lunch.  Other trips were up the rough mountain road to Nuttall Canyon and to the sawmill.  These trips were also made by buggy.  The shady canyon was cool with its running water, flowers, and ferns.  There were also excursions to Blackberry Patch with Mary’s siblings and parents where they picked the blackberries and mulberries that grew there.

William and Mary were married in Pima at the home of her parents on 17 June 1897.  Their first home was a one-room lumber house lined with unbleached sheeting.  He became the water master on the Smithville Canal, filling those duties for 30 years.  When he passed away on 3 February 1937, they still had some children at home.  Mary continued raising their family and lived another 28 years, passing away on 4 October 1965 at the age of 90. 

Their 10 children and spouses are Esther Clara (David William Cluff, Jr.), Mary Della (Wallace Archibald Johnstone), Ethel Lena (Clarence Jerome Haynie), Karl Henry (Edna Elizabeth Sudekum), Edward Burt (Lela Felshaw), Phil (Delsa Ethel Davis), Horace Paul (Mary Aelon Johnson), Edna L. (Evan Leavitt), James Lee, Sr. (Charlcey Sukekum), and Elsie Ruth (Cloard Archie Cluff).

This couple grew up as pioneer children; they and their children grew up to be contributing members of the community, all contributing to the growth and development of the Gila Valley.  Their posterity numbers in the hundreds and many call the Gila Valley home.

This and other individual and family histories may be found at the Eastern Arizona Museum in Pima Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.