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History of Sedona

Yes. Sedona is named after a real woman.

Theodore Carlton ‘Carl’ Schnebly met and married Sedona Arabella Miller in Gorin Missouri in 1897, on Sedona’s 20th birthday.  Sedona’s father was against their union, despite Carl’s prominent family, college education, and successful hardware business partnership with his brothers.  


In 1901, Carl’s brother Ellsworth was teaching school in Oak Creek Canyon.  He wrote to his brother and asked him to join him in red rock country.  When the family departed Missouri, Sedona’s father wrote his daughter out of his will, not wanting her to move away and to “Indian country”.  Carl arrived in Camp Garden as it was called, and bought the Owenby’s 80-acre patented homestead along the creek.  Sedona and their two small children arrived a few days later on the train to Jerome Junction. 


T.C. and Sedona Schnebly.


At first, the family lived in an old bunkhouse on their property.  Carl was energetic and built the family a 2-story home along the banks of Oak Creek, near where the road crossed the creek.  The family grew produce and settled into their new life. 


Carl took his fruit and produce to Flagstaff up the Munds trail.  It was a 2-day trip up and a 2-day trip back.  Carl and his brother worked on improving the primitive road, which other residents worked on sporadically, hoping to reduce travel time to Flagstaff.  After delivering produce, Carl often brought back visitors and the Schnebly home became known as a good place to stay and have meals.  When things were especially busy, they set-up tents and rented them to guests.  Carl also had a supply of bacon, flour and tobacco that he sold. 


Schnebly often picked up mail for locals on his trips to Flagstaff.  So, in 1902 he applied to the Postmaster General to establish a post office here.  After submitting “Oak Creek Crossing” and “Schnebly Station” as names and getting a rejection, Ellsworth suggested that he submit Sedona’s name.  This was accepted and Sedona got its’ first post office - and its’ name - in June 1902.


Schnebly Hotel


The Schnebly’s third child was born in 1903.  Sedona was busy with laundry, cooking and cleaning for her family and their many guests.  She also led non-denominational church services in the family home.  The family seemed touched with good fortune. 


In 1905, Sedona was herding milk cows with her son Ellsworth, daughter Pearl and baby Genevieve.  The story is that little Pearl looped her pony’s reins around her neck as she stooped to examine something on the ground when a cow suddenly took off for the house.  She was drug to death when her pony dashed after the cow.  After that, Sedona became melancholic and the doctor advised that Carl take her away from the sadness. 


They moved back to Missouri and later homesteaded in Colorado.  Three more children were born.  When their cattle died in a blizzard and of anthrax, and Carl became ill with influenza, Carl and Sedona moved back to the community that bore Sedona’s name.  They both worked.  Sedona administrated the Sunday School and helped establish the Wayside Chapel.  Carl was often called the town’s ‘honorary’ mayor.  They lived the rest of their days here and are buried in the Cook Cedar Glade Cemetery in town.



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