Anna Durkee

Oatman, Arizona was not the logical next stop for Route 66 in Arizona, but Oatman was in the middle of a gold boom and so the road wound it’s way there.  One of Oatman’s early mining magnets was Anna E. Durkee who before she arrived in Oatman had started an all women run garnet mining company in Alaska.  She received much attention when she turned her attention to gold, to which she replied, “ I can’t see why a woman cannot run a gold-mine just as well as a man… If a man were successful in his investments as I have been nothing would be thought of it, but because I am a woman there is great commotion over it.”  When asked why she had chosen to work with all women, she didn’t mince words. “If we were to allow one man as officer or director, he would immediately become masterful and believe it his duty and privilege to dominate.  Then another thing.  A long business experience as shown me that many men who are honest with their fellows will sometimes defraud a woman.”  Anna had experienced this earlier in her life on several occasions and she was determined not to let it happen again! Over time, Anna expanded her mining operations in Arizona until she had over twenty claims including the Dardanelles Mining Company, the Chloride and Arizona Comstock.   The Great Depression, however, forced her to cease many of her operations as did World War II.  She died in New York in 1948.

For more information:

More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Arizona Women on Amazon

California Magazine 1916 Article

Legends of America – Oatman – A Living Ghost Town



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