Naming a Town
The naming of Sedona
The Story Of Mrs. Schnebly And How Sedona Got Its Name Back in the year 1901 when there was no such place known as Sedona, Arizona, there was a young couple back in Missouri with an adventure planned. Adventure it was because at that time Arizona was a wide, wild, and somewhat treacherous land known as the Arizona Territory. One young man, Els worth Schnebly, had written his brother Carl back in Missouri telling him of a piece of property he had bought which sat along a wide mountain stream known as Oak Creek. Sitting in amongst the Arizona Cypress trees this was a spectacularly beautiful place and perfect for a small farm. Carl got excited and before long he, his young wife who everyone called Dona, and two small children boarded a train in Missouri and set out for this land of dreams.
When they arrived at their new home, there was nothing on the property except a small bunkhouse. That would become their temporary home while they built an 11 room house and began a truck garden right there on Oak Creek where today is built the famous Los Abrigados Resort. This was a time when Arizona was young, not yet a state and had few residents. As it was back in those days, travel was hard. The 60 mile trip from the then thriving mining town of Jerome to the railroad town of Flagstaff took a few grueling days in the hot Arizona sun. It just so happened that the Schnebly's house was the largest one for miles, and not by design but by the fact that it was the halfway mark, became the first hotel in the area. It wasnÕt long that more settlers became enchanted with the red rocks and the pristine character of this distant, secluded land. Soon there were enough people to warrant the need for a post office, and since the Schnebly's house-hotel was the center of it all, Carl decided he would submit an application for a new post office. The two names he submitted were Oak Creek Crossing and Schnebly Station, not the most exciting names, but certainly they were descriptive.. The application was returned from the Post Master General in Washington, D.C., however, with the message that the two submitted names were too long and wouldn't fit on the cancellation stamp. He would have to find a name that was shorter. Els worth came up with a suggestion that would prove in the end to be a winner. They could use CarlÕs wife's name, but instead of the shortened Dona as she was called by everyone, the post office would be named after her real name.
And so at the ripe old age of 25 this pioneer woman not only had a husband, two children, a small truck farm, and maybe AZ's first resort, but also a town named after her. And before long she became known as Mother of this young town. The SchneblyÕs spent most of the rest of their lives in the town they helped found. Both passed to the next world in the early 1950's and are buried within the city limits. Just in case you were wondering, all of her brothers and sisters had pretty ordinary names, and as far as anyone knows there has only been one person in this whole world who was ever called . . . Her mother claimed to have made up the name on her own just to be different. Today you will find a nine foot statue standing outside the Public Library commemorating the hard working pioneer woman, the Mother of our town.