Through Our Parents Eyes
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Preface by Patricia Peters Stephenson

Patricia Peters Stephenson
Patricia Peters Stephenson

The intent of this project is to make available to the public an important body of photographic work dating in the first quarter of the Twentieth Century. In addition, a manuscript has been added to provide some interpretation of Tom Marshall's life in Tucson. It is a joint effort between myself Patricia Peters Stephenson and historian Alex Jay Kimmelman.

My connection with Mr. Marshall and his more notable wife Louise, is that my father, Ivan Peters, was employed from 1926 to 1966 as property manager for the extensive Marshall land holdings of residential and retail buildings in Tucson. The rental and maintenance office for the Marshall properties was located in our home before I was born in 1928, and remained there long after I graduated from the University and was married. I had many years knowledge of the day to day operations.

From 1926 through April 1931, my father worked with Mr. Marshall, and both men left diaries of their daily work. I do not remember him, as I was not quite three when he died, but through the years my father often spoke of Mr. Marshall's life of adventure and his difficulties in business

My father wrote of his days working with Mr. Marshall in the maintenance of the residential rentals. He told me about the intricate process of making ice cream at the College lce Cream factory and of dealing with the balky refrigeration system there. He reminisced of helping in the grocery and of solving endless problems at the drug store soda fountain and the Green Lantern caterers. On a less strenuous note, the two men also traveled around town observing construction projects and looking at vacant land that could be developed.

In January 1931, my father and Mr. Marshall took a railroad excursion trip to Mexico visiting Guaymas and Miramar. My father remembered this trip and often recalled it in stories he told me as a child. It was their last great adventure together. On May 20, 1931, Tom Marshall died in Los Angeles, California.

The Peters family on an outing near the newly built University of Arizona library in December 1928. Parents Ivan and Wilma, and five-month old Patricia.
The Peters family on an outing near the newly built University of Arizona library
in December 1928. Parents Ivan and Wilma, and five-month old Patricia.

This photo collection was among the personal possessions bequeathed to my mother by Louise Marshall upon her death in 1956. My parents saved many items, diaries, record books, personal and business letters and so on, receiving the collection in 1989. I was particularly taken with the photo collection in its scope, recorded in Tom Marshall's own time and representing the Tucson he knew. This collection in book form is his final contribution to his adopted home.

When first looking at the photos, I concluded that help was needed to tell the story of Tom Marshall. Alex Kimmelman, a local historian, helped me with the photos and in writing the manuscript. Alex holds a Masters degree from the University of Arizona. Arriving as a teenager in Tucson in 1970, Alex has been working on local history projects since 1978.

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