street smarts

Street Smarts: Prince Road namesake a benefactor to many local schools

2013-08-20T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T15:33:59Z Street Smarts: Prince Road namesake a benefactor to many local schoolsBy David Leighton For The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Levi Marston Prince, or L.M. Prince, was born to Jacob and Anna (Marston) Prince in Falmouth, Maine on Nov. 24, 1828.

Levi and his three brothers — Charles, Allen and John — became ship carpenters. Levi wed Eva Jeanette Cook in Maine in 1856.

Within four years, sons George and William were born in Falmouth. In 1865, the couple was in Virginia City, Nev., where son Nelson was born. The next year, Levi and family moved to San Francisco, where his brothers had moved earlier because of the lack of work in Maine. Daughters Elizabeth, Nettie and Lillian were born there.

The family remained in the San Francisco Bay area until 1880, with Levi working as a carpenter. That year Levi and John traveled to Tucson, and his family joined him about a year later.

The 1881 Tucson City Directory lists the business, Prince Bros., at 121 Camp St. with Levi and John Prince as carpenters and contractors. Two years later it had moved to 213-215 Camp St., and son William had joined the family business, which also employed at least one other carpenter, J.H. True.

In 1883, Levi and family lived at the corner of 12th Street and Herbert Street (now Herbert Avenue)

In 1885 Prince was working at the Silver Bell Mine, and in 1886-1887 he served on the Tucson Unified School Board. On Aug. 19, 1888, he established an 80-acre homestead, which was approved in 1895. It covered an area bounded by present-day Prince Road to the south, Pastime Road to the north, Oracle Road to the west and about where L.M. Prince Elementary School is located to the east.

Harry A. Haynes, a grandson-in-law, said Prince donated land to the county for what would later become the school.

In 1893, Prince — along with rancher and assayer Edward L. Wetmore and Joseph D. Andrews — became the founding board members of the Amphitheater School District, which was cut from the Rillito School District (now the Flowing Wells School District). He died Nov. 10, 1906, in Oakland, Calif.

In a related note to Tucson’s earlier history, L.M Prince’s great-grandfather, Paul Prince Sr., married Hannah Cushing on Sept. 8, 1743. Hannah Cushing and Lt. Howard B. Cushing, for whom Cushing Street is named, are both descendants of Matthew Cushing, who came to the U.S. in 1638. That makes L. M. Prince and Howard B. Cushing distant relatives.

Sources:

Emails from Marston M. Gillette of Ukiah, Calif. (great-grandson of Levi M. Prince and family historian)Peyton Reavis, “Amphitheater,” Amphitheater Public Schools, 1981

Levi Marston Prince biofile (Arizona Historical Society)

Homestead Records — Bureau of Land Management

1881 Tucson City Directory

1883 Tucson, Tombstone & Benson Business Directory

Research on Cushing family by Rusty Cushing

James F. Cooper, “The First Hundred Years: The History of Tucson School District I, Tucson, Arizona, 1867-1967.”

Amphi history: www.amphi.com/district/amphi-heritage-.aspx

Contact writer David Leighton at streetsmarts@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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