Where Did Tempe Crabtree's name come from?

Tempe Crabtree was my great-grandmother's name, my dad's grandma. Though he told my sister and me a lot about her, we never got to see her. We learned a lot about her, though, when my sister did our family genealogy.

Her family, (the Osbornes) were pioneers in the gold country in the Sierra. When one of her siblings drowned, the family packed up everything and traveled south, ending up in a place called Globe (no longer in existence, though there is a road called Globe Dr.) in what is now Springville. (Yep, it's where I live.)

Their homestead was close to the Crabtrees'. They had a son named Newt who took a fancy to Tempe and a romance ensued followed by marriage. The two lived on the Crabtrees' homestead for a long while and raised many children. Later, as they grew older, they moved to a smaller house in town.

I was always fascinated by the name. When I began formulating the idea of writing about a female resident deputy in a town similar to the one I live in, I thought it would be interesting for her to have some Native American blood. Of course, then I had to come up with a name that might be considered Indian. I learned that all the Indians in our area had very common last names that weren't the least bit ethnic sounding like Gibson, Manuel, Garfield, etc.

Because of this I thought Tempe Crabtree would work quite well and that's how my heroine, the resident deputy of Bear Creek, got her name.

This is the cover of the first book that was published--though it isn't the first in the series. The publisher at the time liked this one best.

It is depicting the murder victim in the story--a young woman running for Princess of the Pow Wow.



Anonymous said…
That's very interesting about using your grandmother's name, Marilyn. I'm sure she would be very proud to be the main character in one of your books and what an unusual name it is. I love it!
marja said…
What a wonderful story! Sometimes we can keep a memory alive just by using a name.
Marja McGraw

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