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Women Of The West: Part 1, Mary Eileen 'Mim' Murphy Walsh

By Kaely Monahan, Lauren Gilger
Published: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 11:42am
Updated: Monday, March 25, 2019 - 2:24pm

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Mim and Paddy
Helen McEvoy
Mim Walsh and her husband, Paddy.

March is Women’s History Month, and Arizona boasts of many women who’ve made history both here and on the national stage. It’s easy to name the Sandra Day O'Connors and Rose Moffords — but what about those who are lesser known?

In the series, Women of the West, we explore stories of Arizona women who helped shape their communities and our state’s history.

Today, The Show kicked it off with Irish immigrant Mary Eileen Murphy Walsh — or “Mim,” as she was called.

Her husband, Paddy Walsh, was diagnosed with tuberculosis and his doctor advised him to move to the arid west of America. Together, they left the green hills of Ireland for the dry deserts of southern Arizona.

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Mim isn’t famous or a historic figure, but she kept a very extensive diary that documents life in Tucson in the early 20th century. The diary is so well detailed that University of Arizona Professor Emerita Judy Nolte Temple is writing her own book about it.

Temple found the diary when she was looking for new material for one of her courses, and someone at the Arizona Historical Society told her there was a new one that had been recently opened. It had been sealed for 25 years and no one else had read it until then.

Mim and Paddy
Helen McEvoy

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