How did Himmel Park get its name?

By Carolyn Classen

Himmel Park is named after a pioneer Tucsonan Alvina Himmel Edmondson and her family. Alvina Himmel Edmondson and husband Charles S. Edmondson came from New Orleans, LA to Tucson in 1897 and homesteaded on 160 acres bounded by E. Speedway and Tucson Blvd. They had 4 daughters: Catherine, Grace, Alvina, and Frances. The couple divorced in 1927 (and Charles later died in 1942 in Phoenix.) Alvina Himmel sold part of their homestead to the City of Tucson in 1934 or 1935 with the stipulation that the site be named after the Himmel family, in memory of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Himmel.

Alvina Himmel Edmondson died at age 78 on Jan. 11, 1948 at her redwood home, 2625 E. 1st Street (no longer there) on the land she had homesteaded for 51 years. She was buried at the South Lawn Memorial Park according to her obituary at the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. 2nd St. Tucson.  Her daughter Catherine (died 5/18/73) lived in that same homestead home in Sam Hughes till the early 70's.

By the way, Himmel is the German word for"heaven."

Himmel Park time line:  1934/35 part of Himmel Edmondson homestead land sold to City of Tucson, 1936 pool built by WPA -Works Progress Administration, 1944 City Council purchased more land (3 more blocks) to expand Himmel Park, and start planning for a library, which was finally built in 1961 under Mayor Don Hummel.

I also checked the Tucson Citizen and Arizona Daily Star archives, and found a copy of a 1942 Tucson Citizen photo of this pioneer woman and her original home in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood.

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