Arizona Faces and Features Percival Lowell (1855–1916) Toward the end of the 19th century, famed astronomer Percival Lowell built an observatory in Flagstaff. An astronomer is a scientist who studies the stars, planets, and universe. He picked Flagstaff because the pure air and the high elevation made it perfect for what he was looking for. First, Lowell was convinced that there was intelligent life on Mars. And he was certain that there was a ninth planet in space, one he named X. Sadly, Lowell died before he could prove either of his theories. He had, however, instructed his assistants to never give up the search for Planet X. r r Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter (1869–1958) Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter grew up in Minnesota and loved her school art classes. At the age of fourteen she graduated from high school. Since childhood, Mary had always loved Indian art. She studied hard and graduated from college in 1890. She became an art teacher. In 1902 the Fred Harvey Company asked Mary if she would like a job. She accepted the job. She was to design and build beautiful buildings. Mary’s buildings were built along the route of the Santa Fe Railroad. The Santa Fe Railroad was a major railroad line running from Kansas to California. Mary’s buildings were known as Harvey Houses. She designed other buildings at the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Parks. Arizonans today can still enjoy the life works of Mary Colter. The La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona opened as a Fred Harvey House in 1930. r Clyde Tombaugh (1906–1997) Nearly a quarter of a century after Lowell died, Clyde W. Tombaugh boarded the Santa Fe train from Larned, Kansas, the farm plains where he was raised, to Prescott, Arizona. He was 22 years old and armed only with a high school diploma, good grades, and a fair amount of self-taught astronomy. He was responding to the Lowell Observatory’s search for a devoted amateur astronomer. Thirteen months later, Tombaugh, then 24 years old, discovered what was then called the ninth planet—Pluto. The year was 1930. Tombaugh continued to work at Lowell Observatory for 13 more years. r 12  Chapter 1 • Arizona Today