Betty Barr is an award-winning author and journalist who specializes in uncovering hidden treasures – the people places and things unique to southeastern Arizona. Her previous books include Hidden Treasures of Santa Cruz County, More Hidden Treasures of Santa Cruz County, A John Slaughter Kid, the Story of May Watkins Burns, and Around Sonoita, one of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing.
She co-edited, with Dr. William J. Kelly, a revised edition of Arizona in the ‘50s, a firsthand account of frontier life in 1857 by Capt. James Tevis.
Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Arizona Highways, Arabian Horse, Range Magazine and Arizona Quarter Horse News. She was a regular contributor to the Nogales International and Weekly Bulletin newspapers for 20 years.
In 2009, Betty co-chaired a project to construct the Bowman and Stradling History Center at the Fairgrounds in Sonoita, which contains numerous western and ranching artifacts of the area. Included are selected displays from the original Anne Stradling Museum of the Horse in Patagonia, and an impressive collection of oral histories and photographs collected by the late Bob Bowman, a local historian.
In 2014 she chaired an all-day celebration in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit entitled Journey Stories,
held at the Bowman and Stradling History Center. Over 400 people
attended the event which explored westward and northward migration to the area.
Her chronicles of the history of the legendary Empire Ranch south of Tucson were adapted as a promotional piece by the Bureau of Land Management and the Empire Ranch Foundation. It was used as a historical handout at the annual Empire Ranch Roundup and Western Art show in 2004.
A graduate of the University of Arizona, she lives in Sonoita, Arizona with her husband John.