The Arizona Pioneers’ Home was established in 1909. Current statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§41-921 through 41-942.
The Arizona Pioneers’ Home is a long-term care facility, located in Prescott, for elderly long-term residents. The Home operates under the jurisdiction of the Governor. A Superintendent, who is appointed by the Governor, manages the Home.
The Home’s mission statement is… “To provide a home for Arizona pioneers and disabled miners that delivers the optimal physical, emotional and spiritual care in a homelike and compassionate environment. Quality of care is provided in a professional manner, protecting dignity and honoring the personal directives of each resident in life as well as death while considering the uniqueness of each individual.” See https://pioneershome.az.gov/
The 1910 Arizona Enabling Act set aside trust lands to benefit various state institutions. Those institutions are allowed to expend interest earned on monies derived from sale of the land as well as other earnings from the trust land, such as lease income. The Home receives a portion of the monies generated by the Charitable, Penal and Reformatory Trust Land Fund. Auditor General Report No. 97-5 https://www.azauditor.gov/sites/default/files/97-5.pdf
The Pioneers’ Home includes a wing designated as the Hospital for Disabled Miners. Miners who meet eligibility criteria outlined in statutes are admitted to the Home. See history of Disabled Miners’ Hospital, elsewhere in this collection.
Territorial law authorized “…in or near the City of Prescott, County of Yavapai, Arizona, an institution to be known as the Home for Aged and Infirm Arizona Pioneers.” The home was managed by the Board of Control to care for persons who met specific eligibility requirements related to residency, age, and either health or adverse circumstances. The Territory covered the costs for residents. The measure also outlined building and construction requirements. A superintendent, hired by the Board of Control, managed the institution, including care and medical treatment of the residents. The superintendent was also authorized to hire residents of the home, if qualified, to work at the institution. The Superintendent was required to be a Pioneer. See Laws 1909, Chapter 23.
At statehood, the provisions were amended to eliminate the requirement for the Superintendent to be a pioneer. In addition, an application to reside at the Home had to be accompanied by an order from the superior court in the county where the applicant lived, rather than from the board of supervisors of the applicant’s county of residence. The order must state that a full examination and investigation verifies all qualifications are met. The measure also made conforming changes, deleting references from “territory” to “state.” See Revised Statutes of Arizona, 1913 Civil Code, Chapter 8, sections 4543 through 4550.
Laws 1913, Third Special Session, Chapter 75, Sections 3 and 4, appropriated $17,000 for maintenance of the Pioneers’ Home for fiscal years 1914 and 1915. The appropriation, paid to the Pioneers’ Home Maintenance Fund, was made from taxes collected for the years 1913 and 1914. An additional $1,000 was appropriated for improvements and repairs of the Home.
Laws 1921, Chapter 91 modified eligibility requirements to reside at the Home by requiring an applicant to have been a U.S. citizen for at least five years and to have resided in the state for at least thirty-five years, rather than twenty-five years.
Laws 1961, Chapter 57 appropriated $43,250 to the Home. The measure allocated $13,250 for installation of a fire sprinkler system and $30,000 to remodel the bathroom core on three floors; remodel the lobby; eliminate air shaft and replace it with mechanical air exhaust; install three fire doors and brick up windows to create fire breaks between two major wings of the home; and remove and replace asphalt tile in the lobby and hallway areas.
Laws 1964, Chapter 95 authorized the Superintendent to accept and disburse private funds from guests of the home. Private funds were held in trust for safekeeping, and could be disbursed only on instruction of the guest or by court order. The Superintendent was required to maintain an accounting of private funds, using a system established by the Post Auditor. The measure also required the Superintendent to post a bond in an amount equal to the maximum amount held during the previous year, as approved by the Attorney General and filed with the Governor’s Office. Note: The requirement to post a bond was repealed by Laws 1971, Chapter 125.
Laws 1970, Chapter 93 modified the age requirement to be admitted to the Home, from 65 to 70 years of age and required a financial statement to be filed with an application for admission. The measure also established a requirement for residents to contribute to the cost of their care. The contribution could vary by resident, based on specific criteria. A person who refuses to pay may not reside at the Home until the obligation is met.
The State Board of Health existed from 1913 until 1974. The State Department of Health existed from 1941 until 1974. The successor agency, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), established in 1974, absorbed a number of agencies including the State Department of Health, Arizona Health Planning Authority, Crippled Children’s Services, Arizona State Hospital, Pioneers’ Home and Miners’ Hospital, and the Anatomy Board. The Director of ADHS, rather than the Governor, appointed the Superintendent, determined eligibility for admission to the Home and approved claims and expenses of the Home. See Laws 1973, Chapter 158.
Section 320 of the 1973 measure outlined specific requirements related to the effective date, a transition period and a plan of assumption for the functions that were transferred to ADHS.
The authority, funding, functions and programs that had been repealed and transferred to ADHS were allowed to continue for a period of time in order to allow for establishment of the new agency. An executive order certifying a plan of assumption was required in order to establish an effective date for the new agency. Governor Jack Williams issued a series of executive orders in 1974 (See EO 74-2, EO 74-3, EO 74-4, and EO 74-6).
Laws 1976, Chapter 90 reversed the transfer of responsibility for the Pioneers’ Home made in 1973 and provided the Governor with oversight and control of the Home. The measure also changed the minimum age for admission to the Home, from 70 to 65 years of age.
Laws 1988, Chapter 90 modified admission and financial requirements for admission to the Pioneers’ Home. The measure also outlined factors, including assets and income, used to determine reimbursement costs for residents of the Home.
An Auditor General Report issued in April 1997 made a number of recommendations, including a statement that state expenditures of Miners’ Hospital Endowment Fund monies to pay expenses at the Pioneers’ Home violated the Arizona Enabling Act. “The Fund was established to construct and operate a hospital for disabled miners, but Arizona has never established such a facility. Instead, the State has been using the fund to care for a limited number of disabled miners and other residents of the Arizona Pioneers’ Home.” The report recommended discontinuing using the Miners Hospital Endowment Fund as a source of funds for the Pioneers’ Home and to petition Congress for a change in the Enabling Act.” See Arizona Auditor General Report No. 97-5.
Laws 1998, Chapter 96 required the Superintendent to select a supplemental medical insurance plan for residents of the Home. Residents who did not choose to participate in the plan assumed all financial and logistical responsibility for medical care.
A second measure enacted in 1998 established the Special Donations Fund, administered by the Superintendent, consisting of monies, grants, gifts and contributions and specified uses of the Fund. See Laws 1998, Chapter 244.
For purposes of the Enabling Act, Laws 1999, Chapter 210 designated the Pioneers’ Home as the Hospital for Disabled Miners. The measure also included a request to the U.S. Congress to approve the Arizona Statehood and Enabling Act Amendments of 1999. The Legislative findings and intent clause explained the Enabling Act established limits on the expenditure of monies generated by lands held in trust for specific beneficiaries. The Enabling Act required the Disabled Miners’ Land Fund to be used exclusively for a hospital for disabled miners. Because the fund was insufficient to support construction of a new facility, the Legislature asked Congress to amend the Enabling Act to recognize the Pioneers’ Home would also serve as the Disabled Miners’ Hospital and to allow monies in the Disabled Miners’ Land Fund to be used to support the operation of the Pioneers’ Home.
In 1999, the U.S. Congress granted the legislative request and amended the Enabling Act by adding language to Section 28 to allow, “amounts in the Miners’ Hospital Endowment Fund to be used for the benefit of the Arizona Pioneers’ Home.” See H.R. 747, 113 Stat. 1682: https://www.congress.gov/bill/106th-congress/house-bill/747.
Laws 2001, Chapter 291 established the Pioneers’ Home Cemetery on state sovereign land in Yavapai County and authorized the Superintendent to maintain and manage the cemetery. The measure also renamed the Special Donations Fund as the Arizona Pioneers’ Home Fund and expanded its uses.
Laws 2003, Chapter 32 exempted the Arizona Pioneers’ Home Cemetery and the Superintendent from state laws relating to real estate and cemetery regulations.
Laws 2005, Chapter 149 modified the qualifications for admission to the Home. The minimum residency requirement was increased from 30 to 50 years and the minimum age requirement was increased from 65 to 70 years of age.
Laws 2019, Chapter 190 eliminates a previous exemption and provides that the Pioneers’ Home is subject to licensure, supervision, regulation and control by ADHS. The Home is not required to comply with architectural plans or physical plant standards that otherwise apply to health care institutions.
- Revised Statutes of Arizona – 1913 Civil Code, Sections 4543 through 4550
- Arizona Revised Statutes
- Session Laws
- Laws 1909, Chapter 23
- Laws 1913, Third Special Session, Chapter 75
- Laws 1921, Chapter 91
- Laws 1961, Chapter 57
- Laws 1964, Chapter 95
- Laws 1970, Chapter 93
- Laws 1973, Chapter 158
- Laws 1976, Chapter 90
- Laws 1988, Chapter 90
- Laws 1998, Chapter 96 and Chapter 244
- Laws 1999, Chapter 210
- Laws 2001, Chapter 291
- Laws 2003, Chapter 32
- Laws 2005, Chapter 149
- Laws 2019, Chapter 190
Arizona Pioneers’ Home website
Executive Orders 74-2, 74-3, 74-4, & 74-6
Office of the Auditor General: Performance Audit of the Arizona Pioneers’ Home and Hospital for Disabled Miners. Report No: 97-5. April 1997.
Arizona Statehood and Enabling Act Amendments of 1999. Public Law 106-133. 106th U.S. Congress
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 056 – Arizona Pioneers’ Home, 1910-2000