Daisy Mae Cannon is a legend in Greenlee County. She has for decades been a colorful and admirable fixture in Greenlee. As one close friend of hers once described Daisy, “She has a big heart, and cares deeply about people. She says what she means and means what she says. And she doesn’t tolerate fools.”
At present, Daisy Mae is quite ill. So much so that her many friends and no doubt some of her acquaintances are sending their prayers and best wishes for her.
Daisy Mae has spent all of her life as a rancher. She remembers that, “I owned a cow at five years old.” That was on her parents’, Marion and Virginia Keith’s, ranch in Cochise County.
Their place was the Four Poles Ranch. Daisy Mae’s father was 40 years old when she was born in the 1930s. He gave her the name Daisy Mae, with both names always used as was the local custom. He called her his “right hand man” and bought her a horse along with that cow. He then told her, “I bought you the horse, now you have to buy the saddle.” She bought the saddle with $17.50 she saved from birthday and Christmas money.
She spoke of having had three important wishes in her life and one of them was to become a June bride. It happened.
In June 1953, Daisy Mae married Joe Cannon. During their first years of marriage, the young couple worked on other people’s ranches and at several jobs. She drove a school bus for 15 years and was a janitor at night. Their children, Sissy and Keith “Bopper,” worked along with their parents. They now own the K7 Ranch on the Gila River near the Three Way Bridge.
Daisy has kept a garden in her spare time and has been canning salsa for years. She also cans jams and jellies and whatever needs to be canned. She is widely known for her pies and cakes. She spoils her children and grandchildren by cooking their favorite meals whenever they visit. Anyone who has eaten her cooking knows they have eaten the best.
The best compliment a person could give Daisy Mae is that she lives what she believes. Because of that belief she has served the cattle industry all her life. She was voted Cattlewoman of the Year in 2006, but prefers being called a Cowbelle. She has been a Cowbelle for over 40 years. Daisy Mae currently serves as treasurer for the Greenlee County Cowbelles, and has served as their president several times.
She has been a member of the Arizona Cowbelles, Arizona Cattle Growers and American National Cattlewomen. She also served as president of the Greenlee County Cattle Growers. She has worked in these organizations for over 40 years. She served for two terms on the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Board and was recognized as a leader in Arizona Agriculture in their centennial year.
She took it upon herself to watch over the needs and rights of the cattlemen in Greenlee County by attending meetings of Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and Soil Conservation Service where issues were discussed and she voiced her opinion on the issues.
Daisy Mae has made a difference by her attendance and kept local folks involved the cattle industry informed so they could continue ranching in this county.
“We all owe her a debt of gratitude for the quality of ranching we have today,” said Greenlee cattle grower Richard Lunt.
Daisy Mae has left her mark on Greenlee County in many ways. One of those ways has been investing in Greenlee’s future. She loves the up and coming generation. She has spent countless hours and years in 4-H, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and the Junior Livestock Association. This has given many local youths the opportunity to have a positive agricultural experience. Many of those youngsters have gone on to become leaders in their respective communities.
She also taught youth homemaking skills such as cooking, crocheting, and sewing. She was an excellent seamstress. Her daughter would often go to bed at night and wake up the next morning to find a new dress.
It can be said of Daisy Mae Cannon, that where ever she goes she has made the world a better place, for she lives what she believes.
Daisy Mae is not only sharp-witted, but also has quite a sense of humor. An example surfaced as the Cannons and their guests were preparing to head home after their anniversary celebration at Tyler’s Taste of Texas in 20013.
She asked a guest, “Do you know why Joe Cannon wears a plain hat and work boots instead of a fancy hat and cowboy boots?” The guest shook his head to indicate he didn’t know the answer.
Daisy Mae said, “So he won’t be mistaken for a truck driver.”