Jan Cleere
Author & Freelance Writer
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Author, Historian, Expert Speaker

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Author, historian and expert speaker Jan Cleere writes extensively about the desert southwest, particularly the people who first settled the territory. Her freelance work appears in national and regional publications.

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Expert Speaker

If you are looking for an expert speaker for your club, organization, or conference, learn more about Jan's speaker programs.

Jan's Appearances


The Arizona Daily Star is publishing a series of articles written by Tucson author and historian Jan Cleere, recognizing Arizona women who made their mark in the early history of the territory and the state. Some of them confronted extraordinary circumstances while others were known for their adventuresome spirits, all seeking new frontiers to explore, enrich and conquer. The articles will appear the first Saturday of each month and can be accessed at azstarnet.com.

March 14, 2015:   

Elizabeth Josephine Brawley Hughes

Anyone who has ever stared down a charging bull will understand why Louise Larocque Serpa adamantly and frequently uttered the adage that became her motto: “Never don’t pay attention.” With her nose buried in the dirt and her eye to a camera, Serpa was the first woman permitted by the Rodeo Cowboys Association to venture inside the arena and shoot rodeo action. She photographed every Tucson rodeo from 1963 through 2011.As one of Arizona’s first advocates for temperance in the territory, as well as an unwavering supporter of women’s right to vote, Josephine Brawley Hughes met strong opposition, from saloonkeepers to legislators. Hughes, however, was no stranger to adversity. In 1872 she traveled alone from her home in Pennsylvania to Tucson to join her husband, Louis Cameron “L.C.” Hughes, journeying by rail and steamer to San Diego before boarding a stagecoach for the last 400 miles across desert terrain that still held dangers from Indian attacks, not to mention a worrying lack of water. She carried her infant daughter, Gertrude, in one arm and a loaded rifle in the other. Read more . . . 

Coming September 2015

"Never Don't Pay Attention"
The Life of Rodeo Photographer
Louise L. Serpa

Anyone who has ever stared down an angry bull coming full throttle across an arena, aimed right at your gut, will understand why Louise Serpa adamantly and often uttered the adage that became her motto.
“Never Don’t Pay Attention:” The Life of Rodeo Photographer Louise L. Serpa chronicles the amazing account of a New York society woman who ended up out west with her nose buried in the dirt and her eye glued to a camera, loving every minute of becoming the first woman endorsed by the Rodeo Cowboys Association to venture inside the arena and shoot some of the most exciting and incredible photographs of rodeo action.

 "I write about the people, legends, and tales of the old west that I have uncovered among tattered documents, tear-stained journals and diaries, and the accounts told by old-timers. I hope my historic biographies will entertain, amuse, and astound you just as they did me when I uncovered these
remarkable histories."

Learn more about Jan's books