D. H. ELLEDGE
JAMES H. ELLEDGE
BEULAH MAE ELLEDGE
BEULAH MAE ELLEDGE was the daughter of James
Harden (or Horton) Elledge (1854-1942) and Mary Ann Wilson (1857-1940).
She married Webb L. Lumpkin on 30 July 1903, at
Manassa, Conejos County, Colorado, when she was 21 years old.
Beulah Mae had an LDS background, since her grandparents
were members of the Church and her grandfather was on the High Council.
He died in 1895 in Manassa after serving for 12 years as a High Councilman.
However, Beulah Mae's parents James H. and Mary Ann Wilson Elledge, as far
as we can ascertain, were not baptized until 1911, when they were in their
50's; their children who were still living at home were also baptized at
that time. But since Beulah Mae had already married and left home before
1911, as far as we can tell she was never baptized into the Church during
her lifetime. None of her children became members except Grace (Grandma),
and that wasn't until 1933, after she was married and had her first child.
Beulah Mae Elledge grew up for the most part in the Mormon colony town of
Manassa, where she helped in her father's store. She also babysat
JACK DEMPSEY when he was little; he later became the heavyweight boxing
champion of the world, and went by the nickname "The Manassa Mauler."
He was also from an LDS convert family and was a member of the Church,
although probably not too active since he smoked cigars and lived quite a
rough life. The Jack Dempsey museum is in Manassa; a life-sized statue of
the boxer stands outside of the log cabin in which he was born. He began
his boxing career when he was only about 15 in the mining camps of Colorado,
where he boxed for $1 per fight.
Beulah Mae had taught school in LaJara, Colorado for a while before she
married Webb Lumpkin, who was not a member of the LDS Church. Their
first child, Beulah Mary Lumpkin, was born in LaJara, Colorado, 5 May
1904. Soon after this, Webb went to open up a homestead in Duchesne
County, Utah, where some of the Indian land had been made available for
homesteading after the turn of the century. This was the last homestead
act passed by Congress. Webb went up into the Uinta mountains to
cut logs, and hauled them down to build a house for his family. Until
the house was ready, his wife Beulah stayed in Vernal, Utah, where
their second child, Lorena Dare Lumpkin, was born 24 Nov 1905. After
the home was ready, the family moved out to the homestead. The town of
Myton was located at the bridge over the Duchesne River, and the Lumpkin
family later also bought or rented a home here. They lived part of
the year at Myton, where the children attended school, and part of the
year out at the homestead in Antelope District, about 20 miles south of
Myton. The next two children, Roy Wilson Lumpkin (b. 15 Sep 1907), and
Eva Cora Lumpkin (b. 25 Feb 1910), were born at Myton. The fifth child,
Grace Allene Lumpkin (Grandma), was born at the homestead in Antelope
District, Duchesne County, Utah on 12 Feb 1912.
Franklin Bascom Wilson, Beulah Mae's maternal grandfather, lived with the
family for a while before his death. He died in Myton in 1913.
After this three more children, Ada Webbie Lumpkin (b. 27 April 1914),
Violet Ethel Lumpkin (b. 13 Apr 1916), and Leonard Ray Lumpkin (b. 15 Feb
1919), were born to the family, making a family of 6 girls and 2 boys.
They had some happy years on the homestead, but then the Lumpkin
family went bankrupt. Everything they owned had to be sold off in
an auction, and they moved to Salt Lake with a borrowed horse and wagon.
They had to camp outside the city for awhile until Webb could find work,
and they could rent a house. After only about two years in the city,
when they were just getting back on their feet again, Webb suddenly died.
Of course Webb's death left his widow Beulah Mae in a very difficult
position; she was 43 years old, with eight children: Beulah Mary (21),
Lorena (19), Roy (17), Eva (15), Grace (13), Ada (11), Violet (9), and
She had no means of support and no work experience, and
the family had already been struggling to get on their feet and get
used to life in the city. It seems that Beulah Mae had been very
dependent upon her husband for everything and didn't know how to cope
without him, so she went into a deep depression after his death. Of
course those things weren't understood or treated in those days. The
older three children soon got jobs and basically supported the family,
but then Lorena married in 1926 to Joseph Hugh Miles, and after a few
years the oldest daughter Beulah Mary moved to California and then
married in 1928 to Homer Shanks. Roy joined the Navy, and this left
just the five younger children at home, and they had a difficult time.
Neighbors helped them out, and also the LDS Church helped them, and the
children pitched in all they could. It seems that the oldest daughter,
Beulah Mary, was the one to whom the whole family looked for strength
and leadership in the first few years after her father had passed away.
Her mother seems to have relied on her a lot.
Grace said that her mother loved music and had a nice singing
voice; Beulah Mae often used to walk many blocks from their home on the
west side of Salt Lake City to the tabernacle on Temple Square, to listen
to the Tabernacle Choir when they practiced or performed. Perhaps
this was one of the few things that brought joy into her life.
Grace married in 1929 at age 17, after meeting LaMar Bray when she went
swimming at the Municipal Pool in Salt Lake. They had only known each
other a short time, when they went to visit LaMar's sister Wanda and
her husband Leonard Mann, in Bountiful. Wanda and Leonard convinced them
that they shouldn't wait to marry if they had decided they loved each other,
so they called the bishop to come and marry them right then.
Grace never finished high school, although it seems she was quite
intelligent. She dropped out of school to marry (or perhaps she had already
dropped out to work and help support the family).
Soon after Grace's marriage, her mother Beulah Mae took the younger
four children with her and moved to California to be near her parents
and also her oldest daughter, Beulah Mary. In California, Ada Lumpkin
married in 1934 to Charles Emison Cary, and Violet Lumpkin in 1936 to
Rudell C. Cross. Eva Lumpkin, who had always been quite sickly, died
in 1937 at the age of 26. Roy Lumpkin married in 1938, and he stayed
in the navy for his career, until he died during World War II, 23 Aug
1943, when his ship was sunk. A few men were picked up in lifeboats,
but the only communication which his family received from the military
was a letter stating that Roy Lumpkin "was not among the survivors."
He left no children, but his widow never remarried. The only other boy
and the youngest in the family, Leonard Lumpkin, married in 1941 in
California. He worked as a fireman in Whittier, California from 1940
until his retirement in 1982, and passed away in 1997.
(I don't remember ever meeting any of the Lumpkins except great-aunt
Beulah once or twice when I was little, and great-aunt Violet -- she
taught us to play spoons and was a lot of fun -- she lived in Yuma,
Arizona, and in her later years came up for a few summers to stay with
Grandma in Copperton, after their husbands had both died. She died in
about 1989, and now Grandma is the last one left of her family).
Great-grandmother Beulah Mae Elledge Lumpkin died in Los Angeles,
California Jan. 4, 1944 at 62 years of age. She is buried in
the Rose Hill Cemetery, Whittier, Los Angeles County, California.
by Karen Bray Keeley
by Sandra Shuler Bray