Amy grew up in the heart of Mormon country. Her daddy had traveled over the Mormon Trail in an oxen drawn wagon and arrived in Utah when he was only 9 years old.
When Amy Mae Hovey was born on the 26th of August in 1885, the Hovey family lived in Millville, which is about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Most families in the area were farmers or worked at one of the two local sawmills. Amy’s father, Joseph, was listed on various census’ as both “Farmer” and “Woodcutter”, so I think we can safely bet that he not only farmed the land but also worked at one of the sawmills to supplement the families income.
Amy’s parents were Joseph Grafton Hovey II and Mary Ann Hulse Hovey. Amy was the 8th born of twelve children. It must have been a busy and bustling family! They were part of the LDS faith. Home life would have been centered around family, work, school, and church.
When Amy was 22, her father passed away from an enlarged heart. Her youngest sister was only 10 years old.
On December 22, 1909, Amy married Walter Clark Dallas in Clawson, Idaho. Clawson is a small town in Teton county, Idaho. Amy’s life would be full of excitement and adventure as Walter’s wife. The first year of their marriage, the couple lived as boarders in Jackson, Wyoming where Walter was working as a government fur trapper.
On the 24th of April, 1911, Amy and Walter welcomed their first child, Irma Ann followed by a son, Walter Hovey in 1912. All told, they would have twelve children. My own grandmother, Leoma Nesta was born on April 28th, 1920. She was the 7th of the twelve kids.
One family story is about the birth of the eleventh child, Mary Ireta. Mary came too quickly and it seems that Walter helped Amy to deliver her right on the floor of their kitchen in Vinyard, Utah. It was 1925 and Amy was 39 years old.
Their youngest son, Billy, was born two years later when the family had moved to Oregon. The Dallas family was living in Jerome Prairie, Oregon and Walter was a gold miner.
By 1940, Walter and Amy had moved their family once again. They were living in rural Plumas county, California. Walter was once again mining.
From everything we know, listening to my grandmother talk about her parents, it seems that Walter and Amy had a deep love for each other. I’m sure that made it easier for her to uproot her family time and again to move on to the next adventure. From Utah, to Idaho, to Wyoming, back to Utah, on to Oregon, and finally California. They never stayed in one place for too long.
Walter died on June 7th, 1943. They had been married for 34 years.
I remember seeing pictures of my great-grandmother Amy, pictures that I don’t have copies of, where the large goiter that she had was visible. She was a beautiful lady, even with the goiter. Grandma always said it was caused from an iodine deficiency, but knowing what I know now, Amy had severe thyroid problems.
Amy died on the 26th of November, 1944. She passed away in the University of California Hospital in San Francisco, California. I believe her death was due to complications of her thyroid disorder. From family accounts, the doctors had wanted to remove it, but she was too afraid and did not have the surgery.
Both Amy and Walter are buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Oroville, California.
(Amy is my great-grandmother. She is the mother of Leoma Nesta Dallas Simmons, who is my own mom’s mother.)