Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blast from the Past and Remembering - Al West Obituary

            Alvin West and Mamie Fox West. Al was born 6 November 1872 in Centerville, Idaho He died 30 July 1954 at Mackay, Idaho at the age of 81 years.

Alvin “Al” West and Mamie Fox West were married 7 July 1897 in Challis, Idaho
Mamie was born 5 November 1877 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She died 17 January 1965 in the Jerome Rest Home, Idaho at the age of 87 years.
Both Al and Mamie are buried in Mt. McCaleb Cemetery in Mackay, Idaho.

They had 2 daughters: Laura Lucille West Ivie born 17 Nov 1897 at Challis, Idaho. She married Lee Ivie in 1918. They had one son, Lester Ivie in 1919. Laura died December 26 Dec 1920 from complications of childbirth 9 months after the birth of Lester Ivie in Mackay, Idaho.

Jean Lucille West born 28 February 1919 at Dickey, Idaho and died 12 February 1920 of pneumonia. Both daughters are buried at Mt. McCaleb Cemetery in Mackay, Idaho.

Mamie Fox West born 11 May 1877 to George and Margaret Fox. Margaret came over to marry a man and he died. She, then, married George Fox. They settled in Pennsylvania. Their first son died of diphtheria and is buried in Pennsylvania. They may have had children before they came west. George Fox was a Mason. Together Margaret Fox and George Fox had 9 children:
1      Son died of diphtheria
2      Margaret “Maggie” Fox Nickerson (Nancy and Trudy Nickerson’s grandmother) Maggie married Frank D. Nickerson whose mother was Jessie McClure. Frank and Maggie Nickerson had two daughters, Trudy and Nancy Nickerson
3      Mamie Fox West
4      Arthur Fox
5      Lena Fox (Grandmother of Dene Milwarot ?)
6      Amelia Fox Brenchley (died in 1901 or 1902)
7      Frank Fox
8      Dora Fox Phillips
9      Ida Fox Wyatt born in 1891 and died in November 1993 at 102 years of age

Al West, 81, life time resident of Idaho and Custer County Pioneer, passed away Friday near the Rural Electric Association (REA) building just blocks from his home at 504 Elm in Mackay with a heart attack. He was watching workers put up the slab roof on the REA building. His sudden passing came as a shock to his family and friends as he had maintained unusual health and vigor for a man of his age.

He was born 6 November 1872 at Centerville, Idaho in the Boise Basin, the son of William W. West and Nannie Sampson West. In 1879 he came to Custer County with his father. His father was the first man to drive a team and wagon into the rough Bonanza Camp which was then in the throes of a big mining strike. In the fall of 1884, the senior Mr. William W. West moved his family to Challis, Idaho and it was here that Al received his early education and grew to young manhood.
Al was united in marriage to Mamie Fox in Challis on 7 July 1897. 

They lived in Challis during the first year of their marriage. Here, daughter, Laura Lucille West was born. Al ran a pack train to the Mountain King Mine at Sea Foam. The second year after his marriage, he leased a ranch below Challis and in April 1899 they moved to a ranch at Dickey, Idaho (Bascom’s place). This place got its name from J.P. Dickey, who established the first Post Office in the Thousand Spring Valley, north of Mackay, Idaho.

The land around the Post Office, when Mr. and Mrs. West first moved was a typical sage brush scene. They took charge of the Stage Station for the Anderson Brothers of Montana and kept the station for 20 years, until that mode of transportation became obsolete. They also held a financial interest in the Custer Stage Company for eight years. The Mackay, Challis, and Clayton stage along with Ike Hardman and Louis Hansen. Hansen lived where Reed Nielson place and ran a car dealership.

In the meantime, Mr. and Mrs. Al West carried on the work of development of the ranch which changed the sage brush into green meadows and made their ranch one of the most prosperous in the valley.

Mamie Fox West cooked for many passengers and stage drivers and tender through those years. And in the fall, large herds of cattle were driven to Mackay from Challis and the Pahsimeroi via Dickey for an overnight stop. The men and cattle were fed supper and breakfast. The cattle either fed on pasture or were fed hay.

In 1939, the West’s moved from their Dickey ranch into Mackay in the stone house on the corner of College and Elm. They spent the winters in San Francisco, California with Cassie and Texas. They lived for one year in the Carr residence before buying the home on the Elm Street and College Ave. Besides retaining ownership of the ranch, Mr. Al West was an agent for the Texaco Company.

The greatest tragedy in their lives was the death of their two daughters. Jean Lucille was born 28 February 1919 and died 12 February 1920 of pneumonia. Laura Lucille West Ivie died 26 December 1920. They passed away within 10 months of each other. Jean passed away at the age of eleven months, fifteen days and Laura, who was married to Lee Ivie and the mother of one son, Lester Ivie – died at the age of 22 years from the effects of Lester’s childbirth.
FROM the Bunnie (Ines) Smith Collection

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