Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Adah Lenore, daughter of John W. and Nellie Mae Francis, was born in Flagstaff, Arizona Territory, on October 20, 1888. Her father, the first elected sheriff of Coconino County, operated a large merchandise store known as the Flagstaff Commercial Company. Adah’s maternal grandparents were one of the first White families in Flagstaff, and her grandfather Marvin Beal was a member of the Flagstaff school board.

There was no high school in Flagstaff at the time. Lenore graduated from Emerson Public School, and her father sent her to Howard Payne College in Fayette, Missouri, only a short distance from his hometown and relatives. In 1907, she returned west and enrolled in the Flagstaff Normal School, where she graduated with a Lifetime diploma as a teacher in 1908.

Lenore’s first teaching job was at a small country school at the Dennis Lumber Company in Maine (now Parks), Arizona, where she taught all grades. She became a very accomplished teacher, and in 1916 became the first woman in the state to be elected to the position of County School Superintendent for Coconino County.

On December 11, 1919, in Flagstaff Lenore married Mack Oliver Dumas, a dentist. Lenore and Mack had two children: Glenn Irven, born January 7, 1921; and Martha Francis Dumas Bunger, born October 12, 1922.

Lenore was a member of the Flagstaff Woman’s Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Eastern Star, the P.E.O. Sisterhood, the Episcopal Church and later in life when she lived in Tempe, the Tempe Congregational Church. She was a prizewinning artist and a Sunday school teacher for many years. From 1937 to 1946 she managed the Casa Loma Hotel in Tempe.

Lenore died on April 3, 1983, in Tempe, Arizona, and was interred in the Flagstaff Mausoleum.

Donor: Martha D. Bunger, daughter
July 2001

Additional documentation and photographs may be available in the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.