Treat yourself to 12 months of Payson history with the 2005 Daughters of Gila County Pioneers calendar. This year the organization pays tribute to Rim country grandfathers and grandsons.
In addition to honoring fallen pioneer women, and featuring renderings of area brands each month, the calendar recognizes 2004 Woman of the Year, Valda Irene Sanders Teague.
Teague's grandfather, John Delar Fletcher Beard, Payson's first forest ranger, is on the calendar's cover.
Teague was born Jan. 5, 1930, the daughter of John Thomas and Catherine Leora Sanders of Payson. Her father worked in fire guard stations every summer, taking the family along with him. They lived at the Pinchot Fire Guard Station, the Blue Ridge Guard Station and the Long Valley Ranger Station.
Teague learned to embroider and crochet when she was 6. She also learned to shoot and was given a .22 rifle while living at the Blue Ridge station. Teague's family loved playing games; poker, with matchstick or bean bets, was their favorite.
At the age of 12, while the family was at the Long Valley Ranger Station, Teague received her first fishing tackle and pole along with a big game rifle. That fall, she went on her first big game hunt.
In 1945, after John Sanders took a full-time post with the Forest Service, the family moved to Camp Verde, where Teague graduated from high school in 1947. She married Alvin Teague -- a Forest Service worker -- in Aug. 30 of that year. They had four children and made their home on the Mogollon Rim. Teague spent many years serving her community by participating in children's activities.
In 1980, after Alvin retired from the Forest Service, the couple returned to Long Valley, where they ranched together for 12 years. The couple retired to Camp Verde.
Teague is the organization's 18th Woman of the Year. Daughters of Gila County Pioneers was organized in 1986.
Calendars are $6. For more information, or to place an order, call (928) 474-2949.
12 months of Rim country pioneers
- January: Sammie Garrels
- February: Duke Hale
- March: Walter Sanders
- April: Floyd Malcolm Pyle
- May: "John" Bartholomeo Belluzzi and grandson, Don Hardt
- June: Alfred Haught
- July: George Randall
- August: James Harry Brown
- September: John L. Cline
- October: Edward C. Conway
- November: James Griffin
- December: Bill Stewart