Mary Elizabeth (Chastain) Cordes was born on September 3, 1888 in Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia, the daughter of William E. and Eugenie (Smith) Chastain. When the 1900 census was enumerated Mary was listed in the household of her grandparents, Sterling and Lizzie Chastine[sic—spelling on census], in Fork, Hall County, Georgia.

In 1904, Mary moved west to Prescott, Arizona Territory where she got a job as a store clerk in the Bashford-Burmister store. Eventually, she ended up settled in Mayer, Yavapai County, Arizona and took a job as a telephone operator for the Humboldt Telephone Company. One night she went on a blind date to go out dancing in Humboldt or Mayer,and while she was at the dance she met Charles Henry Cordes.  On May 5, 1908, Mary and Charles married in Prescott.  After their marriage, they moved to the town of Cordes, Yavapai County, Arizona, which was founded by Charles’s father, John Cordes.

Charles was originally in the sheep business, but he decided he could not run sheep and have a wife and family.  Hence he took over his father's grocery store business in the small town of Cordes. Charles and Mary carried on the Cordes tradition of prosperity by building a brand new grocery store in 1910, as well as a saloon and warehouse.

Together they raised seven children: Henry Edward (July 16, 1909), Raymond Chastain (January 26, 1922), Ruby Eugenia Warren McGee (December 30, 1912), Edna Vivian Warren (February 9, 1917), male infant Cordes (May 1, 1919, who died May 4, 1919), Warren Oscar (March 22, 1922), and Calvin Chester (December 15, 1926).

The family moved to Wickenburg, Yavapai County, Arizona, in 1939 for eleven years.  They then moved to Kingman, Mohave County,in 1950, returning in 1952 to Mayer. The Arizona Republic dated May 7, 1958, reported they celebrated their golden anniversary with a reunion at the home of their son Henry in Cordes.

In addition to being wife, mother, homemaker, and helpmate, Mary was active in the Methodist Church and the Ladies Aid Society of Mayer. She died in Prescott on October 26, 1964.Her funeral was conducted by the Rev. Heatwole of Skull Valley Community Church, and sheis buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Prescott.

Donor: Edna (Cordes) Warren, daughter, May 2000
Photo Located: Historic Photo Colleciton - PO-2625p
Updated: 2/20/16; D. Sue Kissel