Rose Garden PhotographsAdah Lenore (Francis) Dumas, daughter of John W. and Nellie Mae (Beal) Francis, was born in Flagstaff, Coconino County, 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 when Lenore was a teenager. She 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, Lenore married Mack Oliver Dumas, a dentist in Flagstaff.  The Coconino Sun of December 19, 1919, stated, “The bride has been a favorite in the town where for years she has been associated in every good cause – church, Red Cross, school and club claiming her as a leader.  Her social graces have also fitted her for the place she occupied as favorite in the younger society set.” The wedding notice that appeared in the Arizona Republican dated December 21, 1919, remarked: “Mrs. Dumas is unusually pretty and attractive, was a Phoenix visitor last spring when she passed several weeks with her aunt, Mrs. Daniel Francis.  She was extensively feted while here.”  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 and the P.E.O. Sisterhood.  In addition, she was a member of 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
Photo Located: RGC MS-39, Box D-F, F-Dumas, Adah
Updated: 4/30/2015, D. Sue Kissel