Rose Garden PhotographsDora Dean (Davis) Graves Roy Sharp was born on October 4, 1898, in Hackberry, Mohave County, Arizona Territory. She was the daughter of May Imus (Young) and George Davis, a native of Missouri. She attended public school in Kingman, Arizona Territory, and a Catholic school in San Diego, California. On November 15, 1915, at the age of seventeen, Dora married Samuel M. Graves, a cattleman, at her parents' DW Ranch, located at the foot of the Hualapai Mountains of northwest Arizona.

Dora and Samuel settled in Kingman.  The couple bought a ranch on the Big Sandy River.  They had two children: Samuel George, born October 2, 1916 and Anna May (Graves) Jamtgaard, born November 10, 1918.  One evening when Samuel went out to check on his beehives, he was stung in the throat by a bee. Within a few hours of the bite, he died.

In 1924, Dora married Jesse Bender Roy, but the couple divorced on February 25, 1927. On March 12, 1927, Dora married Henry A. Sharp, in Needles, California. Henry worked for the Arizona State Highway Department. Henry, Dora and her two children moved to Duncan, Arizona. Henry was later transferred to Cottonwood and then to Copper Creek Camp in Yavapai County. From Copper Creek the family moved to Mint Valley, located north of the city limits of Prescott.

Dora and Henry had four children, all born in Prescott: Alberta Dean Allmon, born February 14, 1930; Robert Lee, born September 25, 1932, died September 29, 1932; Betty Loe Allmon, born June 18, 1934; and Henry “Tucker” Albert Jr., born November 6, 1937.

Just before Tucker was born, Dora and Henry bought their own ranch, still known today as the Sharp Ranch, in Mint Valley. It was the Depression, and Henry was fortunate to have a steady job so he could qualify for a mortgage. Henry worked all over his district as a laborer for the Highway Department and was seldom home, leaving Dora to tend to the children and oversee the working of the ranch. They farmed with teams of horses until 1944 when they bought their first tractor.  In 1951, they finally got electricity at the ranch and celebrated with a big outdoor party after dark, illuminated by Dora’s new electric porch light.

Dora was a member of the Daughters of Mohave County Pioneers and the Western Star Rebekahs. She was known as a gardener extraordinaire, as well as being a mother and ranch wife. She canned all her garden produce, sewed, cooked, baked and enjoyed collecting recipes and cookbooks.

She began the square dancing at the Yavapai County Fairgrounds in a small wooden structure heated by a wood stove. That structure was later torn down to make way for the Mackin Building. In 1950, she moved the dances to Chino Valley in the school’s gymnasium.

After suffering a heart attack, Henry was forced to retire. He died on May 10, 1966. Son Tucker and his wife Dana Brisendine Sharp came home to help Dora run the ranch. Dora decided she did not want anything more to do with the old ranch and moved into town for a while. She was not happy in town either and moved around to several places, living for a while in a mobile home in Chino Valley. She kept busy planting roses, flowers and raising a vegetable garden. But she finally came back to the home ranch in Mint Valley and always enjoyed family get-togethers. When her health declined, she moved into Mountain View Manor in Prescott.

Dora died on July 25, 1994, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Kingman, Mojave County, Arizona.

Donor: Betty Allmon, daughter, April 2003
Photo Located: Digital Format Only I-Drive, RG Photos & Bios, RG TIFF Portraits, Sharp, Dora Dean (Davis)
Updated: 06/11/2015, N. Freer