Ida Belle “Idelle” (Grumbles) Culley was born on August 15, 1895, in White Oaks, New Mexico, to John Hemphill and Mariam R. (Brooking) Grumbles. Her father died March 10, 1896, leaving her mother a widow with seven children to rear.
Ida was living at home in Carrizozo, Lincoln County, New Mexico, in May 1910 with her widowed mother and remaining siblings when the census was taken. Ida attended school in Carrizozo where the Carrizozo News listed her as being on the honor roll.
By 1920 Ida was living in Carrizozo as a lodger in the Elmer Shulda household and working as a stenographer. Ida graduated from New Mexico Agricultural College at Mesilla Park and then went to work in El Paso, Texas.
In El Paso, on September 10, 1920, she married Matthew J. Culley, a photographer whose collection is in the Sharlot Hall Museum archives. They moved to Albuquerque for a year and then to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where Matt had been assigned to the Jornada Experimental Range. They had a son, John Henry II, born February 1922, in New Mexico and a daughter, Constance Mariam, born October 1924 in Tucson, Arizona.
Daughter Constance died August 13, 1936, and was buried in Tucson Evergreen Cemetery. The Culley family remained in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona until Matt retired, and after traveling for a year or so, they made their home in Prescott.
Ida was an active member of the Diaconate of the First Congregational Church and served as the publicity agent for the State and Yavapai County Cowbelles. She was also a member of the Yavapai Cattle Growers Association, the Monday Club and the Chino Valley Woman's Club.
The Culleys lived at 1310 Linda Vista Lane in Prescott. Ida died January 12, 1971, in Aurora, Colorado, where her son John lived, and she was buried in Tucson Evergreen Cemetery, beside their daughter, Constance. There was a special memorial service at the First Congregational Church in Prescott for Ida.
Donor: Museum Rose Garden; Yavapai Cowbelles
Photo Location: PB-22A, F-11, I-7
Updated: 4/25/15; D. Sue Kissel