Rose Garden PhotographsMazie Pearl (De Armond) Beyer McCombs, daughter of Samantha Earnest and William Jasper De Armond, was born on December 23, 1907, at Fort Whipple in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory. Her father, William, had come from Missouri to the Octave and Stanton area of Yavapai County earlier with his sister and brother-in-law; the two men were co-owners of the Bishop Mine. Once William got established, he returned to Kansas where he married his wife and then brought her to Stanton. William also built a boarding house in Stanton that served as a freighting and stage stop.

No medical facilities were nearby, so when Samantha was expecting, William found a job as a carpenter at Fort Whipple, so Mazie could be born there. After her birth, the family returned to Stanton, but when Mazie was a year old her father tired of mining and sold out his shares. The family moved to Peeple’s Valley to homestead. Five years later William sold his homestead to the Hays Cattle Company, and the family moved a short distance away to Skull Valley and bought a two hundred-acre farm.

Mazie’s mother home-schooled her until she was eight years old when she entered second grade in the one-room Skull Valley schoolhouse. Mazie’s parents rented a room in their house to the schoolteacher, Ruth Draper.  The family gave the teacher the use of a horse and buggy, and that is how Mazie was transported back and forth to school. For the last two years of school, Mazie and her friend and neighbor, Elsie Shupp, attended Prescott High School and lived in a place in Prescott their parents rented from Dr. Tole.

When Mazie was a teenager, her father became a deacon in the Skull Valley Evangelic Community Church of God. With her father’s religious training, Mazie began preaching herself at the age of 17 and was trained as a minister.

Mazie attended Arizona State Teachers College, where she received a teaching certificate in 1929.  She secured a teaching job at the Miller Valley School in Prescott in 1930 to teach fourth grade. She lived in a little two-room cabin in Miller Valley during the week and returned to Skull Valley every weekend to preach on Sundays.

After teaching for a year, Mazie felt the Lord had called her to do His work and enrolled in Anderson College Seminary where she received her Bachelor’s of Theology degree.  She married Herman Edward Beyer on June 14, 1934, in Wabash County, Indiana. Mazie recounted: “Eight days after our marriage we were both ordained to the Christian ministry at Anderson, Indiana.”

Mazie stated: “In 1934 we were called to pastor the First Church of God in Phoenix, Arizona.” In 1937 a son, Carl William, was born to them, but after several years the couple parted.  Mazie continued in missionary work, preaching and organizing churches in Willcox and Flagstaff, Arizona and in Alaska for eleven-and-a-half years from1941 to 1952.

In 1968, Mazie was the pastor of the First Church of God in Sweetwater, Texas, when she married Kenneth Day McCombs, a widower, whom she had also met at Anderson Seminary. After spending several years in Texas, the couple came to Camp Verde, Arizona, and served as pastors on and off throughout their years there. Kenneth died on January 18, 1996, in Camp Verde, and Mazie became a resident of Prescott Samaritan Village retirement community. She died on March 20, 2003, at the age of 95 and was buried in the Skull Valley Cemetery.

The Sharlot Hall Museum Archives holds an oral history of Mazie’s family and life.

Donor: Mona Lange McCroskey, November 2004
Photo Located: Prescott High School Hassayamper Yearbook, 1927, Pg. 15
Updated: 06/24/2015, N. Freer