Ida Ann Dunford (Osmond) (1869 - 1943)

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Birthplace: Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Death: Died in Paris, Idaho, United States
Occupation: Married Oliver Cowdery Dunford July 1855 in St. Louis, Missouri, and they had 11 children.
Managed by: Della Dale Smith
Last Updated:

About Ida Ann Dunford (Osmond)

The photo shown above was taken at the Dunford Homestead in Bloomington, Idaho, in July of 1894. Pictured are as follows, Standing: Oliver Dunford, Parley Dunford, Moroni Dunford, David Krogue, James Lehi Dunford. Seated are Rao Dunford, Ida, Stanley, Mary J., Glenna, Sarah, Letha, Lea, Mary N., George, Eliza J., Karma, and Florence. Seated on the rug in the foreground are Bailey, Grover, Venice, and Logan. There are a few more photos under the "media tab" above, showing Ida with her husband on a mission in New Zealand, and with her twins Oliver and Ida when they were babies.

Ida Ann Osmond Dunford, 1869-1943, Biography, from historical sketches written by Oliver Cowdery Dunford and Letha Dunford Madsen.

Ida Ann Osmond Dunford was born February 26, 1869, in Bloomington, Idaho, five years after the settlement of the ear Lake Valley at a time when every house in the village was of logs with a dirt roof. Ida was the sixth child in a family of ten children—three boys and seven girls (Clara, George Anson, Alfred, Rosabell, Ira, Ida Ann, Ella, Nellie, Georgina, and Alice Maud)—born to George Osmond and Mary Georgina Huckvale.

She attended the primitive schools of that day, which were crude indeed in every particular, as all old timers know. While she was yet a child, her father purchased a Mason and Hamlin organ, reputed to be the very first instrument of its kind in the valley. On it, by her unaided effort, she learned and soon became the Sunday School and ward organist, at the same time service as Sunday School secretary.

At about the age of 15, in order to assist with the family budget, which in those days called for careful planning, she accepted a position as clerk in the co-op store. There she labored faithfully and well for several years.

Her musical ability enabled her to be of great social service to the community. For years, she was trainer and accompanist for glee clubs, choruses, choirs, etc. It was during those years when local musicians were scarce and when the village became notable for its musical festivals. So ran the joyous tenor of her life among her many relatives and friends, for whom she had great affection and with whom she was very popular.

In the autumn of 1889, she became the wife of Oliver Cowdery Dunford and accepted with him a call from President Wilford Woodruff to do missionary work among the natives of New Zealand. Thus she became the first lady missionary from the village. Accordingly, on October 30, Oliver and Ida were married by Apostle Marriner W. Merrill in the Logan Temple and continued on from there to that remove island in the South Seas.

Life among the Maories was native indeed, but she took it and the language with a zest that won the admiration of the missionaries and the love of the natives. As a teacher of the little native boys and girls, she was very successful. How thrilled the old folks were to hear their children sing in excellent harmony Sunday School and other songs!

As a rich reward for her efforts and privations, she had the joy of knowing that some of her pupils had become prominent. One, for instance, Watini Mitti (Walter Smith) became an able musician, a composer of popular songs, a noted one being “My Beautiful Isle of the Sea.”

While in the depths of Maoriland, 25 miles away from the nearest European habitation, her first child, Rao Bingham, was born. The Maori people gave him his first name.

After two years of teaching, preaching, and exhorting among the dusky dwellers of that distant isle, Ida was honorable released to return home. Oliver remained to carry on for another year.

Shortly after her return home, she was made president of the Primary Association. To provide for her needs and those of her child, she and her sister-in-law, Leah Dunford Krogue, whose husband, David, was also on a mission, conducted a private school. They were both well trained and musical and made a happy combination.

When Nancy Pugmire became state president of the YLMIA, she chose Ida to be a member of the stake board. At that time, the Bear Lake Stake included the area that later became the Montpelier Stake. They served thus together until Sister Pugmire became stake president of the Relief Society and then took Ida with her into that organization as a board member. On the accession of Sister Eliza B. Cook to the presidency of the stake Relief Society, she chose Ida to be a member of her board.

Ida served several years as president of the Bloomington Ward Relief Society, during which time she endeared herself through her unselfishness to the women of the community.

Thus runs the story, briefly told, of Ida’s public activities. It is in the realm of home, as wife and mother, that the angelic elements of her character came to the fore to prompt, temper, and sweeten every act of her life. No wife was ever more responsive to the duties of that holy alliance; no mother was more solicitous and attentive to every need of her six sons and four daughters, her 38 grand children and her five great-grandchildren.

The History of the Bloomington Ward Relief Society gives the record of Ida’s service as president from September, 16, 1915, to January 18, 1921. Her counselors were Mary Ann Christensen and Dorothy P. Painter, with Sarah J. Dunford as secretary. The history states:

She was studious; and as the Relief Society lessons were now requiring more study than formerly, she took an active interest in this branch of the association. Sister Dunford is remembered as a very ambitious woman, dauntless in undertaking and accomplishing hard tasks, both physical and mental. Although she had the work of caring for a large family, she was promptly on hand for meetings and showed by her attitude that her “hear was in her work.” Her counselors were favorable to all efforts to improve the Society.

During this period world War I was in progress, and Red Cross sewing and knitting were cheerfully taken up by the Relief Society members. Sometimes they did it at regular work meetings; and again they would be given patterns and instructions there, and then members would take the articles to their homes to complete. In answer to the call for raising of food, the Society planted a patch of potatoes in the church lot and cared for them until they were harvested. Some of the officers and members had sons in the service, and they derived much comfort in meeting together and doing “their bit” for the cause. One of the faithful visiting teachers, Sister Mary E. Nelson, became a Gold Star Mother through the death of her son, Dellos, in France.

Ida Ann Osmond Dunford was an ideal example of dignified, gracious, lovely womanhood. Her sweet, quiet, pleasant manner was a calming, peaceful influence in her own home and among all of her associates. At the time of her passing she was survived by six sons—Rao Bingham, William Stanley, Alma Teller, Ralph Osmond, George Osmond, and Isaac (who acted as pallbearers at her funeral services) and four daughters—Hazel, Mabel, Della Maud, and Ida Georgina. She was preceded in death by her husband, Oliver Cowdery, and baby son, Oliver Wendell, who was a twin to daughter Ida.

This information is from an article written by Olivery Cowdery Dunford for the obituary of Ida shortly before his own death, which occurred January 18, 1943. Ida died nine months later on October 30, 1943. Only a few changes have been made in the original text.

Letha Dunford Madsen, History of the Bloomington Ward Relief Society, written in 1959 and filed in the Bloomington LDS Ward Library.

SOURCE: From a book entitled, "The Isaac and Leah Bailey Dunford Family Story," which I found during a search of Google for Ida's daughter, Della Maud Dunford Briscoe. Della Dale Smith 5/15/2012.

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Ida Dunford's Timeline

1869
February 26, 1869
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
1891
April 25, 1891
Age 22
1893
September 13, 1893
Age 24
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States
1895
September 18, 1895
Age 26
Bloominton, Idaho, United States
1897
June 17, 1897
Age 28
1900
July 1, 1900
Age 31
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States
1901
June 9, 1901
Age 32
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States
1903
September 9, 1903
Age 34
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States
1905
December 6, 1905
Age 36
Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, United States