Martha Geneva Ashby (1895-1981)

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Martha Geneva Ashby Speakman
Ashby, Martha Geneva.jpg
Aunt Neva
Born: 13 Oct 1895 Fillmore, Utah
Died: 2 Dec 1981 Fillmore, Utah
Father: Richard Truman Ashby
Mother: Minnie Colegrove
Siblings: Martha Geneva Ashby
Richard Eugene Ashby
Fern Ashby
Alice May Ashby
Spouse: William Daniel Speakman
Married: 1 Oct 1918
Children: Daniel Vaughn Speakman
Virgean Speakman
Scott Ashby Speakman
William Daniel Speakman

Utah Beauty Pageant, 1912

Interview recorded in 1972 by Dan Speakman at the home of his mother Martha Geneva Ashby Speakman.

Transcribed by Sue S. Lambert

Dan: Didn’t you tell me at one time that you were in the state competition in a beauty contest or something? Tell us about it.
Geneva: You’ve seen the picture of me, haven’t you.
Dan: Well, maybe I’ve seen one, I don’t remember.
Geneva: It was right up at the state capitol.
Dan: Was it just a competition up there, or did you represent Millard County?
Geneva: Millard County
Dan: Well, you had a beauty contest here first, then?
Geneva: No, they just chose a queen and four maids of honor from this county. I was one of them.
Dan: Well what did you have to do to compete for that?
Geneva: Go to Salt Lake.
Dan: But you didn’t compete here before you left?
Geneva: No, went to Salt Lake.
Dan: How did they choose you from the county?
Geneva: Oh, they just picked us.
Dan: They picked you from here and then you were judged up there?
Geneva: Yes.
Dan: What did you have to do up there, just …
Geneva: No, we had to compete.
Dan: Did you have several dresses that you had to wear?
Geneva: We had costumes, new costumes
Dan: Well, what did you have … ?
Geneva: You can see a little picture. Have you seen that picture?
Utah Pageant Royalty, 1912
Dan: Did you have a formal or a swim suit competition or what did you have?
Geneva: No, all in the same thing.
Dan: Just one costume is all that you went out in.
Geneva: All the same costume. The county did it.
Dan: The county hired it for you?
Geneva: Yes.
Dan: Did you win up there?
Geneva: I was the Maid of Honor. I won third prize.
Dan: Third prize.
Geneva: I got from Orbach’s. They gave me the best hat they had. They gave me two of them.
Dan: Is that right?
Geneva: They sat around this big coliseum outside town. You had to walk around a platform around all the people sitting there. And Dad was there, and somebody said, “Oh, there’s a beautiful girl!” and he said, “That’s my daughter!” And then we had to walk down this big platform to get our prize. They gave us an envelope. Governor Spry gave it to us. We had to walk down to get our prize and he gave it to us. Flap, flap, flap, flap. Before we went they had a big, big banquet all decorated just beautiful and they took us there in a coach that looked like this with four big white horses. We sat in this curve ...
Dan: Curves like you see in the movies?
Geneva: Yes.
Dad: Fancy?
Geneva: Well it curved down the middle with four big white horses.
Dan: You sat down in the curve and the man sat up in the front on the seat of the dome? Well, did Dad drive his team clear from here? Did you have a …
Geneva: He used to have this covered … No, he had one of his cars …
Dan: He had his car then that he went up
Geneva: No, I don’t know how he – he went in the parade with us.
Dan: Oh.
Betty: Was this before you were married, or when?
Geneva: I was seventeen. Yeah, long before I was married.


1913 00 00 Ashby, Martha Geneva.jpg
  • Deseret News Archives, Monday, April 19, 1999, Obituary: Speakman, Scott Ashby
  • The Progress, Friday, 10 Dec 1948, Obituary: Ashby, Minnie Colegrove
  • The Progress, Friday, December 10, 1954, Obituary: Robison, Fern Ashby
  • Birth: See death record.
  • Death: Social Security Death Index:
Birth Date: 13 Oct 1895
Death Date: Dec 1981
Social Security Number: 529-48-5253
State Where Number Was Issued: Utah
Death Residence ZIP Code: 84631
Fillmore, Millard, Utah
Flowell, Millard, Utah
  • Burial: Fillmore City Corporation, Cemetery Single Line List, by Deceased Name, 22 Apr 1990, p. 45:
SPEAKMAN, Martha Geneva
BLK 175, Lot 2, Grave 2
b. 10-13-1895
d. 12-02-1981