Walter T. Fife was born a son of William Nicol Fife and Diana (Davies) Davis. Walter was probably named after William friend and partner, Mr.Walter Thompson was also from Glasgow, Scotland, they were trained as architects and builders, doing all kinds of work William was born in Scotland, converted to Mormonism, emigrated to the United States in 1852 and settled in Utah. Diana Davis was born on the 12th of April 1837 at Llystyn, Llanfihangel Rhosy Corn, Carmarthenshire, South Wales
During July of 1855 when Ogden boasted some fifty families, William Nichol Fife, architect and builder of Salt Lake City, and his partner,Walter Thompson, were commissioned by Brigham Young to come to Ogden and build a Tabernacle for the saints of this area. According to William Fife's diary, now in the possession of his granddaughter, Mrs. James (Iretta Fife) Lindsay, they received about $100 and some foodstuffs in pay. They went to work under the direction of President Lorin Farr and in spite of the hard winter the work progressed satisfactorily with volunteer labor giving able support. Red pine logs were cut in the mountains east of Ogden and floated down Ogden River and sawed at Farr's mill. With nails costing $100 a keg--and none to be had--it was necessary to fasten the timbers in the huge roof rafters and arches with wooden pegs. The foundation was of rock and the two-foot thick walls were made of adobe.
In 1880 the family moved to Arizona, crossing the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry. They located at the mouth of Pinery Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains, built a house, and ranched for nine years. These were troubled times for the family. In 1882 one of the sons, John Daniel Fife, nineteen years of age, was shot three times by Apaches six miles from the homestead, but escaped and eventually recovered from his wounds. John D. Fife later moved to Salt Lake City where he engaged in the sale of agriculal implements.
On September 11, 1884, the mother, Diana, was murdered in the ranch house by a Mexican who had stopped in for a free meal. (See Orson's Bio and the report in the Prospector of April 28, 1922 for full details)
Walter T. Fife moved to St. David's in 1888, and on December 3 , 1889 married Mary Jane Merrill at St. David, Cochise County, Arizona. Mary was the oldest daughter of John Smith Merrill, one of the founders of St. David, and Rebecca Weaver Merrill. Mary Jane was born on 15 Aug. 1872 at Soda Springs, Idaho. She died on 6 Oct. 1932. Both are buried at Inglewood Cemetery, Inglewood, California.
Walter served as a deputy sheriff, as well as justice of the peace. In November 1900 he was elected county assessor. Between 1917 and 1927 he was a hide buyer for Brownstein Hide Company of Los Angeles.
Walter was killed January 22, 1927, when a motorized stage he was riding in overturned on the Nogales-Tucson highway nine miles north of Nogales.
Walter Thompson Fife and Mary Jane Merrill Fife:
1- Walter Thompson Fife, Jr., b. 19 Apr. 1891 at St. David, Arizona, d. 22 July 1891 at Thatcher, Arizona. Buried at St. David, Arizona.
2- Ralph Eugean Fife, b. 25 Dec. 1892 at St. David, Arizona, m. Viola May House, 8 Aug. 1927 at Los Angeles, California, daughter of Edgar D. and Lilliam May Lawrence House, b. Brooklyn, New York, 1 Jan. 1898. Address: 11629 Calvin Street, Yucaipa, California.
3- Lorin Merrill Fife, b. 28 Feb. 1895 at St. David, Arizona, d. 29 Sept. 1931 at Riverside, California, buried, Inglewood Cemetery, Inglewood, California, m. 4 May 1921 at Los Angeles, California to Genevieve Owen Young, dau. Marshall and Blanch Owen Young, b. 31 Mar. 1903 at Windsor, Missouri. Address: Mrs. Harry Bedell, 830 North Ramona., Hemet, California.
1. Lorin Merrill Fife, Jr., b. 6 Apr. 1922 at Burbank, California, m. 21 June 1952 at Los Angeles, California, to Marian Stromwall, dau. Albert C. and Ruth Dorsey Stromwall, b. 25 Jan. 1926 at Hanford, California. Address: 11450 Curry Avenue, Granada Hills, California.
2. Walter Marshall Fife, b. 12 Nov. 1926 at Los Angeles, California, killed, Korean War, 3 Nov. 1950. Buried Inglewood Cemetery, Inglewood, California.
4- James Maxwell Fife, b. 5 Apr. 1899 at St. David, Arizona, m. 19 Sept. 1925 at Los Angeles, California, to Lindo May Reuper, dau. Louis Fredrich Herman and Lillian May Lawrence-House Reuper, b. 17 Oct. 1904 at East Orange, New Jersey. Address: 11639 Lenox Street., Yucaipa, California.
1. Mary Lou Fife, b. 22 Apr. 1928 at Los Angeles, California, d. Bethesda, Maryland, 9 June 1962. Buried, family plot, Inglewood, California.
2. Virginia May Fife, b. 13 Aug. 1942 at Los Angeles, California.
5- Miles Martin Fife, b. 30 Jan. 1901 at St. David, Arizona, d. 5 June 1901 at St. David, Arizona. Buried, St. David, Arizona.
PAF - Archer files = Captain James Brown + (7) Phoebe Abbott > Orson Pratt Brown.
PAF - Archer files = Phoebe Abbott md. (2) William Nicol Fife ; Fife md. Diana Davis > Walter T. Fife.
Cochise County Stalwarts Volume One, a Who's Who of the Territorial Years, by Lynn R. Bailey and Don Chaput. Westernlore Press, 2000, Tucson, AZ 85740. Pages126-127, 228.
Prospector, April 28, 1922.
Weekly Citizen, September 20, 1884.
Portrait and Biographical Record, pages 939-940.
Epitaph, January 27, 1927; April 4, 1935.