Monday, October 5, 2009


This is daring Dora. Her full name was Isadora Montague. She grew up in Payson, Utah, and she was not afraid to do things other girls would not try. In 1916, she was one of a party of young people who were in a car that was hit by an interurban train. Dora's collar bone was broken in the accident. The following year she sued the Orem Interurban Railroad and was awarded over $1000. All this happened when she was 17 years old. When the United States entered World War I, Dora enlisted in the navy. She worked in the recruitment office in Salt Lake City. She was perfect for publicity for the navy and often found herself pictured in the newspapers. In one picture, she is bravely holding out her bare arm to the long needle of a navy surgeon. If a girl yeoman can receive her injection of typhoid serum with a smile, boys, why can't you? After the war, Dora still doing stunts for the papers, including, throwing pamphlets out of an open airplane cockpit for American Legion Day. While in Salt Lake, she enrolled in the University of Utah and studied art. This made it perfect for her to be featured painting in Zion National Park early in 1920. Her daughter told us that she loved to in front of the camera. One of the most publicized picture from the week in Zion in May 1920 was of Dora hanging over a cliff in Zion on a rope swing calmly sketching. I don't think she was afraid of heights, but she was afraid of snakes. That was why it was Anne who boasted killing a rattlesnake in Zion and not Dora. That was probably a traumatic event for Dora. After Dora was married, her daring exploits died down, but she remained as spunky as ever. She spent more time in Zion after 1920 than any of the other girls. Her daughter recalled camping there as a family many times. In her later years, she moved to St George, near Zion National Park, so that she could continue to pursue her art among the grand vistas of Southern Utah.

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