Laura Dumm, right, and her daughter Myrtle Robb in the late 1960s.
My great-great grandmother Laura A. Stump was born in 1881 in Ohio. She married my great-great grandfather Jacob Beecher Dumm in 1899, and they welcomed my great grandmother Elsie Belle Dumm the following year. Two years later, they had Myrtle, who was known as Mickey Dumm. In 1906, the girls were joined by Forest Dumm, and in 1909 Clarence Vernon Dumm, who was nicknamed Jake after his father. Sadly, I don't have any photos of the boys.
Laura and Beecher Dumm
My grandmother, Joan, loved her grandmother, just as I loved Joan. Their bond was incredibly strong, despite the distance that separated them after Joan's moves to Alaska and California. Although Laura died in 1971, Joan was determined to keep her grandmother in her life. She often shared stories of Laura's strong Christian faith and love of her family with us, and she kept many of Laura's writings for us to treasure and enjoy.
Laura Dumm at her piano. This photograph was displayed in Joan's home for as long as I can remember. It is now in my home.
A sweet card sent from Laura to her great-granddaughter Julie, my mother.
Here are a few of Laura's poems and writings. Many of them were published in her church's bulletins.
My Heart Sings
It was a beautiful morning and my soul was full of joy. Just a few rose-tinted clouds hung motionless on the Eastern horizon and the great, golden ball of sun peeped through the window right in my eyes. A new day was dawning, giving us another chance…another opportunity to let our light shine through in newness of life in our Christ Jesus.
Sunrise is the time to start the new day with prayer that God will guide us through the coming day….that He will help and sustain us…keep and direct us. There is invigoration and freshness in the early morning hours…to many of us it means just going back to the office, factory or to the field…to the housewife it means starting in again on the unnumbered duties of the home and our children.
How fortunate are we are who able to get up and go to work again. Just a glimpse at the sunrise and a morning prayer will put Hope in your heart and a song on your lips.
-Laura Dumm, 1970
When Father Prays
When father prays he doesn’t use The words the preacher does. There’s different things for different days But mostly it’s for us.
When father prayers the house is still His voice is slow and deep. We shut our eyes, the clock ticks loud So quiet we must keep.
He prays that we might be good boys And later on good men. And then we squirm and think we won’t Have any quarrels again.
You’d never think to look at Dad He once had tempers too, I guess if father needs to pray We youngsters surely do.
Sometimes the prayer gets very long And hard to understand, And then I wiggle up quite close And let him hold my hand.
I can’t remember all of it I’m little yet you see. But one thing I cannot forget My father prays for me.
In addition to these sweet poems, I also have one of her silver dollars that was given to me by Joan when I graduated from high school in 2002. She had originally given the dollar to Joan, telling her that as long as she had the dollar, she would never be broke. I always loved that story, as it showed her sense of humor, as well as the deep love she had for my grandma.
I am proud to share her name.