Alma “Almy” Warr
was born in 1855 in Somerset, England, the eighth child of Justinian and Eliza Warr.
Justinian was born in Somerset in 1816. He married Eliza Sims in 1842.
Justinian’s oldest sister, Mary Ann, had emigrated in 1856 and his brother Moses in 1861. Justinian followed them in 1869, taking ship with his wife and four children on the Minnesota. The family were settled in Rhoades Valley by 1870 and were among the 47 families who lived in the Fort. By 1880 the family was living in Peoa.
Alma worked as a clerk in the Rhoades Valley Co-Op from 1869 and in 1892 he opened his own store, one of the earliest businesses in Kamas. It was built using rocks hauled from the canyon and the windows are encased with heavy steel shutters. He sold everything from paint and wallpaper to horse harnesses, toys, ornaments and candy. But no guns or ammunition.
“With the clang of an iron weight against tin cans, the door to the Alma Warr Store would open to a delightful, turn-of-the century display.”
Alma never married. He carved a wooden wedding chapel to take back to his intended bride in England, only to discover on his arrival that she had died. He lived in rooms at the back the store, filled with beautiful furniture including a piano. He loved to carve and made a model of the fort which he donated to the Rhoades Valley branch of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.
In 1903 he was violently attacked and robbed as he was closing the store. The criminals made off with $300 and, it seems, were never caught.
Alma ran the store until his death in 1940. The store was then closed and remained untouched for over twenty years, until the contents were donated to the Lagoon Pioneer Village. The house was moved and converted into a private residence. It now stands on the corner of 100 East and 300 South.
- Kamas Valley: Pearls of the Past by Rhoades Valley Daughters of the Utah Pioneers
- Lagoon History
- Chronicling America
- Beverly Bemis