Ferron announces honored citizens for Peach Days
Kenneth Ray Wareham was born Aug. 5, 1924, in Ferron to Kenneth and Lyda Wild Wareham. His father was a farmer and coal miner and his grandfather Earnest Wild was also a farmer. Ray was the oldest child of five boys (Ray, Max, Earnest, Dick, and Lee), and one girl (Margaret).
When Ray was a junior in high school, in 1942 during World War II, there was a great demand for coal so Ray went underground. Ray loaded coal by hand along side his dad. At age 16 and a full fledged coal miner, Ray was the richest kid in school. He gained a lot of respect and in his senior year was voted Student Body President at South Emery High School.
In 1943, at age 18, and a senior in high school, Ray enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and did his part to defend the country he loved so much, America. During WWII, he served as a sergeant overseas in the Marshall, Marianas, and Solomon islands. Ray was honorably discharged in 1946.
In 1948, at age 24, Ray went to Kremmling, Colo. to work for DeBerard Cattle Company. It was in Kremmling that Ray met his wife (Maribelle Brown).
Maribelle was born Feb. 7, 1933, on her parent's kitchen table. It was a horribly cold day, being 60 degrees below zero outside. Her parents were Horace Wills Brown (owner of Brown-Jones Merc. Co. and having a franchise for Conoco and International Harvestor Co.) and Loretta Jewell Sharrah Brown (a school teacher). Maribelle was so proud that her parents were both college graduates.
Maribelle was riding quarter horses and thoroughbreds for breeders in the area at the time Ray was working for DeBerards. He mentioned to his cowboy friends that he would like to marry a girl like her someday.
"Marry her! Boy, that's a laugh! She doesn't even date!"
Ray bet those boys 50 cents that he could get a date with her and 14 months later they married in Kremmling, on June 22, 1952. Ray said that it gave him great joy to collect from all those conceited cowboys that 'held so tight to their saddles'.
As part of Ray's wages, Fred DeBard gave him a registered Hereford heifer plus $200 wages each month.
In June, 1953 they moved to Ferron, where they purchased a 60 acre farm with a brick home, a Grade A dairy with 25 head of Jerseys, 1,000 leghorn chickens, two hives of bees, and 120 shares of water for $20,000. They moved in and started a family.
They were so happy when their first son (Wills Philip) was born Oct. 3, 1953, followed by another son (Kit C.) born Aug. 24, 1956, and a daughter (Ginger), born Aug. 20, 1959.
After a few years milking cows, Ray went to the coal mine to supplement his farm income. Ray worked as a coal miner up Huntington Canyon for $30. In 1976, Ray took out his foreman papers and worked as a face boss for Consolidated Coal until he retired in 1983.
In 1966, Ray was honored to be selected as Utah Cattleman of the Year at the Utah Cattlemans Convention in Salt Lake City.
Ray was voted as a member of the Ferron Canal and Reservior Company. The board consisted of President Ellis Wild, Seely J. Peterson, Homer Duncan, John Behling, Carl Larson and Ray Wareham.
It was at this time a decision was made to build Millsite Reservoir. The company only had three years to start the project or they would lose their filing. Where would Ferron be today without Millsite Reservoir?
Ray served as president of the Southeastern Junior Livestock Show for two years and was a board member for several years.
Ray and Maribelle loved to race horses. Maribelle loved barrel racing and competed statewide. At the end of 1963, Maribelle was fourth in the state standings riding a quarter horse stallion Dodger Jim.
Ray was appointed to the Ferron Town Council in 1980. While serving eight years on the town council, the Millsite Golf Course and Millsite State Park were completed. Ray served as Peach Days Chairman for eight years.
Maribelle was the horse 4-H leader for years as their children were growing up and was delighted when her 4-H team earned a second place finish in the state in 1967.
Maribelle fulfilled her life long goal, with her children all in school, she returned to college in 1969. Maribelle did three years in two and graduated Cum Laude from Utah State University in 1971. She taught school in Ferron and Orangeville for 25 years and retired in 1996. If you asked Maribelle what her greatest accomplishments were, she would to say, to meet and marry a man like Ray, move to Utah, raise three beautiful children, have seven wonderful grandchildren, be baptized into the LDS Church in 1962, and be sealed to her husband and children in the Manti Temple, Feb. 3, 1968, going on a LDS mission to Cove Fort 1999-2001, and always serving the Lord.
Maribelle loves being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Not a holiday or birthday goes by that Ray and Maribelle don't celebrate by taking the whole family to dinner and gifts delivered. Ray and Maribelle love to take their grandchildren riding on the mountain and spreading out a picnic lunch along a cool mountain stream.
Maribelle enjoys making a variety of candies and delivering at least 50 plates to neighbors and friends at Christmas.
Both Ray and Maribelle have encouraged their children to become self reliant and have been supportive in helping their children become well educated.
Ray still enjoys working with cattle and helps his son (Wills) farm and take care of his cows. Maribelle loves keeping a beautiful home, working and raising flowers, and doing geneology. She is so proud that she has been responsible for seeing that her ancestors have had their temple ordinances done for them.
Ray and Maribelle have always wanted to be good examples and role models for their children and grandchildren to follow.