Inez, we hardly knew ye: Halloween photo launches a journey down Mormon Row history

GROVONT, WYO – We could not stop staring at the ‘Photo of the Month’ from the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. The picture depicts schoolkids from Kelly acting out some sort of Halloween scene.

It’s a chilling black-and-white but not for the feigned macabre. It’s the story behind the story that we found captivating. The history almost lost if not for that one person who cared to dig. Okay, we’ll be your huckleberry.

Who were they? What were they doing exactly? And where are they now?

Inez May baptism and confirmation certificate.

After 90 minutes of internet research and a few phone calls, Buckrail tracked down the little girl in this photo. She is Inez Fay May, we found out. One of nine kids (Marjorie, Marvin, Glenn, Inez, Jack, Shirley, Bruce, Vern, Allyn) born to Clifton and Fay Tempest May.

Inez was born on a Saturday in December in 1928. She grew up in Grovont, more commonly known today as ‘Mormon Row’ in Grand Teton National Park—a collection of 27 LDS families at one time. A few doors down, she would meet the man she was to marry—Boyd Moulton. Boyd helped build the famous Moulton barn with his dad and brothers.

After his mission trip ended in 1943, Boyd returned to Grovont where he wooed and married Inez on July 28, 1945. The courtship, like many of that time and place, involved a well-trod half-mile trip down the road to where Inez and her family lived.

The couple moved to Chapin, Idaho, just north of Victor, where they lived together for 62 years until Boyd’s passing in 2008. It has been a decade since. Was Inez still alive?

We found the last known landline for the Moulton’s and called. A frail voice answered.

“Inez? Inez Moulton?”

Boyd Moulton

Click.

She hung up on us.

We called back and blurted out anything we could think of, in a jumpy narrative, to prove we were not telemarketers and to try to explain why we were calling.

Silence.

Then we mentioned the photo.

Inez Moulton (Facebook)

“Oh my, I haven’t thought about that in years,” said the woman now confirmed to be Inez Moulton. “I must have been in eighth grade. The Grovont and Kelly schools were combined so I would have been there in Kelly in eighth grade.”

“You are with someone named Howard Hardeman. You appear to be trying to strike him with a stick,” we explained.

“Yes, I recall we had a Kodak camera and were making a picture for the yearbook,” Inez said.

“And there is someone referred to only as Robert, who is wearing a skeleton costume of some kind.”

“Oh, Robert. I can picture him but I don’t recall his name.”

We reminisced a bit more about the days on Mormon Row growing up in the 1930-40s in the shadow of the Tetons.

Inez is still on the farm/ranch she and her husband moved to in 1946. She turns 90 on December 15.

Mormon Row map. (mormonrow.com)

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