By Madge Wylie
The Olde Tyme Fourth of July committee has chosen a Melba native to be Grand Marshall of the 2014 Fourth of July parade.
Ann Pettijohn Tomlinson was born in Melba and attended Melba Schools graduating from Melba High School in 1954. After she married Dave Tomlinson they continued to make their home here for a few years before moving to Nampa.
Ann has always been a faithful Melba supporter. She was proud that her father, Ross, was the second postmaster in Melba and after his term of twelve years, he bought a farm and built a home on Randolph under the water tower. He began a lifetime of being the secretary or clerk of the Oddfellow Lodge, the Village of Melba and the Melba School Board. Upon his retirement he and his wife, Hilda, moved to Coos Bay, Oregon where they lived out their lives.
Ann has written books and articles about Melba and collected artifacts. About two years ago, at the time when Melba was celebrating 100 years of existence, she started promoting a historical society. With a group of about a dozen supporters the Melba Valley Historical Society was born in early 2013. Ann was immediately elected president of the group.
The Melba Rebekah Lodge, after proper consideration, moved their group to Nampa and donated the two-story Lodge hall on Carrie Rex, next to the Post Office, to the new organization for a museum, now called the Melba Valley Museum. Every Thursday morning she and Dave put in a couple of hours cleaning and building display cases, etc. to make the place presentable.
Following graduation from high school Ann took journalism in college. Through the years she has sent a few articles to the Kuna Melba News. She is a 20-year member of the Ee-dah-how Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. She wrote the newsletter for that group for nine years and served as state information chairman specializing in websites and newsletters, working with nine chapters in Idaho.
She writes a newsletter for Nampa’s retired railroaders organization NARVRE and writes a quarterly newsletter for the new Melba historical group.
She served more than six years on the Canyon County Historical Society board and helped with the organization and re-decorating of the Our Memories Indian Creek museum in Caldwell. For several years and currently, she serves as Indexing Chairman for the South Stake of the LDS Church, which, along with 500 workers, extract names from all sorts of records – censuses, obituaries, marriage and death records, etc. Their website is free to anyone who wishes to do online ancestral research.
And, incidentally, Ann and Dave raised eight children and are working on the next generation.
The organization feels if it weren’t for Ann the Melba Historical Society would never have happened. It is fitting that she should be recognized and honored for her contribution to Melba by being the Grand Marshall of the 2014 Fourth of July parade.