Alta Grace HAMMOND 1896-1986

a biography

Alta Grace Hammond

Alta Grace HAMMOND was born 2 March 1896 in the - then - bustling community of Cumberland, Barron, Wisconsin. The only daughter and eldest child of John V. HAMMOND and his wife Etta SWAN-HAMMOND, she enjoyed her early youth in a community where she knew most of the townspeople, and they knew her. She had a petite stature, long auburn hair, and bright blue eyes. Theatrical by nature, she was in many school plays. Alta loved to travel and told many stories of her travels to the big city of Minneapolis (where she attended business school), as well as her move, by train, to the West. At about the age of 23, she and her family moved to Barber, Idaho. Working as a bookkeeper at the Weyerhauser Mill, she made fast friends with Mae MULLIN. It is Mae who introduced Alta to Mae’s brother, and soon-to-be Alta’s future husband, Robert MULLIN, at a local baseball game.

Alta and her family moved to Seattle in 1920. For a time, the Hammond family lived with Alta’s Aunt Etta COLE at the house on Crown Street. Robert MULLIN followed Alta to Seattle, and it is there that they were married on the 15th of June at the Methodist Parsonage at 1119 W. 61st Street. Alta’s new in–laws were not pleased with their protestant marriage and requested that the young couple remarry in the Catholic Church. On June 26, 1920, Alta Grace Hammond and Robert Mullin remarried at St. John’s Cathedral in Boise, Idaho. Wishing to further please her in-laws, Alta adopted the Catholic faith and was baptized October 6, 1920.

Alta, as a new wife, moved back to Barber, Boise City, Idaho, and it is there that Alta and Robert’s children were both born: Alta Mae MULLIN was born on March 19, 1921 at Boise, Ada County, Idaho. She married James Robert MEACHAM. She died died prematurely of cancer on 29 Dec 1991 at Lewiston, Nez Perce County, Idaho. Son, Robert Neil MULLIN was born on June 14, 1922 at Boise, Ada County, Idaho. He married several times. He died on 19 Dec 2000 at Vancouver, Clark County, Washington.

Alta recalled their days in Barber as "fun". She would "bake fresh biscuits for Mr. Weyerhauser" as he was fond of stopping by the Mullin household on his daily walk to the mill. Robert worked, as a millwright, with his father and brothers at the sawmill. The family moved to Clarkston, WA 1925-26, and later, just across the river, to Lewiston, Idaho where their new home in the Lewiston Orchards area on 5th street was built by John V. HAMMOND, and Hezekiah (aka Henry) H. MULLIN. It was in this house that Alta and Robert’s children were raised. During World War II, Alta drove an ambulance. She recalled that exciting time and often recounted her "ambulance missions to Spokane".

Fond of animals, Alta raised dogs (Pat & Mike, Mollie A, Mollie B), cats (Buffy and Tiger), and even pet chickens (her particular favorite chicken was Pedro). Always active in her local communities, Alta joined numerous clubs and societies. She was most active in Catholic Daughters, Garden clubs, and Business and Professional Women’s organizations. Returning to their house at 3313 5th Street in Lewiston in 1960, Robert MULLIN retired and Alta became very active in both political and social activities.

Sadly, their only daughter, Alta Mae MULLIN-MEACHAM died in 1971. Her mother never recovered the loss of her daughter and best friend. In 1976, Alta was named Idaho’s Mother of the Year. In 1978, due to poor health, Robert and Alta moved to Vancouver, WA to be closer to their only son and his family. Robert died in April, 1980 and Alta died fifteen years to the day of her daughter’s death, on December 29, 1986. She is buried next to Robert, in Lewiston Normal Cemetery at Lewiston, Nez Perce, Idaho.

Alta Grace (Hammond) Mullin is best remembered by her petite good looks, flair for fashion, tempestuous nature, dedication to both her mother and her children, love of animals and her love of her extended family.


  • Birth - Wisconsin Births 1820-1907, Reel 00004 Record 001908,,
  • 1900 Barron County, WI Federal Census, Roll T623_1777 Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 6.,,
  • 1910 Barron County, WI Federal Census, Roll T624_1701; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 10; Image: 161.,,
  • 1920 Ada County, ID Federal Census, Roll T625_287; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 22; Image: 455.,,
  • 1930 Nez Perce County, ID Federal Census, Roll 402; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 36; Image: 957.0.,,
  • Death - Washington Death Index, 1940-1996, Washington State Department of Health,,
  • Death - Social Security Death Index, Number: 519-26-6270;Issue State: Idaho;Issue Date: Before 1951.

© 2006 Catherine Mullin-Fields. This work may be reproduced and redistributed, in whole or in part, without alteration and without prior written permission solely for genealogy research purposes, provided all copies contain the following statement: " © 2006 Catherine Mullin-Fields. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Catherine Mullin-Fields."

© 2009, all rights reserved