On Saturday, February 18th, the Heber/Overgaard Chamber of Commerce sponsored an event that featured Mr. Lewis Tenney giving a talk about the history and background of Heber/Overgaard dating back to 1963 with pictures and history that dated back to the 1940’s. Along with the history and background, Mr. Tenney also spoke of some amusing times and events from the past. The event was a wonderful few hours of entertainment for a large crowd that filled the Chamber Visitors Center The crowd was totally impressed with Mr. Tenney’s dissertation. Thanks to the Chamber for arranging this fascinating event.
Almost 50 years ago, a young man by the name of Lewis Tenney moved to Heber/Overgaard with his wife and sweetheart Mary to be close to Mary’s family. Unknown to him at the time, his destiny was to become one of the most important and dedicated residents in our community.
As the years rolled by Mr. Tenney was involved in the local hardware business and a trucking company while investing in land in the area as well. Over the years he and Mary raised a beautiful family of 2 girls and 7 boys; instilling in them his love for our community, our country and his desire to make Heber/Overgaard a great place to live and raise a family.
When asked, Mr. Tenney did not wish to elaborate on his service, accomplishments, generosity and his responsibility for growth and improvement in our community. He would not toot his own horn so to speak; however, it is this writer’s belief that the residents in our community should know about and appreciate this outstanding individual and his contributions to our well being.
Mr. Tenney served on the Navajo County Board of Supervisors for many years keeping Heber/Overgaard interests well represented in Holbrook. He also served on the School Board in Snowflake. Consistently involved in local politics, Mr. Tenney once ran for Congress to further assist in helping our region. Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments was fighting for many years to have a Heber/Overgaard School District; as local children were bussed to Snowflake, separating families for hours, sometimes days or children sometimes returning home as late as 7 pm daily. Finally, after many years of negotiations, his dream was realized and our local school system was born. As help was needed, Mr. Tenney was always there. He has donated land to the school system, the LDS Church and the land for the Rim Community Library. In days gone by when the school system needed funds they didn’t have, Mr. Tenney provided the trucks and fuel at his expense to haul needed materials to the work sites. Mr. Tenney served on the Heber/Overgaard School Board for many years as well. A firm believer in his faith, Mr. Tenney has also been a servant to the LDS Church in the past as a Bishop, Counselor and President of the Taylor Stake, working to help many Wards with their efforts for their congregations.
This article barely scratches the surface of the accomplishments and service of this remarkable individual. Mr. Tenney has truly been one of the unheralded champions of the Heber/Overgaard community. We all owe Mr. Tenney our gratitude for his outstanding work over the years which has made our community a wonderful place.