The July 2014 issue of Arizona Highways Magazine features an article about Benson Family Physician Andy Mayberry, but not because of his work with people. It’s all about the oxen.
Dr. Mayberry is a sixth generation Arizonian, and a member of the Patton Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When his daughter Mariah expressed a desire to raise livestock, she and her dad decided on oxen. The family bought two as calves and trained them for the work they were meant to do. “I feel that when I work with the oxen, I better understand my pioneer ancestors and I get a small glimpse of what it was like to be a pioneer,” he said.
Nearly 140 years ago, Mormon pioneers settled the St. David and Benson areas, building around the San Pedro River Valley to raise their crops and their children. To this day, St. David is a close-knit community, with people of many faiths still enjoying the country life. Every year, summer celebrations provide opportunities for the local families to celebrate the heritage left them by their hard-working ancestors.“Cuddles” and “Fluffy” have become the main attraction in Benson Arizona’s Fourth of July Parade, as well as in the Pioneer Day celebrations held in St. David. “Cuddles” and “Fluffy” have become the main attraction in Benson Arizona’s Fourth of July Parade, as well as in the Pioneer Day celebrations held in St. David. They also participate in community service, as they did several months ago, plowing the Cascabel Community Garden north of Benson.
This year the oxen will again draw the Mayberry cart in the St. David Pioneer Days Parade on July 17. On the 18th, Andy will show his prowess with the team, giving an “old-fashioned” plowing demonstration from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the St. David School.