Thank You For Visiting Sedona Legend-
The Jack And Helen Frye Story!
Sedona's Celebrity Love Story!
This is the official, not to mention only, web portal in the world
dedicated exclusively to the legacy of Jack and Helen Frye!
The Frye Legacy-
a Lifetime of Accomplishment!
By Randall Reynolds
The Sedona Legend Web Site is a copyrighted historical photo enhanced narrative presented for
educational and entertainment purposes. Some materials may be displayed in regard to the
United States Fair Use Act. This web portal is totally non-profit and generates no income nor
does it seek or has it ever accepted a single donation. It is an independent venture.
Sedona Legend was envisioned and created to provide Red Rock State Park visitors a
comprehensive historic overview for Jack and Helen Frye and their Deer-Lick and Smoke Trail
Ranches. This effort is now officially cited by R.R.S.P. as an indepth historical venue
representing Jack and Helen Frye.
Sedona Legend is encouraged by the many friends of Jack and Helen Frye. A gracious thank
you to the Frye and Varner families for invaluable support and Red Rock State Park staff and
volunteers for their enthusiasm.
Sedona Legend Helen Frye a.k.a. the Jack and Helen Frye Story
A Decade of Research and Presentation- Created By Randall D. Reynolds
Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved
Helen Virginia Varner was born November 28, 1908 in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The daughter
of Dr. Harvey V. Varner, a West Virginia doctor, and his wife, Maude Morrison Varner, a music
teacher. Her parents were married on October 7, 1907. Helen was the oldest of two twin sisters
named Mildred and Marie. Helen grew up in Clarksburg, early on she would accompany her
father on his house calls, not only observing how the ill were treated by her doctor father, but
developing an innate gift of intuitive healing herself, a talent she was to utilize her entire life.
Helen's family was not well to do. Many times, my grandfather who was a Doctor, was paid with
a sack of potatoes or a box of candy. He was the kind of Doctor we all dream of who went out in
the country to help the sick. Helen's parents had a 3-bedroom-house with 1 bathroom. There
was a parlor, kitchen, and living room. After my grandfather died after an illness of nearly 2
years (March 18, 1925), in order to survive, the remaining family lived in the attic and my
grandmother (Maude) rented out the lower rooms to strangers. The house resided just on the
edge of town, back then there were no motels."
Above (left to right) is Helen, Marie, and Mildred in front of 618 West Main, Clarksburg, W.V.
(Right) Helen, as a teenager, in Clarksburg, dressed in her riding outfit with horse. Helen had
a life-long kinship with these gentle creatures and owned many equines in her lifetime.
Because Helen was a doctor's daughter she often accompanied her father on calls in rural West
Virginia even serving as his driver at the tender age of 8. In this primitive time frame, Dr.
Varner owned 2 Model T’s, one in use at all times and the other in the shop, both, constantly
needing repairs from the ruuged W.V. roads (per Helen Frye). Helen Frye Story excerpt below-
A clock ticked loudly within the small space, Helen sat on an old worn bench, quietly observing
the room. "Simple, sparse and boring," she thought, "just like all the other shacks in the
valley." Suddenly, her mind was interrupted by the moaning of a woman in labor, Helen rose
and walked over to the other side of the open room where there was a big brass bed. She
observed her father and a mid-wife prepare to deliver a newborn baby. In the harsh light of a
single bare bulb, Helen's father appeared strong and competent, tall and godly, in his white
shirt and tie, in Helen's eyes, he was a marvelous healer. Well-respected in the community he
was always there to aid those who needed medical care, rich or poor. She wished she could be
just like him, healing all the people in the countryside, bringing peace to the weary bodies and
minds of rural West Virginia. Her admiration was interrupted by the squalling of a baby boy,
frightened and terrified he cried for comfort. "What will his life be like," thought Helen, "will
he be strong and successful, or weak and sickly?" Helen was soon to find out life was not easy!
At (left) Helen was a certified Red Cross trained swimmer and taught swimming in Clarksburg
for a time in her youth. She was also noted by her teachers as being very athletic. To the (right)
Helen in Clarksburg with some newborn puppies in the yard of her girlhood home. The time
frame is thought to be mid-1930's. Helen had already toured Europe by 1934 (per newspapers).
Reno was where everyone went for a quick no fuss divorce. Helen decided to take advantage of
this simplicity. The divorce trip as a long cross-country train journey was a milestone in Helen's
young life which would soon change forever, culminating in 1935! But even Helen with her
dreams of far-away places could never have imagined her life-path. As far as Noah, by 1942, we
find him employed as a Clarksburg football coach, after which, he was drafted into military
service. (Images above show Noah in 1924.)
After Helen completed high school in 1927
she attended the Art Institute of Chicago
for 1 year. During this time frame though,
Helen fell in love and married fellow
classmate Noah 'Andy' B. Anderson. This
young man, employed as a coach held
several positions as notated in newspaper
accounts- (an athlete and coach at West
Virginia Wesleyan College at
Buckhannon, a coach of the Central
Junior High School athletic teams, at
Clarksburg, and lastly a Clarksburg High
School football coach). The two were
married on August 9, 1930, at Red House,
Maryland. Helen was just 22. Information
has not been forthcoming on this local
Clarksburg boy. Hastily entered the
marriage was a disaster. The two were
ill-suited for each other. In the 1970's
Helen was quoted in a newspaper as saying
"the union lasted a mere 7-months." The
younsters were divorced April 26, 1932 at
First Marriage- Local Boy
Helen Virginia Varner Vanderbilt Frye
The Very Earliest Years
Born to a Clarksburg Family- Father a Brilliant Local Doctor
Helen's doctor father (Harvey Varner) is seen here leaning toward Helen's mother Maude
(Morrison). The other lady is thought to be Dr. Varner's sister. The charming element to this
photo is the "surrey with the fringe top" accompanied by a carriage light. The Varners
honeymooned in Europe where Dr. Varner availed himself to clinics and hospitals along the way.
The (1904) charming 3-story Victorian (above)
618 West Main Street, Clarksburg, W.V., is
where Helen Varner Frye (born in 1908) spent
her childhood and teens. Interestingly on the
back of the image Helen's mother wrote the
address as "628" Main Street. Helen's twin
sisters, Mildred and Marie, (born in 1910),
lived there too. (Above) we see the house in its
original expression, and (right) the addition of
a sub-level garage. If you think you see a
tombstone in the foreground you are right.
There was and is a cemetery across the street.
Directly above are the three beloved Varner
children, Helen (center) Marie (right) and
Mildred (left). Above (right) is what I call the
"Big Bow Varner Girls" from (left to right)
Mildred, Helen, and Marie. Photo (right)
standing (Mildred and Marie) sitting is Helen
(Mildred had the mumps. You will notice the
beautiful 'pointer' hunting dog in these photos
with dark circle eyes, one of two family
pointers who followed the children around like
a loyal protector. Helen's mother Maude
created most of the girl's clothing herself,
busily sewing from January to March for the
next season (all on a vintage peddle sewing
machine)! Perhaps, Helen's inspiration for
fashion design came from her mother's
The Varner 'Big Bow-Girls'
& Beloved Family Pointer
One of the items from Helen Frye's estate was
a large cast iron bell which belonged to Helen's
grandparents. It was said to have been a dinner
bell, rang when the farm help was called up to
the main house for dinner, a reminder of a
different time and place. The "help" was black
but were considered part of the "family"
certainly not "slaves". We can learn more of
this time-frame from correspondence with
Helen's niece Sisty. This paraphrased
information in regard to the Varner Family
history is as follows: "Helen's grandparents
were Octavia and Nimrod Morrison, they lived
on Crooked Run in Sardis, just outside of
Clarksburg, on a farm. Nimrod's father, David
Morrison, came over the mountains from the
Prince William County of Virginia. They
brought with them some slaves. They had a log
cabin in back of a house where the slaves lived
and my grandmother was born in a little white
house in 1881, built in front. Later, they built a
bigger farm house in 1894, and it remains
today. In fact, all of the houses are still there,
but the log house is in the worst shape. The
back of it is gone and the last time we were out
there it was full of hay.
The Morrison Crooked Run Farm
Helen Varner seen to the (left) in about 1910 at
the Morrison Farm at Crooked Run.
The Varner Home In Clarksburg West Virginia
The Varner Children
Helen & the Twins-
Mildred and Marie
Just above (left) is what Helen's niece Sisty has titled the "Katzenjammer Kids" in reference to
a famous comic strip from the 1930's. The theme appears to be hats and in the back we see
Helen (right) followed by the twins Marie and Mildred (center).