There must be somebody who hasn't heard of Andy Devine, but that person sure doesn't live in Kingman where Andy is becoming somewhat of a folk hero. Who would have thought on November 16, 1906, when Amy Devine, Mae, her stepdaughter, and Tom Jr., her son, stepped from the train in Kingman, that the year-old boy she was carrying in her arms would turn out to be Kingman's favorite son? Amy's husband, Tom, had been a railroad employee in Flagstaff until a terrible accident had taken his leg. Unable to continue his work for the railroad, he took the settlement they offered and purchased the Beale Hotel.
Tom Devine was 36 years old when he came to Kingman, an affable and likeable Irish Catholic, who was a second generation American. Although not as well educated as his wife Amy, and it has been said that she schooled him, he was educated enough to be elected Treasurer of Coconino County. He later served as Mohave County's Treasurer for many years and was a successful and respected businessman in the community. Tom Devine was also a community-minded man. One of the more interesting endeavors that he was involved with was the Good Roads Association, a group of Northern Arizona citizens who were successful in having the National Old Trails Highway take the northern route rather than the southern route through Phoenix. This highway became the famous Route 66.
Amy Devine, Andy's mother, was probably a greater influence on his life than his father. She had been a teacher and tutor and had tutored the children of the Governor of Nevada before her marriage to Tom. It was Amy who patiently helped Andy recover his speech after the acident that damaged his throat and who strove to curb the exceptional energy that got him into many scrapes and accidents as a child. Amy was also a community-minded woman. She was a member of the Red Cross Relief Corp, was confirmed and became active in the Catholic Church, and at one time, tried to start an Elks' ladies group called the Does. That particular endeavor was not successful.
If there is one thing that Andy's old Kingman friends agree on it is that Andy had one heck of a lot of exhuberance. This trait frequently got him hurt. As early as February 29, 1908, the Mohave Miner was reporting that "Andrew, the three year old child of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Devine, fell from the rear porch of the Beale Hotel to the ground, a distance of about 13 feet, sustaining a fracture of the left arm and sundry cuts and bruises. The little fellow is getting along nicely." It may have been the last time anyone called Andy "a little fellow", but it was not the last time he made the papers for a broken bone. On May 23, 1914, the Miner again reported that "Andrew...fell from the rear porch of the Hogan residence and fractured an arm." And, according to Andy's wife, he broke another bone when he fell out of a tree while in military school.