b. October 13, 1868; Milwaukee, WI
d. March 11, 1943; Clear Lake, WI
ZILLAH LOUISE BARNEY
b. August 12, 1875; Collin County, Texas
d. July 17, 1967; Rosebud, Montana
Halbert A. COLEMAN, was born in 1868 to William Werner Coleman and Clara Valeria Metzel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Halbert worked in the newspaper industry with his father William Coleman, who was the editor for Der Herold and Germania. In 1894 he met and married Zillah Louise BARNEY, daughter of Albert Burtch BARNEY and Alice Louise SHERIN.
Zillah attended Albert Lea College, a women's college in Albert Lea, Minnesota. In my possession is a copy of her grades for 1892-1893, shortly before she was married.
Zillah and Halbert had two children. Clara Alice Coleman (described below) and Zillah Louise Coleman. Supposedly Halbert and Zillah divorced in 1907, although no paperwork regarding this separation is currently available.
1880, 1900, 1930 census; retrieved at http://www.ancestry.com
Personal papers in possesssion
CLARA ALICE COLEMAN
b. January 23, 1896; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
d. December 24, 1969; Yellowstone, MT.
This information was written by Valeria Barley Frank, about her mother for the "They Came and Stayed" publication produced by the Rosebud County History association in 1977.
"Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1896, Clara Alice Coleman attended teachers' college in Superior before coming West in 1916 to teach at Alzada, Montana. There she met and married Lee Richardson (Ezekiel) and two sons, James Louis and Willis Barney, were born. While managing this active, young family, she also ran a confectionery store.After teaching at Hysham in 1923, she came to Rosebud in 1924 as a young schoolteacher with two small boys to raise. Many who had her for their seventh and eigth grade teacher kept in touch for many years.
In August 1930, she married Joe Barley and moved to his Sand Creek Ranch fifteen miles northeast of Rosebud, and six miles from the nearest neighbor.
The thirties were hard for housewives, too. Hand-me-down clothing had to be made over to fit growing boys who rode horseback six miles to grade school. Poor heating, cold winters, no running water, and no electricity added to the discomforts. And in 1932 there was a bay, Valeria, to care for. And always there were three hearty meals a day to fix for all the ranch crew.
Clara found a friend in the Postal System, for through letters she kept in contact with people everywhere. Then, too, postage stamp collecting became a hobby and a connecting link for years with many friends all over the world.
The house was kept clean, the meals tasty, the garden painstakingly cultivated by hand; but still there was time for books, and games, and music, and embroidery.
The Needlework Departments of the Fairs in Forsyth, Miles City, Billings and Great Falls can all attest to her Blue Ribbon entries in 'cut work,' white and colored embroidery, knitting, crocheting, etc.
No one every enjoyed a challenge at the Bridge Table more. And how many games of Monopoly, Rummy, Scrabble, etc. were enjoyed by her family and friends?
As a Rebekah she participated wholeheartedly in the local Mary May Lodge in Rosebud; and she served as State President in 1954, visiting all the lodges in the state and attending national and international meetings with honor.
Quietly she took an interest in politics and served as Democratic Committee Woman in Rosebud County. A lifelong Episcopalian, she was a member of the Daughters of the King and worked with Guild projects.
When she left the ranch her love of travelling was exercised from New York, Washington, D.C., Florida, Arizona, California, Alaska and points in between. After the age 60, she sailed on a freighter across the Atlantic Ocean, enjoying all the ports of call, touring Europe, meeting and visiting pen pals after many years of correspondence. Alaska, land of the midnight sun, held its lure to a free spirit, and she went back in June 1969. She was 73.
But the years had taken their toll and her life here was soon to end. After several months in declining health, Clara Barley died on Christmas Eve, 1969,
She had lived a rich and full life. She was both a student and a teacher. With the same enthusiasm that sent her to attend a high school class in German when past age 65, she subtly and deftly broadened horizons for grandchildren, young fold, and all who knew her. As a friend said of her, "She will always be a person we will remember because she had that knack of leaving a light wherever she had been.""
In a copy of Clara's diary, transcribed by a cousin, here is what she says about her marriage to Lee Richardson.
"Sunday night, May 6
At last we've decided to settle people's curiosity and do as they expect us too. Lee and I decided Friday night that it would be best for us to be married right away. I'm letting Lee do all the planning. Even now I can't realize that another week may see me a married woman. It's impossible.
I had never imagined that I would be married this way when I tot of it at all. I haven't got a thing ready and I won't even have a wedding dress.
I wonder what Mother and the folks will think when they get my letter. I hope they don't disown me! I ought to write Dad, but I won't. I'll just send him a telegram after its all over with.
I'm so glad Lee is going to settle up my debit scores right away. I couldn't marry him with a clear conscience otherwise."