Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
HANNAH J. HARTER is certainly
to be commended, for she has done a praiseworthy labor in this county.
She owns an estate of one-half section, three miles south from Delight.
When her husband died, she had five children to care for and a homestead
of one-quarter section, only five acres of which were under cultivation.
Now she has three hundred and twenty acres farmed to wheat, the balance
well fenced and the place supplied with all machinery and stock needed.
She has recently built a fine new residence and has made all this holding
by her wisdom and hard labor here on this farm.
Hannah J. Harter was born in Keokuk county,
Iowa, on January 29, 1847. Her parents, Aaron and Hannah (Edie) Gaskill,
were natives of Ohio and settled in Iowa while it was yet a territory,
and there the father remained until his death. They were the parents
of six children, Elizabeth, Aaron, William, Charlotte, Hannah J., and Delilah.
Mrs. Harter was educated in her native place and at the age of eighteen
married James Harter, a native of Franklin county, Indiana, who had come
to Iowa with his parents when a boy. Mrs. Harter and her husband
settled on a farm until 1877, then moved to Kansas and were glad enough
one year later to come to Washington and take a homestead where she resides
at the present time. The following year, Mr. Harter died and left
his wife and five children. The names of the children are Joseph
and Jessie in Hatton; George, farming in this county; Alice and James living
with their mother. The prospects were very dark when Mr. Harter died.
For a widow to be left in a new country with five children and but five
acres from which to gain a living with very little other property and neighbors
a long way off is something to discourage even a strong heart. But
Mrs. Harter was not the kind to give up. She went to work and soon
had the whole one hundred and sixty acres producing wheat. She bought
another quarter section, erected the buildings mentioned, commenced raising
stock, supplied the place with plenty of good water, and has made a first
class success in every sense of the word. Joseph, her oldest son,
is now married and dwelling in Hatton. Mrs. Harter is a member of
the Christian church and a woman who receives the respect and good will
of all who know her.
Another item which should be mentioned is
that when Mr. Harter died, he left a life insurance of two thousand dollars.
This seemed as if it was a wise provision for the needy ones left behind,
but an unscrupulous agent succeeded in swindling this poor widow out of
the entire amount. The blow was appalling, but notwithstanding all
this, Mrs. Harter overcame all and has made the present holding by her
skill, wisdom and careful industry. She certainly deserves the competence
she has gathered.