WT and Clara
Clara was born in 1869.
The photo is of WT Cooley and Clara Cooley in approximately 1959.
Clara May Tomlinson Cooley
1869 - 1959
Clara May Tomlinson
[�] additions and corrections by Ted Cooley 2006
I was born in Wayne County, Iowa, August 19, 1869. My parents and grandparents had moved there from [rural] Peoria, Illinois. I was my parents second child, my brother Ward [A. Tomlinson, b. 28 May 1867] being just older than I.
When I was 7 years old we moved to Kansas. We traveled by covered wagon. My mother and father with their little children were in one of the wagons. My grandparents had a larger family and more possessions, and they had two wagons. Grandpa drove the team to one wagon, and Grandma drove the other wagon.
We had to cross the Missouri River where there was no bridge. We crossed on ferry boats. While we were out on the river a wheel of one of the wagons slipped over the edge of the barge. Many men began to hold on to that wagon to get that wheel lifted back on the barge. It was a very exciting time for a while.
My mother had many younger brothers and sisters. I liked to play with my little aunts. Sometimes we would feel tired from riding for hour after hour. We would take our doll babies and walk along beside the wagons for a while. My Uncle Henry, [Henry G (Jr.?) b. May 1864] about 12 years old, liked to run along beside the trail looking for rattlesnakes.
Grandpa�s name was Henry Haag [b. 21 Sep 1828]. Grandma�s maiden name was Glatfelter [Anna (Nancy?) Glatfelter]. They were both Pennsylvania Dutch [German]. My grand parents and my mother spoke both Dutch [German] and English. They would often speak in Dutch to each other, so we little kids wouldn�t know what they said. I never learned Dutch.
My father was born February 12, 1841, in Melbourne, England. He was left an orphan and brought to America by an Uncle John Cox. He was a rather short man, about 5 feet 4 � inches, and had auburn hair. He was listed in the army as red headed. He fought in the Civil War in Co. B & K, 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry [pension # 50358].
My mother had dark hair. She wasn�t very tall. All my brothers and sisters were short. My mother died when I was 17 years old [19 Nov 1887, following a long illness]. I kept house for the family until I married, just before I was 19. Then my sister Annie [Bell(i) Tomlinson, b. 29 June 1873] kept house till Pa got married again [to Hattie Culp Porkeypile, 13 Nov 1890], then she went to live with Grandpa and Grandma.
Grandpa and Grandma Haag had a farm near Caney, Kansas. He was a very respected and well-to-do farmer, but because all the children talked Dutch so much they were laughed at by the other children at school. Grandpa lived longer than Grandma and all their children except my Uncle Henry.
I was married July 31, 1888. My wedding dress was white lace and made with a wide sash. We began housekeeping on a farm near Tyro where he [WT Cooley] had corn planted. We moved to Sedan and rented a farm northwest of town. After Lizzie was born we moved near Peru, Kansas, where we lived for a while. Many people were going down into Oklahoma to the Indian Territory. We went down there and worked as a hired hand for a lady who was a widow and owned a big ranch with many hired hands. We moved about to many places in Oklahoma. Jim, Ella, and John were all born in different places in Oklahoma. We lived in a dug-out on Media�s place near Enid for about a year. Then we went down into Texas and lived for a year and came back to live in the dug-out again. We homesteaded a farm near Quinlan, Oklahoma out in the red hills and lived there 2 or 3 years raising brown corn. Almedia was born while we lived there in the log cabin. We sold the farm and moved into Quinlan where he [WT Cooley] was postmaster. I helped him run the post office. Then he got elected sheriff so we moved to Woodward. Later we bought a farm of 160 acres near Gage, Oklahoma. Willie was born there.
In 1926 we moved back to Kansas. We lived on several farms until we finally retired to the place just at the west edge of Howard.