This picture was probably taken around 1906. Louise certainly doesn't look very happy here, but she suffered many trials in her young life and more would come.
Unfortunately, I know very little about my great grandmother. She died when my grandfather Charlie was only 6 years old and whenever I would ask about her, he would always respond, "I never really knew my mother...but, I remember that she loved me."
Louise Marie King was born on February 23, 1885 in St. Louis Co., Missouri. Her parents were Wilhelm King and Marie Beverforden. Wilhelm was a stone mason who practiced his trade in St. Louis, as far as I can tell....they never married. Marie would have been only about 16 when Louise was born. Marie married Carl "Fritz" Bensler in December, 1887 and had to swear before a judge that she was of age, 19 in order to marry. Louise would have been two years old. I have searched for other census records that would tell me where and with whom Louise lived after that time, but have found none yet.
Louise's young life is a mystery to me, but we know she had a son named William prior to meeting Charles Daniel Halfaker, Sr. Charles met Louise while working in St. Louis and they fell in love and married on January 30, 1905 in Bourbon, Crawford Co., MO. My grandfather recalled to me that his father, Charles, Sr. said that when Louise and her mother, Marie got off the train in Bourbon from St. Louis many people watched them walk through the town saying how they were the most beautiful women the townsfolk had ever seen. I believe they carried themselves with an air of confidence. Little William took the Halfaker name and I had the opportunity to meet him when I was a child. He looked very much like my uncle Ernie and my grandfather, so it was apparent that much of their good looks came from their mother. Charles and Louise's children are as follows:
Serelda Evelyn Halfaker b: March 4, 1906
Carrie May Halfaker b: December 13, 1908
Ernest Herman Halfaker b: January 30, 1910
Charles Daniel Halfaker b: December 5, 1911
Louise Halfaker b: April 29, 1914
Bertrum Leroy Halfaker b: September 24, 1916
The family bought property shortly after their first daughter was born and built a home on what is known as Blue Springs Road outside of Bourbon. They had several joy filled years in this area as their family grew, until the winter of 1917. Charles had gone to St. Louis to find work to help support his family during this cold winter. The children had all had the flu and colds and Louise had spent many hours watching over them and making sure that the wood fire did not go out during those cold nights.
Early in December, Louise had become sick with what was known as Inflammatory Rheumatism and later suffered a stroke. She was confined to her bed and Charles returned home immediately upon getting word of his wife's condition. She suffered for almost a month and died on January 6, 1918.
Life would never be the same for her husband or children.
**Much of the information contained on this page comes from "The Halfaker Family History" written by William E. Rohrer. William is the youngest son of Serelda Halfaker Rohrer.