Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cora Belle (Metzner) Haley (1868-1955), Hardships & Photos, 52 Ancestors # 12

Cora Belle (Metzner) Haley
The 12th ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project is my paternal great-grandmother, Cora Belle (Metzner) Haley (1868-1955).  Previously, I'd written about the details of her life in an Exploratory Data post.

Metzner cabin where Cora was born
Cora was born in 1868 in Wayne Township, Jay County, Indiana, the daughter of John Adam & Clara (Moulton) Metzner1.

Eli & Cora (Metzner) Haley
After her marriage to Eli Weldon Haley in 1888, Cora lived as a housewife in Noble Township, Jay County, Indiana.  She was the mother of seven children, only five of whom survived into adulthood.  The five girls were Vera, Mary, Nora, Carrie and my grandmother, Ruth.  Son Charles (1903) and daughter Orpha (1899) died at age 6 months and 7 years, respectively.

Losing a child was a more common occurrence over a hundred years ago, but I'm sure it was a heartbreaking experience.  I do not have the cause of death for Orpha, but Charles died of acute pneumonia.  This funeral photo is the only known photo of him.

Charles Leo "Charlie" Haley (1902-1903)
Orpha's memory was captured in this family photo of the Haleys.  Since daughter Mary was born in 1895, this photo likely dates just before Orpha died in 1899.

Eli (seated), Cora (standing), Vera, Orpha & Mary Haley
The family farm was the scene of many family gatherings and Sunday dinners after church.  Eli was still farming at the time of the 1940 census, when he was  74 years old. In 1939, after an unfortunate fire, my grandmother & grandfather's family had to move back in with Cora and Eli for a time.  The family was always a close one.

The Haley girls

The Haley girls

After many years of living on the farm, Cora and Eli moved in with their daughter & son-in-law, Vera and Clarence Stuber.  The Stubers lived in Madison Township, where Cora died on April 28, 19552.  I had previously posted about her funeral record.

Cora (Metzner) Haley on the farm

My dad remembers that his grandma Haley in her later years suffered near blindness from glaucoma.  She could only make out shadows.  Yet she was still able to fix a plate and feed herself.  He mentioned my aunts helping to braid her hair. Dad was only 11 years old when she passed, so I need to speak with my aunts and uncle to see if they have other memories of grandma Haley.


1. Commercial-Review, Portland, Indiana, April 29, 1955, page 1, Obituary of Mrs. Cora B. Haley.
2. Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Indiana State Board of Health. Death Certificates, 1900–2011. Microfilm. Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana. , Cora Belle Haley, 4-28-1955, Jay County, Indiana.

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge was created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small blog.  The premise is to write once a week about a specific ancestor - whether it be a story, a biography, a photograph or a research problem.

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