By Laura Velli

We Start Out Small Inside Our Mothers With Care,

Then We’re Born Into The Nice Clean Air.

Our Mother And Father Are First To Greet Us.

Then Grandma and Grandpa Show Up To Meet Us.

As the Family Gathers And Describe All Our Traits.

My Genealogy Journey Becomes Part Of My Fate.

As I Grow And Learn, I Trace All The Names.

Of Those Faces That Love Me And Played All My Games.

It’s A Family Quest, A Journey Of Mine.

It’s The Past I Seek, Cause It Comforts My Mind.

It’s My Family Trees That Are Most Interesting To Me.

From The Past To The Present, We All Come To Be.

January 8, 2010

What Is In A Name

This is an open letter to my Grandson Shane Rolland Harrington, born on October 26, 2009 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

January 8, 2010
Anchor Point, Alaska 99556

Dear Grandson Shane,
This perhaps is the "first letter" that you have received. I am asking your father and mother to print it out for your future use and include it into your "baby book". In time, you will question as to how you were given the name of Shane Rolland Harrington. As your grandfather, I can attest to the fact that each of your names are honorable and respected names.

Your Grandmother Terry and I were present at the time you were born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Your grandmother was by your mothers side at your birth. I was sitting in the lobby of the hospital with your sister, Heather and brother, Hunter. I was able to see you the first time about forty minutes following your birth. My father, Henry Laverne Harrington (your great grandfather) was born in a the small town of Benedict Nebraska, just a few miles from Lincoln. Your 2nd Great Grandfather (Henry Philo Harrington) was also born in Benedict. Your 3rd Great Grandfather (Henry Harrington) homesteaded the area of Benedict following the Civil War, he would donate sixty acres of his land to form the village of Benedict, Nebraska.

Your first name of Shane was also the first name of my oldest son and brother to your dad, his full name was Shane Scott Harrington, he was your Uncle. His first name was derived from an old western movie, titled "Shane". He was born on February 7, 1969 at Adak, Alaska. An island in the Aleutian Chain of Alaska. The island of Adak was a U.S. Navy Base in which I was stationed while serving in the Navy. There was no civilian community on the island. Unfortunately, he passed away at the age of 39 on October 22, 2008, one year and four days prior to your birth in Homer, Alaska. I am sure he was smiling proudly the day you were born, knowing that you would share his name.

Your second name, Rolland was the middle name of my brother, Henry Rolland (Tad) Harrington, your dad's Uncle and your Great Uncle. He was born on December 31, 1937 in Silver Creek, Nebraska, just a few miles from Lincoln. He passed away five months following the birth of Shane at the age of 32 on July 29, 1969 in Montrose, Colorado where he had moved to from Homer, Alaska for medical attention.

Your Uncle Shane and Great Uncle "Tad" as he preferred his nickname shared many of the same qualities and characteristics. They each passed away at a far to early stage in their life, but both lived life to the fullest. They were both similar in size and body structure. Each of them posed an infectious smile, always optimistic and cheerful. Each of them endured a terrible disease, yet they never let it interfere with their lives, they made the best out of a bad situation. Their attitudes were always "upbeat" and enthusiastic. Each of them were highly respected in the communities in which they lived and loved by all that knew them. I had a great deal of respect for each of them, I loved both of them dearly. They enter my thoughts on a daily basis. I cherish the memories that we shared.

Uncle Shane Scott Harrington

Wedding Picture Of Shane On the Day That He Married The Love Of His Life, Your Aunt Dana. They Have Two Daughters, Your Cousin's Marina and Sierra. They Live In Homer, Alaska .

Your Uncle Shane In Our Campground in Anchor Point, Alaska.
Uncle Shane, Wrestling (Blue and Gold) In Homer Winter Carnival Wrestling Tournament Championship Round Which He Won In A Major Decision.

Uncle Shane and Myself, His First King Salmon On The Anchor River In Alaska

From an early age, your Uncle Shane was adventurous and loved the outdoors. He was a gifted athlete starting out in Little League Baseball. He was selected and played on several "All Star" teams. He was a pitcher with an extremely hard, fast ball. He played high school football for the Homer Mariners in Alaska for four years.

His first love was in the sport of wrestling. He wrestled on the Homer Mariner Wrestling team for four years, as a freshman winning only one match. In his Sophomore year, he became a force to reckon with on the mat. In the next three years, he would win the Championship at the Homer Winter Carnival Tournament three times and numerous other tournament Championships. He placed second in two Regional Championships and was the Regional Champion one year. He wrestled in two State Championship Tournaments, winning second in State in one of those Tournaments. He set a number of school records in wrestling that withstood the test of time for several years.

Following his marriage to your Aunt Dana, the two of them played Co-Ed Softball on a team in Homer, Alaska. They won the City Championship two years and went onto win the State Tournament. They were each selected as "Player Of the Year" the same year.

Besides, four wheeling and snow machines, his love was fishing the Anchor River. He started fishing with me on the river at an early age, developed into a very good fishermen, and learned to love fishing for the aspect of fishing and not necessarily of catching.
He purchased property in the Caribou Lake area, east of Homer, Alaska. The only access was by four wheelers or snow machines in the winter. He transported all of his building materials to his property and built a nice cabin, which he loved.

After graduation from high school, he went to Mesa College in Grand Junction with a Wrestling Scholarship and major in Electrical Engineering. Sitting in class one day, he looked out the window and saw some students climbing power poles at the adjoining vocational school. He left college and attended the vocational school to get trained as a Power Lineman.

Upon graduation, he returned to Alaska. Not being able to work in Alaska as a Lineman because he had not attended the school in Alaska he hired on with Cable Vision. He worked in Nome, Alaska for a period of time prior to transferring to Homer, Alaska. Power Lineman was still his goal, he eventually was selected to attend the Lineman School in Alaska. Upon graduation for the second time, he worked in Anchorage and Kodiak Island as a Lineman. He would later transfer to Homer Electric in Homer, Alaska where he earned his Journeyman Lineman status. His dream was fulfilled and loved his job dearly. He was highly respected within the brotherhood of Power Lineman, all of them in attendance at his Memorial Service. With all the loves he had in his life, sports, outdoors, fishing, his work his true love was his girls, Dana, Marina, and Sierra. He was a good man, a honest man with a heart of gold.

Great Uncle Henry Rolland "Tad" Harrington

High School Graduation Picture, Montrose County High School
Montrose, Colorado

High School Football Picture, Montrose County High School "Indians" Montrose, Colorado

Great Uncle "Tad And Your Great Aunt Mary Jane Caparella They Have Three Children, Your Second Cousins Michael Henry Harrington, Donna Kay Harrington, and Jesse Dean Harrington. they live in Montrose, Colorado.

Your Great Uncle Rolland "Tad" And Me With A Catch Of Halibut From Cook Inlet, Out of Anchor Point, Alaska.

Your Great Uncle Rolland "Tad" Harrington was born in Nebraska. Our family moved from Nebraska just prior to my birth in 1945. Your Great Uncle Tad was the oldest of the Harrington brothers. My father, your Great Grandfather was a "Horseman" and taught Tad from an early age about horses. Being the oldest, "Tad" would always accompany our father on his adventures, most often interfering with his education.

From the time he could walk, he was sitting on a horse becoming a very good horseman in his own right. Before he was out of elementary school he was leading pack trains of horses loaded with camping supplies into the mountains of Colorado in support of our fathers primary business of big game guiding. In time, he would ride broncs, competition roping in rodeos, breaking and shoeing horses.

His high school education was interrupted several times when a "new" adventure would beckon our father. While in high school he would play football and was also on the high school boxing team, when they allowed boxing as a sport at the high school level. Tad was the smallest of the Harrington brothers. What he lacked in size, he made up for in heart and guts, he was not afraid to take on anything. He also had that infectious smile and personality that instantly won friends. He was well respected and admired.

In his Senior year in high school, he would live on a ranch in Aspen, Colorado and graduate from high school in Aspen. It was then that he and Mary Jane fell in love and eloped to New Mexico to get married in 1957.

In the winter, of 1953 our father decided to see Alaska during the winter. Again, Tad left school and spent the winter in Alaska with our father, camping out the majority of the time. In the spring of 1956, they once again came back to Alaska to work for Shell Oil Company. Our father, was a horse packer and "bear guard" for the early oil exploration crews on the Alaska Peninsula. Although, Tad was underage to hold a legal license to operate radio communications, he also went to work as a radio operator on the Shell Oil work boat the M/V Tempest.

In the spring of 1957, another adventure awaited. At the age of 20, he, his new wife, Mary Jane, and our brother Don would take a load of four mules north to Alaska. Going through Canada they would acquire two additional horses to fill out the load. To the best of our knowledge,it was the first truck load of mules taken over the Alcan Highway. The rest of our family would travel behind them by a couple of weeks. We would make Alaska our permanent home, returning to Colorado to live on our place in Colorado every other winter until it was sold. In the spring of 1962, your Great Uncle Rolland "Tad", our brother Don, and I would take a truck load of horses over the highway to Alaska. Again, as far as we know it was the first load of "Shetland Ponies" to be trucked to Alaska. While in Alaska, your Great Uncle worked in a variety of jobs including fishing canneries, forest fire fighting, radio operator, and working as a lineman for Homer Electric Association. The same company that your Uncle Shane worked for in later years. Prior to my high school graduation and joining the Navy, your Great Uncle and I commercially fished together for two years. We had so much fun and shared so many memories.

As did your Uncle Shane, your Great Uncle loved to fish for salmon on the Anchor River.

While working in the local "drugstore" during the winter, a group of students in high school wanted to start a wrestling program at the school. The school advertised for a Coach, your Great Uncle volunteered to coach the four wrestlers on the original team. He would remain their coach until he passed away. One of the members, Steve Wolfe, who was on the original wrestling team was the Coach of the Wrestling Team throughout your Uncle Shane's wrestling career in high school. In time, the school hired one of the teachers to assist in the wrestling program.

Prior to the end of the 1969 wrestling season, your Great Uncle had to return to Colorado for hospitalization for his battle against cancer. On the night of the State Championship matches in Alaska, a phone was put into your Great Uncles hospital room. Each of his wrestlers talked to him on the phone to let their "coach" know how they did. That year, the small school of Homer had four State Champions. Winning the title of Alaska Small School Championship. In 1986, at the Homer Winter Carnival Wrestling Tournament, which your Uncle Shane won the Championship in his weight class your Great Uncle Rolland "Tad" was the first member to be inducted into the Homer High School Wrestling Hall of Fame. Although, he was not an official staff member at Homer High School, the 1969 High School Annual was dedicated to your Great Uncle.

Like your Uncle Shane, your great Uncle Rolland "Tad" was highly respected and loved by all that knew him. He had a simple song that he would quite often sing to himself, I don't believe he knew all the words, but it was a Hank Williams song, the lines he always sang to himself was "live hard, die young, and leave a beautiful memory" both your Uncle Shane and Great Uncle Rolland "Tad" did just that.

Shane, I do not know what you will do with this information, I just wanted you to know a little more about the men that share their name with you. Perhaps, someday into the far future, you can tell your children how you came by your name. With all my love, your Grandfather.

Stanley R. Harrington
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy, (Retired)

November 27, 2009

The "Horseman" and His "Pal"

Although, some may call them "Cowboys", I maintain that there is a difference between a "Horseman" and a "Cowboy". One of the best "Horseman" that I ever knew was my father, Henry Laverne "Vern" Harrington. (August 12, 1912 ~ September 8, 1990)

Although, he was adapt at cutting a steer out of a herd or roping a calf, he was a "Horseman". I acquired the above picture of my father on my trip to Colorado last spring. I had never seen this picture of him, taken in what appears the San Juan Mountains in the area of Ouray or Telluride, Colorado. I came to this conclusion by a very brief description on the back of the picture written by my mother, "Vern when packing ore boxes".
This was yet another thing that I did not know about my father because most likely it occurred prior to or just following my birth in 1945. On my trip to Colorado this past fall, I inquired about the process of packing ore. Until recent years, there were several gold mines in this area still in operation on both sides of Red Mountain. Accordingly, in the early days of these operations, the high grade ore was packed by horse or mule from the site of the mine to the smelter plant at lower elevations. Special wooden boxes were constructed that would fit into a standard panyard, one of each side of the pack animal. This picture is interesting in that my father is not only wearing chaps but also a fringe laced buckskin jacket.
Although, it is controversial whether a human has the ability to communicate with an animal, such as a horse. There are those that are convinced that "horse whisperers" have this ability. I am not a total beleiver in the "horsewhisperer" concept, however, I witnessed my father on numerous occasions handle a horse when everyone else had got frustrated or given up. He could get rough with a bronc when needed, but in most cases just laying his hands and talking to the horse would calm them down. As a child, we always had a good number of horses. It was my older brothers and my daily chores to take care of the horses. My older brother, Tad was also a good horseman at a young age. While shoeing or roaching a mane he would get one that was occasionally on the fight. After fighting with the horse for several minutes, my father would walk out from the house, take the halter rope, turn the horse in a circle a couple of times, lay his hands on the neck of the horse, talk to them, and after a bit, would say, "don't fight them". The horse would be settled down and the chore completed without a problem.
When it comes time to "geld" a stud, the typical way to "cut" a stud is to lay and tie them down, even the veterinarians will use some type of sedative. My father was only "horseman" that I have witnessed that would cut all his stud horses while they were standing. I know for a fact as I was the "halter" boy on a lot of stud horses holding them for my father. Again, he would lay his hands on the sides of the horse, talk to them, and rub them down to their flanks, then go under the horse and complete the operation. Total time lapsed, less than two minutes. In later years, he would teach my brother Don this same technique.
As a youth in Nebraska, he started working with horses. At that time the farmers were using horse teams in their fields to pull their equipment. In his teen years and during the "Great Depression" he made a living out of breaking horses to both the harness and riding. According to his diary of this era he always had several horses around his place all the time, breaking them for others.
In the early days of oil exploration in Alaska, my father hired on with Shell Oil Company as their "packer" for their exploration of oil on the Alaska Peninsula. They barged a load of horses from Homer to the Alaska Peninsula. They would establish a base camp, then my father would pack in a second camp to their next destination. When the crews got to that camp, he would then move the next camp further into the field.
The following year he contracted with the owners of the Cherikoff Island in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska. A herd of wild cattle inhabited the island, it was his task to round these cattle up, corral them, and they would be processed for slaughter as any working ranch. After working the summer in an attempt to round up the cattle, none had been corralled. He recommended to the owners that they get a "better cowboy" by recommending that they hire his friend John Verde Hotchkiss form Colorado. John Verde also spent the following summer on the island, his record was very similar to that of my fathers. The "wild cows" remain on the island today. Over the years numerous attempts have been made to turn the island into a working ranch with little success.
Dad was a tough man, but he also grew up in tough times but when it came to horses, he seldom used his size, strength, and toughness to handle a horse, he was a "horseman". Every "horseman" has that one special horse, normally a horse that represents their personality and they bond with one another. Dad was no exception, his special horse was a big stud Palomino that went by the name of "Pal". They were Pal's, there are very few pictrures of my dad working with horses or leading a pack train that he is not riding Pal. He was dad's horse, no one else was allowed to ride him. There was one exception, after a summer of operating a riding stable in Aspen, Colroado it was decided that all of the horses would be driven cross country from Aspen to Montrose, Colroado. A trip of several days and mountian passes. There were five that made the "horsedrive", my sister had just recently married her partner for life, Cliff Miller. Dad told Cliff that he wanted him to ride Pal on the trip. Today, Cliff is still convinced that dad was trying to kill him. Pal had a mind of his own but after awhile, according to Cliff they had a little understanding and came home safely. I was just a youngster, but I still vidly recall when dad got the telephone call that Pal had been injured. He was being pastured at a friends ranch and was badly cut in a barb wire fence. Dad put him down but he was not as tough as he protrayed when he lost his "Pal". This picture hung in our various homes the entire time I was growing up, it was only recently given to me on my fall visit to Colorado.

"Pal" At Upper Soap Creek Hunting Camp

November 14, 2009

The Lineage Continues

The Harrington / Epperson Lineage continues to grow with the birth of our 13th Grandson to Heath and Erica Harrington. Shane Rolland Harrington was born on October 26, 2009 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
His first birth name is that of his Uncle Shane Scott Harrington (February 7, 1969 ~ October 22, 2008). He took his middle name from his Great Uncle Henry Rolland "Tad" Harrington (December 31, 1937 ~ July 29, 1969). Both names are honorable and highly respected names by all that knew them.
Shane Rolland reinstated the Harrington birthright in the State of Nebraska. He was born just a few miles of the birthplace of his Great Grandparents Vern and Lena Harrington as well his Great Aunt Dorthy Miller Harrington and Great Uncles Henry Rolland, Larry, and Donald Harrington. As well, the lineage on his mothers side of the family also comes from the same area of Nebraska.
His 3rd Great Grandfather Henry Harrington homesteaded in the area of Benedict, Nebraska just a few miles from Lincoln following his discharge from the Civil War. His 2nd Great Grandfather Henry Philo Harrington was born in Benedict, Nebraska (April 24, 1874 ~ June 16, 1944) and his Great Grandfather Henry Laverne "Vern" Harrington was also born in Benedict, Nebraska on August 13, 1912.

April 30, 2009

The Family Dinner ~ Era 1926

This is another of the series of pictures that the Baker family sent to me recently. I made an attempt to determine the month and year by enlarging the calendar on the wall, however, I was not successful. Best guess estimate by the youngest member, I would estimate that this picture was taken in 1925 - 1927 time frame. It is comprised primarily of the "Baker" family with the family of Henry Philo and Ella Belle Baker-Harrington in attendance. There are also three other people at the dinner that I have names for however, I believe they are neighboring friends of the family.

Relationship To Myself

Head of Table: Floyd Baker, Great Uncle
Lady Sitting: Luella Baker, Great Aunt
Lady Standing: Pearl Baker, Great Aunt
Clyde Baker, Great Uncle
Oliver Baker, Great Uncle
Henry "Ten" Harrington, Grandfather
Charles Baker, Great Uncle
Frank Baker, Great Uncle
Louise Harrington, Aunt (Fathers Sister)

Relationship To Myself

Head of Table: Floyd Baker, Great Uncle
John Lett
Mrs. John Lett
Mrs. Beach
Esther Baker, Great Aunt
Ella Baker-Harrington, Grandmother
Ralph Harrington, Uncle

April 28, 2009

Around The World In 20 Years

Dedicated With Love And Respect
To My Grandson,
PFC Joshua Vern Harrington, U.S. Army
Currently Serving His Country In Afghanistan

"Piping Over The Side"
Retirement Ceremony ~ Anchorage, Alaska
Chief Navy Counselor Stanley R. Harrington, USN

April 25, 2009

Take A Second Look

Again, I thank Dr. Roy Baker and family for their personal contribution of family pictures to our collection. For those that do not know the story, Dr. Roy Baker and I met in Alaska by accident several years ago when he and his family were visiting the Anchor Point and Homer area. He and I are cousins, his aunt, Ella Belle Baker is my Grandmother, married to Henry Philo Harrington on February 8, 1911. He and I are similar in age, he vividly recalls when my father visited the Baker family following his first trip to Alaska. This picture was taken during this visit on September 17, 1954.

Henry Laverne Harrington (Father) ~ Age 6
Virginia Louise Harrington (Aunt) ~ Age 2 1/2
Esther Irene Harrington (Aunt) ~ Age 4
Rolland Charles Harrington ~ Not In Picture ~ Born December 9, 1917
Ronald Ralph Harrington ~ Not In Picture ~ Born October 24, 1921

Grandparent Lineage ~ Page II

Esther Irene Harrington ~ Born May 3, 1914 ~ York County, Nebraska ~ Death June 8, 2004
Virginia Louise Harrington ~ Born April 3, 1916 ~ Bradshaw, Nebraska ~ Death June 8, 2001
*Rolland Charles Harrington ~ Born December 9, 1917 ~York County, Nebraska ~
Death January 12, 1922 (Age 5)
**Ronald Ralph Harrington ~ Born October 24, 1921 ~ Bradshaw, York, Nebraska
Death 1983

* Henry Rolland "Tad" Harrington Named After My Fathers First Brother
** I Was Given The Middle Name Of Fathers Youngest Brother

Henry Laverne "Vern" Harrington (Father)
Virginia Louise Harrington (Aunt)
Esther Irene Harrington (Aunt)
Date Unknown ~ Dad Appears To Be Around Age 10

Take A Second Look

Henry Philo "Ten" Harrington
Ella Belle Baker Harrington
I now know where my father and I got our carpentry skills!
However, at first glance do you see a resemblance between sister Dorothy Harrington Miller
and Grandmother Baker.

I looked at this picture several times trying to figure out which children are also seen in the picture. It was not until this evening, that I noticed something for the first time. Grabbing my magnifying glass, I studied the picture in closer detail. Still not being able to determine what I was seeing nor believing what I was seeing, I put it on the scanner and enlarged the section that you see below.

That is "Ten" Harrington's, Parker Brothers 10 Gauge Double Barrel Shotgun sitting within reach of him. Just in case it was needed, it appears that the second shotgun is either a Winchester or Remington pump shotgun. The story of the Parker Brothers shotgun is in the posting preceding this post. With this same shotgun in my possession, this picture is as priceless to me as is the gun.

April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday "Ten" Harrington

I would once again like to thank Dr. Roy Baker and the Baker Family for their generosity in providing me some very early pictures of our family and information pertaining to the relationship between the "Baker" family and the "Harrington" family. They have most recently sent me a collection of pictures dating back to the days of my fathers youth. I will be posting the remaining pictures in days to come.


Henry Philo "Ten" Harrington
Birth: April 24, 1874 ~ Benedict, Nebraska
Married: Ella Belle Baker ~ February 8, 1911
Death: June 16, 1944 ~ Central City, Nebraska
Buried: Benedict, Nebraska

The "Baker" family just sent this picture to me. I have seen very few pictures of my Grandfather Harrington. He passed away just short of a year prior to my birth. As were a lot of pictures in this era, the picture can actually be used as a postcard. Although, it is not dated, I am assuming this picture was taken in the early 1900's as Grandfather Harrington was thirty seven years old when he married Ella Belle Baker. Grandmother Baker-Harrington was born in 1885.
To put the time in proper format, although he was my Grandfather he was born a short nine years following the conclusion of the Civil War. His father, Henry Harrington served honorably throughout the Civil War. "Ten" Harrington grew up during the time that the west was being settled. He was born two years prior to the "Battle of the Little Bighorn" and "Custer's Last Stand." He grew up in the era of the outlaw, Jesse James (1847 - 1882) and the Younger Gang, "Billy the Kid" (1859 - 1881) and "Buffalo Bill" (1846-1917).
I mention this because of my Grandfathers nickname, "Ten". He grew up in the era that the west was still not settled. He was born, Henry Philo Harrington, and had four brothers and seven sisters. Henry Philo was the fourth oldest child in the family. In later documents in his life the nickname "Ten" started to appear as part of his name. The "Baker" family always referred to him as "Ten". The history of the nickname remained a mystery to me until 2007. While visiting Benedict, Nebraska I met the granddaughter of a man that knew "Ten" Harrington. The nickname "Ten" was given to him because he always carried a Parker Brothers, Double Barrel "10" Gauge, exposed hammer shotgun with him.
Upon his passing, Henry Philo gave his oldest son, Henry Laverne Harrington (my father) this same shotgun with the understanding that it would remain in the Harrington family. In 1977, my father would pass the gun down to myself. Grandfather "Ten" Harrington would be happy to know that his gun is safe today and remains in the family. If this old "Parker Shotgun" could talk, I can imagine the stories that it would have to tell.

10 Gauge ~ Exposed Hammers ~ Double Damascus Barrels
Serial Number: 4x,xxx

Happy 135th Birthday, Grandpa "Ten".
Your Gun Is Clean And Safe.