Sunday Stories: Alva and Opal Harshfield

Alva Harshfield was born July 18, 1905 and died April 17, 1952. He entered this life on the ranch homesteaded by his parents, John Q. A. and Susan Etta (Carrico) Harshfield.

Alva and Opal Harshfield
Alva was united in marriage to Opal Elsie Phelps, daughter of Clyde and Elsie (Bowden) Phelps on October 12, 1931, at Stockville, Nebraska. Opal was born May 15, 1913 and died March 26, 1972 after suffering a year’s illness from breast cancer.

To this union three daughters were born: Barbara Jean Kinnaman on January 29, 1932; Claudia May Eberly, born March 29, 1935; and Sandra Lee Nelson born on September 22, 1945.

Alva could do anything he set his mind to, he was an outgoing, fun loving man. He was very capable with machinery, knew on sight a good horse and came by having the ability for ranching naturally.
During the years of 1940 through 1944, Alva and Wilbert drilled a lot of water wells around the general area. Some of the people that wells were put down for were: Runners, Kramers, Greens, Browns, Richardsons, Peterson, Hoatson, McNeel, Lake, Titterington, Applegate and beside all the ranch wells. Drilled wells at Wallace for the oil drilling outfits that were there.

Besides loving a good horse, Alva enjoyed people and people enjoyed him. He enjoyed rodeos, good songs and a good laugh. He was only 46 years old at the time of his death.

Opal was very artistic, and loved to draw, paint, quilt and various other crafts. Some of the ranchers still today enjoy the little boot tie-clasps that she hand-carved out of wood and painted them with their cattle brands, or their initials on them.

Both Opal and Alva are missed in the community that they spent so many years in by their family and friends.


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