|Harriet Eliza Stewart
On December 18, 1889 John Carl Laney was born in Nodaway, County, Missouri. He was the first
child of John W. Laney and Sallie Elisabeth Heren. In the spring of 1891 John and Sallie migrated by
car from Missouri to Miles City Montana. Carl was just two years old at the time. The Yellowstone
Journal of Miles City acknowledged the Laney's arrival with the following, "J. W. Laney, a brother of our
well known Arnon Laney of Powder River, has arrived here from Missouri with household goods and all
things required to make a Montana home happy, an establishment which he will son set up on Powder
River near his brother's ranch.
The prolonged winter of 1893 dealt harshly with John's ranching aspirations, but by 1897 he was in the
sheep business on Powder River near Mizpah. In 1902 he bought a ranch from Mr. Parkhurst and
moved his family to a home on Beaver Creek near Ekalaka. The Laneys remained on the ranch near
Ekalaka until 1906 when the family moved back to Miles City for two years (1806-1808). During those
years Carl played football for Miles City High School.
In the fall of 1908 John Laney moved his family to Spokane, Washington. Sallie and the children took a
passenger train to Spokane while John and his eldest son, Carl, took the cattle on a freight train.
Geraldine was just one-year old at the time of the move. Carl was 19 years old and a junior in high
school. After getting the family settled in Spokane, John returned to Ekalaka to finish up work at the
ranch. He did not return to Spokane until the spring of 1909.
Carl began attending South Central High School in Spokane. There he was destined to cross the path
of a young lady who would be his life's companion. One fine day Carl walked into a physics class with
his two sisters, Dollie and Marguerite. This handsome young cowboy from Montana did not go
unnoticed by Harriet Stewart, daughter of a prominent educator. Upon being introduced to this lovely
lady, Carl set his sights and began to pursue a relationship which would eventually culminate in
In December, South Central High School sponsored a gala Christmas event, the Junior-Senior
reception. Carl seized the moment and invited Harriet. Later she recounted that she wore a pink
chiffon dress on this special occasion. Did that daring young man from Montana steal a kiss from the
cheek of Harriet that winter night? Knowing the romantic inclinations of my grandfather, I would be
surprised if he passed up such a chance. The evening marked the beginning of a romance that would
last a lifetime.
Harriet Eliza Stewart was the oldest daughter of Zechariah Stewart and Ida Ann Jackson. Harriet was
born in Plaza, Spokane County, on February 9, 1892. Her father moved to Spokane in 1895 to take
the position of County Superintendent of Schools. He later became principal of Garfield School.
Harriet's mother was a dress maker. The Stewarts had four other children--Mabel Francis (11/2/1893),
Donald Joseph (7/31/1895), Mary Elizabeth (3/18/1898), and Margaret Ann (3/20/1900). The family
lived at 1123 Maxwell in Spokane.
Carl and Harriet marched together at commencement on June 10, 1910 as they graduated together
from South Central High School in Spokane. Carl went off to the University of Washington while Harried
spent the next year working as a clerk in the mail order department of a seed company. It was a year or
two after their graduation that Carl returned to Spokane and his romance with Harriet blossomed into
love and marriage.
On June 15, 1916 Carl and Harried were married in Spokane at the Stewarts home. Mabel, Harriet's
sister, played the wedding march on the piano. About two weeks after the wedding the newly married
couple left together for Kodiak Island, Alaska where Carl worked at the U.S. Livestock Experimental
Station and Harriet taught fourth grade at Kodiak School.
After a year in Kodiak, Carl and Harriet returned to Spokane where the first of five Laney children were
born. After the birth of Doris in Spokane on June 10, 1917, the Laneys moved to Colfax, Washington
where Carl worked as a Boys and Girls Club Agent for a time. In August he accepted a position as
county agent at Lusk, Wyoming.
For the next twenty-five years Carl held a variety of jobs. He worked as a county agent serving as a
resource person for farmers facing difficulties. In 1930 he became state director of State Farm Mutual
Insurance. This appointment brought the family to Yakima, Washington where they lived for the next
The main project during this period of their lives was raising their family. By the time of their move to
Kennewick in 1944 the children had become adults.
The Laneys left Yakima in 1944 and moved to Kennewick where they bought a small acreage on the
Columbia River. Kennewick became their home for the next 31 years. Harriet took a position as a
fourth grade teacher in the newly established school system of Richland. She taught school until her
retirement in 1959. Carl went to work building and maintaining rental houses which proved to be a
good source of income for the family for many years. H e also kept busy raising delicious fruits and
vegetables in their backyard garden.
Harriet Eliza Stewart
Mabel Francis Ida Ann Zechariah Donald Joseph
Margaret Ann Mary Elisabeth
Marguerite baby Miriam Stewart Carl Eugene Doris
The Laney family on the left about 1927:
Carl and Harriet; Marguerite and Doris;
Stewart, Miriam and Carl Eugene.
Stewart and Carl Eugene with their car
about 10 years later.
|The Laneys home in Kennewick--947 Metaline
On June 15, 1966 Carl and Harriet
celebrated their 50th wedding
anniversary. They celebrated the next
year with a very memorable trip to the
The Laney family gathered in Kennewick at the United Methodist Church for a reunion.
Many of these dear ones are gone. Others are married with children and grandchildren.
|Harriet Laney with her five children on her 100th birthday (1992):
Doris, Stewart, Carl Eugene, Miriam, and Marguerite.