Mrs. Harriet M. Harley, formerly of Davenport, will celebrate
her 105th birthday on July 27th. On July 28th, friends and
family—and possibly even a former student--will be celebrating
with her at The Fountains, in Bettendorf.
Mrs. Harley remains active making quilts, reading, working on
genealogy and writing her life story. She thinks that, despite the
challenges, in many ways she has lived during the best of times.
Here is some of her story.
Harriet Margaret Tinnes was born near Talleyrand. She grew
up on a farm there working hard, helping nurse her family
through scarlet fever, and weathering the depression. She played
the piano and taught Sunday school at St. Paul’s Evangelical
Church and led 4-H sewing classes. She also served as editor
of the Keota High School newspaper. Harriet graduated in the
class of 1931.
After earning her teaching certificate at Parsons College, she
taught eight grades in a one room schoolhouse heated by a pot
bellied stove. In 1936, she married Charles Wilton Harley of
West Chester. They moved to Davenport where they owned and
operated a confectionery called the Karmel Korn Shop. When
World War II broke out, all the young men in her family joined
the military. She became a Navy wife and traveled the country
with her aviator husband and two small daughters. After the
war, returning to Davenport, the couple owned and operated
East Locust Hardware for 37 years. And, she served as First
Lady of the Iowa Retail Hardware Association.
She had two daughters: Dr. Sandra Harley Carey (BGEN J.
Ronald Carey), Canyon Lake, Texas and Linda Leanne Harley;
two granddaughters; Bekkie Huffman (Kevin Huffman),
Bettendorf and Dr. Debbie Kirchberg (Dr.Tim Kirchberg),
Columbus, Wisconsin; and six great-grandchildren: Kisha,
Kamryn, and Kelsey Huffman of Bettendorf and Turner,
Tanner, and Trace Kirchberg of Columbus, Wisconsin.