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Tamar Eugenia Wilson (b. June 27, 1892, d. November 11, 1986)Tamar Eugenia Wilson (daughter of Carroll Cicero Wilson and Jessie Monema Hilbun) was born June 27, 1892 in Atlanta, Winn Parish, Louisiana, and died November 11, 1986 in Redding, California.She married (1) Willis Otis Hardberger on December 25, 1910 in Atlanta, Winn Parish, Louisiana.She married (2) Luther Wesley Washburn.She married (3) Otis Albert Cunningham.
Notes for Tamar Eugenia Wilson:
The following was written, in his own words, by Max Hardberger, Tamar's son.
Tamar did not get to go to school until she was nine years old, as the country school house (one room) was 2 miles away and she had to go in a buggy, so she had to wait until Tom was old enough to go with her. She had to hook up the buggy to the horse and drive and care for it. She entered the third grade. She lacked 6 weeks of finishing high school, and had the promise of a college nearby. She was to stay with her grandfather Wilson. However, he saw her kiss Willis Hardberger over the fence and sent her back home. She was also dating a Will Blackburn at this time. She married Willis Hardberger Dec. 25, 1910, at her home at Montgomery, La.Tamar told me that she always hated it that she was unable to go to college. She kept telling us that she wanted us to get a college education, and she worked very hard to see that we did. (I tested Tamar in 1941 with a college achievement test, and she placed in 2 « years of college level.) She was a prodigious reader all her life. In fact we always found a library in the town we had just moved to and began checking out books to read. I was reading when I was four in Atlanta, La.
Tamar's husband, Willis Otis Hardberger, was born March 11, 1886 in Danville, Ark., Yell County. His father was Robert Samuel, b. Aug. 25, 1864, Brunswick, Tenn. Robert's parents were William Hardberger, b. 1835, Germany; and Stacy Jemima Young Garrett, b. 1843, Tenn. Tamar met Willis in Atlanta where he was working as a sawyer for the Germaine-Boyd Lumber Company. His nickname was Will or Bill. Tamar and Bill had 3 children. The first was Willard Otto, b. 1912; a miscarriage in 1913 at Colfax, La.; Florian Max, b. 1914; and Carol Marie, b. 1917. Willard was born in Montgomery and the other two in Atlanta, La.
When the trees were all cut out the mill had to move. Willis and family lived in Eros, La., Wiergate, Texas, and Stamps, Ark. In Stamps in Feb.,1921 Willard was in the third grade and Max a "beginner" .Willis also worked as fireman on a train at Minden, La., and engineer in the yards.
In early 1919 Grandpa Robert Hardberger went to Oregon and made enough money to send for Willis and his family. In Aug., 1921 we went by train to Marshfield, Oregon by way of Portland, stopping overnight in Denver, Co. to bathe and change clothes. Also Willis' sister, Marguerite Stallings and her family, and a friend, Luther Washburn and his family went out together. I remember being in school here and enjoying the snow and marshes. We went by ship to Portland in 1922 and lived in an apartment house over the post office and stores on Union Ave. Willis worked in Klickitat, Washington. Tamar was not given enough money to care for the family so she began clerking in a huge store, Meyers and Franks, on the 6th floor. We children were left on our own. I sometimes was given money to take Carol on the trolleys to Meyer and Franks. I had to ask for one transfer to another trolley before we got there. We would eat with Tamar and then go to a nearby show until she got off work. It was here that I sold the Portland Oregonian newspaper on the street for a time.
In Aug. 1924 We moved to Klamath Falls, Ore., south central Oregon. It did not rain here in the summer so crops had to be irrigated. We lived for a time next to one of the big canals. Willard swam in it in the summer and we all played on the ice in the winter. We all had sleds, ice skates, etc. Klamath Falls had 29 sawmills around it and Willis worked in several in the years we were there.
Tamar worked in a clothing store for a time, although Willis was making good money. He seemed to spend more than he should on other things? Tamar was active in the Methodist church, and sang in the choir. She even sang solos. The family would go into the mountain areas for picnics and drives. Tamar and Willis loved dancing and we children had to go with them, and sleep on benches until after midnight. Since both parents worked we children were unsupervised when we were not in school.
We would do odd jobs for neighbors to earn spending money, as throwing winter wood into their basements, or going after groceries. I helped one man deliver groceries from his horse-drawn wagon. Tamar divorced Willis about 1927. Without a source of money she worked in two restaurants every day, one was for a white man, the other was in a Chinese restaurant. She worked from 7:00 A.M. to 1:00 A.M.. Later we moved to a cheaper house and Tamar opened a cafe herself, for about a year. Then she took over a large boarding house and we all worked together running it. We left this house, with all of our furniture and possessions to go to Louisiana, planning to come back, in 1930. We packed what we could in Tamar's Dodge Sedan and went to see Carroll Wilson and family. While we were on the way Willis, who was sawing for Kesterson Lumber Company, was given his daily 10 minute break and was watching a large log being pulled in the mill. The cable pulling it broke and lashed out, crushing Willis' legs. He refused to have them amputated and died of shock and hemorrhage on Sept. 30, 1930. We arrived that Friday in La. and learned of the death. Due to lack of money we did not go back to Oregon, losing all our possessions in the boarding house.
This was the era of the Great Depression. Carroll let us move into one of his sharecropper houses We scalded the whole house with hot water to kill any bugs. We had a large garden which gave us a lot to live on. We usually had a cow and a couple of pigs, and chickens. Willard and I sharecropped on the farm. One year we found we had earned 20 dollars each by working hard every day for a year. We farmed until 1933 at which time we opened a cafe in Montgomery. In 1935 we built a house-cafe on 4 acres Carroll gave us, from on his farm on the highway. We just could not make a living here however. We would have starved if Carroll had not helped us, as it was we went to bed many a time without supper, just a lot of water to make us feel full. I worked for a time on the WPA as driver for my aunt, Ola, although I did no driving, at least the family ate. Willard got into the Civilian Conservation Camp and we were sent 22 dollars a month. While in town we began going to college at Natchitoches, on a "shoestring" .I had a scholarship from high school to L.S.U., but was able to trade it to another student for one to La.State Normal college nearby. The other student was able to go to Baton Rouge to college. Carol worked for a time as director of a school for girls (from poor families) teaching them homemaking. All of us children finished college: Willard in elementary Education; Max in Chemistry; and Carol in Home Economics.
In 1942, when all the children were gone, Tamar went to Portland, Oregon and married Luther Wesley Washburn Jan. 16, 1943. You recall, she knew him from her first trip to Oregon.
When I got out of the army Dot and I went to visit them for a couple of days but stayed 1 « years. They were living at the sawmill settlement of Sly Park, seven miles out in the woods from Pollock Pines, California. Luther was the saw filer at the mill. Luther said he only had a fourth grade education but I tested him with a college aptitude test and found him to rank in the second year of college. He had read a lot all of his life. He was able to take Dot and me into the woods and give the common and scientific names of the trees. He was very kind to Tamar and she to him. Both having had bad experiences with their former spouses were able to appreciate each other very much. Luther developed cancer internally and died Sept. 9, 1954 in Redding, California.
Tamar met and married Otis Albert Cunningham (b. Apr. 18, 1893) on Nov. 12, 1960 in the Methodist church in Redding. They lived in a house on Mt.Lassen. The house belonged to Otis. It was at 4,000 foot elevation. Otis had been a machine gunner in WW I, an airplane gunner in WW II, and during the Korean War an engineer in "any size ships, and tonnage". After retiring to his home on Mt.Lassen he became a Controller of the Mars Network for the government. The government supplied him with a telegraph, and radio equipment. Every day he would operate his equipment. While we visited during the Vietnam war he would use the material to let relatives know when hospital ships would be in with wounded service men so they could meet them. Otis sold his house on Mt.Lassen and moved into the house Tamar and Luther had built in Redding. Otis had a stroke and Tamar had to put him in a nursing home, where she visited every day. Otis died Sept. 14, 1979 and was buried on Mt.Lassen in the Ogden cemetery.
Tamar always kept busy. She was very active in the Eastern Star organization, and she loved to go dancing. In fact she kept dancing until her last year or two of life. She got too weak after reaching 93 years of age so she had to slow down. She was 94 on June 27, 1986. She lived with Carol in Carol's house at 2883 Kenco Ave., Redding, Ca. 96002.
Tamar finally lost her hearing and developed bedsores which became infected so she was put in the hospital and died Nov. 11, 1986 in Redding. She was buried in the Redding Cemetery Mausoleum Friday, Nov. 14.
More About Tamar Eugenia Wilson:
Burial: November 14, 1986, Redding Calif. Cemetery Mausoleum.
More About Tamar Eugenia Wilson and Willis Otis Hardberger:
Marriage: December 25, 1910, Atlanta, Winn Parish, Louisiana.
More About Tamar Eugenia Wilson and Luther Wesley Washburn:
More About Tamar Eugenia Wilson and Otis Albert Cunningham:
Children of Tamar Eugenia Wilson and Willis Otis Hardberger are:
- +Williard Otto Hardberger.
- +Florian Max Hardberger.
- +Carol Marie Hardberger.