Clara Alice Quint


December 7 ,1876 - April 7, 1957


Story by her sister, Hazel K. (Quint) Parsons



Photo of Clara, 1926

The first child of Louis Franklin Quint and Isabell Flora Quint was Clara Alice born on a farm near Nauvoo, Illinois, December 7, 1876. When she was about a year old the family moved to Menlo, Iowa. Here her sister, Maude, and brother, Clarence, were born. About 1881, the family moved to Stella, Nebraska, where Pearl and Jennie were born. The family moved to a farm near Beloit, Kansas in 1884 where the other brothers and sisters were born.

Growing up on this farm in Kansas, she led a very busy life helping in the care of her brothers and sisters. After finishing the 8th grade, she spent a short time in Keokuk, Iowa with her uncle Will and Aunt Jennie Logan. Aunt Jennie was a sister of her mother, Isabell Quint. She attended school in Keokuk while here, preparing to become a teacher. Later as a young teacher in Mitchell County, Kansas she helped her parents in their struggle to buy the farm. Times were hard and many crop failures made it difficult for them. During the winter of 1899-1900 there was an epidemic of Typhoid Fever in the community, and the family were all sick with the fever.

In 1901 the family moved to Hill City, Graham County, Kansas where they purchased a farm. Crops were good and they prospered. Clara taught school until she was married to Robert Stevenson on April 6, 1904. They established a home in Salina, Kansas where their first Daughter, Irene, was born May 20, 1905. Here Irene contracted diphtheria, passing away March 19, 1908. A daughter, Mildred Roberta, was born August 26, 1914 and another daughter, Iris Mabel, December 17, 1915.

Clara liked nursing, especially "baby cases" and was in much demand through the years because of her outstanding ability as a home nurse. She was always willing to help wherever she was needed, helping most f the brothers and sisters when their youngsters were born. She loved to work in her garden and with her houseplant and flowers. She was a faithful worker in the Methodist Church always helping in any way she could.

Clara was a wonderful seamstress making clothes for herself and two girls, keeping the girls well-dressed by making over things which were given to her. She was well-read and appreciated the finer things of life. In spite of her financial troubles and her necessity to work to support the family, she determined to see that her daughters received a college education. In order to do this, she moved to Hays, Kansas when they were finishing high school, ran a rooming house and with their help both graduated from Kansas State College at Hays. Mildred taught for several years. Iris received her Masters Degree and went on to Stanford University to work on her PhD in Psychology. She was Junior Assistant in Psychology at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana part of this time.

Clara moved back to Hill City, Kansas in 1942 and was again a comfort to her parents during their failing years and until their deaths. During the summer of 1954, she flew to England to help her daughter, Iris Henderson and husband, Lt. Bruce R. Henderson, when they needed help, returning to the United States by boat with them in the summer of 1956. On the boat coming home, she sat down on the floor of the deck to play with her grandson Ricky. Fellow passengers were amazed at her agility and youthfulness in a grandmother who was almost 80 years old. Later she visited her daughters in their homes and always enjoyed these visits.



MEMORIES OF MOTHER


by her daughter, Iris (Stevenson) Henderson


I think that one of Mother's outstanding characteristics was her friendliness. When she visited us in England, she very quickly made friends with any of the English people she met. She enjoyed walking, and would often take a walk around Harrow-on- the Hill where we lived. There were benches along the sidewalk, and when she would set down to rest, she always found someone to chat with, and would always secure information about England and the English. She was extremely interested in history, and would always make it a point to read about any of the places we visited. She always carried a notebook, and would write any information down as soon as she received it.

Photo (1955) of Clara, Iris, Bruce and baby Ricky
It was the same when we went through France and Germany - and once when she and Bruce returned from a tour of London she remarked, "iris, I didn't know Bruce was such a tea-drinker." He wasn't - but Mother could keep going so long that he would get tired of walking and would suggest a cup of tea so that he could rest a bit. He finally took her on a boat trip down the Thames River!

Her main love was children, and she seemed to have a special ability to see them as people, not children. She was so good with Robert, and with Ricky as soon as we adopted him; in fact, I think she was even more eager than we to have him. She was the same with Mark - and thoroughly enjoyed playing with both boys. She would tease Mark by paying no attention to him until he crawled over and untied her shoes - then she would laugh, pick him up, and play with him.

Mother had a delightful sense of humor - once when she was returning empty coke bottles to the store she dropped one and it rolled under a car parked nearby. Mother immediately got down on her hands and knees to retrieve it, and when Mildred remonstrated with her she remarked (with a twinkle in her eye), "Well, I guess it didn't look very dignified for an old lady like me to crawl around under that car - but I could get two cents for that bottle and I wasn't going to let it get away." When Bruce and I met her in London and asked her how she liked flying, she said, "Oh, it's the only way to travel. I should have done it long ago." And then she added, "But when we were up over that big Atlantic Ocean and I thought of all that water, I was glad the man sitting next to me was a minister."

Religion, too, was a great factor in Mother's life, although she talked very little about it. When we talked with the minister in Hill City after her death, he assured us we need have no concern for her because he had "prayed with and for her." And all I could think of was, "I'm sure she was praying just as hard for you - and I'm sure she has the most direct line."

Those are some of the memories I have of Mother - the main one, I guess that of her ability to know people. When we were in Omaha and she visited us for the last time, all the friends we had made in England and who had transferred to Offutt, visited Mother and asked her to their homes. We have a film of that last New Year's Eve at one of the friends' homes - at midnight all the men grabbed Mother and Kissed her - she loved it! And they all called her "Mother" not "Mrs. Stevenson".

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