Charles Daniel Halfaker was born on February 26, 1879 in Indiana. His parents were Louis Daniel Halfaker and Margaret Jane Poston. Charles was one month short of his second birthday when his mother died. His mother's dying wish was that her children would find and KNOW God, so that someday she would meet them in Heaven. Charles struggled his entire life to be a good Christian and was a very religious man.
Charles' father, L.D. Halfaker moved the family to Bourbon, Crawford Co., MO after Margaret's death. He remarried a lady named Mary Carter and raised his children the best he could. Charles went to St. Louis when he was old enough to work and found a job working at Landvogt Funeral Home. While living and working in St. Louis, Charles met a beautiful young woman named Louise Marie King. They soon fell in love and were married on January 30, 1905 in St. Louis. Louise had a son named William from a previous marriage. William was born September 16, 1903 and took the name Halfaker. After the young couple started their family they decided to move to Bourbon and make their home there. They acquired land in the country on what is known as Blue Springs Road and started building a new home. Charles had learned to raise cattle and farm from his father as he was growing up and this is what he wanted to do again. This time was not without struggles and hardships, however Louise and Charles managed to continue growing their family. They had the following children:
Serelda Evelyn Halfaker b: March 4, 1906
Carrie May Halfaker b: December 13, 1908
Ernest Herman Halfaker b: January 30, 1910
Charles Daniel Halfaker b: December 5, 1911
Louise Halfaker b: April 29, 1914
Bertrum Leroy Halfaker b: September 24, 1916
In the winter of 1917, the children had all been sick. Louise had been very busy taking care of them and soon fell ill herself. She died on January 6, 1918 after almost a month of lingering with an illness. She was only 32 years old. Of course, this was a horrible blow to the family and they found it very hard to continue without their precious wife and mother. Shortly after their mother's death the children went to live with their grandfather, L.D. and his wife. Bill had gone to live with his grandmother in St. Louis.
Charles Halfaker, Sr. Family circa 1928. From left: Charles, Jr., Ernest (Bertha standing in front) Charles, Sr., Serelda, Carrie and Louise.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Without the help of his beloved wife, Charles could no longer do the farming and care for the children. He sold his small herd of cattle and went to Venice, Illinois to find work. He found a job painting box cars in the train yards in Venice. Soon he sent for his children as he knew that only HE could give them the guidance and love that they so desperately needed. Serelda was about 12 years old at the time and tried very hard to a be "substitute" mother to her younger siblings.
During this time in Venice, Illinois baby Bertrum got the flu and grew gravely ill. He died of pneumonia at the age of two years and the family brought him back to Bourbon to be buried next to his mother.
The family moved to St. Louis, MO after this and then again to an area between Rolla and Newburg, Missouri. Soon the older girls were starting their own lives and both moved away from their father's home to get jobs. Serelda worked in Bourbon and Carrie moved to St. Louis to work.
Charles met Oma Lybyer and married her on February 21, 1923 in Rolla, Missouri. The following fall they were blessed with the birth of a baby girl named Bertha Mae on October 3, 1924. The family soon returned to Bourbon, Missouri.
Ernest, Charles, Sr. and Charles, Jr. circa 1950>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Grandpa Charlie had become very savvy in business and soon bought property that had once been owned by the railroad in Bourbon. He soon started building homes on the property and it proved to be an excellent venture as people had no where to live and Bourbon had ceased to grow due to lack of housing. Many people grew to know this area as "Halfaker Village." My mother, Dorothea Crawford Halfaker actually lived here for a short time when her family moved from the country in 1948.
Charles built over fifty homes in Bourbon, Missouri. He rented many of them out over the years. During World War II, housing was scarce and people could always find a friend in Charlie Halfaker, Sr. He was a kind man who cared about people. He knew that he could provide people with decent shelter and this improved their lives.
Charles Halfaker Sr. died on December 18, 1958. Many people came to pay their respects to this fine man. He left a loving family behind that never forgot him or his struggles to survive after his wife Louise died. He made a difference in people's lives!!
**Much of the information contained on this page comes from "The Halfaker Family History" written by William E. Rohrer. William is the youngest son of Serelda Halfaker Rohrer.