Clara Viola Haun (1895-1916)
Parents
Father John Henry Haun (1849-1930)
Mother Lydia Jane Fisher (1859-1946)
Vital Information
Born February 18, 1895 in Gilroy, Santa Clara, California
Married (1) Harry Francis Whitney (1895-?) - c1911 in California
Married (2) Virgil D. "Bert" Foreman (?-1916) - c1914 in Alaska
Died September 1916 in Anchorage, Alaska
Children with Harry Whitney
1 Leland Stanford Whitney (1912-1983)
2 Russell Francis Whitney (1913-1995)

Clara Viola Haun was born in Gilroy, California in 1895 to John and Lydia Haun. She was the last of nine children to her parents and, at the time of her birth, her eldest living sibling was already 17 years of age. She married Harry Whitney in about 1911 and had two children with him, Leland in 1912 and Russell in 1913. It would have been shortly after the birth of her second son that she left Harry and moved to Alaska with her boys to live with her brothers Henry and Edgar, their families and their uncle Benjamin and his family.

By August of 1916 she was married to another man, Virgil D. Foreman who was better known as "Bert". In August she had filed for a divorce from Virgil and moved herself and two sons from Hope, Alaska to Anchorage where she lived in a tent temporarily while obtaining a job at a hotel with the intent of moving back to California. It seems that things were difficult and she became despondent. In September Bert arrived in Anchorage to see her and found her extremely depressed to the point of calling a doctor. While there, in front of her two children as well as her husband and doctor, Clara shot herself in the heart with a .22 Colt revolver. She did not survive.

A week later, while hiking the Portage Glacier, Bert fell down a crevasse and became stuck. He believed that he was lost, not knowing that his friend could hear his cries and was attempting to rescue him. By the time the friend arrived it was too late. Bert was still just hanging onto life and explained that he intended to take his own life rather than freeze to death. He had slit his left wrist, stabbed himself near the heart four times and stabbed his temple. He died a few minutes later.

It is believed, according to my great-grandmother Pearl who was just 15 years old and living in Hope, Alaska at the time, that Clara had contracted syphilis and that it was the primary cause of her suicide. It would also explain Bert's suicide.