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Vena Bertha Clarke Cole
Birth: Feb. 17, 1880
McDonough County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jan. 13, 1923
Coconino County
Arizona, USA

Vena Bertha Clarke was the youngest child born to Christopher Columbus Clarke and his wife Martha Lea. The family moved from Macomb, Illinois to Bentonville, Arkansas when she was three years old. By 1900 the family had moved to Springdale, Arkansas. She married Berton Vorce Cole November 5, 1902 in Shenandoah, Iowa. Berton's adopted father, James Lamb Cole, was a very wealthy man with a large cattle ranch outside of town and a fine home in town. When James Cole died in 1904 everything was left to his adopted son Berton. Vena's parents were also very well to do and she was a loving and generous person who was used to being treated kindly. Berton began drinking and womanizing, at times leaving her alone with the children for months. She traveled from Shenandoah to her sisters home in Arkansas in 1909 to give birth to daughter Katherine as Berton could not be trusted to help her. She always took him back after his binges though. By 1918 Berton had lost all of their money, the ranch and the fine home in town. They left Shenandoah in disgrace and went to Seligman, Arizona and lived in a boxcar for a time. Her seventh child, Harry, was born in that boxcar. Berton was drinking heavily by this time but he managed to get a job with the Santa Fe Rairoad and they moved into a tiny house in Williams, Arizona about 1920. Her last child, Virginia, was born there in 1921. She died of influenza and pneumonia in that little house in 1923. After she died her older children went out on their own and the younger ones were taken in by relatives. Berton was useless as a parent. After his children married he moved from one to the other looking for handouts until one day in 1937 he died from injuries sustained during a drunken brawl at a bar in Williams, Arizona.
Shenandoah World Friday 7 Nov 1902

Cole-Clarke Wedding

Last Wednesday evening at 7 o'clock, at the home of Doctor and Mrs. Perkins occurred the marriage of her sister, Vena B. Clarke to Mr. Burton V. Cole.
About 50 relatives and friends were present when on the stroke of the hour, Miss Nelle Perkins began playing Mendelessohn's beautiful wedding march and the bridal party descended the stairway. The bride, on the arm of Doctor Perkins, was proceeded by Miss Olive Ferguson. Miss Ferguson wore a most stunning gown of pale blue, trimmed in bands of panne velvet and honiton lace; she carried an armful of pink chrysanthemums. The bride looked most charming and every bit a bride in her gown of white broadcloth with yoke of crepe de chene and trimed in duchesse lace. She wore a long tule veil and carried an armful of white chrysanthemums. She was met at the alter by the groom and little ring bearer, Archie Perkins, dressed in white flannel and carrying a ring on a silver tray. The background to the bridal party was a most beautiful bower of greenery; the bay window was banked with palms and ferns and the bride and groom and their attendants stood between draperies of wild lilly of the valley and passion flower vines. No lovelier picture of such a scene could be imagined.
Rev. J. H. Wright, former pastor of the Christian Church, performed the ceremony in an unusually impressive manner; his earnest and able delivery of the solemn words made them pregnant with meaning and the deep import of such vows not lightly passed over. During the ceremony Miss Perkins softly played the "Flower Song" and "Garden Song". When Rev. Wright pronounced these two young people man and wife the bridesmaid deftly drew back the bridal veil and Mrs. Berton Cole, as Mrs. Cole, received her first kiss from the proud and happy bridegroom. But it was not the only kiss, for everyone hastened forward to offer congratulations and best wishes and to claim their priviledge of kissing the charming bride. In fact it is asserted that the bachelors present went around and around in a circle, instead of dropping out of line, as all well regulated bachelors should.
A short time was then spent by the guests in looking over the many beautiful gifts received and admiring the floral decorations in the different rooms which consisted of immense bronze, pink and white chrysanthemums. A most elegant six course wedding dinner was then served by the Misses Carrie Jennings, Cora Rankin, Chrystal Ferguson and Nelle Perkins. The guests received chrysanthemums as favors.
The wedding is a result of a pretty little romance in which for once "the course of true love" ran smoothly, and which developed with such rapidity that it quite took away one's breath. Miss Clarke came up here in the summer from Springdale, Arkansas, to visit her sister, Mrs. Perkins. Mr. Cole lived just across the street; Miss Clarke sang - so did Mr. Cole. Mutual admiration of each other's singing soon developed into something deeper, and it was not long until they decided that the joys of life rang much more truly in duet than solo form. When they discovered they were made for each other, what was the use of waiting? Mr. Cole was going out on his farm and he did not want to go alone. She agreed there was no sense or reason in his doing so, hense the early wedding.
Mrs. Cole is a jolly, sensible and lovely girl, who has made friends of all whom she has met since she has been here. Bert Cole is also jolly and sensible and a young man of sterling worth. Since he gave up clerking in Mr. Webster's drug store, he has been managing his fine farm, five miles west of town. There he has fitted up a home for his bride, where they drove after the wedding Wednesday evening. They were speeded on their way by copious showers of rice and confetti given with an extra vengeance because of other brides and grooms who escaped. They will be at home to their friends after next Tuesday.

Family links: 
  Christopher Columbus Clarke (1839 - 1912)
  Martha Louisa Lea Clarke (1843 - 1919)
  Berton Vorce Cole (1881 - 1937)
  Richard Vorce Cole (1903 - 1991)*
  Forrest Cole (1905 - 1905)*
  Ross Cole (1907 - 1962)*
  Kathryn Lea Cole Curd (1909 - 1991)*
  Clarke Clifford Cole (1910 - 1991)*
  Helen Marie Cole Provence (1916 - 1999)*
  Harry James Cole (1919 - 1996)*
  Virginia Mae Cole Welker (1921 - 1997)*
  Lee Clarke (____ - 1922)**
  Damon Clarke (1861 - 1909)*
  Gertrude Clarke (1863 - 1884)*
  Carrie A. Clarke (1866 - 1910)*
  Edith Marie Clarke Perkins (1868 - 1935)*
  William Lea Clarke (1870 - 1922)*
  Jessie Mae Clarke Risteen (1873 - 1932)*
  Charles Rhea Clarke (1877 - 1922)*
  Vena Bertha Clarke Cole (1880 - 1923)
*Calculated relationship
Mother Mrs. V. B. Cole Died Jan. 13, 1923
Mountain View Cemetery
Coconino County
Arizona, USA
Created by: Michelle Shreve
Record added: May 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26627991
Vena Bertha <i>Clarke</i> Cole
Added by: Michelle Shreve
Vena Bertha <i>Clarke</i> Cole
Added by: Michelle Shreve
Vena Bertha <i>Clarke</i> Cole
Added by: Michelle Shreve
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Rest in Peace, Vena Bertha. See you and your family in Heaven.
- Mary
 Added: Jan. 18, 2011
Rest in Peace Great-grandmother
- Michelle Shreve
 Added: Nov. 15, 2010
This page is sponsored by: Michelle Shreve

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