"We are not concerned with the Indians
about our children. I keep them close to
the house because of the snakes."
— Henrietta Haller
Born in Ireland around 1824, Henrietta Cox Haller was a woman of spirit - fit to manage a family on-the-fly around two continents. In 1852 she departed New York with her husband and the 4th Infantry on a 7 month voyage around Cape Horn to Fort Dalles on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. With her were her two-year-old daughter and ten-day-old son. By the time they arrived, she was expecting their third child.
||Alice Mai Haller
||George Morris Haller
||Theodore Newell Haller
On the prairie fort east of the Cascades, on a Whidbey Island farm on Crescent Harbor and in a stately house in Coupeville, Henrietta raised her brood with affection and fortitude. Her love of flowers and her beautiful gardens were remembered long after the family moved to Seattle in 1879.
Nellie Moore Coupe was a niece of Colonel Haller’s. In 1863 he offered to send her to an elite academy in Baltimore if she would come to Washington to educate his children.
Nellie was so adept at education that families on the mainland boarded their children in Coupeville to keep a seat in her classroom. Here they could learn not only the basics but Latin, botany, geology, music and painting as well. She married the son and namesake of Captain Thomas Coupe, and was a lifelong teacher, becoming the first superintendent of Whatcom County Schools in 1883.
Henrietta Haller wrote letters to her family back east from the frontier, which reveal much about a woman’s life in the U.S. Army in the Washington Territory. Click here to access them.
Henriette Haller in 1882 aged 58