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Long-time Dufur teacher LaVerna Bolton Harmier celebrated her 100th birthday Aug. 21.

Former Dufur resident LaVerna Bolton Harmier, a long-time teacher in Dufur, hit the century mark with her 100th birthday on Aug. 21.

Family members Randy and Laurel (Harmier) Slatt provided the following:

LaVerna was born in Wrentham, located about half way between The Dalles and Dufur, where 15-mile Creek crosses Wrentham Market Road, in 1920 to Guy and Violet (Benedict) Bolton. LaVerna grew up on land homesteaded by her great-grandparents, Absalom and Oliva Bolton, who came west from Iowa in 1852, spending six months on the Oregon Trail. Absalom and his friend, Horace Rice, became leaders of a group to be called the Bolton-Rice Wagon Train. Upon settling in the Dufur Valley, Absalom decided to raise wheat, although his neighbors scoffed at this idea because they thought wheat would not do well in the dry hills. Absalom proved them wrong, and soon everyone was raising wheat.

Dufur has been home to LaVerna her entire life until 2013, when she moved to the Portland area. Her brother, Hollis Bolton, a World War II veteran and wheat rancher, was also a lifelong resident of Dufur.

After graduation from Dufur High School in 1938, and college in 1940, LaVerna’s teaching career began in January 1941, in Culver, followed by Sutherlin and Mosier. A chance encounter with the Greyhound bus driver one morning on her way to teach in Mosier was how she met her future husband, Ron. They were married just seven months later on June 7, 1945.

After 27 years teaching in Dufur, she retired in 1982.

LaVerna has been working on writing the story of her life, including her early years on the farm, her father never having motorized farm equipment. She was born the year women won the right to vote. A time before electricity, television, computers or cell phones.

If asked her secret to her longevity, she would tell you good genes and “moderation” in everything.

Those wishing to send her birthday greetings may mail them to 27487 S.E. Haley Road, Boring, OR 97009; emails to ljslatt@comcast.net. She would enjoy reading your memories of her and how you knew her.

An open-invitation party had been planned for her birthday, but the pandemic has put that on hold. Anyone who would like to be updated on the party plans can contact the family at the above address or email and they will let you know when the party will be.

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