Photo Gallery of Hinkletown's Bertha Ballard


Bertha Ballard was a kind, pioneer spirit who endeared herself to everyone she met. Her behavior and activities were deemed a bit eccentric, and resulted from a long life of adversities and financial hard times. 

 Bertha Stella Riffel was born on October 5, 1880, the oldest daughter of Thomas Joseph and Melvina Riffel. The photograph (left) of Bertha was taken about 1898 at the age of 18.   She lived much of her life in Hinkletown, on several different farms (right.)


During her lifetime, Bertha had traveled to New Mexico and back in a covered wagon, during which she also gave birth to one of her eleven children.  She lived on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, and learned many of their remedies.  Her husband died after they returned to Hinkletown, leaving her to raise the eleven children alone.  She became quite creative in her methods of living frugally.  She raised much of her own food, and bartered for much of the rest.  She fished, hunted and trapped.  

Bertha Ballard died on February 19, 1970, after a short illness. Her obituary states, "With her strong pioneer spirit she met the challenge of raising a large family, and yet took the time to help others who called upon her in time of need."

More Photos and Stories of Bertha Ballard

Other Early Hinkletown Families

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