Lee County Biography


The career of Bela Rhea Halderman furnishes a splendid example of the value of energy and perseverance in the accomplishment of success, for although he has been in the printing business only five years he has risen in it from a comparatively humble position to be editor and proprietor of the Franklin Reporter. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, May 2, 1889, and is a son of Isaac and Jennie Olive (Orner) Halderman, the latter born at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1860. The father enlisted for service in the Spanish-American war in 1898 and never returned. The maternal branch t)f this family is of German-Swiss extraction and was founded in America by the grandparents of the subject of this review, Jonas B. and Susan (Baker) Orner, the latter a direct descendant of William Penn. Consequently Mr. Halderman of this review is a legal heir to the great Penn estate in Germany and Philadelphia, amounting to over one hundred and fifty million dollars. This estate remains unsettled, the case being now in litigation.

Bela R. Halderman acquired his education in the public schools of Franklin Grove, graduating from the high school June 4, 1907. He then secured a position as clerk in a clothing store in Franklin Grove. He afterward turned his attention to the printing business. In this he made rapid and steady advancement, rising from the position of compositor to that of assistant manager of the Franklin Reporter and becoming at the age of twenty-three, editor and proprietor of this paper. This responsible position he has since filled and his success in the management of the journal affords the best proof of his capabilities.

Mr. Halderman is a member of the Methodist church and is serving as secretary of the Sunday school. He is affiliated with Camp No. 45, M. W. A., and served as clerk of this organization for some time. He is also a member of the American Stars of Equity. His success at an early age demonstrates his force, ability and capacity, qualities which will undoubtedly carry him forward into important relations with journalistic interests in Lee county.

Transcribed by Karen Holt History of Lee County - Frank E. Stevens 1914


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