Halbert Stevens Kerr

Born at St. Michaels, January 3rd 1865, bearing his mother's maiden name.


From his father's memoirs:
Halbert Stevens Kerr, 5th son and 7th child, was born at St. Michaels, Jan. 3, 1865, at 1 A.M., Tuesday. The winter has been unusually severe and I did not return from Washington until March 14, 1865, to rejoice with all the rest of us at sight of so hearty and bright a baby boy. Your name is your Mother's choice. Disappoint her not: Remember, boy---:

Today being the fourth Sunday after Easter Halbert S. Kerr was baptized at three and one half o'clock by Rev. Benj. S. Bronson. He (the baby) has not had a moments sickness from birth 'til now, giving promise of the strength of limb symbolized in his name -from the Grampian Hills in the days of the Border Wars. He would smile at his mother and me, if he knew what was here written.

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1865; Master Halbert has had both his little hands over these memorandas and should his eye rest upon them hereafter, he will understand now mutual peoples exist as has been proven between himself and his parents . May his future be one of usefulness, earnestness and intensity of life.

Sunday, June 16, 1868:- Oh: how he is prattling away.


From the personal notes of Henrietta Maria Kerr, Washington, D.C. Nov. 1880. This is an extract of HMK's descriptions of all her siblings.
Dear old Hal, who in childhood was my dearest friend & playmate, is now eighteen. (He was born at St. Michaels, Jan 3rd 1865). He has been in Utah for the past two years in a Railroad Company, & from all descriptions, must have grown out of knowledge. He is larger than any of his brothers, being 6 ft. tall, & very broad and stout. He has an unusually innocent, frank expression with big blue eyes, which he has a trick of opening wide when anything astonishes him. He has brown hair, & the loveliest dimpled mouth for all the world like a dear little baby. In fact, Hal's face has not changed expression one bit since he was a chubby angelic little child. He is a good student & likes his hard-working rough Western life. Such a noble religious boy as Hal will be safe anywhere.


A newspaper clipping (370 kb) in a scrap book belonging to his neice, Dorothy Kerr Floyd, daughter of HMK

From John Stevens Kerr, via email, 27 July 2002.

HSK married Millicent Keller, of Manti, UT, and went to Peru soon after his marriage on engineering work. At his death, he was either asst. or head highway comissioner for Utah with an office in the state capitol. Millicent was LDS; I believe her family came out with Brigham Young, but I am checking that out.

Halbert had a daughter, Beatrice. She married Phil Morton and they had three children. I am looking for the addresses of their two daughters, one in Columbia SC and one in NY state. The son, David, lives in MN, but I don't have his address. Bea got her Ph.D from Bowling Green late in life. Phil was a leading jewelery designer. He wrote what was the major text book in the field and taught at the U of Minn., besides selling a lot of his designs privately.

Besides Bea, HSK & MK(K) had three sons: Ken, Keller, and David, my father. David died in 1938 of an enlarged heart. He died while in the doctor's office having his blood pressure taken for a routine physical exam. He was an accountant and graduated the Univ. of Utah.

Ken drove a Greyhound bus for years. His wife's name slips my mind, but they had one child, Halbert, who is chair of the Finance Dept. at Washington State U. in Pullman, WA.

Keller died young from some illness; I believe it was the influenza epidemic of the 20s, but I am not sure.


From John Stevens Kerr, via email, July 31st, 2002.

Halbert always behaved like a Southern gentleman, which made him stand out in more rugged Utah. My aunt knew him when my mother was dating his son, David, my faither. At the time, Halbert had offices in the State Capitol and lived across the street. (The home still stands, although the area is under redevelopment of some kind.) May aunt also worked in the Capitol. She said that on a hot day, offices would pool bets: however unbearably hot, was Mr. Kerr wearing a jacket? Invariably, he would.