"Mountain Memories" Page 9
Louisa said later that she was afraid of him when she first saw him, not because of the way he acted, but because of the way he looked. Harvey had a thyroid problem and there was a huge goiter in his neck. When he looked at himself in the mirror, he could understand her feelings. So in spite of the uncertainty of life in this wild country and without even knowing where to find a doctor that could perform an operation, he was determined to have the goiter removed. It was back in the late 1870's. I don't know where, when, or how he had it removed, but he did.
The next time Louisa saw him he was a striking figure with black wavy hair and dark eyes. He was tall enough that she could stand up straight under his outstretched arm. His grandmother was a part (probably half) Cherokee Indian by the name of Barbara Panther before she married Marion Hartness.
There was a tragic happening in the lives of these two lovers that separated them for a time and that could have resulted in a permanent separation, but fate intervened.
The story goes that Harvey's young sister, a mere teenager, and young man by the name of Rollie Whitmore had a baby girl. I don't know if they were married or not but Harvey's sister was home with her parents at this time. Rollie was the nephew of Cicero Self's wife. The Hartness girl had been letting him have the baby from time to time, but for some unknown reason this time she refused. Rollie and his twin brother Ollie, along with their father, were covering the roof of the family home. He had already asked for the baby and been refused, but he said, "I think I'll go over there and get her." Rollie's mother, fearing the worst, said, "There's going to be trouble. Stay here and I'll go talk to her."
Harvey Hartness was a hot-tempered young fellow in those days. He asked his sister if she wanted Rollie to have the baby for a while and she answered, "No!" When the mother of the Whitmore twins arrived, Harve was sitting there in his parents' "big house" with a scowl on his face and a gun in this hand. (The "big house" is what these mountain folks called a living room or sitting room.) .
Harvey told Mrs. Whitmore she could not take the baby. When she returned home and reported the news to her sons and husband on the roof, they came scrambling down and they were mad. They headed for the Hartness residence in a hurry, but they met more than Harvey Hartness. His father and brothers had joined him and
Rollie Whitmore was a brother to Cicero Self's wife, Mosurie Whitmore, not her nephew.