Ned M. Lane, born in Illinois, came to Oregon much like many of the others did, in search of a better way of living. He ended up in the fast growing town of Kent Oregon where he took up work as a well driller for Kent residences, and the surrounding area.
Though the surface land was perfect for sheep farming, obtaining the luxury of water required deep well drilling. This land was a very extreme and harsh environment to survive in. You had to have water. Windmills quickly popped up everywhere. Water, the source of life, made living in such a harsh region possible. But, well drilling was very hard work.
One well that Ned was working on belonged to a Sarah Trotter. She platted the town of Kent and sold off lots, but she didn't amass any wealth out of the deals. She barely kept afloat financially. Sarah was instrumental in getting a church built in the town, and she gave a choice lot for the United Presbyterian Church. She never missed a Sunday service for years.
One can only speculate that the community of Kent and its surrounding homesteads would look forward to a Spring or Summer event like a social gathering or maybe a community barbecue and even a barn dance. Such events provided the residences a time to relax after a hard week of work and enjoy the company of their neighbors.
A barn dance gave the opportunity for a hard working well drilling single man to spend time with a young lady of his liking to seek out a potential wife.
Iva Viola fell in love with Ned and on July of 1904 they married. She was 17, he was 30.
Sadly, fate had other plans.
At age 31, Ned M. Lane was laid to rest in the very small cemetery just south of the town of Kent. And now, left to mourn at the young age of 17, Iva Viola was now a widow.
Eventually, Iva Viola moved to White Salmon Washington where she met and married her second husband William C. Manly in 1920. Iva Viola was at the "late age" of 33 when she re-married. William and Iva Viola had four children, two boys and two girls.
Iva Viola Manly died in 1976 at the age of 89. Her husband William Manly died in 1964. Her boys died in 1989 and 2013. All four, along with Iva Viola's mother Sarah who died in 1924, and two of Ida Viola's siblings, are all buried in the West Klickitat Cemetery in White Salmon Washington. Her daughters are still living at the time of this writing.
It is unknown if Iva Viola ever returned to visit the grave of Ned M. Lane, her first love and husband.
As the years passed, Iva Viola must have visited the wrought iron fence often, or so I would hope. One can speculate that she'd go and sit within the confined space of the fence and talk, and cry openly, to mourn, or to just spend time with the one she called, "the love of my life."
Paul Manly is the grandson of William and Iva Viola Manly. Paul is also the sexton, or caretaker, for the Evergreen Cemetery in Spokane Washington. He is planning on providing a headstone to eventually be placed within the Wrought Iron Fence belonging to Ned M. Lane.