Let’s Take a Ride in the Barkey Family Car
From Nebraska to Colorado
Here is a collection of information about cars our family has owned going back to the days of horseless carriages.
Some time around 1910, about the time when Frank Clay Barkey and Belle Stanley Barkey, our grand parents, were beginning a family near Courtland Nebraska, Frank sold a team of horses and used the money to buy a Model T Ford like this:
The Ford Model T was built from 1908 to 1927. It was said that you could have one any color you liked as long as it was black. Cline Barkey said that when Frank drove the car home and into the barn he drove right through the back wall because the car didn’t stop when he said “Woe.”
In 1917, Frank and Belle Barkey brought their young family including 6 year old Cline and baby Orpha to Colorado in a 1914 Maxwell turing like this:
The Maxwell was a great improvement over the Model T Ford because it had an electric starter and didn’t have to be manually cranked to start the engine. Maxwell’s later became Plymouths as a part of the Chrysler corporation. Cline remembered his mother holding Orpha in her lap for the trip to from Cortland Nebraska to Haxtun Colorado.
The family settled into a farm community called Highland Center south east of Haxtun where Frank built a house with formed cement walls. This house would survive high winds and tornados of eastern Colorado. During their early time on the farm they owned an interesting Model T Ford like this 1922 model:
Our Aunt Marian described how hard it was to get in and out of this car through the single door on each side. The young Barkey family is shown here in a photo from around 1926.
In 1928 Ford introduced the Model A. At about that time Cline was in high school at Haxtun and the trip from the Barkey farm southeast of Haxtun at Highland Center was over 10 miles. Belle decided that Orpha would do better attending school in Haxtun so Cline used money from selling some calves to purchase a new model A roadster. Orpha detested having to ride to town with Cline.
1928 Ford Model A Roadster – Price New $385
Cline used the Model A to go to Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) in Fort Collins in 1930. He described driving across the prairie between Sterling and Ault Colorado on what is now Colorado highway 14 when is was just a track for two wheels. The next year he went to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where he met our mother, Ruth King, of Indianapolis, Indiana. While Cline was in Chicago, Frank paid a garage in Paoli, a village just east of Haxtun, to remove the roadster body on the model A and replace it with a 4 door sedan body. Marian described how nice it was to finally ride in a comfortable car you could get in and out of. This is a photo of the actual Barkey family car.