A dressmaker and the wife of the failed farmer Don Hartwell. She and Hartwell owned a farm in Inavale, Nebraska, which they purchased in 1909 but had to give up in the mid-1930s due to the drought. Verna found work in Denver as a doctor’s maid, but her husband returned to Inavale after being unable to find work in the city. She returned to Nebraska to visit him on holidays. After he died, she found his diary and attempted to burn it, but a neighbor stopped her. The diary was given to the Nebraska Historical Society in Lincoln after she died, and has become an important record of the Dust Bowl.
Verna Hartwell Character Timeline in The Worst Hard Time
The timeline below shows where the character Verna Hartwell appears in The Worst Hard Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 24: Cornhusker III
...Man’s Land. Inavale, Nebraska, where Don Hartwell lived, is a ghost town. A neighbor stopped Verna Hartwell from burning her husband’s diary, which was turned over to the Nebraska Historical Society... (full context)