Jean Harvey (Eugenia Bartness)
Eugenia (Jean) Bartness, the daughter of Leslie and Bessie (Barham) Bartness (and granddaughter of Tim Barham, a famous old U.S. Marshal in the Medicine Lodge Country) was born November 19, 1900 in Ohio. She lived with her grandmother in Malden, Missouri, where she attended school. Her stepfather, Harry Clark, was the organizer and company director of the Model Players stock company. They were located at the Crawford farm in Chase County, Missouri, where part of the house was converted into a theater where they rehearsed their shows and went on a tour about the area. Read more... five nights a week, each night at a different town. They went to Harrington one night, to Osage City the next, and one of the others was Council Bluffs. They did the same show in all five places. They would present that show and rehearse another show for the next week. Jean, an attractive blonde, was the ingénue in the company. Clark came to Council Bluff, where he spotted Don Carlos Harvey working as host of a weekly amateur night, and signed him up as the leading man for his stock company. Jean and Don met doing the plays and after one season they were married on March 3, 1934. The ceremony was performed at midnight on a Saturday night at the home of Don's half-brother Hal Sheldon. On the night of the wedding a bunch of Don's old school friends found out that they were going to be married that night so they came down and were going to chivalry's him, and Jean was just scared to death. She thought they were going to do something to him and so they locked themselves in the bathroom and they couldn't get them out. Finally Don's brother went out and asked the kids to please go home. But it was a pretty wild place for a while. A chivalry is when they have an impromptu party for the couple that is being married, and in those days it was pretty customary. They'd take the couple and make the husband wheel the wife down the street in a wheel barrel and think up things like that for them to do. Jean was just scared to death that Don might be hurt, and she was quite a little older. Some people thought because of the age difference that the marriage would not last, but it worked fine. Don always referred to Jean as My Missouri bride. Don and Jean left Kansas and went to Des Moines, Iowa where Don began work on the radio, and became acquainted with fellow newscaster Ronald Reagan. In 1945 they moved to Hollywood, California, where her husband began his career in motion pictures and television. Jean started professional acting at the age of four, and has done almost every child part ever written for the stage, and was in show business all of her life. She really liked working in Hollywood and always hoped that she and Don would be able to work out their time on earth right there in Movie Town. Her first film part was in Caged with Hope Emerson, and other films on the theater screen have been City of Fear, Solid Gold Cadillac, Women's Prison, The Ten Commandments, Gun's Don't Argue and The Werewolf. She also appeared in a lot of work on television in such shows as Dragnet, Johnny Staccato, McKenzie's Raiders, Tales of the Texas Rangers, Rescue 8, Wyatt Earp, Underworld USA (a pilot), 77 Sunset Strip, December Bride and The Millionaire. Jean and Don were the owners of a movie horse named Goldie that was used by Bill Williams in his Adventures of Kit Carson television series. They were both people of very high principals, always caring for other people. Don spent time entertaining the residents of the Actors Country Home. They were active members of the Little Country Church of Hollywood, as well as members of the Roy Roger's Hollywood Christian Group, which was a fine group of almost four hundred and fifty men and women from the entertainment industry who believed that Jesus Christ has a place in the world of movies, television and recordings the same as he does in any other business. They both appeared in a play, Geraldine The Story of an Adolescent, donating their time and talents to help raise funds for the Reiss-Davis Clinic for Child Guidance. On the evening of April 24, 1963, Don had just come home to his Studio City apartment before dinner. He told Jean that he was tired and laid down on the couch, and she went back to getting dinner in the kitchen. A short while later she came in the room to call him to eat and saw his arm drop down beside him, and he died. Among those who attended his funeral were co-workers Myron Healey and Dale Evans. Jean never quite recovered from this loss and died, it was said of a broken heart, on Dec 14, 1966 in Studio City.