Edna Haner was born in Rockford on December 26, 1875 and lived in the area all of her life. She was an only child. Her father, Charles, a Civil War veteran, was a partner in a wagon and carriage shop in Rockford. In 1897 Mr. Haner and his then partner, William Haskell, had their building destroyed by fire so they relocated by Rum Creek on the east side of Monroe Street. Later, in 1912, Mr. Haner sold his part of the business to Henry Burch, the son-in-law of Mr. Haskell. When Haskell retied, the business was run by sons of Henry Burch and became Burch Body Works. Edna graduated from Rockford High School in 1881 and from Ypsilanti State Teachers College in 1895. After college graduation, she taught for two years a Gouge berg (near Rockford) and one year in Cadillac before returning to teach history and language at Rockford High School. She became the high school principal (still teaching) around 1900 and continued until the spring of 1926 when ill health caused her to retire. In the 1924-25 school year, Rockford High School had their first major yearbook (Trailblazer) printed and published and it was dedicated to Edna Haner. (Note: Rockford High School had a yearbook in 1919 but it was all hand done with the pages being typed and not printed). The yearbook of 1924-25 has much of Edna Haner’s graduation and alumni information in it and is a major source of school history. In 1912 Edna Haner became Rockford’s first town librarian and served in that position until 1949 when health issues again forced her to retire. Edna Haner was a member of the Rockford Congregational Church, a charter member of the Tuesday Club, a member of the Library Board and one of the organizers of the County Library Association. Rockford historian Homer Burch wrote the following about Edna Haner: “She had a stern countenance that actually masked a gentle soul. She could be a strict disciplinarian but was also a warm, understanding, helpful and inspiring teacher, highly regarded and respected by students and faculty. No one today (1969) can count the many hundreds of Rockford’s former scholars and citizens who have benefited from the influence, inspiration and heritage of Edna Haner’s […]
Rockford’s Recognition Plaza at Peppler Park is three names richer after a Community Endowment ceremony officially recognized three people of historic significance. Held indoors because of weather, representatives from the families of Edna Haner, Harry Morris Jr., and Glenn Rounds were on hand Tuesday, May 11 at Rockford City Hall. Each of the individuals chosen for this honor are recognized with a permanent plaque at Peppler Park east of the Rockford dam. The Endowment honors those who have made a contribution to the communities in the greater Rockford area. When visiting Peppler Park Recognition Plaza, you may view the plaques to see the names of those who have been recognized for their service to the area. Also see the bricks throughout the plaza with names of individuals, families and businesses. They are available through the City of Rockford for just $125 and are a gift that gives a permanent legacy in Rockford. Watch future issues of The Squire to read the stories of how Edna Haner, Harry Morris Jr. and Glenn Rounds earned their special place in Rockford’s history.