Belle W. Hinkhouse, 95, West Liberty
Obituaries · August 10, 2012

Belle W. Hinkhouse, 95, of West Liberty passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, at Simpson Memorial Home in West Liberty, Iowa.

She was born Helena Bell Walton on June 24, 1917, to Vernon and Elizabeth (Jennings) Walton at their rural Cedar County home north of Wilton, Iowa. She attended Sharon country school and graduated in 1935 from Wilton High School. She married Nevin R. Hinkhouse of West Liberty on Sept. 13, 1939, at her parents’ home north of Wilton. They farmed north of West Liberty until his death in 1973. She then continued to operate the farm until her health declined in recent years.

Belle was an active member of her community. She was a 4-H leader for many years and later served on the county committee for 4-H. She was one of the founding members of the Cedar County Historical Society; she was the last surviving member of the original board of directors of the Society. Belle was active in the Federated Women’s Clubs and in the local garden club. She served as a superintendent of the floral division of the West Liberty Fair for many years. She enjoyed giving programs on various topics to groups in her community.

After being widowed, Belle studied the genealogy of her maiden family and wrote a book on the descendants of Colonel David Walton (her great-grandfather). This book initiated a series of biennial reunions of the Waltons in various parts of the United States; these reunions continue today. She enjoyed gardening, quilting, traveling and reading.

Belle was always especially pleased that she and her husband and children were selected to be the Iowa family to the All American Family Conference in 1960 in Ft. Myers, Fla. She maintained contact with many of the people whom she met at the conference.

Because of her passion for history, Belle and another lady from the West Branch area did a formal research project on the embroidered Belgian flour sacks at the Hoover Library in West Branch; from this project, they wrote a book entitled “Out of War—A Legacy of Art.” Although her widowhood lasted longer than her married life, she made the most of those years in operating a farm well and by contributing to her community.

Visitation was held on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, at Henderson-Barker Funeral Home in West Liberty. Graveside committal rites were held on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, with Rev. Joshua Reimche, of Zion Lutheran Church in Wilton, officiating. Burial was in Sharon Cemetery in rural Cedar County near her childhood home.

Belle is survived by her son, Steven W. Hinkhouse, and her daughter, Ann E. Hinkhouse, both of West Liberty.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, two sisters, one brother, and a daughter-in-law.

Memorials may be made to the Cedar County Historical Society or to a charity of one’s choice.

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