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Lula Belle "Lou" Grey (1900-1950)


    Lula Belle Palmer was born on May 19, 1900, at Nez Perce, Idaho. Her father, Charles, was 39 years old, and her mother, Jane, was 23.

    After moving to the Yukon, "Lou" spent many years in the Mayo and Whitehorse areas, working as a cook.

    In 1919, Lou married Bernard (Barney) Biles. They had a son, Norman Douglas Biles, born in 1921. This marriage ended when Barney departed back to the USA.

    On April 29, 1925, Lou married Samuel Joseph Hartnell, who adopted Norman as his child. In 1926, a daughter, Lillian Joyce Hartnell, was born to Lou and Samuel while Lou was in Port Coquitlam, BC. The photo to the right of Lou with Norman and Joyce was shot in about 1927.

    In 1931, Lou married Edward Elgin Kimbel, 39 years old and a well-known Mayo pioneer. A daughter, Gail Patricia Kimbel, was born in 1932. The marriage ended in divorce.

    Lou next married Ronny Grey. They remained married until Lou's death in Whitehorse on August 13, 1950. She was buried in the 6th Avenue Cemetery (now called the Pioneer Cemetery). Although a wooden marker and base surround was installed, the grave is now unmarked. A photo of the original grave marker has been posted on the cemetery page.

    Lou's fourth husband, Ronny Grey, died in about 1968 in Prince George, BC. Her first son, Norman Douglas Hartnell, died on December 17, 2010, aged 89. Her first daughter, Lillian Joyce Hartnell Guimond, died on July 15, 2012, aged 86. Her second daughter, Gail Patricia Kimbel, lives in Prince George, BC, as of 2018.

    The photos and most of the information here was provided to ExploreNorth by Lou's granddaughter, Reta Herrick. Some additional details were found at Ancestry.ca.





Lou in 1948


Lou is the girl on the right, with a friend, Mona - photo taken in Mayo in about 1930.
The aircraft is a DeHavilland Cirrus Moth (G-CAUM), known as the "Rilla Martha", owned by Klondike Airways (owned by W.L. Phelps and T.C. Richards) but operated in Mayo from 1928 to 1932 by Treadwell-Yukon pilot Everett Wasson for joy rides and training (thanks to Yukon aviation historian Bob Cameron for that information).