When the federal census enumeration was made in 1860, the family resided on a farm in Upper Macungie Township, Lehigh County. That year, two other farm laborers boarded in their home. By 1870, the Fegleys had relocated to a farm in Lower Macungie.
At the age of 63, George died on Feb. 22, 1876. He rests for all time in St. Pauls Union Cemetery in Mertztown. [Find-a-Grave]
Anna Maria lived for another 16 years as a widow. She joined him in death in 1895.
~ Son Fiett Fegely ~
Son Fiett Fegely (1853-1931) -- sometimes spelled "Fiette" or "Fayette" -- was born on May 5, 1853.
He married Susanna Moyer (1863-1944), daughter of Henry and Hannah (Keiper) Moyer of Lehigh County.
Their three known offspring were Henry G. Fegely, Mabel Nester and Carrie Fegley.
They made a home on farms in and around Old Zionsville, Milford Township, Lehigh County and were members of the Upper Milford Mennonite Church. Circa 1909, residing in Old Zionsville, he was nominated on the Republican ticket for the position of judge of elections. On the first of April 1913, they are known to have relocated to a tenant house on the farm of Henry Geissinger. They made news in 1921 in the gossip columns of the Allentown Morning Call when they hosted a visit from their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Nester and family of Dillingersville.
At the age of 76, he began to suffer from hardening of the arteries, kidney disease and hypertension. He was felled by a stroke two years later and died on June 20, 1931. Henry Fegely of Spinnerstown signed the death certificate. Interment was in the Mennonite Cemetery in Zionsville.
As a widow, Susanna moved into the home of her married daughter in Emmaus at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue. She died in the Nester home at the age of 81 on April 24, 1944. An obituary in the Morning Call noted that Susanna was "the last member of her family" and that her suvivors included 13 grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Son Henry G. Fegely (1887-1934) was born on Oct. 1, 1887. He never married. He earned a living over the years providing labor for road projects. In about 1924, when he would have been age 36, he began to experience paranoia. The condition continued for a decade until his death. Circa 1931, his home was in Spinnerstown, PA. He contracted lobar pneumonia and succumbed five days later on March 19, 1934, at the age of 46. Brother-in-law Elmer Nester signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. His remains were placed into repose in the Mennonite Cemetery in Zionsville.
Daughter Mabel A Fegley (1899-1976) was born in about 1899. On her 16th birthday in December 1915, her parents held a party in her honor at their home, as reported in the Allentown Morning Call. On Jan. 18, 1919, at the age of about 19, Mabel wedded Elmer C. Nester ( ? -1969), son of Harvey and Annie (Hoffman) Nester of Berks County. Their nuptials were held in Allentown and officiated by Rev. Victor Boyer. The couple belonged to the Upper Milford Mennonite Church at Zionsville. They produced these 14 known children -- Melvin H. Nester, Linwood Nester, Marian Frankenfield, Norman H. Nester, Donald K. Nester, Lorraine Nester, Merle J. Lorish, Wilmer F. Nester, Elmer "Vernon" Nester, Raymond H. Nester, Kermit D. Nester, Alma A. Miller, Annabelle A. Buss and Mae L. Wentz. Sadness blanketed the family when infant daughter Lorrain died in March 1934 and was buried in the cemetery of the family church, with Rev. Howard Nyce officiating. Circa April 1922, the family moved on to the farm of Allen Fettrman near Verz Cruz. Later, they lived in Dillingersville and Emmaus, PA at the address of 1442 Shimerville Road. Elmer was employed as a steelworker for Bethlehem Steel Corporation, a position from which he retired. Mabel was active with the Boy Scouts circa 1941. When they reached their 40th wedding anniversary in 1959, they were featured and pictured in the Allentown Morning Call, and they held a dinner at the Pine Tree Tavern in Emmaus. A decade later, in spite of the fact that Elmer was a patient in Allentown State Hospital, he and Mabel celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January 1969. They were featured and pictured in the Morning Call. Sadly, less than a month later, he passed away at the age of 68 on Feb. 10, 1969, ending their marriage after 54 years. Funeral services were held in the family house of worship. Mabel survived him by seven years and became a resident of the Frederick Mennonite Home. She died in Pottstown Memorial Medical Center on March 10, 1976 at the age of 76. The Morning Call reported in an obituary that her survivors included 39 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
Daughter Carrie Fegley (1891-1956) was born on March 13, 1891 in Limeport, PA. She never married but dwelled in Doylestown, PA in the mid-1940s. Later, she moved to a home on Spinnerstown Street in Milford Township, Bucks County. Suffering from heart problems, she was admitted to the Bucks County Home in Doylestown where she died at the age of 65 on June 12, 1956. Burial was in the Upper Milford Mennonite Cemetery in Zionsville.
Son Franklin "Frank" Fegley (1856-1899) was born on April 8, 1856. He was twice married.
His first bride was Mary Bartholomew (1860-1893).
They produced these seven known offspring -- Clinton Franklin Fegely, William Jacob Fegely, Weston George Fegely, Titus Alfred Fegely, Irene M. Moll, Anna Cora Specht and Carrie Emma Oswald.
Circa 1880, when the United States Census count was made, the family dwelled in Longswamp Township, Berks County, where Frank labored as a coal miner.
Sadly, Mary died in 1893 at the age of 33. Evidence suggests that she succumbed after the birth of their daughter Carrie Emma.
Two years later, in about 1895, he wedded his sister-in-law, Amelia Bartholomew (Oct. 1861-1925).
They went on to have these additional five children -- Ada L. Link, Amy Susan Sell, Elda A. Fegely, Helen Marie Seislove and Franklin Horace Fegely.
In all, Franklin spawned a dozen children over the span of 22 years. They made their home in Old Zionsville in 1899.
Tragically, Frank contracted tuberculosis ("consumption") and knew he was dying. On Sept. 12, 1899, he dictated an extraordinary last will and testament, printed five years later in the Allentown Democrat. The news story about the document said that it "was attested to by George J. Fegley and Henry O. Bilger. It is a curious combination of German and English, and is sewed together in book form." The will read as follows:
O forgist thr kleiner schwester net. O, Clinton, how often I had lifted thee on my lap when you were a baby and never thought to raise you to your age. If I live a few days you turn to manhood. Now, I hope, if necessary, it is my will that you shoulder my burden with the aid of our brothers and carry on till some more suitable time and keeping everything in good order; farm and cultivate and divide honest. Honesty and righteousness will last in all eternity Pay your blacksmith, your repairing and every debt you owe. Bring every amount of money and all bids before your brothers and Amelia and all money given in her case. See that one has clothes like the other, use one like the other, live together like one. Clinton, you go on; the rest follow. Be kind and not proud. Raise cattle. Do not buy what you do not need. Raise hogs, care for the chickens, feed them well. Do not go to bed and let the chicks on the cold trees nor the pigs without a good bed. Close the stable doors, make them tight and keep them warm; keep your stable clean, feed regular; spare the feed while it is plenty. Amelia shall have the interest of the money in bank to buy clothing and the eggs and chicken money to be used the same as we do in the past time. Never buy till you have money to pay for it you can get along in peace and joy. Everyone has a home and all you need. If you can spare Titus and one of the girls you can find a good place, they can earn their support and a little spare money to the family and if it should happen in some way, either death or difficulties should happen, Willie shall have the same opportunity, or Titus after the age of 20 years. Now, after the age of twenty, the one that leaves home shall have his earnings, but never come home for board and rest upon the others; that is not right, except sickness. If any one is ill, be kind; care the best you can. Now if Clinton and Amelia might find a woman or a husband and he find a home for her and children, she shall have a right at the expiration of any year to such settlement. Clinton and Amelia can administer and find a good man to help them. Bring everything to cash. Amelia shall have her $375 in advance, and Mary's money, $220, to go to her children. Take no money out of bank before you settle everything. George Fegley has no right to sell anything of his stock. You must bring it to money and pay to Uncle William Smick a note of $100 and my note of $60 and sale expenses and the remainder belong to George, but try to make everything in peace. Perhaps he can fix it so. Try to keep on a few years; if you get along well, try more. If you keep on ten or twelve years some will find his own family and can find home and work. By that time you can have a saving. If you sell a horse, it is all saved. Put it in bank. If so, Clinton shall have $50 a year, or if Willie can get along with Clinton, rather let him keep his job, but have no wages till he is twenty. Mother, be kind to the boys; boys, be kind to your mother. Honor her as long as she lives. Do not go away (without) asking permission. Do not run out evenings; if you do, be at home at bed time. Try and please our Lord. If he finds fault, beg to be excused and try to do better or if He has instructions or advice follow it. go to Sunday School and church, pray when you rise, pray when you dine, be thankful and ask forgiveness. So will the grace of God be with thee in all eternity. Now, if you find this right read this often as a guide for your future welfare. Whatever remains divide according to the law. Forgive me if (I) made something wrong; make it better. So help us God.
Frank succumbed at the age of 42 on Sept. 23, 1899, when Amelia apparently was newly pregnant with their youngest son. His remains were placed into rest in Old Zionsville Reformed Church (United Church of Christ) Cemetery, with Dr. Keller and Rev. Ritter officiating at the funeral. A short obituary appeared in the Allentown Leader. [Find-a-Grave]
Amelia survived her husband by more than a quarter of a century. The federal census of 1900 shows her heading a household of 10 children, stepsons (nephews) and stepdaughters (nieces) on a farm in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County. In 1917, she endured the death of her 21-year-old daughter Elda "from a complication of diseases," reported the Allentown Morning Call. She died on Feb. 28, 1925 at the age of 63. Burial was in Emmaus Moravian Cemetery.
Son Clinton Franklin Fegely (1878-1961) was born on Sept. 15, 1878 in Longswamp, Berks County. He attended his first Allentown Fair in 1886 and missed very few over the years. He was 21 years of age when his father died after leaving behind a last will and testament addressed to Clinton. He was employed as a silk weaver circa 1905, working in Allentown. In March 1905, he and his friend Robert Fink "were here and bid good-bye," said the Allentown Morning Call, "and left for New York where they expect to meet with better results financially." Evidence suggests that he returned to Allentown by the summer and was elected an officer of the Liberty Chapter of the Knights of Pythias lodge. Circa 1910, he made a home in Rittersville, PA. He is believed to have married Dora Tracy ( ? - ? ), daughter of Eugene A. and Anna R. (Barber) Tracy. Clinton was a photographer who for 22 years operated a studio at Central Park and was an official portrait photographer for public schools. Over the decades, he photographed thousands of students. He continued to attend the Allentown Fair into his 90s and was interviewed for a story in 1960 by the Morning Call. Their address in the early 1960s was 824 St. John Street in Allentown. Suffering from prostate cancer, he was admitted to the Allentown Osteopathic Hospital. He succumbed in the hospital at the age of 82 on June 5, 1961. Interment was in Woodlawn Memorial Park. Mrs. Claude Weida Jr. of Allentown signed the death certificate.
Son William Jacob "Willie" Fegely (1881-1962) was born on Sept. 10, 1881 in Longswamp, Berks County. He grew up on the family farm and, in after the death of his father in 1899, provided labor on the farm. He married Mary A. ( ? - ? ). They were farmers. After retirement, the couple lived on Main Street in Old Zionsville, Upper Milford Township. Burdened with heart disease and senility, William died at the age of 80 on June 20, 1962. Burial was in the Old Zionsville Reformed Church (United Church of Christ) Cemetery.
Son Weston George Fegely ( ? - ? )
Son Titus Alfred Fegely (1885-1961) was born on May 10, 1885. In Sept. 1899, when he was age 14, while in Shimersville, Titus was "quite badly bruised by falling from the wagon at East Macungie," reported the Allentown Morning Call. "The horses were scared by a freight train and started suddenly, which threw him down. The wagon passed over his face and bruised him severely." In March 1906, evidence suggests that he wedded Ida M. Gilbert (Aug. 4, 1884-1960), daughter of Francis and Emelia (Besch) Gilbert of Shimersville. They made a home on New Street i nEmmaus. In December 1910, they hosted a birthday party for Ida's sister Mrs. Thomas Specht. A story about the event in the Morning Call reported that the attendees included Mr. and Mrs. William Moll and son, Mrs. Frank Mohr, Howard Oswald, Mrs. Frank Fegley and children Ada, Amy, Elda, Helen and Frank of Emmaus, and Clinton Fegley of Rittersville. They moved from their New Street home to a new dwelling in Allentown in March 1912, where Titus was employed in one of the city's silk mills. Then in July 1915, he took a new position as manager of Frederick Bros.' large farm in Ironton, PA. Their home in later years was at 523 Chestnut Street in Emmaus. Sadly, stricken with cancer of her digestive system, Ida died at age 75 on Feb. 17, 1960. The newly widowed Titus moved in with Aileen Wagner (daughter?) 620 St. John Street in Allentown. In his 70s, having contracted diabetes, Titus was admitted to the Parkway Rest Home in Allentown. He died there at the age of 76 on Nov. 19, 1961. Aileen Wagner of the home signed the death certificate. Burial was in Northwood Cemetery in Emmaus.
Daughter Irene M. Fegely (1887- ? ) was born in Aug. 1887. She married William G. Moll (Dec. 26, 1880-1932), son of Franklin F. and Angelina (Schmoyer) Moll. They were the parents of Franklin Moll, Mary Moll, Anna Moll, Arlene Ellen Moll, Elda Moll and Helen Moll. Sadly, daughter Arlene was stricken in infancy with convulsions and died on May 21, 1916, with interment in St. Mark's Church Cemetery. Their address in the 1930s was 145 East Susquehanna Street in South Allentown. William earned a living as a janitor and elevator attendant at the Penn Trust Company building. They were members of St. Mark's Reformed Church, and he belonged to the Washington Camp of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America and Alburtis Council of the FPA. On the fateful day of July 9, 1932, while at work, William fell down an elevator shaft, badly injuring his back. Unable to work, he convalesced at home. But in mid-December, he was stricken with a pulmonary embolism and died 10 days later, on his 52nd birthday. Funeral services were held in the Moll residence, continued at St. Mark's, with burial in the church cemetery, officiated by Rev. C.D. Kressley. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said he was "highly respected ... [and] a well known resident of the south side..." The following year, in March 1933, Irene filed a claim for wrongful death compensation with the State Workmen's Compensation Board.
Daughter Anna Cora Fegely (1889- ? ) was born on Dec. 1, 1889 in Lehigh County. She was joined in wedlock with Thomas H. Specht ( ? - ? ). They lived at 123 North Chestnut Street in Boyertown, Berks County. Anna died from the effects of hypertension and kidney disease in Pottstown Hospital in Montgomery County at the age of 69 on Oct. 7, 1959. Paul Specht of 16 West Fifth Street in Boyertown was the informant for the official death certificate. Her remains were placed into peaceful repose in Fairview Cemetery in Boyertown.
Daughter Carrie Emma Fegely (1893- ? ) was born on March 4, 1893 in Old Zionsville, Upper Milford Township. Her mother is believed to have died in this childbirth. The infant Carrie was taken into the home of her uncle and aunt, George J. and C. Louisa (Meitzler) Fegely in Old Zionsville. Carrie was joined in marital union with Howard (?) Oswald ( ? - ? ). Their address was 522 Jubilee Street in Emmaus. Sadly, Carrie contracted cancer of the left breast and suffered for two years until death brought her peace on July 7, 1961 at the age of 68. Interment was in the Moravian Church Cemetery in Emmaus.
Daughter Ada L. Fegely (1894-1918) was born on July 12, 1894. She wedded Clarence (?) Link ( ? - ? ). They lived in Emmaus, Lehigh County. Heartbreak blanketed the family in March 1918, when the 23-year-old Ada contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. Unable to recover, she succumbed on March 8, 1918. Burial was in the Moravian Cemetery in Emmaus.
Daughter Amy Susan Fegely (1895-1946) was born on Aug. 15, 1895 in Zionsville. She married Morris Sell ( ? - ? ). The Sells resided in Emmaus, Lehigh County at 107 Macungie Avenue. At the age of 48, she was diagnosed with cancer of the abdomen. She endured for two years until death on March 25, 1946, at the age of 50. Mildred A. Sell of the home provided details for the death certificate. Burial was in St. Paul's Church cemetery in Lehigh County.
Daughter Elda A. Fegely (1896- ? ) was born in Oct. 1896.
Daughter Helen Marie Fegely (1897- ? ) was born in April 1897. She was united in matrimony with (?) Seislove.
Son Franklin Horace Fegely (1900- ? ) was born in May 1900 in Upper Milford, Lehigh County, just eight months after his father died.
Son Alfred Fegley (1861-1887) was born on May 31, 1861.
Alfred earned a living as a teenager mining coal. At the age of 19, unmarried, he dwelled with his widowed mother and teenage brother George, also a coal miner.
He decided to pursue a career in education and was a graduate of the Keystone Normal School, which prepared teachers. He was employed for a term in Berks County.
Sadly, in the spring of 1887, Alfred contracted a deadly case of consumption (tuberculosis). On April 6, 1887, at the age of 25, he succumbed. Burial was in St. Paul's Union Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] The Reading Times reported that he "had just completed a term of teaching school in this county."
~ Daughter Hannah Philomela (Fegely) Bilger ~
She was joined in matrimony with Henry Oscar Bilger (April 22, 1862-1927), son of Josiah and Catherine (Gaugler) Bilger.
The couple produced an extraordinary 15 children -- Lillian Minnie Kehm, Horace Clinton Bilger, Sarah L. "Sallie" Koch, Willis H. Bilger, Anna Weaver, Bertha Weidner, Fiett George Bigler, Raymond E. Bilger, twins Jennie Bilger and Howard E. Bilger, Luther W. Bilger, Clarence LeRoy Bilger, Christiana Laudenslager and two daughters who died in infancy. Heartached blanketed the family in early August 1899 when their twins died shortly after reaching their three-month birthdays.
They resided at 549 Chestnut Street in Emmaus, Lehigh County. Henry earned a living as an iron worker at the Donaldson Iron Works.
In 1901, when Hannah's uncle William Schmick died, the Bilgers attended the funeral at Longswamp Church. When Hannah's youngest brother celebrated his 42nd birthday in July 1908, the Bilgers were among 57 guests who attended a party and dinner at his home in Old Zionsville.
On Dec. 30, 1915, having been burdened with kidney disease, Hannah suffered a stroke at the age of 50 and died. Funeral services were held in the Grace Lutheran Church in Macungie, with Rev. W.M. Kopenhaver officiating. Interment was in Solomon's Lutheran and Reformed Church Cemetery in Macungie. Reported the Allentown Morning Call, "She was in good health until she went to bed on Thursday evening, when she was suddenly taken sick and died in a few minutes."
Henry outlived his wife by a dozen years. He was admited to Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown when, after a bout of pneumonia, he developed an abscess. Toxemia set in, and he passed away on Jan. 11, 1927. Although Rev. E.A. Yehl of Macungie was to have led the funeral service, he fell ill and Rev. D.C. Kaufman was the substitute.
Daughter Lillian Minnie Bilger (1885-1958) was born in 1885. She married Robert M. Kehm (March 19, 1882-1950), son of William and Susan (Strunk) Kehm and a native of Minesite, PA. They lived in Emmaus in 1916, where William labored as a core maker in the pipe foundry. William was burdened with heart disease the last few years of his life and succumbed at the age of 68 on April 27, 1950. His remains were placed into repose in the Moravian Church Cemetery in Emmaus.
Son Horace Clinton Bilger (1886-1977) was born in 1886. As a young man, he worked at the Donaldson Iron Works. At the age of 26, on March 1, 1913, he was joined in wedlock with Carrie Wieder ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles H. Wieder of South Second Street. The wedding was held at the home of her parents and led by Rev. J.J. Schaeffer of Allentown. At the time of marriage, Carrie had been employed in the Dery Silk Mill as a warper. They resided at 839 Chestnut Street in Emmaus. Circa 1961, he was in Emmaus and in 1967 in Sumneytown.
Daughter Sarah L. "Sallie" Bilger (1888-1920) was born in 1888. She grew up in the home of J.H. Beidler on Main Street. On Jan. 13, 1912, at the age of 23, she wedded mechanic Joseph Koch ( ? - ? ) of Norristown. Rev. W.M. Kopenhaven was the officiant. In reporting on the wedding, the Allentown Morning Call said she was "a most estimable young woman.... Many friends wish the couple the best of life's blessings." Circa 1916, their home was in Macungie.
Son Willis H. Bilger (1890-1967) was born in 1890 in Upper Milford Township. He married Gertrude M. Wahler ( ? - ? ). They bore a daughter, Mildred Lippowitsch. The Bilgers dwelled in Emmaus at the address of 109 Macungie Avenue. For many years, Willis worked at Superior Combustion in Emmaus, and he retired from this position. They were members of St. Ann's Catholic Church. At the age of 77, Willis died at home on June 25, 1967. A requiem high mass was sung in the family church.
Daughter Anna C. "Annie" Bilger ( ? -1967) was born in (?) in Alburtis. On April 11, 1914, she was united in matrimony with Harlem Weaver (June 6, 1894-1954), a native of Passer, PA and the son of Elmer and Kate (Freed)Weaver. The nuptials were officiated by Rev. Kopenhaver of the Lutheran church at Macungie, and a wedding dinner was held at her parents' residence. The couple did not reproduce. The Weavers lived circa 1914 in Allentown and in 1916 in Emmaus. Over the years, Harlem earned a living as a foreman for Rayflex Manufacturing Company in Red Hill. They were members of the Zion Lutheran Church in Old Zionsville, and he belonged to the East Greenville Fire Company, the East Greenville Owls Club, the Quakertown Moose and the Pike Township Sportsmen's Association. Circa 1955, their address was 407 Main Street in East Greenville. Harlem died in the Norristown Hospital at the age of 60 on New Year's Eve 1954. Burial was in the cemetery of the family church. As a widow, she dwelled in Norristown. The Grim Reaper cut her away at the age of 75 on Aug. 12, 1967, while a patient in Norristown Hospital. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.
Daughter Bertha Bilger (1893-1962) was born in 1893. She lived at home in 1916. At the age of 23, on Feb. 3, 1917, she married Harry F. Weidner ( ? -1976), son of Charles and Sarah (Frey) Weidner. Rev. D.E. Schaeffer officiated. The Allentown Morning Call said in a related story that "Both are well known young people, enjoying a host of friends who wish them well in their new estate." They did not reproduce. Harry's occupation was as a guard for Mack Trucks Inc. in Allentown. They were members of St. John's United Church of Christ in Emmaus. The couple's address in the 1960s was at 663 Chestnut Street in Emmaus. Bertha died in Allentown at the age of 68 on Feb. 5, 1962. Harry outlived her by 14 years. At the age of 81, he passed away in Allentown and Sacred Heart Hospital Center on Oct. 22, 1976. A death notice in the Morning Call said that burial was in the Moravian Cemetery in Emmaus.
Son Fiett George Bilger (1894-1942) was born on Nov. 19, 1894 in Hosensack, Lower Milford Township. He resided with his parents in 1916. During World War I, he joined the American Expeditionary Force on May 28, 1917 and served in France with the 108th Machine Gun Battalion, Company C. He was honorably discharged in May1919 and returned home. He eventually wedded Emma L. Falk ( ? -1982), daughter of Charles and Louisa (Keinert) Falk. They produced three children -- Donald C. Bilger, Richard Bilger and Betty Ziegler. He was employed as a silk warper. In about 1928, Fiett was diagnosed with cancer within the left ear, and he endured the illness for 14 years. Their home in the 1940s was at 536 Chestnut Street in Emmaus. They were members of St. John's Lutheran Church, and he belonged to the Charles Henry Schaeffer Post of the American Legion and the Washington Camp of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America. His cancer rendering him unable to work, he was forced to quit in about 1937. He succumbed at the age of 47 on July 26, 1942. Funeral services were held in the family church, with Rev. Paul F. Spieker preaching. His remains were placed into repose in the Moravian Church Cemetery in Emmaus. Emma lived for another four decades as a widow. She supported herself through work at Emmaus Manufacturing Company, spending 15 years there prior to retirement in 1962. Her final home was at 225 Calvary Avenue in Emmaus. She died at the age of 83 on May 13, 1982. Funeral services were held at St. John's Lutheran Church in Emmaus, followed by burial beside her husband. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.
Son Raymond E. Bilger (1897-1961) was born in 1897 in Upper Milford Township. He served in the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. He was united in holy matrimony with Gertrude M. Waltz ( ? - ? ). They made a home in Allentown and were members of Grace Lutheran Church of Macungie. The Bilgers were the parents of four offspring -- Jack Bilger, Bruce Bilger, David Bilger and Marion Bilger. For many years, Raymond was employed by Mack Trucks Inc. as an electrician. Poor health forced him to retire in 1958, at the age of 61. Their address in the early 1960s was 105 East Susquehanna Street in Allentown. He died at home at the age of 64 on Oct. 8, 1961. Gertrude lived for another dozen years as a widow, remaining in their home. She died at age 72 on Aug. 20, 1973. burial was in Eastern Salisbury Cemetery, and a death notice was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.
Son Luther W. Bilger (1901-1960) was born on June 1, 1901. At the age of seven, he contracted blood poisoning of his legs. Said the Allentown Leader, he had been "wearing black-colored stockings. During the wet weather the past week the boy wore a pair of rubber boots. By evening these had rubbed his legs and feet sore. His system became affected and soon he could no longer walk." On Sept. 3, 1927, he wedded Elizabeth A. Smith ( ? -1964), daugher of Harrison Smith. The ceremony was officiated by Rev. E.A. Yehl in the parsonage of Grace Lutheran Church of Macungie. They established a residence at 625 Chestnut Street in Emmaus and were members of Grace Church. Luther was hired in 1939 by Mack Manufacturing Company as a plant guard and fireman. He belonged to the Moose lodge, Owls Club, Fraternal Order of Eagles and Fraternal Order of Police. When they reached their 25th wedding anniversary in 1952, the couple was pictured in the Allentown Morning Call when they renewed their vows in the same church parsonage, this time by the hand of Rev. Charles V. Naugle. Luther was stricken by a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 59 and succumbed on Oct. 14, 1960. As a widow, Elizabeth lived in High Point Trailer Court in Wescosville. She passed into eternity at age 4 on Feb. 10, 1964. Her remains were lowered into rest in Solomon's Reformed Church Cemetery in Macungie, with a death notice printed in the Morning Call.
Son Clarence LeRoy Bilger (1903-1942) was born on March 18, 1903. In about 1939, at the age of 36, he married Virginia Walter ( ? -1991), daughter of Thomas S. and Helen M. (Miller) Walter. Virginia brought a daughter to the union, Myrtle L. Groff. The couple bore a son of their own, Walter H. Bilger. Their home in 1942 was at 665 Chestnut Street in Emmaus. He earned a living as a molder and later as a channel inspector for Mack Manufacturing Corporation. Virginia worked as an operator for Emmaus Telephone Company. They were members of St. John's Lutheran Church in Emmaus, and he belonged to the Washington Camp of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of Amerca, the Emaus Cicle of the Brotherhood of America and the Emaus Fire Company No. 1. On the fateful day of July 1, 1942, despondent over some unknown matter, the 39-year-old Clarence decided to end his life. He went to the furnace dam along South 10th Street and jumped to his death. The Allentown Morning Call trumpeted the tragedy with the headline "A Suicide By Drowning." The story said that Clarence:
...usually arose at 5 o'clock to prepare lunch and eat breakfast before leaving for work. Not finding him in the house when she arose at abotu 6:30 yesterday, his wife went to the garage of his brother-in-law next door, Harry Weidner, where the car was kept. There on the windshield of the car, she found a note from her husband in which he stated his intention of committing suicide in the Furnace dam, but indicated no motive for the act. Mrs. bilger arounsed Mr. Weidner, who notified police. Chief John Sicher of the Emmaus police responded and he and Weidner went to the dam, where they found Bilger's floating body.
Burial was in Northwood Cemetery in Emmaus, with Rev. Paul F. Spieker preaching the funeral sermon. The widowed Virginia supported herself as a telephone operator for Lycoming Telephone Company from 1945 to 1954. She married again to Lester L. Stahlnecker ( ? - ? ). She lived in Orwigsburg, PA in 1991 and was a member of Friedens Lutheran Church of New Ringgold, PA. As her health failed, she was admitted to Pottsville and Warren Clinic in Pottsville, where she passed away at age 81 on April 13, 1991.
Daughter Christiana H. Bilger (1905-1985) was born in 1905. She contracted diphtheria as a girl of age five and, as a result, the family home was quarantined. She wedded George A. Laudenslager ( ? -1983), son of Edwin Laudenslager of Vera Cruz, Lehigh County. The pair did not reproduce. They established a longtime home in Emmaus and belonged to St. John's Lutheran Church. George worked for many years as a delivery man for Lipkins Furniture Store in Bethlehem. He retired in 1967. George passed away in Allentown Hospital at the age of 79 on Sept. 28, 1983. The widowed Christiana remained in their dwelling at 432 Green Street in Emmaus. She died in Quakertown, PA at the age of 79 on Sept. 15, 198. Burial was in Northwood Cemetery in Emmaus, with a death notice appearing in the Allentown Morning Call.
~ Son George J. Fegely ~
Son George J. Fegely (1866-1925) was born on July 24, 1866 in Lower Macungie Township. He toiled as a coal miner at the age of 13.
Several years before marriage, George was a teacher in the Old Zionsville School circa 1889 and the Koch School in Upper Milford Township in 1890.
In about 1895, he married C. Louisa Meitzler (March 4, 1871-1945). A native of Longswamp Township, Berks County, she was the daughter of Benjamin and Caroline (Carl) Meitzler.
The couple produced two known children, Edna M. Helfrich and one who died between 1900-1910. They also helped to raise a motherless niece, Carrie Emma Fegely, born in 1893, the daughter of Franklin "Frank" and Mary (Bartholomew) Fegely.
In about 1900, they established a home in rural Old Zionsville, Lehigh County, where they remained for the balance of their lives. George earned a living as a clerk, and circa 1910 he was employed at a hotel in the town. He also earned income as a laborer, performing odd jobs. He was a member of the Old Zionsville Lodge circa 1915 and belonged to the Odd Fellows and the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America, where he held the office of conductor. In 1923, after a layoff of about two months, he was called back to work at the H.S. Kern store in Shimersville.
George marked his 42nd birthday with a party for 57 guests at their home. Reported the Allentown Leader, "A fine dinner was served."
Circa 1925, the Fegelys were tenant farmers on the property of William J. Fegely in Old Zionsville. When George Buchman of East Allentown acquired the tract, George moved from the tenant house into the main farm house.
At the age of 58, stricken with prostate cancer, cystitis and a septic infection, George underwent surgery at Allentown Hospital. Unable to rally, he passed away on April 19, 1925. Funeral services were held in the home of married daughter Edna Helfrich, led by Rev. D.C. Kauffman, with interment was in the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Old Zionsville. An obituary followed in the Allentown Morning Call. His burial was duly recorded in church records, and in 1968 his name and reference were published in the booklet Burial Record 1758 to 1968: Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation Cemetery.
Louisa outlived her husband by two decades and endured hypertension. When she became a great-grandmother in 1943, she and her daughter, granddaughter and infant were pictured in a four-generation photograph in the Morning Call on Jan. 23, 1943. In mid-March 1945, she was felled by a heart attack and died three days later on St. Patrick's Day 1945, just 13 days after her 74th birthday. As he had done for Louisa's husband 20 years earlier, Rev. D.C. Kaufman preached her funeral sermon.
Daughter Edna M. Fegely (1898- ? ) was born in July 1893. She was united in holy matrimony with Stanley C. Helfrich ( ? - ? ). The couple produced four children. Their home in 1925 was at 1548½ Washington Street.
Copyright © 2000, 2009, 2017-2018 Mark A. Miner