Mary Todd (Jennings) Shipley was born on Dec. 20, 1862, near Ursina, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of John R. and Martha (Knight) Jennings Sr. She appears to have been named after the nation's First Lady at the time, Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln.
In about 1880, when she was age 18, Mary married 29-year-old Charles "Walter" Shipley (1851-1927), the son of Levi and Catherine (Linderman) Shipley. He was 11 years older than his bride.
Walter worked as a farmer and also as a blacksmith for the H.C. Frick Coke Co. They lived at a town that today no longer exists -- Victoria, Fayette County, PA. Situated on a flatland along the Youghiogheny River, Victoria is now part of Ohiopyle State Park, which has been preserved for the public to enjoy.
The Shipleys had 10 children -- Ellen Shipley, Lucretia "Ruth" Dawson, Alverda Maude Yeagley, Charles Alvin Shipley, Albert Clarence Shipley, Norman Floyd Shipley, Robert Clement Shipley, Edna Odelia Shipley, Harrison Raymond "Harry" Shipley and Otto Lee Shipley. Sadly, their eldest child Ellen died at the tender age of six weeks in 1878, and one other child passed away during the parents' lifetime.
In the year 1900 the family lived in the borough of Ohiopyle, Fayette County. Also in their household lived Mary's brother, John, who at age 27 was widowed.
Walter and Mary separated sometime before 1910. At the time, he was a foreman on a railroad "work train." He went to Newell, Fayette County, to live with his brother in law, Robert E. Lee Jennings.
By 1910, when the federal census was taken, the Shipleys apparently had reconciled, and were living together in or near Victoria, where Walter was a farmer. That year, their children Clarence, Odelia, Harry and Otto were residing in the household, along with seven year old granddaughter Charlotta Shipley. The census indicates that they owned their own farm.
When the federal census again was enumerated in 1920, Walter and Mary were living together near Ohiopyle. In their dwelling that year were 22-year-old son Harry and 17-year-old granddaughter Charlotte. The record shows that Walter and Harry were farmers. Living nearby were the families of Andrew Shipley, Jefferson Shipley, Leroy Shipley and Lewis Shipley, but their connection to Walter is not yet known.
Walter died of acute heart failure, with influenza contributing to his decline, at the age of 75 on April 15, 1927 His death occurred in Stewart Township, Fayette County, as confirmed by his official Pennsylvania death certificate. He is buried in the Addison Cemetery in Somerset County.
In the 1930s, laborers with the Works Progress Administration recorded all the burials at Addison Cemetery, and prepared a long typed list of the names and dates. Today, this list is available online on the Somerset County GenWeb Archives, with the page containing the reference to Walter found on page 3. Distant cousins of Mary's, Joseph and Nancy (Stuck) Minard, also rest in this ancient burying ground dating to before the Civil War.
Mary outlived Walter by almost two decades. When she was 77, her children held a reunion in her honor at Victoria, in mid-July 1939. The Connellsville Daily Courier ran a lengthy article reporting the details:
The event was attended by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, representing four generations. Children present were as follows: Charles Shipley and family of McKeesport, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Shipley and family of Newell, Mrs. Alverda Yeagley and son, Wendell, Odelia Shipley and Robert Shipley, all of Confluence, Harry Shipley and daughter, Alma Jean, at home. Grandchildren were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jewart and sons of Glassport, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Little of Johnstown, Miss Bettie Shipley of Barnesville, Ohio. Visitors included Mr. and Mrs. William Herwick of Stewarton, Mrs. Curtis Rugg, George Rugg, and daughter, Hilda, and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hall of Mill Run, and Lester Shipley of Bidwell. The youngest person present was Phyllis Shipley, 18 months. A dinner was served by Mrs. Alverda Yeagley. Her aides were Miss Odelia Shipley, Mrs. Thomas Jewart and Mrs. Jacob Little. The day was spent in swimming, biking and playing games. Music was by Harry Shipley and Robert Shipley of Bidwell. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hall and Hilda Rugg of Mill Run sang.
At the age of 82, having endured problems with her heart valves and kidneys, Mary passed away on March 23, 1945, at her home in Bidwell. She was laid to rest beside her husband at Addison. The Connellsville Daily Courier ran a brief obituary, saying she was survived by 23 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Eventually occupying the grave plot would be sons Harry, Floyd and Clarence Shipley and daughter Odelia Shipley. We are grateful to volunteers with the Old Petersburg/Addison Historical Society for sharing the Shipley burial information.
~ Daughter Lucretia Ruth (Shipley) Dawson ~
Daughter Lucretia Ruth Shipley (1882-1929) was born on Jan. 20, 1882 near Percy, Uniontown, Fayette County.
She married Milton S. Dawson ( ? -1965). In about 1903, they relocated to Glassport, Allegheny County, at an address of 715 Vermont Street, where they remained for 24 years.
In her 40s, Lucretia suffered from chronic heart lesions. Just 14 days shy of her 47th birthday, on Jan. 6, 1929, she succumbed to bronchial pneumonia with cardiac asthma in Glassport. She was placed into eternal rest in Mt. Vernon Cemetery in McKeesport.
Milton survived his wife by more than 35 years. He passed away in 1965 and also is interred in Mt. Vernon Cemetery.
~ Daughter Alverda Maude (Shipley) Yeagley ~
Daughter Alverda Maude Shipley (1884-1961) was born on Jan. 13, 1884 in Fayette County, possibly Uniontown.
In about 1904, when she was 20 years of age, she was wedded to 22-year-old Charles Ellsworth Yeagley (March 4, 1878-1932), son of Fred Yeagley of Confluence. A native of Confluence, Charles relocated to Patton, PA with his parents and joined the Presbyterian Church. Parents and son remained for a few years before returning to their original home town.
The Yeagleys produced one son, Wendell Edmund Yeagley.
Alverda and Charles resided in Confluence. Charles was considered "one of the leading businessmen of the Turkeyfoot region," said the Meyersdale Republican:
After the family returned to Confluence, Mr. Yeagley remained here for a short time, and then went to Connellsville, where he entered the restaurant and confectionary business, remaining there for several years, when he again returned to Confluence. About thirty years ago he opened a restaurant and poolroom in Confluence, which he had successfully operated since. Some years after opening the restaurant, he opened the Yeagley Bottling Works and Ice Cream Factory, and for a number of years was very successful in the operation of this plant. In 1915 he opened a coal mine in Fayette County, operating it very successfully for several years. In 1916 he erected a large building, housing the Liberty Theater and had since that time been owner and operator of this theater. About ten years ago, he had a large plot of ground in the southern part of town surveyed, and opened up the Yeagley Addition, and was instrumental in having a number of new homes built in that section.... Mr. Yeagley was one of the most progressive business men in the community, and his loss has created a void that will be very hard to fill. He was of a charitable disposition, and it will never be known how many of his townspeople he furnished aid in times of sickness, suffering and distress. He was a kind and loving husband and a good father, and will be missed by a host of friends and acquaintances in all walks of life. He was for many years a member of Pleasant Valley Lodge, No. 72, Knights of Pythias, and also for a number of years a member of the Confluence tent, Knights of the Maccabees.
Charles' health declined in the last five years of his life. He was paralyzed by a stroke the day after Christmas 1931 and was confined to bed until death two months later, on Feb. 25, 1932. An obituary in the Republican noted that his survivors included sisters Laura Clouse and Ella Yeagley and brothers Oscar Yeagley and Hagan Yeagley. Burial was in Addison Cemetery, with Rev. Morgan officiating. His pallbearers included Dr. H. P. Meyers. George A. Frantz, J. Lewis Ream, Robert J. Frantz, Harvey B. Tissue and Earle T. Hall.
Alverda lived for a widow for nearly 30 more years on earth. Suffering from chronic brain syndrone and fever, she was admitted to Somerset State Hospital. She passed away there at the age of 77 on Jan. 25, 1961, and was laid to rest in the Addison Cemetery.
Son Wendell Edmund Yeagley (1906-1995) was born on Valentine's Day 1906 in Confluence. As a young man he attended the Kiski Prep School and University of Pittsburgh. He was united in marriage with Elizabeth E. Black (Feb. 21, 1913-2003), daughter of Charles "Bert" and Daisy (James) Black. She had attended Bethany College and Drexel University. They produced an only son, Charles E. Yeagley. Wendell served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Later, he took over the operation of his late father's Liberty Theater of Confluence. The Yeagleys were longtime members of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Confluence. On March 13, 1995, while a patient at Somerset Community Hospital, Wendell passed into eternity at the age of 89. Interment was in Addison Cemetery, with Rev. John Palko leading the funeral service, and an obituary printed in the Somerset Daily American. Elizabeth survived her husband by eight years. She moved to Florida to be near her son and family. She died in Brandon, FL on July 9, 2003, at the age of 90.
~ Son Charles Alvin Shipley ~
Son Charles Alvin Shipley (1886-1971) was born on March 29, 1886. He was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and brown hair.
At the age of 24, in 1910, Charles is believed to have boarded in the McKeesport residence of Bennett and Malinda Mahan and to have earned a living as a streetcar conductor.
He is said to have been married five times. His first bride was Corinne B. (?) (? - ? ).Their known children were Charles Walker Shipley and James Shipley and possibly also Virginia Mounts.
When Charles furnished personal information to the federal government in 1918, while registering for the World War I military draft, he and Corinne made their home at 420 Marshall Street in McKeesport, near Pittsburgh. His employment at that time was as a shearman's helper at the Woods Mill of American Sheet and Tin Plate Company, part of United States Steel Corporation, in McKeesport. He continued that occupation for several years, and in 1920 his younger brother and sister in law Otto "Lee" and Edna Shipley lived under their roof for a time before relocating to Beaver Falls, PA.
Another of Charles' spouses was Edith Elizabeth (Brady) Ritenour (1901- ? ). Edith was divorced from truck driver Harry Ritenour and brought two children to the marriage -- Harry Ritenour Jr. and Dorothy Naomi Ritenour. The couple went on to have several more children of their own, among them Alvin Jennings Shipley, Donald Maurice Shipley, Chloe Ann Rzepniak, Daniel Wayne Shipley and Janet Arlene Shank.
Circa 1935-1940, the United States Census shows the combined family living under one roof alogn Herbert Street in North Versailles, Allegheny County, and Charles still working as a steel mill shearman.
Charles died in February 1971 and was buried in Restland Memorial Park in Monroeville, in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh.
Edith outlived him by two decades. She made her home in McKeesport and passed away in November 1991.
Son Charles Shipley (1913- ? ) was born in about 1913.
Son James Shipley (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917.
Son Alvin Jennings Shipley (1930-2007) was born on Feb. 3, 1930 in McKeesport. He served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was a longtime steelworker with the Homestead Works of United States Steel. He married Marlyn J. Dias ( ? - ? ). They produced these children -- Michael Don Shipley, Alvin C. Shipley, Raymond L. Shipley, Randy W. Shipley, Robert L. Shipley and Anita Sedlock. They resided in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, PA and were members of Park Baptist Church, and Alvin belonged to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. At the age of 77, Alvin died in UPMC Shadyside Hospital on May 11, 2007. Rev. David Painter led the funeral service, followed by burial in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park. An obituary was published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, stating that his survivors included 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Son Donald Maurice Shipley (1931-1999) was born on June 29, 1931. He lived for years in McKeesport and is believed to have passed into eternity on Jan. 14, 1999.
Daughter Chloe Ann Shipley (1932- ? ) was born in about 1932. She married (?) Rzepniak ( ? - ? ). They have lived in North Versailles.
Son Daniel Wayne Shipley (1937- ? ) was born in about 1937. He made his residence in White Oak near McKeesport in 2007.
Daughter Janet A. Shipley (1940-2011) was born in about 1940. She married James A. Shank ( ? - ? ). They resided in North Versailles, Allegheny County, and produced these children -- Patricia Jones, Diane Orr, James T. Shank, Janelle Ford, Jason Shank and Louise Wolf. At the age of 71, Janet died at home on March 2, 2011. An obituary was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which noted that she was survived by 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Stepson Harry Ritenour Jr. (1920-1994) was born on July 21, 1920 in East McKeesport. In 1945, he was a soldier with the U.S. Army, making his home at 1120 Walnut Street in McKeesport. At the age of 24, in early 1945, he is believed to have been joined in matrimony with 18-year-old Evelyn Duyava (1926- ? ), daughter of John and Mariea (Laboruk) Duyava of McKeesport. They remained in McKeesport for decades. Harry died on Sept. 2, 1994.
Stepdaughter Dorothy Naomi Ritenour (1923-1998) was born on June 20, 1923 in East McKeesport. She was wedded to John Edward Ballou (1919- ? ), a native of Brooklyn, NY and a mill worker living in Wilmerding, PA. He was the son of mill worker Edward and Elizabeth (Reed) Ballou of Wilmerding. They made their home in North Versailles, PA. She died on July 26, 1998.
~ Son Albert "Clarence" Shipley ~
Son Albert "Clarence" (or "A.C.") Shipley (1888-1985) was born on May 13, 1888. As a young man, he was a farmer and resided at Victoria, a community near Ohio Pyle, Fayette County.
On Nov. 2, 1912, when he was age 24, Albert married 22-year-old Melissa C. Fortney (Aug. 15, 1890-1935), daughter of William and Catherine (Reed) Fortney of Somerfield, Somerset County. The nuptials took place in Glassport near McKeesport, by the hand of Rev. C.W. Fowkes.
The Shipleys lived in 1920 in Williamsport, Washington County, MD, in a house on Conococheague Street, where Albert held a job as a railroad track foreman. They later accepted a transfer to Newell, Fayette County, where he labored circa 1930 as a railroad tie tamper.
They had four children -- Mary Catherine Little, Albert Harrison Shipley, Alverta Krivacek Duncan and Phyllis Goldstein.
Suffering from heart disease and fibroids of the uterus, which caused the uteus to slip out of its normal position, Melissa was admitted into McKeesport Hospital. There, she passed away at the age of 45 on Feb. 22, 1935.
Clarence outlived his first wife by a half-century. He later married Mary Howell ( ? - ? ) and continued to be employed for many years by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad at Newell. Clarence died at the age of 97 on Feb. 26, 1985, and was laid to rest at Addison.
Daughter Mary Catherine Shipley (1914-1967) was born in about 1914 in Pennsylvania. She married (?) Little. She died in 1967.
Son Albert Harrison Shipley (1915-1990) was born on or about Feb. 3, 1915 in Maryland, most likely in Williamsport, Washington County. In January 1939, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and in February 1958, he served as a chief electrician on the U.S.S. Antietam, an anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier ported in Mayport, FL. He is believed to have died on Dec. 5, 1990.
Daughter Alverta Shipley (1920-2013) was born on May 29, 1920 in Williamsport, Washington County, MD. She was united in wedlock with Michael Edward Krivacek (1914-1982). They resided in Newell, Fayette County and produced one son, Michael Bradley Krivacek. Alverta obtained education from Johnstown Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and was employed as a registered nurse for 66 years, from 1944 to 2010. She provided services for Dr. Dant, the Miner’s Clinic at Centerville and Charleroi Hospital in Monongahela. Michael passed away in 1982, with burial in LaFayette Memorial Park in Brier Hill, Fayette County. Alverta married again to James A. Duncan Sr. ( ? - ? ). She became widowed a second time and retained her residence in Newell. She died at home at the age of 92 on April 18, 2013. Her remains were brought to Somerset County to rest in Addison Cemetery, with Rev. Jason Lamer officiating at the funeral service.
Daughter Phyllis Shipley ( ? - ? ) married (?) Goldstein. She is believed to have served as treasurer of Shipley Enterprises, Inc., a tree farm of Lake Worth, FL, established in 1999.
~ Son Norman "Floyd" Shipley ~
Son Norman "Floyd" Shipley (1890-1964) was born on Oct. 8, 1890, at Victoria, Fayette County, PA. He was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and dark hair.
Floyd obtained employment with the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, and moved to Pittsburgh in the 1910s, where he held the position of railroad foreman. In 1918, when he filled out a World War I military draft registration card, he made his home at 3022 Carson Street on Pittsburgh's South Side. He was not married at the time.
He eventually married Catherine Wenzel (May 21, 1876-1957), daughter of Henry Wenzel of Pittsburgh. The groom was 14 years younger than the bride. They did not reproduce.
Floyd eventually relocated to Beaver Falls, Beaver County, PA where he earned a living as a railroad watchman. They maintained a home at 4002 Fourth Avenue. Upon retirement, the couple remained in Beaver Falls.
Catherine suffered from congestive heart failure and passed away at home at age 81 on Oct. 14, 1957. Burial was in Beaver Falls Cemetery.
Having been burdened with hardening of the arteries leading to his heart, Floyd was admitted to Providence Hospital in the city and died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 73 on Jan. 13, 1964. His remains were returned to Somerset County for interment in Addison Cemetery. His brother Robert signed his official Pennsylvania death certificate. No obituary is known to have been printed in the Beaver County Times or Connellsville Daily Courier.
~ Son Robert Clement Shipley Sr. ~
Son Robert Clement Shipley Sr. (1892-1985) was born on Sept. 30, 1892 in Victoria, Fayette County, PA. He was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and brown hair.
Robert married Georgiana Kern ( ? - ? ) and had four children -- Robert Clement Shipley Jr., Charles E. Shipley, Anna Margaret "Peg" Armbrust and Violet Elizabeth "Bettie" Edwards.
Circa 1918, when he was age 26, Robert registered for the U.S. military draft during World War I. At the time, he was employed as a brakeman on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Connellsville, Fayette County. in 1920, when their son Charles was born, the family dwelled in Grant Town near Fairmont, Marion County, WV.
Said the Beaver County (PA) Times, Robert "was a resident of Hendrysburg, Ohio, prior to moving to the Beaver Falls area, where he resided most of his life. He was a watchman for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, Pittsburgh, 40 years, retiring in 1959, and a member of the First Baptist Church, Beaver Falls.
He lived at Beaver Falls, Beaver County from 1961 to his death in 1985. He passed away at home at the age of 93 on Oct. 14, 1985. He was laid to rest in Grandview Cemetery in Big Beaver Borough. At the time, said the Times, he was survived by four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Son Robert Clement Shipley Jr. (1917-2004) was born on March 5, 1917 in Connellsville. He relocated to Beaver Falls with his parents and family. He was twice married. His first bride was Madeline Grau ( ? - ? ). They apparently did not reproduce. After Madeline's death, he wed again to Marion Keren ( ? - ? ). They did not have any children either. During World War II, Robert served in the U.S. Army. Said the Beaver County Times, he "was a Boy Scout executive for the Pittsburgh area. He was sent to Washington D.C. to represent the Scouts there. Later, he worked for H.C. Connoly Real Estate in Silver Springs, Md. before taking a job with the U.S. Treasury Dept. in evaluating real estate for the U.S. Government." He was a master of the Masons lodge in Beaver Falls. Robert spent his final years in Daytona Beach, FL and there he died at the age of 87 on June 10, 2004. His remains were transported to Pennsylvania to be placed into eternal repose in Grandview Cemetery in Big Beaver Borough.
Son Charles E. "Chuck" Shipley (1920-2018) was born on March 6, 1920 in Grant Town, north of Fairmont, Marion County, WV. He spent his growing-up years in Hendrysburg, OH. During World War II, Chuck was a member of the 4th Signal Company, 4th Infantry Division and took part in the D-Day Invasion at Normandy and in liberating Paris, for which he earned a French Jubilee of Liberty Medal. In about 1948, at the age of 28, he married 25-year-old Bernice A. Altsman (1923-2010), daughter of James William and Nora Bell (Denhart) Altsman. The couple was together for 62 years until the separation of death. They resided in White Township, and at 415 39th Street and 2901 22nd Avenue in Beaver Falls, PA. The couple did not reproduce. Charles was employed for 40 years installing telephone and telegraph technology with Western Electric, which later became AT&T Network Systems and eventually Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. He was active with the Masonic lodge. He volunteered as president of AT&T Pioneers, an organization of early employees, and for more than six decades was a member of the First Baptist Church of Beaver Falls. Said the Beaver County Times, Bernice "was the secretary to the personnel manager of Armstrong World Industries at the Beaver Falls plant for 41 years. [She] was the oldest member of the First Baptist Church, Beaver Falls, with over 70 years of service." Bernice passed away at age 87 on June 27, 2010, at the Beaver Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, after suffering a stroke earlier in the year. She was laid to rest in Grandview Cemetery in Big Beaver Borough. Charles outlived his bride by eight years and became a resident of Wesley Ridge Parkside in Reynoldsburg, OH. There, he died at the age of 97 on Feb. 2, 2018, and joined his wife in repose at Grandview.
Daughter Anna Margaret "Peg" Shipley ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married (?) Armbrust. Circa 2004, she dwelled in St. Clairsville, OH.
Daughter Violet Elizabeth "Bettie" Shipley (1924-2015) was born in about 1924 in Hendrysburg, OH. She was joined in wedlock with Thomas Joseph "Joe" Edwards ( ? - ? ), and they remained together for 60 years until separation by death. The couple produced two children -- Richard Edwards and Cindy Lawson. Said the Columbus (OH) Dispatch, "Known for her insightful wisdom, unconditional love, and generous spirit, Bettie poured out her heart to her family and friends." She made her home in Columbus, OH in 2004. Bettie died at the age of 92 on March 19, 2015. Following a memorial service at the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community Kimes Chapel in Reynoldsburg, OH, her remains were lowered into repose in Asbury Cemetery.
~ Daughter Edna Odelia "Deedee" Shipley ~
Daughter Edna Odelia "Deedee" Shipley (1894-1968) was born in September 1894.
She apparently was a reader of the Pittsburgh Press newspaper, and in 1914, living in Victoria, Fayette County at the age of 20, won 10th prize in a "Great '33' Puzzle contest, with her name printed in the edition of Jan. 18, 1914.
She apparently never married. She is known to have attended her mother's 77th birthday party and Shipley family reunion at Victoria in July 1939.
In May 1947, Odelia is known to have been seriously ill and a patient at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, and was "slightly improving" later in the month.
She survived her illness and lived in Confluence for more than two decades more. In October 1959, she paid a visit to her sister Alverda Yeagley who was a patient in Somerset State Hospital, with the news reported in the gossip columns of the Somerset Daily American.
Odelia passed away in 1968, and rests for eternity beside her parents and siblings at Addison Cemetery.
~ Son Harrison Rayman "Harry" Shipley ~
Son Harrison Rayman "Harry" Shipley (1897-1991) was born on March 18, 1897 at Victoria, Fayette County, PA.
As an adult, he had grey eyes and light brown hair, and carried the nickname "Hardrock."
In 1918, when registering for the military draft during World War I, the 21-year-old Harry lived at home in Victoria. He remained in Victoria as of 1945 when he signed his mother's official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Later, he resided at Ohiopyle and at Confluence, Somerset County.
He had at least one daughter, Alma Jean Shipley.
Harry was named in the Connellsville Daily Courier obituary of his sister Alverda Yeagley in January 1961, and at the time he resided in Ohiopyle.
Circa 1971, Harry made his home in Ventura, CA. He returned to Somerset County, and lived in Confluence in 1985. He died at age 94 in 1991 and is buried in the family plot at Addison.
Daughter Alma Jean Shipley ( ? - ? ) - may have brought a lawsuit against railroader Albert T. Hohman of Ohiopyle in January 1950.
~ Son Otto Lee Shipley ~
Son Otto Lee Shipley (1899-1971) was born either in September 1898 or on Jan. 22, 1899, in Victoria, Fayette County.
He was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and black hair. When World War I broke out, Otto was living at home in Victoria and working with his father in farming.
Otto married Edna Matilda Kirschner (1903-1989) sometime in the late 1910s. In the waning days of August 1919, said the Connellsville Daily Courier, the newlyweds were:
... tendered a very enjoyable surprise party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Shipley at Victoria. Music was rendered by Hall & Kemp's orchestra and the Martial band, the latter playing while lunch was being served. The following were present: Mr. and Mrs. C. Walter Shipley, Mr. and Mrs. O.L. Shipley, Harry Shipley, Charlotte Shipley, Irvin Shipley, Misses Celestia, Beatrice and Goldie Linderman, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Williams and sons, Opal and Earle, Emerson Kemp, Lee Hall, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hohman and children, Sherman and Ada, Martin, Robert, Thomas and Brack Shipley, Russell Kemp, Eugene Harold and Edgar Jennings, Miss Irma Graver, McClelland Linderman, Walter Cunningham, Foster Morrison, Albert Moon and Francis Moon.
The Shipleys made their home in 1920 with Lee's older brother and sister-in-law Charles and Corinne Shipley in McKeesport. Later that year, they relocated to West Mayfield, Beaver County, PA, where obtained work as a section foreman in the Beaver Falls-College office of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. Otto's obituary in the Beaver County Times said "He had been an outstanding West Mayfield borough administrator, served as first mayor of West Mayfield, four terms as burgess and also was a former justice of the peace. For many years he served on West Mayfield Borough Council and was a former president of council." Edna served as "president and member of the West Mayfield School Board for many years," said the Times.
Otto and Edna had five children -- Ruth Todd Shaffer, Robert Lee Shipley, Virginia S. Shipley, Vivian Gloria Shipley and Richard Vernon Shipley.
Otto died at the age of 72 on Nov. 17, 1971. He was laid to rest in Sylvania Hills Memorial Park in Daugherty Township near Rochester, PA. Edna outlived him by 18 years. She moved to Sparta, WI and died there in her home at the age of 86 on March 13, 1989. Her remains were returned to Beaver County for burial beside Otto. At her death, she had five grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.
Daughter Ruth Todd Shipley (1920-1998) was born in 1920. She married Woodrow Lyle Shaffer, but the marriage ended in divorce. She then married Harry Nicely McGee, with that marriage also ending in divorce. Ruth married her third husband Lester Gossard ( ? -1984), and following his death in 1984, she remarried Harry McGee. They made their home in Darlington, Beaver County, PA in 1971 and Lake City, FL in 1989.
Son Robert Lee Shipley (1921-1951) was born in 1921. He was an Air Force sergeant and radio operator who was killed during the Korean War. On Dec. 9, 1951, during what should have been an otherwise routine flight, his airplane, a C-119, "fell into the Japanese sea between Honshu and Kynshu Islands,"said the Beaver Falls News Tribune. "The last letter his family received from him was written on the boat on Thanksgiving Day." His remains were returned to Beaver County in January 1952 for burial at Sylvania Hills Memorial Park. Robert left a widow and a young daughter, who were living in Chicago at the time. Among other places, his name appeared in a special Korean War memorial page in the June 25, 2000 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Daughter Virginia Shipley (1923-2003)was born in 1923. She married Samuel Gillingham. They had one daughter, Dolores Dawn Miller. After the marriage ended in divorce, Virginia wed Francis Carl "Squire" Isabella. She resided in West Mayfield , Beaver County, , where she "was a life member of the Fort Pitt Chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America," said the Beaver County Times. "Prior to her retirement she was employed as a supervisor for AT&T for 39 years. She was hard working and devoted to AT&T. She enjoyed roller-skating, gardening, boating, shopping and bingo." She died at age 79 at The Medical Center of Beaver, PA on July 29, 2003. She rests for eternity at Sylvania Hills Memorial Park.
Daughter Vivian Gloria Shipley (1926- ? ) was born in 1926. She married Michael Terley ( ? -1995) and lived in Inglewood, CA. Later, they returned to West Mayfield. Michael died in 1995. Her fate is unknown.
Son Richard Vernon Shipley (1930-1991) was born in 1930. lived in Darlington, Beaver County, PA circa 1971 and Sparta, WI in 1989. He passed away at the age of 61 on Nov. 30, 1991.
Copyright © 2000-2003, 2006-2009, 2014, 2017 Mark A. Miner