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William G. Miner
(1864-1932)

 

William G. Miner

William G. Miner was born on June 26, 1864 near Humbert or Meyersdale, Somerset County, PA, the son of Henry A. and Matilda (Rose) Miner. He was a longtime coal miner who met a tragic fate in a streetcar accident. 

As a teenager, William migrated with his parents to Connellsville, Fayette County, PA, where his father found work in the booming coal and coke industry.

On Feb. 23, 1887, William married his first wife, Alice Amanda Kuhns (possibly also spelled "Koonce" or "Koontz") (1868-1910), the daughter of Peter and Sarah E. (Young) Kuhns, and a native of Allegheny County, PA. The ceremony was performed by justice of the peace Thomas R. Torrance. William was age 24 at the time, and Alice 19.

The Miners had six children -- William Harry Miner, Meda Venetta Buttermore, Minnie M. Parker, Lillian "Lillie Belle" Belle McDowell Walters, Espy Leroy Miner and an unnamed infant.

Over the years, the family lived in a variety of places, following available coal mine jobs. These include Westmoreland County, PA (1887), Dunbar (1893), Connellsville (1900), Hempfield Township (1902-03), Continental #2 (1907), Allison, Fayette County (1916) and Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV (1920s-30s). William is known to have been a farmer at Continental #2 and a fireman in the Allison Mine in 1916, and also to have worked as a railroad brakeman at one time.

On Feb. 7, 1907, while living in Uniontown, the Miners lost an unnamed infant son at age three days due to inanition (exhaustion from lack of food and water). The county coroner wrote on the death certificate, "No doctor." Burial was in Walnut Hill Cemetery in Connellsville.

 

Typical coke ovens in Connellsville of William's era

 

Heartache rocked the family on Nov. 17, 1910, when Alice, only age 42 and afflicted with neuralgia of the heart, died at their home in Swaugertown, near Connellsville. The Connellsville Daily Courier said she "was well and favorably known in and around Swaugertown." Alice was laid to rest in the Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville. Her faded grave marker erroneously is inscribed with a year of death as "1911" when in reality it should be "1910" -- possibly suggesting that it was not installed until many years later, perhaps at the time William died in 1932.

 

Hill Grove Cemetery

After Alice's death, William re-married after a year, on Nov. 29, 1911, to Sarah A. Morris, age 49, a resident of Smithfield, Fayette County, and the daughter of Victor and Jennie (?).  Their nuptials were performed in Uniontown by the hand of Rev. J.S. Bromley. The marriage license shows that Sarah's first husband died on Nov. 29, 1893, and thus she had been a widow for 17 years before wedding our William. On the license, he listed his occupation as "farmer."

The Miners' marriage did not last. By 1919, he made his home in Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV.

William's third wife, whom he married on Christmas Eve 1919, was Rosa Lee "Rosie" (Walls) Rogers (1867-1939). The wedding took place in Fairmont, near her home in Mannington, Marion County, WV. She was a native of Gladesville, Preston County, WV, and the daughter of Samuel and (?) (Menear) Walls. Rosie had previously been married, and she brought six children to the marriage with our William -- Edna Brothers, Minnie Stump, Ruby Gribble, Harry Rogers, Samuel Rogers and Roy Rogers.

 

Morgantown, West Virginia

William and Rosie set up their housekeeping in Morgantown. A rare old bird's eye postcard view of Morgantown, hard by the Monongahela River, is seen here.

Though residing in Morgantown at the time, William and his large family attended the McDowell-Miner-Ritenour family reunions in the Connellsville area in 1928-29-30. At the 1928 affair, at Hillcrest Park, William and his brother Grant, along with son-in-law Arthur McDowell and Emerson Ritenour, formed the planning committee. Son in law George Buttermore was elected chairman, daughter Lillie Belle secretary, and John Miner treasurer.

A local newspaper published a lengthy account of the McDowell-Miner 1928 reunion, and listed the following other immediate family members in attendance: Arthur and Lillie Belle's children Dorothy, Gladious, Mildred, Joseph, Thelma, Lillian and Zora, of Uniontown; John Ross and Mary Ellen (Ringer) Miner and daughter Mabel of Swaugertown Road, Connellsville; brother Grant and Drusilla (Fike) Miner and their grandchildren Wilma, Dorothy, Thomas and Robert Miner of Hillcrest Park, Connellsville; sisters Jennie (Miner) Paolone-Stevenson and Mary Ann (Miner) Richter of Connellsville; son in law and daughter George and Meda (Miner) Buttermore and their children Alice, Sarah and Esther of Mt. Braddock; granddaughter Lillie (Buttermore) and her husband Raymond Uncapher and children Florence and Junior of South Connellsville; and cousin Charles H. Rose of Normalville, PA.

 

William's gnarled hands from a lifetime of hard labor

 

Daily Courier, 1929

The 1929 McDowell-Miner reunion was held at daughter Lillie Belle McDowell's home in Haddenville, Fayette County. "There was no set program, the older folks spending the time talking over old times while the younger folks played games and romped in the orchard," said a newspaper article. "At noon dinner was served on picnic tables under the grape arbor, covers being laid for forty persons." Attending this reunion were William's brother Grant and wife Drusilla Miner and their grandchildren Wilma and Dorothy Miner; and William's son William H. and wife Louise Miner with their sons William, Charles and Harold.

The following year, the McDowell-Miner Reunion was held at Hillcrest Park in Connellsville, and William served on the program committee along with son in law George Buttermore (president), brother John R. Miner (treasurer), granddaughter Dorothy McDowell and brother Grant U. Miner (program committee). Reported a local newspaper:

It was an all-day affair, with about 100 in attendance. After dinner there was a religious service, led by George Buttermore. Races followed. The fat women's race, run by Mrs. Charles Buttermore and Mrs. Charles Sargent of Brownsville, the former winning. The girls' 50-yard dash, ages 12 to 20 years, was won by Miss Lurleine Upton of Summit. Mrs. Ewing Hager was the oldest person to attend. She is past 81. There were several others of ripe age.

 

Morgantown Dominion-News

Tragedy struck in the summer of 1932 when William was age 57, working as a janitor in the Price business block in Morgantown, and residing with Rosie at 921 Charles Avenue. On Saturday, Aug. 6, he boarded a streetcar bound for Sabraton about 5 p.m. After being seated, he may have suffered a partial stroke, although he got off the car at Charles and Richwood avenues without assistance. Reported the Morgantown Dominion News, William "apparently slipped from the platform and under the car, his left leg protruding inside the rail... The car was started [again], but Miner's cries quickly brought a stop." The newspaper added that "Some said he had reached up to pat a little child leaning from a car window when the car started and that he slipped and lost his balance, the car pinning his leg between the platform and trucks. Others said one wheel ran over the leg below the knee."

He was rushed to the Monongalia County hospital, where his leg was amputated below the knee. Said the Dominion News, "a nurse said Miner was suffering from extreme shock and loss of blood." When relatives arrived, he told them, "I don't remember what happened." The Dominion News kept readers informed for several days. One article said that he "rallied Sunday and hopes were entertained for his recovery though from the time he was admitted at the hospital it was said he was in critical condition." Sadly, though, he could not overcome the devastating blow. He passed away on Monday, Aug. 8, 1932, two days after his fall and injury.

William's body was shipped to Connellsville, where the funeral was held at the home of brother Grant in Hillcrest Park. His mangled remains were laid to rest beside his first wife Alice at Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville.

Rosie, a widow at age 65, remained in Morgantown, at 921 Charles Avenue. She was a housekeeper, and died at the age of 72 on Sept. 1, 1939. She was laid to rest in the Pisgah Cemetery in nearby Preston County, WV.

 

Meda Buttermore

~ Daughter Meda Venetta (Miner) Buttermore ~

Daughter Meda Venetta Miner (1887-1968) was born on Nov. 29, 1887 in Connellsville or near Greensburg, Westmoreland County.

At the tender age of 15, on June 26, 1902, she married 23-year-old George Smith Buttermore (1879-1966), the son of Alex and Sarah (Stillwagon) Buttermore of Connellsville. At the time, she resided with her parents in Hempfield Township near Greensburg, and he was a coal miner of Hempfield. Because she was underage, her father had to provide his consent. The wedding was held in Greensburg by Rev. A.J. Bird.

They had nine children -- Blanche Allen, Lilly Uncapher, Alice Martone, Esther Callihan, Sarah Snyder, Harry E. Buttermore, Grace Doutt, Meda Catherine Buttermore and Alexander E. Buttermore.

The Buttermores resided in Westmoreland County (1903), Connellsville (1903-1905), Indiana, Indiana County, PA (1907), Fayette City, Fayette County (1910), and finally in New Castle, Lawrence County, PA.

The family was shaken in the summer of 1910 when infant daughter Meda was afflicted with "toxic gastro ileocolitis" -- known today as Crohn's Disease. The baby died on July 10, 1913, at age one month, 13 days. Again in the spring of 1915, baby son Alexander suffered from intestinal problems and died at age three months, 29 days on Sept. 10, 1915. Their tender remains rest in the Hill Grove Cemetery.

George worked for many years as a "literature evangelist" for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. In November 1932, the church's national newspaper, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, reported that "On Sabbath, October 1, in the mountain waters near Mount Braddock, in the West Pennsylvania Conference, [Milton Conger] baptized five adults, who were fully consecrated to the cause, having been won to the faith by the personal effort and Bible studies of George Buttermore, one of our strong laymen. This brother is continuing his able soul-winning labors, and expects soon to present others to the Lord."

 

Lillie Belle McDowell (left) and Meda Buttermore (right) with their uncle and aunt, Grant and Drusilla (Fike) Miner

 

George and fellow parishioner Frank Johnston helped purchase the Adventist church building on Wilson Avenue in June 1937. Originally a small schoolhouse, the structure was remodeled and redecorated. In 1969, the congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary.

In November 1937, when the national church budgeted nearly $4.6 million for foreign missionary work, The New Castle News reported that "The local adherents of the faith, through the leadership of their local pastor, George S. Buttermore, will work enthusiastically toward raising their share of this vast sum."

They moved into the city of New Castle in 1961, making their new home at 1122 West Washington Street.

George passed away at the age of 87, in the home of his married daughter Esther Callihan in Sharpsville, PA on June 21, 1966.

 

New Castle's East Washington Street

 

Meda outlived her husband by five years. As her health failed, she moved into the Haven Convalescent Home. She died there at the age of 80 on July 28, 1968. The New Castle News said she was survived by 17 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Her funeral was led by Elder William Cary of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, followed by burial in the Neshannock United Presbyterian Cemetery.

Daughter Blanche Buttermore (1903-1982) married her first husband Harry Allen ( ? - ? ) and resided in Oil City, Venango County, PA in 1952, Reno, PA in 1961 and in New Castle circa 1965-66. They had two daughters -- Arabelle Baker and Betty Mae Spence. She later married Elvin Fritz ( ? - ? ) and relocated to Santa Anna, CA, where she died circa 1982. Her remains were brought back to New Castle for burial in the Castle View Memorial Gardens. The New Castle News said that she was survived by eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Daughter Grace Buttermore (1910-1965) was born on Sept. 21, 1910 in Fayette City, Fayette County, PA. In about 1927, at the age of 17, she married Eugene L. Doutt (1907-1991). They lived in the New Castle area for decades and had four children -- Dolores Boughter, Marlene Altman, Joseph L. Doutt and one who died young. They were members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church of New Castle. Eugene "retired in 1970 from Aetna-Standard where he worked as a welder," said the New Castle (PA) News. "He formerly worked at United Engineering in New Castle. During World War II, he served as a welding instructor." Grace died at the age of 54 on April 16, 1965. Following funeral services led by Rev. Earl Heslop, Elder Noble Shepherd of the church, she was buried in Clinton Cemetery. Eugene outlived her by more than a quarter of a century. he died in 1991, at the age of 84.

Daughter Lilly Mae Buttermore (1905-2000) married Raymond Uncapher (1902-1976) on June 16, 1922. They made their home circa 1966 in Bessemer, PA. The Uncaphers had three children -- Donald Uncapher, Florence Ramsey and Raymond Uncapher. Sadly son Donald died in infancy. Lilly "worked as a practical nurse in the New Castle area," said the New Castle News. "She enjoyed music, singing, gardening, crocheting and knitting afghans" and was a member of the Bessemer Women's Club. According to the News, Raymond "was retired from Martin Brothers Trucking Co. of Bessemer." They were members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church of New Castle. Raymond passed away on April 16, 1976, in Jameson Memorial Hospital in New Castle. Lilly outlived him by nearly a quarter of a century, and died on Dec. 3, 2000, at age 95. Burial was in Westfield United Presbyterian Church. At the time of her death, the News reported that she was survived by seven grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Son Harry E. Buttermore (1907-1994) was born on Nov. 20, 1907 in Indiana, Indiana County, PA. He married Marjorie A. Gwin ( ?- 1989), the daughter of Wilford and Charlotte M. (Doutt) Gwin. The Buttermores had three children -- Phillip Buttermore, H. Richard Buttermore and Elaine Seinkner. They were members of the First United Brethren Church. Said the New Castle News, Harry "was a retired garage mechanic from Pennsylvania Power Co. He belonged to the Coachmen's Club." Marjorie "worked at the J.C. Penney and Troutman Department stores in New Castle." Marjorie and Harry died five years apart -- she on Oct. 25, 1989 and he on April 25, 1994. They rest in the Neshannock Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

Daughter Alice Buttermore ( ? - ? ) married Theodore Martone ( ? - ? ) and lived in Chester, PA. In 1965, she made her home in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA. Circa 1982-2000, Alice resided in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH.

Daughter Sarah "Sally" Buttermore ( ? - ? ) married Ralph Snyder ( ? - ? ) and resided for many years in Esther near Dallas, TX.

Daughter Esther Buttermore (1926-1988) married James Callihan. They had at least two children, Mark Wayne Callihan and Beverly Knies. In 1966, they resided in Sharpsville, PA. Later they lived in Columbus, OH. Circa 1982, Esther resided in Baltimore, MD, and in 1965 in Sykesville, MD. She died on July 6, 1988 in Reynoldsburg, OH. She is buried at the Baltimore National Cemetery with her son, Lee Scott Callahan  (1957-1965).

~ Son William Harry Miner ~

 

Mt. Olive Cemetery, Bullskin Twp.

Son William Harry Miner (1889-1958) was born in May 1889 or in 1891 in Connellsville, Fayette County. He was slender and of medium build, with blue eyes and brown hair.

William is described in Luther J. Grimm's typescript genealogy report of the Grim and Grimm families found at the Uniontown (PA) Public Library.

He married Louise Stauffer Balsley (1887-1963), daughter of Charles H. and Isabelle (Grimm) Balsley, at Moyer, Fayette County on Dec. 28, 1912. He was age 22, and she 24, at the time. Rev. J.B. Keirn officiated. In announcing the engagement, the Balsleys placed an article in the Connellsville Daily Courier, stating that the "engagement will terminate in a December wedding." At the time, William made his home in Poplar Grove, Fayette County.

They had three children -- William E. Miner, Charles Woodrow Miner and Harold Donald Miner.

William was employed circa 1918 as an electric crane operator at the Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company in East Pittsburgh. He and Louise had one child at the time, and lived in Braddock at 213 Camp Avenue. He registered that year for the military draft during World War I. He worked over the years as an electrician, a sub station operator and a car operator. Their home in 1924 was in Hopwood, near Uniontown.

 

Sprawling Westinghouse works in East Pittsburgh, where William was a crane operator at the time of World War I

 

Circa 1932, the Miners made their home in South Uniontown, and hosted a Christmas season visit by William's brother Espy, who made his home in Cleveland. The following November, when Espy and family again visited, William and Louise lived on Mullen Street in Uniontown. In May 1935, now living in East Connellsville, they attended a surprise 50th birthday party for Mae (Balsley) Fosbrink in South Uniontown, an event reported in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

 

Central Christian Church, Uniontown

Later that year, in October, they drove to Toledo, Ohio to visit Louise's brother William M. Balsley. During that trip, reported the Courier, they "also motored to Detroit.... While in Toledo they visited Fort Meigs, Turkey Foot and Fallen Timbers." In November 1935, Louise and her sister Mae hosted a multi-party dinner for their aged father in East Connellsville, who by coincidence of fate enjoyed a birthday within a few days of Louise's son Charles and grandson Charles, along with two other Balsley family members.

William is known to have been a pall bearer at the funeral of his uncle John Ross Miner in 1935. He and Louise resided on McClellantown Road in the 1940s, at Thompson Cross Roads in 1947 and later at 64 Lenox in Uniontown. They were members of the Central Christian Church of Uniontown.

William passed away on Jan. 25, 1958 at the age of 68.

Louise outlived him by five years. She moved into the home of her son Harold in Lorain, Cuyahoga County, OH. She died in Harold's home on Dec. 19, 1963, at the age of 76. Her remains were returned to Connellsville to be placed into eternal rest beside her husband at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Bullskin Township. At the time, reported the Courier, she was survived by six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

 

Graves of brothers Charles and William Miner at Union Dale #3 Cemetery on Pittsburgh's North Side

 

Charles W. Miner, 1958

Son Charles Woodrow Miner (1913-1976) was born in 1913. He married Mabel Kathryn (or "Catherine") Sickles (1916- ? ), daughter of Newton Sickles of Revere, a coal mining community near Uniontown. They eloped to Oakland, Garrett County, MD on July 31, 1931, with their nuptials taking place in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and with Rev. Dawson officiating. The news of their wedding was reported in the Courier. He was age 18 at the time. They had one son, Charles William Miner. The Miners lived in Uniontown circa August 1935, when they visited Charles' parents in East Connellsville for a week, an event which made the gossip columns of the Connellsville Daily Courier. When the federal census was enumerated in 1940, Mabel at age 23 headed a household in Uniontown with their six-year-old son, but Charles' whereabouts are not yet known. Later, Charles lived in New Jersey circa 1958. He passed away in 1976, at age 63, and is buried beside his brother William -- but otherwise alone -- in the Union Dale #3 Cemetery on Pittsburgh's North Side. Son Charles William Miner (1934- ? ) wed Waltraud Marie Jurka, a native of Jagendork, Slovakia, and had two sons, Charles William Miner Jr. and Howard Acklin Miner. Circa 1981, Charles William and family made their home in Fayetteville, NC, and are mentioned in Luther Grimm's Grim and Grimm families book.

 

Pittsburgh Press, 1986

Son William Espy Miner (1919-1986) was born on June 1, 1919 and was named in part after an uncle. He was an optician, with his practice based in Pittsburgh circa 1959. He married Margaret Hightower ( ? -1971) on Dec. 22, 1938, when he was age 19. The Miners went on to have three children -- Linda Virginia Pringle Johns, Josephine Kavanaugh Downs and William Clyde Miner. By 1941, the family had relocated to Birmingham, AL, and William is believed to have served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Later, they returned to their home region of Pittsburgh, residing at 160 Henderson Street and at 2520 Spring Garden Avenue on the North Side. William is remembered as being "hilarious" with a "crazy" sense of humor that runs in this branch of the family. Margaret passed away in Pittsburgh on April 21, 1971, with her obituary printed in the Pittsburgh Press. William survived her by 15 years. He died on March 6, 1986, at the age of 73, on Pittsburgh's North Side. Funeral services were held in the McDonald-Linn Funeral Home in Bellevue, with his obituary also published in the Press. He was buried between his wife and brother Charles in Union Dale #3 Cemetery on Pittsburgh's North Side, following a service led by Rev. Clayton Sheridan. Their grave markers were photographed by the founder of this website circa 1995.

  • Granddaughter Linda Virginia Miner has been married twice. Her first spouse was Dennis M. "Buck" Pringle (1941-1999) . They resided in DuBois, PA and were together for nearly 40 year. The Pringles produced four children -- Kirk Pringle, Ron Pringle, David Pringle and Louise Ann Pringle. Sadly, their daughter Louise died in infancy. Dennis passed away at the age of 58 on March 3, 1999. Linda's second husband was widower Jack Lopez Johns (1933-2015), son of William Arthur and Mary Elizabeth (Walker) Johns of Myakka City, FL. He brought two children to the marriage -- Jack Johns and George Johns. Jack spent his career with the U.S. Air Force and saw duty during both the Korean War and Vietnam War. he also enjoyed gardening, golfing, fishing and hunting. They made their home in Forsyth, GA. Heartache enveloped the family on Sept. 8, 2010 when son Kirk passed away in Corning, NY. Jack passed into eternity on Oct. 29, 2015 in Forsythe. Funeral services were held at the North Macon Church of Christ in Macon, GA, with Ministers Harry Goff and Bill Bonner officiating. In an obituary published in The Telegraph, the family asked that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

 

William E. and Margaret (Hightower) Miner

 

Harold D. Miner

Son Harold Donald Miner Sr. (1924- ? ) was born on May 17, 1924 in Hopwood, Fayette County. At the age of 23, on June 29, 1947, he married 17-year-old Mary Lou Perkins ( ? - ? ), daughter of coal miner William R. and Mary (Oros) Perkins of Uniontown. They had two sons -- Harold Donald Miner Jr. and Douglas Alan Miner. Harold Sr. served in World War II, attached to the 6th Cavalry Reconnaisance Squadron. During the duration of the war, he was stationed in Rhineland, Ardennes and Central America. He is pictured in the book, Heroes All, a service album of soldiers from Uniontown and South Union Township. He lived in Lorain, near Cleveland, OH circa 1958-1963. After the death of Harold's father in 1958, Harold's widowed mother moved into their home in Lorain, and died there the week before Christmas 1963. Circa 1981, they resided at Amherst, OH. In 1970, son Harold Donald Miner Jr. married Noel (?). Nothing more of their fates is known.

~ Daughter Minnie (Miner) Parker ~

Daughter Minnie Miner (1889- ? ) was born in 1889. 

She married Gilbert Valentine Parker (1886-1964), the son of Benjamin and Margaret (Lambert) Parker of Tazewell, VA. They were wed in about 1905, when she was 16 and he was 21. He was tall, and of medium build, with grey eyes and dark brown hair. He received his middle name as a result of his birth on Valentine's Day 1886.

The Parkers had at least eight children -- Orten D. Parker, Gestine Rosebell Johnson, Carlita V. Parker, Esty L. Parker, Virgil Velorian Parker, Lloyd F. Parker, Everett E. Parker and Evelyn Venetta Napper (or Nappier) Harr.

In 1916, the family was in Wyoming County, WV, where daughter Gestine was born. By September 1918, when Gilbert registered for the military draft during World War I, he and Minnie made their home at 239 Charles Avenue in Morgantown. Gilbert was an electrician in a local coal mine, employed circa 1918 by Woodland Coal Company. They lived at Cass near Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV when the federal censuses were taken in 1920 and 1930. Gilbert also worked as a sawyer.

Minnie and Gilbert apparently divorced sometime after 1930.

 

Morgantown Post, 1964

Gilbert remarried again to Evelyn Buckland (1887-1978) of Terra Alta, Preston County. They resided on Crane Avenue in Terra Alta. Gilbert was a member of the Messenger Evangelical United Brethren Church and of the Moose lodge in Terra Alta.

He died at University Hospital in Morgantown of renal failure on July 6, 1964, at the age of 78. His obituary was published in the Morgantown Post. Burial was in Terra Alta Cemetery. Evelyn outlived him by 14 years. She passed away on Sept. 4, 1978. Their names are listed in Volume II of the 1997 book In Remembrance: Tombstone Readings of Preston County, West Virginia, authored by Janice Cale Sisler.

Minnie resided in Kingwood, Preston County, WV circa 1958, in Hutton, MD in 1960 and was back in West Virginia in 1968. Nothing more about her is known. 

Son Orten Dewey Parker (1911-1969) was born on Aug. 23, 1911. During World War II, he was a private in the U.S. Army. In 1964, he made his home in Pittsburgh. He died on Nov. 4, 1969 at the age of 58. He is buried in Terra Alta Cemetery. No obituary has been found in a search of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. [Find-A-Grave]

Daughter Gestine Russell "Jessie" Parker (1916-1979?) was born in 1916 in Wyoming County, WV. At the age of 18, on Valentine's Day, 1934, she wed 21-year-old Noel Isaac Johnson ( ? - ? ), a native of Monongalia County, but living at Valley Point, Preston County, WV at the time. The ceremony was held at Albright, Preston County, by Rev. Lloyd Myers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Because she was underage, Gestine's parents had to provide their consent to the union. By 1964, she had remarried to (?) Kisner and resided in Pittsburgh. She may have died in Salem, Harrison County, WV in August 1979.

Daughter Carlita V. Parker (1920-1987) was born on Jan. 17, 1920. She wed (?) Savage and in 1959 lived in Pittsburgh. She died in Linesville, Crawford County, PA on Jan. 5, 1987. She rests in Linesville Cemetery, section Z, plot 103. [Find-A-Grave]

Son Esty L. Parker (1923- ? ) was born in 1923. He made his home in Terra Alta in 1959.

Son Virgil Velorian Parker (1923- ? ) was born on Feb. 3, 1923 (or 1924). He served as a private in the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1959, he was unmarried and made his home in Hutton, MD, and was employed as a tree surgeon. Tragedy struck on Aug. 6, 1959, while he was on a job in Parkersburg, Wood County, WV. He was electrocuted to death when his saw accidentally cut through an electrical line of 2,400 volts. He was buried in Terra Alta Cemetery. [Find-A-Grave]

Son Lloyd F. Parker (1924- ? ) was born in about 1924. He lived in Newburg, Preston County in the mid-1960s.

Son Everett E. Parker (1927- ? ) was born in about 1927. His residence in 1964 was Parkersburg, Wood County.

Daughter Evelyn Venetta Parker (1928-2008) was born on Aug. 23, 1928 in Morgantown. As a teenager, she dwelled near Terra Alta, Preston County. At the age of 18, Evelyn wed 23-year-old John Henry Napper (1922- ? ), son of Henry Franklin and Josephine (Shifflet) Napper. John was a native of Venton County, OH, and a resident of Millfield, Athens County, OH. They were married on June 12, 1945, at Kingwood, Preston County, by the hand of Rev. W.R. Eskew. Evelyn's father sent a written consent to the marriage, and her mother appeared in person at the county courthouse to grant her consent. In 1959, she made her residence in Parkersburg. By 1964, she had married (?) Harr and lived in Terra Alta. She died in Terra Alta on Aug. 3, 2008.

 

Lillie McDowell

~ Daughter Lillie Belle (Miner) Nicholson McDowell Walters ~

Daughter Lillie Belle Miner (1893-1987) was born on Feb. 13, 1893 in Dunbar, Fayette County. She was married three known times.

Lillie was first married to Nelson A. Miles Nicholson ( ? - ? ), a native of Granite City, IL, on June 10, 1916. She was age 23 at the time of marriage, but the union did not last long.

Within just two years, she married Arthur McDowell (1885 -1947), a native of Chalk Hill, Fayette County. He had blue eyes and light-colored hair.

When Arthur registered for the military draft during World War I, in September 1918, he listed Lillie as his next of kin and stated they lived in house #8 in New Salem, Fayette County. 

Lillie and Arthur had eight children -- Dorothy Fisher, Joseph McDowell, Leroy McDowell, Gladys Varndell, Martha Cook, Izora Miller, Lillian Solomon and Mildred Martin. They were members of Chalk Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church.

They resided for many years at Haddenville, Fayette County. When the federal census was taken in 1930, Lillie and Arthur and seven of their children lived in Haddenville. Also living under their roof that year were nine-year-old niece Thelma J. Rogers and 26-year-old brother Espy Leroy Miner. Arthur was employed as a saw mill laborer, while son Leroy, age 21, worked as a truck driver.

 

Haddenville, west of Uniontown on the National Road/U.S. Route 40, featuring an Amoco service station and furnished cabins for tourists

 

Arthur passed away at the age of 61on March 6, 1947 in their home at Haddenville. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Gleason Funeral Home in Uniontown. In an obituary, the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that he was survived by 13 grandchildren.

 

Lillie with her brother, Espy Leroy
Miner, of Cleveland, Ohio

After Arthur's death, Lillie Belle lived in Freidens, Somerset County. She later married Henry Walters and moved to Akron, Summit County, OH. In 1968, at the death of her sister Meda Buttermore, Lillie made her home with Henry in New Castle.

She died at Brecksville, OH at age 94 on Aug. 12, 1987, and was brought back for burial in the Chalk Hill Lutheran Cemetery. Her obituary was published in the Somerset (PA) Daily American.

Daughter Martha McDowell married Wilbur Cook. Circa 1947, they resided in Kingston, NY.

Son Leroy McDowell (1909- ? ) lived in Uniontown. In May 1943, he and his wife attended a surprise birthday party for his aged uncle Grant U. Miner in Connellsville, with the news reported in the Uniontown Morning Herald.

Daughter Dorothy Hess McDowell (1912-2003) was born on July 12, 1912 in Connellsville. On July 16, 1935, she married Ralph Edmund Fisher (1911-1996), a 24-year-old painter, and the son of Earl and Amanda (Barricklow) Fisher of Uniontown. Their wedding was held in Waynesboro, Franklin County, PA, performed by Rev. J.M. Rutherford. They had six known children, Joan Halbrook, Ralph E. "Junior" Fisher Jr., David Fisher and Amanda B. Fisher, and two who died in infancy. They lived in Lemont Furnace, near Uniontown. Dorothy was board treasurer of the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Uniontown and "enjoyed making quilts and blankets," said the Uniontown Herald Standard. Ralph was a devoted gardener and worked as a painter and wall paper hanger, and helped with maintenance chores at the church. He died on Dec. 30, 1996, at the age of 85, ending a marital union of 61 years. Dorothy outlived him by seven years. Tragedy rocked the family on May 29, 1999 when 17-year-old great-granddaughter Stacy Lyn Halbrook died in a vehicular accident in Berks County, PA. With her family at her side, she passed away at age 91 on Nov. 6, 2003. She was laid to rest at Christ Lutheran Church Cemetery in Chalk Hill. Surviving her at the time of her death were eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. 

  • Granddaughter Joan Fisher ( ? - ? ) married Charles E. Halbrook (1930-1985). They had three children -- Charles "David" Halbrook, Brenda Walters and Judy Lough. Charles was employed as a machinist at Malsbury in Uniontown, and was a U.S. Army veteran. Active in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, he was a lay pastor of the Carmichaels church, and was an elder of the church in Uniontown. Charles died at the age of 55 on July 1, 1985, in Uniontown Hospital. He was laid to rest in Chalk Hill Lutheran Cemetery. Circa 1999 Joan made her home in Lemont Furnace. Son Charles "David" Halbrook was assistant dean of boys and industrial arts teacher at Blue Mountain Academy in Tilden Township, Hamburg, Berks County, and his wife Denise (Holbert) Halbrook was assistant secretary at the academy.

Daughter Gladys McDowell (1913- ? ) wed Christopher Varndell. They had at least one daughter, Lillie Mae Varndell. Her home circa 1947 was in Uniontown and in 1987 was in Jeannette, Westmoreland County, PA.

Daughter Mildred McDowell (1915- ? ) married Paul Martin. They lived in Flatwoods near Uniontown in the mid-1940s, in Kingwood, Preston County, WV in 1987 and in Delaware in 2003.

Son Joseph McDowell (1922- ? ) made his home in the family's dwelling in Haddenville. Circa 1987, he lived in Karthaus, Clearfield County, PA.

Daughter Lillian Paige McDowell (1925- ? ) wed Ellis Paige Solomon (1923-2011). They resided in 1947 in Lemont Furnace. In 1987-2003, she was in Akron, OH. Ellis passed away on March 8, 2011, just two weeks before his 88th birthday.

Daughter Izora L. McDowell (1928- ? ) married Steward Miller (1918-1989), the son of William and Ada Pearl Miller. They resided in Connellsville and had two children -- Dara Loiselle and Russell S. Miller. Circa 1987, she was in Friedens, Somerset County, PA and by 1989 had moved to Hancock, MD. Steward was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army, and a member of the Somerset Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. He was employed for many years as an agent with the Internal Revenue Service. He died at home in Hancock on Oct. 12, 1989 at the age of 70. His remains were returned to Pennsylvania for interment in Somerset County Memorial Park. Izora lived in Hancock circa 2003.

 

Alberta and Espy, in happier times

~ Son Espy Leroy Miner ~

Son Espy Leroy (or "Espey") Miner (1904-1960?) was born on Dec. 12, 1903 in or near Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA. 

He was only six years old when his mother died. He initially was sent to a Catholic orphanage in Greenville, PA. At some point he was taken in by his sister Lillie Belle McDowell, and remained close to her his entire life. 

He earned a living as a young man by laboring a powderman's helper in coal mines in and around Uniontown. He was married twice -- his first wife, not yet identified by name, died in childbirth. Nothing more about her is known.

When the federal census was taken in 1930, Espy lived with his married sister Lillie Belle McDowell at Haddenville, Menallen Township, Fayette County. That year, he is shown to be a widower, and his employment as a road laborer. His whereabouts were unknown by his family just two years later, in 1932, the year when his father was fatally injured in a streetcar accident in Morgantown. Over the years, Espy is said to have been a high diver in Florida, a chauffeur, and dock worker and machine shop laborer in Cleveland. As a superintendent on the docks at Lake Erie, he helped unload automobiles shipped from Detroit, and great rolls of newsprint to be used by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He later worked in a machine shop in Alliance, OH.

In Cleveland in 1932, at the age of 28, he wed his second wife, 18-year-old Alberta Juanita Brooks (1914-1990), the daughter of Ott and Minnie Brooks of Chicota, TX. They had three children -- Marlene Louise Richards Hogan, William Lee Miner and Carole Leetta Hubert. 

At the holidays in 1932, several months after the death of his father, reported the Uniontown Daily News Standard, Espy visited "for the Christmas season" with his brother William H. Miner in South Uniontown before returning home to Cleveland. Again the following November, Espy, Alberta and baby daughter Marlene motored from Cleveland to Uniontown for a visit with his brother William.

 

   

Espy and Alberta Miner family -- with their three children at Christmas; mowing his lawn; and with their first two grandchildren -- Carol and Doran Richards

 

Espy endured great anxiety in about 1944 when a horrific fire in Cleveland swept through 20 to 30 city blocks. It was caused by the explosion of five large gas storage tanks near East 55th Street. With the Miner home just three blocks north, at 5456 Lake Court, Espy was consumed by fear of not knowing whether his wife and children were victims. He searched for them for four days, expecting the worst. With great relief, he found them alive and well, but it's said he never truly recovered from the experience.

Circa 1959, Espy and Alberta separated. He remained in Cleveland, while she moved to Monroe, Washington State. In July 1960, as he was dying, he moved to a room in the home of his married sister Meda Buttermore in New Castle, Lawrence County, PA. Their address was 1824 Harlansburg Road.

Afflicted with cirrhosis of the liver, and having spent many years as a heavy smoker, Espy passed away at the age of 57 in June 1961 in the New Castle Hospital. In an obituary, the New Castle News reported that he was survived by five grandchildren. His remains were returned to Connellsville for interment in Hill Grove Cemetery, where his parents and grandparents rest for eternity. Word of his death was sent to Alberta in Washington, where she received the news three months later, in September 1961.

After about a year as a widow, Alberta married again, to Lawrence Pattison ( ? - ? ). They enjoyed 28 years of marriage. 

Alberta died in Washington on Feb. 7, 1990. Her ashes were placed at Forest Grove Cemetery in Olympia, WA.

Son William Lee Miner ( ? - ? ) made his home in Alliance, OH in 1960.

Copyright  2000, 2002, 2004-2012, 2016 Mark A. Miner