Barbara Jean (Younkin) Swarner was born on July 15, 1846, near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Frederick F. and Sarah (Faidley) Younkin. She grew up on her parents' farm and is known to have "often played together" with her sister Salome Liston.
At the age of 19, on May 10, 1868, she was united in holy matrimony with Civil War veteran Henry S. Swarner (1848-1911), son of Adam and Polly (Marker) Swarner. Officiating was Rev. J. Zimmerman of the Lutheran Church. Among the witnesses were the bride's brother William "Henry" Younkin, sister Salome Liston and Noah and Isabella (Tressler) Phillippi.
Their six children were Cora Etta Younkin, Salome Snyder, Minnie B. Swarner, Sarah J. "Sadie" Blubaugh, Susan "Susie" Wiltrout, Mary A. Swarner, John H. Swarner and Martha Ella Vought (Vough). Sadly, daughters Minnie (born 1873) and Mary (1877) may have died young, but this needs to be confirmed.
Henry stood 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and weighed 160 lbs. During the Civil War, in June 1863, he responded to President Lincoln's call for men to voluntarily join the Union Army and serve for six months. He mustered into the service at a recruiting station at New Centerville. He was assigned to the 1st Battery of the Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Company H, an independent organization of local soldiers known as Capt. William M. Schrock's company. Friend Robert Nickelsen once noted that at the time of enlistment, Henry was "a man of good health and seemingly very rugged."
Other Younkin relatives who were members of the company were John Enos (family of Mary Ann [Younkin] Phillippi, George Cunningham (of the family of Barbara [Younkin] King, Jacob J. Rush (family of Frederick Dull) and Harmon Younkin.
The regiment had no weapons, so it remained in camp until July 6, 1863, when it moved to Berlin, Somerset County and drilled there, quartering in a vacant house on East Diamond Street. After a few days there, the company was ordered to Huntington, PA to provide provost duty. The company then was transferred in mid-September to Chambersburg and Gettysburg, PA, where it guarded field hospitals until late October. Henry received his discharge from that regiment in October 1863.
Then, in February 1864, he enlisted again, in the 61st Pennsylvania Infantry, Company B. Capt. Casper Koffman was commander of the company. Henry's messmates were henry Lape and Peter Lanning. While on duty in Petersburg, VA on March 13, 1865, he sprained his back badly while digging and moving earth to build a breastwork at night. Fellow soldier Robert Nickelsen (also spelled "Nicholson") was present and recalled:
I know that one night one picket he got hurt in the back. This was in front of Petersburg sometime in March just before we started in pursuit of Lee. Our whole picket line was captured that night but how he escaped capture I don't know. I saw Swarner as soon as he got to camp, and he said that when the enemy shot into the picket line he let himself fall and he hurt his back but he did not know what he fell on.
Henry was not treated in a hospital -- in fact he wrote that he "Did not want to go into a hospital" -- but received care from the regiment's surgeon.
He remained in the 61st Pennsylvania until his honorable discharge in July 1865 following the war's completion. He returned home to Rockwood. His mother gave him garden teas for his back and applied homemade linament for relief. Once they married, Barbara took over his treatments.
In about 1875, Barbara and Henry migrated to Clay County, Kansas, following other family and friends who had ventured there as pioneers. He is known to have labored with Henry W. Bartell and C.L. Parker, both of Milford, Davis/Geary County. Bartell, married to Barbara's cousin Barbara Ellen Faidley, once noted that he had known Henry "to be confined to the house for 3 or 4 days and sometimes a week after he had exerted himself at farming." At one point circa 1876-1878 they made their home in Milford, where Henry received medical care from Dr. W.R. Bard. Double cousins Ross and Emma (Rush) Younkin, also from Somerset County, lived as near neighbor to the Swarners in Milford, and in Ross's recollection often was called to help to turn Henry in bed while infirm. During their baker's dozen years in Kansas, they visited back home every so often.
While in Kansas, Henry applied for an invalid soldier's pension from the federal government. It was awarded on Nov. 14, 1887. [Invalid App. #629015 - Cert. #582.458]
In about 1888, the Swarners made the decision to return to their old home of Rockwood, where Henry resumed farming, and eventually retired from the occupation. Circa 1890, when a special census of Civil War veterans was taken, they received their mail at Casselman. Circa 1894, Henry served as a supervisor of Black Township.
Henry never recovered from his wartime maladies. His former Milford physician, Dr. Bard, noted in 1905 that Henry's stomach, kidneys and liver were so bad that "for weeks at a time" he was "unable to move about at all and causing him to be bedfast." He also claimed to be in pain in his rectum and heart, and wrote that he could not "walk up a grade, except creep along."
His Rockwood physician, Dr. George B. Masters, wrote this in 1905:
I have known [Henry] for the last 15 years and during that time he has consulted me about one half dozen times for his stomack + liver trouble and back, for which I prescribed. I pronounced his trouble chronic congestion of stomach + liver and his back trouble as lumbago. I have this day Jan. 19th 1905 made a physican examination of him and find him again suffering from his complaints of stomach liver + lumbago.
He applied for an increase of his pension and received testimony of support from other fellow soldiers Jacob C. Miller of Somerfield, PA and Sebastian Tissue of Markleysburg, PA. Other neighbors and friends gave comments in writing, among them Simon S. Snyder of Rockwood and John Romesburg of Ursina, PA. All of them attested to the fact that he frequently complained of severe pain in his back, limiting his ability to perform manual labor.
He suffered a stroke of paralysis and passed away at the age of 63 at 2 a.m. on April 19, 1911. He was laid to rest in the IOOF Cemetery in Rockwood, and Jacob Marker of Rockwood was the informant for his death certificate.
Barbara survived her husband by nine years. She began receiving Henry's pension on April 28, 1911. [Widow App. #963.884 - Ceret. #726.817] At the end of her life, her monthly payments were $25.00.
She was felled by a stroke and died at her residence in South Rockwood at the age of 73 on May 14, 1920. Interment was in the Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. A local newspaper noted that "The family resided in Black township for many years, and also spent several years in the west.... There are also several daughters living in the west."
~ Daughter Cora Etta (Swarner) Younkin ~
Daughter Cora Etta Swarner (1869-1937) was born on Aug. 9, 1869 in Kingwood.
She migrated to Kansas with her parents and siblings.
On Feb. 15, 1884, when Cora was only 14 years of age, she married a double cousin, 22-year-old Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Younkin (1861-1937), son of Frederick J. and Delilah (Faidley) Younkin. The nuptials were celebrated in Junction City, Geary County, KS.
The couple produced seven children -- Frederick Younkin, Walter Younkin, Robert Andrew Younkin, Gladys Younkin, Frank Younkin, Hazel Younkin and Allen Younkin.
Even though Cora's parents eventually returned to their native Somerset County, Cora and Frank remained in Kansas for the balance of their lives.
Sadly, Franklin and Cora died within 44 hours of each other in Ogden, KS in 1937 -- he on Jan. 29, at the age of 75 years, four months and 28 days -- and she on Jan. 27 aged 67 years, five months and 18 days. A distant cousin living in Wichita, Grover Cleveland Younkin -- son of Thaddeus A. Younkin -- who was president of the Kansas Younkin Reunion, clipped the obituaries from a local newspaper. Grover then sent them east to Charles Arthur "Charleroi Charley" Younkin of Charleroi, PA, organizer and secretary of the Younkin National Home-coming Reunion, and publisher of the Younkin Family News Bulletin. With the clippings in hand, Charley wrote to reunion president Otto Roosevelt "Pete" Younkin in Masontown, PA: "Just to break the news of the death of two more dear old Younkins who have died quite recently in Kansas. Frank and his wife of Junction City Kan. this being a brother of Wm. L. Younkin of Kingwood Pa. They died the latter part of Jan., both died within 30 hrs. of each other, there being a double funeral, this being sent by cousin Grover of Wichita." Charley re-published their joint obituary in the Christmas 1937 issue of the family newspaper, the first edition ever published. They are named in the 1938 book Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman, authored by Rev. Harvey Hostetler (Gospel Book Store, Berlin, OH).
Son Frederick Younkin ( ? - ? )
Son Walter Younkin ( ? - ? )
Son Robert Andrew Younkin ( ? - ? ) was born on Aug. 16, 1897 in Milford, KS. On Jan. 21, 1921, in a ceremony held in Junction City, he was wedded to Mary C. Nickelson ( ? - ? ). Rev. Oliver C. Bronston officiated. Their marriage is noted in the 1938 book Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman, authored by Rev. Harvey Hostetler (Gospel Book Store, Berlin, OH). The couple produced these known children -- Robert Oren Younkin, Reuben Alvin Younkin and Merilyn Enid Younkin.
Daughter Gladys Younkin ( ? - ? )
Son Frank Younkin ( ? - ? )
Daughter Hazel Younkin ( ? - ? )
Son Allen Younkin ( ? - ? )
~ Daughter Salome (Swarner) Snyder ~
Daughter Salome Swarner (1871-1955) was born on Feb. 13, 1871 in Black Township near Rockwood, Somerset County.
She married David W. Snyder ( ? - ? ). They made their residence in rural Milford Township near Rockwood.
They had at least two children, Edna Speicher and Lloyd Snyder.
Salome suffered from hardening of the cerebral arteries for the last five years of her life. Having fallen and fractured her left hip, she was admitted for treatment to Somerset Community Hospital in mid-August 1955. Sadly, at the age of 84, and after two weeks in the hospital, she suffered a heart attack and died on Aug. 28, 1955. Interment was in the Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery.
Daughter Edna G. Snyder (1893-1974) was born on April 23, 1893 in Black Township. In about 1919, she married Clyde E. Speicher (1897-1982), a native of Lincoln Township and the son of Morris W. and Cora (Hemminger) Speicher. Clyde was a veteran of World War I and went on to a lifetime of farming. Edna was a member of the World War I Auxiliary, Milford Grange, Kingwood Rebekah Lodge and Messiah Lutheran Church in New Centerville, where she was active with the Faithful Bible Class. Clyde was a Milford Township Republican Committeeman and a member of the American Legion, World War I Veterans of Somerset County, the Kingwood Odd Fellows Lodge and the Eagles Lodge. They had three children -- Dorothy Stahl, Mary Jane Reiman and a son who died in infancy. In her final years, Edna made her home with her married daughter Dorothy Stahl in Somerset. She died at their home at the ae of 81 on Nov. 23, 1974. In an obituary, the Meyersdale Republic noted that "Her passing ends a marriage union of 55 years." Burial was in the Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery, with Rev. Herbert G. Hohman leading the funeral service. Clyde survived for another eight years as a widower. He died on Feb. 9, 1982 in Altoona Veterans Hospital. Rev. Herbert Schimpf preached the funeral sermon, followed by burial in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery.
Son Lloyd M. Snyder (1899-1984) was born on May 2, 1899 in Black Township near Rockwood. He was twice joined in holy matrimony. Eva Edna Weimer was his first bride ( ? -1937). They lived in the outskirts of Rockwood and are believed to have produced these 11 known children -- Marie Gross, Harold Snyder, Homer Snyder, Myrna Landis Keyes, Lester Snyder, Lloyd M. Snyder Jr., Cleda Brant, Blanche Sanner, Elaine Brugh, Nelda Fox and Shirley Shultz. Heartbreak shook the family when Eva Edna died on May 21, 1937. After six years alone, Lloyd in 1943 married a second time to Edna Mosholder ( ? - ? ). Their marriage lasted for 41 years. Lloyd and Edna were longtime farmers in Black Township and were members of St. Luke's Lutheran Church. Lloyd was a longtime member of the Tri-County Horse and Mule Association. Sadness again swept over the family at the death of their son Homer in 1980. Lloyd succumbed to death on Nov. 23, 1984 in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 85. Burial was in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. James Roth leading the service.
~ Daughter Sarah "Sadie" (Swarner) Blubaugh ~
Daughter Sarah Jane "Sadie" Swarner (1875-1949) was born on June 5, 1875, a twin with her sister Susan.
Sarah resided with her grandfather, Frederick F. Younkin, at age six, when the federal census was taken in 1880.
She married Harvey L. Blubaugh (1867-1953), son of Alexander and Susan (Brougher) Blubaugh of Rockwood, Somerset County. They made their home near Kingwood, Somerset County. Their one known daughter was Minnie (Eppley) Lape.
The marriage apparently did not work out. In 1920 and again in 1940, federal census records show Harvey living with his widowed sister Amanda Cramer and her single daughter Sadie, while in 1920 Sarah lived and worked in the residence of 53-year-old bachelor Wilson Witmier as a housekeeper. Circa 1940, she dwelled with their daughter and son in law, Minnie and Freeman Lape.
Just 11 days after her 75th birthday, Sarah succumbed of a cerebral hemorrhage on June 16, 1949. Her remains were interred in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery. Freeman Lape of Somerset was the informant on her death certificate.
At the age of 86, having endured hardening of the arteries for a decade, Harvey was felled by a heart attack and died on Sept. 15, 1953 at home in Upper Turkeyfoot Township. Burial was in the Lutheran Cemetery in Kingwood. A few weeks before his passing, the Somerset Daily American reported that "Harvey Blubaugh, of Kingwood, who has been quite ill remains in a serious condition."
Daughter Minnie Eppley (1916-1982) was born on Dec. 3, 1916 at Hooversville, Somerset County, the daughter of Elmer and Myrtle (Wirick) Eppley. How she came into the lives of Sarah Jane Swarner and Harvey Blubaugh is a mystery. She was joined in matrimony with Freeman "Sammy" Lape (1914- ? ). They made their home in Somerset, where Freeman in 1940 was a laborer on the construction of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. They produced at least four children -- Dorothy Lape, Shirley Lape, Robert F. Lape and Jean Young. Minnie appears to have remained in Somerset for the rest of her years and was a member of the First Christian Church. She also was employed as governess of the girls' floor of the Seay Memorial Home. She died at St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh at age 65 on May 3, 1982. Her remains were returned to Somerset County for burial in St. John's Cemetery. An obituary in the Daily American reported that she left behind 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
~ Daughter Susan "Susie" (Swarner) Wiltrout ~
Daughter Susan "Susie" Swarner (1875- ? ) was born on June 5, 1875, a twin with her sister Sarah "Sadie."
In about 1890, when she would have been age 15 or 16, she wed 17-year-old Carl Wiltrout (1873- ? ). They had these known children -- Annie M. Wiltrout, Hannah A. Wiltrout, Jacob Wiltrout and Henry Wiltrout.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1900, the Wiltrouts lived in Casselman, Somerset County, where Carl was employed as a railroad brakeman.
He may be the same "Carl Wiltrout" who died on Oct. 2, 1901 at the age of 28 and was buried in Mt. Union Cemetery near Kingwood. [Find-a-Grave]
The widowed Susan traveled to Kansas to live in or near Junction City, Geary County, where her sister Cora Etta Younkin made her home.
In later April 1905, at the Geary County Courthouse, Susan was united in marriage for a second time to John F. Knowles ( ? - ? ). At the time, bride and groom both lived in Fort Riley, and they were wed by the hand of Probate Judge J.F. Brown.
When the U.S. Census was taken in 1910, the couple made their home in Kansas City, Wyandotte County, KS. John held a job as a foreman in a packing house. They did not have any of their own children by that time, but nephew 14-year-old Roy Wiltrout lived under their roof and worked as a cash boy at a department store.
More will be added here when discovered.
~ Son John H. Swarner ~
Son John H. Swarner (1880-1968) was born on Feb. 6 or 8, 1880 in Kansas.
He returned to Rockwood and married Bertha Mae Cramer (1882-1953), the daughter of Henry Clay and Amanda J. (Bluebaugh) Cramer. In an ironic twist, her father in 1914 shot and killed John's cousin William H. Trimpey.
They had five children -- Wilbur H. "Sammy" Swarner, Ferne Heinbaugh, Blanche Pyle, Melda A. Schrock and Yvonne Narad.
In the 1930s and early '40s, their postal address was Rockwood R.F.D. John apparently was ornery, and one of his grand-nephews recalled this:
John H. Swarner was my mother's uncle and lived next door to us in Black Twp. (south of Rockwood, on the hill across the Casselman River bridge). In my, and my parents' opinion, he was not a nice man. He planted a hedge row, with pricket like spikes, on the property line so we could not get in his yard. If a ball or other toy went into his yard I and probably my older brothers, had to wait until night when he went to bed before we could retrieve it. If he saw the object he would take it into his house and keep it. I do not remember him being in our home or any of us going into his house. I asked my mother why he was so mean. She said he had always been that way and she did not know why. She also said I was to ignore and stay away from him.
John died at the age of 88 on March 4, 1968, with burial in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery. He was survived by 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
John and Bertha's great-granddaughter Diane (Hostetler) Summers has researched this family's genealogy.
Son Wilbur H. "Sammy" Swarner (1907-1987) was born on Sept. 18, 1907 in Black Township near Rockwood. He married Julia A. Benford (1910-1983), daughter of Archie and Annie (Barclay) Benford. They lived in Rockwood and were members of the Rockwood Church of the Brethren. They had four daughters and one foster son -- Lois Jean Shaffer, Anna Mae Snyder, Wanda June Kalp, Karen Walker and Melvin Lasure. Julia died in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 72 on May 6, 1983. Said the Daily American, "Her death terminates a marriage union of 55 years." She was entombed in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery. Wilbur survived his wife by four years. He passed into eternity at age 79 on Feb. 15, 1987. His funeral service was led by Rev. Jay Christner.
Daughter Leora "Ferne" Swarner (1899-1981) was born in 1899. She married Ray Austin Heinbaugh (1895- ? ), son of David and Alice (Marker) Heinbaugh. (Ray's brother Lloyd Jacob Heinbaugh wed one of Ferne's cousins, Olga Vought.) They resided in Rockwood and produced four children -- Donald Bernell Heinbaugh, Leo Heinbaugh, M.J. Heinbaugh and Virginia Dosch.
Daughter Blanche Swarner wed Wilson Pyle and lived in Somerset.
Daughter Melda Swarner (1910-1988) was born on April 24, 1910 in Rockwood. She married Leonard Schrock in about 1925. They had one daughter, Lenadelle Ream, and two sons. In the years before World War II, Leonard is believed to have owned the East End Garage in Rockwood, purchased from Corbett Miller and later transferred to Ray Pletcher. In 1968, their home was in South Carolina, where their married daughter resided. Melda died in Sumter, SC on Feb. 23, 1988. Her remains were brought back to Somerset County for burial in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery.
Daughter Yvonne Swarner wed Van Narad and dwelled in Somerset.
~ Daughter Martha Ellen (Swarner) Vought ~
Daughter Martha Ellen "Ella" Swarner (1882-1915) was born on Sept. 7, 1882 in Kansas. She married a triple cousin, John Vought Jr. (1879-1932), son of Missouri Younkin and grandson of William "Shedrick" and Caroline (Cupp) Younkin of near Rockwood, Somerset County. (While the "t" at the end of the "Vough" name dropped away during the 20th century, the family name generally is still pronounced in Somerset County as "Vote.")
Early in their married life, they relocated to Kansas, although they too eventually returned to Rockwood. Read more about the Voughts.