Catherine "Kate" (Younkin) Christner was born on June 26, 1817, the daughter of Charles and Jane (Johnson) Younkin.
She married Levi Christner (1817-1882), son of Peter and Susanna (Burkholder) Christner. She was neither able to read or to write.
The Christners produced 11 children: Clara Clarissa Brooks, Susanna Cossell, Mary Jane Younkin, Elias Christner, Charles Christner, Lydia Ann Cossell, Rufus Christiner, Rachel Christner, Elijah Christner, Elvina Cramer and one unknown.
The 1850 federal census shows the Christners residing in Springfield Township, with Levi earning a living as a laborer. That year, the census-taker spelled the family name "Chrisner."
The family remained in Springfield in the 1850s in Elm (today's Normalville). In 1860, Levi continued to work as a laborer. The family name was misspelled in the census as "Crisaner" that year.
Catherine may have passed away during the decade of the 1860s. Some evidence suggests that she died in or before 1862.
Levi relocated the family to Pennsville, Bullskin Township, Fayette County. He then married Mary Warrick (1822- ? ) in Bullskin Township.
In 1870, the census records list Levi and Mary and his children residing in Bullskin, with his occupation shown as farm laborer.
Levi has not yet been located in the 1880 census. He is reputed to have died on Nov. 4, 1882, with his estate administered in Fayette County. This needs to be confirmed.
Mary's fate is not yet known.
~ Daughter Clara Clarissa (Christner) Kooser Brooks ~
Daughter Clara Clarissa Christner (1839-1918) was born on June 13, 1839 (or 1841). She lived at home with her parents in 1860.
Clara's first husband was John A. Kooser (1825-1885). They were 15 years apart in age. He is not to be confused with John R. Kooser, son of Samuel and Sarah (Kern) Kooser of Somerset County, who wed Clara's distant cousin Susanna Long.
Their six known children were Ella Nevada Kooser, William F. Kooser, Isaac Kooser, Catharine "Kate" Johnston and Margaret "Maggie" Herwick.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1870, the Koosers lived in or near Mill Run but obtained their postal mail at Elm (today's Normalville). John's occupation was as a miller. Among their neighbors were the family of shoemaker Leonard and Elizabeth (Eicher) Harbaugh Jr. and their sons Allen Edward Harbaugh ("The Mountain Poet") and Ulysses Grant Harbaugh.
In 1880, they resided in the village of Mill Run, Fayette County, where John continued to earn a living operating a grist mill. He also raised livestock, and the Mill Run column of the Connellsville Keystone Courier reported on Feb. 25, 1881 that "John A. Kooser butchered five nice porkers on Tuesday."
John passed away on Nov. 26, 1885, at the age of 60. The cause of his death is not known.
Clara remained a widow for nearly six years and lived in Mill Run. Then on Oct. 11, 1891, at the age of 52, she married her second husband, 55-year-old widower George W. Brooks (1835-1914). Rev. C.R. McCullough officiated at their wedding.
A farmer, George was the son of Joseph and Dorothy (Basinger) Brooks, and his former wife Hannah (King) Brooks had died on July 20, 1890. George brought a dozen adult children of his own to the marriage -- among them Alexander Brooks, Wilson Brooks, Mrs. L.T. Gilbert, Mrs. Norman Kennell, Mrs. H.L. Krepps, Mrs. David H. Klick, Charles K. Brooks, Mrs. Jacob Friend and Walter Brooks.
During the Civil War, George had served with the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company B, rising to the rank of captain. He is known to have seen action at Gettysburg, with his name inscribed on the Pennsylvania Monument. He was wounded twice, first at Harper's Ferry where he was struck in the right shoulder. The second wound was on Feb. 6, 1865 at the Battle of Hatcher's Run, VA. He received an honorable discharge on July 24, 1865 and returned home.
Immediately after the war ended, he began receiving a military pension as compensation for his debility. [Invalid App. #93.281 - Cert. #54823] His payments eventually totaled $204 per year.
They enjoyed 13 years of married life in Mill Run in a house along today's Route 381 later owned by a cousin of Clara's, Ralph and Leola (Skinner) Miner, located across from Colborn's Garage. George earned a living in Mill Run as a notary public and helped to operate his new wife's gristmill and feed and flour store. He also was an auctioneer who "called sales all over the country," said a lengthy profile in the 1975 softcover book Brooks Family History which chronicles the descendants of John and Mary Brooks.
George became senile as he aged and also endured chronic cystitis. He died at the age of 79 on Nov. 18, 1914. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery. The Connellsville Daily Courier published an obituary saying he had "enlisted at the outbreak of the Civil War and served until it closed." At his death, his longtime friend, the "Mountain Poet" Allen Edward Harbaugh of Mill Run, penned this eulogy, reading:
O, my Captain, thou
Clara lived for another three years. In October 1915, she began receiving her husband's military pension.
Having suffered for two years from a reduced flow of blood in the heart (mitral insufficiency), Clara died on New Year's Day 1918 in Springfield Township, at the age of 78. Her remains were laid to rest in Mill Run. Mrs. J.P. Johnson of Mill Run was the informant on her death certificate.
Some 56 after George's death, in 1970, he was profiled at length in the book A History of Mill Run, published by the Socialite Club of Mill Run. The book states that in working at the Kooser grist mill, George "eventually became acquainted with the boss's daughter, Clara Kooser, and married her," but this is somewhat erroneous as at the time he was employed there, she was the boss's "wife."
Daughter Ella Nevada "Ellen" Kooser (1859-1938) was born on Dec. 12, 1859 (or 1860 or 1861) in Mill Run. On Nov. 17, 1887, in a ceremony held at West Newton, Fayette County, the 28-year-old Ellen married 49-year-old Civil War veteran and widower Thomas Gordon Herwick (July 31, 1838-1915), the son of Robert S. and Eliza (Gove) Herwick and a native of Little Falls, Fayette County. Rev. James A. Miller performed the nuptials, held at the home of the groom's sister, Martha (Herwick) Hornbeck. The bride was 19 years younger than the groom, and at the time, he lived in Perryopolis, Fayette County. He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighed 130 lbs., and had a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. Thomas' first wife, Malinda Sisley ( ? -1885), had died on March 20, 1885, and he thus brought five children to the marriage -- Robison A. Herwick, Lewis Sisley Herwick, Olive May Blakey, Cora P. Lynch and Thomas Walter Herwick. Ellen and Thomas established their own residence in Connellsville and remained there for decades, with an address of 1010 South Pittsburgh Street. The Herwicks went on to have these offspring of their own -- Orrel Rayburn "Rube" Herwick, Frank Y. Herwick, Elta Claire Sheeley, Mattie Herwick, Harold J. Herwick, Birdella Kepner and Kathryn Carney. Dr. Catherine Wakefield, M.D., was the family's physician and attended Ella in the birth of their youngest daughter in 1900.
During the war, Thomas was drafted into the Union Army and enrolled in Pittsburgh on Aug. 12, 1863. He served in Capt. Samuel Griffith's company of Pennsylvania Drafted Militia. He was discharged honorably on May 13, 1864. On March 31, 1865, Thomas re-enlisted in the army at Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA. He was assigned to the 110th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G. While on a march from Burksville Junction to Richmond, VA the first week of June 1865, he contracted what he called a "disease of head." With the Confederate surrender in April 1865, Thomas only served on active duty for a few weeks. He received an honorable discharge in Washington, DC on June 28, 1865.
On Aug. 31, 1889, he was awarded a military pension as compensation for his wartime ailments. He claimed he suffered from sensitive eyes, vertigo and a "roaring in head." [Invalid App. #726.003 - Cert. #562.819] A number of the Herwicks' relatives and friends signed affidavits in support of his pension claim, among them his brother Joseph, her former Mill Run neighbors Willis D. Colborn and Grant Dull -- Connellsville neighbors Matilda Kooser and Maude Parkhill -- and Perryopolis neighbors Sarah J. Goe and William Patterson. Thomas earned a living as a carpenter, while Ellen was considered a "widely known resident of Connellsville," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. In about 1905, the Borough of Connellsville graded and paved South Pittsburgh Street in front of the Herwicks' home. In the process, a depression of soil was left directly in front of their property, causing rainwater to gather and in one instance washed away some of the walls of the dwelling. Other times, the accumulated water became stagnant and threw off a foul odor. Ellen filed a lawsuit against the Borough to recover what she claimed as $2,000 in damages, with her name appearing in a headline in the Connellsville Weekly Courier. Circa 1909, a tragedy occured at the Herwicks' home with Wilbur Atkins, age 71, a maintenance man at the Sligo Mills, was killed when he fell into a 10-foot-deep trench or embankment in their yard. An inquiry ruled out the possibility of foul play or robbery, and the county coroner said he felt the cause was "shock and exposure," said the Uniontown Morning Herald. Toward the end of his life, Thomas received monthly pension payments of $20. He never really knew the precise date of his first wife's death until very late in his life. Ella once wrote: "My husband was very poor scholar and I have seen him figure different times on these dates, but he would never take my advice and get some one to do the figuring, until just the month before he died, Mrs. Cora Lynch, his daughter to his first wife, was here on a visit, to her father, when they got talking about the dates, then his daughter and him got together and she figured out that the right year was March 20, 1885." Thomas was burdened with chronic kidney disease and hardening of the arteries, which led to a deadly uremia infection. He died at the age of 76 on April 2, 1915. His remains were interred in Mount Washington Cemetery near Perryopolis, Fayette County. After Thomas' passing, Ellen applied for and received his pension. [Widow App. #1.045.676 - Cert. 798.679] She continued to dwell in Connellsville and then, when her health began to fail, she moved to Scottdale, Westmoreland County, PA, to be closer to her married daughter Birdella Kepner. She suffered a stroke on March 22, 1938 and died a day later in the Kepners' home at the age of 76 on March 23, 1938. Burial was in Mount Washington Cemetery, following funeral services held at the Kepner residence. An obituary in the Daily Courier noted that her survivors included 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In years to follow, Thomas' death was noted at anniversary intervals by the Daily Courier column "Out of the Past - Today in Local History from the Courier Files."
Great-grandson Dr. Robert P. Herwick (1907-1973) was born in about 1907. He married Hazel Hendrickson ( ? - ? ) and had one son, Robert P. Herwick Jr. He received his medical degree from Rush Medical College, his LLB degree from Georgetown University and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He also was a professor of pharmacology at George Washington University. Circa 1945, he served as chief of the Drug Division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Washington, DC. In the 1950s and '60s, he lived in Glenview and Basking Ridge, IL, near Chicago. He was medical director for pharmaceutical firms including Baxter Laboratories and the Whitehall Company. He retired in 1968 as medical director of Ethicon. Robert died on Aug. 8, 1973 in Basking Ridge. His remains were placed into repose in the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Circa 1973, son Robert Jr. was stationed in Omaha, NE with the U.S. Air Force.
Great-grandson Donald F. Herwick ws a a production manager for the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company in East Pittsburgh. He dwelled in Austin, TX in 1961-1973.
Great-granddaughter Martha Jane Herwick wedded Vane McCormick Sr. Their home in 1969 was in Columbus, GA.
Great-grandson Thomas Herwick resided in Miami, FL.
Great-grandson Donald Herwick dwelled in Miami, FL.
Great-grandson David Herwick lived in El Paso, TX.
Great-granddaughter Betty Lou Herwick made her residence in Pittsburgh in 1969.
Son William F. Kooser (1862-1938) was born in about 1862. At the age of 17, living in Mill Run, he served as the local federal postmaster. William married Matilda Jane McCoy ( ? - ? ), a native of Normalville, Fayette County and the daughter of A.H. and Susan (Barnes) McCoy. They produced three children -- Eleanor "Maude" Parkhill, Blanche Fowler and a son. Upon marriage, William accepted a position as bookkeeper for the H.C. Frick Coke Company at the Leisenring No. 1 coal mine. He held this "for a short time," said the Connellsville Daily Courier, and circa late 1880s or early 1890s relocated to Connellsville, where he became a job printer in partnership with his younger brother Isaac. They remained in the city for 48 years. Circa 1901, he founded Fayette Publishing Company in partnership with W.H. Begley, with their offices in the Odd Fellows Building on East Crawford Avenue in Connellsville. He bought a new printing press and there produced the Fayette Republican newspaper. Circulation grew, especially in the outlying townships. The company was sold in about 1906 to The People's Tribune, a prohibitionist newspaper, and the operation was moved to Uniontown. The Kooser printing business continued in some way to the 1920s. William and Matilda relocated to New Brighton, Beaver County, PA, where William continued his trade as a printer. Their address in the 1930s was 1324 Fifth Avenue. In about 1936, William began suffering from an enlarge prostate. He was admitted to the Beaver Valley General Hospital, where he passed away on Jan. 21, 1938, at the age of 75. His remains were returned to Mill Run for burial. In an obituary, the Courier noted that "An old newspaper man passed on Friday...." Matilda survived her husband by about two years. Afflicted with heart asthma for years, her heart failed and she died at age 74 on June 20, 1940.
Son Isaac N. Kooser (1869-1950) was born on March 13, 1869 in Mill Run. He moved to Connellsville and learned the printing trade, opening a job printing business with his brother Will, known as Kooser Bros. They maintained the business for several decades until about 1901, when Isaac relocated to Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH, where he found employment with the Ben Franklin Printing Company of Akron. He focused his work on job printing and spent the remaining 20 years of his life. Isaac married Alice Francis ( ? - ? ). The couple produced one son, Charles Kooser. In August 1918, Isaac returned to Connellsville after an absence of 17 years, "spending the week with relatives," said the Connellsville Daily Courier, " and renewing old acquaintances." Circa 1950, he made his home at 4815 Franklin Avenue in Cleveland. Suffering from hypertension and heart disease, he was admitted to Cleveland City Hospital. he died there at the age of 81 on June 7, 1950. His remains were shipped to Mill Run for interment in the Indian Creek Baptist Cemetery.
Daughter Catharine "Kate" Kooser (1872- ? ) was born in 1872. She was united in wedlock with (?) Johnston. Circa 1950, Kate lived in Mill Run.
Daughter Margaret "Maggie" Kooser (1875- ? ) was born in April 1875 in Mill Run. She lost her father when she was 10 years old, and Isaac Prinkey was assigned as her legal guardian. When she was 19 years of age, on Nov. 1, 1894, she was joined in holy matrimony with 23-year-old Walker F. Herwick (1870-1937), son of Joseph and Catharine (McClay) Herwick. Rev. E.A. Zeek performed the nuptials at Mill Run. At the time, Maggie dwelled in Mill Run and Walker in nearby Stewarton, where he earned a living as a railroad laborer. They had five children, Mildred Whaley, Ella Broda, Margaret Mickey, Clara Herwick, Walker Herwick and Robert A. Herwick. Shortly after marriage, in about 1895, Walker obtained employment with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Connellsville. He rose over time to the position of conductor in the yards. He was a 40-year member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and in 1937 received a gift of a jeweled button from the union at a dinner at the First Presbyterian Church. Walker served on the board, and Maggie volunteered on a committee of the Royal Circle Class of the First United Brethren Church of Connellsville -- among the other Circle members was Clara (Jeffrey) Younkin, wife of Connellsville mayor Ira David Younkin. Their address in the 1930s was 797 Franklin Avenue, Connellsville. On or about Nov. 29, 1937, Walker was hurt at work when he sustained an injury to a finger on his right hand, and it became infected. He fell into a diabetic coma. Lingering there for about two weeks, he succumbed in Connellsville State Hospital on Dec. 1, 1937, just one day after his 67th birthday. Burial was in the Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run, with Rev. Elmer A. Schultz officiating at the funeral and burial. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that six grandchildren survived him. Margaret lived for many years as a widow. She observed her 7th birthday in April 1950 with a family dinner at the home of her married son Walker W. Herwick. Said the Daily Courier, "Covers were laid for twenty at a large table centered with a low bowl containing red and yellow roses. On the table also was a three-tier birthday cake, frosted in pink and green and inscribed 'Happy Birthday.' The delicacy was baked by a daughter of the honoree, Mrs. T.H. Mickey."
~ Daughter Susanna (Christner) Cossell (?) ~
Daughter Susanna Christner (1841-1894?) was born in 1841. At the age of nine, she lived under her parents' roof in Springfield Township, Fayette County.
Evidence suggests that Susanna was wedded to Isaac M. Cossell (March 6, 1836-1909), son of Henry "Harry" and Susanna (Johnston) Cossell. It's known is that Susanna's sister Lydia Ann married Isaac's brother Frederick.
If so, then Susan and Isaac resided at Sherrick and Owensdale, Fayette County and produced these offspring -- Henry C. Cassel, Etta Cole, Emma Ervin, James W. Cossel, William Cossel and Samuel James Cossell.
Susan is believed to have died in Fayette County on Oct. 18, 1894. Her remains were placed into eternal rest in the Pennsville Mennonite Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Isaac outlived his wife by 15 years. Circa 1899, he was considered an "old veteran" constable in Upper Tyrone Township and faced Democrat John Sullivan in the election. Reporting on the matter, the Connellsville Courier said that Isaac "will shake the 'plum tree' for renomination but will have to watch Sullivan that he don't gather the plums." In later years, he dwelled at 501 North Pittsburgh Street in Connellsville.
Suffering from chronic kidney failure for the last two years of his life, Isaac succumbed just a week before his 73rd birthday on Feb. 28, 1909. Interment was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Connellsville. Henry Cossell of Broad Ford signed the Pennsylvania death certificate.
Son Henry C. Cossel (1861-1919) was born on July 25, 1861 on the Sherrick farm at Sherrick, Fayette County. He married (?) and they produced six known children -- Mrs. W.E. O'Donnell, Mrs. L.B. Fritz, Rene Cossel, Anna Cossel, Madalyn Cossel and I.J. Cossel. Henry was employed for many years by the H.C. Frick Coke Company, where he was a foreman "along the Morgan valley," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. "He was one of the most widely known mining men of that section...." The family worried when son I.J. joined the American Expeditionary Force during World War I and was sent to France. Circa 1918-1919, made their home at Frick's Adelaide coke works. At Christmas 1918, Henry suffered an injured hip from a fall at work, and was treated at St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh. He returned home on Feb. 24, 1919 "and his weakened condition caused him to contract influenza," reported the Daily Courier. "Later pneumonia and pleurisy developed." He passed away at the age of 57 on March 30, 1919. Burial was in Dickerson Run Union Cemetery, with Rev. Ralph Bell, of the Smithfield Methodist Church, officiating at the funeral service.
Daughter Etta Cossel (1867-1957) was born on Oct. 3, 1867 in or near Owensdale. She was wedded to John W. Cole ( ? - ? ). They lived in Connellsville. In final years, Etta's address was 69 Gibson Terrace in Connellsville. She contracted pneumonia and died in Monessen, Westmoreland County at age 89 on Jan. 10, 1957. Her remains were brought back to Connellsville to rest in Hill Grove Cemetery. Signing the Pennsylvania death certificate was Henry R. Cole of R.D. #2 Connellsville.
Daughter Emma Cossel (1869-1960) was born on Feb. 15, 1869 in Owensdale. On the Fourth of July 1885, Emma was joined in wedlock with Samuel Tilden Ervin (May 22, 1862-1948), the son of Thomas and Ellen (Sheetz) Ervin of Virginia. The nuptials were held in Scottdale, led by Rev. A.J. Ashe of the Scottdale Methodist Episcopal Church. The couple produced six children -- Mrs. Lawrence Galley, Mrs. George Yothers, Mrs. Clara Rudolph, James W. Ervin, Ronald J. Irwin and one unknown. The Ervins lived in a number of southwestern Pennsylvania communities over the years as Samuel worked for the railroads. The first was at Morgan near Broad Ford, thence after a year to Owensdale, and then to Dickerson Run and McKees Rocks near Pittsburgh.They came back to Dickerson Run and then in 1903 moved to Connellsville, where they were members of the Methodist Church and their address was 321 East Crawford Avenue. Samuel at age 20 had joined the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a brakeman in 1882, but left a year later to work for the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, where he spent the next 11 years. He was a longtime member and one-time president of the local chapter of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and served for four decades as treasurer of the Junior Order of American Mechanics. He returned to the B&O in 1902, which prompted the relocation to Connellsville, and ended his career as a conductor in the Connellsville railyards, retiring in March 1934 and receiving a pension. Emma and Samuel celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on July 4, 1935. A story about the event in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that they were "one of the most widely known couples of Connellsville." The anniversary was "quietly celebrated... A prettily appointed family dinner was served at noon. All of the children but one, J.W. Ervin, who resides in Tampa, Fla., were present." Samuel died suddenly on Thanksgiving Day 1948 after returning home following dinner with his married son Ronald. Dr. LeRoy S. Cass officiated at the funeral, with burial in Dickerson Run Union Cemetery. In an obituary, the Connellsville Daily Courier said he was survived by five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Having suffered from hardening of the arteries for three decades, and hypertension for two, she fell and fractured her left hip in mid-October 1960. She was admitted to Emereson Nursing Home in Dunbar Township and died a day later, at the age of 91, on Oct. 28, 1960. Following funeral services officiated by Rev. H. Carl Buterbaugh, her remains were interred in Dickerson Run Union Cemetery.
Son James W. Cossel (1875-1961) was born on Aug. 20, 1875 at Owensdale. He married Alice B. (?). They spent their entire lives in the Broad Ford area and had foru children -- Albert Cossel, James Burkett, Frances Helen Cossel and Ann Ruth Cossel. James earned a living over the years as a distiller with A. Overholt and Company, later sold to National Distillers, which produced Old Overholt Rye Whiskey. Active in local politics, he served as supervisor and justice of the peace in Upper Tyrone Township. He and Alice were members of Trinity Lutheran Church of Connellsville. In September 1939, they traveled to Indiana, PA to attend the funeral of James' brother Samuel. He died from the effects of hardening of the arteries on June 4, 1961 at the age of 85. His remains were placed into eternal repose in Scottdale Cemetery, with Rev. Harold A. Marsh leading the funeral service. A Connellsville Daily Courier obituary reported that survivors included five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Son William Cossel (1877-1952) was born on Jan. 14, 1877 in Owensdale, Fayette County. He married Nellie Dougherty ( ? - ? ) and had these children -- Nellie Bertelman, Willa French, Rhoda Shaul and William C. Cossel. Circa 1919, they lived at the Adelaide coke works of the H.C. Frick Coke Company. Later, they moved to Dawson, Fayette County in a house on Railroad Street. William was employed over the span of 47 years by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, retiring in 1945 as a conductor. He belonged to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Having been stricken with bladder cancer in about 1949, William endured the ailment for three years and once it spread, he was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital. There, after a stay of 80 days, he died at the age of 75 on July 11, 1952. Interment was in Dickerson Run Union Cemetery, with Rev. Wilford N. Kastner of the Vanderbilt Baptist Church officiating at the funeral. Son in law Wilbur E. Shaul was the informant for the official death certificate. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Son Samuel James Cossel (1879-1939) was born on March 20, 1879 in or near Broad Ford. He married Mary Flanigan ( ? - ? ). They had one daughter. In about 1921, they relocated from Broad Ford to Homer City, Indiana County, PA, where he served as a police officer. Samuel contracted phlebitis of the right thigh and abdomen, he stopped working. Just three months later, after being stricken with an embolism, he died in Center Township, Indiana County on Sept. 14, 1939 at the age of 60. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery near Indiana, Indiana County, and an obituary appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
~ Daughter Mary Jane (Christner) Younkin Grim ~
Daughter Mary Jane Christner (1841- ? ) was born in 1841.
She married her first husband, a cousin, Jacob M. Younkin, son of John M. and Laura (Minerd) Younkin. They had one son, J. Harvey Younkin. When their son was quite young, Jacob was killed while away serving in the Civil War. Learn more about their unusual story in "The Soldier Who Had Two Widows."
~ Son Elias Christner ~
Son Elias Christner (1843-1923) was born on Nov. 15, 1843 in Bullskin Township near Connellsville.
He married Phoebe Nicholson ( ? - ? ) of Somerset County. They had one son, Braden Hurst Christner.
The Christners were farmers and resided near Moyer in the vicinity of Connellsville.
Elias suffered from arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and died of a stroke at the age of 80 on July 29, 1923. Burial was in Mt. Olive Cemetery in Bullskin Township. Son Braden provided details for the death certificate.
Son Braden Hurst Christner (1873-1935) was born on New Year's Day 1873 near Moyer in Bullskin Township. He married Ella Mefford Smith (1871-1939), daughter of Charles and Sarah (Sommers) Smith of Kittanning, PA. The couple is believed to have produced two daughters, Phoebe Strickler and Ora Louise Christner. They made their home in Connellsville, at 554 East Crawford Street. Braden began his working career as a teacher in Bullskin schools. He then obtained higher education at the Mount Pleasant Classical and Scientific Institute. Following graduation, he taught for a time and at one point was named principal of the Gibson School in South Connellsville. He then enrolled in law school at West Virginia University. Finding that law was not his passion, he became an accountant and practiced in that profession for a quarter of a century. Active in the community, Braden was a member of the Masons, King Solomon Lodge of Connellsville and Uniontown Lodge. He also belonged to the Knights Templar and was a Sunday School teacher in the First Baptist Church. Suffering from an infection of the kidneys, complicated by influenza, Braden died at the age of 62 on Feb. 1, 1935. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery. A lengthy obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said he was a "well-known citizen of the community" and was "the last of the family of Elias and Phoebe Christner." Ella, burdened with heart disease, lived another four years. She died on May 4, 1939.
~ Son Charles Christner ~
Son Charles Christner (1845-1933) was born in 1845.
He wed Sarah Jane (?). They had seven children -- Frank Christner, Walter Christner, George Christner, Martha Mardis, Cora McGoogan, Elizabeth Hager and Gertrude Rhode.
They settled in Stauffer and Bridgeport, coal mining and coke oven towns near Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. In 1931, he was named in the Connellsville Daily Courier obituary of his sister Lydia Cossell.
He died in 1933 at the age of 88, "after a lingering illness," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. Burial was in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.
At the time of Charles' death, son Frank lived in Brownsville, Fayette County; Walter in Fitz Henry, PA; Martha Mardis in Prittstown; Cora McGoogan in Pittsburgh; Elizabeth Hager in Cleveland, OH; and Gertrude Rhode in Ligonier.
~ Daughter Lydia Ann (Christner) Cossell ~
Daughter Lydia Ann Christner (1847-1931) was born in 1847 in Springfield Township, Fayette County or in 1851 in Bullskin Township, Fayette County.
She wed Frederick "Fred" Cossell (1841-1913), son of Henry "Harry" and Susanna (Miller) Cossell. Said the Connellsville Weekly Courier, he "was engaged in farming nearly all his life... [He] spent about all his life in Fayette county.... [He] was a strong supporter of the Democratic party [and] was widely and favorably known in Connellsville and vicinity."
The couple had nine children. Among them were Anna Kate McGill, Ella LaRue, Josephine Newmyer, Mary Benson, Margaret Cossell, David Cossell, Harry Cossell, Charles Cossell and William Cossell.
They were farmers and resided in Connellsville, Fayette County. The family were members of the first Baptist Church of Connellsville, where Lydia was active in volunteer church matters.
Fred endured hardening of the arteries for a number of years. When stricken with pneumonia in the spring of 1913, his health declined and he was confined to his bed. Fred died at age 72 on April 28, 1913. Burial was in Connellsville's Chestnut Hill Cemetery. Rev. Wilbur Nelson of the First Baptist Church presided over the interment. The death was headline news in the Weekly Courier, stating "Old Resident of Town Was Born Near Bellview, Connellsville Township, 72 Years Ago." Three brothers survived and were named in the Courier obituary: Abraham of Illinois, Jacob and Kansas and Henry of Indiana.
In her final years, Lydia made her home with her daughter Mrs. John LaRue on Johnston Avenue in Connellsville. While on a visit to her daughter Mrs. H.C. McGill in German Township, Fayette County, and suffering from a buildup of fluids in the lungs, she died on Jan. 21, 1931. Funeral services were held in the LaRue home in Connellsville followed by burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery. Rev. E.H. Stevens of the Baptist church officiated. Son in law H.C. McGill of Civitan Works, PA providing information for the death certificate. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that she "had a host of friends."
Daughter Josephine Cossell (1874-1961) was born on March 13, 1874 in Broad Ford near Connellsville. At the age of 20, on Oct. 9, 1894, she married 24-year-old laborer James Henry Newmyer (1870-1954). He was the son of Henry and Margaret (Gott) Newmyer and resided at Dawson, Fayette County. Rev. George W. Sherrick officiated. In the 1930s through the 1950s, they lived in Pittsburgh, with an address in 1954 of 4837 Second Avenue. They had one known son, Fred H. Newmyer. James was employed for many years as a stationery engineer with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Sadly, James died at age 83 on St. Patrick's Day 1954 from the effects of hardening of the arteries. His remains were brought back to Connellsville for interment in Chestnut Hill Cemetery. As a widow, Josephine returned to Uniontown, making her home at 47 South Gallatin Avenue. There, she was a member of the Uniontown Baptist Church. In 1960, she endured the death of her only son Fred. Lydia suffered for many years with heart and artery ailments and in late 1961 was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her health declined quickly and she died two months later on Dec. 18, 1961. Interment was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, with Rev. O.K. Mellquist preaching the funeral sermon.
Son Charles Cossell (1887-1919) was born on May 13, 1887. He married Goldie Swink ( ? - ? ) and lived in Uniontown, Fayette County. The couple produced three children. At age 32, he was felled by pulmonary tuberculosis and died on Aug. 4, 1919. In an obituary, the Connellsville Weekly Courier said that funeral services were held at the home of his married sister Ella LaRue on Johnson Avenue in Connellsville. Interment was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery. His sister Mrs. J.H. Newcomer of Pittsburgh was the informant for his official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Daughter Anna Catherine "Kate" Cossell (1873-1949) was born on Sept. 15, 1873 near Connellsville. On June 24, 1895, when she was 22 years of age, Anna Kate married Harry C. McGill ( ? - ? ). The ceremony was held in Connellsville, officiated by Rev. J.A. Maxwell of the Presbyterian Church. Harry apparently was employed at the Civitan (?) Works circa 1931. They had six children -- Winona Hodgson, George McGill, Emma Lou McGowan Dixon, Philip McGill, John McGill and Alma Miller. Their home in the late 1940s was in McClellandtown, German Township, Fayette County, where Anna Kate was considered a "well known resident." They belonged to the McClellandtown Presbyterian Church. In June 1945, the couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and were pictured in the June 22, 1945 edition of the Uniontown Morning Herald. Afflicted with failure of her heart and lung systems, she died at age 76 on Nov. 19, 1949. Following funeral services led by Rev. David Hunter, she was laid to eternal rest in the Chestnut Hill Cemetery. An obituary in the Morning Herald noted that she was survived by 11 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Daughter Ella Cossell (1876-1957) was born on Aug. 4, 1876 in the coke oven community of Broad Ford near Connellsville. She married John A. LaRue and in 1913-1931 dwelled in Connellsville at 501 Johnston Avenue. Later, in the 1950s, they lived at 408 East Washington Avenue. They had two children -- Donald LaRue and Beatrice Hyatt. Ella was a longtime and active member of the Athena Temple and the First Evangelical United Brethren Church. She lived with hardening of the arteries for 10 years, and in June 1957 suffered congestive heart failure. She died at age 80 on June 5, 1957. Rev. E.I. Mankamyer officiated at her funeral followed by burial at Green Ridge Memorial Park north of Connellsville. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Daughter Mary Cossell ( ? - ? ) wed J.E. Benson ( ? - ? ) and resided in Uniontown in 1913, Pittsburgh in 1931 and in Uniontown in 1961.
Daughter Margaret Cossell (1876-1938) was born on April 7, 1876. She never married and made her home for decades in Connellsville, with her final address as 204 East Crawford. She died from arteriosclerosis at the age of 62 on June 23, 1938. Burial was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery.
Son David Cossell lived in the early 1930s in Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV.
Son Harry Cossell lived in Searight, Fayette County in 1913. Later, he dwelled in Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV. In 1961, his home was in Washington, DC.
Son William Cossell made his residence in 1931 in Connellsville. At the age of 30, he lived in Brookvale, PA.
~ Daughter Rachel Christner ~
Daughter Rachel Christner (1850- ? ) was born in 1850.
~ Son Rufus Christner ~
Son Rufus Christner (1851-1925) was born in 1851. At the age of 18, he lived with his father in Pennsville, Fayette County, and earned a living as a domestic servant.
He married Lutetia Seese ( ? - ? ) and had seven children -- William Christner, Edgar H. Christner, Jessie Christner, Hattie Christner, Mrs. S.B. Howard, Edith Brown and Solomon Christner.
They resided in Davistown in the Indian Creek Valley.
Lutetia died first, but her details are not yet known.
In poor health, Rufus lived with a daughter and worried about his demise. On Sept. 17, 1925, "while his daughter was outside in the garden," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier, "he secured a flobert rifle and going to the bathroom, placed it against his right temple and pulled the trigger." Death was instantaneous. Burial was in Mount Olive Church Cemetery near Connellsville.
Son William S. Christner (1873-1970) was born on Nov. 1, 1872 in Pennsville, Bullskin Township. He served in the U.S. military during the Spanish American War. Circa 1901, he worked as a bricklayer and lived in Mount Pleasant. On Christmas Eve 1901, when he was age 28, William was united in wedlock with 18-year-old Elsie M. Freeman (1883-1967). Rev. S.G. Yahn officiated. Elsie was a native of Alice Mines, Westmoreland County and at the time of marriage lived at the coal mining community of Stauffer near Mount Pleasant. They had three children, Donald R. Christner and Mrs. Thomas Shinkos. The reasons why are not yet clear, but in about 1910 the family lived in Oklahoma when their son was born. In 1920, when the federal census count was made, the Christners were back in Mount Pleasant, making their home on Washington Street, with William working as a day laborer with a local bottle works. Later, he was elected justice of the peace in Indian Head in the 1930s and '40s. He also was in charge of operations for the Laurel Hill Telephone Company which was based in the Indian Creek Valley. William was a longtime member and officer with the Colonel Crawford Camp 105 of United Spanish War Veterans in Connellsville. In 1950, they relocated to San Diego, making their home at 802 South 45th Street. Elsie passed away in San Diego on April 29, 1967. William died at the age of 97 in Edgemoor Geriatric Hospital in Santee, CA in August 1970.
Son Edgar H. Christner (1876-1938) was born on Nov. 2, 1876. As an adult he made his home in Indian Head, Fayette County. He became afflicted with epilepsy in 1921 when he was 45 years of age. He was admitted to the Selingsgrove State Colony for Epileptics and remained there for the rest of his life. He died there at age 61 on Sept. 13, 1938. His remains were returned to Fayette County to rest in Mount Olive Cemetery. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier reported only that he had died "of complications."
Daughter Jessie Christner (1883-1906) was born on April 5, 1883. She never married and resided in Saltlick Township, Fayette County, where she earned income with her labor. Tragically, she died mysteriously at the age of 23 on April 7, 1906. No doctor was in attendance, and no cause of death was provided. She was interred in Mount Olive Cemetery in Indian Head.
Daughter Hattie Christner (1884-1930) was born on July 26, 1884. She apparently never married, and spent her adult years doing housework in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. Having suffered for 15 months from cancer of her bladder, she suffered a stroke on the last day of February 1930. She lingered for five days but succumbed on March 4, 1930, at the age of 46. She was placed into eternal rest in Mount Olive Cemetery.
Daughter Lucy Anna Christner (1875-1949) was born on March 7, 1875. She married Samuel D. Howard (1870-1944), son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Overly) Howard of near the Acme post office in Westmoreland County. The couple produced five children -- Burton Howard, Harold Howard, Lois Pritts, Grace Weimer and Edith Ulery. They lived for many years as farmers in Kregar, Westmoreland County and owned between 70 and 80 acres. Samuel contracted stomach cancer and died in his married daughter Edith Ulery's home on July 3, 1944 at age 74. Lucy outlived him by five years. She was treated for hypertension for the last 10 years of her life. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died 12 days later on April 3, 1949, at the age of 74. She joined her husband, parents and siblings at rest in Mount Olive Cemetery.
Daughter Edith Mabel Christner (1878-1939) was born on April 7, 1878 in Bullskin Township. She wed John H. Brown ( ? - ? ), who brought four children to the marriage -- Arthur Brown, Mrs. Roy Wilson, Grace Newhouse and Ned Brown. Edith and John produced one son of their own, Ward Brown. In about 1899, they relocated to Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA, remaining there for the next 40 years. Their address in the late 1930s was North Church Street. Felled by cardio-renal failure, Edith died at age 60 on Jan. 13, 1939. Burial was in the family plot in Brown Cemetery in Acme.
Son Solomon Christner ( ? - ? ) lived near Pittsburgh in 1938 and in Brownsville, Fayette County in 1939. Nothing more is known.
~ Son Elijah H. Christner ~
Son Elijah H. Christner (1855-1909) was born in June 1855. At the age of 15, he lived with his father in Pennsville, Fayette County, and earned a living as a domestic servant, as did his older brother Rufus.
In about 1879, when he was 24 years of age, Elijah married Minerva Louvenia "Venie" Theakston (1862- ? ) of Washington, Washington County, PA, who was age 17 at the time and seven years younger than her groom. Her parents were Thomas and Emily (Ramage) Theakston, the father an immigrant from England.
They had at least six children -- Minnie L. Booth, twins Harry Christner and May Christner, twins Gerald Christner and Carl Christner and Mabel Weight.
When the U.S. Census enumeration was made in 1880, the Christners made their home in Bullskin Township. In 1900, their home remained in Bullskin, and Elijah earned a living as a traveling salesman.
Sadly, Minerva developed cancer of the uterus in her mid 40s. After diagnosis, she lived only for another year. She died just 16 days shy of her 46th birthday on Sept. 13, 1907, in Bullskin Township. She was buried in Greenlick Cemetery near Mount Pleasant.
Elijah suffered a "general break down & paralysis" in May 1909, wrote his physician S.W. Newman, M.D. He was treated from May through July but his health continued to decline. He died on Nov. 2, 1909, at the age of 52 in Mount Pleasant Memorial Hospital. His death certificate referred to his occupation as "agent" and noted that he was buried in Greenlick Cemetery near Mount Pleasant. C.H. Christner of Stauffer was the informant for his death certificate.
Daughter Minnie Christner (1879-1961) was born on May 1, 1879 in Bullskin Township. Minnie married Harry Franklin Booth (1876-1963), son of Hamilton and Margaret Ann (Warman) Booth. The couple resided in North Charleroi, Washington County, at the address of 432 Center Avenue. The Booths had a family, including a daughter Bernice E. Booth. In July 1913, with their parents both dead, Minnie was appointed a temporary guardian for her underage sister Mabel so that the sister legally could get married. Harry was a longtime worker in a glass manufacturing plant. At the age of 82, stricken with bowel cancer and bronchial pneumonia, Minnie died on Dec. 4, 1961. Interment was in Monongahela Cemetery. Harry only lived for a little more than a year after Minnie's death. He passed into the great beyond on Jan. 12, 1963.
Son Harry Cramer "Nick" Christner (1882-1971) was born in March 1882, a twin with his sister May. In his early 20s, he obtained a job as a glass worker in or near Pennsville, Fayette County. On May 31, 1904, at the age of 22, he married 20-year-old Mary Ann Nedrow (1884- ? ), daughter of Isaac M. and Susan Nedrow. The marriage ceremony was held in Hammondville, Fayette County, officiated by Rev. John Huey. The family resided in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, where Harry was a member of the Scottdale Fraternal Order of Eagles. They produced 11 children -- Elvy E. Christner, Earl S. Christner, Raymond A. Christner, Ralph H. Christner, Dwight R. Christner, Dorothy Yothers, Marle Ramsey, Edna Snyder, Olive Thomas, Nora Belle Hare, Violet L. Christner and an unnamed infant . Sadly, the unnamed baby girl died after only 10 hours of life on Jan. 6, 1907; and daughter Violet died of pneumonia and whooping cough at the age of 20 months on Nov. 5, 1917. Harry died at the age of 89 on July 18, 1971, in the home of his daughter and son in law, Olive and Charles Thomas. After a funeral service led by Rev. James Viorsillo, he was placed into rest in Greenlick Cemetery near Mount Pleasant. At his death, said the Connellsville Daily Courier, he was survived by an astounding 23 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren, as well as his sister Mabel Weight.
Daughter May Christner (1882- ? ) was born in March 1882, a twin with her brother Harry.
Son Gerald Christner (1888- ? ) was born on Aug. 17, 1888, in Connellsville, a twin with his brother Carl. He was married and widowed and earned income as a short order cook and laborer. He lived in the 1950s in Pittsburgh on Magee Street. Stricken with a heart attack, he was admitted to Mayview State Hospital in late 1957. He remained there for the rest of his life, and died on June 11, 1959, at the age of 73. His body was returned to Mount Pleasant to be committed to the earth in Greenlick Cemetery.
Son Carl Christner (1888-1920) was born on Aug. 17, 1888, a twin with his brother Gerald. He never married. As a 30-year-old, he lived in or near Brownsville, Fayette County, and his occupation was laborer. Tragedy struck on Sept. 1, 1920 when he developed an obstruction of his intestine. He was admitted to Brownsville Hospital. Unable to recover, he died seven days later on Sept. 8, 1920. He was laid to rest in Saltlick Cemetery.
Daughter Mabel Christner (1893- ? ) was born in April 1893 in Mount Pleasant. As a young woman, she moved to Monessen, Washington County, PA. There, at the age of 20, she married 22-year-old Howard A. Weight (1891- ? ), a resident of Lock 4 along the Monongahela River. The ceremony was held at the Monessen United Brethren Church on July 29, 1913, by the hand of Rev. B.F. Bungard. Because Mabel was underage at the time, she needed legal consent. Normally, this would have been provided by her parents, but both were dead. She petitioned the court for a legal guardian for the sole purpose of providing this consent, and the court appointed her married, eldest sister Minnie Booth to do so. In 1971, her home was in Tyrone, Fayette County.
~ Daughter Elvina (Christner) Cramer ~
Daughter Elvina Christner (1862-1956) was born on May 12, 1862 in Springfield Township. As a young girl she migrated with her father and siblings to Pennsville, Bullskin Township, Fayette County.
She was a Dawson Bible student and wed John W. Cramer (1855-1922). He was the son of Charles and Catherine (Whipkey) Cramer of Somerset County.
They had 11 children -- Elmer E. Cramer, Mrs. R.T. Clark, Georgia Hair, Della Goe, Lucy Cipperley, Ortha Bauman, Blanche Nicol, Olive Frank, Ruby Lohr, Charles L. Cramer and Edgar H. Cramer.
The Cramers were farmers and lived in Dunbar Township, near Connellsville.
Sadly John was afflicted with hardening of the arteries and chronic fibroid myocarditis (heart trouble). He died at the age of 66 on Jan. 3, 1922.
As well, their son Elmer passed away in 1936 or 1938. Details are elusive.
As a widow in the early 1930s, Elvina lived in Bridgeport, near Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. She later moved into Connellsville, making her home at 603 Franklin Avenue. In her final years, she went to live with her daughter and son in law, Gladys and R.T. Clark, in Akron, OH.
Elvina died there in the Clark residence on Nov. 28, 1956. At the time of her death, reported the Connellsville Daily Courier, she was survived by 29 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. Her remains were returned to Connellsville for entombment.
Daughter Georgia Cramer wed (?) Hair and in 1956 lived in Tarentum, PA.
Daughter Della Cramer married Glenn Goe and resided in Flatwoods near Uniontown.
Daughter Lucy Cramer was wedded to Ian Cipperley and made their home in the mid-1950s in Cleveland.
Daughter Ortha Cramer and her husband Clarence Bauman also resided in Cleveland.
Daughter Blanche Cramer married (?) Nicol. In 1956, her home was in West Lafayette, IN.
Daughter Olive Cramer married E.A. Frink. They lived in Evanston, IL.
Daughter Ruby Cramer was wedded to (?) Lohr. They called Connellsville home.
Son Charles L. Cramer resided in Rockwood.
Son Edgar Cramer lived in Republic, Fayette County, PA, where he was a longtime coal miner for the H.C. Frick Coke Co.