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Nancy (Birch) Mattax


Washington Reporter, 1944

Nancy Elizabeth "Nannie" (Birch) Mattax was born on Aug. 28, 1878 in Greene County, PA, the daughter of Samuel and Susan (Miner) Birch

As a young woman, she made her home in Prosperity, Washington County. Although the date of her birth was inscribed in the family Bible, she thought herself four years younger than her actual age. 

On April 13, 1901, at Charleroi, Washington County, 22-year-old Nancy married 24-year-old George O. Mattax (1877-1923), son of Oliver and Phoebe (Conger) Mattox. Justice of the peace Emery E. Rice performed the nuptials. Their name also has been spelled "Mattox."

The couple produced five children – James "Earl" Mattax, Eva May Gill, George Oliver Mattax, Arthur Raymond Mattax and Howard "Kenneth" Mattax.


West Union Church

The Mattax family initially lived at Dunns Station, Washington County, PA. They were members of the West Union Presbyterian Church. 

George earned  a living over the years as a farmer, and the family later relocated to near Prosperity, Washington County. Circa 1920, federal census records show that they were farmers in Canton Township, Washington County.

They eventually moved into the town of Washington, where they lived at 60 Addison Street. 

While in Washington, George obtained employment at the Hazel-Atlas glass factory, seen on this page in a rare old photographic postcard. Click to see an enlargement.


Hazel Atlas Glass, Washington, PA

Sadly, George contracted a case of pulmonary tuberculosis in the fall of 1922. After suffering for three months, he died of a lung hemorrhage at age 45 on Jan. 18, 1923. His remains were placed at rest in the Washington Cemetery.

Nancy outlived George by more than two decades.

She made her home in 1944 at 919 Fayette Street in West Washington.

Suffering from heart disease ("myocarditis") and chronic kidney problems ("nephritis"), she suffered cardiac failure on or about Jan. 10, 1944. She lingered in declining health until her death in Washington Hospital on D-Day -- June 6, 1944. Her daughter Eve was the informant for her death certificate.


~ Son James "Earl" Mattax ~

Son James "Earl" Mattax (1901-1954) was born in on Jan. 5, 1901 in Dunns Station, Washington County.

At the age of 18, in 1920, he lived at home and earned a living as a clerk in a drug store.

He was married at least thrice. Circa 1922, his home was in Washington, Washington County, PA.

When he was 21 years of age, on July 29, 1922, he was joined in matrimony with 21-year-old Helen Sanders (1901- ? ), a native of Waynesburg, Greene County, and also a resident of Washington. Their wedding was held in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV, by the hand of George H. Lockhart Sr.

The couple produced one daughter, Margaret (or "Marjorie") Hall.

When the federal census was taken in 1930, the family lived in Washington, and Earl supported them by working as a structural iron laborer. Sadly, the first marriage ended in divorce on April 23, 1938, and Helen relocated to Leetonia, Columbiana County, OH.

Earl moved in with his mother and brothers and in 1940 earned income building homes.


Washington Reporter, 1954

On Nov. 28, 1942, when he was age 41, Earl wed his second wife, 38-year-old Jessie (Welsh) Engle (1904- ? ), daughter of Charles Jones and Nettie (Brownlee) Welsh. At the time, he worked as a steel worker and she as a waitress.

He also worked for the Atlas glass plant of Washington until 1946. He then moved to Pittsburgh, and lived at 1104 Sheffield Street on the city’s North Side. He remained there for the balance of his life and worked as a laborer for Lawson Corporation. He attended the Methodist Church.

At some point he married a third time, to Mary McCluskey ( ? - ? ).

Suffering from hardening of the arteries and heart disease, he was admitted to Allegheny General Hospital. He died there at the age of 53 on July 27, 1954. His sister Eva Gill, residing in Los Angeles, was the informant for the death certificate. Burial was in Washington Cemetery.

Daughter Margaret G. (or "Marjorie" or "Margie") Mattax (1920?- ? ) was born on Feb. 21, 1920 or 1923 in Washington. She was twice married. Her first husband was 25-year-old Victor P. Billet (April 7, 1917- ? ), son of Joseph and Victoria (Mango) Billet and a soldier residing in Leetonia, Columbia County, OH. At the time of the first marriage, she was employed as an inspector in Pittsburgh, making her home at 137 Bellefield. Divorced within a few years, she remained in Leetonia, where she worked as an "assembler." On June 29, 1946, in a ceremony held in Leetonia, she was united in holy wedlock with 24-year-old crane operator Gerald P. Hall (July 25, 1921- ? ), son of Harry and Florence (George) Hall. Rev. T.P. Laughmen officiated. In 1954, they dwelled in North Lima, OH.


~ Daughter Eva May (Mattax) Gill ~


Covered bridge near Prosperity

Daughter Eva May Mattax (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903.

When she was age 16, in 1920, she lived at home and worked as a waitress in a local drug store in Washington, Washington County, PA.

On April 9, 1929, in a ceremony held in Wellsburg, Brooke County, WV, the 26-year-old Eva married 32-year-old Frank F. Gill (1897- ? ), a native of Salineville, OH and at the time a resident of Bridgeville, Allegheny County, PA. Rev. Burt David Evans officiated at the wedding.

The newlyweds made their home in 1930 in Pittsburgh, with Frank employed as an automobile salesman, and Eva as a hairdresser in a beauty shop. That year, Eva's 29-year-old cousin Thomas Mattox lived under their roof and worked as a stenographer for a physician's office..

Circa 1944, the Gills lived in the Ambassador Apartments in Pittsburgh.

She eventually moved to California, where she resided in Los Angeles. Her address in July 1954 was 2743 San Marino Street. Still living in 1968, she was named in the Washington (PA) Reporter obituary of her brother Arthur.

Nothing more is known.

~ Son George Oliver Mattax ~


Washington Reporter, 1949

Son George Oliver Mattax (1909-1949) was born on April 25, 1909 in Washington, Washington County.

George is believed to have been married at least twice. When he was 23 years of age, and living in Washington, he was wedded to 21-year-old Marie Nicholls ( ? - ? ). Rev. Charles G. Cogley officiated at the wedding, held in Wellsburg, Brooke County, WV on March 28, 1930.

George and Marie produced one daughter, Patricia Louise Patrick.

Sadly, the marriage crumbled, and the couple divorced. Circa 1940, George and daughter Patricia lived with his widowed mother in Washington. That year, he worked as a steel mill laborer.

He served in World War II and belonged to the Hawkins Home Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

But later, Patricia relocated to Southern California and in 1949 was in Los Angeles.

On Sept. 23, 1944, at the age of 36, George was united in holy matrimony with 25-year-old Dorothy C. Young (1919-2002) of Washington County. Louis A. Serig performed the nuptials in a ceremony held in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV. They were 11 years apart in age, and at the time George resided in Pittsburgh.

George and Dorothy had two children of their own, Sandra Sue Coffey and David Arthur Mattax.

Their home in the late 1940s was at 117 Ridge Avenue in Washington. He was a structural laborer for Pennsylvania Engineering Company.

In March 1949, George was working on a PEC project in Mingo Junction, OH. Tragically, on St. Patrick's Day 1949, he was killed while driving with 50-year-old co-worker Charles C. Burleigh “when [their] small delivery truck sedan crashed into a big truck towing two trailers on West Virginia State Route 2” near Wellsburg. Officials ruled that the 39-year-old had died of a fractured skull. His remains were returned to Washington to rest in Washington Cemetery.

Dorothy survived her husband by more than half a century. The later years of her life were spent in Cincinnati.

At the age of 83, on Sept. 10, 2002, Dorothy passed into eternity. An obituary in the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that she was the sister of Wayne Cosgray and Betty Moore and was survived by eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. The family asked that any memorial donations be made to Hospice of Cincinnati.

Daughter Patricia Louise "Trisha" Mattax (1931- ? ) was born in about 1931. She resided in Los Angeles in 1949. She was united in matrimony with (?) Patrick ( ? - ? ) and was alive circa 2007.

Daughter Sandra Sue Mattax (1944- ? ) was born in about 1944. She married John Coffey ( ? - ? ).

Son David Arthur Mattax (1946-2007) was born on Aug. 26, 1945 in Washington. He may never have married. As an adult, David made his home in Cincinnati. He may have suffered from heart disease and passed away at the age of 61 on April 29, 2007. Burial was in Spring Grove Cemetery. An obituary in the Cincinnati Enquirer noted that he was "survived by many nieces and nephews."


~ Son Arthur Raymond Mattax ~


Washington Reporter, 1968

Son Arthur Raymond Mattax (1911-1968) was born on July 6, 1911 in Prosperity, Washington County.

Unmarried at age 26 in 1940, he lived at home with his mother and brothers and earned a living as a "rougher" in a local steel mill.

Arthur served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific during World War II.

In 1949, he dwelled in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV. Later, Arthur was a structural iron worker for Townsend and Bottun Company of Stratton, OH. In 1968, he resided in Wintersville, OH, where he was a member of the Moose and Eagles lodges and the American Legion.

Then on Feb. 22, 1962, at the age of 50, he was joined in wedlock with 43-year-old Frances Shade Roupe (March 14, 1918- ? ), daughter of John H. and Romaine (Shade) Anderson. Rev. Jacob William Schrader, of the Franklin Methodist Church in Booke County, officiated at the ceremony. At the time of this marriage, Arthur's home was in Handlen Heights, Elm Grove near Wheeling, Ohio County, WV, and hers' at 322 Main Street in Claysville, Washington County.

At some point, Arthur wedded Dolores (Bedillion) Baumgardner ( ? - ? ). She had been married before and brought a son to the union, Allen Baumgardner.

On May 19, 1968, as a patient in St. John Hospital in Steubenville, OH, Arthur died at the age of 55. An obituary was published in the Washington Reporter, stating that he was survived by his wife Dolores and stepson.

Stepson Allen Baumgardner ( ? - ? ) lived in Washington, Washington County in 1968.


~ Son Howard "Kenneth" Mattax ~

Son Howard "Kenneth" Mattax (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917 in Washington County, PA.

He lived in Detroit, MI in 1949, and later by 1968 in Los Angeles.


Copyright © 2001, 2005, 2014, 2017 Mark A. Miner