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Catherine Ann 'Caty'
(Comp) Sarver



Catherine Ann "Caty" (Comp) Sarver was born on June 7, 1830 in Bedford County, PA, or in Southampton Township, Somerset County, the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth "Betsy" (Sturtz) Comp.

She was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with William Sarver (Jan. 13, 1835-1906), son of Henry and Margaret (Mosholder) Sarver of Allegheny Township, Somerset County. The bride was five years older than the groom.

Together, the couple bore a brood of six known children -- Matilda Martha Hersch, Lucinda Crissinger, Daniel Foster Sarver, Elizabeth Miller, Emma J. Hillegass and Rose Ann Glessner.


Catherine's obituary, Somerset Herald
Library of Congress

There is no evidence to suggest that William served in the army during the Civil War.

When the federal census enumerations were made in 1860, 1870 and 1880, the family dwelled on a farm in Allegheny Township, Somerset County. Their home in 1896 is known to have been near Dividing Ridge in the township.

In August 1873, the Sarvers were named in the last will and testament of Catherine's father.

William was in the news on New Year's Day 1896 for having "shot a wild turkey a few days ago which weighed twenty pounds," said the Somerset Herald. "The bird measured four feet four inches from tip of head to beak of tail and wore a beard eighteen inches long... [He is] one of the best marksmen in the county..."


Somerset Herald, 1897. Library of Congress

Grief cascaded over the family when Catherine contracted typhoid fever and died on Feb. 22, 1896. A brief notice in the Herald said that she was "aged about fifty-five years. She is survived by her husband and several married children." Her passing also was noted in the Altoona (PA) Tribune. Burial was in Mt. Zion Cemetery.

William survived his wife by a dozen years.

An unfortunate mishap in November 1897 landed William again in a story in the Herald. The article reported that he had:

...lost a valuable horse in a peculiar manner... He was on his way to New Baltimore, from whence he proposed going hunting the next day. The distance from his home to New Baltimore is about four miles and he started to make the trip on horse back. In attempting to mount, the girth broke and the rider fell to the ground, fortunately alighting on his feet. The horse shied and Sarver concluded to lead him a short distance. Before he had gone many feet the animal shied again and Sarver poked him in the ribs with the muzzle of his gun when the weapon was discharged. The load of shot penetrated the horse's side behind the left front shoulder, when he dropped over in his tracks stone dead. The shot had pierced his heart.

The federal census of 1900 shows William in Allegheny Township, sharing a home with 47-year-old boarder and servant Hester Lape, a widow. Living next door was his married son Daniel and family.

Some sources believe William and Hester were wed in 1897 but the census record appears to disavow that. Yet at her death some years later, the surname "Sarver" was used on her official Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Suffering from organic heart disease and stricken with typhoid fever, William died in Allegheny Township at the age of 71 on Aug. 31, 1906. 

His remains were interred in Mt. Zion Cemetery. John Sarver, of Dividing Ridge, was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.


Sand Patch Hotel, a landmark near the Sarvers' residence


~ Daughter Matilda Martha (Sarver) Hersch ~

Daughter Matilda Martha Sarver (1856-1880) was born in about 1856. She never learned to read or write.

Research done by Brian J. Ensley shows that on Jan. 9, 1876, Matilda was united in holy matrimony with Simon Peter Hersch (Jan. 1, 1850-1919), son of Peter and Marh Hirsch. Their nuptials were held in Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County.

Together, during their short four years of marriage, they produced three children, Edith L. Herwig, Effie Viola Long and John Howard Hersh.

When the federal census enumeration of 1880 was made, the family (spelled "Hirsch") made a home in Berlin, Somerset County, with Simon laboring as a shoemaker.

The family was plunged into grieving when Matilda died in Berlin on Nov. 21, 1880. The cause of her untimely passing is not yet known. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Berlin.

Simon lived for another 39 years. On Sept. 11, 1887, when he was 38 years of age, he wed a second time to 25-year-old Clara M. Rumiser ( ? - ? ), daughter of Philip and Margaret Rumiser of Berlin. Rev. Andrew J. Weller officiated.

The couple went on to bear a son of their own, Franklin "Frank" Hersch.

Census records for 1900 show the family remaining Berlin, where Simon earned a living as a coal miner.


Railroad station in Mishawaka, Indiana


In about 1912, Simon and Clara relocated to Mishawaka, IN. Their home during that period was at 127 West Lawrence Street.

Death swept him away into eternity at age 69 on April 6, 1919. Funeral services were held locally by Rev. G.W. Titus of the First Christian Church. The remains then were shipped to Somerset County for burial in the Berlin IOOF Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the South Bend (IN) News-Times.

Daughter Edith L. Hersch (1876-1948) was born on Sept. 7, 1876 in Berlin, Somerset County. She was twice-wed in her lifetime. Her first spouse was Louis Kerchensteiner (May 24, 1874-1915), a German immigrant and the son of Joseph and Teressia Kerchensteiner. They became the parents of Karl Kerchensteiner, Harvey Kerchensteiner, Frank Kerchensteiner, Nora Altmiller and Elizabeth Herwig. They are known to have been subscribers to the Meyersdale Republican newspaper. Louis was employed as a track walker by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The Republican once said he was "one of the B. & O.'s most trustworthy section hands in the vicinity of Meyersdale. Edith and Louis made news in September 1913 when, during the week of the local fair, he took a few vacation days to erect a new 28-foot chimney at their home. The Republican said that Edith was "a true helpmate and model housekeeper [who] helped to lay the brick and spread the mortar, and she did it in good fashion. The chimney is plastered with cement, inside and out and looks as though it will be good for all time to come... May they live long to enjoy the home they have provided for themselves, and the chimney they have built long remain a monument to their industry and thrift." But on the fateful day of Oct. 25, 1915, Louis was killed while at work in the Sand Patch yards. The Republican reported that he "stepped out of the way of a switching engine and got in front of another engine on the adjoining track, whose approach he did not notice on account of the noise made by the engine he avoided... He was a man of strict honesty and industry and had the respect of all who knew him." His broken remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Meyersdale Union Cemetery, with Church of the Brethren Elder E.K. Hochstetler leading the funeral service. Later, she was joined in wedlock with F. Elmer Herwig ( ? - ? ). She made a home over the years in rural Meyersdale, Somerset County. Sadness blanketed the family when, at age 72, her gall bladder ruptured and an infection of peritonitis set in, leading to death in Somerset Community Hospital on the Fourth of July 1948. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. J. Ewing Jones of the Hostetler Church of the Brethren. The remains were laid to rest in Meyersdale's Union Cemetery. An obituary in the Republican noted that she was survived by 18 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her death also was briefly noted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

  • Grandson Karl Kerchensteiner lived in Meyersdale in 1948.
  • Grandson Harvey Kerchensteiner made his home in Sand Patch, Somerset County.
  • Grandson Frank Kerchensteiner established a home in Somerset, PA.
  • Granddaughter Nora Kerchensteiner married Homer Altmiller. Circa 1948, she was in Friedens, Somerset County.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Grace Kerchensteiner (1902-1968) was born on Sept. 26, 1902 in Meyersdale, PA. On July 15, 1918, the 17-year-old Elizabeth wedded 21-year-old coal miner Robert D. Herwig ( ? - ? ), son of Conrad and Delilah Herwig. Rev. H.E. Truxal officiated. They put down roots in Friedens, Somerset County and together bore nine known children -- Ruth Trimpey, Margie Herwig, Frederick Herwig, Lloyd Herwig, Janet Irwin, Robert L. Herwig, Kenneth Herwig, Betty Atkins and Shirley Adams. Elizabeth belonged to the Geiger Church of the Brethren and its women's fellowship group. Sadly, Elizabeth died in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 66 on Dec. 1, 1968. The Somerset Daily American and Meyerdale Republican each ran an obituary. Her survivors included 31 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Rev. John Keiper officiated the funeral service, with burial in Meyersdale's Union Cemetery.

Great-granddaughter Ruth Herwig married (?) Trimpey. They migrated to Oregon and in 1968 were in the town of Salem, OR.

Great-granddaughter Margie Herwig resided in Friedens.

Great-grandson Frederick Herwig made a home in Friedens.

Great-grandson Lloyd Herwig dwelled in Friedens.

Great-granddaughter Janet Herwig wedded (?) Irwin. Circa 1968, they made a residence in Friedens.

Great-grandson Robert L. Herwig lived in Somerset, PA.

Great-grandson Kenneth Herwig moved to York, PA.

Great-granddaughter Betty Herwig was joined in matrimony with (?) Atkins. In 1948, the couple was in Somerset, PA.

Great-granddaughter Shirley Herwig was united in wedlock with (?) Adams. Their home in the late 1960s was on the outskirts of Somerset, PA.


Mishawaka Rubber and Woolen Co., Arthur Long's workplace, advertised as "42 acres of 'Ball-Band' floor space."


Daughter Effie Viola Hersch (1877-1960) was born on Aug. 26, 1877 in Berlin, Somerset County. She was a little more than three years old when her mother died. On March 2, 1905, in nuptials held in Manns Choice, Bedford County, Effie entered into marriage with Arthur Griffin Long (Sept. 8, 1877-1931) of Schellsburg/New Buena Vista, Bedford County. He was the son of Samuel and Catherine (Fischer) Long. The Longs' only son was Carl A. Long. They initially lived in Bard, Bedford County and later migrated to Indiana, settling in the city of Mishawaka. Arthur earned a living at his trade of shoemaking, employed by Mishawaka Rubber and Woolen Companhy. Their address in 1931 was 302 West Mishawaka Avenue. Arthur was burdened by coronary heart disease, known as "angina pectoris." He died from its effects at the age of 53 on March 4, 1931. Effie outlived her spouse by nearly three decades. Her final years were spent as a widow a few houses away at 306 West Mishawaka Avenue. Burdened with hardening of the arteries, she was stricken by a cerebral hemorrhage and admitted to the Alexandrian Nursing Home of South Bend, IN. There, she died at the age of 83 on Nov. 20, 1960. Son Carl, the informant for the official Indiana certificate of death, was unable to furnish the name of Effie's mother on the document. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery, Mishawaka, with an obituary appearing in the South Bend Tribune.

  • Grandson Carl A. Long (1907-1974) was born on June 29, 1907 in Bard, Bedford County, PA. He grew up in Mishawaka, IN and received a degree from Purdue University. He wedded Louise ( ? - ? ). The two children born to this union were Richard Arthur Long and Mary Elizabeth Lyons. Carl held memberships in the Peoples Church and the local lodge of the Masons. In 1955, they relocated to Lansing, MI and dwelled for decades at 1318 Prospect Drive. Sadly, he died in a hospital in Flint, MI at the age of 67 on Aug. 28, 1974. His obituary appeared in the Lansing State Journal. His survivors were numbered at eight grandchildren. Rev. Carl Staser led the funeral, with burial following in Deepdale Memorial Park. In the obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Michigan Heart Association.

Great-grandson Richard Arthur Long made his home in 1974 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Great-granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Long - She earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University. On Jan. 31, 1959, she entered into marriage with fellow MSU student William Watson Lyons ( ? - ? ), son of Edward t. Lyons Jr. The ceremony was held in St. John's Church in East Lansing, MI. Their first home was in University Village on the university campus. Circa 1974, the Lyonses resided in McLean, VA.

Son John Howard Hersh (1878-1941) -- originally spelled "Hersch" -- was born on March 31, 1878. He entered into marriage with Regina Agnes Spotts ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce. They planted themselves near Meyersdale, Somerset County. Circa 1941, he was employed as a laborer with the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was one of the ways President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the federal government tried to overcome unemployment and is widely considered one of the Roosevelt's largest and most ambitious undertakings of his "New Deal" to get the nation back on sound economic footing. Over the years, the WPA hired millions of out-of-work individuals to build public works projects, such as roads, bridges, retaining walls and buildings. Anxiety and grief rocked the family when John was diagnosed with cancer of the descending colon. Death swept him away quickly. At the age of 63, he died on Aug. 31, 1941. Burial was in Mt. Zion Cemetery, with Rev. H.M. Petrea officiating the funeral in the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American.

Simon Peter's son Franklin P. "Frank" Hersch (1890-1959) -- from the second marriage -- was born in Sept. 1890 in Berlin, PA. He relocated with his parents to Mishawaka. On Christmas Day 1912, he wedded Sarah Baldwin ( ? - ? ). They bore one daughter, Marguerite Mow. The Hersches made a residence for years in Mishawaka. For four decades, he was employed by Ball-Band, manufacturer of Red Ball footwear, formerly known as Mishawaka Rubber and Woolen Manufacturing Company. He retired in 1955. They belonged to the First Christian Church, and he held a membership in the Maccabees lodge. Their address in 1959 was 222 West Lawrence Street. Sadly, at the age of 69, Frank died in St. Joseph's Hospital on March 2, 1959. The South Bend Tribune published an obituary. Burial was in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, with Rev. Raymond D. Harris, of the family church, preaching the funeral sermon.

  • Granddaughter Marguerite Hirsch (1915-2007) -- originally spelled "Hersch" -- was born on Sept. 15, 1915 in Mishawaka. On June 21, 1940, she married Robert B. Mow Sr. (March 14, 1914-2005), a native of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and the son of Omer F. and Elizabeth (Bogges) Mow. The two offspring born into this family were Elizabeth Miller and Robert B. Mow Jr. The Mows made a home for decades in Mishawaka. Robert was employed for 39 years by Indiana and Michigan Electric Power Company. He retired in 1978. Marguerite also generated income for 17 years as a secretery for Vic tipple's plumbing business. They were 50-year members of the Albright United Methodist Church. Both were involved with the Wally Byam Air Stream Travel Club and he was active in the Masons lodges in South Bend and Dade City, FL and the Country Rider Motorcycle Club. Talented musically, he played violin in the Travelers Dance Orchestra and South Bend Symphony Orchestra and enjoyed singing in barbershop quartets. Marguerite was an original member of the Theta Delta Theta Chi Sorority. The family address in the early 2000s was on East Jefferson Road. Sadly, at the age of 91, Robert died at home on Oct. 28, 2005. His photograph appeared with his obituary in the South Bend Tribune. Pastors Dennis Ingle and Warren Kirkwood co-officiated the funeral service. Marguerite lived for another two years and became a resident of Fountainview Place. She passed away there at the age of 90 on June 14, 2007.

Great-granddaughter Elizabeth A. Mow married Ronald Miller. They have lived in South Bend.

Great-grandson Robert B. Mow Jr. obtained employment in young manhood with U.S. Rubber Company in Elkhart, IN. In Feb. 1961, he  wedded JoAnn Carol Porter, daughter of Daniel Leslie and Marita E. (Ferguson) Porter. They have made a home in Granger, IN.


~ Daughter Lucinda (Sarver) Crissinger ~

Daughter Lucinda Sarver (1858-1934) was born on June 16, 1858 in Somerset County. As with her elder sister, Matilda, she never learned to read or write.

She entered into marriage with Nelson Crissinger (March 6, 1856-1928), son of Jacob and Tenna (Arnold) Crissinger, the father an immigrant from Germany.

The only son born into this marriage was Elmer M. Crissinger.

The family made its home a mile east of Sand Patch in Greenville Township, Somerset County. Nelson earned a living as a laborer.

He was burdened with hardening of the arteries for the last five years of his life. He was stricken by a stroke of apolexy and died at the age of 72 on May 3, 1928. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican said that he "had been an invalid for several years." Rev. John Wegley of Somerset led the funeral service held in the Hochstettler Church of the Brethren.

Lucinda maintained her home as a widow near Sand Patch and endured heart valve disease. She passed into eternity in her home at the age of 83 on April 3, 1942. Obituaries in the Somerset Daily American and Republican said she was survived by two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Funeral services were led by Rev. Rhodes at the Hostetler Church in Greenville Township. Burial followed in the Hostetler/Hochstetler Cemetery. On her Pennsylvania death certificate, with Nannie Murray as the source, the maiden name of Lucinda's mother was spelled out as "Elsie Compt."

Son Elmer M. Crissinger (1880-1941) was born on Jan. 3, 1880 in or near Sand Patch, Somerset County. He spent his entire life as a farmer. He was married to Lilly Sanders (1878- ? ), daughter of H.P. Sanders. They made their residence in or near Sand Patch. At least four children born to the couple were Howard Crissinger, Harry Crissinger, Nannie Crissinger and Juanita Crissinger. Elmer's name was in the news over the years for activities such as boiling sugar to make syrup, hauling coal and lime, and constructing a tenant house on his farm. Circa 1939-1940, he is known to have employed 18-year-old nephew Harvey Miller on the farm. At the age of 61, suffering from heart and kidney disease, as well as phlebitis, a bloot clot developed in his heart, and he succumbed to death on Feb. 16, 1941. The Daily American obituary misspelled his mother's maiden name as "Farber."


~ Daughter Elizabeth Margaret (Sarver) Miller ~

Daughter Elizabeth Margaret "Lizzie" Sarver (1863-1943) was born on May 27, 1863 in Somerset County, PA.

On Feb. 4, 1883, at the age of 19, Elizabeth was united in holy marriage with Daniel Y. Miller (May 14, 1860-1944), a native of Stonycreek Township, Somerset County and the son of Yost D. and Rosanna (Eppley) Miller.


The couple's four offspring were Nelson Miller, Effie Miller, Samuel D. Miller and Minnie Hershberger.

They migrated to Indiana shortly after their wedding and put down roots in Elkhart County. Federal census records for 1900-1930 shown the in Middlebury Township. They were farmers and raised poultry on their property six miles northeast of Goshen, Elkhart County.

The family joined the Clinton Frame Mennonite Church in 1899 and remained members for the rest of their lives.

Sadness cascaded over the family when Elizabeth died in 1943. The funeral was held in the family church. Burial was in Miller Cemetery in Goshen. A funeral notice was published in the South Bend Tribune.

Daniel only outlived her by a year. The angel of death cut him away at home on April 23, 1944. An obituary said he was survived by seven grandchildren, two foster grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 10 foster great-grandchildren.

Son Nelson Miller (1884-1938) was born on March 9, 1884 in Middlebury Township, Elkhart County. Circa 1906, he was united in matrimony with Carrie Vida Simmons (1884-1966). Together, the couple produced five children -- Mary Elizabeth Stutsman, Bernice Higgins, Mrs. Paul Hoke, William Miller and Ralph Miller. The family residence was six miles northeast of Goshen, Elkhart County. In early 1938, he contracted a life-threatening illness and suffered for six months. Death whisked him away at the age of 54 on Oct. 13, 1938. Following funeral services in the family residence, burial was in Pleasant View Cemetery north of Goshen. An obituary was published in the South Bend Tribune.


Horse-trading in process in Goshen, Indiana


  • Granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Miller (1907-1994) married Ralph Stutsman. They lived in Goshen in 1938.
  • Granddaughter Bernice E. Miller (1908-1988) wedded Theodore Higgins. The family dwelled in the late 1930s in Goshen.
  • Granddaughter (?) Miller ( ? - ? ) was joined in matrimony with Paul Hoke. Their residence was in Romeo, MI in 1938.
  • Grandson William Eugene Miller (1911-1998) put down roots in Elkhart, IN.
  • Grandson Ralph Eli Miller (1912-1990) made his home in Goshen.

Daughter Effa "Effie" Miller (1886-1940) was born on Feb. 28, 1886 in Indiana. At the age of 24, on Jan. 18, 1911, she wedded Samuel J. Naugle (1886-1953), a native of Windber, Somerset County. The pair raised two foster daughters, Mary Etta Maloney and Mrs. Clarence Lambright. The family lived five miles southeast of Middlebury, and they held memberships in the Clinton Frame Mennonite Church. Effie developed a serious illness in late 1939. She bore her sufferings for a year as her health declined. She surrendered to death at the age of 54 on Nov. 20, 1940. Funeral services were held in the Clinton Frame church, jointly officiated by Rev. Ira Johns and Rev. D.D. Troyer. Her remains were laid to rest in Miller Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the South Bend Tribune. Samuel remained a widower for four years and then married a second time to Mary Good ( ? - ? ). Samuel was in the news in September 1941 when Lyle Frederick Gage, the 14-month-old son of their housekeeper Matilda Gage, drowned in the fish pond on their farm. The couple is known to have spent the winter of 1952-1953 in Sarasota, FL. Samuel died without warning in Sarasota on Feb. 13, 1953. The body was transported back to Middlebury for funeral services in the family church. Again Rev. Johns preached the funeral. Burial was in the Miller Cemetery.

  • Foster granddaughter Mary Etta Maloney (1902-1975) was born on Jan. 31, 1902. On Jan. 2, 1924, she married Theodore T. Blough (June 27, 1904-1984), a native of Middlebury Township. Their home for years was in Goshen, with an address in 1975 of 402 Center Street. Five children born to this union were Donald E. Blough, Richard L. Blough, Robert T. Blough, Elizabeth Schrock and Kay Cottingham Sr. Theodore earned a living with the U.S. Postal Service, retiring in 1970. The family belonged to St. Johns Catholic Church. Their son Donale E. Blough joined the U.S. Navy and was trained in 1956 at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. Mary suffered a stroke in early 1975 and suffered for six months until death carried her into eternity, at the age of 73, on July 13, 1975. Rev. James Cis led the funeral mass, with interment in Violett Cemetery. An obituary in the South Bend Tribune named her surviving siblings as Mrs. Harry Granger, Mrs. Waitman Johnston and Robert A. Maloney. Theodore outlived his wife by about eight years. His final seven months were spent as a resident of Greencroft Nursing Center in Goshen. He succumbed to death at the age of 79 on Jan. 16, 1984. His Tribune obituary said he had "lived all his life in the area." His survivors were counted as 16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Theodore's funeral mass, held in the family church, was presided over by Rev. Laurence Tippmann.
  • Foster granddaughter (?) wedded Clarence Lambright. They put down roots in Shipshewana, IN.

Son Samuel D. Miller (1887-1977) was born on July 16, 1888 east of Goshen, Elkhart County, IN. He grew up on the family farm in Middlebury Township, Elkhart County. On Sept. 8, 1912, he was united in the bonds of matrimonial union with Katharine Stahly (Dec. 25, 1889-1975), a native of LeGrange County. They became the parents of a daughter, Mrs. J. Earle Roose. The Millers lived in Goshen for decades, with an address in the 1970s of 213 South Sixth Street. He was employed for 38 years by the Goshen Milk Division. The family were members of Eighth Street Mennonite Church. Sadly, Katharine died on Sept. 23, 1975. Samuel lived for another two years and in March 1976 moved into Fountainview Place. He passed away at the age of 90 on Dec. 10, 1977. As had been done for Katharine, Samuel's funeral was led by his pastor, Rev. Paul L. Goering. The remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Miller Cemetery. His obituary in the South Bend Tribune noted that he "was a lifelong resident of the community."

  • Granddaughter (?) Miller was united in wedlock with J. Earle Roose.

Daughter Minnie Miller (1890-1961) was born on June 16, 1890 in Elkhart County, IN. On Oct. 9, 1913, when she was 23 years of age, she entered into marriage with Milo Hershberger (Oct. 2, 1892-1964). Milo was a native of LaGrange County, IN. One son born in the family was Alvin W. Hershberger. They dwelled for decades in Middlebury Township, Elkhart County. Milo earned income with employment at Starcraft Inc., and retired in 1957. Socially, he held memberships in the Goshen lodges of the Moose and Odd Fellows. The family belonged to the Clinton Brick Mennonite Church. Minnie died at the age of 70 on March 5, 1961. Rev. John J. Yoder and Rev. Amsa Kauffman jointly conducted the funeral service, held in the family church. Burial was in Forrest Grove Cemetery southeast of Middlebury. The South Bend Tribune printed an obituary which reported that "she had lived all her life in this area." The widowed Milo survived for another three years at the address of 715 South 14th Street in Goshen. He died alone at home in the morning hours of Dec. 6, 1964, with his body found later that day by a neighbor. His pastor Rev. Yoder again preached the funeral service.

  • Grandson Alvin W. Hershberger (1915-2007) was born on July 6, 1915 in Elkhart County. He stood 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighed 120 lbs., and had blue eyes and blond hair. At the age of 25, in 1940, he was single and worked for Arthur Schrock of South Sixth Street in Goshen. Alvin dwelled in Middlebury Township for many years. In May 1940, he was joined in matrimony with Oma Kalb (1916-2014), daughter of Oscar A. and Vera Alta (Sheets) Kalb. They were the parents of three -- Julia Davidhizar Schrock, Connie Mast Knepp and Lee L. Hershberger. Sadly, their son Lee died at age three in August 1950, with funeral services held in the Silver Street Mennonite Church. Circa 1964, Alvin was elected to the board of education of Middlebury Community Schools, with the news reported in the South Bend Tribune. He remained on the board for six years and was named as board secretary in 1968. The Hershbergers marked their 25th wedding anniversary in May 1965 with a dinner at Miller's Country Restaurant near Middlebury. Alvin died at the age of 92 on Nov. 19, 2007. Oma survied him by seven years, dying in 2014. They sleep side by side in Forest Grove Cemetery near Middlebury.


~ Daughter Emma J. (Sarver) Hillegass ~

Daughter Emma J. Sarver (1866-1934) was born on June 18, 1866.

On Jan. 18, 1887, when she would have been 20 years of age, she was joined in the bonds of matrimony with William Vincent Hillegass (1860-1921), son of John and Agnes (Riffle) Hillegass.

The couple bore 10 chidren together -- Garnet Hillegass, Daniel Hillegass, Bernard Hillegass, Elmer Hillegass, Thomas Hillegass, Blanche Straub, Vincent Hillegass and Marie Harkinson plus two who died young, prior to 1910.

The Hillegasses moved about a number of times over the years. They were in Johnstown, Cambria County (in 1886), Buena Vista (1889) and in Adams Township, Cambria County (1900). William's occupation in 1900 was farming.

By 1910, they migrated to a farm in Emma's home region of near New Baltimore in Allegheny Township, Somerset County, with Berlin as their post office location.

After the move to New Baltimore, William was "widely known in that section of the county as 'Applebutter Bill' by reason of his large production of apples and applebutter," said the Meyersdale Republican.

On the fateful afternoon of April 7, 1921, having not felt well for several days, William "was able to get about the house and yard," said the Republican. "Last Thursday while going to the barn with a pail of water, he dropped over. His wife was at the house and saw him fall. She hastened to him, but he breathed only a few times and expired." He was age 59 at death.


St. John's Catholic Church, New Baltimore -- the famed church along the Pennsylvania Turnpike -- where William and Emma Hillegass were members.


For the last 15 years of her life, Emma was burdened with hardening of the arteries. She suffered a stroke in late February 1934 and lingered for 13 days before being swept away by the angel of death on March 11, 1934, at the age of 67. Burial of the remains was beside her husband's in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Cemetery in New Baltimore, Somerset County. Vincent Hillegass of Berlin, PA signed the official death certificate. An obituary in the Republican noted that the count of her survivors included 30 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A funeral mass was sung in the family church.

Son Garnet Thaddeus Hillegas (1886-1966) was born on April 1, 1886 in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. He was united in matrimony with Savilla Baumgardner ( ? - ? ). They lived in rural South Fork, near Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. He was employed as a railroad engineer. He suffered a heart attack and was admitted to Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital, where he died at the age of 80 on May 22, 1966. Howard Hillegas of South Fork was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Interment of the remains was in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Johnstown.

Son Daniel L. Hillegass (1889-1938) was born on June 29, 1889 in Buena Vista, PA. He was joined in wedlock with Nellie Bray ( ? - ? ). The couple dwelled in South Fork Borough, near Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. He earned a living as a fireman for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Grief blanketed the family when the 49-year-old Daniel, who had endured an enlarged heart and heart valve disease, succumbed to the angel of death on Sept. 22, 1938. Burial was in Geistown, Cambria County.

Son Bernard Samuel Hillegass (1891-1975) was born in 1891. He resided in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. Death swept him away in 1975.

Son Elmer Hillegass (1894- ? ) was born in about 1894. In adulthood he lived in New Baltimore, Somerset County.

Son Thomas Hillegass (1897-1946) was born on May 18, 1897 in Johnstown, Cambria County. He wedded Ann Jenkins ( ? - ? ). The Hillegasses were in Ferndale near Johnstown, Cambria County, PA in the 1930s and 1940s. The family's address was at 392 Ferndale Boulevard. Thomas was a longtime mailman with the U.S. Postal Service. Thomas developed pneumonia in February 1946 which led to phlebitis of both legs and then a pulmonary embolism. He died at the age of 48 on March 21, 1946 as a patient in Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown. The body was taken for burial to New Baltimore, Somerset County.

Daughter Blanche Hillegass (1899- ? ) was born in 1899. She wedded (?) Straub. She made a residence circa 1934 in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA.

Son Vincent Hillegass (1902- ? ) was born in about 1902. He made his home with his widowed mother near New Baltimore in 1934.

Daughter Marie Hillegass (1905- ? ) was born in about 1905. She married (?) Harkinson. Her home in 1934 was in South Fork, near Johnstown, Cambria County, PA.


~ Daughter Rosa Ann (Sarver) Glessner ~

Daughter Rosa Ann Sarver (1868- ? ) was born on Oct. 9, 1868 in Allegheny Township, Somerset County.

The day after Christmas 1895, when both were age 27, she entered into marriage with George William Glessner Jr. (Feb. 4, 1868-1956), son of George William and Eva Ann (Deeter) Glessner Sr. Justice of the peace Francis Suhre led the wedding ceremony at the home of Rosa's father.

During their first four years of marriage, the couple produced a family of three, all of whom died young, before the year 1900. Unnamed twin sons both passed on Dec. 11, 1895. Their next daughter, Flora Glessner, survived childhood.


George Glessner's workplace, the Westinghouse plant in East Pittsburgh


The Glessners relocated to Oak Hill in North Versailles, in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. George was employed for a dozen years for Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company in East Pittsburgh. Their goal was to move back to a small farm near her girlhood home.

In fact, they found just the right property, and on the fateful day of March 13, 1911, George traveled back to Somerset to complete the purchase. But the cruel hand of fate intervened. While he was away, the 42-year-old Rosa drowned in a small stream, only six inches deep, near the edge of their Pittsburgh property. One can only imagine George's devastation upon arriving home with the happy news only to be plunged into shock and grief.

Rosa's body was shipped to Berlin for interment. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette repored that:

After just realizing the ambition of 12 years, to own a little farm, and settle down to a quiet, retired life in the country with his wife and family, the hopes of George W. Glessner of Oak Hill ... were dashed to pieces yesterday when he returned from Somerset, Pa. He found his wife, with whom he had dreamed of a happy future, dead. She had fallen accidentally over a 20-foot embankment into a stream near the house and was drowned. Yesterday morning Glessner ... went to Somerset to purchase the farm. Mrs. Glessner saw him off. She was in a happy mood. Her 12-year-old daughter, lunch basket on her arm, left for school, and the mother busied herself with the washing of the little family. It is supposed that when hanging up the garments to dry, she failed to notice the steep bank at the end of the yard and fellow over. The water is shallow at that point, but it is believed that Mrs. Glessner was stunned by the fall and drowned before aid could reach her. The body was not discovered until afternoon, and then a neighbor saw the limp, lifeless form in the pool.

George lived for another 45 years. He married again to Kittie/Katie ( ? - ? ).

One known son born to the second marriage was George Allen Glessner.

Their home in 1920 was in Wilmerding, Allegheny County, where George was employed in a machine shop. Unfortunately, by 1930, the couple divorced. Katie, a single mother in 1930, made a home with her son in East McKeesport. At that time, 58-year-old widower James B. Bain boarded in the household.

George made his way to Slippery Rock, Butler County, PA, where in 1940 he was retired and shared a residence with his son.

He died on Dec. 22, 1956.

The pair sleep for all time in Sarver Farm Cemetery.

Daughter Flora Glessner (1905- ? ) was born in about 1905.

George's son George Allen Glessner (1915-1993) from the second marriage was born on Jan. 7, 1915 in Wilmerding. He grew up with a grammar school education. During World War II, in August 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He married Edith Koth (1908-1998). The couple relocated to the Pacific Northwest and in the 1990s were in Eugene, Lane County, OR. George died in Eugene on June 25, 1993.


Copyright 2021 Mark A. Miner

Brian J. Ensley and the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County have contributed valuable research for this biography.