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Matilda (Comp) Beltz


The Beltz grave, Dry Ridge/St. James

Matilda (Comp) Beltz was born on Jan. 22, 1832 in Manns Choice, Bedford County, PA, the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth "Betsy" (Sturtz) Comp Sr. She never learned to read or write.

When she was about 22 years of age, in 1855, she wedded 39-year-old widower Lewis Beltz (Dec. 5, 1816-1904), who was 15 years older than she. Lewis was the son of Henry and Mary (Davis) Beltz of Manns Choice.

Lewis had been married previously to Susannah Fait (1820-1849). She had died in 1849 at the age of about 29, with her remains lowered into eternal repose in Dry Ridge Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Thus he was the father of these children who came into the second union: Daniel E. Beltz, Andrew Jackson Beltz, Margaret Ann Darr and William Henry Beltz

Our Matilda and Lewis produced their own brood of eight more children, of whom five were still living as of 1900. The six known names were William K. Beltz, Hannah E. Comp, Lewis V. Beltz, John C. Beltz, Adam Claudius Beltz and Solomon Elmer Beltz.

When the federal census was taken in 1860, the Beltzes dwelled in Juniata Township, Bedford County,


Susannah, Lewis' 1st wife

Circa 1870-1904, their home was on a farm in Buffalo Mills, Harrison Township, Bedford County.

They were members of the Dry Ridge Lutheran Church,  also known as "St. James."

Lewis died at the age of 87, on April 6, 1904. In an obituary, the Bedford Gazette said that "He had been a resident of the vicinity in which he died nearly all his life. He was an upright man, a good citizen and a kind husband and father." Funeral services were led by Rev. D.G. Hetrick of Schellsburg. Burial followed in the Dry Ridge/ St. James Cemetery. This relatively small graveyard sits at the intersection of what today is known as Glade Pike and Faupel Road near Manns Choice.

The now-widowed Matilda went to live with her married daughter Hannah Comp in Barberton, OH.

She passed away there at the age of 76 on Sept. 10, 1908. The body was transported to Buffalo Mills for funeral services in St. James Church led by Rev. J.W. Lingle of Bedford "in the presence of a very large gathering of sympathizing relatives and friends," said the Gazette. Interment followed in Dry Ridge Lutheran Cemetery in Manns Choice, Bedford County. [Find-a-Grave] An obituary in the Gazette noted that "Her husband preceded her to the spirit world about four years ago and after his death she made her home with her daughter. Five children and four step-children survive her.... Many bear testimony to the high esteem in which she was held  by the church and community."

Inscribed at the base of their grave marker is the text: "In Thee, Oh Lord! have we put our trust."


Dry Ridge Lutheran Church/St. James Cemetery. The footprint of the old church may barely be discerned in the foreground



~ Stepson Dr. Daniel E. Beltz ~

Stepson Dr. Daniel E. Beltz (1838-1927) was born on Dec. 3, 1838 in Harmans Bottom about six miles from Schellsburg, Bedford County.

As an adult, Daniel stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and auburn hair.

He attended Bedford High School and Rainsburg Seminary as well as Ligonier Academy in Westmoreland County, PA. He then began to study medicine at the University of Medicine and Surgery in Philadelphia.

His education was disrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War. On Aug. 22, 2862, he went to Latrobe, Washington County to join the Union Army. He was assigned to the 135th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G. His captain, Henry Donnelly, thought him "a remarkably active - stout - and hearty young man." While at Belle Plains, VA in the middle of February 1863, he began to suffer from pain in the feet and leg joints after "doing heavy duty in the snow during very severe weather," he wrote. "The foot covering was very poor and easily soaked and my feet were more than once badly chilled or frosted and I took severe colds therefrom." He was treated in the Third Division Hospital and then sent home.


Above and below, Camp Carver hospital tents and Carver Hospital patients in the District of Columbia during the war. Courtesy Library of Congress.


After his term of service ended, he was discharged on May 31, 1863 while in Harrisburg, PA. He then returned to the university where he went on to receive his medical degree in 1864.

Daniel then rejoined the war effort on July 1, 1864 as a medical cadet in the Army, posted at Carver Hospital in the District of Columbia. While on duty at Carver, he was stricken with inflammation of the tonsils, head and throat with a buildup of mucus in his right ear, leading to permanent deafness. He was treated by Dr. Orlando P. Sweet and made his rounds with a handkerchief tied over the ear. He remained at Carver for a year until discharged on July 1, 1865, the war having ended.

When the war ended, he returned to Westmoreland County. On Dec. 5, 1867, at the age of 29, he married Mary Elizabeth Withrow (March 29, 1846-1932), the daughter of James and Julia (Yealy) Withrow and a native of Bottsville/Pleasant Grove, Cook Township, Westmoreland County. Rev. Ross Stevenson of the Ligonier and Pleasant Grove Presbyterian churches officiated at the wedding ceremony, held at the home of the bride's parents. Attending were Jacob H. and Mary E. (Caven) Murdock and Hiram Withrow and his wife.

The couple bore two children, both of whom died young -- Orrin W. "Odie" Beltz (born June 29, 1870, died 1878 at age eight) and Annetta M. "Nettie" Beltz (born March 22, 1872, died 1876, age four). The children rest for eternity in Old Ligonier Cemetery.


Ligonier's famed Gazebo and church steeple
Courtesy Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

From Nov. 22, 1865 to July 1870, the Beltzes made a home in Stahlstown, with Daniel establishing a private medical practice which lasted for four decades. Then in July 1870, they relocated to Ligonier and remained there for good.

Said the Ligonier Echo, "when still a young man, Dr. Beltz braved many storms in answer to sick calls from his patients. Because of almost impassable roads he frequently traveled throughout Ligonier Valley and much of Somerset county on horseback.... He lived a happy busy life and won the love and respect of his fellowmen. He saw Ligonier grow from a halmet of three hundred souls to its present population and in all this he had a share."

In addition to his role as a family physician, he was a partner in a mercantile firm in Ligonier for a number of years.

During a lifetime of service to the community, he held the roles of U.S. Army pension examiner at Greensburg and school board director in Ligonier in the late 1880s. At some point he served one term as elected treasurer of the County of Westmoreland. With an aptitude for finance, he helped found the First National Bank of Ligonier in 1902 and was its president for the rest of hisyears. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ligonier, where he was a trustee for 20 years, and a member of the Masonic lodge for 40 years. He was profiled in the 1906 book History of Westmoreland County, by John N. Boucher and John W. Jordan.

Daniel suffered a freak accident on about Feb. 1, 1872 while riding as a passenger in a buggy driven by G.R. Murdock. A bolt broke in the buggy, and the back end suddenly dropped to the ground. Murdock was thrown out of the vehicle and Daniel was doubled backward underneath, badly injuring the small of his back. Wrote Murdock, "He has never recovered fully from the affects of the injury."

He continued to experience loss of motion in the shoulder and hip, irregular heartbeats, urinary troubles and lumbago. His damaged ear gave off mucus with an offensive odor, especially in cold weather. At the age of about 62, on March 1, 1890, Daniel was awarded a military pension as compensation for his health issues. [Invalid App. #759.009 - Cert. 879.365] He received a government check every month for the remainder of his life. At the start, each check was in the amount of $8.

Daniel is known to have been in practice with Dr. B.F. Walker circa 1890, with their office on Ligonier's Main Street, one door east of the old post office building.

In about 1918, with his health declining, and unable to ride a horse or get in or out of a buggy, he retired from the practice of medicine.

On March 8, 1927, at the age of 88, he died in Westmoreland County. Rev. H.F. Cost and Rev. W.F. Fleming officiated at the funeral held in the First Presbyterian Church. On that day, in a gesture of respect, all of the Ligonier businesses closed down during the hour of service.

He rests under a prominent "Beltz" grave marker in Ligonier Valley Cemetery. R.B. Weaver, of the L.A. Weaver & Son store in Ligonier, served as executor of the estate.

Mary then applied for and was awarded his pension. [Widow App. #1.576.931 - A-6-15-27] She and her sister Mrs. Robert McConnaughey shared a home in later years.

Suffering from hemiplegia -- a paralysis possibly caused by a stroke -- she lived in a semi paralyzed condition for the final six or eight years of her life. She passed into eternity in Ligonier at the age of 86 on Nov. 3, 1932. An obituary was published in the Echo.

Decades later, in a Bicentennial edition of the Echo, Daniel and their grave marker were pictured on July 16, 1976.


~ Stepson Andrew Jackson Beltz ~

Stepson Andrew Jackson Beltz (1841-1919) was born on Dec. 14, 1841 in Bedford County.

He was joined in holy wedlock with Edith Esther Britton (1851-1926). Whether or not they reproduced is not known.

By 1889, they had relocated to Limaville, Stark County, OH and are known to have visited his father and step mother in Ligonier. Then in Alliance, OH in 1904, he operated his own general merchandise store. Their address in 1919 was 67 East Columbia Street.

Burdened with an enlarged heart and kidney problems, he died in Alliance at the age of 77 on Oct. 2, 1919. Burial was in the mausoleum of the Alliance City Cemetery.

Edith survived him by seven years. The Grim Reaper cut her away on June 5, 1926.


The Lincoln Highway near Schellsburg, PA


~ Stepdaughter Margaret Ann (Beltz) Darr ~

Stepdaughter Margaret Ann Beltz (1844-1915) was born on April 24, 1844 in Schellsburg, Napier Township, Bedford County.

She was joined in marital union with Daniel W. Darr (April 23, 1834-1912), son of David and Matilda (Beaver) Darr.

They produced five children -- Silas Darr, Alexander Darr, James Darr, Harry Darr and Emma Jane Simmons.

The Darrs were farmers and lived in Schellsburg circa 1870. In 1896, the family relocated to Johnstown, Cambria County, PA, where Daniel earned a living as a laborer. Their address was 709 Horner Street in Johnstown.

Sadly, at the age of 77, Daniel succumbed to gangrene of his urinary tract on Jan. 13, 1912. Burial was in Sandyvale Cemetery.

Just after Christmas 1915, she contracted acute pneumonia and died on New Year's Eve 1915 at the age of 71. Interment was in Sandyvale Cemetery, with H.L. Darr of Johnstown signing the death certificate. An obituary in the Ligonier Echo noted that her survivors included a dozen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Son Silas Darr (1863-1942) was born on March 20, 1863 in Schellsburg. He married Edna Reichard (Jan. 2, 1868-1947), daughter of Samuel and Matilda (Warner) Reichard of New Baltimore, OH. At the age of about 19, in 1882, he relocated to Lima, Stark County, OH, where he operated a grocery store. Silas and Edna returned to Bedford for Old Home Week in August 1907. Reported the Bedford Gazette, they "have been visiting among friends about Schellsburg since. They were the guests of R.C. Smith Monday and Monday night. They will spend some time visiting Mr. Darr's father and mother in Johnstown, and will visit Washington, Boston and several other places before their return. He is in the mercantile business at Limaville, which is a small town but can boast of a marble and several other manufactories." Burdened with heart disease, he passed away in Lima on Sept. 22, 1942. Burial was in Marlboro (OH) Cemetery. Edna survived for another five years as a widow. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 79 and joined Silas in eternity on Aug. 27, 1947. J.S. Sassaman of Alliance was the informant for both of their death certificates.

Son Alexander Darr (1865- ? ) was born in about 1865 in Schellsburg. His fate is lost to history for now.

Son James Darr (1866-1939) was born on March 26, 1866 in Schellsburg. He never married. James earned a living over the years as a steel mill laborer, and he resided in rural Elim near Johnstown, Cambria County. Tragically, just a few weeks before his 73rd birthday, James accidentally drowned on March 1, 1939. The deputy coroner wrote that "he fell in the river while walking across B&O RR Bridge in a bewildered condition due to advanced age." His body was found more than a month later in the Conemaugh River near Johnstown. The Latrobe Bulletin reported that he "may have met with foul play, according to investigators." His remains were interred in Sandyvale Cemetery.

Son Harry Darr (1869- ? ) was born in about Sept. 1869 in Schellsburg. Nothing more about him is known.

Daughter Emma Jane Darr (1874-1958) was born on March 1, 1874 in Schellsburg. She was wedded to William Simmons (1872-1937). Their known offspring were Frederick Daniel Simmons, Margaret "Maggie" Simmons, Silas Ellsworth Simmons, Earl Simmons, William Simmons, Frank Lee Simmons and Elroy Simmons. Ironically, only three of the children survived into adulthood. They made a home in Upper Yoder Township on the outskirts of Johnstown, Cambria County. William passed away on Dec. 9, 1937 at the age of 65. Margaret outlived him by more than two decades. Her address in the 1950s was 477 Edwards Street. For the last decade of her life, she endured hypertension. then in May 1958, she was stricken with cerebral bleeding and died a week later, at the age of 84, on May 29, 1958. Burial was in Richland Township Cemetery.


~ Stepson William Henry Beltz ~

Stepson William Henry Beltz (1847-1917) was born on Feb. 15, 1847 near Schellsburg, Bedford County, PA. He was but a boy of age two when his mother died. As a young man, he stood 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed 123 lbs.

After the Civil War broke out, he joined the Union Army, enlisting on Feb. 15, 1864, on his 17th birthday. He was placed within the 55th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H. In the spring of 1864, he was involved in action at Petersburg, Cold Harbor and Drewry's Bluff, all near Richmond. While carrying heavy loads of ammunition in his knapsack, his slight build could not bear the weight, causing his spinal column to shift out of place. He "broke down completely" in August or October that year and was admitted to Hampton Hospital at Fortress Monroe. He appears to have remained there until honorably discharged on June 11, 1865.

William returned home after his term of army service ended. Within three years, in June 1868, he applied for and was awarded a military pension for his wartime injury. [Invalid App. #134.176 - Cert. #113.196] His brother Daniel E. Beltz, M.D., testified on his behalf, stating that the soldier had been in good health at enlistment, and John A. Livingston, his former company commander, wrote that "if any man in the country deserves a pension that man is William H. Beltz." For the rest of his life, William received a monthly pension check, which in 1868 totaled $18 each. Eventually it was increased to $30 a month.


William H. Beltz's worsening curved spine. Left: image circa the 1880s by Andrew Price, 22 North Market Street, Canton, Ohio. Courtesy National Archives.


On July 19, 1869, the 22-year-old William was united in marriage with Isabella Douglas (June 10, 1851-1943), a native of Nova Scotia, Canada who emigrated to the United States as a girl. Rev. Alexander L. Rankin, a Presbyterian minister,  officiated at their nuptials, held in Lonaconing, Allegany County, MD.

Their four known offspring were Charles Edwin Beltz Sr., Mary Edith Beltz, John D. Beltz and George Francis Beltz. Sadly, their daughter is not believed to have survived childhood.

The Beltzes first lived in Isabella's hometown of Lonacoming, where their son Charles was born in 1870. From there they relocated to Ohio and were in Limaville in 1872 and in Alliance, Stark County, OH, where son George was born in 1883. While in Alliance, William first began to teach writing and drawing in Alliance High School.

Later, in 1893, they established a home in the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh at 5221 Second Avenue and remained for more than two decades until his death. They belonged to the Presbyterian Church of Hazelwood. William taught penmanship, oratory and dramatic art in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He was active with the Braddock post of the Grand Army of the Republic and is known in 1896 to have penned a play, "True to the Flag," about the war experience.

The Braddock Herald once reported that "True to the Flag" was "a play that lays hold of the motions and you must laugh and can't help but cry. It is by far the best home talent show yet given in Braddock." In 1908, he spoke at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Connellsville, Fayette County on "The Battlefields of the Civil War" and recited his own poem, "The Battle of Cold Harbor," which the Connellsville Daily Courier noted "was highly appreciated by everyone present. The house was filled." William was pictured in the Sept. 27, 1913 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette when he agreed to speak at the 22nd annual reunion of his former Civil War regiment.

As the years progressed, William suffered increasingly from the lateral curvature of his spine and disease of the lungs and heart. The effect gave him the appearance of a hunchback. It was the equivalent, he claimed, of having lost a hand or foot, rendering him unable to perform manual labor. Physicians noted the collapse of the entire left lung with a distortion of the spinal column, which was fully three inches out of alignment. His back was photographed from time to time, showing the dramatic displacement of his spine, with the images provided to the government as further proof.

The illness which took his life was chronic kidney disease, known as nephritis, which led to uremic poisoning. He was treated by Dr. Frank C. Blessing, but nothing more could be done. He died at home the age of 70 on Feb. 23, 1917, with interment in Homestead Cemetery in Munhall. A death notice in the Pittsburgh Press asked newspapers in Cleveland and Alliance, Ohio to copy and publish.

Isabella lived for another more than a quarter of a century and was successful in securing her husband's pension. [Widow App. #1.095.456 - Cert. 826.567. - XC 2.693.074]. She spent her final years in her son's home in Dormont at the address of 2915 Belrose Avenue.

She passed away at the age of 93 on March 8, 1943 in the home. An obituary was printed in the Post-Gazette.

Son Charles Edwin Beltz Sr. (1870-1939) was born on May 18, 1870 in Lonaconing, Allegany County, MD. On July 24, 1895, in nuptials held in Allegheny, PA, he wedded Laura Talbott (1872-1937), a native of Newburg, Preston County, WV and the daughter of Benjamin F. and Mary V. (Enochs) Talbott. They produced these known offspring, William Henry Beltz, Frank Beltz, Harry Beltz, Helen Beltz, Charles Edwin Beltz Jr., Isabella Beltz and Madeleine Virginia Leopard. Sadly, the two older daughters died young, Helen on Jan. 27, 1903 at age 38 days and Isabella in 1918 at age 10. Charles was a longtime employee of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Reported the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, he "had been a railroader for 50 years until his retirement in 1935. He started as a fireman and graduated up the ladder to freight and then passenger engineer. At his retirment, he was on the Pittsburgh-Cumberland Run." Charles was a longtime member of several lodges of the Masons as well as the American Federation of Labor's Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. After retiring, they moved to California and made a home in San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, at the address of 3056 G Street. Laura succumbed at the age of 64 on April 21, 1937. Her obituary was printed in the San Bernardino County Sun. Charles only lived for two more years and died on Oct. 14, 1939 at the age of 69. Burial was in Mountain View Cemetery.

  • Grandson William Henry Beltz (1896-1961) was born on May 5, 1896 in Pittsburgh. He was a veteran of World War I. William found employment with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and worked as a flagman and brakeman. He married Gladys Wilson ( ? - ? ). They bore three children -- Margaret Betty Dyer, William Beltz and Thomas Beltz. The family dwelled in the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh at 214 West Elizabeth Street. William was a member of the Joppa lodge of the Masons, the Syria Temple, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, the Fort Black post of the American Legion and the B&O Veterans. He sustained cuts of the face and eyes and chest injuries on Aug. 28, 1950 when involved with a slow-moving, head-on collision of two B&O trains in Pittsburgh, west of the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway bridge. Some 56 others were injured as well. At the age of 65, on July 19, 1961, having endured heart problems, he died in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Oakland near Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Press printed an obituary. His remains were interred in Jefferson Memorial Park. Their daughter Margaret Betty married Staff Sgt. Elmer E. Dyer of Hazelwood in Dec. 1944.
  • Grandson Frank R. Beltz (1898-1964) was born in about 1898 in Pittsburgh. He wedded Dorothy ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce. He relocated to Southern California, where he was employed for many years as a conductor with the Santa Fe Railway. For a quarter of a century, he was in San Bernardino and then for a dozen years in Monterey Park. Frank belonged to the Railroad Conductors Association and the Masons, Knights Templar and Shrine lodges in San Bernardino. His address in Monterey Park was 431 Gleason Street. At the age of 66, he was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital and died there on March 23, 1964. In an obituary, the San Bernardino Sun said that his remains were cremated.
  • Grandson Harry C. Beltz ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). At the age of 15, he began working for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Pittsburgh, and remained for nearly half a century. He recalled that "I had a job in the shop and didn't like being a grease monkey. I asked to be put on a train and my boss told me I had as much chance of sticking as a railroader as a snowball in Hell." He married (?). They were the parents of Jack Beltz. Their address in 1965 was 320 Hazel Drive in the suburb of Mt. Lebanon. When he retired in November 1965, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that "Today the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad will operate its schedule without a Beltz at a throttle for the first time in this century. Harry C. Beltz ... clambered down from the cab of the B&O's royal blue Engine No. 1443 at 10:15 a.m. yesterday and closed a 49-year career as a railroader. His father, Charles E. Beltz Sr., started with the B&O in 1881 and worked as an engineer for 48 years." Son Jack remembered that railroading was all that his father and grandfather talked about at the house. Circa 1965, their son Jack sold insurance in Pittsburgh.
  • Grandson Charles Edwin Beltz Jr. (1907- ? ) was born in about 1907 in Pittsburgh. While in Pittsburgh on April 13, 1925, at the age of about 18, he married Dorothy ( ? - ? ). The couple produced a child. They relocated to San Bernardino, CA in about 1926 and lived there until separating on Valentine's Day 1931, with Dorothy leaving their home. He sued for divorce, which was granted in Superior Court on or about Dec. 7, 1935. The news was published in the San Bernardino County Sun. Charles was employed as a locomotive fireman with the Santa Fe Railroad. He moved to Rialto, and, on June 30, 1937, at the age of 30, wedded again to 24-year-old Inez Lavon Reeves ( ? - ? ). She was the daughter of L.S. Reeves of 354 Orange Street in Rialto, with the nuptials held at the home of Rev. Otis D. Ironmonger. In reporting on the wedding, the Sun said that the bride, "a brunette type, chose for her wedding ensemble a two piece sport dress of white silk crepe with a smart luggage tan trim, a white off-the-face hat in the latest design and accessories of white and luggage tan. Her corsage was gardenias with lilies-of-the-valley." Inez was a graduate of a cosmetology school in Pasadena and worked for six years in San Bernardino as a beautician. As a locomotive fireman, early in his career, Charles "scooped coal with a shovel into the belly of an 'iron horse'," said the Sun. After 14 years as a fireman, he became the engineer of the Santa Fe's Super C, considered at 80 mph the world's fastest freight train. He spent 34 years as an engineer, operating steam locomotives on virtually every route in the Los Angeles Division, with the final steam run going through the Cajon Pass in the early 1950s. His last Super C run was in November 1971, hauling mail between Barstow and San Bernardino. Santa Fe Los Angeles Division Chief Harry J. Briscoe was on hand to welcome him at the platform and offer congratulations. Reported the Sun, "Like many of his fellow workers, Beltz comes from a railroad family."
  • Granddaughter Madeline Virginia Beltz (1912-1998) was born on July 10, 1912. She married Claude Jefferson Leopard (1907-1975), son of George Washington and Frances Eliza (Vines) Leopard. Claude had been married briefly in 1930 and divorced. He was employed in San Bernardino by the California Milk Producers Association. They dwelled in Los Angeles in 1937 and in Norwalk, CA in 1964. The couple had a daughter, Carol Ann Leopard, born in about 1937, and sons, born in Aug. 1946 and Sept. 1947. Their daughter suffered severe head injuries in June 1942 "when she ran into the side of a police car driven by Detective Sgt. Alfred L. Luce," reported the San Bernardino County Sun. She was treated in the Ramona Community Hospital, where her condition was pronounced critical. She is believed to have survived, and her parents sued the city for nearly $1,400 to recover their costs and lost wages. Claude passed away in Los Angeles on Sept. 13, 1975. She outlived him by 23 years and died on Feb. 18, 1998. Burial was in Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, CA.

Son John D. Beltz (1879- ? ) was born on Dec. 19, 1879 or Jan. 1880 in Limaville, Stark County, OH. He did not enjoy the cultured life of his father, and wanted to be a railroad telegrapher. When he was 13 years of age, encouraged by his father, he worked heating railroad rivets, for 10 hours a day and the pay of seven cents an hour. Within two years, he passed a telegrapher's examination, but was too young to be considered for the work. So he obtained a clerking job with the Pennsylvania Railroad, but then resigned and went to work ain December 1898 as a locomotive fireman with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, earning 70 cents a day. Circa 1907, he lived in Pittsburgh at 5427 Second Avenue and continued his labors as a railroad fireman. At the age of 19, on Dec. 4, 1900, he was joined in holy matrimony with Ruth E. Weimer (July 6, 1881 - ? ), daughter of H.E. Weimer of Pittsburgh. Rev. John M. Gaston officiated. At the time, her address was 4820 Second Avenue. The couple bore at least two offspring, Edna L. Beltz and Paul W. Beltz. They dwelled in Hazelwood in 1907 and hosted the wedding of Ruth's sister Hulda May Weimer to Earl Scott Aurandt. John is believed to have been transferred to Callerey, Butler County, PA by 1913. Circa 1917, he worked as trainmaster of the Pittsburgh Division of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Evidence suggests that he was transferred in the 1920s to Connellsville, Fayette County, PA, where he was named superintendent of the Connellsville Division. There, he wedded a second time, on July 23, 1926, to Amelia Scheide (1897- ? ), daughter of Amelia Scheide of Canton, Stark County, OH. Still in Connellsville in 1930, he was elected president of the board of managers of the B&O's Young Men's Christian Association. That year, he announced that a new YMCA building would be constructed in the city, at the corner of South Pittsburgh Street and West Fairview Avenue, with $3,000 in loans secured for the project. He also was elected president of the Connellsville Board of Trade. When the B&O completed an extension line to West Virginia in February 1931, he and distant cousin, Connellsville Mayor Dr. Harold "Daniel" Minerd were pictured in the Connellsville Daily Courier, among other business leaders, to mark the transfer of a ceremonial spike. In a feature profile (Sept. 30, 1948), the Pittsburgh Press reported:

He knows every inch of track in his region and most of the men by their first names. "They never dared move me from Pittsburgh," he grins. "No one else would know this district so well, and I'd be no good anywhere else." In the heavy winter snows, he puts on "my old Scotch cap and everything I can find" and works alongside the men. When floods wash out the tracks, he's out pushing repairs. "And I've scabbed, if you want to call it that, during strikes," Mr. Beltz adds. "The men never held it against me. They knew it was my job to keep the trains moving." he won't ask anyone to do anything he won't do, the "mean boss" declares. Because he fires men who drink on the job after a warning, Mr. Beltz never has taken a drink.... "I've had run-ins with the Mayor, all the editors and everyone else pushing smoke conktrol," Mr. Beltz barks. "It's been mighty hard on us. But we're doing everything we can to abide by the rules.

He was said to be a "husky, hearty man" and widely known as a hard boss and difficult to work for, an admitted "self-styled curmudgeon," and was teased that he had "trembling employees." On October 1932, during the Great Depression, he visited the B&O facilities in nearby Somerset, Somerset County, and "expressed satisfaction with the pickup in business on the Somerset and Cambria branch," said the Somerset Daily American, "which he says has increased in a few weeks from a rate of 800 cars of coal a week to 1200 cars a week." He was transferred in 1938 to lead the Pittsburgh Division of the railroad, and made a home in Dormont at 2915 Belrose Avenue. One of the subjects on his mind at the time was the "Prince Plan" of the Railroad Consolidation and the Transportation Act of 1933, intended to transfer ownership into public hands. By 1937, he was promoted to superintendent of the Pennsylvania Division and served a term as president of the Railway Club of Pittsburgh. He was appointed in 1942 as general manager of the Central Region, but in an unusual twist sought approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission to hold a position with the Joliet and Chicago Railroad, perhaps as it was a subsidiary of the B&O. After a career of 51 years, he retired as Central Region general manager on Sept. 30, 1948, succeeded by John Edwards Jr.

  • Granddaughter Edna L. Beltz (1901-1988?) was born on Nov. 19, 1901. During the decade of the 1920s, she was married, but then by 1930 was divorced and residing with her father and stepmother in Connellsville, Fayette County. Circa 1959, at the death of her brother, she was in Miami. She is thought to be the same Edna L. Beltz who died at the age of 87, in Dade County, FL, just three days before Christmas 1988.
  • Grandson Paul W. Beltz (1904-1959) was born in about 1904. He was united in wedlock with Marjorie ( ? - ? ). They are not believed to have reproduced. He went to work for Swift and Company in 1926. He served as district sales manager in Pittsburgh followed by sales positions in Chicago (1950) and New York. When named to the newly created Chicago role, he was pictured in the Chicago Tribune, with the accompanying article saying he would oversee seven branch sales offices in Chicago as well as ones in Gary, Calumet City, Joliet and Forest City. He died suddenly in Chicago at the age of 55 in May 1959. Burial was in Chicago, with obituaries published in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Connellsville newspapers. The family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Heart Fund.

Son George Francis Beltz (1883-1913) was born on Sept. 12, 1883 in Canton, Stark County, OH. As a young man, he obtained employment as a railroad brakeman and lived in Hazelwood and later at 5221 Second Avenue in Glenwood. Employed as a passenger brakeman with the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, he was a member of the Joppa lodge of the Masons and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen No. 321. He married Elizabeth O'Shea (May 28, 1884-1958), a native of Braddock near Pittsburgh, and the daughter of Cornelius and Anna (Fitzpatrick) O'Shea. They had one known son, Arthur Joseph Beltz. Tragically, while traveling between Enon Valley and Petersburg, PA, George was critically injured when he was thrown from a moving automobile and was rushed to Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital. With a fractured skull, septic meningitis quickly set in and he died four days later at the age of 29 on July 19, 1913. A death notice was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His friend Charles P. Neff also lost his life in the same accident. George rests in Homestead Cemetery in Munhall. Elizabeth lived for many more years and made a home with her son in Stockdale, Washington County. She endured further heartache when her son Arthur, unemployed at age 36, died of pulmonary tuberculosis on Dec. 1, 1940, with burial in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Lawrenceville. Elizabeth spent her final years at 2112 Sidney Street in Pittsburgh. Stricken by a cerebral hemorrhage, she was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital in early August 1958 and died two weeks later on Aug. 18, 1958. She is interred in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery. Helen Lohstoeter of 119 North Aiken Avenue signed the death certificate.

  • Grandson Arthur Joseph Beltz (1904-1940) was born in about 1904. Unemployed at age 36, he died of pulmonary tuberculosis on Dec. 1, 1940, with burial in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Lawrenceville


~ Son William K. Beltz ~

Son William K. Beltz (1857- ? ) was born in about 1857. Nothing more is known.


~ Daughter Hannah Elizabeth (Beltz) Comp ~

Daughter Hannah Elizabeth Beltz (1858-1948) was born on March 13, 1858 in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County.

In about 1879 or 1880, she was united in wedlock with a cousin, Daniel E. Comp (Dec. 13, 1858-1953), son of Samuel and Lucy Comp of Somerset County.

They were the parents of Musser Elmer Comp, Dr. Luetta Kensinger and Olen A. Comp

In 1892, they left Bedford County and relocated to a new home in rural Barberton, Summit County, OH, where they remained for the next 56 years. Daniel earned a living as a self-employed carpenter and building contractor. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the family lived in Barberton, with him continuing his work in carpentry. That year, 35-year-old John Schanfel was a lodger in their residence.

Daniel also was active in local politics and circa 1901 ran for the elected position of councilman in Barberton.

Their address in 1907 was on Hopocan Avenue and in the 1940s along the Hametown-Richfield Road.

Hannah was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 89 on Jan. 27, 1948. Interment was in Lakewood Cemetery in Akron.

Daniel lived for another five years as a widower. The last three of those years was in the Summit Nursing Home in Akron. He died there from the effects of hypertension and heart disease on Jan. 28, 1953. A death notice in the Akron Beacon Journal said that Rev. H.H. Creager officiated at the funeral service. Olen Comp was the informant for the death certificate.

Son Musser Elmer Comp (1880-1963) was born in Aug. 1880 in Bedford County, PA. He joined his parents in a move to Barberton, Summit County, OH in about 1892. As a young man, in the early 1920s, he enjoyed bowling and playing pool and set records for competitions at the Mckenna Alleys. At the same time, he was a machinist for the Pittsburgh Valve Company. While operating a lathe one day in April 1905, his hand was caught in the machinery, crushing one of his fingers, which had to be amputated. Reported the Akron Beacon Journal, "Comp has just purchased a new rubber bowling ball and intended to beak some of the records held at the McKenna alleys this week. The unfortunate accident, however, will disable him from completing his work in the pool tourney as well as in the bowling contests," He continued his career for years as a machinist and tool and die maker. They moved again to Nashville, MI and then in 1924 relocated again to Hastings, Barry County, MI. Reported the Battle Creek (MI) Enquirer, he "worked for Hastings Mfg. Co. as a tool and die maker for 25 years, then four years for Chenoweth Machine Shop." He married Hortense Fisher 1887 -1937), and they were the parents of a son, Harold Comp. In 1937, their address in Hastings was 418 East High Street. Hortense belonged to the Delton Maccabee Hive. Grief cascaded over the family when Hortense suffered a long illness and died at the age of 50 on the next to last day of 1937. An obituary in the Enquirer noted that her survivors included brothers Ernest Fisher and Edward Fisher and sisters Mrs. R.O. Pratt and Jennie Fisher. Rev. B.J. Adcock presided over the funeral service, with burial in Lakeview Cemetery in Nashville. A little less than two years later, on Sept. 3, 1939, the 59-year-old Musser was joined in wedlock with 19-year-old Florence McClelland (1920- ? ), daughter of Daisy B. (Long) McClelland. The ceremony was held in Indiana. He was four decades older than his bride. They lived in Hastings at 538 North Boltwood Street and were members of Grace Lutheran Church, where he served as vice president of the congregation. Evidence suggests that they bore two more sons, Jack Comp and Larry Comp. Musser died at Pennock Hospital at the age of 82 on May 25, 1963. He was survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Florence outlived her husband by many years.

  • Grandson Harold Comp was in Grand Rapids, MI in 1963.
  • Grandson Jack Comp (1939- ? ) was born in about 1939 in Hastings, Barry County, MI. He resided in Gull Lake, MI in the early 1960s.
  • Grandson Larry Comp dwelled in Hastings, MI.

Daughter Luetta Comp (1883-1972) was born on Feb. 25, 1883 in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County, PA and moved to Ohio as a girl. Her name often was misspelled "Louetta" - "Loretta" - and "Lutta." On Feb. 26, 1907, when at the age of 24, she was joined in marriage with William Kensinger (Jan. 27, 1881- ? ), son of Ephraim and Mary (Witters) Kensinger of Barberton, Summit County, OH. Rev. E.L.T. Engers officiated, with the news made public in the Akron Beacon Journal. The couple did not reproduce. The United States Census of 1910 shows the couple in Norton, Summit County, with William working as fireman in the boiler industry. Under their roof that year were 22-year-old Samuel Ayers and 23-year-old Mabel A. Kensinger. During the 1910s, they both became chiropractors, with William graduating from the Palmer School of Chiropractic. The wife and husband established a general practice in Wadsworth, Medina County, OH. He advertised in the Medina Sentinel that he would be in Seville, OH on the mornings of every Tuesday and Friday to see patients. The rest of the weekdays, he and Luetta saw patients in Wadsworth in the Albricht Building. Sadly, William died during the decade of the 1920s. Details are not yet known. The widowed Louetta continued her chiropractic medicine business in Wadsworth as of 1930. She made a home in Akron in 1963. She died in Barberton on May 15, 1972, at the age of 89.

Son Olen A. Comp (1886-1961) was born in Oct. 1886 in Gambier, Knox County, OH. He was united in holy matrimony with Clara E. ( ? - ? ). Their three offspring were Andrew Comp, Frederick Comp and Esther Wayne. They lived in Barberton at the address of 349 East Tuscarawas Avenue. In 1953, he is known to have signed his father's death certificate. He specialized in industrial painting. He first became employed by Pittsburgh Valve Company. Later, he spent 26 years working for the Columbia-Southern Chemical Division of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. Said the Akron Beacon Journal, he "also served several years as a Barberton adult school patrolman." They were members of the First Lutheran Church of Barberton. He died on May 26, 1961 at the age of 73 as a patient in Barberton's Citizens Hospital. He was pictured in nn obituary in the Beacon Journal, which said that Rev. Ronald Homrighausen officiated at the funeral, held in the family church, with interment in Crown Hill Cemetery.

  • Grandson Andrew Comp lived in Norwalk, CA circa 1961.
  • Grandson Frederick Comp relocated to Sacramento, CA and was there in 1961.
  • Granddaughter Esther Comp wedded (?) Wayne ( ? - ? ). Her home in 1961 was in San Diego.


~ Son Lewis Valentine Beltz ~

Son Lewis Valentine Beltz (1860- ? ) was born on May 4, 1860 in Bedford County, PA. At age 20, in 1880, he lived with his parents and helped on the family farm.

He eventually married Mary E. Hillegass (April 15, 1859-1941), daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Suters) Hillegas of New Buena Vista, Bedford County. Circa 1905, they left Buffalo Mills and relocated to a farm near Lima, Stark County, OH, where he spent the remaining years of their lives.

Mary was burdened for several decades with heart disease. After breaking her hip in July 1941, her health plunged and she died at the age of 82 on Oct. 8, 1941.

In the early 1950s, Lewis made a home on the Limaville-New Baltimore Road. Sadly, suffering from heart disease and cancer of the nose, Lewis died at the age of 91 on May 27, 1951. His remains were placed into repose in Fairmount Memorial Park in Alliance, OH.


~ Son John C. Beltz ~

Son John C. Beltz (1863- ? ) was born in about 1863.

By the late 1890s, he relocated to New York State and made a home in North Tonawanda, Niagara County. He worked there as a wholesale tobacco merchant for decades.

In about 1897, when he would have been age 32, he was united in holy wedlock with Frederica C. (May 1870- ? ), a New York native whose parents were German immigrants.

The couple produced at least four daughters, Grace E. Beltz, Edna Beltz, Laura I. Beltz and Marguerite E. Beltz.

John's tobacco store was located at 78 Webster Street in North Tonawanda. Their home circa 1920 was on Thompson Street. Circa 1930, census records show John superintending his store, with Fredericka working there as a sales lady. That year, daughter Laura was a local public school teacher.

Sadly, John died during the decade of the 1930s.

Fredericka maintained her home as a widow in North Tonawanda. Sometime during the '30s, her divorced daughter Grace Washburn and sons John and Frederick moved into her household.

Daughter Grace E. Beltz (1898- ? ) was born in 1898 in Niagara County. At the age of two, in 1900, she and her pet dogs were pictured in a feature in the Buffalo Courier. She was joined in marriage with (?) Washburn ( ? - ? ). The couple bore two sons, John Washburn and Frederick Washburn. Census records for 1930 show the family in Gouverneur, Saint Lawrence County, NY, with Roger working as an oil salesman at a gasoline station. The couple divorced by 1935, and Grace and her sons moved into the home of her widowed mother.

  • Grandson John R. Washburn (1926- ? ) was born in about 1926.
  • Grandson Frederick Washburn (1931- ? ) was born in about 1931.

Daughter Edna Beltz (1902- ? ) was born in about 1902 in North Tonawanda, Niagara County.

Daughter Laura Beltz (1904- ? ) was born in about 1904 in North Tonawanda, Niagara County. At the age of 26, in 1930, she was a public school teacher in North Tonawanda.

Daughter Marguerite Beltz (1909- ? ) was born in about 1909 in North Tonawanda, Niagara County.


~ Son Adam Claudius Beltz ~

Son Adam Claudius Beltz (1869- ? ) was born on June 17, 1869 in Bedford County, PA.

He was twice married. The identity of his first bride is unknown, but he is known to have married her when he was age 28.

In 1904, when he would have been age 45, he lived in Buffalo, NY. That year, with his father's health in decline, he returned home to see him one final time. After returning to Buffalo, he received word of his father's death, but could not arrange to attend the funeral service.

He was employed as a salesman circa 1915 and made his residence in or near Wheatfield, North Tenawanda Township, Niagara County, NY.

At the age of 46, on Sept. 2, 1915, Adam wedded his second wife, 45-year-old Laura May (Harden) Postle (1871- ? ), the daughter of Jobe and Rachel (Beck) Harden. The nuptials were held in Gambier, Knox County, OH, officiated by Rev. George F. Smythe.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1920, Adam and Laura resided in Wheatfield, NY. That year, he operated a cigar store.

Circa 1927, he and his brother John both dwelled in North Tonawanda. Census records for 1930 show Adam working as a salesman for a confectionary firm, and Laura listed as his business partner.


~ Son Solomon Elmer Beltz ~

Son Solomon Elmer Beltz (1869-1946) was born on Nov. 7, 1869 in Dry Ridge, Bedford County. 

He was joined in marriage with Emma Belle Hyde (Sept. 22, 1874-1922), daughter of Emanuel and Margaret (Hillegass) Hyde of Bedford County.

In about 1903, they relocated to Lima, Stark County, OH where they spent the balance of their lives.

Solomon earned a living as a grocery store clerk.

The Grim Reaper cut away Emma Belle at the age of 47 on June 8, 1922 due to intestinal tuberculosis.

The widowed Solomon lived on Jefferson Street in the mid-1940s. Solomon was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and died a week later on May 6, 1946. Floyd Beltz of Lima signed the official Ohio certificate of death. Burial was with his bride in Limaville Cemetery.


Copyright 2000, 2011, 2015-2019 Mark A. Miner