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Christena (Emerick) Burkett


Comp's Cemetery


Christena "Tena" (Emerick) Burkett was born on Nov. 15, 1833 at Kennell Mills, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Jonathan and Rachel (Sturtz) Emerick Sr.

On Nov. 1, 1853, when she was age 20, Christena married 21-year-old Jacob "Adam" Burkett (1832-1911), son of Jacob and Catherine (Shirer) Burkett, also spelled "Burket." He was a native of Londonderry Township, Bedford County, PA. The ceremony was held in Southampton Township, performed by justice of the peace George Walker, but with no other witnesses. A record of the marriage was written on a piece of paper measuring 3.5 inches by 6.75 inches, the only known written documentation of the event.

Adam stood 5 feet, 7½ inches tall, weighed 125 lbs, had a light complexion and brown eyes.

The couple produced eight children, among them Emma Louise Lepley, Margaret "Maggie" Korns, Melinda "Linnie" Brady, William Jefferson Burket, Rachel "Elizabeth" Kennell Tipton, Elizabeth Burket, John Adam Burket and Charles Edward Burkett.

Adam served in the U.S. Army for nine months during the Civil War as a member of the 171st Pennsylvania Drafted Militia, Company H, commanded by John Bierer. Among Christena's distant cousins also serving in the 171st Pennsylvania were Jesse Gaumer, Henry A. Miner and Charles Rose. He is believed to have joined others in deserting the regiment on Nov. 22, 1862 but eventually returned. Upon expiration of his service, he was honorably discharged at Harrisburg on Aug. 8, 1863.

The Burketts dwelled in Maryland from about 1863 to 1883, then returned to Somerset County. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Burketts made their home in East Frostburg, known at the time as "Pompey Smash" and today as Vale Summit, in Allegany County. There, he earned a living as a coal miner. The unusual name of their community is believed to have been traced to a slave who once crashed a wagonload of coal.

For decades, their postal address of their home farm was alternately considered as in Southampton Township, Somerset County or just over the state line in Ellerslie, north of LaVale and Cumberland, Allegany County, MD.

Friend Andew Kennell once wrote that he and the Burketts "visited each other quite frequently and we worked together...." Friend Jacob Burkett noted that he had "been with them many times and they worked together and he lived and kept house of my own in the same house with him...."


Coal company named after the town where Christena spent her last years


In 1890, suffering from wartime ailments, Adam filed for a soldier's pension which he began receiving on Sept. 9, 1890. [Invalid App. #905.218 - Cert. #702.387] He claimed to have felt lameness in his right foot in 1864, which pained him all the way up to the hip; theumatism in 1870; "catarrh" of the head (sinus) in 1886; and lung disease in 1910. Their address in 1902 was Gladdens, Somerset County. The amount of pension payment he received monthly in 1908 was $20.

In 1910, the federal census shows the Burketts in Somerset County, with 35-year-old unmarried son Charles living at home and providing farm labor. Stricken with pneumonia and la grippe, he died at the age of 78 years, four months and 10 days on Feb. 18, 1911.

Widowed at the age of 78, Christena lived for another 11 years in Kennels Mills, Somerset County. She was awarded her late husband's pension as his lawful widow. [Widow App. #960.653 - Cert. 722.778] Among those friends who stepped forward to provide supporting testmimony were Ancrew Kennell and Jacob Burkett.

She died on May 15, 1922 at the age of 89. No physician was in attendance. Son-in-law Millard Lepley of Ellerslie, MD signed the death certificate. Burial was in the Comp's Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republican, which said she was survived by two sons and four daughters. In the early 1930s, laborers with the Works Progress Administration recorded the words and dates on their grave marker.


~ Daughter Emma Louise (Burkett) Lepley ~

Daughter Emma Louise Burkett (1855-1934) was born on Feb. 5, 1855.

She was united in matrimony with Millard Lepley (Oct. 10, 1856-1934), son of Valentine and Maria (Baker) Lepley. He appears to have been named for the popular President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, who had served from 1850 to 1853.

The couple together bore 10 known offspring -- among them Nellie Kennell, Burton "Bert" Lepley, Oren Lepley, Dory Lepley, Laura Lepley, Freda Lepley, Florence Lepley, Troy Lepley and William Lepley.

Early in the marriage, circa 1880, the couple made a residence with Millard's parents in Southampton Township. Millard was elected as a township inspector in 1880 and 1884. The pair moved to a number of nearby communities over the years, including Napier (1910), Friedens (1911), Kennell's Mill (1921) and Fairhope (1930). Millard earned a living in 1900 as a laborer in a local brickyard. Millard is known to have hired Emma Louise's nephew Frank Brady to work at their home in the winter of 1921.

By 1930, all of the children had left home to pursue their lives, and the Lepleys were empty-nesters. A freak accident occurred in June 1933 when Millard fell and was badly hurt while feeding chickens. He was unable to walk and was confined to bed. In time he was up and able to walk with a cane but then fell again and  was re-injured.

In mid-July 1933, she was diagnosed with cancer of both breasts and underwent surgery. Upon her return home, she was "very much improved in health," said the Meyersdale Republican. She endured her illness for seven months, but there was no hope. She succumbed to death at the age of 79 on Feb. 20, 1934. D.D. Lepley signed the official Pennsylvania death certificate. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican reported that she had passed at home "after a long illness." Interment was in the Lepley Cemetery near Kennell's Mill and Wellersburg.

The widowed Millard only outlived his bride by six months. Having been admitted to the Somerset County Home and Hospital, where he was treated for diabetes, he passed into the arms of eternity on Oct. 19, 1934.

Daugher Nellie Lepley (1880- ? ) was born in Dec. 1880. She was joined in wedlock with Crist Kennell. Their residence was in Boswell, Somerset County.

Son Burton "Bert" Lepley made a home in the early 1930s in Boswell, Somerset County. He was the father of Charles Lepley and Burton Lepley Jr. He appears to have relocated in about 1932 to the steel mill town of Homestead, near Pittsburgh.

Son Oren Lepley (1888- ? ) was born in about 1888. He lived in Boswell, Somerset County.


Cumberland, MD, home to generations of the Sturtz-Emerick family


Son Dory Lepley (1885- ? ) was born in about 1885. He was married and dwelled in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. They enjoyed regular visits to his parents back home.

Daughter Laura Lepley (1890- ? ) was born in about 1890. She relocated to Geistown near Johnstown, Cambria County, PA.

Son Freda Lepley (1893- ? ) was born in about 1893. She married (?) Orris. The pair were the parents of at least two offspring. They resided in 1922 in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA.

Son Florence Lepley (1895- ? ) was born in about 1895. Florence migrated to Massachusetts and was there in 1934.

Son Troy E. Lepley (1896- ? ) was born in about 1896. He moved to Pittsburgh.

Son William C. Lepley (1899- ? ) was born in about 1899. He relocated to Pittsburgh.


~ Daughter Melinda "Linnie" (Burkett) Brady ~

Daughter Melinda "Linnie" Burkett (1856-1942) was born in Jan. 1856.

In about 1877, when she would have been 20 years of age, she entered into marriage with Owen Brady (Dec. 1852-1940).

The couple dwelled in 1900 in the Ocean District of Allegany County, MD, where Owen labored as a plasterer. Later, they moved across the state line to Fairhope, Somerset County.

Eight children produced by this union were Hilda Caldwell, John Brady, Francis "Frank" Brady, Thomas Brady, Charles Brady, Mrs. Berman Carpenter, Lily Walker and Minnie Eck Paugh.

Toward the end, Owen went to live with his married daughter Mrs. Geoffrey Caldwell at 206 Maryland Avenue in Cumberland. He died there at the age of 87 on Feb. 3, 1940. An obituary was published in the Cumberland News, which said that his survivors were counted as six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Melinda joined him in death two years later in 1942. The couple sleep together in Hyndman Cemetery.

Son John Brady (1878- ? ) was born in Dec. 1878. He worked in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA in 1922. He resided in Kennell's Mill, PA in 1940.

Son Francis "Frank" Brady (1880-1961) was born in May 1880 in Fairhope, Somerset County. Circa 1921, he was named in the gossip columns of the Meyersdale Republican when hired to work at the home of his uncle Millard Lepley near Kennell's Mill. Within the year he relocated to work in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA and was there in 1922. He lived in 1940 in Kennell's Mill, PA. As his health declined, he was admitted as a patient to Memorial Hospital in Cumberland. Death cut him away there at the age of 81 on Dec. 7, 1961. The remains were lowered into the sacred earth of Comp's Cemetery, with Rev. J.L. Tenny preaching the funeral service at Comp's Church. His obituary appeared in the Cumberland News.

Daughter Mary Brady (1881- ? ) was born in Dec. 1881.

Daughter Lily/Lillie Brady (1883- ? ) was born in Aug. 1883. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Brown. The Browns resided in 1917 in Cumberland. Eventually she married again to J.S. Walker ( ? - ? ). The Walkers migrated to Cleveland, OH and remained there as of 1969.

Son Thomas Brady (1886?-1954) was born in Oct. 1886. He made his home in Cumberland, MD in 1924. In time he relocated to Cleveland, OH. Tragedy struck on May 28, 1954, when the 67-year-old Thomas was killed "instantly ... in a hit and run accident," reported the Cumberland News. His sister Minnie Paugh and niece Ronelda Sapp traveled from Cumberland to attend the funeral service.

Son Charles H. Brady (1890- ? ) was born in March 1890. He was employed in 1922 in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA and in Cumberland, MD in 1924. He joined the U.S. Army and in 1940 was deployed to the Philippines. After leaving the military, he established his residence in Brooklyn, NY, and is known to have been there in 1961-1966.

Daughter (?) Brady married Berman Carpenter. They planted themselves by 1917 in Hyndman, Bedford County.

Daughter Minnie Lee Brady (1895-1969) was born on Feb. 10, 1895 or 1896. She was married twice over the years. She first was united in matrimony with John Eck (1885- ? ). The Ecks dwelled in Fairhope, Somerset County, and in 1920 their 10-year-old nephew Cecil Perdew was in their household. John is known to have worked circa 1922 in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA. In time, she was united in the bonds of marriage with Oliver C. Paugh ( ? - ? ), at times misspelled as "Pugh." In about 1954, she moved to Keyser, Mineral County, WV. In her later years she was burdened with diabetes, an enlarged thyroid and hardening of the arteries. Minnie surrendered to death at the age of 73, at home, on Oct. 21, 1969. The Cumberland News carried an obituary. Her remains were transported to Cumberland for a viewing and thence into Pennsylvania for burial in Hyndman, Bedford County.

Daughter Hilda Brady (1899-1966) was born on March 9, 1899 in Fairhope, Somerset County. She was wedded twice. Her first husband was (?). Together, they bore two daughters, Ronelda Sapp and Mrs. Shirley Ward Irons. Later, she was joined in marriage with Geoffrey/Godfrey Arthur Caldwell ( ? -1962), son of Joseph Caldwell of Pratt, MD. The couple's address in 1940 was 206 Maryland Avenue in Cumberland, MD. By 1962, they had moved to another address on the same street, 304 Marland Avenue. Geoffrey earned a living through his work as a mechanic for the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company, a position from which he eventually retired. He belonged the local aerie of the Eagles. Sadness blanketed the family when Geoffrey passed into eternity on May 12, 1962. His funeral was conducted by Rev. Jacob Snyder, with burial following in Hyndman Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Cumberland News. Hilda continued to live as a widow in Cumberland at 19 Humbird Street. She suffered from that time with hardening of the arteries and bronchial asthma. While in Centerville, Cumberland Valley Township, Bedford County, she was stricken with a massive heart attack and died instantly at age 67 on June 6, 1966. Rev. Ervin W. Mason Sr., of the Cumberland Valley Assembly of God Church, presided over the funeral. An obituary in the News said her survivors included three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

  • Granddaughter Ronelda married George Sapp. She was in Cumberland, MD in 1962.
  • Granddaughter Shirley wedded (?) Ward. Her home in 1962 was in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. By 1966, her married name was "Irons," and she resided in Cumberland, MD.


~ Daughter Mary Margaret (Burkett) Korns ~


Cook Cemetery, Wellersburg

Daughter Mary Margaret "Maggie" Burkett (1858-1933) was born on Jan. 29, 1858 in Vale Summit, Allegany County, MD, a small coal mining community south of Frostburg and Eckhart Mines.

In 1887, when she was about the age of 29, she is believed to have been united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Jacob Albert Korns (Sept. 1859 -1918?).

The Korns family made their home in neighboring Fayette County, PA in 1896 -- then moved to Sand Patch, Larimer Township, where they resided in 1900 -- and later migrated to Southampton Township, Somerset County.

The couple's seven known offspring were A. Clayton Korns, M. Joseph Korns, M. Orpha Korns, Cynthia Korns, Mahlon Korns, Commodore "Dewey" Korns and Sherman Korns.

Jacob earned a living as a teamster in 1900, working in and around Sand Patch near Meyersdale. The federal census enumeration of 1910 shows the family in Southampton Township, living next door to Margaret's aged parents. At that time, Jacob labored on the home farm, assisted in the never-ending work by his 15-year-old son Mahlon. In February 1911, Margaret is known to have been present with her aged father when he died.

Sadly, Jacob succumbed to death in 1918, at the age of about 59. The details have not yet been discovered.

His widow lived on for 15 more years and remained in or around Gladdens, Southampton Township. When the United States Census counts were made in 1920 and 1930, Margaret shared her home with her bachelor sons Mahlon and Sherman. Circa 1920, Margaret's eight-year-old granddaughter Eva (or "Emma") was in the household. At the death of Margaret's mother in 1922, she received a bequest of $25 in cash from the estate.

The 1930 census shows Mahlon earning income as a laborer at odd jobs and Sherman appearing to manage the home farm. Suffering from chronic heart disease, Margaret's health began to plummet in the spring of 1933. A gossip column notice in the Meyersdale Republican said she was "on the sick list."

She passed away at the age of 75 on April 21, 1933. Funeral services were held in the family home, conducted by Rev. Evans. Burial was in Cook Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Republican. Inscribed at the top of their grave marker are the words "Meet me in Heaven."

Son A. Clayton Korns (1888-1936) was born in April 1888. He was married and the father of two sons, Elwood Korns and Luther Korns. In young manhood he dwelled in Gladdens, Southampton Township and is known to have made money hauling lumber to nearby Ellerslie, MD. Circa June 1911, when he would have been age 23, he migrated to Akron, OH to work in one of the city's large rubber factories. But in the late summer, "owing to the approach of the dull season for rubber tires," reported the Meyersdale Republican, he returned home as his services "were no longer needed." As his health failed, he was admitted to Cumbeland's Allegany Hospital, where he slipped away in Feb. 1936. An obituary in the Republican said that his remains were lowered under the sod in Cook Cemetery near Wellersburg.

  • Grandson Elwood Korns was in Corriganville, MD in 1936.
  • Grandson Luther Korns dwelled in 1936 in Corriganville, MD.

Son M. Joseph Korns (1889- ? ) was born in July 1889. His home in 1933 was in Stringtown, PA and in 1936 was in Ellerslie, MD.

Daughter M. Orpha Korns (1891-1924) was born on April 27, 1891. She appears not to have been married. During the winter of 1924, Orpha became seriously ill. A Feb. 7, 1924 article in the gossip columns of the Meyersdale Republican noted that she was "still on the sick list." Death overtook her at the age of 32 on Feb. 19, 1924. Burial of her remains was in Cook Cemetery near Wellersburg. No obituary is known to have been printed.


Brother and sister graves, Cook Cemetery, Wellersburg


Daughter Cynthia Korns (1892- ? ) was born in Dec. 1892. She entered into wedlock with Wesley Eugene Llewellyn ( ? -1976), son of Elijah H. and Julia (Keiling) Lewellyn of Gilmore, MD. Wesley served in the U.S. Army during World War I. The couple established a home in Rawlings, MD where they were dairy farmers and held a membership in the Cumberland Gospel Hall. Upon retirement, circa 1976, they dwelled along Bedford Road in Cumberland. They were the parents of nine -- Evelyn E. Vought Muhr, Nellie Lohr, Margaret Claycomb, Mary Swanger, Edmund E. "Gene" Llewellyn, William W. Llewellyn, James R. "Bob" Llewellyn, Russell "Dave" Llewellyn and Joseph H. Llewellyn. Sadness cascaded over the family when Wesley, hospitalized at Sacred Heart Hospital in Cumberland, passed away at the age of 82 on March 28, 1976. An obituary in the Cumberland News said that Evangelist Robert I. Surgenor would preach, with burial in Sunset Memorial Park, and that pallbearers included William Knieriem, William Deatelhauser, Earl Harrison, Clarence U. Llewellyn, Granville Collins and Robert Delozier. He was survived by 23 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Evelyn E. Llewellyn ( ? -2000) was twice-wed. Her first spouse was Lloyd Vought. Her second husband was G. Herbert Muhr Sr. She did not reproduce with either husband, but became the step-mother of G. Herbert Korns Jr. and Rita Kiernan. Evelyn passed away on March 5, 2000. Her obituary was printed in the Baltimore Sun. Burial was in Lorraine Park Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Nellie Llewellyn married (?) Lohr. Her home in 1976 was in Frostburg, MD.
  • Granddaughter Margaret Llewellyn wedded (?) Claycomb. The couple relocated to Lorain, OH.
  • Granddaughter Mary Llewellyn was joined in matrimony with (?) Swanger. She was in Cumberland in the mid-1970s.
  • Grandson Edmund E. "Gene" Llewellyn was in Bedford Valley, PA in 1976.
  • Grandson William W. Llewellyn dwelled in Rawlings, MD.
  • Grandson James R. "Bob" Llewellyn made his home along Bedford Road, Cumberland.
  • Grandson Russell "Dave" Llewellyn put down roots in Bedford Valley, PA.
  • Grandson Joseph H. Llewellyn lived along Bedford Road in Cumberland.


Mahlon Korns' workplace, Kelly-Springfield Tire in Cumberland, MD


Son Mahlon Korns (1895-1976) was born on Oct. 5, 1895 in Wellersburg, Southampton County, PA. He grew up on the home farm in the township and, in 1910, at the age of 15, worked as a farm laborer. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I. After the completion of his service, he earned a living through employment at Kelly-Springfield Tire Company and Cumberland Cement and Supply Company, both located across the state border in Cumbeland, MD. He was unmarried and resided at home in the mid-1930s. He was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Altoona, PA and died there at the age of 81 in Nov. 1976. An obituary appeared in the Meyersdale Republican and Bedford County Press, which noted that Rev. Kenneth L. Korns preached the funeral sermon. The remains lie in eternal repose in Palo Alto Cemetery near Hyndman.

Son Commodore "Dewey" Korns (1896-1953) was born on May 27, 1896/1897 in Fayette County, PA. Hee is believed to have been named for Commodore George Dewey, a U.S. naval hero at the Battle of Manila in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. He married Ethel Arzula Mostoller Ringler (Nov. 6, 1897-1991), daughter of Albert and Clara (Mostoller) Ringler of Somerset Township, Somerset County, PA. Together, the couple produced three offspring -- Woodrow Korns, Thurman Korns and Audrey Buchanan. He was in Berlin, Somerset County in 1933. He relocated to Somerset, the seat of Somerset County, PA, where he lived in 1936, and thence to Friedens, Somerset County, as of the early 1950s. His occupation over the years was coal mining. Ethel was a member of the Assembly of God Church in Midlothian, MD. Grief enveloped the family when Dewey was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and admitted to Somerset Community Hospital. Four days later, death cut him away at the age of 56 on Sept. 8, 1953. Thurman Korns of Stoystown, Somerset County signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. The remains were interred in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Stoystown. Obituaries were published in the Bedford Gazette and Somerset Daily American, and a short death notice in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Ethel outlived her spouse and in the mid-1950s made a home in College Park, MD. Then in 1955, she relocated to the West Coast, settling in Gardena, Los Angeles County, CA. She spent several months during the early summer of 1957 visiting with her children in Somerset County before flying home. In time she returned to Somerset for good. She was admitted to Somerset Hospital and died there at the age of 93 on March 27, 1991. Rev. Thomas A. Topar led the funeral service, with burial in the Odd Fellows Cemetery of Stoystown, and an obituary printed in the Somerset Daily American. Her survivors included 10 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

  • Grandson Woodrow J. Korns (1916-1994) was born on July 17, 1916 in Frostburg, MD. He was joined in matrimony with Betty Eileen Yoder ( ? -1975). Their family of children were James Korns, Becky Korns, Malinda Whitley and Jack Korns. During World War II, Woodrow served in the U.S. Navy. He went on to a career as a coal miner and certified welder and pipefitter. He belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Somerset and the Jennerstown Road and Gun Club. The family dwelled in Somerset, PA. Sadly, Betty Eileen died in 1975. Woodrow's final years were spent in Boswell, Somerset County. The spectre of death spirited him away at home at the age of 78 on Oct. 17, 1994. The remains were cremated. His obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American. His survivors included 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
  • Grandson Thurman Dewey Korns (1930-2021) was born on Jan. 14, 1930 in Lincoln Township. He was united in wedlock with Darlene "Fay" Lambert ( ? -2003). They made their home for decades in Stoystown, Somerset County and were the parents of Daniel Korns, David L. Korns, Michael T. Korns and Jacqueline A. Eppler. Sadly, son Daniel died in infancy. Thurman was employed with Wilson Freight Company and Walter's Tire Service and belonged to the Teamsters Union. Deeply interested in his community, he held a term as president of the Wells Creek Watershed Association and as treasurer of the Stonycreek Conemaugh River Improvement Project. He was a board director of the Somerset County Conservancy and chaired the Water Resources Committee of the Southern Alleghenies Resource Conservation and Development Council. The family held a membership in St. Mark Lutheran Church of Shanksville, where he served on the church board and was a lay reader. Thurman liked to bowl in his free time. Sadly, Fay succumbed to death on Jan. 17, 2003. Toward the end, Thurman went to live in The Grove at Harmony. He passed away there at the age of 90 on Oct. 28, 2020. A celebration of his life was not held until July 2021, when his remains were placed into repose in Lambertsville Cemetery.

Great-grandson David L. Korns ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 2020.

Great-grandson Michael T. Korns married Leslie. The couple was in New Kensington, PA in 2020.

Great-granddaughter Jacqueline Korns wedded Walter Eppler. Circa 2020, they were in Cranberry Township, Butler County, PA.

  • Granddaughter Audrey Korns married Vernon Buchanan. They were in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA in 1953. By 1991, they had migrated cross-state to Fairless Hills, Bucks County, PA.

Son Sherman Korns (1902- ? ) was born in about 1902. A bachelor in 1933, he appears to have managed his mother's farm at that time. He may have remained on the home farm for decades. In 1976, he was named in the obituary of his brother Mahlon.


~ Son William Jefferson Burkett ~

Son William Jefferson Burkett (1866-1955) was born on July 25, 1866 in Maryland.

In about 1889, at the age of 23, he entered into matrimony with Margaret Jane "Maggie" McFarland (March 1868-1928), daughter of John and Elizabeth J. (Loar) McFarland.

At least four offspring were born into this family -- Leah May Fatkin, Earl Burkett, William Carl Burkett and Della M. Scouler.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the Burketts dwelled in Vale Summit, Allegany County, MD, where he earned his wages as a coal miner. William continued his laborers as a miner into 1910, at which time his son Carl also worked as a coal miner.

By 1920, he had begun working for the Luke Paper Mills. Circa 1922, their home was in Pumpie, MD, thought actually to be East Frostburg, known at the time as "Pompey Smash" and today as Vale Summit, in Allegany County.

Sadly, Margaret Jane passed away in 1928. Interment was in Eckhart Mines Cemetery.

The 1930 federal census lists William as a coal miner and sharing a home in Eckhart Mines with son Earl and daughter-in-law Pearl. Eventually he relocated to Canton, Stark County, OH.

He died in Canton at the age of 89 on Sept. 19, 1955. His remains were transported back to Cumberland for burial in Eckhart Mines Cemetery. Officiating at the funeral service was Rev. Donald A. Vosseler, of the First English Baptist Church. A funeral notice was printed in the Cumberland News.


William Fatkin's obituary
Courtesy John Fazenbaker

Daughter Leah May Burkett (1889- ? ) was born on New Year's Eve 1889 in Loarville, Allegany County, MD. She was united in wedlock with William Gladstone Fatkin (March 21, 1887-1954), a native of Vale Summit, Allegany County, and the son of William and Betty (Long) Fatkin. William is believed to have been named for the famed William Ewart Gladstone, prime minister of Great Britain from 1868 to 1894. Together, the pair produced a brood of four children -- Kathryn Fatkin, William Marshall Fatkin, Louis A. Fatkin and Elaine Cheshire. William earned a living as a school teacher. Some of the schools where he taught in his early career were Cresaptown, Miller Mines, Loartown, Cumberland's East Side and Midland. The United States Census of 1920 shows the family in the village of Luke, Allegany County, along Bloomington Road, and with Leah's parents and unmarried sister Della under their roof. He served as principal of the Luke grade school for 35 years. He served a term as president of the Allegany County Elementary Schools Association and as president of the board of trustees of the Teachers Relief Fund of Allegany County. He was a talented piano player and taught privately in his free time. Their address in Luke was Mullen Avenue. On the fateful day of Sept. 2, 1954, while attending a board of stewards meeting in Trinity Church in Piedmont, Mineral County, WV, William suffered a heart attack and was dead in an hour. Reported the Cumberland News, "After he gave a brief talk concerning the Sunday School and church, he sat down and shortly afterward fell from his chair. A physician was summoned but he was reported dead before the doctor arrived." Rev. Clyde W. Ash officiated the funeral. Leah May survived for another 33 years as a widow. She succumbed to death at the age of 97, in Westernport, Allegany County, on June 19, 1987. Her remains were placed next to her husband's in the earth of Philos Cemetery in Westernport.

  • Granddaughter Kathryn M. Fatkin (1910-1984) was born in about 1910. She wedded Dr. Louis F. Ortenzio (1911-1972). They are believed to have been the parents of Dr. Louis F. Ortenzio Jr. Louis was employed circa 1951 in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, MD, managing its programs involving germicides and disinfectants. He obtained his doctorate in June 1951 from George Washington University. By 1954, he was in charge of the Center's bacteriological laboratory. Their home in 1954 was in Hyattsville, MD on the outskirts of Washington, DC, and in 1970 in College Park, MD. Louis died in 1972. Kathryn outlived him by a dozen years. She passed away in 1984. Son Louis was a 1979 graduate of University of Maryland School of Medicine. He married Doretta Talkington ( ? - ? ).
  • Grandson William "Marshall" Fatkin (1915-1970) was born in about 1915. He was joined in matrimony with Virginia Morgan ( ? - ? ), a native of Lonaconing, Allegany County. The couple were the parents of Marsha Ann Fatkin. Upon graduation from Bruce High School, he received degrees from Potomac State College and the University of Maryland. He then secured his master's degree from Columbia University in New York City. He served with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division during World War II and was posted to the European Theatre. Early in his professional career, Marshall taught school in the communities of Midland and Beall in Maryland. He belonged to the Cumberland lodge of the Masons and the Shrine, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Disabled American War Veterans and was named president of the Exchange Club. He was a talented musician and played saxophone for bands in and around Cumberland. As well, he often filmed racing action for TV Channel 9 at the Cumberland Sports Car Races. The family relocated circa 1954 to Steubenville, Jefferson County, OH, where he became a television reporter and weatherman for the WST-TV station. In Steubenville, he was elected president of the Cerebral Palsy League. Sadly, he died at the age of 54 in July 1970. His remains were shipped back to Westernport for a funeral mass held at St. Peter's Catholic Church. Pallbearers included George Angle, Ralph Biggs, Charles Clark, Frank Malloy, Pete Ross and William Smith. The body was interred in Sunset Memorial Park in Cumberland.
  • Grandson Louis A. Fatkin (1918-1993) was born in 1918. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II and first served with the Americal Division in the Pacific Theatre. Then in 1943 he was commissioned as a first lieutenant and transferred to the European Theatre, where he saw action in France and Germany. After the war, he received degrees from Potomac State College and the University of Maryland. He then received a law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. Louis was joined in marital union with Margaret B. ( ? - ? ). The couple produced three children -- Margaret W. Fatkin, Louis A. Fatkin Jr. and Norleah Fatkin. Louis established his practice in Cumberland in 1949, and the family dwelled in Westernport, MD in 1970. He is known to have been elected president of the Allegany County Bar Association in June 1974.
  • Granddaughter Betty Elaine Fatkin (1921-2010) was born in 1921. In young womanhood she graduated from Catherman's Business School in Cumberland and accepted employment in the business office of West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company. On Christmas Day 1941, at the Trinity Methodist Church in Cumberland, she married W. Garland Cheshire ( ? - ? ), daughter of James W. Cheshire of 110 West Hampshire Street in Piedmont, WV. Rev. James L. Robertson performed the nuptials. Reporting on the wedding, the Cumberland Evening Times said that the bride "wore pecan colored wool with mink trimmed hat and mink muff and yellow rose corsage." The wedding dinner was served in Romney, WV at the New Century Hotel. The newlyweds first resided in Westernport, MD. In the mid-1950s, they dwelled in Piedmont, Mineral County and in 1970 Betty was named as alive in the obituary of her brother Marshall..


West side of Cumberland, MD, looking toward the Narrows


Son Earl Burkett (1892-1968) was born in April 1892 in Maryland. He wedded Pearl (1898- ? ). They made a home in 1930 in Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, with Earl's father sharing the residence. At that time, Earl worked as a coal mine motorman and the father as a coal miner. Evidence hints that Earl may have married a second time to Elizabeth Posthethwait (1909- ? ). The Burketts relocated to Canton, Stark County. Earl died there in 1968. Burial was in Forest Hill Cemetery in Canton.

Son William "Carl" Burkett (1894-1963) was born in May 1894 in Maryland. Carl was united in matrmiony with Ethel Long (1896-1968). Together, the pair bore these children -- William Clifton Burkett, Milton Burkett, Howard Burkett, Ruth Alexander, William "Vernon" Burkett and Shirley Jean Piccari. As with his brother Earl, Carl moved to Canton, Stark County, OH in 1949. Sadly, Carl died in Canton's Aultman Hospital, after a stay of a month, at the age of 68 on Feb. 12, 1963. His remains were shipped back to Cumberland, and an obituary stated that he was survived by 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. The funeral was preached by Rev. Marvin Simpson of the English Baptist Church. Ethel lived for another five years. She was swept away by the angel of death in 1968. They sleep for all time in Vale Summit Methodist Church Cemetery in Allegany County.

  • Grandson William Clifton Burkett (1914-1989) did not move to Akron with his parents and remained in Cumberland.
  • Grandson Milton Burkett (1915-1992) established a home in Akron, OH.
  • Grandson Howard Burkett (1918-1974) resided in Akron, OH.
  • Granddaughter Ruth Burkett (1920-2015) married Frank Alexander. They dwelled in Canton in 1963.
  • Grandson William "Vernon" Burkett (1931-1997) was born on Sept. 4, 1931 in Frostburg, MD. He was in Canton circa 1963.
  • Granddaughter Shirley Jean Burkett (1936-2018) wedded Raymond Piccari. Circa 1963, they lived in Canton.

Daughter Della M. Burkett (1905- ? ) was born on Sept. 22, 1905. She entered into marriage with (?) Scouler ( ? - ? ). The couple migrated to Michigan and resided for years in Detroit. Della died at the age of 92, in Royal Oak Township, Oakland County, MI on Dec. 20, 1997.


~ Daughter Rachel "Elizabeth" (Burkett) Kennell Tipton ~

Daughter Rachel "Elizabeth" Burkett (1867-1968) was born on Sept. 21, 1867 in Eckhart, a coal mining town near Vale Summit and located between Frostburg and Claryville, Allegany County, MD.

She was twice-wed. Her first spouse, whom she married in about 1887, was Perry Kennell (Aug. 13, 1868-1911), son of Levi and Catherine (Beal) Kennell.

The couple were the parents of a dozen offspring -- William Kennell, Erdie V. Kennell, Lonie M. Kennell, Archie Calvin Kennell, Mina "Minnie" Kennell, Sidna Leora "Sindy" Troutman, Beulah A. Kennell and Melvin M. Kennell. Two other of the children were deceased by 1900.

When the censuses of 1900-1910 were made, Perry is shown as making a living as a brickyard laborer.

Sadly, Perry died on Nov. 20, 1911, with burial in Comp's Cemetery, but the details are not known.

Shortly after becoming widowed, she entered into marriage with Charles Tipton (Aug. 27, 1867-1918), son of Joseph and Emiline (Kiser) Tipton of Fairhope.

Charles worked as a laborer in a local brickyard. But burdened with tuberculosis, during the nationwide influenza epidemic of 1918, he was spirited away by death at the age of 50 on Jan. 14, 1918. His remains were lowered into the earth of Comp's Cemetery.

Elizabeth spent the remaining half-century of her life as a widow and endured the deaths of seven of her offspring. Her final years were spent in the household of her daughter Minnie Kennell. She marked her 100th birthday in September 1967 and was pictured in the Cumberland Evening Times.

She succumbed to death at the age of 100 on June 27, 1968. Interment was in Hillcrest Burial Park in Cumberland. The Cumberland News obituary said she was survived by 11 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great grandchildren. Presiding at her funeral service was Rev. Louis Emerick of Trinity Methodist Church. The remains were lowered under the sod of Hillcrest Burial Park.

Son William Kennell (1886- ? ) was born in Sept. 1886.

Son Erdie V. Kennell (1888- ? ) was born on Nov. 1888.

Daughter Lonie/Louie M. Kennell (1891- ? ) was born in June 1891.

Son Archie Calvin Kennell (1897-1967) was born in Aug. 1897 in Fairhope, Somerset County. He appears to have been married twice. On May 7, 1934, in Hyndman, Bedford County, he was united in matrimony with his first bride, Margaret ( ? - ? ). That union is believed to have resulted in four children -- Lawrence Kennell, Leo Kennell, Josephine Vontella and Peggy Kimble. Archie was employed for many years as a freight conductor with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Cumberland, MD. The marriage was toubled, and Margaret alleged that he had treated her with cruelty and had "cused and threatened her," reported the Cumberland News. Margaret was granted a "partial" divorce in Allegany County Circuit Court in May 1942, with her receiving custody of their two infant children, and Archie ordered to pay $75 per month in alimony. He also was issued a restraining order prohibiting him from entering her home at 319 Offutt Street. The case was covered in the News. In time he married again to Esta Liller ( ? - ? ). She too had been married previously and brought these children to the second union -- Russell Liller, Glenn Liller, Ernest Liller and Mary Poland. Archie is known to have survived a July 1957 B&O Railroad derailment involving 36 cars traveling at high speed. In reporting on the wreck, the Cumberland Sunday Times said that "The twin diesels hauling the westbound 'Time Saver' -- bound from New Jersey to Chicago -- were not derailed. The third car of the train left the tracks and pulled 35 other cars with it, blockign both of [the] main tracks... Cause of the wreck was not determined immediately but a railroad spokesman said extreme 90-degree heat of the past few days may have resulted in buckling of the steel track." The couple's residence in the mid-1960s was at 27 Front Street in Cumberland. Sadly, Archie died at home at the age of 70 on Dec. 28, 1967. The remains were interred in Hillcrest Burial Park following a funeral preached by Rev. Everett W. Culp of the First Methodist Church.

  • Grandson Lawrence Walter Kennell joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2956. After his service ended, he put down roots in Frederick, MD.
  • Grandson Leo Kennell established a home in Rural Retreat, VA.
  • Granddaughter Josephine Kennell wedded (?) Vontella. She dwelled in 1967 in Jersey City, NJ.
  • Granddaughter Peggy Kennell married (?) Kimble. She migrated to Jersey City, NJ and was there in 1967.

Daughter Mina "Minnie" Kennell (1899- ? ) was born in Dec. 1899. She appears not to have married but spent most if not all of her adult life in Cumberland, MD. Cirvca 1962, she shared a home at 1205 Frederick Street in Cumberland with her sister Elizabeth Tipton. She accidentally injured Elizabeth in July 1961 while starting to move her automobile forward while the sister was still trying to get out. The sister was "thrown down on the shoulder of Pine Avenue and sustained contusions and lacerations," said the Cumberland News. Elizabeth filed a "friendly" personal injury lawsuit, and Minnie agreed to settle the matter for $500.


Early view of Wellersburg, PA


Daughter Sidna Leora "Sindy" Kennell (1903-1970) was born in about 1903 in Fairhope, Somerset County. She entered into wedded union with Claude Ora Troutman ( ? -1974), son of John and Mary (Smith) Troutman. Five known children born to this union were Robert F. Troutman, John W. Troutman, Edna Gross, Nancy L. Bisbing and Susan Troutman. The marriage was troubled, and the couple is believed to have separated circa 1931. But they appear to have patched things up, and the family home in 1940 was in Southampton Township, Somerset County, along Gladden Run Road, next-door to Sidna's bachelor uncle Charles Burkett. Charles earned a living at that time as a pipefitter for a silk mill. He belonged to the Kennell's Mill Sportsmen's Club. In time Sidna and Claude separated for good. After that, Sidna dwelled with her sisters at 1205 Frederick Street in Cumberland. At the end, Sidna was admitted to Western Maryland State Hospital in Hagerstown. She died there at the age of 67 on April 16, 1970. Rev. Kenneth L. Korns led the funeral service, with interment of the remains in Comp's Cemetery. An obituary in the Cumberland Evening Times said that her pallbearers included George Dennison, Ronald Emerick, Eugene Martz, Wilbert Michaels, Gerald Willison and John R. Willison. Former husband Claude spent his remaining years in Hyndman. He died at home at the age of 76 on Sept. 5, 1974.

  • Grandson Robert F. Troutman resided in Wellersburg, Somerset County in 1970 and near Cumberland in 1974.
  • Grandson John W. Troutman established a residence in LaVale near Cumberland as of 1970. By 1974, his address was Corriganville, MD.
  • Granddaughter  Edna Fay Troutman (1938- ? ) was born in about 1938. She was united in matrimony with (?) Gross. Her home in 1970 was Oldtown, MD and in 1974 in Flintstone, MD.
  • Granddaughter  Nancy Lee Troutman (1933- ? ) was born in about 1933. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Bisbing. She lived in Hyndman in 1970 and Cumberland in 1974.
  • Granddaughter Susan "Sue" Troutman was unmarried and dwelled in Cumberland circa 1970-1974.

Daughter Beulah A. Kennell (1906- ? ) was born in about 1906. She married Paul H. Shaffer (Jan. 19, 1910-1971). The couple did not reproduce. They lived in Wellersburg, and Paul commuted each day to Maryland to work for Cumberland Cement and Supply Company. On the fateful and dark day of Feb. 16, 1971, Paul took his own life at home at the age of 61 using a gun. In covering the matter, the Cumberland News said it was "apparently self-inflicted."


Grace (Clitz) Kennell's employer, Celanese Corp. in Cumberland


Son Melvin K. Kennell (1908-1976) was born on Oct. 3, 1908 in Fairhope, Somerset County. He wedded Grace M. Clitz ( ? - ? ). Together, they bore three children -- Billy K. Kennell, Leroy E. Kennell and Shirley Lee Martz. The family belonged to the Fairhope Community Church. At the age of 17, in about 1925, he became employed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Bolt and Forge Shop in Cumberland. He remained with the company for a remarkable 48 years as a blacksmith helper, retiring on Oct. 1, 1973. Grace also earned a living of her own for 37 years as an employee of the Celanese plant in Cumberland. Melvin made income on the side installing septic tanks and cesspools. They lived four miles south of Hyndman in a community known as Palo Alto, PA. Melvin made headlines in November 1945 when he accidentally shot his 15-year-old son Leroy while hunting rabbits. Reported the Cumberland News, "he did not see his son on the side of the hill when he shot at a rabbit." At Melvin's retirement, he and Grace were feted with a dinner at Corriganville Fire Hall, and they were pictured in the News, cutting a cake. Melvin died at the age of 68, on Oct. 8, 1976, as a resident of Lions Manor Nursing Home in Cumberland. An obituary in the News said he was survived by 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Rev. Leroy Logsdon led the funeral, with burial following in Comp's Cemetery.

  • Grandson Billy K. Kennell lived in Corriganville, MD in the mid-1970s.
  • Grandson Leroy E. Kennell was accidentally shot by his father when hunting rabbits together in 1945. Leroy received "shotgun wounds of the left eye, cheek and left shoulder," reported the Cumberland News. He made his home in 1976 in Cumberland.
  • Granddaughter Shirley Lee Kennell married (?) Martz. She dwelled in Meyersdale, PA in 1976.


~ Son John Adam Burkett ~

Son John Adam Burkett (1870-1912) was born on Aug. 6, 1870 in Maryland.

He was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Matilda McFarland (March 22, 1871-1957), daughter of John and Elizabeth (Loar) McFarland of Loartown, MD.

They bore eight known children, all sons but one -- Harry Burkett, John W. Burkett, Roy L. Burkett, Adam Burkett, Russell Burkett, James E. Burkett, Robert Burkett and Annie Burkett.

Federal census records for 1910 list the family in Allegany County, MD, with John Adam and their three eldest sons all working as coal miners.

Sadly, John died at the age of 42 on Dec. 19, 1912. Details of his untimely demise are not known. His remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Eckhart Mines Cemetery.

Matilda far outlived her husband, surviving for another 45 years as a widow. She was a longtime member of LaVale Baptist Church. At the end, she shared a home in LaVale with her son Roy.

She passed into the arms of the angels on Dec. 8, 1957. Said an obituary in the Cumberland Evening Times, her survivors numbered 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were led by her pastor, Rev. J.C. Lanning. Her pallbearers were Richard Burkett, David Burkett, John D. Burkett, William Burkett, Glenn Burkett and Paul Burkett. Burial was beside her husband, reunited in death after four-plus decades of separation.

Son Harry Burkett (1891- ? ) was born in about 1891 in Maryland. In 1957, he lived in Frostburg, MD.

Son John W. Burkett (1893- ? ) was born in about 1893 in Maryland. He resided in the mid-1950s in LaVale, MD.

Son Roy L. Burkett (1895-1980) was born in about 1895. He made his home in 1957 in LaVale, near Cumberland.

Son Adam Burkett (1898- ? ) was born in about 1898 in Maryland. In the mid-1950s, his residence was in LaVale, MD.

Daughter Annie Burkett (1900- ? ) was born in about 1900 in Maryland. She was joined in matrimony with John Radcliff ( ? - ? ). The Radcliffs were in LaVale, MD in 1957.

Son Russell Burkett (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903 in Maryland. Circa 1957, his home was in Frostburg, MD.

Son James E. Burkett (1905- ? ) was born in about 1905 in Maryland.

Son Robert Burkett (11910- ? ) was born in about 1910 in Maryland.


~ Son Charles Edward Burkett ~

Son Charles Edward Burkett (1874-1957) was born on Sept. 3 or 13, 1874 in Maryland. He came to Somerset County with his parents in the late 1870s or early '80s.

He never married. In 1910, at the age of 35, he resided at home with his parents near Hyndman in Southampton Township, Somerset County, and helped his father with farm labor.

He was present at the death of his father in 1911.

In April 1914, with a post office address of Ellerslie, MD, Charles wrote to the U.S. Pension Commissioner in Washington, DC, in connection with his father's Civil War pension.  He stated that "i stayed at home all my life and help my father and mother along. now my father is dead. But my mother is living yet and she gets 12.00 a month pension. now i will tell you that i have only one hand and i Cant make a living and i wood lik to know if i Can get a pension to help me along."

He lived to the age of 82, continuing his occupation of farming, with death occurring from a heart attack on June 12, 1957. Elizabeth Tipton of Cumberland, MD signed the official death certificate. The coroner wrote that "Above deceased found about 24 hours after death, both has skin slip." Burial was with his parents in Comp's Cemetery.


Copyright 2000, 2011, 2015-2017, 2021 Mark A. Miner

Minerd.com thanks John Fazenbaker and the late Gilbert R. Gaumer for their contributions to this biography.