Sarah Ellen "Ella" (Enos) Hart was born on Aug. 12, 1874 near Normalville, Fayette County, PA the daughter of Perry and Joanna (Minerd) Enos.
On Sept. 14, 1893, when she would have been 19 years of age, Ella married a distant cousin on the Younkin side of her family -- 23-year-old William Harrison Hart (1870-1945) of Fayette County.
Born at Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA, William was the son of George H. and Nancy Jane (Showman) Hart and grandson of David and Jane (Younkin) Showman of near Normalville.
The Harts went on to produce a family of five children -- who were Clyde Hart, George Hart, Ralph S. Hart Sr., Florence Pfeiffer and Winifred Zahn Ambrose.
Sadly, heartbreak visited the young family twice. Little Clyde died at the tender age of four months, at a date and cause not yet known. George passed away when he was only 12 days old, again the date of which is unknown.
William earned a modest living over the years as a timberman, farmer and occasional lay preacher. Their family resided in Fayette and Somerset Counties, PA.
William was not very scrupulous in matters of money. He moved his wife and children often, it's said, to avoid creditors at bill-paying time. He is known to have taken advantage of his father-in-law by selling him "old hay" and bushels of "bad corn."
He once lost a hand in a work-related accident. Details are not known.
By 1924, Ella and William separated. She moved to McKees Rocks, near Pittsburgh, where she dwelled circa 1924. Later, she made her home in the rural outskirts of Rochester, Beaver County, PA to be near her daughters Winifred and Florence, who had gone there earlier to teach school.
Ella found gainful employment as a laundress at the Beaver Valley General Hospital in New Brighton. William maintained his home at 208 South Prospect Street.
Sadly, Ella and William both succumbed to death, nearly eight months apart in 1945, she in New Brighton, and he in Connellsville.
William died first, on Feb. 6, 1945, at Connellsville State Hospital. he was 74 years of age. In an obituary, the Connellsville Daily Courier said he had "spent the greater part of his life in the Connellsville-Normalville district, being engaged in farming." The Courier also noted that among his survivors were eight grandchildren as well as his sister Mrs. E.G. Tressler of Cumberland, MD and brothers D.B. Hart of Connellsville, Jonathan Hart of Mill Run and Clyde F. Hart of Connellsville. Funeral services were held at the First United Brethren Church of Normalville, officiated by Rev. Clem B. Barcus. His remains were placed into repose in the Normalville Cemetery.
Ella suffered from heart and kidney disease in her final years. She passed away on Sept. 29, 1945, at the age of 71. Her remains were shipped back to her native Fayette County to join her husband in burial. They rest together at Normalville Cemetery.
~ Son Ralph S. Hart ~
Son Ralph S. Hart (1895-1946) was born on May 10, 1895 in Somerset County, PA. He moved as a boy with his parents and siblings to Normalville, Fayette County.
Ralph married Clara "Ethel" Miller (1896-1984).
They were farmers and lived in Normalville early in the marriage and produced a family of six children -- Rutheline Hart, Ella Mae Rhodes, Harry Hart, Frank Hart, J. Ralph "J.R." Hart and Clyde E. Hart.
The family became heartbroken in the middle of winter 1919. Their first child Rutheline, just 18 days old, suffered from a collapsed lung ("atelectasis"). She died on Feb. 15, 1919. Her tender remains were laid to rest in the Normalville Cemetery.
When the federal census enumerations were made in 1920, 1930 and 1940, Ralph and Ethel and their offspring were in Springfield Township, Fayette County, with him marked as earning a living as a farmer.
During the early 1940s, they left the Normalville farm and relocated to South Connellsville, making a residence along Reidmore Road.
Sadly, Ralph was stricken with cancer of the stomach, which spread. He died at the age of 50 on Jan. 8, 1946, just shy of his 51st birthday, of "a lingering illness," reported the Daily Courier. Following a funeral led by Rev. Samuel G. Clutter of the Normalville United Brethren Church, his remains were placed into rest in the Normalville Cemetery.
Ethel outlived her spouse by almost four decades. She was swept away by the Angel of Death in 1984.
Daughter Ella Mae Hart (1922-2001) was born in 1922 in Normalville. She was the mother of Bonnie Sines and Harold Hart. On Aug. 28, 1950, when she was 28 years of age, Ella wedded Lawrence R. Rhodes ( ? - ? ). The couple eventually separated, with Lawrence living in South Connellsville and Ella Mae in Vanderbilt. He filed for divorce in March 1960, with the news printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Ella Mae lived in Morgantown, WV in 2000. Sadly, Ella passed away in Morgantown's Sundale Nursing Home at the age of 80 on May 26, 2001. She was survived by 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Great-granddaughter Leann Hart resided in Indiana County, PA.
Great-granddaughter Sheila married and her husband Robert Grund and relocated to Tampa, FL.
Great-granddaughter Kelly wedded Jacob Garlitz. They put down roots in Indiana County, PA.
Great-granddaughter Tina Bartley makes a home in Connellsville.
Great-grandson Eric Hart was joined in marriage with Amy. They have dwelled in Bullskin Township near Connellsville.
Great-grandson Sean Snyder was in Connellsville in 2013.
Son Harry Hart (1923-2007) was born on March 30, 1923. He married Dorothy ( ? - ? ). They resided in Connellsville circa 2000 and in Ravenna, Portage County, OH in 2001. He underwent hip replacement surgery in 2007 and died later in the year, on May 9, 2007 at Maplewood Nursing Home in Streetsboro, OH. A short death notice was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Son Frank Hart (1925-1992) was born on Aug. 22, 1925. He married Irene E. Porterfield (1920-2001), daughter of Frank and Ida Agnes (Smalley) Porterfield of Normalville. The couple bore a family of three offspring -- Franklin Lee "Frank" Hart, Audrey Smitley and Elsie M. Hull. The family lived on Reidmore Road in South Connellsville, possibly in his parents' former home (circa 1962) and at 250 North Sixth Street in Connellsville (circa 1964). Then in 1971, they dwelled on Martin Road in South Connellsville. Frank passed away on Sept. 25, 1992, and rests in Normalville Cemetery. Irene outlived him by nine years. She joined him in death in 2001.
Son J. Ralph "J.R." Hart (1928- ? ) was born in about 1928 in Normalville. He was married and had a family. They relocated to Ravenna, OH by 1962 and were there in 2001. He was deceased by 2005.
Son Clyde E. Hart (1930-2005) was born on Nov. 10, 1930 in Connellsville. In May 1943, the teenage boy made news in the Connellsville Daily Courier when he was "bitten on the left leg by a dog ... and was treated at the Hospital." His entire life was spent in Connellsville. A member of the United Steelworkers of America, he was employed for two decades as a stamper and grinder with U.S. Steel Corporation's Christy Park Works. He married Dolores Jean Basinger ( ? -1986). Their two known children were Clyde Edward "Eddie" Hart Jr. and Patricia Nicholson. The family attended the Assembly of God Church. The family was plunged into grief when Dolores passed away in 1986. Clyde outlived her by nearly two decades. He enjoyed playing pool, music and dancing and was a member of the AMVETS of Belle Vernon and the Connellsville Slovak and Sons of Italy Clubs. He also endured the loss of son Clyde in 2004. Clyde died in his home at the age of 75 on Nov. 10, 2005. Rev. Joseph Wingrove officiated at the funeral service, with interment in Green Ridge Memorial Park. The Daily Courier printed an obituary.
~ Daughter Florence (Hart) Pfeifer~
Daughter Florence Hart (1899- ? ) was born in 1899 in or around Normalville, Fayette County, PA.
In addition to her roles as a wife and mother, Florence devoted her life to public education, teaching elementary classes for 33 years in Fayette and Beaver Counties, PA. Her uncle, Andrew J. "Budd" Enos, at one time assistant superintendent of schools in Fayette County, may have encouraged her to pursue a career in the field.
Florence beginning her career at the one-room Poplar Run School in Fayette County. In time, she took the bold step to relocate with her sister Winifred to Beaver County, PA, where teaching positions were available.
Florence taught at the one-room Mullins, Steele, Ohioville (Smith's Ferry) and Fairview Schools. She is known to have taught the last class at the Steele School circa 1949. The book Beaver County Album II, authored by Arnold B. McMahon, contains a photograph of the Steele building and cites Florence by name.
While in Beaver County, Florence met her future husband, Morris S. Pfeifer (July 23, 1902-1979). He was the son of John and Lillian (Beighley) Pfeifer of Unionville, and was four years younger than the bride. The couple tied the knot in approximately the mid-1920s.
The 1930 federal census enumeration shows Florence (spelled "Florra"), Morris and their infant son John residing in New Sewickley Township, Beaver County. Morris' occupation was listed as "laborer - steel mill."
Morris was employed for 45 years by the Townsend Company of nearby Fallston, which made metallic products such as rivets, wire nails and fasteners. He was a member of the company's 25-Year Club. The company eventually was sold to Textron Inc., and he retired in 1967.
The Pfeifer family dwelled at 4112 Marion Hill Road in New Brighton. They belonged to the Unionville United Methodist Church.
When the 1940 federal census was taken, Morris was shown as a rivet-maker. Florence's mother lived under their roof at that time.
Florence enjoyed quilting. Among her creations during the 1940s was a gorgeous multi-color "Sunbonnet Sue" design, possibly with help from her mother. It's based on a pattern that dates to the 1880s. She obtained the colorful material from bird seed sacks, because at that time she was selling parakeets and canaries. She used most of the material to make dresses for her daughter, and the leftover scraps were made into quilt squares. This quilt was a replacement for one she had made earlier, a smaller one that fit a youth-size bed. The quilt was displayed at the 2005 national Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunion and pictured in Minerd.com's Online Quilt Museum.
Morris passed away at the age of 77 on Nov. 23, 1979 as a patient in the Beaver Falls unit of the Medical Center of Beaver County. Rev. Donald B. Beam officiated at the funeral service, with interment following in Sylvania Hills Memorial Park. An obituary was published in the Beaver County Times.
Son John Pfeifer (1930- ? ) was born in about 1930. He was married and the father of three. He lived in New Brighton in 1979.
Daughter Bonnie Lee Pfeifer (1939-living) was born in about 1939 in Beaver County, PA. She married John E. "Doc" Morell (Aug. 14, 1936-2021), a native of Rochester and the son of Patsy M. and Clementina Maenzo "Minnie" Morell, originally spelled in the Italian "Morelli." Their union endured for a remarkable 58 years. The pair produced a son, Patrick Morell. As with her mother and aunt Winifred, Bonnie was a longtime elementary school teacher. She retired in 1997 after 35 years at these schools in Beaver County: South Side Elementary in the South Side Beaver District; South Beaver Elementary in the Northwestern District; 4th Ward and 5th Ward Schools in the Monaca District; and Big Knob Elementary in the Freedom Area District. She was named in a Somerset Daily American article in June 1997 about remarks she was to make at the annual Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunion honoring educators. That same summer, she was quoted in a regional edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Aug. 14, 1997 about her experience attending the Minerd Reunion and going deeper into her family tree. The couple eventually relocated from their residence in Rochester to New Sewickley Township. As his health failed, John became a resident of Rochester Manor + Villa and died there at the age of 85 on Dec. 13, 2021. His remains were cremated, and his obituary was published in the Beaver County Times.
~ Daughter Winifred (Hart) Zahn Ambrose ~
Daughter Winifred Hart (1900-2000) was born on Aug. 18, 1900 in Fayette County.
With a strong independent disposition, and striking out on her own as a young educator, Winifred taught for 32 years, first at Poplar Run School, Fayette County.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1920, she taught in Henry Clay Township schools in Fayette County and boarded in the home of Milo and Catharine B. Thomas.
Later, she and her sister Florence migrated to Beaver County, PA, where Winifred accepted a teaching position at the one-room Baker, Boggs, Majors and Fairview Schools. The Baker, Boggs and Majors school buildings were in New Sewickley Township, while Fairview was in the Western Beaver district.
Winifred is said to have been both stern and kind to her students. One former pupil recalled that if she brought cheese to school, Winifred would make grilled cheese sandwiches for her student on the pot-belly stove.
The photo seen below is of Winifred's class at the Majors School circa 1925. Standing just to the right of the doorway, in the back row, is eighth-grade student Helen (Balysh) Jagerski, who would later become the maternal grandmother of the founder of this website. Several other Balysh siblings also are among the group -- Peter, Olga and Sophie. This postcard-size image was the Minerd.com "Photo of the Month" in September 2013.
Some of Winifred's first cousins on the Hart side of the family also relocated to Beaver County over the years. Among them were Philip Hart and Paul Hart, sons of her uncle and aunt John F. and Edith (Collins) Hart.
Winifred's first husband, John "Andrew" Zahn (Dec. 21, 1893-1960) was the son of John P. and Lydia (Binzley) Zahn of Rochester. Their wedding was held in Erie, Erie County, PA on May 20, 1924, when Winifred was age 23 and Andrew 30. Justice of the peace G.C. Graham officiated.
Andrew worked as an automobile dealer in the New Brighton area at the time of marriage, selling Whippets and Chevrolets. Later, he sold farm equipment. Among his customers was Belarussian immigrant Constantine Balysh, great-grandfather of the founder of this website. He is known to have helped construct a building on Marion Hill near New Brighton, which Zirat Electric now occupies.
Winifred and Andrew divorced on Jan. 22 1943, upon decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, following 18 years of marriage.
Her second husband was Wilbur Lane "Bill" Ambrose (1894-1975), a native of Millwood near Ligonier, Westmoreland County. He apparently moved to Ohio and lived there in the mid-1910s. During World War I, he served in the U.S. Army as a member of the 323 I.F. Artillery, 83-32 Divisions. He took part in the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne, and in a letter home, wrote this to his parents:
There are two nicks on my gun and I wish it could be two hundred.... Oh yes, I had another close call a few days ago. A shell lit near our horses, and I was covered with dirt. Well, we are going to let loose another barrage and try to get the boche out of the woods close here. Once we get them going we can drive them for 40 kilometers over some of the finest country in France. Shells are landing thick now. May we never take another prisoner. Curses on the whole Hun world.
Bill served in law enforcement for 48 years, nearly a half-century. He was policeman of the Vista Mines in Fayette County, a member of the Beaver County Chiefs of Police, chief of detectives of Beaver County, chief juvenile officer of Beaver County, chief of police of Aliquippa (10 years), and a parole officer and probation officer for more than a quarter of a century. He also was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, American Legion and Regiment Light Field Artillery.
At the age of 80, Bill made his home at 620 South 11th Street in Connellsville. He died there on Aug. 22, 1975. His remains were returned to Beaver County for interment in Sylvania Hills Memorial Park, Daugherty Township. After Bill's death, Winifred found the letter he had written to his parents from the Meuse-Argonne battlefield, never having known any of this. She arranged to have the letter published on the front page of the Connellsville Daily Courier (Nov. 8, 1975).
Winifred spent her final years in a nursing home in Beaver County, and was almost deaf. She graciously entertained a visit from her former pupil Helen (Balysh) Jagerski, and the pupil's grandson, the future founder of Minerd.com, in the mid-1990s. She was so deaf by that time that the grandson had to shout questions into her ear.
She celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 18, 2000. She died a month later, on Sept. 18, 2000.
Former husband Andrew Zahn also wed again, to Mae Bishop ( ? - ? ). They maintained a residence in New Sewickley Township. He eventually retired from farm machinery sales. During his final years, he endured hardening of the heart arteries. Sadly, Andrew suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly at the age of 66 on July 12, 1960. Interment of his remains was in Sylvania Hills Cemetery in nearby Daugherty Township. Six weeks later, his only grandson was born.
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