Home

What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog

Biographies

National Reunion

Interconnectedness

Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us

 

 

Alice (Evans) Virtue
(1872-1961)

 

Alice Mae (Evans) Virtue was born on Aug. 16, 1872 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA, the daughter of William John and Eva (McKinney) Evans Sr. At the age of three months, she was baptized in the St. Theresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church in the Perrysville suburb of Pittsburgh, with Arthur and Katharine Evans serving as sponsors.

When she was a girl, her father died, and when Alice was in her teens, her mother married George Henry Minerd.

On Nov. 30, 1891, 19-year-old Alice married 19-year-old Samuel E. Virtue (Jan. 12, 1872-1936), the son of Jane Virtue and a native of Florence, Washington County, PA. At the time of marriage, Samuel resided at Eldersville, and worked as an engineer, perhaps an outdated term for electrical work. Because both Alice and Samuel were 19-year-olds, they were considered underage, and their mothers had to sign consent forms. News of their marriage license was published in the Pittsburg Dispatch.

The Virtues had five known children -- William Warden Virtue, Agatha McClellan, Edmond McKinney Virtue, George Ellsworth Virtue and Harold Francis Virtue. 

Circa 1888, when son William was born, they lived in Eldersville, PA. In some family documents, Eldersville is listed as a Kentucky town.

 

Montefiore Hospital, 1930s

From 1893 to 1896, the family resided on Blair Street in Pittsburgh, just a few blocks from the Monongahela River. Their home in 1900 was on Bluff Street in Pittsburgh.

The federal census enumeration of 1910 shows Alice and Samuel in Taylor Township, Lawrence County, PA, where he worked as an electrical engineer for a power and light company.

The Virtues moved again and in 1919 were in Detroit, MI, where Samuel continued his longtime occupation as an electrical engineer. By 1920, they had returned to Pittsburgh and lived in Alice's old home on Anaheim Street. 

They must have shared a residence in West Pittsburg, near New Castle, Lawrence County, as Samuel worked there for Garland Corporation, apparently a local power plant. He was a member of the Lodge of the Craft of the Masons in New Castle. 

They left Lawrence County in about 1921 and returned to Pittsburgh for good, establishing a home in Avalon. A tragic incident occurred in 1921 which ended his primary working career. He cut his hand, and it led to blood poisoning. The infection spread to the full arm, and in January 1922 it had to be amputated at the shoulder, in Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital, said the New Castle News.

In the 1930s, Samuel was employed as an electrical engineer at Montefiore Hospital, where his son Harold was employed as a fireman.

 

Birmingham Avenue Bridge in Avalon, spanning the well-known hills in the Ohio River valley northwest of Pittsburgh

 

 

Peace sculpture, Allegheny Cemetery, near Alice's grave

On the fateful day of Feb. 10, 1936, Samuel suffered a massive heart attack and died in their home at 309 Harrison Avenue in Avalon. He was 59 years and 28 days of age. Interment of the remains was in Mount Lebanon Cemetery.

In her later years, Alice resided with her son Edmond in her longtime home at 309 Harrison Avenue. She was a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Avalon, in the northern section of Pittsburgh.

At the age of 84, Alice passed away in Kane Hospital on Jan. 5, 1961. She had suffered from heart disease and hardening of the arteries. She was buried in the prestigious Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, the same cemetery where her mother is buried, although they rest in different locations. While her grave is not marked, it is within about 100 yards of the cemetery's landmark "Peace" sculpture.

 

~ Son William Warden Virtue ~

Son William Warden Virtue (1888- ? ) was born on July 9, 1888 in Eldersville, PA.

He was of medium height and slender build, with grey eyes and dark brown hair, and seemed to have a penchant for trouble with the law.

In 1917, William registered for the military draft during World War I. Age 29 at the time, he disclosed that he lived at 426 Croton in New Castle, Lawrence County, PA and worked there as an electrician for General Electric Company.

In 1919, he resided in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA, at 1020 Market Street. There, his occupation was electrical engineer, following his father's longtime calling. 

In Harrisburg on Feb. 19, 1919, William married Katherine Elizabeth Culp (1898- ?), daughter of Franklin and Katherine E. (Houser) Culp of Lebanon, Lebanon County, PA. William was age 31, and Elizabeth 21, at the time. Charles Emmet Murray, an alderman in Harrisburg, officiated.

 

Bird's-eye view of Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River

 

Unfortunately, the marriage began to fall apart shortly after it began. Katherine claimed that her husband "was guilty of cruel and barbarous treatment and subjected her to indignities of the person five weeks after their marriage," reported the Lebanon (PA) Daily News. " She alleged that he cursed her, struck and choked her repeatedly, and threatened her life, and so shamefully used her that her health was broken down and she left him in a feeble condition." She left him on March 28, 1921 and sued for divorce. The formal decree of divorce was not handed down by the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County until March 1928.

William's name was in the news in 1920 when he purportedly altered a check from an electric light company in Williamsport, PA. Initially he was exonerated, but apparently the case heated up again. While eluding law enforcement for six months or more on charges of forgery, a tipster led police to pursue him at the home of his mother in law in Lebanon in March 1921. He evaded capture after exiting the home through a second story window, but was caught the next day hiding under a potato bin in the basement of the same house. He was incarcerated in the Eastern Penitentiary, and the Oldsmobile touring car he had been driving was sold by the local sheriff. He was paroled in autumn 1922 and found work at Keystone Engineering Company in Lebanon, located at Scull and Eighth Streets. But he disappeared again on what newspapers called "french leave" -- an unauthorized absence" -- taking with him an REO truck, $17 in cash, two Willard batteries and two radio sets.

 

~ Son George Ellsworth Virtue ~

Son George Ellsworth Virtue (1895- ? ) was born on Nov. 22, 1895, in Pittsburgh.

He was of medium build and height, with brown eyes and dark brown hair. 

George in 1916 married Gunda Eleanora Allison ( ? - ? ) of Monessen or Monaca, PA.

Circa May 1917, when he registered for the military draft in World War I, he was employed as a fireman by the Pennsylvania Railroad, and was based in New Castle, Lawrence County. He was married at the time and counted his wife as his next of kin. He eventually saw 18 months of active service in France operating military rail trains. During that time, he wrote articles sent back home for publication in the New Castle News.

He was married at least three times. He and Gunda divorced in 1922.

George wed a second time. The second marriage ended in divorce on June 5, 1947. 

Circa December 1947, he worked as a locomotive engineer and resided in the Lincoln Hotel in Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH. 

At the age of 52, on Jan. 26, 1948, he married for the third time, to 50-year-old Alma (Wahl) Metz (1897- ? ). She was a native of Beaver County, PA, and the daughter of Jacob and Mary L. (Gudekunst) Wahl. At the time of marriage, she was a sales clerk living in Avalon.

Their paper trail seems to end here.

 

~ Son Edmond McKinney Virtue ~

Son Edmond McKinney Virtue (1897-1970) was born on Feb. 2, 1897 in Pittsburgh.

As a young man, he was of medium height and build, with grey eyes and dark hair.He registered for the military draft during World War I and served in the U.S. Armed Forces. 

At the age of 21, in 1918, he lived with his mother at 53 Park View Avenue in Pittsburgh, and was employed with Grazellin Chemical Company of New Castle, Lawrence County, PA.

He divorced his first wife on Dec. 21, 1927, apparently having borne no children.

On Jan. 7, 1930, when he was 33 years of age, he married 40-year-old widow Anna (Jessup) Cawley (1890-1971), daughter of Samuel and Nellie (O'Neil) Jessup. Justice of the peace Joseph E. Morrison officiated.

Anna's first husband had died on Nov. 12, 1916. She thus brought three teenagers to the second union -- Anna Staats, Marion Dailey and Harry Patrick "Pat" Cawley Sr. 

The Virtues resided in Avalon. He was employed for many years as electrician at the Farmers Bank Building and was a member of the Electrical Union Local No. 5. 

Edmond died in Harlansburg, Lawrence County, PA on June 2, 1970.

Anna lived on for a little more than a year. She endured the grief of her daughter Marion Dailey's death in December 1970. Anna passed away on June 5, 1971. They are buried at Allegheny County Memorial Park in Allison Park.

Stepdaughter Anna Cawley (1910-1991) was born on July 3, 1910. In about 1934, when she would have been 24 years of age, she wedded Samuel George Staats (1908- ? ) of New Castle, Lawrence County, PA. News of their marriage license was published in the New Castle News. Their only known daughter was Carol Ann Balog. The couple resided in New Castle at the address of 215 East Lincoln Avenue. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940, Samuel was employed as an inspector with a bronze company. They were members of Highland United Presbyterian Church, with Anna serving as president of the Mercer class of the adult Sunday School. A voracious reader, Anna also gave book review presentations for the class, among them The Bishop's Mantle, by Agnes Sligh Turnbull in the fall of 1947 - The Cleft Rock by Alice Tisdale Hobart a year later - While the Angels Sing by Gladys Monroe in December 1948 - The Hearth and Eagle by Anya Seton in January 1949 - and many more. She continued to provide book reviews for years. In May 1966, she was elected president of the New Castle Women's Club, and she is known to have held a membership in the Lawrence Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Anna passed away on March 2, 1991.

  • Granddaughter Carol Ann Staats (1936-2019) was born on Feb. 28, 1936 in New Castle, Lawrence County, PA. On April 4, 1959, she was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Edward Balog ( ? -2007), son of John and Anna (Barna) Balog of 118 Chartes Street. Their wedding was held in St. Michael Church. The couple produced a family of three sons -- Scott Balog, James Balog and Brian Balog. Edward graduated from Case Western Reserve University and went on to a longtime career as a metallurgist with Youngstown Foundry across the state line in Ohio. In the early 1970s, Carol earned a living working in the office of Neshannock Township. They were members of St. Michael's Church, and she was active with its Ladies Guild. The Balogs' residence in later years was along State Route 956 in Volant. She attended the New Wilmington United Methodist Church and took part in its Bible study group and Christian Women's Club. She also belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution. Edward had a love for classical music and supported the symphony orchestras of New Castle and Youngstown. He was a member of the Slovak Club and liked to work with wood and spend time with his dogs. Sadly, Edward passed away on Sept. 21, 2007. She lived for another dozen years and relocated to Great Valls, VA, where her son James was residing. There, she succumbed to death on June 29, 2019. The remains were returned to New Wilmington for funeral services, led by Pastor Rebecca Rosengarth, and interment in St. Joseph's Cemetery in New Castle. An obituary was published in the New Castle News.

 

Pittsburgher Hotel

Great-grandson Scott Balog made a home in Volant.

Great-grandson James Balog relocated to Great Falls, VA.

Great-grandson Brian Balog dwelled in Aurora, CO.

Stepdaughter Marion E. Cawley (1912-1970) was born in about 1912. She was united in marriage with Harold Dailey (June 29, 1924-1966), the son of Albert and Theresa (Sesse) Dailey of Pittsburgh's South Side. The couple did not reproduce. Harold was a veteran of World War II. He earned a living with his work in the maintenance department of the Pittsburgh Board of Education. For many years, Marion earned a living as housekeeper for the Pittsburgher Hotel, which at 25 stories was once Pittsburgh's tallest building. Located at 428 Forbes Avenue, the structure today it is known as the Lawyers Building. Their address was 300 Marie Avenue in Avalon, and they held a membership in the Northminster United Presbyterian Church. Harold also belonged to the Avalon lodge of the Masons and the Bellevue chapter of the Royal Arch. Sadly, having endured hardening of the arteries, Harold suffered an acude heart attack and was admitted to South Side Hospital. There, at the age of 42, he succumbed to death on Dec. 4, 1966. An obituary in the Pittsburgh Press stated that he was survived by eight adult siblings -- Betty Videc, Florence Weindenheft, Ruth Farrelly, Darlene Kirek, Edward Dailey, Raymond Dailey, Ralph Dailey and Charles Dailey. Marion also suffered from heart problems and underwent surgery in Allegheny General Hospital. The procedure was not successful, and she died on Dec. 5, 1970. A headline obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Burial for both was in the Cawley family plot in Allegheny County Memorial Park.

 

City-County Building, Pittsburgh

Stepson Harry Patrick "Pat" Cawley (1914-1972) was born in about 1914. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army as a private first class. He received a wound in action in Germany on Nov. 21, 1944, with word sent to his sister Anna Staats in New Castle, PA. Harry recovered and returned home. He is believed to have been twice-wed. Harry's first bride was Selma Elsie Karthauser (Jan. 12, 1914-1960), daughter of Valtin and Julia (Hornberger) Karthauser. The couple resided in Avalon and produced two sons, Harry Patrick Cawley Jr. and Carl Edmond Cawley. The federal census enumeration of 1940 shows that he earned a living as a counterman in a local restaurant. The Cawleys eventually divorced. Later, he was joined in wedlock with Elva Mae (Wells) Winowitch (March 19, 1915- 1980), daughter of John R. and Jessie Louise (Glidden) Wells and a native of Beadle County, SD. Elva Mae's first husband, Nick Winowitch (March 18, 1907-1956), a native of Knoxville, TN and a world champion marathan dancer using the stage name "Nick Winrick," had died on New Year's Day 1956. Mary Elva thus brought two children into the marriage, Mary Elva Harrison and Theodore Alan Winowitch. Their residence was in the home of Harry's step-grandparents Samuel and Alice Virtue at 309 Harrison Avenue in Avalon. With an interest in politics, Harry served as chairman of the Avalon Democratic Party and Young Democrats. He also was a borough councilman, deacond of Northminster United Presbyterian Church and president of the local volunteer fire company. Anxiety turned to grief when Elva's son Theodore, serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, was killed in action a few days after Christmas in 1964. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Harry served as assistant chief clerk for the triad of Commissioners of Allegheny County, PA -- Thomas J. Foerster, Leonard C. Staisey and Dr. William R. Hunt. He was fired in May 1968 in what the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called a "juggling of county payrollers" between Democrat and Republican factions. He was re-instated at some point, and his annual salary in 1969 was $9,360. He also was a member of the Robert D. Fleming Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Avalon lodge of the Masons and related organizations. Sadly, after admittance to Suburban General Hospital in Bellevue, Harry died at the age of 58 on May 6, 1972. Interment of the remains was in Allegheny County Memorial Park. An obituary was printed in the Post-Gazette. Elva Mae outlived her husband by eight years. She relocated as a widow to Framingham, MA. She died in Framingham on Christmas Day 1980. The remains were returned to Pittsburgh to sleep for all time in Allegheny County Memorial Park, and the Pittsburgh Press published a death notice. Former wife Selma remianed in Avalon at 638 Park Avenue. Suffering from ovarian cancer, she was admitted to Allegheny General Hospital and was a patient there for more than four months. She died there on April 1, 1960, at the age of 46, and was interred in Rosedale Cemetery.

  • Step-grandson Harry "Patrick" Cawley Jr. (1939-2017) was born in about 1939. He married Alice F. Ryan ( ? -2016). Their marriage endured for 52 years. The family made a home along Peebles Road in McCandless Township. Offspring born to this union were Trish Cawley and Megan Dunn. Patrick was a graduate of Duquesne University and, for six years, was a staff sergeant serving with the Pennsylvania National Buard. For more than half a century, he earned a living in the insurance field, focusing on commercial lines as well as property and casualty insurance. At one time he owned Century Underwriters, where he held the office of president, and went on to work for W.N. Tuscano Agency. In the profession, he was president of Independent Insurance Agents of Pittsburgh and the Insurance Club of Pittsburgh, a board director of the Independent Insurance Agents of Pennsylvania and held a seat on the advisory board of Pennsylvania Surplus Lines Association. Circa 1993, Patrick graciously fielded several calls from the founder of this website inquiring about family history and the burial sites of earlier generations of the Cawley branch. Alice was a 15-year volunteer with the North Allegheny School District, and for another 16 years was a pre-school teacher's assistant at St. John's Lutheran Church of Highland. Sadly, suffering from cancer, Alice died at the age of 73 on June 24, 2016. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published an obituary. Patrick outlived his wife by about a year. He passed into eternity at the age of 78 on June 19, 2017.
  • Step-grandson Carl Edmond Cawley ( ? - ? ) resided in Avalon. In May 1968, he was joined in wedlock with Patricia Ann "Patty" Pyle ( ? - ? ), daughter of William H. and Dorothy K. Pyle of Ben Avon. The nuptials were held in Northminster Presbyterian Church and the reception at the Shannopin Country Club. Patricia was pictured in a wedding story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Cawleys resided in Bellevue. They bore two daughters -- Cathleen A. Cawley and Lori Lynne Sayre. Circa 1975, Carl was elected president of the Avalon Fire Company.

Step-great-granddaughter Cathleen A. Cawley (1974-2016) was born on April 27, 1974 in Bellevue. She and Jonathan Polley were the parents of Riley Ann Polley. She dwelled in adulthood in Cranberry Township, Butler County, PA and held a membership in the Cranberry Community United Presbyterian Church. She loved animals and being ouit-of-doors. Sadly, at the age of 42, she died on Dec. 30, 2016. Co-officiating at her funeral service were Pastors James Moran and Nadine Roy.

Step-great-granddaughter Lori Lynne Cawley married (?) Sayre. They made a home in New Brighton, Beaver County, PA and produced two children, Ashly Lynn Sayre and Jonathan Richard Sayre.

  • Step-step-granddaughter Mary Elva Winowitch ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). In September 1953, she was pictured in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, completing a poster for a craft exhibit of the Brashear Association on Pittsburgh's South Side. She wedded Donald K. Harrison ( ? - ? ). She resided in 1972 in Boston, MA.
  • Step-step-grandson Theodore Alan Winowitch, served as a private first class and helicopter gunner with the 68th Aviation Company during the Vietnam War. In 1964, he was awarded the Air Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart. Tragically, on Dec. 30, 1965, during a second tour of duty, the 21-year-old Theodore was killed when his helicopter was shot down. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that he "flew two missions on the day of his death, volunteering for the second which ended in a flaming crash 40 miles east of Saigon where all aboard were killed." Posthumously, he was awarded a second oak leaf cluster to the Flying Cross, the Air Medal with V device, a Gallantry Cross with palm and Vietnamese Military Merit Medal.

 

~ Daughter Agatha (Virtue) McClellan ~

Daughter Agatha Virtue (1899-1925) was born in June 1898. 

She wed Charles R. McClellan ( ? - ? ) and resided at 2853 Lonesome Avenue in the Dormont section of Pittsburgh. 

Tragically, Agatha was afflicted with tubercular meningitis in the mid-summer of 1925. She received medical care, including an analysis of her spinal fluid, but did not rally. She died at age 26 on July 27, 1925, at St. Francis Hospital. Burial was in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery. On her death certificate, her mother's maiden name understandably was given as "Minard" instead of "Evans" by the informant, C.P. Clark of Dormont.

 

~ Son Harold Francis Virtue ~

Son Harold Francis Virtue (1905- ? ) was born on Nov. 13, 1905, in Pittsburgh. 

Circa 1950, at age 45, he was a mechanic and lived at 1518 Laketon Road in the Wilkinsburg section of Pittsburgh. 

On July 21, 1950, he married Freda (Wagner) Strasser (1905- ? ), daughter of Louis and Annie (Wahl) Wagner of Pittsburgh. Freda was divorced from her previous husband, Nelson C. Strasser, and at the time of marriage to our Harold was a typist in Pittsburgh.

He resided in Homestead, near Pittsburgh, circa 1970.

 

Copyright 2003-2004, 2008, 2010, 2012-2013, 2020 Mark A. Miner