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Emma (Firestone) Nicholson


Emma (Firestone) Nicholson was born on Feb. 8, 1875 in Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Lewis and Sarah Ann (Rose) Firestone.

On Nov. 15, 1894, at the age of 20, she married 22-year-old farmer Franklin "Frank" Nicholson (1873-1926), son of David and Mary Nicholson of Springfield Township,  Fayette County. He could not read or write, and signed the marriage license with an "X." News of the impending marriage was published in the Connellsville Courier

The Nicholsons resided in Bullskin Township, Fayette County and had at least six children, James "Charles" Nicholson, Florence Guetner, Vida Harter, Harvey F. Nicholson, DorothySacco and Carrie J. Van Gosen. 

When the federal census was taken in 1900, the family was shown to be in Bullskin Township, with Frank making a living as a timber laborer. Their next door neighbors were distant cousins Calvin and Mary (Means) Minerd Sr., also longtime farmers of the area. 

By 1910, the Nicholsons had migrated to Connellsville Township, with Frank continuing to work as a laborer. Just two doors away were Emma's cousin Emory Franklin Minor, his wife Goldie and daughter Sarah. 


Pittsburgh's North Side, where Emma and family moved in the 1910s


The decade of the 1910s appears to have been difficult for the family. Emma and the children moved to Pittsburgh in a house on Charles Street in Ward 26, where they are shown on the federal census of 1920. Son James was employed that year as a driver for a sand company, and Ida and Henry as ushers in a theatre. Frank continued to dwell in South Union Township near Uniontown and work as a road laborer.

Sadly, Frank was burdened with a serious case of pulmonary tuberculosis. He was admitted for treatment to the Fayette County Home in Uniontown. A recovery was not to be. At the age of about 53, he was carried away by the Angel of Death on April 20, 1926. Interment of the remains was in Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville. At the time, Emma's address in Pittsburgh was 17 Superior Avenue.

As her mother declined in health circa 1929, Emma provided cleaning services at the home. Later, after the mother's death, Emma submitted a bill to the estate for $15 to cover her wages for the work. She eventually received a payment of $115.09 as a bequest from her father's estate.

Circa 1941, at the passing of her brother Austin, in 1945 at the death of her sister Ida Langenheim, and again in 1958 upon the passing of her brother Grant, Emma was named in the obituaries in the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier. At all three times, she was described as residing in Pittsburgh.

Emma's address in her later years was 1513 Boyle Street Rear in Pittsburgh, sharing her home with her son Charles and daughter Carrie. Sadly, she endured Charles' untimely death in 1960. She died at home, just three days after her 92nd birthday, on Feb. 11, 1965. Her remains were interred next to her son's in Allegheny Cemetery, and a death notice was published in the Pittsburgh Press.


~ Son James "Charles" Nicholson ~

Son James "Charles" Nicholson (1895-1960) was born on Aug. 24, 1895 (or 1896) in Bullskin Township near Connellsville, Fayette County. He relocated to Pittsburgh during the 1910s after the presumed death of his father.

In 1920, he resided with his widowed mother in Pittsburgh and was a driver for a sand company. He never married and spent his working career as a teamster.

His address in 1960 was 1513 Boyle Street Rear.

At the age of 63, Charles James became deathly ill on March 30, 1960 and rushed to Allegheny General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The examining physician said the death was due to "undetermined natural causes." Burial was in Allegheny Cemetery.


~ Daughter Florence (Nicholson) Guetner/Guenter ~

Daughter Florence Nicholson ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

She was united in wedlock with (?) Guetner/Guenter ( ? - ? ).

Her home in 1960-1965 was in Pittsburgh.


~ Daughter Vida (Nicholson) Harter ~

Daughter Vida Nicholson (1898-1983) was born in April 1898.

She was joined in wedlock with Jules V. Harter ( ? -1977).

The couple produced an only daughter, Charlotte Louise Perry.

Circa 1947, their home was on Hazelhurst Avenue in Carrick. By 1965, they had moved to 1513 Boyle Street Rear in Pittsburgh, and made a home for Ida's widowed mother. Then by 1977, they had relocated to Bethel Park in the city's South Hills.

Jules died on June 11, 1977.

Vida was swept away by the Grim Reaper on Christmas Day 1983. Her Pittsburgh Press death notice said her passing had occurred "suddenly" and that she was survived by four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A funeral mass of Christian burial was conducted at St. Thomas More Church.

Daughter Charlotte Louise Harter (1925-2014) was born on April 17, 1925. When she was 22 years of age, in September 1947, she wedded Daniel L. Perry (Feb. 28, 1923-1998), son of John H. Perry of South Millvale Avenue in Bloomfield. She was pictured in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story about her engagement. The couple established a home in Bethel Park, and their union endured for more than 50 years. The pair bore four children -- Daniel L. Perry Jr., Cheryl L. Gedeon, Joanne K. Perry and Patricia A. Hess. Daniel was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he had held the rank of first lieutenant with the 313th Air Transport Group. He belonged to the St. Valentine Men's Club and Bowling League, while she was active with the St. Valentine Church of Christian Mothers. Daniel died on the Fourth of July 1998 at the age of 75. A death notice in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that a mass of Christian burial was held in St. Valentine Church. Charlotte outlived her husband by 16 years, remaining in Bethel Park. She succumbed to death on Jan. 10, 2014 at the age of 88. She was survived by 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Daniel L. Perry Jr. ( ? - ? ) married Sharon ( ? - ? ). The couple lived in Granger, IN in 1998.
  • Granddaughter Cheryl L. Perry ( ? - ? ) married Robert Gedeon ( ? - ? ). Her home in 1998 was in Palm Harbor, FL.
  • Granddaughter Joanne K. Perry ( ? - ? ) relocated to Florida and dwelled in Palm Harbor.
  • Granddaughter Patricia A. Harter ( ? - ? ) wedded Gary Hess ( ? - ? ). They resided in Eighty Four, Washington County, PA.


~ Son Harvey F. Nicholson ~

Son Harvey F. Nicholson (1903-1985) was born on Aug. 26, 1903.

He married Catherine "Kate" Flaherty ( ? -1992).

Their two known offspring were Mary Frances Virginia and John Harvey "Nick" Nicholson.

The Nicholsons dwelled on Pittsburgh's North Side.

Sadly, Harvey was gathered in by the Angel of Death on June 27, 1985. A death notice in the Pittsburgh Press reported that his survivors included three grandchildren. A mass of Christian burial was sung at the St. Peter Church.

Kate lived as a widow for another seven years. She passed into eternity on April 16, 1992. Her funeral mass also was held at St. Peter's.

Daughter Mary Frances "Fran" Nicholson ( ? -2015) was born in (?). She married Benny Richard "Ben" Virginia ( ? -1997), son of Joseph J. and Anna (Machusko) Virginia. They dwelled on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Children born to this union were Cindy Mauro, Gary Virginia and Kelly Stanfill. Sadly, Benny died on May 26, 1997. His mass of Christian burial was sung at St. Peter Parish. A death notice was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mary Frances survived her spouse by 18 years and continued to live on the North Side. She joined him in death on Sept. 10, 2015 at the age of 66.

  • Granddaughter Cindy Virginia married (?) Mauro.
  • Grandson Gary Virginia relocated to California.
  • Granddaughter Kelly Virginia wedded Randy Stanfill ( ? - ? ), son of Richard and Janice Stanfill. They were the parents of Steven Hilderhoff and Matthew Randal Stanfill. The family resided in 2014 in McCandless Township in Pittsburgh's North Hills. Grief blanketed the family when son Matthew, age 18, died on May 14, 2014. He was pictured in a death notice in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Son John Harvey "Nick" Nicholson ( ? -2006) was born on (?). He was married and the father of Michael Sean Nicholson and Tracey Marie Nicholson. They made a home on Pittsburgh's North Side. Grief blanketed the family when John died at the age of 49 on March 2, 2006. His funeral mass was sung at St. Peter's.

  • Grandson Michael Sean Nicholson
  • Granddaughter Tracey Marie Nicholson


~ Daughter Dorothy (Nicholson) Sacco ~

Daughter Dorothy Nicholson (1906-1985) was born on May 7, 1906.

She was joined in matrimony with Anthony Sacco ( ? -1969?). The couple bore no offspring.

They resided in Pittsburgh in 1960. Evidence hints that Anthony died on Dec. 12, 1969, with a requiem mass sung at Epiphany Church in Washington Plaza.

As a widow, Dorothy remained in Pittsburgh's North Side.

She passed into eternity on Oct. 9, 1985. Named in her Pittsburgh Press death notice were her nieces Virginia Bosson, Charlotte Perry, Frances Virginia and John Nicholson


~ Daughter Carrie Jane (Nicholson) Van Gosen ~

Daughter Carrie Jane Nicholson (1909- ? ) was born on July 1, 1909 in Fayette County. 

At the age of 30, she lived in Pittsburgh, at 9 Marie Place, but had no occupation. 

On April 24, 1940, the 30-year-old Carrie married 32-year-old John Van Gosen (1908- ? ). He was a laborer in Pittsburgh, and had been married and divorced once previously.

Evidence suggests that the couple did not reproduce.

John succumbed to death on Aug. 12, 1962.

Carrie spent her adult life in Pittsburgh. She passed away on Jan. 4, 1969. A short death notice was printed in the Pittsburgh Press. Her remains are in eternal repose in Allegheny Cemetery.


Copyright 2004, 2012, 2020 Mark A. Miner