Ellen "Nellie" (Firestone) Nicola was born on Feb. 1, 1840 on the family farm in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, the daughter of George and Catherine "Katie" (Younkin) Firestone.
When she was 38 years of age, on Nov. 3, 1878, Ellen married 36-year-old widower and Civil War veteran Freeman Nicola (March 5, 1844-1928), the son of Jacob and Catherine (Ansell) Nicola. The nuptials were held in the presence of witnesses near Draketown, Somerset County, officiated by justice of the peace Thomas Ream Jr. No official record of the wedding was made.
Freeman's first wife was Phoebe Vought ( ? -1878), with their nuptials having taken place on Nov. 3, 1872 near Kingwood, officiated by Rev. W.M. Davis. Sadly, though, their marriage only had lasted for six years. She passed away on Feb. 16, 1878 near Rockwood, just a few weeks away from her 24th birthday, with her remains laid to rest in Laurel Church Cemetery.
He thus brought a young son to the second union, five-year-old William Willis Nicklow.
Ellen and Freeman went on to produce three children of their own -- Harry "Bruce" Nicola/Nicklow, Minnie Catherine Trimpey and one unknown who died young.
Freeman was a lifelong farmer who stood 5 feet, 11 inches tall and had a light complexion, grey eyes and dark hair. The family name sometimes was spelled without rhyme or reason over the years as "Nicolay" or "Nicklow."
During the Civil War, Freeman traveled to Chambersburg, PA to join the Union Army on March 31, 1864. The Army established its own spelling of his name as "Nichola." He was assigned to the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company M, also known as the 113th Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Among his regiment's engagements were the Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Antietam and the Second Battle of Winchester, VA. He is believed to have been wounded in the left leg, but this needs to be confirmed. His term of service lasted until July 26, 1865 -- one year, four months and 25 days -- until he was discharged in Philadelphia.
Freeman was eligible for a Civil War soldier's pension based on infirmity or disability suffered during his term of service. He was awarded the pension on Sept. 4, 1879 -- about the time he wedded Ellen. [Invalid App. #308.010 - Cert. #960.306] He received monthly checks from the government for the remainder of his long life.
Ellen and Freeman dwelled on the Firestone farm in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, north of the Draketown community. When Ellen's father wrote a will as he was dying in the summer of 1886, he wanted Ellen to inherit the lower end of the old home farm, but required that she had to pay for the property, giving her sister in law Mary Ellen (Gates) Firestone the sum of $100 to be made in annual installments of $25.
The couple lived on that farm in 1900 when enumerated in the U.S. Census, and among their near neighbors was the family of a cousin Levi Younkin, a son of "Weasel Jake" Younkin. They were members of the Old Bethel Church of God. The Meyersdale Republican once said that Freeman "was a good Christian and citizen and honorable and honest in all his dealings with his fellowmen."
Suffering from heart failure, due to chronic heart valve problems and an enlarged heart, Ellen underwent treatment from a Younkin cousin, Dr. Winfield Scott Kuhlman of Ursina (of the family of Louisa [Smith] Kuhlman), but a recovery was hopeless. She died on Feb. 21, 1909 at the age of 69. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in the Old Bethel Church of God Cemetery in Kingwood, Upper Turkeyfoot. Freeman was the informant for the death certificate.
Freeman survived Ellen by about 19 years and retired from farming. At the age of 69, he married again on Dec. 21, 1913 to 30-year-old Saloma Pyle (1883-1937), daughter of Zachariah and Mary M. (Bird) Pyle. Justice of the peace Andrew J. Case officiated at the ceremony held at the bride's home in Lower Turkeyfoot. The couple was 39 years apart in age.
Saloma had been married once before, to Fred Kreger ( ? - ? ) and bore at least one son, Zachariah Samuel Kreger.
During their four years of marriage, they made a home in the logging town of Humbert, Somerset County, and Saloma bore two more children. But the "young wife and old husband did not live harmoniously together," reported the Meyersdale Republican, "so the old man left her after she had borne him two children." She filed a legal claim citing "desertion and non-support," and he agreed to pay her $5 a week. She was not satisfied with that amount, and filed a second claim attempting to compel him to pay more. She stated that "during these times of high cost of living ... she cannot make out with such a small stipend. Nicola put up the plea tat his pension of $19 amonth was all the income he had, therefore it was impossible for him to pay more than $5 a week to support his superfluous family." The claim was dismissed, and the couple remained separated.
The final years of Freeman's life were spent in the homes of his grown children. He was "in fairly good health for a man of his age until about two months ago," reported the Republican in September 1928, "when he had a light paralytic shock and on the Saturday before his death, he received another shock, which confined him to his bed and n Sunday morning he became unconscious until death took place." The angel of death spirited him away on Sept. 16, 1928 at the age of 84. Interment was in Old Bethel Church of God Cemetery, following funeral services in the church, led by the pastor of the Kingwood Church of the Brethren. Son William Nicola of Markleton signed the Pennsylvania death certificate.
Among the mourners who traveled a distance to attend the funeral were Mrs. Frank Shelkey and son of South Connellsville, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gove of Scottdale, George Firestone and family from Greensburg, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Nicola and daughter Eva of Confluence, and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Reeves and daughter Verdella, also from Confluence.
Saloma maintained her own home next to her father's in Lower Turkeyfoot. In 1920, census records show her house filled with seven children, ranging in age from 14 years to seven months -- Eliza Porterfield, Benjamin Kregar, Zacharia Kreger, Susie Kreger, Charles Nicola, James Nicola and Anna Nicola. In 1931-1932, she resided in the Somerset County Home and Hospital at a cost of $244 to the county. Her final years were spent in Champion, Fayette County. She suffered for three years from an umbilical hernia and acute obstruction of the intestines. She was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital, and underwent surgery for a bowel resection, but her health declined. At the age of 54 she died on May 24, 1937 under the name "Salone Nichola." Burial was in Ursina, Somerset County, and a short obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Freeman and his first wife Phoebe are mentioned in the 2010 book by Samuel Miller, A Place Called Hexie.
~ Stepson William Willis Nicklow ~
Stepson William Willis Nicklow (1874-1952) was born on June 18, 1874 in Somerset County. He was just three years of age when his mother died, and about five years old when his father remarried to our Ellen Firestone.
On the Fourth of July 1894, at the age of 20, he was joined in wedlock with 21-year-old Minnie Rebecca Stairs (1873-1970), an orphan who was the ward of (?) Strayer. The ceremony was led by Rev. A.B. Miller at the home of E.M. Stairs in Kingwood.
Their children were Harry Nicklow, Lulu Yoder, Clarence William Nicklow, Orion M. Nicklow and Lola Gertrude Williams.
They were farmers for decades in the Kingwood area and are believed to have owned a tract in Hexebarger which earlier had belonged to John Minerd and his parents Jacob and Catherine (Younkin) Minerd Jr. dating to 1804.
William was burdened with cardiovascular and kidney disease and died at age 77 on April 14, 1952. His remains rest in Old Bethel Cemetery.
Minnie outlived her husband by 18 years. At the Nicklow Reunion held in Kingwood at the Odd Fellows Grove in June 1968, she received the prize as the honored member of the day at age 95. She passed into eternity in 1970.
Son Harry Freeman Nicklow (1897-1945) was born on Aug. 21, 1897. He married Mollie Belle Tressler (March 13, 1898-1991). They dwelled in the Kingwood area and were lifelong farmers. Their seven children were Etta Grace Turney, Evanell Ream, Annabelle Pletcher, Harold Nicklow, John "Von" Nicklow, Geraldine "Gerry" Cameron and Peggy Carolus. Sadly, another daughter, Martha, died at less than a month of age on Jan. 25, 1925. Tragedy visited this family in September 1945, when an accident turned Harry into a "human torch" in the aftermath of "a severe electric storm which swept over Somerset County." Reported the Meyersdale Republican, Harry was:
...trying to get his automobile into his garage when caught outside with the car when the storm broke, Saturday evening. The storm was so fierce that he could not get the car into the garage and was forced to leave it outside until the storm was over. On Sunday morning, assisted by his 12-year-old son, John, he was trying to get the water drenched car started to take his family to Sunday School. He had difficulty in getting ignition, and while he had the hood open and was working on the engine, the boy poured some gasoline into the carburator from an open container, just as a switch was accidently turned, causing a spark that ignited the gasoline which suddenly flamed up and set Mr. Nicklow's clothing on fire. Almost instantly the man became a human torch. He threw himself on the ground a few feet from the car and rolled himself over and over, trying to smother the flames, but nearly all of his clothing was burned off him and the skin on his abdomen and back was burned almost to a crisp. A nearby camper rushed the suffering man to the Price Hospital in Confluence in his car. Nicklow was able to walk into the hospital, but his burns were so severe and covered such a large area of his body that healing was impossible. All that could be done to alleviate his suffering was done by Dr. Price and the hospital staff, until death put an end to his agony.
Great-granddaughter Patsy Turney wedded Larry "Beanie" Pletcher. She was deceased by 2011.
Great-granddaughter Brenda Turney married John M. Zoscak Jr.
Great-granddaughter Patricia Ream married Terry Weaver. They are the parents of Daniel Weaver, son of Bernard and Pat Weaver of Rockwood. Their home in 1989 was in Rockwood.
Great-grandson Terry Ream wedded Margaret Singer. They have dwelled in Markleton.
Great-granddaughter Barbara Ream was joined in matrimony with Jack Pletcher. They have lived in Markleton.
Great-grandson Fred Ream was united in wedlock with Wilma Pritts.
Great-granddaughter Bonnie Ream married Eugene Barron. Their home in 1989 was in Somerset.
Great-granddaughter Donna Ream wedded John D. Norseen. They established a residence in Herndon, VA.
Great-grandson Von Ream was united in marriage with Gail Cramer. They were in Markleton in 1989.
Son Clarence William Nicklow (1895-1981) was born on Sept. 15, 1895 in the Kingwood area. He was wed twice. His first spouse was (?). Their four offspring were Lawrence Nicklow, Albert Nicklow, Clifford Nicklow and Robert Nicklow. Clarence's second bride was Mary Warrick (1918-1994), daughter of Thomas and Bessie (Sibert) Warrick of Lower Turkeyfoot. Clarence was 23 years older than Mary. They went on to produce three daughters of their own -- Eleanor Cottrell, Darlene Geyer and Ruby Lear. The family were members of the Old Bethel Church of God. Clarence died at Meyersdale Community Hospital at the age of 86 on Oct. 17, 1981. Funeral services were held at the Old Bethel Church officiated by Rev. Paul Tobias. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American noted that he was survived by 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Mary lived for another 13 years after Clarence's death. Toward the end, she went to live in the Bouras Personal Care Home in Farmington, Fayette County to be nearer to her daughter Ruby Lear. She died there at the age of 75 on Feb. 24, 1994. As he had before, Rev. Tobias led her funeral at Old Bethel.
Son Orion M. Nicklow (1904-1993) was born on Aug. 17, 1904 in Upper Turkeyfoot. He married Nannie G. Saylor (1905-1985), daughter of Ross and Mary (Williams) Saylor. The Nicklows had a family of children -- Howard J. Nicklow, Everett Nicklow, Louise Kreger, Dr. Clark W. Nicklow, Shirley Hoffman, Dale Nicklow, Cora Lee Tressler and Robert Nicklow. Sadly, an unnamed baby died at birth on Sept. 8, 1927 and son Robert also died in childbirth on June 4, 1931. They were longtime members of the Kingwood Grange and the Old Bethel Church of God. In 1959-1960, Orion was a member of the building committee that constructed a new, brick building to house the Old Bethel Church. Seven years later, he took part in a mortgage burning ceremony when the church completed repaying a $13,800 building loan. Said the dedication booklet, "Due to the goodness of our Heavenly Father, the faithfulness of members and friends by sacrificial giving, the indebtedness has been liquidated as of January 1, 1967, approximately four years ahead of schedule." A copy of the program booklet for the mortgage burning ceremony is in the archives of the Historical Society of the Churches of God in Findlay, OH. Orion also served on the school boards of Upper Turkeyfoot Township, in 1951-1952 and of Rockwood Joint Schools in 1957-1958. He is pictured and mentioned in the October 1995 edition of the Hexie Gazette, published by the late Clyde Miller. Sadly, Nannie passed away at the age of 80 on Sept. 18, 1985 at home. Rev. Douglas Baker officiated at her funeral service, followed by burial in the Old Bethel Cemetery. After Nannie's death, Orion married again to a schoolhood friend, Evanell (Miner) Kimmel, daughter of John Andrew and Susie (Pletcher) Miner and the widow of Irvin Lester Kimmel Sr. Evanell and Orion were featured in a 1987 issue of the Somerset Daily American, headlined “Couple Given a Second Chance at First Love.” In the 1980s and '90s, the founder of this website was a visitor at their home. Orion died at the age of 88 on Feb. 4, 1993. Rev. James Monticue officiated at the funeral service at the Kingwood Church of God, with burial in Old Bethel Cemetery, attended by the founder of this website. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American which noted that Orion's survivors included 22 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
Great-granddaughter Cindy Nicklow married Wayne Kalp.
Great-granddaughter Gloria Nicklow wedded Jim Wieand.
Great-grandson Eugene Nicklow
Great-granddaughter Marianne Nicklow was joined in holy matrimony with Dr. Sebastian Lipinski.
Great-grandson Dr. John Nicklow was united in wedlock with Stacy Sontheimer.
Great-grandson Eric Nicklow wedded Aimee Lasky.
Daughter Lola Gertrude Nicklow (1910-1980) was born on Oct. 29, 1910 in Upper Turkeyfoot, a twin with her sister Lula. Lola married Edward Williams ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce and made their home near Somerset. Lola was a member of the Old Bethel Church of God. She died in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 69 on June 5, 1980. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park following funeral services preached by Rev. James Vandervort.
Daughter Lula Grace "Lulu" Nicklow (1910-1993) was born on Oct. 29, 1910 in Upper Turkeyfoot. She was a twin with her sister Lola. Lula was twice married. Her first spouse was (?) Show ( ? - ? ). This marriage produced two children -- Lorene Sabo and Larry J. Show. Later, she married her second husband, Wilbur Yoder (1914-1998), son of Francis and Ella (Yoder) Yoder. They lived in the vicinity of Somerset. Lula worked for the Somerset County Club and attended the Somerset Alliance Church. During World War II, Wilbur served in the U.S. Army as a military policeman. He worked at Somerset Country Club as a groundskeeper for more than 55 years, reported the Somerset Daily American, and enjoyed fishing, hunting and trapping. Lulu died at the age of 82 in Somerset Community Hospital on Jan. 3, 1993. Rev. Melvin E. Vance officiated at the funeral, followed by burial in Somerset County Memorial Park. The Daily American printed an obituary, stating that her survivors included seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. Wilbur lived another five years and joined her in death at the age of 84 on Aug. 29, 1998
~ Son Harry "Bruce" Nicklow ~
Son Harry "Bruce" Nicklow (1880-1950) was born on Aug. 28, 1880 on the home farm in Lower Turkeyfoot.
As an adult, he apparently spelled the family name "Nicalo" and at times "Nicola" and "Nicklow."
On May 29, 1904, when he was 24 years of age, Bruce was joined in holy matrimony with 18-year-old Susan Belle "Susie" Romesberg ( ? -1966), daughter of Hiram and Phoebe Ann (Pletcher) Romesberg of Black Township on the outskirts of Rockwood. Officiating at the union was Rev. W.H. Blackburn. At the time of marriage, Bruce earned a living as a laborer.
The Nicalos produced two daughters -- Eva G. Harned and Bessie Irene Reeves.
Initially they made their residence in Rockwood, but by 1913, the family dwelled in Humbert, Lower Turkeyfoot Township. The Nicalos spent the balance of their lives as farmers in the Kingwood area, and in 1940 are thought to have resided along or near Wino Road or Hexie Road in Hexebarger, in between the farms of cousins Alex and Mattie Jane (Younkin) Ohler of the family of "Weasel Jake" Younkin and Charles Milton and Grace (Beachy) Younkin of the family of William Lincoln and Margaret (Nicola) Younkin. That year, in 1940, their seven-year-old grandson Ronald Harned lived under their roof even as his parents made their home in Somerset.
Bruce was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 69 on May 1, 1950. His remains were returned to the earth in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery. On Bruce's death certificate, his mother's maiden name erroneously was given as "Vough" instead of "Firestone."
Susan survived her husband by 16 years and made her home with her married daughter Eva Harned "in a more-than-a-century-old stone house near the intersection of the Somerset road," said the Somerset Daily American. In November 1953, to honor Susan's birthday, her family held a dinner party which was reported in the gossip columns of the Daily American. "A large cake was decorated for the occasion, and many gifts were received." She succumbed at the age of 79 on Feb. 12, 1966. An obituary appeared in print in the Meyersdale Republican. Bruce and Susan are named in Samuel Miller's 2010 book entitled A Place Called Hexie.
Daughter Eva G. Nicola (1913-1999) was born on Nov. 24, 1913 in Humbert, Lower Turkeyfoot Township. She married Robert Edward Harned (1907-1992), son of John Edward and Nancy Mae (Cameron) Harned. They had five children -- Ronald Harned, Robert L. Harned, Shirley DeVore and Gloria Johnson and little Nancy Harned who died in infancy. Circa 1940, federal census records show the family making its residence in Somerset, Somerset County, with Robert earning a living as a tunnel construction laborer, presumably along the main line of the new Pennsylvania Turnpike. Eva was a member of the auxiliary of the Ursina American Legion. By 1951, the Harneds lived along Humbert Road. They donated an old piano in 1953 to the American Legion, "where it will be welcome in furnishing music for the accompaniment to the orchestra," reported the Somerset Daily American. Robert also served for a dozen years on the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School board, retiring in December 1971. Robert passed into eternity in Kingwood on June 1, 1992. Eva survived him by almost seven years. She died at Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 85 on March 3, 1999. Burial was in the IOOF Cemetery in Kingwood, with Rev. Edward DeVore leading the funeral service. An obituary was published in the Daily American.
Daughter Bessie Irene Nicalo (1905-1998) was born on June 9, 1905 in Rockwood. She was wedded to Herbert L. Reeves ( ? -1981), the son of William T. and Alta (Jenkins) Reeves of Lower Turkeyfoot. They lived on the outskirts of Confluence and attended the Ursina Church of God. The Reeveses had one daughter, Verdella Metheney. In September 1951, they attended a reunion of the Reeves family held at the "old homestead near Humbert, now a ghost town," noted the Somerset Daily American. Herbert passed away at home at age 77 on April 21, 1981. Rev. Roy C. Bower and Rev. Edward DeVore jointly conducted the funeral service. An obituary followed in the Meyersdale Republic. Bessie died in Somerset Community Hospital on Oct. 29, 1998 at the age of 93. Rev. Edward DeVore offiiciated at the funeral, followed by interment in the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. The Daily American noted in an obituary that she was survived by two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
~ Daughter Minnie Catherine (Nicklow) Trimpey ~
Daughter Minnie Catherine Nicklow (1883-1956) was born on May 10, 1883 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County.
At the age of 24, on March 27, 1907, she was wedded to 31-year-old school teacher Lyman C. Trimpey (1876-1962), son of Henry M. and Amanda Elizabeth (Meyers) Trimpey. Rev. W.J. Umstead officiated at the nuptials held at the home of Minnie's brother William.
They are not believed to have reproduced, but in 1920 and in 1930, young William Pletcher lived in their home and attended school. By 1940, federal census records indicate that they had taken in a "hired boy," 13-year-old Virgil Warrick. In addition to his work as a school teacher in early adulthood, Lyman spent the balance of his life farming.
Minnie passed away on July 18, 1956.
On March 29, 1961, Lyman remarried to a longtime neighbor and friend, Susie (Pletcher) Miner (1887-1985), widow of John Andrew Miner. They enjoyed a little more than a year of marriage until Lyman's death on July 7, 1962. Minnie and Lyman are mentioned in the 2010 book by Samuel Miller, A Place Called Hexie.