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Moses D. Garmer
(1807-1871)

 

Moses D. Garmer was born on Oct. 17, 1807 in Macungie Township, Lehigh County, PA, the son of Johann Dietrich "Dieter" and Anna Elizabeth (Heinly) Gaumer.

He was twice married and, in all, was the father and stepfather of 13 children.

In about 1825, he was united in matrimony with his first bride, Elizabeth Salome Guth ( ? - ? ).

The young couple resided in Carbon County, PA and bore six children, among them Evan Daniel Gaumer, Anna Maria Laury, Malinda Beisel, Lissette Gaumer, James Alfred Gaumer and Franklin Lewis Gaumer. They may also have borne or raised Lucinda (Gaumer) Cook, reputedly the daughter of James Gaumer and Rosie Good.

Sadly, Elizabeth is believed to have died in about 1850, and their daughter Lissette also did not survive childhood.

After a short period of mourning, Moses was united in holy wedlock in 1850 with his second bride, 31-year-old widow Susanna "Sarah" (Laury) Frankenfield (Oct. 24, 1819-1881). She was the daughter of John Jacob and Susanna (Wieser) Laury. A direct descendant has said that under the old German custom, Susanna was the name of her saint, and Sarah her given name.

Having been married before to Charles F. Frankenfield ( ? -1847), she brought two children to the marriage, Matilda Beggs and Franklin J. Frankenfield.

When the federal census was taken in 1850, the Gaumers made their home in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, with Moses earning a living as a shoemaker, and the two Frankenfield children in the household.

The couple went on to have at least five other children -- Sarah "Josephine" Jackson, William Henry "Bill" Gaumer, Wallace Moses "Wiley" Gaumer, Roseann Lutz and Emma "Caroline" Boyle.

By 1860, Moses appears to have adopted the Frankenfield step-children and had their surnames changed to "Gaumer." During the Civil War, the family worried as the two eldest sons joined the Union Army and saw battle action. Anxiety turned to grief when son Franklin died far away from home, in Virginia, in 1862.

During the latter half of the 1860s, following the birth of their daughter Emma, the Gaumers migrated west. They first went to Wisconsin, living in the Green Bay community, and then in 1869 pushed south to Illinois and settled on a farm in Eliza, Mercer County. The family is enumerated in Eliza in the 1870 United States Census. After arriving in Mercer County, for reasons not yet known, the family name began to be spelled "Garmer."

Moses died in Eliza on March 9, 1871, at the age of 63.

Sarah outlived her spouse by a decade. Federal census records for 1880 show her at age 62 living in the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Matilda and Hugh Beggs, in New Boston, Mercer County. Also in the household at that time were her unmarried son Wallace and daughter Emma.

She joined Moses in death three days after Christmas 1881.

In about 1910, Moses remains were moved to Eliza Creek Cemetery, and a stone erected at the grave, spelled "Garmer." [Find-a-Grave] For some unknown reason his birthdate as inscribed on the gravestone's face (Dec. 15, 1800) was off by seven-plus years.

 

~ Son Evan Daniel Gaumer ~

Son Evan Daniel Gaumer (1828-1888) -- sometimes misspelled "Eben" -- was born five days before Christmas in 1828. He learned the trade of flour-milling which provided him with a living over many decades of work.

Evan married Sarah E. Wertz (April 9, 1831-1904).

The couple produced a large family of seven known children -- Joseph F. Gaumer, John W. Gaumer, Maria Gaumer, Thomas Gaumer, James Gaumer, Emma Gaumer and Ellen Bauer.

When the federal census count was made in 1860, the Gaumers lived in Lower Towamensing, Carbon County, PA, with a post office address of Lehigh Gap. That year, 20-year-old Moses Moyer lived under their roof.

With an established life and family in Carbon County, he did not join his father and step-mother in their migration to Illinois in the late 1860s. The 1870 U.S. Census shows the family in Franklin Township, Carbon County, with their oldest two sons working at the local furnace, son Thomas laboring as a 13-year-old teamster and 19-year-old Ellen Drumbower in the household.

At the age of 59, Evan died on Nov. 8, 1888. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in Weissport, Carbon County. [Find-a-Grave]

Sarah lived beyond her husband by 16 years and went to live with her married daughter Maria Catherine Brown in Parryville, Carbon County. She died there, at the age of 73, in November 1904. Funeral services were held in the Brown residence and later at St. Peter's Evangelical Church in Weissport. Rev. Ginder preached the funeral sermon, and an obituary was printed in the Allentown Leader.

 

Lehighton, Carbon County, early 1900s

 

Son Joseph F. Gaumer (1851-1935) was born in about 1851 in Lower Towmensing, PA. He married Sarah Schier (June 4, 1852-1934), of Parryville, Carbon County, her maiden name also spelled "Sherry" and "Sherer." She was the daughter of Adam and Catharine (Kline) Schier. Their family of children included Mary Harlan, Nora Rehrig, Margaret "Maggie" Straup, Percy Albert Gaumer, Evan Gaumer, John Gaumer, James Gaumer, Aaron E. Gaumer, Robert Gaumer, Emals C. Gaumer and Martin Gaumer. They lived in Parryville, Carbon County, PA in 1871-1880, East Mauch Chunk in 1904, Union Hill in 1928 and Penn Forest/Lehighton in the mid-1930s. For reasons not yet known, Joseph surrendered their Union Hill property via sheriff's sale in October 1926. The tract included a two-and-a-half story frame house, covered by a slate roof, measuring 14 ft. by 22 ft., connected to a one-story frame building measuring 12 ft. by 12 ft. and a kitchen building at 12 ft. by 20 ft. They endured the untimely deaths of their 49-year-old daughter Maggie Straup in 1928 and 61-year-old daughter Nora Gaumer in 1934. Further sadness enveloped the family when Sarah, having borne hardening of the arteries for years, died at home in North Weissport, at age 82, on July 28, 1934. Mennonite pastor Rev. J.C. Roth led the funeral services, with burial in the Lehighton Cemetery. Joseph only lived for a year as a widower. He suffered a cerebral stroke and died in the home of his son Percy in Franklin, Carbon County, just a few weeks shy of his 85th birthday, on the Fourth of July 1935. Percy was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. The Mauch Chunk Times-News reported that "He was ill many weeks." An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call noted that he was survived by 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His remains were lowered into eternal rest in the Lehighton Cemetery, with Rev. J.C. Roth, of the Lehighton Mennonite Church, preaching the funeral sermon.

  • Granddaughter Mary Gaumer (1871-1956) was born on Sept. 12, 1871 in Parryville, Carbon County. She married Josiah W. Harlan Jr. (Dec. 24, 1873-1931), son of Josiah W. and Mary Ann (Long) Harlan of Mauch Chunk. The couple produced two offspring -- Leonard J. Harlan and Margaret Haines. Josiah earned a living working as superintendent of an ice plant owned by his brother George. Later, he was employed as superintendent of the Upper Mauch Chunk Water Company, operating its system of water pumps. They were members of the Ebenezer Evangelical Congregational Church, and he belonged to the local Knights of Malta and International Order of Odd Fellows lodges. The Harlans' address in the early 1930s was 218 Centre Street in Mauch Chunk. Grief blanketed the family when Josiah, who had been afflicted for three years with hardening of the arteries, was felled by a stroke of apoplexy and died a day later, at the age of 57, on Jan. 31, 1931. Funeral services were held in their home, led by Rev. F.R. Cardwell of the family church. Burial followed in Mauch Chunk Cemetery. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that he had resided in Mauch Chunk for his entire life. Mary continued to make her home in Mauch Chunk as a widow. In later years, she shared a home with her son Leonard at 220 Center Avenue. At the age of 84, burdened with hardening of the arteries and heart disease, death carried Mary away on May 7, 1956. Son Leonard, of the home, was the informant for the death certificate. Interment was in Mauch Chunk Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Morning Call. Their son Leonard wedded Mary James in August 1918 and produced three daughters, Mrs. William Ellis, Mrs. Charles Brotz and Mrs. William Heffelfinger.
  • Granddaughter Nora Gaumer (1873-1934) was born in about 1873. She married pattern-maker Harrison "Harry" Rehrig (Aug. 1864- ? ). They were the parents of Bertha Christman Reichard and Russell H. Rehrig (born July 1892). They lived in Penn Forest Township. By 1900, the couple was separated/divorced, with Harry and their son boarding in an Allentown household. Nora took back her maiden name and made a home in later life at 1326 (?) Street in Allentown. She supported herself by working as a housekeeper in homes throughout the city. For two decades, Nora suffered from chronic bronchial asthma. When she contracted bronchial pneumonia in October 1934, she was admitted to Allentown Hospital, where she died at the age of 61 on Oct. 23, 1934. Burial was in Bowmanstown Cemetery, with the funeral service preached by Lutheran pastor Rev. Richard A. Beck. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that flowers were provided at the funeral by Mr. and Mrs. Russell Rehrig and a pillow by W.C. Witmeyer. Her death certificate was signed by son Russell Rehrig. Her survivors were counted as eight grandchildren. Son Russell (1892-1943), a blacksmith, married Lucinda Shock ( ? -1972), produced six children and died of a heart attack on March 22, 1943.
  • Granddaughter Margaret "Maggie" Gaumer (1878-1928) was born on Sept. 16, 1878 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. She appears to have been married twice, first to (?) Swartz ( ? - ? ). This marriage produced one or two children, Albert Swartz and Emma Weidaw. Later, she wedded Irwin Straup ( ? - ? ) and lived in Fireline, Carbon County. She was a member of local camp of the Patriotic Order of Americans. As a widow, Maggie suffered from non-malignant growths on her uterus. When the tumors caused an obstruction of her intestines, she was admitted to Palmerton Hospital, and underwent surgery, but did not survive. She succumbed there on July 16, 1928, at the age of 49. Funeral services were held in her home, and later in the Towamensing Church, led by Rev. R.E. Kutz. Burial was in the church cemetery. Son Albert was the informant for her official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Son Albert lived in Bowmanstown and daughter Emma in Fireline in 1928.

 

Main Street looking northward, Lehighton

 

  • Grandson Percy Albert Gaumer (1880-1955) was born on Dec. 17, 1880 in Parryville, Carbon County. On March 16, 1903, he was married to Blanche Koch ( ? - ? ), daughter of Henry Koch of North Weissport. The ceremony was held in the home of Reuben Kunkle in Packerton, officiated by Rev. Wilson Hartzell of the Packerton Reformed Church. They bore a daughter, Mrs. Thomas Dale. The Gaumers lived in rural Franklin Township near Lehighton, Carbon County, and earned a living as a repairman, car inspector and brakeman for the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company. After retiring from the railroad company, he went to work for Bethlehem Steel Company. The couple were members of First Presbyterian Church of Summit Hill. They are known to have attended the October 1943 funeral of James Gaumer in Allentown. At their golden wedding anniversary in 1953, they were pictured in the Allentown Morning Call. Percy and Blanche celebrated their 52th wedding anniversary in March 1955, with the Morning Call writing a story about the happy event. When he was stricken with a cerebral embolism, Percy was taken to Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed a week later on Dec. 9, 1955. He rests for all time in St. Matthew's Cemetery in Franklin Township.His death was noted in obituaries in the Jim Thorpe Times News and Morning Call.
  • Grandson Evan W. Gaumer (1883-1964) was born on April 6, 1883 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. He was joined in holy wedlock with Beulah O. Manz ( ? - ? ), daughter of Francis and Sarah (Longacre) Mantz of Andreas, PA. The Gaumer and Mantz families were close, and Evan's brother James married Beulah's sister Mary. The couple did not reproduce. They dwelled for six decades in Mahoning Township, near Lehighton, in 1918-1955. In all, he worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad for 48 years, including as an air brake inspector in 1947, retiring only when in poor health. He made news in March 1924 when one of his black Minorca hens laid an egg measuring 8½ inches by 5½ inches and weighing a quarter of a pound. He also liked to hunt, and shot a 190-lb., five-point buck in Mud Run in December 1930. Beulah's aged mother lived in their residence in the mid-1920s and died there in July 1926. In the 1930s, they provided a home for retired farmer George Kemerer, who passed away there in July 1935. The Gaumers also hosted funerals for other relatives over the years. The couple was in the midst of controversy in the 1940s when part of their farm was taken via eminent domain for the highway relocation of Route 13006 in Mahoning, between Normal Square and Lehighton. They eventually were awarded $3,000 in damages. Evan endured chronic kidney problems and infections over the last six years of his left. The Grim Reaper of Death cut him away at the age of 80 on Jan. 9, 1964. His remains were laid to rest in Lehighton Cemetery. Beulah lived beyond Evan to the remarkable age of 99. As her health declined, she was admitted to the Gnaden Huetten Convalescent and Nursing Center in Lehighton. She passed away there on March 17, 1985.
  • Grandson John H. Gaumer (1885-1979?) was born on Oct. 22, 1885 or 1886 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. John was married twice in his life. His first spouse was Beulah E. Koch (Aug. 27, 1892-1943), daughter of James and Sarah (Ziegenfuss) Koch of Weissport, Carbon County. Their known children were James I. Gaumer, Bertha Brinker, Dorothy A. Dorschutz, Clinton N. Gaumer, Eleanor E. Bennett, Rada G. Scheirer and Anna MacFarland. He spent his life in Allentown, working for 32 years for Mack Trucks, Inc., including as a drill press operator circa 1940, and retired in 1954. They were members of St. Paul's Reformed/United Church of Christ in Allentown and lived at 1134 South 10th Street. Sadly, Beulah endured heart disease for the last 10 months of her life and was carried away by the Angel of Death, in Sacred Heart Hospital, on Oct. 20, 1943. Her obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that she "had been a resident of this city for the past 28 years." Later, in about 1952, he married his 21-year-old cousin, Leanna V. Gaumer (Aug. 21, 1931-2012), daughter of Raymond A. and Helen (Hiskey) Gaumer and granddaughter of Benjamin Lewis and Mary Ann (Layton) Gaumer. The bride was 45 years younger than the groom. They bore a son of their own, Jeffrey Gaumer. Tragedy visited this family on April 24, 1953, when son Clinton, an ironworker with Gardner Construction Company, on his first day of work on the construction site of a new Allentown Hospital facility, fell from a 45-foot height and was instantly killed. The Morning Call reported that he and others were "dismantling a structural steel elevator shaft a the front of the new hospital wing when he apparently lost his balance and fell to his death on several concrete hoppers at the base of the shaft. Gaumer was dead on arrival at the hospital dispensary." John was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Limeport, and placed in the Mount Texler Skilled Nursing Unit, and died there on May 1, 1979, at the age of 92. He rests for eternity in Arlington Memorial Park in Whitehall, Lehigh County. An obituary in the Morning Call said that he was survived by 16 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. Leanna outlived her spouse by 33 years and remained in her home. She spent 13 years employed by Allentown School District, working in its cafeteria. She died on Feb. 9, 2012. Rev. Michael Iski officiated at the funeral service, with burial in Arlington Memorial Park.

 

Mack Manufacturing in Allentown, which employed many of the Gaumer brothers and their sons over the years.

 

  • Grandson James W. Gaumer (1888-1943) was born on April 13, 1888 or 1890 in East Mauch Chunk. He married Mary (Mantz) Bloss ( ? -1967), daughter of Francis K. and Sarah (Longacre) Mantz of Andreas, PA. The Gaumer and Mantz families were close, and his brother Evan married her sister Bertha. James and Mary did not reproduce. The Gaumers moved to Allentown in about 1916 and lived at the address of 1139 Allen Street. James was a longtime machinist, working for Mack Trucks Inc. He also was a member of the Seibert E.C. Church and its Willign Workers Bible class. Stricken with acute endocarditis, he was treated at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, but there was no hope. He died on Oct. 12, 1943 at the age of 52. He is at rest in Lehighton Cemetery, and an obituary was printed in the Mauch Chunk Times-News. Mary lived for another 24 years as a widow, remaining in Lehighton and sharing the residence with her sister Beulah Gaumer. She was a member of Seibert Evangelical Congregational Church of Allentown. At the age of 76, she died at home on June 2, 1967. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.
  • Grandson Aaron E. Gaumer (1890-1978) was born in about Oct. 1890 or 1891 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. He was united in holy wedlock with Mabel S. Graver (April 23, 1886-1944), daughter of Charles and Messina (Reitz) Graver of Lynnport, PA. Their home for decades was at 724 North 10th Street, Allentown. The Gaumers bore a daughter and son -- Jeanne G. Willette and Paul A. Gaumer, Aaron was hired in about 1914 by Mack Trucks, Inc., in Allentown, and spent 42 years working there, rising to the position of machinist supervisor. He retired in 1956. Aaron also was a 64-year- member of Seibert Evangelical Congregational Church, joining at the age of 13, and when a new church was built in 1932, was a charter member of that congregation. Sadness blanketed the family when, with their son recuperating overseas after a World War II wound, Mabel died on Feb. 2, 1944. The cause was attributed to hypertension and acute cardiac disease. Burial was in Grandview Cemetery. Aaron lived on for another 34 years. He died at the age of 87 on March 9, 1978, in Sacred Heart Hospital. An obituary was published in the Allentown Morning Call. During World War II, their son Paul served in the U.S. Army and took part in the landings in Africa and in the Tunisian "mop up" campaign. Then in action just two days before Christmas, he received a machine gun wound in the thigh during the Tunisian operations. He was hospitalized for eight months, enduring three surgeries prior to his honorable discharge.
  • Grandson Robert A. Gaumer Sr. (1893-1972) was born in about 1893 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I. On Sept. 21, 1918, he was united in wedlock with Alma L. Kaiser ( ? - ? ), daughter of Godfrey Frederick "Fred" and Anna (Stein) Kaiser of East Mauch Chunk. The military-style wedding was held at St. John's Episcopal Church, officiated by Rev. H.E.A. Durell, and noted in the Allentown Morning Call. Four children were born to this marriage -- Robert A. Gaumer Jr., Richard A. Gaumer, Fred W. Gaumer and Dorothy E. Ernst. They made a home in Allentown, where Robert worked for Mack Trucks, Inc., retiring in 1958. Their address as 1036 South 7th Street. The family belonged to St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church, and Robert was a life member of the Fairview Fire Company. The Gaumers grieved in mid-Oct. 1957 when 38-year-old son Robert, a World War II veteran, died from artery issues in the base of the brain, leaving a wife Lorraine and young daughter Cheryl Ann. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September 1968, with a dinner in the Ernst home, and a feature story printed in the Morning Call. As his health failed, Robert became a resident of Cedarbrook in Allentown, where he died at the age of 79 on Dec. 15, 1972. An obituary in the Morning Call noted that he was survived by seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
  • St. Paul's Lutheran Church, where the Emals Gaumers worshipped. Rev. George Greiss inset.
    Grandson Martin J. Gaumer (1896-1940) was born on May 13, 1896 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. He suffered from bronchial asthma for years and thus could not work on the family farm in adulthood. Rather, he turned to business conducted primarily indoors. Martin established a home in the village of Christmans near Penn Forest, Carbon County, PA, where he operated a store and also was a township road laborer. He married Anna Smith ( ? - ? ), daughter of Wilson and Alice (Searfoss) Smith. Their only son was Curtin W. Gaumer. The Gaumers were members of Christ Lutheran Church of Penn Forest. In May 1931, a local newspaper reported that he was "erecting an eating stand on the new highway leading from East Mauch Chunk to Lake Harmony." They are known to have attended the 50th wedding anniversary in June 1939 for Anna's parents, in Stony Creek, PA, with the news printed in the gossip columns of the Allentown Morning Call. In mid-June 1940, heartbreak swept over the family when Martin suffered another asthma attack and could not catch his breath. He died on June 15, 1940 at the age of 44 years, one month and two days. An obituary in the Mauch Chunk Times-News said that funeral services were held in the Gaumer home and later at the family church, with interment in Christmans Cemetery. Son Curtin served in the U.S. Army during World War II and on April 30, 1949 married Joyce Alice Eckley, daughter of Archie Eckley.
  • Grandson Emals C. Gaumer (1900-1971) was born in about 1900 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. At the age of 18, on Aug. 17, 1918, he wedded Eliza M. Smith (1898-1986), one of 11 children of William and Emma (Hand) Smith of Parryville, Carbon County. Offspring born to this union were Joyce I. Miller, LaRue M. Ducy and Charles Emals Gaumer. They lived at 1120 South 10th Street in Allentown. For 44 years, starting in about 1920, he was employed in the machine shop of Mack Manufacturing/Trucks in Allentown, and retired in 1964. They belonged to St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Allentown. Demonstrating the enduring influence of the family's and community's German roots, Emals was named in a German-language column in the Allentown Morning Call on May 11, 1943, stating: "So wie die barichda rei kumma, is der Emals Gaumer fon da Sid 10d shtross doh in da shtadt im marrick fer 'n guter milich gase. Der Emals shoft im nummer drei mashine shop ons Macka, un is shure sei fraw die Eliza kent der gase gute fersarya, 'n melka un der budder draya, un er het blenty sale fer die milich un budder os sie net selwar breichda." The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in August 1968 and were pictured in the Morning Call. He died in Allentown Hospital at the age of 71 on Jan. 22, 1971. An obituary appeared in the Morning Call, and funeral services were held in the family church. Eliza outlived her spouse by 15 years and lived at 1120 South 10th Street. Sadness again swept over her life when she endured the death of her 54-year-old daughter Joyce, a chartered life insurance underwriter, on Jan. 9, 1974. At the end, Eliza became a patient in Leader Nursing and Rehabilitation Center II in nearby Bethlehem. There, she succumbed to the Angel of Death just five days before Christmas 1986 at the age of 88 years, two months and one day. Her remains were lowered into eterment in Cedar Hill Memorial Park, with an obituary published in the Morning Call. The family requested that any memorial contributions be made to the family church.

Son John W. Gaumer (1852-1928) was born on Oct. 20, 1852. He was joined in marriage with Mary "Sarah" E. Strohl (Sept. 1, 1854-1911), daughter of Samuel A. and Christiana (Bier) Strohl. Their offspring were Bessie "Ethel" Heldt, Estella Arner and Lee Strohl Gaumer. John was a self-employed retail lumber dealer, operating Gaumer and Son. John made a home in Weissport, Carbon County circa 1904. With a head for finance, he also was a board director of the Weissport National Bank. Their home was on Union Hill, and they worshipped at St. Peter's U.E. Church. Sarah was diagnosed with stomach cancer in early 1911. Her health declined rapidly, and she succumbed at the age of 57 on Nov. 2, 1911. Funeral services were held in the family home, conducted in German by Rev. D.F. Koztenbader. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery, followed by a well-attended memorial service at Jacob's Reformed Church in Weissport, preached by Rev. W.F. Binder. Her pallbearers included Edward Solt, Sylvanus Berger, Al Buck, William Brown, Osbon Houser and William Arner. John lived for another 17 years. In 1924, his business now operating under the name "Lehighton Lumber Company," the garage and neighboring barn of Wilson Wehr burned due to "unknown origin," said the Mauch Chunk Times-News. The loss of $3,000 was covered by insurance. He passed away from a combination of hardening of the arteries and bronchitis on Jan. 8, 1928. The funeral service was held in the family home, "strictly private," said the Allentown Morning Call, and conducted by Rev. H.W. Kreibel. "The body lay in state Tuesday evening when a large number of friends paid last respects to the deceased." Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in Weissport. Daughter Estella Arner signed the Pennsylvania death certificate. Son Lee inherited his planing mill business

  • Granddaughter Bessie "Ethel" Gaumer (1880- ? ) was born in April 1880. By the age of 20, in 1900, she was married but living at home with her parents. At some point she wedded (?) Heldt, also spelled "Held." She was alive circa 1928. Nothing more is known.
  • Granddaughter Estella M. Gaumer (1884-1946) was born on May 4, 1884 in Union Hill, Franklin Township, Carbon County. She married George D. Arner ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce. George served as postmaster in Weissport circa 1946 and dwelled on Franklin Street. They were members of Jacob's Reformed Church of Weissport. Estella bore disease of her heart for several years and then was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage, dying on Jan. 4, 1946. The funeral was delayed, as her husband also was very ill and confined to bed at the time. Services were jointly conducted by Rev. Irvin A. Raubenhold of York and Rev. Glenn W. Weaver of the family church. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in Weissport, and an obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call.

 

Bountiful "Harvest Home" service at Jacob's Reformed Church, Weissport

 

  • Grandson Lee Strohl Gaumer (1891-1965) was born on Oct. 7, 1891 in Union Hill, Franklin Township, Carbon County. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I, as a member of the 154th Depot Brigade, holding the rank of second lieutenant. He also played baseball for the Lehighton team as a young man. Later, he followed his father's career path and became a lumber dealer. At the age of 28, on June 22, 1920, Lee was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Mary Lucyann (Kistler) Whiteside ( ? - ? ). She was the daughter of D. Jacob Kistler, president of the Penn Lace Company. Rev. Gomer Rees, of Trinity Lutheran Church, officiated the nuptials, held in the home of D. Jacob Kistner in Mahoning, Carbon County. In a report about the wedding, the Allentown Morning Call said that the pair were "a well known Lehighton couple" and that she wore "an orchid georgette gown, heavily beaded and wore an orchid taffeta hat. She carried a huge bouquet of bridal roses." Following a honeymoon to Atlantic City, said the Morning Call, he was to return to his work as a junior partner in his father's lumber business, Gaumer and Son. The couple bore a son, Lee Strohl Gaumer Jr. They made a home for years in Mahoning. At his father's death in 1928, he was bequeathed ownership of the family-owned lumber planing mill. Over time, the Allentown newspapers were full of stories of his comings and goings. He was a longtime officer with the Lehighton Rotary Club, and in 1929 he ran for Clerk of Courts as a Republican. They were members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lehighton. In the community, he was a member of the Lehighton Orioles Lodge. However, fortune was not to follow him as in August 1929, on the eve of the stock market collapse which triggered the Great Depression, he declared both personal and business bankruptcy. The case was heard in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, case no. 6411. Later in life, he worked for Mahoning Valley Floral Company. At the age of 73, Lee suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was admitted to Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital. There, he succumbed on March 30, 1965. Burial was in Lehighton Cemetery.

Daughter Maria Catharine Gaumer (1854-1914) was born on July 3, 1854. She married Thomas Brown ( ? - ? ). They made a home in Parryville, Carbon County. She spent her final years as a widow. On the second day of the new year in 1914, she was stricken with a cerebral stroke. She lingered for 43 days before dying on Valentine's Day 1914. Interment was in Parryville, and Sallie Miller of the town signed the death certificate.

Son Thomas E. Gaumer (1856-1931) was born on April 19, 1856 in Millport, PA. He married Sabilla L. (Hagenbuch) Jones (Feb. 24, 1861-1919), daughter of John and Catherine (Heckman) Hagenbuch of Moorestown, PA. Evidence suggests that Sabilla may have been married previously and brought a son to the second union, John T. Jones. The couple made a home at 103 Cross Street in Sayre, Bradford County, PA. Thomas was employed early in his career with the Sayre System Shops, rising in 1894 to the position of general foreman of the erecting side of the machine shop. Later, said the Elmira (NY) Star Gazette, he "established his own machine shop, being one of the first automobile salesman and mechanics in the valley." He belonged to the Royal Arcanum and the First Methodist Church. Anxiety swept over the family when Sabilla contracted tuberculosis of the lungs in the fall of 1918. After several months of illness, she died on Feb. 6, 1919, just a few weeks before her 58th birthday. A Sayre Evening Times obituary named her surviving sisters as Mrs. V.L. Weaver of Sayre and mrs. E.A. Jacoby of Easton. Another notice in the Evening Times said that "Friends may view the body at her late home" and that the "family requests that flowers be omitted." Funeral services were held in the family church, with Rev. Ferris D. Cornell preaching. Pallbearers included Grant Hutchinson, L.D. Westfall, W.M. Utter, Utley Teed, W.J. Munn and Lewis J. Fitler. Thomas survived as a widower for another dozen years and remained in their home on Cross Street. In Feb. 1925, he traveled to Lehighton to attend the funeral of his brother James, taking the No. 8 train. Thomas married again to Hattie Ellen (Bradley) Adney (Dec. 28, 1874-1955), daughter of B.W. Bradley of Binghamton, NY. Her children to a previous marriage were Jewel Mills and Clyde Adney, as well as a foster daughter Betty Evans. Together, Thomas and Hattie Ellen owned and operated a taxicab business serving their valley community. They are known to have attended Allentown funeral services in March 1924 for his sister Ellen Bauer. Having suffered from heart disease, he was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and died two days later, at 103 Cross Street in Sayre, on Jan. 29, 1931. After funeral services in the family church, led by Rev. Einar Bohne-Echolt, his remains were lowered into repose beside his wife in Tioga Point Cemetery. The Star-Gazette reported that he was survived by his widow and brother Joseph of Weissport, Carbon County. Hattie relocated to 317 Desmond Street in Sayre and outlived her spouse by almost a quarter of a century. Said the Evening Times, "Except for a few years when she lived in LeRaysville, Mrs. Gaumer was a Valley resident all of her life." She belonged to the First Baptist Church. As her health failed, she became a resident of the Bradford County Home. There, at the age of 80, she passed into eternity on Feb. 10, 1955. She also rests at Tioga Point Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Jewel Adney married (?) Mills and bore a son, Kenneth Mills. In 1955, Jewel was in Tampa, FL.
  • Grandson Clyde Adney relocated to New York City.
  • Foster step-great-granddaughter Betty Evans dwelled in the mid-1950s in Sayre.

 

Lehigh Valley Railroad yard and shops in Lehighton, Carbon County

 

 

Lehighton Band, where James H. Gaumer played trombone.

Son James H. Gaumer (1859-1925) was born on June 17, 1859. He was joined in wedlock with Maria Blose ( ? - ? ). They resided for decades in Lehighton, Carbon County, where the Allentown Morning Call once referred to James as "a highly esteemed resident." The couple bore an only son, Robert H. Gaumer. James worked for decades in the Packerton shops of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, holding the position of foreman. Said the Morning Call, he also "was well known as a musician of ability and was formerly connected with the Lehighton and old Liberty bands as a trombone player." Stricken with stomach cancer in 1924, his health declined over the span of months, with death occurring on Feb. 16, 1925, at the age of 65. Rev. Paul R. Pontius preached the sermon at the funeral service, which was held in the Gaumer residence. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in or near Weissport, Carbon County. An obituary was printed in the Morning Call.

  • Grandson Robert H. Gaumer (1887-1964) was born on Jan. 25, 1887 in the Packerton section of Lehighton, Carbon County. He made a home in Lehighton and, following in his father's footsteps, worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad as a trainman. Robert married Eva Mae Markley (June 18, 1888-1949), daughter of James E. and Estella (Blose) Markley of East Weissport. The pair produced a family of four daughters -- Estella Solomon, Evelyn Frantz, Loretta Lusch and Florence George Weiss. Their address in Lehighton was 409 North Second Street. The family belonged to the Bethany Evangelical Congregational Church of Lehighton, and Eva Mae to the Women of the Moose. The family grieved when, after several years of suffering from heart disease, Eva Mae was stricken with an aneurism of her abdominal aorta and died suddenly at home, at the age of 61, on Oct. 21, 1949. In an obituary, the Allentown Morning Call reported that she had "resided in Lehighton and vicinity all her life." James lived on for another 15 years. Burdened with hardening of the arteries, Robert was felled by a heart attack and admitted to Palmerton Hospital, where he succumbed to death on Dec. 10, 1964. His remains were interred in Union Hill Cemetery. Mayme/Maxine Meisel, of 402 North Second Street, provided details about his life for his Pennsylvania death certificate. He was survived by four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Obituaries were printed in the Morning Call and Jim Thorpe Times News.

Daughter Emma L. Gaumer (1862-1923) was born on Oct. 25, 1862 in Parryville, Carbon County. In about 1886, at the age of 24, she entered marital union with 34-year-old Charles H. Hummel (1852-1925), son of Joseph and Amelia (Schoemberger) Hummel. They did not have any children. The couple moved to Philadelphia, where they made a home at 831 North 16th Street. Charles earned a living as a house painter in the city. Emma was a member of the John B. Fine Lodge of the Order of Shepherds of Bethlehem, a social group providing death and disability benefits for members, and also providing advocacy for biblical teachings and the alcoholic temperance cause. The federal census enumeration for 1910 shows the couple keeping boarders in their home, among them Thomas C. and Caroline Knipley and Caroline Eberle. In mid-August 1922, the Hummels along with her married brother Thomas and his newlywed wife left for a driving tour of Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY, in the brother's new Oldsmobile sedan. At the age of 61, having endured chronic heart disease, she contracted acute bronchitis and died a week later on Nov. 12, 1923. Her brother Thomas, traveling from his home in Sayre, PA, is known to have attended her funeral, as recorded in the gossip columns of the Sayre Evening Times. A death notice was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, misspelling her maiden name as "Gurmer." Charles only outlived her by two years. Just four days before Christmas 1925, he died of an accidental poisoning of gas. His remains were brought to Upper Mauch Chunk Cemetery, with Helen Hawkins, of Mauch Chunk, signing the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Daughter Ella J. "Ellen" Gaumer (1871-1924) was born on Nov. 7, 1871 in Parryville, Carbon County. Her husband was Henry Bauer (March 7, 1865-1938), also misspelled "Bowers," a New Jersey native. They were married in about 1888, when Ellen was only 17. The couple bore three children, among them Russell Bauer. Two other children are believed to have died young. Henry worked as a shoe cutter and later as a janitor for the Tilghman Moyer firm. Ellen was considered highly respected in Allentown. Their address was 208 North Church Street. She was a member of the Star Council of the Daughters of America, the Century Temple of the Order of U.A., and the Ebenezer Evangelical Church. In about 1909, she and Henry began performing janitor services at their church, and they continued to do so for 14 years. Henry was a charter member of the Washington Camp, Patriotic Order of the Sons of America and belonged to the Loyal Herd of Buffaloes.  But the Bauers struggled as their son Russell, suffering from epilepsy, was admitted to the State Hospital for the Insane in Norristown, and died in 1914. In 1923, Ellen was afflicted with cancer of the kidney, and the organ was removed in surgery (a "nephrectomy") at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, but nothing more could be done. She was discharged and returned home, where she expired on Feb. 28, 1924, at the age of 52. Burial was in Allentown Cemetery, with obituaries appearing in the Allentown Morning Call and Mauch Chunk Times-News. The Morning Call opined that "Her death comes as a distinct shock to her many friends." Her brother Thomas and his wife Hattie Ellen traveled from their home in Sayre, PA to attend the funeral services. Burial was in Allentown Cemetery. After a grieving period, Henry married again on Christmas Eve 1925 to Estella L. Roth ( ? - ? ). The ceremony was held in the parsonage of the Ebenezer church, with Rev. G.W. Hangen officiating, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Blake of Palmerton attending as witnesses. The Morning Call, in a story about the wedding, said that Henry was a shoe-cutter and tht Estella had been a seamstress and a practical nurse. They moved to 234 East Elms Street. The second marriage lasted for almost a baker's dozen years, until cleaved apart by death. Federal census records for 1930 show the couple boarding in the household of Rev. Harry C. Lilly. Suffering from chronic heart problems, in addition to insanity, kidney failure and cystitis, he died on Aug. 10, 1938. Rev. Wert and Rev. Vlot jointly conducted the funeral service in the Bauer home. Flowers were provided by neighbors, the Blake and Knecht families and the Golden Rule Bible Class of the family church, and his slumber robe was a gift from Estella. The Morning Call printed a funeral notice, which named "Irene Webber" of Philadelphia as his daughter, more likely a step-daughter with Estella.

  • Grandson Russell Bauer (1890-1914) was born on New Year's Eve 1890. He developed epilepsy. As his illness worsened, he was admitted to the State Hospital for the Insane in Norristown, Montgomery County. He remained there for the rest of his life, spanning another two years, seven months and 29 days. At the age of 23, he developed bronchial pneumonia and was cut down by the Grim Reaper on March 30, 1914. His body was shipped back home for interment in Allentown Cemetery. Funeral services were held in the Ebenezer Evangelical Church, located on Turner Street, with Rev. Ballman officiating. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Leader.

 

~ Daughter Anna Maria "Mary Ann" (Gaumer) Laury ~

Daughter Anna Maria "Mary Ann" Gaumer (1832-1897) was born on March 12, 1832.

She married Jacob "Jonas" Laury (1830-1896), son of John Jacob and Susanna (Wieser) Laury.

Among their known children were Elizabeth Clara Laury, Amanda S. Hawkins, Uriah D. Laury and William J. Laury.

 

Cattle watering in Helfrich's Spring near the Mary Ann and Jacob Laury farm

 

The family dwelled near Schadt's schoolhouse in Helfrich's Spring in South Whitehall Township near Allentown. Their six-acre property adjoined tracts owned by Lewis Newhard, Jesse Marks and Edwin Snyder. They lived in a two-and-a-half story frame house, with an attached kitchen building, barn and pig sty. Jonas made news in the Allentown Democrat in July 1882 when he raised a cactus plant in their yard, measuring seven feet high, "and having over 400 flowers and buds. The plant presents a beautiful appearance, and attracts much attention," said the Democrat.

Sadly, the couple died about year apart. Jacob succumbed to death at the age of 66 on June 20, 1896. An auction of his house and farm goods was held on Sept. 10, 1896, with son William serving as agent for the heirs. Among their holdings advertised for sale were a good brown mare, good and safe driver, a top buggy, a good top spring wagon, good-as-new truck harness, two new sets of single harnesses, wheelbarrow, full set of carpentry tools, post iron, shovels, three beds, two bureaus, wash stand, six cane seat chairs and rocker, and a dozen assorted chairs. Additional items were an antique corner clock, carpets, good-as-new New Globe range, cooking stove, two tables and sets of queensware and tinware.

Mary Ann died 14 months later in Philadelphia at the age of 65 years, three months and 29 days on July 11, 1897. Her remains were brought back to Allentown for funeral services, held at her married daughter Amanda's home at 327 North Penn Street. She was placed into eternal sleep in Union-West End Cemetery in Allentown. Obituaries were printed in the Allentown Leader and Allentown Morning Call, and a brief notice of her demise was published in the Hazleton (PA) Sentinel. In a twist requiring more research, either Mary Ann or Jonas produced a child separately from their marriage, Mrs. Joseph Lesten, who dwelled in Philadelphia circa 1902.

Daughter Elizabeth Clara Laury ( ? - ? ) is buried in Allentown's Union-West End Cemetery. There are no dates on her grave marker.

Daughter Amanda S. Laury (1854-1907) was born on May 20, 1854 in Lehigh County. She was diagnosed with epilepsy which she bore for her lifetime. Amanda wedded Richard Hawkins ( ? - ? ). Their home was at 327 North Penn Street in Allentown. In July 1897, they hosted the funeral of Amanda's aged mother, who had died in Philadelphia. By 1907, they moved to 419 Liberty Street. On the first day of February 1907, Amanda suffered a stroke of apoplexy and died the following morning, at the age of 52 years, eight months and 12 days. Her remains were placed into rest in Greenwood Cemetery.

Son Uriah D. Laury ( ? -1902) was born on July 24, 1856. He was married to Clara H. (Schaadt) Lentz (Aug. 20, 1859-1935), also spelled "Schadt," and the daughter of William and Clara (Scheirer) Schaadt of Ironton, PA. Clara had been married and divorced previously from Walter L. Lentz (1857-1913), and she brought two children to the second union -- Claude William Lentz, Edwin W. Lentz. They were the parents of four offspring of their own -- Agnes Strohl, James Laury, Howard Laury and Lizzie C. Harris Frankenfield. Uriah belonged to the Fair Council of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics in Allentown. He owned a frame house and lot in South Whitehall Township. Then in July 1898, in a dispute, he was sued by Joseph Ludwig in the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County. The property was ordered to be sold via sheriff's sale. By 1902, he was living in Alliance/Stemton, Northampton County, PA. At the age of 45, Uriah died at home on April 10, 1902. Funeral services were conducted in the home and at Mickleys Church by Rev. Dr. J.D. Schindel, with interment in Mickleys Cemetery. The Allentown Leader published an obituary. As a widow, Clara relocated to Fullerton, Lehigh County, where she spent the remaining 32 years of her life and was considered "a highly esteemed resident." Her home was at 416 Third Street. The United States Census of 1920 shows her heading a household including her sons Edwin and Claude, married daughter Lizzie Harris and grandson Daniel Harris, and boarder Daniel Hick. At the age of 75, she was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died in Allentown Hospital on May 4, 1935. She also was buried at Mickleys, with Rev. H.T. Sell officiating. Mrs. Milton Strohl of Northampton was the informant for the death certificate. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.

  • Step-grandson Edwin W. Lentz (1879-1946) was born on Jan. 16, 1879 in Scherersville, PA. He married Marion "Mary" Seyfried ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Lucinda C. Hirschel and Earl E. Lentz. Edwin was employed over the years as a hardware pattern maker for Dent Hardware and livedin Fullerton. He was a Lutheran. Circa 1935, he lived at home with his widowed mother. As a widower, his address in the mid-1940s was with his married daughter Lucinda at 128 Main Street in West Catasaugua, Lehigh County. Later in life, he became partially blind and was forced to retire. He was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 67, dying seated in a chair in his home on Dec. 19, 1946. Interment was at Hillside Cemetery in Fullerton, with Rev. Harvey T. Sell preaching. An obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call. Lucinda C. Hirschel of West Catasauqua signed the death certificate.
  • Step-grandson Claude William Lentz (1881-1930) was born on July 22, 1881. At the age of 49, he resided with his widowed mother at 850 Third Street, Fullerton. He worked at the Roller-Smith Company plant in Bethlehem as a moulder of iron and brass. For the last seven years of his life, he was in poor health. Sadly, he passed away on New Year's Eve 1930 at the age of 49. Said the Allentown Morning Call, during the duration of his illness, he "had not been confined to bed for any prolonged period and news of his passing will come as a distinct shock to his many friends." Rev. H.T. Sell preached the funeral sermon, with burial following in St. Johns Union Cemetery in Mickleys. Pallbearers included Lewis Strohl, Milton Strohl, Harold Strohl, Daniel Harris, Earl Lentz and Edward Lentz. Said the Morning Call, "A number of beautiful floral tributes were presented by relatives and friends."
  • Granddaughter Agnes Mae Laury (1890-1963) was born on May 10, 1890 in Fullerton, PA. She was considered "one of Fullerton's fairest daughters," said a newspaper. Prior to marriage, for nine years, she worked for Atlas Cement Company, including in the final year as dining room superintendent. In Sept. 1911, she was joined in matrimony with Atlas co-worker Milton E. Strohl ( ? -1972) of Weissport, the son of Joseph and Effie (Fenner) Strohl. The wedding ceremony was held at the home of Rev. M.N. George, of St. Paul's Reformed Church of Northampton. In a report of the nuptials, the Allentown Morning Call said that the bride "was attired in a handsome gown of white silk chiffon over white messaline with bead trimming. She carried a bouquet of bridal roses." They produced three sons -- Lewis Strohl, Harold Strohl and Paul H. Strohl. Circa 1935-1946, their home was in Northampton, PA, where he was employed for 44 years by Dragon Cement Company, retiring as a millwright foreman in 1958. The couple's address was 2136 Lincoln Avenue, and they were members of St. Paul's United Church of Christ. Sadly, Agnes suffered congestive heart failure and, at age 72, died on April 29, 1963. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery. Milton survived her by nine years. As his health failed, he became a resident of Central Park Convalescent and Nursing Residence in Allentown. He succumbed there at the age of 84 on Nov. 17, 1972, with an obituary printed in the Allentown Morning Call.
  • Grandson Howard Laury (1891-1897) was born in 1891. He did not survive childhood. At the age of six, he was gathered in by the Angel of Death on Oct. 15, 1897.
  • Grandson James Laury ( ? -1929) was born in (?) in Fullerton, PA. He worked as a teamster for R.C. Scheirer circa 1915 and then enlisted in the U.S. Army's Cavalry Service. He was shipped overseas to France, where he was a chauffeur in the ammunition train. Said the Allentown Morning Call, he "received several citations for bravery from the war department." He married Jeanne ( ? - ? ). After the war, he made a home in Fort Dupont, DE and in Somers Point, NJ. Then in 1928, they relocated to Florida, where James was employed as a U.S. Coast Artillery patrol officer in the town of Everglades. He suffered acute indigestion one fateful day in June 1929 and died unexpectedly in Everglades. Burial was with military honors.
  • Granddaughter Lizzie C. Laury (1895-1960) was born on June 2, 1895 in Fullerton. On July 26, 1913, she was first married to Thomas D. Harris ( ? - ? ), an employee of Northampton House. Their wedding was headline news, and the Allentown Democrat said that Thomas had "stole a march on his numerous friends when he quietly hied himself and the lady who is now Mrs. Harris, via taxi cab to Sunnyside Manse, Hokdauqua, on Saturday evening and was married to Rev. James A. little, D.D., to Miss Elizabeth Lowery, one of Fullerton's most attractive young women...." The Democrat added that he was "a prominent member of the local lodge of Redmen, the Haymakers and Charotin Fire Company No. 1, of North Catasquaua. He is very popular among the younger residents of Catasauqua, where he was born, and where he has always resided." The couple produced a son, Daniel Harris, born in about 1914. Thomas deserted his family on July 2, 1916, and Lizzie and her son moved back into her mother's household. Lizzie sued for divorce in March 1920. Later, she wedded Edgar D. Frankenfield (1898-1948), son of Samuel and Agnes (Muth) Frankenfield of Albrights. They bore three children of their own -- Edgar Frankenfield, James S. Frankenfield and Agnes Kline. The couple lived in Clifford Park circa 1931 , Albrights in 1946 and at 961 Main Street in Northampton in 1960. Edgar was employed for two decades at Mack Manufacturing Corporation, where he worked in the changover department of Shop 4. The Frankenfields were members of St. John's Lutheran Church of Mickleys, and he belonged to the Woodlarn and Fullerton Fire Companies and the Allentown Owls lodge. As his health failed, Edgar was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital on Feb. 5, 1948. He spent almost four months there before he finally passed into eternity on June 2, 1948. Lizzie outlived him by a dozen years. She suffered a heart attack with a rupture of the heart and died at home on May 29, 1960. Burial was in St. Johns Union Cemetery in Mickleys. The Allentown Morning Call published an obituary. Circa 1948, their son Edgar Jr. was in Pittsburgh, son James in Allentown, daughter Agnes in Allentown and son Daniel in St. Louis. Then in 1960, Edgar was back in Northampton, James in Allentown, Agnes in Columbus, MO and Daniel remaining in St. Louis.

Son William Jonas Laury (1858-1917) was born on Aug. 9, 1858 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. As a boy, he became partially paralyzed on his right size and had to walk with a cane. Then in manhood, he grew to weigh more than 200 lbs. He never married and helped earn his keep by assisting his father. In 1902, at the death of his brother Uriah, William was in Egypt, Lehigh County. Circa 1903, he found employment as a collector for Baltimore Life Insurance Company. He boarded during that time with John Lehrman at 544 North Eighth Street. To his horror in December 1907, he found $55 missing in his accounts, despite checking and double-checking. The firm's superintendent H.S. Dengler agreed to give him three weeks' time to raise the shortfall. Relatives offered to "help him out to the extent of $5 and $10 each," reported the Allentown Morning Call, "but he didn't see his way clear to make good and feared arrest." He moved out of the Lehrman house, and his widowed brother-in-law Richard Hawkins then agreed to house him for the time being. William, despondent, then decided to kill himself by shooting himself in the head with a .38 calibre revolver, using the bedcovers to mute the gunshot's sound. Continued the Morning Call, "Saturday morning he didn't appear for breakfast. One of the family of Richard Hawkins, with which he resided at No. 419 Liberty Street, who went to call him, found him lying in bed, his head in a pool of blood. He had fired a bullet into his head. Officers Schiffert and Gallagher called Dr. Andrews. He found the bullet had entered below the right ear and was embedded in the fatty part of the neck." The attempt had failed. Officials found a suicide note dated Dec. 6:

Beloved Friends--I feel that I must die in a day or two and I must write you a few lines. Winter is here and no work and no home for me. I did all I could, but it wont work. All hope is gone from me. I ask the good Lord to have mercy on my poor soul. God alone knows what I suffered. I would have altered it if I could I can't face Mrs. Lehman. She has been very good to me. There is a time for all of us to do things for the best. I only tried to do what I thought was right but I failed.

Despite a heavy loss of blood, William was treated at a hospital and released. It's not know if he settled his accounts with Baltimore Life. He lived for another decade with an address of 828 Turner Street in the later 1910s. He worked as a clerk in the mid-1910s. At the age of 60, on Dec. 14, 1917, he suffered a stroke while on Hamilton Street in Allentown. He was rushed to Allentown Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Gertrude Devine, of 1028 Allen Street, provided details for the death certificate. Burial was in Union-West End Cemetery.

 

~ Daughter Malinda (Gaumer) Beisel ~

Daughter Malinda Gaumer (1834-1907) -- sometimes mis-identified as "Matilda" -- was born on Oct. 24, 1834.

In Nov. 1852, at the age of 18, she was wedded to Tilghman H. Beisel (Jan. 8, 1832-1921), the son of Lehigh County settlers Jacob and Sarah Beisel.

The couple bore six children, among the known names Levellar Beisel, George Beisel, Milton J. Beisel, Ida Wagner and Elizabeth M. "Lizzie" Bysher.

Tilghman earned a living over the years as a farm laborer brick worker. Circa 1860-1870, federal census records show the family residing on a farm in South Whitehall Township.

During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army as a member of the 176th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company B.

Then in July 1891, he was awarded a military pension for his wartime service. [Invalid App. #833.315 - Cert. #621.967] They lived in Guth's Station before moving, curing the 1870s, to a residence in Allentown. Tilghman was active with the local fire department and served as an officer. The Beisels celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Nov. 1902 with a dinner at their home  at 412 North Hall Street. Guests included their children and grandchildren as well as her sister Lucinda Cook of Royersford and brother James Alfred Gaumer and wife Allyne of Philadelphia.

Having contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, at the age of 72, she passed away on May 20, 1907. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery in Allentown, with Rev. T.F. Herman preaching the funeral. Pallbearers included Henry Derhammer, David Mattern, Frank Seifert and Oscar J. Acker.

Tilghman remained in their home for the rest of his life. He marked his 80th birthday in January 1912. An article about the notable day was printed in the Allentown Democrat, which said that Tilghman was "one of the oldest Civil War veterans in this city, and since the close of the war has been a resident of this city. In politics Mr. Beisel is a staunch Democrat. For many years he has been a subscriber of the Allentown Democrat, which paper he still reads with great interest. Although old in years, Mr. Beisel still enjoys the best of health." Then at his 82nd birthday, in 1914, the Democrat published his photograph accompanying a longer article, saying that:

...many of his relatives, friends and comrades of the days of '61 called at his residence during the day, where they extended their heartiest greetings.... Being of the genuine old German stock, Mr. Beisel retains many of the traits and at the same time the grand physique of his ancestors. He has never known a bodily ill in his four score years of life and on only one occasion has had a physician attending him. When able to go to school he attended the little building used as a school house in the western section of the city. Leaving school at a tender age, he went to work in the brick yards, at that time located where the Neuweiler Brewing Company's new plant now stands. For a period of fifteen years he remained at the brick making trade. About this time the call for volunteers was sent out and he, with many others from the city, responded to the summons.... After serving one year Mr. Beisel, with the rest of the regiment, was honorably discharged. He returned to this city and again was engaged as a bricklayer for more than 30 years. In later years of life he followed various pursuits and about twelve years ago retired from active life.

At this rare stage of life it is doubtful if there is a better preserved man in this State. The aged veteran eats and sleeps well, takes a daily trip to the center of town and returns without feeling any fatigue. All the odd chores around the house, such as making repairs, chopping wood and numerous other odds and ends are performed by him. He is a close observer of all that occurs abouthim and is well read. His daily pleasure, besides his walks is to read the morning papers, which he does without the aid of spectacles. And reason attributed by him for his excellent health is that he is in bed every night at 9.30 o'clock and arises at 5.30. This has been a custom since he started going to school and one that has never been broken by him. Liquor in this old gentleman's estimation is the ruination of any man's body and in his 82 years of life has never indulged in any. He is an inveterate smoker and occasionally chews tobacco.

At the age of 89 years, 10 months and 26 days, Tilghman suffered a stroke of apoplexy and was carried away by the Angel of Death on Dec. 4, 1921. Relatives, friends and Civil War veterans were invited to attend the funeral. Rev. R.M. Kern officiated, and interment was in Greenwood Cemetery. The informant for his death certificate was grandson Walter G. Bysher of the home. His obituary in the Allentown Morning Call said that he was survived by a brother Frank Beisel and sister Rebecca Miller.

Son Levellar Beisel (1854- ? ) was born in about 1854. His whereabouts in 1870 are not yet known, but he was not living with his parents that year. He was deceased by 1900.

Son George Beisel (1856- ? ) was born in about 1856. His whereabouts in 1870 are not yet known, but he was not living with his parents that year. He was deceased by 1900

 

Milton Beisel's place of work, Central Fire and Police Station, Allentown

Son Milton J. Beisel (1857-1922) was born on Oct. 9, 1857. He was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Dora Keck (Jan. 30, 1857-1933), daughter of cigar maker John B. and Sarah Ann (LaFavor) Keck of Allentown. They produced two daughters, Sallie E. Beisel and Hannah L. Beisel. The family lived at 715 Chew Street. In about 1882, he joined the America Hose Company No. 2, comprising the city's fire department, and he remained involved for the remaining four decades of his life, working at the Central Fire and Police Station. In 1907, working as a motorman with the Lehigh Valley Transit Company, he changed jobs and went to work with the United States Express Company. Circa 1909, he began driving the Allentown city ambulance, initially a horse-drawn operation, with his first emergency call made to 431 Harrison Street. After some years, the form of transport was succeeded by a motor vehicle. The Allentown Morning Call once said that Milton "was well known throughout the city many years ago when he drove the horse-powered ambulance of bygone days. With the coming of the automobile, it was he who was chosen by the city to learn to operate the first motorized ambulance, a Kissel car. He was sent to Philadelphia at the time to receive instructions." The Beisels were members of the Salem Reformed Church, and he belonged to the Police and Firemen's Beneficial Union, the Queen City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Allen Camp of the Sons of Veterans (of the Civil War). At about the age of 64, in 1921, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the lungs. He then was given lighter duty as he tried to regain his health. He was admitted to the Homeopathic State Hospital in Allentown where he died on March 22, 1922. Funeral services were held in the family's residence, led by their pastor Rev. Dr. J.M.G. Darms. Burial was in West End Cemetery. Dora outlived her husband by 11 years and dwelled in the Merkel Apartments at 245 North Eighth Street. Burdened with hardening of the arteries, heart disease and pneumonia, she died at home on Nov. 5, 1933 at the age of 76. In an obituary, the Morning Call related her husband's pioneering ambulance work and named her surviving siblings as George Keck, Mrs. Morgan Beidler, Ida Baum and Mrs. H.L. Reichenbach

  • Granddaughter Hannah Beisel lived in Allentown in 1933.
  • Granddaughter Granddaughter Sarah "Sadie" or "Sallie" Beisel ( ? - ? ) wedded (?) Goldsmith. They made a home in Allentown.

Daughter Ida Beisel (1859- ? ) was born in about 1859 in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. She married (?) Wagner ( ? - ? ). Her home in 1914 was in Philadelphia, when she was named in a newspaper feature story about her aged father. She is believed to have been deceased by 1921.

Daughter Elizabeth M. "Lizzie" Beisel (1862-1935) was born on June 5, 1862 in Guth's Station and moved into Allentown in her younger years. She wedded Gilbert Sherwood Bysher ( ? - ? ). The only son born to this union was Walter G. Bysher. Sherwood worked for years as a weaver. He was deceased by 1896. As a widow, Lizzie and their son boarded in the home of alderman Allen W. and Ella Haines, at 410 North Sixth Street in Allentown, where she supported herself as a housekeeper. They were members of St. Andrews Reformed and Evangelical Church at the corner of Ninth and Gordon Streets.She is known to have hosted euchre playing parties in the Haines home. In about 1927, Elizabeth became seriously ill and for 14 months she was a patient at Sacred Heart Hospital. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was admitted to the Lehigh County Home, where she was "continually bedfast," said the Allentown Morning Call. She died at the age of 73, on Oct. 8, 1935. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery

  • Grandson Walter G. Bysher (1888-1952) was born on Jan. 26, 1888 in Allentown. He resided as a young unmarried man at 412 North Hall Street. On Dec. 17, 1910, he was united in matrimonial bonds with Frieda Frenzki ( ? -1968), also spelled "Frensky." She was the daughter of Carl and Friedericka (Bauer) Frensky of Allentown. The nuptials were held at the residence of Rev. Robert M. Kern of 531 Chew Street. In reporting on the wedding, the Allentown Democrat said that the couple "are both well known young residents of this city and enter their new estate with the best wishes of a host of friends." They eventually moved to a home at 320 North Sixth Street. The couple never reproduced. Walter made a living over the years as a silk industry worker, while for 44 years Frieda was employed by H. Leh & Company and became a buyer in the dress department. Frieda was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church of Allentown. Walter suffered a heart attack in January 1952 and was admitted to Quakertown Hospital in nearby Bucks County. There, he died just two days before his 64th birthday on Jan. 24, 1952. The Allentown Morning Call printed a death notice, and burial was in Greenwood Cemetery. Frieda survived as a widow for 16 years and moved to 959 Turner Street. She retired in 1960. Sadly, she died in Sacred Heart Hospital on Jan. 28, 1968. An obituary in the Morning Call named her surviving siblings as Florence Rahley and Edna McCarron of the city.

 

~ Daughter Lucinda (Gaumer) Cook ~

Daughter Lucinda Gaumer (1837-1909) was born on Sept. 4, 1837 in Lehigh County, PA.

She married William F. Cook Sr. (1833-1908).

They were the parents of Hannan "Anna" Arnold, Myra Elizabeth Ottinger, Ida Richards, Howard Wells Cook and William F. Cook Jr. The family grieved when son Howard died in 1869 at the age of 11 months, with burial in Oak Grove Cemetery in Parker Ford, Chester County.

The Cooks are known to have lived in Spring City, Chester County, PA in 1858, Philadelphia in 1861 and in Limerick, Montgomery County in 1870. While in Limerick, William supported the family through his labor at a local foundry. By 1880, the Cooks relocated to Royersford, Montgomery County, where William obtained work as a carpenter.

Lucinda is known to have attended the 1907 golden wedding anniversary dinner in Allentown for her sister and brother-in-law, Melinda and Tilghman Beisel.

Sadness shrouded the family when William died in 1908.

Circa 1909, Lucinda's address was 442 Walnut Street, Royersford. In April 1909, Lucinda suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and lingered for a little more than a month before death carried her away at age 71 on May 27, 1909. Burial was in the local Fernwood Cemetery. Her death certificate lists her parents as James Gaumer and Rosie Good -- rather than Moses D. Gaumer and Elizabeth Salome Guth -- so this connection needs to be more deeply researched and clarified.

Daughter Hannah "Anna" Cook (1858-1917) was born on Nov. 26, 1858 in Spring City, Chester County. She was joined in marital union with Edward S. Arnold ( ? - ? ). They bore a son, Paul Arnold. The family lived at 463 New Street on the south side of Bethlehem, Northampton County circa 1917. The family grieved when, suffering from heart and kidney disease, Hannah passed away at the age of 58 on July 30, 1917. An obituary was printed in the Allentown Morning Call.

Daughter Myra Elizabeth Cook (1861-1914) was born on July 11, 1861 in Philadelphia. She married Edwin Ottinger (1861-1928), son of Jacob and Catharine (Savage) Ottinger. The bore one known son, Lloyd Ottinger. Burdened with chronic kidney disease, Myra was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 53. She died in their home at 418 King Street in Spring City, Chester County on Sept. 28, 1914. Burial was in Fernwood Cemetery in Royersford. Edwin outlived her by 14 years and succumbed to death in 1928.

Daughter Ida Cook (1865- ? ) was born in about 1865. She wedded (?) Richards ( ? - ? ). She dwelled in 1917 at 420 Walnut Street in Royersford and hosted the funeral service of her sister Hannah Arnold that year.

Son William F. Cook Jr. (1971- ? ) was born in about 1871.

 

~ Son James Alfred Gaumer ~

Son James Alfred Gaumer (1841-1907) was born on May 2, 1841 and was a boy when his mother died.

During the Civil War, on Aug. 15, 1862, he joined the Union Army and was placed in Company A of the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, also known as the 64th Pennsylvania Regiment. His cavalry unit saw action during the famed Battle of Gettysburg, and James' name appears on a prominent plaque at the Pennsylvania Monument on the field. He received an honorable discharge on June 15, 1864.

 

James' grave and name on the Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg
Courtesy Stan Garmer.

 

James married Allyne T. Swoyer (1848-1916), daughter of Daniel and Theresa (Albright) Schwoyer.

Five children were produced by this marriage -- Alverta G. Gaumer, Florence E. Gaumer, Linnie S. Gaumer, Eva V. Gaumer and Raymond D. Gaumer. Wave after wave of heartbreak swept over the family as each of their children died young -- Alverta in 1868, Florence (1870), Linnie (1871), Eva (on March 6, 1896, at age 22) and Raymond (1889, at age 8). All of the children rest together in Allentown's Fairview Cemetery.

In 1873, James began receiving a military pension as compensation for wartime injuries. [Invalid App. #184.021 - Cert. #153.714]

For three decades, James earned a living as a postal letter carrier in Philadelphia. Circa 1907, they resided at 2717 North 16th Street in Philadelphia. Controvery arose in the summer of 1900 when Philadelphia Postmaster Hicks was considering adding two trips to the local routes. James was named to a committee to organize a meeting with Hicks, and the postmaster later agreed to dropphis plans, with the story reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

For the last four years of his life, James suffered from an enlarged prostate, and also for the last three years from cystitis, under the care of Dr. I.G. Heilman. He died in Philadelphia on St. Patrick's Day 1907, at the age of 65 years, 10 months and 15 days. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in Fairview Cemetery in Allentown, following funeral services held in the cemetery chapel.

Within a month, Allyne successfully petitioned the federal government to receive the pension. [Widow App. #867.194 - Cert. #663.075] She remained in their North 16th Street home. She was afflicted with diabetes which led to gangrene of the foot. At the age of 68, she died in Philadelphia on Nov. 7, 1916. Her remains were transported to Allentown for burial. Moser E. Swoyer, of 217 North 11th Street in Allentown, was the informant for her official Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Daughter Eva V. Gaumer (1873-1896) was born in 1873. As a young unmarried woman, she lived in Philadelphia. Tragedy struck in the winter of 1896, when at the age of 22, she contracted consumption (tuberculosis) and died at home. Her body was brought to the residence of her grandfather Daniel Schwoyer, at 723 Linden Street in Allentown, for funeral services. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery, and an obituary was published in the Allentown Leader.

 

~ Son Franklin Lewis Gaumer ~

 

Believed to be Franklin L. Gaumer, Civil War casualty. Courtesy Stan Garmer

 

Son Franklin Lewis Gaumer (1844-1862) was born in about 1844 in Lehigh County.

As with his elder brother, he joined the Union Army during the Civil War. He was assigned to the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry.

While involved in a skirmish at Rectortown, Fauquier County, VA, on May 10, 1862, he was shot and badly wounded. He was carried to a farmhouse owned by the Woodward family, located about 1.3 miles west of town, on  the north side of what today is Route 713. His wounds were fatal, and he died not long afterward.

His remains were laid to rest on the farm, next to the grave of Charles B. Wall of a Zouave regiment, about 400 yards east of the farmhouse. A crude marker was erected at Franklin's gravesite, reading as follows: "F. Cauwet, Co. E., 1834 Pvt., Aged 19 years, Died May 10, 1862." Over the years, the farm was known as "Locust Grove" and "Paradise."

After the war, as the bodies of thousands of Union dead were collected and consolidated in larger, national cemeteries, his remains were dis-interred and moved to a mass grave at Arlington National Cemetery. There, he rests for all time in Grave 11455, Section 13.

In 1937, a report about the Woodward farm cemetery was made by Francis B. Foster. No evidence exists to suggest that his grieving father filed to receive a military pension as compensation for the loss of his son.

 

~ Stepdaughter Matilda (Frankenfield) Beggs ~

 

Hugh and Matilda (Frankenfield) Beggs and daughters. Courtesy Stan Garmer.

 

Hugh and Matilda Beggs. Courtesy Stan Garmer.

Stepdaughter Matilda Frankenfield (1844-1933) was born on Aug. 20, 1844. At a young age she and her brother Franklin were taken into the Gaumer home in Lower Macungie Township and raised there to adulthood.

She joined the Gaumer family in relocating west after the end of the Civil War, when she would have been in her early 20s. When they first went to Wisconsin, in the Green Bay area, she met and married her husband Hugh Beggs (May 25, 1836-1927), an immigrant from Ireland who had entered the United States via Canada at the age of 29, in 1865. Their ceremony was held in Green Bay on July 3, 1866.

Matilda and Hugh produced a family of daughters, among them Sarah Jane Staley, Henrietta Minteer, Mary A. Meeks and Emma Murilla Flater. Their eldest daughter Sarah Jane was born in Wisconsin in 1867, but not long afterward, the family moved to Illinois.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, the Beggses lived on a farm in Eliza, Mercer County, IL. During the decade of the 1870s, they moved to a farm in New Boston, Mercer County. The 1880 U.S. Census shows that Matilda's 62-year-old widowed mother, brother Wallace (age 24) and sister Emma (15) were in the household.

By 1892, they relocated to a farm in Goshen Township, Muscatine County, IA. Several neighbors planned a surprise party for Matilda at her birthday in August 1892. Reported the Muscatine Journal, "She received a handsome rocking chair as a birthday present from her four daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Gregg presented a handsome water set."

Then at Hugh's 58th birthday in May 1894, some 40 relatives and friends likewise held a surprise party. "His estimable wife being in the secret," said the Journal, "a bountiful supper was prepared to which all did ample justice. After supper, John Flater, in a few appropriate words, presented Mr. Beggs with a handsome easy chair, a present from his children, in which it is hoped he will take many hours of solid comfort. All were regailed with plenty of ice cream and cake before going to their respective homes and all felt that it was good to be there."

They remained in Goshen for a number of years and were there in 1910. Sadness cascaded over the family at the untimely death in 1908 of their married daughter Henrietta Minteer. The U.S. Census of 1910 shows that Hugh, retired, had his own income stream, perhaps by renting their farm to tenants. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in July 1926 with a party for 60 guests at the Rotary clubhouse at Staley's Lake, located three miles south of Atalissa, and were pictured in the Davenport Quad-City Times. The news story said that "Despite their advance age both are in excellent health and participated in the celebration with zeal."

At the age of 90, Hugh passed into eternity on Jan. 17, 1927. Interment was in the local Overman Cemetery in Atalissa.

Matilda lived for another six years. She was named in the June 1928 Journal obituary of her sister Sarah Josephine Jackson. She died at the age of 88 on March 1, 1933, with burial in Overman Cemetery.

Daughter Sarah Jane Beggs (1867-1957) was born on March 30, 1865 or 1867 in Wisconsin. The teenage Sarah made a home with her married uncle Frank Frankenfield in 1880 in Eliza, Mercer County, IL, the year when the U.S. Census was taken. On Dec. 16, 1886, when she was 19 years of age, she married Charles Staley ( ? - ? ), the son of Jacob and Catherine E. ( Keeler ) Staley. The nuptials took place in Wisconsin. Their union resulted in five children -- Archie Hugh Staley, Louis Frederick Staley, Floyd E. Staley, Theresa C. Hunter and Leota M. Staley. Their first home was in Illinois, remaining until about 1892. From there they relocated to Iowa, establishing a residence on a farm in Goshen Township, Muscatine County. Charles is profiled in Irving Berdine Richman's 1911 book, History of Muscatine County, Iowa, Vol. II, at which time he owned a tract of 80 acres. The profile reads: "Charles Staley came west with his parents at eight years of age and attended the district schools, where he attained the rudiments of an education, which has been of constant practical use to him in his business career. He remained with his parents until twenty-two years of age and then began farming upon his own account by renting land. At the end of four years he purchased in 1893 one hundred and twenty acres of land in Goshen township, and as time passed he added more land to his original holding until at the present time he is the owner of a beautiful farm of three hundred and eighty-six acres, all of which is under a high state of cultivation except that portion which he reserves for pasturage. He handles stock on a large scale and he is a good judge of animals, especially those of standard grades, he generally receives a satisfactory price for what he has to sell. No more prosperous farmer is to be found in the township than Mr. Staley... Mr. Staley has not given much time to politics and the allurements of office have never had for him any special attraction. He and his family, however, are interested in religious affairs and are active members of the Methodist church. By a life of practical industry he has won a good name which is more to be preferred than riches and at the same time has demonstrated that high character and success in business may go hand in hand."

 

Railroad depots in Muscatine, Iowa, along the Mississippi River

 

Daughter Henrietta Etta "Ettie" Beggs (1869-1908) was born on May 28, 1869 in Petersville, Mercer County, IL. On June 26, 1889, when she was 20 years old, she wedded William L. Minteer (1866-1933), son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Teal) Minteer of Millersburg, IL. Six offspring were born to this union, among them Iva Florence "Ivy" Ramsden, Daisy Belle Gipple, Earnest Carroll Minteer, Hugh Estelle Minteer, Letha May Struble and Everett Lyle Minteer. Sadly, little Hugh passed away in infancy. The Minteers dwelled in Atalissa, IL and belonged to the Presbyterian church in the town of Hamlet. They are known to have hosted Henrietta's visiting parents at Thanksgiving 1902, at which time the parents first laid eyes on her baby daughter Letha. Henrietta contracted Bright's Disease, an illness of the kidneys, and endured the illness for four years. But there was no hope. She died on April Fool's Day 1908, at age 38 years, 10 months and three days, leaving behind a husband and four children between the ages of 18 and six. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Overman Cemetery in Atalissa, Muscatine County, with Rev. D. Brown officiating. An obituary in the Muscatine News-Tribune eulogized her as "a kind and loving mother, a devoted wife, daughter and sister.... [She] was a patient sufferer, enduring her distress with great courage and fortitude, always trusting in the Lord for the best. Her last sickness was of two weeks duration. Often during her last illness she said that she was ready and willing to go. Frequently repeating the precious promises of God as she lay upon her death bed. Her dying request to relatives and friends was 'I want you all to meet me in heave.' After this she fell quietly and peacefully into that sleep from which none ever wake to weep." After six years alone, he tied the knot a second time, on Feb. 7, 1914 with Ruth E. Burgess (1874-1953), with the nuptials occurring in Aledo, Mercer County, IL. The couple did not reproduce.

 

Mary and Benjamin Franklin Meeks. Courtesy Stan Garmer

Daughter Mary A. Beggs (1871-1924) was born in 1871 in Illinois. At the age of 21, on June 28, 1892, she was united in wedlock with Benjamin Franklin Meeks (March 3, 1863-1942), son of William and Elizabeth Meeks of Parkersburg, Wood County, WV. The pair bore two known daughters, Retha Goldie Frost Kyle and Matilda Mull. Prior to marriage, at the age of 20, Benjamin migrated to Iowa. Circa 1905, they resided in Charles City, IA. At Christimastime 1905, Mary and the girls visited her parents in Iowa, with Benjamin traveling with a group of potential investors to Kansas and Oklahoma, examining possible land purchases. They eventually inherited their parents' farm in Muscatine County, IA. The couple were members of the First Baptist Church. Circa 1924, they moved into the town of Muscatine. Mary succumbed to the Grim Reaper of Death on Jan. 3, 1924 at the age of 52. Benjamin lived for another 18 years and owned a number of residential properties in Muscatine. His address in the early 1940s was 1324 Grand Avenue. At the age of 79, he died in Hershey Hospital on March 14, 1942. An obituary in the Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune said that funeral services were led by Rev. E.W. McMurray of Lincoln Boulevard Baptist Church, and that interment was held in Overman Cemetery near Atalissa. His pallbearers included T.R. Davis, Clifford Garrison, Tony Hunter, Joseph Jacobs, James Moylan and Guy Osborn. Music for the funeral was provided by singers Mrs. Walter Sabbath and Mrs. William Dittman, accompanied by organist Mrs. George Holliday, performing "No Night There" and "Lead Kindly Light."

  • Granddaughter Retha Goldie Meeks (1898-1962) -- also commonly spelled "Reefa" -- was born on Jan. 3, 1898 in Atalissa, Goshen Township, Muscatine Coiunty. On May 6, 1917, she gave birth to a son, whom she named Arol Wolf Meeks. She brought a legal complaint against the boy's father, Harold Hiatt, of Atalissa, IA, in Iowa District Court, seeking $5,000 in support. This news was printed in the Quad-City Times of Davenport. Later, she wedded Jack Frost ( ? - ? ). In 1942, during the early months of World War II, they were in Hawaii. Retha returned to Muscatine where she was employed as a nurse for many years. Then in 1959, she relocated to Kansas City, MO, where she supported herself as a private duty nurse at Trinity Lutheran Hospital. Her Kansas City address was 3824 Walnut Street. Sadly, she passed into eternity as a patient at the University of Kansas City Medical Center, death coming at the age of 64 on Feb. 23, 1962. An obituary in the Muscatine Journal said that she was survived by her son Arol of Kansas City and her sister Matilda Mull of Dongola, IL. Her remains were lowered into repose at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City.

Great-grandson Arol Wolf Meeks (1917- ? ) was born on May 6, 1917 in Atalissa, Muscatine County. He grew up in Muscatine and reputedly learned how to pilot aircraft. He stood 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighed 150 lbs and had a medium build. He had brown eyes and hair and a ruddy complexion, and bore a tattoo on his left arm. But he frequently was in trouble with the law in the 1940s, '50s and early '60s for writing fraudulent checks and other civil violations. At times, he used the alias "Robert Abbott." He is known to have been married and served in the U.S. Army circa 1936-1938. He was imprisoned in the Army and sent to the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Governor's Island, NY to serve time. He further was incarcerated in San Quentin Prison circa December 1940. In April 1942, he was employed by the Russell Smith State Division of Forestry in San Bernardino, but by July was imprisoned in San Bernardino County Jail in California for violation of parole. While there, he made plans to escape with a cellmate and either steal or charter an airplane to get away. The attempt was foiled, and he told officials that he had backed out of the plan. In 1945, he was in Folsom Prison in Sacramento, CA. He was paroled in 1949 and claimed that his wife lived in Vacaville, CA. His whereabouts in 1953 were in Denver and Fairbanks, Alaska; in 1958 in Navarre, KS; and in 1962 in Kansas City and Las Vegas. At the age of 36, in the late winter of 1954, he rented an automobile in Glendale, CA, using a bad check, and drove some 14,000 miles over the next 37 days before arrest in Longmont, CO. Then at the age of 44, in May 1961, he filed a claim for a U.S. Patent, having invented an "aircraft tow bar" and assigning any rights to his mother. The application was granted in 1964. But in November 1962, he was found guilty of passing a false check in Fort Madison, IA and admitted to the men's penitentiary here. His final fate is not yet known.

  • Granddaughter Matilda E. Meeks (1904- ? ) was born in about 1904 in Atalissa, Goshen Township, Muscatine County, IA. She wedded A.W. Mull ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in Clarinda, IA in 1941 and Dongola, IL in 1942-1962.

 

Emma (Beggs) Flater. Courtesy Stan Garmer

Daughter Emma Murilla Beggs (1882-1976) was born on Christmas Eve 1882 in Joy, Mercer County, IL. As a teenager, in 1900, she lived with her parents in Goshen Township, Muscatine County, IA. Then at the age of 23, on Sept. 12, 1906, Emma was joined in matrimony with 32-year-old Granville Elisha Flater (March 24, 1874-1946), son of John W. and Anna Rebecca (Hoff) Flater of the township. The nuptials were held in the home of Emma's parents, in front of 62 guests, and joined together "two [of] Muscatine county's worthy and prominent young people," reported the Muscatine News-Tribune. Rev. E.A. Brinton officiated, while Florence Stephens played the wedding march. Said the News-Tribune, "The bride was attired in white chiffon taffeta and wore roses, while the bridesmaid appeared in pearl gray wood batiste and wore roses. The groom and groomsman were conventionally attired." They were the parents of three known sons, Harry "Herschel" Flater, John "Russell" Flater and Granville "Eldon" Flater Jr. Prior to marriage, Granville was active in the community, and his name frequently was printed in local newspapers in connection with his comings and goings. Among these was his work as secretary of the Sunday School of the Cedar Valley Methodist Episcopal Church. For decades, the couple made a home on a farm south of Atalissa, Goshen Township, Muscatine County. They were socially active and exchanged visits with family and friends, recorded in the gossip columns of Muscatine newspapers. Federal census records for 1910 and 1920 both show that Granville's widowed father, and hired man Edward W. Barnhart, resided under their roof. Circa 1922, Emma was elected vice chair of the Goshen chapter of the Muscatine County Farm Bureau. In 1925, Granville was elected superintendent of vegetables and fruits for the year's meeting of the Goshen Township Farmers Institute. The Flaters were drawn into controversy in 1926 when Granville was accused of having exerted undue influence on Thomas Cummins when the man was writing his last will and testament and bequeathed $3,000 to Emma and their sons. The case continued on for several years until it was dismissed by Judge W.R. Maines when the plaintiff, Jennie Clark, failed to appear for the trial. During the 1920s, after Granville's father had passed away, Emma's widowed uncle William H. Garmer came to live in the household, with the uncle dying in 1934. Granville then brought in a married couple as lodgers, Rollin E. and Lucille F. Hutton, formerly of Anderson County, KS. The Huttons are listed in the Flater dwelling in the 1940 federal census. Granville announced in April 1934 that he was running for a seat on the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors on the Democratic ticket. Then in 1939, he was elected as a voting delegate representing the county at the county agricultural planning committee conference in Fairfield. Sadly, Granville died in Iowa City's Mercy Hospital on Oct. 29, 1946. Emma outlived her husband by three decades. Toward the end of her life, Emma was admitted as a resident of Oakwood Care Center in Muscatine. There, she died at the age of 93 on Sept. 30, 1976. Her remains are at rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery in West Liberty, Muscatine County. An obituary ran in the Iowa City Press-Citizen, stating that her survivors included seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Harry "Herschel" Flater (1910- ? ) was born in 1910 in Atalissa, Goshen Township, Muscatine County. As a young man, he attended Browns Business College in Muscatine. Herschel was married and lived in Moscow, IA, where he earned a living as a farmer from 1931 to 1952. He became a businessman and owned Wilton Telephone Company. Circa 1966, he ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Iowa Senate, 16th District, comprising Cedar and Muscatine Counties. He was in Mesa, AZ in 1976.
  • Grandson John "Russell" Flater (1911- ? ) was born on Feb. 10, 1911 in Atalissa, Goshen Township, Muscatine County. News of his birth was announced on the pages of the Muscatine News-Tribune. He dwelled in Atalissa, Muscatine County in 1976.
  • Grandson Granville "Eldon" Flater (1923- ? ) was born in about 1923 in Atalissa, Goshen Township, Muscatine County. He resided in the Cedar Valley of Iowa in 1946. Later, he relocated to California and was there in 1976.

 

~ Stepson Franklin Jacob "Frank" Frankenfield ~

Stepson Franklin Jacob "Frank" Frankenfield (1844-1917) was born on Dec. 5, 1844. At a young age he and his sister Matilda were taken into the Gaumer home in Lower Macungie Township and raised there to adulthood.

Frank went with his mother and stepfather to Wisconsin and Illinois in the latter half of the 1860s.

He was twice wed. In 1874, he married Mary J. Dennison (1847-1877).

Two children were borne of the first marriage, Hattie L. Wetherell and Mary Jane Fisher.

Sadness blanketed the family when Mary the mother died just three years into the marriage, in 1877.

The following year, in 1878, Frank was joined in wedlock with his second bride, C. Jane Berges (1854-1928), whose parents were German immigrants. They made a home in 1880 on a farm in Eliza, Mercer County, IL. That year, Frank's half-brother William Gaumer lived under their roof.

Six more known offspring were produced -- Mabel May Duffield, Lonnie Monroe Frankenfield, Emma E. Squier, Clara Etta Nash, Katherine E. "Katie" Sweet and Minnie Frankenfield.

Then in March 1889, the Frankenfields migrated to Iowa, settling on a farm in Floyd, Floyd County. Reported the Muscatine (IA) Journal, "Moving is still a feature of the day. Mr. Frankenfield moved his effects to Muscatine Thursday morning, from where he took a special car to the farm which he has engaged about 180 miles from here. Mrs. F., being sick at the time, has remained with her daughter, Mrs. Duffield, until Monday, when she, with the younger children, expects to join her husband and son." They moved between 1900-1910 to a farm near Charles City, Floyd County.

Franklin died in 1917. His remains were lowered into repose in Oakwood Cemetery in Floyd.

In December 1928, Jane suffered a broken leg, followed by a stroke. She died on the next-to-last day of 1928 in their home in Charles City. Her daughter Mabel Duffield, suffering from the flu, was unable to attend the funeral. News of Jane's death was published in the Davenport (IA) Daily Times. [Find-a-Grave]

Daughter Hattie L. Frankenfield (1875-1967) was born in 1875. On July 19, 1891, at the home of her parents, she married Harry D. Wetherell (1864-1941), also spelled "Wetheral." News of their nuptials was printed in the Muscatine News-Tribune, misspelling her maiden name "Frankenrider." The three known offspring born to this couple were Daisie Wetherell, Frank Wetherell and Elmo Wetherell. In 1892, the Wetherals lived in Petersville, IL and in August that year Hattie visited her parents and "helped cook for threshers," said the Muscatine Semi-Weekly News. Sadness cascaded over the family when one of their sons died of membranous croup on Oct. 10, 1897, with interment in Eliza Cemetery. The Wetherals relocated to the West Coast. Hattie lived in San Francisco in 1950 and eventually moved further north into Washington State, where she made a home in Everett. Hattie died at the age of 91 on July 11, 1967. Her remains were shipped back to Iowa for interment in Riverside Cemetery.

Daughter Mary Jane Frankenfield (1877-1968) was born on Oct. 21, 1877 in Eliza, Mercer County, IL. At the age of 20, on Dec. 15, 1897, she wedded Edward M. "Edd" Fisher (1868-1916). The couple resided in 1910 in Eliza, Mercer County, IL and in 1920 relocated to Joy, IA. They produced two sons -- Everett C. Fisher and Verdi Fisher. Mary Jane belonged to the Royal Neighbors of America and the Joy Presbyterian Church. She passed away at the age of 91, on Oct. 29, 1968, in the Mercer County Hospital in Aledo. An obituary was printed in the Muscatine Journal. Her remains were interred in Millersburg Cemetery, also known as Oak Ridge Cemetery in Mercer County.

 

Aerial view of Aledo, Illinois, early 1900s

 

Daughter Mabel May Frankenfield (1878-1949) was born in December 1878 in Eliza Township. On Aug. 11, 1897, when she was 19 years of age, she was united in holy matrimony with William N. Duffield (April 15, 1859-1948), the son of David Duffield. The couple produced two known sons -- Roy Duffield and Floyd N. Duffield. Near-tragedy befell the Duffields in September 1899 when their infant son Floyd "fell against a blue-flame oil stove last week and was badly burned," reported the Muscatine Journal. "[He] is improving." They dwelled in Eliza, Mercer County, IL, with William operating a general store in Petersville for several years. He then acquired a general store from William Beverlin in 1907, located two-and-a-half miles southeast of Eliza. He ran the store for five years and then in about 1912 sold it to Omar Jackson. During that period, he was an Eliza Township Supervisor and treasurer of the local school. The couple relocated to Aledo, Mercer County on new Year's Day 1914, and remained there for three decades. William served as Treasurer of Mercer County, retiring in 1918. With America's entry into World War I, the family worried when son Floyd enlisted in 123rd Field Artillery, Company B, but then was discharged for "lack of weight," said the Rock Island Argus. He got himself back into physical shape and re-enlisted in June 1917. But the family was plunged into deep grief when he contracted pneumonia at Camp Logan in Houston, TX and died in the base hospital on Nov. 26, 1917. His body was escorted to the local train station by his fellow artillerists and shipped back home on the International and Great Northern Railroad for burial in Aledo Cemetery. Rev. Dr. F.E. Shult officiated at the funeral, held in the Aledo First Methodist Episcopal Church. The news was widely published in newspapers in Houston, Little Rock, AR, Moline, IL and Shreveport, LA. William was elected again as county treasurer in November 1926, serving a term until 1930. Then in November 1930, as the Great Depression was fully gripping the nation, he was appointed by Illinois Governor Emmerson as Mercer County's representative on a committee to "cooperate with the state-wide commission on unemployment," reported the Moline Dispatch. He was appointed as a local probation officer in 1932. William was an active volunteer for the Methodist church. Then in 1942, as a trustee of the Farmers National Bank which had failed a decade earlier, took part in a sale of the bank's remaining assets. He died in Mercy Hospital in Davenport on Aug. 7, 1948. The headline obituary in the Argus noted that he had "served two terms as Mercer county treasurer and several terms as deputy treasurer." Rev. E.N. Wisely, of the family church, led the funeral service. The widowed Mabel moved into the home of her son Roy in Houston, TX. She died there on New Year's Eve 1949. Her remains were shipped back to Aledo for burial. Rev. E.N. Wisely officiated at the funeral. A notice of her death, printed in the Muscatine Journal, noted that Mr. and Mrs. James Duffield of Muscatine and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Duffield attend the funeral service.

Son Lonnie Monroe Frankenfield (1881-1968) was born in 1881. As a 19-year-old, in 1900, he lived with his parents in Floyd, Floyd County, IA and provided labor on the family farm. He was married thrice. His first spouse was Elizabeth Marie Rolfes (1885-1916). They were the parents of Harley B. Frankenfield, Elizabeth Marie Mendenhall and Ruth Vanantwerp. Their home in 1916 was in rural Colwell. Heartache swept over the family when Elizabeth died in 1916, leaving behind three young children. Their daughter Elizabeth was taken in raised by a maiden aunt, Minnie Frankenfield. Lonnie's second bride was Lizzie Arndt (1876-1943), a lifetime resident of the Charles City community and the daughter of William and Amelia Arndt. They lived on a farm four-and-a-half miles west of Charles City. Suffering from heart problems, Lizzie died in Cedar Valley Hospital at the age of 67 on July 29, 1943. The Mason City (IA) Globe-Gazette published an obituary, which disclosed that Rev. C.D. James, of the Central Methodist Church, preached at the funeral. Burial followed at Riverside Cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Arndt are known to have traveled from their home in Ruthven to attend the funeral. After about 17 months of mourning, Lonnie married again to Gertrude H. Kellogg ( ? - ? ), daughter of Everett DeWitt and Myrtie (Bowers) Kellogg. He passed into eternity in 1968, with interment in Riverside Cemetery in Charles City. Gertrude died in a nursing home in Charles City, at the age of 72, on Feb. 11, 1971.

Daughter Emma E. Frankenfield (1884-1922) was born in Dec. 1884. She was joined in wedlock with Roy Willis Squier (April 24, 1884-1967). The two sons born to this union were Paul Revere Squier and Floyd C. Squier. The family resided on a farm in Orchard, IA. Sadly, Emma was burdened with poor health, and so the family moved back to Osage in September 1921 after selling the contents of their farm. The relocation did not produce the desired result, and she succumbed on April 19, 1922, at the untimely age of 37. Burial was in Osage Cemetery. Roy survived for another 45 years. He married again to Maude Lee Jenkins (1896-1982). From a previous marriage, she brought a daughter to the second union, Mrs. George Ready. The couple bore a son of their own, Dale R. Squier, born in 1929. Roy died unexpectedly at home in Osage at the age of 83 on Dec. 18, 1967. The Des Moines Tribune printed a brief notice of his death.

Daughter Clara Etta Frankenfield (1887-1981) was born on Jan. 12, 1887 in Mercer County, IL. In girlhood, she attended schools in the county and later, after a move to Iowa, in Floyd County. On Dec. 15, 1910, when she was 23 years of age, Clara married Allen C. Nash (March 28, 1884-1964), also of Floyd County. He had been a student at Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls. The couple relocated in 1911 to Colorado, putting down roots on a farm near the town of Montrose. They remained put for the rest of their lives along Spring Creek Boulevard. Two children were born to the marriage - Dorothy Oswald and Vernon Nash. News articles in 1920 show that Allen raised milch cows on their ranch on the Spring Creek mesa, and tied a state record in June for production of milk and butterfat. "H.A. Lindgren, formerly agriculturalist at the local reclamation project, stated that the Nash herd was the best herd on the western slope," reported the Grand Junction (CO) Daily Sentinel. He served on the board of directors of the Western Lope Pure Bred Live Stock Association. In March 1923, also raising purebred Hampshire ewes, he made news when nine of the ewes gave birth, with six having triplets. "Two of these ewes were of quadruplets bornfive years ago," said the Montrose Press. "One has had four lambs at one time at the age of five. We believe this is a record." With the sheep industry growing, he was active circa 1930 in trying to form an association of Hampshire sheep breeders in the community. The family were members of the local Congregational Church. The Nashes hosted a visit in July 1952 from Clara's sisters Marie and Minnie from Mason City, IA. Allen died in his sleep on Sept. 26, 1964. Clara lived for another 17 years. At the age of 94, Clara died at home on Valentine's Day 1981. An obituary ran in the Daily Sentinel, saying that her survivors included five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Vernon Allen "Squeak" Nash (1923-2005) was born on June 25, 1922 on Spring Creek Mesa near Montrose. At the age of about 20, in June 1943, he married his high school sweetheart, 18-year-old Gerree Gleason (July 4, 1924-2013), daughter of Lyman Alice (Farrar) Gleason and stepdaughter of Lawrence Martin of Montrose. Their union endured for 61 years. They were the parents of Judy Nash and Mark Alan Nash. In about 1960, he worked in a Douglas Aircraft airplane factory in California and later came back to Montrose to study at the Barnes Business School. Vernon and Gerree lived in Montrose for decades. Early in his working career he helped his father raise sheep on "Horse Fly." He served briefly in the U.S. Armed Forces at the tail end of World War II. After the close of the war, said the Montrose Press, he "farmed on North Mesa and fed out cattle - fattened on ensilage. He was an early user of pit silos, an inexpensive method of preserving ensilage. While feeding and farming, Vern began carpentering, later working for Marvin Gill, then Walker & Krill. He went to work on his own, then for radio KUBC remodeling studios KRAI in Craig and KVOD in Denver." Vernon served as president of the Montrose Lions Club and in 1974 held the position of Governor of District 6 West. was a volunteer with the Montrose County 4-H Council, and Gerree was active with the Community Circle Theatre Group of Montrose and occasionally was pictured in related articles in the Grand Junction (CO) Daily Sentinel. They helped found Magic Circle, with Vernon building stage sets and run electricity. In the late 1980s they created and sold handmade porcelain dolls and child-size furniture at shows throughout Colorado and New Mexico. Vernon died at Valley Manor Care Center at the age of 82 on May 5, 2005. Gerree lived on for eight years and succumbed on Sept. 15, 2013.
  • Carnegie Museums book naming Delbert Oswald
    Grandddaughter Dorothy Thelma Nash ( ? -1990) was born in (?). She married Delbert Oswald (Oct. 19, 1915-1994), a native of Colorado and the son of William F. and Ida (Anderson) Oswald. Three children were born to this union -- Stanley G. Oswald, Beverly McRoberts Eaton and Sybil J. Brucker. Delbert was a graduate of the University of Colorado and Brigham Young University, where he earned degrees in engineering and geology and a master's in music. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. For three decades, he was employed as a civil and geological engineer by United States Steel Corporation. They are known to have been in Provo, UT in 1952 and in the McCandless Township suburb of Pittsburgh, PA in 1964-1994. Their address was 9396 Doral Circle. After retirement, he joined the Carnegie Museum as a research association curator of gems and minerals at its Hillman Hall facility. He is cited in Robert J. Gangewere's 2011 book Palace of Culture: Andrew Carnegie's Museums and Library in Pittsburgh. The volume states that Delbert began to catalogue and analyze the museum's 16,000 specimens in 1969 and categorized them into minerals, meteorites, gems and geological materials. He also identified areas of collecting in which the holdings were deficient, which helped the museum determine acquisition priorities for the future. He added to his reputation by speakign at gem conferences, including one in Salt Lake City in 1977. In 1980, on the heels of the "pet rocks" gimmick of the 1970s, he made news via United Press International when he announced that the museum was "treating sick rocks," iron ore pyrite harboring a "sulfur eating bacteria that eventually will make the rock crumble into dust. Because the disease is contagious, Oswald quarantines sick pyrites and treats them with a recommended preparation, a baking soda bath, an alcohol rinse and a think plastic coating." He retired in 1980. He belonged to the Gem and Mineral Association and the Masons. In retirement, he earned extra money appraising gems for clients of a local dealer, only to find himself snared in an Internal Revenue Service controversy when the IRS accused his client of "seeking abusive tax shelters," said the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He also appeared as an expert witness in U.S. Tax Court in connection with people who had donated stones to the museum. Sadness blanked the Oswalds at the untimely deaths of their daughter Beverly and son Stanley. Dorothy passed into eternity on Nov. 25, 1990. Delbert only outlived her by four years. As his health declined, he went to live in the Baldock Nursing Care Center in North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County, PA. There, at the age of 78, he died on Jan. 30, 1994. An obituary was published in the North Hills (PA) News Record. His remains were placed into rest in Twin Valley Memorial Park in Delmont, Westmoreland County. Daughter Sybil made her home in Harrison City near Irwin, Westmoreland County, where her husband Joseph was a constable, founder of Brucker Detective Agency and police chief of the town of Manor. At Joseph's death, the Post-Gazette printed a feature obituary printed on July 23, 1999.

Daughter Katherine E. "Katie" Frankenfield (1891-1915) was born in Aug. 1891. In 1910, living in Cedar Township, Floyd County, IA, she was employed as a school teacher, Katie wedded Ernst Matthew Sweet (Jan. 1, 1888-1934), son of Elmer E. and Susie Mae (Livingston) Sweet. Tragically, they were not destined for a long marriage. She died in 1915, at the age of only 24. Her remains were placed into eternal sleep in Oakwood Cemetery in Floyd, Floyd County.

Daughter Minnie Frankenfield (1893-1967) was born in March 1893. She never married. Minnie raised her brother Lonnie's daughter, Elizabeth Marie Mendenhall, who was born in 1916. She is believed to have served circa 1933 as a stenographer for the clerk of courts for the County of Floyd, IA. She worked there until 1941, when she relocated to Mason City, where she joined the law practice of Westfall and Laird. In 1948-1967, still in Mason City, IA, she was recording secretary of the Wesleyan Service Guild of the First Methodist Church. Death carried her away in 1967, at the age of 73 or 74. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery in Floyd.

 

Parade in Muscatine, Iowa, early 1900s

 

 

Josephine (Garmer) Jackson
Courtesy Stan Garmer.

~ Daughter Sarah "Josephine" (Garmer) Jackson ~

Daughter Sarah "Josephine" Garmer (1852-1928) was born on Sept. 5, 1852 in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County. She relocated with her parents to Eliza, Mercer County, IL.

While in Petersburg, IL on Oct. 3, 1871, at the age of 19, she was united in marriage with 28-year-old George W. Jackson (Oct. 4, 1842-1892).

The couple's three children were Lewis Elmer Jackson, Ella Grace Jackson and Emma Elmira Jackson.

At the age of only 49, George was gathered in by death on July 3, 1892. The cause of his untimely passing is unknown. His remains repose in Seeley Township Cemetery in Guthrie County, IA.

Sarah survived her spouse by 36 years.

In about 1898-1899, she moved into Muscatine, Muscatine County, IL, where she remained for the balance of her years of life. She was a longtime member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church. Her address in 1928 was Lake Park Boulevard.

Suffering from heart disease, which got worse in the early part of 1928, she passed away on June 19, 1928. Funeral services were held in the family church, officiated by Rev. E.A. Bentzinger. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery in Muscatine, with an obituary published in the Muscatine Journal.

 

Grave of George and daughter Ella
Courtesy Stan Garmer

Son Lewis Elmer Jackson (1872-1943) was born on Aug. 21, 1872 in Mercer County, IL. In his early 20s, he and his parents and family put down roots in Muscatine County, IA and remained there for good. On Aug. 6, 1907, in the courtroom of Justice Coster in Muscatine County, he was joined in holy wedlock with 17-year-old Ollie B. Richardson (1890-1916), a native of Inland, NE and the daughter of Benjamin Richardson. In reporting on the wedding, the Muscatine Journal stated that the couple would "make their home on East Hill." The Jacksons were the parents of one daughter, Erma DePoister. Unfortunately, their marriage was troubled early on, and they separated on Nov. 5, 1908. Lewis then sued Ollie in January 1909 for "default," claiming she had had sexual relations with two other men during the time of their marriage. Two months later, in March 1909, they were divorced by order of Judge Jackson in District Court. Lewis's home in the early 1940s was along Lake Park Boulevard. Lewis died in Muscatine at the age of 71 on Dec. 16, 1943. An obituary in the Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune reported that burial was in the Greenwood Cemetery. After their divorce, Ollie moved to Topeka, KS. She contracted tuberculosis there and came back to Muscatine in late July 1916. Due to her "advanced tubercular condition," reported the Muscatine News-Tribune, she lived in a tent on the outskirts of the city. She died in the tent on Aug. 10, 1916. Burial was made in Klein Cemetery near Moscow, IA, with funeral services led by Rev. U.S. Smith of the First Methodist Church

Daughter Ella Grace Jackson (1877-1899) was born on Sept. 28, 1877. She reached adulthood, but tragically was not to be blessed with a long life. She died at the age of 22 on Oct. 3, 1899. She and her father rest side-by-side in Seeley Township Cemetery in Guthrie County, IA.

Daughter Emma Elmira Jackson (1884-1964) was born on Nov. 12, 1884 in Guthrie County, IA. She never married. Emma and her parents moved circa 1898-1899 to Muscatine, Muscatine County, IA, and she lived for 60-plus years until death. She was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Church. Her address in her latter years was 608 Lake Park Boulevard. As her health declined, she was admitted to Muscatine General Hospital, where she succumbed to death at the age of 79 on Aug. 4, 1964. An obituary appeared in the Muscatine Journal, stating that "Several cousins are the only surviving relatives." Marlin VanDolah officiated at the funeral service, with the remains placed into eternal repose in Greenwood Cemetery in Muscatine.

 

~ Son William Henry "Bill" Garmer ~

 

William H. Garmer - Courtesy Stan Garmer

Son William Henry "Bill" Garmer (1854-1934) was born in about 1854 in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, PA. He migrated to Wisconsin and thence to Illinois with his parents and family and in 1870.

At the age of 16, after the family had put down roots in Eliza, Mercer County, IL, he assisted his father on the family farm. He boarded in the home of his married half-brother Frank Frankenfield in 1880 in Eliza.

On Nov. 19, 1885, when he would have been 31 years of age, William was united in holy matrimony with 21-year-old Sarah E. Bailey (Jan. 1864-1910), a native of Illinois whose father was from Virginia. Their nuptials were held in Mercer County.

The Garmers produced three children, including Ortie Leo Garmer, Neta May Garmer and one other daughter who died young. Their sadness was compounded in 1896 when daughter Neta passed away at the age of only one.

The Garmers established a home in Iowa and were longtime farmers. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, they resided on a farm south of Muscatine in Eliot Township, Louisa County, IA. By 1910, they had moved to a farm in 76 Township in the county, "south of this city on the Burlington road," reported a newspaper.

Sarah in about 1906 began to suffer from a serious illness. In March 1909, she is known to have undergone surgery at Bellevue Hospital in Muscatine. She returned home and lingered for 15 months.

 

Muscatine News-Tribune, 1910

The Grim Reaper of Death cut away Sarah on June 18, 1910, in their home, at the untimely age of only 46. Her passing brought to a close their marriage which had endured for 26 years. Rev. Dr. J.N. Elliott, of the First Presbyterian Church, preached the sermon at the funeral, held in the family residence. Burial was in Keithsburg Cemetery. A prominent obituary in the Muscatine News-Tribune said that she "was well known both in this city and the vicinity" and that "During her illness of about four years Mrs. Garmer had been one of the most patient of sufferers." The obituary also named her surviving siblings: John Bailey and Will Bailey of Huron, IA; George Bailey of Monmouth, IL; and Mrs. J.D. Day of Waterloo, IA.

William lived for another nearly quarter of a century as a widower. The United States Census of 1920 shows him living alone in Eliza at the age of 67, as a next-door neighbor to John and Indiana Woodward and Arthur and Nancy McDonald. That year, he continued to make a living as a farmer.

He generated sensational news coverage in September 1924 when he sued E.H. Irwin for assault and battery, claiming that he had been "struck by Irwin over the head with a pitchfork at a farm sale last November," reported the Muscatine Journal. "Garmer was in the hospital in Muscatine for a short time and many witnesses have been called on the stand." William triumphed in his case but, instead of the $10,000 in damages he was seeking, was awarded the sum of just $75.

In June 1928, he was named in the Journal obituary of his sister Sarah Josephine Jackson, and at the time was in Atalissa, Muscatine County. William's whereabouts in 1930 were in the home of his married niece Emma (Beggs) Flater and her husband Granville in Atalissa..

He is known to have spent his last year(s) in East Moline, Rock Island County, IL. There, he was gathered in by the Angel of Death at the age of 80 on Dec. 20, 1934. No obituary is known to have been published in the Rock Island or Muscatine newspapers. His remains were transported to Keithsburg, Mercer County for burial in Greenmound Cemetery. The couple is at rest in unmarked graves in the Bailey family plot.

 

Two images of Ortie Leo "Slim" Garmer.  Courtesy Stan Garmer

 

Son Ortie Leo "Slim" Garmer (1885-1944) was born on Oct. 16, 1885 in Iowa. He grew up on his parents' farm in Eliot, Louisa County, IA and then later in 76 Township, Muscatine County, IA. As a young man, his social and personal activities were mentioned in the gossip columns of the Muscatine (IA) Journal and News-Tribune. He was married in about 1910 to Florence (1891- ? ). The couple produced a family of known children -- Edith M. Kelly, William Garmer, Florence M. Cowgill and Bernice Jacobson. They first dwelled in Illinois, where their eldest child was born later that year. From there they moved to Iowa, where the next two offspring came into the world circa 1913-1915. Sometime between 1915 and 1920 they made the momentous decision to migrate again, into Montana. Their home as shown in the 1920 federal census was Helena, Lewis and Clark County, MT, with Ortie earning a living as a common laborer. He is known to have purchased a town lot, at 1029 Fifth Street in Helena, in Oct. 1920. The Garmers divorced during the decade of the 1920s, and Florence later remarried to Emil P. Zoeller of Helena. Census records for 1930 show Ortie, age 44, working as a cook in a cafe in Bozeman, Gallatin County, MT, while daughter Florence, age 15, was an inmate in the House of the Good Shepherd in Lewis and Clark County. Ortie moved in the 1930s to Butte, MT, where he continued cafe work in a rich region with iron ore and manganese mines. Said the Helena Independent Record, "He engaged in the cafe business first in Bozeman and later in Belgrade." He married a second time on New Year's Day 1939, to beauty shop owner Ona (Rennick) Walden (Oct. 21, 1898-1974), with the nuptials taking place in Livingston, MT, and the news reported in the Montana Standard. A native of St. Louis, and the daughter of Lee and Emma Rennick, she came to Montana's Bearpaw Mountains in 1914 and in 1937 had moved to the Gallatin Valley. Having been married previously, Ona brought a daughter to the union, Dorothy (Walden) Warnke. She was socially active and hosted meetings of the Order of Eastern Star in their home. They moved temporarily to Three Forks, where he was in the process of opening his own cafe under the name of "Slim's." They returned to Butte in the fall of 1940. He operated Slim's for the balance of his life, just four short years. Ortie died in a Bozeman hospital at the age of 59 on Aug. 8, 1944. The Independent Record reported that he had been "born in Iowa and came west as a young man." Funeral services were held in Bozeman. The widowed Ona outlived her spouse by three decades. She sold the cafe at Three Forks and migrated to California in 1950. For two decades, she operated a motel property in San Clemente. After retirement in 1970, she established a home in Seal Beach, CA. While on a visit to her daughter Dorothy's home in Helena in late summer 1974, she became seriously ill and was admitted to Columbus Hospital in Great Falls. She died there at the age of 75 on Sept. 7, 1974. Following funeral services led by Rev. William Burkhardt, her remains were shipped to California for cremation at Pacific View Memorial Park at Newport Breach. An obituary was printed in the Independent Record.

  • Granddaughter Edith M. Garmer (1910- ? ) was born on Aug. 24, 1910 in Moline, IL. On May 4, 1931, in a wedding mass held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, she wedded Thomas L. Kelly ( ? - ? ). Rev. Father Venus officiated, with the news reported in the Butte Montana Standard. They resided in Butte and bore these known children -- Thomas James Kelly and Carol Johnston. Edith worked as a clerk for Hennessey Company Department Store and was a member of the Daughters of Isabella. The Kellys celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in May 1981. Sadly, Thomas passed away less than a year later, on Jan. 11, 1982. Edith spent her final years at 855 Empire in Butte. She died in a local hospital at the age of 73 on Jan. 2, 1984. Her obituary was printed in the Standard.
  • Grandson William Garmer (1913-2000) was born in about 1913 in Iowa. He relocated to Washington State and dwelled in Vancouver circa 1944. He married Jenny ( ? - ? ) and was in Bozeman, MT in 1965-1999. He died in June 2000.
  • Granddaughter Florence Garmer (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915 in Iowa. Circa 1930, at age 15, she was an inmate in the House of the Good Shepherd in Lewis and Clark County. Florence eventually was joined in marriage with Ralph Cowgill ( ? - ? ). The Cowgills dwelled in Mullen, ID in 1965. She eventually relocated to the Pacific Northwest and was in Bremerton, WA in 1984.
  • Step-granddaughter Dorothy B. Walden (1922-2001) was born in about 1922 in Montana. She was united in wedlock with Alvin Warnke ( ? - ? ). They made a home in Three Forks, Butte and Helena and were the parents of Joannie Lea Warnke, Michael Warnke and Kenneth Timothy Warnke (1946-2017). Dorothy died in Phoenix, OR on Dec. 6, 2001.
  • Granddaughter Bernice Garmer ( ? - ? ) wedded (?) Jacobson ( ? - ? ). In 1944, her home was in Chester, MT -- in 1965 in Boulder, CO -- and in Riverside, CA in 1984.

Daughter Neta May Garmer ( ? - ? )

 

~ Son Wallace Moses "Wiley" Garmer ~

 

Wallace and Eliza Garmer

Son Wallace Moses "Wiley" Garmer (1855-1925) was born on Oct. 22, 1855 in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County. When he was in his early teens, Wallace joined his parents and siblings in a migration westward. They first traveled to Wisconsin, living in the Green Bay community, and then in 1869 pushed south to Illinois and settled on a farm in Eliza, Mercer County, where Wallace remained for the balance of his life.

Wallace was enumerated on the 1880 United States Census, living with his widowed mother and younger sister Emma in the home of his married step-sister Matilda Beggs in New Boston, Mercer County.

On Jan. 5, 1882, the 26-year-old Wallace was united in holy matrimony with 19-year-old Eliza Belle Minteer (Oct. 8, 1862-1939), daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Peal) Minteer. She had grown up on a farm south of the town of Joy, Mercer County. As a young woman, prior to marriage, Eliza taught at the Hazel Dell School near Joy for two years.

hey produced these known offspring -- Lilly May Lutz, Mary Bessie Reynolds, Fred Lee Garmer and Joseph Leslie Garmer. They bore one other child who sadly died young, prior to the year 1900.

The Garmers made a home on farms in Mercer County, IL, "with the exception of a year spent in Kansas," reported the Rock Island (IL) Argus. When the 1900 federal census enumeration was made, Eliza's 23-year-old widowed brother Charlie lived in their home and worked as a servant. Then in 1910, the U.S. Census shows that newly married daughter Bessie was in the parents' household but without her husband. The couple retired during the decade of the 1910s and were empty-nesters in 1920, as demonstrated by the census.

Sadly, Wallace died of a stroke on the Fourth of July 1925, at the age of 69, in Eliza. Funeral services were conducted in the Union Church in Aledo, with Elder George David, of the Latter Day Saints Church in Galesburg, officiating. Burial was in Eliza Creek Cemetery. An obituary in the Argus noted that he had been a resident of the county for more than 50 years.

 

Wallace and Eliza (Minteer) Garmer and family. Courtesy Stan Garmer

 

Eliza Belle lived on as a widow for another 14 years. In August 1930, she is known to have traveled with her sons to attend the annual Minteer family reunion, held at Sugar Grove Park north of Aledo, among 130 relatives who gathered that day.

When she was 76 years of age, she suffered a massive stroke and, a day later, was gathered in by the Grim Reaper of Death on Sept. 8, 1939. An obituary in the Argus -- which misspelled the family name as "Garner" -- noted that she was survived by six grandchildren. Funeral services were held in the Union Church, with six of her nephews serving in the role of pallbearers. She rests with her husband in Eliza Creek Cemetery.

Daughter Lilly May Garmer (1885-1946) was born on March 1, 1885 in Mercer County. In 1902, she wedded her first cousin, Harry Light Lutz (1875-1968), the son of Leroy L. and Rosa Ann (Garmer) Lutz. The couple's two known sons were Percy Wilvern Lutz and Paul Lutz. In 1939, they lived in Gladstone, Henderson County, IL. Lilly May died in Rock Island County, IL at the age of 61 on March 15, 1946. Her remains are at rest in Eliza Creek Cemetery in Mercer County. After Lilly's passing, Harry lived for another 22 years. In February 1953, he placed an advertisement in the Rock Island Argus, seeking to rent a 10-room house near Millersburg. He wrote that "All modern except hot water. Stoker heat. On school bus route. Couple with small family or an elderly couple preferred."

  • Grandson Percy Wilvern Lutz (1904-1988) was born in about 1904. He lived in rural Millersburg, IL, where he farmed with his brother Paul. Percy died at home at the age of 84 on Jan. 26, 1988. A brief death notice was published in the Moline Dispatch, and interment was in Eliza Creek Cemetery.
  • Grandson Paul Lutz (1909-1991) was born on June 4, 1909 in Duncan Township, Mercer County. He attended the University of Wisconsin. Later, he and his brother were farmers, operating in rural Aledo, south of Millersbug, IL. On Aug. 9, 1950, he wedded Winifred Wilson ( ? -1958). The couple did not reproduce. Sadly, Winifred passed away in 1958. Paul lived for another 33 years as a widower. He was admitted to Mercer County Hospital in Aledo, where he died at age 82 on Oct. 19, 1991. An obituary was published in the Moline Dispatch. Interment was in Eliza Creek Cemetery.

Daughter Mary "Bessie" Garmer (1888-1960) was born in 1888. In about 1910, she married Raphael Irwin Reynolds (Oct. 7, 1888-1980). They dwelled in 1939 in Lake City, IA. She passed into eternity in 1960. Burial was in Callaway Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum in Fulton, Callaway County, MO. Raphael survived another two decades. On July 3, 1962, he married a second time to Dixie Opal Ebersole (1906-2002). Raphael died on June 28, 1980.

Son Fred Lee Garmer (1891-1952) was born on Feb. 5, 1891 in Mercer County. He grew up on the family farm and, in 1910, provided farming labor there. On April 23, 1919, he wedded Della R. Bartlet ( ? - ? ), also of Eliza. The ceremony was held at the Baptist Church parsonage in Aledo, IL, officiated by Rev. E.T. Potter. Her siblings Ralph Bartlet and Jessie Bartlet were witnesses, and news of the wedding was published in the Rock Island Argus. Two known daughters were born to this union -- Elva Marie Marshall and Pauline Ruth Wedekind. They established a home in New Boston, Mercer County. Fred passed away three days after Christmas 1952 in Muscatine, Muscatine County. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery in Muscatine.

 

Mercer County Courthouse, a landmark of Aledo, Illinois

 

Son Joseph Leslie Garmer (1896-1972) was born on Feb. 22, 1896 in Mercer County. At the age of 14, in 1910, he worked on the family farm. Joseph served in the U.S. Army during World War I. After the war, on Nov. 12, 1919, he wedded Rachel Lingafelter (Nov. 1, 1901-1999), daughter of Wilburn and Ellen (Welch) Lingafelter of Millersburg Township, Mercer County. The couple produced these known offspring -- Helen E. Bopp and Alan Garmer -- and resided on a farm in Joy, Mercer County. Rachel had been educated at the Prouty School and actively helped Joseph operate their farm. The family were members of the St. Catherines congregation, and Rachel belonged to the Royal Neighbors of America (for more than five decades), Eliza American Legion Auxiliary and Neighborhood Club. She also liked to crochet and quilt. At the age of 76, on June 29, 1972, he died in Galesburg, Knox County, IL. His remains were lowered into repose in Eliza Creek Cemetery in Mercer County. In Moline Dispatch obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Mental Health Association. The widowed Rachel outlived her spouse by more than a quarter of a century and maintained a home in Aledo. At her 80th birthday in 1991, and again at her 96th birthday in 1997, she was featured in articles in the Dispatch. She died at the age of 97, on May 28, 1999, in Mercer County Nursing Home. Funeral services were held at St. Catherines Catholid Church of Aledo, with Rev. G.J. Plunkett officiating.

  • Granddaughter Helen E. Garmer ( ? -2014) was born on Flag Day, June 14, 1920 in Eliza Township. On June 28, 1939, at the age of 19, she wedded Francis Bopp ( ? -1996). Their wedding mass was held at St. Mary's Catholic Church of Keithsburg. The couple established a farm in Mercer Township and were the parents of Linda Morrow, Lois Retherford and Lynn Bopp. The couple retired from farming in 1963 and relocated to the town of Joy. Helen then spent 21 years working as a bus driver for Headley Bus Service, from 1968 to 1989, when she retired. Helen was active in the community as a member of the Mercer County Farm Bureau, nicknamed the "Prime Timers." She also was a president of the American Legion Auxiliary in Eliza and first senior regent of the local Moose Lodge and belonged to the Essley-Noble Museum and the 8 and 40 group in Milan. Sadly, Francis died on Sept. 23, 1996. Helen lived as a widow for the remaining 18 years of her life. At the age of 93, as a resident of Genesis Senior Living in Aledo, she passed away on the third day of the new year 2014. A mass of Christian burial was sung at St. Catherine's Catholic Church of Aledo, and an obituary appeared in the Rock Island Argus. Her survivors included 10 grandchildren and eight blood and step great-grandchildren.
  • Grandson Alan Garmer married Shirley and lived in Miller, MO in 1999-2014.

 

~ Daughter Roseann (Garmer) Lutz ~

 

Rosa and Leroy Lutz.  Courtesy Stan Garmer

 

Daughter Roseann "Rosa" Garmer (1858-1914) was born on Dec. 6, 1857 in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County. As a child she migrated to Illinois with her parents and siblings, settling in Eliza, Mercer County.

At the age of only 14, on June 8, 1873, she was joined in holy matrimony with 23-year-old Leroy L. Lutz (May 16, 1850-1926), with the wedding held in Mercer County.

The children born to this union were Roy Lutz, Harry Light Lutz, Myrtle Lutz, Convers Laurence Lutz, Bertha Ann Burns, Luella May Keck, Maud E. Retherford and Jesse Earl Lutz. Grief enveloped the family when second-born daughter Myrtle died in infancy in 1876. Son Roy also died young.

The couple made a home in Arborville, NE circa 1882 when their daughter Luella was born.

Roseann died at the age of 56, on May 26, 1914, in Bloomington, Muscatine County, with burial in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Mercer County.

Leroy survived for another dozen years. He passed into eternity on Sept. 20, 1926.

Son Harry Light Lutz (1875–1968) was born in 1875. He wedded a first cousin, Lilly May Garmer (1885-1946), daughter of Wallace Moses and Eliza Belle (Minteer) Garmer. They made a home in Gladstone, IL. See their biography elsewhere on this page.

Son Convers Laurence Lutz (1877–1957) was born on Aug. 28, 1877 in Mercer County, IL. His first name has been misspelled as "Converse" and "Covers" over the years. At the age of 17, he made news when he worked on the farm of Philip Vernon and picked 100 bushels of corn in one day. Said the Muscatine News-Tribune, the result was "pretty good for a boy of his age." During the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection, he served in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Camp Dewey. He sent a letter home, dated Aug. 8, 1898, which was printed in the Muscatine Journal. He wrote:

We had a nice trip across the ocean we were thirty-five days coming and it got tiresome before we landed. We are in camp within four miles of Manila. Our breastworks are within about three-quarters of a mile of the stone fortifications around the town. But they have got out-posts within one hundred yards of ours and we have a scrap every night. We had the first battle on the night of July 31. My regiment was in the breastworks in the morning when they opened fire on us and we run two canons in and mounted them behind the breastworks. They soon quit firing and we did not return the fire. We were relieved at ten o'clock by the Tenth Pennsylvania and camp back to camp tired and hungry. We had been out twenty-four hours without any sleep in the rain and worked all the time. We went to bed early and were soon sound asleep. About ten o'clock we were awakened by the worst roaring you ever heart, and before we were dressed the bugle sounded all in line and with a yell that could have been heard for a mile the boys got their guns and in five minutes the regiment was in line and waiting for orders. But alas, we stood in the rain about an hour, then were marhced back to camp and went to bed expecting to have to get up any minute. There were seven of the Pennsylvania boys died in all and about fifteen wounded. They will get all right. The Spaniards lost 365 men. One of the brigadier generals was killed.

On the night of August 2 my regiment was behind the breastworks and we had a little scrap and lost one man and the Spaniards lost three hundred men. Well, it is fun to be at the front and hear the bullets whiz over your head and the shells bursting all around you. I would rather be in the works within two hundred yards of the Spaniards than be back on the reserve. It is more dangerous. They shoot high and you have to go up in a shower of lead if they need any help. Well, we have lost about 25 men in all and some wounded, and the Spaniards about one thousand, but you will hear different reports from the Spaniards. They sent word to Spain that we lost ten times more than they did. This thing will soon come to an end.

Convers returned home from Manila in September 1899 and was given a reception in the Modern Woodmen of America Hall in Eliza. He resided at the time in New Boston, IL. On March 25, 1902, he was joined in marriage with Delpha M. Pratt ( ? -1948). Their wedding was held in the parsonage of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, led by Rev. Dr. Stafford. Said the Muscatine News-Tribune, the newlyweds "are favorably known by a large circle of friends." The couple went on to bear a daughter, Leona Biery, and a son, Lawrence Lutz.. They lived in Muscatine and were members of the Park Avenue Methodist Church. Convers belonged to the Kemble Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Sadly, Delpha died on May 24, 1948, bringing to a close their union which had endured for 46 years. On Aug. 6, 1949, he married a second time to Eva Allen (Stevens) Price (April 4, 1890-1966), daughter of Charles and Flora (Cooper) Stevens. She had been wed once before, to Harry C. Price ( ? - ? ). The couple lived at 112 Sheridan Street and had eight years together before death cut them apart. Convers was ill during the past two years of his life. He died on July 8, 1957, at the age of 79. An obituary in the Muscatine Journal said that he "had been a life resident of the Muscatine community." Eva outlived her second husband by nine years. She was socially active and belonged to the Women of the Moose, Pocahontas lodge, Pythian Sisters, VFW Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary. She died in Mercy Hospital in Davenport, IA on July 16, 1966. An obituary in the Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune said that she was survived by three nieces. Her remains were placed into repose in Greenwood Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Leona Lutz (1905-1979) was born on Feb. 20, 1905 in Wilton, IA. She married Glen Biery ( ? - ? ) in 1932 in nuptials held in Muscatine. The only known child born to the Bierys was son Glen Biery. They were members of Calvary Baptist Church. Her address later in life was 901 Sycamore Street. She died in Muscatine Hospital on April 18, 1979. Rev. Daniel Schoepf preached the funeral sermon, with interment following in Greenwood Cemetery.
  • Grandson Lawrence Lutz (1903-1964) was born on March 28, 1903 in Mercer County, IL. On March 12, 1928, in nuptials held in Muscatine, he married Anna Bierman ( ? - ? ). The couple lived in Muscatine for years and were farmers. They also were members of the Zion Lutheran Church. Lawrence and Anna were the parents of a son, Thomas Lutz. At the age of 61, Lawrence died in Muscatine General Hospital on June 3, 1964. An obituary in the Muscatine Journal said that burial took place in Memorial Park.

Daughter Bertha Ann Lutz (1879–1965) was joined in marriage with (?) Burns. She lived in Joy, IL in 1939 and in Mercer County in 1957.

Daughter Luella May Lutz (1882–1939) was born on Feb. 20, 1882 in Arborville, NE. When she was 17 years of age, in Aug. 1899, she married Jesse Keck ( ? -1907), with the ceremony held in Joy. He brought two daughters to the union, Edna Hurron and Nota Finch. Their marriage lasted just eight years until Jesse was cut away by the Grim Reaper of Death in about 1907. Luella lived on as a widow for another 32 years and dwelled in Buffalo Prairie, IL. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for four decades. With her health in decline, she was admitted to a hospital in Moline, where she succumbed at the age of 57 on Aug. 26, 1939. An obituary in the Rock Island Argus reported that Rev. Lee Allen of Muscatine preached the funeral sermon, with her pallbearers named as Fred Garner, Joe Garner, Leo Retherford, Ledru Burns, Paul Lutz and Percy Lutz.

Daughter Maud E. Lutz (1883–1971) wedded Frank Retherford ( ? - ? ). Her home in 1939-1957 was in Eliza, Mercer County.

Son Jesse "Earl" Lutz (1891–1962) was born on Feb. 28, 1891 in Stromburg, NE but grew up and lived in Muscatine, IA. He was twice married. On New Year's Day 1910, he first wedded Catherine Flood ( ? - ? ). Their wedding was held in Muscatine. Their offspring are believed to have been Earl Lutz, Mrs. William B. Johnson, Mrs. Emmett Weiker Sr., Mrs. Elmer Wrage, Mrs. Carl Westerman and a son who died young. Then on June 20, 1933, at the age of 42, he was joined in marriage with Eva Sodders ( ? - ? ). Their address was 1604 Willow Street. He suffered a heart attack and was gathered in by the Angel of Death in Muscatine General Hospital, at the age of 71, on May 25, 1962. He was survived, said the Muscatine Journal, by 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Rev. Emmett Barnes preached the funeral service, with burial following in Greenwood Cemetery.

 

~ Daughter Emma "Caroline" (Garmer) Boyle ~

 

Emma (Garmer) Boyle
Courtesy Stan Garmer.

Daughter Emma "Caroline" Garmer (1865-1923) was born in October 1864 or 1865 in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, PA. She was a young girl when she moved to Illinois with her family and put down roots on a farm in Eliza, Mercer County.

After the death of her father, Emma and her mother and older brother Wallace went to live in New Boston, Mercer County, with Emma's married half-sister, Matilda Beggs.

On Jan. 25, 1888, when she was age 23, Emma married James Frank Boyle (Feb. 1863- ? ). Their wedding was held in Caroline's home county.

The couple produced four children -- Effie Alfreda Sanford, Bessie May Knapp, Dora Fern Hanrahan and Harley Francis Boyle. Their eldest daughter was born in Mercer County in 1889, and the second and third born in Thayer County, NE in 1891-1892.

They moved back to Eliza, where their fourth and final child was born in the town of Joy in 1900. The federal census enumeration of 1900 shows the family residing in Eliza, with James working as a day laborer, and the census-taker spelling the family surname as "Boiles." That year, local school teacher Ada Adams, age 25, boarded in their household.

The family relocated between 1900 and 1910 to a farm in New Boston, Mercer County. The 1910 census-taker wrote that James' occupation was "Farmer - home farm" after first writing and then scratching out "Laborer - job work."

Then by 1920, the Boyles shared a New Boston Township residence with their married daughter and son-in-law, Dora and Louis J. Hanrahan. That year, their married daughter and son-in-law Effie and Fred Sanford lived next door.

At the age of 58, Emma passed into eternity on Aug. 10, 1923 in Mercer County. Her remains were lowered under the sod to rest for all time in Eliza Creek Cemetery.

The widowed James made his way to Arkansas. There, he died and is said to have been interred in a wooden coffin. For years, Emma's grave was unmarked. But in the spring of 2018, a small, graceful stone was placed at the site by cousin researcher Stan Garmer.

Daughter Effie Alfeda "Allie" Boyle (1889-1927) was born on Feb. 17, 1889 in Millersburg Township, Mercer County, IL. Effie was single and living with her parents in 1910, when she was age 21. She married Fred L. Sanford (1886- ? ). They were the parents of Frank Sanford, Emma Sanford and Dora MacDonald. They first made a home in Illinois, but by 1916-1917 had relocated to Arkansas, where their daughter Dora was born. They returned to Mercer County. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1920, the Sanfords lived next door to Effie's parents and married sister Dora Hanrahan in New Boston Township. Effie died at the age of 38, on Dec. 13, 1927, in Oakland, Alameda County, CA. Her remains are in repose in Oakland's Evergreen Cemetery. Fred continued living in Oakland as a widower, at the address of 3955 Magee Avenue in 1934 and at 913 Central Avenue in Alameda in 1941. His name was in the news in August 1934 when his daughter Dora eloped with Alvin G. MacDonald. Fred was injured in early November 1941 accident when the East Bay Transit bus on which he was riding collided with another bus on the Bay Bridge during a heavy fog. Said the Oakland Tribune, "A terrific collision of three commuter busses, two heavy trucks and a passenger automobile today sent a score of persons from the fog-shrouded lower deck of the Bay Bridge to hospitals on both sides of the bay.... The accident happened at the Oakland end of the Yerba Buena Island tunnel when traffic stopped suddenly in a particularly thick fog bank." He was treated at Berkeley Hospital and pictured in a photo collage in the Tribune.

  • Grandson Frank Sanford (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914 in Illinois.
  • Granddaughter Emma Sanford (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915 in Illinois.
  • Dora Sanford (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917 in Arkansas. She grew up in Mercer County, IL and then migrated with her parents to Oakland, Alameda County, IL. At the age of 19, in late August 1934, she made news in the Oakland Tribune when she eloped to Reno, NV with Alvin G. MacDonald ( ? - ? ) in a double marriage with her girlhood friend Lucile Bronson and Charles M. Brabbin. Reported the Tribune, "The elopment was designed to avoid California's three-day marriage law. When the two girls vanished Saturday their families began a search for them that ended only when they were advised that the double wedding had taken place in Reno. MacDonald is a graduate of the Berkeley High School. His bride was graduated from a Monmouth (Ill.) school. They met two years ago at a party given by the gridegroom's sister, Miss Laverne MacDonald."

Daughter Bessie May Boyle (1891-1936) was born on Jan. 23, 1891 in Hubbell, Thayer County, NE. As a girl she migrated to her parents' home region of Mercer County, IL. She was joined in wedlock in 1909 with Loren Knapp (1878-1969). The couple bore four known sons -- Francis H. Knapp, Kenneth Knapp, Wallace Loren Knapp and Ivan A. Knapp. The Knapps were enumerated in the U.S. Census of 1910 as farmers, living in New Boston, Mercer County, with the census-taker spelling their surname "Knupp." During the decade of the 1910s, they moved to Millersburg, Mercer County, where in 1920 Loren earned income as a day laborer. The Knapps relocated again during the 1920s to Monmouth, Warren County, IL. There, Loren continued his work as a laborer providing a day's work. Sadly, when she was 45 years of age, on Oct. 21, 1936, Bessie May succumbed to death in Monmouth. Burial was in Eliza Creek Cemetery. Loren outlived his bride by 33 years. He joined her in death, at the age of 95, on Aug. 18, 1969. His remains were interred in Biggsville Cemetery in Henderson County, IL

  • Grandson Francis H. Knapp (1910-1981) was born on June 22, 1910 in New Boston, Mercer County, IL. After the family moved to Monmouth, Warren County, IL, he worked there in 1930 as a pottery laborer. Circa 1938, when he would have been about 18 years of age, he was united in wedlock with Ethel A. Gillen (Jan. 1, 1919-1989), daughter of Willard and Bernetta Banta. Francis died on July 24, 1981, in Oquawka, Henderson County, IL, at the age of 71. Burial was in Biggsville Cemetery, Henderson County. Ethel lived as a widow for the final eight years of her life. She died on Dec. 15, 1989 in Oquawka, at the age of 70.
  • Grandson Kenneth Knapp (1914- ? ) was born in about 1915 in Mercer County, IL. At the age of 16, in 1930, he was employied as a repair man in a motor garage in Monmouth, Warren County, IL.
  • Grandson Wallace Loren Knapp (1916-1985) was born on Sept. 19, 1916 in Mercer County, IL. He served as a private in the U.S. Army during World War II. Wallace was joined in matrimony with Dorothy Edith Rainbolt (Aug. 30, 1919-1988), a native of Keokuk, Lee County, IA and the daughter of Roy Chester and Margaret Bernice (Link) Rainbolt. They produced four offspring -- Dorothy Joan Thomas, Wallace Chester Knapp, Robert Leroy Knapp and Leland Albert Knapp. The family relocated in 1944 from Illinois to Texas. At the age of 68, he died on July 5, 1985 in Biggsville, Henderson County. His remains were transported to Arkansas for burial in Layton Cemetery in Yellville, Marion County. Dorothy outlived her husband by three years. Death took her away at age 69 on Oct. 12, 1988, in Biggsville.
  • Grandson Ivan A. Knapp (1921- ? ) was born in about 1921.

Daughter Dora Fern Boyle (1892-1934) was born on Sept. 13, 1892 in Hubbell, Thayer County, NE. She moved to Eliza, Mercer County, IL as a child. When she was age 17, in 1910, she lived with her parents in New Boston, Mercer County. Circa 1915, she dwelled in Filmore, IA. In the fall of 1915, she was united in holy matrimony with Louis J. Hanrahan (1880- ? ), a native of Iowa whose parents were Canadians. The bride was a dozen years younger than the groom. News of their marriage license application was published in the Rock Island Argus. The pair did not reproduce. In 1920, living on a farm in New Boston, Mercer County, they provided a home for Dora's parents. Circa 1930, when the United States Census again was taken, they were in a home on West Sixth Avenue in Monmouth, Warren County, IL, with Louis working as a road laborer and Dora's namesake niece Dora Sanford and boarder William Robinson living under their roof. Dora Fern was cut down by the Grim Reaper, at the age of 41, on Aug. 10, 1934. Rev. J.W. Beam of Alexis, IL officiated at the funeral service, with Mr. and Mrs. W.V. Holmes, Mrs. J.W. Beam and Lena Fifield providing musical selections. Pallbearers were Lester Smith, Ralph Lukens, Lester Christman, Harry Buffum, Donovan Highes and Henry Blevius. Burial was in Eliza Creek Cemetery in Mercer County, with an obituary appearing in the Argus. Her grave is not thought to be marked.

 

Obituary, 1970. Courtesy Stan Garmer

Son Harley Francis Boyle (1900-1970) was born on May 5, 1900 in Joy, Mercer County, IL, after his parents had returned from several years of living in Nebraska. Harley served in the U.S. Army during World War I. He wedded Geneva ( ? - ? ). Seven children were born to this union, all sons but one -- Ida Roselle, James Kaiser, Howard Boyle, Joe Boyle, Norman Boyle, Douglas Boyle and Robert Boyle. Harley earned a living laboring as a blacksmith. At some point they relocated to Texas, making a home for years Alice, Jim Wells County. As his health failed, Harley became a resident of a nursing home in San Antonio, while Geneva went to live with or near their son Norman in Yates Center, KS. There, he died at the age of 70 on Aug. 26, 1970. Interment was in Alice Cemetery. An obituary noted that his survivors included 25 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Ida Boyle married (?) Roselle. In 1970, they lived in Odessa, TX.
  • Grandson James Kaiser ( ? - ? ) dwelled in Racine, WI in 1970.
  • Grandson Howard Boyle ( ? - ? ) made a home in 1970 in Alice, Wells County, TX.
  • Grandson Joe Boyle ( ? - ? ) was in Pampa, TX in 1970.
  • Grandson Norman Boyle ( ? - ? ) resided in 1970 in Yates Center, KS.
  • Grandson Douglas Boyle ( ? - ? ) established a residence in Emporia, KS.
  • Grandson Robert Boyle ( ? - ? ) lived in 1970 in Brownlee, NE.

 

Copyright 2000, 2015, 2016, 2018-2019 Mark A. Miner

Many thanks to Paula (Gaumer) Tooke, Stan Garmer and Dr. Phyllis M. Correa for so graciously sharing their research discoveries for this biography.