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Charles Gaumer
(1795-1845)

 

Charles Gaumer was born on Dec. 16, 1795 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of Johannes "John" and Albertina Christina (Dean) Gaumer.

He was thrice married. The identity of his first wife is unknown.

A son John Gaumer was born to the first marriage, in 1818.

In 1823, when he was 27 years of age, Charles married his second wife, Justina ( ? - ? ), in Wellersburg, Somerset County, PA.

The couple's two children were Hannah Bossemeyer and Susanna Gaumer. Evidence found by others suggests that Susanna died at the tender age of two years, three months on July 27, 1831. This needs to be verified.

Justina's fate appears to be obscured by the hazy mists of the past.

On Oct. 4, 1831, at the age of 36, Charles married his third wife, 31-year-old Sarah Ann "Sally" Shoemaker (June 13, 1800-1900), daughter of Peter Shoemaker.

The four known children resulting from the third marriage were Peter Gaumer, Jesse Gaumer, Daniel Gomer and Sarah Ann Lichty.

 

Charles' deed for the 167½-acre farm, 1838

 

Charles is known to have purchased a tract of 167½ acres for $150 on Feb. 17, 1838 from Abraham and Naomi Kerns of Bedford, Bedford County, PA, with Abraham serving in his official capacity of Juniata Coal Company and disposing of assets from the inventory of the business. The tract was known as part of the Gladdonsville Farms adjoining properties of Adam Lepley, Jacob Marts, Savage Mountain and Daniel Lepley, and contained stands of locust and red oak. The deed, found in Somerset County Deed Book 15, pages 349-351, spells his last name as "Gomer."

Charles died in April 1845. He is buried in Lepley Cemetery near Hyndman, Somerset County, PA. According to one family researcher of the 1940s, there was no grave marker.

During the Civil War, their son Jesse served as a private in the Union Army.

Sally outlived her husband by an astonishing 55 years. In 1860, at the age of about 59, she lived in the household of John and Catharine Shoemaker in Southampton Township. Her married son Peter and his wife and infant son also were under the Shoemaker roof that year.

She is believed to have passed away on March 31, 1900, just a few months shy of her 100th birthday.

 

Delilah's grave, Getz Cemetery
Courtesy Forrest Bosley Hare

~ Son John Gaumer ~

Son John Gaumer (1818-1880) was born on Sept. 29, 1818 in Wellersburg, Somerset County. He may also have gone by the name "Charles." Some of the research on this branch is confusing and still needs to be sorted out and clarified with precision.

When he was 19 years of age, on July 6, 1838, John was joined in matrimony with his first wife, Sarah Myers (Feb. 14, 1820-1840).

Whether or not the couple reproduced during their short married lives is unknown. Grief shook John's world when Sarah died on July 6, 1840, at only 20 years of age. The cause of her untimely passing is not known.

John is believed to have married A.E. (?) -- perhaps short for "Ann Eliza," a common name of the era? Evidence suggests that A.E.'s maiden name was "Korns."

Among John's children with A.E. were Elizabeth Gaumer and Margaret Gaumer, and possibly also Samuel Adams Gaumer and Hannah "Anna" Kennell.

Heartache swept over the family twice in the month of September 1862 during the Civil War years. Daughter Margaret succumbed at age six on Sept. 8, 1862, followed by daughter Elizabeth just a few weeks before her 10th birthday on Sept. 14, 1862. Their remains were interred in what today is known as the Getz Cemetery.

John outlived their daughters by many years, and during that time, he earned a living as a carpenter. In about 1863, they moved across the state line into Allegany County, MD. His son Samuel also followed that trade.

On Sept. 3, 1848, John wedded again to Delilah Kennell (1824-1885). Her first name also has been spelled "Dehlia."

They became the parents of George Gaumer and Charles Gaumer.

 

     
Graves of daughters Margaret (left) and Elizabeth, who died 6 days apart in 1862

 

John died on Feb. 12, 1880 at the age of 61 years, four months and 18 days.

Delilah outlived him by five years. She joined him in eternity on Dec. 1, 1885, at age 61 years, seven months and 18 days. [Find-a-Grave]

 

The Gaumers rest under these pines

They also are buried at Getz Cemetery in Southampton Township. In 1934, the location of their graves was recorded by the Works Progress Administration [link]. In the 1930s, the cemetery was "located on the farm of Irvin Troutman, east of the buildings about 20 rods on top of a knoll in the field." When the founder of this website visited Getz in September 2016, no markers for John or Delilah were found, although the two daughters' markers were still standing. The entire burying ground is enclosed with a chain link fence, with the girls' graves along one of the sides.

Son Samuel Adams Gaumer (1849-1925) was born on March 25, 1849 (or 1851) in Southampton Township, Somerset County. When he was a teenager, he relocated across the state line into Allegany County, MD with his father. Following his father's trade, he learned the skill of carpentry. At the age of 21, unmarried, he lived at home and assisted his father with carpenter work. Samuel eventually was joined in holy matrimony with Mary Elizabeth Kennell (Jan. 12, 1958-1919), daughter of Levi and Catherine (Beal) Kennell. Their two known children were Earl Theodore Gaumer and Cora Alice Bell. Stricken with a buildup of fluid in her lungs and inflammation of her kidneys, Mary Elizabeth died at the age of 61 on April 27, 1919. Her remains were interred in Comp Cemetery, also known as Hopewell Cemetery. Samuel survived his wife by nearly six years and made his residence in Boswell, Somerset County. Suffering from uremia, he passed into eternity at the age of 73 on March 21, 1925. Burial was in Porter Cemetery in Hyndman, Bedford County, PA. Harry Gomer of Boswell, PA was the informant for the Pennsylvania certificate of death.

  • Grandson Earl Theodore Gaumer (1880-1962) was born on St. Patrick's Day 1880 in Fairhope Township, Somerset County. He wedded Rachel Jane Shroyer (1886-1969), daughter of Nathaniel and Ellen Matilda (Shaffer) Shroyer. They produced two children -- Phyllis Rebecca Kiefer and Curtis E. Gaumer. Earl died in Hyndman at the age of 81 on Jan. 11, 1962. Burial was in Comp Cemetery. Rachel Jane joined him in death in 1969.
  • Granddaughter Cora Alice Gaumer (1888-1971) was born in 1888. She wedded (?) Bell. She passed away in 1971.

Son George Gaumer ( ? - ? ) - nothing more is known. He is named in Myrtle Knepper Weniger's typescript work, The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines (Corvallis, OR: 1946).

 

Getz Cemetery
Courtesy Forrest Bosley Hare

Son Charles Gaumer (1861-1930) was born in about 1859 or 1861 in Somerset County. On Sept. 2, 1886, at the age of about 25, he married 18-year-old Martha "Agnes" Shumaker (Feb. 18, 1868-1882), a native of Southampton Township, Somerset County and the daughter of Solomon and Sarah (Albright) Shumaker. The couple produced three sons -- Harvey Edward Gaumer, Samuel E. Gaumer and Louis Arthur "Arty" Gaumer. The family underwent heartbreak when, after the birth of their youngest son, Martha passed away at the age of 24 on March 12, 1892, with burial in Comp Cemetery. The agony was compounded when the son died shy of his fifth-month birthday. After a year as a widower, Charles was wed a second time on May 4, 1893 to Rosanna "Rose" Fossler (1871-1931), also spelled "Bassel," a resident of Meyersdale. They went on to produce four daughters -- Nettie "Pearl" Lowery, Mamie E. Sturtz, Ruth M. Gaumer and Beatrice Leona Turner. He "spent most of his life in the community," reported the Meyersdale Republic. "He was a resident of Meyersdale from 1908 to 1912, part of which time he was working in the mines, and part of the time on street repairs, under Commissioner J.O. Weller. He moved to his late home in the fall of 1912 and took up farming at which he continued as long as he was able to work." They belonged to the Wellersburg Reformed Church. Charles and Rosanna moved in 1912 to a farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County. Just a week before his 71st birthday, suffering from bronchial asthma and heart valve leakage problems, Charles died on May 11, 1930. In an obituary, the Republic said he had been "in failing health all winter, but was not bedfast at any time. He was up and around all day on Sunday, May 11, and did not complain any until about 7 o'clock in the evening, when his asthmatic trouble got worse and he passed away at 9:30 o'clock." Burial was in Getz Cemetery, following funeral services at the home led by Rev. Von Kaske of the family church. Pallbearers included Albert Baker, Clarence Kennell, Anthony Witt, Irvin Troutman, William Emerick and John Witt. Flowers were carried by Peter P. Michaels, Henry Everline and Raymond H. Emerick. Son Harvey Gaumer of Ellerslie, MD was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Obituaries were published in the Cumberland (MD) Evening Times and Meyersdale (PA) Republican. Rosanna only outlived her husband by about a year and during that time suffered from heart disease. She also endured the sadness when daughter Ruthie passed away. At the age of 59, Rosanna died at home in Southampton Township on Jan. 5, 1931. Said the Republican, "She had been in ill health for the last four months, but was up and around all day Sunday and did not complain any on returning Sunday evening. She was found dead in bed at 5 o'clock, Monday morning, by her daughter, Beatrice, who had got up to get breakfast for her brother, Samuel, who is employed in Cumberland, Md. After being up about 20 minutes Beatrice returned up-stairs to find her mother just breathing her last." The Republican noted that her survivors included 13 grandchildren and said that "This is the third death in the family in less than eight months."

  • Grandson Harvey Edward Gaumer (1887-1941) was born on July 9, 1887 in Southampton Township. He wedded Mary Elizabeth Burley (1883-1966). The couple produced one known son, Harvey M. Gaumer. They lived in Ellerslie, MD in 1920-1930. Harvey died in Somerset County at the age of 54 on Nov. 16, 1941. Burial was in Porter Cemetery in Hyndman, Bedford County. Mary lived for another 25 years. She succumbed in 1966.

Great-grandson Harvey M. Gaumer ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He was married to ( ? - ? ). Their four children were Mary Lou Gaumer, Charles J. Gaumer, Nellie Gaumer and Emma Lee Gaumer.

  • Grandson Samuel E. Gaumer (1889-1968) was born in 1889. He was at home with his parents in 1930, when he would have been 41 years of age. He dwelled in Hyndman circa 1965. He died in 1968.
  • Granddaughter Nettie "Pearl" Gaumer (1894-1965) was born on Aug. 12, 1894 in Southampton Township. She married Eugene Lowery (1892-1979), son of Perry and Mary Elizabeth (Logsdon) Lowery. Their four offspring were Irvin E. Lowery, Clyde W. Lowery, Margaret Lowery and Mrs. Howard Henry. Circa 1930, their residence was in Bedford, Bedford County, PA. They were members of Trinity Lutheran Church and the American Legion. Nettie also was a member of the Gold Star Mothers. The Lowerys' address in 1965 was 229 South Thomas Street in Bedford. Stricken with colon cancer, she passed away in Bedford County Memorial Hospital at the age of 70 on Jan. 5, 1965. Burial was in Porter Cemetery in Hyndman, with Rev. Richard L. Tome officiating at the funeral held in the family church. An obituary appeared in the Cumberland Evening Times. Eugene outlived his wife by 14 years. He succumbed in 1979 at the age of about 86.
  • Granddaughter Mayme Elizabeth "Mamie" Gaumer (1900-1974) was born on Valentine's Day 1900. She was united in wedlock with Lloyd Samuel Sturtz (1900-1981), son of Josiah and Lillie (Geary) Sturtz. The couple's two known daughters were Thelma Leona Shuck and Madeline Rose Kirby. The family dwelled in Wellersburg, Somerset County for decades. Lloyd's occupation in 1949 was as a bus driver. She passed away at the age of 74 on Dec. 6, 1974. Her remains rest in Cook Cemetery in Somerset County. Lloyd lived for another seven years and died in 1981. Their daughter Thelma married Karl Christner Shuck of the family of Daniel H. and Julian (Ringler) May. See the May biography for more.
  • Granddaughter Ruth M. "Ruthie" Gaumer (1905-1930) was born on June 10, 1905. While not married, she gave birth to daughters Myrtle Gaumer and Betty Gaumer, but the identity of the father is not yet known. Circa March 1920, she was employed by Peter Michaels near Barrellville, PA, with the news printed in the gossip columns of the Meyersdale (PA) Republican. At her 23rd birthday, her parents held a birthday meal at their home which generated a story in the Republican. "A delicious dinner was served and the day was spent with lots of laughter and glee... The birthday cake was a lovely white and ppink creation with 23 pink candles. The Junior Orchestra of Ellerslie rendered some very fine selections of music." From about 1928 to 1930, she earned a living by working at the Celanese plant near Cumberland. But recurring bouts of gallstones brought her health low and she was forced to leave the company and return home. She lived in Cresaptown in May 1930 at the time of death of her father. Sadly, just seven months later, she died in her mother's home in rural Wellersburg/Ellerslie on Dec. 1, 1930 at the age of 25. Burial was in Getz Cemetery. The Republican printed an obituary, stating that "Her death was quite a shock to her family and friends... She was operated upon for removal of gall stones four years ago, and had quite a lot of trouble and sick spells since, more so in the last year." Rev. Von Kaske of Corriganville, MD, former pastor of the Wellersburg Reformed Church, preached the funeral service.
  • Granddaughter Beatrice Leona "Becky" Gaumer (1907-1982) was born on May 23, 1907. Her name has been misspelled in print at times as "Betros." At the age of 23, she lived with her parents in 1930. She married Ward Andrew Turner (April 17, 1900-1980), son of Sarah M. (Ball) Turner. They resided in Manns Choice in 1965. Ward succumbed on Feb. 22, 1980. She died two years later on March 3, 1982 at the age of 74. Burial was in Trinity United Church of Christ Cemetery in Juniata Township, Bedford County.

 

Wonderland Cavern in Manns Choice, PA

 

Daughter Hannah "Anna" Gaumer (1863-1931) was born in about 1863 in Allegany County, MD. Her children spelled her maiden name "Gomer." She married Wilson Kennell ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Eugenia Pearl Eliott, Florence Wilson, Mrs. Marion Stewart, James Kennell and Joseph Wilson "Joe" Kennell. Hannah was a member of the Daughters of America Council No. 73. Her home in 1930 was in Bloomington, MD. Hannah was in poor health for the final nine years of her life. She suffered a stroke in July 1931 and died a week later on July 29, 1931. Funeral services were held in the Bloomington Methodist Episcopal Church, led by Rev. D.B. Gates, with burial in Bloomington Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Cumberland (MD) Evening Times.

  • Granddaughter Eugenia Pearl Kennell ( ? -1952) was born in (?) in Hyndman. She married Scott Eliott and lived in Bloomington, MD in 1931. Their offspring were Mrs. John Bosley and William S. Elliott. Sadly, Scott died on July 6, 1952. Eugenia Pearl was burdened by poor health for eight years and only survived her husband by three months. She passed away on Oct. 5, 1952.
  • Granddaughter Florence Kennell wedded Pearson Wilson. In 1931-1971, their home was in Kalamazoo, MI.
  • Granddaughter (?) Kennell was joined in matrimony with Marion Stewart. They dwelled in 1931 in Keyser, WV.
  • Grandson James Kennell resided in Bloomington in 1931.
  • Grandson Joseph Wilson "Joe" Kennell (1903?-1971) was born in about 1903 in Bloomington. He never married. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Joseph was a longtime carpenter and dwelled in Watson Heights, WV. He was admitted in October 1970 to the Baker Veterans Administration Center in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, WV. He died there at the age of 68 on Feb. 16, 1971. Rev. Gerald Steiding of the Savage River Chapel officiated at the funeral service, with burial in Bloomington Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Cumberland (MD) News.

 

~ Daughter Hannah (Gaumer) Bossemeyer ~

Daughter Hannah Gaumer (1824-1889) was born on April 6, 1824 in Somerset County, PA or just over the state line in Maryland.

On May 14, 1848, in nuptials held in Wellersburg, Somerset County, Hannah married 43-year-old John Ernst "Frederick" Bossemeyer (July 24, 1814-1884). Born in Prussia, Germany, Frederick emigrated to the United States with an older sister Christine in about 1830, when he would have been age 16. It was his second marriage.

Sometime before 1857, the couple relocated to Dixon, Lee County, IL, about 100 miles west of Chicago. Making a living as farmers, they remained in Dixon for the rest of their lives.

Among their offspring were John Frederick Bossemeyer, William Bossemeyer, Louvena Shoemaker, Laura Ann Knepper, Mary Jane Bemis, Charles Benjamin Bossemeyer, George Lincoln Bossemeyer, Lydia Weed, Ada Lucinda "Addie" Bossemeyer and Emma B. Bossemeyer. The family grieved when second son William died on Sept. 28, 1851 at only five-plus months of age.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, the family dwelled on a farm in South Dixon. Eight children lived in the home, along with 23-year-old farm labotrer Olters Linnes. Frederick was a member of the Lee County Council of the Patrons of Husbandry and often attended meetings of the South Dixon Grange.

 

Dixon's Truesdell Bridge, before collapse, 1870s. Harper's Weekly, May 24, 1873

 

The Dixon community suffered a catastrophe in early May 1873 when, during a baptism ceremony in the Rock River, the Truesdale Bridge collapsed and sent some 200 spectators, of whom about 50 were killed. Fortunately, none of the Bossemeyers is known to have been involved but all would have followed the details. In reporting on the incident, Harper's Weekly said:

The Truesdell Bridge at Dixon, Illinois, ...was, it is said, known to be in a damaged and dangerous condition for weeks before. Parts of the iron lattice-work had snapped during the winter, and no attempt had been made to repair them. An examination of the debris resulted in the discovery of rusted cracks and flaws, evidently of long standing, in the supporting bars attached to the iron uprights at the north end of the bridge. Had the structure been properly inspected and repaired, it might have been rendered perfectly safe. The bridge fell, our readers will remember, on Sunday afternoon, the 4th of May, under the weight of about 200 persons, who had assembled to witness the rite of baptism performed in the river by the Rev. J. H. Pratt, pastor of the Baptist church in Dixon. Two candidates had been baptized, and a third was just entering the water, when an overweighted span of the bridge gave way, and precipitated more than 150 men, women, and children into the river. The scene was terrible and heart-rending. Some were caught in the lattice-work and borne to the bottom by its weight; some were swept away by the swift current, and were seen no more; while others were rescued by helping hands from the river-bank, or by seizing the loosened planks of the roadway as they floated past.The whole bridge is a wreck, one span in falling dragging the next after it, though all did not fall into the river, several spans still hanging in a damaged condition to the piers. On one of these spans a wagon and pair of horses remained, and there being no communication with the shore, food and water had to be taken out to them. Many thrilling and affecting scenes took place during the few minutes that elapsed between the fall of the bridge and the rescue of the last survivor. Some escapes seemed almost miraculous. The number of lives lost is computed at more than fifty, and nearly every family in the town is in mourning for the loss of some relative or friend.

The Bossemeyers were among many local families to be victimized by a cholera epidemic in early autumn 1874. A report in the Dixon Sun noted that Frederick, living two miles south of the Brick School House in South Dixon, had lost 32 head of cattle.

Frederick and one of his daughters avoided a tragedy one Saturday in August 1874 when riding into town in the family carriage. Noted the Sun, "his team took fright near the Pratt farm and could not be checked until they got almost to town. Mr. B. found he could not hold the team and so wrapped the lines around his legs and when he at last stopped them he was so exhausted tha he could not remove the lines."

Frederick passed away at the age of 69 on Feb. 10, 1884. His remains were placed at rest in Dixon's Oakwood Cemetery.

Hannah outlived her husband by five years. Suffering from rheumatic fever, she died in Dixon on May 7, 1889 at the age of 65. An obituary in the Dixon Sun reported that "The deceased was an early settler of this county, an estimable christian lady and a member of the Lutheran church, where a large number of friends attended her funeral...." On her grave marker, her maiden name was spelled "Gommer." [Find-a-Grave]

Her death again was noted in an article in the Sun, dated Sept. 11, 1889, among other old settlers of the area who had succumbed within the year.

In early December 1920, the family of Jack and Nelle Reagan moved to Dixon with their nine-year-old son. Their first home in Dixon was at 816 Hennepin Avenue, and they relocated within the town several additional times over the years. The son attended South Central School, was a drum major for the local YMCA band and a lifeguard at Lowell Park. Of course the son went on to become governor of California and later the president of the United States -- Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Son John Frederick Bossemeyer (1849-1888) was born on May 24, 1849 in Somerset County, PA. On Sept. 1, 1874, when he was age 25, John married 16-year-old Fannie Arabelle Smith (March 15, 1858-1942), daughter of Joseph E. and Henrietta E. (Merrill) Smith. A story in the Dixon Sun said that the wedding was held at the Smith home and officiated by Rev. John Williamson. The couple produced four known children, Arthur Joseph Bossemeyer, Etta L. Toot, Lester Otto Bossemeyer and Nellie Hazel Glessner. They resided on Eldena Road in South Dixon, Lee County. Stricken with consumption, also known as tuberculosis, John died at home on April 1, 1888, at the age of 39. His remains were transported to Dixon for burial. Fannie survived for a remarkable 54 years as a widow. She joined him in eternity in Dixon on Nov. 10, 1942. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon.

  • Grandson Arthur Joseph Bossemeyer (1875-1939) was born on Aug. 19, 1875 in Dixon. He appears to have spent his entire life in the community. He died in Dixon on Dec. 12, 1939.
  • Granddaughter Etta Laura Bossemeyer (1877-1959) was born on Aug. 2, 1877 in Dixon. On Sept. 3, 1895, in a ceremony held in Dixon, she married Emery E. Toot ( ? - ? ), a native of Pennsylvania. Their seven known children were Roy John Toot, Gladys LaRue Miller, Edna Lucille Moore, Irene Elizabeth Wadsworth, Elsie Hazel Shaffer, Alice Marian Toot and Raymond Emory Toot. Sadly, their eldest son Roy died on Sept. 19, 1900 at the age of only 11 months. Etta died in 1959 with interment in Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon.

Great-granddaughter Gladys LaRue Toot (1903- ? ) was born on Nov. 3, 1903. She married Leon W. Miller ( ? - ? ). The pair bore one known son, Morrison Miller (born 1931).

Great-granddaughter Edna "Lucille" Toot (1908- ? ) was born on June 15, 1908. She wedded George P. Moore ( ? - ? ).

Great-granddaughter Irene Elizabeth Toot (1910- ? )was born on Dec. 13, 1910. She was united in matrimony with Byron G. Wadsworth ( ? - ? ). Three children were born to this union -- twins who died in infancy and Lally Lynn Wadsworth (born 1942).

Great-granddaughter Elsie Hazel Toot (1913- ? ) was born on March 14, 1913. She was joined in wedlock with Everett D. Shaffer ( ? - ? ).

Granddaughter Alice Marian Toot (1915-1934) was born on Sept. 24, 1914. Sadly, she died at the age of 29 on Dec. 8, 1934.

Grandson Raymond Emory Toot (1917- ? ) was born on Nov. 11, 1917. He married Eleanor Sterling ( ? - ? ). Their only known son was Ronald Raymond Toot, born 1938.

  • Grandson Lester Otto Bossemeyer (1884-1945) was born on Sept. 13, 1884 in Dixon. On June 2, 1914, he was joined in marital union with Helena Lemke ( ? - ? ). He died in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, CA on May 2, 1945. His remains were interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. A short death notice in the Los Angeles Times said he was the "beloved husband of Lee J. Bossemeyer, nephew of Ada Bossemeyer."
  • Granddaughter Nellie Hazel Bossemeyer (1887- ? ) was born on Oct. 22, 1887 in Dixon. She was only a year of age when her father died. On June 12, 1907, when she was 19 years old, Nellie married Gilbert Glessner ( ? - ? ). The couple bore two daughters -- Melda/Nelda Glessner (born May 3, 1910) and Erda Glessner (May 21, 1914).

 

Dixon's Truesdell Bridge, after collapse, 1873. Harper's Weekly, May 24, 1873

 

Daughter Louvena Bossemeyer (1852-1928), also spelled "Lavinia," was born on Aug. 22, 1853 in Dixon. She wedded George Washington Shoemaker (July 6, 1848-1900), a native of New York State. Only one child was born to the couple, Frederick Washington Shoemaker. They dwelled near Eldena, IL. Eventually the family established a home in Lincoln, NE. Evidence shows that Louvena struggled with mental health issues. In March or April 1890, she was admitted to an asylum for the insane for treatment. Sadly, George died in Lincoln on Nov. 6, 1900, at the age of 52. Burial of the remains was in Odell, NE. Louvena lived as a widow for another 27 years and migrated to East Moline, IL. She passed into eternity on Jan. 6, 1928. She rests in eternal sleep beside her spouse.

  • Grandson Frederick Washington Shoemaker (1877-1917) was born on Oct. 17, 1877 in Dixon. On July 27, 1904, he married Mary Elizabeth Shaffer (Aug. 31, 1877-1930), daughter of Edmund and Anna (Emert) Shaffer of Somerset, PA. Their wedding was held at Dixon. The Shoemakers bore four offspring -- Lester Edmund Shoemaker, Malcolm George Shoemaker, Melda Ethel Shoemaker and Roy Richard Shoemaker. Frederick died in Denver, CO two days after Christmas 1917. His remains were lowered into repose in Odell, NE. Mary Elizabeth outlived him by a baker's dozen years, and spent her final time in Odell. She was gathered away by the Angel of Death on March 13, 1930. The four Shoemaker children and their families are outlined in further detail in Myrtle Knepper Weniger's typescript work, The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines (Corvallis, OR: 1946).

Daughter Laura Ann Bossemeyer (1854-1922) was born on Sept. 29, 1854 in Dixon. At the age of 21, on July 6, 1876, Laura was united in marriage with George Edward "G.E." Knepper (Aug. 7, 1849-1940), son of Jonathan and Margaret (Meese) Knepper of near Berlin, Somerset County, PA. The ceremony was held at the home of Laura's parents in South Dixon and performed by Rev. J.P. Sanderson. In reporting the story, the Dixon Sun said that George was a graduate of the class of 1876 of Heidelberg College in Tiffin, OH. He received a master's degree from Tiffin in 1879 and then a doctorage in 1904 from Highland University in Kansas. The Kneppers became the parents of seven children -- Lolo "Margaret" Knepper, Laura "May" Knepper, Burton Edward Knepper, Edith Flora Busse, twins Ralph Bertel Knepper and Myrtle Elizabeth Weninger and Ethel Josephine Knepper. The Keppers dwelled in Lena, IL in the 1870s and relocated to Peoria, Peoria County, IL. The federal census enumeration of 1880 shows the Kneppers in Peoria, with George employed as a principal of a public school. In their home that year were their daughters in addition to George's 75-year-old father, 37-year-old sister Eliza Meamaster and two-year-old nephew Charles Leamaster. Circa 1889, at the birth of their youngest daughter Ethel, they were in Minnesota. Then in 1895, the couple migrated to Idaho, where George had secured a position as a founding president of Lewiston Normal School. Upon arrival, they established a home in Lewiston, Nez Perce County. In 1920, George was profiled in James H. Hawley's book, History of Idaho: The Gem of the Mountains. The profile reported on his dizzying career of movement and accomplishment:

He then went to Kansas in order to become president of Highland University of that state, which position he filled for four years, and then for one year was dean of Jamestown College of North Dakota. He later was president of a Presbyterian school in Missouri known as the School of the Ozarks. In 1911, however, he returned to Latah county, Idaho, and there he gave his attention to farming and teaching, being connected with the Kendrick schools until 1915. In September of that year he was elected grand secretary of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Idaho and for that reason removed to Boise. He still holds this important position and has done much work beneficial to the order. For a period of seventeen years he has been chairman of the committee on foreign correspondence for the Masonic order in Idaho. He holds all of the degrees in Masonry except the thirty-third.... Mr. Knepper and his family are widely and favorably known in Boise and the state, where they have many friends. He is one of the valued citizens of this commonwealth, having ever at heart intellectual and moral progress, and particularly in connection with Masonic work has done much that has been of beneficial result to the organization.

Laura Ann died on Dec. 2, 1922, at the age of 68. George outlived her by 17-plus years. He succumbed to death in Salmon, ID on Jan. 7, 1940. The couple are in eternal sleep in Boise's Morris Hill Cemetery. An inscription was placed on the face of George's grave stone. It reads: "His day has come, Not gone; His sun has risen, Not set; His life is now beyond The reach of death Or change - Not ended, but begun."

  • Granddaughter Lolo "Margaret" Knepper (1878-1973) was born on May 25, 1878 in Lena, IL. She moved with her parents to Idaho and by 1900 had become a school teacher in Lewiston, Nez Perce County. No evidence has been found to suggest that she ever married. Margaret succumbed to death on June 21, 1973. Interment of the remains was beside her sister May's in Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise.
  • Granddaughter Laura "May" Knepper (1880-1973) was born on Leap Day 1880 in Peoria, Peoria County, IL. She joined her parents in migrating to Idaho during the 1890s. In 1900, when she was age 20, she taught school in Lewiston, Nez Perce County. At the time when her father became president of the Lewiston State Normal School in Idaho, she was in the first graduating class of the institution in 1898. She then went to New York and received additional education for Episcopal deaconesses circa 1907, and then spent her life working in missions in Idaho, Utah, North Dakota and Hawaii. She finally settled in Chicago. She died in Twin Falls, Twin Falls County, ID on March 31, 1973, at the age of 93. Burial was in Morris Hill Cemetery.
  • Grandson Burton Edward Knepper (1881-1884) was born on Sept. 2, 1881 in Peoria, Peoria County, IL. He did not survive boyhood. Heartbreak rocked the family when he died at the age of only two years, five months on Feb. 22, 1884. Interment of the remains was in Dixon.
  • Granddaughter Edith Flora Busse (1884- ? ) was born on Jan. 14, 1884 in Peoria, Peoria County, IL. She was a girl when she accompanied her parents in a move to Idaho. On June 30, 1910, when she was 26 years of age, Edith was united in wedlock with Herman William Busse (May 21, 1877- ? ), the son of Frederick and Berhardine (Steinmeyer) Busse. The wedding ceremony was held in Jamestown, ND. They adopted a daughter, Margaret Bernhardine Busse.

Great-granddaughter Margaret Bernhardine Busse (1916- ? ) was born on Nov. 9, 1916. In Seattle on Sept. 6, 1942, she wedded Frederick Robert Young (Feb. 13, 1918- ? ), son of Archie Roy and Anna (Matthiesen) Young.

  • Grandson Ralph Bertel Knepper (1886- ? ) was born on Feb. 19, 1886 in Peoria, Peoria County, IL, a twin with his sister Myrtle. He was twice married. His first bride was Hester A. Moore ( ? -1912). They tied the knot in Highland, KS on Aug. 8, 1908. The Kneppers bore one daughter, Hester Elizabeth Hull. Sadly, they only enjoyed a few years of marriage before the specter of death intervened. Eight days after giving birth to their daughter, Hester died on May 1, 1912 in Moscow, ID. Ralph remained a widower for six years until he wed again, on June 9, 1918 to Winifred Calkins ( ? - ? ). Their nuptials were held in Moscow, ID. The only child born to the second marriage was John Edward Knepper. Circa 1920, Ralph owned and edited the Kendrick (ID) Gazette newspaper.

Great-granddaughter Hester Elizabeth Knepper (1912- ? ) was born on April 23, 1912 in Moscow, ID. She was a newborn of eight days when her mother died. Then when she was about six, her father married again to Winifred Calkins. On May 16, 1932, in a ceremony held in Salmon, ID, Hester was joined in the bonds of marriage with John Frederick Hull (April 8, 1908- ? ), the son of Charles Melvin and Olive Caroline (Flood) Hull. The Hulls produced three children -- Ralph Edward Hull, Judith Carolyn Hull and John Robert Hull.

Great-grandson John Edward Knepper (1920- ? ) was born on May 6, 1920 in Moscow, ID. At the age of 23, on Oct. 5, 1943, he was united in holy wedlock with Hilda Jeanne Koon ( ? - ? ), daughter of Howard Thomas Koon. Their nuptials took place in Seattle. The couple were the parents of at least one son, Ralph Brian Knepper, born in Miami in 1945.

  • Foreword to Myrtle Weniger's
    Gaumer Family and Allied Lines
    Granddaughter Myrtle "Elizabeth" Knepper (1886-1950) was born on Feb. 19, 1886 in Peoria, Peoria County, IL, a twin with her brother Ralph. She was married in Washington, DC on May 13, 1918 to Willibald Weniger (June 20, 1884-1959), son of Henrinch Wilhelm and Caroline (Taubert) Weniger of Milwaukee. The couple settled in Boise, Ada County, ID. One son was produced by this union -- George Edward Weniger, born in Boise on Aug. 26, 1919. Myrtle was a Gaumer family genealogist who diligently researched the family and organized a family tree outline which has been essential in understanding how the sprawl of the family all fits together. She corresponded with many extended cousins and examined old family Bibles and papers. Her typescript, The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines, was prepared in Corvallis, OR in 1946. She wrote in the introduction that "This outline has been compiled from information received from many different sources, too numerous to mention individually." She expressed personal gratitude to Cidna (Gaumer) Barr; Alice Gaumer and E.S. Gaumer of Ohio; Floyd Gaumer of Indiana; Samuel E. Gaumer and Dr. E.C. Saylor of Pennsylvania; and Olive (Korns) Porter of Iowa; as well as Jessica C. Ferguson, genealogical librarian of the State Library of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Sadly, Myrtle only lived for four years after she printed and distributed her Gaumer outline. She passed into eternity on April 23, 1950. Burial was in Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise. Inscribed on her grave marker was the phrase "Death's Bright Angel." [Find-a-Grave] Willibald survived her by nine years. He died on March 13, 1959. His remains are interred in Crystal Lake Cemetery in Corvalis.

    In the closing paragraph of the Foreword of her Gaumer history, Myrtle wrote that "This fragmentary outline is sent out in the hope that some one with better facilities for research may see it and become interested in completing the record of this fine family." Minerd.com hopes that in some way this website has fulfilled the essence of her wish.

Great-grandson George Edward Weniger (1919- ? ) was born on Aug. 26, 1919 in Boise.

  • Granddaughter Ethel Josephine Knepper (1889-1923) was born on Aug. 25, 1889 in Winona, MN. She may not have married. She succumbed to the Angel of Death in Boise on Aug. 20, 1923. Burial of the remains was in Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise. Inscribed at the base of her grave marker is the scripture verse from Isaiah 40:31: "They shall walk and not faint."

Daughter Mary Jane Bossemeyer (1857- ? ) was born on Jan. 14, 1857 in Dixon. On Oct. 10, 1906, when both were age 50, she married widower Wallace Jordon Bemis (1857-1937), a native of Dexter, Penobscot County, Maine. Their wedding ceremony was held in Dexter. It was his third marriage. Wallace's first wife was Alice A. (1860-1896), and his second, in 1897, was Sarah E. Labree ( ? - ? ). How Mary Jane met him is a mystery. Mary Jane moved to Dexter to live with her spouse. The 1910 federal census enumeration shows the couple in Dexter, with Wallace self-employed as a carpenter. Sadly, Mary Jane died on April 19, [year?]. Interment was in Dexter. Evidence shows that Wallace wedded a fourth time, in 1924, to Anna L. Smith (1872-1939). Wallace passed into eternity in 1937. Burial of his remains was in Parkman, Piscataquis County, Maine. No newspaper obituary has been found for either Mary Jane or Wallace.

Son Charles Benjamin Bossemeyer (1859-1884) was born on Aug. 14, 1859 in Dixon. He wedded Alicia Hart ( ? - ? ), daughter of J.E. Hart of Polo, IL. During their brief married lives together, the couple produced a son, Charles Luther Bossemeyer. Tragically, the Angel of Death cut away the 24-year-old Charles in Dixon on July 24, 1884. The cause of such an untimely passing is not yet known. The son was taken in to raise by his Hart grandparents.

  • Grandson Charles Luther Bossemeyer ( ? - ? ) was born in or near Dixon, IL. He was but a boy when his father died. He was brought into the household of his mother's parents, J.E. Hart of Polo, IL. Charles was joined in marriage with Blanche ( ? - ? ). Circa 1928, the Harts dwelled in Louisville, KY and made news in the gossip columns of the Dixon (IL) Evening Telegraph when they visited at the home of Ida Hart. Then in 1943, they were in Bridgeport, CT.

 

Chicago & Northwestern Railway station in Dixon, Illinois

 

Son George Lincoln Bossemeyer (1861-1932) was born on June 9, 1861 in Dixon, IL and likely was named for President Abraham Lincoln who had just taken office five months earlier. His surname also has been spelled "Bossmeyer." He was joined in the bonds of matrimony with Cora Swaim (1866-1922). George was a photographer and entered into partnership with Alfred Chiverton. In September 1889, he purchased a lot in the northeast corner of the Riverside addition in Dixon, measuring 100 feet along the street, 150 feet deep and 80 feet at the back, paying $775. He told a Dixon Sun correspondent that he planned to erect a home there someday. Then by November 1892, he made his home in Chicago, where he was teaching a process for coloring pictures. Then in September 1905, he traveled to Portland, Oregon to attend the World's Fair and sent to the Dixon Evening Telegraph a "very fine colored picture." The couple ended up in Los Angeles. The 1920 United States Census shows George working as a broker and Cora as a stenographer. That year, they dwelled in the lodging house of Thomas and Anna Bullock on North Flower Street. Sadly, she died in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 1922. The federal census record for 1930 lists George as widowed and with no occupation, lodging in the home of Horace and Ruth Rumford. George passed away there on Sept. 1, 1932, at the age of 71.

Daughter Lydia Bossemeyer (1863-1890) was born on May 8, 1863 in Dixon. She married Austin A. Weed (1856-1910). They had two sons, Eric Weed and Norton Weed, and made their home in Dixon, IL at the southwest corner of Market and Eighth Streets. Austin met with a painful accident in August 1886 when he fell through a rotten plank on the local mill race platform, becoming severely bruised. Austin is believed to have served as an artificer in the 6th Illinois Infantry, Company G, during the Spanish American War. When Lydia's mother died in 1889, Lydia took the death especially hard, and her husband and physician both noted evidence of mental decline. In about February 1890, her husband came home to find her pouring laudanum, a heavy sedative, into a glass and preparing to drink it. He took away the bottle, smashed it in their yard, and she apologized for "having such a desire to kill herself but still insisted that she desired death," said the Dixon Evening Telegraph. She also borrowed a cheap .32 caliber pistol from her husband so that she could be protected when he traveled to Chicago. She was further distressed in March or early April 1890 when her sister (?) Shoemaker was sent to an insane asylum. On the fateful day of April 10, 1890, Hannah shot herself at home, lying on one of her sons' narrow beds and placing the pistol to her head. When he returned home from school, their son Norton discovered the body. At a coroner's inquiry, Austin said that Lydia:

...for five months had shown signs of weaking of mind and memory, and was also very despondent. She seemed to borrow trouble without cause. Among other things she imagined tha she had received more than her share of property from her mother's estate; and often claimed there had been a mistake made in the division. This particularly worried her. Yesterday morning before going to work Mr. Weed had asked his wife not to wash any clothing that day as she had expressed an intention of diong; that he would have some one to do it for her, as she was not feeling well. At noon when he came home he found that dinner was ready and all was as usual. The boys went to school, and he, after talking with her a few minutes, left for work, without any premonition of the sadness with which he would again enter that home. Mrs. Weed had, after dinner, washed some clothing for the children and about two o'clock the neighbors saw her hanging them in the yard to dry. It appeared from the evidence that when she committed the terrible deed that Mrs. Weed had lain down upon the bed as though to rest. The pistol ball entered the right temple and taken a direct course and lodged behind the left eye. There was no discoloration of the skin from powder burn about the wound. Blood was issuing from the mouth. The pistol lay upon her breast partly covered by her hands. The blood that was dammed up by her shoulder, on the pillow, showed that there had been no struggle; death was instantaneous.... The dinner dishes were piled up unwashed on the table in the kitchen and a pan of hot water that was still steaming, when the witnesses arrived, was beside them and a good fire was burning in the stove.

Funeral services were held in the local Lutheran church, with burial in Dixon. Austin is believed to have married again by 1902, to a daughter of Irish immigrant John McCollum, but following a troubling pattern, the second wife swallowed carbolic acid in March 1902, although she recovered. Austin later relocated to South Dakota, settling in the town of Hayti, Hamlin County. There, on Aug. 10, 1910, he died. Word was sent via the railroad station agent at Hayti to the Dixon postmaster to notify son Eric who was still living in the Dixon area. His remains were interred in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Hayti. A standard issue military marker was erected at his grave. The second wife apparently lived for 18 years after Austin's death. She passed away at the Dixon home of her sister Mrs. Robert Anderson on June 23, 1928. Burial was in Oakwood, with Rev. A. Turley Stephenson, of the First Methodist Church, officiating.

  • Grandson Eric Weed (1881-1941) was born in about 1881 and grew up in Dixon. He married Emma (?) and had a large family of children including Goldie Weed, Justine Stanley, Mabel Williams, Myrtle Clemens, Edna Ragsdale, Irma Batt, Doris Weed, William E. Weed, Myron Weed, Lawrence Weed and Norton Weed. Circa 1910, at the death of his father in South Dakota, Eric made his residence on the C.C. Buckaloo farm along the Nelson Road near Dixon. Tragedy shook this family on Valentine's Day 1911 when 10-year-old daughter Goldie, stricken with spinal meningitis, succumbed from the illness. Eric ran unsuccessfully for Nelson Township tax collector in 1912 but in 1914 won the position over Clarence Buzzard with 66 votes to the other's 54. He also served as senior vice commander of the William E. Baldwin Camp of the United Spanish War Veterans (USWV) circa 1922. Daughter Justine passed away east of Dixon on Feb. 12, 1940, at the age of 34, after a long illness, and leaving behind her husband, son and three daughters. Eric himself met with a tragic end. While helping pick corn on the John Nurnberg farm south of Dixon, on Nov. 17, 1941, he "was standing on a wagon which was being used with a corn picking machine and the elevator or the picker struck him on the head when the team came to a stop, throwing him to the ground," noted the Dixon Evening Telegraph. "He was believed to have sustained a broken neck when struck by the elevator and death was almost instantaneous. He was taken to the Katherine Shaw Bethea hospital, but death had occurred before his arrival...." Son William E. Weed relocated to Gardena, CA, when obtaining work with Fiberglass Company in Inglewood, and died in October 1956.
  • Grandson Norton Weed (1883- ? ) was born in about 1883 and grew up in Dixon. At the age of seven, after returning home from school one day, he discovered his mother's lifeless body in his bedroom, covered in blood, a victim of suicide. Then when he was 15, Norton was seriously injured in an explosion of powder while playing with friends in the Bennett Quarry in September 1898. Said the Dixon Evening Telegraph, "They had a fire and were tossing powder from theri hands into the flame when a quantity that Norton had in his hat exploded, destroying the hat and burning his face and hands severely.... The explosion was so sudden and unexpected that Norton did not know how it happened. He thought that a tramp, one or two of whom were near, had lit a fuse and then walked away." In about 1901, he obtained a position with the British government to accompany horses to Durban, Natal for use in the Boer War. He traveled with the horses to New Orleans and they traveled aboard the Milwaukee. During his travels, he roamed from Cape Breton Island to Florida, which the Dixon Evening Telegraph said was "something of the manner of Longfellow's 'Gabriel'."

Daughter Ada Lucinda "Addie" Bossemeyer (1867-1948) was born on March 8, 1867 in Dixon. She did not marry. Circa 1889, at the age of 22, she bought a town lot from Judge Crabtree for $700, located at the corner of Third and B Streets. Three years later, in 1892, she advertised that she was selling the double-house property at the corner of Third Street and College Avenue for $4,200, stating that she would pay 10 percent on the investment. She migrated to Southern California by 1906, where she purchased town lots in Redondo Beach. Later, she moved into Los Angeles, where she managed a millinery store in 1920, and kept lodgers in her home on Westlake Avenue. She is known to have continued to operate a rooming house in 1930 on Westlake Avenue and in 1940 on Ingraham Street. She died on May 4, 1948, at the age of 78. Her remains were interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Los Angeles County..

 

~ Son Peter Gaumer ~

Son Peter Gaumer (1831? -1914) was born in about 1831 or perhaps March 1836 in Somerset County.

Notes quoted by a grand-niece, genealogist Myrtle (Knepper) Weniger, state that in 1845, he was "going on 15." These notes were typed and entitled The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines (Corvallis, OR: 1946).

Research by others states that Peter married Mary "Polly" Shroyer (1820- ? ), the daughter of Philip and Mary (Martz) Shroyer. The bride was 15 years older than the groom.

They produced at least two children, Nathaniel Gaumer and Mary Boyer.

When the United States Census was taken in 1860, Peter and Polly were farmers and dwelled in the home of John and Catharine Shoemaker in Southampton Township, Somerset County. His widowed mother also lived with them at that time. Their post office, some distance away, was in the town of Berlin.

The family's name was misspelled "Gommell" when appearing in print in a newspaper legal advertisement after the death of Polly's father in 1863.

The Gaumers' whereabouts in 1870 are unknown.  By 1880, they are believed to have moved across the county line and were living in Londonderry Township, Bedford County.

Age the age of 64 and widowed by 1900, Peter lived in Southampton Township, Somerset County, near the Maryland state line, and worked as a day laborer. That year, 60-year-old Jacob Boyer boarded in his dwelling-place. An August 1905 story in the Meyersdale Republican stted that "Peter Gaumer, of Ellerslie, Md., passed through here last week, en-route to Wittenburg."

By 1914, Peter had relocated to Connellsville, Fayette County, PA where he dwelled with his grandsons Melvin and Dewey Boyer at 216 11th Street in the city's west side.

He died of old age on March 13, 1914. A short funeral notice was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Rev. E.E. Cairns of the Methodist Protestant Church preached the funeral service. Interment was in Connellsville's Hill Grove Cemetery. His official Pennsylvania death certificate mis-named his father as "John Gaumer" and could not provide a date of birth or his mother's name and gave his age as "90 years as near as can tell." Another obituary in the Uniontown Morning Herald named his grandsons Melvin E. and Daniel A. Boyer and said death was due to "an illness of several years due to paralysis... His wife has been dead for some time."

Son Nathaniel Gaumer (1859- ? ) was born in in 1859 in Somerset County.

Daughter Mary Gomer (1858-1937) was born on July 6, 1858. When growing up she never learned to read or write. She married Simon Boyer (1845-1908), purportedly the son of Daniel and Catherine Boyer. She was some 16 years younger than her husband. They bore a family of offspring, among them Melvin Ellsworth Boyer, Daniel Austin Boyer, Rachel Irene Swauger, Josephine "Josie" Hull, Celia Brant, William J. Boyer and Dewey R. Boyer. Their first child was born in Bedford County in 1879, and a year later the Boyers dwelled in East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, PA, where Simon found employment at a coke works. Sadly, by 1900, Simon had become ill and was admitted as a resident of the Somerset County Alms House. The nature of his infirmity is not known. He was released in time and went to live in Ellerslie, MD, just over the state line from Somerset County. Sadly, he died in Ellerslie on Sept. 30, 1908. Burial was at Cook's Mill Cemetery in Hyndman, Bedford County. Mary outlived her spouse by nearly three decades. Her home in 1914 was near Sand Patch, Somerset County. Later, she migrated to neighboring Fayette County to live with her son Melvin in Wooddale, Bullskin Township near Connellsville. Sadly, two days before Christmas 1937, she was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage. She lingered for two days but there was no hope. She succumbed on Christmas Day 1937, at the age of 79. Her son Melvin signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death but could not name his mother's mother. Interment of the remains was in Mt. Joy Cemetery in Westmoreland County, PA, with Rev. J. Ewing Jones, of the Wooddale Church of the Brethren, preaching the funeral sermon. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

  • Grandson Melvin Ellsworth Boyer (1879-1942) was born on Nov. 13, 1879 in Bedford County. He married Anna E. ( ? - ? ). He lived in Wooddale, near Connellsville, Fayette County in 1917-1937. Circa 1917, he was employed as a night watchman at the West Penn facility on the west side of Connellsville. When required to register for the military draft during World War I, he was arrested after giving a misleading age. His wife turned him in, and he was released on the order of the United States District Attorney in Pittsburgh. The Boyers remained in the area for the rest of their lives. His occupation in the early 1940s was as a laborer with the Works Progress Administration. Suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease and hypertension, Melvin was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital just after the turn of the new year in 1942. After three weeks of treatment, he succumbed to his illnesses at the age of 62 on Jan. 24, 1942. Cora Kuhns signed the death certificate, and the remains were lowered into rest in the Mt. Joy Cemetery in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County.
  • Grandson Daniel Austin Boyer (1882-1925) was born on April 14, 1882 in Somerset County. He never married. In the mid-1920s, he dwelled in Wooddale, near Connellsville, Fayette County, and earned a living as a laborer at the Marion Machine and Foundry Company. Sadly, he contracted tuberculosis and died at home on Nov. 9, 1925 at the age of 43. Burial of the remains was in the Mt. Joy Church of the Brethren near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. A short obituary appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
  • Granddaughter Rachel Irene Boyer (1890-1963) was born on Dec. 2, 1890 in Comp's Corner near Kennell's Mills, Southampton Township, Somerset County. She married Guernie Harrison Swauger (1890-1965). The couple dwelled in the village of St. Paul in Elklick Township in rural Meyersdale, Somerset County. Their six known children were Burl E. Swauger, Clarence B. Swauger, Ellis M. Swauger, Grace A. Grey, Florence M. Kern and Leora F. Gartner. Burdened with osteoporosis, lung and heart disease, Rachel died at the age of 72 on Sept. 6, 1963. Son Burl Swauger of Meyersdale was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Interment of the remains was in St. Paul Cemetery in Meyersdale. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican noted that the count of her survivors was 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

 

Swauger brothers' names, World
War II Memorial, Boynton, PA

Great-grandson Burl E. Swauger (1911-1990) was born on Dec. 15, 1911 in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. He married Phyllis Engle ( ? - ? ). Phyllis brought a daughter to the union, Beulah Mae Folk. They lived in Salisbury, Somerset County and were the parents of one son, Lynn Swauger. Burl was a veteran of World War II. The family were members of the Salisbury Church of the Brethren. Burl earned a living working for Fi-Hoff Conkcrete Products Company. For 33 years, Phyllis was employed by Meyersdale Manufacturing Company, retiring on Dec. 23, 1977. A story about her retirement in the Meyersdale Republican said that she "began at the factory by running cuffs and throughout the years has done just about every job imaginable. As a result, her experience made her a likely candidate for the job of floor-walker, a position she assumed nearly eight years ago. Phyllis is presently the supervisor of the cuff and collar section [and] has approximately 50 girls working under her guidance." As Burl's health declined, he was admitted to Meyersdale Community Hospital, and succumbed there at the age of 78 on April 14, 1990. Rev. Daniel J. Whitacre officiated at the funeral service, with burial in St. Paul Cemetery.

Great-grandson Clarence B. "Punch" Swauger (1913-1979) was born on Sept. 13, 1913 in Salisbury, Somerset County. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II. Clarence was joined in wedlock with Evelyn Brown (Nov. 27, 1919-2003), daughter of Robert F. and Emma (Riley) Brown of Sand Patch, Somerset County. The couple did not reproduce. In the postwar years, they dwelled on farms in Berlin and Fairhope, Somerset County. He was a longtime member of the Meyersdale lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose. Sadly, Clarence passed into eternity in his home at the age of 65 on May 3, 1979. Interment of the remains was in Union Cemetery in Meyersdale, with an obituary appearing in the Meyersdale Republican. Evelyn outlived her spouse by 24 years. She died in Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown on on June 5, 2003.

Great-grandson Ellis M. Swauger (1917-1974) was born on Sept. 29, 1917. He relocated to the Baltimore area and lived in Dundalk, MD. Ellis married Adele M. Garlitz. The couple bore three daughters -- Dixie L. Downes, Donna L. Eid and Geraldine J. Jackson. Ellis passed into eternity at the age of 57 on Nov. 14, 1974. An obituary appeared in his old hometown newspaper, the Meyersdale Republican. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery in Dundalk.

Great-granddaughter Grace A. Swauger married (?) Grey. In 1963-1974, she resided in Baltimore, MD and in 1990 in Kutztown, Berks County, PA..

Great-granddaughter Florence M. Swauger wedded (?) Kern ( ? - ? ). She was in Cincinnati, OH in 1963-1990.

Great-granddaughter Leora F. Swauger was united in wedlock with (?) Gartner. Her home in 1963-1990 was in Baltimore, MD.

  • Granddaughter Josephine "Josie" Boyer wedded R.F. Hull. The Hulls' residence in 1937 was in rural Somerset, and in 1963 in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA.
  • Granddaughter Celia V. Boyer (1895-1985) was born on Nov. 15, 1895 in Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County. She was joined in matrimony with Russell E. Brant (Dec. 9, 1894-1982), son of Sanford and Cynthia (Wilkins) Brant. Children born to this union were Mary Louise Barkman and Earl L. Brant. They first made a home near Berlin, Somerset County. Celia was a member of the Ridge Homemakers. By 1963, they had migrated to Cambria County and dwelled in the city of Johnstown. The couple often spent winters in Florida. Russell was swept away by the Angel of Death at the age of 87 on Feb. 6, 1982. Celia lived for another three-and-a-half years and died in Johnstown on Sept. 30, 1985. The couple rest side-by-side in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery in Berlin, Somerset County.

 

Somerset County Memorial Park

Great-granddaughter Mary Louise Brant (1918-2001) was born on Oct. 20, 1918 in Berlin, Somerset County. She married George Tospon Barkman (Jan. 19, 1916-1987), son of George Russell and Estella Elizabeth (Tospon) Barkman. The couple's marital union endured for 48 years. They produced these offspring -- Gene L. Barkman, Hubert D. "Butch" Barkman, Carol Corbett and Ilene Kelly. The Barkmans were longtime farmers. Later, George and Mary Louise owned Barkman's Antiques, with a niche specialty of wooden maple sugar keelers. They belonged to St. Mark's Lutheran Church of Shanksville, and he was a member of the Eagles lodge of Somerset, the Rosbury Sportsmen's Club, Shanksville Fire Company and a charter member of the Potter County Rod and Gun Club. George died in Mercy Hospital in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA on Feb. 12, 1987. Mary Louise succumbed to death on Oct. 29, 2001. Rev. Robert J. Way and Rev. Barry K. Ritenour officiated at her funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Somerset Daily American. She sleeps for all time in Somerset County Memorial Park.

Great-grandson Earl L. Brant (1921-1992) was born on July 21, 1921 in Somerset County. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Earl was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Lois M. Kimmel (1925-2006), a native of Somerset and the daughter of Harry P. and Marian (Zimmerman) Kimmel. They bore four known children, Duane E. Brant, Dorlin E. Brant, Dianna K. Weiss and Debra K. Brant. Sadly, Earl died in Spring Garden Township, York County, PA at the age of 70 on Jan. 24, 1992. Lois survived her spouse by 14 years. She was a life member of Faith Bible Fellowship Church and active with its Woman's Missionary Program. She also belonged to the West York Optimists and Reliance Fire Department Women's Auxiliary and liked to roller skate. She died at Rest Haven in York on May 11, 2006. Her obituary was printed in the York Daily Record.

  • Grandson William J. Boyer was in Bedford, Bedford County, PA circa 1937. By 1963, he had moved to Scalp Level, Cambria County, PA.
  • Grandson Dewey R. Boyer (1901-1985) was born in 1901. In 1963, he made a home in rural Somerset, Somerset County.

 

~ Son Daniel Gomer ~

Daniel Gomer (1841-1913) was born on Christmas Eve 1841 in Somerset County. After the death of his father in 1845, the boy was taken into the home of John and Eva Mary Leidick ("Lydig") in Southampton Township, Somerset County, and grew up in the household.

He is shown in the U.S. Censuses of 1850 and 1860 and worked on the family farm. Young Ellen Shaffer -- relationship unknown -- also raised by the Lydigs.

Daniel was joined in holy wedlock with Hannah Cone (July 25, 1853-1931), daughter of Washington "Wash" and Catherine (Shroyer) Cohn, also spelled "Cone" and "Comb."

The couple produced at least one daughter, Martha E. Gomer, Harvey "Francis" Gomer and James T. Gomer.

The Gaumers lived next door to the Lydigs in 1870 when the federal census enumeration again was made. They all worked as farmers.

 

The White Oak/Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church (left and below) and Grace Independent Bible Church in Wittenburg, Somerset County.

 

When he was 71 years of age, burdened with senility and an enlarged prostate, Daniel died on June 9, 1913. Interment of the remains was in White Oak Cemetery in Wittenburg, Somerset County, with Rev. A.S. Kresge preaching the funeral sermon. Son James of Sand Patch signed the death certificate, and a brief obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Commercial.

Hannah contracted lobar pneumonia at the age of 77 and four days later passed into eternity in Larimer Township, Somerset County on March 31, 1931. H.F. Gomer of Sand Patch, Somerset County signed the death certificate. Her one-paragraph obituary in the Somerset Daily American incorrectly stated that her name was "Domer" and that she was the "widow" of Washington "Domer." The obituary also said she was survived by her sons of Meyersdale as well as 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the White Oak Reformed Church, led by Rev. J.E. Gindlesperger, assisted by Rev. A.F. Thomas and Rev. Pierce. Another obituary was published in the Meyersdale Republican. Interment of the remains was in White Oak Cemetery.

Daughter Martha E. Gaumer (1869-1896?) was born in about 1869 in Southampton Township. She passed away in about 1896, at the age of about 26 or 27. Nothing more is known.

 

White Oak/Mt. Carmel Lutheran Cemetery

Son Harvey "Francis" Gomer (1872-1947) was born on May 17, 1872 in Somerset County. He learned the trade of carpentry and spent his entire life in and around Meyersdale and Summit and Larimer Townships, Somerset County. Francis was united in the bonds of matrimony with Mary N. Shumaker (Dec. 17, 1878-1928), daughter of Jacob and Julia Ann (Bittner) Shoemaker of Somerset County. They were the parents of Jessie L. Cook, Alpha M. Carrie and Clara L. Cook. Sadly, Mary Ann was burdened with heart valve failure for many years. When she developed gallstones at the age of 49, she succumbed to the illnesses on April 10, 1928. Her funeral was preached by Rev. Harry A. Price at the White Oak Reformed Church, with a short obituary appearing in the Meyersdale Republican. Francis survived her by 19 years. At the age of 74, he was felled by a heart attack and surrendered to death on St. Patrick's Day 1947 while in the home of his married daughter, Mrs. James L. Cook, in Meyersdale. Funeral services were held in the White Oak Church, led by Rev. J.E. Gindlesperger, with burial in the church cemetery. An obituary was published in the Republican and the Cumberland News. He was survived by eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The Gomers' weathered grave marker was photographed in August 2020 by the founder of this website.

  • Welcome to Meyersdale
    Granddaughter Jessie L. Cook ( ? - ? )
  • Granddaughter Alpha M. Gomer ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded Leo Michael Carey (Nov. 23, 1893-1954), the son of Michael and Ella Carey of Meyersdale. The couple bore four offspring -- Leo G. Carey, Donald Ray Carey, Beatrice Fritz and Florence Hewitt. They dwelled in Meyersdale for many years. Son Leo served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. The last two months of Leo's life were spent suffering from a serious illness. He died at home at the age of 60 on Nov. 9, 1954. At the time, both sons lived at home, while both daughters were married and dwelled in Akron, OH. An obituary was published in the Meyersdale Republican. A requiem high mass was sung in the SS Philip and James Catholic Church, officiated by Rev. Raymond E. Cupples. Interment was in White Oak Church Cemetery. Alpha outlived her husband by many years. She made news in the Republican in November 1967 when she trapped a reindeer in her garage and later returned it to its owner, Bill Gnagey.
  • Granddaughter Clara L. Cook ( ? - ? )

 

White Oak/Mt. Carmel Lutheran Cemetery

Son James T. Gomer (1878-1928) was born on Jan. 28, 1878. Although occasionally his name was spelled "Gaumer," for the most part he used "Gomer." Circa 1905, he wedded Maude Beall (March 17, 1884-1945), the daughter of James Wilson and Rosana "Anna" (Shumaker) Beall. The Gomers resided in Sand Patch, Larimer Township, Somerset County. Their nine known offspring were Florence Anna Gertrude Eichelberger Nee, Laura Crissinger, Hazel McKenzie, Ruby Sell Witt, Edna Kennell, Grace Ansell, Mildred Aristidou, George T. Gomer and Lewis Franklin Gomer. As with his brother Francis, James was a longtime carpenter, considered as an expert workman. The Gomers were members of the Evangelical Temple Church at White Oak in Wittenberg, Somerset County. Suffering from hardening of the arteries and hypertension, James was stricken by a heart attack and died in Larimer Township on Jan. 2, 1948, just a few weeks before his 70th birthday. Rev. A.f. Richards led the funeral proceedings, with the remains lowered into eternal repose in White Oak Church Cemetery. An obituary reported that he was survived by 18 grandchildren. Their son Lewis Gomer of Cumberland, MD was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Maud lived for another 17 years in Larimer, near Deal. Capping a lingering illness, she died on May 17, 1945. Following funeral services co-officiated by Rev. Harry Greer and Rev. J.E. Gindlesperger, interment took place in the White Oak Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Cumberland (MD) Evening Times. In September 1976, some three-plus decades after Maude's death, their offspring held a reunion at the home of Ralph Ansell in rural Meyersdale. Said the Meyersdale Republican, "Guests were family and friends of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Gomer. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. George Gomer, Roland and grandson; Mr. and Mrs. Simon (Laura) Crissinger; Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Gomer and Janice; Mrs. Hazel McKenzie and grandson, Frostburg; Mr. and Mrs. Ray (Ruby) Witt, Ridgley, West Virginia; Edan Kennell and Linda, Mr. and Mrs. James (Mildred) Aristidoui, Baltimore, Md.,; Mr. and Mrs. Ralph (Grace) Ansell. This was the first time the entire family got together for ten years or longer."

  • Granddaughter Florence Anna Gertrude Gomer (1907- ? ) was born in about 1907. She moved to Cumberland, Allegany County, MD as a young woman, where she found work with Liberty Cleaners. On Sept. 26, 1937, she married co-worker George Conrad Eichelberger ( ? -1940), son of Ward M. and Hattie M. Eichelberger of 529 Dilley Street. The nuptials were performed by Rev. D.H. Steffens in the parsonage of Trinity Lutheran Church, with the news printed in the Cumberland Evening Times. The couple's attendants were Leslie Browning and Joseph Spera. They lived in Cumberland for the brief three years of their marriage, and did not reproduce. Sadly, at the age of 32, George was admitted to Allegany Hospital where he died on Nov. 28, 1940. An obituary in the Evening Times said he had been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, and that his father had been a city councilman for eight years. Anna remained a widow for eight years, and then wed Wold War II veteran Robert Augustine Nee ( ? - ? ), of 412 Goethe Street, son of John Nee. The wedding ceremony was held in the Trinity parsonage on Jan. 28, 1948, led by Rev. Philip C. Priester. In reporting on the wedding, the Cumberland News said that "The bride was attired in an aqua colored street length dress, with which she wore black hat and accessories. Known by her friends as 'Tillie' she is employed by Ballards Cleaners." Before the war, Robert spent about 19 years working for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and then spent 41 months in the Army, deployed in the European Theater. Upon his return home he went back to work for the B&O. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the local Eagles lodge.
  • White Oak/Mt. Carmel Lutheran Cemetery
    Grandson George T. Gomer (1910-1996) was born in 1910. He married Catherine E. Geiger (Jan. 13, 1916-1993), daughter of Calvin and Theresa (Harding) Geiger of Meyersdale, Somerset County. The Gomers dwelled in Hyndman, Bedford County, and their marriage endured for 59 years. They were the parents of seven -- Robert L. Gomer, George T. Gomer Jr., Roland D. "Syke" Gaumer, Zona Y. Murphy, Bonnie E. Lepley, Hazel Arlene Mallow and Audrey L. Mull. George spent 28 years earning a living as a coal miner and then 27 years operating cranes for the Western Maryland Railroad in Cumberland. They belonged to Calvary Bible Church in Ellerslie, MD. George belonged to the Kennells Mills Sportsman's Club, and Catherine was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Wellersburg Volunteer Fire Company. Sadly, Catherine died in Cumberland Memorial Hospital at the age of 77 on Sept. 6, 1993. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American noted that she "was the last surviving member of her immediate family" and had been preceded in death by 15 siblings. Rev. Ken L. Korns conducted the funeral service, with burial in White Oak Cemetery. George survived his bride by three years. He joined her in eternity in 1996.
  • Granddaughter Laura Gomer (1912-1985) was born on March 5, 1912. She wedded Simon E. Crissinger (May 23, 1912-1997). Their home in 1948 was in Sand Patch and in 1978 in Meyersdale. Laura was gathered in by the Angel of Death on March 15, 1985 at the age of 73. Her burial was held in Restlawn Memorial Gardens in LaVale, near Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. Simon lived as a widower for 11-plus years. He passed into eternity at the age of 84 on Jan. 7, 1997.
  • Granddaughter Hazel Gomer (1915- ? ) was born on July 23, 1915 in the Sand Patch neighborhood of Meyersdale, a twin with her brother Lewis. She was joined in matrimony with Lawrence McKenzie (1913- ? ). Four children known to have been born to this marriage were Carl L. McKenzie, Leona A. McKenzie and twins Donald Wayde McKenzie and Ronald Wayne McKenzie. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940, the McKenzies dwelled in Garrett County, MD, with Lawrence employed as a truck driver for a lumber cutting company. By 1948, they lived in Guntertown, near Cumberland, MD. The couple later relocated to a residence in Frostburg, Allegany County, MD. Accompanied by a grandson, she is known to have attended a reunion of her sisters and brothers at the home of her sister Grace Ansell in September 1976. By 1978, she was in Ridgeley, WV [?] and in 1996 in Cresaptown, Allegany County.
  • White Oak/Mt. Carmel Lutheran Cemetery
    Grandson Lewis Franklin Gomer Sr. (1915-1978) was born on July 23, 1915 in the Sand Patch neighborhood of Meyersdale, a twin with his sister Hazel. He served with the U.S. Armed Forces overseas during/after World War II, with the role of military policeman. When he was 26 years of age, on May 9, 1942, he was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with 25-year-old Ruby Henrietta Fate (Jan. 10, 1917-1985), a native of Salisbury, Somerset and the daughter of Charles and Lottie L. (Showalter) Fait. Their marital union endured for 43 years. The couple went on to bear three offspring -- Robert Lee Gomer, Lewis Franklin Gomer Jr. and Janice Diane Getson. For 33 years, Lewis was employed as a railroad carman. He was a charter member of the Wellersburg Volunteer Fire Department and belonged to the Zion United Church of Christ in Wellersburg, John C. Tressler Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a railroad batallion. Ruby was active with the the Ladies Auxiliary of the Outdoor Club of Barrellville, MD and the Wellersburg fire department and the Ladies Guild of her church. He died in Memorial Hospital in Cumberland, MD on Dec. 9, 1978, at the age of 63. Rev. Harold Crabtree officiated at the funeral service, and burial took place in White Oak Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Meyersdale New Republic. Ruby lived for another nearly seven years as a widow. As her health failed, she was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Cumberland. She died there at the age of 68 on July 17, 1985.
  • Granddaughter Ruby Gomer (1918-2005) was born in about 1918. She was united in wedlock with Paul F. Sell ( ? - ? ). They were in Ellerslie, MD in 1948. The children born to this union were Jean C. Sell, Alma C. Henckel, Paul T. Sell, Daniel L. Sell and Lawrence W. Sell. Later, married again to widower Ray Everline Witt ( ? -1996), son of Harry and Naomi (Everline) Witt of Cumberland, MD. His first wife Mary Theresa (Gana) Witt had died in 1970, and he brought two children to the second union, Ray E. Witt and Annette Deener. Ray was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was employed as an engineer by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and retired from the company. He belonged to Emmanuel-Bethel United Methodist Church, the Fort Ashby Veterans of Foreign Wars and the B&O Employees Retirement Club. The Witts made their home in 1978-1996 in Ridgeley, WV. Sadly, Ray died at Memorial Hospital in Cumberland, MD at the age of 77 on Jan. 25, 1996. Burial of the remains was in Restlawn Memorial Gardens in LaVale, with the funeral officiated by Rev. Basil B. Day Jr. An obituary was published in the Cumberland Times-News. Ruby spent her final years in the Baltimore area. She died on Sept. 26, 2005, with an obituary published in the Baltimore Sun. Interment is believed to have been in Rest Lawn Memorial Gardens in LaVale, MD.

 

Ray E. Witt's name inscribed on the World War II Memorial, Boynton, PA

 

  • Granddaughter Edna Elizabeth Gomer (1920-2007) was born on March 8, 1920 in or near Sand Patch, Somerset County. She was the third wife of Army veteran Albert Adam "Jack" Kennell (June 29, 1895-1991), who was a quarter century older than she. He was a native of Southampton Township and the son of William B. and Effie L. (Lepley) Kennell. Their union endured for 43 years. Albert had been married twice before, to Cloe A. Troutman (1906-1923) and Josephine Rebecca Kerr (1891-1942), respectively. He thus is believed to have brought these children into the marriage with our Edna -- Ray W. Kennell, A. Kerr Kennell, Dolly C. Bishop and Alice L. Booth. During World War I, Albert was wounded in action in France. The Kennells lived in Wellersburg for decades and bore two offspring of their own -- James Albert Kennell and Linda Lou Kennell. Albert earned a living as a coal miner and self-employed carpenter. They attended the Calvary Bible Church of Ellerslie, MD, and he belonged to the American Legion post in Bedford, PA and the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Cumberland, MD. Albert died at the remarkable age of 96 on Nov. 22, 1991, in Frostburg Community Hospital in Maryland. His remains were brought back to Somerset County for interment with his second wife in Cook Cemetery, with Rev. Ken L. Korns preaching the funeral sermon. An obituary in the Bedford Gazette reported that he was survived by 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Edna outlived her husband by 16 years. She succumbed to the spectre of death in Cumberland's Braddock Hospital on Nov. 1, 2007, at the age of 87. Burial was in White Oak/Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church Cemetery in Wittenburg, Somerset County, and an obituary appeared in the Cumberland Times-News.

Great-grandson James Albert Kennell (1949-2014) was born on Aug. 10, 1949 in Wellersburg. He never married but was surrounded by a host of good friends in Wellersburg. Reported an obituary, James devoted his life "to his love of Mopars, drag racing, rifles and shotguns. He was a true legend in the Mopar community and his kindness and lovingness to all whom he met will be greatly missed." At the age of 64, he died in the Western Maryland Health System.

Great-granddaughter Linda L. Kennell (1956-2008) was born on Jan. 22, 1956. There was a 34-year difference in ages with her elder half-brother Ray W. Kennell. She does not appear to have been married but was devoted to the care of her aging mother as "her constant companion," said the Cumberland Times-News. She also liked to read, sew, work crossword puzzles and cook. Sadly, in November 2006, she began to lose her eyesight. Then in November 2007, she lost her mother. She died on April 3, 2008. She rests for eternity beside her mother in White Oak/Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church Cemetery in Wittenburg.

 

Zion Reformed Church, Wellersburg, where Grace and Ralph Ansell worshipped

 

  • Granddaughter Grace Gomer (1923- ? ) was born in about 1923. She wedded Ralph Ansell (May 22, 1907-1986), son of George David and Lucinda (Porterfield) Ansell. The couple produced two children -- David Ralph Ansell and Anna Lou Cronin. During World War II, Ralph served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. The Ansells spent 25 years in Ridgeley, Mineral County, WV, where he worked as a carman for the Western Maryland Railway. Later, they dwelled in rural Meyersdale and in September 1976 hosted a reunion of Grace's Gomer family, the first time they all had been together in a decade or more, said the Meyersdale Republican. Ralph was a member of the Zion Lutheran and Reformed Church of Wellersburg and of the Charles E. Kelly Post of the American Legion in Meyersdale. Toward the end of his life, Ralph went to live in the Hollidays Veterans Home. He passed away at the age of 79 on Oct. 19, 1986. Following funeral services preached by Rev. Harold W. Crabtree, his remains were lowered into rest in Rest Lawn Memorial Gardens in LaVale, near Cumberland, MD. The Meyersdale Republic published an obituary.
  • Granddaughter Mildred Gomer (1929- ? ) was born in late 1929. She was joined in holy wedlock with James Aristidou ( ? - ? ). They relocated to Baltimore, MD, where she is known to have been living in the 1970s-2014. The couple attended the Gomer Reunion in September 1976.

 

~ Daughter Sarah Ann (Gomer) Lichty ~

Daughter Sarah Ann Gaumer (1844-1902) was born on Oct. 7, 1844. She was only about a year old when her father died. She never learned how to read or write.

When she was 26 years of age, on Aug. 27, 1871, Sarah was united in holy matrimony with 20-year-old John "Conrad" Lichty (Feb. 1, 1851-1931), son of Jonathan D. and Mary (Reese) Lichty. The bride was six years older than the groom.

The couple produced eight known children -- Franklin Conrad Lichty, Bertha Lichty, Norman Lichty, Matilda Arden, Calvin Lichty, Samuel "Allen" Lichty, Druscilla Stevens and Charles Lichty. Sadness blanketed the family when son Calvin died in 1877 at the age of about one.

Conrad labored over the decades as a farmer and coal miner. When the United States Census was made in 1880 and 1900, they dwelled in Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County. He earned a living as a coal miner in 1900 as did sons Franklin and Allen, and boarding in their home that year were coal miners Conrad and Edward Gindlesperger and Henry Landis.

Sarah was gathered in by the Grim Reaper on Dec. 1, 1902 in Pine Hill, at the age of 58.

Conrad survived as a widower for nearly three more decades. Census records for 1910 show him living in the household of his married son Frank and providing farm labor. By 1920, at the age of 68, he was in the home of his married daughter Matilda Arden and worked as a coal miner. He was back in son Frank's dwelling by 1930.

He passed away on March 29, 1931 in Pine Hill, Somerset County. His obituary in the Meyersdale Republican reported that he had died in the home of daughter Matilda Arden near Somerset. Funeral services were held in the Pine Hill Lutheran Church, with interment in the church burying ground.

Son Franklin Conrad "Frank" Lichty (1872-1958) was born on March 31, 1872 in Berlin, Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County. In about 1902, when he would have been 30 years of age, he wedded Sarah Gumbert (1879- ? ). They bore three known children, Ada A. Lichty, Homer G. Lichty and Edna Delbrook. The couple were farmers for many years near Berlin. Circa 1910 and 1930, when the federal census enumerations were made, they dwelled on a farm, and Frank's widowed father was living under their roof. In 1930, local teacher Edna M. Judy boarded in their household. At the age of 85, Frank died on Feb. 7, 1958 from the effects of a heart attack he had suffered a month before. Interment of the remains was in Pine Hill.

  • Granddaughter Edna Lichty (1903-1986) was born on March 2, 1903 in Garrett, Somerset County. She was joined in matrimonial union with G. Stewart Delbrook ( ? - ? ). The three children born to this union were Jack W. Delbrook, Thomas S. Delbrook and Lois F. Linsen. The family put down roots in Greensburg, Westmoreland County. Edna spent her career in public education and taught in the Latrobe School District until retirement. She was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church of Greensburg and the Order of Eastern Star. Sadly, at the age of 83, Edna passed into eternity on Nov. 9, 1986. Her remains were lowered into eternal sleep in St. Clair Cemetery, Greensburg. An obituary appeared in the Somerset Daily American, which noted that her survivors included 10 grandchildren.

Great-grandson Jack W. Delbrook relocated to Connecticut.

Great-grandson Thomas S. Delbrook moved to Illinois.

Great-granddaughter Lois F. Delbrook married (?) Linsen. Her home in 1986 was in West Chester, PA.

  • Granddaughter Ada A. Lichty (1907-2005) was born on Dec. 3, 1907 near Berlin in Brothersvalley Township. She was married and bore a daughter, Doris Paul. She maintained a home for many years in the Berlin area and was a member of St. Michael's Lutheran Church of Pine Hill. Under the name "Lichty," she passed away at the age of 97, in Somerset Hospital, on May 31, 2005. Burial was in Pine Hill Lutheran Cemetery, with Rev. Glenn Foster and Rev. Tom Sprowls co-officiating at her funeral service. Her obituary was published in the Meyersdale New Republic and Somerset Daily American.

Great-granddaughter Doris Lichty wedded Edison Paul. Their home in 2005 was in Berlin. The couple's known offspring were Jeanne Hillegas and Jeff Paul.

  • Meyersdale Union Cemetery
    Grandson Homer G. Lichty (1911-1990) was born in about 1911 in Berlin, Brothersvalley Township. He grew up as a farm laborer. Homer was united in wedlock with Alice Fike (Feb. 17, 1910-1986), daughter of Allen A. and Ida B. (Durst) Fike of Summit Township. They raised a foster daughter, Mary Walker. Over the decades, the Lichtys were farmers in Brothersvalley Township. Homer belonged to St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Pine Hill, while Alice maintained membership in the Meyersdale Church of the Brethren. Sadly, at the age of 76, Alice died on May 7, 1986 in Somerset Community Hospital. Rev. Gene J. Abel officiated at her funeral. Later, Homer wedded Helen Vought ( ? - ? ). Homer died at the age of 79, on June 3, 1990, in Somerset Hospital. Rev. Melvin A. Kirk preached the funeral sermon, and interment of the remains was in Union Cemetery in Meyersdale. The Somerset Daily American printed an obituary.

Foster great-granddaughter Mary married Leland Walker. They dwelled in Berlin in 1990.

Daughter Bertha Lichty (1874- ? ) was born in 1874. She married (?) Miller ( ? - ? ). Circa 1931, the Millers were in Windber, Somerset County.

Son Norman Lichty (1878-1971) was born on Sept. 7, 1878. He succumbed to death in 1971.

Presumed daughter Matilda Lichty (1880-1969) was born in 1880. She was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Horace Arden (Dec. 29, 1883-1925), also spelled "Ardern." He was the son of John and Mary (Tomlison) Ardern and an immigrant from Cheshire, England. The couple made a home in Lincoln Township near Somerset, Somerset County, and produced these children -- Arthur Arden, John Arden, Daisy Arden, Clifford Arden, Grace Kimmel and Betty Rayman. Horace earned a living as coal mine weigh master in 1920 and as a traveling salesman in 1925. Circa 1920, Matilda's widowed father was in their household. Grief cascaded over the family when daughter Daisy Arden, age 18 days, died on Aug. 31, 1911. Then in March 1925, the 41-year-old Horace contracted typhoid fever. He lasted for two weeks, but his body gave up. He died on March 22, 1925. Interment of the remains was in Pine Hill Cemetery. The widowed Matilda survived her spouse by some 44 years. She brought her aging father back into her home, and he succumbed there in March 1931. She passed into eternity in 1969.

  • Grandson Arthur Arden (1906-1973) was born on Sept. 18, 1906 in Pine Hill, Somerset County. He was joined in marriage with Leora Durst ( ? - ? ). They produced three children -- Donald Arden, Alyce Barefoot and Betty Arden. Arthur was employed for years by Somerset Welding and Steel Company. He belonged to the Beulah First United Methodist Church and the Somerset Auto Parts Bowling Team. Their address in the early 1970s was West Sanner Street. Arthur succumbed to the Angel of Death at the age of 66, on Aug. 29, 1973, in Somerset Community Hospital. Burial of the remains was in Beulah Church Cemetery, following funeral services preached by Rev. J. Wesley Spahn.

Great-grandson Donald Arden dwelled in 1973 in Somerset.

Great-granddaughter Alyce Arden married Carl Barefoot. They called Somerset home.

Great-granddaughter Betty Arden was in Somerset in 1973.

  • Grandson John C. Arden Sr. (1908- ? ) was born on Jan. 17, 1908 in Goodtown, Somerset County. He wedded Laura M. Howard ( ? - ? ). They produced three known children -- Helen Brandt, Arlene Butler and John C. Arden Jr. During World War II, John served in the U.S. Armed Forces. He was employed by PBS Coals Inc., and socially he was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He resided in rural Somerset until his death at the age of 66 on April 15, 1974, in Somerset Community Hospital. Rev. Paul Weber officiated at the funeral service, with the remains placed into repose in Somerset County Memorial Park.

Great-granddaughter Helen Arden wedded Ralph Brandt.

Great-granddaughter Arlene Arden married Glenn Butler.

Great-grandson John C. Arden Jr was in rural Somerset in 1974.

  • Grandson Clifford B. Arden (1912-1997) was born on Aug. 5, 1912 in Somerset Township. He married Grace Shumaker (Nov. 15, 1916-2002), daughter of Harvey and Sarah (Menhorn) Shumaker of Boynton, Somerset County. Their union endured for 62 years. The couple bore one daughter, Judy Emerick. Circa1940, the Ardens lived with his widowed mother in Somerset Township, and he earned income as a laborer with a road project. Later, he worked for many years for Somerset Limestone Company. The Ardens remained in Somerset over the years and were members of St. Paul's United Church of Christ. He held a membership in the National Rifle Association. Toward the end, he went to live in Patriot Manor in Somerset, and was cut away there by death at age 84 on May 22, 1997. Burial was in Pine Hill Cemetery, with the funeral presided over by Rev. Glenn E. Sadler. Grace lived for another five years. Death overtook her two days before Christmas in 2002.

Great-granddaughter Judy Arden married (?) Emerick. She made a residence in Somerset.

  • Granddaughter Grace Anna Arden (1915-1998) was born in about 1915. She was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with E. Lloyd Kimmel (April 15, 1902-1983), son of Jesse W. and Annie (Theimer) Kimmel of Jenner Township. They put down roots in rural Somerset and were the parents of William L. Kimmel, Margaret Sue Grubbs and Ruth Meyers. For 26 years, Lloyd was employed as manager of Somerset Bus Compasny. he belonged to the local lodges of the Odd Fellows, Eagles and Moose, and was a member of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Home Aid of the American Legion. At the age of 81, as a patient in Pittsburgh's West Penn Hospital, Lloyd passed into glory on Oct. 15, 1983. Rev. William Mulford led the funeral service, with interment following in Somerset County Memorial Park. A Somerset Daily American obituary said that he was survived by six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Grace Anna lived for another 15 years as a widow, and remianed in Somerset. During that time, she suffered the death of her married daughter Margaret Sue Grubbs. She belonged to the Johnstown and Somerset Women's Bowling Association and the Ladies Friday Night Classic Ten Pin League of Somerset. She died in Johnstown's Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center at the age of 83 on June 12, 1998.

Great-grandson William L. Kimmel married Ethel Sayler. He was an attorney in Somerset in 1983-1998.

Great-granddaughter Margaret Sue Kimmel wedded Donald Grubbs. They lived in State College, PA in 1983. She was deceased by 1998.

Great-granddaughter Ruth Kimmel married Richard L. Meyers and dwelled in Somerset in the early 1980s-late 1990s..

  • Granddaughter Dorothy M. Arden (1920-2004) was born on April 15, 1920 in Lincoln Township, Somerset County. Unmarried at age 20, in 1940, she worked as a clerk and resided with her mother in Somerset Township. In time she married Harold Stutzman (Aug. 2, 1912-2000), a native of Stonycreek Township and the son of Walter and Sadie (Trent) Stutzman. The couple remained together for 59 years until cleaved apart by death. Their home over the years was in Stonycreek Township and later on a farm in Friedens, Somerset County. The offspring produced by this union were Patti Ann Trent, William Harold Stutzman and Richard Walter Stutzman. Dorothy was employed by Somerset Newberry's, and she and Harold were members of the First Christian Church of Somerset, where he served as a deacon. He also belonged to the National Wild Turkey Federation. The spectre of death spirited Harold away at age 87 on March 24, 2000 in Somerset Hospital. In an obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the First Christian Church. Dorothy lived on for another four years. She passed at the age of 83 on March 4, 2004. She was survived by eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Rev. Daniel Nicksich led the funeral service, and burial followed in Somerset County Memorial Park, with an obituary appearing in the Somerset Daily American.

Great-granddaughter Patti Ann Stutzman married Ronald Trent. They were in Friedens in 2004.

Great-grandson William Harold Stutzman wedded Bonnie Lambert. The couple dwelled in 2004 in Friedens.

Great-grandson Richard Walter Stutzman was joined in marriage with Iris Miller. The Stuzmans resided in Friedens.

  • Granddaughter Betty Arden (1922- ? ) was born in about 1922. She was a girl of age three when her father died. Then in August 1934 at the age of 12, while playing, she fell and fractured her arm and was treated in Somerset Community Hospital. Betty was joined in wedlock with Millard Rayman (Sept. 28, 1915-1997), a native of Stonycreek Township and the son of David and Ida (Weigle) Rayman. Their marital union endured for 56 years. The offspring borne to this marriage were Eileen Custer, Carol Shaver, Kathy Wildenmann and James Day Rayman. Millard served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He went on to a working career with Svonavec Coal. He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, the Somerset post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Shanksville post of the American Legion. For decades, they made a home in Friedens, Somerset County with an address of Stouffer Hill Road. When Millard's health declined, he was admitted to Patriot Manor in Somerset and died there, at age 82, just two days before Christmas 1997. Burial of the remains was in Walker Cemetery, Shanksville, with the funeral sermon preached by Rev. Randall J. Marburger. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American observed that he was survived by six grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Great-granddaughter Eileen Rayman married (?) Custer. She was in Harrisburg, PA in 1997.

Great-granddaughter Carol Rayman wedded William E. Shaver. They were in Somerset circa 1997.

Great-granddaughter Kathy Rayman was united in matrimony with William Wildenmann. Their residence in 1997 was in Stoystown, Somerset County.

Great-grandson James Day Rayman lived with his parents in 1997.

Son Samuel "Allen" Lichty (1882-1966) was born on April 15, 1882 or 1883 in Somerset County, and spelled his name "Leaghty" as an adult. He married Lovada B. Norris ( ? - ? ). Samuel earned a living over the years as a coal miner. When named in the Meyersdale Republican obituary of his father in 1931, his "whereabouts" were listed as "not known." Their home in the 1960s was 2603 Poinsettia Drive in White Oak Boro near McKeesport, PA. Stricken with pancreatic cancer, he died at the age of 83 on Jan. 2, 1966. He rests for all time in Jefferson Memorial Park in Pleasant Hills Borough.

Daughter Druscilla Lichty (1884-1965) was born on Oct. 20, 1884, with her name at times misspelled as "Priscilla." She was joined in the bonds of wedlock with John Stevens ( ? - ? ). They put down roots in Canonsburg, Washington Couinty, PA at the address of 135 North Jefferson Avenue. Burdened by hardening of the arteries and heart disease, she developed pneumonia and died in Canonsburg Hospital at the age of 80 on July 16, 1965. Twila Shober of the family home signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Burial was in Oak Spring Cemetery in Canonsburg.

Son Charles Lichty (1888-1974) was born on Aug. 31, 1888 in Pine Hill, Somerset County. He married Laura Lenhart ( ? - ? ). The couple's two children were John C. Lichty and Mildred Rose. During World War I, Charles served in the U.S. Army. Their home for decades was in Listonburg, Somerset County. As his health failed, Charles was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Altoona, where he died at the age of 85 on March 26, 1974. Rev. Byron Conner preached the funeral, and burial of the remains was in Addison Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American.

  • Grandson John C. Lichty (1920-1979) was born on June 28, 1920 in Addison Township, Somerset County. He married Elsie Kemp ( ? - ? ). John was the father of John C. Lichty Jr. and Pam Lichty and the stepfather of Darwin Kemp. The Lichtys resided for many years in Listonburg, Somerset County, where John was employed as federal postmaster for 18 years. He also belonged to the Uniontown post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Ursina post of the American Legion and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Confluence. As his health failed, John was taken to Pittsburgh where he was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital. He died there at the age of 58 on April 25, 1979. Interment was in Addison Cemetery, with Rev. Richard McClintock leading the funeral service. The Meyersdale Republic printed an obituary.
  • Granddaughter Mildred Lichty married (?) Rose. She was in Listonburg, Somerset County in 1974 and in Addison, Somerset County in 1979.

 

Copyright © 2000, 2002, 2016-2018, 2020 Mark A. Miner
Photos of the grave markers of Delilah (Kennell) Gaumer and Charles & Rosanna Gaumer courtesy Find-A-Grave and Forrest Bosley Hare, added on July 20, 2018.