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James Harbaugh


The railroader's grave at Maple Summit Church

James Harbaugh was born on Nov. 3, 1871, in or near Nicolay, on the mountainous border of Fayette and Somerset Counties, PA, the youngest son of Joseph and Jane (Williams) Harbaugh. He is one of a disturbingly high number of cousins to be killed in railroad accidents over the years.

When he was age 29, James entered into marriage with 21-year-old Sarah "Ellen" Sands (Feb. 1, 1879-1952), the daughter of John and Catherine (Linderman) Sands of Stewart Township. The ceremony was held on Nov. 29, 1900, at Maple Summit, officiated by Rev. James Topping.

At the time of marriage, James' primary occupation was as a farmer.

The Harbaugh and Sands families were close. James' brother Marshall Harbaugh married Ellen's sister Mary Elizabeth Sands; and as well, James' cousin Alma Ream married Robert "Cricket" Sands.

James and Ellen produced five children during their two decades of marriage -- Evans Harbaugh, Russell R. Harbaugh, Wallace Harbaugh, Bertha Stull and Donald C. Harbaugh.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1910, the family resided on a farm in rural Stewart Township.

In about 1912, James obtained employment as a track repairman with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

B&O Railroad station and tracks at Confluence



Book naming
the Harbaughs

Tragically, eight years later, the 49-year-old James was killed while at work on Jan. 16, 1920. The Connellsville Courier reported that he stepped "on the eastbound track to let a freight train pass [and] was struck yesterday morning at Huston station, near Confluence, by train No. 6... he was thrown about 20 feet from the track and was dead when picked up by the train crew."

His mangled remains were prepared for burial by the E.A. Humbert funeral parlor and laid to rest in the Maple Summit Church graveyard. 

Ellen outlived him by more than three decades and maintained a home in rural Stewart Township.

Sadly, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away a week later at the age of 73 on Feb. 27, 1952 while at the home of her son Evans Harbaugh. She was buried beside her husband. The Daily Courier reported that she "lived all of her life in the Maple Summit community. She was a member of the former Christian Church near Maple Summit." At the time of her death, she was survived by 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

James and Ellen's family has an entry in the 1947 book, Harbaugh History (Evansville, IN), authored by Cora Bell and J.L. Cooprider. They also are mentioned in the 1970 book, A History of Mill Run


~ Son Evans Harbaugh ~

Son Evans Harbaugh (1902-1971) was born in 1902. 

He married Faye Hixenbaugh (1902-1984), the daughter of William Richard Hixenbaugh.

They resided in Mill Run in the 1940s and at Maple Summit circa 1970. 

They are believed to have had five sons --Willis E. Harbaugh, Kenneth Ronald "Ronnie" Harbaugh, William "Ray" Harbaugh, Warren Harbaugh and Alvin J. Harbaugh. Sadly, son Warren died in infancy.

Evans passed away in August 1971, at the age of 69. 

Faye outlived him by 13 years, and died in February 1984.


Maple Summit Church Cemetery


Son Willis Eugene Harbaugh Sr. (1924-1994) was born on Sept. 4, 1924 in Maple Summit. In October 1943, in a ceremony held at Cumberland, MD, the 19-year-old Willis married 19-year-old Audrey "Jean" Ohler (1924-1993), daughter of Dillion and Dora (Steyer) Ohler of Maple Summit. They bore seven children -- Dorothy "Marlene" Metheney, Marjorie "Margie" Younkin, Faye Jean Jenkins, Dora Haines, Benjamin Harbaugh, Willis Eugene Harbaugh Jr. and Robert J. Harbaugh. Willis Sr. served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, and was a member of the Confluence Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. They attended the Maple Summit Church. Audrey passed away at the age of 68 at home on April 26, 1993. Interment was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Rick Gamble and Rev. Steve Kontaxes officiating. Willis survived his wife by a little more than a year. He died at the age of 69, on June 4, 1994, in Pittsburgh's Allegheny General Hospital. Interment was in the Jersey Church Cemetery, with his obituary was published in the Meyersdale New Republic.

  • Grandson Willis Eugene Harbaugh Jr. (1949-2016) was born on March 4, 1949 in Confluence. He married Mary K. Miller ( ? - ? ). Their children were James Crosley, Earl Crosley, Tammy Rounds, Barbara Volk and Donna Birmingham. The Harbaughs resided in Fort Hill, Somerset County. Willis served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and made a career as a stone mason. He passed away at the age of 67 on July 5, 2016, while at Select Specialty Hospital in Johnstown, PA. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American. He was survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His remains were placed into burial in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy "Marlene" Harbaugh ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married Roger D. Metheney Sr. ( ? - ? ), son of Alvin Metheney. They lived in Confluence and had three known sons -- Roger D. Metheney Jr., Richard Dale Metheney and Robert D. Metheney. Marlene was deceased by 2019.
  • Granddaughter Marjorie "Margie" Harbaugh ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wed Clinton Ray Younkin ( ? - ? ), son of Carl M. "Bud" and Olive E. (Snyder) Younkin of the family of Rev. Herman and Susanna (Faidley) Younkin of Paddytown near Kingwood. The couple produced three offspring -- Regina Younkin, April Younkin and Donald "Donnie" Younkin. Their home in 2016-2024 was in Confluence.
  • Granddaughter Dora Ruth Harbaugh (1962- ? ) was born in January 1962. She was united in wedlock with (?) Haines.
  • Grandson Benjamin "Ben" Harbaugh dwelled in Confluence in 2019.
  • Grandson Robert James Harbaugh (1951-2019) was born on July 19, 1951 in Confluence. He was married and the father of five offspring -- Robert James Harbaugh Jr., Brent Harbaugh, Jamie Richter, Susan Harbaugh and Bobbie Jo Richter. He made his home over the decades in Confluence. With his health failing at the age of 67, he was admitted to UPMC Somerset where he succumbed on April 22, 2019. Interment was in Maple Summit Church Cemetery, officiated by Rev. Sam McClintock. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American reported that he was survived by 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
  • Granddaughter Faye Jean Harbaugh (1954-2024) was born on May 23, 1954 in Confluence. She was wed to Albert A. "Butch" Jenkins Sr. ( ? - ? ). Their union held fast over the ebbs and flows of a remarkable half-century. They have lived in Markleysburg, PA and are the parents of Albert A. Jenkins Jr., Bill Jenkins, Willis Jenkins, Goldie Stotka, Dora Jean Michaels and Ross Jefferson Jenkins. Sadly, Faye died at the age of 69, on April 20, 2024, at Ruby Memorial Hospital at West Virginia University. Presiding at her funeral service was Pastor John DeVincent, with burial following in Asher Glade Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Albert A. Jenkins Jr. married Shannon. They live in Farmington, PA.

    Great-grandson Bill Jenkins is a companion of Cassie Hager. They have made a home in Markleysburg, PA.

    Great-grandson Willis Jenkins dwells in Markleysburg.

    Great-granddaughter Goldie Jenkins tied the knot with (?) Stotka. Today she is a companion of  Eric Streets and resides in Markleysburg.

    Great-granddaughter Dora Jean Jenkins was joined in wedlock with (?) Michaels. In more recent years she has kept company with Eric Ranker and relocated to Virginia.

    Great-grandson Ross Jefferson Jenkins settled in Markleysburg.

  • Granddaughter Dora Harbaugh ( ? - ? ) married Douglas Haines ( ? - ? ) and resided in Farmington, Fayette County.


Maple Summit Cemetery

Son Alvin J. Harbaugh Sr. (1928-2005) was born in 1928. He married Helen G. Rugg (1926- ? ), daughter of Harvey and Viola Rugg of Confluence. (The Harbaughs and Ruggs were close, and Alvin's brother William Ray wed Helen's sister Phyllis.) They resided in Mill Run, Fayette County, and had two children -- Shirley Fabian and Alvin J. Harbaugh Jr. Said the Daily Courier, Alvin Sr. "retired from the Ohiopyle State Park in 1990 and was a member of the Ohiopyle-Stewart Volunteer Fire Department." He died on June 3, 2005, as he neared his 77th birthday, with burial in the Maple Summit Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Shirley Harbaugh married John Fabian and dwelled in Normalville in 2005.
  • Grandson Alvin J. Harbaugh was wedded to Christine and lived in Berlin, Somerset County.

Son William "Ray" Harbaugh (1931-2016) was born on June 29, 1931 in Mill Run. During the Korean, War, he served with the U.S. Army. He married Phyllis A. Rugg (1933-2014), daughter of Harvey and Viola Rugg of Confluence. They made their home in Mill Run and had three children -- Sandra Louise "Sandy" Siar, Sharon Groh and Stacy Harbaugh. Ray was employed for many years by Sandusky Lumber Company as a carpenter. Phyllis died at age 81 on Feb. 12, 2014. Burial was in the Maple Summit Cemetery following a funeral led by Rev. Dr. Marvin Watson. Ray survived his wife by two years and two days and was admitted to South Connellsville Personal Care Home. He passed away on Valentine's Day 2016, at the age of 84, in Select Specialty Hospital in Latrobe, Westmoreland County.

  • Granddaughter Sandra Louise "Sandy" Harbaugh (1953-2018) was born on Jan. 3, 1953 in Confluence. In about 1976, she was joined in matrimony with James R. Siar ( ? -living). They produced these offspring -- Stephanie Simmerman and Brandon S. Siar. For more than three decades, she was employed in housekeeping by West Penn Hospital. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, she "enjoyed camping with her husbad and family." The family made their home in 2018 in Pittsburgh. Sadly, while a patient at UPMC East in Monroeville, Sandra passed away at the age of 65 on Dec. 18, 2018. Dr. Marvin C. Watson officiated at the funeral service, with burial at Maple Summit Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Sharon Harbaugh ( ? -living) married John Groh ( ? -living). They dwell in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Stacy Harbaugh ( ? -living) wedded Thomas "Tommy" Yauger ( ? -living). Their residence circa 2018 was in Mill run.

Son Kenneth Ronald "Ronnie" Harbaugh ( ? - ? ) married June (?). They lived in Mill Run for many years.


~ Son Russell R. Harbaugh ~

Son Russell R. Harbaugh (1903-1973) was born on April 5, 1903. 

In about 1924, when he was age 21, he married Anna Tissue (1903-1972), daughter of Austin E. and Lavina "Vina" (Johnson) Tissue. News of their marriage license was printed in the Uniontown Morning Herald.

They are believed to have been the parents of five children -- James Austin Harbaugh, Eleanor Weitala, Russell Vaughn Harbaugh, Gerald S. Harbaugh and Scott Harbaugh.


Maple Summit Church Cemetery


The Harbaughs moved in 1925 from Bear Run to Rices Landing, Greene County, PA, where Russell was employed as a track laborer and section worker on the railroad. When their son James was age two, in about 1925, he became so emotionally attached to his invalid grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Austin Tissue, and to an uncle, Harry Tissue, that he was permitted to spend most of his time at their home in Bear Run.

Tragedy struck in late November 1936, however, when the 11-year-old James was killed by a hit-and-run motorcyclist on the Connellsville- Farmington Highway. Authorities speculated that after the collision, the driver carried the mangled corpse to a spot where he knew relatives would find it. The body was deposited in a lane about 100 feet from the Levi Tissue farmhouse. A headline in the Connellsville Daily Courier said he had died of a broken neck. Reported the Waynesburg Democrat Messenger, he "had been missing from his home all Sunday night and his whereabouts were not known until yesterday morning as Madeline Tissue found the body as she was starting for the school where she is a teacher. The mystery into the boy's death deepened last night after searchers found his shoes along a lonely path the child sometimes took to the Tissue home. The shoes were unlaced." A distant cousin, Wilbert Regis "Patsy" Minerd, was among the team of county detectives who investigated the case. 


Connellsville Daily Courier articles about the tragedy


In July 1937, the Harbaughs moved back to Bear Run, occupying the "Harry Tissue house" formerly occupied by the Richard Stark family. He worked for many years as a coal miner with Buckeye Coal Company and was a member of the United Mine Workers of America, Local No. 6290. They were members of the Peoples United Church of Maple Summit and also of the First United Methodist Church of Carmichaels. Anna belonged to the Stringtown Women's Club.

Russell and Anna spent their final years in the Stringtown community near Carmichaels, Greene County. On Feb. 20, 1972, she passed away in Greene County Memorial Hospital in Waynesburg. He died at the age of 70 in July 1973. Burial was in Maple Summit Church Cemetery. Inscribed on their grave marker are the words: "For love will still be lord of all."

Daughter Eleanor Harbaugh (1928-1998) was born in about 1928 in Carmichaels, Greene County. As a young woman, she relocated to Detroit. She was joined in marriage with Edsel Weitala (Aug. 21, 1921-2009), the daughter of John and Selma (Isaacson) Weitala. The couple bore these children -- Ann D. Griggs and Keith Weitala. Edsel was a member of the Redford Metropolitan lodge of the Masons and the Order of Eastern Star. Sadly, Eleanor passed away in 1998. Edsel outlived her by nine years and endured the untimely death of their daughter. He passed away on Dec. 5, 2009. Burial was in Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens in Novi, MI. The Detroit News printed an obituary.

  • Granddaughter Ann D. Weitala (1951-2009) was born on March 4, 1951 in Detroit. She wedded Bruce Griggs ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce. The Griggses lived in the Radford section of Detroit. Sadly, Ann died at the age of 57 on Feb. 28, 2009. Funeral services were held in St. John's Episcopal Church in Royal Oak. In a Detroit News obituary, the family asked that any memorial gifts be made to the Detroit Zoo Veterinary Hospital or Michigan Humane Society.
  • Grandson Keith Weitala ( ? - ? ) married Donna. Their two daughters were Sarah Weitala and Jessica Weitala.

Son Russell Vaughn Harbaugh (1933- ? ) was born in about 1933 in Carmichaels, Greene County. He served for three years with the U.S. Air Force, including a term of 18 months overseas. In about 1953, stationed at Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, MA, he was united in matrimony with Eleanor Jo Silvo, daughter of Joseph Silvo of Cape Cod, MA. At the time, she worked for the family business, Silvo Fishing Industries. They made a home in Detroit in 1973 and in Kingston, TN in 1994.

Son Gerald S. Harbaugh (1936- ? ) was born in about 1936 in Carmichaels, Greene County. He attended Wayne University and served with the U.S. Air Force for four years. In 1963, he lived in Detroit, working as a department manager for J.L. Hudson's Store. On Oct. 19, 1963, in nuptials held at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Hambarack, MI, he wedded Patricia Lando, daughter of Edmund Lando of Hambarack. News of the engagement and subsequent marriage was printed in the Uniontown Evening Standard. At the time, Patricia was employed as a hostess with Northwestern Airlines, having received her education at the Kansas City Airlines School. Their initial home was at 18544 Plainview Road in Detroit.

Son Scott Harbaugh ( ? - ? )


~ Son Wallace Harbaugh ~

Son Wallace Harbaugh (1904-1983) was born on Sept. 20, 1904. 

He never married and spent his life in Mill Run. He is named in the Harbaugh History book was published in 1947. 

Wallace died on March 15, 1983, at the age of 79, in Somerset Community Hospital. Interment was in Maple Summit Cemetery, with Rev. Jesse Dinsmore preaching the funeral sermon.


~ Daughter Bertha C. (Harbaugh) Stull ~

Daughter Bertha C. Harbaugh (1907-1951) was born in 1907. 

She married Paul L. Stull Sr. (1890-1971), the son of William H. and Martha (Linderman) Stull of Bear Run. They lived on Murphy Street in South Connellsville. 

Despite the fact that Bertha suffered from a heart condition since birth, she went on to have five or six children -- Wallace E. Stull, Paul L. Stull Jr., Esther Riser, Margaret Crise, Bertha Koontz and Wilma Stull. 

Bertha, said the Daily Courier, "was a member of the Falls City Baptist Church at Ohiopyle for 21 years and the Ladies Missionary Circle at Ohiopyle while living there... Her life was spent in the Mill Run and Ohiopyle communities with the exception of the last nine years during which time she resided at South Connellsville." 


Anchor Hocking plant, Connellsville

Sadly, Bertha died on March 2, 1951, at the age of 43, at Connellsville State Hospital, after having "collapsed on the street near her home while going to a neighbor's house for a visit," said the Courier. She was laid to rest in the cemetery of the Hickman Chapel Church at Mill Run. 

Paul apparently never married. He worked for Anchor Hocking Corporation in South Connellsville, and retired from there. (The plant is seen here in a postcard view.) In about 1965, he moved to Vanderbilt, Fayette County, possibly to be nearer to his married daughter Bertha Koontz. 

He died at the age of 81 in the Guilford Convalescent Home in Chambersburg, PA, on Aug. 29, 1971, near where his son Paul Stull Jr. lived.

Son Wallace E. Stull

Son Paul L. Stull Jr. made his residence in 1971 in Chambersburg, PA.

Daughter Esther Stull married (?) Riser.

Daughter Margaret Stull wedded (?) Crise.

Daughter Bertha Stull was joined in wedlock with (?) Koontz.

Daughter Wilma Stull.


~ Son Donald E. Harbaugh ~

Son Donald E. Harbaugh (1913-1980) was born on April 26, 1913 in Mill Run.

He married Bertha Pearl Johnson (April 11, 1920-1997), daughter of William and Celia (Clark) Johnson of Luzerne Township, Fayette County.

Donald and Bertha were the parents of Martha "Marty" Ballaro, Donna Patek, James M. Harbaugh, Donald M. Harbaugh and David W. Harbaugh.

They resided in Mill Run and in Carmichaels, Greene County, PA, where Donald's brother Russell and family lived for decades. Circa 1964, their address was 1111 East Gibson Avenue in South Connellsville.

Donald joined the U.S. Armed Forces after World War II erupted.

In the fall of 1964, Donald was employed helping to excavate earth for installation of a Texas Eastern Gas pipeline. On the fateful day of Oct. 1, 1964, while working in White Township, Indiana County, he suffered a heart attack and was rushed to Indiana Hospital, where he was dead on arrival. Burial was in Maple Summit Cemetery.

Bertha survived her husband by more than three decades and moved to a new home at 1216 East Crawford Avenue. By 1970, she married again to Marvin I. Hixenbaugh ( ? -1995). He had been married previously and brought these step-children to the second union -- Marvin B. Hixenbaugh, Sandra Eberts and Marlene Hixenbaugh.

They lived in Smithton and later at 104 Fury Street in Connellsville, and she belonged to the Church of the Open Door. Bertha and Marvin attended the 36th annual James Johnson Reunion at Youngwood Park and Pool on July 30, 1977. He was elected vice president of the organization. Other officers were president Lloyd Rugg, secretary Margaret Taylor and treasurer James Harbaugh.

Sadly, Marvin passed away in 1995, rendering her a widow for a second time.

Bertha remained in their home until the end. She succumbed there at the age of 77 on Nov. 23, 1997. Rev. Wade L. Kuhlewind officiated at the funeral service, followed by interment at Maple Summit. An obituary in the Uniontown Herald-Standard noted that she had been preceased by her siblings James Johnson, Wilbur Johnson, Homer Johnson, Elliot Johnson, Raymond Johnson, Mary Nicholson, Annabelle Inks, Maggie Burnsworth and Hannah Mae Rugg.


Martha pictured,
Daily Courier
, 1961

Daughter Martha "Marty" Harbaugh (1940-2010) was born on March 5, 1940 in Carmichaels, Greene County, PA. She moved with her parents to Connellsville and graduated from the local high school. In 1961, she left her job at the G.C. Murphy store in Connellsville and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the early years of the Vietnam War. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed a photograph of her at the time of enlistment. She took basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and then was sent to a trade school. Eventually she held the rank of airman second class. While stationed at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, on Jan. 21, 1964, she wedded Joseph P. Ballaro Sr. (July 7, 1926-1991). They produced these offspring -- Donna Lipinski and Joseph P. Ballaro Jr. The Ballaros made a home after the war in Connecticut in the Preston community. Sadly, Joseph died in Dec. 1991. Martha survived her spouse by 19 years and remained in Preston. She was admitted to the Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, CT, where she succumbed at the age of 70 on Dec. 1, 2010. Burial was in St. Joseph Cemetery in Norwich, CT, with an obituary appearing in her old hometown newspaper, the Daily Courier.

  • Granddaughter Donna Ballaro wedded (?) Lipinski. They were the parents of Edmund Lipinski. Her home in 2010 was in Mount Pleasant, MI.
  • Grandson Joseph P. Ballaro Jr. ( ? - ? ) has a daughter, Katie Ballaro.

Daughter Donna Harbaugh ( ? - ? ) married George Patek ( ? - ? ), son of Elizabeth Patek. They were the parents of Michael Joseph Patek and Michelle Jean Patek. Circa 1973, the Pateks made a home at 329 North Jefferson Street in Connellsville. Donna dwelled in 1997-2010 in Dunbar, Fayette County.

Son James M. Harbaugh ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He was united in matrimony with a distant step-cousin, Sondra Rae Hominsky ( ? - ? ) of the family of Grant Ulysses Miner of Connellsville. They produced a daughter, Dana Lynn Harbaugh. The couple dwelled in Gary, IN in 1964, Uniontown, Fayette County in 1968, Richmond, VA in 1997 and Oak Ridge, NC in 2010-2014.

Son Donald Merle Harbaugh ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He studied mechanical engineering at West Virginia University. In 1968, he married Beverly Ann Miller ( ? - ? ), daughter of Harry C. Miller of 304 East Fairview Avenue in Connellsville. At the time of marriage, he was a student at WVU and she an employee in the Connellsville City Treasurer's Office. The children of this couple included Christopher R. Harbaugh, Julie Ann Harbaugh, Stephanie Harbaugh and Lauren L. Harbaugh. They lived at 605 Market Street in Scottdale circa 1970-1972 and in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA in 2010.

Son David W. Harbaugh ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He wedded Cathy. In 1997, they resided in Smithton, PA.


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