Mary Eliza (Harbaugh) Hall was born on Aug. 15, 1864 in or near Nicolay, also known as Maple Summit, on the mountainous border of Fayette and Somerset Counties, PA, the daughter of Joseph and Jane (Williams) Harbaugh.
At the age of 20, on Sept. 9, 1884, Mary Eliza married a step-cousin, 22-year-old James R. Hall (Dec. 12, 1862-1933), the son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Rowan) Hall and stepson of Elizabeth (Rowan) Hall.
At the time of James' birth, one half-brother was away in captivity as a prisoner of war during the Civil War, with another half-brother brother and brother-in-law would join the Union Army during the conflict.
The Halls were dirt farmers who "were born, married, lived and buried at Maple Summit," said the 1947 Harbaugh History book by Cora Bell and J.L. Cooprider.
The couple produced six children -- Emma Grace Ohler, Anna Violet Friend, Mabel Ellen Burkholder and Sylvia Ethel Hall, in addition to two who died young, prior to 1900.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the Halls had been married for 15 years and had lost two of their five children to untimely deaths. Among their neighbors that year were Francis and Jane Morrison, Levi and Mary Linderman and Charles "Walter" and Mary Todd (Jennings) Shipley.
In 1910, United States Census records show that the couple, now wed for 25 years, had added their youngest daughter to the family, and that 17-year-old daughter Anna Violet "Annie" was teaching school locally. Their next-door neighbor was peacher George D. Statler and his wife Pearl.
Tragedy shook the family with grief and sadness in mid-November 1918. Teenage daughter Sylvia contracted influenza, and became deathly ill. She declined very rapidly and, despite medical care from Dr. Winfield Scott Kuhlman -- of the family of Louisa (Smith) Kuhlman -- succumbed to the illness on Nov. 13, 1918, at the age of 15 years, two months and 20 days. Her remains were interred at Maple Summit Cemetery and a marker was placed at her grave, but no newspaper obituary has been found. Many years later, a grand-niece was named in her memory, Sylvia "Denise" (Kessler) Miner, daughter of Warren and Virginia (Friend) Kessler.
When the federal census again was taken in 1930, the Halls remained on their farm in Stewart Township, and among their neighbors were the families of Robert Bacom and Alice (Rugg) Harbaugh Jr. and widow Sarah "Ellen" (Sands) Harbaugh.
On March 5, 1933, at the age of 70, already suffering from senility and hardening of the arteries, he was felled by a heart attack and died. Interment was in Maple Summit Cemetery, following funeral services led by Rev. F.S. Wortman of Mill Run. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Mary Eliza outlived her husband by more than six years. Afflicted with diabetes, she passed away at her home in Mill Run R.D. #1 (Maple Summit) on Oct. 14, 1939, at the age of 75. Her daughter Mabel Ellen Burkholder signed the certificate of death. At the time of her passing, The Connellsville Daily Courier noted that Mary Eliza was survived by nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Inscribed on their grave marker are the words "Asleep in Jesus."
~ Daughter Emma Grace (Hall) Ohler ~
Daughter Emma Grace Hall (1888-1968) was born in 1888.
She married Eli Ohler (Sept. 10, 1882-1945), the son of William and Elizabeth (Hawk) Ohler.
They lived at 1501 Springfield Pike in the Shady Rest section of Connellsville for many years. She was a member of the Maple Summit Church of God.
The Ohlers had six children -- Bertha King, Thelma DeLeon, Wilma Sherbondy, Homer D. Ohler and two infant daughters.
The family established their longtime home in about 1923 along what today is 1501 Springfield Pike near Shady Rest.
Eli obtained employment in about 1930 with George W. Enos & Sons, and remained there for 15 years.
In July 1936, Emma and her daughter Wilma attended a 21st birthday party for Ronald Friend, son of Clyde B. Friend of Mill Run.
Sadly, Eli died of a heart attack at home at age 62 on Aug. 23, 1945. Funeral services were held in the Maple Summit Church, led by Rev. Robert E. Crawford of the First Baptist Church in Connellsville. A quartet of singers, including Geraldine Schomer, Cora Bess Shearer, Randall Shearer and Harold Wade Shearer, performed Going Down the Valley, Good Night and Good Morning and Nearer My God to Thee. Pallbearers included George Enos, Charles Enos, Edward Roedel, Elmer Johnson, Reed Shearer and Samuel Shearer Jr. Interment followed in the adjacent cemetery. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "It is reported this was the largest funeral service ever attended in this church."
Emma outlived him by 23 years and remained in their home along the Springfield Pike. She grieved in September 1948 when her eight-year-old grandson Homer Clayton King died of diphtheria at the age of eight.
She died at the age of 79 at Connellsville State General Hospital on Jan. 2, 1968, having been admitted there the day after Christmas 1967. At her death, she was survived by 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Daughter Bertha Jane Ohler (1906-1976) was born on Sept. 7, 1906 in Mill Run. She married Clayton King ( ? - ? ). They bore seven offspring, Harold Ray King, Robert E. King, Ronald Lee King, Ethel Layman, Juanita Saylor, Homer Clayton King and Shirley Hatfield. The family dwelled in Normalville in 1934 and in Connellsville in 1968 and were members of the Springfield United Methodist Church. Their address in 1976 was 605 Rock Ridge Road. Sadly, Bertha became critically ill at the age of 69 on Feb. 17, 1976 and was rushed to Connellsville State General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Rev. Robert Blank led her funeral servie, with burial in Normalville Cemetery.
Great-grandson Michael King married Staci and has dwelled in Jeannette, Westmoreland County.
Great-granddaughter Chrystal King was joined in wedlock with Thurman Bowser. They reside in Dunbar.
Great-grandson Clyde Alan Layman (1956-2010) was born on March 10, 1956 in Connellsville. In about 1975, he was united in marriage with Sherry Lynn Aller ( ? -living). They produced these offspring -- David Alan Layman, Brian Keith Layman and Cheryl Lynne Williams. In 1974, Clyde became employed by Crown Cork and Seal Company earned a living operating a forklift. He also was a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Sadly, at the age of 54, he died in UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh on June 24, 2010. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Great-grandson Randy Neal Layman has lived in Connellsville and Ruffsdale.
Great-grandson Harry Clayton Layman wedded Tammy and have made a home in Normalville and Clinton.
Great-granddaughter Kathy Saylor married Tony DiRoma. They have lived in Connellsville.
Great-granddaughter Karen Saylor wedded Ed Pohodich. The couple has resided in Perryopolis, Fayette County.
Daughter Thelma Ohler ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). Circa 1939, she wedded Michael A. DeLeon, son of Isabelle DeLeon of Connellsville. News of their marriage license was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. They were the parents of Marion Carol Trimbath and Marti Carla Firestone. In 1952, Michael was pictured in a Courier story about the Connellsville Volunteer Police. Their home in 1956 was at 125½ West Apple Street in Connellsville and at 1009 Aetna Street in 1962-1977.
Daughter Wilma E. "Vimmie" Ohler (1924-2016) was born on July 7, 1924 in Connellsville. In what the Connellsville Daily Courier called a "quiet ceremony" on Oct. 25, 1941, she was joined in wedlock with John C. "J.C." Sherbondy (June 7, 1920-1997), son of Ivan Gold and Grace (Cavanaugh) Sherbondy. The wedding was offiicated by Rev. Forrest R. Gilmore and held at the parsonage of the First Baptist Church on Wills Road. They resided in Normalville for 70 years and were the parents of 11 offspring -- Connie Richter, Bonnie Renee Cramer, John R. "Pete" Sherbondy, Pamela Prinkey, Patricia Tinkey, Peggy Basinger, Ivan "Butch" Sherbondy, David L. Sherbondy, Arnold C. Sherbondy, Cindy Grimm and a son who died in infancy. In 1941, John worked for Fayette County Gas Company. By 1943, he had obtained employment in South Connellsville with Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation. Wilma earned income through her work at Miller's Grocery and then for a decade as a teacher's aide at the Springfield School in the 1960s and 1970s. For a dozen years, she was a cashier in the dining room of Seven Springs Mountain Resort. She enjoyed volunteering at the Normalville Food Bank and teaching Sunday School at Normalville United Methodist Church. Sadly, John died on July 26, 1997. Wilma outlived him by nearly two decades. Later in life, as a widow, Wilma belonged to Millertown Community Church. On Jan. 23, 2016, at the age of 91, Wilma passed away at home. An obituary placed the count of her survivors as 21 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery, with the funeral preached by Rev. Robert Degg.
Great-grandson Ronald S. Cramer (1962-2016) was born on Sept. 16, 1962 in Connellsville. He attended Westmoreland County Community College and went on to a working career as a carpenter in affiliation with Union Local 2274. He belonged to the Breakneck Church of God and, in his spare time, was a member of the King Solomon's Lodge of the Masons. He was married and divorced and the father of three -- Gaige Cramer, Bailey Cramer and Cassidy Cramer. His home in later years was in Connellsville. He became seriously ill and went to live with his mother in Indian Head, where he succumbed on April 3, 2016 at the age of 53. As he had done for Ronald's father, Rev. Joseph Wingrove Jr. preached at the funeral, with burial in Normalville Cemetery.
Great-grandson Donald Cramer married Lesia and has resided at Pleasant Hill.
Great-grandson Robert Cramer wedded Sharon. They make a home in Indian Head.
Great-grandson Philip Cramer dwells in Indian Head.
Great-granddaughter Cherie Cramer has lived in Connellsville.
Great-granddaughter Kimberly Sherbondy married Darren Thomas. They live in Stephens City, VA.
Great-grandson Nicholas R. Sherbondy wedded Kayla. They dwell in Normalville.
Son Homer D. Ohler (1909-1988) was born in 1909. On June 18, 1942, at the age of 33, he was united in marriage with Ethel Ruth Shearer (Oct. 12, 1907-1955), a native of Layton, PA and the daughter of Samuel and Mary E. Shearer of the Springfield Pike. Ethel's cousin, Rev. R. Eugene Shearer, a student at Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, officiated at the wedding, with some 200 attendees present. News of the marriage was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Their marriage lasted for a baker's dozen of years, and they lived in the rural outskirts of Connellsville. At the age of 47, Ethel contracted cancer of the uterus. She was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital. Over the next five months, her life ebbed away and she succumbed at the age of 48 on Nov. 14, 1955. Her remains were lowered into repose in the Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run. The widowed Homer dwelled in Connellsville in 1968 and along the Springfield Pike in 1976. He died in 1988.
~ Daughter Anna Violet (Hall) Friend ~
Daughter Anna Violet Hall (1892-1956) was born on Oct. 22, 1892 in Maple Summit.
As a 17-year-old in 1910, unmarried, she lived at home and was a school teacher.
She married Clyde B. Friend (June 30, 1885-1968), the son of Albert S. and Carrie (Brooks) Friend of Mill Run. They dwelled in Stewart Township near Mill Run.
The Friends bore five children -- Ronald Hall Friend, James Albert Friend, Earl W. Friend, Norma Mary Crago and Virginia Kessler.
Said the Daily Courier, Clyde was a "farmer and was a school board member for more than 35 years, serving on the Stewart Township board and later the Ohiopyle-Stewart Joint School Board. He was former treasurer of the school board and former Stewart Township supervisor. He was a member of Mill Run Grange No. 1109 and the Mill Run Baptist Church." Clyde retired as school board treasurer in December 1961 after three decades of service. He was considered an "ardent" sports fan and an "avid" reader of the Daily Courier.
Anna also was vitally involved in the community. Said the Daily Courier, "A member of the Mill Run Grange, she was also active in the Mill Run Baptist church, of which she was a member, and its Sunday school. She was a former teacher in the Stewart Township schools."
In February 1942, for the token sum of a dollar, the Friends sold an 88-acre tract in Stewart Township to Edgar J. Kaufmann, owner of Kaufmann's Department Store in Pittsburgh and of the famed Fallingwater home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The news was reported in the Uniontown Evening Standard.
Anna held an informal surprise birthday party and chicken dinner for Clyde at his 61st birthday in 1946. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "Mr. Friend knew that members of the family would be hone, but was under the impression that they were coming to pay honor to Earl Friend, son of the Friends, who returned recently from the South Pacific. The home was beautifully decorated with roses. The honoree was presented with a purse of money." Among those attending the party were cousins James "Franklin" and Ida (Burkholder) Younkin of Mill Run and Lloyd Jackson and Ollie (Harbaugh) Hall Sr. of Morgantown, WV.
Burdened with hypertensive heart disease and bronchial asthma, Anna contracted pneumonia and passed away on Dec. 15, 1956, at the age of 64, at Connellsville State Hospital. She rests for eternity in the Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run, with Rev. James Seefried officiating at her funeral service. The Daily Courier ran an obituary.
Clyde outlived her by a dozen years. On his 82nd birthday in June 1967, he received a surprise birthday party at the home of his married daughter Virginia Kessler in Greensburg, with the event covered in the Daily Courier.
He died unexpectedly at home at the age of 82 on March 3, 1968. Among his surviving offspring were 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Son Ronald Hall Friend (1915-1969) was born on July 21, 1915 in Mill Run, Fayette County. He never married and went by the nicknames "Ronnie" and "Taby." Over the years, Ronald and his father owned and operated a dairy farm in Mill Run, providing their products to the Connellsville Farmers Dairy. Later they went out of the dairy business and began to raise beef cattle. Ronald also earned a living through his labor at the Mastowsky and Fullem lumber mill in nearby Normalville. He was a longtime member of the Indian Creek Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon. He also belonged to the Mill Run Grange. He died on the next to last day of 1969, at the age of 55, suffering a fatal heart attack in the barn after a day's work.
Son James Albert Friend (1916-1984) was born on Nov. 9, 1916 in Mill Run. On Oct. 23, 1935, when he was 18 years of age, he married 18-year-old Wilma "Cordella" Shipley (Oct. 16, 1917-2000), daughter of Albert and Goldie B. (Prinkey) Shipley. They were the parents of four daughters -- among them Zona Carolyn Harshman, Priscilla Ann Darby, Phyllis Foster and Juanita Wenman. Early in the marriage, Cordella is known to have hosted a meeting of the Seven Live Wire Sisters of the Mill Run Evangelical United Brethren Church, a group taught by her mother. Then as a young married couple, James and Cordella moved to Somerset in November 1937 where he obtained work as a laborer on the farm of William Bagley. Later, he was employed as a postal mail carrier for the U.S. Post Office in Connellsville. He also learned the trade of carpentry. Then on March 22, 1945, he joined the U.S. Armed Forces and took basic training at Bainbridge, MD. He and his brother Earl were pictured side-by-side in a story about their military service in the May 17, 1945 edition of the Connellsville Daily Courier. In the 1950s, they lived in Connellsville, with addresses of 404 South Pittsburgh Street and then at 234½ East Apple Street. Circa 1975, James worked for Bucyrus Erie Company of Glassport. The couple celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in October 1975 and were pictured in a related story in the Daily Courier. Sadly, James passed away in August 1984 at the age of 68. His death brought to a close their marriage which had endured for some 49 years. Cordella outlived her husband by 16 years and moved to Houston, TX to be near her married daughters Zona and Priscilla. She died in Houston at the age of 82 on June 6, 2000.
Great-granddaughter Shelly Darby married Donald Cooper.
Great-granddaughter Lisa Darby wedded Edward "Eddie" Barber.
Son Earl Willard Friend (1918-2007) was born on Aug. 7, 1918 in Mill Run, Fayette County. In 1939, when he would have been age 21, Earl wedded 21-year-old Mabel F. Romesburg (Jan. 8, 1918-1976), a resident of the Breakneck Road area and the daughter of Sherman and Tillie (Burkholder) Romesburg. News of their marriage license was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Once the knot was tied, Mabel received a surprise wedding shower as a gift from her friends with the Tried and True Class of the First United Brethren Church. The couple went on to produce five offspring -- Earl W. Friend Jr., Richard C. Friend, Pamela Fleming, Patricia Lynn Friend and Nancy Jane Friend. Sadly, daughter Patricia was born with serious birth defects, including epilepsy, cerebral palsy and eventually diabetes. At the age of about four, she was hospitalized at the Polk State School in Venango County, PA, where she spent three years and seven months until her death at age eight on March 19, 1956. Her remains were brought back to Mill Run for burial. In the early 1940s, Earl worked for the Hydril Company at New Brighton, Beaver County, PA. Then on March 22, 1945, six days after his brother James had enlisted, Earl joined the U.S. Armed Forces. He underwent basic training at Camp Croft, SC. For their gesture, the brothers were pictured in a Daily Courier article, headlined "Brothers, Both Fathers, Serve." Earl trained in engineering and mechanics and served for a time after the war's end in the Infantry Division in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in May 1946 at Camp Atterbury, IN and, once home, got his old job back at Hydril. Their home was in New Brighton during and after the war, but the family eventually returned to Mill Run/Ohiopyle. They were members of the Mill Run Grange and the Springfield Township Fire Department. The family also suffered heartbreak when daughter Nancy succumbed in infancy in 1962. Sadly, Mabel died at the age of 58 on Jan. 27, 1976 while a patient at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. An obituary was printed in the Daily Courier. Earl lived for another three-plus decades after his wife's death. He joined her in eternity on April 10, 2007.
Daughter Norma Mary Friend (1921-1978) was born on Sept. 7, 1921 in Mill Run, Fayette County. In about 1940, when she was age 18 or 19, she joined the nursing staff of Torrance State Hospital. Then at the age of 22, on Christmas morning 1943, she wedded 43-year-old George Arthur Crago (Aug. 29, 1900-1976), son of William Barlett and Jane (Fox) Crago of Greene County, PA. The wedding was held at the First Methodist Church of Blairsville, Indiana County, PA, with Rev. Arthur Sandberg officiating. Reported the Connellsville Daily Courier, "For her wedding, the bride chose a gold wool dress with black accessories, and a corsage of talisman roses, tied with silver ribbon." Afterward, the bridal party drove to Mill Run for a family turkey dinner at her parents' home. George had been married previously and brought a daughter to the second union, Mary Lou Kincaid.
For many years, they resided in Blairsville at the address of 416 Morewood Avenue. George was employed as manager of the Oldsmobile and International Sales and Service Agency at Blairsville. Later, he owned and operated his own business, Crago's Garage, for more than three decades. They were members of the First United Methodist Church of Blairsville, where George served on the governing board. He served a term as president of the Blairsville Kiwanis Club and devoted more than 15 years to underprivileged children. For his community work, he received the "Man of the Year Award" from the Blairsville Jaycees and by the Woodmen of the World. Norma continued to be employed at Torrance Hospital and was active with the Blairsville Women's Civic Club. In 1970, Norma and her niece Sylvia "Denise" Kessler traveled to New York City, toured the United Nations and attended a Broadway performance of Fiddler on the Roof. George died in Latrobe Area Hospital on May 18, 1976, ending their marital union which had lasted for 32 years. Rev. John W. Ford officiated at the funeral service, with interment in Blairsville Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Norma herself was in and out of hospitals during the 1970s and only outlived her husband by two years. With her health in serious decline, she relocated to Virginia to reside with her stepdaughter in Hampton, Hampton City. She was admitted to the James River Convalescent Home in Hampton, where she succumbed on Jan. 4, 1978 at the age of 56. Rev. John W. Ford officiated at her funeral service, with burial in Blairsville. The Latrobe (PA) Bulletin published an obituary. Several months after her death, at a meeting of the Blairsville Women's Civic Club, member Mrs. John Ackerson presented a tribute in Norma's memory, as reported in the Indiana Gazette.
Step-great-granddaughter Marilyn Lee Kincaid married Fred Whitley.
Step-great-granddaughter Brenda Jo Kincaid wedded (?) Hearn.
Daughter Virginia Friend (1933-2016) was born on Jan. 24, 1933 in Mill Run. At the age of 18, on Oct. 12, 1951, she married Warren Kessler (1929-living), son of Ralph and Beulah (Weaver) Kessler. They were the parents of Sylvia "Denise" Miner and Allen Kessler. At some point she was employed by Troutman's Department Store in Connellsville. The couple made a home in South Connellsville in the mid-1950s and in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA in 1967. While there, Virginia volunteered at the Greensburg Hospital. They eventually moved back to Mill Run, where Virginia was an active member of the Indian Creek Baptist Church as a Sunday School teacher and deaconess and belonged to the American Baptist Women's Ministries. They were members of the Mill Run Grange, and Virginia was chair of the Republic Committee of Stewart Township. On several occasions, she met the founder of this website. On July 5, 2016, as a resident of Hillside Estates in Connellsville, Virginia passed away at the age of 83. Pastor Chris McLaughlin and Pastor Carol Friend (her niece) led the funeral service at the family church, with interment in the adjacent cemetery. The family asked in an obituary that any memorial donations be made to A.B.W. Ministries of Indian Creek Baptist Church.
~ Daughter Mabel Ellen (Hall) Burkholder ~
Daughter Mabel Ellen Hall (1897-1983) was born in May 1897.
On June 15, 1918, when she was 21 years of age, she married 34-year-old William "Russell" Burkholder (Jan. 2, 1884-1971), the son of James "Wesley" and Harriet (Firestone) Burkholder.
They resided near Mill Run and did not reproduce.
Their farmhouse was located at the end of a long lane across the road from Hickman Chapel, next to a farm owned by the Hay family.
Demonstrating the thick tangle of interconnections between the families, Russell's half-brother Daniel McKinley Burkholder married cousin Kathryn Miner -- his half-sister Rebecca Burkholder married Otis "Freed" Minerd -- and his half sister Ida Alphretta Burkholder wedded James "Franklin" Younkin.
The Daily Courier said that Russell was a "timberworker and farmer and a former employee of the Western Maryland Railroad Co."
They were longtime members of the Mill Run United Methodist Church.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1930, as the Great Depression was beginning its long run, the Burkholders were listed as farmers making a home in Stewart Township. Among their near neighbors were Harbaugh and Sophia Hall, Herbert and Anna Ohler and Albert and Anna McNair.
The U.S. Census of 1940 shows the couple continuing to farm in Stewart Township, with neigh bors William and Sylvia Augustine, Frank and Maddie Greer, Jesse and Dorothy Rugg and Charles and Edna Burnworth.
On June 15, 1971, Russell and Mabel celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.
Russell passed away at Connellsville State General Hospital on Dec. 7, 1971, at the age of 87. Burial was in Imel Cemetery, with the funeral conducted by Rev. Samuel J. Weible.
Mabel lived as a widow for the final seven years of her life. She died in 1983.