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Albert W. Inks


Albert and Etta
Albert W. Inks
was born on Jan. (or June) 8, 1871 near Farmington, Fayette County, PA, the son of Andrew J. and Minerva (Minerd) Inks.

He and his in-laws are prominently mentioned in a history book entitled Fairchance Through The Years. According to the history, Albert worked as a miller in a prominent flour mill that was said to be the "second oldest building in Fairchance."

Little is known of his early years. In 1903, Albert sold a town lot in Fairchance to his mother. 

At some point, he married Etta M. Frederick (May 24, 1874-1959), the daughter of Augustus "August" and Ruth (Miller) Frederick. She was a native of Menallen near Uniontown, Fayette County.

They had no children of their own, but adopted an orphaned cousin as their daughter.

The adoption was a result of the untimely deaths of Albert's cousin Elmer Maurice Whetzel, who in turn was married to another first cousin, Hazel (Whetzel) Whetzel. Elmer died of a heart attack in July 1913, and Hazel passed away five months later, in January 1914. The Whetzels left behind five children, ranging in age from eight years to infancy. The children were split up and while some were raised by friends and family, others were committed to the Children's Aid Society of Fayette County. Albert and Etta immediately took one of the girls, Edith Sevilla Whetzel, into their home. They legally adopted Edith on March 20, 1914, and raised her under their "Inks" name.

Point Marion, PA, home of the Inkses in 1918

Book naming Albert
Albert and Etta resided in Point Marion, Fayette County, PA circa 1918. By 1920, they had moved to the home of Etta's parents on Railroad Street in Fairchance, Fayette County.

According to the 1989 book, Fairchance Through The Years:

     In addition to the major businesses and industries..., the borough of Fairchance relied on the services and products of a number of smaller industries and businesses. One of these businesses was a flour mill which eventually became the Banner Feed Mill and operated until 1979.
     ...It is known that the A.M. Frederick Jr. family, along with Albert Inks, owned and operated the flour mill before the Rallys bought it [in December 1933]. Both the Frederick and Inks families lived on property directly behind the feed mill. The Frederick's property consisted of several houses and small buildings. One of these, a green house, was owned at one time by John White, of East Church Street. 
     The properties were eventually sold to the Albani family with the exception of the Frederick's largest home. It was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Reed. Reed, a local undertaker, was affiliated with the Sharps and later, the J.W. Goldsboro Funeral Home. After selling their properties, the Frederick and Inks families moved from this area.

Inks flour mill pictured
in the Fairchance book
The book goes on to say that the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad "served several businesses" in Fairchance, including the Frederick mill, by building sidings that were "used extensively over the years."  

While in Fairchance in 1938, Etta was a founding member of the Fort Gaddis Unit of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The history says that she was elected "regent for the newly formed chapter" which held its inaugural meeting on Jan. 24, 1938, at the home of Mrs. William S. McIntyre, North Morgantown Street. At the meeting, Etta had the privilege of introducing Mrs. Joseph M. Caley of Philadelphia, who was the DAR's State Regent of Pennsylvania.

In addition, the Inkses were members of the Presbyterian church in Fairchance, where Albert served as an elder, and "represented his church at a General Assembly session," said the Gettysburg Times.

Sometime after 1941, Albert and Etta migrated to Tarentum, Allegheny County, PA. Then by 1945, they were on the move again, to New Cumberland, Cumberland County, PA. Why they made these relocations is unknown, but may have been for employment or business reasons.


L-R: Harriet Frederick, Etta Inks, Mary Bryan, unknown and Edith Toward - at the Mill House, Arendtsville, PA in 1945


In 1949, Albert and Etta were in Grantham, Cumberland County, at the time of death of Albert's brother Calvin. In 1953, they relocated for good to Arendtsville, near Gettysburg, Adams County, PA. They resided at the Robins Home on Buford Avenue, and were members of the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church.

Etta was burdened with heart problems, and then broke her left shoulder. She died at age 84 at the Warner Hospital, Arendtsville on Jan. 15, 1959. Pallbearers at her funeral were John Frederick, Walter Frederick, John Walter, J.E. Wells, Dr. Herbert Bryan, Oren Wilson and Norman Toward. Her remains were laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery, Arendtsville.

Toward the end, suffering from prostate cancer, hypertension and senility, Albert was admitted to the Adams County Home in Cumberland, perhaps also known as the Green Acres Nursing Home. There, he passed away on Feb. 18, 1962, at the age of 91. Funeral services were led by Rev. Robert MacAskill. Burial was beside Etta. In an obituary, the Hanover (PA) Evening Sun said that "During most of his lifetime he had been employed as a miller in Fayette County and hadlived in the Adams County area since his retirement 25 years ago." 


~ Daughter Edith Sevilla (Inks) Toward ~

Uniontown Hospital
Daughter Edith Sevilla Whetzel (1908-1951) was born on Jan. 23, 1908 in Brownsville, Fayette County.

She was a young girl at the death of both parents, and was adopted by the Inkses on March 20, 1914 and took the Inks name as her own.

Eith graduated from Columbia Hospital School of Nursing in Wilkinsburg near Pittsburgh and became a registered nurse. She is known to have been a nurse employed at the Uniontown Hospital circa 1932. 

On April 24, 1936, Edith was united in matrimony with Norman Toward ( ? - ? ). In announcing the marriage, the Uniontown Morning Herald reported that the ceremony was held in the Inks residence, by the hand of Rev. C. Dewey Smitley, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Fairchance.

Together they bore a daughter, Etta Elizabeth "Beth" Keck. 

The pair first established a home in Detroit. They moved in about 1948 to Grantham, Cumberland County, PA.

Sadness blanketed the family when, having been stricken for three years with cancer of the uterus, Edith passed away in Grantham at age 43 on Nov. 11, 1951. Rev. William J. Jackson led the funeral service. An obituary appeared in the Carlisle (PA) Sentinel and her hometown newspapers, the Connellsville Daily Courier and Uniontown Morning Herald.

Norman appears to have remarried and in 1968 was in Mechanicsburg at 419 East Marble Street. 

They are buried near her adoptive parents in the Fairview Cemetery in Arendtsville.

Daughter Etta Beth Toward ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She lived in Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill (1953) and Pittsburgh, PA. In December 1963 or early 1964, she was back in Mechanicsburg and was joined in wedlock with Kenneth Paul Keck (April 20, 1942-2010), son of Clyde and Miriam A. (Stewart) Keck of Perry County, PA. News of their marriage license was published in the Carlisle Sentinel. Their union endured for 47 years. The Kecks were the parents of a son, Kenneth Paul Keck Jr. They dwelled in 1967 at 43 East North Street in or near Carlisle. During the Vietnam War, in February 1966, Kenneth joined the U.S. Army. He trained at Fort Dix, NJ, Fort Ord, CA and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He was assigned to the Reconnaissance Platoon, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry of the American Division's 11th Light Infantry Brigade. He was stationed at Duc Pho, Vietnam in March 1968 when he was promoted to staff sergeant. In this role, trained in jungle warfare, he was engaged in search-and-destroy missions as well as search-and-clear operations and, reported the Carlisle Sentinel, was "in the field 90 per cent of the time." He received a Purple Heart medal and the Silver Star in recognition of his sacrifices. After the end of the war, Kenneth remained in military service. He was assigned to the Mechanicsburg Naval Depot to supervise ships missile systems. He died at the age of 68, on May 4, 2010, in Carlisle's Manor Care Health Services. In an obituary in the Sentinel, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to New Hope Church of God.

  • Grandson Kenneth Paul Keck Jr. (1967- ? ) was born in 1967. He entered into marriage with Ginger ( ? - ? ). Their residence in 2010 was in Boiling Springs, PA.

Copyright © 2001-2005, 2007-2008, 2020, 2022 Mark A. Miner
Minerd.com extends thanks to Bert Frederick for sharing content for this biography.