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Louisa (May) Beltz
(1842-1876)

 

Louisa (May) Beltz was born on Dec. 26, 1842 in Bedford County, PA, the daughter of Leonard and Maria "Catherine" (Younkin) May.

On Dec. 12, 1859, when she was age 17 and he 23, Louisa was joined in matrimony with Samuel G. Beltz (May 10, 1836-1921), also spelled "Belts." The nuptials were held at her father's home, officiated by Peter Lehman. He was the son of Jacob and Nancy (Conrad) Beltz of Bedford County. Samuel stood 5 feet, 3½ inches tall, with sandy hair and hazel eyes.

They are believed to have produced these children -- Manda Catherine Beltz, Franklin B. Beltz, Nancy Margaret Beltz, Sarah C. Beltz, James P. Beltz and William E. Beltz.

During the midst of the Civil War, when the Union Army ranks ran low and a federal draft was instituted, Samuel was drafted on July 5, 1864. His name appeared on a list of local draftees published in the Bedford Inquirer. He was assigned to the 88th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company G. His term ended on or about March 31, 1865, and he re-enlisted when President Lincoln called all drafted men to report. He recalled that "We were laying close to Everett Pa. (formerly Bloody Run) about one week after my reporting. From there we went to Chambersburg Pa. where I was examined and from there we went to Carlisle, Pa. and from there we were transferred to Virginia."

At that time, his company was commanded by Capt. Aaron Bright Jr. While on duty at Arlington Heights, VA on May 18, 1865, a month after the war ended, he contracted fever and diarrhea. The ailments were due, he wrote, to "over fatigue in marching from Richmond Va. Was treated one week in Division Hospital and then sent to Augur U.S. Gen'l. Hospital about 1st June 65 where I remained until discharged and was not able to get home without laying over."

After the war, Samuel returned home. He and Louise moved their family on Dec. 1, 1865 to Woodstock, Champaign County, OH. They stayed there for five years, and Samuel worked as a blacksmith. His parents also relocated to Woodstock and lived next door when the 1870 federal census was taken.

 

Grave of Samuel's 2nd wife,
Sarah (Wolford) Beltz,, 1896

They returned in December 1870 to Hyndman, Bedford County. In preparing to relocate, Samuel advertised in the Urbana (OH) Union that he was going to hold a public auctionon along the Urband and Woodstock Pike, three-and-a-half-miles from Woodstock. Among the assets to be sold were a story and a half brick house, blacksmith shop and three acres of land, including "a splendid Peach and Apple Orchard, and a never-failing well of water."

Sadly, Louisa passed away in Bard, Bedford County on May 14, 1876. Daughter Sarah was present at the time of death. Her brother Daniel H. May is known to have attended the funeral service and burial. Her place of burial seems to be lost to time.

In 1877, he was awarded a federal government pension for his military service. [Invalid App. #243.385 - Cert. #512.875]

Samuel married again twice. His second bride was Sarah Ann Wolford (Feb. 16, 1840-1890). A record of the union was made in the United Evangelical Church at Hyndman.

They became the parents of Anna Beltz (born in 1877) and Adam G. Beltz (1882). The second family made a home in or near Hyndman in Londonderry Township, Bedford County.

Sadly, Sarah died at Fossilville on May 9, 1896, with burial in Lybarger Cemetery in Madley, Bedford County. Friends J.W. and Mary Stouffer of Fossilville recalled that they "saw her after she died and before she was buried."

Marrying a third time, on Nov. 22, 1896, Samuel was joined in matrimony with Laura "Lovena" (Dunlap) Mason (April 20, 1855-1935), daughter of John and Sarah (Tharp) Dunlap and a native of Bridgeport (Hyndman). Rev. A.C. Miller officiated.

Lovena previously was divorced from William E. Mason (decreed on Oct. 14, 1896) and brought two daughters, Rachel Moreland and Georgia Gardner, to the marriage. Rachel and her husband Daniel, and Georgia Gardner, lived in Akron, OH in 1916.

 

Unpaved Washington Street in Hyndman, Bedford County

 

The Beltzes made news in July 1902 while picking huckleberries on Will's Mountain near Hyndman. Samuel was bitton on the right hand by a copperhead snake. Reported the Bedford Gazette, "A handkerchief was drawn tightly around the wrist above the wound and the venomous reptile killed. The couple at once started to return to their home at Hyndman, but before reaching their destination Mr. Beltz's arm was swollen to an enormous size and the pain became so intense that his life was despaired of. When they arrived at home Dr. Jones was sent for and by a prompt response and skilful treatment succeeded in relieving the sufferings of the unfortunate man, who is now on the road to recovery." The story was so sensational that it was covered in the Altoona Tribune, Indiana Democrat, Fulton County News and Tyrone Daily Herald.

 

Samuel and his 3rd wife, Hyndman Cemetery

He retired from the blacksmith trade in about 1908 and is known to have endured back pain. Their home during that time was on Church Street in Hyndman. At Christmastime 1908, Samuel gave an endorsement for Doan's Kidney Pills which was published in the Gazette: "I suffered for some time from backache and other annoyances, arising from diseased kidneys. When I leanred of Doan's Kidney Pills I procured them and it required just one box to effect a complete cure. I am today without a sign of kidney trouble and in viewe of my experience gladly add my name to the list of endorsers..." The endorsement was reprinted at intervals during 1909-1913.

Lovena hosted a dinner at their home in May 1912 to celebrate the 82nd birthday of her mother. Among those attending were Annie Horner and Children, Mr. and Mrs. John Dunlap and Charles Dunlap, and Hannah Smith.

Suffering from insufficient flow of blood to his heart, Samuel succumbed at the age of 84 on Feb. 3, 1921. Interment was in Hyndman. [Find-a-Grave]

Lovena outlived Samuel by 14 years, remaining in Hyndman. Just 16 days after becoming a widow, she was awarded her late husband's Civil War pension and received monthly checks for the balance of her life. [Widow App. #1.170.172 - Cert. #908.738]

On Sept. 18, 1932, Lovena suffered a stroke and became paralyzed. A nurse was needed for constant care, and justice of the peace B.C. May wrote to the Bureau of Pensions in Washington, asking for $25 per month as reimbursement for nursing services. Then in October, she had a second stroke. Medications were procured from Charles R. Rhodes, a druggist and chemist in Hyndman.

She succumbed from the effects of kidney and heart valve leakage just four days after her 80th birthday on April 24, 1935. Mrs. Annie Horner of Hyndman signed the official certificate of death. Her grandson Samuel R. Moreland, living in Hyndman, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions the day of Lovena's passig, asking for funds to cover the cost of burial.

 

~ Daughter Manda Catherine Beltz ~

Daughter Manda Catherine Beltz (1859- ? ) was born on May 22, 1859.

She may not have survived childhood. More will be added when learned.

 

~ Son Franklin B. Beltz ~

Son Franklin B. Beltz (1860- ? ) was born on Aug. 14, 1860.

Nothing more about his life is known.

~ Daughter Nancy Margaret Beltz ~

Daughter Nancy Margaret Beltz (1861- ? ) was born on Oct. 30, 1861.

She may not have survived childhood.

~ Daughter Sarah C. (Beltz) Robb ~

Daughter Sarah C. Beltz (1865-1937) was born on March 12, 1865 in West End, Juniata Township, Bedford County. She is not to be confused with Sarah (Corley) Robb who married Samuel Robb of Hyndman, Bedford Couinty.

She was 12 years of age when her mother died. Then when she was age 16 or 17, in 1880, the federal census of Juniata shows her living with her grandparents Leonard and Maria "Catherine" (Younkin) May.

In 1882, when she would have been age 18, she married 25-year-old Jesse/Jessie Robb (Sept. 4, 1856-1918), son of John and Catherine (McVicker) Robb. Evidence suggests that he was married previously to and divorced from Christena C. Miller (1863-1944). As such, he is thought to have brought a son to the second union, Irvin Wilson Robb, born in 1882.

Jesse and Sarah produced five children -- among them Loretta Heffley, Sarah Robb, James Harrison Robb, Samuel "Franklin" Robb and Louisa Robb.

Jesse was a longtime blacksmith and farmer. Circa 1900, the Robbs lived in Juniata Township, and in 1905, he purchased two tracts from Sarah's father, in Londonderry Township, for the price of $1,900.

They dwelled on Second Avenue in Hyndman in 1910 and in the community of Kegg in 1914. Sarah is known to have hosted a visit from her niece Mrs. Sarah Frost of Frostburg, MD in June 1911. She spent the winter of 1916 with relatives in Cincinnati before returning to Hyndman in May 1916.

The family was plunged into grief on the fateful day of Nov. 3, 1918. The 62-year-old Jesse fell and landed on his head, causing what a physician wrote as "instant death." The remains were buried in Old Union Cemetery in Buffalo Mills.

Sarah outlived her husband by nearly two decades.

By the 1930s, she was living in north Meyersdale, Somerset County. She became ill in the winter of 1933 and went to stay with her daughter Loretta Heffley, with her brother James traveling from Akron for a visit.

At the age of 72, suffering from hardening of the arteries and kidney ailments, she died of cerebral bleeding on Nov. 3, 1937 while in the home of her married daughter Loretta Heffley on North Street. Her remains were laid to rest in Union Cemetery near West End. Daughter Loretta of Meyersdale signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Daughter Loretta Robb (1883-1967) was born in 1883 in Bedford County. In 1905, she was united in wedlock with Franklin Pierce "Frank" Heffley (1880-1943), son of Francis and Jane "Jennie" Heffley of Meyersdale. They produced five children -- Mary R. Heffley, Melda Black, Mrs. Wedo Polvinale, Frank P. Heffley and Major Donald L. Heffley. Sadly, daughter Mary died on Feb. 4, 1910 at the age of one. For many years, their home was at 411 North Street in Meyersdale. Frank worked in Meyersdale as a meat cutter. Frank was stricken with cerebral apoplexy and died on Feb. 13, 1943 at the age of 62. Loretta passed away in Meyersdale Community Hospital at the age of 84 on May 14, 1967. Burial was in Union Cemetery in Meyersdale, and Rev. Donald Hursh officiated. An obituary was published in the Meyersdale Republican. [Find-a-Grave]

  • Granddaughter Melda Heffley (1908- ? ) married (?) Black and made a home in 1967 on Neville Island, near Pittsburgh.
  • Granddaughter (?) Heffley wedded Wedo Polvinale. They resided in Meyersdale in 1967.
  • Grandson Franklin Pierce "Frank" Heffley ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). As a boy growing up in Meyersdale, Somerset County, he is known to have spent visits with his Robb grandparents at Kegg, Bedford County. Franklin married Lois Schrock. They dwelled in 1967 in Garrett, Somerset County.
  • Grandson Major Donald L. Heffley lived in Washington, DC in 1967.

Daughter Alice Robb (1884- ? ) was born in Oct. 1884.

Son James Harrison Robb (1888- ? ) was born in April 1888. In mid-September 1914, he appears to have eloped to Cumberland, MD to marry Zella Mae Diehl ( ? - ? ), daughter of James Diehl of Manns Choice. After the wedding, reported the Bedford Gazette, "they went to Meyersdale to attend the Fair. They returned to the home of the bride Friday evening and were given a serenading." He dwelled in Manns Choice, Bedford County in 1967.

Son Samuel Franklin Robb (1893-1918) was born on Dec. 6, 1893 in Kegg, Bedford County. He grew up as a farmer and pursued this work in young manhood. He died on Dec. 14, 1918, reputedly of influenza, just a few weeks before his 25th birthday.

 

The "inverted forest" of Wonderland Caverns in Manns Choice

 

~ Son James P. Lewis Beltz ~

Son James P. Lewis Beltz (1869- ? ) was born on Jan. 18, 1869 in Champaign County, OH. He was but a boy when his mother died.

When he was about 22 years of age, circa 1891, James was married to 17-year-old Edith B. Sturtz (Aug. 26, 1874-1933), daughter of Solomon and Eva (Logue) Sturtz of Bedford County.

They produced a family of three children, among them Earl J. Beltz.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the Beltzes resided in Meyersdale, Somerset County, where James eked out a living as a coal miner. That year, his brothers William and Adam, and Edith's brother Henry, lived under their roof.

The Meyersdale Republican reported in June 1909 that the Beltzes had "departed Sunday for a visit with friends at Edmund, Kansas. They expect to be absent three months."

The 1910 census shows that the couple had remained in Meyersdale, but suggests that all three of their children were dead. James' occupation that year was as a carpenter for the railroad.

James was a business partner with W.H. Habel in investments in coal.

James and Edith relocated in about 1916 to Akron, Summit County, OH. There, he found work as an apartment building janitor, a position he held when the federal census was made in 1920. Their home in 1920 was on Park Street. He and his partner Habel jointly invested in wells and a farm in Ohio.

By 1930, census records show that James' primary occupation was farming, and that the couple had moved to a farm in Manchester, Franklin Township, Summit County. Reported the Republican, while on this farm, "they accumulated a comfortable fortune by thrift and conscientious living and investing in real estate and gas wells." They belonged to the Akron Bethel Evangelical United Brethren Church.

In March 1933, James is known to have traveled back to Meyersdale to visit with his sister Sarah Robb who was ailing. He made a return visit in July 1936, as noted in the gossip columns of the Cumberland (MD) Sunday Times.

For the last several years of her life, Edith was burdened with diabetes. Sadly, on Aug. 19, 1933, after the onset of heart disease, she succumbed to the illnesses. Burial was in Clinton Cemetery, OH, following a funeral service conducted by a pastor with the Evangelical Church. Those traveling to attend the funeral were Habel, James' niece Loretta Heffley and her son Frank, and Lewis Mankamyer and son Howard from Meyersdale. An obituary in the Republican said that she "was beloved by all who knew her. She was well known as a housekeeper of exceptional ability. During her stay here she won first prize each year at the Meyersdale Fair for the excelent [sic] bread she exhibited."

James remarried on Sept. 3, 1938, at the age of 69, to the 52-year-old widow Mary H. (Corfield) Myers (April 24, 1886- ? ), an immigrant from England and the daughter of William and Phoebia (Hadley) Corfield. News of their marriage license was printed in the Akron Beacon Journal. Rev. C.U. Ruhlman of Akron officiated. They dwelled in 1940 at 6285 Manchester Road in Manchester. James, now age 71, had no occupation.

At the age of 92, James was gathered away by the Angel of Death on March 31, 1961 in Manchester. An obituary in the Beacon Journal noted that the funeral was to be co-officiated by Rev. Ralph Cormany and Rev. James Miller, with interment in Clinton Cemetery. It reported that he "had lived in Manchester for 40 years, moving here from Pennsylvania," also listed a surviving sister "Mrs. Ida Null" of Central City, PA who has not yet been connected to the known family.

Mary survived for another seven years and remained in their home. After what the Beacon Journal called a "long illness," she was admitted to Barberton Citizens Hospital and died there at the age of 82 on July 19, 1968. She was survived by a brother, Thomas Siviter, of Pittsburg, CA.

Son Earl J. Beltz (1892- ? ) was born in Nov. 1892. He may have been deceased by 1910.

 

~ Son William E. Beltz ~

Son William E. Beltz (1874- ? ) was born on Sept. or Dec. 4, 1874 in Bard, Bedford County. He was only two years old at the time of his mother's untimely death.

At the age of 25, in 1900, he was single and lived with his married bother James in Meyersdale, Somerset County. At that time, he labored as a coal miner.

His paper trail has gone cold.

 

~ Samuel's Daughter from the 2nd Marriage, Anna Beltz ~

Daughter Anna Beltz (1877- ? ) was born on Nov. 15, 1877.

 

~ Samuel's Son from the 2nd Marriage, Adam G. Beltz ~

Son Adam G. Beltz (1882- ? ) was born on May or Dec. 31, 1882.

Single at the age of 18, in 1900, he boarded in the home of his brother James in Meyersdale, Somerset County, and worked as a brickyard laborer. He also spent time that year in Fossilville, Bedford County, earning income as a farmer.

On Aug. 20, 1900, the 18-year-old Adam entered into marriage with 15-year-old Sylvia Wolford ( ? - ? ), daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Wolford of Fossilville. Justice of the peace Josiah A. Ritchey officiated at the wedding held in the county seat of Bedford. News of their marriage license was published in the Bedford Gazette.

The marriage lasted for about years, until July 15,1906, when Adam moved out. Sylvia sued for divorce in November 1908, citing "wilful and malicious desertion." Adam was ordered to appear in court to defend himself. He appears to have left the county altogether at that time. The county sheriff published a notice in the Gazette in January and February 1909 stating that if he did not show up, a divorce would be granted in his absence. Then in March, a master was appointed in the case to make a final recommendation to the judge. The divorce finally was granted on or about April 22, 1909.

 

Copyright 2016-2018, 2020-2021 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by MayHouse.org, the late Olive (Rowan) Duff and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan.