Edward John Miner was born on Nov. 15, 1910 in West Washington, Washington County, PA, the son of Harry O. and Armena (Cain) Miner.
Ed was born about a month after the City of Washington celebrated its centennial. To commemorate the special event, a "Triumphal Arch" was erected in the city. Horses and carriages, as well as automobiles, are shown parked at the edges of the paved streets, giving a sense of the changing times into which Ed was born.
When Ed was age nine, in July 1919, he and his father attended a Sunday School picnic at Washington Park. While standing near the picnic pavilion, Ed watched with horror as his father collapsed, having suffered a massive stroke. The father was rushed home on a trolley and passed away that evening.
Ed kept close hold of memories of his father, sharing them with a grand-nephew many years later. Among them was of his father working with carpentry tools in the basement of their home on Fayette Street in Washington's west end. Another was of the father firing a shotgun out of an upstairs window one New Year's Eve.
On May 7, 1939, when he was age 29, and having dated for many years, Ed married 24-year-old Elizabeth "Anna" Beddow (1915-1990). She was the daughter of John Alvin and Effie Pearl (Armstrong) Beddow of Washington.
The Miners went on to have nine children -- Nancy Moonean Miner, John Edward Miner, Anna Margaret Addison, Juanita Moonean Lostetter, Kenneth Richard Miner, Deborah Babuscio, Barbara Foor, Harry "Alvin" Miner and Donald Miner.
Sadly, firstborn daughter Nancy Moonean Miner, who was born on Sept. 21, 1941, contracted lobar pneumonia in her infancy, and succumbed after two weeks at the tender age of six months and seven days, passing away on March 28, 1942. Her remains were laid to rest in the Beddow family lot in the Washington Cemetery.
They made their home for many decades at 1225 Summerlea Avenue in Washington. Anna was an early nurse in our family, graduating from the Washington Hospital School of Nursing in 1937.
The Washington Observer-Reporter reported that Anna "formed a nursery school at the old Third United Presbyterian Church, and was an active Girl Scout leader for many years."
Ed was a graduate of Washington High School, and as a young adult began working as a barber in Washington. He seemed to know everyone in town and everything that was happening. Among his customers was local entrepreneur and a second cousin, John "Wiley" Birch.
During World War II, Ed served in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Knox, KY, but because of stomach ulcer problems, was not sent overseas. Later, in 1959, he had two-thirds of his stomach surgically removed.
Ed was employed for 37 years at Jessop Steel Company in Washington, retiring at the age of 66 in 1976. He and Anna were members of the Third United Presbyterian Church of Washington, where he was a longtime treasurer of the Sunday School program.
Ed and Anna occasionally attended reunions of the Miner family, and are known to have attended a get-together at the home of his brother Odger in Hopewell, near Aliquippa, Beaver County, PA, in the late 1930s. Others pictured, left to right: Lynn and Grace (Miner) White, Ben and Armena (Cain) (Miner) Marshall, Odger Miner (front), Orlan Miner (rear), Monalea (Ullom) Miner, Helen (Proctor) Miner and Jessie (Miner) Schultz.
In October 1977, Ed traveled to Aliquippa to pay his respects at the funeral home viewing of his late sister-in-law, Monalea (Ullom) Miner. While visiting with family there, he was introduced to his grand-nephew, the founder of this website, and shared a number of stories about the family's history. The stories added fuel to the fire in the teenager's imagination about the old Miners of the past. Some years later, they reconnected again for deeper levels of sharing, travel and exploration.
In his spare time, Ed loved to sing in barbershop quartets. At one time he was lead with "The Miner Chords," which performed locally. (The group is pictured on this page, with Ed seated, second from left.)
Later, Ed was president and secretary/treasurer of the group "Presidents of Harmony," and a member of the Washington chapter of the SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America).
In May 1989, Ed and Anna celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a reception at their church. The Washington Observer-Reporter printed an article about their special event, including a photograph of the couple. A world champion barbershop quartet group from Houston, TX, in Pittsburgh for a national convention, made a special side trip to Washington to serenade them on their special day. The founder of this website was privileged to attend this happy family event and to shoot a number of photographs that day.
Sadly and unexpectedly, Anna died in the living room of their Summerlea Avenue home on Feb. 26, 1990, at the age of 75, while watching television with Ed. Her remains were laid to rest in Washington Cemetery, beside their infant daughter Nancy, in the Beddow family plot.
Ed survived Anna by six years, and kept busy with his barbershop group. In March 1993, he received an award from the Presidents of Harmony, at an emotional ceremony at the American Legion in Washington, for his many years of service. He received a beautiful plaque, seen here.
Ed's eldest son John, who formerly operated the Valley Skating Center in Donora, PA, held Miner Reunions at the rink in the early 1990s for Ed and his brothers and sisters and their offspring.
Over the years, Ed played a key role in what has become the national Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor research and reunion, and, ultimately, to the creation of this website. In 1983, his grand-nephew Mark A. Miner came to visit seeking family information. With an incredible memory for details, Ed provided important information and insights about the Miner history. He also took his nephew to see the house on Fayette Street where he had been born and grew up.
Over more than a decade, they traveled throughout Washington County visiting distant cousins of the Birch, Bedillion and Farabee branches. They also went on day-trips to visit cousins in Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. One of their discoveries -- the faded Civil War grave marker of Ed's grand-uncle and aunt, Samuel and Susan (Miner) Birch at Prosperity Cemetery -- was our Photo of the Month in February 2006.
In the fall of 1991, Ed was photographed by the founder of this website, standing at the long-forgotten grave marker of his great-grandparents, Henry and Polly (Younkin) Minerd. The marker sits in an overgrown farmer's field near New Freeport, Greene County, PA. It had been placed there circa 1946 by Ed's uncle, William Allen Miner (known in the family as "Uncle Will").
On Feb. 10, 1996, after a gradual decline in health, Ed died quietly in his sleep. He was buried beside Anna on a snow-flurried Valentine's Day.
From time to time, their youngest son Donald has sent letters to the editor which were published in the Washington Observer-Reporter. In about 2005, he opened a restaurant on Chestnut Street (Route 40) in Washington, named "Miner's Original Loafers," across the street from Eat N Park. A photo of the storefront is seen here.
This page is in loving tribute to Ed and Anna Miner by an ever-grateful grand-nephew.
Copyright © 2001-2004, 2006, 2010, 2017 Mark A. Miner