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Kathryn (Miner) Burkholder


Kathryn and Daniel Burkholder

Kathryn (Miner) Burkholder was born on Feb. 18, 1895 in her parents’ home in Wilmerding, Allegheny County, PA, the daughter of William Henry "Squire" and Sara Jane (Basinger) Minerd.

Prior to marriage, Kathryn was employed as a school teacher “in the former Springfield Township schools for five years,” said the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier

On Jan. 11, 1920, at the age of 24, Kathryn married 19-year-old Daniel McKinley Burkholder (1900-1988), the son of James Wesley and Jenny (Hartzell) Burkholder of the family of Michael Ansell Firestone. Kate was five years older than her husband.

The Minerd-Miner and Burkholder families were close. Daniel's sister, Rebecca Burkholder, was married to Kathryn's cousin Otis "Freed" Minerd, and another sister, Ida Alpharetta Burkholder, married double-cousin James "Franklin" Younkin.


Kathryn, likely before marriage

The Burkholders went on to produce three children – Helen Marie Ohler, Mildred Irene Herbert and Vivian Joan Burkholder.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1930, the Burkholders lived two houses away from her married brother Raymond Miner and family. Over the years, he labored as a coal miner as well as a farmer.

Kathryn and Daniel were charter members of the Church of the Open Door in Connellsville. Interested in preserving their family legacy, Daniel and his brother in law James "Franklin" Younkin, along with Roy Schmuch, D.G. Younkin and Kenneth Shroyer, incorporated the Imel Cemetery Association in Springfield Township, Fayette County, to provide care for the old family cemetery. Appearing in court in November 1945 to support their application, they told a judge that "The purpose of the corporation is to improve the burying ground in which these men have relatives buried."

In the fall of 1946, Daniel was employed at the Colonial Mine of the H.C. Frick Coke Company. He was injured on Nov. 11 of that year, when an axe he was swinging, intending to split a post, glanced away and cut his left foot. He was taken to Brownsville General Hospital.

He retired from U.S. Steel Corporation’s Robena Mine, located in Carmichaels, Greene County, PA. Operated by the H.C. Frick Coke Co., it was the largest coal mine in the world at that time, and considered to be one of the most modern in the industry.

Daniel and their son in law Lewis Cecil Ohler also were laborers in the construction of Fallingwater®, the house over a waterfall designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that is considered America’s “most famous modern house.” Daniel was a general worker, and Lewis helped to quarry stone from nearby sites, also handling stonework and plumbing services.


Above: the Imel Cemetery which Daniel helped to maintain. Below: belt lines distribute coal into blending bins at U.S. Steel's Robena Mine in Carmichaels, PA



Book picturing Kathryn

The Burkholders' address in the 1950s was 1405 Hawthorne Street in Connellsville. Grief shrouded the family in April 1957 when their 19-year-old daughter Vivian Joan passed away after suffering for years with diabetes and hypertension.

Kathryn passed away on Oct. 12, 1985, at age 90.

Daniel outlived her by just three years, and died at age 88 on Dec. 14, 1988. 

In 1994, a photograph of Kathryn among a group of teachers at the 1912 Normal Institute was published in the book, Yesteryear in Ohiopyle and Surrounding Communities, Vol. II, compiled by author Marci Lynn McGuinness.

In 1997,she was honored at our national Minerd-Miner-Minor Reunion for her work as an educator. She is mentioned and pictured in the year’s reunion booklet, A Sense of Wonder.

In 2004, Daniel and Lewis were honored among many family members for their longtime work at Fallingwater, at our reunion in Kingwood and Mill Run, PA. Click here to view our special reunion booklet.


The Burkholders' grave at Indian Creek Baptist Cemetery


~ Daughter Helen Marie (Burkholder) Ohler ~

Daughter Helen Marie Burkholder (1921-2010) was born on Feb. 8, 1921 in Indian Head, Fayette County.

In 1940, at the age of about 19, she married Lewis Cecil Ohler (Sept. 5, 1918-1993). More than 100 relatives and friends threw a "miscellaneous shower" for the couple at Kaufmann's camp, including games and lunch. The Daily Courier reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Ohler were the recipients of many beautiful and useful gifts... Mr. Ohler is employed by E.J. Kaufmann of Pittsburgh. They have gone to housekeeping in the house of Mrs. Lucinda Ohler."

The couple produced four children -- Helen "Lorraine" Ohler, Richard L. Ohler, Kathleen Pratt and Kenneth D. Ohler.

Lewis and his father-in-law were actively involved in the construction of Fallingwater, owned by the Kaufmanns. He helped to quarry stone from nearby sites and provided stonework and plumbing services

The Ohlers resided in Shanksville, Somerset County in 1940. By 1945, they relocated to Pittsburgh. Returning to Connellsville, Lewis operated a plumbing and heating business at 207 West Blake Avenue. Circa 1961, he placed advertising in the Daily Courier promoting Lawson Rocket Automatic Water Heaters, furnishing rust-free hot water for the laundry, kitchen and bath.

They were longtime members of the Church of the Open Door, with Helen serving as pianist for many years. Their address circa 1976 was 207 West Blake Avenue.

Lewis passed into eternity on Jan. 2, 1993.

Helen outlived him by 17 years. Toward the end, she became a resident of LaFayette Manor in Uniontown. She succumbed there at age 89 on April 26, 2010, with interment in Normalville Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Daily Courier.

Daughter Helen "Lorraine" Ohler resided in Connellsville.

Son Richard L. Ohler married Carol. They dwelled in West Mifflin in 1976 and in Uniontown in 2010.

Daughter Kathleen Rae Ohler (1953-2013) was born on St. Patrick's Day 1953 in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. As a young woman, she worked for Montgomery Ward in the Laurel Mall in Uniontown and remained there for three decades. On Nov. 27, 1976, in nuptials held at the Church of the Open Door in Connellsville, she wedded Walter F. Pratt ( ? - ? ), son of William C. Pratt of Uniontown. Rev. Samuel N. Harper officiated, and the wedding reception was held in the Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville. News of the wedding was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. The couple lived in Connellsville. A graduate of the Fayette Institute of Commerce and Technology, Walter was employed by Goodwill Industries of Fayette County. They were the parents of William Pratt. Over the years, the Pratts were members of the church in which they were wed. Sadly, Kathleen died at the age of 60 in Highland Hospital on May 14, 2013, with an obituary printed in the Daily Courier.

  • Grandson William Pratt resided with his parents in Connellsville in 2013.

Son Kenneth D. Ohler was joined in wedlock with Brenda. They relocated from Connellsville to Greenville, SC.


~ Daughter Mildred Irene (Burkholder) Herbert ~

Daughter Mildred Irene Burkholder (1923-2011) was born on Jan. 21, 1923 in Mill Run.

She married Raymond H. Herbert (1905-1981). They were 18 years apart in age.


Anchor Hocking plant, South Connellsville

They resided in East Connellsville and bore one daughter, Doris Rae Keefer.

Said the Daily Courier, Raymond "retired in 1970 as a tool and die maker for Anchor Hocking Corp. following 29 years service. More recently, he had been employed as a meter reader for the Pleasant Valley Water Authority.” 

Raymond passed away in 1981, at the age of 76. 

Mildred outlived her husband by three decades. She was a member of the Church of the Open Door and dwelled in Bullskin Township

She died at her home in Bullskin Township near Connellsville on Nov. 5, 2011, at the age of 88. After a funeral service at the Martucci Funeral Home, led by Pastor Harry Powell, she was laid to rest beside her spouse in the Normalville Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Daughter Doris Rae Herbert ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married Daniel Keefer ( ? - ? ). Their three children were Darcy Mae, Davin Keefer and Derek Keefer. Doris served as matron of honor for the 1976 wedding of her cousin Kathleen Rae Ohler to Walter F. Pratt.

  • Granddaughter Darcy Mae wedded Adam (?).
  • Grandson Davin Keefer married Krista (?).
  • Grandson Derek Keefer was joined in wedlock with Christina (?).


Normalville Cemetery

~ Daughter Vivian "Joan" Burkholder ~

Daughter Vivian "Joan" Burkholder (1937-1957) was born on May 25, 1937.

She suffered for years with diabetes and hypertension.

At the age of 20, she was employed by Alderman J.W. Prinkey as a secretary, and lived under her parents' roof at 1405 Hawthorne Street in the Poplar Grove section of Connellsville. She was a member of the Mill Run Evangelical United Brethren Church.

Sadly, she passed away at the age of 20, on April 8, 1957, at Magee Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, after a stay of six weeks. She was buried in the Normalville Cemetery.


Copyright © 2004, 2007, 2011, 2019 Mark A. Miner