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Daisy (Minerd) Hiles Predilla
(1889-1963)

 

Daisy and Josiah Hiles Sr.

Daisy (Minerd) Hiles Predilla was born on May 18, 1889 in Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Charles B. and Ada Arthill (Tressler) Minerd.  She lived most of her adult years as a survivor, having endured the extraordinary tragedy and pain of losing her first husband and two sons in coal and coke accidents at work or at play.

Daisy's first husband was Josiah "Sie" Hiles Sr. (Jan. 20, 1885-1917), the son of Jacob and Malinda (Hall) Hiles. He had a twin brother, David Hiles. 

Josiah's early life was filled with not only the hardships of a hardened, industrial region, but also the specter of family violence. When he was age eight, in 1893, he resided with his parents and seven siblings in a stone house at Mount Braddock, Fayette County. In March of that year, having gotten into a fight with Josiah's older brothers, their father was despondent over the "family troubles," and used a large caliber pistol to take his own life in a bedroom of their dwelling. Said the Uniontown Evening Standard, "nearly the entire population of the town turned out this morning to view the principal actor and the scene of the tragedy." 

On June 1, 1905, the 16-year-old Daisy and 20-year-old Josiah were united in matrimony.

The year of their marriage, Josiah was employed as a laborer at the Lafayette Works at Helen, Fayette County, a town which no longer exists. By 1906, they had moved to Brownfield, Fayette County. Circa 1910, they were in Ronco near Masontown, and later he worked as a machinist at the Plumer Coke Works at McClellandtown, Fayette County.

 

Sons Sie, Milford and Charlie

Daisy and Josiah produced a family of seven children -- Josiah Franklin "Sie" Hiles Jr., Harry Rebock Hiles, Charles Hiles, George "Milford" Hiles, John William "Moonie" Hiles and Jane Lytle. She also helped to raise a grandson, James Hiles.

Sons Sie, Milford and Charlie are seen here as young boys. This photograph likely taken by their uncle, Frank Minerd, who was a camera buff and snapped many family pictures during this era, and in whose archival collection the image was found.

The first of a series of senseless tragedies struck the Hiles family in the spring of 1917. That year, Josiah was working as a laborer at the Plumer Works. He apparently was friends with his boss, E.W. Eberly, and enjoyed a friendly rivalry of physical strength, often wrestling with each other for fun.

In a tragic twist of fate, Josiah was killed during a freak accident during one of his contests with Eberly. The Uniontown Morning Herald reported the gruesome story, saying that Josiah:

... met a tragic death Saturday during a friendly wrestling bout with E.W. Eberly, superintendent of the plant. Mr. Eberly, Mr. Hiles and several other employes had gone to the mine to repair a motor. During the interval while a "trip" was being made, Mr. Hiles and Mr. Eberly engaged in a friendly wrestling bout as they had done dozens of times before. Mr. Eberly finally threw Mr. Hiles, both men falling at the same time. Mr. Hiles' head, however, struck on the edge of a bench which had been nearby but thought out of danger. Death resulted from a broken neck. Mr. Hiles is survived by his widow and four children.  He was one of the most popular men at the plant.

 

Obituary, 1917

Josiah Sr. was buried in Pleasant View Cemetery in Dunbar. His grave today is not believed to be marked.

Daisy thus became a widow at the age of 28, with a family of six young children to raise, house and feed. How she made ends meet during this difficult period of life is not known.

The family made their home near the Hope Works when, 11 years later, Daisy faced another unspeakable tragedy when her son Harry Rebock Hiles drowned in a local reservoir. More details are below.

Two years later, the Shadow of Death cruelly struck yet again, when Daisy lost her 24-year-old son Josiah "Sie" Hiles Jr. in an accident at the Provance Mine of Powell Coal.

 

Daisy and James Predilla

After a decade as a widow, on Nov. 8, 1927, the 38-year-old Daisy was joined in wedlock with 37-year-old James Predilla (1880-1967), an immigrant and a native of Austria. 

James was a coal mine laborer who lived in Masontown, and he became step-father to Daisy's teenage children Jane and John, who still resided at home.

Daisy faced further heartache in 1952 when her brother Arthur Ralph "Buck" Minerd and nephew William Minerd were killed in an automobile accident near Masontown.

The Predillas' final home together was in the rear of 225 Fairview Street in Masontown. She was a member of the Assembly of God Church in Masontown.

The 74-year-old Daisy was overweight and diabetic and was diagnosed with cancer of the uterus. She contracted a blood disease known as azotemia and passed away in Uniontown Hospital, relieved of her many sufferings, on May 22, 1963. A death notice in the Uniontown Evening Standard reported that her survivors included 32 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held in the Assembly of God Church, co-officiated by Rev. Charles Morris and Rev. Ethel Hardy.

Jim outlived her by four years. He died on May 1, 1967 at Uniontown. She and James and her son Josiah Jr. are buried at the Fairview Church of the Brethren Cemetery at Masontown.

 

Young Josiah Hiles Jr.

~ Son Josiah Franklin "Sie" Hiles ~

Son Josiah Franklin "Sie" Hiles Jr. (1906-1930) was born on March 4, 1906 in Brownfield, Fayette County.

As a young man, he was employed as a laborer at the Provance Mine of Powell Coal near Masontown, Fayette County. 

He was married to Josephine Michalek ( ? - ? ).

The couple resided at the Hope Works circa 1928.

They were the parents of one known son, Josiah "Franklin" Hiles, who sadly was born prematurely at six-and-a-half months and in a breech position and died at birth on May 19, 1928. The infant's tender remains were placed into eternal repose in the Dunkard Cemetery.

Josiah Jr. was employed as a driver in the coal mine of Powell Coal Company. On June 18, 1930, he was "instantly killed" in a mine accident, at age 24. In chronicling the story, the Uniontown Daily News Standard reported that he had been:

... caught beneath a trip of mine cars in the Provance mine of the Powell Coal company, near Masontown.  His body was badly mangled.  He is survived by his widow ... and an infant child.

The county coroner viewed the body and ruled the death accidental. Josiah's broken remains were laid to eternal rest in the church cemetery of Fairview Church.

Josephine outlived her husband and appears to have remained in Masontown during the 1930s.

 

~ Son George "Milford" Hiles ~

Son George "Milford" Hiles (1910-1991) was born on Sept. 1, 1910 in Ronco near Masontown, Fayette County. In adulthood, he stood 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighed 155 lbs. and had a light complexion, and brown eyes and hair.

On Aug. 11, 1930, when he was age 20, he married Margaret Alberta Koontz (March 28, 1912-1987), a native of Johnstown, Cambria County, PA, and the daughter of Albert and Laura L. (Stiffler) Koontz.

The couple bore these known children -- Kenneth A. Hiles, Alberta "Jane" Reed, Milford Hiles, Paul David Hiles, Larry James Hiles, Robert Hiles and Laura Henneman.

Their home for decades was in Altoona, Blair County, PA. In the 1950s, they resided at 1105 Sixth Avenue, and at another time in the 11th Street Tower. They were members of the Pleasant Valley Assembly of God Church, with Margaret spending time in the Ladies Bible Class and the sanctuary choir.

Sadly, Margaret passed into eternity on Aug. 3, 1987, at the age of 75. Rev. Robert E. Hafner officiated at her funeral, held in the family church.

Milford outlived her by four years. He died at the age of 81 on Aug. 31, 1991. Burial was in Blair Memorial Park in Bellwood, Blair County.

Son Kenneth A. Hiles (1932- ? ) was born in 1932. He relocated to Derby, NY. He was deceased by 2017.

Daughter Alberta "Jane" Hiles (1936- ? ) was born in 1936. She wedded (?) Reed ( ? - ? ). Her residence in 1987 was in Eggertsville, NY. She was living as of 2017.

Son Milford George Hiles (1936-2017) was born on Oct. 30, 1936 in Altoona, Blair County. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces. He was married to Nancy. The pair produced six sons -- James Hiles, John Hiles, Paul Hiles, Mark Hiles, David Hiles and Michael Hiles. The couple eventually divorced. Milford spent his final years in Altoona. He was admitted to Maybrook Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center where he succumbed to death at the age of 80 on July 24, 2017.

Son Paul David Hiles (1938-1956) was born on Oct. 31, 1938. He never married. Stricken with leukemia, he died at the age of 17 on March 27, 1956. Burial was in Carson Valley Cemetery in Allegheny Township, Blair County..

Son Larry James Hiles ( ? -1979) died on May 11, 1979.

Son Robert Hiles ( ? - ? ) dwelled in Altoona in 1987.

Daughter Laura Hiles ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was united in marriage with (?) Henneman ( ? - ? ). She was living as of 2017.

 

Harry R. Hiles

~ Son Harry Rebock Hiles ~

Son Harry Rebock Hiles (1912-1928) was born on Jan. 5, 1912.

As a teenager, he resided with his brother Josiah Jr. at house no. 14 in the Hope Coal Company Works near Smithfield, Georges Township, Fayette County. He helped support the family through his wages as a coal miner.

 

Uniontown Daily News Standard, 1928

Tragically, on the fateful day of April 5, 1928, he lost his life as a teenager when he drowned in a reservoir near the Hope Works while playing on a raft. The Uniontown Daily News Standard reported on the details of the incident:

...When an improvised raft on which a half dozen youngsters were playing last evening at 5:30 o'clock was submerged in the waters of a reservoir near Hope works, in the vicinity of High House, Harry Rebock Hiles, aged 16, son of Mrs. Daisy Hiles ... was drowned.  His body was recovered last night at 10 o'clock by use of dynamite by employes of the works. The boys had built the raft after school hours yesterday, and had just "set sail" when too much weight drove the structure under water. The youths were thrown in the reservoir all managing to get ashore excepting Harry. Help was summoned and despite hours of effort location of the body was impossible.

Funeral services were held in the home of his brother Josiah Jr., with Rev. C.L. Jewel officiating. The remains were interred in the Dunkard Cemetery in Masontown.

 

~ Son Rev. Charles Edward Hiles ~

 

Charles Hiles

Rev. Charles Edward Hiles (1907- ? ) was born on Nov. 4 or 8, 1907 in Keisterville, Menallen Township, Fayette County. Dr. E.H. Rebok assisted in the delivery.

Charles was joined in marital union with Edna Hoover (Sept. 4, 1914-1980), a West Virginia native and the daughter of Burley and Ella C. (Miller) Hoover.

The couple bore these known children -- Phyllis Lutz, Betty Jane Ice, Edward Hiles, Evelyn Kappler, Gerald Hiles, Donald Hiles and Edna Masek.

The Hileses lived in South Union Township circa 1935-1940. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940, Charles' occupation was listed by the census-taker as "tracklayer - coal mine."

At some point, Charles felt the pull of God to enter Christian ministry. He became ordained in the Church of God.

 

Charles Hiles in coal mining gear

Circa 1958, the family made a home in San Angelo, TX at 401 South Bell, where he obtained a delayed birth certificate. By 1963, they resided in Clairton, Allegheny County, PA and in 1966 in Reading, Berks County, PA. Then by 1973, the couple relocated to Millville, Cumberland County, NJ.

In Millville, Charles served as pastor of Leesburg Church of God, and Edna worked as a hotel manager in nearby Hackensack. They were members of the Calvary Cathedral Pentecostal Charismatic Church. Charles retired in 1976, with the pair making a home in the Mill Village Apartments

He was quoted in a Millville Daily story in 1978 about whether there ever could be peace in the Middle East.

Sadly, Edna died in Millville Hospital in May 1980. An obituary was published in the Daily.

Charles outlived her by two decades and relocated once more to Phoenix, AZ. He passed into eternity there at the age of 93 on Dec. 4, 2000. He was pictured in an obituary in the Vineland Daily Journal, which said that as a minister, "he reached out and blessed many lives. Although he retired from the ministry, he never stopped praying for God's work to be done." He was survived by 26 grandchildren.

Charles and Edna rest together in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Millville, Cumberland County, NJ.

Daughter Phyllis Pearl Hiles (1931-2007) was born on March 17, 1931. News of her birth was published in the Uniontown Morning Herald. She was first wed to (?) Puckett. The offspring born to this union were Benda Pagota, Paul Puckett, Donald Puckett, Virgil Puckett and Ricky Puckett. Later, she married (?) Lutz ( ? - ? ). Her home in 1980 was in Vineland, NJ. She then moved to Trinity, TX by 2005, where her daughter and son resided. Her final years were spent in Elkton, MD. Toward the end, she was admitted to Union Hospital in Elkton, where she died at the age of 76 on Nov. 4, 2007. An obituary in the Vineland (NJ) Daily Journal said she "was a wonderful wife and mother and will be greatly missed."

  • Granddaughter Brenda married (?) Pagota. Her home in 2007 was in Trinity, TX.
  • Grandson Paul Puckett resided in Trinity, TX.
  • Grandson Donald Puckett dwelled in North East, MD.
  • Grandson Virgil Puckett lived in 2007 in North East, MD.
  • Grandson Ricky Puckett made a residence in Ocean Gate.

Daughter Betty Jane Hiles (1932-2005) was born on June 29, 1932 in Uniontown. She wedded Clyde Ice Jr. ( ? - ? ). They resided in Uniontown and were the parents of Clyde Ice III, Charles Ice, Sandra Nakamura, Rev. Roger Ice, Janie Greenlaw and Donald Ice. As her health failed, Betty Jane was admitted to the Cherry Tree Nursing Center, and succumbed there at the age of 73 on Sept. 17, 2005. She was laid to rest in Walnut Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery.

  • Grandson Clyde Ice III
  • Grandson Charles Ice
  • Granddaughter Sandra Nakamura
  • Grandson Rev. Roger Ice
  • Granddaughter Janie Greenlaw
  • Grandson Donald Ice

Son Edward Hiles (1936- ? ) was born in about 1936.

Daughter Evelyn Hiles (1937-2014) was born in about 1937. She was married several times. Her first spouse was (?) Lacy ( ? - ? ). The couple produced at least three children -- Bobby Lacy, Harold Lacy and Johnnie Lacy. She may also have been wed to (?) Bowers ( ? - ? ). Their presumed offspring were Melanie Tomasso, Gerald Bowers and Sharon Bowers. Later, she was united in wedlock with Theodore "Ted" Kappler ( ? -2010). They established a residence in Millville, Cumberland County, NJ. They were longtime members of the Chestnut Assembly of God, where Evelyn taught Sunday School. She liked to play the guitar and piano and study her Bible. Theodore was employed by Kerr Glass for 32 years. Said a newspaper, he "had an excellent memory for all things South Jersey and loved reminiscing about watching South Jersey develop."" He passed away on Jan. 26, 2010. Funeral services were held in their church, led by Rev. Ralph Snook. She died in Cooper Hospital UMC in Camden, NJ on June 1, 2014. Her remains were cremated.

  • Grandson Bobby Lacy
  • Grandson Harold Lacy
  • Grandson Johnnie Lacy
  • Granddaughter Melanie (?) married Keith Tomasso.
  • Grandson Gerald Bowers
  • Granddaughter Sharon Bowers was a companion of Amelia.

Son Gerald Hiles (1939- ? ) was born in about 1939. He dwelled in Smithfield and by 1980 was in Keyser, Mineral County, WV.

Son Donald Hiles ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He was in Montclair, NJ in 1980 and in Hackensack, NJ in 2005.

Daughter Edna Hiles ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She joined in matrimony with (?) Masek ( ? - ? ). The couple resided in Malaga, Gloucester County, NJ in 1980. Later, they relocated to Glendale, AZ.

 

~ Daughter Jane (Hiles) Lytle ~

 

Jane and her ill-fated brother Harry

Daughter Jane Hiles (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914 in Fayette County.

She married Harold Lytle ( ? - ? ).

The couple dwelled for decades in Masontown. They were the parents of Billie Jane Krofcheck and Jack Lytle.

Nothing more is known.

Daughter Billie Jane Lytle (1943-2000) was born on April 11, 1943 in Masontown. She was united in marriage with Ronald E. Krofcheck ( ? - ? ). They made a home in Perryopolis, Fayette County. Three sons were born to this marriage -- Ronald A. Krofcheck, Gregory M. Krofcheck and Daniel M. Krofcheck. Billie belonged to St. John the Baptist Romand Catholic Church in Perryopolis. She was employed by the U.S. Post Office in Perryopolis and a member of the Rural Letter Carriers Association. On Sept. 10, 1975, she and others were pictured in the Uniontown Evening Standard as organizers of a card and game party to benefit the St. John's Parent-Teacher Guild of Perryopolis. Sadly, at the age of 57, Billie passed away in UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh on Dec. 5, 2000. A funeral mass was held in the family church, celebrated by Rev. Fr. John E. Euker. The Uniontown Herald Standard published an obituary.

  • Grandson Ronald A. Krofcheck married Dana. They relocated to Hurricane, WV.
  • Grandson Gregory M. Krofcheck wedded Rebecca. They dwelled in West Newton, PA.
  • Grandson Daniel M. Krofcheck lived in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA.

Son Jack Lytle married Sally. They lived in Virginia in 2000.

 

~ Son John William "Moonie" Hiles ~

Son John William "Moonie" Hiles (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917 in Fayette County.

He was married and the father of John William Hiles Jr.

He lived in Baltimore, MD in 1963.

Son John William Hiles Jr. (1938-2020) was born on Feb. 10, 1938. He served in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard and then settled in the low country of South Carolina. John was married twice. His first wife was Elizabeth Miller ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of three sons -- Edward Hiles, Douglas Hiles and Troy Hiles. John was employed for many years in the Charleston Naval Shipyard. He attended the Bethlehem Baptist Church and was a master of the Masons lodge in Bethlehem. Sadly, Elizabeth passed away young. He married again in about 1998 to Esther (Montellano) McCloskey ( ? -living). She too had been married before and brought three offspring to the second union, Theresa M. Soto, Gerard McCloskey and Michael McCloskey. Their union endured for 21 years until cleaved apart by death. Sadly, in Nov. 2002, they endured the death of a grandson, Justin M. Hiles, of Marietta, GA. His final years were spent in Round O near Charleston. He died in Vibra Hospital at the age of 82 on March 13, 2020. Burial was at Carolina Memorial Park in North Charleston, with military rites provided at the interment.

  • Grandson Edward Hiles ( ?-living) married Charlene. In the early 2000s, Ed generously provided significant content for this biography. Their daughter LeAnn Hiles has been involved with important geoarchaeological research at prehistoric sites in southern Alabama. She has been praised by name by the Alabama Historical Commission. She also received the Elliott Hagler Award at the University of South Alabama for "the most deserving Geology Major planning on attending the Department's summer field school."
  • Grandson Douglas Hiles ( ? -living) was born in (?). His first wife was Priscilla D. Cain ( ? - ? ), daughter of William and Mabel Bernice Cain. They were the parents of Amanda Hiles, Justin Matthew Miles, Laura Hiles and Ashton Hiles. Later, after a divorce, he wedded Betty. Grief cascaded over their lives when son Justin, at age 19 about to study at North Metro Tech, died in Marietta, GA on Nov. 19, 2002. Rev. Dr. Randy Mickler led the funeral service at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church Chapel, with cremation following. A death notice was printed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  • Grandson Troy Hiles ( ? -living)

 

~ Grandson James Hiles ~

Grandson James Hiles ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

Circa 1963, he was in Alexandria, VA.

 

~ More ~

Great-granddaughter-in-law Teressa Reeves at one time posted website on this branch of the family.

 

Copyright 2000-2005, 2010, 2020 Mark A. Miner