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John Minerd
(1852-1919)

John Minerd was born on May 16, 1852 in Scio, Harrison County, OH, the son of Daniel and Rebecca (Knouff) Minard.

At the age of 23, on March 6, 1875, John married 23-year-old Thursa (or "Theressa" or "Thursy") McDivitt (1852- ? ), the daughter of Lyle and Susan (Rutler) McDivitt. Rev. J. Drummond performed the nuptials in Harrison County. John signed his name on the marriage application, showing he knew how to write and read, and spelled the surname "Minerd."

They had at least one son, Harry Calvin Minard.

John suffered from manic depression, and his and his family's lives were forever clouded by the impact of the illness.

In 1879, at the age of 27, John purchased 20 acres from the farm of his father, in return for IOUs of cash, lumber and the construction of buildings on the property. However, he never was able to repay the loan. 

When the federal census was enumerated in 1880, the census-taker recorded John, Thursa and son Harry residing near Scio, with John laboring as a farmer and Thursa "keeping house." 

The early 1880s were a very difficult period for the family, and John began to exhibit signs of significant mental illness. In October 1885, when he was age 33, John was declared “an insane person” by the county court, and was sent to live in the Asylum for the Insane at Columbus, OH. John's brother Morrison was named legal guardian of John's son. 

(In a sad twist of fate, John's cousins Barbara Ellen Minerd and Alpheus Minerd, and and cousin by marriage Susan (Trushel) Minerd, were institutionalized at the asylum in Columbus in the late 1800s.)

Massillon State Hospital, where John died in 1919

Two years later, in 1887, with the loan from the father still outstanding, Thursy sued so she would not be saddled with the debt. In the ensuing litigation, the tract was sold to John's brother Ervin.

By 1906, John's mental health had declined to such a great extent that he was considered an “imbecile." He was sent to Massillon, Stark County, to live in the state hospital there. The 1910 census shows him living in the hospital as an "inmate."

John died of “pulmonary tuberculosis” in 1919 at the Massillon State Hospital. A newspaper reported that his remains were returned to Scio for burial at Grandview Cemetery. His grave is not believed to be marked.

Thursy is briefly mentioned in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Harrison, Ohio. She left Scio, and moved to Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA, where she resided in 1891. 

Her fate is unknown. 

~ Son Harry Calvin Minard ~

Son Harry Calvin Minard (1875-1953) was born in 1875, and was but a boy when his father developed a debilitating mental illness and left home for good. Harry never married. 

When the federal census was taken in 1910, when Harry was age 34, he lived with his widowed grandmother and widowed uncle Amos Bartholomew Minard. They resided in the old family homestead along the state road. Harry's occupation that year was listed as "farm laborer." Living just a few doors away were his maternal kinfolk, Charles and Ola McDivitt and their children.

He inherited a substantial estate from his late uncle Amos in about 1915, when he was age 40. Eventually, Harry purchased the old family farm, owning it as of 1934. 

At the age of 56, with no occupation, he made his home with his widowed aunt Eunice (Minard) Morgan in Cadiz, Harrison County. He spent his final years in Cadiz, at 339 West Spring Street. 

Harry died at age 78, on Feb. 7, 1953, of a coronary occlusion and hardening of the arteries. He is buried in Grandview Cemetery in Scio. His first cousin, "Mrs. Dorothy Carmen" (Eunice's daughter in Pittsburgh ) was the informant on his official Ohio certificate of death.

Copyright © 2001, 2005, 2012 Mark A. Miner