Charles Claudius "Claude" Minor was born on Aug. 26, 1868 in Brownsville, Licking County, OH, the son of Daniel L. and Frances (Vreeland) Minor.
When he was age four, Claude and his parents moved to the coal and clay mining town of Shawnee, Perry County, OH. He worked there as a laborer.
On New Year’s Day 1895, at the age of 27, Claude married 24-year-old Minnie Ashbrook (Sept. 1871- ? ), of Somerset, Perry County, by the hand of W.W. Trout. In her words, at the time she "was a person of delicate health, physically weak and frail of body…"
The following year, in November 1896, Claude nearly killed his friend Henry Worthington in a freak hunting accident. Said the Shawnee Advocate (reprinted in the New Lexington Tribune):
[They] were engaged in duck hunting at Licking reservoir. They were approaching a flock and had previously decided in what manner they would fire. Worthington was rowing the boat and Miner was to have first shot. Miner was standing in the boat with his gun pointed, and as they had come very near to the flock, Worthington, believing that Miner had decided not to shoot, started to raise up in order to take aim himself, when Miner’s gun went off and his hat was filled with shot. Henry keeled over apparently dead enough, but fortunately, aside from being horribly frightened and slightly burned with powder, he escaped uninjured.
The marriage was rocky, and Minnie accused her husband of "idleness" and that he had "neglected to provide [her] with food and clothing and the common necessaries of life."
In the winter of 1899-1900, the Minors resided at Zanesville, Muskingum County, OH, where he worked as yardmaster for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In March 1900, he was transferred to Columbus, Franklin County, OH and continued to be employed as a railroad yardmaster. They boarded in the home of Marie Duvault.
After only a month, the dismayed Minnie left and went to her father’s home in Somerset. She then sued Claude for divorce in the Probate Court of Perry County. She alleged that Claude often left her alone while he went out in the evenings. She also complained that he "compelled her to remove to Columbus, Ohio, and live in a disreputable part of the City, namely the corner of 4th, and Spring Streets where her friends refused to call on her…" After reviewing the evidence, the court found that Claude had been “guilty of extreme cruelty” and granted the divorce.
Circa 1913, Claude is believed to have earned a living as a police officer in Zanesville. By 1920, he worked as a burner in a brickyard in Shawnee and shared a home with his sister Maude, as shown in U.S. Census records.
In about 1922, Claude was joined in wedlock with his second wife, 27-year-old Edith Gertrude Rea (Oct. 3, 1894-1940). She was a native of Grant County, IN and the daughter of Albert and Laura Bell Rea.
The couple is believed to have borne a daughter, Frances J. Minor.
They dwelled in 1930 on Seventh Street in Newark, Licking County. Claude earned income as a salesman in a retail general store, and Edith was a practical nurse.
At age 64, Claude began suffering from prostate and bladder cancer. He battled for more than a year, until his death in Shawnee on Aug. 21, 1934. He was buried in Shawnee Cemetery. A one-sentence obituary was printed in the Zanesville Signal.
Edith survived her husband and made a home at 1½ South Fifth Street in Newark. Three years after his death, the 43-year-old married again, on Oct. 8, 1937, to 50-year-old machinist Louis M. Stargell (Nov. 18, 1886- ? ). He was the son of Richard and Catherine (Pleasant) Stargell, was twice-divorced and a native of Alberene, VA.
Louis, said the Newark Advocate, "came to Newark in June 1906 and was employed by the Newark Stove Company until 1924. From April 1, 1925 to July 1, 1952, he was employed by the Pure Oil Company. He was a member of the Church of God." He belonged at one point to the Spritual Science Church in Newark, founded Feb. 24, 1944.
They made a home at 143 Riley Street in Newark, where Edith is known to have hosted meetings of the Sunflower Club.
Suffering from heart disease at the age of 46, she passed away on Nov. 15, 1940. Rev. W. Allen Wilson preached the funeral sermon. Her remains were placed into repose in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark.
Louis married again to Edna May Turner ( ? -1964). At his death in September 1957, the Advocate said he was survived by a son Walter R. Stargell of Newark and Mrs. Roy Rafferty (or "Raftery") of San Jose, CA.
~ Daughter Frances J. Minor ~
Daughter Frances J. Minor (1922- ? ) was born in about 1922. At the age of eight, she lived with her parents in Newark, Licking County.
Her fate is not known.
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