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Mary Anne (Ream) Weyand
(1789-1871)

 

Mary Anne's fading grave, Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery

Mary Anne (Ream) Weyand was born on Dec. 8, 1789 in Ursina, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of John and Anna Rosina (Weitzel) Ream, and the stepdaughter of Catharine (Minerd) Ream. She was only two years of age when her mother died from the bite of a poisonous snake. She never learned to read or write.

In about 1814, when she would have been age 24, Mary Anne was united in matrimony with 25-year-old farmer Michael Weyand Sr. (April 4, 1789-1868), son of Jacob and Catherina (Schlichter) Weyand. Michael's father was an immigrant from the town of Freinsheim, Bad Dürkheim in the Rhineland-Palatinate section of Germany.

Neither Mary Anne nor Michael could read or write.

Over the years, the couple produced nine offspring, among them Catharine Frank, Sarah Coleman, Mary Rhoads, William Weyand, John Weyand, Joseph Weyand, Samuel Weyand and Michael Weyand Jr.

A daughter, whose identity is not yet known, succumbed at the age of 19.

 

Mary Anne, who could not write, signed
her name with an "X" on June 2, 1868

In 1850, the family lived near Somerset in Somerset Township, Somerset County. That year, Michael earned a living as a farmer, and his sons Michael as a carpenter and John as a laborer. Others in the household were 21-year-old Susan Coleman and 15-year-old William Fox, both marked as laborers. Their married daughter Catharine Frank and her family resided next door.

The Weyands were members of the Reformed Church. In 1839, Michael became an original member of the Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, five miles east of Somerset, and was one of two deacons at the outset.

When the census was taken in 1860, Mary Ann and Michael lived under the same roof and were near neighbors to their sons John and Joseph and their wives and families.

 

At the age of 79, Michael passed away on May 31, 1868. His remains were placed into repose in Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Somerset. [Find-a-Grave] Inscribed at the base of his upright grave marker was this epitaph:

...you  pass by ... so I have been,

As I am now so you must be.

 

Center of Somerset (the "Diamond") prior to the great fire of 1872

 

 

Michael's grave marker, Wills Church

His estate was quickly appraised and filed on Sept. 15, 1868. An inventory was made, and in addition to farming tools and household furniture, the Weyands' possessions included a German family Bible, old books, a looking glass and more. By law, Mary Anne received the right to administer the estate, but she renounced this in favor of "my two trusty sons Joseph & Michael." When much of her personal property was sold to generate funds to pay debts, she chose to retain some of the items including a bureau, big rocking chair, two pots, stand and dishes, two chairs, corn broom, bed clothes, dishes and carpets.

 

Among others, the following were paid by Michael's estate for services connected with the funeral and estate administration -- B. Woolly for the tombstone, Theodore Woy for clerking, Josiah Shafer for auctioneering, J. George Shaullis for making the coffin and Daniel Weyand for professional services.

When in 1870 the census again was made, Mary Anne was living on her son Michael's farm in Somerset Township, making her residence near sons John and Joseph.

Mary Anne is believed to have died on Aug. 9, 1871, at the age of about 81, with burial in the Wills Church Cemetery. Her passing is mentioned in Iva (Ream) Barkley's book Ream-Riehm. Her grave marker existed at one time and her name purportedly was inscribed as "Annie."

Michael and/or Mary Anne are mentioned in several profiles of their sons, including Isaiah Van Metre's 1904 book History of Black Hawk County, Iowa and Representative Citizens, and the 1916 volume by Jerome E. Blough, History of the Church of the Brethren of the Western District of Pennsylvania. Michael also is named in the 1884 book, History of Bedford Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania.

 

~ Daughter Catharine (Weyand) Frank ~

 

Jacob Frank
Courtesy Leah Kopka

Daughter Catharine Weyand (1814-1903) was born in about 1814 in Somerset County, PA  and is said to have been of a family of "old German-Pennsylvania stock." She is known to have attended school as a girl.

On Oct. 24, 1839, when she was 25 years of age, she was united in matrimony with 23-year-old Jacob Frank (1816-1902), son of Henry and Elizabeth (Will) Frank. Rev. Charles Reese officiated at the ceremony held in Somerset County. The details were duly recorded in the family Bible.

Jacob's father is said to have been born in Somerset County and a well-known tavern keeper on the Bedford Pike which was a stopping place for animal drovers heading to and from Ohio. The family name at times was spelled "Franks."

The couple produced nine children, among them Henry "Teddy" Frank, Michael Frank, Mary E. Frank, Cyrus Frank, Jacob C. Frank, Joseph W. Frank, Sarah C. Frank, Julia A. Frank and Edmond Francis Frank.

Jacob initially earned a living as a farmer in Somerset County and is shown as such in the 1850 federal census enumeration. Later, he was elected tax collector.

Four of their sons served in the Union Army during the Civil War, with son Jacob losing his life by drowning. In the midst of the conflict, in 1863 or 1864, the family pulled up stakes and migrated to Illinois, putting down roots in Bloomington, McLean County. Other Somerset Countians making the move at the time were their neighbors Mary Pritts and Sarah Way from adjoining farms.

They immediately joined the Second Presbyterian Church. Jacob and one of his sons operated a grocery store on Center Street for about two decades, "doing a large and successful business," said the book The Biographical Record of McLean County, Illinois, Illustrated.

In 1870, following her father's passing, Catharine inherited $919.10 from the estate. She hosted a visit in May 1878 from her brother Samuel, who was visiting from Pennsylvania.

 

Looking south from Jefferson Street on Main Street, Bloomington, Illinois
Made for S.H. Knox & Co.

 

The Franks mourned in 1880 when their daughter-in-law Alice (Murray) Frank died, leaving behind her husband Joseph and four young children. The widower and children moved into Jacob and Catharine's home in Bloomington as shown in the 1880 census.

The family again was plunged into grief in October 1881 when their son Henry, working in law enforcement, was killed by a prisoner in the local jail.

Jacob eventually retired from his grocery business. The following years were spent quietly in their home at 804 South Lee Street. In 1890, Catherine learned that she was eligible to receive a military pension as compensation for the loss of their son Jacob, and the pension was awarded. [Mother App. #499.435 - Cert. #359.102].

Catharine became completely blind in about 1897, and "from this affliction she was compelled to confine herself closely to her home," said the Pantagraph, "but the many little acts of kindness have stamped themselves upon the memories of her many friends and she was never forgotten in her sad affliction... She was a member of the Second Presbyterian church during her entire residence in this city and served that church with untiring energy until her blindness made active life impossible." On Nov. 22, 1899, she received a telegram from loved ones in Pennsylvania advising that her sister Sarah Coleman had died at the age of 82.

Jacob and Catherine passed away a year-and-a-half apart. He went first in the middle of the night, while sleeping in a chair at home, next to the hard coal stove, on Feb. 12, 1902. Said the Bloomington Pantagraph in an obituary, "He was a conscientious, upright man and every one who knew the kindly old gentleman was his friend."

Catherine entered eternity on Sept. 22, 1903. They are interred in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington. [Find-a-Grave] In an obituary, the Pantagraph commented on the marriage which had endured for 64 years: "This union was blest in more ways than one. Not only was there a happy home, but that home was brightened by the presence of children, five of whom are still living in this vicinity." The obituary added that she was survived by 18 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren in addition to her nephew William Weyand of Bloomington.

Son Henry J. "Teddy" Frank (1840-1881) was born in 1840 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. During the Civil War, on Sept. 18, 1861, in Somerset, he enlisted in the Union Army and was placed in the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A. Later, he became part of the 191st Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I. Henry was honorably discharged on Sept. 17, 1864. He was twice married. Two days after Christmas 1864, he first was wedded to Mary "Polly" Saylor (1843?-1867?). About 1865 or 1866, they migrated to Illinois, where his parents and family had settled in Bloomington, McLean County a few years earlier. There, they became the parents of a daughter, Emma Frank, born in 1866. Sadly, though, Polly passed away in childbirth, on Oct. 24, 1868, with burial in Bloomington's Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Henry spent two years as a widower before marrying Helena Louisa "Lena" Burcher (March 25, 1845-1926), nicknamed "Emily" or "Emma" to differentiate her from another "Lena" whith whom she had boarded earlier. Their marriage was held on Aug. 29, 1869, at the home of Rev. William R. Glen of the Old School Presbyterian Church. Born in Berlin, Germany, and having emigrated as a girl in in 1850, Lena spent her early years in New Orleans and St. Louis before becoming orphaned. Further raised in a Methodist orphanage in St. Louis, and then placed in homes in difficult circumstances, she ran off and came to Bloomington at the age of 17 in 1862. As a single woman, she had worked as a cook in William Morgan's boarding house at the corner of Front and East Streets. Henry's brother Edmund once remarked that at the time of marriage, she "was quite young looking then."

 

Marriage license for Henry and Helena ("Emily"), 1869. National Archives.

 

 

Miller Park War Memorial
McLean County History Museum

Helena later told a friend that "I married soldier rather under protest, but he was so persistent in his wooing that I finally consented.... When soldier took out the license he procured them without my knowledge and he came [to] Dodson's where I was working and pulled them out of his pocket and said now you will have to marry me and I will not be put off any longer." The federal census of 1870 shows Henry working as a painter with "Emily" keeping house. Then by 1880, Henry was engaged as deputy sheriff in McLean County and served as jailkeeper/turnkey. He was considered "a well-known, well-liked and respected public servant," said the Bloomington Pantagraph. Helena became pregnant several times but lost the babies prematurely. She once wrote about her husband that "As his first wife died in child birth he did not want to see any children so he left me childness."

On the fateful evening of Oct. 1, 1881, Teddy needed to move convicted horse thief Charles Pierce to his cell, a man also known as Charley Christ and Charles Howlett. As they walked, the inmate grabbed Teddy's .44 Smith & Wesson pistol and fired. His first shot hit Teddy in the shoulder; the second shot directly in the chest, killing him instantly. A mob of outraged citizens formed within the hour. A number of officials, including future Governor Joseph W. Fifer, tried to calm the group. The mob would not be assuaged and continued to grow to several thousand. At some point they broke into the prison using telegraph poles to batter down the doors. Pierce was hauled outside, and even though he asked for time to pray, was strung up by a noose on a tree limb across the street. One spectator climbed the tree and pulled the three-quarter inch thick rope even higher, and then dropped it again, to amplify the suffocation process. A Chicago newspaper reported that as he gasped for breath, Pierce was "subjected to the grossest insult not becoming the most brutal savage. The pants were ripped from the body, and a lighted cigar stuck in the gaping mouth. One plug-ugly, more atrocious than the rest, slid down the rope with great force to the shoulders of the struggling victim. Small boys hooted, yelled, and taunted [Pierce], calling him all manner of vile names." The corpse was cut down and then displayed in the windows of the local funeral parlor for hundreds to see. It was "the county's only documented lynching," said the Pantagraph. Teddy's funeral was held at his parents' home at 309 South West Street, with the remains placed into rest in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington. [Find-a-Grave]

Helena lived for another 45 difficult years in Bloomington. To support herself, she took in washing and ironing for neighbors. An acquaintance once observed that "She owns no property and earns a living over the wash tub. Her hands are calloused and she shows the affects of poverty and hard labor. I found her severely deaf, of a shy, nervous disposition, suspicious and inclined to be emotional and hysterical." Another friend, W.M. Plumley, said that "I know her to be an industrious hard working woman. I see her working from early in the morning until late at night washing ironing and such work as this to pay her house rent and earn her daily bread." She received occcasional financial assistance from the Grand Army of the Republic and also county funds. She slipped and fell on a floor, breaking a wrist and her left hip in about 1895, limiting her ability to work. After a special examiner was sent in 1898 to interview Helena and her late husband's siblings about her claim, she was awarded a Civil War widow's pension and received monthly checks for the rest of her life. [Widow App. #448.056 - Cert. #461.114] The examiner, Richard Lowe, wrote in his report that "Her husband's brothers are well to do men and hold positions of responsibility and trust, and in testifying showed no disposition toward bias. I also find they are and have been willing all along to render [her] material assistance, but owing to her false pride and a notion they look down upon her by reason of their superior financial positions, it was only when completely disabled by an accident a few years since that she would consent to receive aid from them." She died on Feb. 14, 1926. Funeral services were led by Rev. Chester B. Grubb of the First Christian Church, with Mrs. Guy Palmer providing music. Helena's pallbearers included J.C. Holcomb, A.B. McKee, Samuel Doyle, Edward Frank, Michael Frank and W.J. Woose. In her will, she bequeathed the residue of her estate to the First Christian Church, "to be used in relief work," said the Pantagraph. More than six decades later, at the urging of Teddy's grand-nephew Henry Frank and local dentist Robert Bowen, his name was approved for addition to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. At the time, the pistol used in the murder was in the possession of Dr. Bowen, having previously been owned by local gunsmith Lester Stewart. The murder and lynching are widely considered Bloomington's most disgraceful, notorious event.

  • Granddaughter Emma Frank (1866- ? ) was born in 1866 in Illinois. When she was age 14, in 1880, the year before her father was killed, she lived at home and attended school in Bloomington. Research is underway to determine if, in March 1886, she wedded James Schriver ( ? - ? ), an employee of the New York Store in its carpet department.

Son Michael Franks (1842-1926) was born on April 18 or 29, 1842 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. He stood 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light-colored hair. When he was in his early 20s, he was employed as superintendent of the Somerset County Farm. But as the Civil War raged, on Aug. 6, 1862, he went to Somerset and enlisted in the 133rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company E. The regiment is known to have guarded the outskirts of Washington, DC until later in 1862, when it moved to Falmouth, VA and took part in the Battle of Fredericksburg. The 133rd Pennsylvania was in winter quarters in Falmouth until late April 1863, when it was ordered to Chancellorsville and on May 1-5 saw action at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Michael was honorably discharged at Harrisburg, PA on May 26, 1863. He is believed to have re-enlisted and claimed to have been injured in the left leg below the knee when struck by a falling tree limb at the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

Chancellorsville, where Michael fought in May 1863. Below: The brothers' names on the Miller Park War Memorial, Bloomington. Courtesy McLean County History Museum.

 

After his service ended, in 1865, he joined his parents and family who had relocated to Illinois, settling in Bloomington, McLean County. He was twice married. In June 1872, he was united in holy matrimony with his first spouse, Sophia C. Elkins (1844-1881). Their nuptials were held in Bloomington, officiated by First Baptist Church pastor Rev. C.E. Hewitt. They bore one son, J. Warren Frank. Heartached blanketed the family with Sophia died on June 4, 1881, leaving behind her husband and young son. In October 1894, Michael was awarded a military pension as compensation for his Civil War ailments. [Invalid App. #1.161.597 - Cert. #893.534] He received monthly checks for the remaining 32 years of his life. He was an active member of the William T. Sherman Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, holding every office at one point or another. He also belonged to the Remembrance Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows and the L. of T.P.A. (?). Circa 1903-1907, he was employed as a traveling salesman and lived at 533 West Grove Street in Bloomington. He again grieved in October 1907 at the death of his only son. He weighed 233 lbs. in 1904 and bore burn scars on the left side of his face. In all, he spent 39 years as a widower before marrying a second time, on Nov. 1, 1922, to his late wife's relative Mary Annie Elkins (1854-1948). Rev. John L. Jackson, a Baptist minister, performed the wedding ceremony. Circa 1925, with his health failiing he wrote:

I have needed the regular attendance daily of my wife for nearly a year. I have been confinedon several occasions to my bed for several days a time and quite frequently to the house for days at the time. I allways have to have assistance in dressing and have not been able to bade myself in bath tub for 3 years. I have Vericoseal Vins in my legs, they swell up every day and keep me a wake nights with great pain and itching. I also have the Pyles, have had them for years. I have nuritis in my knees for several years.

On May 30, 1913, the Miller Park War Memorial was dedicated in Bloomington, naming Michael and his brothers Henry and Cyrus among local soldiers of the War Between the States. The monument is 78 feet tall and weighs 52 tons and includes the names of more than 6,000 local fighting men and women dating to the Revolutionary War. The second marriage lasted just a handful of years until cleaved apart by death. As Michael was actively dying at the age of 84, on Sept. 4, 1926, Dr. Ralph R. Loar was called, arriving at 9 p.m., but with the patient passing just two hours later. Funeral services were held in the First Baptist Church, with Rev. Charles Durden preaching the sermon. Interment was in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington, with his casket borne to the grave by pallbearers Alex Jones, Frank Stratton, R.R. Johnson, C.E. Dagenhart, Frank Ulbrich and W.H. Hanson. [Find-a-Grave] The widowed Mary Annie applied for her husband's pension, but there is no evidence that it was granted. On June 1, 1927, in Bloomington, she wrote to the U.S. Pension Commissioner asking if "in some way there may be a widows pension for my self as my husband had very little to leave me & as I have no children." [Widow App. #1.554.528] She was diagnosed by Dr. Loar in 1926 has having chronic heart disease.

  • Grandson J. Warren Frank (1875-1907) was born on July 14, 1875 in Bloomington. He was but a boy of about six when his mother died. He was taken in to live with unmarried aunts of the Elkins family and remained in the household for the rest of his short years. He never married. Warren attended one year of classes at the Illinois State Normal University in nearby Normal and then a course in a local business college. Said the Bloomington Pantagraph, "For four years he was an assistant in the office of the city engineer. Since then he has worked as a surveyor and at other occupations. He took a great interest in politics." Sadly, Warren was burdened with heart disease. It began to worsen in late September 1907, "but was not in such condition that he was compelled to remain in bed or even at his home," reported the Pantagraph. Then on the night of Sept. 30, 1907, he began to suffer even more and died just after midnight on Oct. 1, 1907. The local newspaper observed that death had taken place 26 years to the day after the horrific murder of his uncle Henry J. "Teddy" Frank and resulting lynching of the killer. Funeral services were held in his father's home at 533 West Grove Street.

Daughter Mary E. Frank (1844-1935) was born on April 5, 1844 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. On Jan. 29, 1874, when she was age 19, she wedded German immigrant John A. Smith (March 17, 1842-1932), a native of Prussia. He had come to America at the age of 24 and soonafter in about 1867 settled in Bloomington. Their marriage lasted for 58 years. The couple bore these known children -- Catherine Smith, Harry F. Smith, Bertha McClellan Rayburn and Edward J. "Edd" Smith. Sadly, daughter Catherine died in infancy. They were farmers for many years and were members of Downs Methodist Episcopal Church. Said the Bloomington Pantagraph, "Both were church workers and regular attendants of the Methodist Protestant church when the meetings were held in the old town hall and helped with the raising of funds to build the present church. They subscribed for The Pantagraph when it was a weekly." They retired from farming in 1916 and moved to a home in Downs, about 12 miles west of Bloomington. During the winters between 1925 and 1930, they lived with their married daughter in Champaign. In later years, they attended Old Town Church. When they reached their 57th wedding anniversary in January 1931, the Pantagraph said that John was "quite active for his age, but Mrs. Smith is confined to her bed at the present time, not having recovered from a fall about six weeks ago. On account of her condition, there will be no formal celebration, but their friends will be welcome to call during the afternoon." John died in Downs at the age of 89 on Jan. 7, 1932. An obituary in the Pantagraph called him a "pioneer" and counted among his descendants 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. As a widow, Mary permanently moved into the Smiths' home in Champaign. She succumbed there on March 21, 1935. Rev. Hampton officiated at the funeral. They rest in Hopewell Cemetery in Downs. [Find-a-Grave]

  • Grandson Harry F. Smith (1869-1928) was born on Jan. 30, 1869 in Bloomington, where he spent his entire life. At the age of 22, on July 7, 1891, he was united in marriage with Alice A. Knight ( ? - ? ), a resident of Bloomington. The family belonged to the Nazarene Church. The children born to this union were Mrs. W.A. Gordon, Mrs. Edgar R. Anderson, Charles Smith, Hazel Smith, John Smith and Dorothy Smith. Their address in 1928 was at 520 South Denver Street. After suffering a lingering illness, he died at home at the age of 59 on Oct. 9, 1928. Funeral services were held in the home, led by Rev. E.E. Robinson of the Nazarene church and Rev. J.D. Roach, the former pastor. Music was performed by Mabel Smock and Rev. L.A. Whitesell, pastor of the Second United Brethren Church. Pallbearers included Abe Alvin, Perry Graves, Frank Beal, Frank Hopkins, Grover Doin and M. Schwartz. Burial was in Bloomington Cemetery.

Great-granddaughter (?) Smith married W.A. Gordon. In 1928, they lived at 804 South Lee Street in Bloomington.

Great-granddaughter (?) Smith wedded Edgar R. Anderson. Their home in 1928 was at 711 Harris Street in Normal, McLean County.

Great-grandson Charles Smith

Great-granddaughter Hazel Smith

Great-grandson John Smith

Great-granddaughter Dorothy Smith

  • Granddaughter Bertha Smith (1879- ? ) was born in 1879. She was twice married. On Feb. 24, 1898, when she was age 19 and expecting her first baby, she wedded Charles Edward McClellan (Sept. 12, 1869-1918), who was a decade older than she. Their wedding was held in Downs. The son of G.P. McClellan, Charles had been born in Heyworth, IL and grew up in the Downs and Saybrook communities. Bertha and Charles produced these known children, Eunice Casteel, Blanche McClellan, John McClellan, Claude McClellan and Erma McClellan. The family grieved when daughter Erma passed away in 1904. Their home in 1900 was on a farm in Old Town Township, McLean County, and they belonged to the Methodist Protestant Church in Old town. By 1910, the family had moved to another farm in Dawson, McLean County. The couple marked their 15th wedding anniversary in 1913 with a celebration in their Old Town home for 35 relatives and friends. At some point they relocated to the community of Downs, where Charles became employed in managing a local hotel. Said the Bloomington Pantagraph, he "was a man of genial disposition and was well liked by all who knew him." Heartache blanketed the family in mid-October 1918 when Charles contracted influenza and then pneumonia and died on Oct. 21, 1918 after six days of suffering. An obituary in the Pantagraph noted that his parents survived him as well as his brother David H. McClellan and sisters Minnie Green and Alice Batson. At Thanksgiving 1920, Bertha hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for relatives including Mr. and Mrs. George P. McClellan, Ivan Queen, and Mrs. H.F. Smith and daughter Dorothy. On Aug. 30, 1922, she traveled from Bloomington to Champaign to be joined in wedlock with her second spouse, Fred Rayburn ( ? - ? ). In reporting on the wedding, the Bloomington Pantagraph said that "She will make her home at Champaign." They resided in 1922-1935 was in Champaign, IL and frequently returned to Downs to visit her parents and family. During the winter of 1925-1926, her parents lived under their roof, and Bertha hosted an 84th birthday party for her father with 25 guests attending. At the death of her former brother-in-law David H. McClellan in October 1940, Bertha is known to have attended the funeral service.

Great-granddaughter Eunice McClellan (1899- ? ) was born in April 1898. She married George Casteel in October or November 1920 and settled in Downs.

Great-granddaughter Blanche McClellan (1905- ? ) was born in about 1905.

Great-grandson John McClellan (1910- ? ) was born in Feb. 1910. When he turned 21, a dinner was held in his honor by his grandparents.

Great-grandson Claude McClellan ( ? - ? ) was born in (?)

  • Grandson Edward J. "Edd" Smith (1886-1935) was born on July 16, 1886 on a farm four miles east of Bloomington. He grew up in Old Town Township and learned the blacksmith trade. He also was a garage mechanic. On Dec. 12, 1905, he was united in matrimony with Sarah Ann Fitchen ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce. They resided in Bloomington in 1928 at 1108 South Lee Street and in Downs, IL in 1935. Sadly, Edd died in early July 1935 at the age of 50. His funeral was preached by Rev. I.B. Sipes of the Downs United Brethren Church. Performing music at the funeral service were Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Davis, Cecilia Dalton and L.C. Evans, accompanied by Mrs. Davis. Pallbearers included fellow Downs residents Frank Buhl, Forest Cole, Jess Hale, Ira Kasar, Eugene Lipp and Ellis Tinsley. Interment was in Hopewell Cemetery, with the Bloomington Pantagraph printing an obituary. Sarah Ann's fate is not yet known.

 

Biographical Record. Courtesy Google Books

Son Cyrus Frank (1845-1913) was born on Oct. 27, 1845 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. Much of what we know about him is found in the 1899 book The Biographical Record of McLean County, Illinois, Illustrated (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company). As a boy, Cyrus "received a fairly good education in the public schools of Somerset," said the Record. He also learned the occupation of painting. During the Civil War, he enlisted in 1862 in the 112th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company B. His term was to have lasted for three years, and he and the regiment were sent to the front lines. But he became ill and remained so for several months and ultimately received an honorable disability discharge," much to his deep regret," said the Record. When he was about age 19, in 1864, he relocated to Illinois and settled with his parents in McLean County. "Soon after arriving in Bloomington he could not withstand the appeals of the president for more men, and feeling that his health was restored and duty demanded, he listed ... and once more went to the front," said the Record. He was a member of the 145th Illinois Infantry. The unit was stationed in Missouri where it apparently remained for the balance of the conflict. He received an honorable discharge in 1865 and returned home to Bloomington, where the same year he began to earn a living doing painting work. On Feb. 7 or 9, 1871, at the age of 25, he was united in marital union with Eliza Alice Lape (Oct. 10, 1848-1941), a native of Somerset County and the daughter of David Lape of Bloomington. The Lapes had migrated to McLean County after the Civil War when Eliza was age 18. They went on to bear seven children -- Maude B. Radford, Clyde E. Frank, Edward R. Frank, Roy L. Frank, William Arthur Frank, May Frank and Rose Frank.

 

Cyrus' name, Miller Park War Memorial
Courtesy McLean County History Museum.

Cyrus joined a general painting contracting firm Plumb & Buffham and was a journeyman painter there for eight or nine years. Eventually he formed his own firm, but perhaps when business slowed he joined another conractor, J.W. Evans Sons & Company, where he labored for four years. At some point he went back to self-employment and in 1898 his sons Clyde and Edward joined the business as partners, and the firm was renamed C.E. Frank & Company. At its height, Frank & Company had a crew of 15 men and painted some of the best known buildings in the city. The company shop was located for a number of years on Washington Street near the county courthouse and then moved to 410 North Center Street. Said the Record, "With one exception, Mr. Frank has been actively engaged in Bloomington a longer period of time than any other man." Cyrus obtained a military pension in 1883 as compensation for his Civil War ailments. [Invalid App. #476.232 - Cert. #773.967 - XC #2.606.234] In 1884, perhaps having a more regular stream of income, they established a new home at 512 West Mill Street where they remained. For two years, he was a local tax collector. They were members of the Christian Church, and Cyrus belonged to the Evergreen City lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War veterans organization. Said the Bloomington Pantagraph, he "never tired of telling of his experiences in that great conflict which finally united the north and the south." Having suffered heart disease for many months, Cyrus died on New Year's Day 1913. Burial was in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington. [Find-a-Grave] Eliza then successfully applied to receive a widow's pension. [Widow App. #999.482 - Cert. #754.962] Sadly, had he lived for another five months, he would have seen his name, among 6,000, inscribed on the Miller Park War Memorial in Bloomington, dedicated on May 30, 1913. The structure stands 78 feet tall and weighs 52 tons. Eliza Ann outlived her spouse by nearly three decades, with an address of 512 West Mill Street. At her 90th birthday, in October 1938, she was profiled in a story in the Pantagraph. She entered eternity just six days before Christmas 1941. An obituary in the Pantagraph called her "one of McLean county's pioneers." In August 2019, after an unsuccessful search in Washington, DC, the founder of this website filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to receive the full and complete copy of Cyrus' Civil War pension file, held at the National Archives in St. Louis.

  • Granddaughter Maude B. Frank (1871-1945) was bornon Nov. 5, 1871 in Bloomington. She grew to womanhood in the city. In 1891, in Bloomington, she married Thomas W. Radford (Feb. 22, 1868-1939). The pair did not reproduce. Initially the couple lived in Bloomington, where Thomas was a yard foreman at the Fordice Lumber Company and worked for his father as superintendent of the McLean County Mine. He is known to have been badly injured in the mine's coal shaft on Aug. 25, 1899. Reported the Bloomington Pantagraph, "While standing near a track on which cars were being run, he was caught between one of the cars and the wall of the mine and badly squeezed. He was at once released from his perilous position and conveyed to his home on Packard street, where medical attention was given him." The injuries required surgery at Deaconess Hospital. Later, circa 1904, the Radfords left Illinois and pushed west, making a home in 1920 in Colorado Springs. Eventually they relocated to Long Beach, CA. Thomas' health began to decline significantly in about 1937. He suffered a stroke and died on March 3, 1939 at home in Long Beach. Word of his death was relayed to a niece, Mrs. Harry Ely, of 1309 West Olive Street in Bloomington. An obituary was published in the Pantagraph, which noted that interment was in Long Beach. Maude outlived her spouse by six years. After a short illness, she succumbed to death on Sept. 18, 1945.
  • Grandson Clyde E. Frank (1874-1920) was born on Oct. 7, 1874 in Bloomington. On Oct. 4, 1893, at the home of her parents at 533 West Grove Street, he wedded Minnie Dillon ( ? - ? ), daughter of L.E. Dillon. Rev. J.H. Gilliland officiated. News of their nuptials was printed in the Bloomington Pantagraph, saying that "The groom is a painter and is employed at his father's shops on North Center street. The bride is a pleasant young lady and both the young people are popular and enjoy a wide circle of friends." The Franks were the parents of Leon Frank and Hazel L. Asbury. He became a partner in 1898 of his father's painting business. He was active with the local lodges of the Knights of Pythias/Uniform Rank and Modern Woodmen. Heartbreak blanketed the family when, in about 1920, Clyde was diagnosed with cancer. He only lasted a few months and succumbed at the age of 46 on March 31, 1920. In an obituary, the Pantagraph reported that "Mr. Frank has lived all his life in Bloomington and was well known in business, church and lodge circles. he and his father were prominent painting contractors until his father's death, Jan. 1, 1913. He has continued the business since that time. He was a faithful member and worker in the First Christian church, since he was 16 years of age." His funeral service was held in the family church, led by Rev. E.E. Higdon and Rev. W.D. DeWeese. Honorary pallbearers included P.B. Johnson, Walter Schloeffel, Ivo Hurst, J. McKee, Dr. C. hanson and Frank Redman, with acting pallbearers including Col. W.M. Brown, Maj. E.C. Butler, Maj. J.C. Paul, Maj. H.C. Thompkins, 1st Lieut. Fred C. Lang and Carl Schneider. Providing sacred music were Mrs. D.D. Darrah and Ethel Gulick Phillips. His remains were placed into rest in the Bloomington Cemetery.
  • Grandson Edward R. Frank ( ? -1949) was born in (?). He was a partner in the family painting firm in 1898. Edward was united in holy wedlock with Georgia L. Beathe ( ? - ? ) of Bloomington. The couple did not reproduce. They relocated to Baltimore, MD by 1938, where he continued the painting and decorating trade. Frank passed away in Baltimore on June 2, 1949. His funeral service was held in Baltimore, with an obituary appearing in his old hometown newspaper, the Bloomington Pantagraph.
  • Grandson Roy L. Frank (1879- ? ) was born on June 8, 1879 in Bloomington. On Oct. 8, 1899, he was joined in matrimony with Elizabeth Bauman ( ? - ? ) of Bloomington. They did not bear any children during their marriage. He was employed for decades in the family's painting business. Active in the community, he was a member of the First Christian Church as well as the local Masons lodge and Peoria Shrine. In 1920, they made a home at 904 West Jackson Street in Bloomington, and remained there for good. On the fateful day of June 27, 1938, he put in a day of work and then came home, but collapsed and died without warning. An obituary in the Bloomington Pantagraph called him "one of the oldest painters in Bloomington."
  • Grandson William Arthur Frank ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).
  • Granddaughter Mae Frank (1881-1969) was born on Feb. 26, 1881 in Bloomington. She appears to have been wedded twice. Her first husband was (?) Stockdale ( ? - ? ). Circa 1920, she lived in Bloomington, and in 1922 she underwent surgery for appendicitis. Later, on April 25, 1923, in St. Louis, she wedded Harry Ely (July 25, 1878-1940). The couple did not reproduce. Circa 1938, the Elys resided in Bloomington at the addres of 1309 West Olive Street. Harry was employed for more than three decades as an engineer on the Alton Railroad and a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. They were members of the Christian Church. Sadly, after undergoing surgery at St. Joseph Hospital, he passed away on Jan. 21, 1940. Funeral services were preached by Rev. N.G. Crawford, with burial in Park Hill Cemetery. The Bloomington Pantagraph ran an obituary. Mae outlived her husband for decades. In 1941-1969, she was in Lexington, McLean County. As her health failed, she was admitted to Brokaw Hospital in Normal, IL. There, she died at the age of 88 on May 22, 1969. An obituary in the Pantagraph said that her survivors included nephew Ron Smith of Bloomington and niece Betty Claudon of Lexington.
  • Granddaughter Rose M. Frank (1888-1962) was born on Feb. 9, 1888 in Bloomington. When she was 21 years of age, in Dec. 1909, she married C. Edward Smith ( ? - ? ). Their wedding was held in Bloomington. The Smiths produced two children -- Ronald Smith and Betty Claudon. For many decades, they dwelled in Lexington, McLean County. They belonged to the Christian Church in Lexington, and she was a member of the Rebekah Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows. Rose died at home at the age of 74 on Oct. 16, 1962. An obituary in the Bloomington Pantagraph noted that funeral services were held in the family church, led by Rev. Leland Beck, with burial in Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington.

Son Jacob C. Franks (1847-1864?) was born on July 15, 1847 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. Among those who visited the newborn baby and his mother were neighbors Mary Pritts and Sarah Way who lived on adjoining farms, about three-quarters of a mile away. A record of Jacob's birth was inscribed in the family Bible. He grew up with neighbor friend Aaron Wills. Jacob was one of four brothers to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War, but the only one who did not come home. In about 1863 or early '64, he joined his parents and family in relocating to Illinois. He never married. Jacob joined the Union Army at Bloomington, McLean County, IL in March 1864. He was assigned to the 39th Illinois Infantry, Company B, with the name at times spelled "Franks." The regiment was deployed to the outskirts of Richmond, VA. Tragically, while swimming in the James River on May 20, 1864, he drowned. Some 26 years after his untimely death serving our nation, his mother in 1890 began receive a military pension as compensation for his loss. [Mother App. #499.435 - Cert. #359.102].

 

Joseph W. Frank
Courtesy Leah Kopka

Son Joseph W. Frank (1849-1929) was born on March 8, 1849 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. As a teenager, he migrated to Illinois with his parents and siblings and grew to adulthood in Bloomington, McLean County. As a young man he learned the blacksmithing trade. Joseph was twice wed. His first bride was Alice E. Murray (1854?-1880), a native of New York. Their wedding was held on Nov. 24, 1871, in Bloomington, when he was age 22. They produced four offspring -- Mary Ella Frank, Jacob J. "Jay" Frank, William "James" Franks and Edward Lee Frank. Sadly, after a little more than eight years of marriage, she contracted typhoid fever and died in January 1880. The widowed Joseph and children then moved into the home of his parents in Bloomington. Joseph occupied his time as a blacksmith during that period. He spent seven years as a widower and then, in 1887, was joined in wedlock with Nelldeene White (Sept. 8, 1858-1918). Nelldeene is thought to have been married previously and to have brought a daughter to the second marriage, Florence G. During the  early 1890s, Joseph accepted employment as a police officer in Bloomington and remained in the position for a number of years. His name occasionally was in the news for his work in law enforcement and at crime scenes. As well, he provided supporting testimony for his widowed sister-in-law Helena (Buncher) Frank in her application to receive a Civil War widow's pension. The 1900 United States Census shows the family in Bloomington, with Joseph's occupation marked as "special officer." By 1903, they had moved to Chicago, where they stayed for good. Their address in 1910 was on East 31st Street. Joseph's occupation in 1910, as marked in the federal census, was "watchman - auto house," while Nelldeene's was shown as "chiropodist - at home" -- a type of foot doctor. That year, 16-year-old railroad office clerk Otto Bochum boarded in their household. Sadness blanketed the family when Nelldeene passed away in Chicago at the age of 60 on Nov. 12, 1918. Her remains were transported back to Bloomington to rest for all time in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Joseph outlived his wife by nearly a decade. At the age of 79, he died in Chicago on Oct. 3, 1928. His remains also were shipped to Bloomington for burial in Evergreen. [Find-a-Grave]

  • Granddaughter Mary "Ella" Frank (1873-1948) was born on Feb. 4, 1873 in Bloomington, McLean County. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Snyder ( ? - ? ). The couple dwelled in 1946-1947 in Monette, Barry County, MO. Ella died at the age of 7 on Oct. 6, 1948 in Monett, with burial in the local Odd Fellows Cemetery.
  • Grandson Jacob J. "Jay" Frank (1874-1965) was born on Nov. 10, 1874 in Bloomington, McLean County. He married Ella Tohill (Nov. 14, 1878-1957), daughter of Mary Tohill. They lived in Bloomington over the years. In July 1919, Jay acquired a retail confectionary store at 407 North Main Street from his cousin Howard H. Frank. Known as Den-O-Sweets, the business operated until about 1923, when it was taken over by J.P. Harkins and W.R. Merna as new management. The business may have struggled as just two months after buying it, Jacob contracted a case of shingles and was confined to his home. His address in 1946-1947 was 209 Willard Avenue in Bloomington. Sadly, Ella passed into eternity at the age of 79 on Nov. 14, 1957. Jay lived as her widower for another eight years. He died at the age of 90 on March 4, 1965. Interment was in the mausoleum of Park Hill Cemetery in Bloomington.
  • Grandson William James "Jimmy" Franks (1877-1946) was born in about 1877 in Bloomington, McLean County. At the age of 23, in 1900, he earned a living as a teamster in Bloomington. Then at the age of 28, in 1905, he married May Maloney ( ? -1937), a native of Bloomington. They produced a daughter, Mae Franks. The family relocated to Chicago in about 1916 and belonged to the Catholic Church. Sadly, May died in 1937 after 32 years of wedlock. James outlived his bride by nine years. He passed away at home on June 4, 1946. After funeral services were held in Chicago, the body was shipped to Bloomington for interment in St. Mary's Cemetery, with an obituary printed in the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Great-granddaughter Mae Frank (1902?-1960) was born in about 1902. She never married. She moved to Chicago and was employed for many years as a bookkeeper with the III Theater Company. She was a member of the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church. Suffering from heart problems, she died at home at the age of 58 on July 21, 1960. The remains were brought back to Bloomington for a funeral mass sung at Holy Trinity Church, with burial following in St. Mary's Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Bloomington Pantagraph which said she was survived by her uncles J.J. Frank of 209 Willard and Floyd C. Clothier of 501 East Chestnut.

  • Grandson Edward Lee "Eddie" Frank (1879-1947) was born on March 2, 1879 in Bloomington, McLean County. He established a home in Indiana and was there in 1946. In July 1898, in Chicago, Edward was joined in marriage with Lillian Mae Williams (May 20, 1879-1908), daughter of Ezra "Henry" and Mary A. (Durr) Williams of Clinton, DeWitt County, IL. The newlyweds put down roots in Bloomington. They were the parents of an only child, Gladys Julia Watchinski. The family address in 1908 was 802 South Lee Street. For 36 years, Edward was employed by the Rock Island Railroad as a car foreman. He also belonged to the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Anxiety enveloped the family when Lillian contracted tuberculosis in 1907. She endured the illness for a year but could not rally. Sadly, she died at age 28 on Feb. 18, 1908. An obituary in the Bloomington Pantagraph noted that her other survivors included her brother Edward Williams and sisters Mrs. A. Sharpe of Bloomington, Mrs. James Stevens of Cleveland, OH and Dora Snavely of Enid, OK. Following funeral services held in the Williams residence, burial was in Bloomington Cemetery. Rev. F.W. Hawley led the service, with Mrs. Charles Stevenson and L.W. Ades singing hymns, and Edward's relatives serving as pallbearers -- Clyde Frank, Jay Frank, Howard Frank, James Frank, Ray Frank and William Frank. The newly widowed Edward grieved for a year and asked his aunts Julia and Sarah Frank to raise his daughter. Then, in 1909, married Mabel Berwick ( ? -1944) in a ceremony in Peoria. They adopted a granddaughter as their own, Alice Marie. Their home was at 407 East Taylor Street. Sadness again invaded Edward's world when Mabel passed away in 1944, after 35 years of marriage. He outlived his second wife by three years. Death swept him away on Nov. 9, 1947 in Bloomington. His remains are in repose in Woodlawn Cemetery in Terre Haute, IN.

 

Gladys Frank in younger years and with husband William Watchinski
Courtesy Leah Kopka

 

Great-granddaughter Gladys Julia Frank (1900-1957) was born on Aug. 3, 1900 in Bloomington. When Gladys was age eight, her mother died, and she was taken into the home of unmarried great-aunts Julia Frank and Sarah Frank. On Christmas Eve 1919, at the age of 19, she was married to World War I veteran William Harry Watchinski (Nov. 10, 1899-1969) in nuptials held in Chicago. William had served in Troop B of the 6th Cavalry during the war. The couple produced two children -- William Edward Watchinski and Claire E. Kopka. Circa 1947, her address was 407 East Taylor Street in Bloomington. She passed into eternity in Bloomington on Sept. 7, 1957. Her remains are interred in East Lawn Cemetery. William survived his wife by a dozen years and married again in 1959 to Edith Smock (March 23, 1909-1972), daughter of Oliver Jacob and and Henrietta "Etta" (Baxter) Smock. The second marriage endured for a decade before the separation of death. William passed away on Jan. 11, 1969. Edith joined him in death in Bloomington on Nov. 21, 1972. Their son William served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and Korea. Their daughter Claire (Dec. 4, 1928-2018) married John Joseph Kopka (July 17, 1923-2019) and resided in Bloomington. Claire died on July 19, 2018 and John on March 18, 2019.

  • Step-granddaughter Florence G. (?) (1877- ? ) was born in March 1877 in Illinois. She was 10 years of age when her mother married Joseph W. Frank. Circa 1900, unmarried at age 23, she lived with her mother and stepfather in Bloomington.

Daughter Sarah C. "Sadie" Frank (1851-1919) was born on April 19, 1851 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. During the mid-1860s, she migrated to Illinois with her parents and siblings. Sadie never married and spent her years living with her parents and single sister Julia. She was a longtime member of the Second Presbyterian Church. In August 1911, she and her niece Gladys Frank traveled to Chicago to visit with relatives. Tragedy consumed her at Christmas 1917 when her sister and housemate Julia died after being struck and killed by a moving vehicle in Bloomington. Sadie only lived for another two years after the accident. She became bedfast in March 1919 and remained so for the final six months of her life. As she lay dying, her sister Mary E. Smith spent the final hours at her bedside. She succumbed in Bloomington on Oct. 4, 1919 at the age of 68. Funeral services were held at Beck's Chapel, led by her pastor, Rev. W.B. Hindman. Pallbearers included her nephews Howard Frank, Jay J. Frank, Roy L. Frank, Edward L. Frank, W.J. Frank and Harry Smith. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington. [Find-a-Grave]

Daughter Julia A. Frank (1854-1917) was born on Feb. 27, 1854 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. In the midst of the Civil War, in 1864, she moved west to Illinois with her family. As with her sister Sarah, she never married bu was close with her nieces and nephews. Her address in 1917 was 802 South Lee Street in Bloomington, and was considered "an estimable woman," said the Bloomington Pantagraph. Tragedy ended her life just before Christmas 1917. She and her niece Gladys were in town on a Saturday night, shopping and viewing the retailers' holidays displays. While crossing the street at the Main and Washington intersection, near the First National Bank and McLean County Bank, an automobile driven by Edward Brown struck both women and knocked Julia down. Her head hit the pavement and rendered her unconscious, while Gladys' arm was injured. The driver testified that the two women suddenly started to run across the street directly in front of his vehicle which "was going not over two miles an hour when it came into contact with Miss Frank." Reported the Bloomington Pantagraph, "There were many people in the uptown district at the hour that the accident happened and the affair created some excitement." Julia was carried to the Coblentz Drug Store and then rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital. She lasted the night but succumbed the next day, Christmas Eve morning, 1917. Burial followed in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

Son Edmond Francis Frank (1856-1933) -- also known as "Edward" and "Franks" -- was born on May 12, 1856 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. He was but a boy when he joined his family in migrating to Illinois, settling in Bloomington, McLean County. He was united in matrimony with Mary Hunter ( ? -1939). They bore a son, Howard H. Frank. In 1898, he was employed as a baggage master for the Chicago and Alton Railroad. Circa 1903, he earned a living through his work at Hunter & Frank. Then in 1919, he sold his interest in Hunter Ice Cream factory to his son Howard. Circa 1926, he lived at 612 Washington Street in Bloomington. At the age of 76, Edmond died in Bloomington on Jan. 28, 1933. He rests in Park Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum. [Find-a-Grave]

  • Grandson Howard H. Frank ( ? - ? ) operated a confectionary store in Bloomington on North Main Street in 1919. That year, he bought out his father's interest in the Hunter Ice Cream factory on North East Street and then sold his retail business to his cousin, Jacob "Jay" Frank.

 

~ Daughter Sarah (Weyand) Coleman ~

Daughter Sarah Weyand (1820-1899) was born in about 1820 in Somerset County.

She was united in matrimony with Joseph Coleman (1803-1876). They were the parents of Henry Coleman and Mary Weller.

The couple resided on a farm two-and-a-half miles west of Somerset in the 1850s and for many years thereafter.

In 1870, Sarah inherited $650.00 from the estate of her late father.

Sadness blanketed the family when Joseph died at the age of 73 on July 17, 1876. A brief death notice was published in the Somerset Herald.

Sarah outlived her spouse by a number of years and moved into the home of their daughter Mary Weller as of 1880.

She died at the age of 82 on or about Nov. 22, 1899. Word of her passing was telegraphed to her 86-year-old sister Catharine Frank in Illinois..

Daughter Mary Coleman (1849-1935) was born on June 16, 1849. At the age of 16, on Jan. 23, 1866, she wedded 24-year-old Civil War veteran William "Frederick" Weller (May 25, 1841-1907), son of Jacob and Barbara (Shaulis) Weller. The wedding was held in Somerset, officiated by Rev. L. Gerhard. Frederick stood 5 feet, 7½ inches tall, weighed 16 lbs. and had a fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. The children born to this marriage were Elizabeth J. "Lizzie" Weller, Charles Edwin Weller and Daniel Weller. During the Civil War, on Sept. 28, 1864, Frederick joined the Union Army. He was assigned to the 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C. Among his comrades in the company were Abraham Howard, William Mull and John Schrock of Bakersville, Somerset County. Frederick often exchanged letters with Mary, his sweetheart and future wife. While on duty at Morris Island, SC in January 1865, he contracted typhoid fever which led to bronchitis, heart disease and lung problems. He was feverish and stayed on duty until it got worse. Then he received treatment at the regimental hospital. Recalled Howard, his tentmate and messmate, "I never expected to see him get of[f] Morris Island alive, he was so low from the diseases..." and was then transferred to a hospital in Charleston and thence to another hospital in the District of Columbia. After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned home in July 1865.

 

Civil War stereoview of soldiers' tents in the sand at Morris Island, SC.
Courtesy Library of Congress

 

The couple were farmers for many years in Somerset Township, living sabout two-and-a-half miles from the county seat. When the federal census was taken in 1880, Mary's widowed mother resided in the household. In the late 1880s, Frederick began receiving a Civil War soldier's pension from the federal government. [Invalid App. #738.602 - Cert. #499.851] He found it difficult to work at farming, complaining often to neighbors Harmon Barron and Samuel S. Miller about "spells of sickness" which included pain in the chest and difficulty in breathing. Perhaps finding politics a lighter form of work, he is believed to have won the elected position of Director of the Poor in 1888-1892. The Somerset Herald noted in September 1892 that he "contemplates a trip to Erie, Pa., early next month, at which time the Poor Directors of the State hold their annual convention in that city." Then in 1893 he ran for county commissioner and in 1894 was a candidate for school director in the township. He was known for not consuming alcohol. Mary is believed to have been a sufferer from tuberculosis, known as "consumption" at the time.

Circa 1898, he made plans to become a resident of the Soldiers' Home in Erie. While en route, he stayed overnight in a hotel in Sharon, and nearly died of natural gas inhallation. Reported the Herald, "Frederick Weller, an old soldier who formerly resided in the vicinity of Stoyestown, was found unconscious in his room ... where he had blown out the gas before going to bed... To the physician at Sharon who attended him he said his wife is a consumptive and that when his pension money was exhausted his children kicked him out. He bewailed his fate, and wished he had died." He apparently did not complete the relocation. One day while plowing in the hot sun, he drank a quantity of cold water from a nearby well. When he quit work at 4 p.m. that day, he came home, put his horse away and consumed a light supper. Then between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. he became nauseous and commenced vomiting. Dr. S.J.H. Louther was called and diagnosed a case of gastritis. At some point the couple moved into the town of Somerset, owning a half-acre of land which included a small house. On the last day of his life, on May 16, 1907, Frederick seemed to be in reasonable health. His brother came for a visit, and they talked for two hours. But after the brother's departure, Frederick complained of sharp heart pain, fell into bed and died. He was just nine days shy of his 66th birthday. Mary outlived her spouse by nearly 30 years. She learned she was eligible for a military pension as the widow of a Civil War veteran, and it was awarded the month after his death. [Widow App. #871.389 - Cert. #633.965] Toward the end, she lived with Elizabeth Trent at 145 East Catherine Street. Widowed in her mid-80s, Mary suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 85 on April 1, 1935. Burial was beside her spouse in Christ Casebeer Lutheran Church Cemetery in Sipesville. Elizabeth Trent was the informant for the Pennsylvania death certificate. [Find-a-Grave]

  • Granddaughter Elizabeth J. "Lizzie" Weller (1866-1935) was born on April 24, 1866 or April 25, 1867 in Somerset Township. As a young woman, circa 1889, she taught in a local school. On April 11, 1889, at the age 22, Lizzie was united in matrimony with 26-year-old farmer Norman E. Trent ( ? - ? ), son of Uriah and Harriet Trent, also of Somerset Township. The nuptials were performed by J.F. Shearer. Lizzie and her brother Charles are known to have traveled to attend the Central State Normal School graduation of their brother Daniel in Lock Haven, PA in June 1898. In the early 1930s, the widowed Elizabeth lived at 145 Catharine Street in Somerset. She suffered a heart attack in April 1935 and passed into eternity two days later on April 22, 1935, just two days shy of her 69th birthday. Burial was in Union Cemetery in Somerset. Mrs. Norman E. Knepper Jr., of South Center Avenue in Somerset, was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
  • Christ Casebeer Lutheran Church
    Grandson Charles Edwin "C.E." Weller (1869-1926) was born on Jan. 29, 1869 in Somerset Township. He grew up learning the occupation of farmer. At the age of 26, three days before Christmas 1895, he was joined in holy wedlock with 19-year-old Carrie May Miller ( ? - ? ), daughter of Jeremiah "Jerre" and Maggie L. Miller. The wedding was held at the home of the bride in Lincoln Township, performed by Rev. C.F. Gephart in front of a room about 60 invited guests. In a report about the wedding written by Gebhart, the Somerset Herald said that "After the ceremony and congratulations all were invited to the dining room where a sumptuous supper was served, that all enjoyed. After a pleasant, social time during the evening the guests bid Mr. and Mrs. Weller God speed, upon the voyage of life together, and returned to their homes delighted with the pleasant event they were invited to witness." The couple lived on a farm in Somerset Township. When Carrie's mother died in 1899, she brought her widowed father into their household in the village of Husband, and he remained until his death in May 1942. Charles is believed to have been the same "C.E. Weller" who, in June 1905, built a water reservoir near their home and, reported the Somerset Daily American, "now enjoys the convenience of having water piped through all parts of his house." The family was plunged into grief when Charles, stricken with "neuraligia of the heart," succumbed on Oct. 31, 1926 at the age of 57. Interment was in Christ Casebeer Lutheran Church Cemetery.
  • Grandson Daniel W. Weller (1879-1931) was born on Jan. 19, 1879 on a farm near the village of Husband, Somerset Township. In his late teens, after receiving his public school education, he attended Lock Haven State Normal School and graduated in 1898. From there he became employed as a clerk with the banking department of County Trust Company. On June 26, 1900, when he was 22 years old, he wedded 21-year-old Darl I. Kifer (Feb. 18, 1879-1929), daughter of Michael and Mary (Saylor) Kifer. Rev. E.P. Wise was the officiant at the wedding ceremony. They produced these known offspring -- Edward Weller, Daniel W. Weller Jr., Edna Weller and Mrs. John Speicher. Daniel eventually left the trust company to join a Pittsburgh wholesale business as a traveling salesman. He resigned from his sales work in February 1926 to become postmaster in Somerset and then was re-appointed for a second term at the recommendation of Congressman Samuel Austin Kendall. In his free time, he enjoyed singing in the choir of Trinity Lutheran Church and belonged to the Lions Club. Sadly, Darl contracted kidney failure compounded by a serious case of pneumonia. She was admitted to St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she passed away at the age of 50 on Dec. 6, 1929. Daniel only outlived his wife by a little more than a year. On the fateful day of Jan. 8, 1931, while a passenger in a vehicle driven by his son-in-law John Speicher, he suddenly slumped in the seat while they passed the Farmers National Bank in the city's public square. Speicher sped to the post office to get help and then drove to the office of Dr. Charles C. Barchfield, who pronounced Daniel dead on arrival. Said the Somerset Daily American, "Word of Postmaster Weller's passing spread quickly throughout the community and everywhere was received with profound sorrow. After the public had recovered from the first shock men and women gathered in groups and discussed the loss the community had sustained in the unexpected removal of an efficient and popular public servant." Following funeral services in the home, led by Rev. Dr. I. Hess Wagner of the family church, interment was in Somerset.

Great-grandson Edward Weller was employed in 1931 vy Sandard Sanitary Manufacturing Company in Pittsburgh.

Great-grandson Daniel W. Weller Jr. lived with his parents in 1931.

Great-granddaughter Edna Weller was a school teacher in Somerset Township in 1931.

Great-granddaughter (?) Weller married John Speicher. Their home in 1931 was on East Patriot Street in Somerset.

 

Somerset County
Memorial Park

Son Henry Coleman (1854-1929) was born on Sept. 17, 1854 and grew up in Somerset. At the age of 25, on Sept. 21, 1879, he married Binnie Barron ( ? - ? ). Rev. A.E. Truxal officiated. In a letter to the editor of the Somerset Herald, a writer pen-named "Little Schnacum" wrote the following: "Let me tell you a little about the happy couple Mr. Henry Coleman and Miss Binnie J. Barron, who were united together in matrimony ... on Sunday morning, ... and happily serenaded on Monday night following. The serenading party numbered about one hundred and fifty men and boys; and after serenading about an hour and a half they were all invited to partake of the hearty supper prepared. All we had for supper I cannot state; I couldn't name everything. This serenading is estimated to have been one of the best that ever took place in Somerset county. The serenading took place at Mr. Coleman's residence. I, with all the rest of the serenaders, wish you and your pretty wife all the luck we can, and a happy life in this world and in the world to come, and are ever so thankful for the kind usage we got." The couple were farmers for decades before retiring in the 1920s. Their only child was Stewart E. Coleman. They left their farm and purchased a residence in Somerset at 608 South Center Street. Henry was employed in those later years as a tipstaff in the Somerset County Court system, appointed by his brother-in-law, Judge J.A. Berkey. At the age of 74, Henry began to be treated medically for angina pectoris -- severe chest pain caused by poor blood flow into the heart. After four months of suffering, he went to work on Dec. 12, 1929 and put in a full day. Sadly, after a good supper that evening he "was seized with a sudden and violent illness" and died that evening, said the Somerset Daily American. His obituary reported that the "citizens of Somerset were shocked" at the news. Interment was in St. John's Cemetery in Somerset, following funeral services preached by Rev. J.J. Funk of the United Brethren Church.

  • Grandson Stewart E. Coleman (1883-1957) was born on Nov. 16, 1883 in Somerset Township. As a young man, he dwelled near Lavansville, Somerset County. On March 20, 1904, at the age of 21, he was joined in marriage with Jennie M. Weigle ( ? - ? ), daughter of John and Marion (Ringler) Weigle of Somerset Township. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John Wilson at his home in Somerset, with the news reported in the Somerset Daily American. Their attendants were Lewis Wilson and Naomi Wilson. They dwelled in rural Somerset Township, and Stewart earning as a moulder for Somerset Foundry and Machine Company. They produced five known children, John Henry Coleman, Frances Fox, Cloyde E. Coleman, Paul F. Coleman and JoAnn Cage. Over the span of decades of their marriage, they remained in the same house. The couple were members of the First Evangelical United Brethren Church in Somerset, and Stewart belonged to the International Order of Odd Fellows in Somerset for four decades. When the children all married and started making babies, the Colemans received the gift of five grandchildren in the single year of 1949. The couple celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary in March 1950 with a restaurant dinner and driving trip to Altoona, courtesy of their daughter JoAnn Cage and her husband. At their 50th anniversary in 1954, they held an open house for family and friends at the First Evangelical United Brethren Church. In reporting on the anniversary event, the Daily American said that "Mr. Coleman is now retired, and spends a great deal of his time in doing carpenter work, while Mrs. coleman makes rugs. She makes several different types of rugs, hooked and braided, and just enjoys making rugs for various placed in her home and in the homes of her children. Both are enjoying good health and keep quite active. Mr. Coleman is a member of the Odd Fellows lodge and has been quite active in the unit for many years." On June 24, 1957, burdened with heart disease and hardening of the arteries, Stewart died in Somerset Community Hospital after a 10-day stay. The remains were placed into eternal repose in Somerset County Memorial Park, with funeral services co-officiated by Rev. Melroy M. Wirick and Rev. Dr. B.F. Bungard. Their son John signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death, and the Daily American ran an obituary.

 

Arlington National Cemetery

Great-grandson John Henry Coleman (1906-1967) was born on May 12, 1906 in Somerset Township. he served in World War II with the U.S. Navy, with three and a half years spent in the Pacific Theater as a member of the Navy and the Seabees. He was discharged with the rank of chief petty officer. He married Lorene Blevins ( ? - ? ) of Nashville, TN. Children born to this marriage were Jacqueline "Jacquie" Coleman, JoAnn Coleman and John Michael Coleman. After the war, he secured employment in Baltimore with the local shipyard. The couple lived in 1949-1957 in Chattanooga, TN and then in 1967 in McLean, VA. Sadly, John died unexpectedly at the age of 60 on Jan. 29, 1967. Funeral services were held in the chapel at Fort Myer, VA, followed by military burial in Arlington National Cemetery (Section 51, Grave 1983).

Great-grandson Cloyde E. Coleman (1910-1981) was born on Nov. 8, 1910 in Somerset. He married Thelma Merrill ( ? - ? ). They dwelled over the years on West Garrett Street and on Berkey Lane in Somerset. The couple bore these children -- Carol Anselmo, James Coleman and William Coleman. Cloyde earned a living over the years with Jewel Tea Company, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and IXL Creamery. For half a century, he was a member of First United Methodist Church of Somerset and was active in its Brotherhood Bible Class. As his health failed, Cloyde was admitted to Somerset Hospital, where he succumbed at the age of 80 on Aug. 7, 1991. Dr. Arthur J. Gotjen preached the funeral sermon, with interment in Somerset County Memorial Park.

Great-grandson Paul F. Coleman ( ? - ? ) lived in Chattanooga, TN in 1954 and in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA in 1967 and Dayton, Montgomery County, OH in 2000-2011.

Great-granddaughter Frances Coleman (1920-2011) was born in 1920. She worked in Washington, DC in 1945. She wedded Paul A. Fox ( ? - ? ) and made a home in Jackson, MI in 1949-1967. They bore three children, David Fox, Alan Frederick Fox and Lori Kelly. By 2000, Frances was in Cadiz, KY. She died in Trigg County Hospital at the age of 91 on Oct. 18, 2011, with an obituary appearing in the Louisville (KY) Courier Journal.

Great-granddaughter JoAnn Coleman (1928-2000) was born on Nov. 28, 1928 in Somerset and was 22 years younger than her eldest brother. She married Albert L. Cage Jr. ( ? - ? ). Their address in 1949 was on East Sanner Street in Somerset and they remained in the city for the balance of their lives. They were the parents of Brenda Suzanne Winkelman, Sara Elizabeth Cage and kristine Brockwell. The Cages were members of Calvary Methodist Church, where JoAnn served for many years as the organist. Later, she played organ for Grace United Methodist Church. JoAnne was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, the Rotary Club of Somerset (where she was a Paul Harris Fellow) and Somerset Music Club. She also volunteered her time with the Somerset Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels. JoAnn died at the age of 71 at home on July 9, 2000. Funeral services were held in the Calvary Church, co-officiated by Rev. Raymond Lyon and Rev. Charles Olson, and burial in Somerset County Memorial Park. An obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American.

 

~ Son William "Squire" Weyand ~

Son William Weyand (1822-1888) was born in about 1822 in Somerset County who in his adult years earned the moniker "Squire."

In 1844, when he was age 22, William married Catherine J. Loehr (1820-1884), daughter of Peter J. and Anna B. (Schneider) Loehr in nuptials held in Somerset County. The name also has been spelled "Lare" over the years, perhaps reflecting how it was pronounced. Catherine's father was a German-born tailor in who worked in Somerset, and many years later his farm, east of Somerset, was owned by Daniel Kimmell.

The children born to this marriage were Mary L. Calkins, Frances J. Latham, William J. Weyand, Albert E. Weyand.

As a young man, he learned the tailoring trade, possibly from his father-in-law. In 1844, in company with other Somerset Countians, the newlywed Weyands relocated to Illinois, settling in Bloomington, McLean County. Among those who also made the voyage about that time were William's married sister Catherine and her husband Jacob Frank and their offspring. Catherine's parents appear to have joined them in Bloomington with a year or two.

The family home was located at 510 West Front Street, where their children were raised.

 

Business district in Bloomington, Illinois

 

William earned income in Bloomington in the tailoring business. Circa 1849, when they ran advertisements in the Bloomington Weekly Pantagraph, he was in partnership with (?) Rogers and operated under the name "Weyand & Rogers, Fashionable Tailors." By 1850, he appears to have secured a new partner with the firm named "Knotts & Weyand, Tailors." He later worked in a dry goods firm. In 1870, after the death of his father, William received $810.00 as an inheritance from the estate. The 1870 federal census shows him working as a magistrate, and in 1880 in real estate, with Catherine's widowed mother living next door during that decade.

"For many years," reported the Bloomington Pantagraph, "he was a familiar figure about the courts, where he was known as a most careful and faithful attache of the sheriff's office. He was for a long time a justice of the peace. He was of a quiet and reticent disposition, but to those whom he was intimately acquainted there was behind his reservedness at all ties a kindly heart and a faithful, trusting nature."

He was a member of the Remembrance lodge of the International Order of Long Fellows and at the time of his death in 1888 was one of its oldest members. He is known to have hosted a visit in May 1878 from his brother Samuel, who was visiting from Pennsylvania, and then in September 1878 from his brother John, also who had traveled from Somerset County. In September 1886, William traveled back to Somerset to visit loved ones, and upon returning, the Pantagraph said that he "seems to have tapped the fountain of youth."

After enduring what the Pantagraph called "a lingering illness," Catherine died on Sept. 30, 1884 at the age of 64. Her obituary observed that she "was a fond mother and wife, and highly respected by all her acquaintances."

William passed away on or about Jan. 8, 1888. An obituary in the Bloomington Pantagraph said that "It had scarcely become known to his friends that his condition was dangerous before the silent messenger of death summoned his spirit to its eternal home. Mr. Weyand has for many years past been considered quite feeble by the members of the family. He was on last Tuesday evening taken with a congestive chill. He failed to rally under proper treatment, and the exhaustion resulting from the congestion, complicated with other constitutional derangements, proved fatal. Mr. Weyand was one of the oldest and perhaps best known citizens of this city and county.... Mr. Weyand had the gift of acquiring money, and at the time of his death was estimated as a man of large wealth." The obituary was reprinted in the Somerset newspapers in his old hometown.

Daughter Mary L. Weyand (1849-1924) was born on March 19, 1849 in Bloomington. In girlhood, she joined the Christian Church. Mary was twice married. The identity of her first spouse is not yet known, but by 1880 they were divorced, with Mary having moved back into her parents' home. Then on Jan. 15, 1885, Mary wedded Rolla D. Calkins (May 13, 1859-1918), a native of Livingston County, IL. The bride was nine years older than the groom. They were the parents of two children, Frank W. Calkins, born in 1885 and another deceased by 1900. As a young man, Rolla studied to become a lawyer while at the same time working as a traveling salesman. He eventually practiced law in Bloomington and served as a local justice of the peace. They were members of the First Christian Church of Bloomington. In 1898, they left Illinois and moved to Carthage, MO. After five years in Carthage, in 1903 they moved again to a farm six miles west of Cuba, Crawford County, MO. There, he was elected to the Missouri legislature and became a prominent member. Rolla was known by the Cuba Review as "the silver tongued orator of western Iowa and gave many public speeches over the years. Circa September 1894, Mary and her brother William traveled together to Denver for a visit. Rolla served in the legislature until poor health led to his resignation. He spent his final time in a state hospital in Farmington, MO in hopes of recovery. He died in Farmington at the age of 59 on Nov. 24, 1918, with his body shipped back to Cuba for burial, and the funeral officiated by Rev. A.H. Barnes. Mary as a widow remained in their home, and she was a member of the Order of Eastern Star. Having borne heart valve failure, she succumbed in Cuba at the age of 75 on Oct. 25, 1924. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Mounts Cemetery, with brother Albert signing the Missouri certificate of death. Rev. Morse of the Cuba Presbyterian Church officiated at her funeral service, and an obituary was printed in the Cuba Review.

  • Grandson Frank W. Calkins (1885- ? ) was born in 1885. He lived in Knobview west of Cuba, Crawford County, MO. Circa 1920, he helped organize the Iron Ridge Farm Club, a group of local farmers seeking to pool their resources to cut costs. Frank was elected to the Farm Club Buying Committee. Reported the Cuba Review, "These men shipped in car loads of feed and flour, fertilizer, binder twine, etc., and saved the farmers many a dollar on the above commodities." As more clubs were organized, the group was reorganized in 1922 into the Live Stock Shipping Association, "whereby farmers could ship their stock cooperatively to a cooperative market, which has save the farmers thousands of dollars." At some point he located to a farm about 2.5 miles northeast of the town of Rosati, Phelps County, MO. He provided a home for his dying uncle Albert E. Weyand, with death occurring in July 1944.

Daughter Frances J. "Fannie" Weyand (1852-1899) was born in 1852 in Bloomington. In June 1871, pursuing a career in teaching, she graduated from the Normal University. She went on to teach during the 1871-1872 term in Somanauk for three months, Belleflower for six months and Bloomington for two months. Her teaching career has been summarized in the 1882 book, A History of the Illinois State Normal University, Normal, Illinois, co-authored by John W. Cook and James V. McHugh. In Feburary 1874, she wedded William A. Latham ( ? - ? ). The couple produced five known offspring, among them Florence Benson, Isabel Keighin and Frances C. Gooding. Circa 1882, they were on a farm near Osman, McLean County. Later, circa 1884, they dwelled in Kankakee, Kankakee County, IL, where William acquired a sizeable farm. They were members of the Christian church. In April 1887, she and her adult siblings William, Albert and Mary filed a lawsuit in District Court of the 19th Judicial District Court to divide Loehr family real estate in Woodson County, KS so that the value could be distributed to the heirs. The legal advertisement of the complaint was published in the Sumner County Standard and Woodson (KS) Democrat. The tract, in Section 1, Township 25, South Range 16 was appraised at $1,000, and the court ordered that the property be sold at a sheriff's sale. Their home in 1888 was in Pontiac, Livingston County, IL and in Kankakee in 1899. William also owned a 4,000-acre ranch in Texas, where he and Frances lived for several years in the late 1890s. The Grim Reaper rent the marriage apart on Nov. 19, 1899 when Frances, having given birth to their daughter Frances, passed away. Rev. J.H. Gilliland traveled from Bloomington to Kankakee to lead the funeral service. An obituary was printed in the Bloomington Pantagraph, and her death was noted in the 1907 book Semi-centennial History of the Illinois State Normal University.

  • Granddaughter Florence Latham (1876-1958) was born on Sept. 6, 1876 in Bellflower near Bloomington. Said the Bloomington Pantagraph, "She spent her childhood in Blooomington, lived also in Fort Worth, Texas, and Kankakee. She graduated from Cumberland University Annex in Lebanon, Tenn." At the age of 26, on Nov. 12, 1902, in Kankakee, she was joined in marriage with Harry Wright Benson ( ? -1942). The couple bore four children -- Helen Leys, Dorothy Woolsey, Walter Latham and Harry Gordon. They purchased a new home in 1919 located at 1102 North East Street. They belonged to the First Christian Church, with Florence active in its Christian Women's Fellowship, chairing its quilters group and serving on the church board. Sadly, Harry died in 1942. Their house on North East Street was acquired by Illinois Wesleyan University and converted to a dormitory for women. Florence's address in the 1950s was 1511 East Olive Street. As her health declined, she became a resident of the Highland Park Nursing Home in Chicago in August 1957. She died in the home at the age of 81 on or about June 1, 1958. Her funeral service was preached by Rev. John D. Trefzger of the First Christian Church, with interment in Park Hill Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Pantagraph.

Great-granddaughter Helen Benson married Wayne A.R. Leys and made a home in Wilmette, IL.

Great-granddaughter Dorothy Benson wedded Lewis Woolsey. Their residence in 1958 was in Evanston, IL.

Great-grandson Walter Latham relocated to St. Petersburg, FL and was there in 1958.

Great-grandson Harry Gordon dwelled in 1958 in Hollywood, CA.

  • Granddaughter Frances C. Latham (1899- ? ) was born in Nov. 1899 and was named for her mother. When the mother tragically died post partum, the baby was taken into the home of her married aunt Mary L. Calkins, in Carthage, MO. On July 20, 1920, in nuptials held in Kankakee, she was united in wedlock with World War I veteran John C. Gooding (Sept. 23, 1893-1975), son of Oliver and Laura (Thomas) Gooding. During the war, John served in the American Expeditionary Force in France. The couple dwelled for many years in Kempton, IL, where John earned a living as a dealer of farm implements. They produced four children -- Todd J. Gooding, Floyd L. Gooding, Mary Mercier and a daughter who died in infancy. They were members of the Kempton United Methodist Church. For 50 years, John was a member of the Olson-Bute American Legion. He also belonged to the Kempton-Cabery Lions Club and the Ford County Historical Society. He was admitted to Riverside Hospital in Kempton in late June 1975 and died there 10 days later on July 6, 1975. Interment was in Mound Grove Cemetery in Kankakee, with an obituary printed in the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Great-grandson Todd J. Gooding dwelled in Florissant, MO in 1975.

Great-grandson Floyd L. Gooding made a home in Kankakee, IL.

Great-granddaughter Mary Gooding married (?) Mercier. They lived in 1975 at 24 Knollcrest Court in Normal, McLean County.

  • Granddaughter Isabel Latham ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On Feb. 2, 1916, she was joined in marriage with Clarence B. Keighin (Feb. 4, 1892-1970), the son of David Byron and Mary Ellen (Benson) Keighin. They were longtime farmers in the Normal community of McLean County and members of the First Christian Church. The children born to this union were Robert L. Keighin, Paul B. Keighin and Kenneth A. Keighin. Clarence was active with the Cabery lodge of the Masons and served as master. He also was a member of the Towande lodge of the Masons, the Bloomington Consistory and Farm Bureau. For two decades, he served as a leader in the 4-H organization. They are known to have spent the winter of 1953-1954 in Long Beach, CA. In 1958, having retired, they resided at 808 South Mercer Avenue in Bloomington. At the age of 78, while a patient at Brokaw Hospital, Clarence died on Nov. 29, 1970. Rev. Dr. John D. Trefzger officiated at the funeral service followed by burial in East Lawn Cemetery.

Great-grandson Robert L. Keighin lived in Colfax, IL in 1970.

Great-grandson Paul B. Keighin resided in Colfax, IL.

Great-grandson Kenneth A. Keighin made a home in Carlock, IL.

Son William J. Weyand (1856-1936) was born in 1856 in Bloomington and spent his entire life in the community. In 1884, he worked for the Chicago & Alton Railroad. He was a C&A brakeman in 1887 and, on a stop in Girard, suffered an injury when one of his hands was partially crushed. On Aug. 10, 1898, when he was age 42, he married May Emmett (Feb. 4, 1869-1943), a native of Washington, IL who spent her growing up years in Bloomington. They did not reproduce. The couple established a home at 905 West Wood Street in Bloomington and remained there for the balance of their lives. In the 1890s, William and his brother Albert, brother-in-law William A. Latham and cousin Leon L. Loehr became partners in the Zenith Roller-Mill located in the eastern section of Bloomington on the old Crown roller mill property. Each partner subscribed to $10,000 worth of stock. In December 1890, with the valuation of the mill calculated at $65,000, the partners traded the facility to J.B. Goode in return for 4,290 acres of what the Chicago Inter Ocean called "fine cotton land near Dallas, Texas." At some point, the mill closed, and William sued his partners in November 1893 to recover $5,000 in what he believed he was owed. In reporting on the case, the Bloomington Pantagraph said that "In the fall of 1890 this mill was traded to a man by the name of Goode for 4,400 acres of land in Texas. The plaintiff in this case claims that Mr. Latham bought his interests in the farm as well as that of his brother and Mr. Loehr, paying at the rate of $12 per acre; that he paid a portion of it, and there is about $5,000 of the balance unpaid. Mr. Latham claims that he has paid all that he was to pay and that he does not owe Mr. Weyand anything." He was named in the 1903 Pantagraph obituary of his aunt Catharine (Weyand) Frank. William is known to have traveled to Missouri in 1924 to attend the funeral of his sister Mary. Sadly, William suffered a stroke in 1935 and lingered until the Grim Reaper swept him away at the age of 79 on Jan. 18, 1936. An obituary was printed in the Pantagraph. May lived for another seven years in her home at 905 West Wood Street. She passed away on Dec. 22, 1943.

Son Albert E. Weyand (1861-1944) was born in 1861 in Bloomington, McLean County, IL. He remained in Bloomington into his 30s. At the age of about 23, in 1884, he was employed by the Chicago & Alton Railroad. In March 1894, he and May G. Stroud ( ? - ? ) of St. Louis obtained a marriage license, with the news reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At the time, her address was 1235 North Grand Avenue in St. Louis. In reporting on the wedding, the Bloomington Pantagraph said it was "a surprise to the friends of Mr. Weyand, who is a very highly esteemed and estimable young gentleman, with many warm friends in this city, in which he has spent his life." The couple is not known to have reproduced. Circa 1903, Albert and his brother in law Rolla D. Calkins owned 700 acres of land in Knobview Township, Crawford County, MO and constructed a nine-room modern home, "finished in hard wood," said the Cuba (MO) Review. "They have completed their large barn. It is the intention of the gentlemen to put out many acres of orchard in a short time." In February 1911, after 17 years of wedlock, Albert filed for divorce. The case was announced in the Steelville (MO) Ledger and the final decree published in the Review and Crawford (MO) Mirror. He lived in Knobview circa 1924-1936. He is known to have attended McLean County's centennial anniversary celebration in 1930 and to have visited his brother William in Bloomington at that time. Albert's name again appeared in print in July 1936 involving a real estate partition involving property in Section 9 of Blue Mound Township near Bloomington. As he aged, and contracted cancer, he went to live in the household of his nephew Frank W. Calkins near the town of Rosati, Phelps County, MO. He died there at the age of 83 on July 15, 1944. In an obituary, the Review said that "Mr. Weyand had lived in Crawford County over 40 years. He is survived by 3 nephews and 4 nieces, none of whom lives in this part of the state." Inerment was in Mounts Cemetery.

 

~ Son John Weyand ~

Son John Weyand (1818-1883) was born in about 1818 in Somerset County.

When he was 32 years of age, he was unmarried and lived at home with his parents in Somerset Township, Somerset County, earning a living as a laborer.

John married Catharine Brant (1828-1909) -- also spelled "Brooks" -- during the decade of the 1850s. An immigrant to the United States, she was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Prussia.

Their four known children were Mary L. Weyand, Lucy Weyand, William Weyand and Henry Weyand. Sadly, daughter Mary died on Aug. 21, 1861, at the age of six, with burial in the family plot in Wills Church Cemetery.

The family apparently spoke the German language and/or carried on German customs, and while their grandchildren knew Catharine had been born in Germany, they believed John had as well.

The 1860 United States Census shows John and Catharine and family living on a farm in Somerset Township next to his parents and brother Joseph. As well, 15-year-old Elizabeth Brook resided in the household as a servant as did 19-year-old Henry Frank as a farm laborer.

In 1870, after his father's death, John was paid $798.00 as an inheritance from the estate. The federal census of 1870 shows the family in Somerset, with sons William (age 14) and Henry (11) living under their roof in addition to six-year-old Anna Rubright.

John is known to have traveled to Illinois in September 1878 to visit his brother William in the town of Bloomington, McLean County. The news was published in the gossip columns of the Bloomington Pantagraph.

By 1880, U.S. Census records show that the couple had moved from Somerset Township to a farm in Berlin, Somerset County. They were empty-nesters that year.

John succumbed in Berlin on Nov. 30, 1885. A short death notice was published in the Somerset Herald, which noted that he was in age 68 years, five months and three days, and that in "accorance with his request, he was buried at Will's Church, near the Somerset and Bedford Pike." [Find-a-Grave]

Catharine survived him by more than a quarter of a century. She died on Aug. 10, 1909.

Daughter Lucy Weyand (1855- ? ) was born in about 1855 in Somerset Township. In 1870, when she otherwise would have been age 15, she was not shown in that year's federal census in her parents' household, and may have been deceased.

Son William Weyand (1857- ? ) was born in about 1857 in Somerset Township. When he was age 14, in 1870, he lived with his parents in Somerset and is known to have attended school. His whereabouts in 1880 are not known. Research suggests that he is not the same William Weyand who migrated to Hancock County, IL -- married Mary F. Miller (April 9, 1856-1897) -- moved to Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa -- died on June 2, 1900 -- and is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Keokuk.

Son Henry Weyand (1859-1941) was born on Feb. 22, 1859 in Somerset Township. He was united in marital union with Arminta Forney (Feb. 11, 1860-1928), daughter of Franklin and Mary (Musser) Forney of Berlin. They produced two children -- John F. Weyand and Mary Earhart. Henry earned a living over the years as a salesman. The Weyands are known to have hosted the wedding of he sister Annie Forney to Ira S. Nicholson in their home in November 1903. In about 1917, they left Berlin and moved to the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh, making a home at 240 Hazelwood Avenue. They stayed in Hazelwood for the remaining years of their lives. Arminta was diagnosed with cancer of the duodenum, stomach and liver and admitted to Pittsburgh's South Side Hospital. Also burdened with anemia, she succumbed there at the age of 68 on Oct. 14, 1928. Son John of the family home provided vital information for the death certificate. Henry lived for another nearly 13 years. Suffering from hardening of the arteries, he died at the age of 82 on April 8, 1941. The remains were transported to Berlin for burial. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American reported that Rev. D. Snider Stephan, of the Trinity Reformed Church, preached the funeral sermon, with burial in the Berlin Odd Fellows Cemetery. Son-in-law L.C. Earhart, of 1456 Franklin Avenue in Wilkinsburg, was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. [Find-a-Grave]

 

Berlin's picturesque Odd Fellows Cemetery, where the Henry Weyands are buried

 

  • Grandson John F. Weyand (1882-1958) was born on July 27, 1882 in Berlin. He moved to Pittsburgh where he resided in Hazelwood at 240 Hazelwood Avenue in 1928. He married Catherine Croner ( ? - ? ). The couple produced two children. John was employed for many years by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, a position from which he retired. He died on May 14, 1958. Funeral services were held in Pittsburgh and Berlin, with Rev. Donald R. Yost officiating. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republican.
  • Granddaughter Mary Catherine Weyand (1890-1966) was born on Dec. 1, 1890 in Berlin. She wedded Lawrence Cleveland Earhart ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of sons James W. Earhart and Herbert Earhart. Their home in 1928 was in Wilkinsburg. Lawrence was in the news in 1938 when fired from his job as a salesman/mechanic from the Hodson Motor Company on Baum Boulevard in Pittsburgh's Oakland section. He claimed that in his role as union local 521 president, he had enrolled 32 co-workers in the union and that he was let go as punishment. The company countered that he was dismissed for "inefficiency." A grievance was filed with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and reported in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph. In the 1960s, their address was 1334 Meadowlark Drive in Pittsburgh's Scott Township. Lawrence passed away at the age of 76 on Dec. 11, 1964. Mary outlived him by a little more than a year. Suffering from heart disease, she was admitted to John J. Kane Hospital in Scott Township. She died there on Feb. 2, 1966 at the age of 75. Her remains were returned to Berlin for burial, with Rev. Walter L. Brandau officiating. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American noted that she was survived by her son Herbert of Scott Township and two grandchildren.

 

Mary and Joseph Rhoads - courtesy David Rhoads

~ Daughter Mary (Weyand) Rhoads ~

Daughter Mary Weyand (1823-1897) was born on Feb. 12, 1823 in Somerset County. She never learned how to read or write.

Mary was joined in wedlock with Joseph A. Rhoads (1821-1881), also spelled "Rhoades," son of Abraham and Susanna (Wingerd) Rhoads.

The couple produced these eight known children -- Ephraim Rhoads, Sarah Rhoads, Manasseh J. "Manassas" Rhoads, Frank Samuel Rhoads, Abraham "Lincoln" (or "Link") Rhoads, William Michael Rhoads, Julia A. Rhoads and Mary A. Rhoads.

When the United States Census was made in 1850, Mary and Joseph lived next door to his parents in Somerset Township, Somerset County. In addition to their young children, 14-year-old Sarah Rhoads and 21-year-old Joseph Musgrave, a laborer, were under their roof that year.

The federal census enumeration of 1860 shows the Rhoadses living as farmers near Benford's Store, Somerset Township.

 

Mary's badly faded grave marker,
Wills St. Johns Cemetery

The family dwelled on a farm in Lavansville in the township in 1870, when the census next was taken. That year, 45-year-old Samuel Frank and his son Lincoln lived under their roof, and residing next door was the family of Mary's brother Joseph.

In 1870, after the death of his father, Mary was bequeathed $939.17 as an inheritance.

When the census again was made in 1880, only daughters Julia and Mary remained under their roof, with Julia having suffered from diphtheria during the past year.

 

Joseph's grave marker, Wills St. Johns

Joseph passed away in 1881 at the age of about 60.

Mary died on May 28, 1897 in Somerset County. Interment took place in Wills Church Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

A number of the Rhoades' adult children were among 300 relatives who attended the 17th annual reunion of the Abraham Rhoads family in July 1933, held at Edgewood Grove. Reported the Somerset Daily American, "A bountiful dinner was served at noon. Mrs. Sue Horner, 93, of Friedens, was the oldest descendant in attendance." Among the entertainment at the picnic was a play, "The Anybody Family on Sunday Morning," the Rinick string orchestra of Berlin and readings by Mrs. John Riniew of Berlin. Kinsman D.W. Rhoads of Somerset was elected president, Aaron Heiple of Geiger vice president, Wilson Rhoads as secretary and Harrison Zarefoss as treasurer.

Son Frank Samuel Rhoads ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

Son Abraham "Lincoln" (or "Link") Rhoads (1861-1913) was born on Nov. 13, 1861 in Somerset County. He left home as a young man and circa 1880 lived in the home of Joseph and Mary S. Coleman in Somerset Township, labeled by the census-taker as a "son" of the couple. Within a year or two he "came west and settled in Kansas," said the Haddam (KS) Clipper-Leader. On April 28, 1885, in nuptials held in Haddam, Washington County, KS, the 24-year-old Lincoln was united in matrimony with Sadie Bowman ( ? - ? ). They produced five offspring -- Grover Rhoads and Homer Rhoads (born in Kansas) and Greta Rhoads, Coila Rhoads and Vivian Rhoads (born in Oklahoma). Early in the married years, Lincoln was employed in Haddam by Yoder Bros. and was widely known as "Link." He also owned a drug store which in 1886 he sold to Al Tansel. Then in 1887, he ran the opera house billiard hall but discontinued the work on May 1, 1887. Seeking more, he traveled throughout Kansas in August 1887, and upon returning, told the Haddam New Era that "towns in Western Kansas are springing up as if by magic and that people are rolling to their borders and building magnificent blosk upon beds of permanent sand. He tells us that two towns in Logan county are each bidding to secure the county seat with a $40,000 purse."

 

Land run speculators in Guthrie, Oklahoma, 1889, where Abraham "Lincoln" Rhoads and friend Calvin Morrow staked claims on the first day.

 

Sensing opportunity in the newly opening lands of Oklahoma, he and friend Calvin Morrow took part in the famed land run of April 1889 and staked claims in what became the town of Guthrie. Said the Washington (KS) Weekly Post, "They were at Guthrie on the opening day and say it was a sight to see. At twelve o'clock, noon, the people seemed to spring up from all parts and within a very short time the town contained a population of ten thousand. Link was on the ground early and got a choice lot for which he realized $140.... They are loud in their praise of the country, and the people down there. The report coming from there of famine, disorder and carnage, is emphatically denied by those who have been in the territory." They staked a claim in Canadian County, and Lincoln "was among the first to help in the founding and upbuilding of El Reno," said the Clipper-Leader. He is known to have occasionally returned to Haddam and told friends that the Oklahoma expanses were "still on the boom." When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the family home was on Evans Avenue in El Reno, with Lincoln earning a living as a saloon proprietor. Of his nature, the Clipper-Leader once said he "made many friends and to those who were his friends he was a friend indeed. He was human and had faults like every other mortal, but the man who needed assistance or help of any kind no matter what his condition never appealed to Abe in vain." Although they probably did not know of the connection, distant cousin Warren DeMoss -- of the family of Archie DeMoss -- served as postmaster of El Reno during the years the Rhoadses lived there. Overnight on May 22-23, 1913, at the age of 52, Lincoln passed away in his sleep in El Reno. Said the El Reno newspaper, "The many friends of Abe Rhodes were greatly surprised this morning to learn of his death.... He was on the streets yesterday and seemed to be in perfect health, according to his family he retired early last evening and had not complained of being unwell. This morning he was found dead in bed, and it is supposed that a sudden attack of heart failure caused his death. That the end came peacefully was indicated by the appearance of the body when found by relatives this morning, the deceased apparently passed from a deep sleep into the Valley of the shadow." Burial was in El Reno Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] The widowed Sarah survived another 37 years as a widow. She passed into eternity on March 5, 1950 and rests beside her husband.

 

El Reno, Oklahoma, where Abraham "Lincoln" Rhoads operated a saloon

 

  • Grandson Grover Rhoads (1886-1931) was born on Feb. 20, 1886 in Kansas. As a boy, he relocated to Oklahoma with his parents when the territory was opened to peaceful settlement. He lived in San Francisco in 1913. During World War I, he served as a corporal in the 357th Oklahoma Infantry, also known as the Oklahoma National Guard, and is believed to have been wounded slightly. He was wedded to Denna ( ? - ? ). In the late 1920s or early '30s, he made a home in Florida and in April 1931 was in Longview, Gregg County, TX pursuing some sort of business connected with the oil boom. At the age of 44 ,on April 4, 1931, he died in Longview at a "home in which he had been staying," said the Longview News-Journal. "He was a clerk by occupation." His remains were transported back to Canadian County to rest in El Reno Cemetery.
  • Grandson Homer Rhoads (1889-1973) was born on Sept. 20, 1888 in Haddam, Washington County, KS. He resided in 1913 in Haddam. As with his older brother, Homer joined the American Expeditionary Force during World War I as a member of the 357th Oklahoma Infantry, Company K. Homer was joined in wedlock with Opal (?) (May 17, 1898-1978). Circa 1931, he lived at 2201 West 13th Street in Oklahoma City. He passed into eternity on March 13, 1973. Burial was in El Reno Cemetery. Opal lived for another five years. She joined him in death at the age of 80 on Nov. 18, 1978.
  • Granddaughter Greta Rhoads (1894- ? ) was born in 1894 in Oklahoma. She made a home in El Reno, Canadian County in 1913.
  • Granddaughter Coila Rhoads (1896-1989) was born on Nov. 12, 1896 in El Reno. She dwelled in 1913 in El Reno. Coila appears to have been married twice or perhaps even thrice. One of her husbands was (?) Sullivan ( ? - ? ). They produced a son, Dr. E.L. Sullivan and daughter Pat McKenna. Coila later married Henry Owen and (?) Lynch ( ? -1964). For many years, she resided in Hays, KS. Sadly, Henry died in 1964. Coila survived as a widow for a quarter of a century. She was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church of Hays and its altar society. Coila is known to have taken a month's vacation in the autumn of 1971, seeing loved ones in Springfield, MO; Oklahoma City and Claremore and Tonkawa, OK. While in Oklahoma City, she met up with her son Dr. E.L. Sullivan who traveled from his residence in San Benito, TX. In 1980, Coila moved to her married daughter's home in St. Louis. She died on May 23, 1989 at the age of 90 in Evergreen Nursing Home in St. Louis. An obituary was printed in the Salina (KS) Journal which reported that her survivors numbered eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Rev. Paulinus Karlin officiated at the funeral service, with interment in St. John's Cemetery in Russell.
  • Granddaughter Vivian Rhoads lived in El Reno in 1913. She was united in matrimony with (?) Dumler ( ? - ? ). Her home in 1989 was in Russell, KS.

Son Ephraim Rhoads (1845- ? ) was born in about 1845. He lived on the family farm in Somerset Township as a boy.

Daughter Sarah Rhoads (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848 in Somerset Township.

 

Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery

Son Manasseh J. "Mannasses" Rhoads (1849-1904) -- also spelled "Rhodes" -- was born on Oct. 9, 1849 in Somerset Township, Somerset County. His birth name of Manasseh is of Old Testament vintage. But after the famous Civil War battle in Manassas, VA, when he was a teen, his name may have evolved to a closer version of that usage. At the age of 16, he was confirmed by Rev. John Tomlinson and joined the Wills Evangelical Lutheran Church. A newspaper once said he "was a faithful christian until his death." Manasses was twice wed. In 1869, he was joined in marriage with his first bride, Lucinda Long (1843-1882). The children born to this union were Nannie G. Hensell and Nelle Jane Will. Sadly, Lucinda died on June 25, 1882, at the age of 39, bringing their marriage of 13 years to a close. A brief death notice appeared in the Somerset Herald. Then in November 1887, Manasses was united in matrimony with his second wife, Caroline "Carrie" Stoy (June 19, 1852-1908) of Shade Township. She was the daughter of German immigrant Conrad Stoy and his wife Mary Bouzer. News of their marriage was printed in the Herald. The couple spent their lives living near Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, Somerset Township. In September 1897, Manasses sold wheat from his farm to the Somerset County Directors of the Poor and was paid $5.00. At the age of 54, in the dead of winter in 1904, he went to dig some coal at a mine owned by Oran Beachley. Said the Somerset Daily American, "As he and his neighbors were loading coal, it was noticed that he was sick. As he was in the act of falling, some one caught him and assisted him to the house of Mr. Beachley. There he spoke a few times, then lapsed into unconsciousness. He passed peacefully away Friday morning [Feb. 19, 1904]. A paralytic stroke was the cause of death." Funeral services were held in the family church, officiated Rev. Robert L. Patterson of Somerset, followed by burial in nearby Wills Church Cemetery. Said the Daily American, "A large gathering of friends followed him to the grave." Carrie outlived her spouse by four years. Stricken with cancer of the colon and right ovary she died just a few weeks before her 56th birthday, on May 28, 1908. John Stoy of Husband, PA was the informant for her Pennsylvania certificate of death. Manassas and Carrie rest together in Wills St. Johns Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Nannie G. Rhoads (1874-1965) was born on Oct. 21, 1874. She wedded Simon Wesley Hensell (Feb. 8, 1868-1949), a native of Indiana County, PA and the son of John and Elizabeth (Stoy) Hensell. The couple bore one daughter, Katharine Tomb. They dwelled for many years on 820 Ferndale Avenue in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. Simon earned a living with his work for Kolb Baking Company, retiring in 1941. He was a member of St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church of Johnstown and belonged to the Woodmen of the World. Burdened with an enlarged prostate, emphysema and diabetes, Simon was admitted to Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown. He succumbed there at the age of 81 on Sept. 27, 1949. Rev. Albert M. Wright officiated at the funeral service, with burial in Johnstown's Grandview Cemetery. His death was reported in the Somerset Daily American and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Nannie outlived him by 15-plus years. Her home in the 1960s was at 1587 Reamer Street in Pittsburgh. On Feb. 24, 1965, at the age of 90, Nannie died at home from the effects of coronary artery disease. Daughter Katharine Tomb of the home signed the death certificate. Her remains were tranported to Johnstown to rest in Grandview Cemetery. Katharine was married to James Tomb and resided at 1587 Reamer Street in Pittsburgh.
  • Wills St. Johns Cemetery

    Granddaughter Nelle Jane Rhoads (1879-1961) was born on Dec. 15, 1879. She married Harvey Sylvester Will (Dec. 1 or 10, 1879-1948), son of William and Mary (Fox) Will of Somerset. They are believed to have been the parents of Ralph William Will, Harold R. Will and Clyde E. Will. Over many years, the Wills lived in the rural Wills Church community east of Somerset and were longtime farmers. When the Wills Grange was formed circa 1916, Harvey was elected secretary of the organization. Nelle served as treasurer of the Wills Missionary Society. Then in mid-October 1948, stricken with widespread cancer, Harvey was hospitalized at Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh's Oakland section. He died there on Oct. 25, 1948, at the age of 67. As a widow in 1961, Nelle lived with her son Ralph at 1747 Jamestown Place in the Penn Hills suburb of Pittsburgh. Having borne hardening of the arteries for the last five years of her life, she contracted influenza and died at home at the age of 81 on Jan. 8, 1961. Burial was in Wills St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Somerset Township.

Great-grandson Ralph William Will Sr. (1905-1995) was born on Nov. 20, 1905 in Somerset. He married Hilda Link (Nov. 2, 1921-2010). He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II. They lived in Pittsburgh in 1947 and were the parents of Ralph William Will Jr., Margaret "Peg" Stanford and Betty Miller Griffith. Ralph and Hilda moved to Florida and lived in Jacksonville, where he was a sales manager for RCA Distributors and a member of St. Matthews Lutheran Church, West Jacksonville Rotary Club and Armed Forces Communication Association. He died in Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville at the age of 89 on Jan. 6, 1995. His remains were transported back to his hometown to rest in Wills Cemetery, with Rev. Lynn M. Sanner preaching the funeral service. An obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American, which noted that he was survived by 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Hilda survived her husband by 15 years. She succumbed in Pittsburgh on May 9, 2010. Daughter Margaret was a 1948 graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and married Lester F. Stanford. Circa 1947, the Stanfords lived in New York City, where Lester, a fellow Carnegie Tech graduate and World War II Air Force veteran, was employed as assistant producer with Christopher Smith II Productions.

 

Brothers and their wives, Wills St. Johns Cemetery

 

Great-grandson Harold R. Will (1910-1971) was born in 1910. He was united in marriage with his cousin, Susan Jane Zarefoss (1907-1987), daughter of Harrison and Hattie (Rhoads) Zarefoss. See their biography elsewhere on this page.

Great-grandson Clyde E. Will ( ? - ? )

 

William and Susan Rhoads - courtesy David Rhoads

Son William Michael Rhoads (1851-1923) was born on April 14, 1851 in Somerset Township, Somerset County. In 1870, at the age of 19, he was united in marriage with 25-year-old Susan Gumbert (Feb. 25, 1846-1917), who was five years older than he. She was the daughter of John G. and Barbara (Penrod) Gumbert, the father an immigrant from Germany. The couple lived next to William's parents and widowed uncle Joseph Weyand in Somerset Township in 1880 and were longtime farmers. Their five known children were Rev. Henry S. Rhoads, Cora B. Brant, Hattie G. Zearfoss, John H. Rhoads and Charles W. Rhoads. He may be the same "Wm. M. Rhoads" who, in September 1874, received a prize for "best Early Rose potatoes" at the second annual Somerset County Agricultural Society exhibition, with the news reported in the Somerset Herald. The United States Census enumeration of 1900 shows the family in Somerset Township, living next to the families of Roseann Saylor, Nelson Berkley, Charles Frank and Joseph Zerefoss. The Rhoadses would have felt great pride in November 1903 when their son Henry, a student at Gettysburg Theological Seminary, preached one Sunday in Somerset, first at the Lutheran Church at Friedens in the morning and then at the Wills Church in the afternoon. Then in 1910, census records show that the couple were empty nesters, with only 14-year-old servant Jennie Baker living under their roof, although married son Wilson resided next door.. Sadly, Susan was struck down by angina pectoris -- chest pain -- and died suddenly on Feb. 9, 1917, just a few weeks before her 71st birthday. Burial took place in Wills Church Cemetery. William spent the final six years of his life as a widower. During that period of time, he moved into the household of his married son Wilson. He was stricken with cancer of the rectum, which led to acute and painful obstruction of the intestines. Unable to recover, he passed into eternity at the age of 71 on Feb. 12, 1923. [Find-a-Grave]

 

William and Susan Rhoads and family. Front, L-R: Susan, William and Henry. Back, L-R: John, Hattie, Cora and Wilson. Courtesy David Rhoads

 

  • Rev. Henry Rhoads
    Courtesy David Rhoads

    Grandson Rev. Henry S. Rhoads (1871-1941) was born on April 6, 1871 in Somerset Township. He spent 37 years of his career in Lutheran ministry. After receiving his grade school education, he became a teacher in the Somerset area and later was named assistant county superintendent of schools and served under the leadership of Elmer E. Pritts. Feeling the call to ministry, he graduated from California State Normal School and then Gettysburg College and Gettysburg Theological Seminary. He boarded in the Harrisburg home of William and Isabella Howard circa 1900 and earned income as a railroad laborer. On Nov. 9, 1904, when he was age 33, he was united in marital union with Sudie E. Seacrest (July 24, 1874-1946), a native of Greencastle/Waynesboro, Franklin County, PA and the daughter of John C. and Charlotte (Hoeflich) Seacrest. They were the parents of Paul Henry Rhoads. Once Henry was ordained as a pastor, the United Lutheran Church's home mission board dispatched him to New Jersey to organize Trinity Church near Newark. While in Newark, their son was born in 1907. From there he was assigned to Johnstown, Cambria County, where he founded Moxham Lutheran Church. Said the Somerset Daily American in 1941, "Both the Newark and Moxham churches are now large active congregations." The 1910 federal census shows the family in Johnstown. With those successes under his belt, he went on to pastor Lutheran congregations in Leipsic, OH and Lebanon and Springtown, PA. He is known to have attended the 17th annual reunion of the Abraham Rhoads family in July 1933, at Edgewood Grove in Somerset County, and to have been the principal speaker that day. He retired in about 1939 and maintained a residence at 206 Hamilton Street in Harrisburg. In the fall of 1941, Henry was hospitalized in the Polyclinic Hospital in Harrisburg for chronic heart problems and rheumatic fever. He succumbed there on Oct. 8, 1941, at the age of 70. In an obituary, the Daily American said that local "church and educational leaders were shocked" to hear of his passing. Funeral services were held at the home of his son in Harrisburg, with burial following in Shoops Church Cemetery. Sudie outlived her husband by five years and moved into her son's home at the address of 101 Paxtang Avenue. She was felled by a heart attack and died on June 24, 1946. An obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Evening News and a shorter one in the Daily American. In addition to her son and grandsons, she was survived by sisters Mrs. Frank B. Wickersham of Harrisburg, Mrs. Dickson Geiser of Pittsburgh, Mrs. John Bosserman of Mercersburg, PA and Samuel C. Seacrest of Greencastle. Rev. Dr. S.W. Herman, of Zion Lutheran Church, led her funeral service.

 

Paul H. Rhoads
Courtesy Dauphin
County Bar Association

Great-grandson Paul Henry Rhoads (1907-1984) was born on May 15, 1907 in Newark, Essex County, NJ. He graduated from Gettysburg College in 1928 and then the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1931. While in law school, he served as editor of the college law review. He went on to practice for many years in Harrisburg, Dauphin County. Paul was united in holy matrimony with Mary B. Bertolet ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of three sons -- John Bertolet Rhoads, Henry W. Rhoads and William B. Rhoads. Paul is known to have attended the 17th annual reunion of the Abraham Rhoads family in Edgewood Grove in July 1933 and to have made brief remarks. In 1941-1946, the Rhoadses' address was 101 Paxtang Avenue. The early years of Paul's career were spent in the office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, followed by employment with the Public Service Commission (PSC), later renamed the Public Utility Commission (PUC). Then in 1935, Paul went into a partnership with John Fox Weiss, former chief council of the PSC. Their firm prospered, and in October 1946, they added a new partner Frank A. Sinon, former Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General and son-in-law of former Pennsylvania Governor Arthur H. James. At that point the firm name changed to Weiss, Rhoads and Sinon, later shortened to Rhoads & Sinon. The law firm grew to become one of the largest in Harrisburg and built a reputation for furnishing sophisticated services for corporation, municipal and government clients in the region.

In the profession, Paul is known to have been president of the Dauphin County Bar Association in 1952 and to have chaired its special projects committee circa 1949, and in alumni affairs, buildings & grounds, and synod relations for Gettysburg College. He also was editor of the Dauphin County Reporter from 1935 to 1946. A layman preacher, he was a speaker in 1948 at Rally Day at Grace Evangelical United Brethren Church. In the early 1950s, he and other clergy helped found the Lutheran Service Society of Harrisburg and eventually established a Lutheran home for aging citizens. Other community stewardship roles Paul held were the boards of Gettysburg College, the Court of Adjudication of the Lutheran Church of America, Harrisburg Hospital, Harrisburg Public Library, Dauphin County Historical Society, Tri-County United Way and the publications board of the United Lutheran Church in America. Heartache blanketed the family in July 1959 when 24-year-old son John, a medical student at Boston University School of Medicine, died of leukemia, with burial in Harrisburg Cemetery. Sadly, Paul died in Harrisburg on April 9, 1984. The Dauphin County Bar Association issued a memorial resolution, which said that "The success of his law firm is evidence of the leadership and guidance of this unusual and exemplary legal scholar." In the decades following Paul's death, Rhoads & Sinon continued to be a pre-eminent, influential firm. In fact, Paul's son Henry, armed with a law degree from Harvard, joined the firm and became a partner. Henry served as president of the county bar association in 1988, as a trustee of Harrisburg Academy, leader with Harrisburg Area Community College Foundation and a board director of the McCormick Family Foundation. But as law firm economics changed dramatically in the early 2000s, the firm struggled financially. The partners voted to cease operations in January 2018, after eight-plus decades of business, and its lawyers joined or formed a host of other firms. Its last office was located in One South Market Square.

  • Cora Brant
    Courtesy David Rhoads

    Granddaughter Cora Belle Rhoads (1873-1933) was born on July 7, 1873 in Somerset Township. She wedded F. Oliver Brant (May 26, 1870-1958), the son of Francis and Mary (Hauger) Brant. The couple resided in Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County. They produced two known offspring -- Maurice Brant and Alma Shober. When Oliver was 21, he joined the Valley Grange and remained a member for the rest of his years. He is believed to have been politically active and in 1933 was a candidate for supervisor of the township on the Republican ticket. They were members of the Beachdale Church of the Brethren. Heartache blanketed the family in January 1932 when Cora was diagnosed with cancer and sigmoid growths of her descending colon and liver. She suffered through an enduring illness and, less than 14 months later, succumbed at the age of 59 on April 1, 1933. Following funeral services conducted by Rev. B.F. Rudisill, her remains were lowered into eternal repose in the Wills Church Cemetery. Oliver outlived his wife by 25 years and maintained close ties with his late wife's family. At his 80th birthday, in May 1950, his daughter Alma Shober hosted a family dinner in his honor. Among those attending were Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Rhoads, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Hentz, Amy Beal, Pearl Pritz, John Rhoads, Harrison Zarefoss, Ray Zarefoss, Rev. and Mrs. A. Jay Replogle, Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Brant, Mr. and Mrs. Leo Bittner, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Phenicie, Evelyn Nave, F.O. Brant, James English, Frank Phenicie Jr. and Clifford Lee. In reporting on the event for its gossip columns, the Somerset Daily American said that Oliver remarked that he "enjoyed the occasion very much and he received many greetings and messages of good will." In June 1956, at a meeting of the Valley Grange, Oliver received an honor as oldest father present, and his great-grandson Frank Phenicie gave a reading, "My Secret," and great-grandson Gary Phenicie pinned a flower on the lapel of Oliver's jacket. Sadly, at the age of 87, Oliver died at home on Feb. 21, 1958. Rev. Fred Seese officiated at the funeral service, with interment beside his wife in Wills Church Cemetery. An obituary published in the Daily American called him "a well known farmer of Brothersvalley township..." It also noted that in addition to his two adult children, he was survived by four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and siblings Minnie Buechly of Carlisle, AR and Grace Hentz and Amy Beal of Berlin.

Great-grandson Maurice Brant lived with his parents in Brothersvalley Township in 1933 and in Berlin in 1958.

Great-granddaughter Alma Brant was joined in marriage with Galen Shober. They dwelled in 1933-1958 in Garrett, Somerset County.

  • Hattie Zarefoss (Courtesy David Rhoads). Above, her grave, and below, the unnamed infants' graves, all at Wills St. Johns Cemetery

    Granddaughter Hattie G. Rhoads (1876-1945) was born on Feb. 9, 1876 in Somerset Township. When she was age 26, on April 17, 1902, she married 25-year-old neighbor Harrison "Harry" Zerfoss (June 13, 1876-1957), also spelled "Zearfoss" and "Zarefoss," the son of Charles and Mary (Stutzman) Zerfoss. In reporting on the wedding, the Meyersdale Republican said that the nuptials were led by Rev. M.L. Young and were held "at the pastor's study, Meyersdale." The couple produced these known children, all of whom used the "Zarefoss" spelling -- Dr. Albert H. Zarefoss, Roy W. Zarefoss, Clifford H. Zarefoss, Susan Jane Will and John Zarefoss. They also bore three others who died at or near birth. One was an unnamed daughter, only six months' gestation, on June 10, 1914, with the physician writing of the cause: "Do not know, probably a fall of mother." Another child died as an infant as did a son, Clifford H., who died of jaundice at age three days on May 21, 1915. Relatives and friends helped bury the babies in Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, where small, still-legible markers stand at the gravesites today. The Zearfosses were dairy and produce farmers over the years in rural Somerset Township. In February 1933, during the heart of the Great Depression, Harrison was among 300 farmers who attended the Somerset County Farm Institute and captured awards for yellow dent corn and buckwheat. They belonged to the Wills St. Johns Church, with Hattie active with the congregation's Womens Missionary Society and hosting meetings at their home. Circa 1930, they lived next door to her married brother Wilson. The Zarefosses attended the 17th annual reunion of the Abraham Rhoads family in July 1933, held in Edgewood Grove, with Harrison elected treasurer of the organization. Stricken with cancer of the lungs and uterus, just a few weeks before her 69th birthday, Hattie passed away in Somerset on Jan. 18, 1945. Her remains were lowered into eternal rest in Wills Cemetery, with Rev. Martin Foutz officiating at the funeral. The Somerset Daily American printed an obituary. Harrison survived his wife by more than a dozen years. He was gathered in by the Grim Reaper at the age of 80 on May 4, 1957. Rev. Robert Carl preached the funeral sermon, with an obituary appearing in the Daily American.

Great-grandson Dr. Albert H. Zarefoss (1903-1996) was born on Nov. 16, 1903. He studied at the Overbrook School for the Blind, Doughty-Marsh Chiropractic Clinic and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine. Upon received his medical degree, he became a licensed chiropractor and physical therapist in Somerset. On Christmas Day 1934, Albert married nurse Nettie M. Middlesworth (Aug. 31, 1912-1993). The wedding was held at Mt. Bethel Reformed Church in McClure, officiated by Rev. E.H. Dechman. News of the happy event was published in the Meyersdale Republican. They were the parents of two -- Larry K. Zarefoss and Elva L. Haigh. He was a member of the Lutheran Church and the Somerset Lions Club. In 1972, they retired to Kissimmee in Central Florida and and spent the balance of their lives there. Nettie passed into eternity in Kissimmee on Oct. 5, 1993. Albert lived for another two-and-a-half years and was gathered by the Angel of Death on May 13, 1996. His remains were cremated. Their red barre granite marker stands in Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery east of Somerset. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American which said he had seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Daughter Elva Haigh made her home in Harper Woods, MI and son Larry in Christmas, FL.

 

Graves of the Zarefoss brothers and wives, Wills St. Johns Cemetery

 

Great-grandson Roy W. Zarefoss (1905-1980) was born on July 26, 1905 in Somerset Township. In 1945, his home was with his parents. At some point he wedded Pearl Gnagey ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce. Roy was employed by Somerset Door and Column Company. They were members of Faith Lutheran Church and made a home on East Main Street in Somerset. Roy was admitted to Somerset Community Hospital where he was swept away by the Grim Reaper at the age of 74 on March 14, 1980. Rev. Roger Forry led the funeral service, with interment in Somerset County Memorial Park.

Great-granddaughter Susan Jane Zarefoss (1907-1987) was born on Sept. 17, 1907 in Somerset Township. As a young woman, she taught school in the Somerset area. Then for four years, she was employed in the chiropractice office of her brother, Dr. Albert H. Zarefoss, in Somerset. On Aug. 8, 1934, the 26-year-old Susan wedded her cousin, Harold R. Will ( ? -1971), son of Harvey Sylvester and Nelle Jane (Rhoads) Will. Rev. Martin F. Foutz officiated at the ceremony held at Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church. In reporting on the nuptials, the Somerset Daily American noted that "The bride wore a white crepe wedding gown, a white turban and veil, white shoes and carried deep pink roses." At the time, Harvey worked at Mussey's Bakery in Somerset. They went on to produce two sons -- Robert Dean Will and Fred W. Will. They were members of the Faith Lutheran Church and the Wills Grange, and Susan was a charter member of the Eighth Society of Farm Women. Sadly, Harold died on June 22, 1971. Susan outlived him by 16 years. Toward the end of her life, she went to live in Siemon's Lakeview Manor Estate. She succumbed there at the age of 79 on Jan. 6, 1986. The Somerset Daily American noted that funeral services were held in the family church, officiated by the Rev. Charles J. Hartbauer, followed by burial in Wills St. Johns Cemetery. Their son Robert (1937-2019) was born on Dec. 4, 1937 and married Tomalee A. Stouffer ( ? -living). They did not reproduce over their 55 years of marital union. Said the Somerset Daily American, Robert, was "an active member of Faith Lutheran Church where he taught Sunday School, was a member of the choir, church council and leader of Lutheran League. Bob was a member of Wheeler & Dealers square dance club, and the Wills Grange. He was owner of Wills Acres, a dairy farm until his retirement in 2012, his love for animals and farming was evident for anyone to see when they visited the farm. In June 1992 his farm hosted Day On the Farm with an attendance of 3500 people, an accomplishment Bob was very proud of." He died on June 11, 2019, with burial at Wills St. Johns Cemetery. The following month, in a twist of circumstance, Tomalee assisted the founder of this website who was photographing family graves at Wills St. Johns.

Great-grandson John William Zarefoss (1909-1990) was born on May 12, 1909 in Somerset Township. He dwelled in Somerset for decades. John was twice wed. His first bride was Olive M. Combecker (1908-1971). They did not reproduce. Grief enveloped the family when Olive succumbed to death in 1971. His second spouse was Dorothy M. (Saylor) Knepshield ( ? - ? ). He was employed for 29 years by Agway Inc. and retired in 1971. He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Wills. He passed away at the age of 71 in White Star Residence in Jennerstown on June 2, 1990. Burial was in Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery with Rev. Melvin A. Kirk preaching. An obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American.

 

Today's Wills St. Johns Evangelical Church, renamed Faith Lutheran Church

 

  • John H. Rhoads
    Courtesy David Rhoads

    Grandson John Howard Rhoads (1883-1971) born on July 7, 1883 in Somerset Township. He owned a farm next to the Hillcrest Grange Hall in Berlin, Somerset County. He was known for giving honey and vegetables he raised to friends. His primary occupation however was as a clerk at the Goodtown Mine. Later, he served as a health inspector for Somerset County, investigating restaurants and issuing quarantine orders during sickness. When his brother Henry was a church pastor in Newark, NJ, John traveled there for a visit in August 1905 and spent the time touring New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlantic City and Washington DC before returning home. His excursion made news in the gossip columns of the Somerset Daily American. He married Daisy Werner (Aug. 17, 1888-1940), daughter of J.C. and Lydia Werner. Daisy was confirmed by Rev. W.E. Brown in girlhood and admitted into membership in the Lutheran Church at Pine Hill. The couple went on to bear two children, Anna Catherine Rhoads and William J. Rhoads. Said the Somerset Daily American:

Her interest in her church continued unabated during the years and was marked by a rare loyalty and devotion. All departments of the church won her support. She was a member of the choir, for many years a teacher in the Sunday school, and served in a varied capacity in the Missionary Society, of which she was also president. This missionary interest extended beyond the local society, and found her, when her life ended, the secretary of literature of the Somerset conference of her denomination. Nor were her interests wholly confined to her church. In her early years she taught four terms in the public schools of Brothersvalley township. And ever after continued her interest in school activities. This interested manifested itself in the work of the Parent-Teachers Association, at Pine Hill, of which she was the president for several years, and always a loyal worker. After the school system was consolidated she became a member of the board of directors of the Community Association, and also served on the membership committee. The grange, too, found a large place in her life. Possibly no other member of her grange was better versed in the duties and privileges of grange membership than she. She served in many capacities in the local grange, as the master and lecturer, and also as master of the degree team for a number of years. For a long time she held an office in the Pomona grange. She was the Pomona lecturer for six years, and at her death served as one of the graces. The community chorus, sponsored by the local grange, also was numbered among her activities.

In the late 1930s, Daisy served on the board of directors of the Somerset County Fair. Grief swept over the family when she died after a brief illness at the age of 51 on June 17, 1940. Funeral services were held in their home, led by Rev. Charles I. Rowe, with burial in the Berlin Odd Fellows Cemetery. John lived on as a widower for 31 years. In January 1942, he and his unmarried daughter Anna Catherine hosted a turkey dinner at their residence near Berlin. Among the attendees were Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Zarefoss, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Rhoads, Oliver Brant, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Brant, Mr. and Mrs. Galen Shober, Mr. and Mrs. John Zarefoss, Dr. and Mrs. Albert Zarefoss, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Will, Mr. and Mrs. John Suder, Roy Zarefoss, Mabel Rhoads, Edna Brant, Doris Shober, Dorothy Brant, Ray Rhoads, Bobby Will, Larry Zarefoss, Elva Zarefoss and Raymond Shaffer, with the list of names printed in the gossip columns of the Daily American. John was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Berlin, and Meyersdale lodge of the Masons, the Berlin lodge of the Odd Fellows and the Hillcrest Grange. As his health failed, he was admitted to Meyersdale Community Hospital, and died there at the age of 87 on June 3, 1971. An obituary in the Daily American reported that Rev. Robert Ardell Miller officiated at the funeral, with burial in the Berlin Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Great-grandson William J. Rhoads was educated at Bliss Electrical College in Washington, DC. He then was self-employed as a defense contractor in Maryland and, after the outbreak of World War II, joined the U.S. Army. In Dec. 1944, he was united in wedlock with Catherine Musser ( ? - ? ), a resident of Deep Spring Farm in Berlin and the daughter of D.J. Musser. The nuptials were held in her home. Catherine was a graduate of Margaret Morrison College in Pittsburgh and at the time of marriage was employed by the County of Westmoreland (PA) as a home economics extension representative. In 1971, he lived in Adelphi, MD.

Great-granddaughter Anna Catharine Rhoads wedded Willard Flick. Their home in 1971 was in Irwin, Westmoreland County, PA.

  • Wilson Rhoads (Courtesy David Rhoads); grave at Wills St. Johns

    Grandson Charles "Wilson" Rhoads (1879-1970) -- also known as "W.C." -- was born in May 1879 or on July 13, 1879 in Somerset Township. In 1900, unmarried at the age of 20, he earned a living as a mine laborer. He married Margaret "Maggie" Baer (Aug. 19, 1882-1963), daughter of Peter D. and Harriet (Judy) Baer. The children born to this union were Ray W. Rhoads and Mabel Walker. After Wilson's mother died in 1917, he and Maggie took in Wilson's widowed father. Wilson was a life member of Wills Lutheran Church and a charter member in 1916 of the Wills Grange. For 16 years, he served on the school board in Somerset Township and for four years on the county board of education. He was considered in 1941 to be a "prominent Somerset township farmer," said the Somerset Daily American. Wilson was elected secretary of the annual reunion of the Abraham Rhoads family and is known to have attended the clan's 17th annual gathering, held in July 1933 in Edgewood Grove. For 55 years, he earned additional income as an insurance agent for Farmers Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Circa 1963, their residence was at 925 East Main Street in Somerset. Maggie was burdened for many years with hardening of the arteries. Sadly, she was stricken with a cerebral vascular accident and passed away two days later, in Somerset Community Hospital, on April 2, 1963. Wilson outlived his wife by seven years. His remained in their home on East Main Street in Somerset. On March 3, 1970, while a patient in Somerset Hospital, he died at the age of 90. Rev. Gary Bilbie preached the funeral sermon, with interment in Wills St. Johns Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Great-grandson Ray W. Rhoads (1913- ? ) was born in about 1913. He dwelled in Wickliffe, OH in 1970. His son Larry Rhoads and granddaughter Jacquelyn Rhoads were pictured in the Somerset Daily American on June 6, 2016 for their work preserving the history of the Wills Grange.

Great-granddaughter Mabel Rhoads (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918. She married John A. Walker. In 1970, their home was in Somerset.

Daughter Julia A. Rhoads (1853- ? ) was born in about 1853 in Somerset Township. At the age of 27, in 1880, she lived at home and was suffering from diphtheria, which had caused her to be unable to work for three months.

Daughter Mary A. Rhoads (1855- ? ) was born in about 1855 in Somerset Township.

 

Elizabeth's grave, Wills St. Johns

~ Son Joseph Weyand ~

Son Joseph Weyand (1825-1892) was born in about 1825 in Somerset County.

He married Elizabeth (?) (1823-1876), who was two years older than he. She could not write.

The couple produced at least one daughter, Mary M. Weyand.

When the federal census was enumerated in 1850, the Weyands made their home in Somerset Township, Somerset County, in close proximity to the dwellings of his parents and married sister and brother in law Mary and Joseph A. Rhoads. In addition to their young daughter, also living under their roof that year was 14-year-old Casper Achison.

The Weyands were longtime farmers. They remained in the township during the 1850s and are enumerated there in the 1860 federal census.

In 1870, after his father's death, Joseph received an inheritance payment from the estate totaling $972.25.

The U.S. Census of 1870 lists the Weyands living near Lavansville, Somerset Township, with the family of Samuel and Henrietta Bittner and their children in the household.

Elizabeth died on May 22, 1876 at the age of 52. Her remains were lowered to eternal repose in Wills Church Cemetery in Somerset. Inscribed on her grave marker is the verse, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."

Joseph survived his wife by 16 years. When the federal census was again taken in 1880, the widowed Joseph headed a farm household in Somerset Township that also included farmer Charles Frank and his wife Ellen, both age 26.

It's possible that on Oct. 6, 1881, Joseph married a second time, to Mary Kimmel ( ? - ? ), but this needs to be confirmed. The news was reported in the Somerset Herald, which said the wedding had been officiated by Rev. J.J. Welch at the Lutheran Church parsonage in Friedens.

He passed away on Aug. 25, 1892, at the age of 67. Burial was beside his first wife in Wills St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

Daughter Mary M. Weyand (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848 in Somerset Township. At the age of 12, in 1860, she lived with her parents in the township.

 

     
The Weyands' graves in Orange Township Cemetery
Courtesy "Couple of Gravers," FindAGrave.com

~ Son Samuel Weyand ~

Son Samuel Weyand (1826-1907) was born on Nov. 7, 1826 in Somerset County.

He "was raised n a farm and attended the district schools of Somerset County," said his profile in the 1904 book History of Black Hawk County, Iowa and Representative Citizens. "Upon reaching maturity, Mr. Weyand set out int he world for himself and was engaged in farming pursuits..."

Circa 1850, at the age of about 23, he had married Caroline Umberger (1822-1895) of Brothersvalley, Somerset County, who had been born in Kentucky. That year, the federal census taker recorded them as living in Brothersvalley next door to her relatives Michael Umberger and Philip Umberger.

The couple produced four children -- among them Harriet "Hattie" Shaulis, Ellen Myers, Martha "Mattie" Weyand and Mary A. Shaulis.

The United States Census of 1860 shows the Weyands and their four daughters residing on a farm in Jefferson Township, Somerset County.

 

Somerset Herald, 1895
Courtesy Library of Congress

In 1870, after the death of his father, Samuel at the age of 44 inherited the sum of $969.90 from the estate. He is known to have traveled in May 1878 to Bloomington, Illinois to visit his sister Catharine Frank and brother William Weyand.

In 1883, the Weyands made the decision to venture westward to Iowa, and they sold their farm in Jefferson Township, Somerset County. Upon arriving, they put down roots and in the Waterloo community purchased "one of the finest farms in Blackhawk county," said the Somerset Herald.

Caroline passed away at home at the age of 72 on May 31, 1895. An obituary was published in her old hometown newspaper, the Herald, which noted that her brothers Herman and Perry Umberger survived her.

Samuel lived for another dozen-plus years after his wife's death. He married again, returning to Somerset where on Dec. 21, 1899, and was united on the bonds of marriage to 71-year-old Elizabeth Heiple (April 1829- ? ).

The 1900 census shows them in a home on West Fourth Street in Waterloo, with 46-year-old, unmarried daughter Martha living under their roof and earning a living as a dressmaker.

In all, Samuel farmed and raised stock for 17 years. When named in the 1904 Black Hawk County history, he had 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and took "great interest in the family."

He joined Caroline in eternity on Nov. 4, 1907. They rest together in the Orange Township Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

In 1909, Samuel was named in E. Clayton Wyand's book A Brief History of the Andrew Putman (Buttman, Putnam), Christian Wyandt (Weyandt, Weygandt, Voint, Wyand) and Adam Snyder (Schneider) Families of Washingon County, Maryland, in a quote from a letter written by William H. Welfley of Somerset.

 

Somerset Herald, Sept. 18, 1878
Courtesy Library of Congress

Daughter Harriet "Hattie" Weyand (1847-1935) was born the day after Christmas 1847 in Somerset County. She migrated to Iowa with her parents in 1883, at age 36, where she became the second wife of widower and Civil War veteran Simon Shaulis (March 31, 1844-1931), son of Emanuel Adam and Julia Ann (Harsh) Shaulis, sometimes misspelled "Shauley." 

Simon also a native of Somerset County and had been baptized in infancy on April 26, 1844 in Christ's Lutheran Church of the Somerset pastorate. In adulthood, he stood 5 feet, 8½ inches tall, and weighed 160 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He and his first wife, Louisa Brant ( ? -Aug. 25, 1877), had resided on a farm in Black Hawk County, where she died on Aug. 25, 1877 after a dozen years of marriage. Thus he brought these known offspring to the union with our Hattie -- James "Monroe" Shaulis, Ellen B. Peverill, Henry E. Shaulis, Clara M. Peverill and Emma M.A. Shaulis. Harriet and Simon were joined in marriage in Waterloo County on Sept. 8, 1878 by the hand of Rev. J.R. Berry. The news was sent back home to Somerset County and thence into the "Married" column of the Somerset Herald.

The couple's marriage lasted for more than 50 years. They produced four children of their own -- Ira S. Shaulis, Frank R. Shaulis, Ada Mae Hatch and Anna Grace Queer.

 

Cannonfire across the Rappahannock during the Battle of Fredericksburg

 

 

Surgeon's sketch of Simon's groin wound
National Archives

During the Civil War, Simon had served in the 142nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C. He enlisted in the Union Army on July 31, 1862 in Somerset County and was mustered into the service as a private on Aug. 25, 1862 in the state capitol of Harrisburg. He and the regiment took part in their first action, the bloody Battle of Fredericksburg, on Dec. 13, 1862. While in action, he received a wound at the top of his left thigh, near his testicles, and was sent to the Findley General Hospital in the District of Columbia. On Jan. 7, 1863, he was furloughed and may have returned home, but when he did not report back to the regiment on time a month later, he was declared a deserter. Six months later, on Aug. 17, 1863, he was placed under military arrest and was sent for confinement to Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, PA. He underwent a court martial on the grounds of desertion. The military court exonerated him from the charge, but ruled him guility of absence without official leave. This meant he was to be returned to duty but forfeiture of all pay and allowances and to make up the time he had lost. He only remained in custody for a few weeks and rejoined his regiment in September 1863.

Shortly after, he contracted severe diarrhea and was sent away from the regiment for treatment, ultimately assigned to Mansion House Branch of the 1st Division General Hospital in Alexandria, VA on Nov. 14, 1863. Simon remained at the Mansion House for a little more than two months until a transfer to the 2nd Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC), Company 144, on Feb. 4, 1864. In March 1864, he was detached from the 2nd VRC and provided service at Cliffburn Barracks, said to have been located a few miles north of the White House in the Mount Pleasant section of the District of Columbia. He apparently recovered his health sufficiently enough to rejoin his original unit, the 142nd Pennsylvania Infantry, in September or October 1864. Staying with the 142nd Pennsylvania for the duration of the war, he received an honorable discharge in Harrisburg, PA on May 29, 1865.

 

Somerset Herald, June 10, 1885
Courtesy Library of Congress

Simon and his first wife and family lived in Berlin, Somerset County until April 1874, when they made the decision to migrated to Iowa. They made their home in Waterloo, Blackhawk County for the rest of their respective lives.

The year of his first wife's passing, Simon began receiving a military pension as compensation for his wartime sufferings. [Invalid App. #241.104 - Cert. #253.011] He remained a widower for about 13 months until his marriage to our Hattie.

Heartache swept over the family on May 29, 1885 when their daughter Emma died in Waterloo at age 10 years, six months and 16 days. An obituary appearing in the Somerset Herald reported that the cause was "that dread disease, diphtheria."

Hattie and Simon are named in the 1904 book History of Black Hawk County, Iowa and Representative Citizens, authored by Isaiah Van Metre.

 

Hattie's (above) and Simon's signatures
National Archives

In 1910, when an atlas of Orange Township was published, Simon was marked as owner of two contiguous farms of 160 acres each. One was known as "Pine Grove Farm" and the other as "Walnut Grove Farm." These tracts were in very close proximity to the farms of former Somerset Countians John and Sarah "Sally" (Saylor) Dull, the Orange Township Cemetery and to the local Church of the Brethren. Many of their neighbors had familiar Somerset County surnames, among them Elmer M., Art M. and Elmer Lichty, Noah J. Fike, Amos D., Samuel and Jonas D. Sweitzer, U.S. Blough, Harvey R. Schrock, Samuel M. and John B. Harbaugh, D.R. Shank, William H. Maust, and D.B. Saylor.

The Shaulises retired from farming in 1917, when Simon would have been 73 years of age. They moved to a home at 226 Home Park Boulevard on Waterloo. As he aged, Simon began to lose his eyesight. This prompted Hattie to write in February 1921: he "is blindf in the right eye and that his other eye is and has been failing for more than one year, and that his hearing has been affected and it is difficult for him to hear or carry on an ordinary conversation; also it is impossible for him to talk over the telephone." He suffered a stroke of paralysis on or about July 30, 1924 and his health declined further, with bouts of senility.

As did many Civil War veterans of the era, Simon was active with the Grand Army of the Republic (Robert Anderson Post) and the Sons of Veterans. He served as commander of the GAR group and, in 1931, held the post of patriotic instructor.

Simon passed into eternity at home the day after Christmas 1931 in Waterloo. The funeral was held at their home on Home Park Boulevard, with full military rites provided, followed by another service at the First Brethren Church. A firing squad and taps bugler were part of the graveside service, with his grandsons Ray Peverill, Leo Peverill, Henry Peverill, Claude Peverill, Edward Shaulis and Edward Queer serving as pallbearers. Members of the Sons of Veterans served as honorary pallbearers -- D.F. Merriman, Warren Kelsey, Merlyn Snodgrass, J.C. Knapp, W.S. Crutcher and Frank M. Stull. An obituary was printed in the Waterloo Courier, which said that among those traveling to the funeral were son J.M. from Rockford, CO and niece Anna Raber of Savannah, MO. Harriet survived him by a little more than three years and was awarded her husband's pension. [Widow App. #1.709.104 - Cert. A-4-11-32]. Sadly, burdened with senility and heart failure, she suffered a stroke and died at home on Feb. 5, 1935, with burial in Orange Township Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] Because one or more of their children was underage at the time they became orphaned, the pension was awarded thereto until they reached the age of maturity. [XC #2.646.922] Many years later, in 1980, Harriet and Simon were named in an edition of The Cedar Tree newsletter of the Northeast Iowa Genealogical Society..

 

Above and below: 1910 Atlas of Orange Township, Black Hawk County. Note Simon Shaulis' adjoining tracts of 160 acres each and the proximity of their farms to the John and Sarah Dull farms, Orange Cemetery and Church of the Brethren.

 

  • Step-grandson James "Monroe" Shaulis (1866-1935) was born on July 9 or 19, 1866 in Somerset County and came to Iowa in 1874 at the age of eight. He married De La "Adella" Irvin (1868-1952). The couple eventually migrated to Colorado, making a home in Rockford. Circa 1931, as his father was dying, Monroe returned to Waterloo and spent an extended amount of time there until the father's death around Christmas 1931. Monroe passed away in 1935 and rests for all time in Hillcrest Cemetery in Rocky Ford, Otero County, CO. De La outlived him by 17 years and died in 1952.
  • Step-granddaughter Ellen B. "Ella" Shaulis (1868-1919) was born on March 10 or May 16, 1868. She married Albert L. Peverill (March 23, 1861-1920). Ellen died in 1919 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Waterloo. Albert joined her in death a year later on Dec. 3, 1920.
  • Step-grandson Henry E. Shaulis (1869-1956) was born on Dec. 17, 1869. He made the migration trip to Iowa with his family in 1874, at the age of five. He was married and had one or more children. Circa 1929, their address was 1003 Independence Avenue in Waterloo, and in October that year they hosted a Shaulis family reunion, the first time the clan had gathered in two decades. The Waterloo Courier noted that 39 relatives were present "from Iowa, Colorado and Illinois. J.M. Shaulis, Rocky Ford, Colo., and F.R. Shaulis, La Junta, Colo., came the longest distance to this family gathering, at which the youngest present was Elnora Peverill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Peverill, Waterloo. Following a picnic dinner the afternoon was spent informally." Henry passed into eternity at the age of 86 on June 23, 1956. His remains are in eternal repose in Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery.
  • Step-granddaughter Clara M. Shaulis (1872-1939) was born on Oct. 3, 1872 in Somerset County. She was not yet two years old when she traveled to a new home in Iowa. She wedded Hugh Grant Peverill (Nov. 29, 1868-1934). Their children were Harold Peverill, Leo Dewey Peverill, Ray Peverill, Henry Peverill, Elmer Peverill, Fred Peverill, Robert Peverill, Etta O. Magee and Jennie Welter. They also lost two daughters in infancy. The Peverill farm was located five miles east of Waterloo along the Grant Highway. Tragically, their 23-year-old son Harold was lost at sea on Aug. 27, 1918, a friendly-fire casualty of World War I. Circa April 1931, as a gesture for the sacrifice of their sons, the federal government awarded Clara and seven other gold star mothers an all-expense-paid trip to France to visit the wartime battlefields. She spent six weeks in France and saw the battlefields of Verdun and central France as well as the American Cemetery while also touring Paris and London. After sailing back to the United States, on the U.S.S. Washington, she "stopped en route from New York at Somerset, Pa., and visited her birthplace and relatives there," said the Waterloo Courier. Hugh died on Jan. 21, 1934 at the age of 65. Clara outlived him by about five-and-a-half years. On Sept. 9, 1939, at the age of 66, she passed away. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery in Waterloo.

Step-great-grandson Harold Peverill (1895-1918) was born on May 6, 1895. As a boy, he attended the Barclay School and circa 1909 was a contestant in a county-wide spelling contest. He remained in the Waterloo area and earned a living as a laborer in 1915. After the outbreak of World War I, he joined the U.S. Navy in late 1917 and became a machinist's mate. He was assigned to a submarine chaser no. 209, commanded by Lt. Henry J. Bowes. Tragically, on the fateful day of Aug. 27, 1918, while the vessel was patrolling the waters off Fire Island, NY, it was mistaken for an enemy submarine and fired upon by the American steamer Felix Taussig. The chaser was sunk, and while nine crew members were rescued, Harold and the other 15 men were not, and his body was never recovered. Reported the Waterloo Courier, "the little chaser went down ablaze three minutes after being hit by two of the four shots from the gun of the ship a distance of 200 feet. According to the account of the Taussig's captain the gun crew opened fire when an object resembling a submarine appeared and crossed the steamer's bow without showing lights. Apparently one of the shots exploded a depth bomb on board the chaser, quickly ending her career." The horrific news was carried by other newspapers coast to coast. The survivors were so aghast at the senseless loss of life that a year after the sinking, they gathered 35,000 signatures on a petition to raise the sunken vessel, but nothing ever came of it. In the years following, a marble shaft bearing Harold's name was erected in Fairview Cemetery, over an empty grave, inscribed as follows: "Fallen for liberty. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his country."

Step-great-grandson Leo Dewey Peverill (1897-1966) was born on Aug. 26, 1897 in Black Hawk County and lived his entire life in the county. He apparently never married nor reproduced He served in the U.S. military during World War I. Later, he returned to Waterloo and dwelled on Highway 20. He earned a living repairing automobiles and gasoline engines. Suffering from a heart problem, he was admited to St. Francis Hospital in Evansdale, IL where he succumbed at the age of 69 on Oct. 21, 1966. An obituary appeared in the Waterloo Courier.

Step-great-grandson Ray Peverill ( ? - ? ) is believed to have been joined in wedlock with Ruth Lazemby ( ? - ? ), daughter of Thomas and Carrie A. (Graham) Lazemby. They were tenant farmers in Waterloo and, in March 1914, moved to the Mrs. Clough farm. Then in May 1919 he purchased a 120-acre farm located four miles north of Dunkerton. He and one of his brothers harvested 75 acres of oats over the span of four days n April 1925, and the Waterloo Courier noted that "There was no trouble with tractor or machinery going bad during the time they were operating at top speed." The Peverills are known to have attended the Shaulis family reunion in Waterloo in Oct. 1929, the first time the family had been together in 20 years. Circa 1943, their address was 127 Mohawk Street in Waterloo. He lived in Sunnyvale, CA in 1966-1976.

Step-great-grandson Henry G. Peverill (1903-1970) was born on Oct. 27, 1903 in Black Hawk County. He did not marry nor reproduce. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II and was a member of the Becker-Chapman Post of the American Legion. For more than 25 years, he was employed by John Deere at its Waterloo tractor works and gelonged to the United Auto Workers-Congress of Industrial Organizations (UAW-CIO). In his spare time, he enjoyed his membership in the local Eagles lodge. After retiring in 1965, the bachelor Henry made his home n the Allison Hotel in Waterloo. At the age of 66, he suffered a stroke and succumbed in Scholtz memorial Hospital on June 28, 1970. An obituary ran in the Waterloo Courier.

Step-great-grandson Elmer Peverill ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). In 1927, he married Della Goss (Dec. 21, 1909-1970), a native of Waterloo and the daughter of Delbert and Augusta Goss. They were the parents of Mrs. Frank Grantham, Mrs. Clifford Miller and Mrs. Harmon Stone. The family relocated to California in 1941, settling in Sunnyville before moving again to Cupertino, where they were in 1966-1976. Sadly, stricken with cancer, the 60-year-old Della passed away in Cupertino on June 7, 1970, and is believed to be interred there. The Waterloo Courier published her obituary. Elmer is thought to have returned to Waterloo where he died at the age of 78 in March 1985.

Step-great-grandson Fred William Peverill (1910-2005) was born on Aug. 6, 1910 in Black Hawk County. On Oct. 5, 1940, when he was 30 years of age, he was united in wedlock with Mary E. Wenger ( ? - ? ), daughter of Jesse and Sarah (Bender) Wenger of Franklin County, PA. Their nuptials were held in New Hampton, IL. The couple produced these offspring -- Fred W. Peverill II, Betty J. Power and Janice Wheeler. He joined the U.S. Army and served in World War II. Fred spent a 37-year career working for Rath Packing Company in its cut and trim department. Mary also worked in the 1960s and early '70s in the fabric department of Wells Discount Store and retired in 1972. The couple resided at 536 Adrian Street in Waterloo in 1966-1976. At the age of 94, Fred succumbed to natural causes on July 28, 2005. The Waterloo Courier ran an obituary which noted that he was survived by seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. His remains were interred in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Waterloo. Mary outlived him by three years and died at the age of 93 on June 12, 2008

Step-great-grandson Robert Peverill made a home in 1966 on Route 4 near Waterloo and in 1976 near Gilbertville.

Step-great-granddaughter Etta O. Peverill ( ? - ? ) wedded (?) Magee ( ? - ? ). Her home in 1966 was in Independence and in 1976 at 1535 Hawthorne Avenue..

Step-great-granddaughter Jennie Peverill (1908-1976) was born on June 9, 1908 in Waterloo. At the age of 23, on Feb. 26, 1935, she was joined in holy matrimony with John Welter ( ? - ? ), with the nuptials held in Raymond, IL. The couple did not reproduce. The Wallers lived in 1966 at 135 Joder Street in Waterloo and eventually relocated to Brainerd, MN. Sadly, at the age of 67, Jennie died in Brainerd's St. Joseph's Hospital on March 14, after suffering a heart attack. The Waterloo Courier printed an obituary.

  • Son Ira S. Shaulis (1881-1984) was born on Feb. 6, 1881 on a farm in Waterloo. He married Alta D. (Dec. 10, 1886-1966). They were the parents of Edward Samuel Shaulis and Evelyn May Graham. The couple may have divorced. In the 1920s, Ira earned a living as a laborer in Waterloo. Ira wedded a second time on Feb. 19, 1928, at the age of 47, to 49-year-old Maude (Beaumont) Galvin ( ? - ? ). She was a native of Kesley, Butler County, IA, the daughter of Edmund and Laura (DeLong) Beaumont. Rev. Edwin Boardman Jr., of the Brethren Church of Waterloo, officiated at the ceremony, and Henry E. Shaulis and Minnie Shaulis served as witnesses. First wife Alta passed away at the age of 80 in Oct. 1966. Ira survived her by 18 years. At the age of 102, he succumbed in Waterloo on Jan. 3, 1984. They rest in Orange Township Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
  • Son Frank R. Shaulis (1885- ? ) was born on Feb. 18, 1885.
  • Daughter Ada Mae Shaulis (1887-1976) was born on Jan. 14, 1887. She was united in holy matrimony with Charles C. Hatch (1881-1948), sn of William and Elizabeth (Meyers) Hatch. They lived in rural Waterloo in 1931. Charles died in 1948 with burial in Orange Township Cemetery in Waterloo. Ada Mae survived him by 28 years. She succumbed at the age of 89 the day after Christmas 1976.
  • Daughter Anna Grace Shaulis (1889-1986) was born on March 9, 1889 in Iowa. She was joined in wedlock with William John Queer (July 8, 1886-1964), who was a native of Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County, PA. One known child was born to this union, Ruth Harriet Schleusner. Their home in 1931 was in Waterloo. William passed away on Jan. 8, 1964, at the age of 77. He was was interred in Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery. Anna Grace lived as a widow for another 22 years. She joined him in death at the age of 97 on Oct. 2, 1986.

Great-granddaughter Ruth Harriet Queer (1916-2009) was born on Feb. 15, 1916 in Waterloo. She married Frank W. Schleusner (1909-1978). They bore three known children, Joanne M. Iverson, Ronald Schleusner and Jacqueline Schleusner. Frank died 1978 at the age of 68 or 69. Ruth lived to the age of 93. She grieved in 1999 when their daughter Joanne died at age 63. Ruth succumbed in Waterloo on Sept. 10, 2009. They rest side by side in Saint Marys Cemetery in Gilbertville, Black Hawk County. Inscribed across the top of their grave marker is the opening line of the Lord's Prayer: "The Lord is my Shepherd," ant their children's names are carved at the bottom.

Daughter Ellen Weyand (1852- ? ) was born in about 1852 in Somerset County. In 1883, she migrated to Iowa with her parents. There, she was united in holy matrimony with Henry Myers ( ? - ? ). In 1904, when she was named in Isaiah Van Metre's book History of Black Hawk County, Iowa and Representative Citizens, she dwelled in Black Hawk County.

Daughter Martha "Mattie" Weyand (1853-1937) was born in September 1853 in Somerset County. She never married and in 1883, at age 30, settled with her parents in Iowa. In 1900, at the age of 46, she lived with her father and step-mother in Waterloo, in a house on West Fourth Street, and earned income as a dressmaker. Again in 1904, when named in the book History of Black Hawk County, Iowa and Representative Citizens, she lived at home. Martha succumbed in 1937, at the age of 84. Burial was in Orange Township Cemetery in Blackhawk County. [Find-a-Grave]

Daughter Mary A. Weyand (1856- ? ) was born in about 1856 in Somerset County. The youngest of the family, she was about age 27 in 1883 when the Weyands moved to Iowa. She wedded David Shaulis. They produced two children. Sadly, Mary died sometime before 1904, and the children were taken in by her parents to raise.

Brotherton Pike Cemetery

~ Son Rev. Michael Weyand Jr. ~

Son Rev. Michael Weyand Jr. (1829-1900) was born in 1829 in Somerset Township. Although is believed to have been baptized in  the Reformed Church of his parents. As a boy, he attended the country schools.

While Michael grew up in the ways of the Reformed Church, he later joined the Evangelical Association, commonly known as the "Albrights." A carpenter and farmer, he became a local pastor in the Brethren Church.

At the age of 20, in 1850, he was unmarried and lived at home in Somerset Township, working as a carpenter.

In 1857, at the age of 28, Michael was united in holy matrimony with Sarah Walker (1834- ? ), daughter of Elder Daniel P. Walker. Elder George Schrock officiated at the wedding.

The couple bore three children, Mary E. Kimmel Johnson, Drucilla M. Weyand and Daniel M. Weyand.

A year after their marriage, he joined the Church of the Brethren and felt the Lord's call to the ministry in 1859. The federal census of 1860 shows the Weyands living near Benford's Store, Somerset Township, with Michael earning a living by farming. That year, 12-year-old Emeline Knepper was in the home.

 

Son Daniel's grave, Brotherton Pike

Following the death of his father, Michael received in 1870 a payment of $1,005.00 as an inheritance. That year, the federal census enumeration shows them living as farmers in Somerset Township, with his 81-year-old widowed mother in the household.

Grief cascaded over the family in January 1874 (?) when son Daniel passed away at the age of four years, six months and 23 days. The boy's tender remains were lowered into repose in the Brotherton Pike Cemetery. A marker was erected at the grave, and while portions are still legible, other texts are fading badly. Inscribed on the bottom was this poignant epitaph:

 

No more the pleasant child is seen

To please the parents eye.

The tender plant so fresh and fair

Is in eternity.

 

Michael was profiled in Jerome E. Blough's 1916 book, History of the Church of the Brethren of the Western District of Pennsylvania, which stated: 

In 1886 he was ordained to the eldership of the Brothers Valley congregation. For about ten years he had charge of this large and flourishing congregation. Brother Weyand's health was not the best at any time in his life. Being of an unassuming nature he lived a quiet life. He did not travel extensively, but was faithful in filling the appointments in his home congregation. He was a supporter of Sunday schools, as well as of mission work as carried on in his day. He frequently attended the Annual Conferences.

 

Michael's profile in the History of the Church of the Brethren of the Western District of Pennsylvania. Courtesy Google Books.

 

 

Cemetery sign, 2019

Among the weddings Michael is known to have performed was the union of Samuel U. Shober to Sarah Ellen Kimmel on Sept. 27, 1872, as cited in the Church of the Brethren history. Another, as recorded in the gossip columns of the Somerset Herald, was the marriage of Jonathan J. Kimmel of Stoystown to Sarah Croner of Brothersvalley in January 1873. He also co-officiated the funeral of Jacob Blough near Berlin in June 1886, with the service held in the Grove meeting house, and the sermon based on Revelation 14:13: "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."

The 1880 federal census shows Michael and Sarah living on a farm in Somerset Township, with their daughter and son in law Mary and Jacob Kimmel living under their roof. The census-taker recorded that Sarah was suffering with neuralgia at the time.

Michael's church was located near the community of Listie with one building, known as the Trent Church, with 75 members. A history of the local Brethren Church said that "After a division of the German Baptists and the Progressive Brethren the church was purchased by the latter group, who used it until about 1892, when it was dismantled and the best of the lumber was used in the erection of the First Brethren church in Listie. The members remaining with the German Baptists aligned themselves once more with the Brothersvalley congregation, building a house of worship, which was called the Rayman church. The Somerset congregation of that era ceased to exist."

 

The Trent Church and cemetery, where Michael Weyand Jr. was pastor. Two Centuries of the Church of the Brethren in Western Pennsylvania, 1751-1950.

 

 

The Kimmels' grave, Brotherton Pike

Michael died on May 25, 1900, at the age of 71. Burial was in the Pike Cemetery at Brotherton, Somerset County, with elder Silas Hoover preaching the funeral sermon.

He is named in Henry R. Holsinger's book History of the Tunkers and the Brethren Church and the 1953 work, Two Centuries of the Church of the Brethren in Western Pennsylvania, 1751-1950.

Sarah lived for another four-plus years. She moved into the home of her daugher and died there on Sept. 29, 1904. Funeral services were conducted at the Pike German Baptist Church in Brotherton, officiated by elders J.J. Shaffer and S.U. Shober. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American noted that "Mrs. Weyand's husband died about four years ago."

Daughter Mary E. Weyand (1859-1946) was born on Jan. 17, 1859. In about 1878, when she was age 19, she was joined in wedlock with her first spouse, 25-year-old Jacob O. Kimmel (Jan. 4, 1853-1910), who was six years her senior. He was the son of Daniel and Emaline (Landis) Kimmel. They bore one child, who sadly died in infancy and may not have been named. The federal census of 1880 shows the newlywed couple living in the same farm household as her parents, with Jacob assisting with farming labor. Federal census records for 1900 show the couple on a farm in Somerset Township, with Mary's widowed mother under their roof. Their home was located near the village of Wills, four miles east of the county seat. Sadly, burdened for two months with an abscess in his lungs, Jacob died at home at the age of 57 on April 30, 1910. A physician wrote: "Died without medical attention for 24 hours. His physician having died in the meantime. Death likely from abscess of the lungs." Funeral services were held in the Brotherton Church of the Brethren, led by Elder J.J. Shaffer, with interment was in the Brotherton Pike Cemetery. C.K. Shober of Somerset signed the death certificate. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican called him "a well known citizen..." and said that he had been "a faithful member of the Church of the Brethren the greater part of his life and held the office of deacon in his congregation for a period of thirty years." Another account of his death in the Republican said that "The widow (nee Mary Weyand) now stands alone, having neither father, mother, brother, sister nor child." Later, she married John L. Johnson ( ? - ? ). Mary made her home on Hoffman Avenue in Scalp Level, Somerset County in the mid-1940s. While at the Old Folks Home in Windber, Somerset County, she fell and fractured her left femur. Added to senile psychosis and pneumonia, she was admitted to Somerset Community Hospital. She stayed there for seven weeks until death at the age of 87 on Aug. 10, 1946. Her remains were placed into eternal rest in Brotherton Pike Cemetery. Orange Spaughey of Scalp Level signed her death certificate.

Daughter Drucilla M. Weyand (1869- ? ) was born in June 1869, likely in Somerset Township. She is not listed as living with her parents in 1880, when she otherwise would have been about 11 years of age. Nothing more is known.

 

Copyright 2002, 2009, 2012, 2014-2015, 2017, 2019 Mark A. Miner

Miller Park War Memorial images courtesy Bill Kemp, Librarian of the McLean County Museum of History.