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Capt. William Meyers Schrock


Capt. William M. Schrock

Capt. William Meyers Schrock was born on Aug. 19, 1837 in near the village of New Lexington in Somerset County, PA, the son of Aaron and Catherine (Meyers) Schrock and stepson of Mary "Polly" (Younkin) Smith.

He was only three years of age when his mother died and eight when his father married again.

As a young man, William joined the Disciples of Christ Church -- likely the Christian Church in Turkeyfoot -- established in Somerset County by his step-mother's brother, Dr. Jonas Younkin.

He was pictured and extensively profiled in the 1906 book, History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, in part for some remarkable experiences during his young manhood. The entry reads:

He was educated in the public schools of his native township, and in addition had the benefit of six months' attendance at a collegiate institute in Somerset Pennsylvania. At the early age of sixteen years he commenced to teach in the public schools, and assisted his father on the farm and in the blacksmith shop until he was eighteen years of age. He then obtained a position in a country store, and a year later, early in 1859, went with four companions to the west. They started with a three-yoke ox team and a supply of provisions to least them six months. They crossed the plains, then known as the Great American desert, in search of gold at Pike's Peak. In this search they were as unsuccessful as so many thousands of others, and Mr. Schrock returned to Somerset later in the same year, a bankrupt in money and worldly good, but rich in experience and knowledge of the then wild west. The exposure, suffering and misery of hundreds of people were heart-rending in the extreme. He again took up the work of a clerk in a store.

Back home, on Dec. 9 or 10, 1859, the 22-year-old William was joined in wedlock with 19-year-old school teacher Mary E. Foy (Sept. 6, 1840-1912), daughter of Rev. George and Sarah Catherine (Shank) Foy. Her father was a Methodist clergyman who had migrated to Somerset County from Lebanon County, PA.

Mary taught public school from age 16 to age 19, stepping down because schools at the time forbade the employment of married women teachers.

The couple went on to produce nine children -- Clora Barnett, twins Ella "Ellie" Lutz and Caroline Lucretia "Carrie" Lambert, Aaron F. Schrock, Julia M. Staniford, twins Minnie Hostetler and Lillie Schrock (the latter of whom died in infancy), Susan Walker and Foy Schrock (who passed away at age five in about 1883 or 1884).


William's profile in the 1906 History of Bedford and Somerset Counties


During the heart of the Civil War in 1863, responding to President Lincoln's call for more voluntary enlistments, William was living in New Centerville, Somerset County. Within a week, he recruited 80 men to serve in a local company. Initially known as Capt. Schrock's Independent Company of Volunteer Infantry, it later became part of Company H of Ramsey's Battalion, Pennsylvania Infantry. The Somerset Daily American once said that "It was the only occasion during the course of the Civil War that any unit was mustered within the area of Somerset County." The infantry remained in New Centerville until July 6, 1863, following the Battle of Gettysburg, when they marched to Berlin and received weapons. They were ordered to report to Huntingdon, PA, and then served on provost duty during a military draft. In early September 1863, recounted the History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania, the company marched to Harrisburg and then Gettysburg:

...where they guarded the field hospital on the battlefield until it was dispensed with in the latter part of October. This company was also in active service at Lewisburg, Sunbury and Selins Grove. From December 11, 1863 until January 8, 1864, the Somerset company was in charge of the Soldiers' Retreat at Harrisburg, where frequently rations were provided for from five hundred to one thousand soldiers who dropped off from trains at meal times. The company was mustered out January 8, 1864.

Seven months later, with the war continuing without an end in sight, he helped create another fighting body. This time it was Company K of the 5th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, again as described in the History of Bedford and Somerset:

During the month of August, 1864, Mr. Schrock again assisted in recruiting a company, this time of one hundred men, and was chosen captain, on arriving at the place of rendezvous, which was at Pittsburg. Here an artillery regiment which was in process of formation lacked a company with the requisite number of men, one hundred and forty-four. A veteran officer had forty men under his charge and expressed his willingness to join forces with Captain Schrock's company if the captaincy were given to him. Mr. Schrock resigned his command in favor of this veteran, and accepted a lieutenancy in the same company. Soon after reaching the fortifications at Washington, where the regiment had been ordered, Mr. Schrock succumbed to the strain of his overwork, and was stricken with fever and sent to the hospital, where he was obliged to remain for two months, and was finally discharged from the Georgetown Seminary Hospital as being incapacitated for further active service. This was January 2, 1865.

After his honorable discharge, he returned home to his wife and family in Somerset. In 1870, with eldest brother, Edward, he established the Somerset Standard, a paper which was popular and influential for several years and later merged with another newspaper. The paper was printed every Friday, with annual subscriptions costing $2, paid in advance. Single copies in wrappers could be purchased in the office for a nickel. The Standard's motto was "Let the truth be our dictator." The pages contained nine columns, 22 inches wide, and advertisements were laid out down the left-hand column.


Somerset, early 1900s. The courthouse dome is the highest building in view.


William was a charter member and adjustant of the Robert P. Cummins Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' welfare organization. Among the Post's accomplishments was the erection of the Civil War soldiers' monument at the county courthouse. Active in public affairs, he servd as a viewer (inspector) of bridges in the county for decades  and as Somerset Borough tax collector in the 1890s. At one point, for six years, he was the clerk for the Somerset County Commissioners.

As compensation for his wartime ailments, William was awarded a soldier's pension in April 1879. He received monthly government checks for the rest of his long life. [Invalid App. #276.814 - Cert. #170.688]

William also was a surveyor and in 1905 is known to have helped plan for a new road from the Shanksville and New Baltimore Road to the Stoystown-Bedford Road. He won even more public acclaim in the winter of 1908-1909 when he transferred maps and plots of town tracts into one centralized book. This work was praised in the Cumberland (MD) Evening Times as "an innovation in Somerset county and all the attorneys say that it is a great convenience."

In her own right, Mary owned a millinery store in Somerset during the 1880s, said the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier, "when her establishment was one of the most fashionable in the county."

In 1904, William and son-in-law, John A. Lambert re-started the Standard, and after several years stepped aside so that Lambert could continue independently.

The Schrocks celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in December 1909. All five of their living adult daughters attended, with a story printed in the Pittsburgh Daily Post.


Monument to Capt. Schrock's company of Civil War soldiers, New Centerville, PA. Courtesy Linda Marker

Continuing his work in the road and bridge field, he served as superintendent of bridge construction for the county in 1909-1910. He made news in January 1910 when writing "a scathing report regarding the condition of a number of bridges in which he severely censures contractors for negligence," said the Courier, "and the Grand Jury for not allowing the construction of new bridges at several points where old structures have become unsafe. The report states that one contractor for the work of repainting a number of bridges grossly neglected his work and violated his contract in that he did not paint the lower part of the bridge, where paint protection from the weather is most needed.... Capt. Schrock states that within recent years there have been erected a number of bridges in which railroad iron piers with make-shift abutments, that the iron has bent and sagged rendering these bridges highly unsafe."

At the age of 71, Mary suffered from diabetes and developed an abscess of the throat. When the infection became toxic, her health plummeted and she died on June 25, 1912. Burial was in the Husband Cemetery, with Rev. J.D. Garrison officiating. Obituaries were printed in the Pittsburgh Press as well as more local newspapers.

William outlived his wife by a number of years. He remained involved in public matters and enjoyed traveling across the nation he had helped preserve. The January after his wife's death, he is known to have vacationed in Hot Springs, AR and thence to the West Coast to see his daughter Ella Lutz in Irvington, CA and brother Edward and family in Seattle.

Circa February 1914, maintained a government weather station in Somerset which measured snowfall and rain levels. He marked his 79th birthday in September 1916 with a party at his home for fellow members of the Robert P. Cummins Post of the Grand Army of the Republic. The Republic ran a story, saying that "Headed by the host, the veterans marched to the H.W. Walker company's icecream parlor, where icecream and cake were served. The parlor was appropriately decorated with flags and bunting -- the colors these men helped to preserve -- and with each plate of cream a miniature flag was furnished, and later worn by the soldiers. It is needless toadd that the time passed all too rapidly, for the guests were once again boys together, having a splendid time."

When celebrating his 83rd birthday in 1920, at a dinner for family, he gave cigars to the men and envelopes with crisp dollar bills to his three daughters. In a related story, the Standard said that "It is a pleasure to note that Captain Schrock's health has not broken, that his step is as active as that of a boy, and that his interest in the affairs of the G.A.r. and in public matters is unabated. On Friday, he motored twenty miles to perform a surveying job, and so it has been with him for a number of years. He has been keeping himself young in practice, and fit physically, by engaging in ouit-door activities, though very frequently he performs work that would be very tiring and exhausting to persons much younger than himself."

William and Jonas J. Beachy were among several elderly men from Pennsylvania who were honored in 1921 as pioneers of wagon travel across the Great Plains some 60-plus years earlier. The two were pictured in a story in the Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln, which said that "A somewhat belated effort is being made to gather up the stories of the survivors of that bold race of men who drove priaire schooners, ox teams and freight wagons across the Western plains prior to the civil war." Labeled as "schooner argonauts," the pair were cited for having "wagoned across the plains in 1859. Robert Bruce of Clinton, NY was the driving force behind the revived interest and had the photograph portraits made.

Beachy and William again were pictured together on the front page of the Meyersdale Republican on Oct. 8, 1925. The story said that they were the only two known survivors of:

...a company of 26 argonauts who on March 24, 1859, with oxteams and enthusiastic spirits, started to travel from Ogle Station now Ashton, Illinois, across 'the Great Plains,' to Pike's Peak, Colorado, in search of gold. Their slogan was "Ho! for Pike's Peak, or bust!" The expedition "busted" and most of the gold is still in the peak. Soon after these men returned to Illinois from their unsuccessful but exciting adventures, they separated, Capt. Schrock returning to his native heath, Somerset County, Pa. ... [while] Jonas J. Beachy remained at Ogle, Ill., until 1865, and then returned east to his former home near Grantsville, Md. After they had parted at Ogle Schrock wrote several times to Beachy, addressing him once at Grantsville, Md., likely before Beachy had returned to that place, for he got no reply to his letter, and again he addressed him at Ogle, Ill., without receiving a reply from him. By that time Beachy may have left Ogle and returned to Grantsville, and Schrock's letter missed him again, and so for a period of 61 years they were lost to each other. Capt. Schrock did not know anything of Mr. Beachy's where abouts until one day, over five years ago, he read a story by L.J. Beachy son of Jonas J. Beachy, published in the Meyersdale Republican, relating to their "Pike's Peak or Bust" trip 61 years before.

In June 1920, William traveld to Beachy's Mt. Nebo Farm in Grantsville and continued doing so every year through at least 1925. On Nov. 18, Nov. 25 and Dec. 9, 1926, William authored lengthy, bylined articles in the Republican about the memorable Pike's Peak trip of 67 years ago.

Over time, as soldiers from his former company died off, William was named in some of their obituaries -- including Harrison Wiltrout in 1921 and Younkin step-cousin Jacob J. Rush in 1922.

Reminiscing into history gave William much pleasure. In March 1925, he was happily surprised to read in the Republican an account of his father having been apprenticed in young manhood to a veteran blacksmith, Joseph Jacob "Axie" Yoder. William dashed off a letter to the editor, saying the stories were "very interesting. I could not at first figure out as to how you obtained a copy of Father's agreement with Axie Yoder as an apprentice," he penned. "My mother was a daughter of Christian Meyers, who owned a farm about two miles down the river from Meyersdale, and which is still owned by some of the Meyers family, I think.... I have in my possession the original county settlements for the years 1796, '97, '98 and '99; also an article of agreement for the founding of a new town that fizzled out -- very interesting."

Despite his good physical condition, the end came quickly for William at age 91. While at home in mid-August 1929, he fell down a flight of stairs and fractured a rib. He was admitted to Somerset Community Hospital where he succumbed on Aug. 15, 1929. His death was top-headline news in the Daily American. An obituary in the Pittsburgh Press said that he was "one of Somerset's oldest citizens" and that he "would have celebrated his 92 birthday next Monday." The story was reprinted in newspapers throughout the state, among them in Tyrone, Kittanning and Harrisburg.

Rev. Dr. George L. Roth, of St. Paul's Reformed Church, preached the funeral service in the chapel of Husband Cemetery, which he had helped construct in about 1923.. Opined the Daily American, "Captain Schrock loved the little chapel and superintended its erection and it is altogether fitting that he should be laid to rest from there." Pallbearers were Judge John A. Berkey, local attorneys Frederick W. Biesecker, Norman T. Boose and Leland W. Walker, Dr. Fred B. Shaffer, Joseph M. Bricker, George J. Krebs and Cecil C. McDowell.

In his last will and testament, William directed that everything in his ownership be sold, ranging from real estate to financial investments. He also bequeathed $100 and a Civil War sword to his great-grandson, William M. Schrock Lambert, and $50 to the Husband Cemetery Association. He wrote in the document that "The other sword, the Flag, the two sashes, the two officers' commissions, my father's volunteer commissions and cmopany rolls, as well as other relics and books are to be amicably divided within a reasonable time after my death."

Many years later, on Oct. 2, 1966, the Somerset County Historical and Genealogical Society dedicated a monument in memory of William's Civil War infantry, placed on the mustering grounds at New Centerville. Local attorney Robert Keim served as master of ceremonies and Rev. Gene Abel gave the invocation, Judge Thomas F. Lansberry the principal address and Rev. Henry B. Reiley Jr. the dedication prayer. Lansberry remarked in his comments that the local recruits "had ears to hear the call of Father Abraham," said the Daily American. "This was not hearing in the ordinary sense but it was that 'inner ear' through which they heard the call that challenged them to answer the call to colors. He said that they had real courage, not the false type which causes some beatnik to throw a molotov cocktail into a store window, or causes a riot in Watts or Cleveland, but that kind of courage which sends a man through the valley of the shadow of death for the sake of a cause which he considers to be bigger than himself." Also present at the event was George Hoburn, who designed and built the monument, and Bradley Cramer, grandson of Charles Cramer who first developed the monument placement idea.


~ Daughter Clara J. (Schrock) Barnett ~

Daughter Clora J. Schrock (1860-1902) was born on Sept. 11, 1860 in Somerset.

She wed Thomas Barnett ( ? - ? ).

Circa 1894, in Somserset, she led the Disciples of Christ Sunday School class and raised funds for the church's missionary society.

Grief blanketed the family on Aug. 23, 1902 when Clora passed away at the age of 41. Burial was in Husband Cemetery.


~ Daughter Ella "Ellie" (Schrock) Lutz ~

Daughter Ella "Ellie" Schrock (1862- ? ) was born on March 31, 1862, a twin with her sister Carrie.

She wedded Dr. Charles A. Lutz ( ? - ? ) of Philadelphia.

The couple were the parents of two children -- Julia Lutz and Mary Lutz.

Charles served as a physician employed by the Alaska Commercial Company in the Aleutian Islands for several years. He also was assigned to medical service on a steamship making regular trips from San Francisco to China.

With their home base in San Francisco, Ella often returned home to Somerset to visit and spend summers with her parents. While in Somerset in August 1889, they got word that her brother had died in Defiance, OH, and received a telegram saying that her husband was deathly ill and that she should return to California immediately. She did so, after first attending her brother's funeral. Charles fortunately survived the scare.

Circa 1909, the Lutzes made a home in Los Angeles and in 1912-1920 in Irvington, CA. By 1923, they had moved to Chicago and that year are known to have traveled in Europe. The Lutzes eventually returned to Irvington.

Charles died there in September 1936, with word telegraphed to Ella's family in Somerset.


~ Daughter Caroline Lucretia "Carrie" (Schrock) Lambert ~

Daughter Caroline Lucretia "Carrie" Schrock (1862-1919) was born on March 31, 1862, a twin with her sister Ella.

On St. Patrick's Day 1881, just a few weeks shy of her 18th birthday, she married John A. Lambert (Jan. 17, 1854-1925), a native of Elizabeth, Allegheny County, PA who was living in nearby Johnstown at the time. Their nuptials were held on a Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Disciples of Christ Church in Somerset, officiated by Elder Woolery. The event was "witnessed by a host of friends of the high contracting parties," said the Somerset Herald. Park G. Kimmel, John N. Snyder, Frank Kimmel and Carrie's brother Aaron served as ushers.

The eight children born to this union were Herbert Schrock Lambert, William Dreas Lambert, John R. Lambert, Staniford Lutz Lambert, James "Frank" Lambert, Gladys Sloan, Margaret Adams and Marie Lippincott.

John had grown up as the son of a "veteran steamboat engineer on the Monongahela River" said the Meyersdale (PA) Republican, "and during his boyhood [he] assisted his father on the boat until he, too, became a licensed engineer and competent pilot of river transportation."

During his spare time he mastered telegraphy. In 1880, when work on the construction of the Somerset and Cambria Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was commenced, Mr. Lambert became Somerset's first railroad telegrapher. When the branch was completed to Johnstown in 1882, Mr. Lambert became the first Baltimore & Ohio agent at Johnstown but he soon returned to Somerset as a telegraph operator and agent and remained in the position until 1890. .


Bird's eye view of Somerset, Pennsylvania


In March 1889, in partnership with his father-in-law and Frank F. Koontz, John acquired the Somerset County Times newspaper from Edward H. Werner. He became sole owner in 1891 and renamed it the Somerset Standard, which he operated for the 34 remaining years of his life. Circa 1909-1912, John also served as federal postmaster in the county seat.

In March 1919, Carrie suffered a stroke of apoplexy and, 12 days shy of her 58th birthday, died at home on March 18, 1919. Burial was in Husband Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republican.

John outlived his bride by six years and maintained his residence on West Union Street, although suffering from heart valve problems during that period. On the fateful evening of Nov. 25, 1925, he attended a business meeting at Somerset Country Club and then began walking toward home. As he crossed Center Avenue, between the public square and courthouse square, his heart stopped, and he fell to the ground dead at the age of 71. Funeral services were held in the home, led by Rev. John C. Crowe of the Somerset Church of Christ. The Republican published an obituary.


Hit song written by Herbert S. Lambert

Son Herbert Schrock Lambert (1882-1913) was born on March 4, 1882 in Somerset. Following his father's occupation, he became a newspaper editor and sought his fortune in northern California. Herbert moved to Oakland, Alameda County, where his mother's first cousin William Amos Schrock was a successful furniture manufacturer. There, circa 1892-1893, he was city editor for the Alameda Daily Telegram, but resigned at the start of 1893, saying the work was "too arduous." He returned to Somerset and was hired by his father as a typesetter for the Somerset Standard. Herbert married Christina Haase ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of an only son, Herbert Schrock Lambert Jr. In December 1909, he composed and printed sheet music for the song, "I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home." A related article in the Meyersdale Republican called him "a well known Somerset musician" and added that he had "demonstrated in a number of local-talent productions within recent years his ability along musical lines."  The "Old Foks" song was set to music by F.W. Vandersloot of Williamsport, PA and became a national hit. The pair also wrote a compansion song, "Back At Dear Old Home Sweet Home." In November 1910, Herbert is known to have taken a 10-day vacation to Philadelphia and New York. He accepeted a position as editor of the San Leandro Standard and so relocated back to California, where he was considered "a popular young man in this district," said the Oakland Tribune. The couple's home in 1913 was in San Leandro. In the winter of 1912-1913, he is known to have spent a few weeks in St. Helena. Heartache cascaded over the family when Herbert developed a brain hemorrhage and had to stop work in February 1913. After suffering for three weeks, he succumbed to death in Oakland at the age of only 30 on March 3, 1913. Obituaries were printed in the Tribune among other papers. The Napa Journal reported that "Lambert was an educated and rather bright fellow, but practically all the time he was in St. Helena was ill, spending some of the time at the Sanitarium. He negotiated for the purchase of the Sentinel, but the deal did not go through. Mrs. Lambert took quite an interest in the Woman's Improvement Club while in town." Herbert's remains are in repose for all time in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland

  • Grandson Herbert Schrock Lambert Jr. (1903-1961) was born on Dec. 12, 1903 in Somerset. As a boy, he moved to California with his parents and lived in San Leandro. Sadly, he was only 10 when his father died. Herbert returned to Somerset and, in about 1929-1930, married Ruth Groves Brody (Nov. 4, 1905-1965), daughter of John M. and Ida (Groves) Brody of Pittsburgh. In 1929, Herbert is known to have attended the funeral of his great-grandfather, Capt. William Meyers Schrock, in Somerset. Herbert Jr. joined the "conservative investments" firm of J.A. Ritchie & Company in Pittsburgh's Oliver Building in January 1930, with an advertisement placed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Herbert and Ruth lived in Churchill Boro and produced four daughters -- Margo Miller, Gladys Moore, Sarah Werner and Julie Lambert. Later, he earned a living as a salesman. Their address in the early 1960s was at 120 Oakview Avenue in Edgewood. At the age of 57, having suffered from hardening of the arteries and heart disease, passed away in Columbia Hospital in Wilkinsburg on Aug. 6, 1961. Burial was in Homewood Cemetery. As a widow, Ruth maintained a home in Wilkinsburg at 1423 Center Street. While eating one day, she accidentally inhaled her food which blocked her breathing passage, and she could not breathe. She died in Woodville State Hospital near Pittsburgh on Feb. 1, 1965. Interment was in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

Son William Dreas "Will" Lambert (1883-1928) was born in 1883. As a young man, he delivered newspapers for his father in Somerset. During his summer vacations from school, he worked at the Highland Inn Summer Resort, "shining shoes and acting as a bell boy," said the Meyersdale Republican. He went on to work in the newspaper office for 14 years and managed the Somerset Opera House and a theatre in Meyersdale. On Nov. 12, 1912, he was married to Emily Belle Miller (Dec. 2, 1884-1967), daughter of Daniel S. and Mary (Lichty) Miller of Somerset. The ceremony was held at the Millers' home, led by Rev. S.G. Buckner of the First Christian Church. The children born to this marriage were William Meyers Schrock Lambert, Mary Ann Metzler and Pam Doak. Their granddaughter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard, said that the Millers were "respectable" and the Lamberts "good-looking, prominent, wild.... The Lambert women were beautiful; they married rich men. The Lambert men were charmers; they drank hard and came to early ends." William was employed in the early 1910s as manager of Somerset Automobile Company, a dealer in Buicks. He is said to have won a contest and a free trip to Detroit by writing the advertising tagline "When better autombiles are built, Buick will build them." They were members of the First Christian Church. As with his older brother Herbert, William was a musician. In March 1913, he was named in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for playing in a Somerset orchestra with a large chorus performing J. Stainer's oratorio, The Crucifixion, in the First Christian Church. He was elected burgess of Somerset in 1917, succeeding William H. Welfley, and then in August 1923 announced his candidacy for the elected office of County Sheriff. As his grandfather was an esteemed Civil War veteran, William was active with the Capt. James Hinchman Camp of the Sons of Veterans and spoke at a reunion of the 133rd Pennsylvania Infantry in September 1919. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, William was "one of the promoters of Somerset's first independent Chautauqua... He was twice the Burgess... [and] was the sponsor of many progressive policies." His granddaughter Annie Dillard wrote that he was a handsome man and so admired that "no one in town voted for his opponent." Suffering from incurable heart disease, shortly after the trip to Detroit, the 41-year-old William died on Oct. 23, 1928 in Somerset Community Hospital. Burial was in Husband Cemetery, with Rev. John C. Crowe and Rev. Dr. A.W. Hayes co-officiating. Among those attending the funeral was his uncle, J.D. Lambert, of Connellsville. Emily Belle remained in Somerset as a widow. She declared her candidacy for Somerset Borough tax collector in 1929. In March 1959, she and her daughter Mary Ann were passengers aboard the Grace ocean liner Santa Rosa on a cruise to South America, Jamaica and Nassau. On its return, "when it rammed a tanker off the new Jersey shore," reported the Uniontown Evening Standard. While no one was harmed, all were shaken, with the two women's names appearing in related news stories. Emily died in Uniontown Hospital at the age of 82 on May 9, 1967. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

  • Grandson William Meyers Schrock Lambert ( ? -1991) lived in Pittsburgh in 1943. He married Sara ( ? - ? ). They bore four offspring -- Nancy Cook, Pam Lambert, Jean Lambert and William D. Lambert, MD. Circa 1967, he was in Labrador City in Newfoundland. Later, they were in Santa Fe, NM and then moved to Albuquerque, NM. The couple spent their winters in Sun City, AZ. He is believed to have been affiliated with the Lions Club and its Eye Bank for Macular Degeneration Research. William succumbed to death in a Sun City hospital on April 27, 1991.
  • Granddaughter Mary Ann Lambert ( ? - ? ) - On March 11, 1936, she married 23-year-old William Judkins Metzler Jr. (May 9, 1912-2007), son of Sankey Wesley and Clare (Judkins) Metzler. The couple were the parents of John "David" Metzler and William L. Metzler. At the time of marriage, William was a Yale University graduate had been employed for two years with the family business, S.W. Metzler Stores Corporation, which owned Metzler's Store at 22 East Main Street in Uniontown. He became president and served for 23 years, from 1940 to 1963. In the community, he was a member of the boards of Uniontown Hospital, Uniontown Y.M.C.A., Area Council- Boy Scouts of America, Uniontown Parking Authority, United Fund-Advanced Gifts, Greater Uniontown Industrial Fund, Fayette Development Council and Penn State University's Fayette Campus. A member of the Rotary Club of Uniontown, he was a Paul Harris Fellow. Circa 1967, Mary Ann resided at 141 Belmont Circle in Uniontown, Fayette County, PA. The couple may have divorced, as William married again to Elizabeth Beall ( ? - ? ). William passed away in Pensacola, FL on June 12, 2007, with burial in Sylvan Heights Cemetery.
  • Annie Dillard's bestseller

    Granddaughter Pam Lambert (1921-2004) was born four days after Christmas 1921 in Somerset. She was but the age of seven when her father died. This profound loss, wrote her daughter Annie, "left her forever full of longing." She abhorred anything German in her outlook despite the fact that she was one-half German in her family lineage. As a young woman, she attended Grove City College and was employed in Somerset as a receptions in the offices of architect Boyd Picking and attorney Joseph Cascio. Then in 1942, she moved to Pittsburgh where she served as secretary to the manager of the Roosevelt Hotel. On Nov. 11, 1943, she wedded Frank F. Doak ( ? - ? ), son of Frank Fulton and Meta (Waltenberger) Doak Sr., with the ceremony held in the chapel of East Liberty Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, and Rev. Dr. Stuart Nye Hutchison officiating. Their wedding reception was held at the Fox Chapel home of Pam's aunt and uncle, Gladys and James Fownes. At the time, Frank worked for a family owned business, American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company of Pittsburgh. Their first home was at 7000 Edgerton Avenue in Pittsburgh's East End. Later they lived in Point Breeze, a neighborhood noted for Frick Park and Clayton, the beautiful home of millionnaire coal and coke industrialist Henry Clay Frick. They were the parents of three daughters -- Meta Ann Dillard, Amy Ahrens Matos and Molly Miller Doak. Pam spent her final years in Ligonier, Westmoreland County. She died there at age 82 on May 11, 2004.

Great-granddaughter Meta Ann Doak -- using the married pen name "Annie Dillard" -- went on to author the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, published in March 1974 when she was 28 years of age. Portions of the book originally were published in Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, Travel and Leisure and Living Wilderness. Other of her books have been Tickets for a Prayer Wheel, Holy the Firm, For the Time Being, An American Childhood and The Maytrees. She taught English for more than two decades at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. She first married Richard H.W. Dillard and later wedded Robert D. Richardson. In 2015, she received a National Humanities Medal.

Son John R. Lambert Sr. (1885-1967) was born in 1885 in Somerset. He obtained a job with New York City's Department of Docks and Ferries, an agency headed by his uncle Charles W. Staniford. In the autumn of 1910, he spent time in Nome, Alaska, and then three weeks with his parents in Somerset, returning to New York in late November. He was still in New York in 1913 and then in Philadelphia by 1919. He relocated once more by 1925 to Milford, CT, where he spent the balance of his long life. John was united in holy matrimony with Lillian Keefe (1883-1964). The couple produced two children, John R. Lambert Jr. and Valerie Hemphill. John was a longtime real estate broker with the firm of Cross and Brown Company. Circa April 1926, the Lamberts were in Palm Beach, FL but maintained a home in Milford. Their address in the 1960s was 956 East Broadway. Lillian died at the age of 81 on Jan. 4, 1964. Funeral services were led by Rev. Edward R. Taft of St. Peter's Episcopal Church. John outlived her by three years. He passed away on Nov. 7, 1967. An obituary was printed in the Bridgeport Post, with the family asking that any memorial donations be made to the Milford Woman's Club. Their remains are in eternal repose in Milford Cemetery.

  • Grandson John R. Lambert Jr. (1922-2010) was born on Sept. 12, 1922 in Milford, CT. After graduation from Trinity School for Boys in Manhattan, he attended Columbia University, with his education interrupted by World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and took part on the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach. In all, he was bestowed two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star medal. After the war, he returned to Milford and ran his own advertising agency, known as John R. Lambert Service. He then accepted a position with the Consumer Products Division of Bridgeport Brass Company. In October 1954, he was named advertising manager for Empire Brushes of Port Chester, NY. At the age of 49, in 1971, he wedded MaryAnn ( ? - ? ). Their union lasted for 39 years until the separation of death. He was the father of Jacquelyn Hartmann, Cydney Lambert-Broatch and Derrick Redman Lambert. Eventually John was tapped as vice president for one of the world's most prestigious agencies, Doyle Dane Bernbach, where he was director of print advertising and oversaw a team of 80 people. He enjoyed writing and creating poetry, jazz percussion playing, traveling and saltwater fishing. He died in West Haven Veterans Hospital on April 24, 2010. His remains were placed into repose in Milford Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Valerie Lambert ( ? -1967) was born in (?). She was considered a lifelong resident of Milford, CT. Valerie was joined in matrimony with Philip S. Hemphill ( ? - ? ), son of Frederick R. Hemphill of Jamestown, NY and Arcadia, FL. The family dwelled at 8 Union Street and were the parents of Sara Schrock Agnew and Mrs. A.T. Clark. They were members of the Milford Yacht Club and the Milford Woman's Club. Daughter Sara is known to have attended the Day Prospect Hill School in New Haven and obtained a degree from Wheaton College in 1965. Sadly, Valerie endured the death of her father in early November 1967 only to be swept away by the Grim Reaper less than a month later, on Dec. 3, 1967. An obituary appeared in the Bridgeport Telegram. In 1966, daughter Sara married George Bliss Agnew III and lived in New York City and daughter Mrs. Clark was in State College, PA.

Son Staniford Lutz Lambert (1887-1927) was born on Sept. 15, 1887 and named for two of his uncles. During World War I, he joined the American Expeditionary Force and was placed within the 80th Division. He saw service overseas. After the war, he came back to Somerset and joined the family automobile business. He then established a home circa 1919 in Pittsburgh, where he sold the Lambert Plate Holder, a device mounted on vehicles to hold their license plates in place. The federal census enumeration of 1920 shows the couple residing on Shady Avenue in Pittsburgh, with John's occupation shown as "Partner - Manufacturing Co." They also owned a summer home west of Somerset along the Mt. Pleasant Pike. Staniford and attorney Robert Sloan of New York are known to have toured Europe, arriving back home in June 1925. That same year, he began operating a general store in the town of Kimmelton, Somerset County. He married Lillian Wallace (1879-1933). The bride was seven years older than the groom. They bore two offspring, John Wallace Lambert and Margaret Lambert. Lillian and the children remained in Pittsburgh at the time when he was residing in Kimmelton. Death swept him away at the age of 39 on Dec. 5, 1927, while in a private hospital run by Dr. Salas in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. Interment was in Husband Cemetery. In an obituary, the Meyersdale Republican said that "He was admitted to the institution about two weeks ago, and apparently was on the road to recovery until Saturday when he suddenly developed pneumonia. His condition at once assumed an alarming phase and he failed rapidly until the end." Rev. John C. Crowe, of the Christian Church in Somerset, preached the funeral sermon. Lillian joined him in death in January 1933

  • Granddaughter Margaret Lambert ( ? - ? ) was joined in marriage on May 1, 1937 with Job Taylor II in a ceremony held in Wilkinsburg near Pittsburgh.

Son James "Frank" Lambert (1886-1926) was born on Feb. 16, 1886 in Somerset. He joined the U.S. Armed Forces and served during World War I. Then in 1919 he took part of the occupation of Germany. He married Maude Silver ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce. They lived in Somerset until about 1925, when they moved to Miami and he became a real estate businessman. He traveled to Havana, Cuba in the spring of 1926 to explore other real estate investment opportunities. But fate tragically intervened. While in Havana on April 16, 1926, he was badly injured in an automobile accident and died at the age of 38. Burial was in the Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón in Havana.

Daughter Gladys Lambert (1891-1981) was born on Oct. 11, 1891. She married Robert Shunk Sloan (1879-1936). One known son was born to the couple, Robert Sloan. They dwelled in New York in 1919 and in Plainfield, NJ in 1925-1926. Sadly, Robert passed away in Pine Castle, Orange County, FL on Oct. 22, 1936, at the age of 57. Gladys outlived him by 45 years. Later, she wedded James Alden Fownes ( ? -1969), a former Pittsburgher who once served as president of Gem Manufacturing Company on the city's North Side. James was an alumnus of Shady Side Academy and a well-known golfer, belonging to the Fox Chapel Golf Club and Duquesne Club. He had been married before and brought a daughter to the union, Ann Hunter. The Fownses resided in Winter Park, Orange County, FL circa 1967. Socially prominent, Gladys' photograph often was published in the society columns of the Orlando Evening Star. She loved to visit New York City and see Broadway theatre shows. One of her best friends was Mrs. James Murray, who lived in Pittsburgh but rented villas every year in Rome. Sadly, thought to have been suffering from Parkinson's Disease, James passed away at Winter Park on Sept. 2, 1969. His remains were shipped back to Pittsburgh for interment in Homewood Cemetery. Gladys survived him by a dozen years. Her address in the early 1980s was 690 Osceola Avenue. She died in Winter Park at the age of 89 on April 27, 1981. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando, with Fr. John Borley officiating. Son Robert "Bobby" Sloan was in Philadelphia in 1974 and Winter Park in 1981.

Daughter Marie Lambert (1893-1915) was born on Dec. 12, 1893. She wedded Edward P. Lippincott ( ? - ? ). The young couple established a residence in Philadelphia at the address of 4422 Sansom Street. Tragically, while expecting a baby in the summer of 1915, her embryo attached to the outside of the uterus, (known as an ectopic gestation), which ruptured and bled heavily. She was admitted to Howard Hospital in Philadelphia where she succumbed at the age of 21 on July 20, 1915. Her remains were lowered into repose in West Laurel Hill Cemetery. A death notice was printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Daughter Margaret "Margo" Lambert (1900- ? ) was born in about 1900. She was unmarried at home in 1919. She wedded (?) Adams and in 1926-1928 was in Somerset. Research suggests that she married a second time to Frank Riley/Reilly ( ? - ? ). She is known to have undergone open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in July 1963. Circa 1967-1981, she lived in Winter Park, FL.


~ Son Aaron F. Schrock ~

Son Aaron F. Schrock (1865-1898) was born on May 16, 1865.

As with his father and uncle, he became a newspaperman.

Circa 1890, he resided in Defiance, OH, where he was editor of the Daily News and a related weekly newspaper.

Sadly, he died in Defiance in August 1898, with the news telegraphed to his parents in Somerset.


~ Daughter Julia M. (Schrock) Staniford ~

Daughter Julia M. Schrock (1867-1957) was born on Feb. 21, 1867.

At the age of 18, in June 1886, she was joined in holy wedlock with Charles W. Staniford ( ? -1948) of Brooklyn, NY. The wedding was held in the parlor of her parents' Somerset home with 30 guests present. At the time, Charles was employed as a civil engineer in Somerset, working on construction of the South Penn Railroad.

The only son born to the couple was Foy Staniford.

Their home for decades was in a hotel in New York City, with Charles earning a living as chief engineer for the city's department of docks and ferries. After the death of her mother, Julia returned to Somerset in August 1912 to spend several weeks with her father. Concurrently, Charles traveled to Canada to examine and report on a large harbor project on the Saguanay River in Quebec near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Said the Somerset Standard, "Mr. Staniford's counsel is frequently sought by cities and corporations contemplating harbor improvements."


New York City's ferries and docks, superintended by Charles W. Staniford


Julia and Charles returned to Somerset to visit her father in October 1920. They had a home in Suffern, NY. They also constructed a summer home, named "Stanicroft," located on Parson's Hill in Somerset, where Julia lived every year from May until November. Among her guests at Stanicroft, Julia enjoyed hosting the novelist Carolyn Wells. When Wells published the novel In the Tiger's Cage, in 1934, she dedicated the volume to Julia's nephew, Fred B. Walker.

In retirement, they dwelled in Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ. Charles died in the autumn of 1948.

As a widow, Julia came back to Somerset in 1949 to live with her sister Minnie Hostetler in the Straub Apartments. Said the Daily American, "She has not been in very good health for several years and since the death of her husband ... she decided to return to her birthplace to reside."

Then for the last seven years of her life, Julia was a resident of the Galen Nursing Home in Rye, NY. She died there on April 5, 1957. Her remains were shipped back to Somerset to rest in Husband Cemetery, with Rev. Dr. I. Hess Wagner, of Trinity Lutheran Church, officiating at the funeral.

Son Foy F. Staniford ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). Although he grew up in New York, he spent many summer vacations as a boy in Somerset. He was married and had two children. In 1930, they resided in Albany, NY, where he was vice president of Mack Truck Company. Then in May 1938, he was named president of Mack International Motor Truck Corporation, a subsidiary company of Mack Trucks Inc. He also was elected vice president of the parent company with responsibility for sales and then named to the board of directors in December 1938. The Stanifords lived in Cedarhurst, Long Island, NY in 1941. He is known to have enjoyed fishing with friend John C. Williams of Princeton and in April 1941, in Key West, they reeled in a tarpon weighing 85 lbs. and measuring 67½ inches in length. During World War II, the company is known to have built vehicles for the national defense and public works projects. His wife, a golfer, competed in tournaments held at the Rockaway Hunting Club.


~ Daughter Minnie (Schrock) Hostetler ~

Daughter Minnie Schrock (1868-1950) was born on Dec. 6, 1868 in Somerset, a twin with her sister Lillie, who died at birth.

Minnie married Edwin O. Hostetler (July 17, 1868-1932), son of William M. and Sarah Jane (Knee) Hostetler, the father a veteran of the Civil War. Originally making a home in Pittsburgh, they relocated in about 1910 to El Paso, TX. Then in 1920, they were in Shelbysville, KY. The Hostetlers returned to southwestern Pennsylvania and made homes in Johnstown and Monessen, and then back in Somerset, where Edward ran a tailoring and dry cleaning business.

Their home was at 167 West Union Street.

Sadly, burdened with cirrhosis of the liver, the 63-year-old Edwin died in Somerset on Feb. 2, 1932. His remains were placed into rest in Husband Cemetery.

Minnie continued running the business as a widow. Said the Somerset Daily American, "Blessed with a friendly and kindly disposition, Mrs. Hostetler enjoyed a host of friends and ... was a familiar figure on the street where she always had a friendly greeting for all whom she encountered in her daily walks." At Easter 1950, she underwent major surgery at Somerset Community Hospital. Several weeks later, she was transferrred to Memorial Hospital in Cumberland, MD to undergo specialized care. She then returned to the Somerset hospital where she spent the final five months of her life. She died there at the age of 81 on Sept. 7, 1950.


~ Daughter Susan (Schrock) Walker ~

Daughter Susan Schrock (1873- ? ) was born on Jan. 13, 1873.

On Oct. 6, 1897, the 24-year-old Susan was united in matrimony with Charles Willard Walker Sr. (Nov. 5, 1868-1927), son of Silas and Elizabeth (Walker) Walker.

The marriage produced two sons -- Dr. Charles Willard Walker Jr. and Fred B. Walker.

The family resided in Somerset, where Charles, an attorney, was in private practice. He was a graduate of Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg, graduating in 1891. He and A.L.G. Hay were law partners from 1893 to 1897. Said the Meyersdale Republican:

From the time of his admission to the bar until the hour of his death, mr. Walker was promineint in the social and business life of the county-seat. He was a member of the Town Council for several years, and served as president of that organization. he was a Democrat in politics and one of the leaders of the party in the county. His colleagues of the bar are free to credit him with having had one of the finest legal minds in the county. He went into court with his cases well prepared. He practiced in the Superior and Supreme Courts of the State, and in the United States Court. he became the editor of the Legal Journal after the death of H. Frank Yost. He was a member of the Law Library Committee, which built up the present fine Library.

The Walkers were members of Trinity Lutheran Church, where he taught the men's Bible class. He also belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Somerset lodge of the Masons.

On Oct. 10, 1927, just a few weeks before his 60th birthday, Charles was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died the next day. Burial was in Husband Cemetery, with Dr. I. Hess Wagner officiating.

Susan spent many years as a widow and spent her winters in Florida. In 1938, she was in St. Petersburg and in 1950 and 1957 in St. Augustine.

Son Charles "Willard" Walker Jr. was a dental student at the University of Pittsburgh in 1927. On Dec. 11, 1929, in a wedding held in Pittsburgh, he and Sally Cochrane became man and wife. They established a home in Cumberland, MD, where he operated a dental practice circa 1929-1948. They are believed to have spent their winters in St. Augustine, FL. By 1957, he was in Connellsville, Fayette County.

Son Fred B. Walker attended George Washington University in the District of Columbia. In 1934, he was singularly honored when the novel In the Tiger's Cage, by Carolyn Wells, was dedicated in his name. The author was a good friend of Fred's aunt, Julia Staniford, and met her when she was a guest of the Stanifords at their summer home in Somerset. He was married and circa 1941 was employed in New York City. The Walkers had a summer home in Somerset named Ninniewood. Then by 1942 they had relocated to Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA. In 1950, now in Lambertville, NJ, they returned to Somerset to visit Fred's aunt, Minnie Hostetler, who was in poor health in Somerset Community Hospital.


Copyright 2016-2019 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Olive (Rowan) Duff and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan.