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Rev. Herman Younkin


Younkin Cemetery

Rev. Harmon "Herman" Younkin was born on Nov. 27, 1821 near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the son of John J. and Mary "Polly" (Hartzell) Younkin.

He was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Susanna "Susan" Faidley (Nov. 5, 1827-1906), daughter of John William and Barbara (Kreider) Faidley of Elklick Township, Somerset County.


Susanna Younkin
Courtesy Ryan Sechler

The Younkins were farmers of near Paddytown, Upper Turkeyfoot Township, where Herman spent his entire life. He also preached in local Methodist churches and was an assessor and tax collector. 

In the late 1840s, Herman began subscribing to the Somerset Herald newspaper, and remained a subscriber and reader for the remaining nearly four decades of his life. Susan lacked elementary education and could not write, although she apparently could read some words.

Their 10 children were Joanna Minerd, Nessley Younkin, Freeman Younkin, Mary Ann Younkin, Irvin ("Irwin") Younkin, John F. Younkin, Sarah Jane Colflesh (originally "Kalbfleisch"), Curtin Younkin, Barbara Ella Younkin and Milton "Bruce" Younkin. They also had 31 known grandchildren.

When the federal census was taken in 1850, Herman, Susan and their three eldest children were enumerated together, with Susan's 13-year-old sister or niece Barbara Faidley living under their roof. Their near neighbors included his widowed mother, Garrison and Hannah (Younkin) Smith and Frederick J. and Delilah (Faidley) Younkin.

Herman held an account at the John McMillan tannery in Listonville, and entries from the years 1847 to 1868 are recorded in the tannery's business ledger which is preserved today. His account reads as follow:

...3 calfskins at 90 cents apiece, cost $2.70 a murrain cip at $1.00, cip weight 23 lbs at 10 cents/lb, cost $2.30, a small CS at 50 cents, all June 19, 1868 – a CS weight 9 lbs at 10 cents, cost 90 cents, small CS at 50 cents and colt skin and coon skin at $1.00 – a side of up at $3.00, Oct. 2, 1847 – a Qr. of Spannish sole weight 10Ύ lbs, cost $3.35, May 25, 1848 – a peece of Bridle leather weight 4 ½, cost $1.33 – 2 Qr SL weight 13½ lbs., cost $4.23 and a Qr. up at $1.37, April 22, 1849 – cipskin got by Jonas H. Yonkin at $2.50, Aug. 11, 1849 – a side of up at $2.69, May 28, 1850 – a side of SL weight 14 lbs., cost $4.37, Oct. 10, 1850 – a SS with the wool on at $1.25, Nov. 13, 1850 – a CS + lining at $1.25, Dec. 26, 1850 – 6 months postage on Advocate, 26 cents, Jan. 1, 1851 – a letter, 5 cents, Oct. 3, 1851 – a Qr of up at $1.37, April 29, 1852 – a Qr SL weight 4Ό lbs., cost $1.33, May 11, 1853 – a Note on John X. [or H.] Younken, cost $4.94, June 29, 1853 – a Qr. of SL weight 8Ύ lbs. at 31Ό, $2.83 and interest on balance, $1.00, June 18, 1855 – a Qr. of SL weight 8Ύ lbs. at 31Ό, cost $2.83, June 18, 1855 – a side of up weight 8 lbs. at 70 cents, $5.66, April 1, 1867 – a side of up weight 8 lbs. at 75 cents, cost $6.00 and a CS at $2.50, June 19, 1868 – a peece of Harnace at [illegible], Dec. 11, 1868.

In 1872, Herman purchased a farm from John McMillan's son Jacob near Paddytown. His farm locations are clearly marked on the map of Upper Turkeyfoot Township published in the 1876 Atlas of Somerset County. The following year, a farm he had sold to Baer & Bro. -- likely the real estate investment company of Somerset County Judge William J. Baer -- who in turn sold a farm formerly owned by Herman to John Faidley for $4,000, as reported in the Somerset Herald.

Herman's farms at Paddytown circled, on both sides of Chicken Bone Road, near the Bethel M.E. Church where he preached. 1876 Atlas of Somerset County.



Daughter Joanna's grave at Younkin 
Cemetery in Paddytown, and her Civil War 
veteran husband Ephraim Minerd ("Miner")

Herman and Susan were enveloped in heartache when their married daughter Joanna, wife of her cousin and Civil War veteran Ephraim Minerd, died in 1875, and was buried in the Younkin Cemetery at Paddytown. Herman and Susanna became legal guardians for their daughter's motherless sons, William "Lincoln" Miner and Freeman "Grant" Miner. Linc was said to have been born slightly mentally retarded, but was able to read and write and hold a job, unlike his brother Grant, who had more serious mental disabilities. 

In 1876, when Beers' Atlas of Somerset County was published, Herman is shown on a map of Upper Turkeyfoot Township, owning two properties located on both sides of Chicken Bone Road. One was next to a tannery. The other was a short walk from the Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church where he regularly preached.

Having failed to pay state, county and militia taxes for the year 1875, Herman's name was printed in the Somerset Herald in February 1876. The newspaper reported that he made a partial payment of $57.

Herman's Mt. Bethel Church, ca. 1916-1918

In 1880, Herman assumed more preaching responsibilities in the Methodist Church in Ursina. The Herald reported that Rev. Shaffer, "the presiding Methodist minister of this place and Confluence, who has not been well for sometime, has left and gone home to his friends, to try to recruit his health, while Mr. Younkin of Paddytown, fills the pulpit in his absence."

Herman wrote a will in mid-September 1885, and left substantial funds for the care of the boys. In his words: "Further I will to my grandchildren namely Lincoln Minard and Grant Minard each the sum of three hundred dollars to be paid to them or their Guardians as the case may be as soon as the affairs of my estate is settled up." 

They also were deeply shaken in 1884 when their married daughter Sarah Jane Colflesh, suffering from depression rooted in illness, disappeared in a rainstorm and was missing for several days, before being found in an accidentally locked spring house. In covering the story, the Somerset Herald referred to Herman as "one of the most highly respected citizens of Upper Turkeyfoot township."

Herman died at the age of 63 years, nine months and 24 days on Sept. 21, 1885. Burial was beside his daughter Joanna Minerd in Paddytown. Inscribed on the face of his upright grave marker was this poem, authored by Robert Robinson and published in The Primitive Methodist Magazine.

His toils are past.
His work is done.
And he is fully blest.
He fought the fight. 
The victory won.
And entered into rest.

Somerset Herald, Oct. 21, 1885

A month after his passing, the Somerset Herald published a most remarkable obituary written by a friend of the family.

... and so the life of Herman Younkin is an integral part of the history of the county itself. He was an acceptable member of the Methodist church for nearly fifty years, and a local preacher for over thirty years, and once a year all along these years the question was asked in the quarterly conference: "Anything against Herman Younkin?" And the response was, nothing against him. This testimony to the life and integrity of the deceased is valuable and a source of comfort to the family. For nearly fifty years a member of the church, and a good part of that time a minister of the gospel in the midst of the people with whom he spent his whole life, comes the response, "Nothing against him." And as he passed from human recognition into the presence of the Universal Father, he has received the divine approval of "Well done good and faithful servant, enter though into the joy of the Lord." Another life has ended. Another presence has passed from among us. His presence will no longer be seen, and felt in the business of the community; his presence and voice in the councils of the church have ceased. But a blameless life and his faithful teachings have left a salutary influence on the hearts and minds of the people. To the family, a widow and six children, let me say, follow him as he followed Christ, so that at the last you may be numbered with the saved in heaven.

Susanna lived another 18 years as a widow. In 1906, with her life ebbing away from the effects of old age and a cold, when she wrote her will, she also bequeathed funds to grandsons Linc and Grant Miner in the amount of $25 each. She passed a few days later on Jan. 5, 1906, at age 78. Her husband's cousin Dr. Winfield Scott Kuhlman, writing on the death certificate, said that "I did not attend her. Saw her about 4 weeks before death."

Above: Susanna with her daughter and son Barbara and Bruce. Below: Paddytown, showing the Younkin Cemetery tucked into a corn field, where the Younkins and Colfleshes and many of their offspring rest for eternity.

Nessly's grave, 1851

~ Son Nessly Younkin ~

Son Nessly Younkin (1845?-1853) was born on June 25, 1845 or 1847. The 1850 federal census places his birth year at about 1847.

One source -- his grave marker -- shows that he died at the age of six years, six months and 21 days on June 18, 1851. 

Another source, the 1899 Biographical Review, erroneously says that his name was Wesley and that he passed away at age 12. 

He was buried in a Younkin family cemetery on what is now locally called the Lemmon Farm. His grave marker, still legible today, gives his name as "Nessly," which likely is the more correct term.

~ Son Freeman Younkin ~

Lemmon Farm near Kingwood

Son Freeman Younkin (1850-1898) was born on April 13, 1850.

In about 1871, when he was age 21, Freeman married his 22-year-old cousin Belinda King (1849-1912), daughter of Thomas R. and Barbara (Younkin) King and granddaughter of Jacob and Sarah Salome (Weimer) Younkin Jr.  Jacob Gerhard of Kingwood was her guardian at the time of marriage. Her name often has been spelled "Berlinda" -- "Melinda" -- and "Matilda." 

When the federal census was taken in 1880, the Younkins made their home in Upper Turkeyfoot with Freeman working as a "farmer." The census-taker noted that Belinda was "confined."

They had these known children: Mary Jane Younkin, John B. Younkin, Peter Bruce Younkin, Milton Bruce Younkin, Charles James Younkin and Susan Henry.

Belinda inherited funds from her father's estate in the amount of $1,229.33. The very same day, Freeman invested the funds in a farm. In 1889, Belinda sued her husband for repayment of the funds, which included the original sum plus interest so that the new total was $2,412.44. Unable to pay her back, he gave her an IOU note. Circa September 1894, after stopping at the home of W.H. Sanner, Freeman and Belinda went to Somerset to remove the IOU from the official record. While Sanner tried to dissuade her from taking this action, saying she could lose her investment, she responded that she had to do so "in order to keep peace in the family." So Sanner wrote an informal IOU note which Freeman signed. According to the county prothonotary, "What Younkin wanted was that the judgment be taken off as he did not want it to appear against him on the record" in order to save on taxes. He also claimed he knew where he could obtain the money.

Yet Belinda never received a cent in repayment during her husband's lifetime. It was only after his death that she was repaid based on assets from the estate.

The Younkin farm totaled 160 acres in Upper Turkeyfoot, of which 100 were cleared and 50 were under cultivation. The property contained a two-story frame dwelling, bank barn measuring 30 feet by 62 feet, other outbuildings and a good sugar camp. Neighbors on adjoining properties included Harrison Brougher, Wesley D. Younkin (son of Jacob C. and Lucy [Weimer] Younkin), Samuel Tressler, Simon Liston and Eli Younkin. Among their known friends were Benjamin Franklin "Badger" and Emily (Younkin) Clevenger -- the daughter of Frederick J. and Delilah (Faidley) Younkin -- who lived 1.5 miles away, visited their home often and occasionally purchased their wheat.

Circa 1898, Freeman served as constable, or justice of the peace, for Upper Turkeyfoot Township. The Somerset Herald called him "a hard-working, honest farmer, and was popular wherever known. he had no enemies save the vice that caused his death." He owned three shares of the Kingwood Creamery.

On Feb. 28, 1898, Freeman traveled to Somerset via the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to conduct the debt repayment with the county prothonotary, John Scott. A local attorney, A.C. Holbert, was in the office at the time speaking with Scott about a pending case. Freeman tried to interject, but Scott waived him away, saying he was busy. 

Freeman retorted: "Holbert lives here every day, but you only see me every three or four months. John, you know that I owe my wife about $1,900, that I was to pay long ago?" 

Scott replied, "I remember it Freeman, but it's a good deal more than that now."

Freeman: "Yes, there's interest, I want to pay off the whole thing; I don't feel good about it; I owe it to my wife; and I intend to pay it. I was disappointed, I didn't get the month. John, I want to borrow the money from you, you may as well lend me that money as anybody else; what do you say?" 

Scott: "Not today Freeman, but when you are ready to borrow this money, come around with your security, and we'll talk the matter over."

Freeman left the courthouse and went back to the B&O station to return home. En route, he drank heavily, and upon dis-embarking at Casselman, began to walk in a drunken state along the railroad line. About a half mile down the route, he laid down on the track. Tragically, he remained oblivious, said the Herald, when a B&O flyer train "came along at a speed of fifty miles an hour:"

The engineer failed to see him in time to stop the train and the wheels passed over him cutting off his head. His body was otherwise horribly mutilated. The train stopped and backed up to the scene of the accident when the remains were gathered together and taken to Markleton. Later in the night the remains were taken to his home near Kingwood. Younkin had two flasks of whiskey in his pockets, one of which was crushed by the train and the other remained intact. 

Somerset Herald, March 2, 1898

His broken remains were interred in the family burial ground. A week after his violent death, the Herald reported that Freeman was uneasy before leaving home and may have had a premonition of impending trouble: 

On Sunday he spoke to his wife and children of his reluctance at making the journey, a most unusual thing for him to do as it was well known that he always looked forward with pleasure to his quarterly visits to the county seat. The same day he visited the home of his brother, where he also expressed his unwillingness to come to Somerset the next day. Monday morning after saying good by to his family he proceeded to the gate in front of his home, where he paused for a full ten minutes, evidently struggling with the feeling then working within him, before he proceeded on his way. A short time afterwards he stopped at the home of a friend and begged him to accompany him, and upon being refused he went to the house of a cousin and insisted strenuously that he should go with him. He transacted his business in Somerset and it is not believed that he indulged in strong drink while he was here, but it is certain that he was intoxicated when he left the train at Casselman. His strange conduct before coming to Somerset has been recalled by the members of his family and neighbors, and all agree that he must have had a premonition of approaching death. The information contained in last week's report was incorrect so far as reference to the unfortunate man's head having severed from his body. The body was not mutilated at all, the pilot of the engine having struck him on the head, crushing his skull. Death was instantaneous.

Their son John was named the administrator of the estate, pitting his father's unpaid IOU with his mother's demand for satisfaction.

Belinda survived for another 14 years. She was stricken in her final life with tuberculosis added to heart muscle problems (angina pectoris). At age 62, she died unexpectedly a few days after Christmas, on Dec. 29, 1912. Her physician wrote: "Death was sudden - unable to get a physician in time." She was laid to rest in the Brougher Cemetery, also known at the time as the Smith Cemetery, known today as the John J. Younkin Cemetery. Fred Clevenger of Markleton was the information provider for her death certificate.

Lemmon Farm Cemetery

Daughter Mary Jane Younkin (1871-1915) was born on Jan. 26, 1871, the eldest child in a family of six. She never married, and earned her keep for decades as a housemaid. Her mother suffered from health problems and was "confined" in early adulthood and may have been a reason why Mary Jane chose to live with her parents for decades and ultimately to remain single to the end. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, when she was age 29, she was in their household and did not have an occupation. Then as of 1910, Mary Jane continued to have no occupation and shared a home with her widowed mother along Humbert Road in Upper Turkeyfoot as well as with widowed or single siblings John (age 34), Peter (33) and Charles (29). At age 44, stricken for 18 months with tuberculosis, she prepared for death, and wrote her will, signing it with an "X." The end came on Sept. 3, 1915. Burial was in Brougher Cemetery. As with her sister Susan, who had died a few years earlier, her brother Charles was the informant on her state death certificate. The examining physician whose signature adorns the document was a cousin, Dr. Winfield Scott Kuhlman, of nearby Ursina, son of John Frederick and Louisa (Smith) Kuhlman. Interment was in the Brougher Cemetery, known in more recent years as the "Lemmon Farm Cemetery" and "Younkin Cemetery." No obituary has been located in either the Somerset Daily American or the Meyersdale Republican. Under the terms of her last will and testament, Mary Jane requested that "my grave be marked with a stone to cost about thirty dollars." She also bequeathed $25 "to the upkeep of the Younkin Cemetery to be used as follows: "The sum of Three dollars to be used each year after my decease untill the sum of Twenty five dollars is spent. I further request that my executor here after named shall hold this money and see that my request is complied with each year." In addition, she specified that her brother Bruce receive her cow and sheep for the sum of $30, with the balance of assets to be divided equally among her three brothers.

John and Lottie (Firestone) Younkin - courtesy Lisa Schmuck

John J. Younkin Cemetery, old Lemmon farm - courtesy Linda Marker

Son John B. Younkin (1875-1949) was born on Aug. 25, 1875. He was widowed by 1910 at which time he shared a home with his mother and single siblings along Humbert Road in Upper Turkeyfoot. At the age of 29, on Oct. 8, 1914, he married 21-year-old Charlotte May "Lottie" (Firestone) Metz (July 23, 1893-1970), daughter of Jacob Isaac and Mahala Jane (Growall) Firestone. (Her sister Mary Catherine Firestone wedded John's cousin Samuel William Koontz of the family of Samuel G. and Mary Ann (Younkin) Phillippi.) Lottie had been married previously and brought a son to the union, Stanton Metz. The couple produced an astonishing 13 additional children -- Carl M. "Bud" Younkin, Charles E. Younkin, James Kenneth Younkin, Ross “Bus”Younkin, Harry EugeneYounkin, William Glenn "Bill" Younkin, Richard Younkin, Robert Younkin, Elsie Mitts, Evelyn Younkin, Dorothy Younkin, Rose Younkin and Irma Younkin. The couple resided on the outskirts of Rockwood, Somerset County, where he labored on local farms. In research notes compiled by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, he also is said to have worked as a constable around Markleton and delivered mail on a mule. Tragically, the 74-year-old John drowned in a pond on his brother Peter's "old home stead" farm near Kingwood on May 10, 1949. His remains were interred in the John J. Younkin Cemetery, said by one relative to have been "in a field." Daughter Elsie Mitts of Rockwood was the informant for his death certificate. Lottie May survived her spouse by more than two decades. She was gathered in by the Angel of Death at the age of 76 on April 6, 1970.

  • Step-grandson Stanton Metz ( ? - ? ) married Freda Morrison ( ? - ? ). One of their daughters, Betty Louise Metz (March 21, 1938-2022), wed Paul H. Colflesh ( ? - ? ) outlined elsewhere on this biography. Another of their daughters, Brenda Metz (Nov. 25, 1952-2024), was married to (?) King, resided in Markleysburg and was the mother of Charity Lytle and Stephen King. Sadly, Brenda died in Lytle's Personal Care Home at the age of 71 on March 19, 2024. Another of their daughters was Delores Trimpey.
  • Grandson Carl M. "Bud" Younkin (1915-1987) was born on May 25, 1915 in Lower Turkeyfoot. He wedded Olive E. Snyder (March 13, 1915-1974), daughter of Frank and Lovetta (Thompson) Snyder of Central City, PA. They were the parents of Curtis Franklin "Curt" Younkin, William Roger Younkin, Nancy Jane "Janie" Younkin and Clinton Ray Younkin. For 34 years, Carl was employed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and retired from the position. In retirement, he earned income working for Citizens Water Company of Confluence. Olive passed away in Somerset at the age of 58 on Feb. 28, 1974. Carl survived another baker's dozen years. He died in Confluence on May 31, 1987, with an obituary printed in the Somerset Daily American. His remains were lowered into repose in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, with Rev. Evert C. Millard officiating.

Great-grandson Clinton Younkin married Marjorie "Marge" Harbaugh of the family of James and Sarah "Ellen" (Sands) Harbaugh of Confluence.

Great-grandson Curtis Franklin "Curt" Younkin wedded Patricia Silbaugh. They made a home in Glen Burnie, MD and later in Garrett, IN. Their son Michael Allen Younkin married a double cousin, Patricia R. Wirsing (1959-living), daughter of Charles "Donald" and Evelyn E. (Sanner) Wirsing of the family of William Henry and Rachel (McClintock) Younkin of Kingwood, Somerset County. After a divorce, he married again on April 5, 2015, in Virginia Beach, VA, to Beth Neydon ( ? - ? ), a Virginia Beach resident. Curt and Patricia's daughter Chelsea (Younkin) Raum has contributed content for this biography.

  • Grandson Charles E. Younkin (1916-1981) was born on June 20, 1916. He was joined in matrimony with Wilma Miller ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce. Charles was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital in the Aspinwall sectin of Pittsburgh. He died there at the age of 64 on Valentine's Day 1981. His remains were placed into rest in Grantsville Cemetery in Maryland, following funeral services led by Rev. Dr. Arthur Gotjen. An obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American.
  • Grandson Harry Eugene Younkin (1918-1982) was born in 1918 in Kingwood. At the age of 21, in 1939, he joined the U.S. Air Force. He remained with the military for 19 years until retirement, at which time (1958) he established a home in Lafayette, IN. His first bride was Mary Jane Tucker ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of an only son, Harry Ray Younkin Sr.. The Younkins lived in or near Newport News, VA at the time of birth of their son. In 1952, in nuptials held in Sacramento, CA, he married his second spouse, Lucille Bernadine Quirin (1916-2002). The couple appears to have borne a son of their own, Thomas D. Younkin. Harry was employed by the Federal Aviation Administration at Purdue University from 1959 to 1963, while Lucille worked in the laundry at the Home Hospital. He held a membership in the local Eagles lodge. Harry developed a serious illness in 1963 which he bore for 19 years until death. Their address in the early 1980s was 1104 Archway Drive. He passed away in St. Elizabeth Hospital at the age of 63 on Jan. 24, 1982. An obituary was published in the Lafayette Journal and Courier.

Great-grandson Harry Ray Younkin Sr. ( ? -2016) was born in Newport News, VA. He entered into marriage with Glennie Sue Edwards ( ? - ? ). Together, they were the parents of Michelle Lewis, Harry Ray Younkin Jr. and John Younkin. He spent his working career as a program manager with Nortel for two decades in support of the Apollo space program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Later, he was hired by Durham Regional Medical Center. The Younkins lived in Warrenton, NC in 1982 and in Durham, NC in the 2010s. Harry died at home at the age of 73 on June 19, 2016. His memorial service was held in Durham.

Great-grandson Thomas D. Younkin resided in Lafayette, IN.

  • Grandson James Kenneth Younkin (1919-1963) was born on July 21, 1919 in Kingwood. James served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. He was united in wedlock with Thelma Howard ( ? -1991), daughter of Frank Munson and Bessie May (Rutledge) Howard. The three children born to this union were Beverly Kay Younkin, Debra Lynn Younkin and Kenneth Ray Younkin. Circa 1948, when their son was born, they dwelled in Canton, IL. Later, they returned to Confluence where he earned a living as a laborer. Stricken with rheumatic heart disease, added to chronic congestion of the liver and kidneys, James was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Logan near Altoona, Blair County, PA. There, he succumbed on Feb. 13, 1963 at the age of 43. Interment was in Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery in Ursina. Thelma outlived her spouse by 28 years, with her final years spent in squalor and ending in a brutal murder. Circa 1991, she dwelled in the cheap Post Park Motel on skid row in Yuma, AZ and relied on an oxygen tube for breathing. Her story is told in the 2003 book Monsters of Death Row, co-authored by Anthony Gordon Brown and Christopher Berry-Dee. When a grandson could not repay drug debts, his dealer Bobby Lee Tankersley threatened to exact revenge. On the fateful night of Nov. 17, 1991, also living at the motel, Tankersley broken into Thelma's room and killed her in "a ruthless, brutal and sexually depraved" manner, said the Monsters book. When found, her body was nearly nude, with severe vaginal trauma, bite marks on the body and feces smeared on her legs and in the bathroom. Authoritied determined that she most likely had been strangled with her own breathing tube. Based on DNA and dental evidence, Tankersley was arrested and in 1993 was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty. Then in 2008, his sentence was changed to life in prison. The case also is discussed in the book Forensics Under Fire, by Jim Fisher, over the question of using bite marks as evidence in crime scene investigations.  
  • Granddaughter Elsie Younkin (1922-1999) was born in 1922. She is thought to have been thrice wed. In 1949, she was married to Roy Mitts (1904-1984). Together, the couple produced three children -- Mary Jane Schmuck Elenbass Hester, Sarah Grace Lutz and Clifford Mitts. Her second spouse was Dorwin Lee Travis ( ? - ? ). Her third husband circa 1981-1987 was Arthur Wilbur Dickman (1927-2014). Her home in 1963 was in Sandusky, OH; in 1970-1999 in Norwalk, OH. She passed away on July 31, 1999 at the age of 76. Her remains are in eternal sleep in Milan Cemetery in Erie County, OH.

Great-granddaughter Mary Jane Mitts (1940-2009) was born in 1940. She was thrice-wed during her life. Her first husband was Melvin S. Schmuck (1936-1997). They bore two daughters, Amy Sue Turner and Lisa Ann Schmuck. Spouse number two was Arnold J. Elenbass (1924-1977). Her final mate was John R. Hester Sr. (1929-2017). Sadly, having been burdened with heart problems, Mary Jane died on Nov. 30, 2009. Her daughter Amy Sue wed John L. Turner, while daughter Lisa Ann is single and has contributed content for this biography.

Great-granddaughter Sarah Grace Mitts (1942-1994) was born in 1942. She was joined in wedlock with James Lutz (1939-2013). Three daughters born to this couple were Cynthia Sue Smith Unger, Tracy Diane Ramsey Tracht and Kimberly June Zelinski Breisch. After a divorce, Sarah wed again to Michael Burkett ( ? - ? ). Sarah contracted pancreatic cancer and died on April 23, 1994. Daughter Cynthia Sue married A.I. Smith and William Unger and is the mother of Sarah Ann Smith and Samantha Smith. Daughter Tracy Diane was united in matrimony twice, first to Travis Ramsey and then to William Tracht Jr. From her first marriage, she is the mother of Jessica Irene Hensley, and has two Tracht stepchildren. Daughter Kimberly June also was married twice, first to Mark Zelinski and second on Aug. 11, 2011 to Wendel Paul Breisch. She has no children of her own but is the stepmother of two.

Great-grandson Clifford Mitts (1943-living) was born in 1943. He wed Sarah "Dolly" Ansell (1940-living). From an earlier marriage, she brought children into her union with Clifford. The couple went on to bear three more offspring of their own -- Tina Pirl Bailey, Timothy Mitts and Virginia "Ginny" Kastner. Daughter Tina (1962-living) has been married to Thomas Pirl and Michael Bailey. Son Timothy Mitts (1964-2013 married Tina and together had five children. He succumbed to death from liver failure in 2013. Daughter Virginia "Ginny" (1965-2017) wed Richard Kastner and produced two children. Sadly, Virginia died of lung and heart problems in 2017.

  • Grandson Ross C. “Bus” Younkin (1924-2019) was born on June 1, 1924 in Confluence. During World War II, Ross served in the U.S. Army. He married Fay I. Reeves (Nov. 23, 1925-2011), a native of the logging town of Humbert and the daughter of Dewey and Mary Pearl (Boyer) Reeves. The couple bore these offspring -- Robert "Murph" Younkin, Thomas Younkin and Jolinda King. They initially made a residence in Confluence and were members of the Christian Church. After the war's end, Ross joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was employed there for 34 years. By 1987, they moved to Rockwood. Upon retirement, Ross was a Meals on Wheels volunteer and was a member of the Confluence post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Turkeyfoot Fish and Game Association. Sadly, Fay died at Christ the King Manor in DuBois, Clearfield County at the age of 85 on July 28, 2011. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American said she was survived by eight grandchildren, a dozen great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson. Rev. Samuel McClintock led the funeral service, with burial in Ursina Cemetery. Ross survived his wife by more than eight years. Toward the end, he went to live in the Henry Clay Villa in Markleysburg. He died there at the age of 95 on Dec. 27, 2019. His cremains were placed into final rest in Ursina Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Daily American. Their adult children all lived in Confluence. Son Robert married Donna; son Thomas wedded Sharon and daughter Jolinda was joined in wedlock with James King.

Great-grandson Robert "Murph" Younkin ( ? - ? )

Great-grandson Thomas Younkin ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He wed Sharon L. King (May 15, 1953-2023), a native of Confluence and the daughter of Ralph S. and Annabelle (Hileman) King. The couple made their home in Confluence. Their three sons were Michael Younkin, Chad Younkin and Matthew Younkin. Sadly, Sharon passed away at home at the age of 69 on April 20, 2023. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American said that she was survived by seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Rev. Sam McClintock led the funeral service. Their son Michael was married to Amanda, Chad to Kelly and Matthew to Amanda. 

Great-granddaughter Jolinda Younkin ( ? - ? ) entered into marriage with James King. The families were close, and Jolinda's brother Thomas married James' sister Sharon. They also have dwelled in Confluence.

  • Granddaughter Rose Lillian Younkin (1925-1983) was born in 1925. She married Charles "Charlie" Tangemann Sr. (1925-2012), a native of Linden, NJ and the son of Charles Henry and Lillian (Waldron) Tangemann, also spelled "Tangerman." Children born into this family were Charles Tangerman Jr., Richard Tangemann and Christopher Tangemann. Charles spent his career in the U.S. Air Force and was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. They relocated to Delaware and were there in Dover in 1963. By 1970, they had moved again to Waterboro, SC and in 1982 were in Charleston, SC. Rose surrendered to the angel of death in 1983. Charles married again to Grace Hiott. He died on March 11, 2012. Burial was in Beaufort National Cemetery in South Carolina.

Great-grandson Charles "Charlie" Tangerman Jr. lived in Wyoming.

Great-grandson Richard E. Tangemann (1949-2004) was born in 1949. He served with the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. For three decades, he was employed by Friedman's Jewelers. At the age of about 36, in 1985, he was united in matrimony with Darlene ( ? - ? ). Their union endured for 19 years until the separation of death. He was the father of Richard Tangemann and Grant Tangemann. Sadly, at the age of 55, Richard died on June 22, 2004 in the Jacksonville, FL vicinity. His obituary was printed in the Florida Times-Union, in which the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the American Association of Kidney Patients. Burial was in Arlington Park Cemetery.

Great-grandson Christopher Allen "Chris" Tangemann (1954-2016) resided in Charleston, SC.

  • Grandson Robert Younkin (1927-2007) was born in (?). He married Augusta Johanna Hansen ( ? - ? ). Their only son was Larry Younkin. Robert lived in 1981 in Seattle and in 1982-1987 in Vancouver, WA.
  • Granddaughter Evelyn Younkin (1929-2013) was born in 1929, a twin with her sister Irma. She was joined in matrimony with Ted Johnson ( ? - ? ). They became the parents of Ted Johnson Jr. and Carolyn Johnson. She lived in Falls Church, VA and in Merritt Island, FL (circa 1981-1987).
  • Granddaughter Erma Younkin (1929-1982) was born in 1929, a twin with her sister Evelyn. She wedded (?) Pellegrino ( ? - ? ). By 1981, she had remarried to Steve Silvis ( ? - ? ) and in 1982 resided in Houston, TX. She was the mother of Kimberly Pellegrino and William O'Meara. Death enveloped her in 1982.
  • Grandson William Glenn "Bill" Younkin (1932-2013) was born in (1932, a twin with his brother Richard. Circa 1970, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. Evidence hints that he married Joanne ( ? - ? ). Over the years, he dwelled in Houston, TX (circa 1981-1987) and in Merritt Island, FL.
  • Grandson Richard Younkin (1932- ? ) was born in 1932, a twin with his brother William Glenn "Bill" Younkin. Richard died young and is buried with his father.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy Younkin (1936-2016) was born in 1936. She was united in wedlock with Edward Kegley (1934-2012). Their four children were Edward Kegley, Anne Kegley, Karen Kegley and David Kegley. They resided in Hyattstown, MD and in 1982-1987 in Landover, MD. Sadly, Dorothy passed away in 2016.

Son Peter Bruce Younkin (1877-1960) was born on May 4, 1877 in Upper Turkeyfoot Township. In March 1921, the 43-year-old Peter began to co-habitate with 44-year-old Cora (Kumer) Hare (Aug. 19, 1876-1948) in his home in Markleton, she having moved from Humbert. May Colflesh was reported in local newspaper gossip columns to also have resided in the household at the time. Cora was a native of Washington, DC and the daughter of Henry Kumer (spelling?). Then in August 1923, Peter and Cora received a license to be married in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. She was married before and brought these children to the union -- Clarence Hare, Frank Hare, Charles Hare and Mary Codding. Peter and Cora themselves did not reproduce. As an adult, Peter borrowed a sum of $704 from his unmarried sister Mary Jane. After the sister's untimely death in 1915, the debt remained unpaid. The couple resided in Confluence where they were farmers until retirement. In August 1934, he attended a meeting of distant Younkin cousins who were planning a first ever Younkin family reunion. The group included Charles Arthur Younkin of Charleroi, PA, David Franklin Younkin of Johnstown, PA (of the family of David Younkin) and Nellie Beatrice (Younkin) Wiley of California, PA of the family of Franklin B. Younkin. This group set the date of the reunion for the first Sunday of September 1934 in Kingwood, an event which became the widely known Younkin National Home-coming Reunions lasting until 1941. Sadly, Cora was stricken with bronchial pneumonia and died at home at the age of 71 on Jan. 6, 1948. Interment was in Ursina Cemetery, with Rev. E.C. Hall officiating at the funeral service, held in the Kingwood Church of God. Peter was afflicted with hardening of the arteries and was admitted to the Somerset County Home and Hospital. He died there at the age of 83 on Dec. 14, 1960, with burial beside his brother Charles in the John J. Younkin family graveyard, sometimes known as the "Lemmon Farm" cemetery. Rev. John Rodahaver officiated at the funeral service. The informant for his death certificate was Mrs. Edison Miller of Confluence. One obituary in the Somerset Daily American reported that he was "survived by one step-granddaughter, several nieces and nephews." Another, a story about his burial, called him "an aged citizen of Hexabarger [who] was buried in the old Younkin cemetery in Hexabarger... He is the last of the Younkins in his particular family. There is a revolutionary war soldier named Younkin also buried in this particular cemetery."

Brothers' grave marker in the John J. Younkin Cemetery near Kingwood

Son Charles James Younkin (1879-1951) was born on June 4, 1879 (or 1880). He resided in the Kingwood area, where he was a laborer. Over the years, he was the informant for the official death certificates of his sisters Susan in 1911 and Mary Jane in 1915. When the federal censuses were taken in 1920 and 1930, he lived alone in his own home next door to his married brother Peter, with both men marked as farmers. On Nov. 8, 1933, when he was 54 years of age, Charles married 27-year-old widow Blanche Lorene (Hutzel) Younkin (May 9, 1906-1986), daughter of George W. and Mary (Engle) Hutzell. A native of Glencoe, Somerset County, she had previously been married to Charles' double kinsman, Alvin "Alva" Younkin ( ? -1932), son of Jonas M. and Josephine "Fina" (Younkin) Younkin. Rather than have clergy officiate, Charles and Blanche united themselves in marriage. The couple did not produce any children. Charles endured heart disease and died just five days shy of his 71st birthday on May 29, 1951. Rev. J.L. Hull officiated at the funeral held in the Kingwood Church of God. Burial was in the Younkin Cemetery, with an obituary printed in the Somerset Daily American. As a widow, Blanche relocated to Philadelphia and was there in 1966-1982 when named in news obituaries of her relatives. She died in Philadelphia in July 1986.

Lemmon Farm Cemetery

Ira Henry

Daughter Susan Younkin (1884-1911) was born on Oct. 9, 1884. At the age of 26, on Nov. 5, 1910, she was united in marriage with Ira Henry (1882-1963), son of Thomas and Eliza (Stout) Henry of Scullton, Somerset County. They made their home in Upper Turkeyfoot. But just a few months into her newlywed life, Susan came down with a fatal case of pulmonary tuberculosis in the late spring of 1911. She could not overcome the illness and died at age 26 on June 3, 1911. She was laid to rest in the Younkin family burying grounds, called Brougher Cemetery, known in later years as the Lemmon Farm Cemetery and currently the John J. Younkin Cemetery. Her brother Charles was the informant on her Pennsylvania certificate of death. For reasons that are unclear -- perhaps her family opposed her marriage -- her name as inscribed on her grave marker reads "Susie Younkin" with no mention of her married name.

Ira survived his unfortunate wife by more than half a century and married again to Hattie Crawford (1898-1962), daughter of H.E. and Sally (Myers) Crawford. She was 16 years younger than her husband. Ira and Hattie produced nine or more more children of their own -- including Frank Henry, Clyde Henry, Effie Henry, Glen Henry, Betty Henry and Edna May Henry as well as six who tragically died young -- Dorothy Henry, Earl Henry, Ruby Henry, Ella Louise Henry, Ruby Ellen Henry II and Della B. Henry. They resided in Connellsville at 273 East Crawford Avenue, where Ira earned a living as a coal miner and night watchman at local mines. Suffering from coronary insufficiency and hardening of the arteries, added to diabetes she had endured for a decade, Hattie died on Nov. 24, 1962. She was placed into repose in Mount Nebo Cemetery in Saltlick Township. As he was on his deathbed in 1963, he told one of his daughters that he wished to be placed into rest near his first wife. As he had never spoken about her to his children before, this came as a shock. He died on Feb. 16, 1963, at the age of 80. Ignoring his wishes, his family had his remains buried at Mount Nebo.

Lemmon Farm cemetery

~ Daughter Mary Ann Younkin ~

Daughter Mary Ann Younkin (1852-1871) was born in 1852.

She grew up on her parents' farm and attended school in the Paddytown community of Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County. The federal census of 1860 confirms her presence in the household.

During her short adult life, she did not marry.

At the age of 19 years, two months and 13 days, Mary Ann died on Aug. 11, 1871, of causes unknown.

Her remains were placed into eternal repose in the old family cemetery on the Lemmon Farm. The top of the gravemarker was carved with the index finger of a hand pointing upward, and an epitaph was inscribed at the base.

She is named in her brother John's profile in the 1899 Biographical Review book.

Her grave marker, erect and legible, was photographed by the founder of this website during a visit in August 2013. The inscription reads:

Mary was lovely, she was fair,

And for a while she was given;

An angel came and claimed her own

And bore her home to heaven

~ Son Irvin Younkin ~

Irvin's grave, Old Bethel

Son Irvin Younkin (1854-1895), also known as "Irwin" and "Irving," was born on May 25, 1854.

Circa 1880, at the age of 25, he was unmarried and resided with his parents near Paddytown, working as a farm laborer. 

He eventually married Alice "Almeda" Crossland/Phillippi (1862-1946), daughter of (?) Crosson/Crossland and Catherine "Kate" (King) Phillippi. Research shows that Alice was raised by her King grandparents, and that she apparently did not know her father's name.

They lived in Upper Turkeyfoot Township and produced these offspring who lived beyond childhood: Anna "Annie" King, Venia L. Younkin, Pearl Firestone, Herman Sanford Younkin, Harry Victor Younkin and Catherine "Katie" Huff.

Sadness descended upon the Younkins when daughter Venia passed away at the tender age of one week on Aug. 1, 1883. Two other infants died in 1885 and 1887 and rest for eternity in the Old Bethel Church of God Cemetery in Hexebarger.

Nothing more is known of the Younkins' lives during the first two decades of their marriage.

Heartache swept over the family when Irvin passed away at the age of 40 years, nine months and 26 days, on March 21, 1895. He died between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. A short obituary was published in the Somerset Herald. He was placed into eternal slumber in the Old Bethel Church cemetery, where his marker remains upright and legible today. The epitaph inscribed at the base of his grave was a popular one during that era, and reads as follows: "His spirit is in our Father's house where the children of His love are gathered." 

Somerset Herald, April 24, 1895

Alice thus was left as a widow and single mother at the age of 33, with five children all under the age of 21. She outlived her husband by a remarkable more than half a century, and moved in about 1911 to the community of Owensdale, Fayette County. There, she was a member of the United Brethren Church. 

Alice died from heart problems and hardening of the arteries near Jones Mills, Westmoreland County on Jan. 16, 1946, at the age of 84, at the home of her married granddaughter Reba Rhoadman (or "Roadman"). Following a funeral at her church, she was laid to rest in the Scottdale Cemetery, with Rev. George E. Smith officiating. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that she was survived by 25 grandchildren as well as four adult siblings -- James Crossen of Poke, Ohio; Mrs. James Sanner of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Mrs. Albert Emerick of Quakertown, Ohio; and Mrs. Thomas Sanner of Star Junction, Fayette County.

Daughter Anna "Annie" Younkin (1882-1970) was born on March 2, 1882. In 1902, she marred Frank C. King (April 7, 1880-1943), son of Christopher and Mary (Miller) King III and grandson of Christopher and Rosa (Knight) King II. In an interesting twist, Frank's sister Ada Charlotte King wedded Annie's cousin John "Wesley" Younkin. Annie and Frank made their home in 1938 at Rupples Mill, PA and during the 1940s in Smithfield, Fayette County, where he labored as a coal loader. Their children were Reba Roadman, Irvin King, Alma King, Edman Ray King, Evanell King, Georgia King, Kathryn King, Fred Calvin King and Darrel King. For the last four years of his life, Frank endured varicose ulcers in his leg. The family grieved when, after gangrene set into his right leg, the 63-year-old Frank passed away on Aug. 13, 1943. Annie outlived her spouse by more than a quarter of a century. In her later years, she was burdened with congestive heart failure. While visiting her married daughter Evanell Umble in Buckhannon, Upshur County, WV, on May 11, 1970, Annie was stricken with a heart attack. She was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival at the age of 88. Her remains were transported back to Smithfield for burial in Mt. Moriah Cemetery. In an obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier, her survivors were numbered as 24 grandchildren, 51 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren in addition to "a number of step-grandchildren."

  • Granddaughter Reba King ( ? - ? ) married (?) Roadman ( ? - ? ). Circa 1946, she was married and resided near Jones Mills, Westmoreland County, PA. By 1970, she had moved to Scottdale, Fayette County.
  • Grandson Irvin King ( ? -1966) was born in (?). He was united in the bonds of marriage with Hazel Roderick ( ? - ? ). They lived in Smithfield but did not reproduce. Sadly, at the age of 63, Irvin passed away as a patient in Vincent Palotti Hospital in nearby Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV on Aug. 15, 1966. Rev. Paul Tarcy preached the funeral sermon. The remains were lowered under the sod in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Smithfield, with an obituary appearing in the Uniontown Evening Standard.
  • Granddaughter Alma Grace King ( ? -1973) was born in (?). She was united in wedlock with Glenn H. Roderick ( ? -1961). The eight known children born to this marriage were Blanche Wilson, Rachel Neverdale, Glenn H. Roderick Jr., Mrs. James Leymoine Cooley, Donald R. Roderick, Clarence Jack Roderick, Irvin Roderick and Annette Pavlick. They belonged to the Woodbridge Union Church. She dwelled in Smithfield, Fayette County in 1970. On July 29, 1973, she succumbed to death at home at the age of 68. An obituary in the Uniontown Morning Herald noted that she was survived by 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Interment of the remains was in Smithfield's Mount Moriah Cemetery.
  • Grandson Edman Ray King ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On May 10, 1926, he eloped to Cumberland, MD to tie the knot with Anna Mae ( ? - ? ). They set up housekeeping in Smithfield. They were the parents of James E. King, Donald R. King and Dorothy Arietta. But in November 1934, Anna Mae filed for divorce, claiming "he had treated her cruelly," said the Uniontown Evening Standard. Circa 1943, he was in Fairchance, Fayette County and by 1970 was in Smithfield, Fayette County. Later, Edman wedded again to Pearl Breakiron ( ? - ? ), daughter of John H. and Mollie (Keffer) Breakiron. They endured the heartbreak of the untimely demise of their son James -- a Korean War veteran and self-employed plasterer -- in Reading, PA on Nov. 24, 1966.
  • Granddaughter Evanell King ( ? -1971) was born in (?). She wedded Wilbert Gary Umble ( ? - ? ). The family relocated to Buckhannon, Upshur County, WV. The Umbles produced a family of these children -- Orville Umble, Robert Umble, Joan Boty, Catherine Umble, James Umble and Gary Umble as well as two sons who died young. Evanell passed into the realm of eternity at the age of 61, in St. Joseph's Hospital in Buckhannon, on or about Christmas Eve 1971. In an obituary, the Uniontown Evening Standard reported that her survivors included "a number of" grandchildren and step-grandchildren. The body was brought to Smithfield for funeral services held at Woodbridge Church, led by Rev. Paul Tarcy, and interment in Woodbridge Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Georgia King ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was joined in matrimony with (?) Koontz. Her home in 1970 was in Uniontown, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Kathryn King ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married (?) Umble and established a home circa 1970 in Houston, TX.
  • Grandson Fred Calvin King ( ? -1974) was born in (?). He dwelled in Smithfield, Fayette County and was the husband of Goldie Fowler ( ? - ? ), daughter of Nellie Fowler of Smithfield. The couple appears not to have reproduced. Fred was employed at the Robena Mine of U.S. Steel Corporation and was a member of its local union. Sadly, Fred died at the age of 56 on May 15, 1974, as a patient in nearby Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown, WV. His obituary appeared in the Uniontown Morning Herald. Rev. Paul Tarcy and Rev. Dr. Stanford Scott co-officiated at the funeral service, held in Woodridge Union Church. Burial of the remains was in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Smithfield.
  • Grandson Darrell King ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). His residence in 1970 was in Smithfield, Fayette County.

Daughter Pearl Younkin (1884-1978) was born on July 18, 1884. She married Daniel M. Firestone ( ? - ? ) on Aug. 1, 1901, when she would have been age 17. They dwelled in Confluence, Somerset County in 1938-1946, and by 1970 lived in Mather, Greene County and later in Latrobe, Westmoreland County, PA. Pearl was an original member of the Confluence Lodge of the Rebekahs, Daughters of America of Waynesburg and the Old Bethel Church of God. Their four daughters were Orpha Hostetler, Vida Sipe, Rhuie Lynch and Kathryn Gerhart. Pearl died in Latrobe on Sept. 10, 1978, at the age of 94, leaving behind 42 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina, after a ceremony led by Rev. Kempton Oaks. Her obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republic.

  • Granddaughter Orpha Firestone ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) She married (?) Hostetler. The couple's home in 1978 was in Mather, Greene County, PA.
  • Granddaughter Vida Firestone ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) She wedded (?) Sipe. They dwelled in Ursina.
  • Granddaughter Rhuie Firestone ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) She was united in wedlock with (?) Lynch and put down roots in Latrobe, Westmoreland County.
  • Granddaughter Kathryn Firestone ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) She was joined in marriage with a distant double cousin, Jacob Nelson Gerhart (1905-1971), son of John W. and Sarah "Sadie" (Younkin) Gerhart of the family of Weasel Jake and Catherine (Faidley) Younkin. See the Gerhart/Younkin biography for more.

Son Herman Sanford Younkin (1888-1929) was born on Sept. 2, 1888 in Somerset County and named in part for his grandfather Herman Younkin. He married Audith/Olive Keller (1893-1973), daughter of Louis and Etta Maurilla (Shupe) Keller. They had four children -- Irvin Keller Younkin, James W. Younkin, Eleanor Marilla Younkin and Herman Sanford "Sam" Younkin. They lived in Owensdale, Fayette County. Herman earned a living as an automobile mechanic and may have owned his own business in the late 1920s. Tragically, having contracted intestinal influenza, he died at the age of 41 on April 27, 1929. He was entombed in Scottdale Cemetery in Westmoreland County. Audith survived him by more than 40 years. She passed away in Greensburg, the county seat of Westmoreland County, on Aug. 31, 1978, at age 80.

  • Grandson James W. Younkin (1916-2000) was born in about 1916. He lived in Connellsville circa 1985. At the age of 83, now dwelling in Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County, he died on April 8, 2000. A death notice was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Granddaughter Eleanor Marilla Younkin (1918- ? ) was born on Dec. 1, 1918 in Upper Tyrone Township. On Dec. 16, 1939, at the age of 21, Eleanor was united in matrimony with George Clayton Fretts (1914- ? ), son of Albert Glenn and Margaret (Nicholls) Fretts. The ceremony was held in the United Brethren Church in Owensdale, Fayette County. They lived in Scottdale, Westmoreland County and had three children -- Saundra Lee Fretts, Donald Clayton Fretts and Robert James Fretts.
  • Grandson Herman Sanford "Sam" Younkin (1921-1985) was born on May 24, 1921 in Owendale, Fayette County. Circa 1945, in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD, he eloped to wed Dorothy Jean Burkhart (1926-2007), daughter of Lawrence Mason and Doris Marie (Shultz) Burkhart. News of their marriage license was printed in the Cumberland (MD) News. The couple bore eight known children -- Lawrence Sanford Younkin, Rick Younkin, Peggy Younkin, Vicki Friedline, Joyce Stern, Bruce A. Younkin, Debra L. Younkin and Mary E. Younkin. Sam served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Active in the community, said the Daily American, he was a "member of Calvary United Methodist Church; Stoystown Lions Club, (past president and secretary); Stoystown American Legion; Meyersdale Elks No. 1951; FOE, Somerset; District 14M Lioness chairman; past Somerset Borough councilman; retired agent of United Insurance Company of America; [and] owner and operator of a bookkeeping and tax service." Dorothy also had a public profile, and in addition to her work as a notary public, she "was the charter president, secretary and member of Stoystown Lioness Club and she received the Melvin Jones Award," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier. "She served on the Talus Rock Girl Scout Council and also served with the Tam O'Shanters Boosters. She was a member of the Gad Abouts and was also a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, where she served on the board of trustees." Their home was on East Main Street in Somerset. Sam died at Johnstown's Mercy Hospital at age 64 on Dec. 5, 1985. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park.
  • Connellsville Daily Courier

    Grandson Irvin Keller Younkin (1926-1984) was born on July 23, 1926 in Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County. At the age of 22, on Oct. 15, 1948, he was joined in wedlock with Dorothy Mae Rath (1929-living), a native of Scottdale, Westmoreland County. The wedding was held at the Baptist Church in Winchester, VA. The couple went on to produce three children - Gerald Irvin Younkin, Terry Lee Younkin and Donna Sue Younkin. The Younkins made early in their marriage in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. Sadly, Irvin died at the age of 58 on July 31, 1984. Interment was in Scottdale Cemetery.

Great-grandson Gerald Irvin Younkin (1949-2017) was born on May 3, 1949 in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. As a high school graduate, he learned the trade of electrician and then, during the Vietnam War, served aboard the U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt as a member of the U.S. Navy. On Aug. 19, 1978, he was united in matrimony with Sandra S. Dugger ( ? -living). Their children were Kevin G. Younkin and Melissa S. Danser. Gerald owned and operated Younkin Electric in Scottdale for a quarter of a century. At one time, for 15 years, he was a maintenance supervisor with Otis Spunkmeyer in Export, Westmoreland County. He was a fire chief of the Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department in1979 and a lnogtime member of the local Elks Club, Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow. In 2012, he received a lung transplant at Cleveland Clinic which gave him five more years of life. He passed away at LifeCare Hospital in Wilkinsburg at the age of 67 on Feb. 15, 2017. Officiating at the funeral service was Rev. Robert Bixel of the Pennsville Baptist Church, with interment following in Scottdale Cemetery and an obituary appearing in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Great-grandson Terry Lee Younkin wedded Mary Ann. They live in Everson, PA.

Great-granddaughter Donna S. Younkin married Matthew Mesich. They have resided in New Derry, PA.

Son Harrison Victor "Harry" Younkin (1892-1979) was born in 1892. He married Emma C. Buttermore (May 18, 1896-1968), daughter of John and Elizabeth (Morrow) Buttermore. The couple produced a family of six children -- Homer V. Younkin, Robert M. Younkin, Betty G. Seese, Ruth L. Sepkovic, Elmer Wayne Younkin and Dorothy J. Warady. They resided in 1938 in Owensdale and in the mid-1940s in Star Junction, Fayette County. Suffering from septic shock caused by ulcers, as well as hardening of the arteries, Emma was admitted to Frick Community Hospital in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. There, she passed away on Nov. 7, 1968 at the age of 72. Harry outlived his bride by 11 years. He died in Uniontown at the age of 87 in 1979, with burial following in Scottdale Cemetery.

War memorial in Owensdale, PA bearing the names of brothers Homer and Robert Younkin among other Younkin veterans. Courtesy Leslie (Fuoss) Younkin

  • Younkin names, war memorial, Owensdale, top-bottom: James, Stanford, Homer, Robert. Courtesy Leslie F. Younkin
    Grandson Homer Victor Younkin (1921-2002) was born on June 13, 1921 in Owensdale, Fayette County. On Sept. 27, 1941, at the age of 20, he was united in holy matrimony with Betty Jean Guptil ( ? - ? ). Their union endured for a remarkable six decades. But just two-and-a-half months into the marriage, the nation was plunged into World War II. Homer joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 252nd Engineer Combat Battalion, seeing service in Germany. Homer and Betty Jean produced nine offspring -- George "Edward" Younkin, Robert Younkin, Emma Jean Geary, Ronald Eugene Younkin, William Younkin, Gerald Francis Younkin, Charles Wayne "Buddy" Younkin Sr., Debra Crago and John Younkin. Sadly, son Edward died in infancy in 1943. Homer was employed for three years by Eastern Associates Company. He then spent 15 years as a steelworker with United States Steel Corporation's works in Dravosburg. In retirement, they lived on Narrows Road in Connellsville. Homer died at the age of 80, in Highlands Hospital in Connellsville, on Feb. 15, 2002. Funeral services were preached by Rev. John Barchey, and military rites provided by the Armbrust Veterans Association, with interment in Scottdale Cemetery. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier numbered his survivors as 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Great-grandson Robert Younkin was a longtime companion of Diane. They have made a home in Dawson, Fayette County.

Great-granddaughter Emma "Jean" Younkin married (?) Gary ( ? - ? ). Circa 2002-2017, she dwelled in Dickerson Run, Fayette County.

Great-grandson Ronald Eugene Younkin (1947-2019) was born on May 7, 1947 in Owensdale. He was a member of the 1966 graduating class of Southmoreland High School. He wedded Mary L. Miller (April 21, 1949-2022), daughter of Roy and Sara Miller. The couple's union endured for 53 years. They have lived in Broadford near Connellsville and were members of Hickory Square United Methodist Church in Dawson. Three children born into this family were Ronald R. Younkin, Kimberly J. Able and Jeff A. Younkin. Ronald's entire working life was spent as a coal miner, and he belonged to the United Mine Workers of America. For the last 18 years of his career, he labored at U.S. Steel's mine in Mt. Braddock near Uniontown. In his spare time he liked to hang out in his garage at home, listening to music and enjoying cold beer. He also enjoyed riding quad vehicles. Mary liked to attend bingo games and flea markets, and the Connellsville Daily Courier once said that "You could always find her at the Comet on Sunday selling her treasures." With his health in decline, he received the rite of Christian baptism on Sept. 28, 2019. Sadness engulfed the family when Ronald died just a few days later, at age 72 on Oct. 1, 2019, at home. Burial was in Scottdale Cemetery following funeral services led by grandson Charles J. Kessler. Mary outlived her spouse by two-and-a-half years and relocated to her daughter's home on Broad Street in Scottdale. Death enveloped her on Feb. 10, 2022, at age 72. As he had done earlier, grandson Kessler performeld the funeral service.

Ruffsdale, PA, home of William R. Younkin 

Great-grandson William R. Younkin (1949-2015) was born on Aug. 3, 1949 in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War with the Honest John Rocket Launchers (Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Artillery Company). At some point he married and was the father of Wendy Younkin and Dale R. Younkin. Sadness blanketed the family when daughter Wendy died in 1974. When he was 36 years of age, on May 14, 1986, he was joined in wedlock with Eva M. Perkey (Aug. 30, 1950-2021), daughter of Charles and Mae (Snider) Perkey. They were the parents of Craig W. Younkin. The family resided along Ruffsdale Alverton Road in Alverton near Mount Pleasant. William earned a living for 13 years with Montgomery Ward followed by six years with J&L Dump Body. For 30 years, Eva was employed by L.E. Smith Glass Corporation in Mount Pleasant. She retired from the company. William passed away on Dec. 15, 2015. Eva outlived her husband by six years. At the end she went to live with her son in Connellsville and died there on May 23, 2021. The funeral was preached by Rev. Lee Kline of the Center Bethel Church of God, Alverton. Burial was in Scottdale Cemetery, and an obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Their son Craig married Jennifer, and they were the parents of Stephanie Younkin, Tyler Younkin, Haley Younkin and Ian Younkin.

Great-grandson Gerald Francis Younkin (Nov. 4, 1951-2017) was born in 1951. He was a 1969 graduate of Scottdale High School. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces for two tours during the Vietnam War. He was united in matrimony with Mary Lee Shedlock (May 11, 1943-2022), a Connellsville native and the daughter of Ernest A. and Margaret (Stains) Shedlock. The couple were eight years apart and remained together for 44 years. They put down roots in Leisenring near Uniontown. Later they moved to Connellsville. Their offspring were Josepy Acey, Gerald Francis Younkin II and Christie Lee Dewitt. Gerald spent his working career as a carman for CSX Railroad. He retired after 32 years. He enjoyed mowing his lawn and was known for having a well-manicured yard. Mary was an alumna of Conn-Area Catholic School and belonged to the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church. In her wardrobe, she always wore black outfits. She enjoyed family history and old photographs. Sadly, Gerald died in 2017. Mary Lee lived for another five years. As her health failed, she was admitted to the West Virginia University of Medicine Uniontown Hospital. There, she died at age 79 on Oct. 5, 2022. Burial was in Green Ridge Memorial Park, following a blessing service by the hand of Rev. Paul Lisik. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary.

Great-grandson Charles Wayne "Buddy" Younkin Sr. married Shirley Sherman ( ? - ? ), daughter of Donna Sherman. For decades, they were in Connellsville. The offspring born to this union were Denise J. Kent and Charles Wayne Younkin Jr. The family was plunged into grief when daughter Denise, married to John E. Kent, and the mother of Justina Erin Kent, Bella Madeline Kent and Jessica Lynn Bowser, died at the age of 46 on July 11, 2020. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery, with Pastor Lee Maley officiating.

Great-granddaughter Debra "Debbie" Younkin wedded Donald Crago ( ? - ? ). They have kept a home in Frankford, DE and in 2015 were living in Maryland.

Great-grandson John David Younkin was joined in marriage with Deborah "Debbie" ( ? - ? ). They have been in Connellsville.

  • Grandson Robert M. Younkin was joined in matrimony with Esther. They relocated to California State.
  • Granddaughter Betty G. Younkin wedded (?) Seese. She was in Connellsville circa 2002.
  • Granddaughter Ruth L. Younkin married Wayne Sepkovic ( ? - ? ). She dwelled in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Elmer Wayne Younkin maintained a residence in Owensdale, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy J. Younkin married (?) Warady ( ? - ? ). She was deceased by 2002.

YFNB, April 30, 1938

Daughter Catherine "Katie" Younkin (1894-1938) was born on Dec. 21, 1894. She married George W. Huff ( ? -1935). They moved to the town of Owensdale in about 1910, and remained there the rest of their unfortunately short lives. They had two children -- Retha V. King and William E. Huff. George was employed at the American Sheet and Tin Plate Company in Scottdale, and they belonged to the Owensdale United Brethren Church. Both husband and wife died relatively young. George passed away at home on Jan. 28, 1935. An obituary was printed in the Daily Courier. Katie only survived him by three years. She was admitted to Frick Memorial Hospital in Mount Pleasant and died on March 19, 1938, with interment beside her husband in Scottdale Cemetery. Her obituary, originally appearing in the Daily Courier, was re-published in the April 30, 1938 edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin

  • Granddaughter Retha V. Huff (1918-2013) was born on July 18, 1918 in Owensdale, Upper Tyrone Township. On Nov. 8, 1935, she wed Ralph "Milford" King Sr. (May 5, 1917-2009), son of Nelson and Mary "Molly" (Enos) King of Owensdale. Their union endured the ups and downs of an extraordinary 73 years. The family lived at Owensdale for decades. Together they bore two known sons -- Milford "Millie" King Jr. and Jeffrey S. King Sr. Another son-like family member was Jim Hendrickson. Milford earned a living through his work for Aultman Feed Mill in Scottdale and later as a molder for 31 years with Duraloy Blaw-Knox Corporation, also in Scottdale, retiring in 1983. They were longtime members of Owensdale United Methodist Church. Said an obituary, "Retha loved animals and enjoyed reading the bible, watching Christian TV, and reading medical and vitamin books." Sadly, Milford passed away at the age of 91, on Feb. 16, 2009, as a patient in Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant. The Connellsville Daily Courier published an obituary. Retha outlived him by four-and-a-half years. She died, also in Excela Health, at the age of 95 on Aug. 28, 2013. As she had done for Milford, their daughter-in-law Pastor Kimberly King led Retha's funeral service. Burial was in Scottdale Cemetery.

    Milford King Sr.'s employer, Duraloy in Scottdale. Library of Congress 

    Great-grandson Milford "Millie" King Jr. (1936-1997) was born on June 5, 1936. Death carried him away at the age of 60 on Jan. 24, 1997. Burial was in Scottdale Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Jeffrey S. King (1953-2023) was born on Nov. 29, 1953 in Mount Pleasant. He was a 1972 graduate of Scottdale High School. He belonged to the Everson Volunteer Fire Department and the Everson Polish American Club as well as the Jacobs Creek United Methodist Church. In 1989, he founded his own business, King's Electric Service, and operated it until his death. Jeffrey was united in matrimony with Pastor Kimberly Hoyle ( ? - ? ). The three children they produced together were Michael King, Misty Dawn Peterson and Jeffrey S. King Jr. Said an obituary, "He always had a love for animals and had a true passion for rescuing animals who were in need of help. Over time, he contributed to numerous animal shelters within the area." Sadly, Kimberly died on April 7, 2020. The heartbroken Jeffrey outlived her by almost three years and made his residence on Broadford Road, Connellsville. He passed away at the age of 69 on Feb. 9, 2023. Pastor Shawn Roberts officiated the funeral service, with burial occurring in Scottdale Cemetery.

  • Grandson William E. "Bill" Huff ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 2013.

John F. & Elizabeth (McNair) Younkin

~ Son John F. Younkin ~

Son John F. Younkin (1856-1928) was born on July 18, 1856. 

In 1878, at the age of about 21 or 22, John wedded 19-year-old Diana "Elizabeth" McNair (March 3, 1860-1948), daughter of Samuel and Eleanor (McNair) McNair Jr. of Addison Township, Somerset County, and granddaughter of Samuel and Phoebe (Round) McNair.

The couple had six children -- Albert Austin Younkin, William E. Younkin, Sarah E. Romesburg, Mary E. "Dollie" Sechler, Susan E. Sechler and Mentie A. Kreger. 

They resided on his father's farm near Paddytown for the rest of their lives.

John was profiled at length in the 1899 Biographical Review book, which said that he "was educated in the public schools. he was reared to farm life, and he assisted in carrying on the home farm until twenty-eight years old. He then bought his father's farm at Paddytown, containing two hundred and forty-seven acres, and is now engaged in general farming and stock raising." 

The profile went on to say: 

Public affairs have absorbed considerable of Mr. Younkin's life. He has rendered efficient services to the township as School Director two terms, Supervisor three terms, and is now attending to the duties of Town Auditor. In politics he is a Republican. He belongs to Confluence Council, No. 1294, Royal Arcanum. He is a member and a trustee of Mount Bethel Methodist Church at Paddytown.

The Younkins endured the terrible shock in 1901 when their son Albert was killed in a railroad accident. Details are below.

John was once described by the Meyersdale Republican as one "who came of an old pioneer family [and] was a highly respected man and far above the average intelligence. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for over 50 years. He was a man of distinguished appearance, being a fine specimen of physical manhood. Notwithstanding his three score years and ten, plus, he was as erect as a man of 20. Strangers meeting him for the first time would take him for a successful businessman or professional man. He was straight forward and honest in all his dealings with his fellowman."

He and son-in-law Freeman Sechler were elected officers of the Mt. Bethel congregation in August 1914 along with Frank Raygor, having hosted the fourth quarterly conference of the Ursina charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church, led by Rev. Arthur Sellers.

When daughter Dollie Sechler was hospitalized in Cumberland, MD in February 1920, John traveled there for a visit.


Above: John and Elizabeth in a Mt. Bethel Church photo, ca. 1916-1918, and his profile in the Biographical Review, 1899. Below, the church group, with John at far left.

John's grave, Paddytown
Tragedy struck on the fateful day of Jan. 24, 1928. At the age of 72, reported the Meyersdale Republican, "while going through a shed in which there were some young animals, [John] was kicked by a colt, resulting in a fracture of his skull at the base of the brain, and the breaking of his right arm. He was not alone when he received his injuries. He was immediately carried into his house and a doctor was called as soon as possible, but surgical skill was of no avail, so far as the injury to his head was concerned. He remained unconscious until the end came." He lingered for two days and then succumbed on Jan. 26, 1928. His remains were laid to rest in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown, near the graves of his parents, with his son Edward signing the official certificate of death. Rev. N.H. Sanner of Dormont in Pittsburgh, who at the time was a District Superintendent of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated at the funeral service. Traveling from Harnedsville to attend the funeral were the John Rodehaver family, Thomas Rodehaver and the Jesse J. Gower family. In a lengthy account of the accident, the Republican noted that he was survived by nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren in addition to his brother Bruce of Black Township and sister Ella of Rockwood.

As a widow, Elizabeth resided on their Paddytown farm. In March 1939, she celebrated her 80th birthday party. But she suffered from colon cancer and chronic heart disease, and experienced frequent diarrhea and bleeding.

At the age of 88, she passed away at the Upper Turkeyfoot home of her married daughter Susan Sechler on Feb. 13, 1948. She joined her husband in eternal sleep in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted the names of her parents and said her husband had "died 20 years ago."

Younkin Cemetery

Son Albert Austin Younkin (1879-1901) was born in December 1879. In early adulthood, he labored as a farmer. On Dec. 29, 1898, four days after Christmas, the 20-year-old Albert married 22-year-old Anna Meyers (1877- ? ), daughter of Jonathan "Jonas" and Lucy Meyers. Justice of the peace A.S. Levy officiated. They produced one daughter, Stella "Irene" Wiltrout. Tragedy cut Albert's life short on June 11, 1901, just two-and-a-half years into their marriage, when he was age 22. At the time, he was working as a bridge carpenter for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at a project site between the Garrett and Yoder stations. The Somerset Herald reported the story which was reprinted in the Altoona (PA) Tribune:

While in the act of removing a jack from beneath a rail he was struck by an engine which approached without sounding an alarm. He was thrown against the foreman, Mr. Nicewarner, and both men fell from the bridge abutmentinto the creek, a distance of some ten feet. Mr. Younkin lived for about thirty minutes after he was dragged from the water

Albert's broken remains were returned to Paddytown for burial in the Younkin Cemetery. An upright monument was erected at his gravesite, inscribed with this text: "Text 1st Samuel XX Chapter [?] Verse," likely the scripture used for the funeral sermon. Anna petitioned the Orphans Court of Somerset County on Sept. 20, 1905 for a legal guardian, stating that Stella had an overdue income of $660 waiting to be paid. As a widow, Anna made her home with John D. Sechler (1874-1952). They eventually married on Aug. 12, 1910, when she was age 33 and he 36. The couple made their home in Fort Hill for many years and had a son of their own, Delbert Sechler. John died at home at the age of 83 on Aug. 4, 1952. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park.

  • Granddaughter Stella Irene Younkin (1898-1947) was born on Feb. 3, 1898 in Upper Turkeyfoot. She was but the age of three when her father lost his life. Stella was considered "a very lovable young lady who has the respect of all her school mates and neighbors," said a newspaper. But when she eloped with Charles A. Wiltrout, to Cumberland, Allegany County, MD, her mother had the new bride arrested. Notwithstanding the mother's approval, the marriage held firm, and they remained joined in holy matrimony for the rest of their lives. The Wiltrouts had five known children -- Eugene Wiltrout, Cecil Wiltrout, Maurice Wiltrout, Lex W. Wiltrout and Doris I. Gross. The Wiltrouts lived in Upper Turkeyfoot Township. Sadly, Stella suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 48 on Jan. 10, 1947 in Somerset Community Hospital. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park.

Great-grandson Eugene Wiltrout resided in New York in 1947.

Great-grandson Cecil Wiltrout (1923-1986) was born in 1923. He married Althea Tipton ( ? - ? ) and lived in Peninsula, OH.

  • Anna and John D. Sechler's son Delbert Sechler made his home in Somerset County. He was married and had three children, named in a Daily American article in 1952 -- Delbert Sechler Jr., Patricia Sechler and Yvonne Sechler. He also was named in the news obituary of his half-sister Stella Wiltrout in January 1947.

Edward Younkin, 1916
Obituary, 1930

Son William "Edward" Younkin (1881-1930) was born in 1881 in or around in Paddytown, Upper Turkeyfoot Township. He wed Mary S. Kreger (1883-1947), daughter of Christian and Catherine (Schrock) Kreger. They bore one daughter, Blanche Wheaton. The Younkins resided in Upper Turkeyfoot and were prominent in the community. "For many years," reported the Meyersdale Republican, "Mr. Younkin was a prominent member of the Kingwood Grange." In a series of stories about local farmers, Edward was profiled in the Republican on Oct. 9, 1913: "About a mile from Markleton and the same distance from the latter place, Edward Younkin owns a farm that deserves more than a cursory notice. The buildings on this place are of the very finest, the residence being a two and one-half story building with basement, the first story being surrounded with broad porches. The barn is 50x106 feet and has stable room for 5 horses and 30 head of cattle. The basement of the barn is 9 feet high, this part being well ventilated and having the best of light from windows extending all around and placed close together. The crop this year was an abundant one and the place shows every sign of thrift and good management." At the age of 49, Edward suffered an attack of appendicitis and was treated in Western Maryland Hospital in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. He was unable to recover, although spending some three months recuperating at the hospital. He died there on Feb. 4, 1930. His remains were returned to Kingwood for burial in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, with obituaries printed in the Meyersdale Republican and Somerset Herald. Mary spent her years as a widow in Rockwood. In March 1947, she fell and was so injured that she was admitted to the Somerset Community Hospital. She died there two weeks later, on March 27, 1947, at the age of 64. Rev. J.S. Eminhizer preached the funeral service in the Rockwood Evangelical United Brethren Church. At her death, said the Republican, she was survived by siblings P.A. Kreger and Ross R. Kreger of Upper Turkeyfoot; Mrs. Harry Vough of Akron, Ohio; and Mrs. Herbert Mosholder of Rockwood.

  • Granddaughter Blanche Younkin (1905- ? ) was born in 1905 and married Charles H. "Tom" Wheaton (Jan. 29, 1901-1953) of Rockwood, the son of Wilmer and Jennie (King) Wheaton. They lived in rural Milford Township near Rockwood, where Tom was employed as a section foreman with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The couple produced one son, Robert Wheaton. Blanche was a member of the Christian Service Guild of the Broadway Evangelical United Brethren Church in Rockwood and occasionally hosted meetings in their home. In February 1950, she was elected vice president of the Rockwood W.B.A. Lodge No. 96. Tom was a member of the Odd Fellows lodge and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way. On the evening of Feb. 12, 1953, a "blustery evening," reported the Meyersdale Republican, Tom and Blanche drove to the B&O station to sprinkle salt to melt ice on the passenger platform. While driving home, near Bob Meyers' Store, he "pulled his car into the curb, slumped over the wheel, and was dead." Burial was in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev.W.W. Hall officiating at the funeral service. An obituary was printed in the Republican. Their son Robert lived in Pittsburgh in 1953 and had a son, Tommy Joe Wheaton.

'Mongst the Hills of 
Somerset book

John and Ella Romesburg, ca. 1916

Daughter Sarah "Ella" Younkin (1883-1960) was born on April 20, 1883 in Paddytown, Upper Turkeyfoot Township. On Oct. 11, 1906, at the age of 23, Ella was united in holy matrimony with 28-year-old farmer John Harrison Romesburg (1877-1961), son of Jonas and Elizabeth Romesburg, also of Paddytown. Rev. Thomas Charlesworth, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated at the wedding ceremony. The couple went on to produce three children -- Pauline Thelma Ream, Albert Austin Romesburg and Melvin E. Romesburg. John was a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows, which met at Kingwood. The Romesburgs were members of the Mt. Zion Evangelical United Brethren Church and also of the Kingwood Grange. As well, Ella was a charter member of the Kingwood Rebekah Lodge, an auxiliary of the Odd Fellows. In 1912, John was named in a Meyersdale Republic story about surveys conducted by deputy state engineers along what today is Route 281 leading from Somerset to the National Pike, passing through his and others' farm properties. That same year, John was profiled in a Republican story about local farmers, which noted that he owned half of his father's farm plus a farm he had purchased two years earlier from Allen Kregar. "After purchasing the latter place,," said the Republican, "he moved on it, where there is a fine two-story brick farm house, and since then made a number of repairs, enlarged and painted his barn and now has one of the finest places in his section of Somerset county. Before the Romesburg farm was divided the sugar orchard was the largest in the township, and the brothers still manufacture large quantities of sugar and syrup when the season is good." Ella was afflicted with heart disease and passed away in Markleton, Somerset County on April Fool's Day 1960 at the age of 76. Burial was in the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. John only survived her by less than a year. He died on March 28, 1961, age 83. They are mentioned in profiles of John's grandfather William Vought and of in-law Albert A. Romesburg in the book 'Mongst the Hills of Somerset.

The Romesburg children, L-R: Pauline, Albert, Melvin, circa 1916

  • Granddaughter Pauline Romesburg married a cousin, Charles H. Ream, son of Frederick Albert and Alice Jane (Younkin) Ream and grandson of William "Henry" and Rachel (McClintock) Younkin. Pauline's brother Albert married Charles H. Ream's sister Margaret Faye Ream.
  • Grandson Albert Austin Romesburg (1909-1999) was born on June 27, 1909 in Paddytown. He married Margaret Faye Ream ( ? - ? ), and they remained together for 69 years. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The couple had three children -- Ronald Romesburg, Roger Romesburg and Neil Romesburg. Albert received higher education at California State Teachers' College. Said the Daily American, "He taught school for several years in the Turkeyfoot Valley School District and was a superintendent for Navarro Construction in Pittsburgh." He was a member of the Carpenters' Union and Kingwood Church of God, "where he taught Sunday School for several years." Albert died at Meyersdale Manor at age 90 on Aug. 22, 1999. Burial was in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. James Monticue officiating. Great-grandsom Ronald Romesburg (1937-2017) married Shirley and had daughters Ronda Stracks and Beth Alford. Ronald served as a civil engineer with the Virginia Department of Health and in his retirement was a volunteer with the Virginia Schooner and Norfolk Maritime Museum and a member of the Woodturners of Norfolk, passing away on July 10, 2017.

Freeman Sechler

Daughter Mary E. "Dollie" Younkin (1886-1931) was born in about 1886. On April 21, 1904, at the age of 18, she married 24-year-old farmer Freeman Russell Sechler (1880-1958). He was the son of Joshua and Emily "Emma" (Meyers) Sechler. On their marriage license application, she listed her occupation as "farmer's daughter." Justice of the peace A.S. Levy officiated. They did not reproduce, and resided in Markleton. At the age of 45, Dollie began to suffer from an enlarged goiter. She underwent surgery in Johnstown's Memorial Hospital but sadly, on June 30, 1931, "passed away without having regained consciousness," said the Meyersdale Republican. The former pastor of the Kingwood Church of God, Rev. Clymer, preached her funeral service, followed by interment in the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. Freeman outlived his wife by 27 years. On Sept. 26, 1937, after six years as a widower, Freeman wed Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" (Dwire) Phillippi (1878-1970). She was the daughter of Jacob and Kathryn (Growall) Dwire and the widow of Ephraim Phillippi (who had died Feb. 28, 1929). Freeman was age 57 at the time, and Mollie 59. She brought two adult daughters to the marriage, Viola Frisbie and Marie Donges. A serious accident occurred in the Sechler residence in Kingwood on Dec. 6, 1938. Reported the Republican:

Dollie and Freeman's grave, Kingwood

Mrs. Ross Kregar and Mrs. Tom Edwards of Markleton were helping to butcher at the Sechler home. Mrs. Kregar, in an endeavor to hurry up the fire, picked up a can which she thought held kerosene. It was in reality gasoline. When the gasoline came in contact with the fire a serious explosion followed. Both Mrs. Kregar and Mrs. Edwards were enveloped in flames. They were rushed to the Community Hospital in Somerset. Mrs. kregar's face, chest and hands were badly burned, but the last word received was that she was getting along as could be expected. Mrs. Edwards suffered lesser burns and was able to leave the hospital within a few days. Both women are well known in Ursina and have many friends here.

Freeman and Mollie later relocated to a residence on Broadway in nearby Rockwood, Somerset County. Toward the end of his life, suffering from senility and hardening of the arteries, he was admitted to the Somerset County Home. A month and 10 days later, at the age of 79, he died on Nov. 19, 1958. He was placed at rest beside Mary's remains, with an obituary printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. At Mollie's death in 1970, she joined Freeman in eternal repose.


Left to right: Dollie (Younkin), Freeman and Mollie Sechler


Three generations portrait, clockwise from
lower left: Diana, Walter, Verna, Earle and Susan

Daughter Susan Elizabeth Younkin (1887-1976) was born on Oct. 14, 1887 in Markleton. She married Walter R. Sechler (July 8, 1886-1949), son of Josiah and Emily "Emma" (Meyers) Sechler. They produced two children -- Earle Joshua Sechler and Verna Alice Hickman. They resided at Paddytown, where the Meyersdale Republican said he "was a well known farmer of the Turkeyfoot region." Today their farm is known as "Rocky Hollow Farms" and is operated by the Sechlers' great-grandsons. When a "party line" telephone service was installed between Fort Hill and Markleton, a project of the Economy Telephone Stock Company, Walter and his father in law, brother William and brother in law John Romesburg among others were stockholders. He also served as a steward of the Mt. Bethel Methodist Church at Paddytown circa 1914, and enjoyed hosting corn and wiener roasts for his Sunday School class at the farm. In March 1939, they held an 80th birthday party for Susan's widowed mother. Said the Younkin Family News Bulletin, "Many relatives and friends showered her with cards and in addition members of her Sunday school class presented her with gifts. and arranged ... for a dinner party."

Burdened with heart problems, Walter suffered a heart attack and passed away at the age of 63 on Oct. 10, 1949, at the Price Hospital in Confluence. His funeral was held in the Ursina Methodist Church, led by Rev. Dr. Alden Allen, with burial in Somerset County Memorial Park. Providing vocal music for the funeral service was a local quartet Walter enjoyed, including Mrs. Ray Koontz, Mrs. Merle Prince, H.B. Prince and S.E. Suder. Susan lived for another 27 years in her home near Confluence. She remained a  member of the Methodist Church, Kingwood Grange and Rebekah Lodge in Kingwood. She died in Somerset Community Hospital on Sept. 22, 1976, with burial in Somerset County Memorial Park. An obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American.

  • Granddaughter Verna Alice Sechler (1908-2001) was born on Jan. 19, 1908. Circa 1930, she attended Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. She married Elton H. Hickman ( ? -1987) on June 2, 1938, when she was 30 years of age. The Hickmans resided in Bethel Park near Pittsburgh, and raised four foster sons -- Tom Gordon, Robert Gordon, Daniel Gordon and Kenneth G. Martin. They owned Hickman Gardens in Bethel Park and, with a passion for helping feed less fortunate individuals around the world, supported Heifer Project International. Verna passed away in the Baptist Home near Pittsburgh at the age of 93 on April 28, 2001. Following funeral services at Bethel Presbyterian Church, her remains were returned to Somerset County Memorial Park for interment. An obituary was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Grandson Earle Joshua Sechler (1910-1980) was born on Nov. 21, 1910 in Upper Turkeyfoot. He wed Ella Gindlesperger and lived at R.D. 3, Confluence. They four children -- Eldon Sechler, Earlene O'Brien, Eugene Sechler and Everett William Sechler. Earle was active in the community as a member of the Kingwood Odd Fellows Lodge, director of the Somerset REA, member of the New Centerville Rural and Volunteer Fire Department, past school director of Rockwood Area School and a Nationwide Insurance agent for more than four decades. They also were active maple syrup producers. Earle died at Somerset community Hospital at age 69 on Sept. 28, 1980. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park. A photograph of Earle pouring maple sap into a collection tank was published in the book Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains: The First Frontier by Dave Hurst.

Great-grandson Eldon Sechler ( ? -living) was born in (?). On June 5, 1960, he was united in matrimony with a cousin, Loretta M. King (July 14, 1940-2020), daughter of Winfield S. and Ruby (Bungard) King of the family of Jonathan Cable and Elizabeth (Dull) Dumbauld. Their marriage endured for nearly six decades. The two children born to this union were Mark Sechler and Rhonda Boothby. The Sechlers were longtime farmers in Paddytown on a large farm originally purchased on May 8, 1873 by Eldon's great-great-great grandfather, Rev. Herman Younkin. The initial farm held 235 acres, and over time was expanded to 1,050 acres. The farm was passed down to John F. and Diana Elizabeth (McNair) Younkin and thence to their son-in-law and daughter, Walter R. and Susan (Younkin) Sechler and once again to the Sechlers' son Earle and Ella (Gindlesperger) Sechler. They belonged to the Kingwood Grange 1765 and the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. For more than 30 years, Loretta served on the Upper Turkeyfoot Township board of elections. Sadly, she contracted cancer and passed away from its effects at the age of 79 on May 1, 2020. Due to the coronavirus quarantine, no funeral service was held. Burial was in Younkin Cemetery. Over the years, the Sechlers' grandson Ryan and his wife Michele have regularly attended Younkin Reunions of the 2010s and shared photographs and research findings for this biography.

Great-granddaughter Earlene Kay Sechler married Edward Wilson O'Brien (May 27, 1943-2022), a native of Somerset and the son of Elwood Woodrow and Mary Ellen (Pyle) O'Brien. Their union lasted for a remarkable 57 years until cleaved apart by death. The couple's pair of children were Todd O'Brien and Tanya Zehner. Edward was a member of the 1961 graduating class of Rockwood High School. He was the longtime owner and operator of a family business, O'Brien Farms. They belonged to the Messiah Lutheran Church. In the community, Edward served on the school board of Rockwood School District. Sadly, while at home on March 14, 2022, Edward died at the age of 78. Funeral seervices were held in the family church, led by Rev. Lee Gable. His remains were laid to rest in New Centerville Union Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American.

Great-grandson Eugene Sechler ( ? - ? )

Great-grandson Everett William Sechler married Christine Marasco, daughter of Rev. Floyd C. and Joan (Pallette) Marasco Sr. of Washington, PA. They are the parents of two sons -- Joel Everett Sechler and Joshua Sechler. Everett and Christine own and operate Sechler Insurance and Sechler's Sugar Shack in Confluence. Everett has served as treasurer and tour guide leader of the Younkin Reunion East for more than two decades. He also has helped restore the Younkin and Ream Cemeteries and served as president of the Somerset County Maple Producers Association. Among his other affiliations have been the Somerset-Cambria Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Union Veterans Mt. Union Camp 502. In 2011, he and other members of the SUV donned Civil War era clothing and attended our national Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunion. Later that year, he received a kidney transplant. Then in 2019, he led the effort to place a new marker at the grave of the Younkin ancestor, German immigrant Johann Heinrich Junghen, at a church cemetery in Bucks County, PA.

Above: Susan and Walter at a church event in Paddytown circa 1916-1918. Below: Everett Sechler helping lead Younkin Reunion tours over the years, L-R: at the Kingwood Picnic Grove, Jersey Church and Ursina Cemetery.


Minta and Ross Kreger, mid-1930s

Daughter Mentie Alice "Minta" Younkin (1890-1968) was born on Feb. 16, 1890 in Upper Turkeyfoot. She married Ross A. Kreger (1884-1976) -- son of Christian and Catherine (Schrock) Kreger -- and her brother Edward Younkin wed Ross's sister Mary. Minta and Ross produced a family of two daughters: Elizabeth Kreger and Mildred Dumbauld. Their home was near the Mt. Union Church circa 1931. They were members of the Bethel Methodist Church near Paddytown, and Minta belonged to the women's Sunday School class at the Kingwood Church of God. They also were active members of the Younkin Family Association and attended planning meetings of the clan's national home-coming reunion circa 1936. Minta passed away on March 16, 1968, at the age of 78. Ross outlived her by almost nine years. He died on Nov. 8, 1976 at Somerset Community Hospital, at the age of 92. They repose at the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Mildred Kreger ( ? - ? ) wed a cousin, Quentin Othello Dumbauld ( ? -1955)\, son of Jonathan Beecher "J.B." and Amelia E. (Schrock) Dumbauld of the family of Jonathan Cable and Elizabeth (Dull) Dumbauld. See the Dumbauld biography for more.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Kreger ( ? - ? )

~ Daughter Sarah Jane (Younkin) Colflesh ~

John and Sarah Jane Colflesh and child. 
Courtesy Ryan and Michelle Sechler
Daughter Sarah Jane Younkin (1859-1914) was born on Aug. 11, 1859 in Upper Turkeyfoot.

She wed John Franklin Colflesh (1861-1938), son of Andrew and Catharine (Bowser) Kalbfleisch of the Cove, Garrett County, MD. Their surname was the Americanized version of Kalbfleisch, a German term meaning "calf flesh." It also has been spelled "Colflush." 

They had 10 known children -- Dr. Joseph Harmon Colflesh, Milton Bruce Colflesh, Myrtle Gower, Roy Mathias Colflesh, Mellie I. (or "Nellie") Colflesh, Mabel Frances McClintock, Edna Rodaheaver, Mary Schilling, Charles "Russell" Colflesh and Ella Fern Wirsing.

Their home was in Lower Turkeyfoot Township. In the early summer of 1884, pregnant with her first child, Sarah Jane mysteriously disappeared, causing "quite an excitement at Paddytown," said the Somerset Herald:

It appears that Mrs. Kalbfleisch has been laboring under mental depression for some time, from sickness. On last Friday while in this condition she wandered away from home, no one knowing what direction she had taken. Search was immediately made by the family, but the missing one could not be found. The search was resumed on Saturday, with no better result. The news spread rapidly, and on Saturday about one hundred people were assembled and divided into squads of about ten persons each, and the entire neighborhood for miles in all directions was scoured, but yet no trace of the lost one could be discovered. About 6 o'clock in the evening the crowd returned from their labors, and an understanding was had that all should return early on Monday morning to resume the search. The neighbors then returned to their respective homes, feeling sad at heart. Some of them had not yet reached their homes, when the news was brought that the lost had been found. The large dinner bell was then rung, which was to be the signal in case any discovery was made the  crowd reassembled to learn the news. The particulars, as your correspondent learned them, are as follows: Mrs. Kalbfleisch was overtaken on Friday evening by a heavy rain storm, and not wishing to get wet, entered the spring-house of her brother, Mr. Irvin Younkin, about two miles distant. A short time after a young man in the employ of Mr. Younkin locked the door of the spring-house, not knowing any one was in. She was compelled to remain there until discovered by Mrs. Younkin, on Sunday evening. Mr. Younkin desires me to state that he returns his most sincere thanks to his neighbors and friends who so kindly aided in the search for his daughter.

The Colflesh family and their hillside home. Courtesy Ryan and Michelle Sechler

Younkin Cemetery, Paddytown

As an adult, John worked in the lumber and timber business as well as in farming. he served as a Lower Turkeyfoot School director for more than a quarter century.

A newspaper once said that John was an "active church worker" who had "joined the Old Bethel Methodist church at Paddytown in 1886 [and who] remained a member there until 1916 when he moved his membership to the Harnedsville M.E. church."

Sarah Jane died on Oct. 11, 1914 at the age of 54. Funeral services led by G.W. Ringer and Rev. Sellers and Rev. Walters were held in the Colflesh residence, followed by burial in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. In a flowery obituary common for the era, the Meyersdale Commercial reported that she:

...passed away so calmly and quietly into the Great Beyond.... She closed her eyes upon the earthly things with confidence that she would open them on the glories of Heaven.... She has been a member of the old Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church at Paddytown, since her early youth. Her falling asleep has removed from the midst of her family a devoted wife, a loving mother and her influence remains as an inspiration to those who knew and loved her; as her hopes were bright those left behind feel that they have only parted with her temporally and to meet her again, where the sun never sets and the leaves never fade.

Her husband survived her by almost a quarter century and earned income by operating a store. But the store went bankrupt, and in March 1924 his son Milton bought the assets for $355. aIn August 1929, the Colfleshes held their fifth annual family reunion at their farm near Tunneltown, owned at that time by Roy Colflesh. Reporting on the event, the Meyersdale Republican noted that "Altho the weather was cool it was an ideal day for a picnic and a good crowd attended. Dinner was served by 1 o'clock." Among the immediate family attending were Russell Colflesh, Mellie Colflesh, Roy Colflesh and family, the Jacob Gower family, the Steward McClintocks, the John Rodehavers, the F.E. Wirsings, Dr. and Mrs. J.H. Colflesh and son, the M.B. Colfleshes. Other relatives who came were Homer Colflesh, Rose Speicher, Mary Speicher, Diana Elizabeth (McNair) Younkin, the Walter Sechlers, the Freeman Sechlers, Hugh Bell, the Charles Jenkins family, Reuben Matthews and family, Carl Miller, Ted Smith, Henry Warner, John Turney, Gladys DiGruttolo, Floyd Willoughby and children, Clovis Redoric, Isabel Boehm, Twila Blubaugh, the Thomas Rodehavers, Jack Cross, Harvey Peck and Alec Blubaugh.

John died in 1938 at the age of 77. In an obituary, a local newspaper said he was a "highly respected citizen of the community [who] died quietly after an illness of several months. Hundreds of adults and children throughout the Confluence region knew him as 'Uncle John'."

Ursina, PA in the early 1900s 

Younkin Cemetery, Paddytown

Son Charles "Russell" Colflesh (1884-1975) was born on Christmas Eve 1884, the eldest of 11 children. He apparently did not marry or reproduce but lived on the same farm near Ursina from 1906 to retirement in 1968. Russell was a teacher in the Lower Turkeyfoot Township schools, and in July 1918 was low bidder to teach in Harnedsville and Tunnel. Russell enjoyed hunting, and when he shot a grey fox in February 1917, the Meyersdale Republican reported that the kill occurred "the first time he went out for foxes. Hadn't more than got stationed on the crossing when he shot the fox. Russell only had a single barrel shotgun, too." In 1920, he and his brother John were in a business partnership, but they agreed to dissolve the arrangement. In July 1971, at the age of 87, having attended the 48th annual Bowser and Colflesh Reunion at Spoerleins Grove in Accident, MD, he received an award for oldest man present. At his 90th birthday in 1975, now residing with his married sister Edna Rodehaver, the Republican noted that the "celebration was delayed one day so he could enjoy a combined birthday and Christmas gathering with friends and relatives.... He is in good health, enjoys reading, television and talking with friends about olden days. He enjoyed the combined occasion with Rev. and Mrs. Rodahaver, Mrs. Irene Heinbaugh, Joanne Heinbaugh, Greg and Pam, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Conn, jeff and Dale. He received 41 cards." He died at the age of 90 on March 11, 1975. Rev. Arthur Gotjen led the funeral, with burial in the Younkin Cemetery. His obituary in the Somerset American was spartan and disclosed little about his life. He was laid to eternal rest beside his unmarried sister Mellie I. Colflesh in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. The inscription on their grave marker reads: "Under God's loving care."

Dr. Joseph Colflesh

Son Dr. Joseph Harmon Colflesh (1886-1969) was born in 1886. His first wife was widow Alice "Allie" (Frederick) McKee (1873-1938), daughter of Liston pioneers Peter T. and Catherine (Fike) Frederick. They were united in marriage in 1921, when Joseph was age 39 and Allie 48. She had been married once before to sodapop manufacturer Oakey F. McKee, who hanged himself on or about June 21, 1916. She brought these offspring to the marriage with our Joseph -- Frank McKee, Josephine Travers, Carl McKee and Jack Finle McKee. They resided in Confluence and were members of the Confluence Christian Church. Sadly, Allie began suffering from a sore throat in March 1938 which quickly led to meningitis and strep infections. She died in Frantz Hospital in or near Confluence on April 11, 1938, at the age of 65, with burial at Addison. Her obituary was published in the Younkin Family News Bulletin. After three years as a widower, Joseph wed his second wife, Della Schrock (1893-1984), a double cousin who was the daughter of Ephraim and Eleanor Josephine "Ellen" Schrock and the granddaughter of Andrew and Susanna (Younkin) Schrock and of Jacob C. and Lucy A. (Weimer) Younkin. Della Mae was a graduate of Indiana State Teachers College and Pennsylvania State College. Their wedding took place on Jan. 31, 1941 in Somerset, when she was age 48 and Joseph 55. Interestingly, the couple requested that news of their marriage license not be published in local newspapers, possibly in fear that it would negatively impact her teaching career.

Booklet naming Della

Della was a longtime history educator in Somerset County and was a teacher in the Rockwood school system. She and other early instructors are mentioned by name in a commemorative booklet, Rockwood Centennial: 1857-1957. She retired from the Trotter School in Dunbar Township in June 1958, with her photograph gracing the front page of the Connellsville Daily Courier. Joseph was a veterinarian and "practiced in the Confluence and Somerset area for many years, and in Connellsville from 1953 until his retirement in 1967," said the Daily Courier. "His career spanned 53 years." He also was a member of the King Solomon Lodge of the Masons, Pittsburgh Consistory of the Syria Shrine and the Otterbein United Methodist Church. Their home was on 124 Wood Street in Connellsville. Joseph died in Connellsville State General Hospital on Nov. 11, 1969, at the age of 83. He was buried in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. Lester Crum and Dr. Elmer A.R. Schultz officiating. Della passed away in Connellsville in August 1984.

  • Step-grandson Frank F. McKee (1896-1951) was born in about 1896. He lived in Pittsburgh in 1925-1950. He married Bessie Hutson (April 2, 1886-1951), daughter of Joshua and Katherine Hutson. The McKees produced one known son, Jack S. McKee. Frank was a longtime restaurant proprietor in the Dormont section of Pittsburgh, and their address was 1659 Hillsdale Avenue. Frank suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was rushed to Shadyside Hospital, where he passed away on Jan. 7, 1951, at the age of 57. He rests under the McKee family marker at Addison Cemetery. Sadly, Bessie only lived for another two months as a widow. Afflicted with chronic heart valve disease, she contracted rheumatic fever and died at age 64 on March 5, 1951. Their son Jack married Mary Ann Wieland ( ? -2001) and were the parents of Bonnie Mangan, Gayle Russell, Robin Owens, Cindy Owens and Tracey Nimpfer. Circa 1994, they dwelled in Conneaut Lake, PA. Mary Ann died on Jan. 20, 2001, with burial in Jefferson Memorial Park.
  • Stepgranddaughter Josephine "Jo" McKee (1895-1994) was born in about 1895. She wedded Professor Robert "Poulton" Travers ( ? -1942). They had one known son, Jack F. Travers, born in 1912. Poulton was a graduate of Baltimore (MD) City College, where he excelled at playing baseball and basketball. After marriage, their home for many years was in Baltimore, where he headed the commercial department and coached basketball at his alma mater for almost 15 years. Said the Meyersdale Republican, "During his regime from World War days to the late 20's, the Collegians experienced their most successful campaigns on the floor." He often was mentioned in articles in the Baltimore Sun. Ill health forced him to step down in the late 1930s or early '40s. Sadly, Poulton died at home on Oct. 4, 1942. His remains were returned to Somerset County to rest in Addison Cemetery. Rev. G.O. Ritter officiated at the funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Republican. Josephine survived her husband by many years and supported herself as a faculty member of the Peabody Institute. Circa 1946, she helped write the music for the winning Daughters of the American Revolution contest and was a member of the DAR's Washington Custis Chapter. She died on Nov. 20, 1994.
  • Step-grandson Carl "Carg" McKee (1901-1975) was born in 1901. During World War I, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy -- the first serviceman from Confluence to do so -- and was stationed on the battleship North Carolina. He resided in New York City in 1925-1929 and by 1932 had relocated to Pittsburgh. He was married and had one daughter, Janet Virginia McKee. He was employed as an investment broker in Pittsburgh in the 1970s. He died at home in July 1975, with burial in Pittsburgh.
  • Step-grandson Jack Finle McKee (1911-1980) was born on June 8, 1911. At the age of 18, in 1930, he resided with his mother and stepfather in Confluence. He married (?) and had two known daughters, Patricia McKee and Joan McKee. Circa 1937, the McKees dwelled in Pittsburgh. Jack succumbed at the age of 68 on Jan. 5, 1980. Burial was in Addison Cemetery.

Younkin Cemetery, Paddytown

Son Milton Bruce Colflesh (1887-1959) was born four days after Christmas 1887. He apparently was named for an uncle, Milton Bruce Younkin. He married Annie A. "Annie" (Snyder) Tressler (1890-1954), daughter of Peter J. and Victoria (McClintock) Snyder, and widow of Elliott Tressler. They were wed on Christmas Day 1915. He was age 28, and she 25, at the time. She brought two children to the marriage, Sylvester Tressler and Carrie Hare. Milton and Annie had four more children of their own -- John F. Colflesh, George Wesley Colflesh, Milton Colflesh and Maude Kreger. They were longtime farmers in the Confluence area. Circa May 1922, Milton made news in the gossip columns of the Meyersdale Republican when he and Joseph Blubaugh were "working on their timber tract in Fayette County." They attended a family reunion at the home farm in September 1924 with all of Milton's siblings except Joseph, who was away with his wife in Baltimore. Annie passed into her eternal home in 1954, and was interred in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. Milton survived her by five years, and his health declined due to hypertension and arthritis. He suffered a heart attack and died in Confluence's Price Hospital at the age of 71 on June 10, 1959. Burial was beside his wife, with a red barre granite stone marking their final resting place. The Daily Courier reported that his survivors included 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

  • Grandson John F. Colflesh (1923-1983) was born on June 8, 1923 in Lower Turkeyfoot. He married Viola M. Hall (1932-2017), daughter of Joseph H. and Dessie (Austin) Hall of Confluence. Their six children were Barbara Harrold, Deborah Frazee, Janice Wood and Pamela Hartman, and babies Brenda Colflesh and John Colflesh who did not survive infancy. John was a veteran of World War II and served the public as a Lower Turkeyfoot Township supervisor and member of the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School Board as well as the Construction Workers union, Ursina American Legion and Pennsylvania Farmers Association. Said the Somerset Daily American, Viola "was a member of the United Community Church of God and the Ursina American Legion Post 946 Ladies Auxiliary. Along with her husband, John, she operated the family farm and owned and operated Viola’s Restaurant in Confluence for many years. The restaurant was famously known for Vi’s Pies. She loved square dancing and cooking for her family." John died at the age of 60 on May 27, 1983, at home near Confluence. Burial was in the Younkin Cemetery following services led by Dr. Arthur Gotjen. Viola married again to Harvey Bowser ( ? - ? ). She remained in Ursina and toward the end of her life was admitted to Somerset Hospital. She died there at the age of 84 on Feb. 15, 2017. Rev. Samuel McClintock officiated at her funeral and burial in Younkin Cemetery.
  • Grandson George Wesley Colflesh (1917-2019) was born on Sept. 1, 1917 on his grandfather's farm in Lower Turkeyfoot. As a newborn, he was baptized in the Ursina Methodist Church. He spent his boyhood on his parents' farm near Ursina and is said to have walked to and from school by crossing the Lower Humbert Bridge. On July 13, 1935, he eloped to Oakland MD to marry Esther R. Knotter ( ? - ? ), daughter of Nicholas Anthony and Alverta (Thorpe) Knotter. News of the wedding was printed in the Meyersdale Republican. They became the parents of five -- Gerald L. Colflesh, Sr., Paul H. Colflesh, Betty M. Ohler Mancini, Carol D. Collins and Patty J. Show. The couple divorced in the mid-1950s. George began his working career as a trackman for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, including an assignment in Tunnelton, WV, where he spent four years until the outbreak of World War II. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and trained in Florida, Alabama and Kentucky, specializing in marksmanship. Said the Somerset Daily American:

He went to work for Wolfe and Klink Coal Co. near Rockwood where he earned his certification as a deep coal miner. After learning he could go to night school on the GI bill, he attended classes to learn more and newer methods of farming. He received a diploma from the Beery School of Horsemanship in Pleasant Hill, OH in 1949. After finishing school, he worked and managed farms for different farm owners and when his last employer retired, George went to work on construction driving as far as Pittsburgh while work odd jobs for friends and neighbors. He was happiest when he was hired by the [Pennsylvania Department] of Transportation. There he worked as a truck driver plowing snow, working on the bridge crew and finished his time as a blacksmith in the shop.

George was a member of the National Rifle Association for more than half a century, and for 66 years belonged to the Ursina American Legion. He also was a member of the Pennsylvania Association of State Employees. Heartache blanketed the family when their grandson Todd Eric Collins died on Aug. 1, 1991 and then again 13 years later when son Gerald, a retired U.S. Air Force sergeant, passed away on Aug. 20, 2004 in Alexandria, LA. At the remarkable age of 101, on April 18, 2019, George was carried away by the angels at Lytle’s Personal Care Home in Markleysburg. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American noted that his survivors included 19 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter. Rev. Arthur J. Gotjen officiated at the funeral service, followed by interment in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown, joining the remains of three earlier generations of his ancestors.

Great-grandson Gerald Leroy "Jerry" Colflesh, Sr. (1937-2004) was born on Nov. 23, 1937 in Confluence. At the age of 21, on Jan. 31, 1959, he was joined in wedlock with Ala Mae McGlothlin ( ? - ? ). The four offspring born to this marriage were Gerald Colflesh Jr., Sherri Kay Cornett Boyce, Gina Coutee and Paul Randall Colflesh. Gerald was a career U.S. Air Force man and held the rank of tech sergeant. His 21-year-career included a year in Vietnam and 18 months in the Philippine Islands, with additional deployments to Germany, Greece and Turkey. He also was a notary public and member of the Habibi Shrine Club and Gordy lodge of the Masons. The Colfleshs' final home was in the town of Boyce, LA. Gerald died in Boyce at the age of 66 on Aug. 20, 2004. His remains were interred in Flatwoods Cemetery, with gravesite rites provided by the Alexandria/Pineville Veterans Honor Guard. His obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American.

Great-grandson Paul H. Colflesh  ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He was joined in wedlock with a step-cousin, Betty Louise Metz (March 21, 1938-2022), daughter of Stanton and Freda (Morrison) Metz profiled elsewhere on this page. They remained together for an extraordinary 68 years. The pair made their home in Confluence. Four daughters in this family were Darlene Martin, Kathy Conn, Sandra Gross and Lisa Kaufman. At the age of 84, Betty Louise surrendered to the angel of death in their home on May 6, 2022. Pastor Andrew Broucher presided over the funeral service, with interment following in Johnson Chapel Cemetery. The Somerset Daily American printed an obituary, in which the family asked that any memorial donations be made to New Hope Baptist Church of Somerset. 

Great-granddaughter Betty Marlene Colflesh (1939-2021) was born on June 26, 1939 in Confluence. Her first husband was Fay E. Ohler ( ? - ? ). Together they produced a family of six offspring -- Dane Ohler, Gary Ohler, Mark Ohler, Jason Ohler, Cindy Illar and Melissa Phinney. The Ohlers' marriage ended in divorce in August 1987. Betty's second spouse, whom she wed on Dec. 10, 1994, was 55-year-old Sabatino Anthony "Sam" Mancini ( ? - ? ), a resident of Coraopolis, PA. Their nuptials were finalized by the hand of Rev. James Monticue in the Kingwood Church of God. At the time, she worked as a self-employed paralegal and title abstractor, and he with USAir at the Pittsburgh International Airport. The Mancinis lived in Coraopolis/Moon Township. The Somerset Daily American once summarized her lifetime of local community engagement -- the Daughters of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, Kingwood Church of God, Kingwood Grange, Republican Committee, Children and Youth Services and the Red Hat Society. "At various times she was employed as a Tax Collector, Manager of Confluence Senior Center, Notary Public and a Customer Service Representative for US Airways." She also attended the Younkin Reunion East in Kingwood. Her final years were spent in Zephyrhills, FL. Three days after Christmas 2021, at the age of 82, she surrendered to the spirit of death. Her remains were shipped north for burial in Younkin Cemetery.

Great-granddaughter Carol Diane Colflesh wed (?) Collins. She lived in Somerset as of 2004 but was deceased by 2021.

Great-granddaughter Patricia J. Colflesh entered into marriage with Douglas Show. The couple has resided in Farmington, Fayette County, PA.

  • Younkin Cemetery

    Grandson Milton J. "Beanie" Colflesh (1931-1998) was born on Nov. 6, 1931 in Confluence. He had a daughter, Nancy Brown. He was employed by the Pinkerton Detective Agency and made his home in the 1980s in Confluence. He died at age 66 near Fort Hill on Feb. 13, 1998. Burial was in the Younkin Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Maude Colflesh (1927-2006) was born on Jan. 10, 1927 in Lower Turkeyfoot. She wed John Kreger
  • Granddaughter Carrie Colflesh ( ? - ? ) married (?) Hare ( ? - ? ).
  • Step-grandson Sylvester Tressler was born on Feb. 27, 1913 in Fort Hill. He married Elizabeth Myers and had three children. he died on Aug. 3, 1998.

Daughter Myrtle Colflesh (1890-1945) was born on March 13, 1890. On Jan. 8, 1916, she married Jacob Gower ( ? -1955), son of Bruce and Jane (McNair) Gower. They had four children: Clyde Gower, Elsie Gower, Paul Gower and Dale Franklin Gower. In December 1944, with her health in decline, the Daily Courier noted that her status "remains in an unchanged condition." Myrtle passed away in Harnedsville, Somerset County on March 26, 1945. Burial was in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican noted that she "was a kind and loving wife, mother and neighbor, never too busy with her own affairs to help any one in need or distress. She was an active member of the Methodist church for many years, and will long be sadly missed in her home, the church and community." Jacob outlived his wife by a decade, enduring the death of 33-year-old daughter Elsie in mid-November 1951. Jacob died at age 72 on May 23, 1955. At the time, his sons Clyde and Paul lived at home, while son Dale resided in Port Huston, VA.

  • Grandson Clyde J. "Barney" Gower (1916-1982) was born on Aug. 5, 1916 in Lower Turkeyfoot. He lived in the Confluence area but may not have married. He was a longtime member of the Confluence post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Confluence Methodist Church and Turkeyfoot Fish and Game Association. He died at age 66 on Nov. 4, 1982, with burial in the Paddytown Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republic.
  • Grandson Dale F. Gower (1932-2004) was born on April 5, 1932 in Harnedsville. He lived in Port Huston, VA in 1955 and later in Confluence. He married Phyllis Tressler. They did not reproduce. Dale served in the Army during the Korean War, and for 23 years was Somerset County Dog Warden. He died at home at age 72 on April 29, 2004. Burial was in Silbaugh Cemetery.
  • Grandson Paul Gower (1924-1988) was born on Aug. 21, 1924 in Confluence. He never married, and made his home in Confluence. he died in Somerset Community Hospital at age 64 on Oct. 31, 1988. Burial was in Younkin Cemetery, follower a funeral service led by Rev. Roy Bower. The Somerset Daily American printed an obituary.

Mahlon Tressler

Son Roy Mathias Colflesh (1894-1964) was born in 1894. He married Mabel Maude Speicher, also spelled "Spiker" ( ? - ? ). Their eight children were Mae Fike, Pearle Bittner, Helen I. Tressler, Lawrence Raymond Colflesh, Earl Elroy "Bud" Colflesh, Joseph Colflesh, Robert Colflesh and Terry Colflesh. Circa 1914, Roy lived on the farm of A.J. Case near Ursina. That year, he suffered the amputation of his arm when it became "entangled in the mechanism of a new corn shredder," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier. "The member [was] mangled to the elbow." Roy remained active as an amputee, and served for 18 years as a member of the Lower Turkeyfoot Township board of supervisors. He also belonged to the Ursina lodge of the Odd Fellows. He died on Dec. 11, 1964 in Harnedsville, with burial in Paddytown in the Younkin Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Helen I. Colflesh (1923-2014) was born on June 19, 1923 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township. In about 1941, at the age of 18, she wed Mahlon F. Tressler (Aug. 4, 1920-2017), son of Walter and Olive (Livengood) Tressler of Fort Hill. They remained together for 72 years until the separation of death. The couple resided in Harnedsville, Somerset County and had three children -- Linda Holliday, Diana Walker and Walter Tressler. During World War II, Mahlon joined the U.S. Army on June 26, 1943, and trained at Fort Eustis, VA, Fort Dix, NJ and Camp Shanks, NY before shipping overseas. He was promoted to corporal, serving until discharge on Nov. 25, 1945. During that time, he served in the European Theatre with engagements in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. Reported the Somerset Daily American, he took part "in the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of St. Lo. He received 5 bronze stars among other decorations. He was the 'Last Man Standing' of his unit, the 467th AAA battalion." After the war, he made a living as a coal miner in and around Confluence. Later, Mahlon was a self-employed carpenter and stone mason for many years and "owned and operated a small country store," said the Daily American. "He was an avid hunter and gardener, known throughout the area for growing his prized large tomatoes. He enjoyed making small woodworking projects and giving them to friends and family." He is pictured in the Service Record Book of Men and Women of Confluence, Pa. and Community, sponsored by the Turney-Riley Post No. 7250, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Helen was a member of the Silbaugh United Methodist Church. She passed away at home at the age of 90 on Feb. 26, 2014. Following a funeral led by pastor Samuel McClintock, she was laid to rest in Silbaugh Cemetery. Her obituary was published in the Daily American. Mahlon survived his bride by almost exactly three years. He was admitted to Somerset Hospital where he succumbed at the age of 96 on Feb. 18, 2017. In an obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Somerset County Area Agency on Aging or to the Livingston County War Museum in Pontiac, IL

  • Granddaughter Mae Colflesh (1917-1994) was born on May 21, 1917 in Confluence. She married Allen James Mason Fike (1909-1973). He was a native of Selbysport, MD, and the son of Charles and Bertha (Riley) Fike. Their home was in Confluence and in Mill Run, Fayette County. The Fikes had two daughters -- Nancy Umble and Mary Jane Fike. Allen was a longtime farmer and member of the Selbysport United Methodist Church. He died at home in Mill Run on Oct. 30, 1973, at the age of 64. Burial was in the Addison Cemetery with Rev. J.L. Hull officiating. An obituary was published in the Meyersdale Republican.
  • Granddaughter Pearle Colflesh wed Jonas Bittner ( ? - ? ) and made her home in Friendsville, Garrett County, MD.
  • Grandson Lawrence Raymond Colflesh (1920-1947) was born in about 1920. He married Frances Hartman. They had one child, who sadly died young. For three years, during World War II, Lawrence served in the Army's 80th Division, "including one year overseas duty in Gen. Patton's Third Army in Europe," said the Meyersdale Republican. After the war, he returned home to Harnedsville. But tragedy struck on Sept. 2, 1946, when he endured a severe back injury. The details are not known, but he was not able to recover. Admitted to Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital, he died 10 months later, on July 5, 1947, at age 25. The Veterans of Foreign Wars post conducted his funeral at the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown.
  • Grandson Earl Elroy Colflesh (1925-2004) was born on Oct. 19, 1925 in Harnedsville,. He was married to Lorraine Blair and had four children -- James Colflesh, Daniel Colflesh, Lorrie Tulgske and Karen Fogleman. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Navy in the Florida Keys. Later, he secured employment in Michigan with Federal Mogul Manufacturing, retiring in 1988. He lived in Rogers City, MI in 1994 and died there on June 22, 2004, with burial in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in or near Rogers City.
  • Grandson Joseph Harman Colflesh was stationed in Chattanooga, TN with the U.S. Navy in 1947. In 1994-2004, his home was in Monroe, NC.

Daughter Ella Fern Colflesh (1896- ? ) was born in 1896. She wed Franklin E. "Frank" Wirsing (Sept. 27, 1888-1963), son of Henry C. and Emily (Cover) Wirsing of Uniontown, Fayette County, PA. The wedding was held at her home on Jan. 9, 1917. Frank was a native of Uniontown, Fayette County, and at the time of marriage worked as a carpenter in Flint, MI. Their 10 offspring were Louise E. Koontz, Helen Wirsing, Ruth Shope, Theodore Wirsing, Calvin C. "C.C." Wirsing, Gertrude "Gerry" Schrecengost, Sarah Jane Wirsing, Mary Lou Morrisch, Charles Donald Wirsing and Shirley Graham. Franklin eventually returned to Somerset County, where he continued to ply his trade as a carpenter and the family made their home in Harnedsville. At the age of 74, having endured chronic arthritis, hypertension and heart disease, Frank suffered a heart attack and passed away at home on or about June 11, 1963. Interment of the remains was in Addison Cemetery. His descendants at the time included 19 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Charles Donald Wirsing (1934-2002) was born on June 8, 1934 in Harnedsville. He was joined in the bonds of marriage with a cousin, Evelyn E. Sanner (Aug. 19, 1935-2020), daughter of Charles R. "Skinny" and Zelda M. (Younkin) Sanner of the family of William Henry and Rachel (McClintock) Younkin of Kingwood. See the Younkin/Sanner biography for more.
  • Grandson Eston Wirsing was deceased by 2017.
  • Granddaughter Louise Wirsing (1917-1979) was born on May 9, 1917 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township. She wed Warren S. Koontz ( ? - ? ). Six sons borne by the couple were Roger Koontz, Ronald Koontz, Thomas Koontz, Edward Koontz, Theodore Koontz and Jack Koontz. Sadly, at the age of 62, Louise died at home on Sept. 8, 1979. Her obituary appeared in the Somerset Daily American and said she was survived by 17 grandchildren. Rev. Vernon Witt led the funeral, with burial taking place in Somerset County Memorial Park.  

    Great-grandson Roger Koontz lived in Danville, IN in 1979.

    Great-grandson Ronald Koontz resided in Confluence in the late 1970s.

    Great-grandson Thomas Koontz relocated to Henderson, NV.

    Great-grandson Edward Koontz moved to Ohio and dwelled in 1979 in Wadsworth.

    Great-grandson Theodore Koontz migrated to Lodi, OH.

    Great-grandson Jack Koontz was in Phoenix in 1979.

  • Granddaughter Helen Wirsing lived in Uniontown.
  • Granddaughter Ruth Wirsing married Lew Shope and made Hopwood her home.
  • Granddaughter Geraldine "Gerry" Wirsing (1926-2017) was born on Dec. 17, 1926 in Harnedsville. She wed Joseph Schrecengost ( ? - ? ). One daughter of this couple was Susan Lloyd. They lived in Pittsburgh. Geraldine "enjoyed her daily crossword puzzles and dining out with her family," said a newspaper. Sadly, at the age of 90, Geraldine died in Pittsburgh on April 13, 2017. Her obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American. Burial was in Addison Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Susan Schrecengost ( ? - ? ) wed Clark Lloyd and settled in Pittsburgh. They are the parents of Kara Lloyd and David Llloyd.

  • Granddaughter Sara Wirsing (1929-2013) was born on July 7, 1929 in Confluence. She was an alumna of Confluence High School. Sara married (?) Spear and resided in Addison. Together they produced a daughter, Carol Bennett. Sara belonged to the Addison United Methodist Church and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Addison Volunteer Fire Department. In the community, she served as longtime inspector of elections for Addison Borough. Sara passed away at the age of 83, in InTouch Hospice House of Journey's Rest in Somerset, on April 1, 2013. Rev. Gregory Stiver officiated the funeral, with burial following in Addison Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Carol Spear ( ? - ? ) wed Eugene Bennett. They bore a trio of offspring -- Pamela Bennett, Natalie Hudson and Jeffrey Bennett. 

  • Granddaughter Shirley Wirsing wed Irvin Graham and made a home in Addison.
  • Granddaughter Mary Lou Wirsing married (?) Morrison. She has lived in Confluence and Meyersdale.
  • Grandson Theodore Wirsing ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). On Sept. 22, 1951, he married Shirley Lorraine Friend ( ? - ? ), daughter of Ernest N. Friend of Friendsville, MD. Their wedding ceremony was led by Rev. L. Curtis Saville in the Friendsville Methodist Church and announced in the Meyersdale Republic, saying she was a niece of Senator Clyde B. Johnson of Charleston, WV.  Shirley was a 1951 graduate of Friendsville High School and had been a member of the school's all-state chorus. The Wirsings made a home in Miami in the early 1950s. Their only known son was William T. Wirsing. Later they resided in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA.

    Great-grandson William T. Wirsing (1952-2023) was born on April 17, 1952 in Florida. He later returned to Pennsylvania with his parents and made a home in Greensburg. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America and was awarded the Silveer Beaver Award and Vigil Honor. He also gave of his time as a Scouts leader. He died at the age of 70 on Jan. 27, 2023. The Somerset Daily American printed his obituary, and burial was in Addison Cemetery. 

Daughter Mellie I. Colflesh (1898-1971) was born on Sept. 11, 1898 in or near Ursina. She apparently never married. Circa 1959, her home was in Confluence. She died at the age of 73 on Oct. 1, 1971, with burial in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. She and her unmarried brother Charles rest side by side under the same grave marker, which is inscribed, "Under God's loving care."

Daughter Mabel Frances Colflesh (1902-1960) was born on March 14, 1902 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township. She married Stewart McClintock ( ? - ? ). They had three children -- Warren J. McClintock, Robert A. McClintock and Thelma McClintock. Mabel was a lifelong member of the Harnedsville Methodist Church. Mabel died in Price Hospital in Confluence on June 4, 1960, at the age of 58. Burial was in Addison Cemetery, following funeral services held in the family church, led by Rev. L.H. Burris. 

Daughter Edna Colflesh ( ? - ? ) married Rev. John H. Rodahaver (1890-1980), son of Charles and Amanda (McNair) Rodehaver. She lived in Harnedsville in 1914 and Confluence circa 1975. They had two children, Charles Rodahaver and Irene Heinbaugh. John served in Christian ministry with the Methodist Church denomination for 53 years. His first congregation, in 1927, was the Silbaugh United Methodist Church, where he continued his association for more than half a century. He also served the Sugar Loaf, Oak Grove and Kentuck church communities. He was a member of the Confluence Ministerium Association. John died at home at the age of 90 on June 29, 1980. Burial was in Addison Cemetery, following a funeral in the Confluence United Methodist Church led by Rev. Arthur Gotjen and Rev. Richard McClintock. An obituary appeared in the Meyersdale Republic.

  • Granddaughter Irene Rodahaver married (?) Heinbaugh and lived in Confluence.

Daughter Mary Colflesh married (?) Shilling. Her home in the mid-1970s was in Flint, MI.

Younkin Cemetery, Paddytown, where generations of Younkins sleep for all time

Curtin's faded grave

~ Son Curtin Younkin ~

Son Curtin (or "Curtis") Younkin (1862- ? ) was born the day after Christmas 1862.

He is believed to have been named for the popular Governor of Pennsylvania at the time, Andrew Gregg Curtin, who served during the Civil War era.

He died at the age of 16, in about 1878, with his remains laid to rest in the family graveyard in Paddytown. The medical cause behind his untimely passing is not yet known.

A small lamb was carved in a circle at the top of his upright grave marker. The stone still stands today, as photographed in May 2014, but is fading badly, with the lettering and dates hard to read.

His death is mentioned in his brother John's profile in the 1899 Biographical Review.

Barbara Ellen Younkin

~ Daughter Barbara Ellen "Ella" Younkin ~

Daughter Barbara Ellen ("Ella Barbra") Younkin (1864-1945) was born on Jan. 6, 1864 (or 1865). 

Circa 1899-1900, she lived with her widowed mother at Paddytown.

The census of 1900 shows her in her mother's household, unmarried at age 34, with no occupation.

Paddytown Cemetery

Without a family later in life, she moved about, making her residence with extended family and friends. The Confluence gossip column of the Connellsville Daily Courier noted in August 1942 that she had "moved from the residence known as the Sophin Conway home in Jacob street and is now staying with Mrs. Charles R. McMillan in Yough street." 

In the early 1940s, she worked as a housekeeper in the home of J.C. Younkin of Confluence. Among her activities was entertaining the Circle Group of the Methodist Church.

She was injured in an April 1945 fall, but "is somewhat improved," said the Daily Courier. But she also had been burdened for two decades or moe with chronic heart disease added to chronic kidney problems. By the end of May 1945, her health had declined so much that she entered the E.M. Price Hospital in Confluence. She died in the hospital on June 14, 1945, at the age of 81. Mrs. John Rodahaver of Confluence signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.

A short Daily Courier obituary noted that she was the "daughter of the late Herman and Susan Faidley Younkin [and] a sister of Bruce Younkin of near Rockwood."

Her remains were interred near her parents and siblings in the Younkin Cemetery at Paddytown.

Milton "Bruce" Younkin

~ Milton Bruce "Pete" Younkin ~

Son Milton Bruce "M.B." Younkin (1868-1950) was born on Nov. 30, 1868 near Rockwood in Black Township. He spent his early adulthood years unmarried, at Paddytown. 

At the age of 34, on April 12, 1903, he married 28-year-old Minnie Judy Sechler (May 15, 1874-1962), daughter of Phineas and Mary (Marker) Sechler of near Rockwood, Somerset County. The ceremony, held at the home of Minnie's mother, was conducted by justice of the peace A.S. Levy. 

They produced three sons -- James Clyde Younkin, Morris R. Younkin and Harry B. Younkin. 

Bruce was a storekeeper in Rockwood for many years before retiring to farming, and was a member of the Ursina Methodist Church, while Minnie belonged to the Emanuel Lutheran Church.


Rockwood IOOF Cemetery

During the summer of 1934, he played a part in a coincidental meeting that launched the formation of the Younkin National Home-Coming Reunion and the Younkin Family News Bulletin. Writing of the event many years later, his cousin Otto Roosevelt Younkin recalled: 

Having spent an hour or so in the cemetery we were ready to leave for other old burial grounds when another car drives in through the wilderness.  Two men got out of the car, one of them whom I recognized as a first cousin of my mother, Milton Bruce "Pete" Younkin, of Kingwood Pa.; the other man was a total stranger to me as well as the rest with me. Upon being introduced we learned this stranger to be none other than the former Charles A. Younkin of Charleroi Pa. Who was upon a similar mission as ourselves. It was a rather strange coincidence.

Bruce went on to serve as treasurer of the reunion for many years until its demise in 1941.


Milton "Bruce" and Minnie Younkin

He died of heart problems in Black Township near Rockwood on Aug. 6, 1950, at the age of 81. Interment was in the Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery following a funeral led by Rev. Dr. A.K. Jones at the Laurel Church.

Minnie survived her husband by a dozen years. Her address during that time was 843 East Main Street in Rockwood. She suffered from atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty matter in her arteries, and heart failure.

She passed into eternity on Nov. 17, 1962, age 88. Rev. Hills Berkey preached the funeral sermon, followed by interment in Rockwood. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republican.

Son James Clyde Younkin (1903-1953) was born on Oct. 11, 1903 in Rockwood. He married Glenavey ( ? - ? ). They produced three offspring -- James Clyde Younkin Jr., Dwight Younkin and Peggy Jean Stickle. Circa 1940, federal census records show that he was a school teacher in Somerset. At some point the Younkins separated, and Glenavey relocated to Willoughby, OH, where her son Clyde Jr. was living at the time. On April 23, 1953, age 49, he placed a gun against his head and pulled the trigger. Death was instaneous. Burial was in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery. Dwight E. Younkin of State College, PA was the informant for the death certificate.

  • Grandson James Clyde Younkin Jr. was married and in 1953 lived in Willoughby, OH.
  • Grandson Dwight E. Younkin was married and made his home in State College, PA in 1953.
  • Granddaughter Peggy Jean Younkin (1928- ? ) married Harvey Stickle. In 1953, they dwelled in Mentor, OH.

Son Morris R. Younkin (1906-1971) was born on March 15, 1906 in Black Township. Circa 1925, at the age of 19, Morris enlisted in the U.S. Army for a term of service of three years and underwent basic training at Camp Meade, MD. Later, he lived in Rockwood, and died there on May 10, 1971, at the age of 65. Entombment was in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery.

Son Harry B. Younkin (1908- ? ) was born in 1908. The day after Christmas 1942, at the age of 34, he and 35-year-old Lucy Thomas (1907-1979), daughter of Ulysses Grant and Orpha (Rubright) Thomas, eloped to Winchester, VA. Lucy was a native of Elk Lick Township. They made their home near Rockwood, but had no children. They were members of the Emanuel Lutheran Church. In July 1953, they are known to have traveled to Cleveland, OH to visit with the children of his brother Clyde who had recently taken his own life. Lucy passed away at age 72 on July 8, 1979. Burial was in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. Richard Schlak officiating.

Copyright © 2013-2024 Mark A. Miner

Content for this biography graciously has been shared by Lisa Ann Schmuck, Denny Shirer, Chelsea (Younkin) Raum, Everett Sechler, Kay Lynn Younkin, Ryan & Michele Sechler, the late Olive (Rowan) Duff and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan. Ira Henry photograph courtesy Randall Henry.