John X. Younkin was born in January 1827 (or 1823) in or near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the son of Wilhelm "William" and Catherine (Firestone) Younkin, and grandson of Jacob "of John" and Eleanor (Chambers) Younkin. The meaning behind his middle initial "X" is not known.
John was a boy or teenager when his father died, likely in the early 1840s. Family history records made many years later, in the mid-1930s, state that John was raised by his grandfather., Jacob "of John" Younkin, who in turn died in 1848 when John X. would have been 21 years of age. At the grandfather's death, John and his brother William each received $10.72 in payouts from the estate.
As a young man, John was well and hearty, and stood 5 feet, 9 inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair, and weighed about 145 lbs.
At the age of 25, on Aug. 16, 1852, he was united in wedlock with 26-year-old Eliza Ann Rose (1826-1906), daughter of Sylvester and Sophia (Smith) Rose. (A number of John's cousins married Eliza Ann's siblings, including Henry A. Miner to Matilda Rose; Catherine Minerd to Charles Rose; Susanna Minerd to Andrew Jackson Rose; and Eli Younkin to Mary Ann Rose.) Justice of the peace Jacob Rush officiated at the ceremony, which was held in Turkeyfoot Township.
John and Eliza were farmers and produced seven children -- Catherine "Kate" Boyd, Harriet Ansell, Frederick Wilson Younkin, John Scott Younkin, Eliza Ann "Annie" Speelman, William Harrison Younkin and William Sherman Younkin.
At times, John furnished farm work in tandem with cousins J.J. Rush and Frederick Dull and on behalf of Alexander W. Walter.
After the eruption of the Civil War, and at the age of 34, John enlisted in the Union Army on Oct. 8, 1861 in Somerset County. He was assigned to the 85th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company H and was expected to serve a term of three years.
On May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Williamsburg, he was forced to stand in swampy land and became afflicted with leg problems caused by scurvy, an illness resulting from lack of Vitamin C in his diet. The tendons in his right leg contracted, which prevented him from walking normally. Friends observed that both legs were "swollen very badly" and had the appearance of "raw meat." Then on or about July 17, 1862, during a time when Gen. George McClellan's army was retreating after the Seven Days Fight, John suffered a hernia while cutting timber to construct barracks. This occurred while the regiment was en route from Savage Station/Poplar Hill to Harrison's Landing. He was admitted for treatment in a general field hospital in Harrison's Landing, VA. Later, on Aug. 6, 1862, having contracted diarrhea in addition to his other ailments, he was sent to the U.S. Army general hospital in Newport News. He was diagnosed with chronic rheumatism and on Oct. 30, 1862, he was ordered to the Hampton General Hospital at Fortress Monroe, VA.
John remained at the hospital near Hampton, VA until receiving an honorable discharge on March 8, 1863. He then returned home to Kingwood. His friends Frederick Dull and Benjamin Clevenger observed that he had to walk on crutches, and noted that the hernia was the size of a goose egg. For a year, John was unable to perform any manual labor.
Not long afterward, the Younkins relocated to Draketown/Ursina, Somerset County. They eventually migrated to Fayette County, PA, where in 1882 they dwelled in Broad Ford and in 1885 in Owensdale. Broad Ford was home to batteries of coke ovens of the H.C. Frick Coke Company. In those places, he earned a living performing labor.
As he aged, John applied for and began receiving a pension for his Civil War service. [Invalid Application #297.189 - Cert #431.405] Among those relatives who signed affidavits or witnessed signatures were his brothers in law and fellow army veterans Henry A. Miner and Charles Rose, and nephews John Wesley Rose and Grant U. Miner. Other friends providing support were former 85th Pennsylvania colleague G.W. Anderson of Ursina and Lot Rush and Allen Hyatt of Connellsville. He had to undergo periodic medical examinations performed by army surgeons, and one doctor in 1881 estimated that the hernia had grown to "as large as large cocoa nut."
John died in Coolspring near Uniontown on Jan. 15, 1901 at the age of 74. Family friends Catharine and Lizzie Boyd were present at the death. Interment was in Connellsville's Hill Grove Cemetery.
Eliza survived him by five years, and made a petition to receive her late husband's Civil War pension. [Widow's Application #743.653 - Certificate #526.695] Providing support for her claim in sworn testimony were John and Elizabeth Ansell, Frederick Dull of Ursina, and Ross and Catharine Boyd of Lemont Furnace. She was awarded the pension payments of $8 per month.
Suffering from organic heart disease, and with her health failing, Eliza went to live with her married granddaughter Harriet Nedrow in Lemont Furnace near Uniontown. She passed away there on Feb. 25, 1906 at the age of 79.
An obituary in the Connellsville Weekly Courier gave her age as 84 and reported that her remains "will be brought to the home of her son-in-law, Daniel J. Speelman, North Pittsburg street, this afternoon, and the funeral will occur from that place Sunday afternoon..." Eliza's death certificate, filled out by her daughter Annie Speelman, curiously gave the names of Eliza's parents as "Rose Stahlton" and "Sufole Smith."
~ Daughter Catherine "Kate" (Younkin) Boyd ~
Daughter Catherine "Kate" Younkin (1853-1947) was born on June 3, 1853. She did not marry until somewhat later in life.
At the age of 38, on July 27, 1891, she was wedded to Ross Boyd (1848-1933), son of John Solomon and Amy Boyd of Fayette County. Their known offspring were William H. Boyd, Theodore S. Boyd, Milton Bruce Boyd, John S. Boyd and Harriet J. Nedrow.
Circa 1932, their residence was in Connellsville.
Sadly, in late November 1933, Ross fell at home and fractured his humerus, the long bone in his upper arm. When pneumonia set in, his health declined precipitously and he died two days before Christmas 1933 at the age of 85. He was laid to rest in Cove Run Cemetery, with arrangements handled by the Edward E. Minerd Funeral Home of Uniontown.
Catherine spent her final years in Coolspring near Uniontown and, suffering from hardening of the arteries, was admitted into the Fayette County Home. She died there at age 93 on Jan. 15, 1947, with funeral services held in the home of her nephew Arthur Nedrow in Coolspring. Afterward, she joined her husband in burial at Cove Run. An obituary in the Uniontown Morning Herald counted her surviving offspring as 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Daughter Harriet J. Boyd (1873-1908) was born on 1873. She resided in North Union Township, near Uniontown, Fayette County. On Jan. 20, 1898, at the age of 24, she and 34-year-old coal miner Samuel A. Nedrow (1864-1907) united themselves in marriage. At the time, Samuel was a resident of Wharton Township, and the son of Aaron and Catharine (Boyd) Nedrow. Sadly, in late December 1906, Samuel contracted typhoid fever but sought no medical attention. After two weeks of suffering, he succumbed at the age of 44 on Jan. 14, 1907. Burial was in Park Place Cemetery in Uniontown. Samuel's brother Springer Nedrow signed his Pennsylvania death certificate. Then, compounding the tragedy, she contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 35 on Aug. 18, 1908. Her remains were placed into repose at Park Place Cemetery in Uniontown.
Son William H. Boyd (1886-1943) was born on Oct. 16, 1886. He never married and worked in and around Coolspring as a laborer. He was felled by a heart attack and died on March 28, 1943. Interment was in Cove Run Cemetery, with Rev. J.H. Webb of the Cove Run Methodist Church officiating. A brief death notice was published in the Uniontown Morning Herald.
Son Theodore S. Boyd (1892-1961) was born on June 29, 1892 in Coolspring near Uniontown. He married Maude P. Feathers (1886-1967), daughter of John S. and Susan (Metheny) Feathers. Maude brought a daughter to the marriage, Edna B. Shaffer. They had no children of their own. Theodore was thrust into controversy and the public spotlight when attending a baseball game at Shady Grove Park on Aug. 28, 1920. He was approached by a stranger, who asked to place a bet on the game. The stranger "called him a vile name and he knocked him down and kicked at home at the same time after which he walked away and did not see any more of him," reported the Uniontown Morning Herald. Later that day, the stranger allegedly struck and killed another man at the game, using a baseball bat. Theodore had to testify in court, with his name printed in local newspapers. Circa 1943-1947, they resided at Mt. Braddock, and in the early 1960s their home was at 11 Reppert Boulevard in Uniontown. Theodore earned a living as a laborer. He suffered from coronary heart disease and died at age 69 on Aug. 3, 1961. His remains were interred in Percy Cemetery near Uniontown following funeral services officiated by Rev. Robert Houff of the Church of the Brethren. Among his pallbearers were Larry Smithberger, John Daugherty, William Lascelles, Frank Broth, Harold Minerd and Harry Carr. Maude joined him in eternity six years later on March 4, 1967. Dr. Kelley preached her funeral sermon. The Morning Herald published an obituary, noting that she was survived by two grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
Son John S. Boyd lived in Uniontown in 1943-1947-1961.
Son Milton Bruce Boyd (1884-1966) was born in 1884. He left school at age 15. As a man he stood 5 feet, 9½ inches tall, was of medium stout build and weighed 192 lbs. The thumb on his left hand was amputated at the second joint. He resided in Coolspring as a young man, working as a coal miner, and began a pattern of run-ins with the law. At the age of about 18, in 1902, he was convicted of assault and battery and served for a year in the Pennsylvania Industrial Reformatory. When he was age 37, in 1921, he was accused and put on trial for stealing from John Berkman, but was acquitted by a jury in a case heard in March 1921 by Judge J.Q. Van Swearingen. Almost immediately, he was jailed under the charge of robbing money and a ticket box from a trolley car of the West Penn Railway. Said the Uniontown Morning Herald, "Boyd and an accomplice are said to have boarded the car at the West Penn terminal, Uniontown, and to have taken the tin box when leaving the car. The crew, H.S. Martz, motorman, and Conductor A.L. Grimm, of Connellsville, notified the dispatcher's office at once and Officers Walter Brown, Shipley and Ray Thomas were sent immediately to the scene." He was found guilty of larceny and jailed in the Allegheny County workhouse for six months, placed on kitchen duty. In the spring of 1922, he and 18-year-old friend Harold Martin decided they needed money and would rob someone, reported the Uniontown Morning Herald, and picked on the family of Steve Belle in Lemont Furnace. In the fracas that ensued, Mrs. Belle handed over four one-dollar bills, and Milton struck her with the butt of his revolver and knocked her down. Mr. Belle was mortally shot, and Martin received a bullet wound in the right arm. Milton then fled and eluded captors for several days. He finally was captured, found guilty of assault and battery with intent to kill charges and taken to Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh. His term was to last from nine to 10 years, for release no later than Oct. 24, 1932. In 1925, he applied for a pardon from Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot, but it was refused. Milton eventually was released and was married more than once. One of his spouses was Scottish immigrant Mary Gordon (1884-1958), daughter of John and Mary (Duncan) Gordon. She had been married before and brought two sons to the marriage, Robert Gordon and Duncan Gordon. Mary suffered from breast cancer and passed away on Feb. 19, 1958, at the age of 73, with burial in Cove Run Cemetery. Later, Milton married Elsie Hart ( ? - ? ). She also had been wed before and had a daughter, Ida Mae Ashton. Milton earned income over the years as a coal miner, belonging to the United Mine Workers of America Local 8328 at Adah, Fayette County. He dwelled in 1943-1947-1961 in Lemont Furnace. In 1961, at the age of 79, he dwelled at 150 East Main Street in Uniontown. That year, in early June, having lacerated one of his wrists, he was arrested and placed in county jail. In his final years, he lived at 318 East Main Street. He died at age 82 on Aug. 7, 1966. His remains were placed at rest in White Rocks Cemetery in Fairchance.
~ Daughter Harriet (Younkin) Ansell ~
Daughter Harriet Younkin (1855- ? ) was born on April 14, 1855.
She apparently went to school with Lucinda (Harbaugh) Younkin, and according to Lucinda, "Katie (Younkin) Firestone raised this girl. This Katie was the wife of George Firestone and an aunt of Daniel Younkin of Rockwood, Pa."
At the age of 15, in 1870, federal census records show that she resided at home with her parents, sisters and brothers near Somerfield, Somerset County.
Harriet married (?) Ansell. Her research trail has gone cold.
~ Son Frederick Wilson Younkin ~
Son Frederick Wilson Younkin (1857-1932) was born on Feb. 19, 1857.
On Feb. 4, 1895, when he was 37 years of age, he married 24-year-old Amanda (Taylor) Bergan (1860- ? ) , daughter of Benjamin and Jane Taylor of Fayette County. They are not believed to have reproduced.
Fred learned the trade of stone masonry, laboring in and around Uniontown, Fayette County.
When he was in his early 70s, he began to feel the effects of rheumatism and chronic heart valve disease. He spent his final time on earth in the home of his sister Kate Boyd in Connellsville. Sadly, he died from their effects on Feb. 20, 1932. Interment was in Cove Run Cemetery, with an obituary published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
~ Son John Scott Younkin ~
Son John "Scott" Younkin (1859-1930) was born on Feb. 2, 1859 in Somerset County.
He married Emma Jane Thomas (1866-1943), daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Thomas of Somerset County.
The couple produced eight daughters and four sons -- Phillip Younkin, Jennie Nedrow, Mary E. Potter, William "Harrison" Younkin, Eliza Metts (or "Mitts"), Eva Marie Clover, Mamie Alice Fosbrink, Hazel McDowell Kelly, Grace E. Balsley, Olive Showman Calhoun, Clarence Marshall Younkin Sr. and Elmer S. "Ham" Younkin.
In 1892, they dwelled in Bidwell, PA. Later, they moved into Connellsville, with their home in 1900 on North Alley. In 1915, they lived near Moyer in Bullskin Township.
Scott made his residence in 1930 in the home of his married daughter Mamie Fosbrink near Brier Hill in Redstone Township, Fayette County. The census-taker spelled his first name "Scotch."
On Dec. 3, 1930, Scott was felled by a stroke at home and was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital. He died there nine days later on Dec. 12, 1930. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery, with Rev. J.H. Lambertson officiating. An obituary in the Connellsville Weekly Courier reported that he was survived by 38 grandchildren. Donna (Younkin) Logan's research notes go into further detail about their offspring.
Emma spent 13 years as a widow. Her final years were in the household of her married daughter Eliza A. Mitts in Waltersburg near Uniontown, Fayette County, where she became a member of the Nazarene Church of Waltersburg. She died on Sept. 28, 1943 following a stroke. A newspaper reported that in addition to her adult children, she was survived by 51 grandchildren and 57 great-grandchildren in addition to her brother William Thomas of Confluence.
Son Phillip Younkin (1882-1960) was born on Feb. 23, 1882 in Somerset County. He was united in marriage with Sophia Fosbrink (1887-1955), daughter of Herman and Susanna (Johnson) Fosbrink of Springfield Township, Fayette County. He was a longtime engineer with Castle Shannon Coal Company at Coverdale and was a member of the United Mine Workers of America. The family were members of the Assembly of God Church. They resided in Coverdale in 1943 and in 1949 moved to 500 South Pittsburgh Street in South Connellsville. Their six children were Myrtle Younkin, John Younkin, William Harrison Younkin, Ethel McNair, Weynonia Zaksek Stoner and Donald Edgar Younkin. Stricken with cancer of the ovaries, Sophia was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh where she passed away at the age of 67 on March 4, 1955. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said she was survived by 17 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, sister Emma Frantz of Friendsville, MD and brother Samuel Fosbrink of Friendsville and Irvin Fosbrink of Breakneck near Connellsville. Phillip spent his final years in the home of his daughter Ethel on East Painter Street in South Connellsville. On June 20, 1960, while listening to the Floyd Patterson/Ingemar Johansson heavyweight boxing championship fight on the radio, he suffered a heart attack and died suddenly. Interment was beside his wife in Mt. Olive Cemetery in Bullskin Township.
Daughter Jennie Younkin (1983- ? ) was born in 1883. At the age of 15, on Dec. 15, 1898, she married 26-year-old Springer Nedrow, son of Aaron and Catherine (Boyd) Nedrow. Justice of the peace William H. Miller officiated at the ceremony held in the county seat of Uniontown. Springer was a lumberman and made his home in Wharton Township, Fayette County. The Younkin and Nedrow families were close, and Jennie's cousin Harriet Boyd was wedded to Springer's brother Samuel.
Daughter Mary E. Younkin (1886- ? ) was born in April 1886 in Stewart Township, Fayette County. On May 27, 1901, at the age of 15, she and 22-year-old M. Roy Potter (1779- ? ) united themselves in matrimony after receiving a marriage license. He was the son of H.C. and S.E. Potter. At the time of marriage, he was employed in Connellsville as a fireman, likely with the railroad. Circa 1943-1953, Mary lived for a time in Rochester, NY, but she eventually returned to her home city. By 1958, when named in the Daily Courier obituary of her sister Hazel, Mary dwelled in Connellsville.
Son William "Harrison" Younkin (1889-1950) was born in 1889 in Broadford, near Connellsville. At the age of 25, on July 18, 1914, he married a cousin, 22-year-old Etta Strawderman (1891-1923), daughter of William and Sarah (Showman) Strawderman of the family of Jane (Younkin) Showman. The Younkins produced five known children -- Dorothy Younkin, Leona "Pearl" Rudiford Hillen, William Lloyd Younkin, Jesse Younkin and Wilbert Younkin. Circa 1916, they lived in Springfield Township, Fayette County. Sadly, their infant son William Lloyd Younkin died at age four months in August 1916. Heartache blanketed the family in 1923 when Etta, having contracted double pneumonia, possibly post-partum after the birth of her son Jessie in January 1923, went to seek recovery in the home of her brother John in nearby Dunbar Township. Unable to rally, she succumbed at the age of 32 on Dec. 7, 1923. The viewing was held in the home of Etta's mother on Railroad Street in Dunbar, followed by burial in Hill Grove Cemetery, with Rev. David Ewing Minerd -- the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" -- officiating, assisted by Rev. O.W. Bolton of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Dunbar. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary naming their children as Dorothy, Pearl, Jessie and Wilbert. More suffering took place in April 1924 when motherless son Jessie died of acute indigestion and convulsions at the age of 15 months at the home of William Nedrow of Mt. Braddock. Funeral services were held at the residence of Springer Nedrow at Evans Station. Rev. O.O. King officiated at the child's funeral, with burial following in Hill Grove Cemetery and an obituary appearing in the Daily Courier. At some point Harrison married again, to Mamie Lancaster (1902-1976), daughter of James W. and Martha Jane (Keefer) Lancaster. They apparently went on to have three more offspring of their own -- Betty Jane Grahek, Esther Marie Campbell and James H. Younkin. Harrison was a coal miner with the Taylor Mine near Smock, and was a member of the United Mine Workers of America Local No. 6299. They lived in the coal mining patch town of Helen, Fayette County in 1940 and in Keisterville, Fayette County in 1943 at the time of death of Mayme's father. Harrison died in Grindstone, Fayette County on June 10, 1950 at the age of 59. His remains were brought to the home of his sister in law Martha Jane Lancaster in Grindstone for viewing and funeral services. Burial was in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Smock. An obituary in the Daily Courier reported that his survivors included 13 grandchildren, three brothers and seven sisters of Connellsville. As a widow, Mamie maintained a home in Grindstone until her death at age 73 on May 13, 1976, in Brownsville General Hospital. Burial was in Pleasant View Cemetery, with an obituary printed in a local newspaper.
Daughter Eliza Younkin (1892-1954) was born on April 7, 1892 in Bidwell, near the Fayette/Somerset County line. She was twice married. The identity of her first spouse is not yet proven, but it may have been Thomas Dingle ( ? - ? ), and the ceremony would have occurred on Sept. 15, 1906. If so, she would have been age 15 at the time, the same age as several of her sisters were when they married. Eliza was divorced on Oct. 8, 1912, when she was age 21. Just a few days after the divorce decree was handed down, Eliza was wed again, on Oct. 12, 1912, to 27-year-old coal miner Daniel Mitts (1885-1944), son of Joseph and Katherine (Helms) Mitts (or "Metts"). Officiating at their nuptials was justice of the peace Daniel M. Bierer. At the time of their marriage, Daniel resided in Lemont, near Uniontown. The couple later made their home in Waltersburg, near Uniontown, and raised a nephew as a foster son, John W. Gemas. They were members of Central Methodist Church. In 1944, their address was 112 Orchard Alley, Connellsville, with Daniel laboring at the Collier Works in the outskirts of Uniontown. Daniel was stricken with cerebral bleeding at the age of 58 and died on March 10, 1944. Eliza, burdened with kidney and heart disease at the age of 62, died on April 5, 1954 with burial in Green Ridge Memorial Park.
Daughter Eva Marie Younkin (1908-1964) was born on Jan. 18, 1908 in Connellsville. On Oct. 13, 1924, at the age of 16, she married Galen Lazelle Clover (1894-1960). His parents were Bickley V. and Annie J. (Woods) Clover of Clarion County, PA. They dwelled in South Connellsville and had seven children -- Emma Kimmel, Anna Hart, Alice Gagean, Mary Swink, Audrey Stockton, Galen A. Clover and Leon Clover. Galen was employed as a carpenter by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Eva Marie was a member of the Full Gospel Church of Poplar Grove. They lived in 1960 at 204 Pulaski Street in Connellsville. Sadly, Galen suffered from heart valve weakness and, after a two-year illness, died at age 65 on June 5, 1960. Now widowed, Eva Marie spent her final years in her home at 292 East Fairview Avenue in Connellsville. She passed away in Connellsville State General Hospital at the age of 56 on March 21, 1964. She was laid to rest with her husband in Normalville Cemetery.
Daughter Mamie Alice Younkin (1893-1964) was born in on March 13, 1893 in Stewart Township, Fayette County. When she was a teenager, she resided at Moyer near Connellsville. At age 14, on May 29, 1907, she and 22-year-old lumberman Herman Fosbrink Jr. (1885-1949) joined themselves in marriage, with G.L. Schmid and Earl Huston serving as witnesses. Herman was the son of Herman and Susanna Fosbrink Sr. of Draketown, Somerset County. (The name "Fosbrink" is an English derivation of the Pennsylvania German "Forespring.") Because Mamie was legally too young to marry, her father gave his consent to the union. They produced these known children -- Beulah Fosbrink, William Fosbrink, Marie Fosbrink, John Fosbrink, Howard Fosbrink, Beatrice Fosbrink and Betty Fosbrink. Herman was a longtime coal miner in and around Uniontown. When the federal census enumeration was taken in 1910, the couple dwelled in Luzerne Township, Fayette County, with Herman laboring at the Simpson coal mine. That year, 21-year-old Smith King boarded in their home and earned a living working at odd jobs. By 1920, the family had relocated to Bullskin Township, north of Connellsville, Fayette County, and dwelled along Breakneck Road. Moving again, with the nation now in the grip of the Great Depression, the Fosbrinks resided in 1930 in the Brier Hill section of Redstone Township, Fayette County. Mamie's aged father lived under their roof in 1930. By 1940, the family had migrated again to pursue coal mine work in Waltersburg, Menallen Township, and they remained there for the balance of their lives. Sadly, suffering from pemphigus vulgaris (an auto-immune illness causing chronic skin lesions), he was admitted to Pittsburgh's Shadyside Hospital and died there on Sept. 14, 1949 at age 64. In providing information for the death certificate, Mamie was unable to give the names of her husband's father and mother Circa 1958, she made her home in Waltersburg, and her address in 1964 was 1 Bigbee Street in Pittsburgh. Suffering from a fractured hip due to a fall, and a pulmonary embolism, she died in Pittsburgh's South Side Hospital at the age of 71 just two days after Christmas 1964. Son William signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. She sleeps for all time in Pleasant View Cemetery in Smock, Fayette County.
Daughter Hazel S. Younkin (1895-1958) was born on Jan. 11, 1895 in Connellsville. On March 26, 1912, unmarried at the age of 17, she gave birth to a son John W. Gemas Sr., son of Charles Gemas ( ? - ? ) of Connellsville. The next year, still unmarried, she bore son William Henry McDowell Jr. (1894-1919), son of Samuel and Ellen (Foster) [or "Danechia (Allen)"] McDowell. Three years later, on Oct. 5, 1915, at the age of 21, she and 21-year-old McDowell were married. The couple actually united themselves in matrimony, following an example set by several of Hazel's older sisters. The ceremony took place in Connellsville, witnessed by Jessie B. House and H.R. Titterington. William was employed at the time as a fireman and later as a brakeman with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The couple produced two sons, William Henry McDowell and Charles McDowell. Tragically, at the age of 25, and after just four years of marriage, William was stricken with kidney and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was taken to Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital, and died there on July 19, 1919. Later, by 1958, she married again, to Case Kelly ( ? - ? ). In the 1950s, their address was East Gibson Avenue in South Connellsville, and she belonged to the First Baptist Church and its E.B. Martin Bible Class. Having endured rheumatic heart disease for two decades, and more recently kidney and heart disease, Hazel died in Connellsville State Hospital at the age of 63 on July 28, 1958. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery, with Rev. R.A. Nelson officiating. The Connellsville Daily Courier published an obituary stating that her survivors included 21 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Great-granddaughter Georgeann Gemas wedded (?) Porterfield. She was deceased by 2013.
Great-granddaughter Hazel Catherine Gemas married (?) Mauk. In 2013, she resided in Connellsville.
Great-granddaughter Patricia Gemas was wedded twice. Her first husband was (?) Means. By 2013, she had married a second time to Brian Langley and made a home in Indiana, PA.
Great-grandson Carl Andrew "Bud" Gemas (1937-2013) was born on June 24, 1937 in Connellsville. He married Roxie Maureen Stutler (April 20, 1942-2015), daughter of Hiram Lakin and Ruby Inez (Lincoln) Stutler. In all, their family included six children -- Richard Eric Stutler, Ruby Evonne Swope, Catheine Euderah Hensel, Diane Louise Malone and Theresa Inez Trimbach. The Gemases resided in Dunbar. Reported the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, "Bud was a former truck driver for the Marsolino Construction Co. and he was a member of Teamsters Union Local No. 491. Among his hobbies, Bud enjoyed snake hunting and belonged to the Snake Club, HoBo Trains, doing puzzles, CB radio, where his handle was 'Thunderbolt' and, in his younger days, he enjoyed working on cars." Roxie took pleasure in reading, knitting and her kittens. Carl died at home at the age of 75 on March 21, 2013. Rev. Lee Maley, of the family of Martha Ellen (Mayle) Mayle, officiated at the funeral service, followed by burial at Green Ridge Memorial Park in Pennsville near Connellsville. An obituary in the Tribune-Review reported that he was survived by 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Roxie only survived her husband by two years. She joined him in death on May 10, 2015.
Great-grandson John W. Gemas ( ? -1978) passed away in 1978.
Great-grandson James D. Gemas
Great-grandson Robert A. Gemas ( ? - ? ) may have been married twice. With his first bride, they produced a daughter, Diana Gemas. Later, Robert married Margaret E. "Margie" (Willard) Stadolnik (Dec. 3, 1938-2018), a Pittsburgh native and the daughter of Arthur and Mary Pauline (Ploof) Willard. They remained together for 39 years. The Gemas' children were Michele Lint, Frank Stadolnik, Margaret Porterfield, Rose Valeri and Charles Stadolnik. Sadly, their son Charles died young. Marge was employed by Bud Murphy's Restaurant in Connellsville as a cook and waitress. Sadly, she died at home in Connellsville at the age of 79 on Nov. 12, 2018. The family requested in a Connellsville Daily Courier obituary that any memorial donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.
Great-grandson Gerald E. "Jerry" Gemas made Connellsville his home in 2013.
Great-grandson Wilbert Gemas
Daughter Grace E. Younkin (1898-1964) was born on April 8, 1898 in Bullskin Township. At the age of 18, in Connellsville on April 6, 1915, she was wedded to Lester R. Balsley (1894-1952), son of William R. and Nancy (Stafford) Balsley of Bullskin Township. Alderman W.D. Colborn officiated. Their children were Robert L. Balsley, Fred A. Balsley, Elmer E. Balsley, Louis W. Balsley, James B. Balsley, Margie Stewart, Clarence Balsley, Charles H. Balsley and William H. Balsley. In 1922, they resided on the Swaugertown Road in Connellsville. Tragedy rocked the family on Aug. 22, 1932 when their 14-year-old son William, hospitalized for surgery on a mastoid growth, died on the eve of entering the sixth grade. During World War II, the family worried when sons Elmer and Charles joined the U.S. Armed Forces Their fears were justified when Charles lost his life due in the April 10, 1944 Allied landing on the beaches of Anzio, Italy. His remains were returned to Connellsville in July 1948 among 474 sets of Pennsylvanian remains repatriated at that time from Europe. Son Louis served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. In 1952, the family address was 508 West Gibson Avenue. Grief filled the family on Sept. 8, 1952 when Lester died at home after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. Grace passed away in Connellsville State General Hospital at the age of 66 on Oct. 2, 1964. She was placed into repose in Mount Olive Cemetery with Rev. E.J. Hatchner preaching the funeral service.
Daughter Olive Younkin (1900-1953) was born on Jan. 14, 1900 in Connellsville. On March 22, 1915, when she was 15 years old, Olive and 21-year-old cousin Jeremiah Franklin "Frank" Showman (1894-1936) united themselves in marriage. H.R. Titterington and C.O. Shroyer were witnesses. Frank was son of Jeremiah and Malinda (Bungard) Showman of the family of Jane (Younkin) Showman. Unable to read or write, Frank worked with his hands as a laborer and signed his name with an "X." The couple had a family of children, among them James E. Showman, Melvin Earl Showman, Jeremiah Franklin "Frank" Showman Jr., Betty Jane Cossell, Violet Halasz, Shirley DeWitt, Gloria May Showman, Olive Ruth Showman (who died in infancy on May 31, 1919) and an unnamed infant (who passed in childbirth on Jan. 26, 1920). In 1919, the family dwelled on Franklin Street in Connellsville and by the mid-1930s resided at 508½ West Gibson Avenue in Connellsville. They were members of the Church of Jesus Christ at Poplar Grove. Sadly, Frank contracted lobar pneumonia and died three weeks after his 41st birthday on Sept. 10, 1936. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary saying he had succumbed "following a lingering illness" and noting that his sister Mattie Hawkins had "died two months ago." Olive survived her husband by 17 years. She rented from Preston Calhoun a two-story, four-room house in Breakneck near Connellsville. Near-tragedy struck in early Sunday morning hours when Olive and three of her younger children nearly were consumed in a house fire. Reported the Daily Courier, "She was awakened at about 1:30 o'clock by the cries of a youngster. The smoke, apparently coming from the first floor, had filled the bedrooms. The woman and the youngsters were almost suffocated by the smoke. Mrs. Showman shattered the glass in a door on the second floor, leading to an outside stairway, suffering a finger injury." She later remarried to her landlord, Preston Calhoun ( ? - ? ) and moved to a new home at 408 West Cummings Avenue. Having contracted diabetes which led to gangrene of her right leg, which developed into a toxic infection, Olive's health began to fail in 1952, and in May 1953 she was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital. She refused surgery. She lingered there for 50 days, she died on July 30, 1953, at the age of 53. She was buried at Hill Grove Cemetery.
Son Elmer S. "Ham" Younkin (1902-1958) was born on Nov. 1, 1902. He married Rose Palladine ( ? - ? ). The couple produced two daughters -- Donna Jean Jeffers and Marianne Younkin. They lived in Connellsville at the address of 512 Gibson Avenue. Elmer earned a living as a brakeman and conductor for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen No. 218. In his early 50s, Elmer was stricken with cancer of the bronchial tract. He endured for three years but finally succumbed on Jan. 28, 1958. His remains were placed into rest in Mount Olive Cemetery in Bullskin Township.
Son Clarence Marshall Younkin Sr. (1905-1961) was born on Feb. 13, 1905, the youngest of a dozen children. He married Mary Poche Williams (1912-1984), daughter of Thomas and Jane (Ramage) Williams. In 1928, their home was in the coal mine patch town of Revere, Fayette County. They later lived in Connellsville, at 2 Run Avenue, where Clarence labored as a glass cutter with Fox Glass Company. The Younkins had six children -- Clarence Younkin Jr., Raymond Younkin, Thomas Younkin, William Younkin, Myrtle Neighbors and Betty Evans. Clarence passed away on Oct. 8, 1961 in Pittsburgh's Allegheny General Hospital. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that he was survived by 18 grandchildren. He was entombed in Green Ridge Memorial Park near Connellsville, with the funeral service preached by Rev. J.D. Schrecengost. Mary survived for another 23 years. She died in Connellsville on Jan. 5, 1984.
~ Daughter Eliza Ann "Annie" (Younkin) Speelman ~
Daughter Eliza Ann "Annie" Younkin (1861-1936) was born on April 25, 1861 in Ursina, Somerset County.
She married Daniel J. Speelman Jr. (1863-1930), son of Daniel J. and Elizabeth (Huntley) Speelman (also spelled "Speilman") of Ursina, Somerset County. Their only known son was Clarence Speelman.
In 1901, their home was on North Pittsburgh Street in Connellsville. Later, they dwelled along the Springfield Pike. Daniel labored over the years for H.C. Frick Coke Company and retired from there, drawing a pension. Later, during World War I, he joined the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad shops in Connellsville and worked there long enough to receive a second pension.
Burdened with hardening of the arteries, Daniel was felled by a stroke and died 10 days later on Sept. 26, 1930. An obituary in the Daily Courier reported that he "had been afflicted with heart trouble for about six years." His funeral service was conducted by Rev. E.A. Schultz of the United Brethren Church.
As a widow, Annie continued to make her residence in Connellsville. She contracted a deadly case of pneumonia at the age of 76 and died on Dec. 16, 1936. Interment was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery. Her daughter-in-law Marie Speelman was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Son Clarence Speelman (1883-1949) was born on May 2, 1883 in Connellsville. He married Marie and in about 1925 moved into Connellsville Township. Clarence earned a living as a stationary engineer for Anchor Hocking Glass Company in South Connellsville. He died of a heart attack on Jan. 29, 1949, at the age of 65. Burial was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery.
~ Son William Harrison Younkin ~
Son William Harrison Younkin (1864- ? ) was born in 1864 in Somerset County. His fate is lost to history for now.
~ Son William Sherman Younkin ~
Son William Sherman Younkin (1874-1927) was born on April 18, 1874 in Connellsville. He may have been named for the famed Union Army general, William Tecumseh Sherman.
For reasons which may never be known, he told his second wife and family that he have been born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on April 18, 1887, the son of O'Neil Younkin, part ofner of the famous "101 Ranch" show, and that he was a nephew of famed Western sharpshooter "Wild Bill" Hickok. He also told them that he and his parents relocated to Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County when the boy was age four. The actual known facts suggest a far different story.
In about 1896, when he would have been age 22, William is known to have wedded his first bride, Minetta "Minnie" Stafford (March 30, 1877-1908), daughter of William S. and Amanda Stafford of Baldwin Avenue in Connellsville.
They dwelled on Mountain Alley in Connellsville in 1900 and on Baldwin Avenue in 1908, next door to her birthplace. The couple produced four known children -- Amanda Mortimer, Louis M. Younkin, Thomas Younkin and Rebecca Stafford Shultz.
Heartache blanketed the family when Minnie, stricken with acute kidney disease and swelling of the lungs after giving birth, passed away at the age of 31 on Aug. 14, 1908. Her remains were placed into repose in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, with Rev. A.L. Funk officiating.
On June 28, 1911, at the age of 38, he married his second wife, 23-year-old Sarah Jane "Jennie" Bewley (Feb. 24, 1888-1943). Records show that they united themselves in marrige, with no clergy present. A native of Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, she was the daughter of Carmine/William and Anna Bewley. On the marriage license application, he stated that his parents were Marcellus McNeal and Hattie Younkin and that his place of birth was Somerset County.
The known children from the second marriage were William Sherman Younkin Jr., Richard Younkin, Harry Younkin and Hattie Priscilla Younkin. Sadly, son William Jr. contracted pneumonia and died at the age of three months, 19 days, on Dec. 23, 1917, with burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery.
They made a home in Vanderbilt, Dunbar Township, Fayette County, where William toiled as a coal miner for W.J. Rainey Company. He also worked at times for the H.C. Frick Coke Company.
Burdened with syphilis and bleeding of the stomach, William died on Valentine's Day 1927. Interment was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery. The Connellsville Daily Courier published an obituary containing the Wyoming/Wild Bill claims. His passing left Jennie a widow at the age of 39.
Jennie survived her husband by 16 years, remaining in rural Dunbar Township, but without much of a source of income other than taking in lodgers. She endured hypertension in her final years and died from a cerebral hemorrhage on Nov. 11, 1943, at the age of 55. Her remains were lowered into eternal rest in Cochran Cemetery in Dawson. Daughter Harriet Younkin of Connellsville signed the death certificate.
Daughter Amanda Younkin (1901- ? ) was born in about 1901 in Connellsville. On April 24, 1923, when she would have been about 21 years of age, she was joined in holy wedlock with Charles Mortimer ( ? - ? ). The nuptials appear to have been held in Fayette County. The couple resided in Pittsburgh circa 1927.
Son Louis M. Younkin (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903 in Connellsville. In about 1923, when he was age 20, he was united in matrimony with 18-year-old Mabel (1905- ? ). They were the parents of Mabel L. Younkin and Phyllis M. Younkin. The couple initially lived in Pennsylvania but by 1927 had migrated to Oklahoma. When the federal census was taken in 1930, the Younkins made a home in Galveston, Galveston County, TX, where Louis had found employment as a machinist in a machine shop. Their address that year was on 38th Street.
Son Thomas Younkin (1905- ? ) was born in about 1905. He lived in Vanderbilt in 1927.
Daughter Rebecca Stafford "Becky" Younkin (1905-2001) was born in about 1905 in Connellsville. As a young woman, she resided in Connellsville and earned a living as a telephone operator with Tri-State Telephone Company and Uniontown Hospital. On April 18, 1926, at the age of 21, she was united in wedlock with 23-year-old laborer Charles E. "Jack" Shultz (1903-1983), a resident of Uniontown and the son of James and Anna (Denny) Shultz of Uniontown. The nuptials were held in Trinity Church in Washington, PA, with Rev. R.H. Gardner officiating. News of the wedding was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. The couple produced these known offspring, Charles E. Shultz, Shirley Rae White Coughanour, Robert T. Shultz and Roger R. Shultz. Charles earned a living as a roofer. Their home in 1927 was in Uniontown, in 1949-1950 at 420 Denniston Avenue in Pittsburgh and in 1983 in East Liberty. Evidence suggests that they belonged to the First Brethren Church. Jack passed away a day after Valentine's Day 1983. After Jack's death, Shirley dwelled in Highland Park. Death swept her away at the age of 94 on May 9, 2001. A death notice was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, stating that she was survived by a dozen grandchildren, two dozen great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Interment was in Allegheny Cemetery.
Son Richard Younkin ( ? - ? ) joined the U.S. Army. Circa 1927, he was assigned to the U.S. Cavalry, stationed at Fort Myer, VA.
Son Harry Younkin (1920- ? ) was born in 1920 in Connellsville. He lived at home with his parents in 1927 and at home with his widowed mother in 1930-1940. Unmarried at the age of 20 in 1940, he earned income as a road laborer in Dunbar Township.
Daughter Harriet Priscilla "Hattie" Younkin ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) in Connellsville. Unmarried in 1943, she signed her mother's official Pennsylvania certificate of death.