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Abraham 'Abram' Younkin


Abraham "Abram" Younkin was born in May 1801 in Milford Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of Jacob and Hannah (Nicola) Younkin Sr. He was age 10 when his father died, and in May 1815, when Abraham reached the age of 14, John Gebhart was named as his legal guardian.

He married Mary Ann "Polly" Haupt (1803-1870).

Their known children were Amanda M. Reger, Anna Kantner, Margaret Pisel, Cyrus Younkin and Christianna "Christa" Fleck.


Page naming 'Abram' in Vogel's Tale of a Pioneer Church



Inventory of Abraham's estate, 1850

The Younkins made their longtime residence in Somerset Borough and Township. While an early member of the Disciples of Christ Church, he appears to have suffered from a streak of alcoholism. Circa the mid-1820s, said Peter Vogel's book Tale of a Pioneer Church, "the demon Drink always works such wicked havoc that it is still clearly remembered that Wm. Philson, Abram Younkin and Dr. Bruce, had to be frequently disciplined for drunkenness, and that their copious tears of penitence were never wholly able to wash this stain out of their natures." [Full text]

In October 1828, Abraham was elected by a wide margin to the post of County Auditor, a term which was to have lasted for three years. The election results were published in the Somerset Herald.

Abraham passed away at the age of 48 years, 11 months and 14 days on April 11, 1850. His remains were placed into eternal repose in Union Cemetery in Somerset.

An inventory was made of the assets of his estate, which collectively were valued at $66.00. The items included a table, bureau, set of chairs, clock, lot of books, looking glass, carpet, bedstead, trundle bed, cupboard, kitchen and dining tables, crocks, desk, clothing, chest and kettle.

When the federal census was taken later that year, the widowed Polly and their three offsprign lived under one roof in Somerset Borough.

She lived for another 20 years after her husband's death.

When the census again was taken in 1870, she dwelled with her married daughter and son in law Christa and Jacob Fleck in Somerset Borough.

Polly died on Oct. 6, 1870 at the age of 67 years, five months and 10 days. She reputedly rests in Union Cemetery in Somerset.


~ Daughter Amanda M. (Younkin) Reger ~

Daughter Amanda M. Younkin (1824-1900) was born on April 13, 1824 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA.

She married Thomas Reger ( ? -1858).

They produced one known son, Thomas M. Reger.

In about 1840, she joined the Disciples of Christ Church. Many years later, she was called "one of the pioneers" of the First Church of Christ of Altoona. In fact, circa 1910, there was a memorial stained glass window inscribed with her name at the church.

Sadly, Mr. Reger died in 1858, leaving her a widow, a role which she maintained for the remaining 42 years of her life. The Altoona (PA) Tribune once referred to her as "a good mother [who] had a large circle of friends."

In March 1899, suffering from nerve damage or paralysis, she was confined to her home, She died in February 1900 at the home of her son Thomas at the address of 1539 Ninth Street in Altoona, Blair County, PA. Funeral services were held in the Christian Chapel on Ninth Street near Sixth Avenue. Burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Altoona, with an obituary appearing in the Altoona Tribune and the Somerset Herald.


~ Daughter Anna (Younkin) Kantner ~

Daughter Anna Younkin (1833- ? ) was born in about 1833 in Somerset County, PA.

She was wedded to Joseph H. Kantner (1829- ? ), a native of Hagerstown, MD and the son of John F. Kantner.

They produced 11 known children -- among them Charles E. Kantner, Mary Kantner, Emma Kantner, John Kantner, Joseph H. Kantner Jr., Lucy Kantner, Annie Kantner, Harry Kantner, Carrie Kantner, Lillie Kantner and Howard Kantner, born over a 24-year sweep between 1852 and 1876.

For many years, the Kantners owned and operated a fulling mill which became "a well-equipped wollen mill," said the 1906 book History of Bedford and Somerset Counties. "Kantner is a large shipping point on the railroad, and has always been something of a business place."

Federal census records for 1880 place the family in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, where Joseph and his sons Charles, John and Joseph Jr. are listed as manufacturers.

The business was sold in 1884 to William L. Rininger.

In 1900, Anna made her home in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA or in Altoona, Blair County, PA.

Son Charles E. Kantner (1852-1918) was born three days before Christmas 1852 in Somerset County. At the age of 28 in 1880, unmarried, he lived at home with his parents in Quemahoning Township and assisted his father with a manufacturing business. He was married. Circa 1918, the Kantners dwelled in Somerset or Johnstown, where he earned a living as a messenger with the Pennsylvania Railroad. At the age of 65, suffering from syphilis of the brain, he was admitted to Conemaugh Valley Hospital in Johnstown and died there on Feb. 25, 1918. His remains were lowered into rest in Stoystown, Somerset County.

Daughter Mary Kantner (1855- ? ) was born in about 1855 in Somerset County.

Daughter Emma Kantner (1857- ? ) was born in about 1857 in Somerset County.

Son John F. Kantner (1860- ? ) was born on June 20, 1860 in Somerset, Somerset County. In 1880, single at the age of 20, he worked with his father and brothers in a manufacturing business. He eventually married Clara ( ? - ? ). The family resided in Somerset, where he worked as a court officer for the County of Somerset. Stricken with cancer of the bowels, which spread to the liver, he died at the age of 67 on May 4, 1928. Miss Mary L. Kantner of Somerset signed the death certificate, with burial in Husband Cemetery.

Son Joseph H. Kantner (1862-1928) was born on Oct. 10, 1862 in Somerset County, PA. When he was 17 years of age, Joseph labored with his father and brother as manufacturers in Quemahoning Township. He married Della Mangus (April 8, 1867-1942), daughter of Levi B. and Alice (Wagner) Mangus of Somerset County. They resided at 609 Elder Street in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. Joseph was a longtime machinist in Johnstown for Lorain Steel Company. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at home on June 6, 1928 at the age of 65. Burial was in Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown. Della survived him by 14 years and remained in their home. She was afflicted with heart disease which led to a cerebral embolism and death at the age of 75 on July 10, 1942. Charles S. Kantner of Jerome, PA signed her official death certificate.

Daughter Lucy Kantner (1865- ? ) was born in about 1865 in Somerset County.

Daughter Annie Kantner (1867- ? ) was born in about 1867 in Somerset County.

Son Harry Grant Kantner (1868-1952) was born on April 26, 1868 in Kantner, Somerset County. He married Else Schubert ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles H. and Barbara Schubert. In about 1922, the Kantners relocated to Westmont, Cambria County, PA. Harry earned a living there as a wholesale foods broker. Their address in the 1950s was 834 Edgehill Drive. For the last five-and-a-half years of his life, Harry was burdened with hardening of the arteries and hypertension. He contracted colon cancer in early 1952 and endured the illness for the last six months of his life. He then was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and died at home at the age of 84 on Nov. 7, 1952. Interment was in Johnstown's Grandview Cemetery.

Daughter Carrie Kantner (1871- ? ) was born in about 1871 in Somerset County. She may have married George Herman Herzberger in 1905.

Daughter Lillie Kantner (1873- ? ) was born in about 1873 in Somerset County.

Son Howard Kantner (1876- ? ) was born in about 1876 in Somerset County.


~ Daughter Margaret (Younkin) Pisel ~

Daughter Margaret Younkin (1835-1906) was born on July 14, 1835.

She was wedded to James Pisel (1835- ? ), son of Joseph and Anna Pisel.

Their known children were Ellen Pisel, Charles Pisel, Mary Pisel, Edward Pisel.

When the federal census was taken in 1860, the family dwelled in Somerset Borough, with James earning a living as a shoemaker. They remained in the borough through the 1860s and were there in 1870, with James continuing his work manufacturing shoes.

By 1880, the Pisels made the decision to relocate the shoemaking business to Akron, Summit County, OH, where they are shown on the census that year, with their 15-year-old son Edward still living in their home. They were still in Akron in May 1891 when receiving word of the death of James' widowed mother in Somerset.

Margaret is reputed to have died on St. Patrick's Day 1906. The site of her burial is not yet known.


Somerset Herald, April 14, 1875
Courtesy Dan Floyd and the Library of Congress
East Cleveland Cemetery
Courtesy Dan Floyd

Daughter Ellen Ralston "Ella" Pisel (1857-1922) was born on Jan. 9, 1857 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. On April 8, 1875, at the age of 18, she was united in marriage with 25-year-old William M. Johns (Aug. 14, 1849-1892), also of Somerset. L.F. Bittle officiated at the wedding, with the news covered in the pages of the Somerset Herald. The Johnses produced three known children, and perhaps more -- Charles Johns, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Johns and Margaret "Maggie" Johns. By 1880, the couple migrated to Ohio, making their new home in Akron, Summit County, where he found work as a plasterer. Sadly, William died on March 4, 1892, at the age of 42. The cause of his untimely passing is not yet known. His remains were placed into repose in East Cleveland Cemetery. Ella survived her spouse by three decades. As a widow, Ella maintained a home at 2830 Sedgwick Road in Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga County. She suffered for a decade from heart problems and, on Dec. 2, 1922, died from acute gastritis at the age of 65. Interment was in East Cleveland Cemetery, with daughter Mrs. C.L. Anderson signing the official Ohio certificate of death. On the document, the maiden name of Ella's mother was written as "Duncan" instead of "Younkin."

  • Grandson Charles Johns (1875- ? ) was born in about 1875 in Somerset County, PA.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" Johns (1877- ? ) was born in about 1877 in Somerset County, PA.
  • Granddaughter Margaret "Maggie" Johns (1878- ? ) was born in about 1878 in Somerset County, PA.

Son Charles L. Pisel (1858-1924) was born on March 28, 1858 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. When a young man, he relocated with his parents to Akron, Summit County, OH and obtained work in a match factory. He married Lovina Winkelman (1861- ? ), daughter of Mary Winkelman. Circa 1880, the newlyweds resided with Lovina's widowed mother in Akron. At some point he was named superintendent of the Peoples Savings & Loan Company building in Akron. Circa 1920, the Pisels moved to 33 North Forge Street in Akron. Charles was burdened with heart and kidney problems and died at the age of 66, on Dec. 1, 1924, from the effects of acute kidney infection. Burial was in Glendale Cemetery. In providing details for the Ohio death certificate, Lovina spelled her mother-in-law's maiden name as "Young."

Daughter Mary Pisel (1860- ? ) was born in 1860 in Somerset, Somerset County.

Son Edward Pisel (1865-1944) was born on March 28, 1865 or 1866 in Somerset, Somerset County. As a boy, he relocated with his parents to Akron, Summit County, OH, and in 1880, as a 15-year-old, worked there in a pottery. He married Hulda (?). Over the years, Edward made a living as a carpenter. In the 1930s, he moved to 3722 Meadowbrook Drive in University Heights, Cuyahoga County, OH. On the fateful night of April 20, 1944, while Edward was smoking, his clothes caught fire and he was burned to death. The coroner examined the body and noted extensive second and third degree burns. Burial was in Cleveland's Lakeview Cemetery, in Section 4, lot 669. Hulda signed the death certificate, giving her mother-in-law's maiden name as "Margaret Bevens."


~ Son Cyrus Younkin ~

Son Cyrus Younkin (1838- ? ) was born in 1838. Nothing more about him is known, and evidence suggests that he may have died young.


~ Daughter Christianna (Younkin) Fleck ~

Daughter Christianna "Christa" Younkin (1844-1910) was born on Nov. 14, 1844. She was just six years old when her father died.

In July 1869, when she was 25 years of age, she married 31-year-old carpenter Jacob Fleck Jr. (Sept. 16, 1837-1908), who was seven years older than she, and the son of Jacob and Nancy (Friedline) Fleck Sr.

The couple produced these known children -- Frank R. Fleck, Mary G. Fleck and Margaret L. "Maggie" Fleck.

In 1870, the couple made their home in Somerset Borough, and Christianna's 67-year-old widowed mother lived under their roof, and next door to her married sister Margaret Pisel. When the census enumeration was made in 1880, the Flecks dwelled in the borough, with Jacob working as a "laborer."

By the early 1900s, Jacob had become an invalid, suffering from "catarrh" of the stomach and urinary tract infection. He succumbed at the age of 71 on Oct. 18, 1908. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in Husband Cemetery in Somerset. Son Frank, living in Pittsburgh, signed the certificate of death.

Christa outlived her husband by two years. Burdened with kidney failure, she suffered a stroke of paralysis on March 20, 1910, and lingered for nearly a month. The Grim Reaper finally swept her away at the age of 65 on April 17, 1910. She joined her husband in burial in Husband Cemetery, with daughter Mary Kammerer providing details for the death certificate.

Son Frank R. Fleck (1872- ? ) was born in 1872 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. During the 1890s, he earned a living with the Adams Express Company and then in 1900 was promoted to messenger between Pittsburgh and Oil City. His home was in Pittsburgh in 1908 and in Johnstown in 1916.

Daughter Mary Grace Fleck (1874-1924) was born on Jan. 29, 1874 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. She married Charles W. Kammerer ( ? - ? ) and dwelled in Somerset circa 1908-1924. They were the parents of Christine K. Laughrey. At the age of 46, she was stricken with pulmonary tuberculosis and influenza and died on March 24, 1924. Interment was in Husband Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Christine K. Fleck (1908-1996) was born on Sept. 8, 1908 in Somerset. She married Richard E. Laughrey. One daughter was born to this marriage, Mary Gochnour. In later life, Christine moved to La Mirada, CA to reside near or with her married daughter. She died there at age 87 on March 12, 1996. Her remains were transported back to Somerset to rest in Husband Cemetery. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American noted that she was survived by three granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.


Daughter Margaret L. "Maggie" Fleck (1879- ? ) was born in 1879 in Somerset, Somerset County, PA. On June 15, 1905, she was united in wedlock with Elmer O. Long ( ? - ? ), a resident of Johnstown. The nuptials were held at the home of her sister Mary Grace. At the time of marriage, Elmer was a former worker for Somerset Coal Company. The newlyweds established their first home at 716 Somerset Street in Johnstown, Cambria County.


Copyright 2016-2017 Mark A. Miner

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