Mary "Polly" (Younkin) Smith Schrock was born in about 1807 in Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Jacob and Hannah (Nicola) Younkin Sr. She was but four years old when her father died. She never learned to read or write.
In 1821, when Polly was age 14, her brother Henry was named as her legal guardian.
Polly is believed to have been twice married. On Sept. 7, 1826, at about the age of 19, she was united in matrimony with her first husband, Eli Smith ( ? - ? ). Clues point to them having produced a daughter, Mary Smith, born in June 1841.
Sadly, Eli may have died young.
In 1845, evidence suggests that she became wedded to 40-year-old widower Aaron Schrock (Jan. 30, 1805-1890), son of John Schrock of near Berlin, Somerset County.
Aaron had been married once before, on May 15, 1825, to Catherine Meyers (Oct. 10, 1805-1840), daughter of Christian Meyers of Meyersdale. She had died at the age of 35 on Dec. 14, 1840, leaving him with four youngsters to raise. Thus he brought a number of children to the second union, among them Caroline Lynn, Edward Morgan Schrock, Amos Schrock and Capt. William Meyers Schrock.
Aaron's public school education "was an excellent one, being conducted in both German and English, and at the proper time he was apprenticed to a blacksmith to learn a trade which was in great demand in those days," said a biographical profile about him in the 1906 book, History of Bedford and Somerset Counties.
He became an expert in this as also in the manufacture of fine edge tools, for which his reputation was unsurpassed. He was always ready to take his full share of responsibility in conducting the affairs of his town or the country at large, and was for fifteen years a justice of the peace, was captain of a home military company, and held many minor offices. His political opinions were those of the Whig party, and later those of the Republicans. His religion was that of the Disciples or Christian church.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1850, the Schrocks made their home on a farm in Milford Township, Somerset County. Living under their roof that year were 13-year-old William Schrock, 28-year-old Jane Workman, nine-year-old Mary Smith and one-year-old Edward Conley (also spelled "Connelly").
The census of 1860 shows Polly's 19-year-old daughter "Mary Smith" and 12-year-old Edward Connelly in their Middlecreek Township household, with Mary's occupation listed as "domestic."
In 1870, still in Middlecreek, Aaron and Polly lived alone but employed a 19-year-old domestic servant, Catharine Geary.
Census records for 1880 show the couple in Middlecreek, with 15-year-old Anna B. Meyers living under their roof and "keeping house."
Aaron passed away at the age of 85 on Oct. 16, 1890. Burial was in Mount Union Cemetery in Upper Turkeyfoot.
Polly only lived for another year after her husband's passing. She succumbed on Oct. 14, 1891 in Middlecreek Township. The Somerset Herald reported that "Mrs. Aaron Schrock, step-mother of Capt. Wm. M. Schrock of this borough, died at her home in New Lexington, Saturday. She was past 85 years of age." She rests with her second husband at Mount Union. [Find-a-Grave]
Many years later, during the great Younkin re-awakening and national home-coming reunions of the 1930s, Polly's name came up in conversation or in letters between distant cousins researching the ancient family connections. In one example, Minnie (Younkin) Hall of Chicago wrote to Charles Arthur Younkin, publisher of the Younkin Family News Bulletin, stating that her father Dr. Edwin Younkin had a cousin Capt. William M. Schrock, born in 1837 in Pennsylvania, with whom he corresponded. As well, "Dorcas Jake" Younkin often spoke about having had an Aunt "Polly" Schrock.
~ Daughter Mary Elizabeth (Smith) Kregar ~
Daughter Mary Elizabeth Smith (1841-1919) was born on June 6, 1841 in Somerset County. She was very young when her father died and was about four when her mother wedded a second time to Aaron Schrock.
She grew up in the Schrock household in Middlecreek Township, Somerset County. Circa 1860, at the age of 19, she was listed by the census-taker as a "domestic."
She married Civil War Ephraim Smith Kregar Sr. (Aug. 22, 1842-1910), son of John "Dietrich" and Sarah (Shaulis) Kreger. The family name also has been spelled "Craiger" and "Kreeger" over time.
The couple produced at least eight children -- Norman Kreger, Harriet Jenny Redick, Ursina Bella Jahnig, Dora Ellen Gibson, Bessie M. Tarno, Mary E. Kreger, Ira Franklin Kreger and Ephraim Smith Kreger Jr.
During the Civil War, Ephraim served as a private with the 54th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C. He enlisted on Sept. 30, 1861 and received a discharge in 1864.
The young family first made a home in a community which was laid out in 1868 as "Ursina." Ephraim is recognized as having built the first house in the town, also in 1868, and then using it as a hotel. When a daughter was born that year, she was named "Ursina" in the town's honor.
Federal census enumeration records for 1870 show the Kreger family in Ursina, where Ephraim contniued to keep the hotel. Their post office at the time was Somerfield. Making a home in their household in 1870 were 19-year-old domestic servant Nancy Younkin, 26-year-old railroad contractor Samuel R. Johnson and 19-year-old laborer Christopher Beisinger.
During the decade of the 1870s, the family relocated by 1880 to Butler County, PA, where they made a home in Concord and in 1880 Ephraim earned a living as a laborer.
In April 1892, Ephraim was awarded a military pension. [Invalid App. #1.103.523 - Cert. #848.923]
Burdened with heart valve disease, he passed away in Greece City, Butler County on Aug. 11, 1910, just 11 days shy of his 68th birthday. Burial was in Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Chicora, Butler County. His grave was marked with a standard-issue military gravestone, but the name was misspelled "Kreegar." [Find-a-Grave]
Now widowed, Mary Elizabeth began receiving her late husband's pension. [Widow App. #948.978 - Cert. #711.950]
Her final years were spent living with her daughter Bessie at 237 Oak Street in Butler, Butler County, PA. Having suffered a stroke of apoplexy, she died at the age of 78 on Aug. 27, 1919. Interment was in Zion Cemetery. Daughter Bessie Tarno of 237 Oak Street in Butler was the informant for the certificate of death.
Son Norman B. Kreger (1867-1915) was born on May 9, 1867 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County.
Daughter Harriet "Jennie" Kreger (1867-1915) was born in about 1867 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County. She married (?) Redick ( ? - ? ). Her home in 1915 was in Washington Township, Butler County. Sadly, suffering from cancer of the rectum for three years, she died at the age of 49 on Aug. 2, 1915. Her remains were lowered into repose in Concord Cemetery.
Daughter Ursina Bella Kreger (1868-1935) was born on Dec. 13, 1868, the first child to be born in the town for which she was named, Ursina, Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County. When she was a girl, she joined her family in a migration to Butler County, PA. At the age of about 17, in 1886, Ursina wedded 22-year-old German immigrant August W. Jahnig (March 14, 1863-1930), son of Carol and Christinia (Herald) Jahnig, pronounced "Yah-nig." August had emigrated from Frankenburg, Saxony, Germany at the age of about three in 1867. They became the parents of seven children, among them Charles F. Jahnig, Dora C. Jahnig, William Cleveland Jahnig, Mary Elizabeth Carter, Edna Myrtle Wetzel, Viola Magdalene Burnham and Novella Antoinette Ehrman Carrier. The family lived in rural Buffalo Township near Saxonburg, Butler County, with August making a living as a farmer and lumberman. The Jahnigs' residence in 1930 was on Water Street in Saxonburg. August was stricken with pernicious anemia in about 1929 and lingered for a year before death at age 67 on July 15, 1930. William C. Jahnig of 226 Muntz Avenue in Butler signed the death certificate. Ursina outlived her husband by five years. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died in Our Lady of Woods Hospital in Donegal, Butler County on Jan. 30, 1935, at the age of 66. Burial was in Saxonburg Cemetery.
Daughter Dora Ellen Kreger (1873-1928) was born in 1873. She was united in holy matrimony with Martin "Luther" Gibson (Oct. 14, 1858-1926), son of David and Mary (Smith) Gibson and a native of Washington Township, Butler County. Luther made a living as a laborer. Their home in the mid-1920s was at 331 Mercer Street in Butler. Sadly, while bearing gangrene of his right foot, Martin underwent surgery on Feb. 1, 1926. Just three days later, post-surgery, he was stricken with a brain embolism and passed into eternity at the age of 67 on Feb. 4, 1926. Burial was in South Side Cemetery. She died three days after Christmas 1928. Her remains rest in Butler County Memorial Park and Mausoleum.
Daughter Bessie M. Kreger (1876-1939) was born on March 27, 1876 in Butler County. She was joined in wedlock with Ammon Aaron Tarno (1877-1957). They produced two children -- Merle "Lee" Tarno and Helen Mary Harrison. Their home in the 1930s was with their son Lee at 1005 Center Avenue in Butler, Butler County. Afflicted with inflammation of the lining of her arteries, she underwent amputation of her left leg in late November 1939. Post-surgery, she is believed to have suffered a pulmonary embolism and died at the age of 63 on Dec. 2, 1939. Son Lee signed her death certificate. Burial was in North Cemetery in Butler.
Daughter Mary E. Kreger (1878- ? ) was born in about 1878.
Son Ira Franklin "Frank" Kregar (1881-1953) was born on Jan. 23, 1881 in Greece City, Concord Township, Butler County. He was a longtime farmer. Ira married Alberta Hannah "Bertha" Elliott (1878-1958), daughter of J. Addison and Isabella (Michael) Elliott. In the early 1950s, they lived on a farm in rural Oakland Township, Butler County, along Route 38. At the age of 72, three days before Christmas 1953, while working on a roadway project seven miles north of the county seat of Butler, he was felled by a heart attack, collapsed and died. His remains rest for all time in Zioin Cemetery in Concord Township. Bertha lived for another five years and succumbed in 1958.
Son Ephraim Smith Kregar Jr. (1884-1933) was born on March 23, 1884 in Butler County. He was twice married. His first bride was Nettie Louise Voland Osterling ( ? - ? ), wo wedded on May 22, 1905. After a divorce in 1910, he wedded Marie Gierke ( ? - ? ). They made a home in Erie, where Ephraim was employed as a streetcar conductor. They went on to produce a son, Richard Alfred Kregar, who sadly died of heart valve disease and endocarditis at the age of 14 on Valentine's Day 1927. At the age of 49, Ephraim suffered heart failure and died on Aug. 19, 1933 in Erie. Burial was in North East Cemetery in Erie County.
When Ursina celebrated its centennial event in 1972, a story in the Meyersdale Republican acknowledged Ephraim as having built the first house in the town.
~ Stepdaughter Caroline (Schrock) Lynn ~
Stepdaughter Caroline Schrock (1826-1885) was born on March 12, 1826 in Middlecreek Township, Somerset County.
When she was about 21 years of age, in 1847, Caroline married William J. "W.J." Lynn (1822-1878).
The couple produced these known children -- Aaron Lynn, Mary J. "Jennie" Courter, Harriet Lynn, George W. Lynn, Amanda Permelia Halling, John S. Lynn, Amos Rittenhouse Lynn, Bell Lynn and Annie Lynn.
Circa 1864-1867, the Lynns made the momentous decision to migrate west to Iowa. They first went to Illinois, where their daughter Annie was born in 1867. Within a few years, by 1870, they settled on a farm in or near Liberty, Clarke County, IA, where they seem to have remained for good.
William's precise fate is not yet known, but he is believed to have died in 1878.
Caroline passed away at the age of 58 on Jan. 22, 1885. Burial was in Bethel Chapel Cemetery in Liberty. [Find-a-Grave]
Son Aaron Lynn (1849- ? ) was born in about 1849 in Pennsylvania.
Daughter Mary J. "Jennie" Lynn (1850-1941) was born in 1850. She married Tunis Courter ( ? - ? ). She died in 1941. [Find-a-Grave]
Daughter Harriet Lynn (1852- ? ) was born in about 1852 in Pennsylvania.
Daughter Amanda Permelia Lynn (1855-1920) was born in about 1855 in Pennsylvania. At the age of 25, unmarried, she lived with her parents in Liberty and performed housekeeping. She wedded Mathies E. Halling ( ? - ? ). She passed away in 1920. [Find-a-Grave]
Son John S. Lynn (1857- ? ) was born in about 1857 in Pennsylvania.
Son George W. Lynn (1860-1927) was born in 1860 in Pennsylvania. He was a longtime farmer. He died in Liberty in 1927. [Find-a-Grave]
Son Amos Rittenhouse Lynn (1862-1936) was born in 1862 in Pennsylvania. He grew up as a farmer and at age 18 lived at home and helped his father with farmwork. He wedded May M. (1870-1958). He passed into eternity in Liberty on April 4, 1936. [Find-a-Grave]
Daughter Bell Lynn (1864- ? ) was born in about 1864 in Pennsylvania.
Daughter Anna "Annie" Lynn (1867- ? ) was born in about 1867 in Illinois.
~ Stepson Edward Morgan Schrack ~
Stepson Edward Morgan Schrock (1828-1912) was born on Oct. 8, 1828 in Somerset County. He spelled his last name with the "a" in adulthood.
At the age of 18, he was a school teacher but then went into the merchant business. Said the 1906 History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, "He was a representative for Somerset county in the legislature for two terms, and prothonotary for one term. He held two commissions in the army during the Civil war, one as captain and one as major. At present (1906) he is a resident of Seattle, Washington."
He married Lydia Weigle (May 6, 1842-1917), daughter of Jacob J. and Sarah (Raymond) Weigle.
During the war, he joined the 133rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D.
He eventually received a military pension. [Invalid App. #924.367 - Cert. #787.346]
Edward died in Seattle on Oct. 12, 1912. Burial was in the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
After Edward's passing, Lydia then was granted the pension. [Widow App. #995.859 - Cert. 758.478] She returned to her native Somerset County with her home in Brothersvalley Township.
On Aug. 2, 1917, afflicted with heart valve disease and fluid buildup in her lungs, Lydia was swept away by the Grim Reaper at the age of 75. K.B. Coffroth of Pittsburgh was the informant for her official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Her remains were lowered into repose in Husband Cemetery in Somerset.
~ Stepson Amos Schrock ~
Stepson Amos Schrock (1832-1905) was born on Leap Day 1832.
Noted the the 1906 History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, he "was a manufacturer of and dealer in house furniture in Chicago for the greater part of his life. He died at the age of seventy-three years. He also held two commissions during the Civil war, as an army officer."
Amos wedded Naomi Miller (1835-1899).
In August 1879, he was granted a military pension as compensation for his wartime ailments. [Invalid App. #302.502 - Cert. #184.063]
Sadly, Naomi died in or near Chicago on Aug. 1, 1899.
Amos married a second time to Mary Jane (Auman) Hicks ( ? - ? ), also of Somerset County, PA.
Amos' final years were spent in Oakland, Alameda County, CA. He died there at the age of 73 on June 10, 1905. His remains were shipped to Chicago to rest with his first wife in Graceland Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Mary applied for, but was not granted, her late husband's pension. [Widow App. #839.029]
~ Stepson Capt. William Meyers Schrock ~
Stepson Capt. William Meyers Schrock (1837- ? ) was born on Aug. 19, 1837 in Somerset County.
He joined the Disciples of Christ Church, established in Somerset County by his step-uncle, Dr. Jonas Younkin. William was pictured and extensively profiled in the 1906 book, History of Bedford and Somerset Counties. The entry reads:
He was educated in the public schools of his native township, and in addition had the benefit of six months' attendance at a collegiate institute in Somerset Pennsylvania. At the early age of sixteen years he commenced to teach in the public schools, and assisted his father on the farm and in the blacksmith shop until he was eighteen years of age. He then obtained a position in a country store, and a year later, early in 1859, went with four companions to the west. They started with a three-yoke ox team and a supply of provisions to least them six months. They crossed the plains, then known as the Great American desert, in search of fold at Pike's Peak. In this search they were as unsuccessful as so many thousands of others, and Mr. Schrock returned to Somerset later in the same year, a bankrupt in money and worldly good, but rich in experience and knowledge of the then wild west. The exposure, suffering and misery of hundreds of people were heart-rending in the extreme. He again took up the work of a clerk in a store. Later, in 1870, with eldest brother, Edward, he established the Somerset Standard, a paper which enjoyed a considerable amount of popularity and influence. Later it was merged with another newspaper. In 1804, in connection with his son-in-law, John A. Lambert, he again established and began the publication of the Somerset Standard, and a few years later withdrew from this, leaving his son-in-law to continue the publication. Mr. Schrock has served his country and town in various capacities. He was for six years clerk for the county commissioners, and has always taken an active interest in all movements that tended to the welfare of the community. He is a civil engineer and for almost twenty-five years has been the engineer and superintendent for the construction of bridges in the county.
On Dec. 10, 1869, William was joined in wedlock with teacher Mary E. Foy ( ? - ? ), daughter of Rev. George and Catherine (Shank) Foy.
They went on to produce nine children -- Clora J. Barnett, Ellie Lutz, Carrie Lambert, Aaron F. Schrock, Julia M. Staniford, Minnie Hostetler, Lillie Schrock (who died in infancy), Susan Walker and Foy Schrock (who passed away at age five).
During the heart of the Civil War in 1863, responding to President Lincoln's call for more voluntary enlistments, William was living in New Centerville, Somerset County. Within a week, he recruited 80 men to serve in a local company. They remained in New Centerville until July 6, 1863, following the Battle of Gettysburg, when they marched to Berlin and received weapons. The company was ordered t report to Huntingdon, PA, and then served on provost duty during a military draft. In early September 1863, the company marched to Harrisburg and then Gettysburg:
...where they guarded the field hospital on the battlefield until it was dispensed with in the latter part of October. This company was also in active service at Lewisburg, Sunbury and Selins Grove. From December 11, 1863 until January 8, 1864, the Somerset company was in charge of the Soldiers' Retreat at Harrisburg, where frequently rations were provided for from five hundred to one thousand soldiers who dropped off from trains at meal times. The company was mustered out January 8, 1864. During the month of August, 1864, Mr. Schrock again assisted in recruiting a company, this time of one hundred men, and was chosen captain, on arriving at the place of rendezvous, which was at Pittsburg.... Here an artillery regiment which was in process of formation lacked a company with the requisite number of men, one hundred and forty-four. Aveteran officer had forty men under his charge and expressed his willingness to join forces with Captain Schrock's company if the captaincy were given to him. Mr. Schrock resigned his command in favor of this veteran, and accepted a lieutenancy in the same company. Soon after reaching the fortifications at Washington, where the regiment had been ordered, Mr. Schrock succumbed to the strain of his overwork, and was stricken with fever and sent to the hospital, where he was obliged to remain for two months, and was finally discharged from the Georgetown Seminary Hospital as being incapacitated for further active service. This was January 2, 1865.
After the war, he was a longtime member and adjustant of the R.P. Cummins Post of the Grand Army of the Republic.