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Photo of the Month
April 2020
See Previous Photos     Unknown Faces and Places


Lucinda (Steyer) Minerd (left) and her mother Celesta Ann (Growall) Steyer tend chickens at the family's coop in this image from the 1910s. The 70-acre farm was located at Maple Summit near the mountainous border of Fayette and Somerset Counties, PA and a short distance from the original Jacob and Maria (Nein) Minerd Sr. pioneer farm dating to 1791. The community was so small that while at one time it had a post office by the name of "Nicolay," it no longer exists.

Very little is known about Lucinda, not unlike many farm wives of the era who toiled in anonymity and rarely had her name printed in local newspapers. Her better-known husband Lawson F. Minerd was a longtime farmer, born at nearby Hexebarger near Kingwood, Somerset County, who moved to this mountain abode just after the Civil War. As the son of first cousins who were married to each other, Lawson was very close with both the Minerd and Harbaugh branches of the family. In fact, in the 1920s, he was elected president for several years of the annual Minerd-Miner Reunion of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Lawson served as a school director of Stewart Township, Fayette County and as an elder of the Peoples United Church of Maple Summit, also known as the Maple Summit Church of God, located just a short distance from their farm. Later, he was superintendent of the charter Sunday School of the newly built Hampton Church of God near Mill Run, and was teacher of its Bible Class.

The Minerd and Steyer families were close. Lutitia's sister, Jennie married Lawson's step-cousin, Marshall Ellsworth Rowan, and Lutitia's sister Ida wedded Lawson's and step-cousin Charles Ross Burkholder.

Lutitia and Lawson are named in several historical books. Among them are the 1912 volume by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette and Greene Counties, and the 1970 work A History of Mill Run, published by the History Committee of the Socialite Club.


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