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John Henry Kennedy
(1871-1953)

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery

John Henry Kennedy was born in 1871 in the Webster community near Grafton, Taylor County, WV, the son of Josiah and Ruth Ann (Minerd) Kennedy Sr. He moved back and forth from Grafton to Ohio during the 1890s and early 1900s. 

In 1896, at the age of 25, he married 15-year-old Emma "Emmie" Mayle (1881-1970), the daughter of Reece and Martha (Mayle) Mayle. John was a decade older than his bride. 

They had 11 children -- Maybelle Norris Hale Johnson, Carrie Minard, Everett (Ernest?) Kennedy, William " Edward" Kennedy, Myrtle Dickinson, Almeda Thompson, Homer Romanus "Jim" Kennedy, Ruth A. Hill, Pauline Sephfus Flowers, Hayward Kennedy and Louisa Tabler Thomas. 

The Kennedys lived in Knottsville, Taylor County when the census of 1910 was taken, and John labored as a farmer. By 1920, they had moved to Zanesville, Muskingum County, OH, where their home was on Walnut Street. In Zanesville, John worked as a laborer in a local iron works, and son Ernest was employed in a glass house. The family were members of the Bethel Ridge United Methodist Church. 

During the 1920s, the Kennedys moved again to Sharpsburg, Bern Township, Athens County, OH. The family may have been drawn to the region by the active coal mines operating in the region. John's elder half-brother Stephen T. Minerd was a longtime miner and had relocated there with his family by the early 1890s. Today, ruins of abandoned and razed mining facilities abound in the region.

When the 1930 census was enumerated, John and Emma and family lived in Sharpsburg. The entire family of husband, wife and seven children were all marked as "Negro" in that census, and all as having been born in West Virginia. John's occupation was given as farmer, while sons Ernest and William were workers in a glass factory. 

 

Mount Hermon Church - Bern Township, Athens County, OH

 

John passed away at home near Sharpsburg at the age of 82 on Nov. 5, 1953. Following the funeral at the Mount Hermon Church, he was laid to rest in the Mount Hermon Cemetery, where many of his Minerd/Minard cousins also rest for eternity. At the time, he had 28 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. 

Emma outlived John by 17 years in her residence at 415 East Indiana Street in Zanesville. During that time she suffered the deaths of five of their children. 

She died in 1970 at the age of 89 at Mary's Rest Home near Zanesville, said the Zanesville Times Recorder, "leaving 113 survivors," including 33 grandchildren and 74 great-grandchildren. She was laid to rest beside her husband and son Ernest.

~ Daughter Maybell (Kennedy) Norris Hale Johnson ~

Daughter Maybell Kennedy (1897-1972) was born on Jan. 30, 1897 in Berryburg, Barbour County, WV or on May 15, 1899 in Athens County. (Records differ.) 

She was thrice married. On May 15, 1917, when she was 18 (or 20) years of age, she was united in marriage with 22-year-old Solomon T. Norris (1895- ? ). He was the son of Catherine Norris, did not know his father's name, and was a native of Cutler, Washington County, OH. The nuptials were celebrated in Zanesville by Rev. W.H. Mayle. At the time of marriage, Solomon worked in Zanesville as a porter in a local hotel. 

 

Old Methodist Church, Chesterhill

The couple produced one known daughter, Pansy Louise Norris. Sadly, the child died at the age of two months, 26 days on Oct. 28, 1918, due to bronchial pneumonia. The remains were placed at rest in Zanesville's Greenwood Cemetery.

Sadly, by 1920, the marriage had fallen apart, and Solomon went to live with his aged uncle, Nervey Norris. The divorce was decreed in 1922 in Muskingum County. 

Maybell was married for a second time, to Norris Hale ( ? - ? ). Their whereabouts in 1930 are unknown. The second marriage also ended in divorce, in 1931, also in Muskingum County. After the second divorce, she moved to Rendville, Perry County, OH.

On July 1, 1937, in Perry County, OH, at the age of 38, Maybell was united in wedlock a third time, to 43-year-old Fred B. Johnson (1894- ? ). Rev. Arthur D. Barham solemnized the wedding vows. Fred was the son of Richard and Victoria (French) Johnson, and had been married and divorced twice before (in 1923 and 1937). Fred worked as a car washer in Zanesville, otherwise known as a "porter" for a "motor sales" company.

The Johnsons had no children, and made their home on Lee Street in Zanesville in 1940, Sharpsburg later in the 1940s and back in Zanesville in the 1950s. Circa 1960, her address in Zanesville was 513 Baker Street.

Maybelle was found dead in her home on 819 Howard Street in Zanesville on Sept. 8, 1972, at the age of 73. Her funeral was held in at the Mount Hermon Community Church near Sharpsburg, with Rev. Henry Mayle leading the service. Burial was in the adjoining cemetery, and an obituary was printed in the Zanesville Times Recorder.

Her niece Reathel Kennedy was named executrix of the estate. In the terms of her will, she bequeathed her estate to Reathel and her husband Edward, excepting for real estate at 519 Amelia Street in Zanesville, which she gifted to Harvey Harris.

 

Carrie Kennedy Minard

~ Daughter Carrie (Kennedy) Minard ~

Daughter Carrie Kennedy (1901-1960) was born on March 22, 1901, in Philippi. 

She is believed to have married a cousin, Stephen Minard, and initially lived on Sandy Creek near Philippi, WV. If so, their nuptials were held on Nov. 11, 1919, by the hand of Rev. T.H. Smith of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At the time, Carrie was age 20 and Stephen 25, with both living in Barbour County.

They did not reproduce.

Carrie apparently was arrested in late August 1939 for cavorting naked in public with a male companion, Early Kisner. Her name at that time, as spelled by the Philippi Republican newspaper, was "Miner." She eventually relocated to Athens County, OH.

After Carrie's marriage to Stephen Minard ended, she began to cohabitate with Warren "Pie" Tabler (1897-1962), son of Adam and Julia Ann (Goins) Tabler of Broadwell, Athens County, OH. 

Warren had been married and widowed once before, in 1917, to Vesta Mae Hill (1898-1942), daughter of John and Lelia (Anderson) Hill of Utley, Athens County. 

 

Philippi Republican, 1939

He brought two sons to the relationship with Carrie -- Leroy Eldon Tabler and Willard "Pucker" Tabler, both of Lathrop, Athens County, OH.

Warren was a coal miner at the Black Diamond Mine circa 1942. He was retired by 1962.

Circa 1953-1960, Carrie made her home in Sharpsburg Route 1, Athens County. There, she was a member of the Bethel Methodist Church.

Carrie died in the home she shared with Warren on Oct. 16, 1960, at the age of 59. Said the Zanesville Times-Recorder, she had "suffered a long illness." Following funeral services officiated by Rev. Ralph Tate at Mount Hermon Evangelical United Brethren Church, she was buried in Mount Hermon Cemetery, in the Tabler plot with Warren's first wife Vesta. 

As a widower, Warren only survived his wife by two years, and resided near Stewart. 

 

Lathrop Mission Church, one of the few remaining vestiges of the community

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery

Tragedy befell him at age 66 on June 2, 1962, when he got into an argument with 68-year-old Merl Thomas Roberts at the Roberts home in Bern Township, about 15 miles northeast of Athens, Athens County. While Percella Roxenna (age 58) watched, Warren was bludgeoned into unconsciousness in his bedroom, followed by death. Reported a newspaper, "Athens County authorities said Tabler died of head injuries apparently caused when struck by a blunt instrument." Burial was in the Mount Hermon Evangelical United Brethren Church Cemetery. Athens County Sheriff Harold Shields filed second degree murder charges against Roberts on June 11, 1962, and the accused entered no plea when arraigned.

Warren's son Willard "Pucker" Tabler (1918 -1990) was born on Feb. 24, 1918 in Lathrop, Athens County. He lived in Canton in 1965 and in 1975 married Carrie's much younger sister, Louise (Kennedy) Thomas. See her entry below.

Warren's son Leroy Eldon Tabler (1926-1965) was born on June 21, 1926 in Lathrop, Athens County. As an adult, he resided in Sharpsburg and later at 818 South Diamond Street in Ravenna. He married Naomi (Norman) Norris ( ? - ? ), who brought a son from a previous marriage, Robert Norris. Leroy worked for Chrysler Corporation's Twinsburg plant as a lift operator for many years. He suffered a heart attack at home and died at the age of 38, in Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, on March 25, 1965. Burial was in Mount Hermon Cemetery, with Rev. Ralph Tate preaching the funeral service. Inscribed at the top of his grave marker are the words "Husband." An obituary was printed in the Zanesville Times-Recorder.

 

Ernie Kennedy

~ Son Everett Ernest Kennedy ~

Son Everett Ernest Kennedy (1902-1948) was born in 1902 in Taylor County, WV. 

He "lived in Zanesville most of his life," said the Zanesville Times Recorder

In Zanesville, Ernie was employed at the Morrison Motor Company. The company, founded in 1920 as Morrison Studebaker, was a dealer for Studebaker automobiles. Later, after Studebaker merged with Packard, but unfortunately went out of business in about 1966, the company turned to selling Pontiacs and Cadillacs.

Everett married Beulah Gibson ( ? - ? ) and resided in Zanesville. 

They had no children. 

Everett died at home of a heart attack on Jan. 10, 1948, at the age of 44. His funeral was held at the residence of his parents in Sharpsburg. He was buried in what became the Kennedy family plot at Mount Hermon Cemetery, and was joined there in eternal rest by his father in 1953 and mother in 1970.

Beulah's fate is not yet known.

~ Son William "Edward" Kennedy ~

 

  

William "Edward" and Reathel (Mayle) Kennedy

Son William "Edward" Kennedy (1906-1989) was born on April 8, 1906. 

In early adulthood, he earned a living as a glass worker in Zanesville.

On July 20, 1930, when he was age 24 and she 23, Edward married widow Reathal (Mayle) Cook (1907-1989), daughter of Carl and Ella (Hill) Mayle of Sharpsburg. Rev. Robert Mayle officiated. The Zanesville Signal reported the news of their marriage license and noted that "Principals are colored."

Reathal had been married once before. Her first husband was road construction worker Emmett Cook (1898-1928), son of George and Josephine (Mayle) Cook, and had become widowed on May 8, 1928 when he succumbed to pneumonia and influenza. Reathel brought a son to the second marriage, Lloyd Harold "Buck" Cook.

 

The Kennedys had these children of their own: James Edward Kennedy, John Lewis Kennedy Sr., Herman Kennedy, Shirley Rush, Susie Rush, Rose Lee Mayle, twins Mary Fern Kennedy and Garry Vern Kennedy and Nancy Dalton.

Sadly, in November 1944, their month-old twins Mary Fern and Garry Vern both died of "acidosis and dehydration" at Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Franklin County, OH, with burial at Mount Hermon Cemetery. 

In 1961, the couple resided in Sharpsburg. William later moved to nearby Chesterhill, Morgan County, OH, where he labored as a coal miner and construction laborer.

Reathal passed into eternity on Oct. 1, 1989, at the age of 82.

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery

William only outlived his wife by a little more than two weeks' time. He died at Marietta Memorial Hospital on Oct. 16, 1989, at the age of 83. His remains were interred beside his wife's in historic Mount Hermon Cemetery. At his death, said the Zanesville Times Recorder, he was survived by 33 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.

Son James Edward Kennedy (1931- ? ) was born on Aug. 18, 1931 in Athens County. As a young man, he obtained work as a coal miner and laborer in Sharpsburg, Athens County. On April 4, 1950, in Morgan County, OH, the 19-year-old James was united in wedlock with 14-year-old Shirley Ann Mayle (Oct. 20, 1935-1998), daughter of Robert and Lavada (Ramsey) Mayle of Canton. The couple made Canton their home for many years. They produced eight known children -- Trudy Kennedy, Judy Kennedy, James Kennedy, David Kennedy, Diana Eichelberger, Tracy Joyce, Michael Kennedy and Daniel Kennedy. After James' death (details are not yet known), Shirley remained in Canton and survived him by a number of years. At the age of 62, as a patient in a long-term care facility, Shirley died on June 28, 1998.

  • Granddaughter Trudy Kennedy
  • Granddaughter Judy Kennedy
  • Grandson James Kennedy
  • Grandson David Kennedy
  • Granddaughter Diana Kennedy wed David Eichelberger.
  • Granddaughter Tracy Kennedy married (?) Joyce.
  • Grandson Michael Kennedy was united in wedlock with Lela.
  • Grandson Daniel Kennedy was joined in matrimony with Ann.

Son John Lewis Kennedy Sr. (1938-2002) was born on March 13, 1938. As an adult he served in the as a specialist fourth class in the U.S. Army and afterward resided in Chesterhill. He married Genevieve Sybil "Jenny" Mayle (1942-2014), daughter of Sidney and Myrtle (Kennedy) Mayle Sr. They had four children -- Jackie Martindale, Dean Kennedy, John Lewis Kennedy Jr. and David Edward Kennedy. The family were members of the Chesterhill Church of Christ. In 1982, they endured the heartache of the sudden death of their 15-year-old son David. John died on Aug. 12, 2002, at the age of 64, with burial in Mount Hermon Cemetery. After John's passing, Jenny made her home in Stockport, OH. She died at the age of 72, at Highland Oaks of McConnelsville, on Dec. 5, 2014. Interment was in Mount Hermon Cemetery following a funeral service preached by Elder Torrence Brown.

Son Herman Elwood "Bill" Kennedy (1942- ? ) was born on Oct. 20, 1942. He made his home in Chesterhill and married Peggy Johnson ( ? - ? ). Their children included Laura Seyfried Mayle, Herman Elwood "Bill" Kennedy, Macky Seyfried, Bill Kennedy and LeAnna Seyfried.

  • Granddaughter Laura Seyfried was married to (?) Mayle.
  • Grandson Nickolas A. "Nicky" Kennedy (1966-2013) was born on Jan. 4, 1966 in Marietta, Washington County, OH. He was joined in matrimony with Kimberly Robertson ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in Athens, Athens County, OH and had three children -- Brandon Kennedy, Nickolas Kennedy Jr. and Brittney Kennedy. Over the years, Nicky earned a living as a laborer, primarily for Shelly and Sands of Zanesville. He also was a member of the Union Hall Local 639 of Marietta. At the age of 47, Nicky died at home on Oct. 7, 2013. Funeral services were held at the Mt. Hermon Church, led by Pastor J.R. Walker, with interment in the adjoining cemetery.
  • Grandson Macky Seyfried resides in Waverly, OH.
  • Grandson Bill Kennedy lives in Chesterhill, OH.
  • Granddaughter LeAnna Seyfried makes her home in Chesterhill.

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery

Daughter Shirley A. Kennedy (1940- ? ) was born on Feb. 4, 1940. On Oct. 25, 1958, when she was 18 years of age, Shirley was united in holy matrimony with 17-year-old William D. Rush (1941-1990). The couple dwelled in Chesterhill. Sadly, William passed away on Nov. 20, 1990 at the age of 49. His remains were interred in Mount Hermon Cemetery. On their onyx-colored grave marker is etched an 18-wheeled flatbed truck and are inscribed the words "Highway to Heaven" and also "We'll never have to say goodbye again."

Daughter Susan Belle "Susie" Kennedy (1932-living) was born in about 1932 in Athens County. On Feb. 2, 1953, the 21-year-old Susie married 22-year-old Robert Duane "Bobby" Rush (Sept. 2, 1930-2002), son of William Rush of Malta, OH. They were united in wedlock in Morgan County, OH. During the Korean War, Robert served in the U.S. Army. After the war, they made their residence in Chesterhill. The couple produced seven children -- Robert Rush, twins Larry Rush and Garry Rush, Ryan Rush, Joey Rush, Patricia "Tret" Norris and Steven Ray Rush. Sadly, they endured the death of son Steven on Sept. 9, 1973 at age 19. During his lifetime, Robert also was married to Helen Tabler ( ? - ? ). Robert and Helen had two children of their own -- Judy Mayle and Joyce Norris. Robert passed away in Marietta on April 1, 2002.

Daughter Rose Lee Kennedy (1935-1985) was born on Feb. 3, 1935. As a teenager she dwelled in Chesterhill. At the age of 17, she married 33-year-old Wilfred Dale Mayle (1918- ? ), son of Wilfred D. and Margaret (Croston) Mayle of Marion Township, Morgan County, OH. The wedding ceremony took place on July 8, 1952 in Morgan County. Wilfred was a farmer in Bartlett, OH. They had two children -- Carol Mayle and Jeff Mayle. Rose died on Oct. 28, 1985, with interment in Mount Hermon Cemetery. Wilfred is buried in Chesterhill Cemetery.

 

Lloyd "Buck" Cook

Daughter Nancy Mae Kennedy (1947-1973) was born on Nov. 13, 1947. She wed Sheldon "Shelly" Dalton ( ? - ? ). They had three children -- Stacy Dalton, Amy Dalton and Kelly Dalton. Sadly, Nancy died on March 28, 1973 at the untimely age of 27, leaving her husband with three young offspring.

Stepson Lloyd Harold "Buck" Cook (1927-2010) was born on Aug. 19, 1927 in Washington County, OH. He was only a boy of age one when his father died, and age three when his mother married again. He thus considered William "Edward" Kennedy as a father figure. Buck wed Damsel Jewell Ramsey (1925-2000), the daughter of Leslie and Ethel "Athalie" (Mayle) Ramsey. Damsel is said to not have liked her name, and friends urged her to go by her middle name, although she apparently never did. The couple resided in Cutler and Chesterhill and raised a family of children -- Rhonda Tabler, Monte Cook, Emmett Leslie Cook, Gregory A. Cook and Brenda Spanks, as well as foster son Harry Vore. Lloyd was a longtime cement finisher and in his free time enjoyed hunting, fishing and gardening. Damsel passed away on Dec. 2, 2000 at the age of 75 at Marietta Memorial Hospital. She is mentioned by name in the 2003 publication The Multicultural Genealogical Center Heritage Cookbook, volume one. Lloyd survived her by nearly a decade and remained in his home in Chesterhill. During that time, he endured the untimely death of his son Gregory. Lloyd passed away on May 6, 2010 at the age of 82. Burial was in Mount Hermon Cemetery. In an obituary, the Marietta Times reported that he was survived by 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter. The words "Precious Memories" are inscribed at the top of their grave marker.

  •   

    Multicultural Genealogical Center cookbooks

    Grandson Emmett Leslie Cook (1960-2011) was born on April 21, 1960 in Cutler, Washington County, OH. Emmett married Kimberly Hutchins who had three children to an earlier marriage -- Dana Hutchins, Shale Morrow and Lacy Hoffett. Following his father's trade, Emmett was a longtime cement finisher and belonged the local union no. 132 in Columbus. He also enjoyed fishing and hunting and was a member of the Mount Oliver Chapel in Amesville. Sadly, while at Lake Panasoffkee, FL, Emmett died at the age of 51 on May 14, 2011. His remains were brought back to Ohio for repose in the Mount Hermon Cemetery, following a funeral preached by Pastor J.R. Walker. His obituary was printed in the Marietta Times.

  • Grandson Gregory A. "Greggy" Cook (1963-2009) was born on April 4, 1963 in Chesterhill. He resided in Chesterhill and attended the local Methodist church. He died at the age of 46 on April 8, 2009 at Selby General Hospital in Marietta. Burial was in Mount Hermon Cemetery in Amesville, Athens County, OH, with Rev. Delbert Bennett officiating. Inscribed on his grave marker is the phrase "God needed another angel."
  • Granddaughter Rhonda Cook married Jeffrey Tabler. She is active in preserving her heritage and has served as board secretary of the Multicultural Genealogical Center in Chesterhill, Morgan County, OH. She and her husband Jeff contributed recipes for homemade bread, spaghetti sauce, fruit pizza and strawberry pizza for the 2003 book The Multicultural Genealogical Center Heritage Cookbook, volume one. As well, Rhonda's daughter Amber created the cover artwork used for both volumes of the set. In her recipe for bread, Rhonda wrote: "To feed the large families they had back then, the original recipe had much larger measurements. For example, 25 lb. bags of flour were used when making a batch of bread. The two ingredients that didn't change as the recipe was passed down are Robin Hood All Purpose Flour and Red Star Yeast." In the fall of 2014, Rhonda was interviewed on camera in Philippi, WV, discussing the Mayle family's enclave in the town's Chestnut Ridge section, for the popular Public Broadcasting System's television show, Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates. The episode aired on Nov. 25, 2014. Also interviewed on the show were Amy (Nichols) Reid of the family of Opha C. Kennedy and Alexandra Finley whose history honors thesis at Ohio State University referenced Minerd.com as a source for her research, entitled "Founding Chestnut Ridge: the Origins of Central West Virginia's Multiracial Community."
  • Granddaughter Brenda S. Cook (1954-2016) was born on Sept. 2, 1954 in Sharpsburg. She was twice married. Her first husband was (?) Norris. They produced three children -- Debbie Norris, Leslie Norris and Christy Norris. Later, she was wedded to Clinton A. "Clint" Spanks (1929-2003), son of Alan and Jane Anna "Dulcie" (Smith) Spanks of Blaine, Mississippi. They made their home in Columbus, Franklin County, OH. Clint was twice widowed and served in the Korean War before marrying Brenda. He brought a daughter to the marriage, Genevieve "Missy" Spanks. Reported the Morgan County Herald: "She worked in the cleaning industry, specializing in warehouses. She attended the Mt. Hermon Church, near Amesville, and loved the outdoors and fishing." Clint was a specialist in automotive transmission and worked at shops on South Fourth Street and South 22nd Street in Columbus prior to retirement in 2001. He also enjoyed fishing and hunting. He died in Columbus on Oct. 14, 2003, with burial in Greenlawn Cemetery in Columbus. An obituary was printed in the Columbus Dispatch. Brenda survived her husband by 13 years. Suffering from cancer, she died at home at the age of 61 on April 22, 2016. Pastor J.R. Walker officiated at her funeral service, held at Mt. Hermon, followed by interment in the church cemetery.
  • Grandson Monte Cook wed Kay and lives in Chesterhill.
  • Foster grandson Harry F. Vore ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He married Mildred M. Tabler (Oct. 3, 1941-2007), daughter of Walter "Ted" and Freda (Singer) Tabler of Kilvert, Athens County. They made their residence in Cutler and Vincent, OH, and their two offspring were Todd Vore and Stacey L. Vore. Their home was on Tick Ridge Road in Vincent. Mildred was employed by Dupont Chemical in Parkersburg for 38 years as an accounting clerk. Active in the community, she was a longtime member of the Kilvert Church, where she served as treasurer, played piano and taught Sunday school. She also was a founder of the Multicultural Genealogical Center in Chesterhill, Morgan County, an organization with a mission to “be a non-profit organization documenting the contributions of multicultural and multiracial families to the social, cultural, political, religious, educational and economic development of the Ohio River Valley.” She was treasure of the Center's Building Fund, and In July 2001, she made a presentation at the Center entitled "Tribute to Ted Tabler." In addition, she was treasurer of the Federal Valley Senior Center and a member of the Marietta Senior Citizen Club. After a lifetime of accomplishment, Mildred died five days before Christmas 2007 at the age of 66. Rev. Steve Skellett and Rev. Charles Buck led the funeral services followed by burial at Kilvert Cemetery near Stewart. In an obituary, the family requested that any memorial donations be made to the Tabler Linscott Scholarship Fund or the Multicultural Genealogical Center.

Rhonda (Cook) Tabler on camera with Dr. Henry Louis Gates at Philippi's Croston School for the popular TV show Finding Your Roots. Below, Rhonda leads a tour of the historic Mount Hermon Cemetery

  

 

~ Daughter Myrtle (Kennedy) Dickinson ~

Daughter Myrtle Virginia Kennedy (1908-1961) was born on Aug. 5, 1908, at Berryburg, Barbour County, WV. 

At the age of 18, she married 28-year-old Henry Franklin Dickinson (1899-1964 ) on April 11, 1927. The ceremony was held in Morgan County, OH. He was the son of William Henry and Lucy Jane (Vaughn) Dickinson.

 

Family gathered for William's funeral

 

The Dickinsons had nine children -- Junior Leroy Dickinson, William Henry Dickinson, Betty Jean Dickinson, Juanita Carmichael, Delores "Jane" Mayle, Janet Sue Wells, Paul Raymond Dickinson, Robert Wayne Dickinson and Ronald Bruce Dickinson. 

They made their home in Cutler and Vincent, OH for many years. During the Korean War, son William served in the U.S. Army stationed in France, and tragically was killed in a railroad accident in August 1951. (See below for more.) 

In the early 1960s, sons Paul and Robert lived in England, presumably serving with the U.S. Air Force. 

Myrtle passed away at home at the age of 56 on Nov. 21, 1961. She was laid to rest at the Old Decatur Chapel Cemetery near Cutler. 

 

Korean War casualty William Henry Dickinson

Henry outlived her by three years. He died at the age of 65 at the Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg, WV on June 5, 1964.

Son William Henry Dickinson (1930-1951) was born on April 15, 1930. He was a star basketball player at Bartlett High School, graduating in 1948.He never married. At the age of 21, he joined the U.S. Army on March 23, 1951 during the Korean War. After basic training, William was shipped overseas. Tragically, he was killed on Aug. 24, 1951, en route to Germany, when the Basel-Calais express crashed into the rear of the stalled Frankfurt-Paris train" in Metz, France, reported the Zanesville Signal. "Pvt. Dickinson ... had been in France only three weeks." The Marietta Times noted that "the troop train on which he was a passenger was struck by a fast express train when 20 soldiers, four of them American soldieres, all in the rear coach were killed." His remains were returned to United States soil for a funeral at the Cutler Mission, on Sept. 16, 1951, officiated by Rev. Henry Mayle. Burial followed at Decatur Chapel Cemetery, with the Marietta Post of the American Legion providing military rites.

Son Ronald Bruce Dickinson (1947-2011) was born on March 15, 1947 in Cutler. Following graduation from Warren Local School in 1965, he joined a laborers union in Canton, OH, and remained there for about 43 years. His children were Tina Dickinson, Lee Dickinson, Bruce Dickinson, Beth Dickson, Zach Dickinson and Matthew Dickinson. After retirement, Ronald returned to Cutler, where he spent his final years. He died in Cutler on July 2, 2011, at the age of 64. He was laid to rest in Decatur Cemetery, following a funeral led by Brother Phillip Mayle. His obituary was published in the Marietta Times.

Daughter Delores Jane "Janie" Dickinson (1941-2007) was born on March 31, 1941, in Chesterhill, Morgan County. She had a son, Eric Dickinson. Later, she married Wayne W. Mayle (1939-2012), son of Dayton and Pauline L. (Smith) Mayle. They produced three sons of their own -- Brian Mayle, Scott Mayle and Blaine Mayle. The Mayleses lived in Columbus, Franklin County, OH, where Wayne was employed in plumbing and excavation work. They attended the Community Christian Church in Columbus. Delores died in Columbus on May 17, 2007. Burial was in Mount Hermon Cemetery. Wayne survived her by five years. He passed into eternity on April 7, 2012, in Columbus. Pastor Eugene Ramsey officiated at the funeral in Mount Hermon Cemetery, and an obituary was printed in the Columbus Dispatch.

 

 

Paul and Robert Dickinson

Daughter Betty Jean Dickinson (1928-2014) was born on May 23, 1928 in Washington County, OH. She resided in Cutler, Washington County, OH and never married. Betty Jean was a longtime member of the Southland Mission Church in Cutler. She spent her final years in Arcadia Nursing Home in Coolville, OH. She died there at age 85 on April 22, 2014. Burial was in Decatur Cemetery.

Son Robert Dickinson ( ? - ? ) married Pauline (?) ( ? - ? ) and resided in Mesa, AZ.

Daughter Juanita Dickinson wed (?) Carmichael ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in New Lexington, Perry County, OH.

Daughter Janet Sue Dickinson ( ? - ? ) married Richard Wells ( ? - ? ). Her home was in Cutler.

Son Paul Raymond Dickinson (1933-2001) was born on Jan. 18, 1933 in Cutler. Upon graduation from Bartlett High School, he served in the U.S,. Air Force for a decade and later worked for the federal government in Columbus, Franklin County, OH. He was married and had one daughter, Kim Westbrook, residing in Cutler. At the age of 63, he went to live in the Washington County Home, where he spent his final five years. He died on March 19, 2001 in Marietta Memorial Hospital at the age of 68. Burial was in Decatur Cemetery, following a funeral led by Rev. Dwight Tate and military rites.

 

Almeda and Harold Thompson

~ Daughter Almeda (Kennedy) Thompson ~

Daughter Almeda Kennedy (1911-1948) was born on Sept. 10, 1910 near Grafton, Taylor County, WV.

She married Harold C. Thompson (1906-1996), son of James Walter and Rose Emma (Mayle) Thompson.

They had two children, Richard Thompson and Linda Lou Parsons. The Thompsons resided in Chesterhill, Morgan County, OH in the 1940s. 

Tragically, Almeda suffered from hypertension. At the age of 37, she was stricken with an aneurysm which caused an unstoppable hemorrhage. 

She died on May 16, 1948, at the Camden-Clark Hospital in Parkersburg, WV. The Zanesville Times Recorder said she "had been a patient for the past two weeks." 

 

   

Almeda (left) with sister in law Helen Thompson;
and her newspaper obituary, 1948

Burial was in the Chesterhill Cemetery. Her official West Virginia death certificate marked her as "colored."

Harold married again to Bernice Opal Mayle ( ? - ? ). 

He died in 1996 at the age of 90.

Son Richard Thompson (1928-1977) was born on Sept. 6, 1928. He was married, had a family and lived in Canton, OH in 1948. He passed away on Feb. 12, 1977 at the age of 49. More will be added here eventually.

Daughter Linda Lou Thompson (1940-2014) was born on June 19, 1940 in Chesterhill, Morgan County. She married Alfred Parsons ( ? - ? ) and the couple produced three daughters -- Debbie Cunningham, Donna Cunningham and Denise Hathaway. They resided in Chesterhill. Sadly, Linda died at age 73 at home on May 11, 2014. She was placed into eternal repose at Chesterhill Cemetey with Charlie Simmons officiating at the funeral.

~ Son Homer Romanus "Jim" Kennedy ~

 

"Prichard" Cemetery, Clemtown, WV

Son Homer Romanus "Jim" Kennedy (1913-1997 ) was born on April 17, 1913. 

At the age of 31, on March 22, 1944, Homer married 20-year-old Pearl A. Kennedy (1924-1988), daughter of Nelson and Nellie Kennedy of Galloway, WV. She was 11 years younger than her husband. 

The couple produced two known sons -- Wilbur L. "Webb" Kennedy and Robert L. Kennedy.

The family lived in Detroit circa 1944-1948, where their son Wilbur was born. Later, by 1953, they relocated to Barberton, OH and in 1961 were in Canton, Stark County, OH. By 1978, they were back in West Virginia. In 1988, their home was at 10024 Bachelor Road in Waynesburg, OH. They attended the Pentecostal Church.

Pearl died on March 14, 1988 at the age of 64, after a short illness, in Aultman Hospital in Canton. Her remains were brought back to West Virginia, and she was laid to rest in the Pritchard Cemetery near Clemtown. 

Homer survived her by nine years. He passed into eternity on June 16, 1997.

Son Wilbur L. "Webb" Kennedy (1944-2004) was born on April 6, 1944 in Detroit. On Jan. 12, 1972, when he was age 28, he married Sharon Jewell ( ? - ? ). They had eight children -- Shannon Lantz, Wilbur "Nelson" Kennedy, Sara "Darla" Parsons, Wilbur "Dean"Kennedy, Stephanie Bolyard, Kathleen "Kathy" Pope and Jennifer Fisher. In about 1974, they relocated to West Virginia and put down roots in the Webster community of Grafton, Taylor County. They attended the Pentecostal church. Wilbur was a longtime mechanic for Weaver and Sons in Grafton. He also was a social member of the Grafton posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. At the age of 60, he died at home on Nov. 20, 2004. Burial was in the Pritchard Cemetery, with Rev. David Maley officiating at the funeral. In an obituary, the Grafton Mountain Statesman said he was survived by 23 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. 

Son Robert L. Kennedy (1946-2013) was born on Feb. 7, 1946. He was married and had these nine step-children -- Deborah Huntsman, Lisa Mayle, Tracy Cummings, Heather Mehilis, Carl Patterson, Dennis Patterson, Ryan Mehilis, Loren Mehilis and Shaun Mehilis. Robert was a construction worker for more than three decades. He was a member of the Local Laborer's Union No. 1015 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. For many years, he was the companion of Phyllis Spaulding. Sadly, they endured the early death of stepdaughter Deborah Huntsman. Robert resided in Paris, OH in 2004 and in East Canton in 2013. At the age of 67, on April 19, 2013, while a patient in Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Robert passed away. Rev. Jack Mayle officiated at the funeral service.

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery, Ohio

~ Daughter Ruth Ann (Kennedy) Hill ~

Daughter Ruth Ann Kennedy (1915-1978) was born on May 26, 1915 near Grafton, Taylor County, WV and was named for her grandmother and great-grandmother

On Jan. 15, 1934, when she was age 19, Ruth wed 23-year-old James "Guy" Hill (1912-1978), the son of Elza and Eva (Goins) Hill of Athens County. 

They resided in Amesville in the 1930s, Sharpsburg in the 1950s and Zanesville in the 1970s. 

 They had 10 children -- Henry Leon "Hank" Hill Sr., Wilbur Dean Hill, Raymond "Deck" Hill, Shelby "Jean" Fischer, Robert R. Hill, Jerry L. Hill, Donald "Ricky" Hill, Tony James Hill, Dorothy Mae Barnett and Vivian Mayle. 

The Hills made their home in the later 1970s in Chesterhill, Athens County, where Guy was a longtime coal miner. 

They attended the Bethel Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Ruth suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away on Jan. 11, 1978, at the age of 63. Burial was in Mount Hermon Cemetery, with Rev. Henry Mayle preaching a funeral service at the Mount Hermon Community Church.

Guy only lived for six months more, and died at the age of 66 in July 1978, in Marietta Memorial Hospital. At the time of James' death, he was survived by 27 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. They rest for eternity in Mount Hermon Cemetery.

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery

Daughter Dorothy Hill ( ? - ? ) married (?) Barnett ( ? - ? ). She made her home in Vincent, Athens County. 

Daughter Shelby "Jean" Hill (1941-1997) was born on Oct. 26, 1941 (or 1942). She was united in holy matrimony with Everett L. "Buddy" Fischer (1935- ? ). Their home circa 1978-1997 was in Zanesville. Sadly, Shelby Jean passed away at the age of 56 on Sept. 23, 1997. She was placed into eternal repose in Mount Hermon Cemetery.

Daughter Vivian L. "Biddy" Hill (1935-2010) was born on Aug. 3, 1935 on Tick Ridge near Amesville, Athens County, OH. She married Julius "Judy" Mayle (1932-1995), who was three years younger than she. The couple produced nine children -- Michael Mayle, Emery Mayle, Evelyn Mayle, Melanie Mayle, Duane Mayle, Paul Mayle, Jeff Mayle, Regina Walker and Bonnie Tramill. They attended the Bethel Wesleyan Church in Plantsville, OH. Sadly, Julius passed away on March 9, 1995 when he was 63 years old. Vivian died at the age of 74 on Jan. 4, 2010. They repose side by side at Mount Hermon Cemetery. Their grave marker was highly decorated with red, pink and yellow flowers and other inscribed plaques when observed and photographed by the founder of this website in September 2015.

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery

Son Robert R. "Bob" Hill (1936-2006) was born on Nov. 3, 1936. He lived in Amesville. At the age of 24, he married 18-year-old R. Rochelle Tabler (1943- ? ) on Dec. 17, 1961. The Hills had three daughters -- Doretta Mayle, Eva Smathers and Tammy Hill. Said the Zanesville Times Recorder, he "was a construction laborer for Shelly and Sands. He was a member of Laborers Union 329, former Bern Township trustee, enjoyed hunting and fishing and adored his two grandsons." On Aug. 10, 2006, Robert died at the age of 69 in Marietta Memorial Hospital. He was laid to rest at Mount Hermon Cemetery.

Son Wilbur Dean Hill (1938-2005) was born on June 4, 1938. He married Betty Joann Cook (1937- ? ). They were united in holy matrimony on Christmas Day 1958, when he was 20 years of age and she was 21. They lived in Stockport, and had five children -- Debra Kay Walker, Lisa Ann Vilardi, Molly Jo Richards, Jane Ellen Connor and Wilbur "Billy" Hill. Wilbur "was a coal miner and retired from Central Ohio Coal after 28 years," reported the Zanesville (OH) Times Recorder. "He was an avid horseshoe player and coon hunter, member of Fur Traders Association and was a loving husband, father and grandfather." Wilbur died at the age of 66 on May 4, 2005, at home. He rests for eternity at Mount Hermon Cemetery. Spanning the entire width of their onyx colored grave marker is an etched scene of a log house surrounded by pines and situated beside a lake, with a deer watching from the other side of the water.

 

   

Brothers' graves at Mount Hermon Cemetery

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery

Son Henry Leon "Hank" Hill Sr. (1940-2007) was born in 1940 in Sharpsburg. Said the Athens (OH) Messenger, he was a "graduate of Amesville High School" and "retired from Columbia Gas Co. as a transmission mechanic. He was a member of Allegheny Wesleyan Church and a veteran of the U.S. Army." In 1964, when he was 24 years of age, Henry married 23-year-old Zelma L. Butcher (1941- ? ), and they remained married for 43 years. They lived in Guysville and had two sons -- H. Leon Hill Jr. and Terry L. Hill. Henry passed away at the age of 67 on Aug. 25, 2007, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg, Wood County, WV. He was buried at Mount Hermon Cemetery. At the top of his grave marker is inscribed the words "In Loving Memory."

  • Grandson H. Leon Hill Jr. resided in Philadelphia.
  • Grandson Terry L. Hill wed Amy (?) and lived in Torch, OH.

Son Raymond Wayne "Deck" Hill (1944-1991) was born on Jan. 31, 1944. He married Margaret Croston ( ? - ? ). They made their home in Chesterhill, Morgan County. Deck passed away on May 23, 1991. His remains were placed into eternal repose in Mount Hermon Cemetery. Margaret's fate is not known. On Raymond's grave marker, above his name, is inscribed the word "Brother."

Son Donald "Ricky" Hill resided in Zanesville, Muskingum County.

Son Jerry Hill lived in Zanesville, Muskingum County.

 

Howard and Pauline, 1947

~ Daughter Pauline (Kennedy) Sephfus Flowers ~

Daughter Pauline Kennedy (1916-2000) was born on July 30, 1916 near Sharpsburg, Athens County. She was married to the son of a former slave.

At the age of 16, on New Year's Eve 1933, she wed 30-year-old widower Howard "Judy" Sephfus (1903-1967), a native of Athens County, OH and the son of Charles and Malinda Alice (Goins) Cephfus or "Cephas" (variant spellings). They were 13 years apart in age.

Because Pauline was underage, her parents both had to sign their consent to the union. Rev. W.H. Long of Sharpsburg officiated.

Howard had been married once before, to Agnes Lenora "Nora" Smith (1910-1931), daughter of Charles and Maggie (Mayle) Smith, and brought a son to the marriage, Charles "Bus" Smith (or "Sephfus"). Nora tragically had died in January 1931, at the age of 20, of pulmonary tuberculosis.

 

  

Howard's father, Charles, born a slave

Howard's father, Charles Sephfus, was a former slave who had been born on a plantation in Virginia. According to an Ohio newspaper article, "The parents of Mr. Sephfus, owned by their master near Christianburg, Va., continued to reside in his employ, following emancipation and the termination of the Civil War. When the parents passed on, young Sephfus came to the Ohio country and for years was employed in the coal mines about Sharpsburg, until retirement."

Pauline and Howard had one known son, Bernard Howard "Jimmy" Sephfus. 

They resided in the Plantsville, Chesterhill and Sharpsburg areas, where Howard was a longtime coal miner. 

In early March 1938, in the lingering throes of the Great Depression, state liquor law enforcement agents raided the Sephfus home  and "in cooperation with Deputy Sheriff Frank Adrean confiscated one and a half gallons of illegal liquor," reported the Zanesville Times-Recorder. Officials found seven cases of beer and 24 pints of wine, which Howard apparently intended to sell. Arraigned before Judge C.M. Riecker in McConnelsville, he pleaded not guilty and was released on a $1,000 bond. He later changed his plea to "guilty" and paid a fine of $250. He also was ordered to be confined to the county jail for six months, but the "sentence was suspended on conditions he does not sell liquor or keep on his premises liquor for sale," said the Times Recorder.

 

Mount Hermon Cemetery

Circa 1940, federal census records show the family residing in Marion, Morgan County.

At the age of 62, Howard was admitted to the Marietta Memorial Hospital, where he died shortly thereafter on March 14, 1967. His funeral was held at the Mount Hermon Evangelical United Brethren Church, followed by interment in the church cemetery.

Later, Pauline wed Arthur Flowers ( ? - ? ). Circa 1988-1989, she made her home near Marietta and McConnelsville, OH.

She died on Nov. 20, 2000, at the age of 83, as a result of an automobile accident near Chesterhill. Her remains were taken for burial in Mount Hermon Cemetery. 

Stepson Charles A. "Bus" Smith Sephfus (1926-2000) was born on June 24, 1926. He was only age five when his mother died, and he took the Sephfus surname of his stepfather who raised him. During the Korean War, Charles served in the U.S. Armed Forces. He later married Juliet E. (1943- ? ), who was 17 years his junior. They made their home in 1967 in Chesterhill, and by the late 1990s and early 2000 in Columbus, Franklin County, OH. Charles died on Sept. 21, 2000 at the age of 74. He was interred in Mount Hermon Cemetery.

Son Bernard Howard "Jimmy" Sephfus (1934- ? ) was born in 1934. On May 27, 1953, at the age of 19, he married 18-year-old Norma Dolores Hill (1935- ? ). She was the daughter of Elmer Ellsworth and Marie Elzina Marie (Mayle) Hill of Perry County, OH. They had six children -- Marcia Sephfus, Gloria Winters, Terry Sephfus, Jerry Sephfus, Joyce Flowers and Renee Nichols. They lived in Vincent, OH in 1967 and Amesville/Plantsville circa 2000-2003. Jimmy worked for many years for Kaiser Aluminum in Belpre, OH, while Dolores was employed with Warren Local Schools. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May 2003 with a surprise potluck dinner.

 

Church Street in Chesterhill, early 1900s

 

Hayward and Lena

~ Son Hayward Kennedy ~

Son Hayward Kennedy (1920-1953) was born on June 13, 1920.

When he was 19 years of age, Hayward married Lena Mae Hale ( ? - ? ) of Zanesville on May 1, 1939. They had no children. 

Hayward was a veteran of World War II, serving from Ohio as a corporal in the 1749th Engineer General Service Regiment of the U.S. Army. 

 

Date unknown

Either early in the 1940s or later in the '40s, Hayward resided "near the west end of Cecil bridge" in Barbour County. At that time, he earned income from transporting moonshine liquor in his Chevrolet coupe vehicle. One evening he was recognized and chased by police and, after one of his tires blew out, he abandoned the car and ran into the woods, making his escape even as gunshots were fired in his direction. Local constable E.H. Smith and Fred Morgan confiscated 27 gallons of the hooch in four kegs and two one-gallon jugs. A local news headline read: "Rum Runner Gets Away." 

After the war, the Kennedys resided in the 1950s in Canton, Stark County, OH, where Hayward was a construction worker. 

Tragically, Hayward was afflicted with what physicians called "acute alcoholism." During a period of unemployment, he drank heavily, suffered a heart attack and was found dead in his automobile, near his home, in the early morning of March 14, 1953. He was only age 33. 

Hayward's remains were taken to Chesterhill for the funeral at the Mount Hermon Evangelical United Brethren Church, followed by burial in the Mount Hermon Cemetery. Today a flag stands at his final resting place in honor of his wartime military service to our nation.

Lena Mae's fate is not yet known.

 

Louise Thomas Tabler

~ Daughter Louise (Kennedy) Thomas Tabler ~

Daughter Louise Kennedy (1922-1988) was born on the Fourth of July 1922 in Canton, Stark County, OH. Her name is said to have been pronounced "Lew-ize."

She was married twice. Her first spouse was (?) Thomas.

 

Obituary, 1988

Then, in 1975, at the age of 53, she wed 57-year-old Willard "Pucker" Tabler (1918-1990), son of Warren "Pie" and Vesta Mae (Hill) Tabler. 

Louise and Pucker would have known each other well at the time, as his father had cohabitated for many years with Louise's elder sister Carrie.

Louise and Pucker enjoyed 13 years of married life together.

She made her home circa 1948-1988 in Sharpsburg and Canton, Stark County, OH. She was a member of the Army Navy Lodge #150.

Louisa died at the age of 66 in 1988 in Rose Lane Health Center in Massillon, OH. Interment was in the Sunset Hill Cemetery, with Rev. Kenny Dalton officiating at her funeral service. 

Pucker survived his wife by just two years. He died in Canton at the age of 72 on Aug. 20, 1990.

Copyright 2005-2012, 2014-2016 Mark A. Miner