Charles William Minard Sr. was born in 1863 in Barbour County, WV, the son of Sarah Minerd. His mother later married Charles Wright.
As the son of a single mother, Charles grew up in the home of his uncle and aunt, Henry C. and Mariah (Pritchard) Minerd. In the early 1870s Charles went with his uncle and aunt to live in Cutler, Washington County, OH, and witnessed the death of his aunt.
Charles returned to Barbour County and married Amanda Male (1859-1901), the daughter of Hiram and Ruth Male. The wedding occurred on April 22, 1890 at the residence of Rev. F.P. Sydenstricker. Charles was age 28 at the time of marriage, and Amanda was 31. The informant giving information for their marriage license was Uriah Culverson, relationship unknown.
The Minards had seven children, only three of whom were living in 1900 -- Aldine Minard, Sarah Dalton Michel and Ruth J. Theodous (a.k.a. "Fedro").
The federal census of 1900 shows the family in Barbour County, where Charles was a farmer. The Barbour County Personal Property Book for 1897 shows that Charles had one head of cattle and two sheep.
Sadly, son Aldine (born Sept. 1, 1893) died in November 1898 at age five of the croup. His death is reported in the book, Barbour County West Virginia: Book of Deaths and Will Books, by Mary S. Coffman.
Amanda died three years later in 1901 and is buried in the Croston Cemetery near Philippi. Her grave was recorded in the Depression-era publication, Cemetery Readings in West Virginia, published by The Historical Records Survey, Charleston, WV. Their daughter Ruth went to live with Charles' uncle, Josiah Kennedy Sr., on Ford Road in the Courthouse District of Grafton.
~ A Legal Dispute Over Property ~
Amanda's father, Hiram Male, owned three tracts totaling 240 acres in Taylor County. The property consisted of one tract of 77 acres, one of 58.5 acres and another of 106 acres. An observer noted that "These lands are all contiguous, but form an irregular body, the average length of which is more than three times the average breadth, with a narrow place near the center." Continuing the description of one of the properties, witnesses said:
...about 30 acres was rough, situated on the bank of a river, almost destitute of good timber and comparatively worthless for farming or grazing purposes; and that the residue was ordinary land worth about twenty dollars per acre, with ordinary frame buildings and other outbuildings on it, but had little good timber on it, the timber having been culled by former owners, and had grown up in briars, broomsage and other filth; that there was scarcely any fencing on it, and that the standing timber was inaccessible to most of the farm.
A report on the remaining acreage of Hiram's said the land was:
... situated about two miles from the village of Webster and about the same distance from the Valley River and a railroad, that it was the home farm, and better land than the other tract and in better repair, having a good frame dwelling and outbuildings, that it had no timber except a small tract no the northeast corner, that the fencing was out of repair and the land grown up in briars and filth, and that it was worth about twenty-five dollars an acre as a whole. [There] was a tract of bottom land in it containing about nine acres of much greater value than the hill land, and that the two tracts lie on opposite sides of a high river hill, adjoining each other near the top of the hill.
After Hiram's his death, the acreage came into legal dispute, with his married daughter Martha J. Croston suing to force the land to be divided among heirs rather than it being sold outright. The case named as defendants our Amanda, her brother Boyer Male and their mother Ruth. The case became further complicated when Boyer died, leaving a widow Berthena Male and their children Rosa Bell, Eugenus, Hiram and Benjamin; and when Amanda also died, leaving her husband and their three offspring Aldine, Sarah and Ruth.
Both widower Charles Minard and his sister in law Berthena Male filed a response to the lawsuit, objecting to the forced sale of their home property, "denying that the land was not susceptible of partition without injury [and] alleging that it could be conveniently divided..." The court appointed special commissioners to examine the land and file a recommendation. The commissioners concluded that the land really was made up of two tracts, primarily of inferior woods and hills.
The Circuit Court of Taylor County ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Charles' sister in law Martha J. Croston, and ordered that the property be sold, with the heirs to lose their homes but receive their share of the cash proceeds. The case then was appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, argued in Charleston in mid-November 1904.
"The true question to be decided," wrote President Judge George Poffenbarger in his opinion, was:
... whether the whole property, taken together, will be greatly injured or diminished in value if separated into three parts, in the hands of three different persons, according to their several rights or interests in the whole; in other words, whether the aggregate value of the several part when held by different individuals in severalty would be materially less than the whole value of the property if owned by one person... In another one-third of it, over fifty acres, Charles Minor has a life estate and his children the remainder in fee. These children are dependent upon him for their support, and fifty acres of land affording him a home for himself and them may be much more valuable to them than its proceeds in money... It is clear that the children of Charles Minor are not entitled to immediate possession of any part of the lands... [and] no subdivision of this one-third among them until the expiration of the father's life estate, without his consent. It belongs to them subject to his life estate, however.
Judge Poffenbarger overturned the lower court ruling, thus allowing Charles and his motherless children to remain in their home. The official citation of this case, published in several legal journals of the time, is 56 W.Va. 205, 49 S.E. 136.
~ Charles' Second Marriage to Effie Curry ~
Charles married again to Effie Florence Curry (1889-1955), the daughter of Grandville and Katherine (Moats) Curry. The wedding took place on Nov. 2, 1914. At age 25 at the time of their marriage, Effie was more than a quarter century younger than her 52-year-old husband.
They had at least seven children of their own -- Granville Miner, Lena Freeman, Edna Mayle, Gertude "Gerta" Costolo, Catherine (Kathleen) Goodwin and twins Charles Minerd Jr. and an unnamed infant. One of the sons may also have been known as "Ottis" Miner.
When the federal census was taken in 1920, the Miners were residing in the South District of Philippi.
Sadly, both Charles Jr. and the unnamed twin died at the tender age of one day in April 1926, and were buried in the Pittman Cemetery. The 1930 census shows Charles and Effie living in Philippi along the "road from Bend to Independence."
Charles Sr. died at about age 72 of dysentery on Oct. 6, 1933. He is buried at Chestnut Ridge Cemetery, but his grave is unmarked.
Effie outlived him by 22 years, and married only a year after being widowed. She married 32-year-old Jason Norris (1902- ? ), the son of Bill and Ann Norris, on June 30, 1934. Effie died of hardening of the arteries at age 65 on Feb. 9, 1955. She was laid to rest at Westhill Cemetery near Philippi.
All told, Charles Minerd Sr. had these 10 known children who lived to adulthood:
~ Daughter Sarah (Minerd) Dalton Michel ~
Daughter Sarah "Sherry" Minerd (1895- ? ) was born on Oct. 2, 1895 near Philippi. County officials marked her race as "mulatto" on her birth record.
She married Jacob Henry Dalton (1877-1934?) on Aug. 25, 1913, when she was 18 years of age, and he 36. There was a 16-year age gap between the couple. Jacob is believed to have been the son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Harris) Dalton. He was of medium height and slender build, with black hair and black eyes.
Jacob had been married once before -- to Margaret Mayle -- and brought two young sons to the marriage, William Henry Dalton and Huston Dalton.
The Daltons had one known daughter of their own, Louanna M. Dalton.
During World War I, Jacob was required to register for the military draft. At the time, he and Sarah lived in Lillian, Barbour County, where he and son William were employed as miners by the Mahoning Coal Company. Jacob declared that he was of the "Negro" race and that Sarah was his nearest relative.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1920, the mixed family resided in Philippi, with Jacob and his sons working as coal miners.
By 1930, Sarah and her husband were divorced. That year, Sarah and Louanna resided together in the Triadelphia section of Wheeling, Ohio County, WV, in a home on Springdale Avenue. Sarah's occupation was "pastry cook" at a local "inn," and the census taker recorded her race as "negro."
Jacob may have died at the age of 55 on May 19, 1934, of pneumonia.
Later, Sarah wed (?) Michel ( ? - ? ). In 1970 she lived in Newton, Jasper County, IL. She was deceased by January 1994, when she was mentioned in the Barbour Democrat newspaper obituary of her sister Lena Freeman.
Daughter Luanna M. Dalton (1914- ? ) was born in 1914. Her last known whereabout was in 1930, when she and her mother made a home together in Wheeling.
Stepson William Henry "Bill" Dalton (1899- ? ) was born on April 8, 1899, near Philippi. He was of medium height and build, with black eyes and black hair. At the age of 19, he was employed as a coal miner in Lillian, Barbour County, by the Mahoning Coal Company. He was required to register for the military draft during World War I, and declared that he was of the "Negro" race and that his father was "Hacob Henry Dalton." After the war, at the age of 20, in 1920, he lived with his father and step-mother near Philippi, and worked in a local coal mine. William married (?), a daughter of Kate McDonald. They had children, but details are sketchy. Circa 1962, William made his home at 224 Barrett Street in Grafton, and was employed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
Stepson Huston Dalton (1904- ? ) was born in 1904. At the age of 16, he resided with his father and step-mother near Philippi, and earned a living in a local coal mine.
~ Daughter Ruth (Minard) Theodous (a.k.a. "Fedro") ~
Daughter Ruth Minard (1898-1926?) was born in 1898 near Philippi.
When she was 19 years of age, Ruth gave birth to a daughter Mary "Evelyn" Miner on Jan. 5, 1917. The name of the child's father is not known.
Some 17 months later, on June 8, 1918, Ruth married 53-year-old Michael "Mickey" Theodous (also spelled "Fedoranis" or "Fedora" or "Fador" or "Fedro") (1865-1937?). He was a native of Italy, Hungary or Russia (depending on the source). Mike had emigrated to the United States in about 1905, and was naturalized in 1910. He may or may not have been Mary Evelyn's father.
Mike was either 19 years older, or 33 years older, than his wife, also depending on the source. The family resided in the north district of Philippi, where Mike labored as a coal miner. The family is shown in Philippi on the federal census of 1920, on Meriden Road.
They had three known children, Mike Fedro Jr. (born in 1919), Mary Julia Fedro (1921) and Lee Fedro (1923).
Tragically, after giving birth in late 1925 or early '26, Ruth contracted a post-partum infection. She died on Jan. 5, 1926, at the age of 28, leaving her husband with their four children. She was laid to rest in Pitman Cemetery. Ruth's married name shown in various state death records was wildly and incorrectly spelled "Fedru" and "Nedra."
As a widower, Mike resided with the three youngest children, while the eldest -- Mary "Evelyn" -- was sent to live with a divorced aunt. The federal census of 1930 shows Mike and the three together under one roof, with Mike's occupation listed as "mining coal," and his birthplace named as "Itley." Evelyn, age 12, was marked in the home of her mother's sister, Sarah Dalton, in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV.
By 1937, with the children grown, Mike lived by himself near Independence School house several miles south of Philippi. On March 10, 1937, at the age of 73, Mike passed away at home of "natural causes" without anyone else present. Neighbor Arthur Burner discovered his body about six hours later, and notified authorities. The top-of-headline news of his passing was published in the Philippi Republican, which said "the funeral arrangements were incomplete awaiting word from some of his children. He is survived by about three children."
Granddaughter Mary "Evelyn" Miner (1917-1993) was born on Jan. 5, 1917 in Philippi. At the age of 16, she married 21-year-old Denver Mayle (1912-1968), the son of Eugene and Ocie Mayle. Their wedding took place on May 24, 1933 at Flemington, by the hand of Rev. James C. Mayle, a Baptist minister. Evelyn and Denver had five known children -- James Braddock Mayle, Denver Lee Mayle, Randall S. Mayle, Frances M. Swalenberg and Joann Barnett. Tragically, son James died at age 10 on Jan. 15, 1936. Evelyn and Denver resided in the Independence community of Philippi, where he worked as a coal miner and construction laborer. Later, they separated, with Denver moving to Chesterhill, Morgan County, OH while Evelyn remained in Philippi. Sadly, Denver was killed at the age of 56 on Dec. 17, 1968, when his automobile skidded on the snowy Ohio Route 266 a half mile west of Stockport, OH. Reporting on the accident, the Zanesville Times-Recorder said that he had sustained a broken neck and that he "apparently lost control of his eastbound car which veered off the road, struck a bank and flipped in the air, falling some 25 feet to the creek bed. [The sheriff] said about six inches of water was flowing in the creek." He was interred in the Chesterhill Cemetery. Evelyn outlived him by a quarter of a century. Said the Barbour Democrat, she "was a homemaker and a former cook for the Hanging Rock School. She was a member of the Olive Hill Wesleyan Methodist Church." She died in Broaddus Hospital the day after Christmas 1993 "following an extended illness," reported the Democrat. After a funeral led by Rev. Kermit Maley and Rev. Winfield Mayle, her remains were laid to rest in Welch Cemetery. She was survived by six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Grandson Mike Fedro Jr. (1919- ? ) was born in 1919. He was deceased by 1993. Nothing more is known.
Granddaughter Mary Julia "Jude" Fedro (1921-1938) was born on April 10, 1921. Orphaned at the age of 16, she suffered a tragic fate. In October 1938, she contracted a deadly case of tuberculosis meningitis, which doctors confirmed with a spinal tap. Her illness was complicated by a case of syphilis. She was sent to the Hopemont Sanitarium in the rolling mountains of nearby Preston County. She was unable to recover, and died there at age 17 years, seven months and 22 days on Nov. 1, 1938. She was buried in Philippi. On her official death certificate, for which she was the source of information, Mary Julia declared that her father "Michael Fedro" was a native of Hungary, and that her mother "Ruth Meynard" was born in Philippi.
Grandson Lee Fedro (1923- ? ) was born in 1923 near Philippi. He was deceased by 1993. More will be added here when learned.
~ Daughter Edna (Miner) Mayle ~
Daughter Edna Miner (1912?-1928) was born in about 1912.
She married her cousin Reason Mayle Sr. (1904- ? ) on July 18, 1927, when she was age 15. He was the son of Lewis and Martha (Mayle) Mayle, and the grandson of Margaret (Minard) Mayle. Edna fibbed about her age on her marriage license by three years.
They resided in Grafton, Taylor County.
Tragically, as she neared her 16th birthday, Edna and their infant son Reason Mayle Jr. died in childbirth on March 2, 1928. The Grafton Sentinel newspaper reported that "The young woman was admitted Tuesday night [to the city hospital] and gave birth to a child Wednesday morning in the early hours. The infant survived only a short time. Little could be learned concerning the family of the unfortunate young married woman. She is a native of Barbour county, and a member of the Minard family, well known in the neighboring section." The Barlett Funeral Company handled her funeral arrangements. The infant was buried in Bluemont Cemetery in Grafton, while Edna was laid to rest in Pitman Cemetery south of Philippi.
The fate of widower Reason is unknown, but will be reported here when learned.
~ Daughter Gertrude (Miner) Costollo ~
Daughter Gertrude "Gerta" Miner (1915- ? ) was born in 1915.
She married Carl Costollo ( ? - ? ), also spelled "Costilow." Her first name also has been spelled "Gordio" in one known instance.
She resided in Canton, Stark County, OH in 1970.
Seen here, a postcard view of Canton's Market Avenue shopping center at nighttime.
She is thought to have died in Canton on March 20, 1989, but this needs to be verified. She certainly was deceased by January 1994, when mentioned by name in the Barbour Democrat newspaper obituary of her sister Lena Freeman.
~ Son Granville Miner ~
Son Granville Miner (1916-1970) was born in 1916.
He married Blonda Pauline Norris (1928-2006), the daughter of Cleveland "Clee" and Lucilla (Croston) Norris.
Granville was a truck driver, residing in Philippi. The Barbour Democrat said he "was a veteran of World War II, was a member of the Philippi VFW Post, and was last employed by the State Road Commission. He was a Methodist by faith."
He died of bronchio pneumonia caused by lung cancer at age 53 on June 23, 1970, at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Clarksburg. He was buried at Norris Cemetery.
Blonda outlived him by more than a quarter of a century. She spent her final years residing near her children in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, WV.
She passed away on June 15, 2006, and was laid to rest beside her husband. Her obituary was published in the Clarksburg Telegram.
~ Daughter Kathleen (Miner) Goodwin ~
Daughter Catherine (Kathleen) Miner (1918-1964) was born in 1918.
She married (?) Goodwin ( ? - ? ). They had one son, John Goodwin.
The couple later divorced. She made her home in the Hacker section of Philippi in the early to mid 1960s, working as a restaurant helper.
Tragically, Kathleen was severely burned in a home accident in late March 1964, and never recovered. After suffering for three weeks, she died at the age of 46 in Philippi on April 18, 1964. The funeral was held in the West Hill Methodist Church, led by Rev. Winfield Mayle, and followed by burial in the West Hill Cemetery.
Circa 1964, grandson John Goodwin made his home in Kingwood, Preston County, WV.
~ Daughter Jacob Minard ~
Son Jacob Minard (1921-1933) was born in 1921.
He died of acute nephritis at the age of 12, in Philippi, with burial on Sept. 27, 1933. Burial was at Pitman Cemetery.
No obituary has been found in the local newspaper, the Barbour Democrat.
~ Daughter Lena (Miner) Freeman ~
Daughter Lena Miner (1923 - ? ) was born on March 10, 1923, in Barbour County.
At the age of 40, in 1963, she married Charles Robert Freeman ( ? - ? ). They helped raise two foster children, Katrina Alth and Raymond L. Freeman.
As of 1970-1994, they lived near Philippi. Lena was a member of the Barbour Church of Christ.
Lena died at the age of 70 on Dec. 30, 1993, in Broaddus Hospital. Following funeral services, she was interred in the Mt. Liberty Cemetery. Her obituary was published in the Barbour Democrat.
~ Son Earnest Miner ~
Son Earnest Miner (1925-1986) was born on March 3, 1925. His first name also has been spelled as "Ernest."
On April 18, 1948, the 23-year-old Earnest married 18-year-old Wilma Jean Newman (1930- ? ), daughter of Robert and Ethel Newman. Rev. M.C. Harris, of the African Methodist Church in Philippi, led the nuptials.
They had at least one son, Earnest Miner Jr. Tragically, the child was found dead at the tender age of two months, 26 days, having suffocated in bed. His death occurred on Feb. 28, 1950. The state's official certificate of the child's death listed his race as "white." Burial was in the Chestnut Ridge Cemetery.
Earnest lived in California in 1964 and in Orlando, FL in 1970.
He is believed to have died on April 13, 1986, in Seminole County, FL, at the age of 61. In January 1994, he was mentioned by name in the Barbour Democrat newspaper obituary of his sister Lena Freeman.
Nothing more is known.
Copyright © 2004-2012 Mark A. Miner