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Levi Rose
(1856-1952)

 

Levi Rose

Levi Rose was born in 1856 in Hexabarger near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the son of Charles and Catherine (Minerd) Rose. His middle initial has been given as "M." in some legal documents.

Levi was a skilled stone mason, and also a legendary bootlegger. As a young man, he moved to Connellsville, Fayette County, PA, possibly to work with his uncle Henry A. Miner in providing masonry services in the construction of the beehive ovens in the booming coal and coke industry.

 

Levi Rose

There, in about 1885, the 29-year-old Levi married 18-year-old Anna Leichliter (1869-1907), daughter of H.J. and Matilda (Schrock) Leighliter. 

They were the parents of Walter Rose, Charles Henry Rose Sr., Ralph Rose, Margaret L. Wilson and Goldie Mort Holder.

In 1900, the federal census enumeration shows the Roses making their home in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, probably near the town of Humbert. Levi's occupation was marked as farmer. Among their near neighbors were distant Younkin cousins William Henry and Rachel (McClintock) Younkin, and Benjamin and Emily (Younkin) Clevenger.

The family then moved back to Connellsville and maintained a home on Baldwin Avenue.

Tragically, Annie suffered from cancer. She died at their home on Baldwin Avenue on Jan. 25, 1907 at the young age of 40. She was placed into eternal rest in Hill Grove Cemetery. Her obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said she was:

...born in Fayette county. For a number of years, the family resided near Humbert, Somerset county. In November [1906] she came to Connellsville with the family, where she has since lived. Mrs. Rose had been ailing for several years. About a year ago she underwent an operation at the Mercy Hospital in Pittsburg.

Levi never remarried. For many years afterward, he lived with son Charles along Chickenbone Road, in a locality known as "Paddytown" near Kingwood, Somerset County. 

The census for 1910 lists Levi heading a household in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, with all five children under his roof, ranging in age from 21 (Walter) to 13 (Goldie). H and his son Walter were marked as laborers at odd jobs, while sons Charles and Ralph labored in a local saw mill. Levi's brother Grant, widowed mother and distant Younkin cousin Aaron Phillippi all dwelled nearby.

 

Typical moonshine operations in the heart of the mountains

 

An expert stone mason and brick layer, Levi and his brother John were said by a newspaper to have "built 140 chimneys in the town of Humbert." Formerly known as Edna Mines, Humbert was constructed as "a 'model' mining community containing 100 homes, a hotel, store and other necessary facilities," according to the book, Stemwinders in the Laurel Highlands. It was built because the local coal company "did not want the usual haphazard patch of buildings that usually comprised a mining town...." In a twist of irony, the town today no longer exists.

Levi was a local legend known for his bootlegging, and is said to have been summoned to court 47 times and convicted twice. He liked to say he had consumed enough whiskey to float a battleship. He kept a still in the woods behind his home, and boasted that he was rarely caught because he gave eight-gallon jugs of his brew as "gifts" to local law enforcement officials, and that they never lacked for free hooch.

 

Levi Rose (kneeling, 2nd from right) in a lumber work crew at Humbert, PA circa 1931, with son Charles H. Rose (standing, left) and 2 grandsons

 

Jersey Church

By 1920, Levi lived with his married son Charles and daughter in law Hattie in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, earning his keep with farm laborer. Cousins residing on either side of their home were widower Jonas M. Younkin, and John F. and Diana Elizabeth (McNair) Younkin.

In 1931, Levi worked for the Tantum Lumber Company with son Charles and grandsons Albert Glenn "Mutt" Rose and James Harvey Rose. About that time, a photoraph was taken of their work crew, in the woods near Humbert, later was published in the book, Down the Road of Our Past and also in the Somerset Daily American. The photo, seen here, shows the following individuals: Kneeling, left to right: Charley Cameron, Younkin cousin Dennis Romesburg, Levi Rose, Denny Kreger. Back, left to right: Charles H. Rose, Mutt rose, Harvey James Rose and Alec Ohler. 

Levi passed away in 1952 at the age of 96 in the home of son Charles along Chickenbone Road. He was buried at the Jersey Church Cemetery near Ursina. 

He is mentioned in the book Reflections: Ursina 1787-1994. He also was profiled in the article, "The Sage of Hexebaerger," in the February 1998 issue of the Laurel Messenger newsletter of the Somerset Historical and Genealogical Society. 

~ Son Walter Rose ~

 

Book naming Walter

Son Walter Rose (1888- ? ) was born on June 26, 1888 in Ursina, Somerset County.

He married Vivian Lee ( ? - ? ). He was short and of medium build, with light blue eyes and light hair.

During World War I, Walter served in the U.S. Army for two weeks, from Sept. 5, 1918 to Sept. 18, 1918, when he was discharged at Camp Greenfall in Georgia. He claimed that his father depended upon him for support.

After the war, Walter returned home and was employed as a farmer and laborer in Confluence. 

Circa 1933, Walter was profiled in the book World War Veterans of Somerset County, published by the commissioners of Somerset County. The entry said that Vivian was his sole dependent, and that his physical condition was "fair."

~ Son Ralph Rose ~

Son Ralph Rose (1891- ? ) was born on Nov. 25, 1891. 

At the age of 25, Ralph married 19-year-old Kathryn Blubaugh (1898 - ? ), the daughter of Hiram and Mary (May) Blubaugh of Ursina, Somerset County. Their wedding ceremony was held at Somerset on Jan. 17, 1917, performed by Rev. S.G. Buckner. 

They had two known sons -- Robert Rose and Donald Rose.

Early in his career, Ralph served as a teacher at the Humbert School, Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, in 1914-1917. He also supplemented his income as a laborer in a local lumber yard for the United Lumber Company. He was tall and slender, with light blue eyes and light hair.  

Ralph registered for the military draft during World War I. He told his registration officer that he suffered from stomach trouble and hemorrhoids.

In 1923, he resided in Somerset, and was employed as a rural mail carrier. The Aug. 9, 1923 issue of the Meyersdale Republican reported that he and his wife took their vacation by visiting her parents in Ursina and then going to Connellsville, Fayette County, to see other Blubaugh relatives. 

The federal census of 1930 shows Ralph, Kathryn and their sons residing on Franklin Avenue in Somerset Borough. That year, Ralph's occupation was as a mail carrier for the United States Post Office. 

Son Robert Rose (1918- ? ) was born in 1918. 

Son Donald Rose (1919- ? ) was born in 1919. 

 

Charles H. Rose

~ Son Charles Henry Rose Sr. ~

Son Charles Henry Rose Sr. (1889-1977) was born on Nov. 4, 1889. He is not to be confused with his father's first cousin, Charles H. Rose, who married Alcestia Ritenour and lived at Rogers Mill, Fayette County, PA.

Charles married Harriet "Hattie" Smith (1895-1986), the daughter of Albert and Mary Catherine (Moon) Smith, on Dec. 9, 1912. He was age 23, and she 17, at the time of their nuptials. 

The Roses lived on Chickenbone Road at Paddytown, Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, where they were farmers. 

They had 11 children --- William Rose, James Rose, Albert Glenn "Mutt" Rose, Kenneth Rose, Eugene Rose, Charles Henry Rose Jr., Kathryn Snyder, Bertha Pruitt Burger, Ethel Pletcher, Viola "Jean" Miller Ghormiby Owens and Verna Reynolds. 

Charles was tall and of medium build, with grey eyes and brown hair. When he registered for the military draft during World War I, he told the registration officer that he was "ruptured"  and had a wife and two children to support. 

The federal census of 1930 shows the Roses living on their farm in Upper Turkeyfoot, with Charles' aged father living in the household. Charles was listed as a farmer, and son William a laborer on the state highway.

Charles is mentioned in Wayne Bittinger's 1986 volume, The Bittinger, Bittner, Biddinger, and Bidinger Families--and Their Kin--of Garrett County, Maryland. This family also is documented in Olive Duff's family history notes, Moon Genealogy

 

Jersey Church Cemetery

[Note -- Harriet's brother James Ralph Smith Sr. married Bertha Rowan, and brother Harvey Smith married Clema Romesburg.] 

Charles died in 1977, at the age of 88. He was laid to rest in the Jersey Church Cemetery near Ursina following funeral services preached by Rev. Donald DeHaven. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American said that "his death ended a marriage of 65 years" and that he was survived by an astonishing 37 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.

Harriet outlived him by nine years. She passed away in 1986, and rests beside her husband for eternity. 

Son William Rose (1912- ? ) was born in 1912. At the age of 18, he lived at home and was employed as a laborer with the Pennsylvania highway department. Nothing more is known.

Daughter Catherine ("Kathryn") Rose (1915- ? ) was born in 1915. She married Norman Snyder ( ? - ? ). They lived in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD, circa 1956 and in 1986 in Norwalk, CA.

Son Albert "Glenn" ("Mutt") Rose (1918-1996) was born in 1918. He married Maola Brandt (1920-2014), daughter of Grant M. and Nannie (Knupp) Brant. Their nuptials took place on July 13, 1941, in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. They lived in Paddytown and attended one of our family reunions in the mid-1990s. Their children were Glenda Burkett, Earle Eugene Rose, Eric Todd Rose, Glenn "Sonny" Rose, Jay Rose, Nancy I. Noonan, Scott Rose and Wilma Jean Boyd. Mutt passed away in 1996. Maola survived him by 18 years. She died at the Meadow View Nursing Center in Berlin on March 25, 2014, age 93.

 

Jersey Church Cemetery

Son Harvey "James" Rose (1919-1986) was born on Aug. 7, 1919. As a boy of 12, he assisted his father and grandfather Levi Rose at a lumber camp in Humbert. James married Frances E. Tishue (1925-1991). Their six children were Roger Rose, Carol Coddington, James Rose, Mark Rose, Jill Sines and Jack Rose. Circa 1951, they resided in Farmington, Fayette County. The Somerset Daily American once noted that he was a member of the Ohiopyle Grange, Old Time Fiddlers and Carpenter's Local 2274 of Pittsburgh. James passed away on Jan. 31, 1986, at the age of 67, with interment in Jersey Cemetery. Frances outlived him by five years. She died on Oct. 3, 1991, at age 66.

Daughter Ethel Laverne Rose (1921- ? ) was born on Sept. 10, 1921. She married Harold Alexander Pletcher (1920-1981), son of Ross and Bertha (Ansell) Pletcher. During World War II, Harold served in the U.S. Army. They made their home in Rockwood in 1951 and later in Scullton, Somerset County. They produced six children -- Jerry R. Pletcher, Myrna Lane, Deborah Lynn King, Eugene Pletcher, Craig Pletcher and Gary Lee Pletcher. The Pletchers were members of the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. Harold was a construction laborer and a member of the Carpenters Local Union 224 of Pittsburgh. Harold passed away on Nov. 22, 1981, with burial in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. Rev. John W. Hedge officiated at the funeral, with an obituary printed in the Meyersdale Republic.

 

  • Grandson Jerry R. Pletcher (1944-2012) was born on Sept. 24, 1944 in Scullton. During the Vietnam War, he served with the U.S. Marine Corps and was a veteran of combat. Returning home, he worked as a construction foreman, a job from which he retired. Jerry was married and had one son, Jerry Pletcher Jr. Jerry Sr. made his home in 1981 in Watertown, CT and resided in Hampton, NH during his last years, and died there at the age of 68 on Oct. 23, 2012.
  • Granddaughter Myrna Pletcher wed Robert Lane and lived in 1981 in Poway, CA.
  • Grandson Harold Eugene Pletcher lived in Freedom, Beaver County, PA in 1981.
  • Grandson Craig Pletcher resided in Somerset.
  • Granddaughter Debbie Pletcher was united in wedlock with Dalton King.
  • Grandson Gary Pletcher lived in Rockwood.

Daughter Viola "Jean" Rose (1924- ? ) was born in 1924 in Humbert. As an 18-year-old, she resided in the state capitol of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA, at 121 North 18th Street. On March 3, 1941, at the age of 18, Viola married 21-year-old Leo Stanley Miller ( ? - ? ), son of Leland and Bessie (Suter) Miller of Somerset. The ceremony was performed in Harrisburg by Rev. Lewis C. Manges. Because Viola was underage, her parents had to sign their consent to the union. At the time of marriage, Leo was employed as a laborer in Harrisburg. Later, she wed (?) Ghormiby and (?) Owens. In 1977-1986, using the name Owens, she dwelled in Burbank, CA.

 

Son Kenneth Rose (1925- ? ) was born in 1925 in Paddytown. He married Mildred Ruth Lichty 1925-2002), daughter of Charles and Laura (Lenhart) Lichty of Listonburg, Somerset County. They had one son, John W. Rose. Mildred moved to Wellford, SC where she died at age 76 on March 2, 2002. Her remains were brought back to Somerset County for interment in Addison Cemetery. 

 

  • Grandson John W. Rose (1943-1979) was born in 1943. He married Judith L. O'Roark ( ? - ? ). They had two children -- Shannon Rose and Kenneth C. Rose. John died on Dec. 9, 1979 at the age of 36, with burial in Addison Cemetery. Judith married again to (?) Painter and resided in Wellford, SC.

Son Eugene Rose ( ? - ? ) moved to Hollywood, CA in August 1951 with his sister Verna. A picnic was held in their honor at Idlewild Park. Circa 1977-1986, he made his home in Mason City, Iowa.

 

Daughter Verna Rose ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She and her brother relocated to Hollywood, CA in August 1951. To mark the occasion, a picnic was held at Idlewild Park and was attended by Verna's aged grandfather Levi Rose, her parents, sister Ethel Pletcher and her husband and children of Rockwood, brother Kenneth Rose and his family of Listonburg, brother James Rose and family of Farmington and brother Albert Glenn and family of Confluence. She married (?) Reynolds. Circa 1977, she dwelled in Santa Ana, CA and in 1986 in San Diego.

Daughter Bertha Rose (1928- ? ) was born in 1928. She married (?) Pruitt and after 1986 to (?) Burger. In 1977, her home was in North Utica, NY and in 1986 in Burbank, CA. She later relocated to Norwalk, CA.

Son Charles Henry Rose Jr. (1935- ? ) was born on April 26, 1935. At the age of 21, in 1956, he wed Shirley Anne Martin ( ? - ? ) of Confluence, Somerset County. They went to Cumberland, Allegany County, MD to be married, and stayed there briefly with his older sister Kathryn Snyder and her husband Norman. Almost immediately after marriage, they moved to Southern California. They resided for many years in Chino, CA, and have three children, two grandchildren and a great-grandson.

 

Gently rolling landscape of Paddytown near the Rose place

 

~ Daughter Margaret L. (Rose) Wilson ~

Daughter Margaret L. Rose (1894-1977) was born in January 1894. She resided as a young woman in Humbert, Somerset County.

At the age of 18, on May 30, 1912, she married 22-year-old William Henry Wilson (1889-1944), son of Joseph and Susanna (Porterfield) Wilson of Humbert. Justice of the peace Andrew J. Case performed the ceremony. Because Margaret was underage, her father signed his consent to the union. William was employed as a laborer at the time.

They had six known children -- Anna Grace Steeley, Evelyn Mae Shumaker, Joseph H. Wilson, Hazel A. Wilson, Ralph G. Wilson and Frances K. Wilson.

William was employed as a miner in local coal mines. Circa 1927, when daughter Frances was born, the family lived in Indian Head, Fayette County. In 1930, when the federal census was taken, the Wilsons resided in Grey, Jenner Township, Somerset County. They relocated again in about 1935 to Scalp Level, Cambria County, with William obtaining work at the 1053 Mine 40 of Berwind-White Coal Mining Company.

 

Bird's eye view of Indian Head

 

Sadly, William suffered a heart attack in about August 1944. His health went downhill after that and he died four months later, just 10 days before his 55th birthday, on Dec. 19, 1944.  

Now widowed, Margaret went to live in Windber, Somerset County. She passed into eternity on Dec. 30, 1977.

Daughter Anna "Grace" Wilson (1913-1989) was born on July 10, 1913 in Humbert. As a girl, she moved with her parents to Gray, Somerset County. At the age of 19, Anna married 26-year-old Walter Irvin Steeley (1907- ? ), a 26-year-old coal miner and the son of Rev. Lewis and Emma (Lessig) Steeley of Gray. Their wedding ceremony was performed by Walter's father on May 14, 1933, in Gray. In 1944, the Steeleys lived near Grace's parents at the 1053 Mine in Scalp Level, Cambria County. Grace died on May 7, 1989.

Daughter Evelyn Mae Wilson (1916- ? ) was born in 1916 in Humbert. She relocated at a young age with her parents to Gray, Somerset County. On Dec. 3, 1932, at the age of 16, Evelyn wed 22-year-old Charles Franklin Shumaker (1910- ? ), son of Samuel Shumaker and Ethel (King) Shumaker Spangler of Hooversville, Somerset County. Justice of the peace H.I. Whipperman led the nuptials in Somerset. On her marriage license, Evelyn gave her age as "18" rather than "16," but her parents signed their consent because she was underage.

Son Joseph H. Wilson (1919- ? ) 

Daughter Hazel A. Wilson (1922- ? ) 

Son Ralph G. Wilson (1924-1997) was born on Dec. 14, 1923. He married Stella Tokarsky ( ? - ? ). Their seven children were Connie Wilson, Charles Wilson, Carol Mullikin, Jane Smith, John Ostrosky, Patricia Boltz and Jo Ann Wilson. Ralph died on April 22, 1974, at the age of 51. Burial was in St. John's Cemetery.

Daughter Frances Katherine Wilson (1927- ? ) was born in 1927 in Indian Head, Fayette County. At the age of 20, she made her home in Mine 40, Windber, Somerset County, residing at 1053 First Street. She married her Mine 40 neighbor Joseph Esdkinsky (1926- ? ), age 21 and the son of Hungarian immigrants John and Mary (Saganee) Esdkinsky of Windber. Their wedding was held on July 16, 1948, at the Scalp Level Evangelical United Brethren Church in Cambria County, officiated by Rev. Lester M. Crum. At the time of marriage, Joseph worked as a coal stripper in Mine 40.

~ Daughter Goldie (Rose) Mort Holder ~

Daughter Goldie Rose (1897-1976) was born on June 17, 1897 in Humbert. 

On Dec. 12, 1915, Goldie married Harvey Mort (1897- ? ), the son of William D. and Araminta (Greene) Mort of Somerset. Both were age 18 at the time. Justice of the peace G.G. Groff performed the nuptials. 

They had four known children -- Frances "Araminta" Uphouse, Lloyd Harvey Mort, Ethel Mort and Betty Jane Anderson.

 

Somerset, early 1900s. Note the buggy riding on the dirt street.

 

Harvey worked as a plumber early in the marriage. In 1930, when the federal census was taken, the Morts made their home on Hugus Street in Somerset. Later, they moved to 752 South Edgewood Avenue in Somerset. Goldie was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Somerset.

Harvey labored as a miner for many years, and at the end of his career he was a mine foreman.

Sadly, Harvey was stricken with a heart attack and died at the age of 47 on July 19, 1945. Burial was in St. John's Cemetery.

Goldie married again, to Lester M. Holder (1894-1955), son of Isaac and Cerelda (Lohr) Holder. He was a laborer in a local canning company. They dwelled in her home on South Edgewood Avenue. Lester died of a heart attack at age 61 on April 18, 1955.

Widowed for a second time, Goldie spent her final years in Somerset. She passed away at the age of 79 on Nov. 13, 1976, in Somerset Community Hospital. Burial was in St. John's Cemetery. Rev. John Cox officiated at the funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Meyersdale Republican.

  • Daughter Frances Araminta "Minnie" Mort (1920-2011) was born on Jan. 22, 1920 at Belltown, Somerset County. As a young woman, she lived in Somerset and was employed as a clerk. At the age of 25, on Oct. 13 (or 16), 1945, she wed 30-year-old Albert "Ellsworth" Uphouse (1915-1992), the son of John F. and Susan (Peck) Uphouse and a native of Milford Township, Somerset County. The nuptials were led by Rev. David N. Lykens in Somerset. Albert was a veteran of World War II. Their four children were Harold Uphouse, Allen Wayne Uphouse, Norma Lute and Mary Nida. In 1961, the family relocated to Akron, OH. Said the Akron Beacon Journal, "Minnie was a devoted homemaker, raising four children, and in her spare time loved to sew, knit and crochet. Those who knew her would say she was a sweet little lady who loved life, but most of all, loved her family." Albert died at the age of 77 on April 26, 1992. Burial was in St. John's Cemetery. Minnie survived her husband by almost two decades. She died on Dec. 9, 2011, and her remains were returned to Somerset. Rev. Gerald Deffenbaugh preached the funeral sermon, followed by burial in St. John's.

 

  • Grandson Harold Uphouse married Barbara and lived in Akron.
  • Grandson Allen Wayne Uphouse (1949-2006) was born in about 1946. He and his parents moved to Akron when he was a teenager. Allen was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He was married first to Billie (?) and produced these children -- Yvonne Richmond, Paul Uphouse, Susan Uphouse, Marsha Landin, Kevin Thompson and Sabrina Rinehart. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, golfing and bowling, and loved sports of all kinds. After a divorce, he married again, in about 2004, to Dottie. Allen died in Robinson Memorial Hospital at age 57 on Jan. 27, 2006. An obituary appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal, and burial was in the Hillside Memorial Park.
  • Granddaughter Norma Uphouse was wedded to Robert Lute and made their home in Akron.
  • Granddaughter Mary Uphouse married Charles Nida and dwelled in Uniontown, OH.

Son Lloyd Harvey Mort (1923-2016) was born on Feb. 5, 1923 in Somerset. During World War II, he served with the United States Army as a member of the 1st Infantry Division. He saw action in the North Africa, Sicily and Normandy campaigns, and was injured or wounded, later receiving a Purple Heart. At the age of 22, on June 23, 1945, Lloyd married Ruth Emma Baer (1921-1996), age 24, the daughter of Harvey and Grace (Hiteshew) Baer, and a telephone operator living in Friedens, Somerset County. Rev. Darwin F. Pickard officiated at their wedding ceremony, in Paxtang, PA. The couple produced these children -- Ronald Mort, Linda Smith and Wayne Mort. They were members of the Geiger Church of the Brethren. Lloyd earned a living by working for Barkman's Hardware the the Somerset Area School District. He belonged to the Somerset Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Somerset Odd Fellows lodge. Sadly, Ruth died in 1996. Lloyd survived his wife by two decades. He spent his final time in the Meadowview Nursing Home in Berlin, Somerset County. He died there at the age of 92 on Feb. 4, 2016. His remains were lowered into honored rest in the St. John's Cemetery in Somerset, with Pastor Paul Liepelt officiating. 

 

  • Grandson Ronald Mort married Beverly and resided in Somerset.
  • Granddaughter Linda Mort was wedded to Donnie Smith and lived in Somerset.
  • Grandson Wayne Mort made his residence in St. Augustine, FL.

Daughter Betty Jane Mort ( ? - ? ) married Charles "Chirley" Anderson ( ? - ? ). They lived in Stoystown, Somerset County in 2011.

 

Copyright 2000, 2003, 2007-2008, 2010, 2012, 2014-2016 Mark A. Miner