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Anna Belle (Trout) Hower


Annie and James

Anna Belle "Annie" (Trout) Hower was born in February 1872 in Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Isaac F. and Emma Jane (Minerd) Trout

At the age of 16, Annie lived at Scottdale, Westmoreland County, and married 21-year-old James H. Hower (1866-1932), the son of Samuel and Amanda (Decker) Hower. They united themselves in marriage on April 30, 1888 after first securing a marriage license in Fayette County, PA. A.J. Gilmore and William S. Howard were witnesses.

At the time of marriage, James also was a Scottdale resident and made his living as a house painter.

The Howers had seven children -- Elmer F. Hower, John "Calvin" Hower, Blanch Hower, James "Stanley" Hower, Bessie Irene "Rene" Coughenour, William B. Hower and Emma Frederickson Prettyman. Sadly, little Blanche, born in 1892, died in infancy of pneumonia.

According to property deeds, he and Annie resided in Scottdale throughout the 1890s until they moved to New Stanton (Hunker) in 1900.

In 1900, when the federal census was taken, James and Annie resided in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, along with their four children, James' invalid mother and Annie's unmarried sister Dollie "Missouri" Trout. James' occupation that year was listed as painter, with the family surname misspelled as "Howard." James' primary occupation, however, was building houses.

The 1910 census shows the family in Hempfield Township, with James continuing to follow his trade as a house painter. They lived just a few doors away from Annie's brother, John Minard Trout Sr. Family deeds and penny postcards sent in the era show that the Howers continued to reside in New Stanton/Hunker until 1920, with James building dozens of homes during that time.


Five generations, L-R: mother Emma Trout, granddaughter Beatrice Hower, son Elmer Hower, Annie (standing) and grandmother Elizabeth Minerd


Annie at a Trout reunion

By about 1920, Annie had become a grandmother, and she posed for a five-generations photo seen on this page.  The 1920 census shows the family in New Stanton, Hempfield Township, with James working as a house painter, and 17-year-old daughter Emma employed as a stenographer in a local office. 

Seen at right, Annie holds an unidentified baby at a Trout family reunion.

By 1929, the family had moved to a house on Culbertson Avenue in Greensburg, Hempfield Township. The 1930 census shows that James was a laborer at odd jobs. Also residing in their home in 1930 were 19-year-old granddaughter Beatrice M. Hower, 17-year-old grandson Stanley W. Hower, and infant great-grandson James E. Marvin. Beatrice worked as a clerk in a dry goods store. 

In August 1930, Anna Belle and her mother, and aunt Bertha VanDyke, attended the annual Minerd Reunion, held at Shady Grove Park in Uniontown. They gave their names to distant cousin Laura Jane (Minerd) Williams, who later wrote a lengthy account of the event for her local newspaper back home, the Huntingdon (PA) Daily News.

James and Annie lived at the address of 226 Culbertson Avenue in Greensburg in the early 1930s, with him continuing to work as a general contractor. At the age of 65, in March 1932, James contracted a deadly case of influenza and bronchial pneumonia. He succumbed on March 16, 1932. His remains were placed into eternal repose in Hillview Cemetery. In a one-paragraph obituary, the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier noted that "His wife and four children survive."

Annie made her home in Greensburg in 1938-1947 at the address of 603 George Street. Having had a gall stone removed in 1934, and enduring heart disease and hardening of the arteries thereafter, she died in the residence of her married daughter Emma Frederickson, on April 23, 1947, age 75. Burial also was in Hillview Cemetery. The Daily Courier said in an two-sentence obituary that "Mrs. Irene Coughenour of New Stanton is a daughter."

Many of their offspring have been active in the community, and have served the public in a variety of ways. 


Elmer F. Hower

~ Son Elmer Franklin Hower ~

Son Elmer Franklin Hower (1889-1961) was born in 1889 in New Stanton, Westmoreland County. As a young man, he made a living as a house painter.

In about 1913, at the age of 24, Elmer wed Lucy Kern ( ? -1915) of Donora, Washington County, PA. They had two children, Beatrice Hower and Stanley Wayne Hower.

Tragedy struck the family when Lucy died in March 1915, leaving Elmer with the two youngsters to raise.

After three years as a widower, Elmer married Kelly Agnes Kirkwood on Feb. 28, 1918. The marriage apparently did not last.


Beatrice Hower

Circa 1920-1930, Elmer may have been a patient in Kalamazoo Hospital in Kalamazoo, MI. The reason is not yet known. In 1930, his teenage children made their home with his parents in New Stanton. 

Later, apparently having recovered from his malady, he moved back to Western Pennsylvania, making his home in Washington and Canonsburg, Washington County. 

In November 1938, at age 49, he wed for a third time to Mary Elizabeth McKenzie, age 42, the daughter of John and Rebecca (McKnapp) McKenzie. At the time they married, Elmer was a painter, and Mary lived in New Stanton. They obtained their marriage license in Somerset, Somerset County, PA but tied the knot in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County.

Elmer's home in 1938 was at 41 Buena Vista in Washington and in 1940 was on Wilma Avenue in Washington.

He died at the age of 78 in Canonsburg on Feb. 16, 1961. A one-sentence obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier

Son Stanley Wayne Hower (1912-1960) was born in New Stanton. As a 17-year-old, he lived with his grandparents in New Stanton. At the age of 27, in 1940, he worked as a meat cutter in Washington, PA. In 1940, he married Opal Romaine Day, daughter of Paul H. and Romaine (Keeney) Day of Washington. The couple had four children. Stanley also worked as a glass plant laborer before moving to Washington, DC. After suffering a serious illness for seven months, he died at home at the age of 48 in late August or early September 1960. A brief obituary was printed in the Daily Courier


The Fredericksons

~ Daughter Emma (Hower) Frederickson Prettyman ~

Daughter Emma Hower (1904-1990) was born in 1904. 

As a young woman, age 16, was employed as an office stenographer in 1920, prior to marriage. In about 1924, when she was age 20, Emma wed Henry Frederickson (1900-1972). 

They had three children -- Rev. Charles H. Frederickson, Emma "Irene" Saxton and Jane Kuhns.

When the federal census was enumerated in 1930, Emma and Henry made their home in Greensburg, living next to her parents in the Culbertson Extension. Henry was employed that year as an electrician for a railroad company. During the hard economic climate of the Great Depression of the 1930s, he took a job as a grocer in the store of his brother Theodore on Westmoreland Avenue. He also was a volunteer fire fighter at Hose House No. 7. In 1940, after the death of Henry's mother, they moved to George Street.

Henry served as an alderman in Greensburg for more than three decades, from 1939 to 1970, a type of justice of the peace, and adjudicating many cases involving small crimes.

Sadly, Henry died in 1972 at the age of 74, terminating a marriage that had lasted about 48 years.

Later in life, Emma married (?) Prettyman. She passed away at the age of 87 in 1990 and rests for eternity beside her first husband in St. Clair Cemetery in Greensburg.

Son Rev. Charles H. Frederickson (1923-1999) married M. Beatrice "Bea" (?) in about 1944, and served with the US Navy during World War II. Afterward, he graduated from Johns Hopkins University and secured employment as an engineering draftsman at the Overly Manufacturing Company in Greensburg. He also taught Sunday School at Zion Lutheran Church in Greensburg. They had seven children -- Wendy Jane Frederickson, Dary Ann Frederickson, Charles H. Frederickson Jr., Maxine Shroyer, Marsha Williams, Darlene Frederickson and Dora Neighly. Circa 1960, feeling the call to ministry, he enrolled at Wittenburg University to begin college preparation studies. Then, in 1963, he entered the university's Hamma Divinity School in Springfield, OH. Said an October 1963 article in the Daily Courier, "It was three years ago that Frederickson decided to give up his draftsman occupation to enter the ministry. This meant, among other things, relinquishing a partnership in a Pittsburgh firm which he acquired after leaving Overly, and the family home was sold to help pay part of his college expenses. Mrs. Frederickson works in the Wittenburg Student Union during the evening, while he stays home with the couple's five children." After receiving his ordination, he went on to become a pastor at the Rupp Lutheran Church in Kittanning, Heilman Lutheran Church in Ford City and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Trauger. He also was an interim pastor at several local churches. In November 1975, he was appointed to the Mount Pleasant Township Municipal Authority. Two months later, said the Courier, he "may have worked a miracle" at the "embattled" agency when he "brought Authority members and residents affected by the Shupes Run Sewer Project into a tentative and tenuous agreement at the group's quarterly meeting." Following that achievement, he was elected as vice chairman of the authority. Over time, he and Bea also hosted seven American Foreign Service (AFS) Exchange students. Charles died at the age of 77, at home in Jeannette, on Dec. 14, 1999. His funeral was led by Bishop Donald J. McCoid of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Daughter Emma Irene Frederickson (1926- ? ) was born in 1926. At the age of 20, on Oct. 30, 1946, she married Harry G. Saxton (1925-2007), son of William Earl and Bessie Mae (Lusebrink) Saxton of Greensburg. They couple moved to Mansfield, OH, and had three sons -- David Saxton, Rev. Robert Saxton and Thomas Saxton. For three decades, Harry owned Richland Sales Company in Mansfield, "specializing in structural steel, metal roof decks and accordion doors," said the Greensburg Tribune-Review. He also was a skilled jazz piano player. Later in life, the Saxtons made their home in Bellville, OH. Harry died in MedCentral Mansfield Hospital at age 81 on April 11, 2007. He was laid to rest in Bellville Cemetery.

Daughter Jane Frederickson married Donald Kuhns Sr. and in 1999 resided in Largo, FL.


J. Stanley Hower

~ Son James "Stanley" Hower ~

Son James "Stanley" Hower (1890-1943) was born on May 23, 1890 in Scottdale, Westmoreland County. As a young man, he was employed as a rubber worker in Scottdale.

He married Sarah A. "Sally" Hunker (1891- ? ) on March 18, 1911, when he was age 20, and she 19. She was the daughter of John L. and Nancy J. Hunker, a native of Washington, Washington County, PA, and a resident of New Stanton at the time of marriage. Rev. Joseph Osgood Glenn performed the ceremony.

They had nine children -- John L. Hower, Dr. Thomas Henry Hower, Eugene Kemp Hower, Dorothy Fern Derr, Norma June Swartz, Anna Pauline Troupe, David Kemp Hower, Sara E. Bussard and Fay Aletha Kozer. 

All of their children were baptized in connection with the family church, including four of them at home on the same day -- Nov. 3, 1926 -- by Rev. J.O. Glenn of St. Mark's Lutheran Church of New Stanton. Their records are preserved in a light-blue booklet compiled by Paul Miller Ruff, entitled St. Mark's Lutheran Church (Mechling Bookbindery), covering the years 1906-1947. Stanley's cousin John Minard Trout Sr. and family also were members of the church, as was distant cousin Richard A. McVay and his wife Wilma in the 1940s. 


Turnpike motorist in a Studebaker inspects
the new reflector sign at New Stanton, 1940

Stanley was a house painter, and operated his own shop in 1930. When the federal census was taken that year, he and the family made their home in New Stanton, Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County.

New Stanton's life as a small quiet town was forever changed in 1940 when the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened to traffic, with a major interchange in the town allowing traffic to enter or exit. The Turnpike Commission noted the following in its publicity:

The new Pittsburgh-Harrisburg Turnpike has 160 under- and overpasses. There are no intersections, traffic lights or stop signs on the super-road. There are nine “interchanges” along the route where tourists may enter or leave the Turnpike.

Stanley passed away at the age of 53 in Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg on April 29, 1943. The funeral was held at St. Mark's Church , followed by burial in the church cemetery. His death was recorded in the St. Mark's parish records.


Dr. Thomas Hower

Son Thomas Henry Hower (1918-1984) was born on May 6, 1918, and was confirmed in the family's church, St. Mark's Lutheran Church of New Stanton. He graduated from the Palmer School of Chiropractic, and underwent additional post-graduate education at St. Vincent College and Lincoln Chiropratic College. He entered into practice with his uncle, Dr. D.K. Hunker and they were partners for 10 years, until 1947. He was married twice, first to Maxine Eberly, on Dec. 7, 1938, in a ceremony held at the church parsonage. They had two sons, Dr. Thomas A. Hower and Dr. Robert D. Hower. The family resided at 320 South Main Street in Greensburg. In addition to his practice as a chiropractor, Thomas was an active member of the Masons, Rotary Club of Greensburg, Elks and Greensburg Country Club, and served as the team physician for the local high school athletic teams. He also was involved with the Greensburg Chamber of Commerce, was president and treasurer of the Westmoreland County Chiropractice Association, and was a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Drugless Physicians and International Chiropractors Association. In 1961, when the book The Greater Greensburg Profile was published, Thomas was pictured, as was his building in Greensburg, with profiles about him and the practice were printed in the volume. Later, in January 1982, Thomas married Evelyn Elizabeth (Wolfe) George (1915-2001), widow of Alva W. George, and she brought two adult children from a previous marriage -- A. Robert George and Barry L. George. Said the Greensburg Tribune-Review, Evelyn "was a member of Christ United Methodist Church, Youngwood, and retired from Joe Workman's Dept. Store, Irwin. She was a member of the Senior Serenaders of the McKenna Center, and member and former officer of the Degree of Honor, Irwin Chapter." Thomas passed away in 1984, at the age of 66. Evelyn outlived him by 17 years. She died in Latrobe Hospital at the age of 86 on Dec. 9, 2001. Following a funeral at Christ United Methodist Church in Youngwood, her remains were interred in Union Cemetery in Greensburg.

  • Grandson Dr. Thomas A. Hower was profiled in the Tribune-Review in June 2008 for opening his farm in Unity, Westmoreland County, one day a year to allow mentally challenged children and adults to fish. Link.
  • Grandson Dr. Robert D. Hower resided in Natrona Heights, near Pittsburgh.


T.H. Hower Chiropractic office, Greensburg, corner of Main and Fourth Streets

Greater Greensburg Profile, 1961


Son Eugene Kemp Hower (1919- ? ) was born on March 31, 1919. At the age of seven, in 1926, he was baptized by Rev. J.O. Glenn of the St. Mark's Church. At age 16, in July 1935, he joined the church by confession of faith. 


St. Mark's records

Daughter Dorothy Fern Hower (1922- ? ) was born on April 18, 1922. She was baptized at age four by Rev. J.O. Glenn of the St. Mark's Church. She married Jacob Davidson Derr (1914-1998), son of John Lewis and Della (Errett) Derr of West Newton. The ceremony was held at her home on April 4, 1941. They had three children -- Robert Derr, David Derr and Dorothy "Dotty" Cook. The Derrs resided in Madison, Westmoreland County, and were farmers. Jacob also was a school bus driver for the Yough School District and as a truck driver for Matlack Trucking Company of Adamsburg. He also was a member of the Madison Downtown United Methodist Church, Sewickley Grange No. 1897, and Teamsters Local No. 30 of Jeannette. Dorothy died sometime prior to 1993. Jacob passed away at the age of 84 on July 12, 1998, at Westmoreland Regional Hospital. Burial was in Madison Union Cemetery.

Daughter Norman June Hower (1924-1993) was born on Aug. 19, 1924 in New Stanton. At age two, she was baptized by the family's pastor, Rev. J.O. Glenn. She married Donald F. Swartz. They had one son, Edward. T. Swartz. Norma was active in the local community. Said the Greensburg Tribune-Review, she "was an elected member of the Westmoreland County Democratic Committee and for many years served as the Democratic committeewoman for New Stanton Borough ... She was a member and past president of the former New Stanton Volunteer Firemen's Ladies Auxiliary. She was an estate appraiser and worked at Home Tag Sales." Sadly, the lost their only son to death sometime prior to 1993. Norma passed away at age 68, in Westmoreland Memorial Hospital, on March 23, 1993. She was laid to rest in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.


Famed landmark -- the New Stanton viaduct on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the largest of the 300 structures and stream crossings along the high speed highway


Daughter Anna Pauline Hower (1926-2000) was born on Nov. 3, 1926. She was baptized as an infant on Nov. 3, 1926, by Rev. J.O. Glenn. She married (?) Troupe. They resided in New Stanton and had two children -- Norman Troupe and Janice Keifer. Said the Tribune-Review, was "a member of the Robertshaw Controls Retirees Association, the Youngwood Railroad Historical Society, the Lobauch Literary Council and the Sewickley Watershed Association. Prior to retirement, she was employed as a secretary by the Robertshaw Controls of New Stanton, and later by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 26th Legislative District office."

Son David Kemp Hower (1928-2011) was born on Dec. 19, 1928 in New Stanton. He was baptized by the St. Mark's Church pastor, Rev. J.O. Glenn. At the age of 18, David married Nancy J. Lawson (1925-2012) on May 24, 1946. They had four children -- Rebecca Jo Brush, Brenda J. Betker, David O. Hower and Peggy L. Painter. Early in his working life, he earned an income as a coal miner and mechanic with Jamison Coal and Delmont Fuel. Later, he was a truck driver with National Hydraulics in Scottdale. He was a member of the Scottdale Elks lodge, Hempfield Hunt Club and St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Scottdale. Nancy served as an election worker in White's Precinct of East Huntington Township, and was an apprentice photographer for the Mount Pleasant Journal. She also enjoyed making candy and baking treats. In all, David and Nancy were married for 65 years and lived in Scottdale (East Huntington Township). He died at home on June 20, 2011, at the age of 82. He is buried in Green Ridge Memorial Park near Connellsville. Nancy outlived her husband by almost nine months. She passed away at the age of 86 on April 11, 2012. 

Daughter Sarah Elizabeth Hower (1932- ? ) was born on June 14, 1932, and was baptized at church as she neared her third birthday on April 14, 1935. She married Wilbur C. Bussard on Oct. 26, 1951. They resided in New Stanton, and had three children -- John S. Bussard, Wilbur Bussard and Marlene Muchoney. Wilbur served as the Mayor of New Stanton Borough, and continues to be a member of Borough Council. In May 2007, he won the Democratic primary for reelection to council. 

  • Grandson John S. Bussard (1955-1999) married Renee Lilliock. They had no children. John was an Army veteran and self-employed excavator. Sadly, he died on June 6, 1999 at the age of 43, with interment in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.

Daughter Fay Aletha Hower (1936- ? ) was born on June 18, 1936. She was baptized at home on May 5, 1941. She married (?) Kozer.

~ Son John "Calvin" Hower ~

Son John "Calvin" Hower (1894- ? ) was married to (?) in about 1913. They resided circa 1929 in Greensburg. Their children were Lucette Belle Hower, Wilde Hower and Emma "Babe" Barron. 

When the federal census was taken in 1930, Calvin and his children lived on Broad Street in in South Greensburg, but his wife was not in the household that year. Calvin's employment was marked as automobile salesman. Also living in their home was housekeeper Lilian M. Hamilton and her sons Tommy and Robert. 

Daughter Emma "Florence" Hower ( ? - ? ) married Paul Stewart Barron, son of David Barron of Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. The nuptials took place in October 1939. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "The ceremony took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Frederickson of Greensburg, uncle and aunt of the bride, with Dr. L.D. Spaugy, pastor of the Methodist Church of Greensburg, officiating. Wedding music was played by Miss Eliza Rial who also sang two selections, 'I love You Truly' and 'O, Promise Me'." The nuptials took place "before and improvised altar of ferns, palms and autumn flowers." They had two children -- Paul C. Barron, Sandra Hamm, David J. Barron and Linda Barron. They resided in the Mount Pleasant area. Sadly, Florence is thought to have died young, and Paul remarried again to Dorothy (?). 

  • Grandson Paul C. "Pete" Barron (1943-2011) was born on March 11, 1943 in Mount Pleasant. He was married twice, and with his first wife had one son, Paul W. Barron Jr. His second wife was Ruth Ann Gray ( ? -2011). Pete was employed at Robertshaw in New Stanton and with International Paper. He then went to work for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as an equipment operator. He was a member of Laurel Ridge Sportsmen's Club, Mt. Joy Church of the Brethren and the Mount Pleasant Firemen's Club, where he enjoyed bartending. Ruth was an accountant and worked as a bookkeeper for business firms in the Mount Pleasant area. She also was a talented cook and baker and captured a number of blue ribbons in local fairs and events. Sadly, Ruth and Pete died about six weeks apart in 2011 -- Ruth on Nov. 19, 2011 and Pete on Christmas Eve 2011 in Harmon House, Mount Pleasant. Their obituaries were published in the Greensburg Tribune-Review. They rest for eternity in Mt. Joy Cemetery. 
  • Granddaughter Sandra Barron wed Jack Hamm. 
  • Grandson David J. Barron wed Debi and resided in Jefferson, OH.

~ Daughter Bessie "Irene" (Hower) Coughenour ~


Irene Coughenour

Daughter Bessie "Irene" (or "Rene") Hower (1897-1991) was born on Sept. 18, 1896 in Hempfield Township. 

On Oct. 28, 1914, when she was age 17, Irene married 26-year-old farmer Don Erwin Coughenour of Hempfield Township. Rev. S.W. McCorkle performed the nuptials in East McKeesport, near Pittsburgh.

They had four children -- Donald H. Coughenour, Walter R. Coughenour, George E. Coughenour and Ruth Ann Washabaugh. 

They resided in Youngwood, at 8 South Fifth Street. Rene was employed for  many years as a licensed practical nurse.

Irene died at the age of 94 on Sept. 15, 1991, in Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg. Her funeral was conducted by her nephew Rev. Charles H. Frederickson. She was laid to rest in Westmoreland County Memorial Park. At her death, said the Greensburg Tribune-Review, she was survived by 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren. 

Son Donald H. Coughenour (1915-1976) was born on Aug. 23, 1915 in Hempfield Township. He married Sara Barron ( ? - ? ). They resided in the outskirts of Mount Pleasant and had five children -- Donald R. Coughenour, Rebecca Domenico, Irene Yothers, Sally Stout and Donna Lubovinsky. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army. Donald worked at Westinghouse Electric Company in Youngwood, and belonged to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). An outdoorsman who loved animals, he was a member of the American Kennel Club, Arabian Horse Registry, Farmer Sportsman Association of Duncansville and the Woodmen of the World. Donald died at home at the age of 61 on Aug. 30, 1976, and his obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

  • Granddaughter Rebecca Coughenour married Paschel Domenico. 
  • Granddaughter Irene Coughenour married Oran Yothers. 
  • Granddaughter Sally Coughenour wed (?) Stout. 
  • Granddaughter Donna Coughenour married William Lubovinsky.

Son George E. Coughenour lived in Duncansville, PA in 1976 and in Hollidaysburg, PA circa 1991.

Son Walter Coughenour made his home in 1976 in Barker, NY.

Daughter Ruth Ann Coughenour (1918-2007) was born on June 27, 1918 in New Stanton. She married Harry Albert Washabaugh (1919-1999). They had one daughter, Donna Irene Hillis, and resided in the vicinity of Latrobe. Ruth worked for two decades for Westinghouse Electric Company in Youngwood, and was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Youngwood Volunteer Hose Company No. 1 and Word of Life Ministries of Greensburg. Harry passed away at the age of 80 on Dec. 9, 1999. Ruth Ann outlived him by 18 years. She died in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg on June 22, 2007, at the age of 88. Burial was in Westmoreland County Memorial Park, following a funeral led by Rev. Henry Tuliecio.

Copyright © 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011-2014, 2016 Mark A. Miner