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Rev. Herman Younkin
(1821-1885)

 

Younkin Cemetery

Rev. Harmon "Herman" Younkin was born on Nov. 27, 1821 near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the son of John J. and Mary "Polly" (Hartzell) Younkin.

He wed Susanna Faidley ( ? -1906), daughter of John William and Barbara (Kreider) Faidley of Middlecreek Township, Somerset County.

They were farmers of near Paddytown, Upper Turkeyfoot Township, where Herman spent his entire life. He also preached in local Methodist churches and was an assessor and tax collector. 

In the late 1840s, he began subscribing to the Somerset Herald newspaper, and remained a subscriber and reader for the remaining nearly four decades of his life. Susan lacked elementary education and could not write, although she apparently could read some words.

Their 10 children were Joanna Minerd, Nessley Younkin, Freeman Younkin, Mary Ann Younkin, Irvin ("Irwin") Younkin, John F. Younkin, Sarah Jane Colflesh (originally "Kalbfleisch"), Curtin Younkin, Barbara Ella Younkin and Milton "Bruce" Younkin. They also had 31 known grandchildren.

When the federal census was taken in 1850, Herman, Susan and their three eldest children were enumerated together, with Susan's 13-year-old sister or niece Barbara Faidley living under their roof. Their near neighbors included his widowed mother, Garrison and Hannah (Younkin) Smith and Frederick J. and Delilah (Faidley) Younkin.

In 1872, Herman purchased a farm from Jacob McMillen near Paddytown. His farm locations are clearly marked on the map of Upper Turkeyfoot Township published in the 1876 Atlas of Somerset County. The following year, a farm he had sold to Baer & Bro. -- likely the real estate investment company of Somerset County Judge William J. Baer -- sold a farm formerly owned by Herman to John Faidley for $4,000, as reported in the Somerset Herald.

Herman's farms at Paddytown circled, on both sides of Chicken Bone Road, near the Bethel M.E. Church where he preached, from the 1876 Atlas of Somerset County.

 

 

   

Daughter Joanna's grave at Younkin 
Cemetery in Paddytown, and her Civil War 
veteran husband Ephraim Minerd ("Miner")

Herman and Susan were enveloped in heartache when their married daughter Joanna, wife of her cousin and Civil War veteran Ephraim Minerd, died in 1875, and was buried in the Younkin Cemetery at Paddytown. Herman and Susanna became legal guardians for their daughter's motherless sons, William "Lincoln" Miner and Freeman "Grant" Miner. Linc was said to have been born slightly mentally retarded, but was able to read and write and hold a job, unlike his brother Grant, who had more serious mental disabilities. 

In 1876, when Beers' Atlas of Somerset County was published, Herman is shown on a map of Upper Turkeyfoot Township, owning two properties located on both sides of Chicken Bone Road. One was next to a tannery. The other was a short walk from the Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church where he regularly preached.

Having failed to pay state, county and militia taxes for the year 1875, Herman's name was printed in the Somerset Herald in February 1876. The newspaper reported that he made a partial payment of $57.

 

Herman's Mt. Bethel Church, ca. 1916-1918

In 1880, Herman assumed more preaching responsibilities in the Methodist Church in Ursina. The Herald reported that Rev. Shaffer, "the presiding Methodist minister of this place and Confluence, who has not been well for sometime, has left and gone home to his friends, to try to recruit his health, while Mr. Younkin of Paddytown, fills the pulpit in his absence."

Herman wrote a will in mid-September 1885, and left substantial funds for the care of the boys. In his words: "Further I will to my grandchildren namely Lincoln Minard and Grant Minard each the sum of three hundred dollars to be paid to them or their Guardians as the case may be as soon as the affairs of my estate is settled up." 

They also were deeply shaken in 1884 when their married daughter Sarah Jane Colflesh, suffering from depression rooted in illness, disappeared in a rainstorm and was missing for several days, before being found in an accidentally locked spring house. In covering the story, the Somerset Herald referred to Herman as "one of the most highly respected citizens of Upper Turkeyfoot township."

Herman died at the age of 63 years, nine months and 24 days on Sept. 21, 1885. Burial was beside his daughter Joanna in Paddytown. Inscribed on the face of his upright grave marker was this poem, authored by Robert Robinson and published in The Primitive Methodist Magazine.

 

His toils are past.
His work is done.
And he is fully blest.
He fought the fight. 
The victory won.
And entered into rest.

 

Somerset Herald, Oct. 21, 1885

A month after his passing, the Somerset Herald published a most remarkable obituary written by a friend of the family.

... and so the life of Herman Younkin is an integral part of the history of the county itself. He was an acceptable member of the Methodist church for nearly fifty years, and a local preacher for over thirty years, and once a year all along these years the question was asked in the quarterly conference: "Anything against Herman Younkin?" And the response was, nothing against him. This testimony to the life and integrity of the deceased is valuable and a source of comfort to the family. For nearly fifty years a member of the church, and a good part of that time a minister of the gospel in the midst of the people with whom he spent his whole life, comes the response, "Nothing against him." And as he passed from human recognition into the presence of the Universal Father, he has received the divine approval of "Well done good and faithful servant, enter though into the joy of the Lord." Another life has ended. Another presence has passed from among us. His presence will no longer be seen, and felt in the business of the community; his presence and voice in the councils of the church have ceased. But a blameless life and his faithful teachings have left a salutary influence on the hearts and minds of the people. To the family, a widow and six children, let me say, follow him as he followed Christ, so that at the last you may be numbered with the saved in heaven.

Susanna lived another 18 years as a widow. In 1906, when she wrote her will, she also bequeathed funds to grandsons Linc and Grant Miner in the amount of $25 each. She passed a few days later on Jan. 5, 1906, at age 78. 

 

Paddytown, showing the Younkin Cemetery tucked into a corn field, where the Younkins and Colfleshes and many of their offspring rest for eternity

 

 

Nessly's grave, 1851

~ Son Nessly Younkin ~

Son Nessly Younkin (1845?-1853) was born on June 25, 1845 or 1847. The 1850 federal census places his birth year at about 1847.

One source -- his grave marker -- shows that he died at the age of six years, six months and 21 days on June 18, 1851. 

Another source, the 1899 Biographical Review, erroneously says that his name was Wesley and that he passed away at age 12. 

He was buried in a Younkin family cemetery on what is now locally called the Lemmon Farm. His grave marker, still legible today, gives his name as "Nessly," which likely is the more correct term.

 

~ Son Freeman Younkin ~

 

Lemmon Farm near Kingwood

Son Freeman Younkin (1850-1898) was born on April 13, 1850. 

In about 1871, when he was age 21, Freeman married his 22-year-old cousin Belinda King (1849-1912), daughter of Thomas R. and Barbara (Younkin) King and granddaughter of Jacob and Sarah Salome (Weimer) Younkin Jr.  Jacob Gerhard of Kingwood was her guardian at the time of marriage. Her name often has been spelled "Berlinda" -- "Melinda" -- and "Matilda." 

When the federal census was taken in 1880, the Younkins made their home in Upper Turkeyfoot with Freeman working as a "farmer." The census-taker noted that Belinda was "confined."

They had these known children: Mary Jane Younkin, John B. Younkin, Peter Bruce Younkin, Milton Bruce Younkin, Charles J. Younkin and Susan Henry.

Belinda inherited funds from her father's estate in the amount of $1,229.33. The very same day, Freeman invested the funds in a farm. In 1889, Belinda sued her husband for repayment of the funds, which included the original sum plus interest so that the new total was $2,412.44. Unable to pay her back, he gave her an IOU note. Circa September 1894, after stopping at the home of W.H. Sanner, Freeman and Belinda went to Somerset to remove the IOU from the official record. While Sanner tried to dissuade her from taking this action, saying she could lose her investment, she responded that she had to do so "in order to keep peace in the family." So Sanner wrote an informal IOU note which Freeman signed. According to the county prothonotary, "What Younkin wanted was that the judgment be taken off as he did not want it to appear against him on the record" in order to save on taxes. He also claimed he knew where he could obtain the money.

Yet Belinda never received a cent in repayment during her husband's lifetime. It was only after his death that she was repaid based on assets from the estate.

The Younkin farm totaled 160 acres in Upper Turkeyfoot, of which 100 were cleared and 50 were under cultivation. The property contained a two-story frame dwelling, bank barn measuring 30 feet by 62 feet, other outbuildings and a good sugar camp. Neighbors on adjoining properties included Harrison Brougher, Wesley D. Younkin (son of Jacob C. and Lucy [Weimer] Younkin), Samuel Tressler, Simon Liston and Eli Younkin. Among their known friends were Benjamin Franklin "Badger" and Emily (Younkin) Clevenger -- the daughter of Frederick J. and Delilah (Faidley) Younkin -- who lived 1.5 miles away, visited their home often and occasionally purchased their wheat.

Circa 1898, Freeman served as constable, or justice of the peace, for Upper Turkeyfoot Township. The Somerset Herald called him "a hard-working, honest farmer, and was popular wherever known. he had no enemies save the vice that caused his death." He owned three shares of the Kingwood Creamery.

On Feb. 28, 1898, Freeman traveled to Somerset via the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to conduct the debt repayment with the county prothonotary, John Scott. A local attorney, A.C. Holbert, was in the office at the time speaking with Scott about a pending case. Freeman tried to interject, but Scott waived him away, saying he was busy. 

Freeman retorted: "Holbert lives here every day, but you only see me every three or four months. John, you know that I owe my wife about $1,900, that I was to pay long ago?" 

Scott replied, "I remember it Freeman, but it's a good deal more than that now."

Freeman: "Yes, there's interest, I want to pay off the whole thing; I don't feel good about it; I owe it to my wife; and I intend to pay it. I was disappointed, I didn't get the month. John, I want to borrow the money from you, you may as well lend me that money as anybody else; what do you say?" 

Scott: "Not today Freeman, but when you are ready to borrow this money, come around with your security, and we'll talk the matter over."

Freeman left the courthouse and went back to the B&O station to return home. En route, he drank heavily, and upon dis-embarking at Casselman, began to walk in a drunken state along the railroad line. About a half mile down the route, he laid down on the track. Tragically, he remained oblivious, said the Herald, when a B&O flyer train "came along at a speed of fifty miles an hour:"

The engineer failed to see him in time to stop the train and the wheels passed over him cutting off his head. His body was otherwise horribly mutilated. The train stopped and backed up to the scene of the accident when the remains were gathered together and taken to Markleton. Later in the night the remains were taken to his home near Kingwood. Younkin had two flasks of whiskey in his pockets, one of which was crushed by the train and the other remained intact. 

 

Somerset Herald, March 2, 1898

His broken remains were interred in the family burial ground. A week after his violent death, the Herald reported that Freeman was uneasy before leaving home and may have had a premonition of impending trouble: 

On Sunday he spoke to his wife and children of his reluctance at making the journey, a most unusual thing for him to do as it was well known that he always looked forward with pleasure to his quarterly visits to the county seat. The same day he visited the home of his brother, where he also expressed his unwillingness to come to Somerset the next day. Monday morning after saying good by to his family he proceeded to the gate in front of his home, where he paused for a full ten minutes, evidently struggling with the feeling then working within him, before he proceeded on his way. A short time afterwards he stopped at the home of a friend and begged him to accompany him, and upon being refused he went to the house of a cousin and insisted strenuously that he should go with him. He transacted his business in Somerset and it is not believed that he indulged in strong drink while he was here, but it is certain that he was intoxicated when he left the train at Casselman. His strange conduct before coming to Somerset has been recalled by the members of his family and neighbors, and all agree that he must have had a premonition of approaching death. The information contained in last week's report was incorrect so far as reference to the unfortunate man's head having severed from his body. The body was not mutilated at all, the pilot of the engine having struck him on the head, crushing his skull. Death was instantaneous.

Their son John was named the administrator of the estate, pitting his father's unpaid IOU with his mother's demand for satisfaction. Belinda survived by 14 years. She was stricken in her final life with tuberculosis added to heart muscle problems (angina pectoris). At age 62, she died unexpectedly a few days after Christmas, on Dec. 29, 1912. Her physician wrote: "Death was sudden - unable to get a physician in time." She was laid to rest in the Brougher Cemetery, also known at the time as the Smith Cemetery, known today as the John J. Younkin Cemetery. Fred Clevenger of Markleton was the information provider for her death certificate.

 

Lemmon Farm Cemetery

Daughter Mary Jane Younkin (1871-1915) was born on Jan. 26, 1871. She never married, and earned a living as a housemaid, living in Somerset. At age 44, stricken for 18 months with tuberculosis, she prepared for death, and wrote her will, signing it with an "X." The end came on Sept. 3, 1915. Burial was in Brougher Cemetery. As with her sister Susan, who had died a few years earlier, her brother Charles was the informant on her state death certificate. Under the terms of her will, she requested that "my grave be marked with a stone to cost about thirty dollars." She also bequeathed $25 "to the upkeep of the Younkin Cemetery to be used as follows. The sum of Three dollars to be used each year after my decease untill the sum of Twenty five dollars is spent. I further request that my executor here after named shall hold this money and see that my request is complied with each year." In addition, she specified that her brother Bruce receive her cow and sheep for the sum of $30, with the balance of assets to be divided equally among her three brothers.

Son John B. Younkin (1875-1949) was born on Aug. 25, 1875. He married Lottie (?). They resided on the outskirts of Rockwood, Somerset County, where he labored on local farms. Tragically, John drowned on the "old home stead" near Kingwood on May 10, 1949. His remains were interred in the family cemetery. Mrs. Elsie Mitts of Rockwood was the informant for his death certificate.

Son Peter Bruce Younkin (1877-1960) was born on May 4, 1877 in Upper Turkeyfoot Township. In August 1923, he and Cora Hare ( ? - ? ) received a license to be married in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. As an adult, he borrowed a sum of $704 from his unmarried sister Mary Jane. After the sister's untimely death in 1915, the debt remained unpaid. The couple resided in Confluence where they were farmers until retirement. In August 1934, he attended a meeting of distant Younkin cousins who were planning a first ever Younkin family reunion. The group included Charles Arthur Younkin of Charleroi, PA, David Franklin Younkin of Johnstown, PA (of the family of David Younkin) and Nellie Beatrice (Younkin) Wiley of California, PA of the family of Franklin B. Younkin. This group set the date of the reunion for the first Sunday of September 1934 in Kingwood, an event which became the widely known Younkin National Home-coming Reunions lasting until 1941. Peter was afflicted with hardening of the arteries and was admitted to the Somerset County Home and Hospital. He died there at the age of 83 on Dec. 14, 1960, with burial in the family graveyard. The informant for his death certificate was Mrs. Edison Miller of Confluence.

Son Charles J. Younkin (1879-1951) was born on June 4, 1879 (or 1880). He resided in the Kingwood area, where he was a laborer, and was the informant for the official death certificates of his sisters Susan in 1911 and Mary Jane in 1915. Charles married Blanche (?). Charles endured heart disease and died just five days shy of his 71st birthday on May 29, 1951. Burial was in the Younkin Cemetery.

 

Lemmon Farm Cemetery

Ira Henry

Daughter Susan Younkin (1884-1911) was born on Oct. 9, 1884. At the age of 26, on Nov. 5, 1910, she was united in marriage with Ira Henry (1882-1963), son of Thomas and Eliza (Stout) Henry of Scullton, Somerset County. They made their home in Upper Turkeyfoot. But just a few months into her newlywed life, Susan came down with a fatal case of pulmonary tuberculosis in the late spring of 1911. She could not overcome the illness and died at age 26 on June 3, 1911. She was laid to rest in the Younkin family burying grounds, called Brougher Cemetery, known in later years as the Lemmon Farm Cemetery and currently the John J. Younkin Cemetery. Her brother Charles was the informant on her Pennsylvania certificate of death. For reasons that are unclear -- perhaps her family opposed her marriage -- her name as inscribed on her grave marker reads "Susie Younkin" with no mention of her married name. Ira survived his unfortunate wife by more than half a century and married again to Hattie Crawford (1898-1962), daughter of H.E. and Sally (Myers) Crawford. She was 16 years younger than her husband. Ira and Hattie produced nine or more more children of their own -- including Frank Henry, Clyde Henry, Effie Henry, Glen Henry, Betty Henry and Edna May Henry as well as six who tragically died young -- Dorothy Henry, Earl Henry, Ruby Henry, Ella Louise Henry, Ruby Ellen Henry II and Della B. Henry. They resided in Connellsville at 273 East Crawford Avenue, where Ira earned a living as a coal miner and night watchman at local mines. Suffering from coronary insufficiency and hardening of the arteries, added to diabetes she had endured for a decade, Hattie died on Nov. 24, 1962. She was placed into repose in Mount Nebo Cemetery in Saltlick Township. As he was on his deathbed in 1963, he told one of his daughters that he wished to be placed into rest near his first wife. As he had never spoken about her to his children before, this came as a shock. He died on Feb. 16, 1963, at the age of 80. Ignoring his wishes, his family had his remains buried at Mount Nebo.

 

~ Daughter Mary Ann Younkin ~

Daughter Mary Ann Younkin (1852-1871) was born in 1852. 

At the age of 19 years, two months and 13 days, she died on Aug. 11, 1871, of causes unknown. She is buried in the family cemetery on the Lemmon Farm. 

She is named in her brother John's profile in the 1899 Biographical Review book. Her grave marker, erect and legible, was photographed by the founder of this website during a visit in August 2013.

 

~ Son Irvin Younkin ~

 

Irvin's grave, Old Bethel

Son Irvin Younkin (1854-1895), also known as "Irwin" and "Irving," was born on May 25, 1854. Circa 1880, at the age of 25, he was unmarried and resided with his parents near Paddytown, working as a farm laborer. 

He eventually married Alice "Almeda"  Phillippi (1862-1946), daughter of (?) Crosson and Catherine "Kate" (King) Phillippi. Research shows that Alice was raised by her King grandparents, and that she apparently did not know her father's name.

They lived in Upper Turkeyfoot Township and produced these offspring who lived beyond childhood: Anna "Annie" Younkin, Venia L. Younkin, Pearl Younkin, Herman Sanford Younkin, Harry Victor Younkin and Catherine "Katie" Younkin. Their daughter Venia died at the tender age of one week on Aug. 1, 1883. Two other infants died in 1885 and 1887 and rest for eternity in the Old Bethel Church of God Cemetery in Hexebarger.

Nothing more is known of the Younkins' lives during the first two decades of their marriage.

Heartache swept over the family when Irvin passed away at the age of 40 years, nine months and 26 days, on March 21, 1895. He died between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. A short obituary was published in the Somerset Herald. He was placed into eternal slumber in the Old Bethel Church cemetery, where his marker remains upright and legible today. The epitaph inscribed at the base of his grave was a popular one during that era, and reads as follows: "His spirit is in our Father's house where the children of His love are gathered." 

 

Somerset Herald, April 24, 1895

Alice thus was left as a widow and single mother at the age of 33, with five children all under the age of 21. She outlived her husband by a remarkable more than half a century, and moved in about 1911 to the community of Owensdale, Fayette County. There, she was a member of the United Brethren Church. 

Alice died from heart problems and hardening of the arteries near Jones Mills, Westmoreland County on Jan. 16, 1946, at the age of 84, at the home of her married granddaughter Reba Rhoadman (or "Roadman"). Following a funeral at her church, she was laid to rest in the Scottdale Cemetery, with Rev. George E. Smith officiating. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that she was survived by 25 grandchildren as well as four adult siblings -- James Crossen of Poke, Ohio; Mrs. James Sanner of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Mrs. Albert Emerick of Quakertown, Ohio; and Mrs. Thomas Sanner of Star Junction, Fayette County.

Daughter Annie Younkin (1882-1970) was born in 1882. In 1902, she marred Frank King ( ? - ? ), son of Christopher and Mary (Miller) King. They made their home in 1946 in Smithfield, Fayette County. Their children were Reba Roadman, Irvin King, Alma King, Edman R. King, Evanell King, Georgia King, Kathryn King, Fred Calvin King and Darrel King. Alice passed away in Confluence in 1970 at the age of 88. Burial was in Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Smithfield.

Daughter Pearl Younkin (1884-1978) was born on July 18, 1884. She married Daniel M. Firestone ( ? - ? ) on Aug. 1, 1901, when she would have been age 17. They dwelled in Confluence, Somerset County in 1946, and later lived in Mather, Greene County and Latrobe, Westmoreland County, PA. Pearl was an original member of the Confluence Lodge of the Rebekahs, Daughters of America of Waynesburg and the Old Bethel Church of God. Their children were Orpha Hostetler, Vida Sipe, Rhuie Lynch and Kathryn Gerhart. Pearl died in Latrobe on Sept. 10, 1978, at the age of 94, leaving behind 42 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina, after a ceremony led by Rev. Kempton Oaks. Her obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republic.

Son Herman Sanford Younkin (1888-1929) was born in 1888 and named in part for his grandfather Herman Younkin. He married Audith Keller (1893-1973), daughter of Louis and Etta Maurilla (Shupe) Keller. They had four children -- Irvin Keller Younkin, James W. Younkin, Eleanor Marilla Younkin and Herman Sanford "Sam" Younkin. They lived in Owensdale, Fayette County. Herman died at the age of 41 in April 1929, of causes not yet known. He was entombed in Scottdale Cemetery in Westmoreland County. Audith survived him by more than 40 years. She passed away in Greensburg, the county seat of Westmoreland County, on Aug. 31, 1978, at age 80.

  • Grandson James W. Younkin (1916-2000) was born in about 1916. He lived in Connellsville circa 1985. At the age of 83, now living in Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County, he died n April 8, 2000. A death notice was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Granddaughter Eleanor Marilla Younkin (1918- ? ) was born on Dec. 1, 1918 in Upper Tyrone Township. On Dec. 16, 1939, at the age of 21, Eleanor was united in matrimony with George Clayton Fretts (1914- ? ), son of Albert Glenn and Margaret (Nicholls) Fretts. The ceremony was held in the United Brethren Church in Owensdale, Fayette County. They lived in Scottdale, Westmoreland County and had three children -- Saundra Lee Fretts, Donald Clayton Fretts and Robert James Fretts.
  • Grandson Herman Samuel "Sam" Younkin (1921-1985) was born on May 24, 1921 in Owendale, Fayette County. He married Dorothy Jean Burkhart (1926-2007), daughter of Lawrence Mason and Doris Marie (Shultz) Burkhart. The couple had eight known children -- Larry S. Younkin, Rick Younkin, Peggy Younkin, Vicki Friedline, Joyce Stern, Bruce A. Younkin, Debra L. Younkin and Mary E. Younkin. Sam served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Active in the community, said the Daily American, he was a "member of Calvary United Methodist Church; Stoystown Lions Club, (past president and secretary); Stoystown American Legion; Meyersdale Elks No. 1951; FOE, Somerset; District 14M Lioness chairman; past Somerset Borough councilman; retired agent of United Insurance Company of America; [and] owner and operator of a bookkeeping and tax service." Dorothy also had a public profile, and in addition to her work as a notary public, she "was the charter president, secretary and member of Stoystown Lioness Club and she received the Melvin Jones Award," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier. "She served on the Talus Rock Girl Scout Council and also served with the Tam O'Shanters Boosters. She was a member of the Gad Abouts and was also a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, where she served on the board of trustees." Their home was on East Main Street in Somerset. Sam died at Johnstown's Mercy Hospital at age 64 on Dec. 5, 1985. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park.
  • Grandson Irvin Keller Younkin (1926-1984) was born on July 23, 1926 in Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County. At the age of 22, on Oct. 15, 1948, he was joined in wedlock with Dorothy Mae Rath (1929-living), a native of Scottdale, Westmoreland County. The wedding was held at the Baptist Church in Winchester, VA. The couple went on to produce three children - Gerald Irvin Younkin, Terry Lee Younkin and Donna Sue Younkin. Sadly, Irvin died at the age of 58 on July 31, 1984. Interment was in Scottdale Cemetery. Their son Gerald (1949-2017) owned and operated Younkin Electric in Scottdale for a quarter of a century and in 2012 received a lung transplant at Cleveland Clinic.

Son Harrison Victor "Harry" Younkin (1892-1979) was born in 1892. He married Emma C. Buttermore (1896-1968) and had six children -- Homer V. Younkin, Robert M. Younkin, Betty G. Younkin, Ruth L. Younkin, Elmer Wayne Younkin and Dorothy J. Younkin. They resided in the mid-1940s in Star Junction, Fayette County. Emma passed away in 1968 at the age of 72. Harry died in Uniontown at the age of 87 in 1979, with burial following in Scottdale Cemetery.

 

YFNB, April 30, 1938

Daughter Catherine "Katie" Younkin (1894-1938) was born on Dec. 21, 1894. She married George W. Huff ( ? -1935). They moved to the town of Owensdale in about 1910, and remained there the rest of their unfortunately short lives. They had two children -- Retha V. King and William E. Huff. George was employed at the American Sheet and Tin Plate Company in Scottdale, and they belonged to the Owensdale United Brethren Church. Both husband and wife died relatively young. George passed away at home on Jan. 28, 1935. An obituary was printed in the Daily Courier. Katie only survived him by three years. She was admitted to Frick Memorial Hospital in Mt. Pleasant and died on March 19, 1938, with interment beside her husband in Scottdale Cemetery. Her obituary, originally appearing in the Daily Courier, was re-published in the April 30, 1938 edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin

  • Granddaughter Retha Huff married Milford King and lived at Owensdale circa 1938.

 

John F. & Elizabeth (McNair) Younkin

~ Son John F. Younkin ~

Son John F. Younkin (1856-1928) was born on July 18, 1856. 

In 1878, John wed Diana "Elizabeth" McNair (March 3, 1860-1948), daughter of Samuel and Eleanor (McNair) McNair Jr. of Addison Township, Somerset County, and granddaughter of Samuel and Phoebe (Round) McNair. John was age 22 and Elizabeth 19 at the time of their nuptials. 

The couple had six children -- Albert A. Younkin, William E. Younkin, Sarah E. Romesburg, Mary E. "Dollie" Sechler, Susan E. Sechler and Mentie A. Kreger. 

They resided on his father's farm near Paddytown for the rest of their lives.

 

Biographical Review, 1899

John was profiled at length in the 1899 Biographical Review book, which said that he "was educated in the public schools. he was reared to farm life, and he assisted in carrying on the home farm until twenty-eight years old. He then bought his father's farm at Paddytown, containing two hundred and forty-seven acres, and is now engaged in general farming and stock raising." 

The profile went on to say: 

Public affairs have absorbed considerable of Mr. Younkin's life. He has rendered efficient services to the township as School Director two terms, Supervisor three terms, and is now attending to the duties of Town Auditor. In politics he is a Republican. He belongs to Confluence Council, No. 1294, Royal Arcanum. He is a member and a trustee of Mount Bethel Methodist Church at Paddytown.

The Younkins endured the terrible shock in 1901 when their son Albert was killed in a railroad accident. Details are below.

John was once described by the Meyersdale Republican as one "who came of an old pioneer family [and] was a highly respected man and far above the average intelligence. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for over 50 years. He was a man of distinguished appearance, being a fine specimen of physical manhood. Notwithstanding his three score years and ten, plus, he was as erect as a man of 20. Strangers meeting him for the first time would take him for a successful businessman or professional man. He was straight forward and honest in all his dealings with his fellowman."

He and son-in-law Freeman Sechler were elected officers of the Mt. Bethel congregation in August 1914 along with Frank Raygor, having hosted the fourth quarterly conference of the Ursina charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church, led by Rev. Arthur Sellers.

When daughter Dollie Sechler was hospitalized in Cumberland, MD in February 1920, John traveled there for a visit.

 

    

John and Elizabeth in a Mt. Bethel Church congregation photo, ca. 1916-1918. Below, a portion of the church group, with John at far left.

 

 

John's grave, Paddytown

Tragedy struck on the fateful day of Jan. 24, 1928. At the age of 72, reported the Meyersdale Republican, "while going through a shed in which there were some young animals, was kicked by a colt, resulting in a fracture of his skull at the base of the brain, and the breaking of his right arm. He was not alone when he received his injuries. He was immediately carried into his house and a doctor was called as soon as possible, but surgical skill was of no avail, so far as the injury to his head was concerned. He remained unconscious until the end came." He lingered for two days and then succumbed on Jan. 26, 1928. His remains were laid to rest in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown, near the graves of his parents, with his son Edward signing the official certificate of death. Rev. N.H. Sanner of Dormont in Pittsburgh, who at the time was a District Superintendent of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated at the funeral service. Traveling from Harnedsville to attend the funeral were the John Rodehaver family, Thomas Rodehaver and the Jesse J. Gower family. In a lengthy account of the accident, the Republican noted that he was survived by nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren in addition to his brother Bruce of Black Township and sister Ella of Rockwood.

Younkin Cemetery

As a widow, Elizabeth resided on their Paddytown farm. In March 1939, she celebrated her 80th birthday party. But she suffered from colon cancer and chronic heart disease, and experienced frequent diarrhea and bleeding.

At the age of 88, she passed away at the Upper Turkeyfoot home of her married daughter Susan Sechler on Feb. 13, 1948. She joined her husband in eternal sleep in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted the names of her parents and said her husband had "died 20 years ago."

Son Albert A. Younkin (1879-1901) was born in December 1879. In early adulthood, he labored as a farmer. On Dec. 29, 1898, four days after Christmas, the 20-year-old Albert married 22-year-old Anna Meyers (1877- ? ), daughter of Jonathan "Jonas" and Lucy Meyers. Justice of the peace A.S. Levy officiated. They had one daughter, Stella "Irene" Wiltrout. Tragedy cut Albert's life short on June 11, 1901, just two-and-a-half years into their marriage, when he was age 22. He was struck by a railroad train at Yoder Station, PA and was killed. Details need to be researched. He was buried in the Younkin Cemetery at Paddytown. An upright monument was erected at his gravesite, inscribed with this text: "Text 1st Samuel XX Chapter [?] Verse," likely the scripture used for the funeral sermon. As a widow, Anna made her home with John D. Sechler (1874-1952). They eventually married on Aug. 12, 1910, when she was age 33 and he 36. The couple made their home in Fort Hill for many years and had a son of their own, Delbert Sechler. John died at home at the age of 83 on Aug. 4, 1952. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park.

  • Granddaughter Stella Irene Younkin (1898-1947) was born on Feb. 3, 1898. She was but the age of three when her father lost his life. Stella was considered "a very lovable young lady who has the respect of all her school mates and neighbors," said a newspaper. But when she eloped with Charles A. Wiltrout, to Cumberland, Allegany County, MD, her mother had the new bride arrested. Notwithstanding the mother's approval, the marriage held firm, and they remained joined in holy matrimony for the rest of their lives. The Wiltrouts had five known children -- Eugene Wiltrout, Cecil Wiltrout, Maurice Wiltrout, Lex W. Wiltrout and Doris I. Gross. The Wiltrouts lived in Upper Turkeyfoot Township. Sadly, Stella suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 48 on Jan. 10, 1947 in Somerset Community Hospital. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park.

Great-grandson Eugene Wiltrout resided in New York in 1947.

Great-grandson Cecil Wiltrout (1923-1986) was born in 1923. He married Althea Tipton ( ? - ? ) and lived in Peninsula, OH.

  • Anna and John D. Sechler's son Delbert Sechler made his home in Somerset County. He was married and had three children, named in a Daily American article in 1952 -- Delbert Sechler Jr., Patricia Sechler and Yvonne Sechler. He also was named in the news obituary of his half-sister Stella Wiltrout in January 1947.

 

Edward Younkin, 1916
Obituary, 1930

Son William "Edward" Younkin (1881-1930) was born in 1881. He wed Mary S. Kreger (1883-1947). They had one daughter, Blanche Wheaton. They resided in Upper Turkeyfoot and were prominent in the community. "For many years," reported the Meyersdale Republican, "Mr. Younkin was a prominent member of the Kingwood Grange." In a series of stories about local farmers, Edward was profiled in a Republican story published on Oct. 9, 1913: "About a mile from Markleton and the same distance from the latter place, Edward Younkin owns a farm that deserves more than a cursory notice. The buildings on this place are of the very finest, the residence being a two and one-half story building with basement, the first story being surrounded with broad porches. The barn is 50x106 feet and has stable room for 5 horses and 30 head of cattle. The basement of the barn is 9 feet high, this part being well ventilated and having the best of light from windows extending all around and placed close together. The crop this year was an abundant one and the place shows every sign of thrift and good management." At the age of 49, Edward suffered an attack of appendicitis and was treated in Western Maryland Hospital in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. He was unable to recover, although spending some three months recuperating at the hospital. He died there on Feb. 4, 1930. His remains were returned to Kingwood for burial in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, with obituaries printed in the Meyersdale Republican and Somerset Herald. Mary spent her years as a widow in Rockwood. In March 1947, she fell and was so injured that she was admitted to the Somerset Community Hospital. She died there two weeks later, on March 27, 1947, at the age of 64. Rev. J.S. Eminhizer preached the funeral service in the Rockwood Evangelical United Brethren Church. At her death, said the Republican, she was survived by siblings P.A. Kreger and Ross R. Kreger of Upper Turkeyfoot; Mrs. Harry Vough of Akron, Ohio; and Mrs. Herbert Mosholder of Rockwood.

  • Granddaughter Blanche Younkin (1905- ? ) was born in 1905 and married Thomas Wheaton ( ? - ? ) of Rockwood. They lived in Rockwood circa 1947 and at least one son.

 

'Mongst the Hills of 
Somerset book

John and Ella Romesburg, ca. 1916

Daughter Sarah "Ella" Younkin (1883-1960) was born on April 20, 1883 in Paddytown, Upper Turkeyfoot Township. On Oct. 11, 1906, at the age of 23, Ella was united in holy matrimony with 28-year-old farmer John Harrison Romesburg (1877-1961), son of Jonas and Elizabeth Romesburg, also of Paddytown. Rev. Thomas Charlesworth, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated at the wedding ceremony. The couple went on to produce three children -- Pauline Thelma Ream, Albert Austin Romesburg and Melvin E. Romesburg. John was a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows, which met at Kingwood. The Romesburgs were members of the Mt. Zion Evangelical United Brethren Church and also of the Kingwood Grange. As well, Ella was a charter member of the Kingwood Rebekah Lodge, an auxiliary of the Odd Fellows. In 1912, John was named in a Meyersdale Republic story about surveys conducted by deputy state engineers along what today is Route 281 leading from Somerset to the National Pike, passing through his and others' farm properties. That same year, John was profiled in a Republican story about local farmers, which noted that he owned half of his father's farm plus a farm he had purchased two years earlier from Allen Kregar. "After purchasing the latter place,," said the Republican, "he moved on it, where there is a fine two-story brick farm house, and since then made a number of repairs, enlarged and painted his barn and now has one of the finest places in his section of Somerset county. Before the Romesburg farm was divided the sugar orchard was the largest in the township, and the brothers still manufacture large quantities of sugar and syrup when the season is good." Ella was afflicted with heart disease and passed away in Markleton, Somerset County on April Fool's Day 1960 at the age of 76. Burial was in the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. John only survived her by less than a year. He died on March 28, 1961, age 83. They are mentioned in profiles of John's grandfather William Vought and of in-law Albert A. Romesburg in the book 'Mongst the Hills of Somerset.

 

The Romesburg children, L-R: Pauline, Albert, Melvin, circa 1916

 

  • Granddaughter Pauline Romesburg married a cousin, Charles H. Ream, son of Frederick Albert and Alice Jane (Younkin) Ream and grandson of William "Henry" and Rachel (McClintock) Younkin. Pauline's brother Albert married Charles H. Ream's sister Margaret Faye Ream.
  • Grandson Albert Austin Romesburg (1909-1999) was born on June 27, 1909 in Paddytown. He married Margaret Faye Ream ( ? - ? ), and they remained together for 69 years. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The couple had three children -- Ronald Romesburg, Roger Romesburg and Neil Romesburg. Albert received higher education at California State Teachers' College. Said the Daily American, "He taught school for several years in the Turkeyfoot Valley School District and was a superintendent for Navarro Construction in Pittsburgh." He was a member of the Carpenters' Union and Kingwood Church of God, "where he taught Sunday School for several years." Albert died at Meyersdale Manor at age 90 on Aug. 22, 1999. Burial was in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. James Monticue officiating. Great-grandsom Ronald Romesburg (1937-2017) married Shirley and had daughters Ronda Stracks and Beth Alford. Ronald served as a civil engineer with the Virginia Department of Health and in his retirement was a volunteer with the Virginia Schooner and Norfolk Maritime Museum and a member of the Woodturners of Norfolk, passing away on July 10, 2017.

 

Freeman Sechler
Dollie and Freeman's grave, Kingwood

Daughter Mary E. "Dollie" Younkin (1886-1931) was born in about 1886. On April 21, 1904, at the age of 18, she married 24-year-old farmer Freeman Russell Sechler (1880-1958). He was the son of Joshua and Emily "Emma" (Meyers) Sechler. On their marriage license application, she listed her occupation as "farmer's daughter." Justice of the peace A.S. Levy officiated. They did not reproduce, and resided in Markleton. At the age of 45, Dollie began to suffer from an enlarged goiter. She underwent surgery in Johnstown's Memorial Hospital but sadly, on June 30, 1931, "passed away without having regained consciousness," said the Meyersdale Republican. The former pastor of the Kingwood Church of God, Rev. Clymer, preached her funeral service, followed by interment in the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. Freeman outlived his wife by 27 years. On Sept. 26, 1937, after six years as a widower, Freeman wed Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" (Dwire) Phillippi (1878-1970). She was the daughter of Jacob and Kathryn (Growall) Dwire and the widow of Ephraim Phillippi (who had died Feb. 28, 1929). Freeman was age 57 at the time, and Mollie 59. She brought two adult daughters to the marriage, Viola Frisbie and Marie Donges. A serious accident occurred in the Sechler residence in Kingwood on Dec. 6, 1938. Reported the Republican:

Mrs. Ross Kregar and Mrs. Tom Edwards of Markleton were helping to butcher at the Sechler home. Mrs. Kregar, in an endeavor to hurry up the fire, picked up a can which she thought held kerosene. It was in reality gasoline. When the gasoline came in contact with the fire a serious explosion followed. Both Mrs. Kregar and Mrs. Edwards were enveloped in flames. They were rushed to the Community Hospital in Somerset. Mrs. kregar's face, chest and hands were badly burned, but the last word received was that she was getting along as could be expected. Mrs. Edwards suffered lesser burns and was able to leave the hospital within a few days. Both women are well known in Ursina and have many friends here.

Freeman and Mollie later relocated to a residence on Broadway in nearby Rockwood, Somerset County. Toward the end of his life, suffering from senility and hardening of the arteries, he was admitted to the Somerset County Home. A month and 10 days later, at the age of 79, he died on Nov. 19, 1958. He was placed at rest beside Mary's remains, with an obituary printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. At Mollie's death in 1970, she joined Freeman in eternal repose.

 

   

Left to right: Mary (Younkin) Sechler, Freeman Sechler, Mollie Sechler

 

Daughter Susan E. Younkin (1887-1976) was born on Oct. 14, 1887 in Markleton. She married Walter R. Sechler (July 8, 1886-1949), son of Josiah and Emily "Emma" (Meyers) Sechler. They had two children -- Earle J. Sechler and Verna Alice Hickman. They resided at Paddytown, where the Meyersdale Republican said he "was a well known farmer of the Turkeyfoot region." Today their farm is known as "Rocky Hollow Farms" and is operated by the Sechlers' great-grandsons. When a "party line" telephone service was installed between Fort Hill and Markleton, a project of the Economy Telephone Stock Company, Walter and his father in law, brother William and brother in law John Romesburg among others were stockholders. He also served as a steward of the Mt. Bethel Methodist Church at Paddytown circa 1914, and enjoyed hosting corn and wiener roasts for his Sunday School class at the farm. In March 1939, they held an 80th birthday party for Susan's widowed mother. Said the Younkin Family News Bulletin, "Many relatives and friends showered her with cards and in addition members of her Sunday school class presented her with gifts. and arranged ... for a dinner party." Burdened with heart problems, Walter suffered a heart attack and passed away at the age of 63 on Oct. 10, 1949, at the Price Hospital in Confluence. His funeral was held in the Ursina Methodist Church, led by Rev. Dr. Alden Allen, with burial in Somerset County Memorial Park. Providing vocal music for the funeral service was a local quartet Walter enjoyed, including Mrs. Ray Koontz, Mrs. Merle Prince, H.B. Prince and S.E. Suder. Susan lived for another 27 years in her home near Confluence. She remained a  member of the Methodist Church, Kingwood Grange and Rebekah Lodge in Kingwood. She died in Somerset Community Hospital on Sept. 22, 1976, with burial in Somerset County Memorial Park. An obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American.

Susan and Walter at a church event in Paddytown circa 1916-1918

 

  • Granddaughter Verna Alice Sechler (1908-2001) was born on Jan. 19, 1908. Circa 1930, she attended Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. She married Elton H. Hickman ( ? -1987) on June 2, 1938, when she was 30 years of age. The Hickmans resided in Bethel Park near Pittsburgh, and raised four foster sons -- Tom Gordon, Robert Gordon, Daniel Gordon and Kenneth G. Martin. They owned Hickman Gardens in Bethel Park and, with a passion for helping feed less fortunate individuals around the world, supported Heifer Project International. Verna passed away in the Baptist Home near Pittsburgh at the age of 93 on April 28, 2001. Following funeral services at Bethel Presbyterian Church, her remains were returned to Somerset County Memorial Park for interment. An obituary was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Grandson Earle J. Sechler (1910-1980) was born on Nov. 21, 1910 in Upper Turkeyfoot. He wed Ella Gindlesperger and lived at R.D. 3, Confluence. They four children -- Eldon Sechler, Earlene O'Brien, Eugene Sechler and Everett William Sechler. Earle was active in the community as a member of the Kingwood Odd Fellows Lodge, director of the Somerset REA, member of the New Centerville Rural and Volunteer Fire Department, past school director of Rockwood Area School and a Nationwide Insurance agent for more than four decades. He died at Somerset community Hospital at age 69 on Sept. 28, 1980. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park. Their son Everett has served as treasurer and tour guide leader of the Younkin Reunion East for more than two decades. 

 

Everett Sechler helping lead Younkin Reunion tours over the years, L-R: at the Kingwood Picnic Grove, Jersey Church and Ursina Cemetery.

 

 

Minta and Ross Kreger, mid-1930s

Daughter Mentie Alice "Minta" Younkin (1890-1968) was born on Feb. 16, 1890 in Upper Turkeyfoot. She married Ross A. Kreger (1884-1976) -- son of Christian and Catherine (Schrock) Kreger -- and her brother Edward Younkin wed Ross's sister Mary. Minta and Ross had two daughters: Elizabeth Kreger and Mildred Dumbauld. Their home was near at Mt. Union Church circa 1931. They were members of the Bethel Methodist Church near Paddytown, and Minta belonged to the women's Sunday School class at the Kingwood Church of God. They also were active members of the Younkin Family Association and attended planning meetings of the clan's national home-coming reunion circa 1936. Minta passed away on March 16, 1968, at the age of 78. Ross outlived her by almost nine years. He died on Nov. 8, 1976 at Somerset Community Hospital, at the age of 92. They repose at the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Mildred Kreger ( ? - ? ) wed (?) Dumbauld ( ? - ? ) and had one known son, Gerald Dumbauld. Their home in 1976 was in Markleton.

 

~ Daughter Sarah Jane (Younkin) Colflesh ~

Daughter Sarah Jane Younkin (1859-1914) was born on Aug. 11, 1859 in Upper Turkeyfoot.

She wed John Franklin Colflesh (1861-1938), son of Andrew and Catharine (Bowser) Kalbfleisch of the Cove, Garrett County, MD. Their surname was the Americanized version of Kalbfleisch, a German term meaning "calf flesh" or, more simply, "veal." It also has been spelled "Colflush." 

They had 10 known children -- Dr. Joseph Harmon Colflesh, Milton Bruce Colflesh, Myrtle Gower, Roy Mathias Colflesh, Mellie I. (or "Nellie") Colflesh, Mabel Frances McClintock, Edna Rodaheaver, Mary Schilling, Charles "Russell" Colflesh and Ella Fern Wirsing. 

Their home was in Lower Turkeyfoot Township. In the early summer of 1884, pregnant with her first child, Sarah Jane mysteriously disappeared, causing "quite an excitement at Paddytown," said the Somerset Herald:

It appears that Mrs. Kalbfleisch has been laboring under mental depression for some time, from sickness. On last Friday while in this condition she wandered away from home, no one knowing what direction she had taken. Search was immediately made by the family, but the missing one could not be found. The search was resumed on Saturday, with no better result. The news spread rapidly, and on Saturday about one hundred people were assembled and divided into squads of about ten persons each, and the entire neighborhood for miles in all directions was scoured, but yet no trace of the lost one could be discovered. About 6 o'clock in the evening the crowd returned from their labors, and an understanding was had that all should return early on Monday morning to resume the search. The neighbors then returned to their respective homes, feeling sad at heart. Some of them had not yet reached their homes, when the news was brought that the lost had been found. The large dinner bell was then rung, which was to be the signal in case any discovery was made the  crowd reassembled to learn the news. The particulars, as your correspondent learned them, are as follows: Mrs. Kalbfleisch was overtaken on Friday evening by a heavy rain storm, and not wishing to get wet, entered the spring-house of her brother, Mr. Irvin Younkin, about two miles distant. A short time after a young man in the employ of Mr. Younkin locked the door of the spring-house, not knowing any one was in. She was compelled to remain there until discovered by Mrs. Younkin, on Sunday evening. Mr. Younkin desires me to state that he returns his most sincere thanks to his neighbors and friends who so kindly aided in the search for his daughter.

 

Younkin Cemetery, Paddytown

As an adult, John worked in the lumber and timber business as well as in farming. he served as a Lower Turkeyfoot School director for more than a quarter century.

A newspaper once said that John was an "active church worker" who had "joined the Old Bethel Methodist church at Paddytown in 1886 [and who] remained a member there until 1916 when he moved his membership to the Harnedsville M.E. church."

Sarah Jane died on Oct. 11, 1914 at the age of 54. Funeral services led by G.W. Ringer and Rev. Sellers and Rev. Walters were held in the Colflesh residence, followed by burial in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. In a flowery obituary common for the era, the Meyersdale Commercial reported that she:

...passed away so calmly and quietly into the Great Beyond.... She closed her eyes upon the earthly things with confidence that she would open them on the glories of Heaven.... She has been a member of the old Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church at Paddytown, since her early youth. Her falling asleep has removed from the midst of her family a devoted wife, a loving mother and her influence remains as an inspiration to those who knew and loved her; as her hopes were bright those left behind feel that they have only parted with her temporally and to meet her again, where the sun never sets and the leaves never fade.

Her husband survived her by almost a quarter century and earned income by operating a store. But the store went bankrupt, and in March 1924 his son Milton bought the assets for $355. aIn August 1929, the Colfleshes held their fifth annual family reunion at their farm near Tunneltown, owned at that time by Roy Colflesh. Reporting on the event, the Meyersdale Republican noted that "Altho the weather was cool it was an ideal day for a picnic and a good crowd attended. Dinner was served by 1 o'clock." Among the immediate family attending were Russell Colflesh, Mellie Colflesh, Roy Colflesh and family, the Jacob Gower family, the Steward McClintocks, the John Rodehavers, the F.E. Wirsings, Dr. and Mrs. J.H. Colflesh and son, the M.B. Colfleshes. Other relatives who came were Homer Colflesh, Rose Speicher, Mary Speicher, Diana Elizabeth (McNair) Younkin, the Walter Sechlers, the Freeman Sechlers, Hugh Bell, the Charles Jenkins family, Reuben Matthews and family, Carl Miller, Ted Smith, Henry Warner, John Turney, Gladys DiGruttolo, Floyd Willoughby and children, Clovis Redoric, Isabel Boehm, Twila Blubaugh, the Thomas Rodehavers, Jack Cross, Harvey Peck and Alec Blubaugh.

 

Younkin Cemetery, Paddytown

John died in 1938 at the age of 77. In an obituary, a local newspaper said he was a "highly respected citizen of the community [who] died quietly after an illness of several months. Hundreds of adults and children throughout the Confluence region knew him as 'Uncle John'."

Son Charles "Russell" Colflesh (1884-1975) was born on Christmas Eve 1884, the eldest of 11 children. He apparently did not marry or reproduce but lived on the same farm near Ursina from 1906 to retirement in 1968. Russell was a teacher in the Lower Turkeyfoot Township schools, and in July 1918 was low bidder to teach in Harnedsville and Tunnel. Russell enjoyed hunting, and when he shot a grey fox in February 1917, the Meyersdale Republican reported that the kill occurred "the first time he went out for foxes. Hadn't more than got stationed on the crossing when he shot the fox. Russell only had a single barrel shotgun, too." In 1920, he and his brother John were in a business partnership, but they agreed to dissolve the arrangement. In July 1971, at the age of 87, having attended the 48th annual Bowser and Colflesh Reunion at Spoerleins Grove in Accident, MD, he received an award for oldest man present. At his 90th birthday in 1975, now residing with his married sister Edna Rodehaver, the Republican noted that the "celebration was delayed one day so he could enjoy a combined birthday and Christmas gathering with friends and relatives.... He is in good health, enjoys reading, television and talking with friends about olden days. He enjoyed the combined occasion with Rev. and Mrs. Rodahaver, Mrs. Irene Heinbaugh, Joanne Heinbaugh, Greg and Pam, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Conn, jeff and Dale. He received 41 cards." He died at the age of 90 on March 11, 1975. Rev. Arthur Gotjen led the funeral, with burial in the Younkin Cemetery. His obituary in the Somerset American was spartan and disclosed little about his life. He was laid to eternal rest beside his unmarried sister Mellie I. Colflesh in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. The inscription on their grave marker reads: "Under God's loving care."

 

Dr. Joseph Colflesh

Son Dr. Joseph Harmon Colflesh (1886-1969) was born in 1886. His first wife was Allie Frederick (1873-1938), daughter of Liston pioneers Peter T. and Catherine (Fike) Frederick. They were united in marriage in 1921, when Joseph was age 39 and Allie 48. She apparently had been married once before and had these children -- Frank McKee, Carl McKee, Jack F. McKee and Mrs. R. Poulton Travers. They resided in Confluence and were members of the Confluence Christian Church. Sadly, Allie began suffering from a sore throat in March 1938 which quickly led to meningitis and strep infections. She died in Frantz Hospital in or near Confluence on April 11, 1938, at the age of 65, with burial at Addison. Her obituary was published in the Younkin Family News Bulletin. After three years as a widower, Joseph wed his second wife, Della Schrock (1893-1984), a double cousin who was the daughter of Ephraim and Eleanor Josephine "Ellen" Schrock and the granddaughter of Andrew and Susanna (Younkin) Schrock and of Jacob C. and Lucy A. (Weimer) Younkin. Della Mae was a graduate of Indiana State Teachers College and Pennsylvania State College. Their wedding took place on Jan. 31, 1941 in Somerset, when she was age 48 and Joseph 55. Interestingly, the couple requested that news of their marriage license not be published in local newspapers, possibly in fear that it would negatively impact her teaching career. Della was a longtime history educator, and retired from the Trotter School in Dunbar Township in June 1958, with her photograph gracing the front page of the Connellsville Daily Courier. Joseph was a veterinarian and "practiced in the Confluence and Somerset area for many years, and in Connellsville from 1953 until his retirement in 1967," said the Daily Courier. "His career spanned 53 years." He also was a member of the King Solomon Lodge of the Masons, Pittsburgh Consistory of the Syria Shrine and the Otterbein United Methodist Church. Their home was on 124 Wood Street in Connellsville. Joseph died in Connellsville State General Hospital on Nov. 11, 1969, at the age of 83. He was buried in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. Lester Crum and Dr. Elmer A.R. Schultz officiating. Della passed away in Connellsville in August 1984.

  • Stepson Jack F. McKee (1912- ? ) was born in 1912. At the age of 18, in 1930, he resided with his mother and stepfather in Confluence. He married (?) and had two known daughters, Patricia McKee and Joan McKee. Circa 1937, the McKees dwelled in Pittsburgh.

 

Younkin Cemetery, Paddytown

Son Milton Bruce Colflesh (1887-1959) was born four days after Christmas 1887. He apparently was named for an uncle, Milton Bruce Younkin. He married Annie A. "Annie" (Snyder) Tressler (1890-1954), daughter of Peter J. and Victoria (McClintock) Snyder, and widow of Elliott Tressler. They were wed on Christmas Day 1915. He was age 28, and she 25, at the time. She brought two children to the marriage, Sylvester Tressler and Carrie Hare. Milton and Annie had four more children of their own -- John F. Colflesh, George Colflesh, Milton Colflesh and Maude Kreger. They were longtime farmers in the Confluence area. Circa May 1922, Milton made news in the gossip columns of the Meyersdale Republican when he and Joseph Blubaugh were "working on their timber tract in Fayette County." They attended a family reunion at the home farm in September 1924 with all of Milton's siblings except Joseph, who was away with his wife in Baltimore. Annie passed into her eternal home in 1954, and was interred in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. Milton survived her by five years, and his health declined due to hypertension and arthritis. He suffered a heart attack and died in Confluence's Price Hospital at the age of 71 on June 10, 1959. Burial was beside his wife, with a red barre granite stone marking their final resting place. The Daily Courier reported that his survivors included 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

  • Grandson John F. Colflesh (1923-1983) was born on June 8, 1923 in Lower Turkeyfoot. He married Viola M. Hall (1932-2017), daughter of Joseph H. and Dessie (Austin) Hall of Confluence. Their six children were Barbara Harrold, Deborah Frazee, Janice Wood and Pamela Hartman, and babies Brenda Colflesh and John Colflesh who did not survive infancy. John was a veteran of World War II and served the public as a Lower Turkeyfoot Township supervisor and member of the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School Board as well as the Construction Workers union, Ursina American Legion and Pennsylvania Farmers Association. Said the Somerset Daily American, Viola "was a member of the United Community Church of God and the Ursina American Legion Post 946 Ladies Auxiliary. Along with her husband, John, she operated the family farm and owned and operated Viola’s Restaurant in Confluence for many years. The restaurant was famously known for Vi’s Pies. She loved square dancing and cooking for her family." John died at the age of 60 on May 27, 1983, at home near Confluence. Burial was in the Younkin Cemetery following services led by Dr. Arthur Gotjen. Viola married again to Harvey Bowser ( ? - ? ). She remained in Ursina and toward the end of her life was admitted to Somerset Hospital. She died there at the age of 84 on Feb. 15, 2017. Rev. Samuel McClintock officiated at her funeral and burial in Younkin Cemetery.
  • Grandson George Colflesh lived in Confluence in 1983.
  • Grandson Milton J. "Beanie" Colflesh (1931-1998) was born on Nov. 6, 1931 in Confluence. He had a daughter, Nancy Brown. He was employed by the Pinkerton Detective Agency and made his home in the 1980s in Confluence. He died at age 66 near Fort Hill on Feb. 13, 1998. Burial was in the Younkin Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Maude Colflesh (1927-2006) was born on Jan. 10, 1927 in Lower Turkeyfoot. She wed John Kreger and lived in Markleton. They had one son, John Kreger Jr.  Maude was a longtime member of the Kingwood Church of God. She also volunteered her time in organizing the Kingwood Picnic and the New Centerville Farmers' and Thresherman's Jubilee. She died on June 9, 2006 at the Johnstown Memorial Medical Center, age 79. Rev. James Monticue officiated at her funeral, followed by interment in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery.
  • Step-grandson Sylvester Tressler was born on Feb. 27, 1913 in Fort Hill. He married Elizabeth Myers and had three children. he died on Aug. 3, 1998.

Daughter Myrtle Colflesh (1890-1945) was born on March 13, 1890. On Jan. 8, 1916, she married Jacob Gower ( ? -1955), son of Bruce and Jane (McNair) Gower. They had four children: Clyde Gower, Elsie Gower, Paul Gower and Dale Franklin Gower. In December 1944, with her health in decline, the Daily Courier noted that her status "remains in an unchanged condition." Myrtle passed away in Harnedsville, Somerset County on March 26, 1945. Burial was in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican noted that she "was a kind and loving wife, mother and neighbor, never too busy with her own affairs to help any one in need or distress. She was an active member of the Methodist church for many years, and will long be sadly missed in her home, the church and community." Jacob outlived his wife by a decade, enduring the death of 33-year-old daughter Elsie in mid-November 1951. Jacob died at age 72 on May 23, 1955. At the time, his sons Clyde and Paul lived at home, while son Dale resided in Port Huston, VA.

  • Grandson Clyde J. "Barney" Gower (1916-1982) was born on Aug. 5, 1916 in Lower Turkeyfoot. He lived in the Confluence area but may not have married. He was a longtime member of the Confluence post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Confluence Methodist Church and Turkeyfoot Fish and Game Association. He died at age 66 on Nov. 4, 1982, with burial in the Paddytown Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republic.
  • Grandson Dale F. Gower (1932-2004) was born on April 5, 1932 in Harnedsville. He lived in Port Huston, VA in 1955 and later in Confluence. He married Phyllis Tressler. They did not reproduce. Dale served in the Army during the Korean War, and for 23 years was Somerset County Dog Warden. He died at home at age 72 on April 29, 2004. Burial was in Silbaugh Cemetery.
  • Grandson Paul Gower (1924-1988) was born on Aug. 21, 1924 in Confluence. He never married, and made his home in Confluence. he died in Somerset Community Hospital at age 64 on Oct. 31, 1988. Burial was in Younkin Cemetery, follower a funeral service led by Rev. Roy Bower. The Somerset Daily American printed an obituary.

Son Roy Mathias Colflesh (1894-1964) was born in 1894. He married Mabel Maude Speicher, also spelled "Spiker" ( ? - ? ). Their eight children were Mae Fike, Pearle Bittner, Helen I. Tressler, Lawrence Raymond Colflesh, Earl Elroy "Bud" Colflesh, Joseph Colflesh, Robert Colflesh and Terry Colflesh. Circa 1914, Roy lived on the farm of A.J. Case near Ursina. That year, he suffered the amputation of his arm when it became "entangled in the mechanism of a new corn shredder," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier. "The member [was] mangled to the elbow." Roy remained active as an amputee, and served for 18 years as a member of the Lower Turkeyfoot Township board of supervisors. He also belonged to the Ursina lodge of the Odd Fellows. He died on Dec. 11, 1964 in Harnedsville, with burial in Paddytown in the Younkin Cemetery.

  • Mahlon Tressler

    Granddaughter Helen I. Colflesh (1923-2014) was born on June 19, 1923 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township. In about 1941, at the age of 18, she wed Mahlon F. Tressler (Aug. 4, 1920-2017), son of Walter and Olive (Livengood) Tressler of Fort Hill. They remained together for 72 years until the separation of death. The couple resided in Harnedsville, Somerset County and had three children -- Linda Holliday, Diana Walker and Walter Tressler. During World War II, Mahlon joined the U.S. Army on June 26, 1943, and trained at Fort Eustis, VA, Fort Dix, NJ and Camp Shanks, NY before shipping overseas. He was promoted to corporal, serving until discharge on Nov. 25, 1945. During that time, he served in the European Theatre with engagements in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. Reported the Somerset Daily American, he took part "in the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of St. Lo. He received 5 bronze stars among other decorations. He was the 'Last Man Standing' of his unit, the 467th AAA battalion." After the war, he made a living as a coal miner in and around Confluence. Later, Mahlon was a self-employed carpenter and stone mason for many years and "owned and operated a small country store," said the Daily American. "He was an avid hunter and gardener, known throughout the area for growing his prized large tomatoes. He enjoyed making small woodworking projects and giving them to friends and family." He is pictured in the Service Record Book of Men and Women of Confluence, Pa. and Community, sponsored by the Turney-Riley Post No. 7250, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Helen was a member of the Silbaugh United Methodist Church. She passed away at home at the age of 90 on Feb. 26, 2014. Following a funeral led by pastor Samuel McClintock, she was laid to rest in Silbaugh Cemetery. Her obituary was published in the Daily American. Mahlon survived his bride by almost exactly three years. He was admitted to Somerset Hospital where he succumbed at the age of 96 on Feb. 18, 2017. In an obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Somerset County Area Agency on Aging or to the Livingston County War Museum in Pontiac, IL

  • Granddaughter Mae Colflesh (1917-1994) was born on May 21, 1917 in Confluence. She married Allen James Mason Fike (1909-1973). He was a native of Selbysport, MD, and the son of Charles and Bertha (Riley) Fike. Their home was in Confluence and in Mill Run, Fayette County. The Fikes had two daughters -- Nancy Umble and Mary Jane Fike. Allen was a longtime farmer and member of the Selbysport United Methodist Church. He died at home in Mill Run on Oct. 30, 1973, at the age of 64. Burial was in the Addison Cemetery with Rev. J.L. Hull officiating. An obituary was published in the Meyersdale Republican.
  • Granddaughter Pearle Colflesh wed Jonas Bittner ( ? - ? ) and made her home in Friendsville, Garrett County, MD.
  • Grandson Lawrence Raymond Colflesh (1920-1947) was born in about 1920. He married Frances Hartman. They had one child, who sadly died young. For three years, during World War II, Lawrence served in the Army's 80th Division, "including one year overseas duty in Gen. Patton's Third Army in Europe," said the Meyersdale Republican. After the war, he returned home to Harnedsville. But tragedy struck on Sept. 2, 1946, when he endured a severe back injury. The details are not known, but he was not able to recover. Admitted to Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital, he died 10 months later, on July 5, 1947, at age 25. The Veterans of Foreign Wars post conducted his funeral at the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown.
  • Grandson Earl Elroy Colflesh (1925-2004) was born on Oct. 19, 1925 in Harnedsville,. He was married to Lorraine Blair and had four children -- James Colflesh, Daniel Colflesh, Lorrie Tulgske and Karen Fogleman. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Navy in the Florida Keys. Later, he secured employment in Michigan with Federal Mogul Manufacturing, retiring in 1988. He lived in Rogers City, MI in 1994 and died there on June 22, 2004, with burial in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in or near Rogers City.
  • Grandson Joseph Harman Colflesh was stationed in Chattanooga, TN with the U.S. Navy in 1947. In 1994-2004, his home was in Monroe, NC.

Daughter Ella Fern Colflesh (1896- ? ) was born in 1896. She wed Franklin E. "Frank" Wirsing (1888-1963), son of Henry and Emily (Cover) Wirsing. The wedding was held at her home on Jan. 9, 1917. Frank was a native of Uniontown, Fayette County, and at the time of marriage worked as a carpenter in Flint, MI. Their 10 offspring were Louise E. Koontz, Helen Wirsing, Ruth Shope, Theodore Wirsing, Calvin C. "C.C." Wirsing, Gertrude "Gerry" Schengost, Sarah Jane Wirsing, Mary Lou Morrisch, Charles Donald Wirsing and Shirley Graham. They made their home in Harnedsville. Frank passed away at home on or about June 11, 1963. His descendants at the time included 19 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Charles Donald Wirsing (1934-2002) was born on June 8, 1934 in Harnedsville. He married Evelyn Sanner and lived in the Confluence area. Their children were Patricia Younkin, Dawn R. Walters and Susan R. Deal. He served his nation as a member of the U.S. Army. Later, for 30 years, he was employed with the Somerset County Job Service. He enjoyed farming and was interested in local cemetery preservation as president of the Younkin Cemetery Association and as a trustee of the Crossroads Cemetery, both of which hold the remains of ancient Younkin ancestors. He died in Johnstown's Memorial Medical Center at age 67 on Jan. 6, 2002. Burial was in Addison Cemetery. The Somerset Daily American published his obituary.
  • Grandson Eston Wirsing 
  • Granddaughter Louise Wirsing wed (?) Koontz.
  • Granddaughter Helen Wirsing lived in Uniontown.
  • Granddaughter Ruth Wirsing married (?) Shope and made Hopwood her home.
  • Granddaughter Geraldine Wirsing wed (?) Schrechengost. They lived in Pittsburgh.
  • Granddaughter Sara Wirsing married (?) Spear and resided in Addison.
  • Granddaughter Shirley Wirsing wed (?) Graham and made a home in Addison.
  • Granddaughter Mary Lou Wirsing married (?) Morrison. She lived in Confluence.
  • Grandson Theodore Wirsing resided in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA.

Daughter Mellie I. Colflesh (1898-1971) was born on Sept. 11, 1898 in or near Ursina. She apparently never married. Circa 1959, her home was in Confluence. She died at the age of 73 on Oct. 1, 1971, with burial in the Younkin Cemetery in Paddytown. She and her unmarried brother Charles rest side by side under the same grave marker, which is inscribed, "Under God's loving care."

Daughter Mabel Frances Colflesh (1902-1960) was born on March 14, 1902 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township. She married Stewart McClintock ( ? - ? ). They had three children -- Warren J. McClintock, Robert A. McClintock and Thelma McClintock. Mabel was a lifelong member of the Harnedsville Methodist Church. Mabel died in Price Hospital in Confluence on June 4, 1960, at the age of 58. Burial was in Addison Cemetery, following funeral services held in the family church, led by Rev. L.H. Burris. 

Daughter Edna Colflesh ( ? - ? ) married Rev. John H. Rodahaver (1890-1980), son of Charles and Amanda (McNair) Rodehaver. She lived in Harnedsville in 1914 and Confluence circa 1975. They had two children, Charles Rodahaver and Irene Heinbaugh. John served in Christian ministry with the Methodist Church denomination for 53 years. His first congregation, in 1927, was the Silbaugh United Methodist Church, where he continued his association for more than half a century. He also served the Sugar Loaf, Oak Grove and Kentuck church communities. He was a member of the Confluence Ministerium Association. John died at home at the age of 90 on June 29, 1980. Burial was in Addison Cemetery, following a funeral in the Confluence United Methodist Church led by Rev. Arthur Gotjen and Rev. Richard McClintock. An obituary appeared in the Meyersdale Republic.

  • Granddaughter Irene Rodahaver married (?) Heinbaugh and lived in Confluence.

Daughter Mary Colflesh married (?) Shilling. Her home in the mid-1970s was in Flint, MI.

 

Curtin's faded grave

~ Son Curtin Younkin ~

Son Curtin (or "Curtis") Younkin (1862- ? ) was born the day after Christmas 1862. He is believed to have been named for the popular Governor of Pennsylvania at the time, Andrew Gregg Curtin, who served during the Civil War era.

He died at the age of 16, in about 1878, with his remains laid to rest in the family graveyard in Paddytown. The medical cause behind his untimely passing is not yet known.

A small lamb was carved in a circle at the top of his upright grave marker. The stone still stands today, as photographed in May 2014, but is fading badly, with the lettering and dates hard to read.

His death is mentioned in his brother John's profile in the 1899 Biographical Review.

 

~ Daughter Barbara Ellen "Ella" Younkin ~

 

Paddytown Cemetery

Daughter Barbara Ellen ("Ella Barbra") Younkin (1864-1945) was born on Jan. 6, 1864 (or 1865). 

Circa 1899-1900, she lived with her widowed mother at Paddytown. The census of 1900 shows her in her mother's household, unmarried at age 34, with no occupation.

Without a family later in life, she moved about, making her residence with extended family and friends. The Confluence gossip column of the Connellsville Daily Courier noted in August 1942 that she "has moved from the residence known as the Sophin Conway home in Jacob street and is now staying with Mrs. Charles R. McMillan in Yough street." 

In the early 1940s, she worked as a housekeeper in the home of J.C. Younkin of Confluence. Among here activities was entertaining the Circle Group of the Methodist Church. She was injured in an April 1945 fall, but "is somewhat improved," said the Daily Courier. By the end of May that year, her health had declined so much that she entered the E.M. Price Hospital in Confluence. She died in the hospital on June 14, 1945, at the age of 81. A short Daily Courier obituary noted that she was the "daughter of the late Herman and Susan Faidley Younkin [and] a sister of Bruce Younkin of near Rockwood."

Her remains were interred near her parents and siblings in the Younkin Cemetery at Paddytown.

 

   

Milton "Bruce" and Minnie Younkin

~ Milton Bruce "M.B." Younkin ~

Son Milton Bruce "M.B." Younkin (1868-1950) was born on Nov. 30, 1868 near Rockwood in Black Township. He spent his early adulthood years unmarried, at Paddytown. 

At the age of 34, on April 12, 1903, he married 28-year-old Minnie Sechler (1875-1962), daughter of Phineas and Mary (Marker) Sechler of near Rockwood, Somerset County. The ceremony, held at the home of Minnie's mother, was conducted by justice of the peace A.S. Levy. 

They had three sons -- James Clyde Younkin, Morris R. Younkin and Harry B. Younkin. 

 

M.B. was a storekeeper in Rockwood for many years before retiring to farming, and was a member of the Ursina Methodist Church, while Minnie belonged to the Emanuel Lutheran Church.

 

Rockwood IOOF Cemetery

During the summer of 1934, he played a part in a coincidental meeting that launched the formation of the Younkin National Home-Coming Reunion and the Younkin Family News Bulletin. Writing of the event many years later, his cousin Otto Roosevelt Younkin recalled: 

Having spent an hour or so in the cemetery we were ready to leave for other old burial grounds when another car drives in through the wilderness.  Two men got out of the car, one of them whom I recognized as a first cousin of my mother, Milton Bruce "Pete" Younkin, of Kingwood Pa.; the other man was a total stranger to me as well as the rest with me. Upon being introduced we learned this stranger to be none other than the former Charles A. Younkin of Charleroi Pa. Who was upon a similar mission as ourselves. It was a rather strange coincidence.

 

M.B. went on to serve as treasurer of the reunion for many years until its demise in 1941.

He died of heart problems in Black Township near Rockwood on Aug. 6, 1950, at the age of 81. Interment was in the Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery following a funeral led by Rev. Dr. A.K. Jones at the Laurel Church.

 

Minnie survived her husband by a dozen years. She passed into eternity on Nov. 17, 1962, age 88. Rev. Hills Berkey preached the funeral sermon, followed by interment in Rockwood. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republican.

 

Son James Clyde Younkin (1903-1953) was born on Oct. 11, 1903 in Rockwood. He was married and had three children. He is said to have been a school teacher. He was found dead in his home on April 23, 1953, age 49, with burial in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery.

 

Son Morris R. Younkin (1906-1971) was born on March 15, 1906 in Black Township. Circa 1925, at the age of 19, Morris enlisted in the U.S. Army for a term of service of three years and underwent basic training at Camp Meade, MD. Later, he lived in Rockwood, and died there on May 10, 1971, at the age of 65. Entombment was in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery.

 

Son Harry B. Younkin (1908- ? ) was born in 1908. The day after Christmas 1942, at the age of 34, he and 35-year-old Lucy Thomas (1907-1979), daughter of Ulysses Grant and Orpha (Rubright) Thomas, eloped to Winchester, VA. Lucy was a native of Elk Lick Township. They made their home near Rockwood, but had no children. They were members of the Emanuel Lutheran Church. Lucy passed away at age 72 on July 8, 1979. Burial was in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. Richard Schlak officiating.

 

Copyright 2013-2017 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by Everett Sechler, the late Olive (Rowan) Duff, the late Donna (Younkin) Logan and Kay Lynn Younkin. Ira Henry photograph courtesy Randall Henry.