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John X. Younkin
(1827-1901)

John X. Younkin was born in January 1827 (or 1823) in or near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the son of Wilhelm "William" and Catherine (Firestone) Younkin, and grandson of Jacob "of John" and Eleanor (Chambers) Younkin. The meaning behind his middle initial "X" is not known.

John was a boy or teenager when his father died, likely in the early 1840s. Family history records made many years later, in the mid-1930s, state that John was raised by his grandfather., Jacob "of John" Younkin, who in turn died in 1848 when John X. would have been 21 years of age. At the grandfather's death, John and his brother William each received $10.72 in payouts from the estate.

As a young man, John was well and hearty, and stood five feet, nine inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair, and weighed about 145 lbs.

 

John's signature

At the age of 25, on Aug. 16, 1852, he was united in wedlock with 26-year-old Eliza Ann Rose (1826-1906), daughter of Sylvester and Sophia (Smith) Rose. (A number of John's cousins married Eliza Ann's siblings, including Henry A. Miner to Matilda Rose; Catherine Minerd to Charles Rose; Susanna Minerd to Andrew Jackson Rose; and Eli Younkin to Mary Ann Rose.) Justice of the peace Jacob Rush officiated at the ceremony, which was held in Turkeyfoot Township.

John and Eliza were farmers and produced seven children -- Catherine "Kate" Boyd, Harriet Ansell, Frederick Wilson Younkin, John Scott Younkin, Eliza Ann "Annie" Speelman, William Harrison Younkin and William Sherman Younkin. At times, John furnished farm work in tandem with friends J.J. Rush and Frederick Dull and on behalf of Alexander W. Walter.

After the eruption of the Civil War, and at the age of 34, John enlisted in the Union Army on Oct. 8, 1861 in Somerset County. He was assigned to the 85th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company H and was expected to serve a term of three years.

 

Civil War battle of Williamsburg, VA

 

John's commanding officer, Gen. Howell

On May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Williamsburg, he was forced to stand in swampy land and became afflicted with leg problems caused by scurvy, an illness resulting from lack of Vitamin C in his diet. The tendons in his right leg contracted, which prevented him from walking normally. Friends observed that both legs were "swollen very badly" and had the appearance of "raw meat." Then on or about July 17, 1862, during a time when Gen. George McClellan's army was retreating after the Seven Days Fight, John suffered a hernia while cutting timber to construct barracks. This occurred while the regiment was en route from Savage Station/Poplar Hill to Harrison's Landing. He was admitted for treatment in a general field hospital in Harrison's Landing, VA. Later, on Aug. 6, 1862, having contracted diarrhea in addition to his other ailments, he was sent to the U.S. Army general hospital in Newport News.  He was diagnosed with chronic rheumatism and on Oct. 30, 1862, he was ordered to the Hampton General Hospital at Fortress Monroe, VA.

 

Surgeon's sketch of 
John's wartime scars

John remained at the hospital near Hampton, VA until receiving an honorable discharge on March 8, 1863. He then returned home to Kingwood. His friends Frederick Dull and Benjamin Clevenger observed that he had to walk on crutches, and noted that the hernia was the size of a goose egg. For a year, John was unable to perform any manual labor. 

Not long afterward, the Younkins relocated to Draketown/Ursina, Somerset County. They eventually migrated to Fayette County, PA, where in 1882 they dwelled in Broad Ford and in 1885 in Owensdale. Broad Ford was home to batteries of coke ovens of the H.C. Frick Coke Company. He earned a living performing labor.

As he aged, John applied for and began receiving a pension for his Civil War service. [Invalid Application #297.189 - Cert #431.405] Among those relatives who signed affidavits or witnessed signatures were his brothers in law and fellow army veterans Henry A. Miner and Charles Rose, and nephews John Wesley Rose and Grant U. Miner. Other friends providing support were former 85th Pennsylvania colleague G.W. Anderson of  Ursina and Lot Rush and Allen Hyatt of Connellsville. He had to undergo periodic medical examinations performed by army surgeons, and one doctor in 1881 estimated that the hernia had grown to "as large as large cocoa nut."

 

No. 1 coke plant, Lemont Furnace

John died in Coolspring near Uniontown on Jan. 15, 1901 at the age of 74. Family friends Catharine and Lizzie Boyd were present at the death. Interment was in Connellsville's Hill Grove Cemetery. 

Eliza survived him by five years, and made a petition to receive her late husband's Civil War pension. [Widow's Application #743.653 - Certificate #526.695] Providing support for her claim in sworn testimony were John and Elizabeth Ansell, Frederick Dull of Ursina, and Ross and Catharine Boyd of Lemont Furnace. She was awarded the pension payments of $8 per month.

Suffering from organic heart disease, and with her health failing, Eliza went to live with her married granddaughter Harriet Nedrow in Lemont Furnace near Uniontown. She passed away there on Feb. 25, 1906 at the age of 79. 

An obituary in the Connellsville Weekly Courier gave her age as 84 and reported that her remains "will be brought to the home of her son-in-law, Daniel J. Speelman, North Pittsburg street, this afternoon, and the funeral will occur from that place Sunday afternoon..." Eliza's death certificate, filled out by her daughter Annie Speelman, curiously gave the names of Eliza's parents as "Rose Stahlton" and "Sufole Smith."

 

Connellsville's Hill Grove Cemetery

~ Daughter Catherine "Kate" (Younkin) Boyd ~

 

Daughter Catherine "Kate" Younkin (1853-1947) was born on June 3, 1853. She did not marry until somewhat later in life. 

 

At the age of 38, on July 27, 1891, she was wedded to Ross Boyd (1848-1933), son of John Solomon and Amy Boyd of Fayette County. Their known offspring were William H. Boyd, Theodore S. Boyd, Milton Bruce Boyd, John S. Boyd and Harriet J. Nedrow. 

Circa 1932, their residence was in Connellsville. 

Sadly, in late November 1933, Ross fell at home and fractured his humerus, the long bone in his upper arm. When pneumonia set in, his health declined precipitously and he died two days before Christmas 1933 at the age of 85. He was laid to rest in Cove Run Cemetery, with arrangements handled by the Edward E. Minerd Funeral Home of Uniontown. 

Catherine spent her final years in Coolspring near Uniontown and, suffering from hardening of the arteries, was admitted into the Fayette County Home. She died there at age 93 on Jan. 15, 1947, with funeral services held in the home of her nephew Arthur Nedrow in Coolspring. Afterward, she joined her husband in burial at Cove Run. An obituary in the Uniontown Morning Herald counted her surviving offspring as 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Daughter Harriet J. Boyd (1873-1908) was born on 1873. She resided in North Union Township, near Uniontown, Fayette County. On Jan. 20, 1898, at the age of 24, she and 34-year-old coal miner Samuel A. Nedrow (1864-1907) united themselves in marriage. At the time, Samuel was a resident of Wharton Township, and the son of Aaron and Catharine (Boyd) Nedrow. Sadly, in late December 1906, Samuel contracted typhoid fever but sought no medical attention. After two weeks of suffering, he succumbed at the age of 44 on Jan. 14, 1907. Burial was in Park Place Cemetery in Uniontown. Samuel's brother Springer Nedrow signed his Pennsylvania death certificate. Then, compounding the tragedy, she contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 35 on Aug. 18, 1908. Her remains were placed into repose at Park Place Cemetery in Uniontown.

Son William H. Boyd (1886-1943) was born on Oct. 16, 1886. He never married and worked in and around Coolspring as a laborer. He was felled by a heart attack and died on March 28, 1943. Interment was in Cove Run Cemetery, with Rev. J.H. Webb of the Cove Run Methodist Church officiating. A brief death notice was published in the Uniontown Morning Herald.

Son Theodore S. Boyd (1892-1961) was born on June 29, 1892 in Coolspring near Uniontown. He married Maude P. Feathers (1886-1967), daughter of John S. and Susan (Metheny) Feathers. Maude brought a daughter to the marriage, Edna B. Shaffer. They had no children of their own. Theodore was thrust into controversy and the public spotlight when attending a baseball game at Shady Grove Park on Aug. 28, 1920. He was approached by a stranger, who asked to place a bet on the game. The stranger "called him a vile name and he knocked him down and kicked at home at the same time after which he walked away and did not see any more of him," reported the Uniontown Morning Herald. Later that day, the stranger allegedly struck and killed another man at the game, using a baseball bat. Theodore had to testify in court, with his name printed in local  newspapers. Circa 1943-1947, they resided at Mt. Braddock, and in the early 1960s their home was at 11 Reppert Boulevard in Uniontown. Theodore earned a living as a laborer. He suffered from coronary heart disease and died at age 69 on Aug. 3, 1961. His remains were interred in Percy Cemetery near Uniontown following funeral services officiated by Rev. Robert Houff of the Church of the Brethren. Among his pallbearers were Larry Smithberger, John Daugherty, William Lascelles, Frank Broth, Harold Minerd and Harry Carr. Maude joined him in eternity six years later on March 4, 1967. Dr. Kelley preached her funeral sermon. The Morning Herald published an obituary, noting that she was survived by two grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.

Son John S. Boyd lived in Uniontown in 1943-1947-1961.

 

Gov. Pinchot, who refused 
to pardon Milton Boyd

Son Milton Bruce Boyd (1884-1966) was born in 1884. He resided in Coolspring as a young man, began a pattern of run-ins with the law. When he was age 37, in 1921, he was accused and put on trial for stealing from John Berkman, but was acquitted by a jury in a case heard in March 1921 by Judge J.Q. Van Swearingen. Almost immediately, he was jailed under the charge of robbing money and a ticket box from a trolley car of the West Penn Railway. Said the Uniontown Morning Herald, "Boyd and an accomplice are said to have boarded the car at the West Penn terminal, Uniontown, and to have taken the tin box when leaving the car. The crew, H.S. Martz, motorman, and Conductor A.L. Grimm, of Connellsville, notified the dispatcher's office at once and Officers Walter Brown, Shipley and Ray Thomas were sent immediately to the scene." In the spring of 1922, he and 18-year-old friend Harold Martin decided they needed to rob someone, reported the Uniontown Morning Herald, and picked on the family of Steve Belle in Lemont Furnace. In the fracas that ensued, Mrs. Belle handed over four one-dollar bills, and Milton struck her with the butt of his revolver and knocked her down. Mr. Belle was mortally shot, and Martin received a bullet wound in the right arm. Milton then fled and eluded captors for several days. He finally was captured, found guilty of assault and battery charges and taken to Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh. In 1925, he applied for a pardon from Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot, but it was refused. Milton was married more than once. One of his spouses was Scottish immigrant Mary Gordon (1884-1958), daughter of John and Mary (Duncan) Gordon. She had been married before and brought two sons to the marriage, Robert Gordon and Duncan Gordon. Mary suffered from breast cancer and passed away on Feb. 19, 1958, at the age of 73, with burial in Cove Run Cemetery. Later, Milton married Elsie Hart ( ? - ? ). She also had been wed before and had a daughter, Ida Mae Ashton. Milton earned income over the years as a coal miner, belonging to the United Mine Workers of America Local 8328 at Adah, Fayette County. He dwelled in 1943-1947-1961 in Lemont Furnace. In 1961, at the age of 79, he dwelled at 150 East Main Street in Uniontown. That year, in early June, having lacerated one of his wrists, he was arrested and placed in county jail. In his final years, he lived at 318 East Main Street. He died at age 82 on Aug. 7, 1966. His remains were placed at rest in White Rocks Cemetery in Fairchance.

~ Daughter Harriet (Younkin) Ansell ~

Daughter Harriet Younkin (1855- ? ) was born on April 14, 1855. 

At the age of 15, she resided at home with her parents, sisters and brothers near Somerfield, Somerset County.  She apparently went to school with Lucinda (Harbaugh) Younkin, and according to Lucinda, "Katie (Younkin) Firestone raised this girl. This Katie was the wife of George Firestone and an aunt of Daniel Younkin of Rockwood, Pa."

She married (?) Ansell. Her research trail has gone cold.

~ Son Frederick Wilson Younkin ~

Son Frederick Wilson Younkin (1857-1932) was born on Feb. 19, 1857. 

On Feb. 4, 1895, when he was 37 years of age, he married Amanda (Taylor) Bergan (1860- ? ) , daughter of Benjamin and Jane Taylor of Fayette County. They are not believed to have reproduced. 

Fred learned the trade of stone masonry, working in and around Uniontown, Fayette County. 

When he was in his early 70s, he began to feel the effects of rheumatism and chronic heart valve disease. He spent his final time on earth in the home of his sister Kate Boyd in Connellsville. Sadly, he died from their effects on Feb. 20, 1932. Interment was in Cove Run Cemetery, with an obituary published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

~ Son John Scott Younkin ~

Son John "Scott" Younkin (1859-1930) was born on Feb. 2, 1859 in Somerset County. 

He married Emma Jane Thomas (1866-1943), daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Thomas of Somerset County.

The couple produced eight daughters and four sons -- Phillip Younkin, Jennie Nedrow, Mary E. Potter, William "Harrison" Younkin, Eliza Metts (or "Mitts"), Eva Marie Clover, Mamie Fosbrink, Hazel McDowell Kelly, Grace E. Balsley, Olive Showman Calhoun,  Clarence Marshall Younkin Sr. and Elmer S. "Ham" Younkin. 

In 1892, they dwelled in Bidwell, PA. Later, they moved into Connellsville, with their home in 1900 on North Alley. In 1915, they lived near Moyer in Bullskin Township. 

On Dec. 3, 1930, Scott was felled by a stroke at home and was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital. He died there nine days later on Dec. 12, 1930. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery, with Rev. J.H. Lambertson officiating. An obituary in the Connellsville Weekly Courier reported that he was survived by 38 grandchildren. Donna (Younkin) Logan's research notes go into further detail about their offspring.

Emma spent 13 years as a widow. Her final years were in the household of her married daughter Eliza A. Mitts in Waltersburg near Uniontown, Fayette County, where she became a member of the Nazarene Church of Waltersburg. She died on Sept. 28, 1943 following a stroke. A newspaper reported that in addition to her adult children, she was survived by 51 grandchildren and 57 great-grandchildren in addition to her brother William Thomas of Confluence.

Son Phillip Younkin (1882-1960) was born on Feb. 23, 1882 in Somerset County. He was united in marriage with Sophia Fosbrink (1887-1955), daughter of Herman and Susanna (Johnson) Fosbrink of Springfield Township, Fayette County. He was a longtime engineer with Castle Shannon Coal Company at Coverdale and was a member of the United Mine Workers of America. The family were members of the Assembly of God Church. They resided in Coverdale in 1943 and in 1949 moved to 500 South Pittsburgh Street in South Connellsville. Their six children were Myrtle Younkin, John Younkin, William Harrison Younkin, Ethel McNair, Weynonia Zaksek Stoner and Donald Edgar Younkin. Stricken with cancer of the ovaries, Sophia was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh where she passed away at the age of 67 on March 4, 1955. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said she was survived by 17 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, sister Emma Frantz of Friendsville, MD and brother Samuel Fosbrink of Friendsville and Irvin Fosbrink of Breakneck near Connellsville. Phillip spent his final years in the home of his daughter Ethel on East Painter Street in South Connellsville. On June 20, 1960, while listening to the Floyd Patterson/Ingemar Johansson heavyweight boxing championship fight on the radio, he suffered a heart attack and died suddenly. Interment was beside his wife in Mt. Olive Cemetery in Bullskin Township.

  • Granddaughter Ethel Younkin married Earl McNair and lived on East Painter Street in South Connellsville in 1960.
  • Granddaughter Weynonia Irene Zaksek ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On Jan. 13, 1950, whe was united in marriage with World War II veteran James Lee Stoner ( ? - ? ), son of Rev. Levi Stoner of 217 Woodlawn Avenue in Connellsville. Rev. Stoner officiated at the service "in the presence of the immediate families and a few relatives," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. "The bride wore a winter white wool dress with black accessories and carried a small Bible topped with white and red roses. There were no attendants." At the time of marriage, James was employed in Connellsville as a clerk with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. During the war, he had sereved as a radar operator. The couple made their home in South Connellsville in 1955.
  • Grandson John Younkin dwelled in Pittsburgh in 1950 and in Coverdale, PA in 1955.
  • Grandson William Harrison Younkin relocated to Southern California. In 1955, he dwelled in Los Angeles.
  • Grandson Donald Edgar Younkin (1921- ? ) was born in about 1921. On Dec. 18, 1938, at the age of 17, Donald eloped to Winchester, VA to marry 16-year-old Valma LaRue Ellen Schaffer (1921- ? ), a native of Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. Their five known children were Patricia Louellen Salopek, Donald Edgar Younkin Jr., James Howard Younkin, John William Younkin and Craig Warren Younkin. They made their home in 1950 in Pittsburgh and in Duquesne near Pittsburgh in 1955.

Daughter Jennie Younkin (1983- ? ) was born in 1883. At the age of 15, on Dec. 15, 1898, she married 26-year-old Springer Nedrow, son of Aaron and Catherine (Boyd) Nedrow. Justice of the peace William H. Miller officiated at the ceremony held in the county seat of Uniontown. Springer was a lumberman and made his home in Wharton Township, Fayette County. The Younkin and Nedrow families were close, and Jennie's cousin Harriet Boyd was wedded to Springer's brother Samuel.

Daughter Mary E. Younkin (1886- ? ) was born in April 1886 in Stewart Township, Fayette County. On May 27, 1901, at the age of 15, she and 22-year-old M. Roy Potter (1779- ? ) united themselves in matrimony after receiving a marriage license. He was the son of H.C. and S.E. Potter. At the time of marriage, he was employed in Connellsville as a fireman, likely with the railroad. Circa 1943-1953, Mary lived for a time in Rochester, NY, but she eventually returned to her home city. By 1958, when named in the Daily Courier obituary of her sister Hazel, Mary dwelled in Connellsville.

Son William "Harrison" Younkin (1889-1950) was born in 1889 in Broadford, near Connellsville. At the age of 25, on July 18, 1914, he married a cousin, 22-year-old Etta Strawderman (1891-1923), daughter of William and Sarah (Showman) Strawderman of the family of Jane (Younkin) Showman. The Younkins produced five known children -- Dorothy Younkin, Leona "Pearl" Rudiford Hillen, William Lloyd Younkin, Jesse Younkin and Wilbert Younkin. Circa 1916, they lived in Springfield Township, Fayette County. Sadly, their infant son William Lloyd Younkin died at age four months in August 1916. Heartache blanketed the family in 1923 when Etta, having contracted double pneumonia, possibly post-partum after the birth of her son Jessie in January 1923, went to seek recovery in the home of her brother John in nearby Dunbar Township. Unable to rally, she succumbed at the age of 32 on Dec. 7, 1923. The viewing was held in the home of Etta's mother on Railroad Street in Dunbar, followed by burial in Hill Grove Cemetery, with Rev. David Ewing Minerd -- the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" -- officiating, assisted by Rev. O.W. Bolton of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Dunbar. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary naming their children as Dorothy, Pearl, Jessie and Wilbert. More suffering took place in April 1924 when motherless son Jessie died of acute indigestion and convulsions at the age of 15 months at the home of William Nedrow of Mt. Braddock. Funeral services were held at the residence of Springer Nedrow at Evans Station. Rev. O.O. King officiated at the child's funeral, with burial following in Hill Grove Cemetery and an obituary appearing in the Daily Courier. At some point Harrison married again, to Mamie Lancaster (1902-1976), daughter of James W. and Martha Jane (Keefer) Lancaster. They apparently went on to have three more offspring of their own -- Betty Jane Grahek, Esther Marie Campbell and James H. Younkin. Harrison was a coal miner with the Taylor Mine near Smock, and was a member of the United Mine Workers of America Local No. 6299. They lived in the coal mining patch town of Helen, Fayette County in 1940 and in Keisterville, Fayette County in 1943 at the time of death of Mayme's father. Harrison died in Grindstone, Fayette County on June 10, 1950 at the age of 59. His remains were brought to the home of his sister in law Martha Jane Lancaster in Grindstone for viewing and funeral services. Burial was in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Smock. An obituary in the Daily Courier reported that his survivors included 13 grandchildren, three brothers and seven sisters of Connellsville. As a widow, Mamie maintained a home in Grindstone until her death at age 73 on May 13, 1976, in Brownsville General Hospital. Burial was in Pleasant View Cemetery, with an obituary printed in a local newspaper.

  • Granddaughter Dorothy Younkin ( ? - ? ) may have been married. By 1950, however, she made her residence with her father and step-mother near Smock, Franklin Township, Fayette County. Nothing more is known.
  • Granddaughter Leona "Pearl" Younkin (1920-1966) was born in 1920. She was but a girl of three when her mother died. In the late 1930s, she was united in marriage with (?) Rudiford ( ? - ? ). They had one known son, John Rudiford, born in 1938. Later, Pearl married Ralph Hillen (1914-1961), the son of Elias and Cole (Adams) Hillen. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve. They resided in Bullskin Township north of Connellsville, where Ralph earned income as a coal miner, a job from which he retired. Ralph was felled by massive cerebral bleeding and passed away on Oct. 3, 1961, at the age of 47. Burial was in Mount Olive Cemetery in Connellsville. Pearl survived her husband by five years. She died in 1966 with interment in Mount Olive.
  • Grandson Wilbert Younkin ( ? -1976) lived at home with his father and step-mother near Smock, Franklin Township, Fayette County in 1950. By the 1970s, if not earlier, he had relocated to Baltimore, MD. He died in Baltimore in 1976.
  • Granddaughter Betty Jane Younkin (1928- ? ) was born in about 1928 and grew up in coal mining towns around Uniontown, Fayette County. She was united in wedlock with (?) Grahek. They dwelled in Merrittstown near Uniontown.

 

  
Left: Younkin sisters Esther (left) and Betty Jane, circa 1943-1944. Right: Esther with her daughter Esther Stewart, granddaughter Melissa Lee Graham and great-granddaughter

 

  • Granddaughter Esther Marie Younkin (1930-2017) was born on July 30, 1930 in the coal mining patch town of Royal, Fayette County. She married Arthur L. Campbell ( ? -1978). The couple produced these children -- Arthur Campbell, Ray Campbell, Wil Campbell, Esther Stewart, Robert Campbell and James Campbell. They resided in New Salem near Uniontown in 1976. Sadly, Arthur passed away in 1987. Esther outlived him by three decades and spent her final yearsin Orient, Fayette County in 2017. In failing health, Esther was admitted to UPMC Shadyside Hospital where she passed away on Jan. 14, 2017. Her remains were placed into eternal repose in the Chapel of Peace Mausoleum at LaFayette Memorial Park in Brier Hill, near Uniontown. An obituary was published in the Uniontown Herald-Standard. Her survivors included nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson.
  • Grandson James Younkin (1936- ? ) was born in about 1936. He lived in Grindstone, Fayette County in 1976.

Daughter Eliza Younkin (1892-1954) was born on April 7, 1892 in Bidwell, near the Fayette/Somerset County line. She was twice married. The identity of her first spouse is not yet proven, but it may have been Thomas Dingle ( ? - ? ), and the ceremony would have occurred on Sept. 15, 1906. If so, she would have been age 15 at the time, the same age as several of her sisters were when they married. Eliza was divorced on Oct. 8, 1912, when she was age 21. Just a few days after the divorce decree was handed down, Eliza was wed again, on Oct. 12, 1912, to 27-year-old coal miner Daniel Mitts (1885-1944), son of Joseph and Katherine (Helms) Mitts (or "Metts"). Officiating at their nuptials was justice of the peace Daniel M. Bierer. At the time of their marriage, Daniel resided in Lemont, near Uniontown. The couple later made their home in Waltersburg, near Uniontown, and raised a nephew as a foster son, John W. Gemas. They were members of Central Methodist Church. In 1944, their address was 112 Orchard Alley, Connellsville, with Daniel laboring at the Collier Works in the outskirts of Uniontown. Daniel was stricken with cerebral bleeding at the age of 58 and died on March 10, 1944. Eliza, burdened with kidney and heart disease at the age of 62, died on April 5, 1954 with burial in Green Ridge Memorial Park.

Daughter Eva Marie Younkin (1908-1964) was born on Jan. 18, 1908 in Connellsville. On Oct. 13, 1924, at the age of 16, she married Galen Lazelle Clover (1894-1960). His parents were Bickley V. and Annie J. (Woods) Clover of Clarion County, PA. They dwelled in South Connellsville and had seven children -- Emma Kimmel, Anna Hart, Alice Gagean, Mary Swink, Audrey Stockton, Galen A. Clover and Leon Clover. Galen was employed as a carpenter by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Eva Marie was a member of the Full Gospel Church of Poplar Grove. They lived in 1960 at 204 Pulaski Street in Connellsville. Sadly, Galen suffered from heart valve weakness and, after a two-year illness, died at age 65 on June 5, 1960. Now widowed, Eva Marie spent her final years in her home at 292 East Fairview Avenue in Connellsville. She passed away in Connellsville State General Hospital at the age of 56 on March 21, 1964. She was laid to rest with her husband in Normalville Cemetery.

Daughter Mamie A. Younkin (1893-1964) was born in on March 13, 1893 in Stewart Township, Fayette County. When she was a teenager, she resided at Moyer near Connellsville. At age 14, on May 29, 1907, she and 22-year-old lumberman Herman Fosbrink Jr. (1885-1949) joined themselves in marriage, with G.L. Schmid and Earl Huston serving as witnesses. Herman was the son of Herman and Susanna Fosbrink Sr. of Draketown, Somerset County. (The name "Fosbrink" is an English derivation of the Pennsylvania German "Forespring.) Because Mamie was legally too young to marry, her father gave his consent to the union. They produced six children -- Beulah Fosbrink, Marie Fosbrink, John Fosbrink, Howard Fosbrink, Beatrice Fosbrink and Betty Fosbrink. Herman was a longtime coal miner in and around Uniontown, and in 1943 their home was in Waltersburg. Sadly, suffering from pemphigus vulgaris (an auto-immune illness causing chronic skin lesions), he was admitted to Pittsburgh's Shadyside Hospital and died there on Sept. 14, 1949 at age 64. In providing information for the death certificate, Mamie was unable to give the names of her father and mother-in-law. Circa 1958, she made her home in Waltersburg near Uniontown. She died in Waltersburg at the age of 71 just two days after Christmas 1964. She sleeps for all time in Pleasant View Cemetery in Smock, Fayette County.

 

B&O Railroad yards at Connellsville, with the city as a backdrop

 

Daughter Hazel S. Younkin (1895-1958) was born on Jan. 11, 1895 in Connellsville. On March 26, 1912, unmarried, she gave birth to a son John W. Gemas Sr., son of Charles Gemas ( ? - ? ) of Connellsville. Three years later, on Oct. 5, 1915, at the age of 21, she married 21-year-old William H. McDowell (1894-1919), son of Samuel and Ellen (Foster) [or "Danechia (Allen)"] McDowell. The couple actually united themselves in matrimony, following an example set by several of Hazel's older sisters. The ceremony took place in Connellsville, witnessed by Jessie B. House and H.R. Titterington. William was employed at the time as a fireman and later as a brakeman with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The couple produced two sons, William Henry McDowell and Charles McDowell. Tragically, at the age of 25, and after just four years of marriage, William was stricken with kidney and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was taken to Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital, and died there on July 19, 1919. Later, by 1958, she married again, to Case Kelly ( ? - ? ). In the 1950s, their address was East Gibson Avenue in South Connellsville, and she belonged to the First Baptist Church and its E.B. Martin Bible Class. Having endured rheumatic heart disease for two decades, and more recently kidney and heart disease, Hazel died in Connellsville State Hospital at the age of 63 on July 28, 1958. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery, with Rev. R.A. Nelson officiating. The Connellsville Daily Courier published an obituary stating that her survivors included 21 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson John W. Gemas Sr. (1912-1978) was born on March 26, 1912 in Connellsville. He was raised by his mother's sister Eliza Mitts. He was twice married. His first bride was Catherine Frances Allen ( ? -1965). They produced nine offspring -- Georgeann Porterfield, Hazel Mauk, Patricia Means, Carl A. Gemas, John W. Gemas, James D. Gemas, Robert A. Gemas, Gerald E. Gemas and Wilbert Gemas. The family lived in Connellsville. Sadly, Catherine died in 1965. John married again to Mary Elizabeth (Ramage) Henry ( ? - ? ), who apparently had been married before and brought a son to the marriage, Raymond Henry. Heartache enveloped the family in 1978 when son John Jr. passed away. John Sr. passed away at the age of 66 on Jan. 30, 1978. Burial was in Green Ridge Memorial Park. The obituary named his parents as "Charles Gemas and Hazel Younkin."

Daughter Grace E. Younkin (1898-1964) was born on April 8, 1898 in Bullskin Township. At the age of 18, in Connellsville on April 6, 1915, she was wedded to Lester R. Balsley (1894-1952), son of William R. and Nancy (Stafford) Balsley of Bullskin Township. Alderman W.D. Colborn officiated. Their children were Robert L. Balsley, Fred A. Balsley, Elmer E. Balsley, Louis W. Balsley, James B. Balsley, Margie Stewart, Clarence Balsley, Charles H. Balsley and William H. Balsley. In 1922, they resided on the Swaugertown Road in Connellsville. Tragedy rocked the family on Aug. 22, 1932 when their 14-year-old son William, hospitalized for surgery on a mastoid growth, died on the eve of entering the sixth grade. During World War II, the family worried when sons Elmer and Charles joined the U.S. Armed Forces Their fears were justified when Charles lost his life due in the April 10, 1944 Allied landing on the beaches of Anzio, Italy. His remains were returned to Connellsville in July 1948 among 474 sets of Pennsylvanian remains repatriated at that time from Europe. Son Louis served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. In 1952, the family address was 508 West Gibson Avenue. Grief filled the family on Sept. 8, 1952 when Lester died at home after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. Grace passed away in Connellsville State General Hospital at the age of 66 on Oct. 2, 1964. She was placed into repose in Mount Olive Cemetery with Rev. E.J. Hatchner preaching the funeral service.

  • Grandson Robert L. Balsley (1930-1981) was born on April 22, 1930. He apparently never married. Robert made his home on North First Street in Connellsville and was a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Sons of Columbus. He died at the age of 50 in Connellsville State General Hospital on Jan. 23, 1981. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said that burial was in Mt. Olive Cemetery in Bullskin Township.
  • Grandson Fred A. Balsley ( ? - ? ) was born in Connellsville. He dwelled in Connellsville in 1981.
  • Grandson Elmer E. Balsley ( ? - ? ) was born in Connellsville. In 1981, he resided in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Louis W. Balsley ( ? - ? ) was born in Connellsville. He served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He made his home in the early 1980s in Connellsville.
  • Grandson James E. Balsley ( ? - ? ) was born in Connellsville. He wed a distant cousin, Twila Laymon, daughter of Myers and Dollie (Snyder) Laymon and granddaughter of Norman S. and Jennie (Enos) Snyder. The couple resided in Normalville, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Margie Balsley ( ? - ? ) was born in Connellsville. She was joined in matrimony with John E. Stewart ( ? - ? ) and in 1981 lived in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Clarence Balsley ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 1981.

 

Allied invasion at Anzio, Italy, where Charles H. Balsley was killed

 

Daughter Olive Younkin (1900-1953) was born on Jan. 14, 1900 in Connellsville. On March 22, 1915, when she was 15 years old, Olive and 21-year-old cousin Jeremiah Franklin "Frank" Showman (1894-1936) united themselves in marriage. H.R. Titterington and C.O. Shroyer were witnesses. Frank was son of Jeremiah and Malinda (Bungard) Showman of the family of Jane (Younkin) Showman. Unable to read or write, Frank worked with his hands as a laborer and signed his name with an "X." The couple had a family of children, among them James E. Showman, Melvin Earl Showman, Jeremiah Franklin "Frank" Showman Jr., Betty Jane Cossell, Violet Halasz, Shirley DeWitt, Gloria May Showman, Olive Ruth Showman (who died in infancy on May 31, 1919) and an unnamed infant (who passed in childbirth on Jan. 26, 1920). In 1919, the family dwelled on Franklin Street in Connellsville and by the mid-1930s resided at 508 West Gibson Avenue in Connellsville. They were members of the Church of Jesus Christ at Poplar Grove. Sadly, Frank contracted lobar pneumonia and died three weeks after his 41st birthday on Sept. 10, 1936. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary saying he had succumbed "following a lingering illness" and noting that his sister Mattie Hawkins had "died two months ago." Olive survived her husband by 17 years. She rented from Preston Calhoun a two-story, four-room house in Breakneck near Connellsville. Near-tragedy struck in early Sunday morning hours when Olive and three of her younger children nearly were consumed in a house fire. Reported the Daily Courier, "She was awakened at about 1:30 o'clock by the cries of a youngster. The smoke, apparently coming from the first floor, had filled the bedrooms. The woman and the youngsters were almost suffocated by the smoke. Mrs. Showman shattered the glass in a door on the second floor, leading to an outside stairway, suffering a finger injury." She later remarried to her landlord, Preston Calhoun ( ? - ? ) and moved to a new home at 408 West Cummings Avenue. Having contracted diabetes which led to gangrene of her right leg, which developed into a toxic infection, Olive's health began to fail in 1952, and in May 1953 she was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital. She refused surgery. She lingered there for 50 days, she died on July 30, 1953, at the age of 53. She was buried at Hill Grove Cemetery.

  • Grandson James E. Showman lived in Barberton, OH in 1953.
  • Grandson Melvin Earl Showman resided in Connellsville at 408 West Cummings Avenue in the early 1950s.
  • Grandson Jeremiah Franklin "Frank" Showman Jr. made his home in Gibson Terrace in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Betty Jane Showman married (?) Cossell ( ? - ? ). She lived on North Jefferson Street in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Violet Showman was wedded to (?) Halasz ( ? - ? ). Her residence in 1953 was in the coal mining patch town of Monarch, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Shirley Showman was joined in matrimony with (?) DeWitt ( ? - ? ). In 1953, she lived under her parents' roof in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Gloria May Showman lived with her parents in 1953.

Son Elmer S. "Ham" Younkin (1902-1958) was born on Nov. 1, 1902. He married Rose Palladine ( ? - ? ). The couple produced two daughters -- Donna Jean Jeffers and Marianne Younkin. They lived in Connellsville at the address of 512 Gibson Avenue. Elmer earned a living as a brakeman and conductor for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen No. 218. In his early 50s, Elmer was stricken with cancer of the bronchial tract. He endured for three years but finally succumbed on Jan. 28, 1958. His remains were placed into rest in Mount Olive Cemetery in Bullskin Township.

Son Clarence Marshall Younkin Sr. (1905-1961) was born on Feb. 13, 1905, the youngest of a dozen children. He married Mary Poche Williams (1912-1984), daughter of Thomas and Jane (Ramage) Williams. In 1928, their home was in the coal mine patch town of Revere, Fayette County. They later lived in Connellsville, at 2 Run Avenue, where Clarence labored as a glass cutter with Fox Glass Company. The Younkins had six children -- Clarence Younkin Jr., Raymond Younkin, Thomas Younkin, William Younkin, Myrtle Neighbors and Betty Evans. Clarence passed away on Oct. 8, 1961 in Pittsburgh's Allegheny General Hospital. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that he was survived by 18 grandchildren. He was entombed in Green Ridge Memorial Park near Connellsville, with the funeral service preached by Rev. J.D. Schrecengost. Mary survived for another 23 years. She died in Connellsville on Jan. 5, 1984.

  • Grandson Clarence Younkin Jr. ( ? - ? ) lived in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Raymond Younkin ( ? - ? ) lived in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Thomas Younkin ( ? - ? ) lived in Connellsville.
  • Grandson William Younkin ( ? - ? ) lived in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Myrtle Younkin ( ? - ? ) married Joseph Neighbors ( ? - ? ). In 1984, they dwelled in Dunbar, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Betty Younkin ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with Robert Evans ( ? - ? ). Their home in 1984 was in Dunbar, Fayette County.

~ Daughter Eliza Ann "Annie" (Younkin) Speelman ~

Daughter Eliza Ann "Annie" Younkin (1861-1936) was born on April 25, 1861 in Ursina, Somerset County. 

She married Daniel J. Speelman Jr. (1863-1930), son of Daniel J. and Elizabeth (Huntley) Speelman (also spelled "Speilman") of Ursina, Somerset County. Their only known son was Clarence Speelman. 

In 1901, their home was on North Pittsburgh Street in Connellsville. Later, they dwelled along the Springfield Pike. Daniel labored over the years for H.C. Frick Coke Company and retired from there, drawing a pension. Later, during World War I, he joined the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad shops in Connellsville and worked there long enough to receive a second pension. 

Burdened with hardening of the arteries, Daniel was felled by a stroke and died 10 days later on Sept. 26, 1930. An obituary in the Daily Courier reported that he "had been afflicted with heart trouble for about six years." His funeral service was conducted by Rev. E.A. Schultz of the United Brethren Church. 

As a widow, Annie continued to make her residence in Connellsville. She contracted a deadly case of pneumonia at the age of 76 and died on Dec. 16, 1936. Interment was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery. Her daughter-in-law Marie Speelman was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Son Clarence Speelman (1883-1949) was born on May 2, 1883 in Connellsville. He married Marie and in about 1925 moved into Connellsville Township. Clarence earned a living as a stationary engineer for Anchor Hocking Glass Company in South Connellsville. He died of a heart attack on Jan. 29, 1949, at the age of 65. Burial was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery.

~ Son William Harrison Younkin ~

Son William Harrison Younkin (1864- ? ) was born in 1864 in Somerset County. His fate is lost to history for now.

~ Son William Sherman Younkin ~

Son William Sherman Younkin (1874- ? ) was born in 1874 in Connellsville. He seems to have been named for the famed Union Army general, William Tecumseh Sherman.

His first bride was Minetta (1877- ? ). They produced four children -- Amanda Younkin, Lewis Younkin, Thomas Younkin and Richard Younkin.

His second wife was Jennie (1889- ? ). The only known son from the second marriage was was Harry Younkin, born in 1920.

 

Copyright 2015-2017 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Olive (Rowan) Duff and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan. Gov. Pinchot photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.