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Catherine Ann 'Caty'
(Comp) Sarver



Catherine Ann "Caty" (Comp) Sarver was born in about 1830 in Bedford County, PA, the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth "Betsy" (Sturtz) Comp.

She was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with William Sarver (Jan. 13, 1835-1906), son of Henry and Margaret (Mosholder) Sarver of Allegheny Township, Somerset County. The bride was five years older than the groom.

Together, the couple bore a brood of six known children -- Matilda Sarver, Lucinda Crissinger, Daniel F. Sarver, Elizabeth Miller, Emma J. Hillegass and Rose Ann Sarver.


Catherine's obituary, Somerset Herald
Library of Congress

When the federal census enumerations were made in 1860, 1870 and 1880, the family dwelled on a farm in Allegheny Township, Somerset County. Their home in 1896 is known to have been near Dividing Ridge in the township.

In August 1873, the Sarvers were named in the last will and testament of Catherine's father.

William was in the news on New Year's Day 1896 for having "shot a wild turkey a few days ago which weighed twenty pounds," said the Somerset Herald. "The bird measured four feet four inches from tip of head to beak of tail and wore a beard eighteen inches long... [He is] one of the best marksmen in the county..."


Somerset Herald, 1897. Library of Congress

Grief cascaded over the family when Catherine contracted typhoid fever and died on Feb. 22, 1896. A brief notice in the Herald said that she was "aged about fifty-five years. She is survived by her husband and several married children." Her passing also was noted in the Altoona (PA) Tribune.

William survived his wife by a dozen years.

An unfortunate mishap in November 1897 landed William again in a story in the Herald. The article reported that he had:

...lost a valuable horse in a peculiar manner... He was on his way to New Baltimore, from whence he proposed going hunting the next day. The distance from his home to New Baltimore is about four miles and he started to make the trip on horse back. In attempting to mount, the girth broke and the rider fell to the ground, fortunately alighting on his feet. The horse shied and Sarver concluded to lead him a short distance. Before he had gone many feet the animal shied again and Sarver poked him in the ribs with the muzzle of his gun when the weapon was discharged. The load of shot penetrated the horse's side behind the left front shoulder, when he dropped over in his tracks stone dead. The shot had pierced his heart.

The federal census of 1900 shows William in Allegheny Township, sharing a home with 47-year-old boarder and servant Hester Lape, a widow. Living next door was his married son Daniel and family.

Suffering from organic heart disease and stricken with typhoid fever, William died in Allegheny Township at the age of 71 on Aug. 31, 1906. 

His remains were interred in Mt. Zion Cemetery. John Sarver, of Dividing Ridge, was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.


Sand Patch Hotel, a landmark near the Sarvers' residence


~ Daughter Matilda Sarver ~

Daughter Matilda Sarver (1856- ? ) was born in about 1856.

She never learned to read or write.


~ Daughter Lucinda (Sarver) Crissinger ~

Daughter Lucinda Sarver (1858-1934) was born on June 16, 1858 in Somerset County. She never learned to read or write.

She entered into marriage with Nelson Crissinger (March 6, 1856-1928), son of Jacob and Tenna (Arnold) Crissinger, the father an immigrant from Germany.

The only son born into this marriage was Elmer M. Crissinger.

The family made its home a mile east of Sand Patch in Greenville Township, Somerset County. Nelson earned a living as a laborer.

He was burdened with hardening of the arteries for the last five years of his life. He was stricken by a stroke of apolexy and died at the age of 72 on May 3, 1928. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican said that he "had been an invalid for several years." Rev. John Wegley of Somerset led the funeral service held in the Hochstettler Church of the Brethren.

Lucinda maintained her home as a widow near Sand Patch and endured heart valve disease. She passed into eternity in her home at the age of 83 on April 3, 1942. Obituaries in the Somerset Daily American and Republican said she was survived by two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Funeral services were led by Rev. Rhodes at the Hostetler Church in Greenville Township. Burial followed in the Hostetler/Hochstetler Cemetery. On her Pennsylvania death certificate, with Nannie Murray as the source, the maiden name of Lucinda's mother was spelled out as "Elsie Compt."

Son Elmer M. Crissinger (1880-1941) was born on Jan. 3, 1880 in or near Sand Patch, Somerset County. He spent his entire life as a farmer. He was married to Lilly Sanders (1878- ? ), daughter of H.P. Sanders. They made their residence in or near Sand Patch. At least four children born to the couple were Howard Crissinger, Harry Crissinger, Nannie Crissinger and Juanita Crissinger. Elmer's name was in the news over the years for activities such as boiling sugar to make syrup, hauling coal and lime, and constructing a tenant house on his farm. Circa 1939-1940, he is known to have employed 18-year-old nephew Harvey Miller on the farm. At the age of 61, suffering from heart and kidney disease, as well as phlebitis, a bloot clot developed in his heart, and he succumbed to death on Feb. 16, 1941. The Daily American obituary misspelled his mother's maiden name as "Farber."


~ Son Daniel F. Sarver ~

Son Daniel F. Sarver (1861-1906) was born on Feb. 24, 1861 in Allegheny Township. He grew up working on the family farm in Allegheny Township, Somerset County.

In 1884, at the age of about 23, he was joined in wedlock with Maggie Amanda Foust (Aug. 1862- ? ).

At least three offspring were born to this marriage -- Cora M. Sarver, Artie Nelson Sarver and Rose L. Sarver.

Their home was on Dividing Ridge, Allegheny Township.

Sometime in 1906, Daniel contracted typhoid fever. While he appeared to be recovering, he developed "neuralgia of the heart," a type of infection or inflammation. He surrendered to the spectre of death on Sept. 9, 1906, at the age of 45. An examining physician wrote that "mental worry" was a contributing factor to his death. Burial of the remains was in Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Daughter Cora M. Sarver (1884- ? ) was born in July 1884.

Son Artie Nelson Sarver (1886-1981) was born on May 19, 1886 in Allegheny Township, Somerset County. He wedded Georgia Matilda Felton ( ? - ? ). The pair together bore a brood of these children -- Daisy Sarver, Merle Sarver, Verna Miglets, Edison L. Sarver Sr., Victor E. Sarver, Hazel Morrison, Caroly Shell, Ruth Devanney, Artie Sarver Jr. and Howard B. "Punk" Sarver. Circa 1914, the family resided in Allegheny Township, but by 1916 had migrated to Ohiopyle, Fayette County, PA. Georgia preceeded Artie in death. His final years were spent in Confluence, Somerset County. He passed away at the age of 94, on Jan. 12, 1981, as a resident of Fazio Nursing Home in Markleysburg. Burial was in Mt. Zion Lutheran Cemetery. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican said that he was survived by an astonishing 60 grandchildren, 103 great-grandchildren and 17 great-great grandchildren.

  • Grandson Merle Sarver ( ? - ? ) migrated to Portage, IN.
  • Granddaughter Verna Sarver ( ? - ? ) was united in matrimony with (?) Miglets. They relocated to Poland and Youngstown, OH.
  • Somerset County
    Memorial Park

    Grandson Edison L. Sarver (1914-1990) was born on July 8, 1914 in Allegheny Township, Somerset County. He entered into marriage with Lydia Grace Morrison ( ? - ? ). The couple established their home near Rockwood and were the parents of James W. Sarver, Wilma Foust, Genevieve Zorn, Violet L. Hoover, Edison L. Sarver Jr. and Judy Spangler. Edison earned a living as a coal miner, employed by B. Quality Coal Company and the Somerset Foundry, and belonged to the United Mine Workers of America. For 44 years, he held a membership in the Somerset Alliance Church and volunteered his time in a number of positions. After Lydia's death, Edison kept company with a close friend, Nancy C. Gastley. Edison died at the age of 75 on March 3, 1990. Funeral services were held in the family church, led by Rev. Melvin E. Vance. The remains were interred in Somerset County Memorial Park. In an obituary in the Somerset Daily American, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Somerset In Touch Hospice.
  • Grandson Victor E. Sarver (1916-1990) was born on Jan. 23, 1916 in Somerset County. He was united in matrimony with Mary Lytle ( ? - ? ). They planted roots in Farmington, Fayette County, PA. Victor was a member of the United Mine Workers of America as well as the Ohiopyle Grange and the Laurel Mountain Baptist Church. Together, the couple produced four children -- Sheila Sarver, Donald Sarver, Patricia Cottrell and Marjorie Detrick. Victor died at the age of 74 on Aug. 24, 1990. Burial was in West Plan Cemetery in Addison, Somerset County. The funeral was co-officiated by pastors James Hickle and Clifford Sarver. An obituary appeared in the Somerset Daily American.
  • Granddaughter Hazel Sarver ( ? - ? ) married (?) Morrison of Ohiopyle, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Carolyn Sarver ( ? - ? ) wedded ( ? - ? ) Shell. They dwelled in Rogers, OH.
  • Granddaughter Ruth Sarver ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with (?) Devanney. Her home circa 1990 was in Ohiopyle, Fayette County and in 2001 in nearby Chalk Hill, Fayette County.
  • Grandson Artie Sarver Jr. ( ? - ? ) lived in Confluence, Somerset County.
  • Grandson Howard B. "Punk" Sarver (1926-2001) was orn on Feb. 1, 1926 in Ohiopyle. He married Thelma I. Shipley ( ? - ? ). The family established a residence in Markleysburg, Fayette County. Nine children born in to their union were Howard B. Sarver, Clifford I. Sarver, Ronald N. Sarver, Danny Sarver, Terry Sarver, Debbie Fortner, Brenda Nicholson, Patrick Sarver and Lisa Sarver. Howard served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. He spent his career as a heavy equipment operator for the Utility Forestry Service Inc. He belonged to the Amvets Post 103 and the Confluence post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Sarvers retired to Florida and made a home in the town of Eustis, Lake County. Howard died in Eustis at the age of 74 on Jan. 20, 2001. The remains were transported back to Somerset County for funeral services led by Rev. Clifford L. Sarver and burial in Sansom Chapel Cemetery. The Somerset Daily American published an obituary.

Daughter Rose L. Sarver (1888- ? ) was born in Nov. 1888.


~ Daughter Elizabeth (Sarver) Miller ~

Daughter Elizabeth Sarver (1863- ? ) was born in about 1863.

She was united in holy marriage with Daniel Y. Miller ( ? - ? ).

They migrated to Indiana and in 1934-1942 lived in the town of Goshen, Elkhart County.


~ Daughter Emma J. (Sarver) Hillegass ~

Daughter Emma J. Sarver (1866-1934) was born on June 18, 1866.

She was joined in the bonds of matrimony with William Vincent Hillegass (1860-1921), son of John and Agnes (Riffle) Hillegass. They made a home in Emma's home region of near New Baltimore in Allegheny Township, Somerset County, with Berlin as their post office location.

The couple bore 10 chidren together -- Garnet Hillegass, Daniel Hillegass, Marie Harkinson, Bernard Hillegass, Thomas Hillegass, Blanche Straub, Elmer Hillegass, Vincent Hillegass and two who died young, prior to 1934.

William was "widely known in that section of the county as 'Applebutter Bill' by reason of his large production of apples and applebutter," said the Meyersdale Republican.

On the fateful afternoon of April 7, 1921, having not felt well for several days, he "was able to get about the house and yard," said the Republican. "Last Thursday while going to the barn with a pail of water, he dropped over. His wife was at the house and saw him fall. She hastened to him, but he breathed only a few times and expired." He was age 59 at death.


St. John's Catholic Church, New Baltimore -- the famed church along the Pennsylvania Turnpike -- where William and Emma Hillegass were members.


For the last 15 years of her life, Emma was burdened with hardening of the arteries. She suffered a stroke in late February 1934 and lingered for 13 days before being swept away by the angel of death on March 11, 1934, at the age of 67. Burial of the remains was beside her husband's in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Cemetery in New Baltimore, Somerset County. Vincent Hillegass of Berlin, PA signed the official death certificate. An obituary in the Republican noted that the count of her survivors included 30 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A funeral mass was sung in the family church.

Son Garnet Thaddeus Hillegass (1886-1966) was born in 1886. He lived in South Fork, near Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. He died in 1966.

Son Daniel Hillegass dwelled in South Fork, near Johnstown, Cambria County, PA.

Daughter Marie Hillegass married (?) Harkinson. Her home in 1934 was in South Fork, near Johnstown, Cambria County, PA.

Son Bernard Samuel Hillegass (1891-1975) was born in 1891. He resided in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. Death swept him away in 1975.

Son Thomas Hillegass was in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA in 1934.

Daughter Blanche Hillegass wedded (?) Straub. She made a residence circa 1934 in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA.

Son Elmer Hillegass lived in New Baltimore, Somerset County.

Son Vincent Hillegass made his home with his widowed mother near New Baltimore in 1934.


~ Daughter Rose Ann Sarver ~

Daughter Rose Ann Sarver (1868- ? ) was born in 1868.

More about her life will be added when learned.


Copyright 2021 Mark A. Miner