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Flora 'Belle' (Farabee) Miller


Flora "Belle" (Farabee) Miller was born on March 5 or 27, 1872 (or 1873 or September 1871) in Wetzel County, WV, Greene County, PA or nearby East Finley, Washington County, PA, the daughter of Spencer and Nancy (Minor) Farabee. Different records show differing locations for her birth date and place.

On March 27, 1896, at Waynesburg, Greene County, Belle married Jesse Alva Miller (Sept. 27, 1868-1955), a native of West Finley, Washington County, PA, and the son of Alexander Hamilton and Margaret (Dentizer) Miller. She was age 23, and he 26, at the time of their nuptials.


Obituary, 1906

The Millers were farmers in West Finley, Washington County, PA.

They produced four children Gladys May Daniels Rankin, Lottie Donnis Rankin, Homer Carson Miller and Ocie Marie Hixon Chambala.

The Claysville Recorder once said that Jesse was a "farmer and resided almost all his life in Washington County." He was a member of the Washington Church of God.

Tragedy rocked the family when, at the age of 33, on Jan. 19, 1906, Belle began to bleed heavily after the birth of their daughter Ocie. According to a newspaper article,

At 11 a.m. on the day of her death she gave birth to a female child, without the attendance of a physician or authorized midwife being in attendance. [Dr. H.M. Lacock] reported that death was due to post-partum hemorrhage, following child birth, which in turn was due to a lack of medical attention or negligence on the part of those persons in attendance during and after said birth.


Obituary, 1955

Her remains were placed into repose in West Finley Cemetery.

Evidence suggests that Jesse never remarried. In the years afterward, he and the children continued to dwell in West Finley. When the federal census was taken in 1910, the family was residing on Templeton Creek Road. 

By 1920, Jesse's son Homer and married daughter Lattie Rankin were living next door to him in West Finley. In 1916, and again in 1920 Jesse signed his legal consent for two of his underage daughters to marry.

Jesse was admitted to the Curry Memorial Home in Waynesburg in about 1951, burdened with senile dementia and hardening of the arteries. He remained there for the final four years of his life. At age 86, on Aug. 5, 1955, "after a long illness," Jesse passed away in the Curry Memorial Home in Waynesburg, Greene County. His remains were interred in West Finley Cemetery, reunited with his wife's after a separation of 45 years.


~ Daughter Gladys May (Miller) Daniels Rankin ~

Daughter Gladys May Miller (1897-1969) was born in 1897 in West Finley Township.

At the age of 16 circa 1913, not yet married, she had a relationship with 25-year-old Clyde McDonald (1888- ? ). They produced a daughter, Clara Belle (McDonald) Stollar.

Three years later, on April 18, 1916,the 19-year-old Gladys married 22-year-old farmer Benjamin Harrison Daniels ( ? - ? ) of Greene County, PA. Justice of the peace John J. Jewell of West Finley officiated. Benjamin was the son of John and Catherine (Nichols) Daniels and a native of Monongahela, Washington County. Because she was underage, her father had to sign his official consent to the union.


Obituary, 1952

Her marriage to Benjamin was troubled, and within two years she sued for divorce on the grounds of "cruel and barbarous treatment and indignities to the person." The divorce was granted on Feb. 3, 1920 in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County (No. 88 Aug. Term, 1918).

Just a month later, on March 3, 1920,Gladys wed her second spouse, 26-year-old Thomas Henry Rankin (April 3, 1893-1952), a coal miner and resident of Uniontown, Fayette County, PA. Justice of the peace John F. Carrmichael led the wedding ceremony. Thomas was a distant cousin and the son of John William and Phoebe Ann (Maust) Rankin of Elliottsville, Fayette County.

The Rankins' six known children were Lester Rankin, Alva James Rankin Sr., Grace Giovannini, Agnes M. Hoffman Corey, Glenn W. Rankin and Wayne Richard Rankin.

They resided in East Finley, in the Stony Point School District, where in 1940 the U.S. Census records Thomas working as a farmer. That year, 47-year-old farm laborer John Henry boarded under their roof.


Obituary, 1969

In 1941, the family relocated to Washington, Washington County and made a home at 449 Ewing Street. Thomas was employed by the Washington Mine of the Hillman Coal and Coke Company until retirement in 1950. Socially, he was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose in Washington.

The family was plunged into mourning in 1949 at the untimely death of their son Lester.

Thomas was burdened with heart disease and was forced by his ill health to retire in 1950. He was stricken at home with a heart attack and died on Feb. 25, 1952, at the age of 58. Funeral services were held at the Full Gospel Tabernacle at the corner of Addison Street and Hayes Avenue, preached by Brother J.L. Nuzum. His remains lowered into repose in West Finley Cemetery.

Gladys outlived her husband by 17 years. In 1959, her address was 493 Ewing Street in Washington. She enjoyed attending the annual Rankin reunions held at Lick Hollow Park in Fayette County. In July 1965, she went with several of her husband's cousins and was mentioned in a related article in the Uniontown Morning Herald.

She passed away on Jan. 28, 1969. An obituary was printed in the Claysville Recorder.


Obituary, 1973

Daughter Clara Belle McDonald (1913-1997) was born in 1913 to parents who were not married. She grew up not knowing her father's name. She was first wed to a man named Ealy ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Harry Edward Ealy. The copule was divorced on April 8, 1939. Later that year, at the age of 26, on July 7, 1939, she married 29-year-old farmer Walter Leslie "Curley" Stollar (Jan. 2, 1910-1997), son of James W. and Ysadora (Sprowls) Stollar, farmers of Claysville. Curley also was divorced, his decree handed down on Aug. 22, 1936. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940, the Stollars lived in East Finley, with Curley working as a laborer for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). He "spent all his life in the Claysville area," said the Claysville Recorder. He was employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways for many years, and later as a grinder at Harper's Feed Mill. They resided in Pleasant Grove, and raised a family of three -- Ronald Leslie Stollar, Faye Smith and Cheryl Verner. In about 1963, Clara Belle obtained employment in the laundry department of Washington Hospital, where she worked for 15 years until her retirement in 1978. Sadly, Walter passed away in Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital on March 3, 1973. Clara Belle outlived him by 24 years and resided in Washington, PA. She passed away at age 83 on Jan. 16, 1997, and was laid to rest in the West Finley Cemetery. At her death, she had 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

  • Grandson Harry Edward Ealy (1929-2003) was born on July 10, 1929 in West Finley Township. He relocated to Ohio and dwelled in Steubenville, Jefferson County in 1973. Later, he moved to Southern California and made a home in Oxnard, CA in 1998. He died on Aug. 26, 2003, with burial in Oxnard.
  • Grandson Ronald L. Stollar ( ? - ? ) joined the U.S. Army in about 1963. He was deployed widely, including in Washington, DC and Fort Bliss, TX, as well as around the world in Vietnam, Italy and Korea. In September 1973, he was named administrative sergeant for the U.S. Army reserve officer training corps (ROTC) at Gettysburg College. Ronald coached the college's rifle team and captured Tri-State championships in 1974 and 1975. He re-enlisted in the Army in January 1976 and was pictured in the Gettysburg Times receiving a certificate from Lt. Col. Richard F. Reidy Jr. Ronald married Nol T. Nguyen, a native of Long My in Vietnam. They were the parents of a son and daughter. Their home in 1976 was at 237 North Stratton Street in Gettysburg and in 1996 on Kinsey Drive.
  • Granddaughter Faye L. Stollar (1936-1998) was born on Nov. 20, 1936 in West Finley Township. She was twice married. Her first spouse was Louis Mitchell ( ? - ? ). They made a home in Washington and were the parents of five children -- Daniel "Danny" Mitchell, Richard Mitchell, William Mitchell, Kathy McFall and Myra Bertrand. For 25 years, Faye was employed at Washington Hospital as a nursing assistant. She was an officer with the local union 1199 of the Service Employees International and active with the local laborers' council. She also belonged to the Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church. On April 9, 1994, she married Robert Smith ( ? - ? ). He had been married before and brought these children to the second union -- Robert Smith Jr., Steven Smith, Bradley Smith and Tammy Sullivan. Theiraddress circa 1998 was 350 Hart Avenue in Washington. Sadly, Faye was admitted to Washington Hospital where she succumbed at the age of 62 on Dec. 3, 1998.
  • Granddaughter Cheryl Stollar ( ? - ? ) wedded David W. Verner ( ? - ? ), son of James D. and Florence (Mounts) Verner.Their home in 1973-2016 was in Washington.


Rare bird's-eye view of Claysville


Son Lester Thomas Rankin (1919-1949) was born on Sept. 26, 1919 in West Finley Township. He suffered rheumatic fever at the age of four and never fully recovered. He was united in wedlock with Anna Lee Hampe ( ? - ? ). The couple lived at 460 Grove Avenue in Washington, Washington County. While his primary occupation was as a truck driver, he was unemployed in the winter of 1949. The marriage was cleaved apart when the 29-year-old Lester suffered a heart attack on Feb. 18, 1949 and was rushed to Washington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Interment was in West Finley Cemetery.

Son Alva James Rankin Sr. (1921-1959) was born on July 21, 1921 in West Finley Township. Alva served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II with the 32nd Fighter Squadron. He moved into Washington, Washington County, PA, where he lived at 445 Ewing Street and found employment as a glass worker. On New Year's Day 1948, at the age of 26, he married 18-year-old Mary Isabelle Hampe (April 20, 1929-2003), daughter of Christy and Blanche (Gough) Hampe of 99 Wayne Street, Washington. The ceremony was performed by justice of the peace Richard Boardley in Canton Township, Washington County. Mary was eight years younger than her husband.Because she was underage, Mary's father signed his legal consent to the wedding. They had four known children -- Alva James Rankin Jr., Joyce Ann Allen, Susan Rankin and William Rankin. Their address in the late 1950s was 430 Hillside Avenue in Washington. Alva earned a living as an automobile wrecker and enjoyed riding his motorcycle. Heartache enveloped the family when the 38-year-old Alva was killed when his motorcycle ran off the road and wrecked on Sept. 27, 1959. Although rushed to Washington Hospital, he was dead on arrival from a fractured skull and internal bleeding. Interment was in West Finley Cemetery. Later in life, by the 1970s, Mary married again to Charles Anderson. Mary worked for almost 35 years for Al Rogers and Sons Auto Repair, retiring in 1996, and enjoyed playing bingo and dartball. She also was Methodist in her faith. Sadly, she outlived her adult children Joyce Allen and Alva James Rankin Jr. She died in Tandem Health Care in North Strabane Township on Aug. 17, 2003, at the age of 74.

  • Grandson Alva James Rankin Jr. (1948-1979) was born on May 12, 1948 in Washington. He married Mary Jane Chicora on Oct. 14, 1967 and had two daughters, Stacy Rankin and Melissa Rankin. Alva worked as an automobile mechanic for 14 years for Al Rogers Truck and Auto Repair. He also belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and Independent Political Club. Heartache shook this family on Dec. 17, 1979, when Alva was stricken with an acute heart attack and died at the age of 31 in Washington Hospital. Burial was in West Finley Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Joyce Ann Rankin wed Charles Allen. In 1979 they lived in Washington R.D. 7.
  • Granddaughter Susan Rankin lived in Washington.
  • Grandson William Rankin made his home in Fredericktown, Washington County in the late 1970s.

Daughter  Grace Mae Rankin (1924- ? ) was born on Feb. 10, 1924. She was married twice. Her first husband was Edgar E. Long ( ? - ? ). They were divorced on Oct. 28, 1946, and she moved back in with her parents. She made her home for the next few years at 449 Ewing Street in Washington. On Aug. 21, 1948, when she was 24 years of age, she wed her second spouse, 27-year-old bricklayer Martin Giovannini (1921- ? ), son of Joseph and Mary (Paulina) Giovannini of the Meadowlands near Washington. Justice of the peace A.R. Cummins officiated. Martin's parents were European immigrants -- the father from Italy and the mother from Austria Hungary.They were in Freedom, Beaver County, PA in 1952.

Daughter Agnes M. Rankin (1925- ? ) was born in about 1925. She was united in marriage with machinist Clifford Jeremiah Hoffman ( ? - ? ), son of Charles and Clara (Black) Hoffman. The nuptials were celebrated in Washington by alderman John F. Carmichael on April 5, 1945, when she was age 18 and he 28. Because she was underage, her father had to sign his consent in writing. Clifford had been married once before, to Adeline Elizabeth, and was divorced on Oct. 18, 1944. His home at the time of marriage with Agnes was at 122 West Wheeling Street in Washington.Circa 1952, their home was in Washington.

Son Glenn W. Rankin (1929- ? ) was born in about 1929 in East Finley, Washington County. He lived at home with his parents in 1952.

Son Wayne Richard Rankin (1934- ? ) was born on Sept. 7, 1934 in Washington. During the Korean War, Wayne served in the U.S. Army. He earned a living as a self-employed construction laborer. In his free time, he liked to fish and hunt. On Oct. 10, 1982, when he would have been age 48, he was united in matrimony with Violet Brown ( ? - ? ). Five children were involved with this family, including George Pierson, Edward Pierson, Debbie Milligan, Sandra Pierson and Cheryl Schippmann. They lived in Washington and were members of Shiloh Fellowship Church. Sadly, Wayne became seriously ill in about 2005 and suffered for a year before death cut him away, at the age of 71, on April 26, 2006. An obituary in the Washington Observer-Reporter said that his funeral service was led by Pastor Edward Popovich, followed by interment in Washington Cemetery.

  • Grandson George Piersonmade a home in Davey, FL in 2006.
  • Grandson Edward Piersonlived in Washington.
  • Granddaughter Debbie Milliganresided in Jacksonville, FL.
  • Granddaughter Sandra Pierson dwelled in Washington.
  • Granddaughter Cheryl Schippmannlived in Crucible, Greene County, PA.


~ Son Homer Carson Miller ~

Son Homer Carson Miller (1901-1976) was born in 1901.

In about 1924, when he would have been age 22 and she 17, Homer married a distant cousin, Sarah Pearl Rankin (1905-1930), daughter of George W. and Lillie (Fields) Rankin of Elliottsville, Fayette County, PA. 


Windy Gap Church

The couple produced five known children, among them Homer Eugene Miller, Wilma Pearl Beatty, Delbert J. "Tink" Miller, Ralph Carson Miller and Clyde Miller.


Eight days before Christmas 1930, Sarah Pearl gave birth, but complications set it, and she became infected with a deadly case of peritonitis. She succumbed to the infection on Christmas Day 1930, at the age of 24. Her funeral was held at Windy Gap Church in West Finley, Washington County, PA. (The old church is seen here.)

By 1936, Homer is believed to have married again to Violet Lennox (1916- ? ). Evidence suggests that she bore a daughter of their own, Gladys M. Lennox. They made a longtime home on a farm in West Alexander, Washington County, PA.


Sally's column, Claysville
, 2002

Homer was admitted to Washington Hospital and passed away at the age of 75 on Dec. 14, 1976. His remains were placed into repose beside his wife's, reunited after a separation of 46 years.

Son Homer Eugene "Gene" Miller (1924-2015) was born on Sept. 5, 1924 in West Alexander, Washington County. He served in World War II with the U.S. Army. Homer was married twice. His first bride was Charlotte ( ? - ? ). Their two sons were Clyde E. Miller and Donald W. Miller. Homer earned a living for 25 years as a diesel mechanic and supervisor for Windmill Truck Stop. They belonged to the Rolling Hills Chapel, where Homer enjoyed church music. Said an obituary, "He loved his pet donkeys, picking berries and going to flea markets." In January 1992, when he was age 68, he wedded a second time to Martha Jean "Sally" Flack ( ? - ? ). The couple lived in West Alexander. Sally was a longtime correspondent for the Claysville (PA) Weekly Recorder, writing a weekly "Burnsville Bulletins" column.As his health failed, he was admitted to Kade Nursing and Rehabilitation, where he died at the age of 91 on Sept. 17, 2015. His remains were lowered into eternal rest in West Finley Cemetery, with Rev. George Plants officiating at the funeral.

  • Grandson Clyde E. Miller married Kathleen. They live in Washington, PA.
  • Grandson Donald W. Miller wedded Donna. They dwell in West Alexander, Washington County.


Washington Observer-Reporter,   father and son, 7 months apart


Daughter Wilma Pearl Miller (1926-2015) was born on Feb. 17, 1926 in West Finley, Washington County. She was but a girl of three when her mother died. At the age of 19, she worked as a waitress. She married 21-year-old Clyde Elmer Beatty (1925-2002) on Jan. 5, 1946, in Washington, Washington County, PA. Clyde was a farmer and the son of Charles and Sadie (Dougherty) Beatty of West Alexander. The couple produced three children -- Richard E. Beatty, James C. Beatty and Dorothy Simpson. They made a home for decades in Prosperity and they were members of the Old Concord Presbyterian Church, where Clyde was a longtime elder and eventually named elder emeritus. A newspaper once said that Wilma "a homemaker and enjoyed bingo, cooking, baking, gardening, quilting, sewing circle and taking care of others, and she loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Everyone enjoyed her homemade pies and rolls." Clyde worked in Washington for Harper's Feed Mill and then, when it closed its doors, he became employed by Best Feed and Farm Supply in nearby Oakdale. In his spare time, he liked to repair small engines, work with wood and perform mowing. Sadly, Clyde passed away on March 8, 2002, cleaving apart the marriage which had endured for 56 years. After 50 years in Prosperity, Wilma relocated to Washington where she spent her final years. She died in Washington Hospital at the age of 89 on Feb. 19, 2015. She was survived by seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Burial was in West Finley Cemetery, with Pastor Russ Baird officiating.

  • Grandson Richard E. "Dick" Beatty (1949-2002) was born on May 5, 1949 in Washington. He was married and the father of Jennifer Hancher and Erin L. Sprowls. He resided in early adulthood in West Alexander and Prosperity. For 34 years, he was employed by Jessop Steel and its successor Allegheny Ludlum as a truck driver and equipment operator. He was a member of District 10 of the United Steel Workers of America and the Jessop Club and belonged to the James R. Hunt post of the American Legion in Claysville. As a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army Resereves' 630th Transportation Company, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia for six months in 1991 to support Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Richard relocated to Claysville in 1999. At the age of 53, on July 19, 2002, he was joined in wedlock with Hazel L. (Shriver) Burkhart. She brought a son to the marriage, Scott L. Burkhart. For the three short months' duration of their marriage, the Beattys dwelled in Claysville in 2002. Sadly, with his health failing, Richard was admitted to the Donnell House in Washington where he succumbed at the age of 53 on Oct. 8, 2002. His photograph and an obituary were printed in the Washington Observer-Reporter.
  • Grandson James C. Beatty married Vanessa, and they live in Prosperity. They bore one known daughter, Sheena Beatty. Circa 2001, daughter Sheena was pictured in the Claysville Weekly Recorder for her role as a member of McGuffey High School's concert and marching bands and for performing twice with the band at Magic Music Days in Florida's Disney World. At the time, she had plans to attend Waynesburg University.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy Beatty wedded James Simpson. They reside in Washington.


Obituary, 1997

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Son Delbert J. "Tink" Miller (1927-1997) was born on July 18, 1927 in Claysville. He served with the U.S. Army with the 72nd Engineer Company during the Korean War. Later, for 19 years, he was employed as an operating engineer for C.A. Hackett Engineers and Kress Box Company. He was a longtime member of Roadside Chapel in the Pleasant Grove section of Claysville. He married Mary Lou ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Joseph "Sonny" Miller. The couple eventually divorced. On Aug. 24, 1973, at the age of 47, he wedded 37-year-old Myrlee "Mary" (1936- ? ). The couple bore a daughter of their own, Donna Renz.One of Delbert's favorite sayings, posthumously inscribed on his grave marker, was "When I get to the Moon I'll stop and wait for you." Their address circa 1997 was Belmont Avenue in Washington. He became ill at the start of 1997 and suffered for eight months. As the end came, he was admitted to Kade Nursing Home in Washington. He passed away there at the age of 70 on Aug. 2, 1997. Burial was in West Finley Cemetery, with the funeral service officiated by Rev. Mary Sprowls. The Washington Observer-Reporter published an obituary which included his photograph. Myrlee survived her husband by a number of years, suffering from diabetes, emphysema and heart issues. Circa October 2002, she and her daughter rented a house on Wayne Street in Canton Township. They were featured in articles in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about cold water and heating problems, as well as rodent and snake infestations not being addressed by their landlord. When Donna appeared before the township supervisors, and pleaded her case, they passed a new ordinance regulating certain permit requirements, including safety inspections for all new renters.

  • Grandson Joseph "Sonny" Miller (1954- ? ) was born in about 1954. He and Leslie Cowden were the parents of a son, Joshua Edward Miller. Later, Joseph married Vicky Plymire ( ? - ? ). Another son in this family was Victor Martin Miller. Joseph has worked as a truck driver and breeder of Haflingers, a draft horse with origins in the Tyrol mountains of Austria. The family was plunged into grief when their son Joshua, a fourth grader at Avella Elementary School, and involved with the Taylorstown Youth Baseball, Avella Youth Football and National Road Festival Wagon Train organizations, died at the age of 11 on May 20, 1999. Joseph was profiled in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an August 2007 story headlined "Pulling Ponies: Haflingers Replace Larger Breeds As High Fuel Costs, Aging Farmers Force Downsizing of Draft Horses."
  • Granddaughter Donna Miller married (?) Renz. Her home in 1997 was in Canonsburg and in 2002 in Canton Township.

Son Ralph Carson Miller (1929- ? ) was born in about 1929. He lived in Clarksville, Washington County in 1997-1998 and in Washington circa 2015.


Famous "S" shaped stone bridge carrying the National Road in Claysville


Son Clyde D. "Whitey" Miller (1930-1988) was born on Dec. 17, 1930. Tragically, his mother died eight days after the birth, rendering the baby motherless. Clyde married Barbara ( ? - ? ). Their four known offspring were David Miller, Richard "Ricky" Miller, Rodney L. Miller and Terry Miller. The family dwelled in Claysville and West Alexander. Sadly, Clyde died on April 4, 1988 at the age of 58. Burial was in West Finley Cemetery. Barbara later remarried to Robert "Bob" Beatty and relocated to Niles, Trumbull County, OH. Bob is believed to have brought a son to the marriage, Kevin Beatty. Sadly, their son Ricky was seriously ill and moved into her home but passed away in 2002 at the age of 43. Barbara died in St. Joseph's Hospital in Warren on Sept. 30, 2015.

  • Grandson David Miller ( ? - ? ) lived in Cortland, OH in 2015.
  • Obituary, 1998
    Grandson Richard "Ricky" Miller (1958-2002) was born on April 20, 1958. He lived in Claysville and West Alexander. In his early 40s, he became seriously ill and moved into the home of his widowed mother in Niles, Trumbull County, OH. Sadly, he died there on Oct. 1, 2002. His remains were brought back to Claysville to rest in West Finley Cemetery. A month later, his brother Buck published a tribute in the Claysville Weekly Recorder.
  • Grandson Rodney L. Miller married Claudia. They dwelled in Valley Grove, WV in 2015.
  • Granddaughter Terry Miller made her home circa 2015 in Aurora.

Daughter Gladys M. "Toot" Lennox (1936-1998) was born on Sept. 28, 1936 in West Alexander, Washington County. She was the mother of a daughter, Brenda J. Lennox. Gladys may never have married and spent most of her life in West Alexander. She eventually moved to Wheeling, Ohio County, WV, with a home on Lind Street. As her health failed, Gladys was admitted to Peterson Hospital in Wheeling where she succumbed at the age of 61 on Sept. 25, 1998. Her funeral and interment were held in Wheeling.


~ Daughter Lottie Daunice (Miller) Rankin ~

Daughter Lottie Daunice Miller (1898-1984) was born on April 11, 1898 in West Finley. Her name sometimes is misspelled "Lattie."

She also married into the Rankin clan. On Dec. 13, 1916, when she was age 18, Lottie wed Uniontown resident and coal miner Arthur Rankin (June 24, 1891-1945), the son of distant cousin John W. and Phoebe (Maust) Rankin of Elliottsville, Fayette County. 

They had eight known children -- Anna Mae Vargo, Eileen Lenora Sullenbarger, Daunice Teegarden Robinson, Ruth Snyder, Arthur Rankin, Gerald Marvin Rankin, Evelyn Chalovich and Margaret Morris Eiferman George.

In 1925, they lived at the coal mining community of Ragtown, a location seemingly lost today. In about 1929, Arthur and Lottie settled in the Chartiers Hill neighborhood of Clarksville, Greene County, PA, and remained there for 16 years on Chartiers Street. Arthur's brother Grant and his family were next-door neighbors. The federal census of 1930 shows the Rankins living in Chartiers, Morgan Township, Greene County. Arthur earned a living that year as a cooper (barrel maker) in a local coal mine.


Arthur, left, and a fellow tornado victim, 1944

Courtesy Edward Anderson Allen

Noted a Waynesburg newspaper, she "was a homemaker and had lived most of her life in the Clarksville and Rices landing areas. She was a member of the Church of God."

Sadness enveloped the family on the afternoon of June 26, 1941 while at a family picnic in Ten Mile Creek in Morgan Township, Greene County, their  eight-year-old son Gerald Marvin Rankin waded into the creek at a depth of five feet. He slipped or fell and, unable to swim, was drowned. His remains were buried in Jefferson Cemetery in Greene County.

On June 25, 1944, with two of the children away in Fayette County visiting relatives, a tornado struck the Rankin home. All eight members of the family still in Chartiers were rushed to hospitals. Fortunately, none of brother Grant's family was hurt. Arthur was pictured in a newspaper story receiving a greeting from Pvt. John Barnish, of Chartiers Hill, whose mother and sister had been killed in the storm.

The following year, Arthur was stricken with a bacterial infection of the heart. He declined rapidly and succumbed on May 23, 1945, at age 53. Burial was in Jefferson Cemetery in Greene County.

Further grief surrounded the Rankins in 1946 when son Arthur Jr. died of heart failure and pneumonia.

When Lottie's uncle Oliver J. Farabee died in 1950, he left a substantial portion of his estate to her. 

Lottie outlived her husband by almost four decades. She made her home in Clarksville, Chartiers Township and signed her father's death certificate in 1955. After a long illness, she died there on Sept. 29, 1984, at the age of 86. She was buried in Jefferson Cemetery following a funeral service led by Rev. Tony Barnes and Rev. Joseph Sabo. A newspaper said she was survived by 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Daughter Anna Mae Rankin (1917-2000) was born on Dec. 4, 1917 in the coal mining patch town of Uledi, Fayette County. On Sept. 27, 1941, on the eve of World War II, the 24-year-old Anna Mae wed 26-year-old James Vargo (Oct. 28, 1914-1975). They lived in Clarksville. James died the day after Christmas 1975. Anna Mae outlived him by almost a quarter of a century. At the age of 82, she passed away on May 9, 2000. She rests beside her spouse in Jefferson Cemetery.

Daughter Evelyn Marie Rankin (1919-1993) was born on April 3, 1919 in Fayette County. She made money as a young woman working in the Duncan Miller glass factory in Washington. In nuptials held in Columbia, SC, on June 4, 1942, she married Pvt. Joseph "Joe" Chalovich (March 27, 1917-2008), son of Joseph Chalovich of Chartiers. The nuptials were held in the Church of God, officiated by Rev. Edwin Mortensons, and announced on the pages of the Uniontown Morning Herald. For her wedding, she wore a plaid suit of blue and beige, with beige accessories, and a pink rosebud corsage. At the time, Joseph was in the U.S. Army, during World War II, and in training at Fort Jackson, SC. The newlyweds first lived in Columbia. He was transferred to Arizona and then in October 1943 was in Alpena, WV. They later returned to Clarksville, where Joseph labored as a coal miner. They lived in Clarksville circa 1978 and, after retirement, relocated to Austin, TX. The Grim Reaper cut Evelyn away on Oct. 23, 1993 at the age of 74. Joseph survived his wife by 15 years. At age 91, he died in Austin on July 27, 2009, with a brief death notice printed in the Austin American-Statesman. Their remains rest in the mausoleum in Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Memorial Park.

Daughter Ruth Rankin (1922-1978) was born on May 17, 1922 in West Finley. At the age of 27, on Nov. 19, 1949, she was joined in marriage with Albert Snyder (Feb. 22, 1922-2012), son of Andrew and Emilia (Marcinko) Snyder. They were the parents of two sons, Marvin A. Snyder and Dennis R. Snyder. As a young adult, Ruth was employed by the Washington Supply Company of Clarksville. Albert served as a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force with duty in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. For his service, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross with two clusters, an Air Medal with three clusters, thre Asiatic Pacific Campaign with three clusters and an Air Force Commendation Medal. Albert was employed by Mohawk Airlines as an airplane mechanic. Later, the family relocated to Aliquippa, Beaver County, PA, where he found similar work for USAirways. Socially, he belonged to the American Legion and the Veteran of Foreign Wars. Said the Beaver County Times, he "enjoyed high school sports and was a supporter of the West Green and Waynesburg Softball teams." Sadly, at the age of 55, she succumbed in Pittsburgh's Allegheny General Hospital on Feb. 21, 1978. Burial was in Jefferson Cemetery. Albert lived for another 34 years and moved to Wind Ridge, Greene County. He succumbed in Waynesburg at the age of 90 on March 16, 2012. Pastor Phillip Campbell Jr. officiated at the funeral service.

  • Grandson Marvin A. Snyder wedded Lynne. They lived in Jefferson in 1978 and Waynesburg in 2012.
  • Grandson Dennis R. Snyder married Gail. They made a home in Aliquippa circa 1978 and Beaver Falls in 2012.

Son Arthur M. Rankin (1924-1946) was born on Jan. 17, 1924 in Revere, a coal mining town in Fayette County. He never married. As an adult, he lived in Chartiers Township and earned a living by driving for a trucking company. His heart valves were badly diseased and in the summer of 1946 contracted pneumonia. On the fateful day of July 7, 1946, he suffered acute cardiac failure and was admitted to Greene County Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed at the age of 22. Burial was in Jefferson Cemetery, said the Connellsville Daily Courier, following funeral sevices at the Clarksville Christian Church, officiated by Rev. R.H. Flinchum of Lancaster, OH. An obituary in the Waynesburg Democrat Messenger called the cause of his death simply "pneumonia."

Daughter Eileen Lenora Rankin (1937-2018) was born on April 9, 1937 in Chartiers Hill section of Clarksville. On Nov. 10, 1958, when she was 21 years of age, she was united in wedlock with Scuyler Raymond Sullenbarger ( ? -living). They spent their lives in Clarksville and bore three children, Lenora Stanko, Lydell Sullenbarger and Arthur Sullenbarger. Reported the Greene County Messenger, "She was a member of Coal Clackin' Clows, a clown club. Her clown name was Choo Choo Clown, and she entertained many children at church functions, birthdays and many other events... [She] and her husband served as surrogate parents to many area children in need of stability and role models in their lives." She also liked to sew and sing in church. As her health declined, Eileen went to live in Rolling Meadows in Waynesburg. Sadly, at the age of 81, she died there on Oct. 3, 2018. An obituary in the Messenger noted that she was the last surviving member of her family. A memorial service was held in the First Assembly of God Church in Waynesburg, with Pastor James Galbraith preaching.

  • Granddaughter Lenora Sullenbarger wedded Steve Stanko. They live in Clarksville.
  • Grandson Lydell Sullenbarger married Stephanie. They dwell in Petersburg, KY.
  • Grandson Arthur Sullenbargerwas joined in matrimony with Brenda. They reside in Clarksville.

Daughter Daunice Rankin (1926-2016) was born on Jan. 29, 1926 in the coal mining patch town of Revere, Fayette County. She spent most of her years in Rices Landing, Greene County. Daunice was married three times and outlived all three husbands. On Feb. 20, 1947, the 21-year-old first wed Charles Swift Jr. (May 27, 1925-1961), a veteran of World War II. The couple were the parents of an only daughter, Charlene Chulick. The marriage lasted for 14 years until Charles' untimely death on May 5, 1961. To support herself, she graduated from Pittsburgh's Modern School of Practical Nursing. Her second husband, whom she wed on Aug. 18, 1977, was Oliver James Teegarden (Feb. 14, 1929-1982). The second marriage endured for four-and-a-half years until his demise on Jan. 31, 1982 in Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV. At the age of 40, on St. Patrick's Day 1986, was joined in marital union with John E. Robinson (Dec. 5, 1935-2003), son of John L. and Ireme M. (Bise) Robinson of Rices Landing. She volunteered in the kitchen at her church and for many years was a seamstress. She and James were together for 17 years until cleaved apart by his death in Lincoln, NE on Aug. 17, 2003. At the age of 90, perhaps stricken with Alzheimer's, Daunice passed into eternity as a patient in WHS-Greene in Waynesburg on Aug. 9, 2016. Funeral services were led by Rev. Dayton D. Mix with burial following in Jefferson Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Charlene Winona Swift ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). In September 1967, she married John "Barry" Chulick ( ? - ? ), son of John P. and Ellen P. (Nesto) Chulick of Clarksville. The Uniontown Evening Standard printed a photograph of Charlene in her wedding dress. At the time, Barry was a private in the U.S. Army and had graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. They lived in Rices Landing and bore a daughter, Winona L. Chulick.

Daughter Margaret Rankin ( ? - ? ) appears to have been thrice wed. Her first known spouse was (?) Morris. They lived circa 1978 in Rome, NY. By 1984, she had married again to (?) Eiferman and made her residence in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Later, she married (?) George. She was deceased by 2018.


~ Daughter Ocie (Miller) Hixon Chambala ~

Daughter Ocie Miller (1903-1972) was born on Sept. 27, 1903 in West Finley. As a young woman, Ocie worked as a store clerk, likely in the Clarksville area where she spent most of her life.

On Dec. 4, 1920, when she would have been 18 years of age, Ocie married her first spouse, Joseph F. Hickson (1899- ? ). He was a coal miner who was a native of Brownfield, Fayette County, and a resident of Oliphant Furnace, Fayette County. 

In 1930, when the federal census was taken, they were residing at Morgan, Greene County. 

They had three children at that time -- Viola McCready, Loretta Grubbs and Joseph W. Hixon. 

At the age of 47, on July 5, 1951, she wed her second husband, Louis Chambala (Dec. 20, 1900-1979), also spelled "Chambola." He had been married previously to Austria-Hungary immigrant Emelia Grilus (1903-1944) and brought these offspring to the second union -- John Louis Chambola, Joseph Louis Chambola and Josephine Kanopsky.

The couple lived in Clarksville, Washington County. In September 1962, the Uniontown Evening Standard reported that they had flown from Pittsburgh to New York City for a "weekend of sightseeing."

She is known to have attended a meeting of the Clarksville Business and Professional Women's Club circa 1965. She belonged to the Rolling Meadows Church of God in Waynesburg and was active with its Ladies Aid Society.

In June 1968, she made news in the gossip columns of the Uniontown Evening Standard when she visited her married daughter and son-in-law, Loretta and William Grubbs at their home in Monroeville, near Pittsburgh. While there, she attended the wedding of her granddaughter Daleynne Grubbs to Gregg Mario, held in Tarentum at Gateway Faith Temple. Her home in the early 1970s was in the Braden Plan of Clarksville.

As her health failed in the first week of the new year in 1972, Ocie was admitted to Brownsville General Hospital. She passed away unexpectedly after surgery on Jan. 20, 1972. An obituary was printed in the Waynesburg Republican, which reported that she was survived by 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Interment was in Jefferson Cemetery.

Louis survived his wife by almost eight years. He succumbed on or about Dec. 20, 1979. His obituary also appeared in the Republican.

Daughter Viola Hixon ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was joined in holy matrimony with Frank McCready ( ? - ? ). The couple relocated to southern California and were in  Los Angeles circa 1972.

Daughter Loretta L. Hixon (1921- ? ) was born in about 1921 in Uniontown. On Nov. 14, 1942, the 21-year-old Loretta and 30-year-old William J. Grubbs ( ? - ? ) motored to the northern panhandle of West Virginia to elope. Assembly of God pastor Rev. William J. Frayer officiated at the ceremony held Wellsburg, Brooke County. At the time of marriage, William lived in Swissvale, near Pittsburgh. The couple dwelled in Monroeville in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. They were the parents of Daleynne Mario.

  • Granddaughter Daleynne Grubbs ( ? - ? ) married Gregg Mario in June 1968, with nuptials held at the Fateway Faith Temple in Tarentum.

Son Joseph W. Hixon ( ? - ? ) made a home in Clarksville circa 1972.

Stepson John Louis Chambola (1929-1993) was born on March 1, 1929. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces and remained with the military until discharge in February 1950. John married widow Martha (Boord) Pushey (Feb. 17, 1943-1998), daughter of Jacob Norman and Bernice (Ruse) Boord. She had been married once before to Dale A. Pushey ( ? -1977) and brought these offspring to the second union -- Dale Pushey, Kim Cottle and Darlene Maley. The couple resided in McDonald, Washington County in the early 1970s-1983. Martha was employed over the years as a clerk at Herd's Drug Store in Washington, PA and later as tax collector of Morgan Township. She was active in the community as a member of Jefferson Presbyterian Church and served as a deacon and with its Women's Association. Sadly, John passed away at the age of 64 on March 3, 1993. Interment was in Jefferson Cemetery. Martha outlived her husband by five years. She succumbed at the age of 55 on Aug. 24, 1998.

  • Step-grandson Dale Pushey married Sue and lived in Jefferson. They are believed to have been the parents of Andrea Pushey and Dale Pushey.
  • Step-granddaughter Kim Pushey wedded (?) Cottle and made a home in Jefferson. Their only known daughter was Emily Cottle.
  • Step-granddaughter Darlene Pushey was joined in marriage with (?) Maley. Her known children were Hope Maley and Tyler Maley.

Stepdaughter Josephine Chambala (1932-1992) was born on March 10, 1932. She wedded (?) Kanopsky ( ? - ? ). She dwelled in Carmichaels, Greene County in 1972-1983. Sadly, Josephine passed into eternity on May 24, 1992, at the age of 60.

Stepson Joseph Louis Chambola (1934-1983) was born on Sept. 3, 1934 in Adamsburg, Westmoreland County, PA. During the Korean War, he served with the U.S. Air Force. He moved to Louisiana and in 1969-1972 lived in West Monroe and Columbia, LA. He is believed to have been married twice, first to Mary Donnis Hardy (1936-2012). She had been married before and brought these children to the union with our Joseph -- William Magnuson, Walter Magnuson, John Magnuson and Michael Davis. Joseph and Mary produced these children of their own -- Michael Louis Chambola, Joseph Lyn Chambola, Amelia Jane Dean and Mary Jo Finley. His second wife was Evelyn Nadine Roberts ( ? - ? ), daughter of Walter Roberts of Shreveport. They dwelled in Columbia and bore a daughter, Eva Jo Chambola. Sadly, Eva Jo was born with heart defects and died in infancy in 1969 in New Orleans. Joseph earned a living as a construction plasterer and was a member of the Masons. He was admitted to the Veterans Administration Medical Center where he passed away at the age of 48 on July 6, 1983. An obituary was printed in the Alexandria (LA) Town Talk, saying he was survived by eight grandchildren. His remains are at rest in the Craig Cemetery in Pineville, Rapides Parish, LA. Inscribed on his grave marker are the words "A friend to all."

  • Step-grandson Michael Louis Chambola resided in Columbia, LA.
  • Step-grandson Joseph Lyn Chambola made a home in West Monroe, LA.
  • Step-granddaughter Amelia Jane Chambola married (?) Dean and lived in West Monroe, LA in 1983.
  • Step-granddaughter Mary Jo Chambola wedded (?) Finley. They resided in Columbia, LA in 1983.
  • Step-grandson William Magnuson dwelled in Columbia, LA.
  • Step-grandson Walter Magnuson made his residence in 1983 in Columbia, LA.
  • Step-grandson John Magnuson lived in Columbia, LA in 1983.
  • Step-grandson Michael Davis made a home in West Monroe, LA.


Copyright 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018-2019 Mark A. Miner