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Harriet (Firestone) Burkholder


J. Wesley Burkholder

Harriet (Firestone) Burkholder was born in 1846 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, the daughter of George and Catherine "Katie" (Younkin) Firestone.

On April 30, 1871, at the age of 25, Harriet was united in holy matrimony with 21-year-old James "Wesley" Burkholder (1850-1915), the son of Daniel and Catherine (Cramer) Burkholder of New Centerville, Somerset County. He had been born on the old Christopher Creamer farm, and as a youth, he had attended the old one-room Harbaugh School.

The Burkholders produced these eight known children: Ella Frances Burkholder (born May 29, 1872); Christian C. Burkholder (May 14, 1873); Simon Burkholder (Sept. 18, 1875, died 13 days later); Minnie Catherine Burkholder (April 15, 1877, died Nov. 14, 1880); Charles Ross Burkholder (Jan. 31, 1879), James Garfield Burkholder (1881); William Russell Burkholder (1884) and Harry Robert Burkholder (July 4, 1886).

They resided on a steep-sloped farm in Nicolay, on the Somerset County side of the Fayette County line which Harriet had inherited from her father upon his death in the summer of 1886.

In the 1910s this area was considered part of Confluence. Allen Edward Harbaugh, a local artist, painted figures of a farmer, milk maid and animals on the lower-floor doors of the Burkholder barn.


The Burkholder property along the mountainous border of Somerset and Fayette Counties, next to the farm of David Harbaugh. From the 1876 Atlas of Somerset County.


Harriet's grave, Imel Cemetery

In 1906, Wesley and his parents were profiled in volume 3 of the book Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania (Lewis Publishing Company, New York/Chicago). The profile read that he "was educated in Harbaugh's school house. He is now engaged in farming and stock-raising. He has been for sixteen years tax collector of his township, and for ten years has served as school director, to which office he has recently been re-elected for a term of three years. He has served three terms as inspector and the same length of time as auditor, two terms as judge of election and one term as supervisor. His vote and influence are given to the Republican party."

The Firestone/Burkholder family's interconnections with the Minerd and Younkin family were many -- Wesley's brother William married Josephine Gorsuch; his sister Phoebe was wedded to James Dempsey Younkin (of the family of George A. and Charlotta [Younkin] Younkin) and Andrew Jackson Younkin (son of "Devil Jake" Younkin); his daughter Ida married James Franklin Younkin; his son Daniel married Kathryn Miner; and his daughter Rebecca wed Otis "Freed" Minerd.


The Burkholder barn

Sadly, Harriet died on Jan. 27, 1897, at the age of 51. The cause of death is not known. Her remains were placed into eternal repose in the Imel Cemetery near Clay Run. Her marker was erect and legible when photographed by the founder of this website in 2013.

A little more than a year later, at the age of 47, Wesley wed his second wife, 33-year-old Jane "Jennie" (Hartzell) Firestone (1864-1951), widow of Harriet's brother Jacob "Ross" Firestone and one of 15 children of Melchi and Annie (Johnston) Hartzell, and granddaughter of William and Margaret (Imel) Johnson. The ceremony took place on Feb. 6, 1898 at Draketown, Somerset County. R. Vanaman, a justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. At the time of the second marriage, Jennie resided in Washington County, PA.

(In an interesting tie, Jennie's brother Thomas William Hartzell married the widow of Wesley's brother in law Norman Firestone.)

Jennie brought two known sons to the second marriage -- Samuel Melchi Firestone and George Russell Firestone Sr.


Combined family of James Wesley and Jennie (Hartzell) Burkholder (seated, center), circa 1899. Standing, from left: Samuel Firestone, George Russell Firestone, James Burkholder, Russell Burkholder, Harry Burkholder. Front, L-R: Charles Burkholder, baby Ida Younkin on her mother's lap, hired girl. Son Christopher Burkholder was alive but not pictured. Below, the sign "J.W. Burkholder 1893" which hung on his barn.



Jennie Burkholder

Wesley thus married into another extensively large family, and when his mother in law died in 1924, she was said to have left behind 316 living descendants. Jennie's siblings alive circa 1924 were Rebecca Henry of Champion, Fayette County; Emma Miller of Dunbar; Thomas Hartzell of Monarch, Fayette County; Lizzie Hartzell, Henry Hartzell, Norman Hartzell and Arminda Hartzell, of all Draketown. Of Jennie's siblings and in-laws who died before 1924, her brother George W. Hartzell and brother in law Uriah Conn were killed in the Civil War; and brother in law Hiram Sanner was wounded in battle.

They resided at Nicolay, near the Fayette/Somerset County border, and produced five more offspring, three of whom married into the Minerd clan: Ida Alphretta Younkin, Daniel McKinley Burkholder, Rebecca Jane Minerd, Leroy "Roosevelt" Burkholder and Ralph Tannehill Burkholder.

Heartache swept over the family when son Roosevelt died at the tender age of one day on March 7, 1905. His remains were lowered into the earth's arms in the Imel Cemetery.


Wesley's obituary, 1915

Wesley was said by a news reporter to have been "a man of the highest character, a devoted husband and father, a true friend and one respected in every walk of life."

Suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, Wesley passed away at age 64 on Jan. 21, 1915. No physician was in attendance. In an obituary, a local newspaper said that he "had been sick for about three years from a complication of diseases that ultimately paralyzed his whole system rendering him helpless for over a year.

Burial was in the Imel Cemetery.

Jennie survived her husband by many decades. She remained in the Confluence area and owned a one-acre tract with a two-story frame house.

She relocated in 1945 to West Mifflin near Pittsburgh and lived with her son Ralph at 3913 Eliza Street. She suffered a stroke and died at the age of 87 on March 25, 1951. Her remains were returned to Fayette County to rest with her husband in Imel Cemetery. Rev. Percy Davis, of the Homeville Christian Church, led the funeral service. An obituary in the Connellsville Couirier noted that she left behind 42 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.


~ Daughter Ella Frances (Burkholder) Gove ~

Daughter Ella Frances Burkholder (1871-1929) was born on May 29, 1871.

In about 1892, when she was 21 years of age, Ella was wedded to Robert Gove (1865-1930), an immigrant from Scotland. They resided on Maple Street in Everson, Fayette County circa 1910 and later at 350 South Chestnut Street in Scottdale, Westmoreland County, PA. There, in the era of 1900 to 1910, he was a ticket agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

They produced these known children -- Rev. David W. Gove, Robert R. Gove, Gilbert S. Gove, Charles "Lyle" Gove, Harriet C. Strickler, Earl M. Gove, Ruth C. Gove, Elizabeth Gove and Ella R. Gove.

Robert also served as borough clerk in Everson and Scottdale in the 1910s. They were members of the Presbyterian Church of Scottdale. Upon learning of the death of her uncle J.N. Tannehill in Confluence in February 1922, Ella and her son Robert attended the funeral, along with C.C. Burkholder of Hazelwood, Lloyd Colborn, Mr. Mountain and Mr. Shaw of Brownsville, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Shelkey, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shannon and Lucinda Younkin of South Connellsville.

At the age of 58, suffering from chronic kidney disease and cystitis, Ella Frances died on Nov. 5, 1929. Burial was in Scottdale Cemetery, with Elizabeth Gove of Scottdale signing the Pennsylvania death certificate. Robert only survived his wife by four months and worked as a freight agent at the Pennsy's office at Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County.

On the fateful day of March 4, 1930, he stopped in the railroad's office in Scottdale, said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "sat down on a chair in the office and fell over dead, presumably from a heart attack." Continued the Courier: "Mr. Gove had been an employe of the railroad company for 40 years. He was freight agent at Everson, Scottdale and Mount Pleasant in turn. For 25 years he had been secretary of the Everson Council, holding the office at the time of his death. For many years he resided at Everson. Some years ago he moved to Scottdale but retained his post as secretary of the council of the sister borough." Funeral services were led by Rev. J.W. Witherspoon of the First Presbyterian Church.

Son Rev. David W. Gove Sr. ( ? -1945) was born in (?). He married Rena Eicher, daughter of Charles H. and Lida (Hutchinson) Eicher of Scottdale. Their only known son was David W. Gove Jr. David Sr. graduated from Oberlin College in 1916 and then attended Auburn Theological Seminary. He became an ordained clergyman and was an assistant pastor at the First Presbyterian church of Morristown, NJ. By 1920, he accepted a position as assistant director of the educational and promotion department of the Board of Home Missions of the New York Presbytery in New York City. He helped to officiate at the wedding of his sister Harriet in Scottdale in April 1920. By 1932, he had become director of the central distributing department of the General Council of the Presbyterian Church, also in New York City. He traveled back to western Pennsylvania for the 13th annual Eicher Reunion held Aug. 12, 1939 at Pleasant Hill Church, with about 260 attending. Their son David Jr. served in World War II and after sustaining a wound or injury of some kind convalesced in a hospital in England. David Sr. passed away at home on June 3, 1945, at the age of 52. His remains were returned to Scottdale for burial.

Son Gilbert S. Gove attended art and design at Carnegie Tech University in Pittsburgh and then in 1918, during World War I, enlisted in the U.S. armed forces, specializing in military aeronautics. His home in 1930 was in Detroit and in 1945 in Birmingham, MI.

Son Earl Gove attended college in Philadelphia cireca 1927 and resided in Detroit in 1930. His home in 1968 was in Fair Haven, MI.

Son Robert Gove made his home in 1930 in Chicago and in 1945 in South Bend, IN.

Daughter Elizabeth Gove relocated to Sewickley, near Pittsburgh, and dwelled there in 1930. She was a talented tennis player. She married (?) Petty and later to Walter Szost.

Daughter Harriet Gove (1902-1968) was born on Jan. 24, 1902 in Everson. She was joined in marriage with George E. Strickler, son of H.B. Strickler of Scottdale. The nuptials took place on April 3, 1920, at her parents' home, with Rev. James E. Hutchinson officiating, assisted by her brother Rev. David W. Gove. In announcing the marriage, the Connellsville Daily Courier said that Harriet "is one of the most popular members of Scottdale's younger social set. The bridegroom is one of Scottdale's young men who served with honor with the 110th Infantry in France and since his return from overseas has been located in New Mexico." The couple produced XX children -- George E. Strickler Jr., Robert E. Strickler, James G. Strickler,  H. Ivan Strickler, Jane Thornton, Jean Wilton, Donald W. Strickler, Ruth Ann Hartswick and William L. Strickler. By 1930, they had returned to Scottdale and in 1945 were in Smithton, PA. Harriet worked over the years at Anchor Hocking Corporation in South Connellsville, the Kantorik Equipment Company of Mount Pleasant and Scottdale Venetian Blind Company. For two decades, she was a member of the Dawson Grange, and she belonged to the Scottdale First Presbyterian Church. Harriet died at home in Smithton at the age of 65 on Jan. 14, 1968. Interment was in Scottdale Cemetery.

Son Earl M. Gove

Daughter Ruth C. Gove

Daughter Ella Roberta Gove married Edgar Gumbert and lived in Edinboro, PA in 1968.


~ Son Chistian C. Burkholder ~

Son Christian C. "Christ" Burkholder (1873-1936) was born on May 14, 1873.

He was joined in holy matrimony with Mary E. Phillips ( ? -1920), daughter of Disney and Emma (Herrington) Phillips, the father a native of Utah. The couple had several children and dwelled in Hazelwood, near Pittsburgh, in the rear of 5110 Second Avenue.

There, he worked for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

Sadly, suffering from acute kidney disease and insufficient blood flow through her aorta, Mary died at the age of 39 on April 25, 1920. Her remains were lowered into repose in the Smithfield E.E. Cemetery in Pittsburgh. A year later, Christ and the children published a memorial poem in the Pittsburgh Press: "We mourn for her in silence, And none shall see us weep; But in our sorrowed hearts Her memory we will keep."

Christ survived his wife by 16 years. While vacationing in Baltimore, MD, he died in late July 1936. Word of his death was transmitted to Mrs. C.L. Shannon of Vine Street in Connellsville. Funeral services were scheduled to be held in Pittsburgh.


Charles Ross Burkholder

~ Son Charles Ross Burkholder ~

Son Charles Ross Burkholder (1879-1961) was born on Jan. 31, 1879 in Somerset County.

He married Ida Steyer (1880-1947), the daughter of Daniel and Celestia Ann Crowell (also spelled "Growel" or "Graul") Steyer.

The Burkholders had six children -- Earl K. Burkholder, Wilmer L. Burkholder, Donald D. Burkholder, Dessie Firestone, Minnie Dickey and Elmer E. Burkholder. Sadly, son Elmer died in infancy.

Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, Charles "lived at Clay Run, where he operated a farm, moving to Mill Run in 1925. He was a former school director and supervisor of Springfield Township, a former state Highways Dept. employe, and a timber worker for the Back Creek Lumber Co. for many years. He was a member of the Mill Run Grange, the Mill Run E.U.B. Church and the Gleaners Sunday School class."

Ida was a 50-year member of the Mill run Evangelical United Brethren Church, the Ladies Aid Society, Women's Christian Temperance Union and Armor Bearer Sunday School class of the church. In an interesting twist, Ida's sister Lutitia Steyer married Lawson Minerd and lived in Mill Run.

The family received shocking news in 1905 when Ida's brother Albert Steyer, living in South Dakota, was killed in a railroad accident.


Charles, Ida and Dessie Burkholder


Ida passed away of a heart attack at the age of 66 on May 29, 1947. Reported the Daily Courier, "She was on her way home from the Normalville Cemetery where she had gone to place flowers, when she was seized with the attack, succumbing shortly thereafter. She had been ailing for the past year." Funeral services were held at the home of their daughter Minnie Dickey at Mill Run, with additional prayers held at the family church, followed by interment in Normalville Cemetery. Rev. Merle S. Cowhere and Rev. Paul A. Morris led the funeral services.


Mill Run EUB Church

Charles outlived his wife by nearly 14 years. He suffered a heart attack and died in Connellsville State Hospital on April 25, 1961, at the age of 82. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery. The Daily Courier reported that he was survived by 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Son Earl K. Burkholder (1909-1968) was born on Aug. 28, 1909 in Clay Run. He lived in Mill Run for decades and was united in matrimony with Ruth Hawkins ( ? - ? ). The couple produced two children -- Larry E. Burkholder and Wanda Brooks. Earl was a longtime educator. He began teaching at a school in Springfield Township and then was named a supervising principal in Westmoreland County for the schools in Donegal and Cook Townships. He received a bachelor's degree from California State Teachers College followed by a master's degree from Pennsylvania State University. The final post of his career was as elementary school supervisor of the Ligonier Valley District. He also served in the elected position as auditor of Springfield Township. In the profession, he belonged to the Westmoreland County Teachers Association, the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the Natinoal Education Association. Serving in the community, he was a member of the Indian Creek Valley Lions Club, serving as president and of the Springfield Township Volunteer Fire Department. The family belonged to the Mill Run Evangelical United Brethren Church, where he was a regular member of the Men's Bible Class and was treasurer of the Sunday School. Over the last decade of his life, Earl suffered a series of heart attacks. The final one, when he was age 58, landed him in Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, where he succumbed on Feb. 16, 1968. His passing generated headlines and a photograph in the Connellsville Daily Courier.


Three generations of Burkholders among the men's Bible class of the Mill Run Evangelical United Brethren Church. Circled, back row: Orville Firestone -- middle row: Charles Burkholder -- front, Earl Burkholder and toddler son Larry.


Son Wilmer L. "Burkey" Burkholder (1913-1979) was born on April 24, 1913. He married Mabel E. Wolfe (Nov. 8, 1911-2004), daughter of Jesse and Millie (Maust) Wolfe of Ohiopyle and originally from Bruceton Mills, Preston County, WV. The Burkholders resided in Mill Run and were the parents of Richard Wilmer Burkholder Sr., Dale Burkholder and Robert Burkholder. Wilmer graduated from Connellsville High School, running track under the mentoring of Joseph A. "Pop" Larew in the half-mile and mile races. He then obtained a degree from California State Teachers College. Wilmer spent 42 years working in public education, including as a longtime science teacher at Connellsville Joint High School while also coaching cross country and track. The Connellsville Daily Courier said in 1958 that he was the "father of Junior High track here, having organized the school's first Junior High team 10 years ago.... Burkholder is recognized as one of the finest Junior High track coaches in the WPIAL." Under orders from his physician following a heart attack, he stepped down from the strain of coaching in 1971 after 24 years, but returned in 1975 as a girls track coach to help the school comply with a state scholastic order to form athletic reams for girls. They were members of the Mill Run United Methodist Church, and Mabel was active with the Tried and True Sunday School Class and the Ladies Aid and Missionary Group. With poor health re-occurring, including amputation of a leg in 1977, Wilmer resigned his track coaching position. Sadly, he passed away just two years later in 1979. Mabel survived her husband by a quarter of a century. She spent her final years in the home of her son Dale in Mill Run. She died at the age of 92 on Jan. 11, 2004. Rev. Madison Stringfellow and Rev. Thomas Bonomo officiated at the funeral service, followed by burial in Normalville Cemetery.

  • Grandson Richard Wilmer "Dick-Tubbs" Burkholder Sr. ( ? -1984) was born in (?). He wedded Elsie Henry ( ? -living), daughter of Wilbert and Orpha Henry of Normalville. They dwelled in Mill Run circa 1967 and bore at least one son, Richard Wilmer Burkholder Jr. Sadly, Richard Sr. died in 1984. Elsie appears to have remarried to John Porter ( ? -living) and resided in Greensburg, Westmoreland County in 2018.

Great-grandson Richard Wilmer "Rick" Burkholder Jr. (1967-2018) was born on March 31, 1967 in Mill Run. He was united in holy matrimony with Michelle "Shelly" Critchfield ( ? -living). They produced sons Joseph "Joe" Burkholder and Nicholas "Nick" Burkholder. He was a pipeline construction worker, employed by Price Gregory International, headquartered in Houston, TX. They were members of the Mill Run Methodist Church and Mt. Nebo Church of God. In his spare time, Rick enjoyed fishing and hunting, especially with his dogs in the pursuit of coyotes. Sadly, Rick died at home at the age of 51 on June 15, 2018. His remains were placed into repose in Normalville Cemetery, with Rev. Ralph Miller officiating at the funeral service. An obituary was printed in the Greensburg Tribune-Review.

  • Grandson D. Dale Burkholder (1937-2023) was born on Dec. 6, 1937 in Connellsville. He was a 1956 graduate of Connellsville High School. He went on to study at the Business School for Banking in Greensburg. Dale wed Irma "Jean" Porterfield ( ? -2022). The couple remained together through the thick and thin of an extraordinary 62 years. They lived in Mill Run and together were the parents of Mark Burkholder, Michelle A. Miller, Wendy Jo Leichliter and Lynn Miner. Dale made his career as a branch manager for First National Bank in Indian Head followed by the Confluence branch of the bank. He was active and president of the Indian Creek Valley Lions Club and the men's group of the Breakneck Church of God. Sadly, Jean died on Aug. 20, 2022. Dale only outlived her by about six months. He passed away at home at the age of 85 on Feb. 13, 2023. Pastor Frank Stoner led the funeral service, followed by burial in Normalville Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

    Great-grandson Mark Burkholder was joined in wedlock with Wanda. They live in Indian Head.

    Great-granddaughter Michelle A. Burkholder married (?) Miller. She was deceased by 2023.

    Great-granddaughter Wendy Jo Burkholder wed (?) Leichliter. Offspring born to the pair were Orion Leichliter and Addison Leichliter. Wendy was deceased by 2023.

    Great-granddaughter Lynn Burkholder entered into marriage with Christopher Miner, the son of Donnie Franklin and Helen (Hutchinson) Miner  of the family of Franklin and Bertha (Basinger) Miner. See the Miner biography for more.

  • Grandson Robert Burkholder wedded Maxine. They reside in Champion, Fayette County.

Son Donald D. Burkholder made his home in Mill Run.

Daughter Dessie R. Burkholder was born in (?). She married a cousin, Orville Firestone (1901-1970), a native of Glade, Somerset County and the son of George "Ross: and Emma (Cramer) Firestone of the family of Norman and and Mary Ellen (Gates) Firestone. See the Firestone biography for more.

Daughter Minnie Burkholder  ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married Dwight L. Dickey (1900-1976), son of Harvey B. and Etta (Seneff) Dickey of Springfield Township but who was raised by William and Elizabeth (Seneff) Hensel. The couple did not reproduce. They were lifelong residents of Mill Run and vicinity and belonged to the Mill Run Evangelical United Brethren Church, later renamed United Methodist Church of Mill Run, and Dwight volunteered as Sunday School superintendent for 35 years. He spent his career as an educator, beginning to teach in a Springfield Township school. In 1927, he was named supervising principal of schools in Saltlick Township. After 14 years in the position, he was tapped in 1941 as supervisor of special education in Westmoreland County, remaining there for 26 years. He received a bachelor's degree from California State College and master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and was certified as a school psychologist. For 35 years, he was a school board director in Springfield County, for 18 years was on the board of the Fayette County Board of School Directors, for eight years on the board of the Western State School and Hospital and was a director of the Westmoreland County Association for the Blind. Interested in sports, he spent six years on the decisions committee of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL). His list of professional affiliations is long -- Phi Delta Kappa, Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Council of Exceptional Children, American Association of Mental Deficiency, National and Pennsylvania Education Associations, and the Fayette and Westmoreland County Education Associations. In about 1967, he was hired as a full-time psychologist in Fayette County. In the community, Dwight belong to the Masons and affiliates, Caravan No. 9, the Lions Club, the United Methodist Educational Conference Board of Western Pennsylvania. Circa 1976, Minnie served as treasurer of the local chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. At his death on April 14, 1976, Dwight was pictured and profiled in the Connellsville Daily Courier.


James G. Burkholder

~ Son James Garfield Burkholder ~

Son James Garfield Burkholder (1880-1918) was born on June 18 or 29, 1880, in Somerset County. He was named for the President of the United States who was elected as the nation's chief executive that same year. As a young man, he relocated to Everson, Westmoreland County where he was a a car inspector with the railroad.

In about 1906, when he was age 26, he was married to Rebecca Hoke (1887- ? ), daughter of C.L. and Elizabeth Hoke.

The couple resided near Laurelville, PA and produced five children -- Lafayette W. Burkholder, Elmer Eugene Burkholder, Sarah E. Burkholder, Viola G. Burkholder and John W. Burkholder.

As an adult, James obtained employment as a car inspector with the Pennsylvania Railroad, and was based at East Huntington, Westmoreland County, PA. On the next to last day of October 1918, James disappeared, and his body was not found for nearly a month. Relatives and friends "dragged the nearby creeks and scoured the woods looking for the body," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier. "When Burkholder was last seen he left the Summit mine at 6 o'clock on Wednesday evening. This was pay day, and since he draws a very good pay, it was first thought that he was held up for his money. But later it was learned he had been at home at noon and had just taken $6 along back with him and with this he intended to buy a load of coal." On Nov. 24, 1918, a search party consisting of his brother Christ Burkholder, Jesse Vance, Frank Shelkey, Blaine Younkin and brother in law Robert Gove found the corpse in Mountz Creek about three miles south of Scottdale, along the Ray farm. Upon examining the body, the coroner ruled "death by drowning." An autopsy was conducted, and a small blood clot was found on the brain, though there was no fracture of the skull. Burial was in Greenlick Cemetery near Mount Pleasant, or in the Hoke Cemetery near Laurelville. Rev. J.E. Hutchinson officiated at the funeral. Providing key details for the death certificate was Robert Gove of Everson. Now widowed, Rebecca made her home in Scottdale in 1920 and took in laundry work to make ends meet.

Son Elmer "Eugene" Burkholder (1907-1959) was born on Jan. 17, 1907 at Everson. He was married to Mildred Weisgerber ( ? - ? ). They had two offspring -- Richard J. Burkholder and Mary Jane Burkholder. In about 1928, they moved to Connellsville, where their residence was at 1999 Vine Street. Eugene worked as an inspector with Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation in South Connellsville. Eugene also was a city street foreman and Fifth Ward Committeeman. He belonged to the Elks Club and the Trinity Episcpal Church. He was stricken with a heart attack and died suddely at the age of 52 on Dec. 15, 1959. His remains were lowered into eternal rest in Green Ridge Memorial Park. Rev. Frank C. Irvin, of the Trinity Episcopal Church, preached the funeral sermon.

Son Lafayette W. Burkholder (1909-1967) was born in about 1909. He married Suzanne T. (?) and produced four sons -- Jack Burkholder, James Burkholder, Ronald Burkholder and Stanley Burkholder. Lafayette was employed for a quarter of a century by United States Steel. They made their home in Star Junction, Fayette County. Sadly, he died at home at the age of 58 on Jan. 14, 1967. Burial was in the Mount Washington Cemetery in Perryopolis, with Rev. John Donley officiating at the funeral. An obituary in the Daily Courier noted that he was survived by 14 grandchildren and a sister "Mrs. Dottie Heinbaugh" of Vanderbilt, wife of Frank Heinbaugh.

  • Grandson Jack Burkholder lived in Detroit in 1967.
  • Grandson James Burkholder relocated to Cleveland and was there in 1967.
  • Grandson Ronald Burkholder dwelled in 1967 in Star Junction.
  • Grandson Stanley R. Burkholder ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He was united in marriage with Eleanor Lasko ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles C. and Lillian (Price) Lasko of Perryopolis. They resided in Star Junction and were the parents of Stanley Scott Burkholder, Michelle Friguglietti, Amy Bauer, Tracy Burkholder and Tim Burkholder. Tragically, their son Stanley was badly injured in an automobile accident and died at the age of 60 on March 4, 2019.

Daughter Sarah E. Burkholder (1911- ? ) was born in about 1911.

Daughter Viola G. Burkholder (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915

Son John "Wesley" Burkholder (1916- ? ) was born in about 1916. He lived in Scottdale in 1959.


Russell Burkholder

~ Son William "Russell" Burkholder ~

Son William "Russell" Burkholder (1884-1971) was born on Jan. 2, 1884 in Somerset County.

He was a lifelong resident of Mill Run.

He married Mabel Hall ( ? - ? ), daughter of James R. and Mary Eliza (Harbaugh) Hall on June 15, 1918, when he was 34 years of age.

See the Hall biography for more details on this couple.


~ Son Harry Robert Burkholder ~


Harry Burkholder

Son Harry Robert Burkholder (1886-1957) was born on July 4, 1886 in or near Confluence.

He was united in holy wedlock with Minerva Dalton ( ? - ? ), daughter of Lucy Dalton.

They made their home in Springfield Township, Fayette County in 1915 and later in Scottdale, Fayette County. 

The couple apparently did not reproduce.

During World War II, Harry was employed at the Christy Park works of the National Tube Division of United States Steel. Following the war's end, he found work with the Borough of Scottdale. Harry was a member of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics and a longtime worker with the Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department. Minerva was an officer with the Dames of Malta in Scottdale. They belonged to the Scottdale Church of Christ.

In late May 1957, the Burkholders received word of the death of Minerva's mother in Old Town, VA. As they were preparing to leave for the funeral, Harry was stricken with a heart attack at home and died within five minutes on May 27, 1957. Funeral services were held in the Church of Christ of Scottdale, followed by burial in the Scottdale Cemetery, with Rev. Ralph M. Read officiating.


~ Son Ralph Tannehill Burkholder ~

Son Ralph Tannehill Burkholder (1907-1982) was born on May 4, 1907.

He was united in marriage with Dortha A. Buzard (1907-1987).

They resided in West Mifflin, near Pittsburgh, circa 1961-1973.

Ralph passed away on June 13, 1982. Burial was in Jefferson Memorial Park in Pittsburgh's South Hills.

Dortha outlived him by seven years and died on Feb. 21, 1987. [Find-a-Grave]


~ Stepson George Russell Firestone ~

Stepson George Russell Firestone (1884-1949) was born in 1884 in Somerset County.

He lived in Mabie, WV in 1909, where he was employed as a laborer.

At the age of 25, he married 24-year-old Margaret "Maggie" Rowan (1885-1913), daughter of Elijah and Mary (Rush) Rowan of Ohio Pyle, Fayette County. They united themselves in marriage, on Aug. 21, 1909.

They had a daughter, Florence, who was born in 1910 in Ohio Pyle.

The couple made their home in 1913 in Everson, Fayette County, where he was employed as a railroad laborer.

Tragically, in January 1913, Maggie was stricken with peritonitis and her health declined rapidly. She died six days later, at the age of 27, on Jan. 18, 1913. Her remains were brought back to Ohio Pyle for burial.

The widowed George gave up his daughter for adoption to longtime friends Frank and Adelia Woodmancy of Iowa. Two years later, on Valentine's Day 1915, he married again, to Cordie Etta Romesburg (1890-1933), daughter of Hiram H. and Phoebe Anne (Pletcher) Romesburg of Rockwood, Somerset County. Their ceremony took place in Connellsville, Fayette County, conducted by Rev. J.S. Showers.

George and Cordie had at least six children -- Samuel A. Firestone, Charles R. Firestone Jr., Robert R. Firestone, Mary Ellen Bane, Eva Wilson Johnson and Helen Firestone.

Over the years, George continued his work with the railroad and eventually became a conductor, residing in the community of Manor.

Heartache rocked the family in late October when Cordie, age 42, was in the midst of a difficult pregnancy. During a caesarian section, she suffered an acute heart attack and died on Nov. 1, 1933. Burial was in Old Madison Cemetery. George was widowed for the second time in 20 years.

He survived Cordie by 16 more years. Suffering from hypertension and heart disease, he was felled by a stroke on July 10, 1949. He lingered for a little more than five months, in Western Pennsylvania ("West Penn") Hospital in Pittsburgh, and succumbed the day after Christmas 1949. Burial was in Madison-Union Cemetery in Westmoreland County. The Daily Courier published an obituary noting that he was survived by 11 grandchildren.

Stepdaughter Florence Firestone (1910-1985) was born in 1910 and was age three when her mother died. She moved to Iowa, where she was adopted by her parents' friends Frank and Adelia Woodmancy. On Nov. 23, 1933, when she was age 23, Florence married her step-parents' farm hand, Harold Street (1911-1973). The wedding took place in Jackson County, MN. The couple resided over the years in rural Tama County, IA (1935) and Gladbrook, Tama County (1940). Their five children were Jack M. Street, Margaret Street, Michael Street, Judy Kay Street and Thomas J. Street. They remained there for the rest of their lives. Harold died at age 72 on Sept. 20, 1973. Florence outlived him by a dozen years, dying on Nov. 1, 1985.

Stepson Samuel A. Firestone (1916-1984) was born on Jan. 3, 1916 in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County. At the age of 25, he married Marion I. Suttle (1920- ? ) on May 17, 1941, at Wilkinsburg, near Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA. The produced two children. In 1949, when he signed his father's death certificate, his home was in Wilkinsburg at 1325 Woodlawn Avenue. Samuel passed into eternity in August 1984. Marion wed a second time, to Ernest Laughner (1915-1998).

Stepdaughter Eva Mae Firestone (1918-2012) was born in January 1918 in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County. She wed (?) Wilson and lived in Irwin, Westmoreland County. They had one son, George Ronald Wilson. After the first marriage ended, she wed again, to (?) Johnson. Later in life, she moved to Bowling Green, KY, where her son is known to have resided. She died in Bowling Green on Dec. 2, 2012, with an obituary printed in the Bowling Green Daily News.

Stepson Charles R. "Barney" Firestone Jr. (1920-1997) was born on Jan. 16, 1920. He married Gladys "Pauline" Wilcox (1924-1997), a native of Marysville, Avoyelles Parish, LA . Gladys died on Jan. 13, 1997. Barney followed her to the grave less than six months later, on July 1, 1997. They rest together in Madison Union Cemetery.

Stepson Robert Ray Firestone (1922-1975) was born on Jan. 9, 1922 in Youngwood, Westmoreland County. When he was 27, he wed Dorothy R. Getz (1923-1992) on Jan. 24, 1949, near Pittsburgh. Her parents were Roy John and Ruth R. (Sarver) Getz. In 1949, they lived in Terrace, Westmoreland County. Robert died at age 53 in May 1975. Dorothy remarried to (?) Waldron. She passed in July 1992 in Allegheny County, PA.

Stepdaughter Mary Ellen Firestone (1923-1996) was born in Youngwood, Westmoreland County, PA. At the age of 26, she married Donald Wayne Bane (1929- ? ), a welder and resident of Pittsburgh. Their marriage took place on Nov. 17, 1950, officiated by W. Omar Hysong, a Pittsburgh alderman. At the time, Mary Ellen was a waitress living in Wilkinsburg. They had one son, Donald Wayne Bane Jr. Sadly, Mary Ellen died in North Huntington on July 15, 1996. Donald married again to Dorothy J. Sellman-Rylander.

Stepdaughter Helen Louise Firestone (1931-1994) was born on March 24, 1931 in Greensburg. She resided in Irwin, Westmoreland County in 1949. She was united in marriage with Korean War veteran Richard C. "Dick" Kellner (1930- ? ), son of Richard C. and Adaline Kellner. They had four daughters -- Rita D. Funk, Donna N. Ramsey, Kathleen K. Whitecavage and Lorna F. Bennett Jr. Over the years, they made their home in Peach Bottom, Lancaster County, PA, where Dick was employed as a truck driver for Anchor-Leasing Motorcar Transport. He retired in 1992. Helen passed away in Wakefield, Lancaster County on Oct. 21, 1994. Dick lived for another decade and died in Wakefield on March 18, 2004. His obituary was published in the Lancaster (PA) Intelligencer-Journal.

Stepson George Russell Firestone Jr. made his home in 1949 in Terrace, Westmoreland County.


Burkholder and Steyer family gathering



Copyright 2015-2017, 2019-2020, 2023 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by Denise (Kessler) Miner, the late Olive Duff, the late Donna (Younkin) Logan and the late Joseph Warren Thomas III.