Jesse Gaumer was born on Feb. 6, 1835 in Southampton Twp., Somerset County, PA, the son of Charles and Sarah "Sally" (Shoemaker) Gaumer. He was a veteran of the Civil War whose six months of wartime service caused more than six decades of pain and suffering.
As a young man, Jesse was a farmer. He stood 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighed 130 lbs, and had a fair complexion, light hair and brown eyes.
Jesse married Malinda Kendall (April 1850-1929).
Their children, born between 1870 and 1889, were Wilson Gaumer, Sarah Anne Keefer Kindall, Mannassa Gaumer, Rachel Gaumer, Charles E. Gaumer, Ida B. Gaumer, Cora A. Gaumer, James G. Gaumer, Earl Gaumer and Mary P. Gaumer. (These names are taken directly from a handwritten list made during Malinda's lifetime.)
During the Civil War, on Oct. 24, 1862, Jesse was drafted to serve in the 171st Pennsylvania Drafted Militia. He was assigned to Company H, and joined the regiment in Cumberland, MD. Also serving in this regiment, in Company K, were distant cousins Henry A. Miner and Charles Rose, also of Somerset County.
On April 20, 1863, while the regiment was in North Carolina, he contracted typhoid fever and "cerebro spinal meningitis," breaking out in "fever sores." His right arm became partially paralyzed. He was treated in Stanley General Hospital in New Berne, NC. He was so ill that he was discharged from the Army two months later, on June 20.
Back home in July 1863, Jesse contacted Dr. John P. Cover for a consultation. Dr. Cover found him "suffering greatly" and followed his case for many years. Other physicians who examined him said his "brain seems sluggish ... he is slow to answer [questions]."
Jesse returned home to Somerset County and resumed farming. He and Malinda were married several years later, but sources differ on the actual date. Various papers provide four different dates -- June 1867, March 1868, Nov. 13, 1868 or June 1870. Jesse was 15 years older than his bride. Justice of the peace James Devore performed the ceremony, held at Kennells Mill, near Hyndman, Bedford County, PA. Recalling this event later in life, she said, "At the time of ... marriage in Pa, no marriage license was required, therefore no public record of [the] marriage exists."
The federal census enumerations of 1870 and 1880 show the couple living on a farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County, near the post office of Wellersburg in 1870.
Circa 1888-1890, they resided in Wittenberg, Somerset County. Jesse was counted among Civil War veterans in special census of 1890 and disclosed that he had "paralysis in right arm."
Malinda lost her eyesight as she aged. Jesse once wrote, "My wife is blind and can't see to do no work." They needed to pay someone to help with housework, baking and cooking. A friend said she "is blind and uneducated. Can not read or rite."
Circa 1909-1921, Jesse resided along Rody Road in rural Sand Patch, Larimer Township, Somerset County. He suffered from impaired vision and hearing, stiff knees, deformed right hand and incontinence. After examining Jesse in 1921, a surgeon wrote: "I have known Jesse Gaumer for about 40 years and he has been an invalid all this time. He has all appearance of one who was grossly neglected after if not during a severe illness... He cannot descend the steps from the house for daily purposes."
Alzheimers apparently set in. Another neighbor, justice of the peace J.L. Kendall, observed that Jesse "frequently wanders from his home, necessitating search for him... It is unsafe for him to be alone at any time."
By 1915, Jesse noted that his eldest son Wilson and youngest daughter Mary were dead, but dates are not known.
Jesse finally passed away at home on Nov. 4, 1925. He was just 3 months shy of his 91st birthday. He was buried at Temple Cemetery in Meyersdale, Somerset County. [Find-a-Grave]
After his death, Malinda had no source of support, and decided to apply to the government for her late husband's pension. This task was quite difficult, said friend Kendall, because "all papers relative to pensions were strayed, lost or stolen, she can not say." Fortunately, her application was approved, and she began receiving $40 a month, later increased to $50.
By March 1926, Malinda had moved into the home farm of son Earl near Frostburg, Allegany County, MD. A friend wrote, "She does not live in the town of Frostburg but a little ways outside of the town limits, and not on any R.F.D. Route." She apparently suffered a stroke, as she was paralyzed for about a year prior to death.
Malinda passed away on May 13, 1929. She was buried at Temple Cemetery near Sand Patch. Whether this is the same burial site as White Oak Cemetery is unknown.
~ Son Wilson Gaumer ~
Son Wilson Gaumer (1867- ? ) was born in about 1867 in Somerset County, PA.
He is thought to have been deceased by 1918.
~ Daughter Sarah Anne "Sadie" (Gomer) Keefer Kindall ~
Daughter Sarah Anne "Sadie" Gomer (1869-1918) was born on April 25, 1869 in Somerset County, PA.
She was twice-wed. Her first spouse was David Keefer (Sept. 1863- ? ).
The known children born to this union were Wilson Keefer, Jesse Ezra Keefer, Anna Logan, Bertha Keefer, Goldie Stockton, George Keefer, Daisy Keefer and Elmer Keefer.
David earned a living as a day laborer.
The Keefers separated by 1900, with the children remaining in David's custory. Circa 1900, he and the offspring lived together near Sand Patch, Larimer Township, Somerset County, with 19-year-old house keeper Maggie Waller in the household.
Sarah's second husband was Lemuel B. Kindall ( ? - ? ), also spelled "Kendall."
The second marriage appears to have been troubled. Sarah moved out in early 1907 and began to share a home with Lewis Martin in nearby Fairchance. Lemuel then placed a notice in the Uniontown Morning Herald, saying she had "left my bed and board, without cause, [and] I hereby notify the public not to harbor or trust her on my account." Sarah and Martin were arrested and charged with adultery, and assessed court costs of more than $50. A friend of the pair, living in Dunbar, came forward and paid the costs on their behalf.
Federal census records for 1910 show the 42-year-old Lemuel boarding in the home of William and Sarah Swearingen in Dunbar, Fayette County, and earning a living as a coal mine laborer.
In the late 1910s, she resided in Mount Braddock near Uniontown.
Sadly, she was burdened with fibroids in her uterus which led to cystitis and kidney infection. After suffering for more than three months, she succumbed to death in Mount Braddock on July 13, 1918 at the age of 49. Funeral services were held in their home, led by a distant cousin, Rev. David Ewing Minerd, the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" of Fayette County. Her remains were shipped to Connellsville and thence to the home of her parents for additional services. Interment was in Temple Cemetery in Meyersdale, Somerset County. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Son Wilson Keefer (1887- ? ) was born in Aug. 1887. He lived in Marietta, OH in 1918.
Son Jesse Ezra Keefer (1887-1945) was born on Sept. 3, 1887 in Connellsville. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I as a member of the 145th Regular Infantry. He was united in matrimony with Rose Drenner (1899-1963). They were the parents of Raymond Edward Keefer, William James Keefer, Genevieve Moore, Evelyn Dolores Fincham and Charles David Keefer. Jesse made a living as a coal miner for Castle Coal Company. In the mid-1949s, his address was House 243, Coverdale, near Pittsburgh. Grief blanketed the family when he suffered a fatal heart attack and collapsed at the corner of Maple and Main Streets in Bethel Township on June 1, 1945 at the age of only 48. His remains were interred in Chartiers Cemetery in Carnegie, near Pittsburgh. His year of birth as marked on his gravestone is 1896, off by nine years. Perhaps reflecting his parents' separation, Rose was unable to name the mother on Jesse's death certificate.
Daughter M. Bertha Keefer (1889-1980) was born in Aug. 1889. She dwelled in 1918 in Layton, PA. She was joined in the bonds of marriage with William H. Whiffen (1892-1970). The couple made their home in Mesa, Maricopa County, AZ. William died on June 29, 1970. Bertha survived for another decade-plus. She joined in him in death on Dec. 9, 1980. They are buried in the City of Mesa Cemetery.
Daughter Anna Mae Keefer (1890-1959) was born on May 15, 1890 in Somerset County. She was married twice. She first wedded (?) Logan/Logue. The couple produced one known son, James Logue. Their home in 1918 was in Garrett, Somerset County. Later, she was joined in wedlock with Norman Boden ( ? - ? ). Children of the second union were Mrs. John Boden, Clifford Boden and Arthur Boden, among others. The couple lived in Bobtown, Greene County, PA at 164 Larimer Avenue. Sadly, at the age of 68, Anna Mae was stricken with pancreatitis. She was admitted to Greene County Memorial Hospital, where she succumbed on Feb. 16, 1959. Interment was in Greene County Memorial Park, with an obituary published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Daughter Goldie Keefer married (?) Stockton. They made a residence in Mount Braddock in 1918 and in Uniontown in 1959-1965.
Son George Keefer ( ? - ? )
Daughter Daisy Belle Keefer ( ? -1965) was born on Sept. 22, 1908. She wedded James Reggie Harrison Twigg Sr. (1897-1973), son of William H. and Eliza (Leasure) Twigg of Bedford County, PA. Eight offspring were born to this union -- William Harrison Twigg, Irene Clites, Catherine Clites, Delores Juanita Welsh, Marion Kahl, Mrs. Gerald Steadman and James R. Twigg Jr. The couple lived in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD with their home along Hazel Road. James earned a living through his work at Welsh Flower Shop. They were members of the Elliott Methodist Church. Daisy Belle died at the age of 57, in a hospital in Baltimore, MD, on March 21, 1965. Funeral services were held in the family church, led by Rev. Joseph R. Gardiner, and burial was in the Centenary United Methodist Church Cemetery in Cumberland. A short obituary appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier. James outlived his bride by eight-plus years. He passed into eternity in Sacred Heart Hospital in Cumberland on Oct. 30, 1973. He left behind 27 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren.
Son Elmer Keefer ( ? - ? )
~ Son Mannassa Gaumer ~
Son Mannassa Gaumer (1871- ? ) was born in about 1871 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA. His name also has been spelled "Manezra."
He was living circa 1918.
~ Daughter Rachel M. Gaumer ~
Daughter Rachel M. Gaumer (1874- ? ) was born in about 1874 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA.
~ Son Charles "Edward" Gaumer ~
Son Charles "Edward" Gaumer (1876- ? ) was born in about 1876 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA. His middle name may have been "Edward."
Unmarried in 1920, when he was 44 years old, he dwelled with his parents and worked on their farm in rural Sand Patch, Larimer Township, Somerset County.
~ Daughter Ida Belle Gaumer ~
Daughter Ida Belle Gaumer (1879- ? ) was born in about 1879 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA.
~ Daughter Cora "Alice" (Gaumer) Shoemaker~
Daughter Cora "Alice" Gaumer (1880- ? ) was born in Oct. 1880 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA.
Unmarried at the age of 19, in 1900, she lived at home and worked as a servant.
Alice married Henry Shoemaker (1873- ? ) in about 1904, when she was age 24 and he 31. They were nine years apart in age.
The couple made a home with Alice's parents in 1910 as shown on U.S. Census returns.
~ Son James G. Gaumer ~
Son James G. Gaumer (1881- ? ) was born in Aug. 1881 in Somerset County, PA.
He grew up in farming and also learned the trade of carpentry.
On Nov. 18, 1906, at the age of 23, he wedded 22-year-old Nora Meyers ( ? - ? ), daughter of George and Sarah Meyers of near Sand Patch, Larimer Township, Somerset County. The wedding service was held at the home of Rev. J.H. Wise, who officiated.
James was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Maud (1885- ? ).
They produced these known offspring -- Annie Gaumer, George Gaumer, Laura Gaumer, Hazel Gaumer, Lewis Gaumer and Ruby Gaumer.
The 1920 United States Census lists the family in rural Sand Patch, near James' parents and brother Earl and family. James labored as a house carpenter that year.
Daughter Annie Gaumer (1908- ? ) was born in 1908 in Somerset County.
Son George Gaumer (1911- ? ) was born in 1911 in Somerset County.
Daughter Laura Gaumer (1913- ? ) was born in 1913 in Somerset County.
Daughter Hazel Gaumer (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915 in Somerset County and may have been a twin with her brother Lewis.
Son Lewis Gaumer (1911- ? ) was born in about 1915 in Somerset County and may have been a twin with his sister Hazel.
Daughter Ruby Gaumer (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918 in Somerset County.
~ Son Earl Gaumer ~
Son Earl Gaumer (1887- ? ) was born in Feb. 1887 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA.
As a bachelor in 1910, at the age of 24, he resided at home in Sand Patch, Larimer Township, Somerset County, and labored on his parents' farm.
Earl tied the knot with Edith (1895- ? ). She was eight years younger than he.
The couple bore two known sons -- Irwin Gaumer and Edward Gaumer.
Their home in 1920 was in rural Sand Patch, where he was employed as a railroad trackman.
At his death (date unknown), Earl is believed to have been interred in White Oak Cemetery in Wittenberg, Somerset County.
Son Irwin Gaumer (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914 in Somerset County.
Son Edward Gaumer (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917 in Somerset County.
~ Daughter Mary P. Gaumer ~
Daughter Mary P. Gaumer ( ? - ? )
Copyright © 2003, 2014, 2020 Mark A. Miner