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Nicholas Hartzell Sr.


Nicholas Hartzell Sr. was born on May 14, 1765 in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of German immigrants Hans Melliger "Melchior" Hartzell and Margaret Zolin, his third wife.

The Jersey Church
Nicholas was united in the bonds of matrimony with Dorcas Settle (Oct. 7, 1765- ? ), said to have been the daughter of Reuben and Susanna (Lyne) Settle of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Dorcas' surname has been misspelled as "Little."

The couple went on to produce 14 children – George Hartzell, Nicholas Hartzell Jr., Susanna Hartzell, Savilla Hartzell, Mary Peggy Dull, Reuben Hartzell, Jacob N. Hartzell, Catherine “Katie” Hartzell, Mary “Polly” Younkin, David Hartzell and Dorcas Younkin. Another possible daughter may have been Nancy Younkin.

Their homeplace was located "near the Younkin farm," according to one researcher, and in fact shares its northern border with the homestead of Jacob and Hannah (Nicola) Younkin Sr. in what today is Upper Turkeyfoot Township. Their tract was comprised of several hundred acres and featured very steep hillsides. It was sandwiched between what today is Coke Oven Hollow (Humbert Road) and Smith Hollow (Clevenger Road), a short distance from where the town of Humbert someday would be built. 

Circa 1775, shortly after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, Nicholas was among a group of local residents who agreed to establish a church in the wilds of the Jersey settlement in southern Somerset County. It was established at a meeting held at the home of Moses Hall in Turkeyfoot. The congregation was called the Turkeyfoot Baptist Church, otherwise the “Jersey Church,” and is widely recognized as the first church site west of the Allegheny Mountains. In the official church record kept at that time, of the founders, his first name was spelled "Nicles."

Inaugural pastors were Rev. Isaac Sutton and Rev. John Corbly. A brief history of the church, naming Nicholas, was included in the 1884 book History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, published in Chicago by Waterman, Watkins & Co.:

The first house was built in January, 1788. It was a two-story log structure with gallery, and was used as church, schoolhouse, and, tradition says, at one time as a blockhouse. While attending, many of the early settlers brought their rifles, which stood in a corner until service was concluded. The second house, a frame buiilding, was erected in 1838; the third, also a frame, was finished in 1877, at a cost of twenty-five hundred dollars.  

Nicholas was recorded on the tax assessment records of Turkeyfoot Township in 1796. Also paying taxes that year in the township were Jacob Hartzel and Henry Hartzel. Henry's name also appears in the Turkeyfoot Township tax list for 1798, assessed for operating a sawmill.

Jersey Baptist Church and burying ground. Courtesy Michael Patrick Connelly
~ Jersey Church Charter Members, 1775 ~
Abram Colborn, Eleanor Colborn, Robert Colburn, Mary Conventon, Lucetta Drake, Sally Drake, Rachel Harned, Nicholas Hartzell, Lucia Jones, Frankie Ketchum, Jacob Ketchum, John King, Rebecca King, Benjamin Leonard, Almer Mitchell, James Mitchell, Elizabeth Mountain, David Roderick, David Rush, Jacob Rush, John Rush, Margaret Rush, Mary Rush, Mary Rush, Jacob H. Rutzler, Reuben Skinner, Richard Skinner, Sarah Skinner, Willets Skinner, Jane Williams, Abigail Wortman, Abram Wortman.

Nicholas is listed in the 1800 and 1810 federal census enumerations of Turkeyfoot Township. At the death of his next-door neighbor Jacob Younkin Sr. in 1811, the deceased's son John J. Younkin, who had married Nicholas' daughter Mary "Polly," assumed ownership of a 96¾-acre portion of the farm closest to the Hartzells'.

Jersey Church record for 1816 admitting Nicholas into membership. Courtesy Rockwood Area Historical Society

Nicholas' name has yet to be found in the 1820 United States Census. Perhaps he was living with one of his adult children and not named as head of that household. 

On March 21, 1822, Nicholas sold a number of household and farm items to his son George, living in Stoystown, for the price of $461. The items included two bay horses, a sorrel horse, spotted cow, two red and white cows, one steer, one red heifer, other heifers and bulls, 14 sheep, 24 hogs, plow and harrow, horse gears, shovel plow and windmill. George also received seven tubs, one loom, plate stove, kettles, two dutch ovens, two pots, one cupboard, seven acres worth of wheat and 14 acres worth of rye. The bill of sale with details was duly filed with local justice of the peace Bernard Connelly Jr. and thence in the Somerset County Recorder of Deeds office, book 10, pages 120-121.  

In 1830, when Nicholas' name again appears in the census, he was one of three people in the dwelling, with one male and female shown in the age category of between 60 and 70.

Although he had helped found the Turkeyfoot Baptist "Jersey" Church in 1775, Nicholas apparently was not officially on the rolls nor had been baptized. Some 41 years later, in 1816, this changed. The church records for that year state the following: "Sater[day] the 3rd day of August -- Church met, Brother Thomas King moderator. Nicholas Hartzel related his experience and was baptized the next day being sabath." The next entry in the record, "Saturday the 31 of August 1816. Church met, Brother Colborn moderator. received Nicholas Hartzel into the Church. Dismissed after prayer."

Church record, 1821, dismissing Nicholas for lying 
Courtesy Rockwood Area Historical Society
His role as a longtime friend of the church and now a member, that did not exclude Nicholas from scrutiny by church elders. Controversy arose in the summer of 1821 when he was accused of lying. The record for Sat., July 26, 1821 reads: "church met for Buisnes [sic]... Resolved that Br. David Rush go and sight Nicles Hartzel to the for to ancer a charg brought against him for teling an untruth." The matter was brought up at the church business meeting of Aug. 25, 1821. The record says that "Br. Hartzel ... denis the charg brought against him. Resolved thair upon that Brethren Jacob Rush, John King and Jams Mitchell attend it squire [illegible] for further satisfaction on the action and make Report to the Church on Saturday preceding the 4 Lords day in september." After conducting their investigation, the again elders met on Sept. 22, 1821 with David Rush serving as moderator. That day's entry says that "Resolved that Nicles Hartzel be excluded for teling an untruth and is now more under our Charge untill the Lord shall restore him by true Repentance."

Nicholas thus was forced out of the church he had helped to bring into being. Time passed. But in the summer of 1833, after a dozen years away, he asked to be re-instated. The church record for Sat., June 29, 1833 states: "Whereas our former Brother Mickles [sic] Hartzel has returned and desires fellowship with the Church after his giving general satisfaction it was Resolved that he be restored to the fellowship of the Church again."

Ironically, although residing on his farm property for decades, Nicholas never received legal ownership, and for years never knew exactly how much land he occupied. A curious transaction of the real estate was made a few days before Christmas 1836 and appears to be a response to four legal judgments against him. Signing his name with an "X," he prepared a deed to sons George (in Stoystown) and Nicholas (in Turkeyfoot) in the name of John Patton, Davalt Snyder and John Wough, all for son Jacob's use. Dated Dec. 23, 1836, and claiming the tract encompassed 200 acres more or less, he essentially sold his ownership rights to the two sons but reserved the right to dwell there "as long as I do live." The following winter, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania patented the tract to Jacob on Feb. 22, 1837, and it was officially surveyed that spring on April 18, 1837, when it became known that the property actually totaled 216½ acres.

With son Jacob now owning the family farm, another transaction was needed so that his brother George would own half. So on Jan. 7, 1840, the Jacob and his wife Hannah deeded one-half of the ownership rights to the brother.

Nicholas is believed to have died on Feb. 22, 1841, at the age of 75 or 76. His remains were placed into rest on the knob of the hill of his farm.

Above: survey map from the Jacob Younkin Sr. estate, showing his property boundary with "Nich.s Hartzell." Below: shape of the Hartzells' 7-sided, 216¼-acre tract.

Dorcas' fate has not yet been learned. It may be lost to the misty haze of history.

The year after Nicholas' death, on Dec. 27, 1842, their sons Jacob in Turkeyfoot and George in Stoystown and their wives sold the family farm to Emanuel Conn. The agreed-upon sales price was $720. A deed was drawn up, identifying their neighbors as Jacob Younkin of John, Loughen McNeel, Jacob Younkin or Durning, John Younkin of Jacob and John Younkin, with the corners marked with a rock or stones, a post and  poplar and ironwood trees. Written into the language of the deed was that the Hartzells retained the free privilege to "go threw the said land ... and back again at anytime" to visit the 16-square-foot burying ground at the top of the hill where their parents slept for the ages.

1884 history volume and 1938 church booklet naming Nicholas  

Younkin Family News Bulletin, 1938 
Mrs. James Endsley of Somerfield, PA compiled notes about this family in the 1900s, based on "a little family record" in the possession of Hud Hartzell of Addison, Somerset County.

Over the more than two centuries since the Jersey Church was founded, Nicholas has been named in many histories published in newspapers, pamphlets and county history books.

In a twist of fate, one of the landmarks today on the old Hartzell farm is a monument-type cairn, a vertical shaft of stone with the word "YOUNKIN" running sideways top to bottom. It marks the spot of a local tragedy and was included in a driving tour at the 1996 Younkin Reunion East. On this spot, in mid-August 1912 William "Wesley" Younkin of the family of William Henry and Rachel (McClintock) Younkin was killed by lighting while in the woods with other men removing a sawmill. A newspaper reported that: 

Rain descended in torrents and the men hurriedly collected under a wagon, but they were soon drenched and Mr. Younkin left his comrades and went under a tree. The storm broke with great violence, accompanied by loud peals of thunder and lurid flashes of lightning, and Mr. Younkin soon afterward met his doom. The bolt struck him on the left shoulder and described a diagonal course across his body, paralyzing the action of his heart. The men saw him suddenly fall to the ground and hastened to his side, but found his body limp and lifeless.

As evidence of the many Younkin connections, the Hartzells were known by the founding committee of the Younkin National Home-coming Reunion of the 1930s. Writing in the April 30, 1938 edition of its companion newspaper, the Younkin Family News Bulletin, editor and reunion secretary Charles Arthur Younkin said that "In future issues, we hope to tell you of much inter-married families... The Younkin and Hartzells... Any person having any data on any of the above, should send it to your secretary."

Above: steep hillside of the Hartzell farm, as photographed by Michael Patrick Connelly. Below: Inscribed stone cairn on the eastern edge of the property marking where William Wesley Younkin was killed by lighting in 1912.


~ Son Nicholas Hartzell Jr. ~

Son Nicholas Hartzell Jr. (1791-1822) was born on July 31, 1791 in Raystown in Turkeyfoot Township.

He is reputed to have married Mary Goza ( ? - ? ).

The couple appears to have relocated to Missouri, where circa 1814 he went into a tanyard business with Peter Kimmel in Ste. Genevieve.

He died in September 1822. 

Jack Christopher and Sharon (Hartzell) Smith both have researched this family.


~ Daughter Susanna Hartzell ~

Daughter Susanna Hartzell (1793- ? ) was born on April 1, 1793.


~ Daughter Savilla Hartzell ~

Daughter Savilla Hartzell (1795- ? ) was born on May 26, 1795.

~ Son Mary "Peggy" (Hartzell) Dull ~

Daughter Mary “Peggy” Hartzell (1797-1841) was born on Feb. 24, 1797.

She was wedded to John Dull ( ? - ? ), son of Peter and Eva (Knable) Dull.

Mary passed away in 1841.


~ Son Reuben Hartzell ~

Son Reuben Hartzell (1799- ? ) was born on April 18, 1799.


~ Son Jacob N. Hartzell ~

Son Jacob N. Hartzell (1801- ? ) was born on April 5, 1801 in Turkeyfoot Township.

When he was about 27 years of age, in 1828, he married Hannah Pringey (Nov. 15, 1800-1885), daughter of John and Appolonia "Abigail" (Rhoads) Pringey (or "Pringy"). Their union endured for more than half a century.

Hannah brought a young son into the union with Jacob, Charles P. Connelly, who had been born five years earlier, in about 1823. 

The Hartzells did not otherwise reproduce. Among Hannah's siblings, her sister Martha wed Dr. Jonas Younkin, and Joseph married Margaret Younkin. Another sister and brother-in-law, Catharine and Shaphat Dwire, are known to be buried in the Frederick G. Younkin Cemetery near Kingwood, and the Dwires' daughter Abigail married Elijah Younkin.

Jacob's Somerset Herald obituary, 1884
Courtesy Library of Congress
They unexpectedly became embroiled in a controversy in 1830 when living in a brick farmhouse near Ursina, a dwelling-place shared with Hannah's sister and brother-in-law, Eve and Jacob King. Hannah was a witness to a savage fight in their yard between members of a local militia on muster day, brigade inspector Hanna and the McClintock brothers, Alex, Eston and John. After Hanna had disciplined one of the brothers by throwing one of them "over a fence for interfering with the drill, they taunted him to wrestle. Hanna easily threw Eston McClintock to the ground, with the rest of the brothers pouncing on Hanna "with the ferocity of tigers," said a, 1895 newspaper, 

...striking, kicking and cutting. It appears that but one knife was used, a pocket-knife in the hands of John McClintock, but it was used effectively and with a determination to kill. Hanna was not once off his feet, but freeing himself from the clutches of his assailants and finding himself wounded in several places by the knife, and his bowels protruding from one wound, he held it with the left hand and continued to defend himself with the right, calling for assistance. Zachariah Tannehill, Josiah Tannehill and Isaac Tissue with all possible haste came to the rescue, but the McClintocks and others formed a ring around the combatants that was hard to break. Zac was the first to get in and the McClintocks all turned upon him, and at that instant Mrs. Hannah Hartzell... opened the door and helped Hanna into the house." 

By that time, darkness had fallen, and Zachariah Tannehill went to Petersburg (Addison) and persuaded Dr. Mockinghoupt to come and treat the knife wound victim. Said the newspaper, "After helping him into the house Mrs. Hartzell did what she could for the wounded man until the doctor arrived, and afterward nursed him... Two or three of the McClintocks, the principal actors, immediately fled from the country and never returned, and thus escaped the clutches of the law."

Hanna's daughter Phoebe Wheeler, later a pioneer settler of Iowa along with Jacob and Hannah, was age two at the time of the conflict. In an article in the Somerset Herald in 1895, she was quoted saying she "well remembers seeing the blood stained battle field in front of the King residence after this brutal affair had ended; and ... during the remainder of the life of her father he always credited Mrs. Jacob N. Hartzel with saving his life, stating that she was the only one present that had the nerve to give the dangerous wound in his bowels proper attention till the arrival of a physician."  

Jacob purchased an 82-acre farm at Paddytown in 1834 from Michael A. Sanner. His neighbors on this tract were James Cunningham, William Rush, Bernard Connelly and Hugh Connelly. A year later, tax records show that 60 of the acres on this property were clear. 

They are believed to have been members of or attended the Turkeyfoot Baptist Church, commonly known as the Jersey Baptist Church near Ursina, which Jacob's father had helped to found.

In the mid-1830s, the couple is known to have joined the Disciples of Christ/Christian Church at a time when the movement, driven by Rev. Alexander Campbell of Bethany, WV, was sweeping through the county. Their brother-in-law Dr. Jonas Younkin was a local leader, and a number of the Hartzells' neighbors and kin, among them the Dwires, Jacob and Catherine (Younkin) Minerd Jr., Elijah Younkin, Rev. Harmon and Rachel (Younkin) Husband and others had become regular devotees, meeting in what was called "a shabby log house on the Turkey-Foot Road."

Hannah was asked to appear before Jersey Church officials in 1839 to explain why she had been absent for so long. In a vote at the Aug. 10, 1839 business meeting, records show that she was "expelled for Communion with the folower of A. Campbell and refusing to attend the call of the Church."

As with many of his neighbors in Turkeyfoot, Jacob was a member of the Whig political party. With an election approaching in 1848, the local Somerset County party supported the candidacy of Gen. Zachary Taylor for the presidency, and Jacob was asked to help "draught an address to the people of the county, upon subjects and objects involved with the approaching election," reported the Somerset Herald. Others on the committee were Col. J.R. Edie, John C. Kurtz, Henry Little and John Knable.

Then in about 1842, Jacob suffered "a very severe injury which was never repaired and which caused him much suffering till the day of his death," said the Herald. The nature of his hurt is not known.

The federal census enumeration of 1850 shows the pair in Addison Township, Somerset County. Two children were in the household that year -- Dennis Wable (age 11) and Ephraim Pool (born in Virginia, age 3). When the census count again was made in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, they were in Lower Turkeyfoot, with Jacob's occupation listed as "farmer" and Hannah's as "spinster." Ephraim Pool at age 13 remained under their roof, and 13-year-old Almira Hartzell lived with them as well at that time.

Census records for 1870 list the Hartzells in Lower Turkeyfoot, with Ephraim Pool working as a farm laborer, and 64-year-old Ann McLain also in the dwelling. 

In July 1871, now in their 70s, the couple pulled up stakes and moved to Iowa, where they settled in West Liberty, Muscatine County. They bought two town lots in block 21, Evans' addition to West Liberty for $1,600 in the fall of 1871. There, they undertook a life of carpet-making. The Muscatine Journal reported on Nov. 24, 1877 that "J.N. Hartzel and wife, of West Liberty, have woven the past five years, on one loom, over thirty-one thousand yards of carpet."

The U.S. Census of 1880, of West Liberty, shows Jacob and Hannah living by themselves, with her marked as "insane" and him as "disabled."  

They joined the local congregation of the Christian Church and he "continued to be a faithful member till released by death," said the Herald.

Jacob died in West Liberty at the age of 82 years, nine months on Jan. 9, 1884. An obituary in the Herald said that "He was an honest man and a good citizen. He died in the hope of eternal life. 'He rests from his labors, and his works do follow him'."

Hannah only outlived him by a little under two years. The angel of death spirited her away on Dec. 5, 1885, at the age of 86 years and 26 days, in the home of Betsy Mountain in West Liberty. A brief notice of her death published in the Journal said the cause was "senile diarrhoea." A different, longer obituary in the West Liberty Index said that:

Mrs. Hartzel was born in Somerset County, Pa. Her maiden name was Pringey, she being one of the oldest of a large family of children. At the time of her birth western Pennsylvania was the border of civilization, all beyond that being almost an unexplored wilderness. Her life reached back more than a month beyond the death of George Washington. What marvelous changes she was permitted to behold! We can have some realization of the progress of this country when we look at the fact in her lifetime this country grew from a feeble nation of four million people, confined almost wholly to the Atlantic states to be a mighty empire reaching from ocean to ocean. Mrs. Hartzel was a woman of strong rugged common sense and possessed a heart of great purity and honesty. She was emphatically a good woman. She became a member of the Christian church when quite young, and throughouth er life was a faithful and consistent Christian. At the age of thirty she married J.N. Hartzel. She was a faithful wife to him for more than fifty years. Since his death two years ago, she has made her home with her sister, Mrs. Mountain, where she was lovingly cared for till the last. She had strong faith in Jesus and His Word, and rejoiced in the blessed hope of eterenal life... Her funeral occurred Sunday afternon at 2 o'clock from the residence of Mrs. Mountain and was attended by many faithful friends and brethren. 

Their remains sleep side-by-side for the ages in Oak Ridge Cemetery. 

Son Charles Pringey Connelly (1822-1872) was born three days before Christmas 1822. He was five years of age when his mother married Jacob N. Hartzell. He was joined in wedlock with Sarah Ann Hanna (July 15, 1827-1871), daughter of Alexander Hannah. In the spring of 1848, they moved with his uncle Joseph Pringey and family to Preston County, WV. There they lived until 1870 when migrating cross-country to West Liberty, IA, where they settled on a farm. The known children of this family were Hannah Jane Romaine, Albert V. Connelly, James A. Connelly, John Calvin Connelly, William "Bill" Connelly and Lawrence Romaine Connelly and perhaps others. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, the Connellys lived in Wapsinonoc Township, Muscatine County. Tragedy swept over the family within a 10-month span in 1871-1872. Sarah passed away at the age of 44 n Oct. 24, 1871. Charles then died at the age of 49 on Aug. 10, 1872. Burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery in West Liberty. 

  • Granddaughter Hannah Jane "Jennie" Connelly (1851-1935) was born on Oct. (?), 1851 in West Virginia. She married Charles "Louis" Romaine (April 1851-1920). They were the parents of Oda Horine, Dr. Ernest Edward Romaine, Ethel Romaine and Charles Romaine. Oda is known to have spent eight months in Boston, MA in 1910, visiting with her daughter Oda, and returning in mid-November. Charles surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 68 on May 3, 1920. Hannah Jane lived for another 15 years. In 1926, she spent an extended time in Iowa Falls with her son Ernest and then for two years, in 1926-1927, made a residence in New York. She relocated to New Jersey to resided with her daughter Oda in East Orange. Sadly, at the age of about 83, she passed away on Oct. 20, 1935. The body was shipped back to Iowa for burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Davenport Quad-City Times.

    Great-granddaughter Oda Romaine ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She was a high school graduate and then received a diploma at Grinnell College. In December 1900, she began an assignment to teach high school in Muscatine, IA. Oda returned to the college as of 1903. By 1905-1906, she was employed as a traveling sales woman in Buffalo, NY, occasionally returning to West Liberty for visits. As of 1907 she lived in Rochester, NY. On Christmas Eve 1907, in her parents' home, Oda wed Laberte Horine ( ? - ? ), a resident of Brooklyn, NY. Rev. Green, pastor of the local Christian Church, presided. Reported the Muscatine Journal, "The bride is a charming young woman who has a wide circle of friends in West Liberty. The groom is employed by the F.E. Compton & Co. of Chicago, Ill., as eastern field manager. The newlyweds' first home was in Brooklyn at 271 Carlton Avenue. Their three offspring were Ruth Laberte, Helen Laberte and Herbert Laberete. They were in Boston, MA in 1910, Hartford, CT in 1913 and in East Orange, NJ in 1930-1935. Sadly, at the age of 60, Oda suffered a heart attack at home and died on Aug. 31, 1941. The news was printed in the Davenport Quad-City Times. Following funeral rites in East Orange, the body was transported to Iowa for interment.  

    Great-grandson Dr. Ernest Edward Romaine (1874-1946) was born in 1874. He dwelled in 1930-1935 in Iowa Falls, IA.

    Great-granddaughter Ethel Romaine ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 1941.

    Great-grandson Charles Romaine was a 1904 graduate of the local high school and in young manhood lived in West Liberty. He eventually obtained work with a railroad. Sadly, while boarding a railcar in Trenton, NJ, he was stricken and died on Sept. 19, 1930. The Davenport Quad-City Times published an obituary. 

  • Grandson Albert V. Connelly (1854- ? ) was born in about 1854 in West Virginia.
  • Grandson  James A. Connelly (1862- ? ) was born in about 1862 in West Virginia.
  • Grandson John Calvin Connelly (1866- ? ) was born in about 1866 in Preston County, WV. On New Year's Day 1890, he wed Amelia Jane "Jennie" Liston (Oct. 7, 1867-1939), daughter of Henson Smith and Candace (Pringey) Liston. See the Liston biography for more.

  • Grandson William Lawrence "Bill" Connelly (1868-1943) was born on Feb. 15, 1868 in Preston County, WV. He was a baby when his moved to Iowa and soonafter died in 1870, rendering him an orphan. He was raised in West Liberty by an older sister, Hannah Jane Romaine. Bill left home at age 15 for a life on his own, riding a horse along the Oregon Trail, "thus beginning a life as a cowboy near Fort Laramie, Wyoming," wrote his descendant, Michael Patrick Connelly. He quickly gained employment with Pratt & Ferris Cattle Company. Showing ability, he was promoted to foreman and over time built a herd of cattle for himself. In 1891, he wed Grace Snyder ( ? -1962), with nuptials held in Chadron, WY. Together, they produced a brood of five children -- among them Fredric Connelly, Marian Hutchinson, Catherine McKinnon, Bernice McGuire and Lawrence Romaine Connelly. Sadly, son Lawrence died at the age of 11 months on March 30, 1894. The Connellys moved in 1893 to Wyncote, WY. At some point they moved again to Lingle, along the Oregon Trail in Goshen County, WY. Said an obituary, "Probably no one, with the exception of the late H.D. Lingle, had more to do with the development of the Lingle community than had 'Bill,' as he was affectionately known... Bill was a rancher, farmer, merchant and banker in this community for many years. At one time he owned considerable land, and farmed also a portion of the Leiter estate. When the town of Lingle was formed, he started the Lingle Supply Co., which handled the farmers and ranchers produce, supplied them with everything from needles to automobiles, financed their operations andwas generally a Good Samaritan." In later years, the family dwelled in Denver. William died at Fairacres Hospital in Scottsbluff, NE on April 6, 1943 after suffering a stroke. An obituary said that "Beloved by all who knew him, he is mourned by hundreds of friends as the 'best friend they ever had'." With respect to his memory, Mayor Frank J. Freimuth of Lingle asked businesses in town to close for a half hour, starting at 2:30 p.m., on the day of the funeral. Rev. George S. Bancroft, of the First Presbyterian Church, presided at the service, with burial following in West Lawn Cemetery in Gering near Scottsbluff. He was survived by nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A short notice of his death appeared in the Casper Star-Tribune. Grace outlived her husband by 19 years. The angel of death swept her away on July 11, 1962.
  • Great-grandson Fredric Connelly moved to Los Angeles. 

    Great-granddaughteer Marian Connelly wed (?) Hutchinson. Her home in 1943 was in Los Angeles.

    Great-granddaughter Catherine Connelly married (?) McKinnon. She put down roots in Torrington.

    Great-granddaughter Bernice Connelly entered into marriage with (?) McGuire. She is known to have been in Denver in 1943.  

~ Daughter Catherine "Katie" Hartzell ~

Daughter Catherine “Katie” Hartzell (1803- ? ) was born on Aug. 25, 1803.


~ Son David Hartzell ~

Son David Hartzell (1808- ? ) was born on April 15, 1808.

He was married to Angeline "Anna" Nee (1811- ? ), sometimes known as "Nancy," with her maiden name also spelled "Knee," of Stoyestown, Somerset County.

They were the parents of Julia K. Hoblitzell, Mary Susan Hartzel, Missouri Hartzell, Caleb Foster Hartzell, Westly Hartzel, Benson R. Hartzel, Almira Hartzel and Cass Hopkins Hartzel. They may also have borne Susan Mitchell, Alice Hartzell, Irvin Hartzell, Orville Hartzell and Calvin Hartzell.

The United States Census of 1830 and 1840 places the Hartzells in Berlin, Somerset County. He is known to have taught his nephew Hiram A. Hartzell the skill of saddlery -- making and repairing saddles, bridles, and other horse-related equipment.

When the federal census count was made in 1850, the family dwelled in Addison Township, Somerset County, with David employed as a toll collector along the National Pike.

David is believed to be buried in Addison, PA or in Frostburg, MD. A note about him was written by Mrs. James Endsley of Somerfield, PA, saying he was "the ancestor of Julia who was Mrs. J.J. Hoblitzell."

When the U.S. Census again was taken in 1860, Angeline and her children Cass and Orville dwelled in the home of 25-year-old daughter and spinster Mary Susan Mitchell in Addison Township.

Angelina passed away at age 84 on Jan. 29, 1896. Her remains are in eternal repose in Frostburg Memorial Park.

Daughter Julia K. Hartzell (1832-1896) was born on Sept. 14, 1832 in Berlin, Somerset County. On Feb. 27, 1857, she married James Jacob Hoblitzell (1832-1910), with Peter M. McGowan officiating. James was the son of Dennis B. and Sarah A. (Stoddard) Hoblitzell. The couple produced a baker's dozen children -- Julia Hoblitzell, Edward Hoblitzell, Cornelia E. Hoblitzell, William Thomas Hoblitzell, Elizabeth McClelland Ravenscroft, Kate Bowman, Annie L. Hoblitzell, George M. Hoblitzell, Grace Price, James Russell Hoblitzell, Mary Hoblitzell, Frank W. Hoblitzell and Alice Ross. At some point in time, the family lived in Frostburg, Allegany County, MD. Then in about 1876 they relocated to Meyersdale, Somerset County. A friend once wrote this of Julia:

When a young woman she gave her heart to God and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which communion she continued a faithful and consistent member, interested and helpful in every good work, until her death. Much suffering entered into her lot, and as pain and years increased she seemed to draw nearer to God and cling closer to her loved ones. Her life was a blessing to all who knew her. She was unostentatious and persistent in her beneficence, and in times of bereavement endeared herself to her neighbors by her kindly and sympathetic attention. In her home and family she was ever courteous, a devoted, loving, and thoughtful mother. Her confidence in her children was as profound as her love, and to her husband she was always tender, helpful, and deeply affectionate. In the latter months of her life she frequently expressed her confidence in her Lord and her resignation to His Will.

She died in Meyersdale at the age of 63 on Aug. 5, 1896. Rev. W.C. Weaver and Rev. W.R. Moore co-officiated at her funeral services. Interment was in Frostburg Memorial Park in Frostburg. James outlived his wife by nearly 14 years. He succumbed to death on May 17, 1910.

  • Granddaughter Julia Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Grandson Edward Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Cornelia E. Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Grandson William Thomas Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) married (?) McClelland and (?) Ravenscroft.
  • Granddaughter Kate Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) wed (?) Bowman.
  • Granddaughter Annie L. Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Grandson George M. Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Grace Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) entered into marriage with (?) Price. 
  • Grandson James Russell Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Mary Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Grandson Frank W. Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Alice Hoblitzell ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with (?) Ross. 

Daughter Mary Susan Hartzell (1836-1905) was born in July 1836. She married P. Lashley Mitchell ( ? - ? ) on Feb 25, 1854 at Petersburg. Their duo of children were Julia Ella Mitchell and Lashley Mitchell. She passed away in Frostburg on Oct. 15, 1905 and is buried at Frostburg Memorial Park.

  • Granddaughter Julia Ella Mitchell (1856-1925) was born on Nov. 16, 1856. She died on July 9, 1925.
  • Grandson Lashley Mitchell (1858- ? ) was born in about 1858. He dwelled in Frostburg in 1905.

Daughter Missouria E Hartzell (1837-1876) was born in about 1837. Circa 1864, she married Andrew Jackson Willison (1836-1911). The couple's brood of offspring included George S Willison, Laurence D. Willison, Edward E. Willison, Anna Willison, Mary Cornelia Willison and Missouri Emily Willison. Sadly, Missouri died in Frostburg on Aug. 17, 1876. Interment of the remains was at Frostburg Memorial/Allegany cemetery. Andrew outlived his bride by more than three decades. He surrendered to death on March 15, 1911. 

  • Grandson George S. Willison (1865- ? )
  • Grandson Laurence D. Willison (May 1867- ? )
  • Grandson Edward E. Willison (Apr 1869- ? )
  • Granddaughter Anna Willison (Feb 1873- ? )
  • Granddaughter Mary Cornelia Willison (Oct. 1874- ? )
  • Granddaughter Missouri Emily Willison (1876-1906) was born on June 25, 1876. She died on Feb. 8, 1906.

Son Caleb Foster Hartzell (1839-1906) was born on St. Patrick's Day 1839. By occupation, he earned a living as a clerk and circa 1866 dwelled in Frostburg, MD. His first wife was Jenetta L. Percy ( ? -1870) whom he wed on Jan. 26, 1864 in Allegany County, MD. Together, they bore two children -- David Percy Hartzell and Nannie Hartzell. Jenetta died in 1870. Married Alyene Parker on 24 Jan 1873. By 1880 he had relocated to Martinsburg, WV, employed as a saddler, making saddles and harnesses. He resided in later years in Hyndman, Bedford County. He died of paralysis at the age of 67 on June 10, 1906. Burial was in Hyndman. Allie Hartzell of Hyndman was the informant for the Pennsylvania certificate of death.

  • Grandson David Percy Hartzell (1864-1919) was born on Dec. 13, 1864. On Sept. 28, 1894, at Frostburg, he entered into marriage with Margaret E. Williams ( ? - ? ). He died on Sept. 4, 1919.
  • Granddaughter Nannie Hartzell (1868- ? ) was born in 1868 and was age two when her mother died.  

Son Wesley Irvine Hartzell (1842-1890) was born in about 1842. During the Civil War, on Aug. 1, 1862, at Addison, he enrolled in the 133rd Pennsylvania Infantry and was assigned to Company E. Thirteen days later, in Harrisburg, he was mustered into the army as a sergeant. He received his discharge on May 26, 1863. Circa 1873, he wed Alice Rear ( ? - ? ).They resided in Nashville, TN, where he worked for Southern Express Company. The pair's only son was Ernest Hartzell. Wesley died in the home of his father-in-law at 1815 Patterson Street at the age of 48 on Jan. 26, 1890. An obituary in the Nashville Banner said that "Mr. Hartzell was a popular man and had by his accomodating manner and strict business qualities while in the employe of the express company won many friends in this city, and in fact, all over the south, who will learn with sincere regret of his death."

  • Grandson Ernest Hartzell (1873- ? ) was born in 1873.

Son Benson R. Hartzell (1843-1929) was born on Nov. 17, 1843. On Christmas Day 1867, in nuptials held in Cumberland, MD, he was united in matrimony with Fannie Bowen ( ? - ? ). He worked as a newspaper printer for the Cincinnati Times. Four known children were Annie Hartzell, William W. Hartzell, Laura Hartzell and Clarence Hartzell. The family residence was at Camp Dennison, OH. Benson died on Feb. 1, 1929, with burial taking place in Miamiville, OH.  

Daughter Alvira R. “Allie” Hartzell (1847-1910) was born in about 1847. She lived in Frostburg. Alvira never married but devoted her life to teaching. She died in Frostburg on Nov. 13, 1910.

Son Cass Hopkins Hartzell (1849- ? ) was born on July 13, 1849. On April 14, 1873, in Frostburg, he wed Elizabeth Jane Hansen ( ? - ? ). Eleven children in this brood were Mary Hartzell, Henry Hartzell, David Ernest Hartzell, Robert Hartzell, John Hartzell, Elsie Hartzell, Julia Hartzell, George W. Hartzell, Helen Hartzell, Coram Hartzell and Margaret Hartzell. Cass earned a living over the years as a laborer in a brick works. Suffering from atererial sclerosis (hardening of the arteries), he died in Hyndman on Jan. 27, 1923. Interment was in Hyndman.

Son Orville D. Hartzell (1854-1900) was born on March 8, 1854. At the age of 38, on April 7, 1892, in or near Pittsburgh, he was joined in wedlock with Elizabeth Dunwoody ( ? - ? ). He earned a living as a clerk in Pittsburgh. Sadly, in Allegheny City (today Pittsburgh's North Side), he succumbed to the spectre of death on June 14, 1900.  


Melchi, Annie and daughter Minnie
Courtesy Sylvester Everhart Jr.

~ Who Was Melchi Hartzell? ~

Who was Melchi "Melciah" Hartzell (1821-1895)? He was born on Sept. 1, 1821.

On Nov. 7, 1842, when he was 21 years of age, Melciah was united in matrimony with Anna "Annie" Johnston (July 14, 1826-1924), also spelled "Johnson" and a native of Fayette County, the daughter of William and Margaret Johnson. The marriage nuptials were performed by justice of the peace Thomas Hanna. Annie could neither read nor write.

They became the parents of a large brood of 15 children -- Dorothy Hartzell Conn Marsden, George W. Hartsell, Mary Sanner, Rebecca C. Henry, Elizabeth Hartzell, Barbara "Barbary" Hartzell, Henry Hartzel, Levi Hartzel, Sarah Hartzel, Norman Hartzel, Jane "Jennie" Firestone Burkholder, Emaline "Emma" Miller, Susana Hartzel, Thomas William Hartzell and Arminda "Minnie" Hartzell. Two of the children were deaf and unable to speak -- Norman and Arminda.

At least two of the offspring died in young childhood, Sarah (in 1861) and Levi (1862). 

Said the Meyersdale Republican, after the marriage, they "started housekeeping on the Whipkey farm in Upper Turkeyfoot Township and after living on different farms moved on to the farm where she died" four decades later. It was widely known among neighbors that Melchi was sickly and unable to perform a day's labor. Neighbor Green B. King once wrote that the family's "personal property consisted of a very limited amount of household goods, sometimes a cow or two and a horse, all of the poorest kind -- not worth at any time $200 -- Several years ago all their property was sold at Sheriff's sale and bought in by a party who has allowed it to remin in their possession, and when sold it brought less than $200."

Record of the Hartzell marriage 
Courtesy Donna (Younkin) Logan
When the federal census enumerations were made in 1850-1860, the family resided in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, with Melchi earning a living as a laborer. Annie's occupation in 1860 was given as "spinster" -- someone who spins wool into clothing. Neighbor George Firestone once observed that prior to leaving home for the army, the Hartzells' son George was the main support of the family, and that Annie "worked verry hard, harder than anny woman ought to work." Dr. W.S. Harah, of Ursina, once wrote that "I have known Melchiah Hartzel for over Thirty years. When a bout that time He first applied to me for Prescription for him self. I gave him medicine for kidney derangement of a Chronic Condition... I think him still afflicted with the Derangement."

Melchi and Annie in 1860 could not have envisioned that they were on the cusp of their nation's plunge into a civil war and that they would lose a son and a son-in-law in the armed conflict. Son George enlisted in the Union Army in March 1864, and just a few weeks later, after drawing his pay, sent $32 home via express messenger for his parents' support. Another letter arrived dated July 15, 1864, written from the army hospital in Frederick, saying George was sick but not to worry. Just 15 days later, he was dead. The shock, grief and loss that descended on the family cannot be imagined.

After a decade of grieving, on Dec. 29, 1874, Melchi applied for a military pension as compensation for the loss of income he had suffered with the loss of the son. [Father App. No. 218.835] The request was denied on grounds not yet known. Then on Aug. 22, 1879, Annie filed a similar petition. Coming forward to provide affidavits of support were Simon S. Snyder and Marion King, who had known the couple since his childhood, meighbor John W. Burkholder, Mary Johnson, Jacob R. McMillen, who had grown up with Melchi and was about the same age, and Henry Whipkey.

Annie's pension in fact was approved. [Mother App. No. 250.161, Cert. No. 213.190]. She thus received a large lump sum as a back payment and then monthly payments for the remainder of her life from the Bureau of Pensions in Washington, DC.

Census records for 1880 list Melchi as a farmer and Annie in her work "keeping house." Writing in 1881, military surgeon S.S. Good examined Melchi, who complained of kidney disease, pain in the groin and back, often voiding urine and rheumatism in the left arm and shoulder. In an affidavit written in the mid-1880s, Jacob Henry of New Lexington wrote that he had known Melchi and Annie since they were children. He said that Melchi's occupation:

...has always been that of a day laborer and at no time since 1864 has he earned over ten or twelve dollars a year. He does very little work, is constantly complaining of being sick and can't stand work. [Annie] has supported the family by hard labor. She weaves, practises midwifeery and works for neighbors by the day. They have lived very poorly. -- owned no land and very little personal property.

Dr. W.S. Harah, Melchi's physician 
History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties   
Controversy arose on the evening of May 6, 1885, after Annie had received a $1,952.00 check, the lump sum from the first pension payment. Their friend Green B. King of Kingwood appears to have helped them secure the pension but then demanded half of her check as his fee. Annie recalled that she "offered him two hundred dollars for his services, which he refused. Then he wanted eight hundred dollars, and they argued and fussed nerly all day, and King finally agreed to take six hundred dollars as his fee. [She] then paid Green B. King five hundred dollars in paper money and one hundred dollars in gold, as his fee for assisting in the prosecution of her pension claim."  

Under dubious circumstances, she then agreed to purchase the rights to a five-foot vein of coal on King's farm. There was some delay in having a deed prepared as a decision had to be made over whether a survey of the land was needed before it cold be sold. Under the terms of the deed, the Hartzells agreed to pay $600 for the right to mine the coal "in a proper and workmanlike manner with suitable pillars and props so as to support the roof and do as litle damage to the surface soil as possible." Attorney Dennis Meyers of Somerset, who was handling the paperwork, remarked to Melchi that "this was a large amount for a small piece of land," he recalled. Melchi replied that "he had been working in coal nearly his whole life and knew all about it. Hartzell said that he wanted a way out, and for that reason the clause about the private road was inserted." She paid the $600, but never received a receipt nor the deed. She later said that "This land transaction was merely done to cover up this six hundred dollar fee business, as not a word was every said about buying or selling this acre of land until this day."

Government investigators later questioned whether the large amount of money was paid to King for securing the pension. King denied the allegation, saying he had written "a letter or two to Congressman Campbell in the case, and was also a witness in the claim, and more than this he had nothing to do..." King also said the Hartzells had been trying for a year to buy these rights. In a deposition, neighbor Samuel Phillippi of near Paddytown wrote that "the land on King's place is not worth at the very highest over fifty dollars an acre. If [he] was to buy the place he would not pay that for it including all the improvements on it." In a report to the Commissioner of Pensions, a special examiner wrote that Annie "and her husband bear a good reputation for truth &c. in the community. They are both very ignorant and cannot read and write. Green B. King's reputation for truth and veracity is bad. He has the reputation of doing most anything to make a dollar, and is known as a sharper... I recommend that Green B. King be criminally prosecuted." 

"X" signatures of Melchia and Annie Hartzell,
who could not write.
National Archives.
Sadly, Melchi died at the age of 73 on May 14, 1895 or 1896. Burial was in Scullton Cemetery.

Annie outlived her spouse by more than a quarter of a century. She maintained her membership in the Wesley Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, which she had joined in girlhood, and remained in the same residence for 40 years with her unmarried daughters Elizabeth and Minnie.

In 1900, when the census count again was made, she headed a Lower Turkeyfoot Township household which included four unmarried adult children and four grandchildren. The daughters "were constantly with her and during her declining years rendered her every aid and anticipated her every want," said the Republican. "Although some of her children lived at a distance, they and many of the grandchildren made it a point to visit her whenever they found it possible, and for many years her birthday was a red letter day to all of her descendants who never failed to celebrate it..."

The 1910 census again lists Annie as residing in Lower Turkeyfoot with her four children Elizabeth, Henry, Norman and Arminda and grandsons Samuel Beachy, Nolan Kimmel and Charles Gerhart. The group remained together under one roof in 1920, with the exception of the grandsons, two of whom were deceased or married, and only grandson Charles still there.

Annie (Johnston) Hartzell. Below, children's deaths recorded in the Hartzell family Bible. Courtesy Donna (Younkin) Logan and Barbara (Younkin) Jump Park

Annie Hartzell - Courtesy Glenda (Tressler) Smith 

At her 90th birthday in 1916, a celebration was held at her home near the Brushtown schoolhouse She was profiled in a related piece in the Meyersdale Republican, which said that "The day was very pleasantly spent, there being over 250 guests present, including relatives, neighbors and friends from a distance. A big dinner was served. Mrs. Hartzell and her husband spent most of their lives on the Hartzell farm and were very highly esteemed by all who knew them. Mrs. Hartzell, notwithstanding her 4 score and 10 years, is still hale and hearty." The article said that at the time, she had 50 living grandchildren, 63 great-grandchildren and 22 great-great grandchildren. The Republican story mistakenly said one of her sons had given his life at the Battle of Gettysburg when it fact it was due to illness in a military hospital at Sandy Hook, MD. This myth remained in the family and was repeated in her newspaper obituary.

She suffered a mini stroke in about 1921 but recovered sufficiently and lived for another three years. Until a few days before death, she could move about her home with a cane.

Annie suffered another stroke in early October 1924 and died three days later on Oct. 6, 1924, at the age of 98. Funeral services were conducted in the Jersey Baptist Church, jointly led by grandson Rev. N.H. Sanner of Dormont, Elder William Robins of Greensburg, PA, who was the President of the Seventh- Day Adventist Conference of Western Pennsylvania, and Rev. L.H. Powell of Confluence. Among the hymns sung by Dr. M.M. Brooke was "Abide with Me." Her remains were laid to rest in the Jersey Baptist Cemetery near Ursina. She was said to have left behind 316 living descendants and, reported the Connellsville Daily Courier, was "probably the oldest woman in Somerset county."

Many years later, the family Bible was in the possession of Harold Ray Gerhart of Confluence.

Mt. Auburn, Dunbar
Courtesy Raylene Lapierre Lehnhoff Wolfe

Daughter Dorothy "Dorothea" Hartzell (1844-1912) was born on May 4, 1844. She never learned to read or write. Dorothea was twice-wed. On Nov. 29, 1860, she was united in matrimony with her first spouse, Uriah Conn ( ? -1864). Officiating the rite of marriage was Rev. Adam F. Snyder, and he kept a record in a small personal notebook but not provide a certificate to the couple. Among those attending were Catharine Snyder and Elizabeth Snyder. Together the Conns produced two children -- Anna (Conn) Daugherty and George W. Conn. As with his wife's brother George W. Hartzell, Uriah joined the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil War. He enlisted on March 31, 1864 and mustered into the army at Chambersburg, PA, where he was placed in Company M. After drawing his first pay, he and his brother-in-law George both sent money home along with their photo portraits. In a letter from George to his parents, dated April 10, 1864, he wrote: "we have inlisted i the 12 pennsylvania Cavelry... Uriah is well and hops that you ar all well to. We havt mutch to we sent our likeness in the other letter. Nomore at present."

Uriah wounded in action that summer, shot in the right knee joint. He was taken to the U.S. Army General Hospital at Frederick, MD, where his brother-in-law George was bedded down with illness in July 1864. Sadly, he suffered for three more months, and succumbed to his wound on Oct. 14, 1864. The remains were laid to rest in the sacred soil of Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg, MD. Back home in New Lexington, Somerset County, Dorothy was rendered a widow and single mother of two at the age of just 20. Jacob R. McMillen of New Lexington, Somerset County was named legal guardian of the young children. Dorothy applied on July 27, 1866 to receive a military widow's pension, and it was approved. [Widow App. No. 130.792 - Cert. No. 96.153]. In 1870, the widowed Dorothy resided next to her parents in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, with her two children in the household, and also as a next-door neighbor to Henry S. and Barbara Jean (Younkin) Swarner. She disclosed at one point that she did not belong to any church. 

Dorothea's "X" signature. National Archives
On Oct. 9, 1870, Dorothy wed her second husband, Thomas I.W. Marsden (Dec. 21, 1850-1930), a native of Baltimore, MD and the son of immigrants Edward and Katherine (Hughes) Marsden. Justice of the peace Jacob Weimer officiated. Upon the remarriage, she forfeited the right to continue receiving the pension, but it was arranged that the children would be granted the payments until they reached adulthood. [Minor App. No. 206.997 - Cert. No. 163.962] Her children from the second marriage were Emma Harvey, Katherine Maust, James Marsden and Nappy "Ellen" Daugherty. The Marsdens lived in Dunbar, Fayette County as shown in the 1880 United States Census, with Thomas earning a living as a laborer.. Suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and gall stones at the age of 68, Dorothy died there on Aug. 10, 1912. Burial was at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Dunbar. Her sisters Jennie Burkholder and Lizzie Hartzell traveled to attend funeral services. The widowed Thomas remained in Dunbar for the rest of his years. Living in Ferguson, Fayette County in April 1918, he purchased the James R. McDowell farm at Hill Farm from A.K. Knotts of Uniontown, and took up residence. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "This was formerly one of the very best farm in this section, but of late years has been much damaged by oven smoke. The discontinuance of the ovens at Mahoning and Hillfarm removed that nusance and the farm is now regaining its formerly fertility. Mr. Marsden and his son-in-law, Martin O. Maust and family, will occupy the big farm mansion and cultivate the farm." He suffered from chronic kidney disease and, after contracting lobar pneumonia, died in the home of his daughter Kathryn Maust at the age of 80 on Nov. 23, 1930. Emma Harvey of Dunbar signed his death certificate, with an obituary appearing in the Daily Courier, reported that he "had been bedfast for several weeks." His survivors included 20 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. His funeral rites were conducted by Rev. David Ewing Minerd, the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" of Dunbar, with obituaries also appearing in the Uniontown newspapers, with the Morning Herald saying he "was a lifelong resident of Dunbar and widely known throughout Fayette county."

Note from Uriah to Dorothea, dictated to and in the hand of Dorothea's brother George W. Hartzell, April 10, 1864. Courtesy National Archives. Below, Antietam National Cemetery, where the remains of Uriah and George sleep in honored rest.
  • Granddaughter Anna Conn (1862-1894) was born on June 19, 1862. Midwife Mary King assisted in the birth. Anna's father died of Civil War wounds when she was age two. Anna entered into marriage with Samuel P. Laughery Sr. (1858-1917), son of Jacob and Mary Laughery. Samuel made a living as a fireman. Sadness shrouded the family when Anna died at the age of 32 on Oct. 8, 1894. Interment of the remains was in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Connellsville. Samuel lived for another 23 years. Having contracted chronic kidney disease, he succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 59 on March 16, 1917. 
  • Grandson George W. Conn (1864-1946) was born on June 11, 1864 in Somerset County. George's grandmother Anne Hartzell and Anne Phillippi served as midwives at the birth  He was a month old when his father died during the Civil War. At the age of 16, in 1880, he lived with his mother and stepfather in Dunbar, Fayette County, working as a laborer. George wed (?) and was the father of two -- Hazel Murray and Thomas Earl Conn. By 1930, the widowed George is known to have migrated to Iowa and in 1930 made his home with his daughter Hazel Murray in Osage, Mitchell County, IA. There, he earned a living as a carpenter on building projects. He eventually returned to Connellsville and in the mid-1940s his address was with his daughter at 707 Blackstone Road on the city's West Side. Death swept him away at the age of 81, in Connellsville State Hospital, on May 27, 1946. Funeral rites were led by Rev. W.S. Hamilton, of the Franklin Memorial Methodist Church, at the home of daughter Hazel Murray. The remains were lowered under the sod of Franklin Cemetery. The Connellsville Daily Courier published an obituary. The headcount of his survivors included 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

    Great-granddaughter Hazel Conn (1884-1968) was born in 1884. At the age of 30, she married 29-year-old Peter L. Murray ( ? - ? ). One son of this union was Charles E. Murray, born in 1920. They migrated to Iowa, where in 1930 Peter operated a blacksmith shop in Osage, Mitchell County. Hazel's widowed father also made the move to Iowa. Later, the Murrays returned to southwestern Pennsylvania. Her address in 1946 was 707 Blackstone Road on the west side of Connellsville.

    Great-grandson Thomas Earl Conn (1888-1959) planted himself in Uniointown as of 1946. 

  • Grandaughter Emma Marsden (1871- ? ) was born in about 1871. She married (?) Harvey ( ? - ? ). In 1930, they dwelled in Dunbar and in 1946 in Uniontown.
  • Granddaughter Katherine "Kate" Marsden (1876- ? ) was born in about 1876. She wed Martin O. Maust ( ? - ? ). The Mausts lived with Katherine's aged father in Dunbar in 1930, on a farm at Hill Farm.
  • Grandson James Marsden (1878- ? ) was deceased by 1946.
  • Granddaughter Nappy "Ellen" Marsden (1887-1959) was born on Sept. 14, 1887 in Dunbar. She entered into marriage with John A. Daugherty (1888-1976). They became the parents of five -- Ruth Stewart, Oliver Daugherty, George Daugherty, James Daugherty and Frank Daugherty. They relocated in about 1954 to St. Petersburg, FL, where their daughter Ruth was living. Their address in 1959 was 2242 45th Avenue North. Ellen passed away in a St. Pete hospital on Sept. 26, 1959. Her obituary appeared in the Uniontown Morning Herald. The body was shipped back to Dunbar for funeral services at the Franklin Memorial Methodist Church, presided by Rev. J.D. Schrecengost, and burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Ruth Daugherty married (?) Stewart and resided in St. Petersburg, FL in 1959.  

    Great-grandson Oliver Daugherty relocated to St. Petersburg, FL.

    Great-grandson George Daugherty made his home in 1959 in Dunbar, PA.

    Great-grandson James A. Daugherty (1915-1983) migrated to Detroit and was there in 1959.

    Great-grandson Frank Daugherty dwelled in South Connellsville. 

Mother Annie (seated, left) and children, L-R: Jane, Arminda, Mary, Elizabeth, Norman, Henry. Seated, right: Emma. Courtesy Glenda (Tressler) Smith

George's birth logged in the family Bible
Son George W. Hartzell (1846-1864) was born on Feb. 6, 1846. His name and birthdate were hand-lettered into the family Bible. As a young man, he is known to have worked for neighbors Moses and Christian King, and to have drawn his pay in wages but mostly in produce. Family friend Henry Whipkey of Kingwood once commented that George was "a verry industrious boy, hard working ... I knew of him working for my father at diferent times by the month + by the day and his mother drew his wages mostly in flower and butter and provisions for the family." Joseph King of Kingwood wrote that George "did labor for me shortly before he went to the army and his parents drew the pay." During the Civil War, on March 31, 1864, the 18-year-old George enlisted in the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry and was assigned to Company M. He was mustered into the army in Chambersburg, PA. Military records show that he had a fair complexion, light hair and grey eyes, standing 5 feet, 11 inches tall. As soon as he received his first pay, he sent some of it home, as observed by his fellow soldier Silas Conn. On April 10, 1864, George wrote a letter to his parents, a document which they later sent to military authorities and which is preserved in the National Archives in Washington, DC. The letter states:

i take mi pen in hand to let you know that i am well at present and i hope that ... these few lines comes to hand thay may find you in the same state of helth. i sent money to Connelsville bi express. i could not send it no other way. i want you to go and get it. i sent twenty six dollars. thare is eighty eight dollers to gather thirty dollars is to go to John Gary and thirty two dollars is uriah Conn. i seen a grate dele since i left home. i road a bout fore hundred miles on the Cars and a bout twenty miles on the boat. we are on our way to harpersferry to day. we hant got to our regment it we have inlisted i the 12 pennsylvania Cavelry... Uriah is well and hops that you ar all well to. We havt mutch to we sent our likeness in the other letter. Nomore at present.

Two of George's letters home in 1864, one handwritten by an agent of the U.S. Christian Commission at George's bedsideNational Archives

Tragically, in the late summer of 1864, he became deathly ill with typhoid fever and was admitted to the U.S. Army General Hospital at Frederick, MD. An agent with the U.S. Christian Commission, S.A.K. Francis, appears to have sat at his bedside while George dictated a letter home. The letter, date July 15, 1864, is written in pencil on the Commission's stationery. The letter states:

From the above you see that I am in the Hospital. I took sick last Monday. I have pain in my chest and spells of headache. I am compelled to keep my bed I feel weak and feeble. I am well provided for all my wants. The people in this place take great interest in the wounded + sick. My brother in law is wounded in the right leg. He is also in this hospital. Was woulded last Sunday. There was hard fightign in this neighborhood last week. I was engaged on the other side of the river but escaped without a wound. Please let me hear from you very soon. a letter from is a cheerful thing to a sick soldier when no mother is near to take care for me. Do not trouble yourself about me for I am satisfied in my condition. The next time I expect to be able to write more.

George's last letter home, 15 days before he died, on stationery of the U.S. Christian Commission, as dictated to a Commission agentNational Archives

Records differ, but he may have stayed at Frederick and died on July 30, 1864 or been transferred to a hospital at Sandy Hook, MD, near Harper's Ferry and succumbed to the spectre of death on Sept. 10, 1864. The army chose to accept the July date as correct. His remains were laid to rest in what became the Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg, MD (Sec. 26, Lot E, Grave 527). Back home, a notation of his death also was written in the family Bible. After a decade of grieving, on Dec. 29, 1874, George's father applied for a military pension as compensation for the loss of income he had suffered with the loss of the son. [Father App. No. 218.835] The request was denied on grounds not yet known. Then on Aug. 22, 1879, George's mother filed a similar petition, which in fact was approved. [Mother App. No. 250.161, Cert. No. 213.190]. She would thus have received monthly payments for the remainder of her life from the Bureau of Pensions in Washington, DC. 

Daughter Mary Hartzell (1848-1923) was born on July 12, 1848. She was united in matrimony with Hiram Sanner (Jan. 10, 1840-1904). The couple's known offspring were Rev. Dr. Nolan H. Sanner, James A. Sanner, Sophia Sanner, Annie Sanner, Thomas H. Sanner and Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Sanner. Hiram stood 5 feet, 7 inches tall and by trade was a blacksmith. He joined his future brothers-in-law Uriah Conn and George W. Hartzell in entering the Union Army during the Civil War, all placed in the ranks of the 12th Pennsylvania Infantry. Evidence suggests that at some point he was transferred to the 54th Pennsylvania Infantry. Company G. He is known to have received a wound in the knee during the war. On Jan. 8, 1866, Hiram filed an application to receive a military pension as compensation for his wound. [Invalid App. #99.490 - Cert. #63.953] Hiram passed away on May 19, 1904. His remains were interred in the burying ground of the Jersey Baptist Church at Ursina. Mary then successfully submitted paperwork to receive the pension as his widow. [Widow App. #807.653 - Cert. #617.148] The widowed Mary lived at Ursina in 1916. She passed away in her home near Draketown on July 6, 1923, just a week shy of her 75th birthday. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republican. Overseeing the funeral rites was Rev. Chimp of the Church of God in Kingwood, with the services conducted in the Jersey Church.

  • Grandson Rev. Dr. Nolan H. Sanner (1866-1947) was born on Feb. 19, 1866. He became a Methodist minister and received his doctorate of divinity, passing his examination in September 1895 of the Pittsburgh Methodist Episcopal Conference. Nolan wed Virginia Van Sickel ( ? - ? ). The pair's trio of daughters were MRs. E.M. Buell, Mrs. J.F. Karcher and Mrs. W.L. Worcester. Said the Ligonier Echo, Nolan "filled more than a dozen pastorates during his 53 years in the Methodist ministry... [He] was pastor of the Ligonier Methodist Church from 1902 to 1909... [He] was the pastor of the Mt. Lebanon Methodist Church from 1917 to 1925 and thereafter served as superintendent of the Blairsville District until 1931. In that year he assumed the pastorate of the Mifflin Avenue Church, Wilkinsburg, where he remained until 1935. He retired then to become treasurer of the Methodist Centenary Fund Society which administers all the trust funds of the denomination." Said the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, "During his pastorate at Mt. Lebanon, the new church was erected and in January, 1944, the old building was incorporated into the church structure and was dedicated as a memorial chapel to him by members of the congregation." He retired from the Fund in October 1946. In the 1920s, the Sanners lived in Dormont Borough near Pittsburgh at the address of 1250 Peermont Avenue. Suffering from hardening of the coronary arteries, at the age of 81, he was stricken by cardiac asthma on July 18, 1947 and within 90 minutes was dead. Burial was in Ligonier Valley Cemetery. Said the Echo, "Rev. Sanner had attended a family reunion in his native Somerset County, returning on Thursday and was scheduled to conduct a funeral service Thursday."
  • Grandson James A. Sanner
  • Granddaughter Sophia Sanner ( ? - ? ) wed (?) Bittner.
  • Granddaughter Annie Sanner
  • Grandson  Thomas H. Sanner ( ? - ? ) was living in 1923 at the death of his mother.
  • Grandson Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Sanner ( ? - ? ) was alive at the death of his mother in 1923.

Daughter Rebecca C. Hartzell (1850-1937) was born on Feb. 23, 1850. She married William J. Henry (Sept. 8, 1832-1910), son of John and Elizabeth Henry. Together they bore a family of children, among them Albert Henry, Melchia Henry, Barbara "Ellen" Pritts, William Henry, George Henry and Ada Berg. The Henrys dwelled at Indian Head, Fayette County. William passed away in 1910. Rebecca survived her husband by 27 years, more than a quarter of a century. At the end she stayed at the home of her married daughter Ellen Pritts at Trent, Somerset County. Death swept her away at the age of 87 on Feb. 19, 1937. An obituary appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier, which said that "Excepting for the past few years at Trent, she had spent all of her life at Champion." She was survived by 47 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Interment was in the Tinkey Cemetery at Champion.

Indian Head, Pennsylvania 
  • Grandson Albert Henry was in Rockwood, PA in 1937.
  • Grandson Melchia Henry moved to Ligonier, PA.
  • Granddaughter Barbara "Ellen" Henry married (?) Pritts.
  • Grandson William Henry put down roots in Jones Mills, PA.
  • Grandson George Henry made his home in Champion, PA.
  • Granddaughter Ada Henry married (?) Berg. As of 1937, they were in Indian Head, PA.

Daughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" Hartzell (1852-1947) was born on June 3, 1852. She never married but was the mother of three, all with different men. In about 1871, she gave birth to a son, fathered by Solomon Beachy, whom she named "Samuel Winfield Beachy." Then eight years later, in 1879, she and Lafayette Kimmel together bore a second son, to whom she gave the name "Nolan Harding Kimmel." She and her sons were marked together in the 1880 U.S. Census, with the census-taker marking the boys as "child'n of Elizabeth." Then in March 1885, she and John Metzler produced a daughter, who received the name "Ida May Metzler." Elizabeth lived on a farm near Confluence in 1916-1947. In the final years, a nephew Charles Gearhard/Gerhardt and his wife shared a home with her. After a fall which fractured her hip, she was admitted to Price Hospital in Confluence. Four days later, the grim reaper cut her away at 95 years of age on Dec. 19, 1947. 

  • Grandson Samuel Winfield Beachy (1871-1918) was born on May 6, 1871. He was a lifelong bachelor and labored as a coal miner in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, sustaining a spinal cord injury in about 1908. Stricken with liver cancer, death carried him away at the age of 46 on Jan. 24, 1918. His burial occurred in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.
  • Grandson Nolan Harding Kimmel (1879-1954) was born on April 23, 1879. He worked as a laborer over the years. Burdened with bladder cancer for his last six years, as well as coronary sclerosis and heart asthma, he suffered a heart attack and died in Confluence's Price Hospital on Feb. 25, 1954, at the age of 74. His remains sleep for all time in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Ida May Metzler (1885-1920) was born on March 6, 1885. She was joined in wedlock with Harvey Leslie Conn of the family of Eliah "Eli" and Nancy (King) Conn. They were the parents of Linzy Sylvester Conn who wed Olive "Aliene" Rowan of the family of William Austin and Hattie (Johnson) Rowan. Sadly, about a week before her 35th birthday, while in pregnancy, she contracted influenza and died at the age of 34 on Feb. 10, 1920. The remains were laid to rest in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad yard in Connellsville 

Letter to Barbara from her daughter, 1886
Courtesy Sari Elaine (Younkin) Clark Bloomer
Daughter Barbara "Barbary" Hartzell (1854-1892) was born on July 29, 1854. She grew to young womanhood in Upper Turkeyfoot Township and could neither read nor write, signing her name with an "X" on official documents. She first entered into marriage with Walter Henry (1850-1881). Together, they bore four children -- Nelson Henry, Rebecca Shelkey, Milton Bruce Henry and Mary Ellen Schuster. The family was plunged into grief at the death of son Nelson in infancy (1873). The Henrys made their residence in 1880 in the Paddytown community of Upper Turkeyfoot, with Walter earning income as a farm laborer. Their near neighbors that year were John F. and Diana (McNair) Younkin and his parents Rev. Herman and Susanna (Faidley) Younkin. Furthering the heartbreak, Walter died in June 1881 at the age of just 30 or 31. The cause may be lost to history. He is said to be buried at Scullton Cemetery. Barbara outlived her spouse by 11 years and during this time she suffered another loss, her son Milton at age six in 1883. Still a widow, she made her residence n May 1886 in Dunbar, Fayette County, PA and received a letter from her 12-year-old daughter Rebecca, who was living and working for "Aunt Jane" in Ursina, Somerset County. The daughter wrote: "Grandma said that you should write to her and tell her where you was working and how you liked it." On July 15, 1886, at the age of 33, wed again to her 27-year-old first cousin, widower Wesley Murray (1859-1941), son of Thomas "Alfred" and Elizabeth (Hartzell) Murray of West Virginia. Their marriage record on file at the Fayette County Courthouse shows that they united themselves in marriage in Uniontown. Wesley's first wife had died on June 2, 1884. The second marriage lasted for six-plus years until cleaved apart by death. Barbara passed away at the age of 38 on Nov. 12, 1892, cause unknown. Her death information was written into the family Bible. The widowed Wesley endured for another nearly half-century and was a longtime employee of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. While at the home of his sister-in-law Emma Miller in Connellsville on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1941, he passed into eternity. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said that funeral rites were held in the home of his married stepdaughter, Rebecca Shelkey, and that interment would take place in Zion Cemetery in Masontown, Preston County, WV.

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad yard in Connellsville 
  • Granddaughter Rebecca Henry (1874-1966) was born on June 22, 1874 near Paddytown and Confluence, Somerset County. She was age seven at her father's death in 1881. Because her widowed mother was so poor, Rebecca was "hired out" to work for relatives in return for payment in room, board and a small wage. Letters are preserved today that she at age 12 sent to her mother from her aunt Jane (Hartzell) Firestone's home at Cranberry Glade, Somerset County circa 1886. The letter reads, in part, "Well, I intend to start to Sunday school in a couple of Sundays as quick as we get the sheep sheared. Aunt Jane is going to Kingwood and going to get me a new hat and a new pair of shoes. I like it much better here than I did at Calls. They are very good to me. Aunt Jane is well. She has her garden very near made. She has the cabba [cabbage] ground to make yet and then it is done. Grandma said that you should write to her and tell her where you was working and how you liked it." When she was 21 years of age, on July 10, 1895, Rebecca was united in the rite of holy matrimony with 27-year-old John "Franklin" Shelkey (Sept. 22, 1867-1949), a native of Carrol near Piqua, OH and the son of John and Henrietta (Rowan) Shelkey. Justice of the peace James A. Maxwell presided over the nuptials, conducted in Connellsville. Together, they produced a brood of four children -- Fred D. Shelkey, Henrietta Younkin, Frank Henry Shelkey and David Leroy Shelkey. Franklin was employed over the years as a bridge carpenter by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Their dwelling-place in the 1940s was at 208 Pine Street, South Connellsville. For the last five years of his life, Franklin suffered with hardening of the arteries, chronic kidney disease and uremia, an infection of the urinary tract. Sadly, on Feb. 23, 1949, John died in Connellsville. His remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville. Rebecca endured for another 17-plus years and in about 1963 moved into the home of her married daughter in Wilmington, DE. She died there at the age of 92 on July 8, 1966, with an obituary published in the Wilmington News Journal. The headcount of her survivors was nine grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. The remains were transported back to Connellsville to sleep aside her husband's at Hill Grove.

    Above: John Franklin Shelkey in uniform and with his children. Below, front: Rebecca Henry Shelkey holding C. Robert Younkin, Henrietta Shelkey Younkin, Harry Shelkey (?), David Leroy Shelkey. Back, L-R: John F. Shelkey, Fred Shelkey, John E. "Jack" Younkin Jr. Courtesy Sari Elaine (Younkin) Bloomer

    Henrietta (Shelkey) Younkin
    Courtesy Sari Elaine (Younkin) Clark Bloomer
    Great-grandson Fred D. Shelkey (1896-1955) was born on July 3, 1896 in Connellsville. He does not appear to have married. For many years he worked as a messenger for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and belonged to the Brotherhood of Railroad Clerks union. He belonged to the Central Methodist Church and was an active volunteer with the local troop of the Boy Scouts. His dwelling-place was in South Connellsville in the mid-1950s, at 208 Pine Street. He succumbed to the spectre of death at home in Connellsville on Aug. 28, 1955, at the age of 59. Rev. C.R. Wick led the funeral rites, with burial in Hill Grove Cemetery and an obituary printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

    Great-granddaughter Henrietta "Etta" Shelkey (1898-1975) was born on Aug. 19, 1898 in the Gibson section of Connellsville. On Jan. 10 1918, at the age of 19, she was joined in wedlock with 22-year-old John Eli Younkin (1895-1971), son of Eli and Mary Ellen (Garlitz) Younkin of the family of Devil Jake and Sarah A. "Sally" (Tannehill) Younkin. See the Younkin biography for more.

    Great-grandson Frank Henry Shelkey (1904-1955) was born on Sept. 12, 1904 in South Connellsville. He wed Edna Clark ( ? - ? ). Two children of their union were Ruth Eleanor Stewart and John F. Shelkey. Frank earned a living operating machinery at Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation in South Connellsville and held a membership in the Glass Blowers Union. The Shelkeys made their residence in 1955 on Hyndman Street in town and belonged to the Albright Evangelical United Brethren Church. Sadly, Frank died at home at the age of 50 on May 14, 1955. His obituary was carried in the Connellsville Daily Courier.  

    Great-grandson David Leroy Shelkey (1910-1969) was born on Jan. 12, 1910 in South Connellsville. He was a 1927 graduate of Connellsville High School. David married Evelyn Ruth McGinnis ( ? - ? ). The couple's five children were David Leroy Shelkey Jr., Richard F. Shellkey, Cynthia Carol Diehl, Dawn Renee Shelkey and e. Denise Shelkey. For 42 years, David was employed by Koppers Company Inc., which developed coke oven technology and by-products and was headquartered in Pittsburgh. The Shelkeys relocated to Richmond, VA and were there in 1955. By 1966, they had settled in Cumberland, MD. Their final move in July 1968 was to Connellsville, with him working as plant manager for Koppers' Forest Products Division at Adelaide. The family held a membership in the Central United Methodist Church. Their final address together was 1304 Oak Street. Sadly, at the age of 59, David died at home on June 13, 1969. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary.

  • Grandson Milton Bruce Henry (1877-1883)
  • Granddaughter Mary Ellen Henry (1880-1953) was born on Aug. 14, 1880 in Paddytown, Upper Turkeyfoot Township. She first tied the marital cord with Robert Raymond Curtis (April 9, 1877-1918), son of Frank and Sarah Bradford (Shaw) Curtis, the father an immigrant from Italy originally spelled the family name "Cortese." They slipped away to be married in Cumberland, MD on Dec. 16, 1897. Together, they bore a family of six -- Sarah Smith Brewster, Franklin J. Curtis, Walter A. Curtis, Lenora Verna Hurst Goepfert, Ada Stillwagon, Lillian Juniata Curtis and one other who died in infancy in the early years. Robert earned a living in 1900 as a teamster and also over the years as a house carpenter and contractor. He was arrested in November 1901 after fraudulently signing a promissory note for $300 on the Second National Bank of Connellsville, appearing to have been endorsed by his father Frank, who in turn denied all knowledge. He was convicted in court in the June Term of 1902, on charges of assault and battery, but then eluded authorities over an extended period of time. Then in November 1902 he again ran afoul of the law when challenging Arthur Shaw to fight. Said the Connellsville Courier, "Shaw claims he laughingly told Curtis to get out into the road for a fight. Curtis went and when Shaw drove away on his oil wagon lauching Curtis hurled a Yowlerville boulder at Shaw's head. Curtis was held for court under $300 bail, it being shown that the stone hit the mark for which it was intended." The family may have dwelled in Pittsburgh 1904 as their son was born there that year. Robert was apprehended again in May 1905 when found in a house on Sixth Street by constable William Shrum of New Haven. Shrum "started after him and Curtis gave chase," said the Courier. "Shrum's 250 pounds of avoirdupois went after him, and the chase ended when Curtis stumbled and fell." By 1907 they had moved to New Salem, Redstone Township, Fayette County, with Robert continuing to ply his trade as a carpenter. The family was plunged into mourning when daughter Lillian died at the tender age of only 20 days on Dec. 17, 1912, in or near New Salem, from an infection of whooping cough. The baby's remains were laid to rest in the local "C.P." Cemetery, likely "Cumberland Presbyterian." But something went amiss, and he was arrested for some sort of misconduct. On April 2, 1915, he was admitted to the Allegheny County Workhouse, and assigned to a prison occupation of labor. Six months later, in October 1915, Mary Ellen sued for divorce, stating that he "has been guilty of cruel and barbarous treatment," reported the Uniontown Morning Herald. Her dwelling-place in the 1910s was 229 North Sixth Street in Connellsville. Sadly, Robert at age 41 contracted double pneumonia, influenza and inflammation of the gallbladder ("cholecystitis") and passed away in his parents' home on Nov. 18, 1918. His remains were lowered under the sod of Hill Grove Cemetery in town, and a short obituary published in the Connellsville Weekly Courier. After 17 years as a widow, Mary Ellen wed again in January 1936 to John F. Schuster ( ? - ? ). Their home was in New Castle, Lawrence County, PA, at the address of 724 Chestnut Street. Mary Ellen is known to have attended Grace Bible Church. Sadly, Mary Ellen was stricken with cancer of the left femur and a tumor of the left kidney. At the age of 66, she died in her daughter Sarah's residence on Savannah Road on April 8, 1953. Burial was in the city's Castle View Burial Park. An obituary in the New Castle News said that she was survived by eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her pastor, Rev. George Fissel, led the funeral rites, followed by interment in Castle View Burial Park.

    Great-granddaughter Sarah Ellen Curtis (1900-1985) was born in April 1900 in Connellsville. She was twice-married. Her first spouse circa 1918 was Leroy Smith ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of two. At the age of 48, on May 18, 1948, she tied the knot with 54-year-old Edward John Brewster (1894- ? ), son of William and Sopia (Griffith) Brewster. The wedding took place in Jefferson County, OH. In 1953, she lived along Savannah Road in New Castle, PA.

    Great-grandson Franklin James Curtis (1903-1977) was born in about 1903. He put down roots in St. Clairsville, OH. 

    Great-grandson Walter Adrian "Buck" Curtis (1904-1980) was born in about 1904 in Pittsburgh. As a young man, he lived at 504 West Murphy Street in Connellsville and worked as a drayman. On Nov. 6, 1923, in Chautauqua, NY, he was united in matrimony with Aletta Peters ( ? - ? ), of Connellsville, the daughter of George H. and Lena (Flick) Peters. They told court officials that their future address would be at 622 West Front Street in Oil City, PA. Rev. L.H. McIntyre of Mayville, NY officiated their wedding ceremony. Walter is known to have resided in Cleveland, OH in 1953. 

    Great-granddaughter Lenora Verna Curtis (1907-1980) -- sometimes spelled "Vernal" -- was born on Dec. 13, 1907 in New Salem, Redstone Township, Fayette County. Dr. Duff assisted in the birth. She was baptized at the age of 15, on April 1, 1923, by the hand of Rev. John H. Lambertson. Lenora first tied the knot with (?) Hurst ( ? - ? ). She migrated to Flint, MI, with an address in 1945 of 2807 Mallory. Then at the age of 38, on March 23, 1946, she wed 44-year-old Ralph W. Goepfert ( ? - ? ), also misspelled "Geotfert." Rev. Orville H. Hood officiated. Ralph originally was from Bay Mich, MI, the son of John and Leila (Stevenson) Goepfert. At the time, Ralph worked as a press operator, and his address was 1207 Detroit Street, Flint. She remained in Flint as of 1953.

    Great-granddaughter Ada Rebecca Curtis (1909-1999) was born in 1909. She entered into marriage with (?) Stillwagon and relocated to Pittsburgh.

Son Henry Hartzel (1856-1931) was borm on May 11, 1856. At the age of 14, he was a day laborer, plying his work in Upper Turkeyfoot Township. He may be the same Henry Hartzell who, on May 30, 1884, in the home of his brother-in-law Hiram Sanner in Draketown, was joined in marriage with Sabina C. Hall of Fayette County. He put down roots in Confluence and was a longtime farmer. He was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 75 on Sept. 20 or 29, 1931. Interment of the remains was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.

Son Levi Hartzel (1858-1862) was born on Jan. 11, 1858. He only lived to be about age four. Sadness blanketed the family when he passed away on Sept. 21, 1862.

Daughter Sarah Hartzel (1860-1861) was born on May 5, 1860. When she was two months of age, her name appeared in the 1860 United States Census, in her parents' household in Upper Turkeyfoot Township. Grief cascaded over the family when she died in March 1861, not even a year in age. Her death was noted in writing in the family Bible.

Son Norman Hartzel (1862-1949) was born on July 1, 1862. He appears to have suffered with birth defects and spent his life deaf and unable to speak. His home circa 1916-1937 was at Confluence. He passed into the arms of the angels at age 86 on May 26, 1949.

Jennie Firestone Burkholder 
Daughter Jane "Jennie" Hartzell (1864-1951)  was born on March 13, 1864. A notation of her birth was inscribed in the family Bible. She first wed Jacob "Ross" Firestone (1853-1892), son of George and Catherine "Katie" (Younkin) Firestone. Husband and wife were 16 years apart in age. Their three children were George Russell Firestone, Samuel Melchi Firestone and Mary Firestone. Sadly, Ross passed away at the age of 44 on April 6, 1897. Jennie grieved for a little over a year-and-a-half before marrying again and during that period resided in Washington County, PA. On Feb. 6, 1898, the widowed Jennie at age 33 was joined in wedlock with her brother-in-law James Wesley Burkholder. The ceremony took place at Draketown, Somerset County. R. Vanaman, a justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. The Burkholders resided near Nicolay, on the Somerset side of the Fayette/Somerset County border. They produced five more offspring, three of whom married into the Minerd/Younkin clan: Ida Alphretta Younkin, Daniel McKinley Burkholder, Rebecca Jane Minerd, Leroy "Roosevelt" Burkholder and Ralph Tannehill Burkholder. See the Burkholder biographies for more on this complex family.

Daughter Emaline "Emma" Hartzell (1866-1953) was born on July 22, 1866. Her name and birthdate were hand lettered into the family Bible. She was joined in the rites of marriage with (?) Miller. As of 1916, she was in Dunbar, PA and in 1937, she dwelled in South Connellsville.

Daughter Susanna Hartzel (1868- ? ) was born on June 8, 1868. Her name and birthdate were hand lettered into the family Bible.

Son Thomas William Hartzell (1871-1949) was born on Jan. 6, 1871. His name and date of birth were hand lettered into the family Bible. On March 12, 1893, at the age of 22, he entered into marriage with 33-year-old Mary Ellen (Gates) Firestone (1860-1889), widow of Norman Firestone of the family of George and Catherine "Katie" (Younkin) Firestone. The groom was 11 years younger than the bride. Performing the nuptials at the residence of Edward Lingenfield was justice of the peace Z.L. Tannehill. See the Firestone biography for more.

Daughter Arminda "Minnie" Hartzell (1874-1942) was born on the second day of the new year in 1874. Her name and birthdate were inscribed in the family Bible. As with her sister Elizabeth, she never married, and as with her brother Norman, could not hear or speak. In April 1898, she gave birth to a son, fathered by Nelson Gerhart, whom she named "Charles Gerhart," also spelled Gearhart and Gerhardt. Minnie made her longtime home with her widowed mother and single sublings at Confluence. She succumbed to the spectre of death at age 68 on Nov. 9, 1942.

  • Grandson Charles Gerhart (1898-1966) was born on April 5, 1898. He grew up with his mother, unmarried aunts and uncles, and widowed grandmother in the Confluence area. He made a living as a farmer and was married. His final years were spent as a widower. At the age of 68, suffering from cancer of the bladder, he died in West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown on Dec. 18, 1966. The remains were lowered under the sod of the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.



Copyright © 2020, 2023 Mark A. Miner

Barbara (Younkin) Jump Park, Michael Patrick Connelly, Glenda (Tressler) Smith, H.H. DeLong (ca. 1938), Dale Burkholder, the Somerset County GenWeb, the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County [PA], Inc. and the website DJSmith.com all have researched this family with their findings incorporated into this biography.