Arona Belle (Hoye) Cole, sometimes referred to as "Ina" or "Lona," was born on Feb. 11, 1875 in Oakland, Garrett County, MD, the daughter of John J.P. and Louisa (Minerd) Hoye Sr.
Little of her life is known. When Arona was about five years old, she moved with her parents and younger sister to the booming industrial town of Dunbar, Fayette County, PA.
At some point Arona married (?) Cole. The Minerd, Hoye and Cole families were close, and Arona's aunt Mary Minerd was married to Jacob Cole and to a cousin, Isaac F. Minerd.
For a time Arona lived in Dunbar.
Later, she relocated to Pittsburgh. In 1920, when the federal census was taken, Arona was employed at age 44 as a servant in the private home. Her employers were finance counselor William H. Walker and his wife Valerie, who lived on Stratford Avenue in Pittsburgh's 8th Ward.
In the winter of 1920, at the age of 45, Arona became deathly ill with bronchial pneumonia and influenza. She went to Pittsburgh where she was treated at Passavant Hospital in the city's Third Ward. She died in the hospital on Feb. 11, 1920. Her brother John J.P. Hoye Jr., visiting from the state of Washington, traveled to Pittsburgh to take charge of her remains. The body was transported back to Dunbar for the funeral, held at the home of her sister Anna Bunting. Officiating was a distant cousin, Rev. David Ewing Minerd. Brief obituaries were printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier, calling her "Lona Belle Cole," and her brother John was the informant on her death certificate.
In 1942, Arona was remembered in the newly published book, The Hoyes of Maryland, authored by Capt. Charles E. Hoye, a distant cousin.
Copyright © 2005, 2014 Mark A. Miner