What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us



Mary Todd (Jennings) Shipley


Addison Cemetery

Mary Todd (Jennings) Shipley was born on Dec. 20, 1862, near Ursina, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of John R. and Martha (Knight) Jennings Sr  

She appears to have been named after the nation's First Lady at the time, Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln.

In about 1880, when she was age 18, Mary married 29-year-old Charles "Walter" Shipley (May 10, 1851-1927), the son of Levi and Catherine (Linderman) Shipley of Maple Summit. He was 11 years older than his bride.

Some six years earlier, when Walter was age 23 and unmarried, he and his future bride's cousin Martha Emma "Matt" Minerd produced a child together. The baby was named Laura Jane "Jennie" Minerd. Martha sued Walter for support, and the girl was primarily raised by Martha's parents. Laura Jane grew up to become a historian of the Minerd family.

The Shipleys had 10 children of their own -- Ellen Shipley, Lucretia "Ruth" Dawson, Alverda Maude Yeagley, Charles Alvin Shipley, Albert Clarence Shipley, Norman Floyd Shipley, Robert Clement Shipley, Edna Odelia Shipley, Harrison Raymond "Harry" Shipley and Otto Lee Shipley. Sadly, their eldest child Ellen died at the tender age of six weeks in 1878, and one other child passed away during the parents' lifetime.

Walter worked as a farmer and also as a blacksmith for the H.C. Frick Coke Co. They lived at a town that today no longer exists -- Victoria, Fayette County, PA. Situated on a flatland along the Youghiogheny River, Victoria is now part of Ohiopyle State Park, which has been preserved for the public to enjoy. 


Western Maryland Railroad depot, Ohiopyle



Addison Cemetery

In the year 1900 the family lived in the borough of Ohiopyle, Fayette County. Also in their household lived Mary's brother, John, who at age 27 was widowed. 

Walter and Mary separated sometime before 1910. At the time, he was a foreman on a railroad "work train." He went to Newell, Fayette County, to live with his brother in law, Robert E. Lee Jennings

By 1910, when the federal census was taken, the Shipleys apparently had reconciled, and were living together in or near Victoria, where Walter was a farmer. That year, their children Clarence, Odelia, Harry and Otto were residing in the household, along with seven year old granddaughter Charlotta Shipley. The census indicates that they owned their own farm.  They were members of the Christian Church.

When the federal census again was enumerated in 1920, Walter and Mary were living together near Ohiopyle. In their dwelling that year were 22-year-old son Harry and 17-year-old granddaughter Charlotte. The record shows that Walter and Harry were farmers. Living nearby were the families of Andrew Shipley, Jefferson Shipley, Leroy Shipley and Lewis Shipley, but their connection to Walter is not yet known.

The Meyersdale (PA) Republican once observed that Walter "was a fine type of Pennsylvania farmer, industrious and honest in all his dealings, with his fellowmen; a devoted husband and father, and reared a fine family."


Connellsville Daily Courier

Walter died at home in Stewart Township of acute heart failure, with influenza contributing to his decline, at the age of 75 on April 15, 1927. An obituary in the Republican noted that he had been "in comparatively good health for a man of his age" but had been "suddenly stricken on Friday morning." Funeral services were held in the home of his married daughter Alverda Yeaghley in Confluence, with Rev. H.M. Jeffries officiating. Accompanied by Olive Reynolds, Mrs. J.H. Colflesh and Mrs. Charles K. Beggs sang "several beautiful selections." Pallbearers included Charles Shipley, Otto Shipley, Harry Shipley, Lee Dawson, Charles Dawson and John Rayman Jennings. He is buried in the Addison Cemetery in Somerset County. 

In the 1930s, laborers with the Works Progress Administration recorded all the burials at Addison Cemetery, and prepared a long typed list of the names and dates. Today, this list is available online on the Somerset County GenWeb Archives, with the page containing the reference to Walter found on page 3. Distant cousins of Mary's, Joseph and Nancy (Stuck) Minard, also rest in this ancient burying ground dating to before the Civil War. 

Mary outlived Walter by almost two decades. When she was 77, her children held a reunion in her honor at Victoria, in mid-July 1939. The Connellsville Daily Courier ran a lengthy article reporting the details:

The event was attended by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, representing four generations. Children present were as follows: Charles Shipley and family of McKeesport, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Shipley and family of Newell, Mrs. Alverda Yeagley and son, Wendell, Odelia Shipley and Robert Shipley, all of Confluence, Harry Shipley and daughter, Alma Jean, at home. Grandchildren were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jewart and sons of Glassport, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Little of Johnstown, Miss Bettie Shipley of Barnesville, Ohio. Visitors included Mr. and Mrs. William Herwick of Stewarton, Mrs. Curtis Rugg, George Rugg, and daughter, Hilda, and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hall of Mill Run, and Lester Shipley of Bidwell. The youngest person present was Phyllis Shipley, 18 months. A dinner was served by Mrs. Alverda Yeagley. Her aides were Miss Odelia Shipley, Mrs. Thomas Jewart and Mrs. Jacob Little. The day was spent in swimming, biking and playing games. Music was by Harry Shipley and Robert Shipley of Bidwell. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hall and Hilda Rugg of Mill Run sang.

At the age of 82, having endured problems with her heart valves and kidneys, Mary passed away on March 23, 1945, at her home in Bidwell. She was laid to rest beside her husband at Addison. The Connellsville Daily Courier ran a brief obituary, saying she was survived by 23 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. 

Eventually occupying the grave plot would be sons Harry, Floyd and Clarence Shipley and daughter Odelia Shipley. We are grateful to volunteers with the Old Petersburg/Addison Historical Society for sharing the Shipley burial information. 


The Shipleys' plot of graves at Addison Cemetery


~ Daughter Lucretia Ruth (Shipley) Dawson ~

Daughter Lucretia Ruth Shipley (1882-1929) was born on Jan. 20, 1882 near Percy, Uniontown, Fayette County. 

She married Milton S. Dawson ( ? -1965). In about 1903, they relocated to Glassport, Allegheny County, at an address of 715 Vermont Street, where they remained for 24 years.

Did this couple have sons Lee Dawson and Charles Dawson of Glassport who were pallbearers at their grandfather's funeral in 1927?

In her 40s, Lucretia suffered from chronic heart lesions. Just 14 days shy of her 47th birthday, on Jan. 6, 1929, she succumbed to bronchial pneumonia with cardiac asthma in Glassport. She was placed into eternal rest in Mt. Vernon Cemetery in McKeesport.

Milton survived his wife by more than 35 years. He passed away in 1965 and also is interred in Mt. Vernon Cemetery.


~ Daughter Alverda Maude (Shipley) Yeagley ~

Daughter Alverda Maude Shipley (1884-1961) was born on Jan. 13, 1884 in Fayette County, possibly Uniontown.

In about 1904, when she was 20 years of age, she was wedded to 22-year-old Charles Ellsworth Yeagley (March 4, 1878-1932), son of Fred Yeagley of Confluence. A native of Confluence, Charles relocated to Patton, PA with his parents and joined the Presbyterian Church. Parents and son remained for a few years before returning to their original home town.

The Yeagleys produced one son, Wendell Edmund Yeagley.


Bird's eye view of Confluence


Alverda and Charles resided in Confluence. Charles was considered "one of the leading businessmen of the Turkeyfoot region," said the Meyersdale Republican:

After the family returned to Confluence, Mr. Yeagley remained here for a short time, and then went to Connellsville, where he entered the restaurant and confectionary business, remaining there for several years, when he again returned to Confluence. About thirty years ago he opened a restaurant and poolroom in Confluence, which he had successfully operated since. Some years after opening the restaurant, he opened the Yeagley Bottling Works and Ice Cream Factory, and for a number of years was very successful in the operation of this plant. In 1915 he opened a coal mine in Fayette County, operating it very successfully for several years. In 1916 he erected a large building, housing the Liberty Theater and had since that time been owner and operator of this theater. About ten years ago, he had a large plot of ground in the southern part of town surveyed, and opened up the Yeagley Addition, and was instrumental in having a number of new homes built in that section.... Mr. Yeagley was one of the most progressive business men in the community, and his loss has created a void that will be very hard to fill. He was of a charitable disposition, and it will never be known how many of his townspeople he furnished aid in times of sickness, suffering and distress. He was a kind and loving husband and a good father, and will be missed by a host of friends and acquaintances in all walks of life. He was for many years a member of Pleasant Valley Lodge, No. 72, Knights of Pythias, and also for a number of years a member of the Confluence tent, Knights of the Maccabees.

Charles' health declined in the last five years of his life. He was paralyzed by a stroke the day after Christmas 1931 and was confined to bed until death two months later, on Feb. 25, 1932. An obituary in the Republican noted that his survivors included sisters Laura Clouse and Ella Yeagley and brothers Oscar Yeagley and Hagan Yeagley. Burial was in Addison Cemetery, with Rev. Morgan officiating. His pallbearers included Dr. H. P. Meyers. George A. Frantz, J. Lewis Ream, Robert J. Frantz, Harvey B. Tissue and Earle T. Hall.

Alverda lived for a widow for nearly 30 more years on earth. Suffering from chronic brain syndrone and fever, she was admitted to Somerset State Hospital. She passed away there at the age of 77 on Jan. 25, 1961, and was laid to rest in the Addison Cemetery.

Son Wendell Edmund Yeagley (1906-1995) was born on Valentine's Day 1906 in Confluence. As a young man he attended the Kiski Prep School and University of Pittsburgh. He was united in marriage with Elizabeth E. Black (Feb. 21, 1913-2003), daughter of Charles "Bert" and Daisy (James) Black. She had attended Bethany College and Drexel University. They produced an only son, Charles E. Yeagley. Wendell served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Later, he took over the operation of his late father's Liberty Theater of Confluence. The Yeagleys were longtime members of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Confluence. On March 13, 1995, while a patient at Somerset Community Hospital, Wendell passed into eternity at the age of 89. Interment was in Addison Cemetery, with Rev. John Palko leading the funeral service, and an obituary printed in the Somerset Daily American. Elizabeth survived her husband by eight years. She moved to Florida to be near her son and family. She died in Brandon, FL on July 9, 2003, at the age of 90.

  • Grandson Charles E. Yeagley (1946-2006) was born in about 1946 in Confluence. He was wedded to Linda Vogel. They had two children, Jason David Yeagley and Elizabeth Ann Matheny. The family settled in Brandon, FL and were there circa 1995. Said the Somerset Daily American, Charles "enjoyed photography and painting." Sadness enveloped the family at the untimely death of their son Jason. Charles died in Brandon on March 31, 2006 at the age of 60.

Charles A. Shipley. Courtesy Janelle Ford

~ Son Charles Alvin Shipley ~

Son Charles Alvin Shipley (1886-1971) was born on March 29, 1886 in Mt. Braddock, Fayette County. He was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and brown hair.

At the age of 24, in 1910, Charles is believed to have boarded in the McKeesport residence of Bennett and Malinda Mahan and to have earned a living as a streetcar conductor.

He is said to have been married five times. His first bride was Corinne B. McCaw (1894- ? ), daughter of Irish immigrants Andrew and Rhoda (Janeway) McCaw of County Antrim. Their known children were Charles Walker Shipley and James Robert Shipley and possibly also Virginia Mounts.


Charles Shipley, Wiley Avenue,
McKeesport, 1928 -
Courtesy Janelle Ford

When Charles furnished personal information to the federal government in 1918, while registering for the World War I military draft, he and Corinne made their home at 420 Marshall Street in McKeesport, near Pittsburgh. His employment at that time was as a shearman's helper at the Woods Mill of American Sheet and Tin Plate Company, part of United States Steel Corporation, in McKeesport. He continued that occupation for several years, and in 1920 his younger brother and sister in law Otto "Lee" and Edna Shipley lived under their roof for a time before relocating to Beaver Falls, PA.

The marriage fell apart in the 1918-1919 timeframe, and Corinne moved with the children back into her parents' home in McKeesport as shown in the 1920 census.By 1935, she had relocated to San Gabriel, Los Angeles County, CA, and her sons eventually joined her there. Census records for 1940 show her as widowed with the married name "Trow" and earning a living working with a bird seed business. She also took in several lodgers in 1940. Corinne later wedded entertainer Edwin "Ed" Ford (1888-1957) and in 1950 resided in Alhambra, CA. Circa November 1973 she was still living in California and named in the Pittsburgh Press obituary of a brother.

West Virginia records show that on Dec. 16, 1921, while living in McKeesport, the 36-year-old Charles eloped to Wellsburg, Brooke County, WV to marry 21-year-old Elizabeth Ludwig (1900- ? ). Rev. Allen T. Shaw led the nuptials. While a native of Outcrop, PA, she also was a resident of McKeesport at the time.

Then on Sept. 6, 1927, at age 41, Charles wedded his third bride, 28-year-old Genevieve Hummie (1899- ? ). The ceremony also was held in Wellsburg, WV, with Rev. H.L. Wiggins of the Christian Church officiating. Born in Clarksburg, Harrison County, WV, Genevieve lived in McKeesport at the time of their union. Their marriage dissolved within a year or two.

Another of Charles' spouses -- by 1930 -- was Edith Elizabeth (Brady) Ritenour (1901- ? ). Edith was divorced from truck driver Harry Ritenour ( ? - ? ) and brought three children to the marriage -- Harry Ritenour Jr., Dorothy Naomi Ritenour and William E. Ritenour. The couple went on to have several more children of their own, among them Alvin Jennings Shipley, Donald Maurice Shipley, Chloe Ann Rzepniak, Daniel Wayne Shipley and Janet Arlene Shank.

Circa 1935-1940, the United States Census shows the combined family living under one roof along Herbert Street in North Versailles, Allegheny County, and Charles still working as a steel mill shearman.

Charles died in February 1971 and was buried in Restland Memorial Park in Monroeville, in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh.

Edith outlived him by two decades. She made her home in McKeesport and passed away in November 1991.


Charles Alvin Shipley's workplace, the American Sheet and Tin in McKeesport, said to be the largest independent tin mill in the nation


Son Charles Walter Shipley (1913-1972?) was born on or about Jan. 1, 1913 in McKeesport. He relocated to Southern California with his mother and in 1940 worked as an apprentice machinist with a refinery equipment company in San Gabriel, Los Angeles County. He reputedly was united in marriage with Olga Kira (May 17, 1910-1999). Their two known sons were Charles Walter Shipley Jr. and Paul Shipley. Circa 1957, when his stepfather Edwin Ford died, Charles was named in the Los Angeles Times obituary and was residing in Rosemead, CA. Research is underway to determine if he is the same "Charles W. Shipley" -- a native of Pennsylvania -- who died on Sept. 16, 1972 at the age of 59 with burial in Paradise Cemetery in Butte County, CA. Olga outlived her spouse by more than a quarter of a century and may have married a second time to (?) Lawson ( ? - ? ). She succumbed at the age of 89 on July 6, 1999.

  • Grandson Charles Walter Shipley Jr. (1947-1999) was born on July 8, 1947 in Alhambra, CA. He produced a daughter, Samantha Shipley. After high school graduation, during the Vietnam War, Charles joined the U.S. Navy and served from 1965 to 1969. Later, he received an A.A. degree in science from Butte College, and also attended received additional education at Chico State University. The Chico (CA) Enterprise-Record once said that he was employed for more than two decades with the Chico Unified School District and that he "enjoyed listening to music on his custom-built stereo system." Charles resided in Durham, CA toward the end of his life. He passed away at the age of 52 in Durham on Sept. 20, 1999.
  • Grandson Paul Shipley dwelled in Rosemead, CA in 1999.

Son James Robert Shipley (1917-1989) was born on May 22, 1917 in McKeesport. He moved with his mother and older brother to Southern California. At the age of 23, in 1940, living in San Gabriel, Los Angeles County, he was employed with an aircraft company as an upholsterer. James is believed to have wedded Ruth Eleanor Warren (Oct. 16, 1919-1983), daughter of Marvin Haley and Jessie Mae (Sherrife) Warren of Raymond, Potter County, PA. Their home in 1957 was in Arcadia, CA. Ruth died at the age of 63 on April 15, 1983. James survived her by nearly six years. He passed away in Butte County, CA on Feb. 11, 1989. They rest for eternity in Paradise Cemetery in Paradise, Butte County, CA.

Son Alvin Jennings Shipley (1930-2007) was born on Feb. 3, 1930 in McKeesport. He served as a corporal with the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was a longtime steelworker with the Homestead Works of United States Steel. He married Marlyn J. Dias ( ? - ? ). They produced these children -- Michael Don Shipley, Alvin C. Shipley, Raymond L. Shipley, Randy W. Shipley, Robert L. Shipley and Anita Sedlock. They resided in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, PA and were members of Park Baptist Church, and Alvin belonged to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. At the age of 77, Alvin died in UPMC Shadyside Hospital on May 11, 2007. Rev. David Painter led the funeral service, followed by burial in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park. An obituary was published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, stating that his survivors included 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Michael Don Shipley (1958-1985) was born on Sept. 13, 1958. He served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army and was engaged in an international peace-keeping mission in Saudi Arabia in 1985. Tragically, on Dec. 12, 1985, while aboard a chartered Arrow Air flight over Gander, Newfoundland, heading from Saudi Arabia to Fort Campbell, KY, the craft exploded and he was killed. There were no survivors from among the 248 U.S. servicemen on the flight. His remains are at rest in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County. Over the years, his mother lobbied the federal government to have him declared as "killed in action." In May 2014, he name was printed on a banner placed along a prominent street in North Huntingdon, and his mother quoted in a related story in the Greensburg Tribune-Review.
  • Grandson Alvin C. Shipley married Terrynn and lived in Lincoln Place, PA.
  • Grandson Raymond L. Shipley made his residence in Greensburg, Westmoreland County.
  • Grandson Randy W. Shipley was wedded to Chris, and they dwell in Saltsburg, PA.
  • Grandson Robert L. Shipley has resided in North Huntington Township.
  • Granddaughter Anita Shipley married Kent Sedlock. They live in North Huntingdon.

Son Donald Maurice Shipley (1931-1999) was born on June 29, 1931. He was united in wedlock with Donna ( ? - ? ). Their offspring were Linda Grissom Maneer, Thomas Shipley, Lorraine Shipley and John Shipley. He lived for years in McKeesport and passed into eternity on Jan. 14, 1999, with burial in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County. Inscribed on his bronze memorial tablet at his grave are the words "Alice in Christ." After Donald's death, Donna kept company with William Wehner.

  • Granddaughter Linda Shipley (1960-2016) was born on March 12, 1960 in McKeesport. She appears to have been married twice, first to (?) Grissom. Their children were Amy McCarthy, Raelyn Meisenbach, Charles Grissom, Samuel Grissom and an unborn baby. Later, she wedded Donald Maneer. In 2016, her home was in White Oak. Reported a newspaper, Linda " attended the First Evangelical Free Church in McKeesport for 50 years, and was active in Sage's Army in helping to raise awareness of drug addiction. Linda was also active in the Veteran's Wounded Warrior Project as a caregiver. She was a nursing assistant at Bayada Nursing, where she cared for elderly and disabled individuals in their homes." She also enjoyed horses. While reading her Bible at home on Sept. 4, 2016, she suddenly passed away. Funeral services were held at First Evangelical Free Church, with interment in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park.
  • Grandson Thomas Shipley (1961?-2008?) is believed to have been born on June 30, 1961. If so, he died at the age of 47 on Oct. 18, 2008. Interment was in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park, with these words inscribed on his bronze grave marker: "Until we meet again."
  • Granddaughter Lorraine Shipley was a companion of Gary Pearsol in 2016.
  • Grandson John Shipley married Allison.

Daughter Chloe Ann Shipley (1932- ? ) was born in about 1932. She married Walter J. "Popeye" Rzepniak ( ? -2008), son of Jan "John" and Blanche (Lopachinski) Rzepniak. He had been married once before, in 1945, to Margaret Caringola ( ? - ? ), with the marriage ending in divorce circa 1957. The couple were the parents of nine children -- Linda Evanko, Charles Hughes, Rhonda Alcott, Thomas Hughes, Daniel Hughes, Darlene Bruce, Sharon Ferencz, Walter Rzepniak and Leigh Ann Taylor. They lived for many years in North Versailles, where Walter was a self-employed carpenter. Walter died at the age of 86 on Aug. 8, 2008. Burial was in Penn-Lincoln Memorial Park. He was survived by 18 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, as noted in an obituary in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

  • Granddaughter Linda married (?) Evanko.
  • Grandson Charles Hughes wedded Betty.
  • Granddaughter Rhonda was joined in matrimony with Robert "Bob" Alcott.
  • Grandson Thomas Hughes.
  • Grandson Daniel Hughes was united in wedlock with Margaret.
  • Granddaughter Darlene married William "Bill" Bruce.
  • Granddaughter Sharon was wed to Thomas "Tom" Ferencz.
  • Grandson Walter Rzepniak was joined in wedlock with Andrea Deschamps, daughter of Roger M. and Helen (Farnsworth) Deschamps of Plum Borough. He is believed to have been pictured in a November 2001 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, painting a 25-foot-tall snowman which was to be mounted on top of a McDonald's restaurant at Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street in Pittsburgh as part of the city's Light-Up Night.
  • Granddaughter Leigh Ann was united in holy matrimony with Troy Taylor.

Son Daniel Wayne Shipley (1937- ? ) was born in about 1937. He married Nancy and at some point they divorced. He made his residence in White Oak near McKeesport in 2007.

Daughter Janet Arlene Shipley (1940-2011) was born on Jan. 28, 1940. In 1960, at about the age of 20, she married James A. Shank ( ? - ? ). He had been married previously to Marlene Terry ( ? - ? ) and brought these offspring to the second union -- Patricia Jones, Leslie Diane Orr and Louise Wolf. The Shankses resided in North Versailles and East McKeesport, Allegheny County and produced three more children of their own -- James T. Shank, Janelle Ford and Jason Shank. Janet was a teacheres aide at Praise Assembly of North Versailles, working in the child care program. She also held a Monday Bible study in her residence. At the age of 71, Janet died at home on March 2, 2011. An obituary was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which noted that she was survived by 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

  • Step-granddaughter Patricia Shank was twice married. Her second spouse was Martin Jones.
  • Step-granddaughter Leslie Diane Shank was wedded to Samuel Orr.
  • Step-granddaughter Louise Shank wedded Terry Wolf. She was deceased by March 2011.
  • Grandson James T. Shank was united in marriage with Lauren.
  • Granddaughter Janelle Shank was joined in wedlock with John Ford.
  • Grandson Jason Shank

Stepson Harry Ritenour Jr. (1920-1994) was born on July 21, 1920 in East McKeesport. In 1945, he was a soldier with the U.S. Army, making his home at 1120 Walnut Street in McKeesport. At the age of 24, in early 1945, he is believed to have been joined in matrimony with 18-year-old Evelyn Duyava (1926- ? ), daughter of John and Mariea (Laboruk) Duyava of McKeesport. They remained in McKeesport for decades. Harry died on Sept. 2, 1994.

Stepdaughter Dorothy Naomi Ritenour (1923-1998) was born on June 20, 1923 in East McKeesport. She was wedded to John Edward Ballou (1919- ? ), a native of Brooklyn, NY and a mill worker living in Wilmerding, PA. He was the son of mill worker Edward and Elizabeth (Reed) Ballou of Wilmerding. They made their home in North Versailles, PA. She died on July 26, 1998.

Stepson William E. Ritenour (1927-2004) was born on Aug. 5, 1927 in East McKeesport. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army. On Sept. 25, 1954, the 27-year-old William was united in wedlock with Elizabeth Ashcroft ( ? - ? ). The marriage lasted for 50 years until the separation of death. The Ritenours produced three daughters -- Karen Slobodian, Kim Ritenour and Kathy Shaffer. They dwelled in North Versailles, where William spent his working career as a test technician with Westinghouse Air Brake. The family were members of St. Stephen Episcopal Church in McKeesport, and William belonged to the McKeesport Amvets Post 8 and White Oak American Legion Post 701. He also earned income over the years as a deliveryman for Hershberg's Furniture and Reuben's Furniture. As his health failed, William was admitted to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he succumbed at the age of 77 on Nov. 4, 2004. Rev. Dr. Jay Geisler led the funeral service followed by interment in Jefferson Memorial Park. An obituary was published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review which noted that his survivors included six grandchildren.

  • Step-granddaughter Karen Ritenour married Walter Slobodian. Their home in 2004 was in White Oak.
  • Step-granddaughter Kim Ritenour wedded Barry and lives in Jennerstown.
  • Step-granddaughter Kathy Ritenour was joined in matrimony with Mark Shaffer. They have resided in Bear, DE.


~ Son Albert "Clarence" Shipley ~



Graves of Clarence and Melissa (Fortney) Shipley at Addison, PA, separated in death by 50 years, but now together forever


Son Albert "Clarence" (or "A.C.") Shipley (1888-1985) was born on May 13, 1888. As a young man, he was a farmer and resided at Victoria, a community near Ohio Pyle, Fayette County.

On Nov. 2, 1912, when he was age 24, Albert married 22-year-old Melissa C. Fortney (Aug. 15, 1890-1935), daughter of William and Catherine (Reed) Fortney of Somerfield, Somerset County. The nuptials took place in Glassport near McKeesport, by the hand of Rev. C.W. Fowkes.

The Shipleys lived in 1920 in Williamsport, Washington County, MD, in a house on Conococheague Street, where Albert held a job as a railroad track foreman. They later accepted a transfer to Newell, Fayette County, where he labored circa 1930 as a railroad tie tamper.

They had four children -- Mary Catherine Little, Albert Harrison Shipley, Alverta Krivacek Duncan and Phyllis Goldstein. 

Suffering from heart disease and fibroids of the uterus, which caused the uteus to slip out of its normal position, Melissa was admitted into McKeesport Hospital. There, she passed away at the age of 45 on Feb. 22, 1935. 

Clarence outlived his first wife by a half-century. He later married Mary Howell ( ? - ? ) and continued to be employed for many years by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad at Newell. Clarence died at the age of 97 on Feb. 26, 1985, and was laid to rest at Addison.

Daughter Mary Catherine Shipley (1914-1967) was born in about 1914 in Pennsylvania. She married (?) Little. She died in 1967.

Son Albert Harrison Shipley (1915-1990) was born on or about Feb. 3, 1915 in Maryland, most likely in Williamsport, Washington County. In January 1939, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and in February 1958, he served as a chief electrician on the U.S.S. Antietam, an anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier ported in Mayport, FL. He is believed to have died on Dec. 5, 1990.

Daughter Alverta Shipley (1920-2013) was born on May 29, 1920 in Williamsport, Washington County, MD. She was united in wedlock with Michael Edward Krivacek (1914-1982). They resided in Newell, Fayette County and produced one son, Michael Bradley Krivacek. Alverta obtained education from Johnstown Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and was employed as a registered nurse for 66 years, from 1944 to 2010. She provided services for Dr. Dant, the Miner’s Clinic at Centerville and Charleroi Hospital in Monongahela. Michael passed away in 1982, with burial in LaFayette Memorial Park in Brier Hill, Fayette County. Alverta married again to James A. Duncan Sr. ( ? - ? ). She became widowed a second time and retained her residence in Newell. She died at home at the age of 92 on April 18, 2013. Her remains were brought to Somerset County to rest in Addison Cemetery, with Rev. Jason Lamer officiating at the funeral service.

Daughter Phyllis Shipley ( ? - ? ) married (?) Goldstein. She is believed to have served as treasurer of Shipley Enterprises, Inc., a tree farm of Lake Worth, FL, established in 1999.


Addison Cemetery

~ Son Norman "Floyd" Shipley ~

Son Norman "Floyd" Shipley (1890-1964) was born on Oct. 8, 1890, at Victoria, Fayette County, PA. He was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and dark hair. 

Floyd obtained employment with the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, and moved to Pittsburgh in the 1910s, where he held the position of railroad foreman. In 1918, when he filled out a World War I military draft registration card, he made his home at 3022 Carson Street on Pittsburgh's South Side. He was not married at the time.

He eventually married Catherine Wenzel (May 21, 1876-1957), daughter of Henry Wenzel of Pittsburgh. The groom was 14 years younger than the bride. They did not reproduce.

Floyd eventually relocated to Beaver Falls, Beaver County, PA where he earned a living as a railroad watchman. They maintained a home at 4002 Fourth Avenue. Upon retirement, the couple remained in Beaver Falls.

Catherine suffered from congestive heart failure and passed away at home at age 81 on Oct. 14, 1957. Burial was in Beaver Falls Cemetery.

Having been burdened with hardening of the arteries leading to his heart, Floyd was admitted to Providence Hospital in the city and died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 73 on Jan. 13, 1964. His remains were returned to Somerset County for interment in Addison Cemetery. His brother Robert signed his official Pennsylvania death certificate. No obituary is known to have been printed in the Beaver County Times or Connellsville Daily Courier.


~ Son Robert Clement Shipley Sr. ~

Son Robert Clement Shipley Sr. (1892-1985) was born on Sept. 30, 1892 in Victoria, Fayette County, PA. He was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and brown hair. 

Robert married Georgiana Kern ( ? - ? ) and had four children -- Robert Clement Shipley Jr., Charles E. Shipley, Anna Margaret "Peg" Armbrust and Violet Elizabeth "Bettie" Edwards. 

Circa 1918, when he was age 26, Robert registered for the U.S. military draft during World War I. At the time, he was employed as a brakeman on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Connellsville, Fayette County. in 1920, when their son Charles was born, the family dwelled in Grant Town near Fairmont, Marion County, WV.

Said the Beaver County (PA) Times, Robert "was a resident of Hendrysburg, Ohio, prior to moving to the Beaver Falls area, where he resided most of his life. He was a watchman for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, Pittsburgh, 40 years, retiring in 1959, and a member of the First Baptist Church, Beaver Falls.


Bird's-eye view of Beaver Falls, PA


He lived at Beaver Falls, Beaver County from 1961 to his death in 1985. He passed away at home at the age of 93 on Oct. 14, 1985. He was laid to rest in Grandview Cemetery in Big Beaver Borough. At the time, said the Times, he was survived by four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Son Robert Clement Shipley Jr. (1917-2004) was born on March 5, 1917 in Connellsville. He relocated to Beaver Falls with his parents and family. He was twice married. His first bride was Madeline Grau ( ? - ? ). They apparently did not reproduce. After Madeline's death, he wed again to Marion Keren ( ? - ? ). They did not have any children either. During World War II, Robert served in the U.S. Army. Said the Beaver County Times, he "was a Boy Scout executive for the Pittsburgh area. He was sent to Washington D.C. to represent the Scouts there. Later, he worked for H.C. Connoly Real Estate in Silver Springs, Md. before taking a job with the U.S. Treasury Dept. in evaluating real estate for the U.S. Government." He was a master of the Masons lodge in Beaver Falls. Robert spent his final years in Daytona Beach, FL and there he died at the age of 87 on June 10, 2004. His remains were transported to Pennsylvania to be placed into eternal repose in Grandview Cemetery in Big Beaver Borough.

Son Charles E. "Chuck" Shipley (1920-2018) was born on March 6, 1920 in Grant Town, north of Fairmont, Marion County, WV. He spent his growing-up years in Hendrysburg, OH. During World War II, Chuck was a member of the 4th Signal Company, 4th Infantry Division and took part in the D-Day Invasion at Normandy and in liberating Paris, for which he earned a French Jubilee of Liberty Medal. In about 1948, at the age of 28, he married 25-year-old Bernice A. Altsman (1923-2010), daughter of James William and Nora Bell (Denhart) Altsman. The couple was together for 62 years until the separation of death. They resided in White Township, and at 415 39th Street and 2901 22nd Avenue in Beaver Falls, PA. The couple did not reproduce. Charles was employed for 40 years installing telephone and telegraph technology with Western Electric, which later became AT&T Network Systems and eventually Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. He was active with the Masonic lodge. He volunteered as president of AT&T Pioneers, an organization of early employees, and for more than six decades was a member of the First Baptist Church of Beaver Falls. Said the Beaver County Times, Bernice "was the secretary to the personnel manager of Armstrong World Industries at the Beaver Falls plant for 41 years. [She] was the oldest member of the First Baptist Church, Beaver Falls, with over 70 years of service." Bernice passed away at age 87 on June 27, 2010, at the Beaver Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, after suffering a stroke earlier in the year. She was laid to rest in Grandview Cemetery in Big Beaver Borough. Charles outlived his bride by eight years and became a resident of Wesley Ridge Parkside in Reynoldsburg, OH. There, he died at the age of 97 on Feb. 2, 2018, and joined his wife in repose at Grandview.

Daughter Anna Margaret "Peg" Shipley ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married (?) Armbrust. Circa 2004, she dwelled in St. Clairsville, OH.

Daughter Violet Elizabeth "Bettie" Shipley (1924-2015) was born in about 1924 in Hendrysburg, OH. She was joined in wedlock with Thomas Joseph "Joe" Edwards ( ? - ? ), and they remained together for 60 years until separation by death. The couple produced two children -- Richard Edwards and Cindy Lawson. Said the Columbus (OH) Dispatch, "Known for her insightful wisdom, unconditional love, and generous spirit, Bettie poured out her heart to her family and friends." She made her home in Columbus, OH in 2004. Bettie died at the age of 92 on March 19, 2015. Following a memorial service at the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community Kimes Chapel in Reynoldsburg, OH, her remains were lowered into repose in Asbury Cemetery.

  • Grandson Richard Edwards
  • Granddaughter Cynthia Edwards married Thomas Lawson.


Addison Cemetery

~ Daughter Edna Odelia "Deedee" Shipley ~

Daughter Edna Odelia "Deedee" Shipley (1894-1968) was born in September 1894.

She apparently was a reader of the Pittsburgh Press newspaper, and in 1914, living in Victoria, Fayette County at the age of 20, won 10th prize in a "Great '33' Puzzle contest, with her name printed in the edition of Jan. 18, 1914.

She apparently never married. She is known to have attended her mother's 77th birthday party and Shipley family reunion at Victoria in July 1939.

In May 1947, Odelia is known to have been seriously ill and a patient at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, and was "slightly improving" later in the month. 

She survived her illness and lived in Confluence for more than two decades more. In October 1959, she paid a visit to her sister Alverda Yeagley who was a patient in Somerset State Hospital, with the news reported in the gossip columns of the Somerset Daily American.

Odelia passed away in 1968, and rests for eternity beside her parents and siblings at Addison Cemetery.


Addison Cemetery

~ Son Harrison Rayman "Harry" Shipley ~

Son Harrison Rayman "Harry" Shipley (1897-1991) was born on March 18, 1897 at Victoria, Fayette County, PA.

As an adult, he had grey eyes and light brown hair, and carried the nickname "Hardrock." In 1918, when registering for the military draft during World War I, the 21-year-old Harry lived at home in Victoria.

Harry may not have married, but he had one known daughter, Alma Jean Torrence, born in 1922.

Federal census records for 1930 show that Harry and his mother and daughter relocated to Koppel, Beaver County, PA, where he earned a living as a foreman for a railroad company, likely the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad.

They eventually returned to Victoria and were there in 1945 when he signed his mother's official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Later, he resided at Ohiopyle and at Confluence, Somerset County.

Circa 1935-1940, he and his mother and daughter resided together in the Victoria area.

Harry was named in the Connellsville Daily Courier obituary of his sister Alverda Yeagley in January 1961, and at the time he resided in Ohiopyle.

Circa 1971, Harry made his home in Ventura, CA. He returned to Somerset County, and lived in Confluence in 1985. He died at age 94 in 1991 and is buried in the family plot at Addison.

Daughter Alma Jean Shipley (1922- ? ) was born in about 1922 in or around Victoria, Fayette County. In July 1948, at about the age of 16, she gave birth to a son James A. Shipley, and then in January 1950 brought a paternity lawsuit against railroader Albert T. Hohman of Ohiopyle. On New Year's Eve 1951, she wedded Raymond Torrence by the hand of justice of the peace I.F. Woodmency. At the time of their nuptials, Raymond made his home on Neville Island near Pittsburgh. The couple set up housekeeping in Victoria and went on to produce two children of their own -- Robert Torrence and Myrtle McIntosh.

  • Grandson James A. Shipley (1948-2012) was born on July 1, 1948 in or around Victoria, Fayette County. He was wedded to Genevieve Hamilton ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Randy Hunter, Jimmie Stafford and Les Hunter. During the Vietnam War, he served with the U.S. Army. He relocated to Wellington, OH in the 1970s and spent more than three decades there. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Free Will Baptist Church of Wellington and Ironworkers Local 17 of Cleveland. He loved to hunt, with a special enjoyment of hunting deer. Circa 2009, he moved to Nova, OH. He died at the age of 63, as a resident of Good Shepherd Home in Ashland, OH, on Jan. 24, 2012. Interment was in Nova Cemetery, with the funeral service officiated by Rev. Eddie Kennedy Jr. An obituary noted that he was survived by six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
  • Grandson Robert Torrence made his home in New Freeport, Greene County, PA in 2012.
  • Granddaughter Myrtle Torrence married (?) McIntosh and relocated to Salmon, ID.


~ Son Otto Lee Shipley ~


Edna and Otto

Son Otto Lee Shipley (1899-1971) was born either in September 1898 or on Jan. 22, 1899, in Victoria, Fayette County.

He was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and black hair. When World War I broke out, Otto was living at home in Victoria and working with his father in farming. 

On July 23, 1919, Otto married Edna Matilda Kirschner (1903-1989), daughter of Otto and Elizabeth (Miller) Vn Kirschner. In the waning days of August 1919, said the Connellsville Daily Courier, the newlyweds were:

... tendered a very enjoyable surprise party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Shipley at Victoria. Music was rendered by Hall & Kemp's orchestra and the Martial band, the latter playing while lunch was being served. The following were present: Mr. and Mrs. C. Walter Shipley, Mr. and Mrs. O.L. Shipley, Harry Shipley, Charlotte Shipley, Irvin Shipley, Misses Celestia, Beatrice and Goldie Linderman, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Williams and sons, Opal and Earle, Emerson Kemp, Lee Hall, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hohman and children, Sherman and Ada, Martin, Robert, Thomas and Brack Shipley, Russell Kemp, Eugene Harold and Edgar Jennings, Miss Irma Graver, McClelland Linderman, Walter Cunningham, Foster Morrison, Albert Moon and Francis Moon.

The Shipleys made their home in 1920 with Lee's older brother and sister-in-law Charles and Corinne Shipley in McKeesport. Later that year, they relocated to West Mayfield, Beaver County, PA, where obtained work as a section foreman in the Beaver Falls-College office of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. Otto's obituary in the Beaver County Times said "He had been an outstanding West Mayfield borough administrator, served as first mayor of West Mayfield, four terms as burgess and also was a former justice of the peace. For many years he served on West Mayfield Borough Council and was a former president of council." 

Edna served as "president and member of the West Mayfield School Board for many years," said the Times

Otto and Edna together produced five children -- Ruth Todd Shaffer, Robert Lee Shipley, Virginia S. Gillingham, Vivian Gloria Shipley and Richard Vernon Shipley. 

Otto died at the age of 72 on Nov. 17, 1971. He was laid to rest in Sylvania Hills Memorial Park in Daugherty Township near Rochester, PA.

Edna outlived him by 18 years. She moved to Sparta, WI to be closer to her son. She passed away in Rolling Hills Nursing Home at the age of 86 on March 13, 1989. Her remains were returned to Beaver County for burial beside Otto. At her death, she was survived by 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.


Darlington, PA, where Ruth Gossard dwelled in the early 1970s.


Daughter Ruth Todd Shipley (1920-1998) was born in 1920. She married Woodrow Lyle Shaffer, but the marriage ended in divorce. She then married Harry Nicely McGee ( ? - ? ), with that marriage also ending in divorce. Ruth married her third husband Lester Gossard ( ? -1984), and following his death in 1984, she remarried Harry McGee ( ? - ? ). They made their home in Darlington, Beaver County, PA in 1971 and Lake City, FL in 1989. Ruth died in 1998.


Robert L. Shipley

Son Robert Lee Shipley (1921-1951) was born in 1921. He was an Air Force sergeant and radio operator who was killed during the Korean War. On Dec. 9, 1951, during what should have been an otherwise routine flight, his airplane, a C-119, "fell into the Japanese sea between Honshu and Kynshu Islands,"said the Beaver Falls News Tribune. "The last letter his family received from him was written on the boat on Thanksgiving Day." His remains were returned to Beaver County in January 1952 for burial at Sylvania Hills Memorial Park. Robert left a widow and a young daughter, who were living in Chicago at the time. Among other places, his name appeared in a special Korean War memorial page in the June 25, 2000 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Daughter Virginia Shipley (1923-2003) was born in 1923. She married Samuel Gillingham ( ? - ? ). They had one daughter, Dolores Dawn Miller. After the marriage ended in divorce, Virginia wed Francis Carl "Squire" Isabella ( ? - ? ). She resided in West Mayfield , Beaver County, where she "was a life member of the Fort Pitt Chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America," said the Beaver County Times. "Prior to her retirement she was employed as a supervisor for AT&T for 39 years. She was hard working and devoted to AT&T. She enjoyed roller-skating, gardening, boating, shopping and bingo." She died at age 79 at The Medical Center of Beaver, PA on July 29, 2003. She rests for eternity at Sylvania Hills Memorial Park.

Daughter Vivian Gloria Shipley (1927-2005) was born on Oct. 7, 1927 in Beaver Falls, Beaver County. She migrated to California and settled in Inglewood. On June 16, 1976, in nuptials held in Clark County, CA, she married Michael Terlesky (Oct. 14, 1923-1995), who had shortened and Americanized his name as "Terley." By 1989, they had returned to West Mayfield near Beaver Falls. Michael died in the Medical Center of Beaver on March 15, 1995. A brief death notice was printed in the Beaver County Times. Vivian outlived her spouse by a decade. Death swept her away on Aug. 29, 2005. Interment of the remains was in Sylvania Hills Memorial Park.

Son Richard Vernon Shipley (1930-1991) was born on Aug. 22, 1930. Evidence suggests that he wedded Coleen Hartman (July 26, 1933-2007), daughter of Oak and Ottie J. Hartman of Brandywine, Pendleton County, WV. If true, the couple's children were Thomas Shipley, Sharon Woodworth and Deborah Woodworth. They lived in Darlington, Beaver County, PA circa 1971 and Sparta, WI in 1989. He passed away at the age of 61 on Nov. 30, 1991. The remains were lowered into eternal repose in Knollwood Cemetery in Logan, Hocking County, OH. Coleen survived for another 16 years and resided in Logan. She at one time was an aide at Hocking Valley Community Hospital and held memberships in the auxiliaries of the Lancaster (OH) post of the American Veterans and Logan lodge of the Moose. She died at home at the age of 74 on Nov. 25, 2007. In an obituary in the Pendleton (WV) Times, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Hocking Valley Community Hospital Foundation.

  • Grandson Thomas L. Shipley (1965-1995) was born on Sept. 29, 1965. He was first wed to Sandra ( ? - ? ). Together, the couple produced a son. The Eau Claire (WI) Leader-Telegram reported that Sandra claimed he had emotional problems and a history of abusive behavior as well as having "a poor work ethic and never earned much money." The couple divorced in 1986, and she remarried (?) Bowen. Thomas in the spring of 1995 was joined in marriage a second time to Kathleen ( ? - ? ) who brought three children to the marriage -- Nathan White, Bobby Hensler and Jasamine Hensler. At the age of 30, in 1995, he was unemployed, and the family resided at N470 Chippewa Trail of New Auburn, WI, near the Rusk/Shippewa County line. He was active with a Lake Holcombe-area motorcycle group. When he failed to make child-support payments to his ex in December 1995, the Monroe County Circuit Court ordered him to look for a job. On the tragic day of Dec. 19, 1995, Thomas got into an argument with his wife as she and her three children were leaving home to attend a Christmas concert. He fired shots toward her using a .357 caliber handgun. Police were called. After a standoff of several hours, he burst out of his house around midnight, shooting and killing Rice Lake police officer Michael Baribeau and wounding one other before he in turn was killed by police. The news was published statewide. His remains are at rest in Knollwood Cemetery in Logan, Hocking County, OH.
  • Granddaughter Sharon Shipley was joined in wedlock with (?) Woodworth. She was in Logan, OH in 2007.
  • Granddaughter Deborah Shipley was united in matrimony with William Woodworth. Circa 2007, the couple dwelled in Kendall, WI.

Copyright 2000-2003, 2006-2009, 2014, 2017, 2021 Mark A. Miner