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Clarence Warren "Bobby" Lytle

Clarence Warren "Bobby" Lytle was born on Feb. 14, 1887 – St. Valentine’s Day – in McLuney, Perry County, OH, the son of John Thomas and Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Miner) Lytle. The family lived near Lizzie’s parents, Thomas and Maletha (Ogburn) Miner.

Bobby had an older brother and sister, George and Edna. His sister Bess was born a year after him.

When Bobby was a young boy, the family moved to Cambria County, PA, where John found work in the coal mines there. The Lytles resided in Ehrenfeld in 1891, when brother Fred was born, and in Bakers in 1896 with the birth of Wilse, the youngest.

On March 30, 1898, 15-year-old brother George died from typhoid fever. He had just recently begun working in the mines with his father.

Bobby as a young man

In about 1899, the Lytles made their permanent home in the small borough of Lilly on Railroad Street, so named because it ran alongside the railroad track of the busy Pennsylvania Railroad.

In 1904, Edna had a daughter, Pearl, and in 1906, Bess had a son, John "Pete." Edna and Bess were both young and unwed, so John and Lizzie raised them as their own.

Like most young men of the town, Bobby and his brothers went to work in the coal mines.

For a time, it is thought that Bobby resided in Pittsburgh. He is seen here as a young man in a studio portrait.

On March 7, 1916, Bobby’s father died of tuberculosis at the age of 57. 

On March 14, 1918, Bobby married Margaret Ethel Smith, the daughter of David and Parantha (Brocious) Smith in Gallitzin, Cambria County. Margaret was born in Ringgold, PA, and had resided in nearby Cresson.

They had the following six children: Marjorie E. Link, Edna Ziegler, George D. Lytle, Hallam J. Lytle, Bernice Caulk, and Jeanne Kennedy.

On July 21, 1918, just four months after his marriage, Bobby enlisted to fight in World War I. He served with Company A, 31st Infantry, 79th Division. He was injured on Nov. 5 and was hospitalized. He is said to have been hit with shrapnel in the left that left it permanently stiff, and to have lost a lung possibly due to poison gassing. He may also have suffered after drinking river or creek water poisoned by the German enemy. 

In 1920 he was recuperating at the US Army General Hospital in Carlisle, Cumberland County, PA, while his wife and infant daughter Marjorie were living next door to his mother.

His injury left his one leg stiff, and he thereafter walked with difficulty. He could no longer work in the mines, so he opened a repair shop, where he did such things as upholster chairs.

Bobby’s brother Fred was living in Lilly with his six children and serving as chief of police of Cresson. Wilse and Enda, both unmarried, also resided in Lilly. Bess was living near Pittsburgh with her husband and five children.

Bobby died of pneumonia and heart disease on Feb. 19, 1929 at the young age of 42. His six children all were under the age of 10 at the time of their loss. They always believed his untimely death was due to his wartime experiences.

Bobby was a very kind man, and was fondly remembered by his niece Ferne, who was 14 years old when he died. 

Margaret later resided in Cresson. She outlived her husband by 46 years. 

In the early 1970s, the Lytles held a family reunion. Margaret and all six of her adult children attended, as did Margaret's bachelor brother in law, Wilse Gilmore Lytle. A group photograph was taken that day, seen below.

Margaret died on April 20, 1975.

Bobby and Margaret are buried together in Lillydale Cemetery in Lilly. 

Lytle reunion, early 1970s. Seated, middle row, l-r: Marjorie (in yellow), George, Margaret, Hallam and Edna. Standing behind George: Jeanne (in red), Bernice (in light blue with long necklace) and Howard Caulk (white shirt with beard). Bobby's bachelor brother Wilse Lytle stands at left in the back row.

~ Daughter Bernice (Lytle) Caulk ~

Daughter Bernice Lytle ( ? - ? ) married Howard M. Caulk (1915-2007). They made their home in Cambridge and Silver Spring, MD. They had one son, Parris Caulk. 

Howard was employed at the Naval Research Laboratory and later by the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) at its Goddard Space Flight Center. His specialty was in the Solar Physics Division. He is said to have been sworn into the position with Goddard "via radio while working on rocket firings in Fort Churchill, Canada." 

Howard passed away at the age of 92 on Dec. 26, 2007. 

Son Parris Caulk was employed by Celera Geomics in Rockville, MD. He is listed as a co-author on the seminal work decoding human DNA, "The Sequence of the Human Genome," published in Science Magazine (Feb. 15, 2001). 

Copyright © 2004 Craig Adams. Published on Minerd.com with permission.