Silas May was born on Dec. 23, 1849 or Dec. 14, 1850 in Bedford County, PA, the son of Leonard and Maria "Catherine" (Younkin) May. He was only 12 years of age when the Civil War broke out, and although five brothers and three brothers-in-law all saw service in the Union Army, he was too young to join.
At the age of 22, in about 1872, he was married to Anna Elizabeth Shirer (Aug. 25, 1854-1939), the daughter of George and Sarah (Troutman) Sheirer, also commonly spelled "Shirey." She could not read or write and is said to have had red hair.
The Mayses were longtime farmers, and their marriage endured for an extraordinary 67 years until cleaved apart by death..
Their baker's dozen children were Laura "Lorie" Holler, Harry "Shinny" May, Theodore "Dory" May, Howard May, Margaret Estella "Stella" Blake Deniker, George Washington May, Louisa Catherine Robertson, Carrie Jane May, Sarah Marie "Sally" Newman, John Orange May, Charles Elmer May and Walter McK. May.
Sadness covered the family when their son Charles died on Jan. 28, 1894 at the age of just 18 months.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1880, the family resided in Juniata Township, Bedford County, with Silas earning a living as a laborer.
By 1900, the family had relocated across the county line to Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. The census for 1900 shows that in addition to the large family of children, Silas' 21-year-old cousin Harvey Bowser (or "Bowen") dwelled in the household.
Joy followed by grief fell upon the family in the spring and summer of 1900. In June, their 16-year-old daughter Estella married Thomas Blake, only to be followed three months later by his death from typhoid fever. The young bride was expecting a baby and moved back in with her parents.
Later, Silas was employed as a stable boss at the Hamilton coal mine in or near Boynton, Somerset County. Then by 1914, said the Meyersdale Republican, "he returned to his farm near Buffalo Mills" and stayed there for most of the remainder of his life.
A book lovingly written many years later by Helen Ruth (Miller) Robertson, the wife of his grandson Walter Franklin Robertson, entitled The Robertson and May Families: with Allied Families, says that Silas inherited the farm of his late father. "They lived in a log house at the top of Buffalo Mountain," she wrote. "They had a few cattle, an orchard and a springhouse to keep milk, butter and eggs cold in the summer... The road to their place was almost impassable for cars." The grandson and his bride visited there shortly after their marriage in the fall of 1936 and spent several nights.
The family again was plunged into mourning in the winter of 1916 when their youngest son Walter contracted influenza and pneumonia and died at the age of 21 on Feb. 2, 1916.
Burdend with chronic kidney disease -- "interstitial nephritis" -- Elizabeth died in Buffalo Mills on Sept. 1, 1939, just six days after her 85th birthday.
Silas lived for another five years as a widower and spent most of his final years by himself on his Buffalo Mills farm. In the fall of 1943, with his health failing, he moved into the residence of a neighbor Roy Holler near Buffalo Mills.
Stricken with kidney failure, he died at the age of 94 on July 26, 1944. Roy Haller of Buffalo Mills was the informant for the Pennsylvania death certificate, spelling the maiden name of Silas' mother as "Yonkon." Interment was in Dry Ridge Cemetery in Bedford County, following funeral services held in the Holler residence.
A longer obituary appeared in the Bedford Gazette, and a shorter one in the Republican.
In the Robertson and May book, the author wrote that the last time they visited Silas' old farmhouse was in 1985, and that by 1989 it had been restored for use as a hunting cabin.
As of 2020, when this biography was expanded, the count of the Mayses' grandchildren was 70.
~ Daughter Laura (May) Holler ~
Daughter Laura "Lorie" May (1872-1957) was born on Sept. 19, 1872 in Bard, Bedford County, PA
On July 14, 1889, when she was age 16, she married 19-year-old George W. Holler (July 10, 1870-1953), also of Bard, and the son of George and Louise (Metzger) Holler. The nuptials were held at the home of her parents, and justice of the peace John M. Housel officiated. They stayed together for 63 years, until death pulled them apart.
Their baker's dozen of offspring included Frank G. Holler, Jeanetta C. "Nettie" Robertson, May Bowman, Paul L. Holler, Ethel Robertson, Homer Silas "Buck" Holler, George Holler, Orpha Hester Toohey, Paul Holler, George Holler and Ruth Moore, plus two who died young, including a stillborn son on Oct. 16, 1911, with burial in Boynton.
The U.S. Census for 1900 shows the family living next to her parents in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. That year, George's occupation was "coal miner." Again in 1910, they were in Elk Lick, with George continuing his labors as a miner.
They lived in 1931-1953 in Cresaptown, MD, spanning 22 years. They were members of the Christian Church.
Laura and George marked their 59th wedding anniversary in July 1948 with an open house at the fireman's hall in Cresaptown, MD. A story about the celebration was printed in the Cumberland Evening Times.
George died at home at the age of 82 on April 19, 1953. Wiley Beacon led the funeral service. An obituary was published in the Cumberland News.
Laura spent her widowed years in Cresaptown. She passed into eternity at home at age 84 on Jan. 26, 1957. Willie Beacon again preached the funeral sermon, with interment in Dry Ridge Cemetery. An obituary published in the News noted that her survivors included a dozen grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Son Frank G. Holler (1890-1946) was born on Feb. 12, 1890 near West End, Bedford County. At the age of 20 in 1910, still a bachelor, he lived at homke in Elk Lick, Somerset County and earned a living as a fireman in a local machine shop. He was united in holy matrimony with Isabelle Walker ( ? - ? ). Their only child was Marybelle Walker. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, "Along with all his family, he resided in Boynton for a number of years, and at one time was employed as a machinist by the Miller Brothers, now of Springs, who operated the 20th Century Manufacturing Company at that time. About 25 years ago, he moved to Akron, and was employed by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for more than 22 years. Mr. Holler owned a very fine violin, and played it constantly. He won fiddling contests from time to time, and frequently broadcast from Akron Armory on the radio. He was very well known locally and in Akron, and was well liked." Their address in Akron was 1381 East Market Street. In mid-December 1946, he told family that he was not feeling well and eventually went to see a physician. Just a few days later, he suffered a heart attack and died in the Akron City Hospital at the age of 55 on Dec. 27, 1946. Burial was in the local Odd Fellows Cemetery, with Rev. Sherwood C. Keiser officiating. The Republican published an obituary.
Daughter Jeanetta C. "Nettie" Holler (1891-1918) was born on July 12, 1891. She wedded John Robert Robertson (May 3, 1888-1979), son of Andrew and Margaret Ann (Wiley/Wiland) Robertson of Boynton. The couple lived in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. They went on to become the parents of two offspring -- Hazel Davis and Pauline Grant. John earned a living as a coal miner in young manhood. The family was plunged into sorrow when, in late October 1918, Nettie contracted pneumonia and influenza which led to her death at the age of 27 on Nov. 5, 1918. Interment of the remains was in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Salisbury. After just under a year of grieving, John appears to have married his wife's younger sister Ethel. See her entry for more.
Daughter May E. Holler (1897-1981) was born in about May 1897. When she was 16 years of age, on Oct. 16, 1913, she eloped to Cumberland, MD to be joined in the bonds of wedlock with Millard F. Bowman (Sept. 24, 1889-1969) of West Salisbury, Somerset County. The couple's nuptials were held in the Centre Street Methodist Church. Their three children were Gordon "Mike" Bowman, Dorothy Clayton and Leola Longerbeam. Millard supported the family over the years through his work at the Celanese Corporation in Cumberland, laboring in the Ancelle Plant of Celanese Fibers. The family moved to Cumberland in about 1935. They resided in 1946-1977 in Cresaptown, MD, with May a member of the Christian Church and Millard of the Salisbury Church of the Brethren. May enjoyed homemaking and her flowers, while Millard liked to work in his garden. When they marked their golden wedding anniversary in October 1963, they entertained family and friends with a turkey dinner in their home. In reporting on the party, the Cumberland News said that "Yellow mums and assorted snapdragons were used in decorations. They were presented a money tree and tiered anniversary cake decorated in white and yellow." Sadly, Millard died on Oct. 1, 1968 as a patient in Sacred Heart Hospital. Burial was in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Salisbury, with Rev. Daniel Whitacre presiding. His obituary appeared in the Cumberland Evening Times. Outliving her spouse by a dozen years, Ethel's address in 1981 was 12828 Darrow Avenue in Cresaptown. At the age of 84, on Nov. 19, 1981, May passed away at home. Rev. Clinton Goff officiated at the funeral service, followed by interment in Salisbury Cemetery. The Meyersdale Republican published an obituary.
Daughter Ethel Holler (1901-1980) was born on Aug. 4, 1901 at Boynton, Somerset County. Circa October 1919, when she was 18 years old, she wedded her widowed brother-in-law, John Robert Robertson (May 3, 1888-1979), son of Andrew and Margaret Ann (Wiley/Wiland) Robertson of Boynton. The couple eloped and tied the knot at Cumberlerland, Allegany County, MD, with the news reported in the Meyersdale Republican. In addition to John's two daughters from the first marriage, they are believed to have borne one daughter of their own, Beulah McKenzie. In 1920, when the federal census enumeration was made, the family resided in Elk Lick Township, with John earning a living as a coal mine boss. At that time, John's parents, sister and brother-in-law Alice and Clinton Bowman and their son Harry resided in the household. During the 1920s, the Robertsons relocated across the state line to Rawlings, Allegany County, MD, where he had secured employment as a mixer machine man in a silk mill. They dwelled in Cresaptown, MD in the 1940s, with John working for Celanese Corporation. After retirement, they moved to Bedford, Bedford County. Sadly, John died in Bedford on July 10, 1979, at the age of 91. After John's death, she made her residence with her daughter Beulah McKenzie in Englewood, Charlotte/Sarasota Counties, FL. Ethel died in Englewood at the age of 78 on March 1, 1980. Her remains were returned to Somerset County to rest in Salisbury IOOF Cemetery. Rev. Rollin Mader officiated at the funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Meyersdale Republican. She was survived by four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Son Homer Silas "Buck" Holler (1903-1973) was born on July 6, 1903 in Boynton, Somerset County. When he was 16 years of age, he helped generate income for the famil through his work as a coal miner. He never married. He spent his working years as a construction laborer. Silas resided in 1946 in Cresaptown, MD and appears to have remained there for the rest of his life. At the age of 70, he was admitted to Cumberland's Memorial Hospital and died there on Sept. 18, 1973. An obituary in the Cumberland News said that he "had been in failing health for several years." Following funeral services officiated by Rev. Harold R. McClay Jr., the remains were lowered into eternal sleep in Dry Ridge Cemetery.
Daughter Orpha Hester Holler (1906-1965) was born in about 1906. She was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Kenneth L. Toohey ( ? - ? ), also spelled "Tewey." One child was born to this marriage, Kenneth Toohey. Their residence in 1946-1965 was in Cresaptown, MD. Together, the couple owned and operated Tooheys Restaurant in Cresaptown. She was a member of the local Methodist church as well as the auxiliaries of the American Legion and the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department. Having been afflicted with a serious illness for about a month, Orpha's health plunged on Oct. 18, 1965. She was rushed to Sacred Heart Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival there, at the age of 60. The remains were brought back to Bedford County to rest in the Dry Ridge Cemetery.
Son Paul L. Holler (1909-1977) was born in about 1909 in Boynton, Somerset County. He married Nellie M. ( ? - ? ). Their children were Jack L. Holler and Gary G. Holler. The family lived in Cresaptown, MD in 1946-1977, and Paul was employed for many years by Celanese Corporation, from which he retired. He also was a member of the Cresaptown Eagles lodge. At the age of 67, on Jan. 4, 1977, having been ill for a year, Paul succumbed in Cumberland Memorial Hospital. An obituary appeared in the Meyersdale Republican and Cumberland News.
Son George Holler Jr. (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915. He made a home in the mid-1940s-1977 in Cresaptown.
Daughter Ruth Holler (1919-1976) was born in 1919 in Boynton, Somerset County. She wedded James W. Moore Sr. ( ? - ? ). The Hollers produced an only son, James W. Moore Jr. Their home was in Cresaptown, near Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. The couple's address in the mid-1970s was at 13126 Warrior Avenue. Sadly, having been ill for two years, Ruth died in Cumberland's Sacred Heart Hospital at the age of 56 on Jan. 14, 1976. Rev. Harold R. McClay, of the Cresaptown United Methodist Church, led the funeral service, with burial following in Dry Ridge Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Cumberland Evening Times.
~ Son Harry "Shinny" May ~
Son Harry "Shinny" May (1875-1944) was born in Feb. 1875 in Bard, Bedford County.
He never married.
At the age of 45, in 1920, he boarded in the home of his married sister Laura Holler in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. Harry's occupation that year was coal mining.
He resided in Bedford, the county seat of Bedford County, PA in the 1940s.
Burdened with a gastric ulcer and kidney disease, he died at the age of 69 on Nov. 14, 1944, in the residence of N.W.Pepple of Bedford.
The body was taken for burial to Dry Ridge. The Bedford Gazette produced an obituary.
~ Son Theodore "Dorie" May ~
Son Theodore "Dorie" May (1876-1967) was born on Aug. 15, 1876 (or 1873 or 1878) in Bedford County, PA. He may have gone by the name "Dexter."
On Sept. 3, 1902, when Theodore was age 26, he eloped to Cumberland, MD to marry 18-year-old Zora C. Powell (1884-1947). Both were living in Boynton, Somerset County at the time. Rev. M.L.Young led the nuptials, with a story printed in the Meyersdale Republican.
The couple produced a family of children, the first three born during their five years in Pennsylvania -- Gladys Anderson, Kenneth May and Melda Grace May, with Melda dying of cholera at the age of about one on Aug. 7, 1908 in Jenner Township. Then in Montana, between 1911 and 1917, at least three more were born -- Harry "St. Clair" May, Mildred Marie Cochran and Warren Melvin May. Following another move to Washington State, their last three were born -- Dorothy "Reitha" Franke, Myron Eugene May and Theodore M. May Jr.
With restless spirits, Theodore and Zora decided in 1908 to seek better fortunes in the West. So on Nov. 2, 1908, they and friends W.H. Powell, Harry May, William May, Hiram Ream and Morris Strawn boarded a train bound for Idaho. Reported the Rockwood Leader, reprinted by the Republican, their destination was to be Wardner, ID. "They expect to remain at this place during the winter and if they find that the place is to their liking they may make Wardner their home."
How the Mayses liked Idaho is not yet known, but by 1910, when the federal census enumeration was made, they were in Cutbank, Teton County, MT. There, Theodore was employed as a miner in a silver mine.
During the decade of the 1910s, the family pushed further, on to the Pacific Northwest. The 1920 census shows them in the small town of Kopiah, near Centralia, Lewis County, WA, with Theodore again laboring in a local coal mine. The coal seams in the Kopiah region are known to have ranged in thickness from 7 feet to 14 feet. The coal was shipped via the Eastrn Railway and Lumber Company railroad line to the Lewis County Light and Power Company.
For about 50 years, the Mayses lived in the Zenkner Valley area of Centralia. After coal mining no longer could provide work, Theodore farmed and raised dairy cattle.
In 1930, census records show the couple in Hanaford, Lewis County. Then in 1935-1940, they are known to have been on a farm in Bucoda, Thurston County, WA.
Sadness blanketed the family when Zora succumbed to death in Portland in 1947.
Theodore outlived his wife by two decades. In 1949, he received a visit from his sister Louisa Robertson and her son and daughter-in-law Walter and Helen Robertson. It was the first time Theodore and Louisa had seen each other in more than four decades. Helen later wrote about this visit in her 1989 book The Robertson and May Families: with Allied Families.
Upon retirement, he relocated to northern California and made a home circa 1967 in Eureka, Humboldt County.
Theodore died after a year in Eureka on July 14, 1967, at the age of 93. An obituary was published in the Centralia (WA) Daily Chronicle. His survivors were counted as 29 grandchildren. The remains were lowered under the sod in Moiuntain View Cemetery in Centralia, following funeral services led by Rev. Harold C. Williams.
Daughter Gladys May (1903- ? ) was born on June 14, 1903 in Pennsylvania. She migrated to Idaho, Montana and Washington State with her parents. She was united in matrimony with Albert Anderson ( ? - ? ). Their known children, as spelled out in Helen (Miller) Robertson's book, were Gloria May Anderson, Robert C. Anderson, Carol Zora Anderson, Sally Elaine Anderson and Robb Powell Anderson. The couple lived in Portland, OR in 1967.
Son Kenneth W. "Ken" May (1905- ? ) was born on the Fourth of July 1905 in Pennsylvania. He relocated in boyhood to Idaho, Montana and Washington State with his parents. He never married. In 1930, at the age of 24, he lived at home and helped with the family farm. By 1940, at age 34, he dwelled at home and worked as a mechanic and handyman. His home in 1967-1977 was in Centralia, Lewis County, WA.
Son Harry St. Clair "Sinclair" May (1910-1977) was born on July 23, 1910 in Cut Bank, Glacier County, MT. In about 1917, he migrated with his parents to Centralia, WA, and he remained for good. As a bachelor of age 19, in 1930, he provided labor on his father's farm. On April 24, 1934, he was joined in marriage with Irene Durga ( ? - ? ) in nuptials held in Chehalis, Lewis County. The Mays' seven offspring were Gary May, Robert May, William May, Harry May, Sally Brown, Sharon Rieger and Joann Sherris. St. Clair earned a living over the years as a logger. At the age of 67, he passed into eternity on Sept. 6, 1977, in Olympia, Thurston County, WA. Burial was in Mountain View Cemetery in Centralia, Lewis County, WA. He left behind 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Daughter Mildred Marie May (1914- ? ) was born on Oct. 8, 1914 in Montana. As a girl, she moved with her parents and family to Centralia, WA. She married Howard Cochran ( ? - ? ). The Cochrans were the parents of Joyce Cochran and Nancy Cochran. The family dwelled in Eureka, Humboldt County, CA in the mid-1960s.
Son Warren Melvin May (1916- ? ) was born on Aug. 20, 1916 in Montana. At the age of 23, in 1940, he earned a living as a logger in Bucoda, Thurston County, WA. He eventually married and was the father of Linda May, James May and Daniel "Danny" May. They made a home in 1967 in Eureka, Humboldt County, CA and in 1977 in Centralia, WA.
Daughter Dorothy L. "Reitha" May (1918-2000) was born on Aug. 16, 1918 in Centralia, Lewis County, WA. She was married twice. Her first husband was William A. Swanson ( ? - ? ). The Swansons resided in Centralia and were the parents of Georgia Lee Scott and Judy Young. Later, she was joined in holy wedlock with Arthur J. Franke ( ? - ? ). The three daughters borne to this union were Robin Bacciocco, Peggy Rodriguez and Linda Lauritsen. They lived in San Francisco in 1967 and in Milbrae, CA in 2000. Grief cascaded over the family when Dorothy passed away in Milbrae on March 25, 2000. A death notice in the San Francisco Examiner said that in a private memorial, her remains would be buried at sea. The family requested that any donations made in her memory could be made out to the Alzheimer's Association.
Son Myron Eugene "Duffy" May (1920-1971) was born on Nov. 5, 1920 in either Cut Bank, Glacier County, MT or in Centralia, Lewis County, WA. His working career was spent in farming and welding and he seems to have spent most of his life in Centralia. He was married. The children produced by this marriage were Rockford May, Joy May, Tamara May and Pam May. The spectre of death swept him away in Tacoma, Pierce County, WA at the age of 51 on Nov. 30, 1971. The Centralia Daily Chronicle printed an obituary. He rests for all time in Mountain View Cemetery in Centralia.
Son Theodore M. "Ted" May Jr. (1925- ? ) was born on May 25, 1925 in Centralia, Lewis County, WA. He was married. The couple produced four children -- Theodore M. May III, Candy May, Tammy May and Shelly May. His residence in 1967 was in Chehalis, Lewis County, WA and in 1977 in Portland, OR.
~ Son Howard May ~
Son Howard May (1878-1933) was born three days after Christmas 1878 in Bedford County.
Circa 1903, at the age of about 24, he was joined in marriage with 28-year-old Sarah Blake (1874-1969). Other sources have given the wife's name as "Lena Dineaker."
They were the parents of two daughters and three sons -- among them John May, Edna May, Harry May, William May and Isabel May.
Howard and Sarah made a residence for many years in Boyton, Somerset County, where they were farmers. He also worked as a coal miner circa 1910, and his brother Orange dwelled under their roof at that time.
Later, they relocated across the county line to Bard, Harrison Township, Bedford County, also known as Buffalo Mills.
The family was plunged into grief when their 16-year-old daughter Edna contracted blood poisoning in the summer of 1921 and succumbed on July 7, 1921.
Howard suffered a stroke in early February 1933, at the age of 54, and lingered for 15 days. Death cut him away on Feb. 18, 1933, while at home in Bard. Interment was in Trinity Cemetery. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican reported that among the Meyersdale residents who attended the funeral service were C.M. May and Howard's sister Sally Newman and her daughter Josephine.
Lena outlived her husband by 36 years. Death overtook her in 1969.
All of their children lived in Bedford County as adults.
Son John S. May (1903-1977) was born on April 18, 1903 in Boynton. He served in the U.S. Army. His career included work as a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad engineer, and then a decade as assistant superintendent for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. John was joined in the bonds of marriage with Evelyn Holler ( ? - ? ). The family of offspring produced by this union were Howard May, Thomas May, Harry May, Carl May, Donald May and Wanda Gage. Sadly, John passed into eternity at the age of 74, on Sept. 3, 1977, in Sacred Heart Hospital in Cumberland, MD. He was survived by 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Rev. Charles T. Bockhouse led the funeral service, with interment in Madley Cemetery.
Daughter Edna May (1905-1921) was born on March 11, 1905. As a teenager, she dwelled in Juniata Township. Tragically, she was not destined to reach adulthood. She contracted blood poisoning at the age of 16 years, three months and 26 days, and died of the infection on July 7, 1921. No stories about her untimely passing have been found in Somerset or Bedford County newspapers.
Son Harry May (1907- ? ) was born in about 1907.
Son William J. May married Hazel. They lived in Bedford, Bedford County, PA in 1977.
Daughter Isabel May (1909- ? ) was born in about 1909.
~ Son George Washington May ~
Son George Washington May (1880-1957) was born on April 18 or May 18, 1880 in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County.
On Feb. 18, 1902, when he was 21 years of age, wedded Alice Lake ( ? - ? ). She was an immigrant from England.
The couple produced five children -- George L. May, Leonard May, Maurice B. May, Grace Ritchey and Blanche Smith.
They were farmers and first dwelled in Juniata Township, Bedford County. In about 1927 the family relocated to a farm in East Freedom Township, Blair County, PA, where they remained for good. This community may have been known as Duncansville.
George contracted leukemia in about 1952 and suffered the illness for five years. He died at home in Leamersville, PA at the age of 76 on March 1, 1957. Burial was in River View Cemetery in East Freedom Township, and an obituary was published in the Altoona Tribune.
Son George L. May lived in Leamersville, Blair County, PA. He and his wife may have produced a daughter, Margaret Aungst.
Daughter Grace May (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903. She married (?) Ritchey. Her home in 1957 was in Bedford, Bedford County.
Son Leonard May (1905- ? ) was born in about 1905. He may have been deceased by 1957.
Daughter Blanche May (1907- ? ) was born in about 1907. She wedded (?) Smith. The couple was in Miami, FL in 1957.
Son Maurice B. May (1908-1992) was born in 1908. He was united in matrimony with Ruth E. Lingenfelter (1905-1971). The couple dwelled in McKee, Blair County, PA. They are believed to have borne four known children, Herbert G. May, Nella May, Ben L. May and Joseph May. Maurice lived for another two-plus decades after his wife's passing. He died in 1992. They are interred in Greenlawn Cemetery in Roaring Spring, Blair County.
~ Daughter Louisa Catherine (May) Robertson ~
Daughter Louisa Catherine May (1881-1961) was born on March 30, 1881 in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County, PA..
When she was 17 years of age, circa 1899, Louisa was joined in matrimony with 30-year-old Adam Abraham Robertson (Aug. 25, 1878-1940), son of Andrew and Margaret Ann (Wiland) Robertson of Pocahontas, a small village in Somerset County. The father was a Scottish immigrant and a Union Army veteran of the Civil War.
At the time of the federal census enumeration of 1920, the Robertsons and their 11 children dwelled together in one farmhouse in the Boynton area of Somerset County, along Meyersdale Road.
The Robertsons were the parents of an astonishing 16 children, of whom they outlived four -- George N. Robertson, Elizabeth "Betty" Musa, Albert Robertson, Grace Mae Sharpless, John Howard Robertson, Silas Elwood Robertson, Walter R. Robertson, Homer William Robertson, Alice Robertson, Leroy Robertson, Esther Martin, Agnes Bentley, Mary Jane Brockett, June Wittensoldner, James Robertson and Lester Robertson. Son Lester, born prematurely, died at the age of only three days on Dec. 4, 1908, with burial in Robertson Cemetery in or near Boynton.
Adam obtained employement with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Summit County, OH, where the family relocated by 1930. After a layoff from the company during the Great Depression, they relocated to a farm which their son Albert had acquired near Atwater, Portage County, OH. Then in 1937, they migrated west to California, in Soledad/Saugus, Los Angeles County, CA, where son John had obtained work as a ranch hand. In October 1940, they gave up any dreams they may have had about California and moved back to Akron.
But tragedy enveloped immediately upon their return home. While unloading their automobile, Adam was stricken by a heart attack and passed away in Randolph, OH at the age of 62 on Oct. 13, 1940. Interment of the remains was in Akron's Ellet Cemetery, later apparently renamed to Hillside Memorial Park.
Louisa belonged to Youngstown's Non-Denominational Church. A family history book published by her daughter-in-law Ruth (Miller) Robertson noted that Louisa "was a very devout person attending her church regularly... Louisa was a very special person, kind to everyone, never complaining but accepting life and thankful for what she had.
Louisa Catherine survived as a widow for another 21 years, keeping a home in Ravenna, Portage County. As her health declined, she was admitted to Ravenna's Robinson Memorial Hospital. There, she was swept away by the Angel of Death on March 18, 1961, at the age of 79. An obituary in the Akron Beacon Journal noted that she was survived by 12 children, including six daughters and six sons.
Son George N. Robertson (1900-1925) was born on Feb. 4, 1900 in or around Boynton, Somerset County. He labored as a coal miner in the Boynton area in 1920. George wedded Barbara ( ? - ? ). Their address circa 1924-1925 was 401 14th Street Northeast. He earned a living as a machinist for the Hercules Motor Company. Tragically, he contracted acute appendicitis which led to a deadly infection of peritonitis and was admitted for surgery to Mercy Hospital in Canton. He was unable to rally, and died on Jan. 31, 1925, just four days shy of his 26th birthday. His remains were committed to the earth in St. Peters Cemetery in Millersburg, OH.
Daughter Elizabeth "Betty" Robertson (1901- ? ) was born in about 1901 in or around Boynton, Somerset County. She married Walter Musa. They migrated to Amboy, WA and later were in Richfield, WA.
Son Albert Robertson (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903 in or around Boynton, Somerset County. He earned income as a coal miner in 1920 in the Boynton area.
Daughter Grace Mae Robertson (1904-1939) was born on May 3, 1904 in Boynton, Somerset County. In 1923, she married Albert Ray Sharpless (1901-1980). They bore four known children -- Ray Sharpless, Doris Sharpless, Barbara Sharpless and Patricia Mae Sharpless. The family was plunged into mourning at the death of their daughter Patricia in 1928, at the age of five. The Sharpless' address in the late 1930s was 80 Willard Street in Akron. Sadly, burdened with hardening of the arteries, chronic kidney problems and an enlarged heart, Grace was admitted to City Hospital in Akron. She passed away there died on Sept. 8, 1939. Interment of the remains was in the family plot in Hillside Memorial Park.
Son Silas Robertson (1907-1919) was born on Oct. 17, 1907 in Boynton, Somerset County. He was not fated to reach adulthood, and was plagued with acute muscular rheumatism and organic heart disease. Grief enveloped the family when, just eight days before his 12th birthday, Silas succumbed to his ailments. Burial was in Salisbury.
Son John Howard Robertson (1910- ? ) was born in about 1910 in Pennsylvania. He lived in Atwater, Portage County, OH in 1935, and then obtained work as a ranch hand in Soledad, Los Angeles County, CA. He and his parents and younger siblings were in Soledad in 1940 at the time of the federal census. He returned to Ohio and made a home in Randolph, Portage County, OH in 1961.
Son Walter Franklin Robertson (1911-1993) was born on March 25, 1911 in Boynton, Somerset County. He married Helen Ruth Miller (March 10, 1917-2008). Their union endured for 56 years. The couple's three offspring were Joanne Martin, Richard Robertson and Dale Robertson. For 45 years, Walter was employed by B.F. Goodrich. They were decades-long members of Firestone Park United Methodist Church for decades, with Walter serving on committees, the visitation ministry, Stephan Ministry and Welcome Circle Class. He also belonged to the Masons lodge. Circa 1982, they lived in Provo, Utah and were researching the May/Younkin family. [See Thomas/Cross Papers, pp. 631-634.] Helen was in correspondence with Younkin researchers Elaine (Lauter) Murphy, Joseph Warren Thomas III and the founder of this website, trying to make connections among the disparate family branches. With input from the founder of this website, among other Younkin cousins, Helen compiled and published a 249-page book in 1989, entitled The Robertson and May Families: with Allied Families. She also produced a cookbook and a 166-page history of her father's family, entitled The Family of Daniel Miller and Allied Families. In 1991, Walter and Helen attended the Younkin Reunion in Kingwood, Somerset County, PA. Sadness blanketed the family two years later when Walter died at the age of 81 on Jan. 7, 1993 as a patient in Akron city Hospital. Funeral services were held at the family church, with Rev. Dr. Dennis Hartman, Rev. Benjamin Black and Pastor Richard Robertson co-officiating. Burial of the remains was in Greenlawn Memorial Park, and a lengthy obituary published in the Akron Beacon Journal. Helen lived for another 15 years. She succumbed to death at the age of 91 on Dec. 7, 2008.
Son Homer William Robertson (1912-1983) was born on Nov. 14, 1912 in Boynton, Somerset County. He grew up in Akron, OH and graduated from Hower Trade Technical School. In 1935, at the age of 23, he relocated to Utah. There, on Aug. 4, 1936, he was united in marriage with Ruth Winder ( ? - ? ) in nuptials held in Heber City, UT. Reported the Vernal (UT) Express, "Their marriage was later solemnized in the Sale Lake Temple." The couple went on to produce six children -- Homer Roger Robertson, Rebecca Jo Robertson, Homer Anthony Robertson, Gregory William Robertson, Anne McClelland, Jeanine Rich, Kathleen Terry and Susan Monson. During World War II, Homer joined the U.S. Navy and was deployed in the Pacific Theater. Homer served for eight years as assistant postmaster in the communities of Vernal and Pleasant Grove. Then, for three decades, he earned a living for as a construction worker for Bow Valley Development Company. Active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Homer held the positions of bishopric, stake and ward MIA president, stake missionary, high priest secretary and scout master. He belonged to the Pleasant Grove chapter of the Kiwanis Club. The Robertsons were in Vernal in 1961, moved to the town of Provo in about 1975 and remained for good. Homer died at the age of 70, in Provo, on Oct. 2, 1983.
Daughter Alice I. Robertson (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915 in or around Boynton, Somerset County. She was joined in the bonds of wedlock with (?) Pahl circa 1939. Alice dwelled in Fresno, CA in the early 1960s.
Son Leroy B. "Lee" Robertson (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917 in Ohio or in or around Boynton, Somerset County. He is known to have attended Los Angeles Junior College followed by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He then obtained employiment with B.F. Goodrich Company. In about 1942, he married Jane Baumgardner, daughter of P.M. Baumgardner of Cuyahoga Falls, OH. News of their engagement was printed in the Akron Beacon Journal.
Daughter Esther Robertson (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918 in Ohio or in or around Boynton, Somerset County. She wedded Ira Martin. They relocated to California and were in Newhall, CA in 1961. In time they moved to Penn Valley, CA.
Daughter Agnes M. Robertson (1920- ? ) was born in about 1920 in or around Boynton, Somerset County. She was united in matrimony with Everett Bentley. They resided in 1961 in Newhall, CA, in 1983 in Rough and Ready, CA and in 1993 in Penn Valley, CA.
Daughter Mary Jane Robertson (1921- ? ) was born in about 1921 in Ohio. She was joined in wedlock with Scott Brockett. The Brocketts were in Atwater, OH circa 1961-1993.
Son James H. Robertson (1923- ? ) was born in about 1923 in Ohio. He was in Mentor, OH in 1961 and dwelled in 1983-1993 in Green Valley, AZ.
Daughter June Robertson (1928- ? ) was born in about 1928 in Ohio. She married (?) Wittensoldner. Her home in 1961 was in New Baltimore, OH and in 1983-1993 was in Hartville, OH.
Son Albert Robertson ( ? - ? ) was in Atwater, OH in 1961.
~ Daughter Margaret Estella "Stella" (May) Blake Deniker ~
Daughter Margaret Estella ("Maggie" and "Stella") May (1883-1974) was born on March 18, 1883 in Juniata Township, Bedford County.
She was wedded twice. When she was age 16, on June 10, 1900, she was united in the bonds of matrimony with her first husband, 21-year-old coal miner Thomas Blake (Aug. 1878-1900). He was the son of John J. and Mary A. Blake and an immigrant from England who had come to America in 1881 with his family. Because Stella was underage, both of her parents had to sign their legal consent. Justice of the peace David Fuller officiated at the wedding, held in East Salisbury.
The newlyweds made a residence in Boynton, but their married lives were not destined to last but a few months.
Grief cascaded over the young family when Thomas contracted typhoid fever and died on Sept. 25, 1900, at the age of 22. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican said that "he leaves a wife to mourn his loss. They were married only a short time."
The widowed Stella was expecting their first child. Her world shattered, she returned to her parents' home in Elk Lick Township. She gave birth on Feb. 8, 1901 to a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Blake.
On Jan. 21, 1904, when she was 20 years of age, Stella was joined in wedlock with 20-year-old lumberman George Howard Deniker (Oct. 8, 1883-1963), a native of Madley, Bedford County and the son of Edward and Alice (Grove) Deniker. Rev. W.H. Rininger officiated at the wedding, held in Boynton. George was the son of Edward and Alice Deniker, also spelled "Daniker" and misspelled as "Deiken."
To the second marriage were born eight known children -- Loraine Bowser, Leona Deniker, Helen May Mowry, Edward Bruce Deniker, Velma Marie Glessner, John Harry Deniker, James Howard Deniker, Clarence Richard Deniker and Robert Ross Deniker.
When the federal census enumerations were made in 1930 and 1940, the Denikers made a home in Pine Township, Mercer County, PA.
In 1944-1974, they resided on a farm near Grove City, Mercer County, PA. Stella appears to have been involved with the Sandy Lake United Methodist Church auction fundraiser in June 1971, and was named in a related story inthe Franklin (PA) News-Herald.
George was felled by a heart attack and admitted to Bashline Hospital in Grove City. There, he passed away 10 days later at the age of 79 on March 28, 1963. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in Crestview Memorial Park.
Stella lived for another 11 years. She died on April 23, 1974.
Daughter Mary Elizabeth Blake (1901- ? ) was born on Feb. 8, 1901. She married Roy Holler (1894- ? ), son of Silas and Amanda (Brant) Holler. The couple were farmers in Bedford County. They are said to have dwelled close by Mary's grandparents Silas and Elizabeth May and provided care for them in old age. Eventually they obtained the May property including old log house. Four children were produced by this marriage -- George A. Holler, John S. Holler, Edward R. Holler and Mary Louise Holler.
Daughter Loraine Deniker (1904-1984) was born on Aug. 28, 1904 in Boynton, Somerset County. She was married twice. Her first husband was Neilson W. "Neil" Pepple (1897-1951), son of James and Ida (Ferguson) Pepple. Their one known son was Jack Harry Pepple. The family belonged to the Reformed Church, and Neilson held a membership in the Elks, Masons and Knights of Pythias lodges. Grief shook the family in July 1948 when their son was killed in an airplane accident. Three years later, after suffering an extended illness, Neilson died in Grove City Osteopathic Hospital in Nov. 1951. In time she married George Kenneth Bowser (1904-1964). She was a member of the Bedford auxiliaries of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Her final years were spent in Bedford, Bedford County. With her health in decline, she was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, MD. She was carried away by the Angel of Death at the age of 79 on Jan. 16, 1984. Interment of the remains was in Bedford County Memorial Park, with Rev. Emily Styer officiating.
The ceiling was low, but weather ahead was reported to be satisfactory for flying. It was stated that Pepple was an extremely careful pilot and checked the weather thoroughly before taking off. Because of the low ceiling ... Pepple evidently did not see the storm cloud ahead and ran into it suddenly. Officials stated he apparently made a sharp 180-degree turn to get out of the storm and to return to Clarksburg field, which he had passed but a few moments before. In making the turn, believe officials, Pepple headed for the top of a hill not visible through the storm but saw it too late. In making a frantic effort to climb over the tree-covered hill, he gunned the engine. The plane stalled and crashed into the hill.
Everyone aboard was instantly killed. The hill where the plane crashed was in Fellowsville near Newburg, Preston County, WV. His remains were transported back home to repose in Bedford County Memorial Park. In July 1949, the first Bedford County Air Show was held at Bedford Airport, with the airfield "dedicated as the Bedford County Memorial Airport in memory of Lt. Jack Pepple of Bedford, co-founder of the field, who lost his life in an airplane crash... as well as in memory of all men and women whose lives were given in the service of their country during World War II," reported the Huntingdon Daily News.
Daughter Leona Deniker (1906- ? ) was born on July 20, 1906. She wedded Keith Crawford ( ? - ? ). The couple produced two children -- Helen May Crawford and James Jackson Crawford. In 1984, she lived in Grove City.
Daughter Helen May Deniker (1911- ? ) was born on June 6, 1911 near Macdonaldton, Somerset County, PA. She married George Mowry ( ? - ? ). She made a home in the 1950s-1980s in Bedford, Bedford County, with an address in 1957 of 137 East Pitt Street.
Son Edward Bruce Deniker (1913- 1983) was born on Aug. 13, 1913 in Boynton, Somerset County, PA. In adulthood he stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall, had brown eyes and brown hair. At the age of about 25, in late 1938 or early 1939, he was married to Kathryn E. Wiand (Jan. 31, 1917-2004), a native of Jackson Center, Mercer County, PA and the daughter of Nicholas J. and Elizabeth E. (Reither) Wiand. They were the parents of Bonnie Adams, Linda Brautigam, Ella Beth Deitle, Sally L. McFeely and James E. Deniker. Some of their comings and goings were reported in the gossip columns of the Greenville (PA) Record-Argus. Circa 1940, when he was required to register for the military draft, Edward disclosed that he and Kathryn lived in Grove City and that he earned a living working for Arthur Armour on College Avenue. Sadly, he passed away in Grove City in 1983. Kathryn lived on as a widow and died on Oct. 25, 2004. They lie in repose in Crestview Memorial Park. The 1989 book The Robertson and May Families: with Allied Families, by Helen Miller Robertson, erroneously names Edward as "Edward Valentine Deniker" along with a list of children born to someone else named Edward Deniker but not our Edward Bruce.
Daughter Velma Marie Deniker (1916- ? ) was born in about 1916. She wedded Robert Glessner ( ? - ? ). The couple dwelled in Grove City.
Son John Harry Deniker (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918. He relocated to Florida.
Son James Howard Deniker (1918-1992) was born on Oct. 8, 1918 in Boynton, Somerset County. Circa 1940, he lived at home in Mercer County, PA and labored in a local aluminum works. On Aug. 30, 1947, when he was age 28, he married Sara Emma Grossman (Oct. 27, 1927-2017), a native of Butler County, PA and the daughter of Lewis A. and Sarah V. (Forsythe) Grossman. He is said to have been a pastor. They built a home in Grove City and dwelled there for many years. Children born to this union were Robert "Bob" Deniker, John "Jack" Deniker and Peggy Lakin. They belonged to St. John's United Methodist Church of West Sunbury. The Spirit of Death carried him away in Grove City at the age of 74 on Dec. 23 or 28, 1992. Sara lived for another quarter of a century and made a home in Pine Township near Grove City. She died in Pittsburgh's Allegheny General Hospital on March 19, 2017. Her obituary appeared in the Sharon Herald. They are buried in Crestview Memorial Park in Grove City.
Son Clarence "Richard" Deniker (1919-1976) was born on July 12, 1919 in Boynton, Somerset County. He was united in holy wedlock with Ruth Alice Campbell (1928-2010). Sadly, at the age of 56, Richard died on June 10, 1976. Ruth survived him by 34 years. She succumbed to death at the age of 81 on April 14, 2010 in Franklin, Venango County.
Son Robert Ross Deniker (1920-2013) was born on Aug. 14, 1920 in Grove City, Mercer County. He is said to have been a pastor and to have migrated to Virginia. His final years were spent in Vale, NC. He died at the age of 93 on Sept. 9, 2013 and rests for all time in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Lincolnton, Lincoln County, NC.
~ Daughter Carrie Jane (May) Robertson ~
Daughter Carrie Jane May (1886-1930) was born on March 7, 1886.
She allegedly married Andrew Bruce Robertson (June 1, 1874-1955), son of Andrew and Margaret Ann (Wiland) Robertson and a native of Pocahontas, Greenville Township, Somerset County.
The couple raised a foster son, Bruce Leroy Robertson, born in 1908.
The Robertson were farmers and dwelled as a family in Buffalo Mills, Harrison Township, Bedford County.
At the age of 44, in the spring of 1930, Carrie Jane was diagnosed with malignant cancer of the uterus. She underwent a hysterectomy in May 1930, but the cancer continued to spread. Carrie died on June 13, 1930 in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County. The body was interred in Dry Ridge.
Andrew married a second time on Oct. 29, 1940 to Sarah May ( ? - ? ). They resided in Buffalo Mills.
Sadly, Andrew was afflicted with cancer of the stomach which he endured for several years. At the age of 80, he died at home on March 3, 1955. Interment was in Dry Ridge/Trinity United Church of Christ Cemetery.
Sarah outlived her husband, but the story of her fate is unknown.
Foster son Bruce Robertson (1908- ? ) was born in 1908 and was raised by the Robertsons. On Feb. 21, 1929, he married Josephine Smith ( ? - ? ). Their five children were Stanley B. Robertson, Thomas Robertson, William Robertson, Fred Robertson and Shirley Mitchell. He succumbed to death in Cumberland, MD, at the age of 49, on Jan. 7, 1956. An obituary appeared in the Bedford Gazette.
~ Daughter Sarah Marie "Sally" (May) Newman ~
Daughter Sarah Marie "Sally" May (1888-1971) was born on April 13, 1888 in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County.
On March 4, 1906, at the age of 17, she was united in holy wedlock with Frank Jerome Newman (July/Sept. 30, 1881-1955), the son of Jerome and Mary (Maust) Newman of Elk Lick Township, Somerset County.
The Newmans produced a family of seven -- Harry James Newman, Carl J. Newman, John Wilbur Newman, Josephine May LaCavera, Lewis Peter Newman, Ruby Katherine Newman and Mary Belle Chaconas.
Their home in the 1930s-1950s was on a farm in Salisbury, Somerset County. They were members of the Salisbury Church of the Brethren and the Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary.
Burdened with heart disease, Frank succumbed to the Angel of Death in Somerset State Hospital on Aug. 2, 1955, at the age of 73. G.F. Speicher of Somerset signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Interment was in the IOOF Cemetery in Salisbury, and an obituary was printed in the Cumberland News.
Sarah survived her spouse by 16 years. Death carried her away on Jan. 7, 1971, while in Cumberland's Sacred Heart Hospital in Allegany County, MD. An obituary in the News said she left behind 18 grandchildren and a dozen great-grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted in the family church, led by Rev. Daniel J. Whitacre.
Son Harry James Newman (1907-1975) was born on June 8, 1907. He resided in 1955-1971 in Luke, MD. He was joined in wedlock with Hazel Lewis (March 27, 1911-1968). They were the parents of an only daughter, Deretta Poling. For many years, Harry owned and operated Newman's Grocery in Luke. In the community, he was active with the Black Hawk Tribe of the Improved Order of Redman, the Philos Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Luke Volunteer Fire Department. Sadly, Hazel died on Nov. 9, 1968. His address in 1975 was Pratt Street Extension. He passed into eternity in a hospital in Alexandria, VA on Dec. 17, 1975. The body was transported to Somerset County, with funeral services held at the Trinity United Methodist Church, led by Rev. Sumner Sawyers. Burial was in the Salisbury IOOF Cemetery. The Cumberland Evening Times published an obituary.
Son Carl J. "Burkey" Newman (1909-1987) was born on Feb. 12, 1909 in Salisbury, Somerset County. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Carl never married but spent his life in farming. He was a member of the Salisbury posts of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Carl made a home in Salisbury in the early 1970s and in 1987 lived at Wagner's Farm and Sugar Camp. He died in Meyersdale Community Hospital at the age of 78 on April 15, 1987. Rev. Daniel J. Whitacre preached the funeral sermon, with burial in Salisbury Cemetery.
Son John Wilbur Newman (1911-1979) was born on July 27, 1911 in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. He was united in the bonds of matrimony with Vera M. Davis ( ? - ? ). The couple bore three children -- Richard Newman, Carol Pruitt and Janet Saville. The family lived for decades in Salisbury, with John earning a living as a farmer and working at sawmills. For seven years, starting in about 1972, he served as an Elk Lick Township Supervisor. The Newmans were members of the Salisbury Church of the Brethren. At the age of 69, on July 31, 1979, John passed into eternity while in Salisbury. Rev. Daniel J. Whitacre preached the funeral sermon, with burial in the Salisbury Odd Fellows Cemetery. His obituary appeared in the Somerset Daily American.
Daughter Josephine May Newman (1913-1969) was born on April 23, 1913. In young womanhood she was said by a local newspaper to be "one of Salisbury's most popular and charming young ladies...." On June 29, 1937, when she would have been 24 years of age, she eloped to Cumberland, MD to wed Meyersdale barber Ignatius L. "Nat" LaCavera Sr. (1898-1959), a native of Termini Imerese, Sicily, Italy and the son of Francis and Josephine (Caleango) LaCavera. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, "The bride was attired in a white tailored suit and white hat, with navy blue accessories. She wore a corsage of butterly tea roses, baby breath and Andentiam fern." He had been married and divorced previously and brought two daughters into the union, Mrs. James Hart and Mrs. Rudy Borke. Twin sons born to their marriage were Joseph Francis LaCavera and Nat L. LaCavera Jr. Prior to his immigration, Ignatius served as a truck driver in the Italian Army during World War I, was posted on the Alpine Frontier and saw action in Albania, Greece, Macedonia and Tripoli. The Republican considered Ignatius among "the area's most prominent and colorful figures... From the time he first opened a barber shop in Meyersdale many years ago after coming to the United States from his native Italy, until the time of his death, he made many friends in this area. To his patrons, it was a delight to get a haircut, accompanied sometimes by Nat's singing and sometimes by his dissertations on politics or the latest news. He was an avid reader and a self-made man." Highly active in the community, he was affiliated with local sports, the Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Meyersdale lodges of the Elks and Moose. He played trumpet and helped organize bands, orchestras the the Kelly Korps drum and bugle corps. The couple were members of the Saints Philip and James Catholic Church in Meyersdale. The Grim Reaper of Death cut Ignatius away in Meyersdale, at the age of 61, on Oct. 9, 1959. Father James Kirkpatrick officiated at the requiem high mass. Josephine survived her husband by a decade and went to live in Bellefonte, Centre County, PA, where her son was residing at the time. There, she was a member of the Bellefonte Catholic Church. Grief cascaded over the family when, at the age of 55, Josephine died on Jan. 18, 1969 in Somerset Community Hospital. Interment of the remains was in Saints Philip and James Cemetery in Meyersdale, with Rev. J. Clark George leading the funeral mass.
Son Lewis Peter Newman (1915-2000) was born on April 12, 1915. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940, the bachelor Lewis dwelled at home in Salisbury and earned a living as a clerk in a grocery store. He wedded Hazel Rhodes ( ? - ? ). Lewis is believed to have served in the U.S. Army during World War II. The couple resided afterward in Maryland and were in the community of Luke in 1945-1955. By 1971, they had relocated to West Virginia, settling in the town of Keyser, Mineral County. The Newmans remained in Keyser for good. Lewis died at the age of 84 on Jan. 17, 2000. His remains were brought to Salisbury, Somerset County, PA to repose in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.
Daughter Ruby Katherine Newman (1916-1999) was born on Dec. 16, 1916 in Salisbury, Somerset County. She dwelled in Salisbury, Somerset County and never married. During World War II, she was employed by a map company, providing services as a draftswoman. She went on to a working career as a seamstress for Salisbury Manufacturing Company. She belonged to the auxiliary of the local American Legion post and the Salisbury Church of the Brethren. Circa 1971, she and her brother Lewis and sister Mary Belle were executors for their late mother's estate. On Dec. 2, 1999, at the age of 82, she succumbed to death in Somerset Hospital. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American said that following funeral services held in her church, by Rev. Daniel J. Whitacre, interment was in Salisbury Cemetery.
Daughter Mary Belle Newman (1921-2007) was born on Oct. 20, 1921 in Salisbury, Somerset County. Census records for 1940 show her unmarried at the age of 18, living at home and workig in a paper mill in Salisbury. As a young woman, during World War II, she relocated to the District of Columbia area and was employed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In time she married Theodore Peter Chaconas ( ? - ? ). The two children born to this marriage were Stephany T. Chaconas and Theodore P. "Ted" Chaconas. The couple owned and ran the Beef 'N Bun Restaurant in downtown Washington, DC. Their address in 1971 was 1700 Kenyon Street NW. At some point Mary Belle relocated back to Somerset County and was in in Glencoe in 1987 and Fairhope in 1999. She held a membership in the Salisbury Church of the Brethren. Mary Belle died on Sept. 23, 2007. Funeral services were held in the family church, with burial in the Salisbury IOOF Cemetery. The Washington Post and the Somerset Daily American printed obituaries.
~ Son John Orange May ~
Son John Orange May (1890-1959) was born on June 9, 1889 (or 1890) in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County.
As a boy of 11, in 1900, he dwelled with his parents in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County.
Then in early 1910, now age 20, using the name "Orange," he boarded in the home of his married brother Howard in Elk Lick, with both men laboring as coal miners.
At the age of 19, on June 2, 1910, he eloped to Cumberland, MD to be joined in wedlock with 18-year-old Margaret "Maggie" Walker (1892-1978), presumed daughter of George and Ida (Staub) Walker and whose father was a Scottish immigrant.
They produced five offspring -- Evelyn May, Idabelle Harding, John George May, James Birduss May and Dorothea Leslie.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1920, John and Margaret and their four eldest children dwelled in or near the village of Boynton in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. His occupation was stated as a coal miner.
The 1930 U.S. Census, again of Elk Lick Township, shows John continuing his labors as a coal miner. He spent most of his working years in this field and eventually retired from the occupation. In his free time, he was a member of the Elk Lick Rod and Gun Club.
By 1940, with many Somerset County coal mines having closed during the Great Depression, census records show that John was now employed as a laborer with the Works Progress Administration (WPA), with the family remaining in Elk Lick at that time.
John was among scores of Younkin cousins and millions of Americans who took advantage of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's WPA program to put unemployed men and women back to work. The WPA is widely considered one of the Roosevelt's largest and most ambitious undertakings of his "New Deal" to get the nation back on sound economic footing. Over the years, the WPA workers built a wide range of public works projects, from roads and bridges to retaining walls and buildings. Many of these structures still exist today and continue to benefit society.
The Mayses dwelled in Boynton, Elklick Township, Somerset County in 1944. They suffered the heartbreak of the 1948 death of their son John due to the effects of kidney, heart and cystitis problems.
John was felled by multiple heart attakcs and died in Boynton at the age of 69 on Aug. 15, 1959. Interment was in the Salisbury Odd Fellows Cemetery, with Rev. H.M. Coughenour presiding. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican spelled his mother's maiden name as "Shirey."
Margaret survived for another nearly two decades. The gossip columns of the Meyersdale Republican were replete with short articles about visits she entertained from her family during her last several years. During that time, she shared a home with her daughter Idabelle Harding. She belonged to the Salisbury Methodist Church and was a founding member of its Queen Esther Bible Class. She also held a membership in the auxiliary of the Salisbury Fire Department.
At the end, she was admitted to the Meyersdale Community Hospital. There, she died on Oct. 28, 1978 at the age of 86. Rev. Timothy M. Storms led her funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Somerset Daily American. Her survivors included seven grandchildren and three-great-grandchildren.
Daughter Evelyn May (1912-1981) was born in about 1912. She never married. When she was 19 years of age, in 1930, she earned income working as a winder in a silk mill. She was living in Cresaptown, MD in 1948. She often visited her parents, and these were chronicled in the gossip columns of the Cumberland Evening Times. She died on Dec. 7, 1981.
Daughter Idabelle May (1914-1994) was born on June 1, 1914. When she was seven years old, she went to live with an aunt, Mary Catherine (Walker) White Bowman, and stayed for the rest of her growing-up years. She was united in marriage with James Chandler Harding (June 10, 1914-1981), the son of John and Reeva Mae (Chandler) Harding and stepson of Annie (Boyer) Harding. They bore a son, John J. Harding. James served with the U.S. Navy for 23 years until his retirement. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of McConnellsburg, Fulton County, PA. Idabelle was a member of the Gazelle Rebekah Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The couple may have separated. Her home in 1948-1989 was in Salisbury, Somerset County. James spent his final years in Fort Loudon, Franklin County, PA. Sadly, at the age of 66, he died on Aug. 14, 1981. Interment was in his parents' plot in Salisbury Cemetery, with Rev. David E. Fetter preaching the funeral sermon. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American but did not name Idabelle. She passed away in Salisbury in Feb. 1994.
Son John George May (1916-1948) was born on May 1, 1916 in Boynton, Somerset County. He married Agnes Robertson ( ? - ? ). He obtained work in Akron, OH, where he was employed in building tires by Mohawk Rubber Company. He became stricken with a severe kidney infection in late 1945 and his health declined further for the next two-and-a-half years. His symptoms also included heart disease and cystitis. Sadly, John died in his parents' home in Boynton, at the age of 32, on May 15, 1948. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republican noted that Rev. Arthur Vespa officiated at the funeral service, followed by burial in the Salisbury IOOF Cemetery. The fate of Agnes is not yet known.
Son James Birduss May (1919-1995) was born on April 10, 1918 in Coal Run, Somerset County. He with the U.S. Army during World War II and was deployed in Europe. He remained with the Army after the war and and stationed at Phoenixville, PA. Later, he relocated to Louisville, KY. On Jan. 27, 1947, in Louisville, he married his first wife, Mary Jo Dougherty ( ? - ? ). The couple produced these children -- Linda Hetrick, James Randall. May and William May. During the Korean War, James was deployed in Korea. James and Mary Jo divorced in 1955. In time he married again to Mary Ann Waltrip ( ? - ? ). She is believed to have brought children to the union, among them Deborah L. Hayes and David R. Waters. The Mayses remained in Louisville, KY for the balance of their lives, with James continuing his work with the Army and holding the rank of sergeant. Their address was 9221 Pensive Way, and they belonged to the Methodist Church. James retired from the Army with 23 years of service. He also worked for Louisville Gas and Electric for 21 years. As a patient in Charitas in Louisville, he died on Aug. 5, 1995, at the age of 76. The remains were returned to his native Somerset County for burial in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Salisbury.
Daughter Dorothea May (1925- ? ) was born in 1925 and grew up in Boynton. Circa 1947, she wedded Dr. John Ira Leslie Jr. (1923-1974) of Meyersdale, the son of John Ira and Margaret (Shultz) Leslie Sr. News of their marriage license was published in the Somerset Daily American. They were the parents of John Ira "Jack" Leslie III and Jill May LaCross. John Jr. held a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and a master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland. The family initially dwelled in Boynton, Somerset County and in the early 1970s in Greenbelt, Prince George's County, MD. There, John Jr. became employed by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (H.E.W.) Bureau of Veterinary Medicine within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The family were members of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Greenbelt. Sadly, John died in Prince Georges Hospital at the age of 51 on Nov. 18, 1974. The Daily American printed an obituary. The widowed Dorothea remained in Greenbelt for several decades.
~ Son Walter McK. May ~
Son Walter McK. May (1894- ? ) was born on Dec. 1, 1894.
He grew up on his parents' farm and earned a living as a laborer.
The family fell into the depths of grief when, at the age of 21, Walter contracted pneumonia and "la grippe" -- influenza -- and could not recover. After nine days of enduring the illness, he succumbed to death on Feb. 2, 1916.
His body was laid to rest in Dry Ridge.