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Charles 'Edward' McKnight


Clara and Edward McKnight

Charles "Edward" McKnight was born on Dec. 29, 1906 near Dawson, Fayette County, PA, the son of Charles and Keziah (Stimmell) McKnight

In 1929, at the age of 22, Edward married 18-year-old Clara Porter Bates (1911- ? ).

Their marriage endured for 44 years. 

They had five children -- Elizabeth Helena Hegadore, Welene Gibbons, William Leroy McKnight, Clara McKnight and Delores McKnight. Sadly, daughters Clara and Delores died in infancy.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1930, the couple and their infant daughter Elizabeth Helena dwelled with Edward's widowed father in Dawson. At that time, the 24-year-old Edward made a living as a laborer, assisting on his father's farm.

By 1940, despite the lingering grasp of the Great Depression, Edward had secured employment as a laborer on a local road project. The census-taker at that time recorded that the couple's three young children were in the household as well as Edward's 79-year-old father.

Edward eventually obtained employment at the B.F. Goodrich Company tire plant in Avon Lake near Elyria, OH, and the family relocated there, remaining for many years.


Bird's eye view of Elyria, Ohio



Obituary, 1973

Following Edward's retirement, he and Clara moved back to Dawson, where they made their home on Railroad Street. In his retirement years, Edward operated an antique shop in Dawson.

He also passed down a love of history and antique family heirlooms to a grandson, Richard Hegadore. 


Bryan Methodist Church Cemetery

They were members of the Bryan Methodist Church in Dawson. 

Edward passed away at the age of 66, on July 14, 1973 at Allen Memorial Hospital in Oberlin "after a long illness," said the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. His remains were returned to Dawson for burial at the Bryan Methodist Church Cemetery. At the time of his death, he and Clara had produced 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Clara outlived her husband by two decades. She was carried away by the Angel of Death in 1993.


~ Daughter Elizabeth Helena (McKnight) Hegadore ~

Daughter Elizabeth "Helena" McKnight (1929-2004) was born in 1929.

She married John C. Hegadore ( ? - ? ).

The couple bore three children -- Ronald Hegadore, Richard Hegadore and Veta Lynn Hegadore. 

The Hegadores made their home in Oberlin, OH. 

Elizabeth passed away at the age of 74 on Jan. 31, 2004. 

Son Richard Hegadore is married to Kay. They have a family. Rich has maintained a love of McKnight family history and he and Kay have been regular attendees of the McKnight Reunions of the early 2000s in Western Pennsylvania.

~ Daughter Wilene (McKnight) Gibbons ~

Daughter Welene McKnight (1933- ? ) was born in 1933.

She married Charles "Harold" Gibbons (1931-1998). 

They had five children -- Paula Welene Miller, Charles "Harold" Gibbons Jr., Clara Enos, Marie Ann Shultz and Amy Pearl Mongell.

Harold passed away in 1998.


Emerson Long

Daughter Paula Welene Gibbons married (?) Miller.

Son Charles "Harold" Gibbons Jr. ( ? - living) was born in (?). He married Yvonne (Kennedy) Long ( ? -living). She brought a son to the marriage, Emerson T. Long III.

  • Step-grandson Emerson T. Long, III is a certified public accountant. Formerly with the Greensburg, PA office of Malin Bergquist & Co., one of Western Pennsylvania's largest independent CPA firms, he today serves clients with the firm of Deluzio & Co. An Army reservist since 1991, Emerson has served in Iraq in his third deployment, following tours in Iraq and the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. During his first Iraqi deployment, he dealt in "technical intelligence" -- collecting enemy weapons on the battlefield, including buried warplanes, and analyzed them for improvements and advancements. He also helped determine if enemy weaponry was being supplied by countries in violation of treaty agreements.


Emerson T. Long, III helping find hidden warplanes in the Iraqi desert


Daughter Clara Gibbons wedded (?) Enos.

Daughter Marie Ann Gibbons was joined in wedlock with (?) Shultz.

Daughter Amy Pearl Gibbons was united in matrimony with (?) Mongell.


Bird's eye view of Dawson, from an old color-tinted postcard


~ Son William Leroy McKnight ~

Son William Leroy McKnight (1936-2002) was born in 1936.

He was joined in holy matrimony with Marie Mancuso (1943- ? ) and they were together for 41 years. 

The couple produced three children -- Jean Billingsley, Delores "Dee" McKnight and James Edward McKnight. 

The McKnights lived in Elyria, Lorain County, OH. William "worked for U.S. Steel in Lorain [OH] from 1954 to 1959, then entered the Army, where he served until 1965," reported a newspaper. "He was employed by Lorain County Sanitary Engineers as a foreman for 39 years before retiring in 2001. He was a member of LaPorte United Methodist Church in Elyria ... [and] a member of the Waverly Hunt Club in Wakeman. he enjoyed spending time with family, especially his grandchildren, farming, auto racing and hunting." 

William died in or near Elyria on Nov. 20, 2002.


Copyright © 2008, 2012, 2019 Mark A. Miner

Richard Hegadore, Wenona Miller and Emerson T. Long III graciously have provided information for this biography.