Catherine "Kate" (Miner) Bedillion was born on June 1, 1850 (or 1855), presumably on the family farm at Hexebarger near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Henry and Polly (Younkin) Minerd.
As a young girl, after a fire burned their farmhouse to the ground, Kate moved with her parents to Beeler Station, Marshall County, VA (later West Virginia). She is shown as a 10-year-old in her parents' household, as enumerated in the 1860 federal census. Within a few years, her family moved again, back across the state line into Greene County, PA.
When Kate was age 15, in 1865, she and her sister Susan were admitted to membership of the Enon Baptist Church in West Finley Twp., Washington County, PA. This occurred on Sept. 1, 1865, at a meeting held by "Bro. D.G. Zook," pastor of the church. Her brother Andrew joined the church three years later. These records were published circa 1990 by the church's Historical Committee in the History & Biographical Record of the Enon Baptist Church.
In 1869, when she was 19 years of age, and before she was married, Kate gave birth to a daughter Elizabeth. The girl was given her mother's maiden name, Miner. The identity of the child's father seems to be lost to history.
For many years until she married, Kate and her eldest daughter lived with her parents in and around Greene County and Washington County. She was said to have been a tall, large woman.
On Oct. 21, 1883, when she was 33 years of age, Kate married 27-year-old John M. Bedillion (Sept. 3, 1856-1921), the son of John and Anna (Allen) Bedillion. John was six years younger than his bride.
The couple together produced a family of four children: Norton Miner Bedillion, Golie Cephas Bedillion, William R. Bedillion and Lucy Estella Martin.
Two years after the Bedillions' marriage, when teenage daughter Elizabeth sought to marry an older Civil War veteran, Kate signed her legal consent, a document that is still on file at the Washington County courthouse.
The Bedillions made their residence in Washington County, PA, north of the village of Lone Pine in South Franklin and Amwell Townships, where she was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Sadly, Kate passed away on Aug. 29, 1903 at age 54 of lung trouble, at home near Lone Pine. Leaving behind a married daughter and four younger children, she was eulogized in a local newspaper as "a kind mother and good neighbor. The family and friends have the deepest sympathy of the friends and neighbors."
Funeral services were jointly conducted by Rev. J.W. McIntyre of the West Washington Methodist Episcopal Church and Rev. Hamilton of the Lone Pine Christian Church. The remains were lowered into the soil of Lone Pine Cemetery. Her grave marker was inscribed with her birthdate as 1855, but the more accurate date of 1850 has been derived through an examination of federal census records covering her girlhood years.
John outlived his wife by 18 years and earned a living as a day laborer. The United States Census of 1910 lists him as a "farm laborer" and living under the roof of farmers Frank and Letitia Moore on Moore Road in South Franklin Township.
He was known as an active member of the Nazarene Mission Church of Washington's Broad Street.
Circa 1920-1921, with his health in decline, he made his residence with his married daughtr Lucy at 324 Addison Street in West Washington.
Suffering from influenza and bronchial pneumonia, he succumbed to the spectre of death in the Martins' home at the age of 64 on Jan. 20, 1921. Funeral services were held there, with daughter Lucy serving as the informant for his official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
A newspaper obituary said that his survivors included a brother George Bedillion of North Franklin Township and three sisters, Levina Smalley of Washington, Mary Wilson of Chestnut Ridge and Jennie Hatfield of Bakers Station. His remains were laid to rest beside his wife's in Lone Pine after a separation of 18 years.
~ Legacy ~
In 1935, when widespread research was being done by Catherine's Younkin cousins coast to coast, to determine how everyone fit into the massive clan, and to organize a national home-coming reunion, Catherine was mentioned in a letter authored by Charles Arthur Younkin. Click to see this letter, dated Feb. 19, 1935. Charles wrote: "I have learned the whereabouts of several of the Farabees also Burches and Bedillions but as yet have not come into contact in person but hope to do so in the near future." It's unknown if Charles was successful in meeting or interviewing any of Catherine's children or grandchildren as future letters and records as late as 1940 are silent on the matter.
Catherine is mentioned in a 2011 book about one of her elder brothers who served in the Civil War -- Well At This Time: the Civil War Diaries and Army Convalescence Saga of Farmboy Ephraim Miner. [More]
Great-great grandson Bil Dicks generously has provided sigificant information on this family.
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