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Edward Campbell Miner
(1886-1970)

 

Edward C. Miner

Edward Campbell Miner was born on Nov. 24, 1886 in Normalville, Fayette County, PA, the son of Martin and Amanda (Williams) Miner. He served as a teacher and principal of elementary schools in Fayette County for 43 years.

Edward married teacher Maude Brooks (May 8, 1890-1955), the daughter of Charles H. and Frances (Miller) Brooks of Normalville.

Before marrying, Maude also had taught school in Springfield and Upper Tyrone Townships.

The Miners resided in Connellsville and together produced two daughters, Dorothy Soisson and Virginia McDowell.

After completing his own elementary schooling, Edward received additional education at the Normalville Normal Institute (from 1903 to 05).  He then attended California State Teachers College (now California University of Pennsylvania), where he served as assistant editor of the Normal Review and graduated in 1909.  In 1934, he obtained a bachelor of science in education at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Political campaign card

Among Eds Class of 1909 at California were his first cousin Andrew J. "Budd" Enos, second cousin Roy Sheppard Minerd, and Roys future wife, Nelle G. Penn.  These relationships may have helped to pave the way for Eds and Roys fathers to found the first Minerd-Miner Reunion just four years later, in 1913.

He began teaching in 1907 in Springfield Township schools, followed by two years in Franklin Township and two years in Perry Township, where he was principal of the Star Junction Schools. 

In 1911, he moved to Connellsville, where he taught at elementary schools at South Side, Second Ward and Third Ward before being named principal in 1921.His annual salary in 1932, during the heart of the Great Depression, was $2,925.

In August 1946, Edward attended a reunion of the Normalville Normal Institute, where his cousin Bud Enos served as secretary. "On account of the surplus of food," Bud later wrote playfully, "E.C. Miner ... suggested a food administrator be named for the 1947 reunion. His suggestion was laughed down."

Edward once ran unsuccessfully for County Superintendent of Schools of Fayette County. When he retired in 1954, school board superintendent Ned Culler wrote him a personal letter, saying:

Every child, who has been under you during your tenure at Connellsville, has been blessed by your presence in the school system.  Your kind calm and sincere manner in accomplishing the many projects for the children of Connellsville has made a lasting impression upon them and also upon the colleagues who have worked with you.

 

Connellsville's Pittsburgh Street as seen from Ed and Maude's neighborhood on Green Street

 

 

Third Ward School, where Edward taught

Active in the community, Edward served for many years with the Connellsville City Civil Service Commission (circa 1937), and was mentioned in this capacity in the inaugural edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin, a national newspaper founded by a distant cousin, Charles Arthur "Charleroi Charley" Younkin

Seen here is one of the schools where Edward taught and later would have been responsible for -- the Third Ward School in Connellsville.

He also was a superintendent of the First Presbyterian Church Sunday School and a member of several fraternal and social organizations. Maude belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Philip Freeman Chapter.

Their Connellsville addresses over the years included Wills Road with a move in about 1937 to 303 East Green Street.

 

Book naming the Miners

Maude was diagnosed with "meningioma," a non-cancer type of tumor of the spinal cord and brain. She underwent surgery on April 6, 1955 and lingered for seven months. Unable to recover, she succumbed to the illness at age 65 on Nov. 9, 1955 after a long illness. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said her passing occurred "after a long illness.:

Edward survived her by 15 years, and passed away in 1970.  They sleep side by side for all of eternity at Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville.

The couple are named in the 1975 paperback book, Brooks Family History.

 

~ Daughter Dorothy (Miner) Soisson ~

Dorothy Dorothy Miner ( ? -2002) was born in (?) in Connellsville.

She was united in holy matrimony with George Bernard Soisson ( ? -2011).

Together, the pair bore two sons -- Joseph Brooks Soisson and Mark Edward Soisson.

George served during World War II in the U.S. Army. After the war's end, he received his undergraduate degree in 1948 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played varsity tennis.

The Soissons resided in Elkins Park [?] in 1955 and in Doylestown, PA in the early 2000s. He is believed to have been employed in a finance or accounting capacity by a manufacturing company in suburban Philadelphia, or by a human resources recruiting firm seeking to place certified public accountants..

Sadly, Dorothy passed away in Doylestown Hospital at the age of 79 on Jan. 13, 2002. In a Connellsville Daily Courier obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Jesus Focus Ministry of Southampton, PA.

George outlived his bride by nine years and toward the end was admitted to the Greenleaf Nursing and Convalescent Home. He surrendered to death at age 90 on April 22, 2011.

Son Joseph Brooks "Joby" Soisson wed Nancee. They were in West Lawn in 2002.

Son Mark Edward Soisson married Elizabeth "Biz." Their home in 2002 was in Jackson, ME.

 

~ Daughter Virginia (Miner) McDowell ~

Daughter Virginia Miner (1916-2006) was born on April 5, 1916 in Connellsville. She was a 1943 graduate of Connellsville High School.

Virginia married William J. McDowell Sr. ( ? - ? ).

The couple's three offspring were William J. McDowell Jr., Bonnie Schick and Sally Miller.

She was was a longtime school teacher in southwestern Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor's degree from Wilson College in 1939. Then, she went on to teach English and Latin at Clymer, PA (1939-1940), Dunbar Borough, PA (1940-1943) and Scottdale/Southmoreland, PA (1943-1978). Virginia was named and cited in our 1997 reunion booklet, A Sense of Wonder.

The family belonged to the Calvin United Presbyterian Church of Scottdale.

She passed away at age 90 on May 6, 2006. Pastor Matthew C. Stabe led the funeral service, with interment following in Scottdale Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Greensburg Tribune-Review.

Son William J. McDowell Jr. located his residence in York, PA. He is believed to be the father of William McDowell, Scott McDowell and Robert McDowell.

Daughter Bonnie McDowell was joined in wedlock with Henry Schick. They put down roots in Southampton, VA.

Daughter Sally McDowell was united in matrimony with David Miller. Their two children are David Miller and Joseph Miller. The Millers' home in 2006 was in Mount Pleasant, PA.

 

Copyright 2000, 2005-2007, 2009, 2021 Mark A. Miner
Portrait of Edward C. Miner courtesy Virginia (Miner) McDowell