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Harry David Miner

Harry David Miner was born in 1889 near Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the son of Ephraim and Rosetta (Harbaugh) Miner. He was named in part for his maternal grandfather, David Harbaugh.

As a boy, Harry attended the Old Bethel Church of God, located at the intersection of several roads on the old farm once owned by his great-grandfather, Jacob Minerd Jr. The original wood-frame building, seen below right, has been demolished, and the structure rebuilt in brick across the road. To see an enlarged version of the photo, click here.

Harry married Amanda Burkett (1894-1963), daughter of Cornelius Burkett. They had two children – Lilly "Blanche" Sanner and Earl David Miner.

In about 1909, either for his health or to find work, Harry and his half-brother Lincoln Miner went to North Dakota and were staying in Merricourt, Dickey County.

Harry built a small dwelling behind his parents’ home in Hexebarger, and lived there until marriage. He later bought a farm near Kingwood, eventually selling it and moving to Connellsville, PA, where he worked in a glass factory.  Later in life, he returned to the Kingwood area and resided with daughter Blanche.

In August 1924, Harry and Amanda attended the Minerd-Miner reunion at Lincoln's grove, near the Western Maryland Railroad Station in Confluence. Among the 82 individuals present in the crowd were also Harry's mother, brother and sister in law John Andrew and Susie (Pletcher) Miner, and a nephew and niece. In an article about the reunion, the Meyersdale Republican newspaper spelled the family name as "Minard" but reported the following: "A very successful and pleasant reunion of the Minard family was held in what is known locally as Lincoln's grove, near the Western Maryland Railroad Station.... The family is a numerous one in Western Pennsylvania, especially in Fayette, Somerset, Westmoreland and Huntingdon Counties. The gathering on Saturday was their twelfth annual reunion."

During the 1940s, Harry kept a diary in which he recorded events of daily life. He described visits with his aunt Susie Conn and cousin Warren Younkin and attending the June 1944 funeral of Lawson Minerd.

In 1942, during World War II, Harry traveled to McCleary Sanitarium, Excelsior Springs, for treatment of intestinal problems. By the following year, Harry had returned home and was residing at Perryopolis, Fayette County, PA, where he worked as a caretaker at the home of a physician.

In 1947, Harry's mother Rosetta was living in their household in Connellsville. She was featured in a newspaper article for her “fine head of hair” which measured 32 inches in length. David and his mother are seen at right at about that time.

Harry and Amanda are seen at left with their 19-year-old son Earl in Connellsville. Note how thin Harry looked at the time. The date of this photograph is June 1946.

At some point, the Miners left Connellsville and returned to Kingwood, where they resided on daughter Blanche's farm. "In the south they'd call where we live a plantation, in the west they'd call it a ranch but here it's a 2 hundred and 86 acre farm - teehee," Blanche once wrote. The reasons for the move were Amanda's poor health and high taxes.

Harry and Amanda enjoyed keeping in touch with his first cousin, Agnes (Stoner) Wood, who resided in Oblong, IL. In a letter to Agnes, dated Aug. 5, 1957, Amanda wrote:

   ... [Harry] has gone with the tractor to the big spring around the hill for clear rinse water for Blanche to wash today. The well has water in but so yellow makes the clothes a muddy cast, and the other spring only supplyes enough water for bathroom and household use. There is so many people complain their springs are dry. We did have a nice rain Saturday night but all it done was freshen up the garden, not enough to raise the water in springs and wells yet.

   Harry bought an old model Plymouth car but a good one (and we are like a puppy - can see us anyplace)... Since Harry retired we are just having the time of our life. He took me by bus in June to Shepherd, Michigan. Then my cousin and her husband took us by car up in Northern Michigan. From her home we traveled 5 hundred 67 miles, stayed all night in a twin cabin along the lake. We had a lot of fun. When they wanted to see something special they stopped and looked it over. 

Harry and Amanda enjoyed attending the annual Harbaugh Reunions, and in 1963 received the "Couple Married Longest" award. In the 1957 letter, Amanda wrote: "Will be at the Harbaugh reunion at Kingwood odd fellow grove... your mother's [Aunt] Adaline's daughter is supposed to be there. She is one hundred years old - Mattie Gorsage."

Amanda died in October 1963. 

Harry outlived her by eight years, and passed away on Dec. 30, 1971. They are buried together at the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery, near the grave of his parents.

Many members of this branch have helped with children's games and prizes at our national family reunion the past several years.

Harry and Amanda are pictured and mentioned in a lavishly illustrated, 2011 book about his father -- entitled Well At This Time: the Civil War Diaries and Army Convalescence Saga of Farmboy Ephraim Miner. The book, authored by the founder of this website, is seen at left. [More

Copyright © 2001-2005, 2007, 2011 Mark A. Miner