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Lucinda 'Jennie' (Miner)
Turner Stevenson Paolone



Jennie Paolone

Lucinda Jane "Jennie" (Miner) Turner Stevenson Paolone was born on July 24, 1856 near Humbert, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Henry A. and Matilda (Rose) Miner.

She never learned to read or write, and signed her name with an "X" in official documents. In 1871, when she was 15, she and her parents and siblings moved to Connellsville, Fayette County, a booming coal and coke town where jobs were plentiful.

In 1879, at age 22, Jennie was either married to, or a significant other of, Abraham G. Turner ( ? - ? ). He was 15 to 20 years older than she was. That year, on May 13, 1879, their daughter Hannah Matilda Turner was born in Connellsville.

The Turners separated at some point in time.

At age 37, in 1892, Jennie resided in Washington County, PA. That year, on June 13, 1892, she eloped to Cumberland, Allegany County, MD to marry 47-year-old widower John Stevenson (1845- ? ), also of Washington County. The ceremony was performed by Rev. W.E. Bird of the Kingsley Methodist Episcopal Church.


Frick centennial arch in Connellsville

The Stevensons settled in Connellsville.  In October 1902, John deserted her and spent several years away.  Jennie later told a judge that she was compelled to take on "washing and scrubbing" work to support herself and saved enough to buy a "small three-room house and lot" in Connellsville.  She later sued for divorce but it was never finalized.  John apparently came back home, and died on Sept. 15, 1910.

In 1906, the City of Connellsville celebrated its centennial anniversary. Jennie and her extended family of Miner siblings no doubt would have gone to see the Centennial Arch, located at the corner of Crawford Avenue and Pittsburgh Street. The famed arch was constructed completely of coal and coke, and was donated by her brothers' employer, the H.C. Frick Coke Co., part of the United States Steel Corporation. The initials of the company -- "H.C.F.C.Co." -- were lighted at the very top, and outlined in red.

On Oct. 7, 1911, at age 45, Jennie married Italian laborer Frank Paolone (1871- ? ), of Connellsville, who was 15 years younger than she. 

The marriage was rocky, and in 1915 she sued for divorce. His fate is unknown.


Connellsville's Main Street, looking east

During the early 1910s, Jennie took care of her aged, widowed father. He died of gangrene at her home on July 26, 1912. The following year, she filed a claim with the federal government for reimbursement of her personal expenses in her father's final illness and burial. The Department of the Interior rejected the claim on the basis that he had left assets which, together with a Pennsylvania burial allotment, were sufficient to meet the expenses.


Jennie's letter to the feds

Jennie countered by writing a letter, a portion of which is seen here. The letter stated that outstanding debts and IOUs had wiped out the financial resources of the estate, and that she had paid these down "by working in the wash tub." 

She claimed to be "a broken down old woman" who had "nursed him for over six months before death came to his relief. I had to work washing to buy medicine for him and when he did I paid all the debts against him as fast as I could earn a dollar to pay upon them." Because she could not pen a letter herself, F.B. DeRoche performed the handwriting, and she signed with an "X." 

Jennie's surname on her father's medical bills and IOUs from 1912-1913 was spelled in various ways, such as Palona, Palogne and Bolone, and also as Stephenson.

When the federal census was taken in 1920, in an interesting arrangement, Hannah and her former husband Abraham Turner were living under the same roof in the home of their daughter Hannah, on 301 Connell Avenue in Connellsville. Also in the residence were Hannah's children Albert Giles, Sadie Giles, William Giles, Samuel Giles and Mabel Giles.


Jennie in a four-generation photo, circa 1921, left to right: Baby Straitiff, Sadie Straitiff, Hannah Giles and Jennie


In 1929-1930, Jennie and her siblings attended the large McDowell-Miner Reunions held at Hillcrest Park in Connellsville. 

Jennie resided in her final years in the home of her grandson Samuel Giles at 301 Connell Avenue in Connellsville. She is enumerated there in the federal census of 1930, along with her sister Mary Ann Richter. Her grandchildren lovingly called her "Granny."


Connellsville Daily Courier

She suffered a fatal stroke in the Giles residence in late January 1936, and was unconscious for about two weeks. Her sufferings ended on Feb. 10, 1936, when she passed away, at the age of 79 years. The funeral was held in the chapel of John J.D. Sibel, and she was laid to rest at Hill Grove Cemetery. A local physician pronounced the cause of death as pneumonia and "cardiac degeneration."

Jennie's obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that she was "survived by six grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. The grandchildren are Mrs. Hazel Evans, Albert and William Giles, all of this city, Samuel Giles of Whitsett, Mrs. Mabel Rosenbloom of Ambridge and Mrs. Sadie Straitiff of Scottdale." The obituary also noted that her maiden name was spelled "Minerd" and that she had come to Connellsville in 1871 "and had since resided here."


~ Daughter Hannah Matilda (Turner) Giles ~

Daughter Hannah Matilda Turner (1879-1954) was born in 1879. 

She married William Ethelbert Giles Sr. (1873-1952), the son of John and Elizabeth "Lydia" (Caddy) Giles of Millsboro/East Bethlehem, Washington County, PA. The wedding took place on Sept. 10, 1895. 

They had seven known children -- Arthur Seman Giles, Albert Franklin Giles Sr., William Ethelbert Giles Jr., Samuel A. Giles, Mabel Rosenbloom Robinson, Sadie Straitiff and Hazel Evans. Sadly, son Arthur died at the age of two months on or about Oct. 9, 1918, with a one-sentence obituary printed in the Connellsville Weekly Courier newspaper.

Circa 1900, the Gileses resided in Swaugertown near Connellsville. William, whose father was a mine boss, is known to have worked at the Coalbrook Mine and H. C. Frick Coke Co. works at Davidson (Moyer) in Connellsville. He also as a steel mill laborer and a laborer at the Soisson Fire Brick Company. His name today is honored on the Coal Miners Memorial Website

Hannah was a member of the Salvation Army in Connellsville. During World War I, when William was age 45, he had to register for the federal military draft, but was never called to duty. Their home was at 301 Connell Avenue.

William was wounded in a freak shooting accident in late October 1943 which the Connellsville Daily Courier called "the first serious hunting accident of the season." While on the hunt on the farm of his cousin Charles "Red" Minor with cousin Harold Ethan Rose and friend "Heavy" Stillwagon, they "were in the underbrush when a pheasant flew up. The bird had risen only about six feet when Stillwagon is said to have blazed away with the bullets striking Giles, walking only a short distance away... Just a few minutes before the accident Giles had brought down a pheasant." Pellets struck William in the left eye and temple, and he was hospitalized in Connellsville State Hospital. 

In later years, following retirement, William earned income by working as a watchman in a coal yard.

The Gileses celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sept. 10, 1945. The Daily Courier said they "enjoy good health." In all, they were married for 56 years before being separated by death.

William died after a lingering illness of organic heart disease at the age of 78 on March 29, 1952. 

Hannah outlived him by two years and endured hardening of the arteries. She passed away at age 74 on April 26, 1954, and was laid to rest at Mount Olive Cemetery in nearby Bullskin Township. At the time of Hannah's death, she had 31 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.


~ Grandson Albert Franklin Giles Sr. ~

Albert Franklin Giles Sr. (1901-1970) was born on Aug. 13, 1901 in Fayette County.

He married Minnie Bell Trump (Jan,. 23, 1908-1976), daughter of Charles and Emma (Richter) Trump of Connellsville.

Their 12 children were Gladys McCormick, Hazel Chaney, Mabel Sanner, Mary Louise Means, Minnie Gagean, Dorothy Hall, Albert F. Giles Jr., William Giles, Samuel Giles, Joseph Giles, James Giles and Paul Giles.

Circa 1954, they resided in Vanderbilt, Fayette County. Albert and Minnie were members of the Salvation Army Corps in Connellsville.

Following a lingering illness, Albert died at Connellsville State General Hospital on Nov. 7, 1970 at the age of 69. In an obituary, the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that his survivors included 51 grandchildren.

Minnie survived him by six years and lived at 407 Highland Avenue in Connellsville. In 1974, she endured the heartache of the tragic deaths of her daughter Mary Louise Means and grandson Larry Means in a housefire in New Jersey.

Having been admitted to Frick Community Hospital in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, Minnie passed at the age of 68 on July 15, 1976. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery.

Daughter Gladys "Skinny" Giles (1925-1973) was born on Dec. 28, 1925 in Connellsville. She married Francis O. McCormack Jr. (1925-1994). They had one daughter, Thelma Joyce McCormack. He was a longtime steel worker for U.S. Steel and "was a sergeant with the U.S. Army, having served in World War II," said the Daily Courier. Their address in 1973 was 315 Connell Avenue in Connellsville.

  • Granddaughter Thelma Joyce McCormack lived with her parents in Connellsville in 1973.

Son Albert Franklin Giles Jr. (1930-1994) was born in 1930. He served in the Korean War, and was a mechanic for Dunbar Township near Connellsville. In 1970, his home was in Vanderbilt, Fayette County. He passed away in 1994 at the age of 64.

Daughter  Mabel Catherine Giles (1934-2005) was born on July 30, 1934 in Connellsville. She married Arthur Sanner Sr. (1930-1997). They dwelled in Connellsville for many years. The Sanners produced seven children -- Kenneth Sanner, Charles "Chuck" Sanner, Elma Pavelek, Arthur Sanner Jr., Mary Jeffers, Laverne Parsons and Olive Bigley. Arthur was employed as a loader for 36 years at Anchor Hocking's plant in Connellsville. Mabel worked at Connellsville Sportswear, Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation and Bud Murphy's Restaurant. She also was a member of the Sons of Columbus, Dunbar Eagles, Slovak Club and served as president of the American Legion Post 301 Ladies Auxiliary. Arthur died in 1997 at the age of 67. Mabel maintained her home in Connellsville and died there at age 71 on Oct. 3, 2005. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery, with a distant cousin, Rev. Lee Maley, officiating. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier numbered 30 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Kenneth Sanner married Robin and has lived in Dawson, Fayette County.
  • Grandson Charles "Chuck" Sanner wedded Roxanne and have made their home in Owensdale, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Elma Sanner wedded Machan Pavelek. In 2005, they resided in Butler, Butler County, PA.
  • Grandson Arthur Sanner Jr. was joined in holy wedlock with Ruby. Their home in 2005 was in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Mary Sanner married Ted Jeffers ( ? - ? ). Ted died an untimely death prior to 2005
  • Granddaughter Laverne Sanner was united in matrimony with David Parsons. They dwelled in Grovetown, GA.
  • Granddaughter Olive Sanner married Joel Bigley. They lived in Dunbar, Fayette County.

Son Samuel Earl Giles (1935-2000) was born on Sept. 12, 1935. He married Annie Christtina Watson (1937-1981). They had a dozen children -- Amos Albert Giles, Sadie Elizabeth Buzzelli Bloom, Annie Christnia Buzzelli, Jackie David Giles, Paula Fay Brothers, Agnes Giles, Hazel Giles, Heather Giles, Jacqueline Diana Perryman, John Giles, Paul Frederick Giles and Samuel E. Giles Jr. Sadly, Annie died in 1981 at the age of only 44. Tragedy struck this family on March 6, 1989. Their son Jackie D. Giles (1964-1989) was killed "when a piece of machinery fell on him ... while dismantling machinery at the site of the former USX Homestead Works" in Munhall, near Pittsburgh, said the Daily Courier. He is one of a disturbingly large number of cousins to lose their lives in connection with the coal, coke and steel industries in our nation. Samuel passed away on Aug. 20, 2000.

  • Grandson John William Giles (1958-2016) was born on March 15, 1958 in Connellsville. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Later, he was employed by Sony Corporation and the County of Fayette as a security guard. John married Karen Hall ( ? - ? ). They resided in Dunbar, Fayette County and had two children -- Suzanna Ainsworth and Tiffany Thomas. John died at the age of 58 in UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh on Aug. 12, 2016. His remains were placed into eternal rest in Normalville Cemetery, with a distant cousin, Rev. Lee Maley -- of the family of Martha Ellen (Mayle) Mayle -- officiating at the funeral service, which included full military rites. The Connellsville Daily Courier published an obituary.
  • Grandson Amos Giles married Christine (?) and made their home in Dunbar, Fayette County.
  • Grandson Samuel Giles was wedded to Beverly. Circa 2016, they lived in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Agnes Giles made her residence in Dunbar.
  • Granddaughter Annie Giles married (?) Buzelli and dwelled in Dunbar.
  • Granddaughter Jacqueline Diana Giles was united in matrimony with Harry Perryman. Their home in 2016 was in Dunbar.
  • Granddaughter Paula Giles was wedded to Rich Brothers. They lived in Vanderbilt, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Hazel Giles made her home in Dunbar.
  • Granddaughter Heather Giles married Ralph Anderson and resided in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Sadie Giles was united in wedlock with (?) Bloom. She was deceased by 2016.
  • Grandson Paul Giles was deceased by 2016.

Daughter Hazel E. Giles (1927-2003) was born on Aug. 23, 1927 in Connellsville. Hazel wedded Howard Chaney ( ? -1989). They produced seven children -- Gloria Raye Metzger, Edward Chaney, Howard Chaney Jr., Emmert Chaney, LaFayette Chaney, Gladys Brown and Alverta Herbert. Their home for decades was in Connellsville. Howard died in 1989. Hazel lived for another 14 years as a widow. She remained in Connellsville. She succumbed at Select Specialty Hospital in Greensburg at the age of 76 on Nov. 13, 2003. An obituary noted that she was survived by 17 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery, with Rev. Bob Chambers leading the funeral service.

  • Granddaughter Gloria Raye Chaney (1957-2003) was born on Dec. 14, 1957. She married Scott W. Metzger ( ? - ? ). The couple produced two children -- Howard W. Metzger and Hazel L. Metzger. Gloria and Scott eventually divorced, and he made his home after that in Bullskin Township. Known for her "compassion and caring for others," Gloria was a member of the Polish Club, Dunbar Eagles Club and Sons of Columbus. Sadly, she died at the age of 45 in Highlands Hospital on May 20, 2003. Pastor Robert Swope led the funeral service, with burial in Normalville Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
  • Grandson Edward Chaney wedded Deborah and dwelled in Scottdale, PA in 2003.
  • Grandson Howard Chaney Jr. was united in marriage with Deborah. In 2003, their home was in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Emmert Chaney was joined in wedlock with Debra. Their residence in 2003 was in Connellsville.
  • Grandson LaFayette Chaney married Tammy and lived in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Gladys Chaney wedded (?) Brown. They resided in Camp Hill, PA in 2003.
  • Granddaughter Alverta Chaney married Ronald Herbert. They dwelled in 2003 in Dunbar, Fayette County.

Daughter Mary Giles (1940-1974) was born on April 12, 1940 in Connellsville. She was joined in holy matrimony with Clyde Means ( ? - ? ). Their offspring were Larry Duane Means and Ruth Margaret Means. The family dwelled in 1970 in Connellsville and in 1974 in Elizabeth, NJ. Tragedy enveloped this family on the morning of March 26, 1974, when a fire swept through their home and claimed the lives of Mary and her eight-year-old son Larry. News was published on the front page of the Connellsville Daily Courier.

  • Granddaughter Ruth Margaret Means made her home in Dawson, Fayette County in 1974.

Daughter Minnie Giles was united in wedlock with Thomas Gagean. In 1970-1973, their residence was in Connellsville at the address of 102 South Prospect Street. By 2000, she had remarried to (?) Bryner and lived in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh. She moved to Bedford, VA and was there in 2008.

Daughter Dorothy Giles married David Hall. They lived in Connellsville in 1970, in California in 1973 and in Bedford, VA in 1976-2000.

Son William E. "Pete" Giles made his home in 1970 in Shreveport, LA.

Son Joseph "Joe" Giles dwelled in McKees Rocks in 1970 and in Indiana in 1974.

Son James Edward "Jim" Giles (1938-2008) was born on Oct. 22, 1938 in Connellsville. On March 10, 1973, in a ceremony held in Laurel, IN, he was joined in wedlock with Shirley Mae Rose ( ? -2003). Their six children were Cheryl Woods, James Edward Giles Jr., (?) Giles, Howard Giles, Charles Giles and Dallas Day Jr. They dwelled in Texas for many years and lived in Louisiana in the early 1970s and in Connersville, IN in 1973-2000. He enjoyed attending Community Gospel Church, and earned a living in Connersville in maintenance and lawn care for Heritage House and at Dale Cemetery. Sadly, Shirley Mae died on Sept. 29, 2003. James survived his bride by a little more than four years. He passed away at the age of 69 on Jan. 29, 2008 in the emergency room of Fayette Regional Health System. Burial was in Everton Cemetery, with Rev. Robert E. Lee officiating the service from the family church.

  • Granddaughter Cheryl Giles married Scott Woods. In 2008, their home was in Cloverdale, IN.
  • Grandson James Edward Giles Jr. lived in Fort Myers, FL.
  • Grandson (?) Giles resided in Little Rock, AR.
  • Grandson Howard Giles married Laura and dwelled in Fort Myers.
  • Grandson Charles Giles made his home in 2008 in Fort Myers.

Son Paul F. Giles (1941-2013) was born on July 28, 1941 in Connellsville. He resided in 1970 in Connellsville, in 1973 in Uniontown and in 1974 again in Connellsville. On Oct. 3, 1997, he was united in marriage with Nola Lucas ( ? - ? ). She had been married before and brought these children to the marriage -- Robert Smith, Terri Johnson, Micki Walters, Vicki Paxton, Paula Bulmer and Jeff Case. Paul had two children of his own, Paul F. giles Jr. and Mickey Giles. While in Connellsville, he earned a living working at Al Renzy Bowling Alley. Then, after relocating to Connersville, IN, he was employed at Heritage House Nursing Home. It's been said that he enjoyed sports, horseshoes, bowling, pool and oldies music. Paul was admitted to Heritage House where he died in at the age of 71 on July 11, 2013. Burial was in Columbia Cemetery, with services led by Rev. Richie Ware. In an obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society.


~ Grandson William Ethelbert Giles Jr. ~

William Ethelbert Giles Jr. (1907-1983) was born in 1907. 

He married Mildred Gladys Swink (1907-1975).

They produced seven children -- Mildred M. Stull, Paul E. Giles, Constance June Harr, Gloria Wilfong, Robert L. Giles, Betty Giles and Mary Elizabeth Giles. 

He was a coal miner for Republic Steel Corp., and worked as a custodian for the Connellsville Area School District. He also was a deacon and trustee at Faith Bible Church. Circa 1928, they resided in Fitz Henry, having moved from Connellsville. 

Sadly, just after the New Year's holiday in 1929, their five month old daughter Mary Elizabeth Giles passed away. The child's burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery. 

Mildred died on Dec. 30, 1975, and was buried in Green Ridge Memorial Park. William married again, to Esther (Whoric) Welling (1915-1982). 

William passed away on March 6, 1983.

Daughter Mildred "Pat" Giles (1929-2007) was born on Sept. 12, 1929 in Connellsville. She married Wallace Eugene "Gene" Stull (1927-1999) and had four children -- Debra Catherine Cauffiel, Suzanne Kinzey Buzzelli, Candice Marie Stull and Sandra Lane Neufeld. The family grieved at the untimely death of daughter Candice. For many years, Mildred earned a living as a lead cook for Connellsville State General Hospital and then Highlands Hospital. The family were members of Faith Bible Church. In her spare time, Mildred liked to play cards in local clubs including the Ladies Card Club, with which she was affiliated for 52 years. Wallace passed away on Oct. 1, 1999. Mildred outlived her husband by eight years. As her health declined, she was admitted to Laurel Ridge Care Center in Uniontown. She succumbed there at the age of 77 on July 31, 2007. Rev. Barry Witt officiated at the funeral service. Interment followed in Green Ridge Memorial Park in Pennsville near Connellsville.

  • Granddaughter Debra Catherine Stull wedded David Cauffiel ( ? - ? ).
  • Granddaughter Suzanne Stull appears to have been married twice. Here first spouse was Garry Kinzey Sr. Later, she was joined in matrimony with Robert Buzzelli.
  • Granddaughter Sandra Stull Lane married (?) Neufeld. In 2007, her home was in Hawaiian Gardens, CA.

Son Paul E. Giles (1932-1996) was born on Jan. 27, 1932. He wed Melva L. Overly ( ? - ? ). Their four sons were Paul E. Giles Jr., Jeffrey L. Giles, William Brian Giles and Corey Giles. Paul died in 1996 at the age of about 64.

  • Grandson Paul E. Giles Jr.
  • Grandson Jeffrey L. Giles
  • Grandson William Brian Giles
  • Grandson Corey Giles

Son Robert L. Giles (1934-1993) was born in 1934. He "was employed by the Connellsville Area School District for 24 years as an air conditioner and heat maintenance person," said the Daily Courier. He also was a trustee of the Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Company and the Fraternal Order of Eagles 493. He married Harriet E. Porterfield (1934-2005), daughter of Ben and Leona (Ritenour) Porterfield of Rogers Mills, Fayette County. They had four children -- Barbara Ann Wisilosky, Bobbie Kay Thomas, David Allen Giles and Steven Lewis Giles. Harriet was a longtime seamstress with Connellsville Sportswear, working there for 32 years. She also was active with the auxiliary groups of the Eagles and fire department. She died in Uniontown Hospital on June 29, 2005, at the age of 70. Burial was in Green Ridge Memorial Park, with Rev. Robert Swope officiating at the funeral service, and an obituary appearing in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

  • Granddaughter Barbara Ann Giles married William Wisilosky. They lived in Connellsville in 2005.
  • Granddaughter Bobbie Kay Giles wedded Dennis Thomas. Their home in 2005 was in Scottdale.
  • Grandson David Allen Giles was deceased by 2005.
  • Grandson Steven Lewis Giles was deceasead by 2005.

Daughter Constance June "Connie" Giles (1939- ? ) was born on April 5, 1939. At the age of about 17, on Feb. 23, 1957, she married Russell Lee Harr (July 15, 1935-2005), son of Lloyd and Leanna (Nicholson) Harr of Connellsville. They lived in Connellsville for decades. The couple bore these known children -- Russell L. Harr Jr., Cheryl Reed  and Cynthia Miller. Russell was a medic in the U.S. Army National Guard and later went on to long-term employment with West Penn Power Company, specializing in the work of "demand analyzer." They were members of Faith Bible Church, and Russell served in the role of deacon. He belonged to the Odd Fellows Club and enjoyed the hobby of photography. Russell was admitted to UPMC Shadyside Hospital where he died at the age of 69 on July 10, 2005. Rev. Barry Witt preached the funeral sermon, with burial in Green Ridge Memorial Park. An obituary was published in the Greensburg Tribune-Review. The widowed Constance continued to make a home in Connellsville.

  • Grandson Russell L. Harr Jr. wedded Theresa. They were the parents of Cassidy Harr. The family was in Connellsville in 2005.
  • Granddaughter Cheryl Harr married David Reed. Children born to this marriage were David Reed Jr., Brian Reed, Jason Reed and Robert Reed. Their home circa 2005 was in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County.
  • Granddaughter Cynthia Harr was joined in marriage with Richard Miller. They produced three offspring -- Kelly Miller, Holly Miller and Heather Miller. Circa 2005, they made a home in Connellsville.

Daughter Gloria J. Giles (1931-2002) was born on New Year's Day 1931. She wed Walter Wilfong ( ? - ? ), believed to have been the son of Garnet W. and Susan M. (Roy) Wilfong. The couple bore nine offspring -- Sherman H Shockey, William Shockey, Walter Wilfong Jr., Jeffrey Wilfong, Sharon Long, Becky Wingrove, Deborah Corby, Tawana Wilfong and Patricia Compton. They relocated to Bruceton Mills, Preston County, WV. Sadly, Gloria passed away at home on Oct. 4, 2002. Her remains were placed into rest in Shady Grove Cemetery in Bruceton Mills, with Rev. Dale Rexrode officiating at the funeral service. Walter married again to Peggy ( ? - ? ).

  • Grandson Sherman H Shockey of Baltimore
  • Grandson William Shockey of Baltimore
  • Grandson Walter F. Wilfong Jr. ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He was united in wedlock with Denise Lynn (Long) Tylka (June 18, 1964-2019), a native of Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA and the daughter of Ronald C. Long and Donna Mae (Hixson) Tylka Clark and stepdaughter of Perry Clark and Sharon Long. The two sons born to this union were Jason Scott wilfong and David W. Wilfong. They lived the Clifton section of Bruceton Mills, where Denise earned a living working at the Family Dollar Store. In her extra hours, she liked to fish, gamble, shop and spend time with horses. Grief cascaded over the family when Denise died without warning at the age of 54 on June 6, 2019. Following funeral services in Brandonville/Bruceton Mills, led by Rev. Barry M. Adkins, her remains were transported back to Pennsylvania to rest in repose in Greenlick Cemetery in Mount Pleasant. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary.
  • Grandson Jeffrey Wilfong of Lemont Furnace, PA
  • Granddaughter Sharon Wilfong married (?) Long and lived in Bruceton Mills.
  • Granddaughter Becky Wilfong wedded (?) Wingrove. Their home in 2019 was in Wooddale, PA.
  • Granddaughter Deborah Wilfong was united in matrimony with (?) Corby. They dwelled in Oakland, MD.
  • Granddaughter Tawana Wilfong resided in Bruceton Mills
  • Granddaughter Patricia Wilfong was joined in wedlock with (?) Compton. They lived in Bruceton Mills.


~ Grandson Samuel A. Giles ~

Samuel A. Giles (1908-1974) was born on Oct. 24, 1908 in Connellsville.

When he was about 21 years of age, in 1929, he married 20-year-old Elinor "Elma" Holt (1909-1990).

They produced an only daughter, Dorothy Turney.


McKees Rocks Bridge, the longest span in Allegheny County, PA


Said the Daily Courier, Samuel "was a retired engineer in the Pennsylvania Central Railroad, a member of the Free Methodist Church of Aliquippa and a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen." In 1954, living in Pittsburgh, he signed his mother's death certificate.

He resided in Whitsett, Fayette County (1937), Pittsburgh's North Side (1945), Connellsville and at 1212 Vine Street in McKees Rocks near Pittsburgh in 1970-1974.

Samuel died in Ohio Valley Hospital at the age of 65 on Nov. 6, 1974. Rev. Charles Little led the funeral service, with burial in Mount Olive Cemetery.

Elma survived him by 16 years. She joined him in death in 1990.

Daughter Dorothy Giles ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married (?) Turney. They were the parents of a son. Dorothy lived with her parents in 1974.


Sewickley Hospital

~ Granddaughter Mabel (Giles) Rosenbloom ~

Mabel Giles ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

She first married William Rosenbloom (sometimes referred to as Roseblossom, Robinson and Rose Blossom) and later to George Robinson ( ? - ? )

She lived in Ambridge, Beaver County, PA, circa 1936 and in South Heights at Aliquippa in 1945-1952. She was in Ambridge, Beaver County in 1970-1974. 

She worked for many years in the dietician's office of Sewickley Valley Hospital near Pittsburgh. The hospital is seen here, nestled in the hills along Blackburn Road.

She adopted a son, Donnie.


~ Granddaughter Sadie (Giles) Straitiff ~


Sadie and her eldest son, circa 1921

Sadie Giles (1904-1972) was born in about 1904.

She married Lafayette Straitiff (Feb. 20, 1896-1965). A veteran of World War I, he was the son of William P. and Ruth M. (Kelley) Straitiff of Mount Union, PA.

They had four children -- William P. Straitiff, Patricia Mattis, Edward Dale Straitiff and Pearl Martin.

Lafayette earned a living over the years as a blacksmith.

The Straitiffs' address in the mid-1960s was at 119 North Main Street in Fairchance, Fayette County. They were members of Trinity Methodist Church in Fairchance. Sadie also belonged to the Fairchance Firemen's Auxiliary, Fairchance Hospital Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and Protective Home Circle of Uniontown.

Lafayette was diagnosed with cancer of the spinal cord in 1963. After a two-year decline, added to heart valve and electrolyte imbalance, he died at the age of 69 on Sept. 10, 1965. Burial was in Uniontown's Park Place Cemetery, with Rev. Harry L. Humbert officiating, and a death notice printed in the Uniontown Morning Herald.

Sadie lived for another nine years as a widow. In 1970, she suffered the death of grandson Melvin Paul Fike II. She died at the age of 68, in Uniontown Hospital, on July 9, 1972. A death notice published in the Morning Herald noted that her survivors included seven grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

Son William P. Straitiff (1920-1999) was born in 1920. In about 1947, when he was 27, he wedded Nevada (Victor) Link ( ? -1992). He served during World War II as a paratrooper with the A Company of the 506 PIR, 101st Airborne Division. Nevada also provided military service during the war in the Women's Air Corps. Circa 1965, his home was in Glen Riddle, PA. By 1972, he relocated to Claymont, New Castle County, DE. Their address in 1992 was 22 Denham Street. Nevada died at home on Nov. 10, 1992, with an obituary appearing in the Wilmington News Journal. William outlived his wife by seven years. He joined her in eternity on April 10, 1999.

Daughter Pearl Straitiff ( ? - ? ) married Fred Martin Jr. ( ? - ? ). She dwelled in Markleysburg, PA in 1965-1972.

Son Edward Dale Straitiff ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He married Sandra Agler ( ? - ? ), daughter of William Agler of Lakewood, OH. During the Vietnam War, he served as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division, Company 506, based at Fort Campbell, KY. Later, he was shipped overseas to Vilsock, Germany. They produced at least two children, Duane Edward Straitiff and Lafayette Michelle "White Cloud" Straitiff. By 1965, his residence was in Bennettsville, SC. Then circa 1972, he made his home in Claymont, New Castle County, DE. In 1982, his wife was named in the Wilmington News Journal as "Peggy." Did he also marry Doris McGhee ( ? - ? )?

  • Grandson Dwayne Edward Straitiff (1963- ? ) was born in 1963.
  • Granddaughter Lafayette Michelle "White Cloud" Straitiff studied during her junior and senior years of high school at the Arkansas School of Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, a residential high school for academically advanced students.

Daughter Patricia Straitiff ( ? - ? ) married Frank Mattis ( ? - ? ). They lived in Uniontown in 1972.



Left: Hazel Evans with son Melvin and his wife Theresa. Right: Hazel's son Russell and wife Betty with a grandniece

~ Granddaughter Hazel (Giles) Evans ~

Hazel Giles (1900-1982) was born in 1900. 

She married Chauncey Lorenzo Dow "Russell" Evans Sr. (1890-1959), son of Lorenzo Evans of McKees Rocks. Russell also used the names "James" and "Chance."

They produced eight children -- Russell Woodrow Evans, Rev. Melvin Chance Evans, Geraldine Booth, Eugene Evans, Elmer Evans, Annie Evans, Dolores Evans and Chauncey Lorenzo Dow Evans Jr.  

Russell earned a living as a watchman for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Pittsburgh.

Their home in the 1950s was at 1214 Vine Street in McKees Rocks.

Having been afflicted with Hodgkins Disease of the colon and testicles, he passed away on Feb. 7, 1959 at the age of 68. A death notice printed in the Pittsburgh Press noted that he was survived by 21 grandchildren.

Hazel outlived her husband by 23 years, and died in January 1982. They are buried together at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in McKees Rocks.


Brothers Melvin (left) and Russell Evans, 1937

Son Russell Woodrow Evans (1919-2000) was born in 1919. He earned a living as a truck driver and was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1931, when he was 12, Russell and his brother 11-year-old Melvin, who both were excellent swimmers, rescued cousins Bruce and Anna (Christian) Miner from drowning in the Youghiogheny River at Stony Point. The news was reported in the Monessen Daily Independent. He passed away on Aug. 24, 2000, at the age of 81.

Son Rev. Melvin Chance Evans (1920-1992) was born in 1920. He married Theresa Calabrese ( ? - ? ) and had a large family of 14 children. When he was a boy, while swimming in the Youghiogheny River in Connellsville, Melvin found an axe that was thought to have been used in a 1932 triple murder considered the "bloodiest crime in Connellsville's history." The discovery generated top headlines in the Connellsville Daily Courier. At the time of World War II, he lived in Alaska, but returned to Pittsburgh to enlist in the U.S. Army. Melvin was a pipe checker, and Theresa a welder, supporting the war effort at home. He also served as a pastor of a Presbyterian church in Wilkinsburg, a suburb of Pittsburgh. He passed away in Burgettstown, Washington County, PA on Sept. 29, 1992, and she died just three days later, on Oct. 2, 1992. The obituaries were printed in the Valley Independent of Monessen. They are buried in Economy Cemetery in Ambridge, Beaver County, PA. 


Chauncey Evans

Daughter Geraldine Evans (1922-2004) was born on Dec. 8, 1922. She married (?) Booth. She resided in Stowe Township, near McKees Rocks in Pittsburgh. Later in life, her home was in Beaver Falls, Beaver County, PA. She passed away at age 81 on July 2, 2004.

Son Chauncey Lorenzo Dow Evans Jr. (1924-2008) was born on Oct. 28, 1924 in Columbus, Franklin County, OH. He is seen here on his 82nd birthday. He married Ida Laverne (?) ( ? -1995) and had four children -- Betty Jane Harris, Chauncey Evans III, David Evans and Ida Grimsley. Said the Dover (DE) State News, he "enjoyed a 30-year career with the Pittsburgh and Ohio Valley Railroad, retiring in 1978 as train master. he served with the U.S. Navy during World War II." He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of Franklin Masonic Lodge 12 in Georgetown, DE, and was a past sachem of Nanticoke Tribe 21, Fraternal Order of the Redmen. Ida Laverne died in 1995. Her details are not yet known. Chauncey outlived her by 12-plus years. He passed away in Georgetown, Sussex County, DE at the age of 83 on Jan. 13, 2008. He was laid to rest at the Henlopen Memorial Park in Milton, DE.

Son Eugene Evans ( ? -living)

Daughter Dolores Evans ( ? -living) was born in (?). She married Edgar Chestnutt ( ? - ? ), son of Darrell Chestnutt Sr. (Her sister Anna married his brother Darrell "Tex" Chestnutt Jr.)


Anna and Tex Chestnutt

Marri Shanks and her
aunt Anna Chesnutt

Daughter Anna Evans (1933-2015) was born in about 1933. She married Darrell "Tex" Chestnutt Jr. (1928-2000), son of Darrell Chestnutt Sr. They resided in McKees Rocks (Stowe Township) near Pittsburgh. Their three children were Diana Mainolfi, Linda Holloway and Darrell Chestnutt III. Tex passed away on April 22, 2000, at the age of 72. Anna survived him by 15 years. She died at the age of 82 on April 29, 2015. Funeral services were held in the Anthony M. Musmanno Funeral Home in McKees Rocks followed by burial in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. At her death, her photograph and death notice were printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Marri (Evans) Shanks graciously has shared information for this biography. She is seen here with her aunt Anna (Evans) Chestnutt. Marri has attended two of our national family reunions.


Copyright  2000-2007, 2014-2016 Mark A. Miner