John Franklin Miner was born in January 1874, presumably in Omega, Marion County, IL, the son of Chance and Martha (Jones) Miner.
In 1889, when he was 15, John signed his name as a witness for an affidavit that his mother had made in his father's Civil War pension case. The family was living in Omega at the time.
John's town of residence in 1898 was Kinmundy, Marion County.
At the age of 24, on March 15, 1899, John married 19-year-old Josephine Etta "Josie" Roberts (June 10, 1880-1926), a resident of Omega Township, Marion County, and the daughter of Eli and Lucy Jane (Green) Roberts. The wedding took place at the office of justice of the peace S.J. Wagner, and was witnessed by H.L. Roberts and Sarah J. Wagner.
The Miners bore these known offspring -- Florence "Flossie" Rankin, John E. Miner (possibly also known as Myron Miner?), Clayton Miner, Nita Miner and Linzie Bryant Miner. The family was plunged into grief when daughter Nita died on April 30, 1903, at the age of one, and Myron (date unknown) at age two.
He is believed to be the same "John Miner" whose name appeared in the Omega gossip columns of the Salem (IL) Republican in May 1895, which reported that he and R.J. Millican "are cropping together this summer," and in the Salem (IL) Herald-Advocate in July 1896, which stated that he "drives a new buggy."
When the federal census was taken in 1900, the Miners were living with Josie's widowed father in Omega Township, where they labored as farmers. John and Josie's two young children had been born by that time.
Heartache rocked the young family on Jan. 7, 1905, when John died at the age of 30 in Marion County. The cause is not known. His untimely death left Josie a widow at age 25 with four young children to feed and clothe.
Josie spent just under two years as a widow. Then three days before Christmas 1906, in a ceremony held in Paxton, Ford County, IL, the 26-year-old wedded a second time to William Silas Nasers (1869-1960). He was a Kentucky native and the son of a French immigrant father.
The second marriage led to one daughter, Beulah G. (Nasers) Evans, born in 1907 in Gibson City, Ford County.
The 1910 and 1920 United States Census show the family in Gibson City, with William earning a living in 1910 as a laborer performing odd jobs and in 1920 as a farm laborer.
Sadly, Josie died at home in Gibson on Feb. 15, 1926, at the age of only 45 years, 9 months and 5 days. In an obituary, the Gibson City Courier reported that six days before death, "she made her peace with God and confessed the Lord Jesus as her Saviour at her home, surrounded by her family, and was received into membership with the United Brethren church of this city." Funeral services were held in her new church, led by Rev. Harvey M. Klinger. The funeral sermon was based on the scripture verses John 14: 1-2: "Let not your heart be troubled; in my Father's house are many mansions; I go to prepare abiding places for you." Vocal music was provided by a quartet consisting of Hazel Potts, Gertrude Klinger, Carroll Walker and Carroll Klopfenstein. Added the Courier: "Mrs. Nasers had been a patient sufferer from a lingering illness for the past two years. God in his mercy released her from her sufferings and called her spirit home to rest. She will be greatly missed in the home from which she has departed." Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Gibson City's Drummer Township Cemetery. Death records show she had dwelled in the community for 19 years.
~ Daughter Florence Mae "Flossie" (Miner) Rankin ~
Daughter Florence Mae "Flossie" Miner (1899-1980) was born on March 28, 1899 in Marion or Ford County, IL. She was only age six when her father died.
She was joined in holy wedlock with Franz Harry Rankin (Oct. 23, 1890-1978), the son of German immigrants Franz and Denna (Schwick) Rankin Sr., with the wedding taking place in Chicago on April 20, 1915. In a wedding announcement, the Urbana (IL Daily Courier reported that "Mr. Franz Rankin of this place and Miss Flossie Miner of Gibson were married on Tuesday of last week. They will go to housekeeping in Gibson. the groom is the brother of Mrs. George Bunn and has made his home with her for many years."
The children from this union were Lloyd Edward Rankin and Florence M. Hewerdine.
Franz appears to have worked for the Wabash Railroad as a section foreman. He resigned in March 1919 and moved to Proctor to begin employment for Bruce Farlin. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1920, the Rankins dwelled in Drummer Township, Ford County, IL, with Franz earning a living as a general laborer.
The couple's home in 1926 was in Gibson City, Ford County, in 1930 in Brown Township, in 1933 one mile northeast of Foosland, and in 1935 in Harpster. Franz labored as a farmer in 1930.
The Farmer City (IL) Journal noted in an April 1939 story that the Rankins, "who occupied the [Clara] Conkling property exchanged residences with the [Clarence] Scarbroughs" in Bellflower, McLean County, IL. Census records for 1940 show the Rankins in Bellflower. Then in August 1940, they relocated again from the Clara O'Leary tract to the Fred Tomblin farm which had been vacated by Donald Short. Then in April 1942 Franz found employment in a bakery in Champaign, IL and thus moved there.
Circa 1970, when named in the Gibson City Courier obituary of her half-sister Beulah Evans, Flossie was residing in the village of Mahomet in Champaign County, IL.
Franz succumbed to death at age 88 on Nov. 20, 1978.
On March 15, 1980, when she was 80 years of age, Flossie died in or near Champaign, Champaign County. Burial was in Grandview Memorial Gardens.
Son Lloyd Edward Rankin (1916-1981) -- sometimes known as "Floyd" -- was born on Jan. 31, 1916. At birth he weighed 9 lbs., according to a gossip column notice in the Champaign County News. He grew up in Ford and Champaign Counties, IL. At the age of 17, Lloyd was arrested with another man for a Christmas Eve 1932 robbery of the L.M. Pfoff General Store. News of the matter was printed in the Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph, which said that "Part of the stolen loot including knives, scarfs, shirts and shoes were recovered from the youths. Warrants for their arrest were sworn out by Mr. Pfoff." He died in Lowell, Lake County, IL on Sept. 9, 1981.
Daughter Florence M. Rankin (1921-1996) was born on March 21, 1921 in Gibson City, Ford County, IL. In 1938, she married Glade Carroll Hewerdine (1919-2009), son of William Ira and Nancy Jane (Jeffries) Hewerdine. In honor of the marriage, her mother held a variety shower which was attended by Florence Collier, Rose Scarbrough, Mrs. Frank Hensley, Emma Garlock, Gladys Wallis, Alice Hansley and Emma Miller. The gossip columns of the Gibson City Courier said that "Contests and a mock wedding were the entertainment and refreshments were served. Many lovely gifts were received by the bride." One known son born to the couple was Max Duane Hewerdine. The Hewerdines dwelled in Urbana, IL (circa 1939) and Rantoul, IL. During World War II, Glade trained at Camp Blanding, FL, learning how to use weapons such as a mortar, machine gun and carbine. He then was deployed to France in 1945 as a cook for the 422nd Infantry Division. She passed away at age 75, on Oct. 23, 1996, in Champaign. Her remains are in repose in Grandview Memorial Gardens in Champaign. Glade lived as a widower for a baker's dozen years. As a patient at Heartland Healthcare Center in Champaign, he died on Oct. 29, 2009. Rev. Steve Brady led the funeral service.
~ Son John E. Miner ~
Son John E. Miner (1900- ? ) was born in April 1900 in Marion County. Was he also known as Myron Miner, who died at the age of two?
~ Son Clayton Miner ~
Son Clayton Miner (1900-1980) was born on April 24, 1900 in Marion County, IL. Was he a twin with his brother John?
Clayton grew up in Gibson City, Ford County, IL. He was of medium height and build and had blue eyes and light hair. In 1918, he registered for the military draft and disclosed that he was living in Foosland, IL and working as a line man for Western Union Telegraph. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War I.
On Sept. 24, 1925, when he was 25 years old, Clayton was united in holy wedlock with Elsie J. Brill (1908-1986), daughter of James Brill. The wedding was held in the parsonage of the United Brethren Church in Elsie's hometown of Danville, Vermilion County, IL, officiated by Rev. George L. McClanathan. In a story about the event, the Gibson City Courier reported that "The young people were attended by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Parker of this city and they will make their home with Mr. and Mrs. Parker for the present.... The Courier joins with their friends in extending congratulations and best wishes."
The pair resided in Kankakee, Kankakee County, IL in 1926; Gibson City/Harpster, IL in 1928-1934; and Foosland, Champaign County, IL circa 1934. While in Gibson City in 1934, they were tenant farmers on the Rube Suter property, and in 1935 on the P.R. Anderson farm.
They bore two known daughters, Doris Ileen Kobitka Hounsel and Janet Louise Miner.
For many years, Clayton was employed by the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad serving a loop between Elgin, IL and Hammond, IN.
A story in the Courier in December 1935 noted that the Miners had spent Thanksgiving at the home of Elsie's parents in Lansing, IL. It also reported that they were going to move to Lansing, where Clayton had become newly employed in a locomotive shop. Two years later, in 1937, they dwelled in Calumet City, Cook County, IL, south of Chicago. Their address in Calumet City in 1946 was 112 155th Street.
Grief cascaded over the family when daughter Janet became seriously ill at the age of eight in late 1942. She was admitted to Chicago's Billings Memorial Hospital, where she was gathered away by the Angel of Death after seven weeks of suffering on Nov. 16, 1942. Burial of her remains was in Elmwood Cemetery in Hammond, Lake County, IN, officiated by Rev. Robert Lillie.
The Miners dwelled in Lansing, IL in 1954-1970 and in Lake Village, IN in 1980. They belonged to the Community Christian Reformed Church of Thayer, IN.
Clayton passed away at the age of 80 on May 27, 1980 in St. Elizabeth Hospital in Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, IN. Interment was in Elmwood Cemetery, with Rev. John Van Schepen leading the funeral service in the Community Christian Reformed Church of Roselawn, IN. An obituary was published in the Munster (IN) Times.
Elsie lived for another six years after her husband's death. She succumbed in 1986.
Daughter Doris Ilene Miner (1928-1992) was born on March 7, 1928 in Saybrook, IL. She was a 1945 graduate of Thornton Fractional North High School of Calumet City, IL and obtained employment at Hammond Brass Company. On May 11, 1946, she first was united in matrimony with Joseph Adam Kobitka ( ? -1950), son of Nicholas Kobitka of Calumet City. Their wedding was held in Hammond, IN at St. Andrew Church and announced in the Munster (IN) Timeswith Doris' wedding photograph. Among those known to have attended was Mrs. Orville Stauffer, who traveled from her home in Gibson City. The news also was reported in the Gibson City Courier. At the time of marriage, Joseph was on the workforce of Cities Service Oil Company. One daughter born to the couple was Sandra Shaffer. The Kobitkas made a home at 18348 School Street in Lansing, IL, a town along the Illinois-Indiana border. Grief cascaded over the family when, at age 27, Joseph died in a hospital in Chicago on May 9, 1950. His obituary in the Times said that his funeral mass was held in St. Andrew Church, Calumet City, officiated by the hand of Msgr. Joseph Sehnke. Interment followed in Holy Cross Cemetery, Calumet City. Doris did not marry again for 16 years. In about 1954, she gave birth to a daughter, whom she named Candace. Then at the age of 38, on Sept. 12, 1966, she wed Jack C. Hounsel (April 15, 1935-2001), a native of Gladewater, TX and the son of Lyric Collins and Blanche (Lynch) Hounsel. Their nuptials were held in Kankakee, IL. The Hounsels bore a son of their own, Randall R. Hounsel. They moved to Lake Village, IN in 1978 and remained for good. Sadly, at the age of 64, Doris passed away in Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Dyer, IN on Sept. 15, 1992. An obituary was published in the Valparaiso (IN) Vidette-Messenger. Rev. Jim Stoel led the funeral service, and burial was in Roselawn Cemetery in Newton County, IN. Jack outlived his bride by nine years. Death carried him away on July 21, 2001.
~ Son Linzie Bryant Miner ~
Son Linzie Bryant Miner (1905-1954) -- sometimes spelled "Lindsey" -- was born on Jan. 6 or 7, 1905 in Omega, Marion County, IL. His father died when Lindsey was in infancy.
At the age of five, Linzie lived with his mother and stepfather in Gibson City, Ford County, IL.
While occasionally noted in childhood bearing the stepfather's surname of Nasers, Linzie kept the Miner name. When he was 16, he remained in the Nasers household near Gibson and provided farm labor. He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall in adulthood, weighing 195 lbs. and sporting brown hair and grey eyes.
Linzie's home in 1926 was Gibson City and in 1930 in nearby Harpster.
In 1926, he married Anna Laura Hudson (Dec. 16, 1905-1981), a native of Somerset, KY. The wedding was held in Bloomington, IL.
They were the parents of three children, among them Robert Lee Miner, Glenn Dale Miner and Geneva Harris.
Linzie was a longtime railroad laborer. Circa 1940, the Miners relocated to Bellflower, IL, where he was cmployed by Ray McCartney. They belonged to the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
Sadly, after poor health of several years' duration, Linzie passed away in Gibson Community Hospital at the age of 49 on Nov. 16, 1954. Burial was in Drummer Township Cemetery, with Rev. White of Farmer City officiating the funeral. Music was furnished by soloist Mrs. John Straub, accompanied by Mrs. William Kitts. Pallbearers included D.B. Lykins, John Straub, John Cherry, Robert Welch, Kirk Bristow and Robert Kammeyer. An obituary was published in the Bloomington (IL) Pantagraphand Farmer City Journal.
After Linzie's death, Anna and her son Robert shared an apartment in Gibson City.
Anna's final years were spent in Fort Valley, GA. She became a patient in Peach County Hospital in Fort Valley and died there age the age of 78 on Aug. 6, 1981. Her remains were transported back to Gibson City for burial, with an obituary printed in the Gibson City Courier. Her survivors were counted as 19 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Daughter Geneva Mae Miner (1930-1981) was born on Sept. 12, 1930 in Harpster, IL. She married Wallace Wayne Harris (Aug. 12, 1921- ? ), son of Ralph S. and Mildred (Harms) Harris of Colfax, IL. He appears to have been married once before to Mary Lou Sears ( ? - ? ) and brought a stepson into the second union, Terry Wayne Harris. Together, Geneva and Wallace produced five children of their own -- Tonya Sue Hackett, Linda Diane Olds Sorg, Larry Gene Harris, Michael Lynn Harris and Ralph Eugene Harris. Wallace had lived in Colfax in the early 1940s and worked for Otto Umland. He then joined the U.S. Navy during World War II. Wayne spent the rest of his working career in the U.S. Army. They lived at Fort Sheridan, IL in 1954 and in Fort Devins, MA and Bessemer, MI, both in the year 1957. In the immediate postwar years after the Korean War ended, Wallace returned from Korea and was assigned to Fort Devins, MA, where he instructed trainees. Circa August 1957, he was treated in an Army hospital in Norristown, PA. In 1966 the couple relocated to Columbus, GA, and Wallace retired the following year. He continued working in retirement as a guard captain with Wells Fargo. Said the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer, "He was very active in counseling and assisting troubled youths in the Columbus area." Geneva was employed as assistant dietitian for West Central Georgia Regional Hospital. They held a membership in the Way of Cross Lutheran Church. Their final home was at 731 Southern Pines Drive in Columbus. Death came to claim her away in Martin Army Hospital at the age of 49 on Feb. 25, 1981. The Ledger-Enquirer printed an obituary, which said she was survived by 15 grandchildren, and spelling her maiden name as "Minor." Wallace lived for another 17 years as a widower, dwelling in Bleckley County. He passed away on June 14, 1998, at home in Columbus. His obituary appeared in the Ledger-Enquirer. Burial of the remains was in Evergreen Memory Gardens.
Son Robert Lee "Rob" Miner (1928-1992) was born on June 3, 1928 in Gibson City. News of his birth was published in the Gibson City Courier. At the age of 18, he lived in Bellflower, IL and earned income as a section worker with the Illinois Central Railroad. He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighted 140 lbs., with blue eyes and brown hair. Robert served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. There is no evidence to suggest that he married. As an adult, he lived in Gibson City, and from 1953 to 1969, he was employed by Central Soya, a soybean processing plant in town. He and his mother rented a property from Myrtle Fosnaugh in 1959, and in January 1960 he acquired an apartment building on Main Street. He made a home in Champaign in 1981-1992. Sadly, at the age of 63, Robert was carried away by the Angel of Death on Feb. 20, 1992. An obituary was printed in the Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph. Following a funeral led by the hand of Rev. Dan Hill, his remains were laid to rest in Drummer Township Cemetery.
Son Glen Dale Miner (1939-2002) -- also spelled "Glendale" -- was born on Aug. 11, 1939 in Harpster, IL. At the age of 21, in 1950, he lived in Bellflower, IL. He was sued by the People of the State of Illinois circa 1957 for writing bad checks. He lived at 1076 West Macon Street in Decatur in 1959 at which time he began serving a 90-day sentence for check fraud at the state penal farm. Again in November 1960, Glen was arrested for forgery. A decade later, in February 1970, he was arrested in a bus depot in Decatur after allegedly robbing the Snappy Service restaurant of $50 in cash. In about 1981, at the age of 41, he wed 40-year-old Nanna Marie Lavigne ( ? - ? ). News of their marriage license was published in the Decatur Herald and Review. Glen lived in Decatur, IL in 1981-1992. Glen died in Springfield, IL on April 10, 2002.
~ Josie's Daughter Beulah (Nasers) Evans ~
Josie's daughter from the second marriage, Beulah (Nasers) Evans (1907-1970) was born on Sept. 14, 1907 in Gibson City.
On Feb. 24, 1927, in nuptials held in Paxton, IL, she married Foster Evans Sr. ( ? - ? ).
The couple resided for 42 years in Saybrook, McLean County, IL.
They produced four sons -- Foster Evans Jr., Leonard Evans, Kenneth Evans and Donald Evans.
In her late 50s, Beulah began to suffer a serious illness which lasted for five years. Toward the end, she was admitted to Gibson Community Hospital. She passed away there at the age of 62 on April 1, 1970. Rev. R.M. Luedde preached the funeral sermon, with burial following in Riverside Cemetery. An obituary in the Gibson City Courier noted that she was survived by 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Son Foster Evans Jr. ( ? - ? ) lived in Gibson City in 1970.
Son Leonard Evans ( ? - ? ) resided in Saybrook, IL.
Son Kenneth Evans ( ? - ? )
Son Donald Evans ( ? - ? )