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John Ross Miner


John Ross Miner

John Ross Miner was born on New Year's Eve 1858 near Humbert, Somerset County, PA, the son of Henry A. and Matilda (Rose) Miner. As a young boy, he moved with his parents to the booming coal and coke center of Connellsville, Fayette County, PA.

On July 24, 1881, at the age of 23, John married 19-year-old Mary Melissa Moody (1862-1922), the daughter of James J. and Nancy (Ritenour) Moody Sr. The ceremony was held at the Dravo Coke Works, in the presence of his brother Silas Miner and Cal Harcum, and was performed by M.G. Marple, a minister.

John's new father in law was politically active and was elected constable of Lower Tyrone Township in Fayette County in 1881. 

John labored as a coke drawer and coal mine laborer for 45 years. His primary place of employment was in Connellsville at the Davidson Coke Works of the H.C. Frick Coke Co., which eventually became a subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation.

The Miners together produced a family of 14 children -- but tragically and astonishingly, all but four died before the age of 18. Their family Bible, viewed by the founder of this website in the early 1990s, contains the handwritten listings of all the children's deaths, one after another after another.


~ Children's Deaths Recorded in the Family Bible ~
Nora Estella - 1882 - age 3 years Grant Sylvester Miner - 1895 - 8 months
Viola Miner - 1883 - 1 year, 2 months Emanuel Theodore Miner - 1897
John William Miner - 1886- Tomey Miner - 1899 - 9 months
James Henry Miner - 1892 - 8 years, 7 days Eldora Elizabeth Miner - 1907 - 18 years, 8 months
Emma May Miner - 1892 - 1 year, 4 months Ethel May Miner - 1910 - 8 years, 2 days



Davidson coke works

The children all were buried at the Mennonite Cemetery near Pennsville, but in another twist of fate, none of the graves is marked. They are remembered in the family Bible, and on this webpage, and perhaps nowhere else.

Perhaps the most shocking and tragic deaths was daughter Elizabeth's, on Sept. 25, 1907. The 18-year-old accidentally was struck by a moving railroad car at the Davidson Coke Works where she was visiting her father at his place of employment. A rare old postcard view of the Davidson Works is seen here.

The four children to survive this cruel shadow of death were Mary Lavida Bailey, Elmer Ellsworth Miner Moody, Nancy Stillwagon Kuhns and Charles Dewey "Red" Minor. 

John and Mary lived for many years at Dawson and at No. 32 Davidson Hill  in Connellsville.


Poster advertising the growing empire of the H.C. Frick Coke Co., John's longtime employer. Library of Congress.



John, Red and Delores

Scandal would have rocked the family in 1912, when John's son Elmer had an affair with, and eloped with, John's married sister in law, Fannie (Dublin) Miner (Enoch Miner's wife). After Fannie died an untimely death, Elmer left town, and his whereabouts were unknown circa 1935.

In 1920, John is believed to have attended the Minerd-Miner Reunion at Ohiopyle, Fayette County, and in 1927 he was one of several cousins who spoke at the clan's gathering in nearby Confluence, Somerset County. Perhaps inspired by the size of the Minerd gatherings, he and his brothers helped organize McDowell-Miner-Ritenour Reunions in 1929-1931, with John was elected treasurer of the first two events, held at Hillcrest Park in Connellsville. The Miner-McDowell committee also included his brothers Grant and William as well as Arthur McDowell and Emerson Ritenour, with nephew by marriage George Buttermore elected chairman and George's wife Meda (Miner) Buttermore as secretary.

John and his brother Grant are known to have gone to the Minerd Reunion in August 1932, held at Lake Forest Park near Scottdale, Westmoreland County. Writing in the Huntingdon (PA) Daily News, their cousin Laura Jane (Minerd) Williams reported: "Everyone seemed to enjoy the fine fellowship that existed among all the reunionists and the innumerable baskets that provided dinner and supper for the party were bottomless."

Mary suffered from epileptic seizures for many years. Sadness blanketed the family when she was found dead in bed at age 60 on Aug. 19, 1922. The cause of death was believed to have been a stroke. She was laid to rest in the Mennonite Cemetery in Connellsville Township.

John outlived Mary by 13 years, and retired from the Frick Company. He began receiving a pension, one of the earliest family members to obtain this type of company benefit. 

At age 64, on March 28, 1923, John married 31-year-old Mary Ellen (Ringer) Tressler (Feb. 13, 1892-1970). She was less than half his age and the daughter of William and Caroline (Frickey) Ringer of Summit Mills, Fayette County.

Mary Ellen had been married previously, to Harvey Tressler, and brought a nine-year-old daughter to the second marriage, Grace Tressler (March 21, 1914-1958).

The Miners produced a daughter of their own, Mabel Kennick.


John named in Minerd (1927) and McDowell-Miner (1930) reunion news


Sadly, Mary Ellen's daughter Grace, born in Meyersdale, Somerset County, PA, contracted polio at about age nine circa 1923. She endured the paralysis for the remaining years of her life.

On Sept. 21, 1935, burdened with hardening of the arteries, John died at home at age 76.  Though devastated by the deaths of so many children, at his own passing he was survived by four children and 10 grandchildren. The funeral was conducted by John's distant cousin, Rev. David E. Minerd, the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" of Fayette County. The Daily Courier reported that a "quartet composed of Mrs. Walter Smith, Mrs. William E. Bisel, Edward Hiltabidel and Homer Davis, sang. Miss Lulu Bailey was accompanist." Pallbearers were his nephews Clyde Miner (son of Grant), Frank Miner (son of Silas), Noah Miner (son of Enoch) and William Miner (son of William) and George and William Richter (sons of Mary Anna Richter).

John was buried with his first wife and children in the Mennonite Cemetery at Pennsville. Their graves today are not marked. 


Pennsville's Mennonite Cemetery where John, first wife Mary and many of their young children rest for eternity in unmarked graves



Connellsville Daily Courier

After some years as a widow, Ellen married her second husband, Richard Kerns (March 13, 1880-1963), son of Solomon and Hannah (Hall) Kerns of Davistown, Fayette County. He was a dozen years older than his bride and, having been divorced from Dora Eiford in 1939, brought six children to the marriage -- Ida Harshman, Carl Kerns, Kenneth Kerns, Effie Bauer, Anna Bauer and Ellouise Basinger.

The Kernses made their home at the corner of Balldridge Avenue and Mill Street in South Connellsville, where Richard was employed by the State Hotel in Connellsville. They were members of the Calvary Assembly of God Church in town.

Richard suffered a fatal heart attack and died instantly at home at the age of 83 on March 13, 1963. His remains were placed into eternal rest in Connellsville's Hill Grove Cemetery following funeral services led by Rev. E.J. Hatchner.

Ellen spent her final years residing with her daughter Mabel and died on Sept. 6, 1970. Rev. Charles Dale led the funeral service followed by burial in Hill Grove.

Stepdaughter Grace Tressler (1914-1958) was born on March 21, 1914 in Meyersdale. She contracted polio at about age nine circa 1923. She endured the paralysis for the remaining 35 years of her life. Then in about 1946, she was admitted to the Somerset County Home, which became her residence for the next 11 years and seven months. She died, unmarried, at the age of 44 on May 7, 1958. The remains were interred in Somerset County Memorial Park.


~ Daughter Nancy (Minor) Stillwagon Kuhns ~

Daughter Nancy M. Minor (1887- ? ) was born in 1887. 

On Feb. 3, 1903, she first married Oliver R. Stillwagon (1878- ? ), when she was age 16 and he 25. They united themselves in marriage, with W.W. Greene and Joan Brownfield serving as witnesses. He was the son of Joseph and Aleghela Stillwagon and a resident of Tyrone Township, Fayette County. News of their marriage license was published in the Connellsville Weekly Courier.

Oliver got into legal trouble at work when he was mining coal at the Griffin Works of the Bessemer Coke Company near Masontown. Mine Inspector I.G. Roby leveled charges against him, Charles Whoolery and Andrew Carroll for disobeying the mine superintendent's order not to allow others to enter or loiter near the works.

After less than two years of marriage, Oliver deserted Nancy in August 1904, and "has not given her one cent since [then] and never did support her, it is alleged," said the Daily Courier. She moved back in with her father, but as he had "seven children to look after, [he] does not feel that he is able to support his married daughter." Oliver was jailed for non-support in August 1905. 

Nancy soon took up residence with Charles Warman ( ? - ? ). Despite the fact that she was still married to Oliver, she and Charles were wed in March 1907. Her first husband discovered the arrangement and filed a legal complaint against her for bigamy. She pleaded guilty in June 1907, with the news reported in the Uniontown Morning Herald.

Later, Nancy married (?) Kuhns ( ? - ? ).

Circa 1935, at the death of her father, she resided in Loveland, OH and used the surname "Kuhns."


~ Son Elmer Ellsworth Miner Moody ~

Son Elmer Ellsworth Miner (1892-1952) was born on April 27, 1892 in Dawson, Fayette County.

At the age of 16, Elmer was arrested and convicted for malicious mischief on railroad property. He was sentenced on July 7, 1908 to a 10-month term in the Pennsylvania Industrial Reformatory in Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, to work at hard labor. He was released on Aug. 21, 1908.

Then in 1912, Elmer was employed firing the boiler at the Davidson coal shaft near his parents' home. He worked side-by-side with Albert Richter. One day in February 1912, Richter made inappropriate comments when Elmer's younger sister came to the works to pick up stray coal to use at home. Elmer's temper flared, and he threatened to kill his co-worker. In turn, when Richter reported the incident to the justice of the peace, Elmer spent a night in jail on charges of assault and surety of the peace, with the news reported in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Elmer was released after paying court costs, with the Courier noting that "The case aroused interest in the township and the justice's office was crowded."


Pennsylvania Industrial Reformatory, where Elmer was incarcerated in 1908


When in his 30s, in a scandal that shook the family to its core, he ran off with his his uncle Enoch Miner Sr.'s wife Fannie (Dublin) Miner (1887-1923). He was five years younger than she. For a time, the couple lived in Pittsburgh on Keystone Street. They were joined in matrimony on Dec. 19, 1918, by the hand of McKeesport alderman John A. Rhodes..

The federal census enumeration of 1920 shows the family on Duncan Street in Pittsburgh's Ward 10, with her sons Henry Raymond "Curnel" (age 18), Harry (16) and Enoch Jr. (14) in the household. At that time, Elmer was employed as a stationery engineer operating machinery in a steel mill, while stepson Curnel labored repairing belts in a gear works and Harry was a door puller in a steel works.

Fannie contracted chronic pulmonary tuberculosis and passed away on Feb. 17, 1923. Her body was shipped from Pittsburgh for burial in Connellsville's Hill Grove Cemetery.


Hill Grove Cemetery

After her untimely death, Elmer later changed his last name to "Moody," his mother's maiden name.

A niece remembered that he was a "displaced person" for many years, rode the rails from city to city and dwelled in rooming houses. He was nicknamed "The Preacher" and was religious "at times," keeping a Bible in which he inscribed notations. When he needed income, he worked as a stationery engineer -- an operator of equipment.

Elmer is said to have been married several other times. His last spouse was Josephine Hanft (May 13, 1902-1981). She was a decade younger than he, and at one time resided in Avalon near Pittsburgh. She belonged to St. Mary Church in Glenfield and worked for the department store Joseph Horne & Company.

The couple initially dwelled in Pittsburgh's East End at the address of 321 South Highland Avenue. They bore a son, David Ellsworth Moody. Anxiety and grief rocked the family with their infant son showed symptoms of fluid buildup, acidosis and vomiting. He appears to have been born at and never left St. Francis Hospital, and remaining there for 41 days, but was unable to rally. He contracted bronchial pneumonia and died on Oct. 15, 1946, at the age of one month, 11 days. With nowhere else to bury the remains, they were shipped to Connellsville to rest next to Elmer's infant nephew Arthur in Hill Grove Cemetery.

Elmer and Josephine later made a home along Ritter Road in Mt. Nebo near Sewickley, Allegheny County, PA.

Suffering from chronic heart disease, he died at home at the age of 73 on Oct. 18, 1965. Burial was in St. Mary's Cemetery in Troy Hill, Pittsburgh. [Find-a-Grave] A death notice in the Pittsburgh Press said that he was survived by his brother Charles Miner of Connellsville and sister Mabel Kennick of Juniata, PA.

Josephine outlived her husband by 16 years and spent all or part of that time in Mt. Nebo. She passed into eternity at age 79 on June 14, 1981. A death notice appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with a longer obituary in the North Hills News Record.

The words "Father" and "Mother" are inscribed on Elmer's and Josephine's grave markers.


~ Daughter Mary Lavida (Minor) Bailey ~

Daughter Mary Lavida Minor (1895-1931) was born on Nov. 28, 1895 in Connellsville. Her middle name also has been given as "Louise."

At the age of 22 in 1917, she resided at West Bethlehem Township, Washington County, PA. That year, in December 1917, she married 26-year-old farmer John William Bailey (Aug. 15, 1891-1966), also a resident of West Bethlehem Township and the son of George and Mary Ellen (Booth) Bailey. 

They bore a family of these known children -- Mary E. Hadley, John William Bailey Jr., Ruth O. Carbone Juchniewicz, Eugene C. Bailey and Charles Thomas Bailey.

During World War I, John served in the U.S. Army with the 5th Company, 2nd Training Battalion, 154th Depot and Company A of the 213th Engineers.

When the federal census was enumerated in 1920, the Baileys lived in West Bethlehem, where John was employed as a laborer with a farm company.

For reasons not yet known, Mary was admitted to the Dixmont Hospital for the Insane in Kilbuck Township north of Pittsburgh. There, suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, she died at the age of 36 on June 9, 1931. A search of the Connellsville Daily Courier failed to locate a newspaper obituary. Her remains were placed into blessed rest in Beallsville (PA) Cemetery in Washington County. [Find-a-Grave]

John married a second time to Naomi Spillman ( ? - ? ). She brought a son to the second marriage, Clyde Allen Spillman. The couple made a home in Bentleyville and produced several more offspring of their own, among them George W. Bailey, Eugene Bailey and Margaret Hayden. He was employed in 1936 as an inspector.

John was employed for many year with Manufacturers Light and Heat Company. He and his second family made a home at 115 Lincoln Street in Bentleyville, Washington County. He succumbed to death in Washington Hospital at the age of 75 on Nov. 8, 1966.

Daughter Mary "Ellen" Bailey (1918-1996) was born on Jan. 17, 1918, about a month after her parents had married. She wedded William "Herschel" Hadley Sr. (Oct. 14, 1909-1970). They produced a family of children, among them Mary Edna Meadors, William Herschel Hadley Jr., John Henry Hadley and Robert "Wayne" Hadley. Their home for decades was at 6538 Snider Road in in Loveland, OH, a town where Ellen's aunt Nancy (Miner) Stillwagon Kuhns had dwelled in the 1930s. William died on June 22, 1970. A death notice was printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer, which noted that he was survived by 10 grandchildren. Ellen lived on for another 26 years and kept a home in Cozaddale. She died at age 78 on April 7, 1996, with a death notice also published in the Enquirer. Interment was in Myers Cemetery in Goshen, Clermont County, OH.

  • Granddaughter Mary Edna Hadley married (?) Meadors.
  • Grandson William Herschel Hadley Jr.
  • Grandson John Henry Hadley
  • Grandson Robert "Wayne" Hadley (1949-1992) was born on Oct. 3, 1949. He married Carol Jones ( ? - ? ). The couple bore one son, Robert Michael Hadley. They resided in Goshen Township. Sadly, he died at the age of 42 on Dec. 7, 1992. The Cincinnati Enquirer printed an obituary. He rests for all time in Myers Cemetery in Goshen, OH.

Daughter Ruth Olive Bailey (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918. Evidence suggests that she was married twice. On Jan. 12, 1936, when she was 18 years of age, she wed joined in wedlock with Italian immigrant and coal miner Salvatore "Tony" Carbone ( ? - ? ), age 31, the son of Andy and Mary (Caruso) Carbone. Their wedding nuptials were held in Bentleyville, Washington County, by the hand of justice of the peace Leonard E. Sands. Salvatore was divorced from his first wife, Santa (Mascani) Carbone, with their marriage nullified in New Jersey on May 22, 1935 on the grounds that she had brought and concealed venereal disease into the marriage. Ruth and Salvatore went on to become the parents of Mary Louise Marmo Mitchell, Andrew Carbone, John Carbone and possibly Patricia Wilson. The couple eventually divorced, with Tony moving to Scenery Hill, Washington County. By 1954, she wedded (?) Juchniewicz ( ? - ? ), also misspelled "Jakowski" and "Juchensey." They are believed to have established a home at 335 East Pike Street in Canonsburg and to have borne a son of their own, Anthony Juchniewicz. She was active as secretary of the Christian Women's Fellowship of the First Christian Church, with her name often appearing in the local newspaper for this service. In 1986, she was in Eighty Four, PA. She was deceased by 2012.

  • Granddaughter Mary Louise Carbone (1940-2012) was born on Dec. 21, 1940 in Beallsville. On May 16, 1960, she married her first spouse, Army veteran Daniel Marmo (March 3, 1935-2008), son of Patsy Marmo of Craighead Street in Canonsburg. Officiating at the home wedding was Rev. Joseph DeMarco, of the Christian Church. News of the nuptials was printed in the Canonsburg Daily Notes. The couple separated, and in 1970 Daniel advertised in the Canonsburg Daily Notes that he would not be responsible for debts contracted by anyone other than himself. After a divorce, Daniel married a second time to Madeline Frances Rosiek (1937-2015) and died on April 29, 2008. Mary also wedded again to George "Flip" Mitchell (Oct. 5, 1917-1993), son of Frank and Flora (Hanna) Mitchell. In all, Mary Louise was the mother of Jeanie Waters, Lisa Kemp Smith and George Shane Mitchell. George is believed to have been the father of these other offspring, likely to an earlier marriage -- Donald Mitchell, Jean Bizzack, Judy Katrencik, Clara Jane Jones and Betty Gay Dobbins. She earned a living for more than three decades as a cashier and clerk for Red Apple Corporation and Kwik Fill service station. A coal miner, George labored at the Montour 4 Mine and was a member of the United Mine Workers of America. In about 1964, he went to work for Western Center and spent 15 years there with retirement in 1979. Sadly, George passed away on Oct. 30, 1993 at the age of 76. Mary Louise lived as a widow for another 19 years, maintaining her home in Eighty Four, Washington County. She died in Canonsburg Hospital at the age of 71 on June 16, 2012. Rev. James Markley led her funeral service, with burial in Beallsville Cemetery.
  • Grandson Andrew Carbone dwelled in Ellsworth, Washington County.
  • Grandson John Carbone lived in Daisytown, Washington County, PA.
  • Granddaughter Patricia (?) married Roger Waters. They made a residence in 2012 in West Carollton, OH.
  • Grandson Anthony Juchniewicz (1954- ? ) was born in about 1954 in Canonsburg.

Son John William Bailey Jr. (1921-1965) was born on Nov. 16, 1921 in Bentleyville, Washington County. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, attaining the rank of sergeant. John was joined in matrimony with Helen Marie Jeffers ( ? - ? ). They resided in Houston, Washington County, at 502 West Pike Street. One known daughter was born to this union, Pamela Louise Bailey. John earned a living working as a catcher in a steel mill. At the age of 43, he was admitted to Washington Hospital with a ruptured aorta which led to internal hemorrhaging. He died there four days later on Sept. 22, 1965. Burial was in Oak Spring Cemetery in Canonsburg.

  • Granddaughter Pamela Louise Bailey (1948-1965) was born on May 1, 1948 in Washington. She grew up in nearby Houston, Washington County. As a high school student, at the age of 16, she was stricken with cardiac tamponade and pancarditis -- the former a building up fluid in the heart which causes the organ to compress, and the latter inflammation of the heart. She was rushed to Washington Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Her remains were lowered into repose in Oak Spring Cemetery.

Son Eugene C. Bailey (1925-1986) was born on Aug. 16, 1925. He served in World War II with the U.S. Army. When he was 27 years of age, on June 3, 1953, he was united in holy matrimony with Peggy E. McAvoy (April 30, 1928-2003), a native of Ellsworth, Washington County and the daughter of Joseph and Eldora (Hampton) McAvoy. She is believed to have been married previously and brought a son to the union, Edward J. Vitek. They resided over the years in Bentleyville and Ellsworth and belonged to the Catholic Church. Eugene was employed for 24 years at the Homestead Works of United States Steel Corporation. After retirement, he went to work for the Ellsworth Division of Bethlehem Mines Corporation, retiring in March 1985. He was a longtime member of the United Mine Workers of America, Local 1197. Sadly, Eugene passed away at the age of 60, in Washington, on May 7, 1986. Peggy outlived her spouse by 17 years. At the age of 75, on Dec. 1, 2003, she died in Washington. Her obituary was published in the Washington Observer-Reporter. The couple is at rest in Beallsville Cemetery. Inscribed on their grave marker is the phrase "Yesterday Today Tomorrow Forever."

  • Step-grandson Edward James Vitek (1945-1993) was born on Nov. 21, 1945. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He was married and had these children -- Edward J. Vitek II and Desiree Whitlow. Edward dwelled in Ellsworth in 1986. He died on Feb. 3, 1993. Burial was in Beallsville Cemetery.


Red Minor

~ Son Charles Dewey "Red" Minor ~

Son Charles Dewey "Red" Minor (1900-1968) was born on Jan. 20, 1900 at Little Summit, Dunbar Township, Fayette County. He was 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with red hair, grey eyes and "a ruddy complexion," said a newspaper.

Red married a cousin, Ida "Frances" Rose (1901-1986), daughter of John N. and Carrie (Eicher) Rose. Their nuptials took place on May 25, 1918, when Red was age 19, and Frances 17, at the parsonage of the First Methodist Church in Connellsville. Rev. G.L.C. Richardson officiated.

They had six children -- Raymond A. Minor, Dorothy Grimm, Dolores Hatter, Carrie Prinkey, Harold "Lawrence" Minor and Arthur V. Minor.

Red registered for the World War I military draft in 1918, and stated his occupation as a laborer for the Soisson Fire Brick Company, spelling his own name "Minerd" at that time. He also was a coal miner in early adulthood.

He was employed for many years with the Edgar Thomson Works of United States Steel Corporation at Braddock near Pittsburgh. He was a longtime member of the United Steelworkers of America." 

Tragedy rocked the family in 1923 when their two-year-old son Arthur contracted the measles followed by the croup. He died after a week of suffering on May 24, 1923. His tender remains were lowered into repose in Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville.

Federal census enumeration records for 1940 show the Minors in Dunbar Township, with Red employed as a motorman in a coal mine.

In April 1943, Red made news when living at Crossland Station, and working at the Phillips plant of the H.C. Frick Coke Company. He left home for work at 11 a.m. one day, riding as a passenger in the vehicle of a fellow miner. He did not return for several days, and the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that he was missing and sought by his family. 


Normalville Cemetery

Later that same year, Red was involved 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 a hunt his Crossland Station farm, with cousins William Giles and 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 Giles in the left eye and temple, and he was hospitalized in Connellsville State Hospital.

Frances' aged uncle Andrew Jackson Rose Jr. came to live in their home in Crossland Station in the winter of 1947. He died there, at the age of 76, on Feb. 21, 1947. 

Red retired in 1965. They spent their final years together at 2202 Ridge Boulevard in Connellsville. 

Even though Red was dying at the time, he and Frances marked their golden wedding anniversary on May 25, 1968. The Daily Courier printed a story and photograph of the couple, subtly noting that "Due to illness in the family there was no celebration." 

Red died just 40 days later, on the Fourth of July 1968. He was laid to rest in the Normalville Cemetery following a funeral service led by Rev. Melvin Trout. The Daily Courier reported that he was survived by 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Frances outlived her husband by nearly two decades. She is known to have hosted a Father's Day dinner in June 1970 for her son Raymond.

She died in 1986, and reposes with Red for eternity.


Normalville Cemetery

Son Raymond A. Minor (1919-1971) was born on Oct. 31, 1919. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1939 and trained in Rhode Island. He eventually was a member of the Merchant Marines. During the period leading up to World War II, he was a sailor on the USS St. Louis. He was aboard his ship when it survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. For a larger photo of Raymond in uniform, taken in Hawaii, view our "Photo of the Month" for June 2001. Several years after the war, Raymond worked at the Edgar Thomson plant of United States Steel Corporation. He was the driver of a vehicle which wrecked into a telegraph pole near Hickory Bottom in May 1948, causing injuries to his girlfriend Virginia Lee (Brooks) Bowers and sister Dorothy Grimm. He later married Virginia (Oct. 10, 1921-1997), daughter of Clifford and Mary (Striner) Brooks. Virginia Lee had been married before in 1940 to to Eugene Alvin Bowers and deserted him on Nov. 15, 1943. She thus brought two children to the second marriage -- Milford Bowers and Brenda Day. The marriage was troubled from the start. In June and July 1950, Raymond advertised in the Connellsville Daily Courier that "I will not be responsible for any bills contracted by my wife, Virginia Lee Brooks Minor." He never got over the shock of the Pearl Harbor tragedy and was admitted to Somerset State Hospital as a resident. He made news in the spring of 1967, at the age of 48, when he went missing from the hospital while on leave. The Daily Courier described him as of "slight build, balding red hair, arm tattooes (cowngirl on left arm and hula girl in right). He is about five feet, seven inches in height and has blue eyes." A month later, he was located in Richmond, VA, and was flown to Pittsburgh, where his parents met him at the Pittsburgh Airport. He returned to the state hospital and was there in 1968. Despondent, he attempted to take his own life while visiting at the home of his mother, and he was taken to the Veterans Administration Hospital in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, where he died on Sept. 12, 1971. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery. He and Virginia are mentioned in the 1975 book, Brooks Family History. Virginia outlived her husband by more than a quarter of a century. She was swept away by the Angel of Death at the age of 75 on May 29, 1997. She too is interred at Normalville.

  • Step-granddaughter Brenda Bowers married John Day. Circa 1970, John was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and was based at a naval air station in California.
  • Step-grandson Milford Bowers married Cordelia Burnsworth ( ? - ? ), daughter of Florence Burnsworth of Connellsville. They were the parents of Wesley Andrew Bowers, Daniel Alvin Bowers, Keith Alan and twins Suyette Anne Bowers and Yvette Andrea Bowers. The family lived at 138 Marshall Street in Trotter near Connellsville. Sadly, they lost son Keith at the age of three months in November 1964. The baby's remains were interred in Normalville Cemetery.



Pearl Harbor survivor Raymond A. Minor, whose ship (USS St. Louis) was in drydock in the harbor the morning of the attack.


Daughter Dorothy Marie Minor (1923-1991) was born on Feb. 12, 1923 in the coal mine patch town of Trotter. When she was age 18, Dorothy was joined in holy marriage with 27-year-old farmer Don D. Grimm (1913-2008) of Normalville and the son of David H. and Sarah Margaret (Eicher) Grimm. To tie the knit, they traveled to Cumberland, Allegany County, MD and were joined together on Oct. 23, 1941. The couple bore two offspring -- Charles D. Grimm and Beatrice O'Neil. Within a little more than a year, Don joined the U.S. Army during World War II and held the rank of private. Sadly, however, the marriage did not last. Dorothy alleged that he "left home without an explanation," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier, and "beat her at least 20 times ... and on one occasion the services of a physician were required." She filed for divorce in September 1947. Dorothy's home in 1968 was in Wheeler near Connellsville. She was a member of the Christian Missionary and Alliance Church of Connellsville and the Uniontown branch of Open Doors for the Handicapped. In May 1970, Dorothy was admitted to Lafayette Manor in Uniontown, where she remained for most of if not the rest of the year. She was gathered in by the Grim Reaper of Death at the age of 68 on April 6, 1991, while a patient in Uniontown Hospital. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Normalville Cemetery. Her ex-husband Don remarried again on Oct. 25, 1972 to Luella Livingston (1915-1983). They honeymooned in Virginia and initially made a home at 351 North Pittsburgh Street. She died in 1983. Don outlived his second wife by a quarter of a century. He passed into eternity in 2008. Burial was with Luella in Normalville Cemetery.

  • Grandson Charles D. Grimm joined the U.S. Army in June 1962 during the Vietnam War and completed basic training at Fort Gordon, GA.
  • Granddaughter Beatrice Grimm wedded Ronald O'Neil. They made a home in Dunbar, Fayette County in 1991.


Greensburg Tribune-Review

Daughter Carrie Elizabeth Minor (1924-2002) was born on Nov. 15, 1924 in Connellsville. On March 10, 1943, when she was age 18, she was united in holy matrimony with 31-year-old Donald Clayton Prinkey (Dec. 30, 1911-1985), a Normalville native and the son of Isaac Prinkey. The couple produced seven children, all sons but one -- Ida "Florence" Everly, Chester Prinkey, Donald Prinkey, Glenn Prinkey, John Prinkey, George Prinkey and Norman Prinkey. The couple made a residence in Champion and White, Fayette County and were members of the Clinton Church of God. Donald was a longtime employee of U.S. Steel Corporation's Edgar Thompson Works, said the Daily Courier. "He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army." Grief blanketed the family when Donald died in nearby Mount Pleasant just four days before Christmas in 1985. Carrie survived as a widow for another nearly 17 years. Circa 1991, she was in Phoenix, AZ. Sadly, as her health failed, Carrie was admitted to Mountain View Nursing Home in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, where she died at the age of 77 on Aug. 20, 2002. Rev. Joseph Wingrove preached her funeral sermon, with burial following in Normalville Cemetery. The Greensburg Tribune-Review published an obituary.


  • Grandson Chester Isaac Prinkey (1946- ? ) was born in March 1946. When he was 22 years of age, on May 31, 1968, he wedded 25-year-old Darlene Lou Armel (May 3, 1943-2018), daughter of Melvin and Betty (Tamblyn) Armel of Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. Their union survived for half a century until cleaved apart by death. Darlene brought a young son to the marriage, who was adopted by Chester -- Barry Roy Prinkey. The couple produced two additional children, Mindy Ranae Dugger and Mark Allen Prinkey. They resided in Bruceton Mills, WV and in Dunbar Township near Connellsville. Sadness swept over the family when their married son Barry, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, died on Oct. 30, 1996. At the age of 74, Darlene was a patient in Latrobe Hospital and succumbed there on March 25, 2018. She was survived by eight grandchildren and four step-grandchildren. The family asked in an obituary that any memorial donations please be made to the Fayette County Flag Committee. Chester remained in Dunbar as a widower.

Great-grandson Barry Roy Prinkey (1966-1996) was born on July 11, 1966. He was age 22 months when his mother married Chester I. Prinkey. Barry resided in West Virginia and served in the U.S. Navy. He was joined in wedlock with Luanne (Frum) Whetsel( ? - ? ). She brought four daughters to the marriage, among them Amber Ranae Golden, Jessica Rae Cole, Shanna Deanne Wolfe and Christina Noel Whetsell. The Prinkeys went on to bear two additional daughters, Samantha Joann Prinkey and Kathryn Elaine "Katie" Prinkey. Barry died at the age of 30 on died on Oct. 30, 1996, with burial in the West Virginia National Cemetery in Grafton. Their daughter Amber Ranae Prinkey married Jeremy A. Golden, bore four children and had a career as a paralegal with the law firm Pullin, Fowler, Flanaga, Brown, Poe PLLC. The Goldens lived in the Hazelton section of Bruceton Mills, Preston County, but death carried away Amber Ranae at the age of 39 on Oct. 14, 2018. She was interred in Shady Grove Cemetery in Bruceton Mills, with her funeral co-led by Pastor Sonny McNear and Rev. Winfield Mayle.

Great-granddaughter Mindy Rae Prinkey (1970- ? ) was born in 1970.

Great-grandson Mark Allen Prinkey (1974- ? ) was born in 1974.

  • Granddaughter Ida "Florence" Prinkey (1947-1996) was born on Aug. 26, 1947 in Connellsville. When she was 24 years of age, on Aug. 24, 1970, she was united in matrimony with Wendell E. Everly Sr. (Nov. 28, 1946- ? ). They lived in Connellsville and had a family of four offspring -- Wendell Eugene Everly Jr., Charles Raymond Everly, Jamie Lynn Everly and Rebecca Sue Everly. For 31 years, Florence was employed by Oglevee Ltd. of Connellsville as a harvesting supervisor. She was a member of the Clinton Church of God. Heartache cascaded over the family when, at age 49, Ida Florence died on May 30, 1996. Interment was in Laurel Hill Presbyterian Cemetery in Laurel Hill, Fayette County, with Rev. Peter Malik officiated at the funeral service. Inscribed on her grave marker is "Love is forever and ever."

Great-grandson Wendell Eugene Everly (1971- ? ) was born in 1971. On April 28, 1990, he was joined in matrimony with Wanda Jean Brooks (1965- ? ).

Great-grandson Charles Raymond Everly (1973- ? )

Great-granddaughter Jamie Lynn Everly (1976- ? )

Great-granddaughter Rebecca Sue Everly (1978- ? )

  • Grandson Donald Eugene Prinkey Sr. (1948- ? ) was born on Dec. 8, 1948. On May 17, 1972, h was joined in wedlock with Patricia Mary Shaulis (1952- ? ). She brought a son to the marriage, Charles Randall Shaulis. The children born to this marriage were Stephen Allen Prinkey, Donald Eugene Prinkey Jr., Patricia Earl Prinkey and Robert Edward Prinkey. Unspeakable grief descended upon this family at the deaths of infant sons Stephen in June 1971 and Robert in November 1975 and 14-year-old son Charles in February 1984. The Prinkeys dwelled in Jones Mills in 1985, in Acme, Westmoreland County in 2002 and in Mount Pleasant in 2021. They are believed to have raised a number of other children of the Shaulis and Plahs families.

Step-great-grandson Charles Randall Prinkey (1969-1984) was born on March 3, 1969. He died on Feb. 19, 1984.

Great-grandson Donald Eugene Prinkey Jr. (1972- ? ) was born in 1972. He was united in matrimony with Trudy Renee Tinkey ( ? - ? ). Their known children are Derek Eugene Prinkey and Jessica Renee Prinkey.

Great-granddaughter Patricia Pearl Prinkey (1974- ? )

  • Grandson Glenn Henry Prinkey (1950-2018) was born on Jan. 2 or 9, 1950 in Champion, Fayette County. He spent a quarter of a century in military service with the U.S. Army and belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Connellsville. Glenn married Joanne (Coughenour) Brinker (1954- ? ). She had been married previously and brought three children to the second union -- Tina Brinker, Crystal Brown and Arnold Brinker. The couple bore a son of their own, Matthew Floyd Prinkey. Glenn was known for his sense of humor and the love of the outdoors. They made their home in Dunbar in 1985, Normalville in 2002 and in Scottdale in 2018. Sadly, at the age of 68, he died on May 15, 2018. Burial was in Greenlick Cemetery, with Rev. Carol Atwood leading the funeral service.

Great-grandson Matthew Floyd Prinkey (1986- ? )

Step-great-granddaughter Tina Brinker

Step-great-granddaughter Crystal Brown

Step-great-grandson Arnold Brinker


John Edward Prinkey at the Edgar Thomson Works of U.S. Steel


  • Grandson John Edward Prinkey (1952- ? ) was born in 1952. On Nov. 1, 1975, at the age of 23, he was united in matrimony with 20-year-old Deborah Faye Fresh (Jan. 24, 1955-2021), daughter of Clyde and Beda (Henry) Fresh of Somerset County, PA. Three known offspring were born to this union -- John Michael Prinkey, Catherine Marie Prinkey and Jesse Lee Prinkey. The Prinkeys lost their daughter Catherine Marie at age one day in November 1977. John was employed for many years at the Edgar Thomson Works of United States Steel Corporation, the third consecutive generation to be employed there. Deborahwas a graduate of Rockwood High School and earned a living through her medical billing work for Wilson Chiropractic in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "Debi had an unwavering faith in God. She enjoyed 'playing in the dirt' planting flowers, sewing, spending time with her family, and taking care of loved ones." The Prinkeys lived in Melcroft for years and belonged to the Davistown United Methodist Church. They graciously hosted the founder of this website for a visit in their home. John accompanied the founder on research road trips and graciously has provided valuable content for this biography. Deborah passed away at the age of 66 on April 24, 2021. Her funeral service was co-officiated by Pastor Ralph Miller and Pastor Leona Logan. Interment of the remains followed in Normalville Cemetery.

Great-grandson John Michael Prinkey was united in matrimony with Beth. They have made a home in Normalville, Fayette County.

Great-grandson Jesse Lee Prinkey was joined in wedlock with Alyssa. They established a residence in Somerset, PA.

  • Grandson George Earl Prinkey (1953- ? ) was born in 1953. He did not marry. He was in Normalville in 2002 and Connellsville in 2018-2021. He is known to have been creative and to have hand-painted pillow cases as gifts for others.
  • Grandson Norman Clayton Prinkey (1956-2021) was born on Feb. 1, 1956. He was the father of Meredith Rankin. Norman resided in Farmington, Fayette County circa 2002 and by 2018 had relocated to the coal mine patch town of Monarch near Uniontown. As his health failed, he was admitted to Mt. Macrina Manor in Uniontown. There, he succumbed to death at the age of 65 on Feb. 17, 2021. His obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Great-granddaughter Meredith Prinkey married Robert Rankin. They dwell in Leisenring near Uniontown. Their known children are Mary Watson, Joshua Watson, Edward Maust Jr. and Dawn Maust.


Obituary, 1984

Son Harold "Lawrence" Minor Sr. (1927-1984) was born on Feb. 16, 1927 in Fitzhenry, PA, and and grew up in Dunbar Township. He is thought to have served in World War II. Then during the Korean War, he held the rank of corporal in the U.S. Army and received a wound in late 1951. He recovered and was returned to duty. After the war's end, Lawrence returned to Connellsville and earned a living as a truck driver. Circa 1953, he was hired by William Baughman of Connellsville. He made news in April 1953 when hauling cargo on behalf of Liberty Powder Company from Connellsville by Berryburg, WV. His truck, located with 7,000 lbs. of dynamite, skidded and crashed into a tree along Route 119 in Smithfield near Uniontown. Reported newspapers throughout the region, the "26-year-old truck driver walked away without a scratch.... Traffic was blocked nearly an hour while police and volunteers gingerly cleared the highway." He is believed to have married Nancy Ruth Sanner (April 8, 1933-2007), daughter of Nicholas and Alverda (Kropp) Sanner of Connellsville. She brought a daughter to the marriage, Diane Sanner. The couple went on to produce three children of their own -- Deborah A. Broadhurst McElrath, Harold Lawrence Minor Jr. and Robert Allan Minor. The family initially resided in Connellsville and by the early 1960s had relocated to Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH. In January 1965, Harold resided in Greensburg and was involved in another accident, when a 20-year-old driver tried to pass his truck motoring along the Penn Lincoln Parkway near Rosslyn Farms. The automobile struck the corner of the trailer and turned over, with the driver suffering traumatic head injuries and later pronounced dead at Homestead Hospital. An Allegheny County coroner's jury absolved him of blame. Circa 1968, Lawrence lived in Claysville, Washington County. Then in 1971, he dwelled with his brother Raymond in Connellsville. As his health declined, he was admitted to Mountain View Nursing Home near Greensburg, Westmoreland County. There, stricken with cancer, he died on Jan. 28, 1984, at the age of 56, with burial in Normalville Cemetery. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that he was survived by six grandchildren. Nancy Ruth apparently married again to (?) Macovitz and, in 2000, lived in Austintown, OH. She passed away on March 7, 2007. Her remains were placed into eternal repose in Tod Homestead Cemetery in Youngstown. Inscibed on the face of her barre granite marker are the words "Our loving Mother and Grandmother. Our love goes with you and our souls wait to join you."


  • Granddaughter Deborah A. Minor (1956- ? ) was born in 1956 in Connellsville and grew up in Youngstown, Mahoning County. She was married three times. The identify of her first husband is not known. Her second spouse was Robert Broadhurst ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Robert Broadhurst and Donald Broadhurst. The second marriage ended by Mahoning County Court decree on March 28, 2002. Deborah earned a living at that time as a laborer. Then at the age of 46, on June 7, 2003, she wedded her third husband, 61-year-old Youngstown laborer Bobby McElrath (1941- ? ), son of Wilson and Jannie (Russell) McElrath and a native of Sylacauga, AL. The third wedding was officiated in Campbell, OH by Rev. Lannie A. Simon.
  • Grandson Harold Lawrence Minor Jr. (1961- ? ) was born on June 12, 1961 in Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH. At the age of 18, he joined the U.S. Army. He has been married several times. His first bride was 16-year-old Mary Jo Seamans (1963- ? ), a native of New Castle, Lawrence County, PA and the daughter of Mary K. Seamans. They were wedded on July 25, 1979, in Mahoning County, OH, when Harold was 18 years of age. The couple bore a daughter, Amber Ann Minor. The marriage dissolved, and they divorced in Mahoning on June 27, 1983. . The single Harold was unemployed and made his home in North Lima near Youngstown. Then on Feb. 11, 1984, he married a second time, also in Mahoning County, to Cheryl Ann Jones ( ? - ? ), daughter of Donald Edward and Lois Jean (Anderson) Jones. They were the parents of Saundra Minor. The second marriage also terminated in divorce, also handed down in Mahoning on April 4, 1996. Harold secured work as a truck driver in and around Youngstown. On July 23, 1999, the 38-year-old was joined in wedlock a third time to 51-year-old Lynda M. (Steele) Drescher (1947- ? ), daughter of George A. and Theresa M. (Teller) Steele. It was her sixth marriage.
  • Grandson Robert Allan Minor (1963- ? ) was born on April 5, 1963 in Youngstown, Mahoning County. On Aug. 3, 1982, when he was 19, he was united in matrimony with 19-year-old Johnna C. Magalotti ( ? - ? ), also a native of Youngstown and the daughter of John and Mary Lou (Cole) Magalotti. Judge Jack A. Lipari officiated. At the time, both groom and bride were unemployed.
  • Step-granddaughter Diane Sanner was in Ohio.

Daughter Delores Minor (1937- ? ) was born in about 1937. She married Gifford P. Hatter ( ? - ? ). He was seriously wounded in action when stepping on a land mine during the Korean War in 1953. He lost his left eye and had a piece of metal permanently embedded in his skull. After the war, the Hatters resided at Morrell near Connellsville. In the early 1990s, they hosted the founder of this website as a visitor in their home. Delores was a member of the O'Brien Chapter 100 Auxiliary of the Disabled American Veterans and is known to have entertained meetings in their residence as well. Gifford belonged to Local 7851 of the United Steelworkers of America and was active in contract negotiations with Baker's Machine and Welding Company circa 1973.


Mabel Kinnick

~ Daughter Mabel (Miner) Kennick ~

Daughter Mabel Miner (1926-1981) was born on May 26, 1926 in Connellsville.


Mabel Kinnick

At the age of four, her hand accidentally became caught in a grain cutter, and she underwent surgery to remove the middle finger on her left hand. 

She married George Kennick Jr. (1907-1988), son of George and Elizabeth (Stiner) Kennich Sr. of the coal mine patch town of Juniata near Dunbar, Fayette County.

George was some 19 years older than his bride.

The couple did not reproduce.

The Kennicks resided over the years in Juniata, where George earned a living as a carpenter with H.R. Mangus and Sons. At one point he was employed by West Penn Railways, a company which provided work for many cousins in the extended family.

They were members of the St. Stephen's Byzantine Catholic Church in Leisenring. Mabel also belonged to the Daughters of America in Connellsville.

In May 1950, she made news when she lacerated the little finger of her right hand while operating a lawnmower.


West Penn Railways car, early 1900s



Obituary, 1988

Mabel passed away at age 55 on July 9, 1981 while a patient in Connellsville State Hospital. A funeral mass was sung in the St. Stephen church, with Rev. Marko Badovinac officiating.

George outlived his wife by almost seven years.

He was admitted to Uniontown Hospital, where he died on May 7, 1988, at the age of 81.



Copyright © 2000, 2004-2007, 2009-2010, 2012-2013, 2017, 2020 Mark A. Miner

"Genuine Connellsville Coke" poster courtesy of the Library of Congress. West Penn Railways photo by John C. Roberts, Columbus, Ohio.