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Katherine Salkeld 'Kate' 
Miner) Wintermute



Kate and Frank Wintermute

Katherine Salkeld "Kate" (Miner) Wintermute was born on Dec. 4, 1842 in Mauch Chunk, Carbon County, PA, the daughter of Elias and Mary (Cook) Miner. She went by the various names and nicknames of Kate, Kate Salkeld, Catharine, Catharine M. and Katherine, causing confusion with federal authorities later in her life. Her husband was a veteran of the Civil War.

As a young lady, and the daughter of a prominent industrialist, Kate received her education at the Park Academy, a girls' school located on Packer Hill in Mauch Chunk. 

Kate wed Franklin Charles "Frank" Wintermute (1840-1920), son of Joseph B. and Judith Ann (Shoemaker) Wintermute (also spelled "Wintermuth"). They were wed after Frank returned home from the army during the Civil War. The ceremony took place on April 3 (or 18 or 23 or 26), 1865, when Kate was age 23 and Frank 25. Rev. J.W. Wood conducted the ceremony in the Presbyterian church in Allentown, Lehigh County, PA. 

A native of Stroudsburg, Monroe County, PA, Frank moved to Weissport, Carbon County, when a boy of five. He was a farmer at the start of the war.

During the Civil War, Frank enlisted in Lehighton on August 1862 in the 132nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company F. Others in the family serving in the same regiment were Alexander Mills and William H. Miner. Frank stood 5 feet, 9 inches, with a light complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. 

He saw action in the battles of Antietam, Gettysburg and Chancellorsville, and was discharged at Harrisburg and thence at Catasauqua, Carbon County in late May 1863.


Above, the Battle of Chancellorsville, as sketched by Edwin Forbes. Below, troops under Gen. Reynolds en route to the battle, and Confederate POWs brought in.



They had five known children -- Horace Miner Wintermute (born 1866), Joseph Elmer Wintermute (1868), Maude E. Munro (April 1872), Miriam Cook Hess (August 1875) and Russell Kirby Wintermute (May 1881). 

The family first lived in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, PA, and thence moved to Weissport, Carbon County. In 1867, Frank accepted a position as clerk in the coal department of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Said the Mauch Chunk Daily News, "After his return from the war he became a leading clerk at the Packerton Forwarding office and was held in high esteem by the company's officials. The Packerton forwarding office was then in its prime."


Ad for Frank's employer, the Lehigh Valley 
Railroad, in The Chautauquan, October 1894

Eventually, in 1869, they relocated for good to East Mauch Chunk, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Frank's employment circa 1870-1900 was as a railroad clerk. One of his longtime co-workers was Ben F. Kuehner, of the railroad clerk's office at Packerton. The family were members of the Grace Methodist Church.

The 1880 census shows Frank's widowed mother, age 58, living under their roof on South Street in East Mauch Chunk. This family was listed in the 1895-1897 book Annals of Our Colonial Ancestors and their Descendants, by Ambrose Milton Shotwell. 

Frank suffered a debilitating injury on the night of Nov. 28, 1882, at the age of 62, when he was struck by a  moving locomotive at Lehighton. In his words: 

Was run over by a locomotive, foot crushed, and amputated above the ankle, the train came in on the South bound track, instead of the North as that was the track on which it should have come. I stepped off the depot platform and was in the act of crossing the South bound track, and was caught and injured as above stated. I had a very sore eye which was bandaged, and the strong light from the Engine's head-light was so bright that it hurt my good eye, consequently I did not see that the North bound train was coming on the South bound track.


Wintermute Family 
, published 1900
The damaged leg was removed seven inches below the knee. Dr. B.S. Erwin of Mauch Chunk provided medical care during that time. As the scar healed, Frank began using an artificial leg, which another surgeon noted that he "gets around very nicely." 


When the Atlas of Carbon County was published in 1875 by F.W. Beers & Co., Frank and Kate's home was identified and marked on the page featuring East Mauch Chunk. Their home was on South Street, in between Second and Front Street, and just a half block from the town's commons. The map shows that not only did they have a home on their narrow tract, but also a rectangular outbuilding in the back. In a list of atlas subscribers published on the same page, Frank is mentioned.

In 1892, Frank received payment of $2,145.56 from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This was compensation for services he provided to schools in Carbon County, but details are not yet known. He also is known to have begun drawing a pension for his service in the war in September 1890. His paperwork is on file today at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. [Invalid Application #919.578, Invalid Certificate #699.675; Widow Application #1.160.715, Widow Certificate #894.351]


Red dot marks Frank and Kate's town lot on 
South Street in East Mauch Chunk, from the
1875 Atlas of Carbon County

He subscribed to the publication The Elevator Constructor, a trade journal of the International Union of Elevator Constructors. The magazine asked readers to respond to the question, "What is the difference between labor union and trusts?"  Frank answered in writing, with his comments published in the April 1904 issue: "The trust is organized by the capitalistic class for the purpose of accumulating more of the wealth that the industrious world creates, while the labor unions are organized by the wealth producers of the world, so that they may be able to retain more of the wealth that they create." 

Frank enjoyed socializing with former Civil War veterans in Mauch Chunk. He was active with the local L.T. Chapman Post No. 61 of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans organization. In June 1899, he took part in the 33rd annual GAR encampment in Pennsylvania, held that year in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

In 1900, the census lists the Wintermutes in East Mauch Chunk. Frank, age 56, was employed as a clerk in a railroad office. Son Russell, age 19, worked as a "drug clerk," while daughters Maude (age 28) and Miriam (24) had no occupation. 

Kate was mentioned in the 1918 Mauch Chunk Daily News obituary of her relative Sophia Heilman, which noted that the two were cousins.

The census of 1920 shows the family living on 117 South Street in East Mauch Chunk, with 40-year-old daughter Maude making her home under their roof, and working as a private duty nurse for her parents.


Dimmick Memorial Library
Interested in all aspects of weather, he served as a voluntary but official climate observer United States Weather Bureau, representing Mauch Chunk. Among his duties was to record temperatures, including the mean, departure from normal, highest, lowest and their corresponding dates. He also logged precipitation data such as total rainfall, departure from the normal, the greatest volume in a 24-hour period and total snowfall. As well, he noted the number of clear, partially cloudy and fully cloudy days. His name was published in many editions of reports over the years. He collected meteorological data at a special station in East Mauch Chunk, located "on a knoll about 450 feet from and 100 feet above the Schuylkill River, and surrounded by mountains ranging from 500 to 900 feet above the river," he wrote in a report. 


In retirement, Frank served as librarian at the Dimmick Memorial Library in Mauch Chunk, circa 1906, when he would have been 66 years of age. The library was opened 16 years earlier, on Oct. 1, 1890, and was built of Jacobean design just a block from the Carbon County Courthouse At the time Frank worked there, the library had 15,000 volumes. (It later was named to the National Historic Register, and survived a disastrous fire in 1979, in which some 19,200 volumes were destroyed. In an ironic twist, family researchers visited the library and made marvelous discoveries about the Wintermutes and Miners in April 2013.)


Front page, Mauch Chunk 
Daily News
, June 14, 1920

The Wintermutes grieved in June 1918 when they learned of the death of their son Horace, who had been living in Colorado.

Family physician Dr. J.E. Weaver of East Mauch Chunk described Frank's deteriorating health as he aged. Writing in 1920, he said: 

Until 15 years ago treated him at rare intervals for abscess of stump of leg where amputated (right, middle third). For past fifteen years vision has been progressively failing, until now is not able to read, with glasses. He was employed at clerical work until 15 years ago, when he was obliged to stop work, on account of eyes, and generally debilitated condition. For past six years the mentality has been failing (senility). Physically, is not able to move about, must be assisted from chair to bed and vice versa.


Lehighton Press, April 17, 1925
As Frank and Kate's physical conditions seriously declined in about 1919, daughter Maude quit her job and moved back in with her parents to provide care. They were heavily dependent on Frank's $32 per month pension payment from the federal government. On Oct. 1, 1919, Kate suffered a stroke, and became "entirely helpless in bed," Maude reported. 


Also suffering from his own stroke of paralysis, Frank passed away eight and a half months after Kate's stroke, on June 14, 1920 at the age of 79. His death ended a marital union of more than 55 years. 

He was laid to rest in the Evergreen Cemetery in Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), with funeral arrangements handled by local undertaker David DeFrehn. A front-page obituary in the Mauch Chunk Daily News said he "was one of the few surviving members of L.F. Chapman Grand Army Post [and] had been an invalid for some time and for the past week or two as very feeble."

Kate outlived her husband by five years, in the constant care of their daughter Maude. She was awarded Frank's Civil War pension, but at the reduced monthly amount of $30, despite Maude's frequent letters and petitions to the Commissioner of Pensions. 

Kate died in 1925 and also rests in the Evergreen Cemetery, Plot 73-F. (link) Her obituary in the Lehighton Press noted that she "was a daughter of Elias Miner, one of the pioneers of Mauch Chunk, who was at one time one of the owners of the Mauch Chunk Iron Works."


The Wintermutes' graves at Evergreen Cemetery in what today is Jim Thorpe, PA


~ Son Horace Miner Wintermute ~

Son Horace Miner Wintermute (1866-1918) was born Aug. 11, 1866 at Catasauqua, Lehigh County, PA. On Sept. 15, 1891, at the age of 25, Horace wed Laura Barber (1866- ? ), the daughter of George F. Barber. The wedding was held in Scranton, Lackawanna County, PA. They had one known daughter, Ruth B. Wintermute. 

Circa 1900, the Wintermutes made their home in Scranton, Lackawanna County, PA, and also at 337 Ninth Street in Brooklyn, NY. A paragraph in J.P. Wintermute's 1900 book, The Wintermute Family History, said that "By trade he is a printer and a member of the Typographical Union." The federal census of Scranton of 1900 confirms Horace's occupation as a printer. 

During the 1900s, Horace made a major move to Colorado, settling in Berkeley, Jefferson County. The 1910 census counts Horace and his second wife, also named Laura (1883- ? ), as living on Sheridan Boulevard in Berkeley, and having been married for five years. Laura was a Nebraska native, and there was a 16-year difference in their ages. That year, in 1910, Horace worked as a compositor in a print shop. 

Sadly, Horace died on June 6, 1918. No cause is yet known.

No record so far has been found of this family in the 1920 census.

Daughter Ruth B. Wintermute (1899- ? ) was born on June 12, 1899.


~ Son Joseph Elmer Wintermute ~

Son Joseph Elmer Wintermute (1868- ? ) was born on Dec. 7, 1868 in Weissport, Carbon County. 

He married Florence Crawford (1876- ? ), daughter of Capt. William Crawford of Hammonton, NJ, on Nov. 6, 1897. They had three children, two of whom are known -- Doris R. Frommer and Franklin Landis Wintermute. 

The couple is mentioned in J.P. Wintermute's 1900 book, The Wintermute Family History. According to the book, "By trade he is a watchmaker and jeweler at Philadelphia. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and affiliated with Lodge No. 61 at Wilkes-barre, Pa." At the time, their address was Coatesville, Chester County, PA. 

The 1910 census of Coatesville shows the Wintermutes residing on Railroad Street, with Joseph's occupation given as "clerk - jewelry store." By 1920, possibly with the opportunity for Joseph to own his own jewelry establishment, or for Florence to return to her home state, the family moved to Woodbury, Gloucester County, NJ. There, as shown in the 1920 census, Joseph's occupation was "jeweler." 

Neither Joseph nor Florence have been found in the census of 1930.

Daughter Doris R. Wintermute (1901-1991) married (?) Frommer. She died on Nov. 20, 1991, in Pinellas County, FL.

Son Franklin "Landis" Wintermute (1905-1978) was born on Nov. 7, 1905. He married Genevieve Celeste Finkner (1907-2004). Their three children were J. Ronald Wintermute, Joanne Stershic Jesilionis and Robert Landis Wintermute. Franklin died on Dec. 11, 1978, with burial in the Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Marriottsville, Howard County, MD. Genevieve outlived her husband by 36 years. She died on Feb. 3, 2004, with an obituary printed in the Baltimore Sun. (link)


Evergreen Cemetery, Mauch Chunk

~ Daughter Maude Ellen (Wintermute) Munro ~

Daughter Maude Ellen Wintermute (1872-1951) was born on April 18, 1872 in East Mauch Chunk. 

As her parents' health seriously declined in 1919, Maude quit her job and moved back in with her parents to provide care. They were heavily dependent on the father's $32 per month pension payment from the federal government. On Oct. 1, 1919, the mother suffered a stroke, and became "entirely helpless in bed," Maude reported. Her father also was stricken with a stroke, and died in June 1920. The mother outlived her husband by five years, in Maude's constant care. Maude penned frequent letters and petitions to the Commissioner of Pensions, asking that her mother's monthly payment be increased. The mother died in 1925.

Freed from the burden of care-giving, Maude wed James A. Munro (1877-1959), a native of Canada who had emigrated to the United States in 1896. The wedding took place sometime after 1925. He was five years younger than she, and they apparently had no children. (In 1910, James lived unmarried in a boarding house in Manhattan, on West 61st Street. His occupation, as recorded by the federal census-taker, was as a machinist in a garage.)


Evergreen Cemetery, Mauch Chunk

Circa 1930, when the federal census again was enumerated, Maude and James lived in the Borough of Manhattan, on West 64th Street, and kept a rooming house. Their boarders included a wide range of lunch room employees, hotel workers, construction and plumbing personnel, salesmen and factory designers.

James was a longtime machinist with an auto shop and later the New York City Fire Department. 

In retirement, threy resided in Kingston and Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County. She was named in the 1948 Mauch Chunk Times-News obituary of her brother Russell.


Jim Thorpe Times-News

Maude died in 1951, at the age of 79. She is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Plot 73-F, the same plot as her parents. 

James survived her by eight years. He passed away in Wilkes-Barre's Mercy Hospital on Nov. 1, 1959. His remains were returned to Mauch Chunk to rest beside his wife, following a funeral led by Rev. Astley Cooper. An obituary in the Jim Thorpe Times-News noted that "A niece, Mrs. Wesley Kreamer, this community, is among his survivors."

Maude is mentioned in J.P. Wintermute's 1900 book, The Wintermute Family History

~ Daughter Miriam Cook (Wintermute) Hess ~

Daughter Miriam Cook Wintermute (1875- ? ) was born on Aug. 17, 1875 in East Mauch Chunk. 

On Aug. 29, 1896, at the age of 21, Miriam married Daniel Clyde Hess (1873- ? ), son of Wilbur Hess of Hazleton, Luzerne County, PA. They had one known son, Russell Hess.

Daniel is believed to have been a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Class of 1895. He became a druggist in East Mauch Chunk and worked there circa 1900, as mentioned in J.P. Wintermute's book, The Wintermute Family History


Johnstown's YMCA

Changing his career path, he went on to work in the administration of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), which involved transfers around the eastern United States.

They have not been located on federal censuses of 1900 and 1910. 

Circa 1920, at the death of Miriam's father, she was named in the Mauch Chunk Daily News obituary, which noted that she resided at the time in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. The census of 1920 shows her and Clyde and son in Ferndale, a Johnstown suburb, with Clyde employed as the secretary of the local YMCA. 

The following year, Clyde was transferred to a YMCA in Lorain, Lorain County, OH. When Miriam's mother died in 1925, the Lehighton Press obituary said that Miriam was still living in Lorain.

Circa 1948, the Hesses resided in Moosup, CT. Nothing more about them is known.

Son Russell Hess (1901- ? ) was born in 1901. 


Evergreen Cemetery, Mauch Chunk

~ Son Russell Kirby Wintermute ~

Son Russell Kirby Wintermute (1881-1948) was born on May 12, 1881 in East Mauch Chunk. He was tall and slender, with blue eyes and brown hair. 

He married Florence Benner (1885-1946) in about 1908. At the time, he was age 27, and she was 23.

They had two children -- Adele Benner Kreamer and Rev. Gail Benner Wintermute Sr. 


Mauch Chunk Times-News

In 1910, when the census was taken, Russell and Florence lived with his parents in Mauch Chunk, and he was employed as a salesman in a drug store. 

As World War I raged in Europe, Russell registered for the military draft in September 1918, stating his occupation as a clerk with the Central Railroad of New Jersey shops in Mauch Chunk. Over time, he also was employed in the Central's store in Bethlehem. 

They were members of the Grace Methodist Church, and he was affiliated with the International Order of Odd Fellows and the Masons lodge in Mauch Chunk. Florence was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Florence died on Sept. 1, 1946, at the home of their married daughter Adele Kreamer in East Mauch Chunk. She was age 61. An obituary appeared in the Mauch Chunk Times News.


Mauch Chunk Times-News

Russell joined her in death exactly two years later on Sept. 1, 1948, at age 67. His obituary in the Mauch Chunk Times-News noted that he was survived by three grandchildren.

They are buried together at Evergreen Cemetery. An inscription on the face of Florence's marker indicates that the family plot of graves are perpetually maintained.

Daughter Adele Benner Wintermute (1913-1992) was born on June 18, 1913. She married Wesley C. Kreamer (1905-1988). In 1948, the Kreamers lived at 21 West Fifth Street in Mauch Chunk. That year, Adele's father died in their home. In 1959, when Adele's uncle James A. Munro died in Wilkes-Barre, she was named in the Jim Thorpe Times-News obituary as a surviving niece. Wesley passed into eternity on July 26, 1988. Adele died four years later on Sept. 3, 1992. They rest together in Evergreen Cemetery.


Evergreen Cemetery

Son Rev. Gail Benner Wintermute Sr. (1916-2004) was born on May 19, 1916 in East Mauch Chunk. Gail married Mildred L. Young, and they had two children -- Louise Georgette Wintermute and Gail Benner Wintermute Jr. He was a minister in the Methodist Church for nearly six decades. Among his charges were Scranton, Springville, Bird-in-Hand, Hawley, Lakeville and Paupack. He was a member of the Wyoming Conference of the United Methodist Church, and after retiring in 1980 joined the Beach Lake United Methodist Church. He died at the age of 88 on Nov. 13, 2004, in Hawley, Wayne County, PA. Burial was in the Fairview Cemetery in Pen Argyl, Northampton County, PA. A lengthy obituary was published in the Wayne Independent. (link)


Copyright 2011-2013 Eugene F. Podraza and Mark A. Miner

Chancellorsville sketches originally published in Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War.