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Frances 'Fannie' (Minerd) Jeffries Cross

Fannie Jeffries Cross
Frances "Fannie" (Minerd) Jeffries Cross
was born on Feb. 3, 1873 (or 1872) in Fayette County, PA, the daughter of William and Sara Elizabeth (Whoolery) Minerd.

In March 1892, when she was age 19, Fannie married Hugh J. Jeffries ( ? - ? ). 

Together, they produced one daughter, Mary Miller.

As a young man, in 1889, Hugh suffered a painful accident at the Lemont coke works, as reported by the Uniontown Genius of Liberty: 

His foot was caught by the flange of a wheel on a coke car and a deep gash cut from the toe to the heel.  His would was dressed by Dr. P.F. Smith, who says he is getting along well, but that it will [be] many days before he will be able for work.  This annoys Hugh very much, as he is at present the sole support of his mother and a large family.

The Jeffries lived in a three-room, furnished house with his parents at Ferguson Station near Dunbar, Fayette County. The marriage only lasted a short time. The following April, said the Connellsville Weekly Courier, Hugh "left home and has since refused to live with his wife or support either her or their only child."

By 1900, Fannie and daughter Mary had moved into her parents' home in South Union Township, along with her widowed siblings Mary Ann Crayton Cross, Jennie Herrington Worrick and James "William" Minerd.  She worked to support herself and her daughter.

Lemont coke ovens, where Hugh Jeffries labored

Fannie was granted a divorce on March 6, 1905. The following year, on Dec. 4, 1906, she married widower John M. Cross (July 21, 1857-1932), the son of William R. and Catherine (Stryker) Cross of Maryland and Somerset County, PA. No minister officiated, but they "united themselves" in matrimony. John was a "stationery engineer" who was age 49 and living in nearby East Pike Run Township, Washington County, PA. Fannie was age 33 at the time. John had been married once before, and declared that they were divorced in Septembe 1888, with the cause of "desertion."

Sisters Fannie (left), Jennie, Sarah
Fannie must have remained close to her sisters Jennie and Sarah, as evidenced by the photograph portrait they took together, in the form of a penny postcard.    

It's thought that John was the same "John Madison Cross" whose brother Haley Patrick Cross was married to Fannie's sister Mary Ann

In 1930, the Crosses lived at Richeyville, Washington County and in 1932 in West Pike Run Township, perhaps the same place.

Sadly, John suffered a stroke in mid-January 1932. He lingered for about eight days and passed away on Jan. 23, 1932, at the age of 74. Burial was in Taylor Cemetery.

The widowed Fannie made her residence in 1933 lived at Centerville, Washington County.  

Circa 1943, at the time Fannie's sister Sarah Crawford died in Uniontown, Fannie was mentioned in the newspaper obituary, and residing at Daisytown, Washington County.

Afflicted with heart disease and hardening of the arteries, Fannie died in Daisytown at the age of 75 on June 26, 1947. She was laid to rest in the Taylor Cemetery in Washington County. Son-in-law Elmer Miller of Daisytown was the informant for her official Pennsylvania certificate of death. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

A few tidbits are known of the Cross genealogy. John's father was a coal miner and was a minister for more than 40 years in the Dunkard Baptist Church. As of 1839, the parents resided at Mt. Savage, Allegany County, MD. By July 1860, the mother was dead but the father resided at Winchester, near Alliance, Stark County, OH, though in that particular month he was holding Dunkard camp meetings in Elk Lick Twp., Somerset County, PA. The father later went to Iowa and died there in about 1879 in Marshalltown.

~ Daughter Mary (Jeffries) Miller ~

Daughter Mary Jeffries (1892-1968) was born on Nov. 22, 1892 in Smithfield, Fayette County.

She was united in holy wedlock with Elmer Miller ( ? - ? ).

Five offspring born to this union were Elmer Miller Jr., John Miller, James Miller, Mary Patton and Etta Leyda. 

The Millers made a home for half a century on West Pike Run in Daisytown, Washington County, PA. In 1947, Mary's aged mother died in their home. The couple belonged to Grace United Methodist Church, with Mary active with its Women's Society of Christian Service.

For many years, Mary was afflicted with hardening of the arteries as well as what doctors called "chronic brain syndrome." She surrendered to the angel of death in the Golden Age Nursing Home in Brownsville, PA on July 7, 1968. Interment of the remains was in LaFayette Memorial Park in nearby Brier Hill, PA. The Connellsville Daily Courier and Monongahela (PA) Daily Republican published obituaries, noting that she was survived by 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Son Elmer Miller Jr. ( ? - ? ) put down roots in Brownsville, PA.

Son John Miller ( ? - ? ) relocated to Ohio. In 1968, he lived in Bedford, OH. 

Son James Miller ( ? - ? ) migrated to Medina, OH.      

Daughter Mary Miller ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wed Walter Patton ( ? - ? ). The Pattons' home in 1968 was in Charleroi, Washington County, PA. 

Daughter Etta Miller ( ? - ? ) entered into marriage with Elmer Leyda ( ? - ? ). They are known to have been in Coal Center, PA circa 1968.

Copyright 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2014, 2022 Mark A. Miner