Margaret and her unmarried sister Sabina A. Minerd (1852-1915) lived together for many years on a farm near Ohiopyle, Fayette County.
In about 1879, when Margaret was 20, she appears to have become debilitated for life. A physician once wrote that she suffered from "chronic spinal disease."
She was bedridden for the remaining 38 years of her life. "During the long years that she was unable to get about," said the Connellsville Courier, "she occupied her time with fancy work and produced many beautiful pieces."
Fayette County court records on file in Uniontown show that the sisters were assisted financially in part by Huffman Liston of Dunbar, a friend.
An article about Ohiopyle in the Connellsville Courier of Sept. 15, 1893 reported: "Miss Maggie Minard, who has been a helpless invalid for a number of years, is now critically ill."
Yet Margaret did not die of the illness, and five years later, in July 1898, the Courier reported that Margaret's twin nephews Hadden and Joseph Miller of Uniontown had been weekend guests at her home.
At some point, Gertrude Estella Speicher, Margaret's niece, moved into their home to be a caregiver or helper.
The picturesque Youghiogheny River falls at Ohiopyle, near the Minerd sisters' home, was a well-known landmark.
Little else is known of Margaret's life.
Sister Sabina was the first to pass away. She died on Sept. 23, 1915.
She passed away on March 27, 1917. Reported the Courier, "The body will be taken overland to Hopwood for interment. the funeral party will go by train." She and Sabina are buried together at Hopwood Cemetery near Uniontown, PA.
At Margaret's death, there was no one to care for her niece Gertrude, who was considered "a very bright little girl and needs schooling," said a friend. Gertrude was "a little girl that stayed with those girls there so faithfully and has nothing for it except what she gets out of this [estate]."
The small sapling, shown alongside the grave marker in this photo taken in 1988, had grown so large by the year 2000 that it had knocked the marker off its base and flat onto the ground. The marker has since been restored to its full upright position.