Mary Virginia "Jennie" (Minerd) Collins Hill Mathews was born on May 12, 1886 in or near Philippi, Barbour County, WV, the daughter of Henry C. and Sarah Catherine (Croston) Minerd. She was married at least three times, but it is not known whether she had any children.
Jennie wed her first husband, James Collins (1880- ? ), a native of Barbour County, on Dec. 15, 1902. She was age 16, and he 22, at the time. The ceremony was performed by Rev. A. Law Ireland at the Methodist Episcopal Church parsonage in Philippi. James is believed to have been the son of Noah and Roseanna (Newman) Collins.
By 1910, when the federal census was taken, Jennie was marked as "married" but living apart from her husband James. Her dwelling was next to her parents' home. She worked that year as a wash woman, and her cousin Jacob W. "Jake" Miner boarded under her roof.
Jennie's marriage ended, and James' fate is unknown. A man named "James Collins" (1879-1968) is known to have re-married in 1915 to Maudie R. (Male) Collins, lived in Philippi and later died there on Feb. 5, 1968.
Jennie apparently married again on April 4, 1915, to Henry Hill (1897- ? ), a native of Harrison County, WV. She was 11 years older than her husband. His fate after that are unknown.
At some point, Jennie married her third spouse, coal miner Charles Edward "Ed" Mathews (1876-1944), the son of Richard and Mary (Crober) Mathews. They made their home in Sharpsburg, Bern Township, Athens County, OH, near where her uncle Jacob Minerd Jr. and aunt Susanna Mayle Woody and many cousins had settled in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Jennie suffered from cancer of the uterus, and died at the age of 53, possibly on her birthday, May 12, 1939. She was laid to rest in the Mount Hermon Cemetery in Athens County. Her grave apparently is not marked, as efforts to find and photograph it by the founder of this website, in September 2015, were not successful.
Ed outlived Jennie by five years. He suffered from diabetes and it led to a life-threatening gangrene of his left foot, which resulted in the amputation of his left leg. He did not recover from the surgery, and died at age 67 on May 6, 1944. He also was buried at Mt. Hermon. The informant on his death certificate was John Mathews of Sharpsburg. On the death certificate, Ed's "color or race" was marked as "colored."
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