Marcellus Murray was born on Sept. 19, 1873 near Normalville, Fayette County, PA the son of Elijah and Hannah (Minerd) Murray. He was 11 years old when both his parents died, leaving him an orphan. His life is not well known but is written here as a starting point.
In a short period of time, in 1893 and '94, Marcellus broke through the hazy mists of recorded history. Just before Christmas 1893, the Connellsville Courier reported that:
Marcellus Murray met with an accident, Monday, while unloading some heavy timbers. It was thought first that his arm was broken, but an examination showed that he was only badly bruised about the arm and shoulder.
In 1894, the Courier said he and his brother in law Nelson Kern were living near Reagantown, Fayette County, and were visiting at Normalville.
When the census was taken in 1900, when Marcellus was age 26, he was residing with the elderly Sarah Whipkey near Normalville.
A 1902 issue of The Mountaineer reported that "Frank Clark and sister and Marcellus Murray of Hemminger's Mills, spent Saturday and Sunday as guests of David Shank."
On June 6, 1903, 30-year-old Marcellus married widow Bertha Jane (Clark) Wilson (March 1876-1918), the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Huff) Clark. Her first husband, Albert Wilson, died of typhus circa 1899. She brought two sons to the marriage -- Emerson Samuel Wilson and Orville Albert Wilson.
Marcellus and Bertha resided in Prittstown, Fayette County, and produced two children of their own -- John William Murray and Verna Shaw.
Later, they lived at the Cross Roads, near Pennsville.
In 1917, during World War I, the 44-year-old Marcellus registered for the military draft at Local Board No. 2 in Fayette County. He resided in Scottdale at that time. He was employed as a laborer for the U.S. Cast Iron Pipe and Foundry Company in nearby Scottdale, Westmoreland County. Another cousin who worked for U.S. Cast Iron Pipe in that era was Howard Campbell Miner.
Tragedy struck the family when Bertha was pregnant in the spring of 1918 at the age of 41. She attempted an abortion, which led to a deadly septic shock. Unable to recover, she passed away at age 42 on May 3, 1918 in Mount Pleasant. Her funeral was held at the Paradise Evangelical Church, and she was buried at Stauffer Cemetery.
Marcellus married again fairly quickly, to widow Cleveland Etta (Adams) Stillwagon (Jan. 9, 1885-1968), the daughter of John and Polly (Burkett) Adams. The wedding occurred on Dec. 10, 1919. Cleveland was 12 years younger than Marcellus.
Cleveland's first husband Franklin "Frank" Stillwagon (April 13, 1886-1913) had died tragically at the age of 28 when cleaning a shotgun in a cornfield near Murphy's Siding. The gun fired accidentally, with the shot passing through his brain, killing him almost instantly.
She thus brought a number of Stillwagon children to the marriage -- Carl Stillwagon, Edna Basinger, Caroline Lawver, Louella Saylor and Freda DeWitt. Sorting out "who was who" is still somewhat confusing.
Marcellus and Cleveland produced one son of their own, Norman Murray, born in 1919. It's also possible that daughters Emma Springer and Louella Saylor also were Marcellus's.
The family is enumerated on the 1920 federal census of Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County. In that census, 46-year-old "M.C." Murray is listed as a farm laborer and head of the household with 34-year-old wife Cleveland and with children John (age 15), Verna (13), Freda (5), Emma (2) and infant son Norman (2 months).
Tragically Marcellus was stricken with a bacterial strep infection in the winter of 1920, just a few months after the marriage. He passed away on Feb. 6, 1920, at the age of 47. The Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier simply reported that he "died yesterday afternoon at his home in Kingview. He leaves a wife and family. No funeral arrangements have been made." As the United States was in the grip of a national epidemic of influenza at the time, he may have been a victim of that dreaded disease. Burial was in Springfield Cemetery -- possibly otherwise known as "Normalville Cemetery"
On May 19, 1921, twice-widowed Cleveland married her third husband, 59-year-old widower Martin F. Paes (1862-1925). He may have adopted some of her younger children (Emma and Norman) and gave them his surname. The couple lived at 21 South Grant Street in Uniontown, where he earned a living as a blacksmith.
Heartache struck again just three years later, on Dec. 15, 1925, when Martin suffered a stroke and died at the age of 64. His remains were placed into repose in Mount Olive Cemetery. His death left the 40-year-old Cleveland as a three-time widow.
Cleveland lived for more than 40 more years but apparently never married again. She dwelled in Republic and Brier Hill, Fayette County, communities built around coal mining operations. She lived at the end of her life in Clarksville, Greene County, PA.
Having borne heart disease for the last decade of her life, she contracted congestive heart failure and passed away on Jan. 20, 1968 in Brownsville (PA) General Hospital. Her remains were laid to rest at Mount Olive Cemetery in Bullskin Township. At the time of death, she had seven living children, 56 grandchildren, 93 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
When Marcellus Murray's cousin Agnes (Miner) Miller compiled details genealogy notes late in life, she wrote his name on a list, but stated nothing more.
~ Son John William Murray ~
Son John William Murray (1904-1973) was born in 1904.
He was married twice. His first wife was Harriet Wyant (1902-1926), the daughter of Nicholas Wyant of Everson, Westmoreland County, PA.
They together bore one son, Frank Murray.
She died at age 24 of "heart trouble and dropsy," said the Daily Courier, and was laid to rest at Scottdale Cemetery.
John's second wife was Mabel Lavenia Lehman (1903-1998), the daughter of Edward G. and Betty Lehman and a native of Dunbar, Fayette County. Their marriage ceremony was performed by a distant cousin, Rev. David Ewing Minerd, the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" of Fayette County.
A daughter produced by the second marriage was Verna Elizabeth Saltsman, born in West Virginia.
The Murrays resided on a farm near Hopedale, Harrison County, OH. Said the Cadiz (OH) Republican, "He had been a farmer and was a former German Twp. trustee and a substitute mail carrier." John was a collector of functional antiques, such as a shed full of old crank type telephones, a field full of old automobiles from the 1930s and '40s, and many old glass insulators from telephone poles. Relatives sold their eggs and possibly other farm products to customers in nearby Weirton, WV.
They are buried at Blue Ridge Cemetery near Hopedale.
Son Frank Murray ( ? - ? )
Daughter Verna Elizabeth Murray (1930- ? ) was born on Nov. 8, 1930 in West Virginia. She made her home in 1970 in Hopedale, OH. On June 1, 1970, at the age of 39, she motored to Winchester, VA to be married to 50-year-old divorcee Frank David Saltsman (Sept. 6, 1919-1994), the son of William D. and Ella (Clites) Saltsman of Ohio. The couple lived in or near Jefferson County, OH. Said the Steubenville Herald Star, Frank "was employed in area mines for more than 50 years. He was a retired mechanic from Consol Mining in Cadiz and Moore's Company, which Consol bought out. He was ... a member of United Mine Workers Local 7451, a 50-year member of the Salineville American Legion, an Army veteran of World War II, having served in the European Theater and having been awarded four Bronze Stars." Frank surrendered to the spectre of death in Steubenville, OH on Aug. 22, 1994.
~ Daughter Verna (Murray) Shaw ~
Daughter Verna Murray (1906-1940) was born on Jan. 14, 1906.
She was 12 years of age when her mother died a senseless death in 1918. She lived with her father and stepmother in Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County in 1920. She apparently made her way to Massachusetts in young womanhood. The details of this migration are not known.
When she was 20 years of age, in 1926, Verna entered into marriage with Beryle Alden Shaw (1904-1951), son of Willis Eugene and Cora (Smith) Shaw of Chicopee, Hampden County, MA. The wedding was held in Northampton, MA.
The couple established their residence in Northampton.
Together, they produced these offspring -- Dorothy Mae Violette Weets, Bertha "June" Marshall, Verna "Alicia" Beam, Beryle A. Shaw Jr., Harold Eugene Shaw and perhaps others.
The federal census enumeration of 1930 shows the family in Northampton, with Beryle employed as a clerk in a general store.
Verna is known to have brought her daughter June to her home region of Pennsylvania in August 1936 for a visit with Laura Milligan of Prittstown near Mount Pleasant. At the time, their home was in Florence, MA. The trip was noted in the gossip columns of the Connellsville Daily Courier, which reprted that "Mrs. Shaw and daughter were former residents of Prittstown but had not visited here for 12 years."
By 1940, when the census again was taken, Beryle worked as a night operator at a freight terminal.
Sadly, Verna died at the age of 34 on Sept. 11, 1940, in Northampton, Hampshire County. Her remains were lowered into eternal sleep in Spring Grove Cemetery in Florence, MA.
Beryle outlived his wife by 11 years. The angel of death swept him away in Northampton at the age of 47 on Nov. 25, 1951.
Daughter Dorothy Mae Shaw (1927-1987) was born in 1927 in Northampton, MA. She was a 1945 graduate of Northampton High School. Interested in a career as a nurse, she attended Widden Memorial Hospital school of nursing in Everett, MA and graduated in September 1948. She then was hired as a night supervisor at the Boston Floating Hospital in Boston. Dorothy was married twice. Her first spouse, with whom she tied the knot in February 1949, was World War II Navy veteran Fernand Joseph Violette ( ? - ? ), son of Maxime Violette of Main Street in Bangor, ME. Their wedding was held at St. James Catholic Church in Boston, officiated by Rev. William J. Mella, and announced on the pages of the Bangor Daily News. Fernand was serving a three-year term in the Navy at the time of marriage, having re-enlisted in July 1948. At least one son was born to the couple, Robert James Violette, born in Port Hueneme, CA. At some point, Dorothy obtained a degree from Boston's Elias College. Then in 1956, at the age of 29, in a ceremony held in Morrison, IL, she was united in wedlock with Stanley Erwin "Stan" Weets (March 14, 1931-2017). He was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War. Dorothy and Stanley produced a family of children of their own -- Virginia "Ginny" McCoy, Mary Jo Geerts, Martin Weets, Thomas Weets, Dale Allen Weets, Wayne Weets and Jerry Weets. Dorothy also was the mother of Nancy Hooton, Shirley Sallee and Barbara Kemp and perhaps Edward "Skip" Beam. Dorothy lived in Iowa in 1982 and in Baldwin, IA in 1987. She passed away at the age of 60 on Dec. 27, 1987 in Dubuque's Mercy Hospital. Burial of the remains was in Hickory Grove Cemetery near Emeline, IA. An obituary appeared in the Davenport (IA) Quad-City Times and the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The widowed Stanley married again to Patricia A. "Pat" (Wallace) Bean (March 12, 1934-2014). He succumbed to the spirit of death at age 86 on Oct. 15, 2017.
Daughter Bertha "June" Shaw (1928-1994) was born in 1928 in Massachusetts. She wed (?) Marshall ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in Massachusetts in 1982-1987.
Daughter Verna "Alicia" Shaw (1931- ? ) was born on Jan. 21, 1931 in Northampton, MA. She was united in matrimony with Edward Beam Sr. ( ? - ? ). The four children born to the pair were Barbara Santoyo, Nancy Beam, Edward Beam Jr. and Richard Beam. The Beams lived in Northampton until relocating to California. Alicia resided in 1987 in Riverside, CA. Her final residence was in Colton, CA, where she spent the last 26 years of her life. She died in bed at home at age 76 on Aug. 14, 2007. Her obituary was printed in the Press Enterprise.
She also enjoyed traveling and vacationing. Some of her favorite vacations were camping, going to the river, San Felipe, Hawaii, New York, Vegas, and going on cruises with her family. Another thing that Barbara loved was going to Knott’s Berry Farm and riding roller coasters.
She is said to have always had a smile on her face, an easygoing and thoughtful personalilty and a sense of humor. Sadly, at the age of 64, Barbara passed away at home on March 4, 2021.
Great-granddaughter Cristal Santoyo married Andres Teles. The couple were in Arkansas City, KS in 2021.
Great-granddaughter Patricia Santoyo wed Javier Alverez. They have dwelled in Riverside, CA.
Great-granddaughter Norma Santoyo entered into marriage with Brad Biagi. The couple has resided in Riverside, CA.
Son Beryle A. Shaw Jr. (1932-1982) was born in 1932. He sereved in the U.S. Navy in 1953 during the Korean War. On May 9, 1953, he was joined in wedlock with Virginia Bernadette Embry (Feb. 17, 1932-2006), daughter of Harry Nelson and Sophia Catherine (Sullivan) Embry of 327 Beaver Street in North Adams, MA. The nuptials were conducted in St. Francis Church and announced in the North Adams Transcript. Four children born into this family were Beryle A. "Skip" Shaw III, Kimberly Shaw, Barbara Walker and Michael D. Shaw. Virginia was a 1952 graduate of Drury High School and had worked for Sprague Electric Company until marriage. The couple dwelled in Florence, MA in 1967 and in the early 1970s relocated to Tucson, AZ. While in Florence, Virginia was employed by Prolific Brush Company. Sadly, the 49-year-old Beryle Jr. died on New Year's Day 1982. His obituary was printed in the Tucson Citizen, and burial was in Our Lady of the Desert Cemetery. Virginia remained in Tucson for the balance of her life with an address of 2621 South Portia Avenue. She passed away there at age 74 on Dec. 13, 2006. An obituary in the Transcript said that her funeral mass was sung at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Tucson, with the family requesting that any memorial donations be made to Casa De Los Ninos Crisis Center.
Son Harold Eugene Shaw (1934-2006) was born in about 1934 in Northampton, MA. He made his home in Massachusetts in 1982-1987.
~ Son Norman Paes Murray ~
Son Norman Paes Murray (1919-1984) was born in 1919.
He resided in Brier Hill. He took back his "Murray" surname at some point after temporarily adopting the "Paes" name.
He married Mildred McNatt (1923-1993), the daughter of Charles and Susue (Holland) McNatt.
They were the parents of eight children -- Norman Paes Jr., Roberta Bizik, Marlene Rapchak, Darlene Androsky, Thomas R. Murray, Terry S. Murray, Ronald C. Paes and Debi Kopec.
Said the Uniontown Herald-Standard, "He was a member of UMWA District 4 and was a former employee of J&L Steel."
Norman and Mildred are buried at Pleasant View Cemetery in Smock near Uniontown, Fayette County.
Son Norman Paes Jr. ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 2019.
Daughter Roberta Paes (1940-1997) was born in 1940. She was wedded to (?) Bizik ( ? - ? ). Roberta passed into eternity in 1997, with burial in LaFayette Memorial Park in Brier Hill, Fayette County.
Daughter Marlene A. Paes (1944-2009) was born on Septl. 8, 1944. She married (?) Rapchak ( ? - ? ). She was swept away by the Grim Reaper at the age of 65 on Dec. 5, 2009. Interment was in LaFayette Memorial Park in Brier Hill, Fayette County.
Daughter Darlene M. Paes (1950-2003) was born on Sept. 18, 1950. She was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with (?) Androsky ( ? - ? ). The couple lived in Grindstone, Fayette County. they were members of the church of Jesus Christ in Dunbar. Darlene earned a living through her work with Sew-A-Lot Sewing Factory in Waltersburg, PA. Sadly, while a patient in Uniontown Hospital at the age of 52, she passed away on March 22, 2003. Her remains rest in eternal sleep in LaFayette Memorial Park in Brier Hill, Fayette County.
Son Thomas R. Murray resided in Grindstone, Fayette County in 2019.
Son Terry S. Murray wedded Fern. Circa 2019, they dwelled in Grindstone, Fayette County.
Son Ronald Charles "Buck" Paes (1947-2019) was born on Oct. 22, 1947 in Brier Hill, Fayette County. Ronald was joined in marriage with Linda Thurby ( ? - ? ). She brought a son to the marriage, Gary Thurby. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. For many years, he earned a living as a coal miner and made his home in Jefferson, PA. Ronald passed into eternity on June 19, 2019. His remains were placed into honorable rest in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. Obituaries were published in the Washington Observer-Reporter and the Uniontown Herald-Standard.
Daughter Debra Paes/Murray was united in wedlock with Mark Kopec. Their residence in 2019 was in Grindstone, Fayette County.
~ Daughter Emma (Murray) Saylor ~
Daughter Emma Murray (1918) was born in about 1918.
She was wed to (?) Saylor ( ? - ? ).
In 1956, the Saylors made a residence in Michigan.
~ Stepson Carl E. Stillwagon ~
Stepson Carl Ebbert Stillwagon (1910-1967) was born on April 10, 1910 in Connellsville, PA, the son of Frank and Cleveland (Adams) Stillwagon.
Carl was joined in matrimony with Anna Luxner ( ? - ? ).
The couple bore a son William Stillwagon.
The Stillwagons resided in Greensburg, PA in 1956.
Carl earned a living as a sergeant with the Pennsylvania State Police, beginning his career in the 1930s in Uniontown "as one of the original highway patrolmen," said the Uniontown Morning Herald. "The Highway Patrol and state police merged in 1937 and was known as Motor Police and later changed to Pennsylvania State Police. The sergeant was transferred to Greensburg and as a member of the drivers' examination detail returned frequently to Uniontown."
He retired in 1960 and worked in Jeannette, Westmoreland County as a security officer/factory guard for the Elliott Manufacturing Company. Their home in the 1960s was at 535 Hickory Drive in Greensburg, the seat of Westmoreland County.
Burdened with hypertension, and after suffering a massive heart attack, he died within minutes at home at the age of 57 on May 16, 1967. An obituary was printed in the Uniontown Morning Herald and Uniontown Evening Standard. A requiem mass was sung at Lady of Grace Church in Greensburg, and interment was in Green Ridge Memorial Park.
Son William C. Stillwagon ( ? - ? ) became an attorney. He practiced in Greensburg circa 1967 and into the 2000s. His office was located at 319 South Maple Avenue.
~ Stepdaughter Edna Mae (Stillwagon) Basinger ~
Stepdaughter Edna Mae Stillwagon (1906-1956) was born on Dec. 13, 1906 in Breakneck near Connellsville.
On Jan. 29, 1927, when she was 10 years of age, she was united in the bonds of wedlock with Harry Wilson Basinger (1907-1984).
The couple produced 11 known offspring -- Betty Lou Sellers Greenwell, Bonnie May Basinger, Peggy Lou Basinger, Harry Basinger, Dale Basinger, Raleigh Delmar Basinger, Carl Herbert Basinger, Donald Waldon Basinger, Robert Allen Basinger, Gene Franklin Basinger, Douglas McArthur Basinger and Jimmy Lee Basinger.
Circa 1934, at the time of the birth of their daughter Betty Lou, the Basingers dwelled in Salix, Cambria County, near Johnstown, PA.
They moved to Greene County, PA in about 1939 and in the mid-1950s resided in the county seat of Waynesburg. Edna was a member of the Church of God.
In the final year of her life, Edna bore diabetes along with hypertension. Sadly, the 49-year-old Edna was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away in Waynesburg's Greene County Memorial Hospital after a stay of four days on Nov. 10, 1956. Interment was in Greene County Memorial Park. Obituaries were published in the Waynesburg Republican and the Greene County Democrat Messenger, which observed that she was survived by a dozen grandchildren.
Harry lived for another 28 years. He died in June 1984.
Daughter Betty Lou Basinger (1934-2018) was born on Dec. 16, 1934 in Salix, near Johnstown, PA. She first wed Gene Sellers ( ? - ? ). Together, they produced a brood of seven -- Amelia Robinson, Barbara Berecek, Belinda Ciani, Susan Giamo, Lliana Mobley, Glen Wayne Sellers and Edwin Sellers. The Sellerses were in Waynesburg in the 1950s. Then by 2008, she had married again to Paul F. Greenwell (1936-2020), son of James and Mabel (Berchi) Greenwell. His children from an earlier marriage were Linda Baker, Tammy Jo Pugh, Paul Greenwell Jr., Connie Wieland, Jimmy Greenwell and Michelle Greenwell. Her home in 2014 was in Akron, OH. Burdened with diabetes, she surrendered to the angel of death in Akron on Jan. 28, 2018. She left behind 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her funeral was held in Springfield Baptist Church, followed by burial in Greenwood Cemetery in Mogadore. Paul survived his wife by two years and is believed to have suffered from Alzheimer's. Death carried him away into eternity on Christmas Day 2020, at the age of 84.
Great-grandson Steven Anthony Sellers (1983-2021) was born on Nov. 27, 1983 in Galveston, TX. In adulthood he resided in Wadsworth near Akron, OH. He learned the trade of carpentry and enjoyed creating and building. He liked to play electronic games, build and repair computers as well as enjoy coffee. He also had a heart for animals. Steven entered into marriage with Shilo ( ? - ? ). He was the father of Odyssey Sellers, Solrea Sellers, Daelyne Sellers and Draven Sellers. Sadly, suffering from depression, he took his own life on Oct. 5, 2021. His obituary appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal.
Daughter Bonnie May Basinger ( ? - ? ) was united in matrimony with Paul Shipman ( ? - ? ). They settled in Thornville, Ohio.
Daughter Peggy Lou Basinger ( ? - ? ) married (?) Vanderpool ( ? - ? ). Sadly, she was deceased by 2008.
Son Harry Basinger ( ? - ? ) moved to Aliquippa, PA as did four of his younger brothers.
Son Dale Basinger ( ? - ? ) relocated to Aliquippa, PA.
Son Raleigh Delmar Basinger ( ? - ? ) migrated to Aliquippa, PA.
Son Carl Herbert Basinger ( ? - ? ) made his residence in 1956 in Aliquippa, PA.
Son Donald Weldon "Cowboy" Basinger (1933-2008) was born on Aug. 7, 1933 in Connellsville. As with several of his brothers, he moved to Aliquippa, PA. He was the father of 11 full- and step-children -- Richard Lee Basinger, Debbie Kushik, Randy Weldon Basinger, Donald Joseph Basinger, Charles Basinger, Donald Lee Basinger, Larry Thomas, Willie Rhodes, Sonny Rhodes, Donna Sue Rimdcius and Donna Kay Rhodes. For 33 years, he was employed as a crane operator in the Aliquippa works of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, later becoming part of LTV Steel. In his free time he liked to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle, tinker with mechanical things and develop his expert archery skills, securing several state championships. He also belonged to the Hopewell post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Harley Owners Group and Monaca's SNPJ, a national benefit society of the Slovenian community. In about 1986, he married Betty Thomas ( ? - ? ). Their union stood the test of 22 years until separated by death. Sadly, at the age of 75, Donald died at home on Dec. 21, 2008. His obituary appeared in the Beaver County Times. He was survived by a baker's dozen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Son Robert Allen "Bob" Basinger (1937-2014) was born on Jan. 16, 1937 in Connellsville, PA and grew up in Waynesburg. When he was 20 years of age, on Aug. 10, 1957, he married Patricia "Pat" Tedrow ( ? - ? ). Their union survived the ups and downs of a remarkable nearly 57 years. Four offspring born into this family were Sharon Louise Basinger, Kimberly Ann Barnard, Pamela Sue Strope and Michael Allen Basinger. For decades, they dwelled in Waynesburg. The Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter once said that he "worked hard every day to provide for his family." He was employed in Washington as a crane operator for 24 years for National Annealing Box Company. When that position ended, he re-invented his career as a self-employed contractor. The Basingers were charter members of Landmark Baptist Church and attended First Baptist Church of Belle Vernon. He liked to donate his time to church work and to hunt. As his health declined, Robert was admitted to Monongalia General Hospital in nearby Morgantown, WV, where he died at age 77 on July 17, 2014. An obituary in the Observer-Reporter noted that his survivors included a dozen grandchildren and 14 full and step-great-grandchildren. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in the family farm in Washington Township, Greene County.
Son Gene Franklin Basinger ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with Susan "Sue" ( ? - ? ). The couple has dwelled in Ravenna, OH.
Son Douglas McArthur "Doug" Basinger ( ? - ? ) moved to Mantua, OH and was there in 2014.
Son James Lee "Jimmy" Basinger ( ? - ? ) was in Ohio in 2008 and circa 2014 in Mantua, OH.
~ Stepdaughter Caroline (Stillwagon) Lawver ~
Stepdaughter Caroline Stillwagon (1908-1986) was born on Nov. 12, 1908 in Clarksville, PA.
At the age of 15, on Dec. 7, 1923, she wedded 23-year-old Amnie Gilmore Lawver (1901-1984), the son of Alonzo and Margaret (Johnson) Lawver of New Castle, Lawrence County, PA. In a twist, Amnie's brother Alvie Lawver married Caroline's step-cousin Anna Rose of the family of Ulysses Grant and Margaret "Maggie" (Trout) Rose of West Overton, PA.
They together produced a family of 14 children -- Edna M. Lawver, Louella Catherine Furman, Amnie Eugene "Bud" Lawver, Dortha Mae Janecko Bennett, Jack James Lawver, Carl Ebbert Lawver, Dale Eugene Lawver, Timothy Lawver, Harvey Benton Lawver, Margaret Lawver, Linda Lee Bartko, Asenath Julia Koftis Rose, Thelma Ruth Adkins and Alonzo "Lonnie" Lawver.
Continuing heartache blanketed the family when five of their children Edna (1926), Dale (1931), Timothy (1935), Harvey (1942) and Margaret (1946) died in infancy or early childhood.
Amnie stood 5 feet, 9½ inches tall, weighed 180 lbs. and had brown hair and brown eyes. In young manhood he underwent surgery on his groin which left a lasting scar, which he disclosed when registering for World War II some years later.
Circa 1930, Amnie worked as a truck driver in the timber business in Springfield Township, Fayette County.
The couple resided in House 106 in Brier Hill (Redstone Township) in 1940-1945, when Amnie in 1940 earned a living working in a store for the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was one of the ways President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the federal government tried to overcome unemployment and is widely considered one of the Roosevelt's largest and most ambitious undertakings of his "New Deal" to get the nation back on sound economic footing. Over the years, the WPA hired millions of out-of-work individuals to build public works projects, such as roads, bridges, retaining walls and buildings.
With the nation emerging from the Depression and engaged in a world war, by 1942, he was hired to work in the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation coal mine at Vesta No. 5 in California, PA.
They are known to have dwelled in Clarksville, Greene County, in 1956-1968. In 1959, he ran an automobile wrecking and storage facility in Brier Hill.
Death carried Amnie away in June 1984. He rests for all time in Mount Tabor Cemetery in Connellsville.
Caroline died in 1986.
Daughter Louella Catherine Lawver (1926-1993) was born on Jan. 29, 1926 in Connellsville, PA. In about 1952, she wed Raymond Charles "Dutch" Furman (April 20, 1930-1954), a native of Point Marion, PA and the son of Martin J. and Anna (Gansor) Furman. News of their marriage license application was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. The couple separated by February 1953, with Raymond ordered to pay Louella $70 a month in support. She remained in Brier Hill while he lived at 39 North Mount Vernon Avenue, Uniontown, and earned a living as a roofer. Tragically, on the fateful day of April 25, 1954, he was discovered badly injured, lying along U.S. Route 40 West near the police barracks. An investigation discovered that he had walked into a trailer truck in a hit-and-run incident and ruled it a highway accident. He was rushed to Uniontown Hospital, where doctors found him suffering from a fractured skill, fractures of his right and left ribs and a lacerated left lung and liver. Burial was in St. Mary's Cemetery, Uniontown, following a prayer service led by Rev. Fr. John Blazie. The Uniontown Morning Herald said in a related story that he "was the fifth member of St. Mary's R.C. Church parish to die since last Monday." Louella endured for another nearly four decades. The spectre of death swept her away at age 67 in Boone County, KY on Dec. 18, 1993. Her remains are interred in Floral Hills Memorial Gardens in Taylor Mill, KY.
Son Amnie Eugene "Bud" Lawver (1928-2000) was born on Jan. 5, 1928 in Springfield Township, Fayette County. He was joined in marriage with Ruth DeWitt ( ? - ? ). They remained married for a remarkable 52 years. The couple resided in East Millsboro, PA and bore these children -- Ruth Rankin, Nancy Koffler, Amnie E. Lawver Jr., Kathy Diane Hersh and Cora Lucille Lawver. Amnie owned and operated Lawver Scrap Iron and Metal, a business in East Millsboro. Sadly, while a patient in Beverly Health Care Center in Uniontown, he died at the age of 72 on Sept. 9, 2000. His funeral was led by Rev. Albert Taxacher, with burial in Mount Tabor Cemetery.
Daughter Dortha Mae Lawver (1930-1975) was born on Jan. 21, 1930 in Connellsville, PA. Her first husband was (?) Janecko ( ? - ? ). The marriage ended in divorce, with Dorotha maintaining a home in Clarksville, PA. Then on July 13, 1959, at the age of 30, she traveled to Winchester, VA to be married to 46-year-old bus driver Clyde Alton Bennett (1912-1984), a native of Clarksville and the son of Clyde A. and Minerva (Bane) Bennett. Robert M. Grim officiated. Clde also had been married previously, to Helen Auvil, and brought their daughter into the marriage with Dortha, Barbara Baer. The second marriage resulted in a daughter of their own, Asenath "Sennie" Helmantoler. During World War II, Clyde served with the U.S. Army, assigned to Company E, 354th Infantry, 89th Division. Dortha entered the realm of eternity at age 45 on Oct. 20, 1975. Her remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Buckingham Cemetery in Deemston, Washington County, PA. Clyde outlived her by nine years. He died at age 71 on Aug. 7, 1984.
Son Jack James Lawver (1932-1980) was born on Dec. 18, 1932 in Connellsville, PA. in about 1933. Jack served in the U.S. Army for two years, from April 1953 to April 1955. In a subsequent relationship or marriage with Grace Griest ( ? - ? ), he became the father of Jack James Griest, born in 1953. Another spouse was Elizabeth "Libby" Yeardie ( ? - ? ), daughter of James F. and Marie C. (Voorp) Yeardie. They are believed to have borne three children -- Jack Lawver, James Lawver and Diane Minkus. Jack spent the end of his years in Syracuse, NY. He passed away there on Oct. 25, 1980. His remains were shipped back to Brier Hill to rest for all time in LaFayette Memorial Park.
Son Carl Ebbert Lawver (1937-2015) was born June 3, 1937 in Brier Hill, PA. He joined the U.S. Army at age 17 in March 1955. He was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, 125th Signal Battalion, and specialized as a mechanic. He was transferred to Hawaii in August 1956 and spent Christmas 1957 there. On July 24, 1965, when he was 28 years of age, Carl was joined in the holy bonds of wedlock with Wilma Kimball (Jan. 12, 1945-2017), a native of St. Marys, WV. Their two offspring were Steven Lawver and Kimberly Dadoush. For many years, they made their residence in Colliers near Weirton, WV. Carl spent his working career as a truck driver, employed by Wilson Freight and Preston Trucking and finally Weir-Cove, a position from which he retired in 2001. As Carl's health failed, he was admitted to Weirton Medical Center. There, he succumbed to his ailments at age 77 on May 5, 2015. Rev. Dana Snograss officiated the funeral service. Interment of the remains was in St. John Cemetery Haven of rest in Colliers. The Brooke County (WV) Review published an obituary. Two years later, Wilma joined him in death on July 7, 2017.
Daughter Linda Lee Lawver (1952-1998) was born on July 21, 1952 in Brier Hill, PA. She was a 1971 graduate of Jefferson Morgan High School and went on to study at the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy. On Nov. 16, 1974, she was joined in the bonds of marriage with Richard A. Bartko ( ? - ? ). The couple became the parents of Dortha McGowan, Samantha Bartko, Regina Flower Bartko and twins Cora Beth Bartko and Toni Raschel Bartko. Sadly, daughters Regina, Cora and Toni died young. Linda was active with Green Valley Church of God, teaching Sunday School and serving with the foodbank and ladies ministry. Their final home together was in rural Jefferson, PA. Sadly, at the age of 46, she passed away in West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh on Aug. 18, 1998.
Daughter Asenath Julia Lawver (1947-2020) was born on July 23, 1947 in Brier Hill, PA. She appears to have married at least twice. One of her husbands was Ronald Koftis Sr. (Sept. 9, 1947-1990), son of John and Marian (Grubis) Kotfis. They bore two known sons, Ronnie Kotfis and Nathan Kotfis. The Kotfis marriage ended in divorce. Asenath also wed (?) Rose ( ? - ? ). The children born to this second union were Donald Rose, David Rose and James Higgins. She held a membership in the Blainesburg Bible Church in Brownsville. Said an obituary, she "loved her family and the Lord.... She enjoyed serving her church and cooking. She was grateful for her kind and compassionate minister, Rev. Frank Menhart, Jr, who has always been like family to her." Her home in 1998 was in Pitt Gas, PA and in 2020 in California, PA. Sadly at the age of 72, she passed into the arms of the angels on July 18, 2020. Her funeral service was held in the family church, by the hand of her pastor. Burial was in Mount Tabor Cemetery near Connellsville. The Uniontown Herald Standard printed an obituary. Former husband Ronald Koftis Sr. spent his final years in Midway, PA. He died on Sept. 18, 1990, with an obituary published in the Pittsburgh Press, and burial in St. Margaret Mary Church, also known as Resurrection Cemetery in Coraopolis, PA..
Daughter Thelma Ruth Lawver ( ? - ? ) was united in holy matrimony with Julian Silas Adkins (Jan. 5, 1937-2018), the son of Rev. James and Josephine Francis Adkins of Newport, KY. They endured the ups and downs of a marriage which lasted for an extraordinary six decades. Together, the couple bore seven children -- Andria Powell, Carla Hite, Louella Keller, Julian Silas Adkins Jr., Asenath Birkhead, Carl Adkins and James Adkins. Julian was a 1956 graduate of Newport High School. He went on to a 35-year career as a locomotive engineer with the Norfolk Southern Railway, where he was known by the nickname "Chet." Julian belonged to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. They resided for years in Florence, KY, a suburb of Cincinnati, OH. They were members of the Open Door Community Church of God in Erlanger, KY, where Julian developed a reputation as the "candy man" handing out candy at the end of services. Then in about 2007 he began attending the Community Family Church of Independence, KY. The Kentucky Enquirer once said that "He was an evangelist at heart and loved sharing the love of Jesus." Other hobbies included camping and traveling, collecting coins, vintage Tonka toy trucks and die cast cars, and working with wood, remodeling and building. Julian died at home at the age of 81 on Aug. 24, 2018. The Enquirer printed his obituary and noted that he was survived by 36 grandchildren, 33 great-grancdhilren and two great-great grandchildren. His funeral service was held at Christ Chapel Assemblies of God, with burial following at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Erlanger.
Son Alonzo "Lonnie" Lawver ( ? - ? ) was joined in marriage with Grace Ann "Gracie" Gibson (Dec. 1, 1952-2020), daughter of Harry and Mary Caroline (Jaworski) Gibson of Lorain, OH. Their marriage lasted for a remarkable 51 years. Three children of this family were Lonnie Lawver Sr., Jonathan Lawver and Kallie Zazado. They resided circa 2000 in Brownsville, PA and in Clarksville, PA in 2020. Grace was a member of the Greene Valley Church of God in Crucible, PA and was active as a choir member and volunteer. She liked to bowl, cook, arrange flowers and play horseshoes. Sadly, at the age of 67, Grace passed away on July 9, 2020. Rev. Jeff Hathaway led the funeral, with burial in Pleasant View Cemetery in Smock, PA.
~ Stepdaughter Louella (Stillwagon) Saylor ~
Daughter Louella Stillwagon (1912-2000) was born on Feb. 26, 1912.
She married Gilbert Saylor ( ? -1987).
Their offspring were Naomi Miller, Frank Saylor, Paul Saylor, James Saylor, Ruth Rich, Mary Evans and John Saylor.
The Saylors were in Connellsville in 1956 but by 1968 relocated to Ravenna, OH. Later, they returned to Fayette County. Louella was a member of Calvary Assembly of God Church in Connellsville.
Gilbert entered eternity in 1987.
Louella died in Eicher's Family Home in Normalville, Fayette County on Aug. 21, 2000 at the age of 88. Interment was in Green Ridge Memorial Park, with Rev. David C. Bashor officiating at the funeral service. An obituary said she was survived by 22 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.
Daughter Naomi Saylor married (?) Miller. They lived in Ravenna, OH.
Son Frank Saylor wedded Mary. In 2000, they dwelled in Connellsville
Son Paul Saylor was joined in marriage with Audrey. They made a residence in Churchville, NY.
Son James Saylor was united in wedlock with Juanita. Their home in 2000 was in Connellsville.
Daughter Ruth Saylor married Donald Rich and lived in Connellsville.
Daughter Mary Saylor wedded (?) Evans and lived in South Connellsville.
Son John Saylor was united in matrimony with Patty.
~ Stepdaughter Freda (Stillwagon) DeWitt ~
Stepdaughter Freda Stillwagon (1914-1997) was born in 1914.
She married Wilbert DeWitt ( ? - ? ).
The couple dwelled in Brier Hill, PA (1956) and Warminster, PA.
~ Stepdaughter Freda (Stillwagon) DeWitt ~
Stepdaughter Emma Stillwagon (1918- ? ) was born in 1918.
She married Charles Springer ( ? - ? ).
In 1968, the Springers resided in Detroit.
~ Stepson Emerson Samuel Wilson ~
Stepson Emerson Samuel Wilson
Circa 1961, Emerson resided at Scottdale, Westmoreland County.
Circa 1973, he lived in Everson, PA.
~ Stepson Orville Albert Wilson ~
Stepson Orville Albert Wilson
Orval lived at Hurst, MA in 1961.
His fate is unknown.
~ Fates of Cleveland (Adams) Stillwagon Murray Paes' Children ~
Charles Paes ( ? - ? ) lived in Detroit in 1968.
Kenneth E. Paes (1923-2011) was born in 1923. He married Madeline F. McNatt ( ? - ? ). They togethr bore four children -- Ronald Paes, Kenneth Paes Jr., Judy King and Richard Paes. Circa, 1968, the family lived in Brier Hill, Fayette County. Later, they moved to Grindstone, near Brownsville, Fayette County. Kenneth died on May 3, 2011 at the age of 87. He was laid to rest in LaFayette Memorial Park. At his death he was survived by a dozen grandchildren and 11 great- grandchildren.
~ More ~
Lily Murray of the family married John E. Devore (1931-2001). They resided in Mingo Junction, OH. John "was employed by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., Mingo Junction, at the blast furnace," said the Steubenville Herald Star.
Copyright © 2001, 2004-2007, 2011, 2014, 2019, 2021 Mark A. Miner