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Thomas Ream Sr.


Ream Cemetery, Ursina

Thomas Ream Sr. was born in 1786 in Ursina, Somerset County, PA, the son of John and Anna Rosina (Weitzel) Ream, and the stepson of Catharine (Minerd) Ream.

At the age of four, Thomas moved with his parents and siblings to Draketown, Somerset County. He was only six years of age when his mother died from the bite of a poisonous snake.

He married Barbara Haines ( ? - ? ).

The Reams had six known children -- Jacob Ream, John Ream, Moses Ream, Thomas Ream Jr., Christina Jennings and Mary Flanigan. All were deceased by 1884 except for Thomas Jr.

Thomas Sr. is described in the 1884 History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties:

Thomas was a miller, and ran the old gristmill at Draketown. He was killed by the falling of a tree one stormy night while returning from a visit to a sick girl. He married Barbara Haines, and was the father of Jacob, John, Moses, Thomas, Christina (Jennings) and Mary (Flanagan).


The Reams owned two tracts or "plantations" in Turkeyfoot Township, one numbering 250 acres bounded by the lands of Daniel N. Beall, Sylvester Colborn and others, comprising their home place. The other farm was 350 acres in size bounded by lands of George Prinkey, Josiah Tannehill and others.


Barbara's "X" signature dated Feb. 27, 1840

Thomas Sr. died on Feb. 14, 1840, at the age of 53 years, 11 months and eight days. In an obituary, the Somerset Herald amplified the cause of his death as "killed by a limb falling from a tree, as he was walking through his wheat field in which there was deadened timber." His mortal remains were returned to the earth in the Ream Cemetery in Confluence.

The death of Thomas triggered a call from family and friends to whom he owed money, not uncommon at a time when there was not much cash in the community and borrowing and issuing IOUs were common, to be paid after each harvest. An estate sale was held on March 13, 1840 to auction a number of the Reams' farming implements and goods to raise the necessary funds. The sale list is long and on file today in the Somerset County Courthouse -- some 231 items or lots, which would have made for a busy day for the auctioneer. The sale items ranged from barrels, shovels and hoes to a coffee pot, German Bible and rocking chair and to bear skins, shot guns, heifers, colts, plows and buckwheat bakers. Among the many buyers, those profiled on this website included George Firestone (cog, half bushel and three barrels), Benjamin Leonard (strap and three bells), Jacob Younkin Jr. (cask with paint and oak/poplar boards) and John K. Rush (oak boards and still tub). Total proceeds from the sale were $847.57.

As did many early Somerset County farmers, Thomas died without writing a last will and testament. Thus after his passing, his widow held the right to administer the estate, but she renounced and released this in favor of her son John Ream and friend John Hanna, signing the paperwork with an "X." In turn, son John petitioned the judges of the Somerset County Orphans Court to award an inquest to partition the two tracts, without prejudicing or diminishing the overall value, so that a value could be determined for purposes of a potential sale. The inquisition and appraisement were held at the home of the widow on Jan. 21, 1841, involving High Sheriff George Mowry who oversaw a panel of a dozen neighbors familiar with farm values and who could arrive at a reasonable estimate of the Ream farms' value. The 12 selected men were John Prinkey, Jonathan Mountain, Sylvester Colborn, George Prinkey, Abraham Colborn, David Mountain, James McNeal, David Jennings, Steward Rowan, Israel Jennings, John P.H. Walker and Michael Sanner.

The panel appraised the 250-acre tract as worth $5.50 per acre, and the 350-acre property as worth only 12½ cents per acre.

Barbara's final fate is not yet known.


Signatures of the 12 neighbors who appraised the Ream farms in 1841



Ream Cemetery, Ursina

~ Daughter Christina (Ream) Jennings ~

Daughter Christina Ream (1811- ? ) was born in about 1811. 

She wed Thomas Jennings (1805-1872), one of a dozen children of Capt. Benjamin and Rhoda (Spencer) Jennings.

In a section about the family, the 1884 book History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties said that: "Thomas was born in 1805, and died in 1872. He married Christina Ream...." 

They had three children -- John Rayman Jennings, Jerome B. Jennings and Sarah Bookman.

In 1840, at the death of Christina's father, an estate sale was held and Thomas purchased a number of items for their farm. Among these were a box of brimstone, crock and oil jug, two stone hammers and a lathe.

Their farm was described many years later, in 1926, as located "on the banks of Laurel Creek, now owned by C.L. Groff."


Jennings farm (circled) next to William Ream's distillery and Levi Ream's farm, at Ursina, 1860. The blue line marks the Casselman River. Library of Congress



Somerset Herald, 1872

When the 1850 census was enumerated, the family dwelled in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, where Thomas was a farmer. Tragically, though, the census-taker marked Christina as "insane." The nature of her disability is not yet known. Among their neighbors that year were kinsmen Israel and Susan Jennings. 

Sadly, Christina is believed to have died during the decade of the 1850s. Her burial site is not known. If she rests in the Ream Cemetery in Ursina, the grave is unmarked.

In 1860, federal census records show Thomas heading a household with his three children including his 18-year-old daughter in law Martha Jennings, a "spinster." Their neighbors in 1860 included William and Sarah Ream, uncle and aunt Samuel W. and Mary (Rheims) Ream and first cousin Levi and Hily (King) Ream.

By 1870, when the census enumeration again was made, the 65-year-old Thomas dwelled in the Lower Turkeyfoot Township home of his son and daughter in law, John Rayman and Martha (Knight) Jennings and their four children. Thomas had no occupation that year although his son John was marked as a farmer. As the son was in the midst of a tumultous marriage which later ended in divorce, the living arrangement may well have been very uncomfortable for the old man.

On June 24, 1872, Thomas passed away at the age of 67 years, five months and 19 days. A short obituary was printed a month later in the Somerset Herald. Later that year, their son John advertised in the Herald that he was serving as estate administrator, calling in IOUs and offering to pay an outstanding financial claims.


Thomas' grave, Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery

~ Son Thomas Ream Jr. ~

Son Thomas Ream Jr. (1819-1885) was born on Sept. 9, 1819. 

At the age of 24, on July 23, 1843, he was among 53 individuals and 11 Reams who joined the Jersey Baptist Church and were baptized that day. The following year, he was elected a trustee, and his parents joined the church. 

Reported the Somerset Herald, he "was known as a kind, accommodating neighbor, always ready to respond to any worthy cause. He served as Justice of the Peace in Lower Turkeyfoot township for about 25 years."

He is mentioned in the 1884 History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, which said that "Thomas is the only survivor. He lived at Draketown since his fourth year, farming and milling. He has been justice of the peace twenty years, and was recruiting officer of this township during the late war."

He was married three times and produced children with all three wives.

Thomas' first bride was Hester "Esther" Stull (1825-1850). Their four children were Susan Ream, Rebecca Ream, Albert Ream and Huldah Hester Popey. In 1850, this family dwelled in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, where Thomas was a flour miller. It's said he took over the mill from Mr. Drake, for whom Draketown is named.


Hester's grave, Jersey Church

In March 1840, after the death of his father, Thomas purchased many of his parents' farm goods and tools at an estate sale. Among these were barrels, spades and shovels, grubbing hoes, a box with shoemaker tools, riding bridles, a blue mare and colt, wagon, wheelbarrow ("wheal barry"), barshear plow, harrow, shovel plow, horse geers, windmill, cutting box, forks, rakes, carding machine, stone hammers, wheat stores, bushels of oats, grindstones, shaving tools, whiskey, tooth drawers, doubletrees, halter chains, sledscooper tools, chisels, drawing knives, a saw, augers, sifters, turning lathe, bushels of flour, rye and wheat, tubs, tin box, pocket books and bushels of corn.

Sadly, Esther died on Nov. 4, 1850, at the untimely age of 26 years, eight months and 20 days. Her death occurred just one and a half months after the birth of their daughter Huldah, and could have been due to post-partum health complications.

Her remains were placed into eternal repose in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The plot where she was laid became the Ream family burying area where Thomas himself later would be interred along with a number of their family. Her grave marker stills stands tall and erect, perfectly legible when photographed in July 2016 by the founder of this website.

Esther's demise left Thomas with four young mouths to feed and in need of a mother figure.

Within less than three months, Thomas married again. His second wife was Sarah McMillen ( ? -1865), and they were joined in wedlock on Jan. 20, 1851, by the hand of Rev. John Harned of Harnedsville, Somerset County.


Sarah's grave, Jersey Church

They went on to produce six children -- Austin Ream, Zobeidi Jane "Betty" Colborn Younkin, John Ream, George Ream, William Ream and Sarah Ream.

When the census again was taken in 1860, Thomas and Sarah headed a household of nine children, age 14 and under, with three others living under their roof -- 26-year-old domestic Barbary McMillen, 25-year-old mistress Elizabeth Nicklow and 68-year-old house carpenter Thomas McMillen.

Further heartache visited the family when Sarah passed away on or about the second day of the new year in 1865, aged 45 years, one month and 15 days. Her mortal remains were lowered to the earth at the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, in a row including the first wife and other Reams. At the base of her grave marker -- still erect and legible today -- was carved this epitaph:

Kind Angels watch her sleeping dust,

Till Jesus comes to raise the just.

Then may she wake with sweet surprise

And in her Savior's image rise.

Her death left Thomas as a two-time widower with many young mouths to feed in addition to his own. 

Thomas' third spouse was Adaline Shaulis (May 12, 1844-1925), who was 24 years younger than he. She was the daughter of Levi and Barbara (Berkey) Shaulis of near Somerset.

The couple went on to produce five more children, of whom four have been identified -- Ida Amelia Porterfield, Bertha Ream, Irvin Scott Ream and Joseph Ward Ream


Somerset Herald, 1885

In 1880, Thomas served in the elected position of justice of the peace for Lower Turkeyfoot. That same year, he and A.S. Hyatt and Eli Conn were the first trustees of the newly built Draketown Methodist Episcopal Church, "a tasty and beautiful church," said the 1884 History, "erected... at a cost of eleven hundred dollars." 

He died on June 9, 1885, at the age of 65 years and nine months. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina. An epitaph was inscribed on the base of the grave marker, reading as follows:

Dear father with a reverent hand,

This to thy memory given.

While on by one thy household band

God reunites in Heaven.

Adaline survived her husband by a remarkable four decades and made her home during those many years in Draketown. In her final years, she suffered from heart valve disease and "dropsy" (buildup of fluid).

At the age of 81, Adaline passed away on Sept. 13, 1925 in her home at Draketown. An obituary in the Meyersdale Republic stated that in addition to her four children and three step-children, she was survived by 40 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Jersey Baptist Church, with Rev. L.H. Powell officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery, but the location of the grave is not yet known, and it may well not be marked. Her son Joseph Ward Ream signed her official Pennsylvania certificate of death.


Thomas Jr.'s gristmill, Draketown, 1876 Somerset County Atlas


Daughter Susan Ream (1843- ? ) was born in 1843.

Daughter Rebecca Ream (1845- ? ) was born in 1845.

Son Albert Ream (1847-1877) was born in about 1847. He married Barbara "Ellen" Dull (1952-1938), daughter of Frederick and Margaret "Peggy" (Faidley) Dull. See their biography for more.


Iron puddlers in Pittsburgh, 1880

Scientific American, March 6, 1880

Daughter Hulda Hester Ream (1850-1914) was born on Sept. 20, 1850. When she was about age 26, in 1876, she married Daniel Henry Mathias "Matt" Popey (Jan. 1854-1929), son of Louis and Catherine Popey, the father an immigrant from Germany. The groom was five years younger than the bride. The couple produced one known daughter, Mary Ellen Harper. When the federal census was taken in 1900, the Popeys made their home on Freeland Street in Pittsburgh's Ward 31, with Daniel employed as a puddler, likely in a steel mill. At that time, a puddler's work involved converting pig iron into wrought iron in the exceptionally hot, smelly and dangerous environment of a blast furnace. Later, the Popeys relocated to Washington County, PA, where they lived in their married daughter's home in Eldora, near Monongahela, Carroll Township. Suffering from heart problems, Hulda died at the age of 63 on Aug. 20, 1914. A death notice in the Pittsburgh Daily Post said that funeral services were held in the Harpers' home. Burial was in Monongahela Cemetery, in Section D, Lot 165. Daniel survived his wife by 15 years and married again within a few years to Emma T. Brack (Jan. 24, 1877-1950), daughter of Charles and Augusta (Koegler) Brack. They lived at 60 Millbridge Street in Pittsburgh and were 23 years apart in age. The couple went on to produce two more children, Daniel George Popey and Robert William Popey. In his mid-70s, Daniel earned a living as a watchman at the Pennsylvania Gauge & Supply Company. Suffering from heart problems, asthma, congestive heart failure and more, he succumbed at age 75 on Feb. 21, 1929. His remains were returned to Monongahela to rest beside Hulda. William Brack of the home address signed the death certificate. Emma survived as a widow for another 21 years. She died on Jan. 23, 1950 at the age of 72. Robert W. Popey of the home was the informant for the official certificate of death. Emma rests for eternity in Zimmerman's Cemetery in Pittsburgh

  • Granddaughter Mary Ellen "Mayme" Popey (1878-1945) was born on July 21, 1878 in Pittsburgh. She was wedded to Charles Edward Harper (March 12, 1872-1916), son of Amos and Susan Harper of Phillipsburg, PA. They had six children -- Matt Harper, Daniel Harper, Charles Harper, Harry Harper, Esther Cisik and Howard "Arthur" Harper. In about 1915, the Harpers moved into Eldora near Monongahela, Carroll Township, Washington County, where Charles obtained work as a millman. On the fateful day of Feb. 10, 1917, the 44-year-old Charles met death when he fell over a streetcar bridge in West Monessen and fractured his skull. The county coroner ruled the death accidental. Mary Ellen was stricken with gall bladder cancer in 1944 and it spread to her liver. She was unable to rally and died at age 67 on Aug. 26, 1945. Her remains were lowered into repose in Monongahela Cemetery. Both sons served in World War II. At the time of death, sons Matt, Dan and Charles lived in Eldora, son Harry in Baltimore, Arthur on East Main Street in Monongahela and Esther in Eldora. An obituary was printed in the Monongahela Daily Republican.
  • Daniel's son from the second marriage, Daniel George Popey (1917- ? ), was born on Aug. 24, 1917. He was a bookkeeper in Pittsburgh. On June 14, 1947, at the age of 29, he was united in the holy bonds of marriage with 26-year-old clerk Matilda Julia "Tillie" Sommer (Sept. 5, 1920-2009), daughter of Joseph and Julia (Balash) Sommer of 930 Lillian Street in Pittsburgh, with Matilda's parents having emigrated from Hungary. Rev. Edgar M. Waxler officiated at the nuptials held in Pittsburgh. The Popeys made their home in Bethel Park and had two children, Alan Popey and Barbara Julia Erps. Over the years, Tillie worked as a stenographer for Buhl Optical, followed by employment with AT&T, the Pennsylvania Telephone Guild and as secretary of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church. Tillie spent her final years in Townview Nursing Center in Canonsburg, Washington County. She died there at the age of 88 on May 24, 2009. An obituary was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, with interment in Jefferson Memorial Park.
  • Daniel's son from the second marriage, Robert William Popey (1921- ? ) was born on Sept. 4, 1921. He was a woodworker. At age 28, on Oct. 29, 1949, he was united in matrimony with 23-year-old stenographer Alva M. Coward (Sept. 10, 1926- ? ), daughter of Frederick and Loretta (Weckler) Coward.

Son Austin Ream (1851-1861) was born on Oct. 4, 1851. He died at the age of 10 on Oct. 25, 1861, with burial in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The cause of death is not yet known. A stone was inscribed and erected at the site of his grave. Over the years it has broken in half and the upper half cemented back into place. The lettering was somewhat legible when photographed by the founder of this website in July 2016.

Daughter Zobeidi Jane "Betty" Ream (1854-1925) was born on May or June 26, 1854, although her death certificate erroneously lists a much earlier date of 1843. She was twice married, first to John Colborn ( ? -1885) and second to Civil War veteran Silas Younkin (1844-1924). See the Younkin biography for details.

Son John Ream (1855-1917) was born on Feb. 3, 1855 at Draketown. He grew up on a farm and also learned the trade of carpentry. He married Izena Lenhart ( ? - ? ). They produced these children -- Louis Ream, Allie Ream and Bell Ream. Said the Meyersdale Republic, "Mr. Ream was a man of above ordinary intelligence and always took an interest in public affairs, and for several years after the death of his father, he took the latter's place as justice of the peace for Lower Turkeyfoot. He was a man of kind heart and always ready to do a friend a favor." In about 1893 or 1893, the Reams relocated to nearby Confluence, where John was considered a well known resident and made a reputation as a carpenter. In his later years, he was burdened with heart valve disease. On May 27, 1917, at the age of 62, John passed away unexpectedly at home. Noted the Republic, "Mr. Ream had been confined to his home with asthma the msot of the past winter and appeared to be getting weaker day by day until a few weeks before his death when he seemed to be regaining a little health and strength and was able to sit on his porch until a few minutes previous to his death, when he requested his son to lead him out on the porch and suddenly dropped dead in his son's arms." Funeral services were held in the family home, with Rev. W.A. Wissinger of Brownsville, PA preaching the funeral sermon. Interment was in Draketown Cemetery. Lewis Ream of Confluence signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Son George Ream (1857-1871) was born in 1857. He lived into his teenage years. At the age of 13, he passed away on March 28, 1871. Burial was in the plot of Ream family graves in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, including his mother's. A marker was erected at the grave, and is somewhat legible in the center although worn down on the left and right hand edges.


Graves of brothers Austin Ream, 1861 (left) and George, 1871


Jersey Baptist Church, Ursina

Son William H. Ream (1859-1943) was born on March 25 1859 in Draketown. At the age of 21, in 1880, he lived at home and earned a living as a flour miller. Later, he became a self-employed carpenter until age forced him to retire. He married Rhoda Anderson ( ? -1945), daughter of Rev. Noah Anderson of Drakedown. They moved to Confluence in about 1899, and remained there permanently. Their known offspring were Mary Shipley Coughenour, Jane Leckemby, Nell Lamison, Pearl Felt, Verna Semple, William H. Ream Jr., Rose Ream, Albert R. Ream, Stella P. Ream and Mildred V. Ream. The 1910 federal census enumeration shows the family living in Confluence, with their married daughter Mary Shipley and her children among those under their roof. At the age of 84, suffering from heart disease of two decades' duration, added to chronic kidney problems, he died on May 20, 1943. Daughter Rose Ream of Confluence was the informant for his death certificate. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, following a funeral sermon preached by Rev. Henry Knoell, and with an obituary appearing in print in the Meyersdale Republican. Rhoda only lived for two more years after her husband's death. She suffered a heart attack and died on Aug. 14, 1945. The Republican listed her surviving brothers as Bruce Anderson and John Anderson of Claysville, PA; Lloyd Anderson of Cameron, WV; and Harvey Anderson of Aleppo, PA.

  • Granddaughter Mary E. Ream (1872-1973) was born on Aug. 2, 1872 near Confluence. In about 1899, at the age of 27, she was first married to Andrew Shipley (1875- ? ). They had two sons -- Stanton "Clifford" Shipley and Raymond "Kenneth" Shipley. The couple first dwelled in Ohiopyle, Fayette County in 1900 but appears to have separated by 1910, and Mary moved back into her parents' home with her sons. Later, she married for a second time to widower James B. "Big Jim" Coughenour (1856-1932), son of the late Gilbert and M. L. Coughenour of Connellsville. They lived in the west end of Confluence. At the age of 18, said the Meyersdale Republican, "he entered the service of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a helper in the Connellsville shops. After a years' service with the B. & O., he became an apprentice in the shops of the National Locomotive Company. In 1878, at the age of 22, he returned to the service of the Baltimore and Ohio, entering the service as a locomotive fireman. After fourteen months service, he was promoted to locomotive engineer, and served in this position both on freight and passenger runs...." After the death of his first wife, James returned to Connellsville, and then in 1917 came back to Confluence, "entering the passenger service between Connellsville and Cumberland. He served later as engineer on a work train out of Confluence, followed in turn by service on the C. & O. Branch and in service on Passenger Train 43 between Cumberland and Connellsville, in which service he was when he retired in 1921" In retirement, he was twice elected justice of the peace and served from 1924 to his death. In 1931, he was named as weighmaster of Confluence Borough. James was a member of the Confluence Baptist Church, the Elks Lodge of Connellsville, the B&O Veterans Association, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (Lodge No. 50, of Connellsville) and the "last surviving member of Co. C, Connellsville Grays, a company of the Pennsylvania National Guard" said the Republican. "In politics he was a consistent and outstanding Democrat." James passed away following two successive strokes at the age of 75 on Aug. 11, 1932. Interment was in the cemetery of the Confluence Baptist Church, with  services officiated by Rev. Leslie Magargee, supply pastor of the church. Mary lived for another 41 years as a widow. She dwelled in Confluence in 1943 and in Smithfield, PA in 1945. She spent her final years in the Somerset County Home for the Aged in Berlin and died there at the age of 93 on Jan. 15, 1973. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. Circa 1973, her son Stanton lived in Confluence and son Ray in New Kensington.


B&O Railroad in Confluence, early 1900s


  • Granddaughter Jane Ream was wedded to (?) Leckemby and lived in Smithfield, Fayette County.
  • Granddaughter Nell Ream was united in marriage with (?) Lamison. In 1943, their home was in Tarentum, PA.
  • Granddaughter Pearl Ream was married to (?) Felt. They lived in Chicago.
  • Granddaughter Verna Ream was joined in wedlock with (?) Semple. They resided in Warren, PA. In 1974, she made her home in Bridgeville, south of Pittsburgh.
  • Grandson William H. Ream Jr. lived in Stockton, CA in 1943.
  • Granddaughter Rose Ream (1886-1974) was born on Aug. 31, 1886. She never married. At some point she gave birth to a son, Cecil Benning. Rose made her home with her parents for many years until their deaths. She continued to live in Confluence for the remainder of her life. she died at the age of 97 in March 1974. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Larry Dean officiating. At the time, her son Cecil made his residence in Confluence.
  • Grandson Albert R. Ream (1891- ? ) was born in about 1891. In his early 20s, he was employed at Connellsville as a railroad brakeman. When age 24, in 1915, he and Violet Linderman applied for a marriage license. There is no record that the marriage took place.
  • Granddaughter Stella P. Ream (1895- ? ) was born in about 1895.
  • Granddaughter Mildred V. Ream (1898- ? ) was born in about 1898.


Methodist Episcopal Church, Confluence

Daughter Alice C. Ream (1860-1941), sometimes known as "Sarah," was born in about May 1860. On July 28, 1892, at the age of 32, Alice was wedded to 30-year-old Rev. William Albert Grantz (May 1, 1862-1928), a Methodist preacher widely known as the "Blind Evangelist of Confluence." They produced two children -- Samuel Grantz and Myrtle Grantz. As a newborn, William contracted smallpox and then at age 11 became completely blind. He attended the State School for the Blind in Philadelphia where he learned how to weave and graduated with a degree in music. William began his career in Pittsburgh and was active with a political body known as the "Straighout Republicans." In October 1891, he had been one of many speakers at a mass meeting along the city's Pius Street, attended by 350 spectators who "stood for nearly two hours and listened to speeches against 'ring rule'," reported the Pittsburgh Dispatch. His comments that day focused on people's rights [and] the Crawford county system of nominating candidates and the doing away with 'ring' rule." In about 1898, he relocated to Confluence, likely assigned to preach in the Methodist church. The Connellsville Daily Courier once said that he "had a license as a local minister and made trips to many parts of Western Pennsylvania to conduct evangelistic services. He was regarded as very successful." In June 1905, Alice's brother in law Silas Younkin, a local carpenter, constructed a new front porch at their home, with the news reported in the gossip columns of the Daily Courier. William is known to have preached in other local communities, among them Humbert in November 1906 and again in August 1913. He ran for election as a school director on the Prohibition ticket in January 1910 but only garnered 15 votes out of the 332 cast. In March 1917, he spent a month in Homestead near Pittsburgh hold a series of revival meetings. In reporting on the upcoming Homestead evangelism, the Meyersdale Republic said that "Although Rev. Grantz is handicapped by total blindness, he is a forcible and fluent preacher and exhorter and a hard worker. He has done much good work for the cause of religion and the uplift of humanity, the many years he has been here and never wearies of working in the Lord's vineyard." He also engaged in rug-weaving to generate additional income. Then in June 1917, he visited with his mentor Rev. L.W. LePage in Webster, Washington County, PA and afterward said that he "heard more noise of automobiles and heavy trucks than he heard in all his life before," reported the Republic. "While visiting with Rev. LePage, he conducted a week's evangelistic services at East Donora, a suburb of Webster, in which he reports a deep interest was manifested on the part of the people, and believes much good has been accomplished. The Republican is pleased when any of the citizens of Confluence, and especially Rev. Grantz who is deprived of his sight, is signally honored. Despite his infirmity Rev. Grantz has accomplished more good in the service of God and the uplift of humanity than can be ever realized or appreciated by most of his fellow townsmen. All would be glad to know of other communities calling him for evangelistic work." He died at the age of 66 on May 19, 1928. An obituary in the Daily Courier noted that he had passed "after an illness of several months." Following funeral services held in the Grantz's home, led by Rev. Frank L. Stuck, the remains were transported to Pittsburgh to rest in the South Side Cemetery, with additional graveside services led by his mentor Rev. LePage. As a widow, Zlice survived her husband by a baker's dozen years. In 1940, she and her unmarried daughter Myrtle relocated to Massachusetts to live with son Samuel in Everett. Sadly, Alice died in Everett in October 1941 at the age of 61. Her remains were returned to Pittsburgh for burial, with an obituary appearing in the Daily Courier.

  • Grandson Samuel B. Grantz (1896-1976) was born on Dec. 21, 1896 in Pittsburgh. He was joined in matrimony with Harriett M. Markey ( ? - ? ). The couple had two daughters, Nancy L. Bourque and Faith P. Cook. Samuel was employed as a young man with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He made his home in Ellerslie, MD in 1915 -- in Smithfield, Fayette County, PA in 1916 -- Pittsburgh in 1921 -- and in Washington, Washington County, PA in 1927. For 42 years, noted the Somerset Daily American, he was "head of the electrical division of Eastern Gas and Fuel," based in Everett, MA. Samuel died at the age of 79 on Feb. 26, 1976 in Everett. A funeral service was held in the Confluence United Methodist Church, with Rev. Arthur Gotjen officiating, with the remains returned to Massachusetts to rest in Puritan Lawn Cemetery in Peabody. An obituary was printed in the Daily American. Daughter Nancy lived in Andover, MA in 1976 and daughter Faith in Everett.
  • Granddaughter Myrtle Grantz ( ? - ? ) was unmarried and lived at home in 1928-1937. In 1940, she and her widowed mother relocated to Massachusetts to live with Myrtle's brother Samuel in Everett, MA.


James Porterfield, right, with brother in law Joseph Ward Ream (left) and Nolan Kimmel

Daughter Ida Amelia Ream (1866-1941) was born on Nov. 21, 1866. She married James Porterfield ( ? - ? ). James apparently brought a son to the marriage, Roosevelt Porterfield. They made their residence in the rural outskirts of Confluence. Among their offspring were Albert J. Porterfield, John Porterfield, Lloyd Porterfield and Susan Redrick. Less than a few weeks before her 75th birthday, Ida suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died on Nov. 8, 1941. She was laid to rest in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.

  • Grandson Albert J. Porterfield (1905-1977) was born on Sept. 16, 1905 near Confluence. He married Dolly Lytle ( ? - ? ) and had five children -- Nancy Bigam, Shelda Jean Porterfield, Betty Harford, Nettie Sue Sloan and James Porterfield. Albert died at age 72 in Somerset Community Hospital. Interment was in Sugar Loaf Cemetery near Ohiopyle, and the Meyersdale Republic published an obituary.
  • Grandson John G. Porterfield (1902-1987) was born on March 5, 1902 near Confluence. He married Clara J. Nickelson ( ? - ? ) and lived in Confluence. They did not reproduce. John died on April 17, 1987, at the age of 85 in Somerset Community Hospital. He was placed into eternal repose in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Thomas Charles and Rev. Vernon Witt co-officiating. The Daily American printed an obituary.
  • Grandson Lloyd C. Porterfield (1908-1984) was born on Sept. 26, 1903 near Confluence. He married Grace (Nickelson) Watkins. She brought these children to the marriage -- Alden Watkins, Donald Watkins, Wanda Cameron and Jacob Conn. The Porterfields resided in Confluence, where Lloyd was a longtime section hand with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Armed Forces. In retirement, with all of the children living in Lorain, OH, the Porterfields relocated there to spend their final years. Lloyd passed away in Lorain at age 76 in St. Joseph Hospital on Oct. 20, 1984. His remains were returned to Somerset County for interment in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. Rev. Raymond Schermerhorn preached the funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Daily American.
  • Granddaughter Susan "Sue" Porterfield ( ? - ? ) was wedded to Ralph Ray Rederick Sr. ( ? -2002).  They lived in Confluence and produced these known children -- Ralph Ray Rederick Jr., Ronald R. Rederick, Charles Rederick, Eugene Rederick, James Redereick and Phyllis Jane Conn. During the 1930s, Ralph is believed to have been employed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federal program designed to put unemployed laborers back to work. During that experience, evidence suggests that he was part of an archaeological team excavating pre-historic sites in Somerset County. Sue lived in Confluence circa 1987 and passed away on Dec. 2, 1990. She rests in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.

Great-granddaughter Phyllis Jane Rederick (1916-1999) was born on March 29, 1916 in Confluence. She as united in marriage with Adrian Conn (1912-1994), son of Edward and Minnie (Hyatt) Conn. (Adrian's brother, Lester Conn, was married to Lucinda "Mae" Shroyer of the family of Laura Belle [Younkin] Shroyer.) Their six children were Barbara Conn, Paul Conn, Richard "Skip" Conn, William Carl Conn, Sara Gallentine and Ann Meehan. The family dwelled in Confluence. Phyllis worked for many years at the Humbert Funeral Home and Furniture Store. They attended the Draketown Church. Sadly, Adrian passed away at the age of 82 in 1994. Phyllis survived him by five years. She joined him in death on Nov. 24, 1999. An obituary in the Somerset Daily American reported that she was survived by 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. James Monticue preaching the funeral service.

Great-grandson Charles Rederick lived in Bullhead City, AZ.

Great-grandson Eugene Rederick made his residence in Electric City, WA.


Ronald Rederick

Great-grandson James Rederick lived in Warren, Trumbull County, OH.

Great-grandson Ralph Ray Rederick Jr. (1923-1987) was born on Dec. 5, 1923. He married a step-cousin, Virginia Elaine Sands (1931-2002), daughter of Robert A. and Alma (Ream) Sands. Ralph was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. The couple had one daughter, Mary Jane Black. Ralph and Virginia divorced within a year of their marriage. He lived for several more decades and passed away in Madison, OH at the age of 64 on Christmas Eve 1987. His remains were returned to Somerset County for interment in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. Former wife Virginia later married twice again, first to James Martin (1932-living) in 1954 and then to Marvin Lemmon ( ? - ? ). Virginia made her home in Perry, OH and died on Nov. 10, 2002, at the age of 71.

Great-grandson Ronald R. Rederick (1935-1954) was born on Aug. 16, 1935. Sadly, his life was short, by his own choosing. Despondent over a failed love affair, the 18-year-old student decided to end his life and, in the late hours of Jan. 16, 1954, shot himself in the head, dying instantly. Interment was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery.

Daughter Bertha Ann Ream (1869-1938) was born on Oct. 21, 1868 in Draketown. Bertha as a small girl joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in Draketown. In about 1884, when she was 15 years of age, she married 18-year-old Francis S. Gerhard (April 10, 1866- ? ), the son of Sarah Gerhard and a native of Upper Turkeyfoot Township. Francis operated a store in Draketown, and then in 1903 they came to Confluence, where Francis earned a living as a lumberman. Their 11 known children were Harry J. Gerhard, Florence A. "Flora" Burnworth, Sarah F. Schell, Russell M. Gerhard, Mayme Ellen Kurtz, Roy Gerhard, Lloyd Gerhard, Roy Gerhard, Lloyd Gerhard, Clarence Gerhard, Charles E. Gerhard, Esther M. Rinehart and Reba Catherine Johnson Firestone. Circa 1917, when named in the Meyersdale Republican obituary of her brother John, Bertha and her family dwelled in Confluence. At Francis' 54th birthday, his daughters Mayme Kurtz and Florence Burnworth, with help from daughter in law Alma Gerhard, planned a surprise party. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, "The evening was spent very pleasantly. A bountiful supper was served, the center-piece on the table being a birthday cake with 54 candles.... He is one of the most substantial citizens of Confluence and is held in high respect." Bertha was afflicted with heart and kidney failure and died at age 70 on Nov. 1, 1938. Interment was in the Jersey Church Cemetery, with Rev. J.O. Martin preaching the funeral service. Said the Republican, "She was a faithful wife, devoted mother, and good neighbor, and will be missed by many. She was a descendant of one of the oldest families in this section. her ancestor, Andrew Ream, came to the village of Ursina during its early days."

  • Grandson Harry J. Gerhard (1886-1935) was born in about 1886. He earned a living as a laborer as a young adult. On Sept. 15, 1905, at the age of 19, he was married to Alma G. Ash (Sept. 16, 1885-1934), age 20, daughter of Jacob and Martha M. (Hay) Ash of Somerset Township. Rev. John W. Wilson led the nuptials in Somerset. The couple produced seven known offspring -- Nelson Gerhard, Theodore Gerhard, William Gerhard, Kenneth Gerhard, Harry Gerhard Jr., Ulamay Gerhard and Ruby Gerhard. He is believed to be the same "Harry Gerhard," employed in the coal mine of H.L. Sellers, who in April 1920 "ran a mining pick into his foot," said the Meyersdale Republican, "making a very painful wound. He is able to be around with the aid of a crutch." In her late 40s, Alma began to show signs of what doctors called "general paralysis of the insane." She was admitted to the Somerset County Home and Hospital, and died there at the age of 48 on May 10, 1934. Yet more tragedy enveloped the family one night in late January 1935, when Harry's clothing caught fire while he was smoking a cigarette. He "was found on the back porch of his home in Confluence last Friday, his clothing burned off and his entire body badly seared," said the Republican. "He was unconscious when taken to the hospital. Reports are to the effect Gerhard spilled alcohol on his clothing and ignired it with a cigaret." In shock from third degree heat burns, he died on Jan. 30, 1935 at the age of 50. His charred remains were lowered into repose in the cemetery of the Baptist Church in Confluence. At the time of Harry's death, his offspring Nelson lived in Mather, Greene County; Theodore in Confluence; William in Ellwood City, Lawrence County; Kenneth in Huntington County at a civilian conservation corps camp; Harry Jr. in Somerset; Ulamay Gerhard in Chicago; and Ruby Gerhard in Mather.
  • Granddaughter Florence A. "Flora" Gerhard (1889-1925) was born in on Feb. 8, 1889. She married a cousin, Jonathan L. "John" Burnworth (1886-1968), son of Ziba and Annabel (Flanigan) Burnworth. See their biography elsewhere on this page.
  • Granddaughter Sarah F. Gerhard (1891- ? ) was born in about 1891. She was wedded to (?) Schell ( ? - ? ). She was deceased by 1938.
  • Grandson Russell M. Gerhard (1894- ? ) was born in about 1894. He married (?) Gerhard ( ? - ? ), daughter of William Gerhard. They had two known children, Betty Gerhard and Shirley Gerhard. In about November 1915, the Gerhards relocated to Ellwood City, Lawrence County, PA along with friends Mr. and Mrs. Edward Clark and family and Mr. and Mrs. Milton Clark. They remained there at least until 1940 but often spent weekends visiting family in Confluence.
  • Granddaughter Mayme Ellen Gerhard (1896- ? ) was born in about 1896 in Draketown. Two days before Christmas 1915, the 19-year-old Mayme was united in wedlock with 25-year-old foreman Benjamin Francis Kurtz (1890- ? ), son of Henry and Rebecca (Miller) Kurtz of Confluence. Rev. Lu W.  LePage officiated at the ceremony. At the time of marriage, Mayme was employed as a clerk in Confluence. The Kurtzes were in Confluence circa 1935.
  • Grandson Roy Gerhard (1898- ? ) was born in about 1898. He made his home in Confluence in 1935.
  • Grandson Lloyd Gerhard (1900- ? ) was born in about 1900. As with his brothers Russell and Charles, he migrated to Ellwood City, Lawrence County, PA and lived there in 1935.
  • Grandson Clarence Gerhard (1903- ? ) was born on Sept. 24, 1902 in Lower Turkeyfoot. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II and later belonged to the Confluence Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He married Mary Ruth Rinehart ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce. Clarence died at the age of 78 in Somerset Community Hospital on July 21, 1981. Burial was in the Confluence Baptist Cemetery with Rev. Allen Kinsey officiating. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republic.
  • Grandson Charles E. Gerhard (1906- ? ) was born in about 1906. As with his brothers Russell and Lloyd, he moved to Ellwood City, Lawrence County, PA, and was there in 1935.
  • Granddaughter Esther M. Gerhard (1908- ? ) was born in about October 1908. She married Donald Rinehart and in 1935 dwelled in Philadelphia. Later, they returned to Confluence where they made their home in 1981.
  • Granddaughter Reba Catherine Gerhard (1912-1995) was born on May 13, 1912 in Confluence. When in her early 20s, she worked as a telephone operator in Confluence. At the age of 23, on Nov. 28, 1935, she was wedded to 30-year-old school teacher Frank A. Johnson ( ? - ? ). He was a native of Ohiopyle, Fayette County, and the son of attorney William R. and Addie L. (Cunningham) Johnson. Rev. Francis M. Kees officiated. The couple produced two children -- Harry Johnson and Barbara Conn. Reba was a member of the Ursina American Legion Auxiliary and the Confluence United Methodist Church. Later, she married again to Stanton A. Firestone (1892-1972), son of Isaac and Mahala (Growall) Firestone. He brought a daughter to the marriage, Pauline Bowers. They resided in Ursina. Stanton died at age 79 in Somerset Community Hospital on Jan. 27, 1972. Rev. Arthur Gotjen preached the funeral service followed by burial in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. Reba survived him by 23 years. In 1981, her home was in Confluence. She passed away at age 83, in the Meyersdale Medical Center, on Nov. 21, 1995. Her remains were lowered to eternal repose in the Jersey Cemetery, with Rev. David Lee leading the service. The Daily American published an obituary. In 1995, her son Harry lived in Baltimore, daughter Barbara Conn in Hollywood, FL and stepdaughter Pauline Bowers in Lancaster, OH.

Son Irvin Scott Ream (1871-1926) was born on Nov. 16, 1871 (or 1873) in Draketown. At the age of 26, in about 1897, he married 23-year-old Lyda S. Weyant (1874-1912), daughter of Simon and Sarah (Yates) Weyant. Their known children were Harry S. Ream, Edna M. Ream, Adda E. "Addie" Ream, Willis C. Ream, Russell T. Ream and Helen G. Ream. Irwin was a tannery worker in Confluence in 1910 and later a railroad laborer and coal miner. Heartache rocked the family on Sept. 14, 1912 when 38-year-old Lyda died suddenly from an infection following childbirth ("puerperal"). Interment was in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery. The federal census enumeration of 1920 shows Irvin and his children and grandson Robert Moon living in Confluence. Among their near neighbors that year were his nephew Cyril "Edgar" and Nora Pearl (Harbaugh) Ream as well as widow Phoebe Ann (Burkholder) Younkin of the George A. and Charlotta (Younkin) Younkin family. In the mid-1920s, he lived and apparently worked at a mine in Fairchance, Georges Township, Fayette County. At the age of 55, he suffered a stroke and died on Dec. 7, 1926. Burial was in the Jersey Cemetery. After Irvin's death, many of his children relocated to Westmoreland County, PA where they resided in and around New Kensington.

  • Granddaughter Edna M. Ream (1896-1972) was born on Oct. 26, 1896. At the age of 23, unmarried, she lived at home with her widowed father and siblings near Confluence. She was united in wedlock with John H. Hecker (1881- ? ), who was 17 years her senior. They made their home for decades in New Kensington, Westmoreland County. Their known children were Robert M. Hecker, Elvie V. Hecker, Rebecca I. Hecker, David T. Hecker, Genevieve L. Hecker, Virgil R. Hecker, Donald L. Hecker and William E. Hecker. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940s, the Heckers were listed in New Kensington, with John employed as a machinist for a window glass company, and 25-year-old son working as a machinist for an aluminum manufacturer. Edna passed away at the age of 75 in August 1972.
  • Grandson Harry S. Ream (1899-1969) was born in about 1899. When he was age 20, he was employed as a laborer for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Confluence and later transferred to the B&O's operations in Connellsville. He resided at 132 West Peach Street in Connellsville in 1926. He married Grace (Myers) Hartman (1897-1942), the daughter of David and Barbara (Maust) Hughes of Fayette County. Grace had been married once before and brought three sons to the marriage -- James Hartman, Douglas Hartman and Fred Hartman. In 1926, they dwelled in High House near Smithfield, Fayette County. Near tragedy occurred on the morning of March 28, 1941 at their home in Fairchance. Grace, age 44, had been ill with cancer of the uterus for about a year and was considered a "semi invalid." With Harry already having gone to work, she awoke early that morning to allow Bell Telephone workmen into the house to make repairs. "As she reached across the stove for a coffee pot the sleeve of her kimono caught fire," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier. "She tore it off and stomped it with her bedroom slippers. In the meantime the flames scorched the nightgown. To counteract the flames as they communicated to her sleeping garment, Mrs. Ream effectively used a heavy towel. Neighbors later came to her aid." The Courier said she only suffered some singed hair and that her flannel nightgown helped her avoid serious burns. Sadly, Grace died the year following her accident, at the age of 45, on Nov. 29, 1942. She was interred in Smithfield Cemetery. At the time of her death, sons James lived in Cleveland, Douglas in Smithfield, Fayette County and Fred in Morgantown, WV. Harry married again to Eleanor Myers ( ? - ? ). In all, six children were involved with the second marriage -- Ralph Ream, Harry Ream, Albert S. Ream, Judy Ream, Michael Ream and Dale Ream. Harry died at the age of 70 on Aug. 4, 1969 with burial in Mt. Moriah Baptist Cemetery in nearby Smithfield. Great-grandson Albert S. Ream served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
  • Granddaughter Adda E. "Addie" Ream (1902- ? ) was born in about 1902. She married (?) Walkins ( ? - ? ).
  • Grandson Willis C. Ream (1905-1972?) was born in about 1905. He resided in Fairchance in 1969. He may be the same Willis Ream who died in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA in May 1972.
  • Grandson Russell T. Ream (1908- ? ) was born in about 1908. At the age of 19, on May 4, 1927, he was united in matrimony with Catherine H. Dougall ( ? - ? ). The ceremony took place in Westmoreland County, PA. He dwelled in New Kensington, PA in 1969.
  • Granddaughter Helen G. Ream (1910-2002) was born on March 21, 1910 in Draketown. She would have been age 16 when her father died, leaving her an orphan. She was wedded to Chester Vosnak ( ? - ? ). They resided in the Allegheny River Valley community of Arnold near New Kensington, Westmoreland County. The couple had one daughter, Betty Goldsboro. Helen spent her final years in Columbiana, OH, where she resided in the St. Mary Alzheimer's Center. She died there at the age of 92 on Dec. 16, 2002. An obituary was printed in the Valley News Dispatch of Tarentum. Interment was in Greenwood Memorial Park in Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County.


~ Daughter Mary (Ream) Flanigan ~

Daughter Mary Ream (1812-1860s?) was born in about 1812. Her middle name may have been "Elizabeth."

She married farmer Job Flanagin (1806- ? ). Job was six years older than his bride. It's thought that Mary did not wed until after the death of her father in 1840, meaning she would have been no younger than age 28 at the time of matrimony.

The Flanagans produced five known children -- Annabelle Burnworth, Mary "Missouri" McNear ("McNair"), Thomas Flanigan, Marcellus Flanigan and Howard Flanigan.

When the federal census was enumerated in 1850, the family dwelled in or near Johnson's Chapel in Henry Clay Township, Fayette County. That year, other Flanigan families living next door were John and Margaret Flanigan and Andrew and Isabella Flanigan. They remained in Henry Clay through the decade of the 1850s and are shown there in the 1860 census, receiving their postal mail at Somerfield, Somerset County.

Mary is believed to have died during the 1860s. The census of 1870 shows the 63-year-old Job heading a household with his youngest three children between the ages of 15 and 23. That year, their mail was delivered at Fayette Springs, Fayette County.

In 1880, at age 76, Job dwelled with his married daughter Mary and her husband Thomas McNear in the Grant District of Preston County, WV. He is presumed to have died there, but no evidence has yet to be found.

Nothing more about the couple is known. Neither of their burials is recorded in Janice Cale Sisler's three-volume work, In Remembrance: Tombstone Readings of Preston County, West Virginia.

Burnworth graves, Johnson Chapel


Johnson Chapel memorial window
for the Burnworths, presented by
Jonathan, Eugene and Geraldine

Daughter Annabelle Flanigan (1845-1926) was born in February 1845 in Johnson's Chapel. As a young girl, she joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. In about 1864, at the age of 19, Annabelle was joined in marriage with 35-year-old Ziba Burnworth (July 1, 1828-1909), son of John and Hannah (Hinebaugh) Burnworth. Ziba was 16 years her senior. He had been married previously to Susanna Lenhart ( ? -1860) and brought at least three young children to the marriage, Alverda Burnworth, Marcellus Burnworth and Orville Burnworth. Ziba and Annabelle resided on his farm near Johnson's Chapel. They went on to produce six more children of their own -- Chelsea Wilson, Harry Palmer Burnworth, Herbert Burnworth, Jonathan L. Burnworth, William Albert Burnworth and Norman Burnworth. Some years earlier, in 1849, Ziba hired his brother in law Julius Kemp of Somerfield to erect a barn with lumber timbered in his woods, costing $80.00 to complete, with the barn remaining in place for some 70 years.

The Burnworths were longtime members of the Johnson's Chapel Methodist Church, founded circa 1825 by Ziba's father. The congregation was part of the Somerset Circuit and then Smithfield Circuit of the Methodist church, and in 1853 a building was constructed, known then as the Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church. Ziba was a trustee of the 1853 church, along with Jacob Show, John R. Burnworth, Clark Flanigan, Christopher Burnworth, Charles Tissue and Patterson Burnworth. When the church building was destroyed by fire late in 1883, Ziba and other trustees met at the local schoolhouse to plan for the future and raise money for new construction. At that meeting, Ziba's brother in law Thomas Flanigan was elected president of the organization, Ziba as secretary, Tissue Show treasurer, and A.B. Flanigan, C.N. Flanigan, Tissue Show, Alvin Burnworth and Grant Show as a committee to seek pledges. The new church took two years to build, and was dedicated on Nov. 15, 1885, costing $717.66 and measuring 30 ft. x 45 ft. x 14 ft. high. Over the years, Ziba was highly regarded in the community, and the Meyersdale Republican once cited his "honesty, industry, perseverance and true Christian piety, ... filled with years and honors, whose pure and honest life was an inspiration for good in the community where he spent his long and useful life.." In 1900, the federal census shows that Ziba's 84-year-old unmarried sister Keziah Burnworth lived under their roof. In October 1909, gathered for the last time, Ziba and Annabelle held a family reunion at their home. Noted the Republican, "The day was delightful and will ever be remembered by all present. A bounteouis dinner was served at 12 o'clock." Among the attendees were Mr. and Mrs. John Burnworth, Mr. and Mrs. Orville Burnworth, Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson, Thomas Butler, Isaiah Shipley, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Burnworth and sons Fred and Wade, Mr. and Mrs. William Burnworth and daughters Ruth and Lucille, Mrs. John Butler and daughter Katharine, Kissiah Burnworth, Nona Burnworth and Alverda Burnworth. Sadly, at the age of 81, Ziba died at home of heart weakness on Nov. 5, 1909. Burial was at Johnson's Chapel. Among those traveling to attend the funeral was Mrs. N.B. Critchfield of Johnstown, PA. In 1919 or 1921, in February, Annabelle's younger brother Marcellus traveled from his home in Iowa for a two-month's visit. At her 75th birthday in 1920, while staying with her son William in Confluence, Annabelle was "treated with a genuine surprise on Saturday," reported the Republican.


Ziba named in this history

Mrs. W.A. Burnworth perfected the arrangements without even letting the members of her own family know, thereby showing the fallacy of the old saying that a woman cannot keep a secret. Chief of the arrangements was the baking of a magnificent birthday cake, having 75 candles on it, in remembrance of Grandma Burnworth's 75th year. In the evening J.L. Burnworth and family, who reside on the next street, Norman R. Burnworth and daughter, Bella May, and granddaughter, Agnes O'Hara, of Uniontown, who were visiting the former's brother here, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Reiber, Mr. and Mrs. John I. Davis and Mrs. Margaret Burgess were present and spent a pleasant evening, after which they were invited to the dining-room where the table was beautifully spread with choice delicacies having the birthday cake for a center-piece. This was where Grandma Burnworth got her surprise. On Sunday she and Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Burnworth and daughters, Ruth and Louise, and Norman R. Burnworth and daughter, Bella May, and granddaughter, Agnes O'Hara were dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Burnworth where the latter had a magnificent birthday dinner prepared, with Grandma Burnworth as guest of honor. This venerable lady is the widow of the late Ziba Burnworth, one of the prominent residents of Henry Clay Township who died in November, 1909.

Despite her advanced age, Annabelle was able to travel, and in July 1922 went to Dunbar to see her daughter and son in law, Chelsea and James Wilson. The sands of time ran out for her at the age of 81 on Sept. 17, 1926, having been senile and then suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while at the home of her son Harry at Johnson's Chapel. In an obituary, the Republican said she was survived by 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Rev. L.H. Powell officiated at the funeral service, with her four sons serving as pallbearers as well as nephews Wilbert McNeer and Dilworth McNeer. Later that her, her obituary was reprinted in the B. and O. Magazine, Vol. 14.


Johnson Chapel Methodist Church near Confluence


  • Step-grandson Marcellus Burnworth (1849-1927) was born on Sept. 22, 1849 on his father's farm near Johnson's Chapel. When he reached his 16th year, Marcellus joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and was a member for the rest of his long life. On Dec. 9, 1875, when he was 26 years of age, Marcellus married Esther Ann Flanigan ( ? - ? ), daughter of Thomas and Catherine Flanigan. The were the parents of four children -- Charles O. Burnworth, Mary Catherine Silbaugh, Thomas Z. Burnworth and Franklin J. Burnworth. They made their home next to his parents at Johnson Chapel, and Marcellus was said to be "an honest and conscientious man and respected by all who knew him.... He was a sincere Christian." On June 2, 1907, the Pittsburgh Daily Post published a four generations photo of Marcellus, his father, son Charles and grandson Preston. For his 66th birthday, in 1915, friends at Johnson's Chapel threw him a surprise birthday party attended by about 50 guests. In an unfortunate accident in September 1916, Marcellus lost a valuable horse when it "fell and broke its right front leg when it wheeled against a steep hillside, as Frank Burnworth tried to halter it," said the Meyersdale Republican. "Dr. J.F. Colflesh, V.S., of Confluence, was immediately summoned, but as the bone was so badly splintered and cracked he could do nothing with it, and the horse had to be shot." Marcellus was featured in a July 1919 Republican story which reported that he had "made a number of fine improvmenets around his comfortable home. He put in an acetylene gas plant to furnish light for his home and surroundings, and also laid a number of concrete walks around his ground." In September 1920, he and his brother Harry and nephews Wade and Fred drove to Piedmont, WV, where they visited peach orchards and returned home with several bushels of peaches. Suffering from kidney failure, he was felled by a stroke and died at the age of 78 just two days after Christmas 1927. Burial was at Johnson's Chapel, with services led by Rev. L.H. Powell, and pallbearers included his three sons, one son-in-law and grandsons George M. Burnworth and Charles Benjamin Burnworth. In a lengthy obituary, the Republican said "While he was in delicate health, owing to injuries, for several years, he had not been confined to his bed very long." He was survived by 16 grandchildren. Daughter Mary Catherine married Russell Silbaugh.



Graves of Orville and his wives Lottie and Edna, Johnson Chapel


  • Johnson Chapel Cemetery
    Step-grandson Orville Burnworth (1854-1927) was born on March 6, 1854 in or near Johnson's Chapel. At the age of 26, in 1880, he was single and lived on the home farm, earning a living as a teacher. Orville was twice married. His first bride was Lottie Williams ( ? -1885) of Ohio Pyle, Fayette County. They are believed to have had at least two offspring, Paul  Burnworth and Lottie M. Burnworth. Sadly, Lottie died an untimely death following childbirth at the age of 25 on April 21, 1885. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in the cemetery at Johnson Chapel. Grief compounded later that year when infant daughter Lottie succumbed at the age of 10 months 8 days on Dec. 9, 1885. On her grave marker is inscribed "Our Baby." Orville was joined in wedlock with his second spouse, a cousin, Edna Flanigan (March 26, 1873-1946), daughter of Andrew Boyle and Caroline (Butler) Flanigan of Johnson's Chapel. The Burnworths dwelled for many years as farmers near Johnson's Chapel. In February 1919, he and his brother Marcellus and kinsman Thomas Z. Burnworth were named in a Meyersdale Republican article, which said that "Among the many good families at Johnson Chapel who have always taken a forward place in church, Sunday school, temperance and other work for the uplift of man, the Burnworth family has been in the first ranks." On the fateful day of May 25, 1927, while riding with his wife toward home, near the residence of William Bowman, near Confluence, the 73-year-old Orville "dropped dead," said the Republican. "It was found that he died instantaneously." A physician gave the cause of death as "valvular heart disease." Burial was in the Chapel cemetery, with Rev. L.H. Powell preaching the funeral sermon. A lengthy obituary in the Republican said that he "was a man of deep religious convictions, upright and honest in all his dealings, and during his long life never wronged any person but honestly and consistently lived up to the Golden Rule. His sudden death was a shock to his many friends. For a number of years Mr. and Mrs. Burnworth spent the winters in a house they owned in Confluence, and early in April of each year moved back to their farm in Henry Clay Township. but this year, owing to Mr. Burnworth's health being poor, they did not move until about two weeks before his death. After moving to their farm Mr. Burnworth's health appeared to be slightly improved, and he was able to come to Confluence about every day." Edna lived for another nearly two decades as a widow. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was admitted to the Westmoreland County Home in Greensburg, PA, where she passed away on New Year's Eve 1946. Her remains were brought back to Johnson Chapel for burial. W.L. Hendricks of Greensburg was the informant for her death certificate.
  • Step-granddaughter Alverda Burnworth (1856-1913) was born on Feb. 21, 1856. She was but a girl of four when her mother died, and was age eight when her father married Annabel Flanagan. Alverda never married but spent her life in the Johnson's Chapel area, staying active as a "house girl on farm." At the age of 13, in 1869, she joined the membership rolls of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which at the time was led by Rev. Freshwater. She "remained a consistent Christian until death," reported the Meyersdale Republican. In about 1912, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and in June 1913 was admitted to Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, but not able to be cured, she was sent home. She died on July 26, 1913 at the age of 57. Burial was in the chapel's burying ground, then known as "Fairview Cemetery." Reported the Republican, "The funeral took place at 2 o'clock,... Rev. C.W. Hoover, officiating. The pall-bearers were five brothers and one brither-in-law. Those who attended the funeral from a distance were: Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Wilson, Elmer [sic] Grove; Mrs. T.M. Bowmer, Cheat Haven; Mrs. Chelsea Slicer, Meyersdale; N.R. Burnworth and four children, Uniontown, and Mrs. Jas. O'Hara, Scottdale."
  • Grandson Norman Ross Burnworth (1865-1933) was born on March 28, 1865 at Johnson Chapel. He married Sarah Jane Frazier (Jan. 13, 1869-1947), a Pittsburgh native and the daughter of John and Nancy (McKnight) Frazier. They lived in Uniontown in 1908-1913 and are believed to have had these children -- Harold Burnworth, Jean Burnworth, Ross Burnworth, Bella Burnworth and Ada Burnworth. Son Harold was enrolled in law school in Pittsburgh circa 1916. At the death of their relative Mrs. George Dennis at Flatwoods, near Uniontown, Norman drove to the funeral, also attended by his brothers John and Harry and families. Stricken with cancer of the rectum, Norman passed away at the age of 68 on July 9, 1933 at Centerville, Washington County. Burial was at Johnson Chapel. Daughter Ada, of Richeyville, signed the death certificate. Now widowed, Sarah Jane relocated to the home of her daughter Claire E. George in Beaver Falls, Beaver County, PA, at 3800 Second Avenue. Burdened with heart problems and diabetes, she suffered a heart attack and died at home on Aug. 31, 1947. The Connellsville Daily Courier carried a one-paragraph obituary.
  • Johnson Chapel Methodist
    Church near Confluence, 1991
    Granddaughter Chelsea Burnworth (1869-1948) was born on the Fourth of July 1869 at Johnson Chapel. She bore a daughter, Nona Krepps, but the identity of the girl's father is not known. In 1900, when she was age 30 and unmarried, Chelsea lived with her parents at Johnson's Chapel. Then on July 17, 1907, at age 38, she married 34-year-old carpenter James W. Wilson (1873-1963), the son of Alphus Evans and Nancy Margaret (Ellis) Wilson. Rev. Thomas Charlesworth, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, led the nuptials held at Johnson's Chapel. Census records for 1910 show the couple living under the roof of James' widowed father in Dunbar, Fayette County, PA. They relocated to Selinsgrove/Elm Grove, Snyder County, PA where they lived in 1913. Later, they returned to Dunbar, where the family belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ. Chelsea suffered from hardening of the arteries and hypertension and died at home on Aug. 28, 1948, at the age of 79. Following funeral services held at the home of her sister in law Eva McMillen at Little Summit, near Dunbar, her remains were lowered into repose in Laurel Hill Cemetery. James survived his wife by 15 years. He died in Connellsville State General Hospital at the age of 89 on Oct. 30, 1963. Their daughter Nona married Roy Krepps and dwelled in 1963 in Findlay, OH.
  • Grandson William Albert Burnworth (1872-1943) was born on Sept. 26, 1872 near Johnson's Chapel on the outskirts of Confluence. He spent 46 of his 70 years in the area. On Christmas Day 1896, he married Bertha Reiber (Dec. 10, 1874-1953), daughter of William and Louise (Deal) Burnworth. They went on to produce three daughters -- Ruth Burnworth, Louise Beck and Edna "Lucille" Burnworth. The family enjoyed visiting with cousins Annabel and Ziba Burnworth at Johnson's Chapel. In about 1913, their teenage daughter Lucille suffered from an abscessed ear but recovered. Then in the summer of 1914, the family took an extended vacation of five weeks to the west, from the plains of Iowa to the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. Reporting on the trip, the Meyersdale Republican said the family was:

    "favorably impressed with their visit and speak in glowing terms of the former residents of Somerset County whom they met, and the whole-souled hospitality with which they were entertained. The first of those whom they visited were Mr. and Mrs. Warren Ream of Defiance, Iowa. Mr. Ream, although born in this vicinity, has been in the West since he was two years old. They also visited his brother, Elmer Ream, who was born in the West but does not forget those who come from Somerset County. they were also the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Loach, of Nederland, Colorado. Mrs. Loach is well and favorably known all over Henry Clay Township, her maiden name being Truey Tissue. Mr. and Mrs. Loach are in very prosperous circumstances and their hospitality is unbounded. Their ultimate destination was San Bernardino, Cal., where Mrs. Burnworth's brother, Art Reiber, lives. Mr. Reiber is well known in Somerset County, having been fo rmany years travelling salesman for J.M. Cook & Son of Meyersdale, and later for Love, Sunshine & Co. of Johnstown. he is now employed in a lucrative position with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in the machine shops at San Bernardino and owns a fine property in that growing city, the county seat of the county of the same name, the largest county in the United States."

    Sadly, in December 1914, daughter Lucille was stricken with scarlet fever and rheumatism and eventually became an invalid, confined to her room. Over the next two years, she slowly recovered and by 1917 was "now almost fully restored to health," reported the Republican. On her 15th birthday, in March 1917, her parents threw her a birthday dinner party and she received flowers from many friends. Among the attendees were teacher C.E. Koontz, Louise Augustine, June Fern Bird, Etha Younkin, and Mr. and Mrs. John I. Davis and daughter Mary Kate. Then in July 1917 she suffered a relapse, and finally succumbed on Aug. 1, 1917. An obituary in the Republican said she was "one of the brightest pupils of her age in the public schools until ill health compelled her to give up her studies. During all of her long illness she maintained her cheerful disposition and never complained but tried by cheerfulness and kindness to cheer and comfort her parents and sisters. She was a faithful attendant at Sunday school and joined the Lutheran Church, March 23, 1913, and also the junior choir of the same church and was a constant attendant when her health permitted. She was always courteous to old and young and her early demise is felt and mourned by all." For three decades, William was employed as a clerk and agent by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, retiring in 1937. He was prominent in community activity, and was secretary of the Odd Fellows Lodge, where he was a member for 42 years, and belonged to the Maccabees Lodge. Having joined the Methodist Episcopal Church at Johnson's Chapel at a young age, he later transferred his membership to, and was president and a board member of, the Confluence Methodist Church, where he belonged to the men's Bible class. Bertha was an active member of the Lutheran Church and its Ladies Bible Class and Willing Workers group. He died on Aug. 5, 1943, with burial in what today is the Turkeyfoot Valley Baptist Cemetery in Confluence. Pallbearers included Grant Pyle, Sam Downs, Sam Firestone, Elliot Beggs, Ray Hyatt and Scott Smith. In an obituary, the Republican reported that the honorary pallbearers were Tom Reynolds, Dr. George Hopwood, Dr. Milton Brooke, Robert Black, Homer Rush and Ralph Van Sickle. As a widow, Bertha, resided at 521 Sterner Street in Confluence. Having outlived her husband by a decade, she was burdened with hardening of the arteries and heart valve disease. She succumbed to a heart attack and died at the age of 78 on June 5, 1953. She rests with William and their daughters in the Baptist cemetery in Confluence. Daughter Ruth (Dec. 10, 1898-1962) was employed as a sales lady in the A.G. Black's Sons department store in Confluence. She relocated to Cumberland, MD in September 1953 to reside with her sister and brother in law, Louise and Carl Beck. She died in 1962.



The Burnworth graves in Confluence


  • Grandson Harry Palmer Burnworth (1875-1931) was born three days before Christmas in 1875 on the old family farm in Henry Clay Township. He received higher education at California State Teachers College and Lock Haven State Normal School, and taught school locally for several years. He then went on to a better-paying career as a farmer and in the lumber business. In about 1901, he married Anna Butler ( ? - ? ), daughter of Thomas L. Butler. They produced two sons, Wade Burnworth and Fred Burnworth. The family lived at Humbert in 1913 and later purchased his father's farm in Johnson Chapel, about two miles from Confluence. In July 1919, Harry enlisted the help of others to raise a new barn on the farm, replacing the original one which his father had erected in 1849. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, "About 50 of his neighbors and friends gathered on the farm early in the morning and under the foremanship of Joseph Welsh of Markleysburg, with Prof. John Workman and Clyde Welsh as assistant carpenters, started on the work. The new barn is erected on the site of the old log barn that he recently dismantled to make room for the new structure. The new barn is 48x72 feet, and will be modern in every particular. Mr. Burnworth runs a sawmill and carefully selected the lumber for this special object. There will be in connection with the main building, sheds with cemented floors... About 75 workers and visitors were present during the day and all were served with a bountiful dinner." Having suffered a nervous breakdown, Harry died at the age of 55 in April 1931. An obituary was published in the Republican. Circa 1935, son Wade served on the historical committee of Johnson's Chapel Methodist Church along with Robert Flanigan and Rev. F.M. Kees.
  • Grandson Jonathan L. "John" Burnworth (1886- ? ) was born in May 1886. He was thrice married. His first spouse was Florence Butler (Oct. 3, 1879-1909), daughter of Thomas L. and Letitia (Boyd) Butler. He was seven years younger than his bride, and the couple appears not to have reproduced. In early November 1909, at the age of 30, Florence was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and died just four days later on Nov. 8, 1909. Her remains were lowered into repose in Johnson Chapel Cemetery. The 22-year-old Jonathan then spent the next few years living under his mother's roof in Johnson Chapel. Later, he married a cousin, Florence A. "Flora" Gerhard (1889-1925), daughter of Francis S. and Bertha Ann (Ream) Gerhard. They resided in Humbert in 1913 and in Confluence in the 1920s and '40s, where he was employed as a laborer by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The couple had two known sons -- Eugene F. Burnworth (born 1914) and Kenneth J. Burnworth (1915). Flora suffered from anemia over the years. When she was stricken with a hemorrhage of her uterus at the age of 36, there was nothing that could be done, and she died the same day on June 17, 1925. Burial was at Johnson Chapel. Her brother Russell traveled from his home in Ellwood City, PA to attend the funeral. John spent about two years as a widow and then wed a third time to Kathryn Elizabeth Breakiron (April 20, 1892-1973) of Independence, Preston County, WV. They remained together for more than four decades. He passed away in Confluence on Dec. 12, 1968. Kathryn moved to St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, FL where she died on Dec. 1, 1973.


Flanigan District of Henry Clay Township, showing the Flanigan, Burnworth and McNeer farms in and around Johnson's Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church ("M.E.Ch.") and cemetery ("Gr. Yd."), from the 1872 Atlas of Fayette County.



McNair grave, Johnson Chapel

Daughter Mary "Missouri" Flanagan (1847-1913) -- also spelled "Flannigan" -- was born on April 24, 1847 near Johnson Chapel in Somerset County. Her name also has been spelled "Masonia." She married Thomas McNair (1846-1882), also spelled "McNear" and "McNeer," a native of West Virginia. Their six children were Mary McNear, Francis W. "Frank" McNear, Lloyd McNear, Dillworth McNear and Orral McNear and one other who died young. Between 1878 and 1880, the couple relocated to a farm in Bruceton Mills in the Grant District of Preston County, WV. In 1880, Mary's aged father resided under their roof.

Sadly, Thomas died in 1882, at the age of 36, and his remains were brought to Johnson Chapel for burial. The location and cause of his passing are not known and may be lost to history. After his death, said the Meyersdale Republic, Mary "moved from West Virginia to Ursina, Pa., and by hard and persevering industry kept her children together. After living in the latter place a few years, she moved to Confluence where she made her home for many years. After her sons grew up and secured employment, the family located at Dickerson Run, where the sons secured lucrative positions." All four sons were employed at one time or another by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.


Johnson Chapel

Stricken with chronic bronchitis, and an invalid, Mary made her home in her final years in her son Lloyd's home in East Liberty near Dickerson Run. The Republic noted that "Mrs. McNear enjoyed good health until about two years ago she suffered a severe injury from falling down stairs, from which she never recovered fully. She was a sufferer for many years from bronchial trouble. About ten days before her death she commenced to fail rapidly, until Friday morning April 25 when her mild and gentle spirit passed to the Great Beyond." She succumbed a day after her 66th birthday on April 25, 1913. A one-paragraph obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that the funeral was held at the home of her son Lloyd in East Liberty, with Rev. H.A. Baum, of the Cochran Memorial Church, preaching the service. A lengthier obituary in the Republic reported that she "belonged to one of the old and well known pioneer families of Henry Clay township" and that she "was a true and consistent christian lady, having joined the Methodist church in early life and remained a faithful member." The first of two funeral services was held in the McNair home in East Liberty. Then her remains were shipped by rail on Train No. 48 for additional services at Johnson's Chapel, led by Rev. C.W. Hoover. Burial was beside her husband and two children in the chapel cemetery. Son Lloyd, residing at Dickerson Run, signed the official Pennsylvania death certificate. Those traveling a distance to attend the funeral were Frank and Clara and three children of Russelton, Lloyd and his wife and two children of East Liberty, Dilworth McNear and his wife and four children of Bessemer, Mr. and Mrs. N.R. Burnworth and daughter Ada of Uniontown, Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson of Elm Grove, PA, and H.P. Burnworth and Robert Huston of Humbert. [Find-a-Grave]


Bruceton Mills, WV, where the McNairs lived in the 1880s


  • Granddaughter Mary McNear (1868- ? ) was born in 1868 in Pennsylvania.
  • Grandson Francis Wilbert "Frank" McNair (1873-1945) was born on Aug. 7, 1873 in Pennsylvania or West Virginia. His name also has been spelled "McNear." At the age of 22, he wed Clara W. (?) (1877- ? ), a native of Maryland. As newlyweds, they lived with Francis' mother in Dunbar, Fayette County and he earned a living as a railroad laborer. Circa 1913, Frank was employed as yardmaster for the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad at Russellton, Allegheny County, PA. He and his brother Dilworth traveled to Confluence in September 1926 to serve as pallbearers at the funeral of their aged aunt, Annabel Burnworth. In retirement, Frank resided in Russelton, Allegheny County. He suffered a heart attack at the age of 72 and died in Allegheny Valley Hospital on Sept. 3, 1945. His remains were placed into repose in East Union Cemetery in Allegheny County. Hazel Gisey of Russelton was the informant for the death certificate.
  • Grandson Lloyd H. McNear (1875-1943), also spelled "McNair," was born on Jan. 2, 1875 in Confluence. At age 25, unmarried, he lived at home in Dunbar and worked as a brakeman for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Lloyd eventually was married and had at least one son, Lloyd W. McNear. In about 1908, he relocated to West Newton, Westmoreland County, PA. In 1913, he was conductor for the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad at Dickerson Run, Fayette County. Having contracted pancreatic cancer, he suffered for six months and died in Rostraver Township at the age of 68 on Oct. 19, 1943. Interment was in the Dickerson Run Union Cemetery. T.G. Kemper of McKeesport signed the death certificate. Their son Lloyd H. married Anita Matilda Klein in October 1940 in Grantsville, MD.
  • Grandson Dilworth McNair (1877- ? ) was born in November 1877 in Fayette County. Single at age 22, he resided at home and earned income as a railroad brakeman in Dunbar. By 1902, he had relocated to Dickerson Run, Fayette County. On May 21, 1902, when he was 26 years old, Dilworth was united in holy matrimony with 22-year-old Anna McCune (1884- ? ). The ceremony was officiated by Rev. F.J. Coyle in Dawson, Fayette County. Anna was the daughter of Thomas and Mary McCune. The couple produced four known children -- Irene M. McNair, Sarah "Sadie" Clegg, Bernadeth McNair and William McNair. They dwelled in North Bessmer, Penn Township, Allegheny County, PA, in 1904-1920, with Dilworth continuing his career as a railroad brakeman and as a conductor with the Union Railroad at North Bessmer, PA. In 1920, Dilworth's unmarried, 25-year-old sister in law (?) McCune dwelled under their roof in Penn Hills. Dilworth and his brother Frank traveled to Confluence in September 1926 to attend the funeral of their aunt Annabel Burnworth and serve as pallbearers. Their daughter Sadie ( ? - 1960) married (?) Clegg and was a waitress in Verona near Pittsburgh, and her known children were Gloria Kemmerling, Elaine Lovett, Violet Greenwalt, Anna Marie Geffel, Grace Englert and Gladys Sabol. 
  • Grandson Orval R. McNear (1879- ? ) was born in November 1879 in the Grant District of Preston County, WV. He was only three years old when his father died. When he was age 21, in 1900, he dwelled with his mother and siblings in Dunbar and labored as a railroad brakeman with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. By 1913, he had obtained employment in Canton, Stark County, OH.

Son Thomas Flanigan (1849-1908) was born on Feb. 11, 1849 in Henry Clay Township, also spelled "Flannigan" and "Flanagan." He was twice married. He and his first bride produced two known offspring -- Mary Flanigan and William Flanigan. The first marriage ended between 1874 and 1878, presumably by death. Then in about 1878, at the age of 29, Thomas married again to 17-year-old Sabina Tissue (or "Burnsworth") (April 1861- ? ). They were the parents of four children -- Annie A. Smith Deneen, Elizabeth B. "Lizzie" Flanigan, Maud Vanorsdale and Ernest B. Flanigan. Thomas was a member of the Fairview Methodist Church at what became Johnson's Chapel. When the church building was destroyed by fire late in 1883, Thomas and other trustees met at the local schoolhouse to plan for the future and raise money for new construction. At that meeting, Thomas was elected president of the organization, his brother in law Ziba Burnworth as secretary, Tissue Show treasurer, and A.B. Flanigan, C.N. Flanigan, Tissue Show, Alvin Burnworth and Grant Show as a committee to seek pledges. The new church took two years to build, and was dedicated on Nov. 15, 1885, costing $717.66 and measuring 30 ft. x 45 ft. x 14 ft. high. Later, the Flanigans moved into Confluence, where Thomas owned a lumber sawmill business north of Confluence and served for a time on town council. He continued to invest in and expand the business, and in October 1905 purchased a large well-timbered tract of land in West Virginia along the Morgantown and Kingwood Railroad line. "It is thought that there will be at least 10,000,00 feet of lumber sawed," reported the Connellsville Courier. When he was age 58, in August 1907, he gave a deposition on behalf of his first cousin, Sarah (Jennings) Bookman, in her effort to secure her late husband's Civil War pension. Tragically, Thomas died the following year, at the age of 59, when struck by a moving locomotive while walking along railroad tracks in Confluence. The horrific accident occurred on April 11, 1908. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, he was "run down and instantly killed by the Duquesne Limited train, on Saturday morning, at Huston Station, near Confluence.... The fast train, being over two hours late, was running on the east-bound instead of the west-bound track, and was unseen by Flannigan, whose back was burned." His broken remains were placed at rest in the Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery near Ursina.

  • Granddaughter Mary Flanigan (1872- ? ) was born in about 1872.
  • Grandson William Flanigan (1874- ? ) was born in about 1874.
  • Granddaughter Annie A. Flanigan (1880-1950) was born on Aug. 26, 1880 in Confluence. She appears to have been wedded twice, first to (?) Smith. Their three known offspring were Sabina Erwin, Hazel I. Smith and Earl A. Smith. Later, she was united in wedlock with John Thomas Deneen ( ? -1943), son of Harry Thomas and Martha (Mullard) Deneen, the mother an immigrant from England. Their known children were Mary Elizabeth Lopes, Rev. Thomas Edison Deneen and Virginia Clare (?). Sadly, little Virginia Clare passed away in infancy. In about 1909, John obtained employment with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and in 1912 they moved to Connellsville, where he became a conductor for the B&O. They were members of the Central Methodist Shurch, with John belonging to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and Annie to the ladies' auxiliary. The Deneens moved in about 1938 to a new address of 502 East Murphy Avenue. Sadly, stricken with heart problems of two years' duration, John was felled by a heart attack and passed away at the age of 55 on June 6, 1943. Rev. Howard W. Jamison led the funeral services, with additional rites provided by his fellow Trainmen. Annie survived her husband by seven years. Burdened with heart disease, she died on Jan. 23, 1950 at age 69. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that burial was in Green Ridge Memorial Park following funeral services led by Rev. William C. Marquis.

Great-granddaughter Sabina G. Smith (1897-1963) was born in about 1897. She married Harry E. Erwin ( ? - ? ) and lived in Connellsville. They produced four children -- Robert Erwin, Harry E. Erwin Jr., Jay Erwin and Jacqueline Micher. Later in life, the Erwins relocated to Florida, where they made a home at 361 Woodlawn Avenue in Daytona Beach. Sabina died in Daytona at the age of 66 on Sept. 1, 1963. Her remains were brought back to Connellsville for burial at Hill Grove Cemetery. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier stated that she was survived by 10 grandchildren.

Great-granddaughter Hazel I. Smith was deceased by 1976.

Great-grandson Earl A. Smith dwelled in Charleroi, Washington County, PA in 1950.

Great-granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Deneen (1912-1976) was born on April 27, 1912 in Connellsville. She was wedded to Vernon Lopes ( ? - ? ) and lived in Connellsville at 289 Fairview Avenue. Their children were Beverly Lopes, Kim Lopes and David Lopes. The family belonged to the Central Methodist Church in Connellsville. Sadly, at the age of 64, Hazel died at Connellsville State General Hospital on May 20, 1976. The Connellsville Daily Courier noted in an obituary that buril was in Green Ridge Memorial Park, following funeral services officiated by Rev. William Keys.

Great-grandson Rev. Thomas Edison Deneen ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On Christmas Day 1938, he was united in holy matrimony with Olive Ruth Hixon, daughter of Clyde W. Hixon of 819 Jefferson Street in Connellsville. They were the parents of Margaret Ann Deneen and perhaps others. They eventually moved to Waynesburg, Greene County. In 1948, their 17-year-old daughter Margaret had four eye surgeries at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Circa 1950, he was in charge of the Morrisville Circuit of the Methodist Church. He was deceased by 1976.

  • Granddaughter Elizabeth B. "Lizzie" Flanigan (1882- ? ) was born in September 1882. She did not marry and in 1950 resided in Connellsville with her sister Maud Vanorsdale at the address of 227 South Prospect Street.
  • Granddaughter Maud Flanigan (1887-1958) was born on Nov. 22, 1887. At the age of 20, in 1907, Maud relocated to Connellsville. She was joined in matrimony with Charles C. Vanorsdale ( ? - ? ). Their five sons were Ralph Vanorsdale, Harold Vanorsdale, Charles E. Vanorsdale, Wendel Vanorsdale and Paul Vanorsdale. They were longtime members of the Central Methodist Church in Connellsville. Circa 1950, they resided with her unmarried sister Elizabeth at 227 South Prospect Street in Connellsville. Toward the end of her life, Maud suffered from a gastric ulcer and it began to hemorrhage. She died at the age of 70 in Connellsville State Hospital on July 26, 1958. Rev. H. Carl Buterbaugh officiated at the funeral and burial in Green Ridge Memorial Park.

Great-grandson Ralph Vanorsdale lived at home with his parents in 1958.

Great-grandson Harold Vanorsdale resided with his parents in 1958.

Great-grandson Charles E. Vanorsdale dwelled in Baltimore, MD in 1958.

Grandson Wendel Vanorsdale made his home in 1958 in Connellsville.

Grandson Paul Vanorsdale lived in Connellsville in 1958.

  • Grandson Ernest B. Flanigan (1890-1948) was born on Feb. 16, 1890. In 1913, at the age of 23, he relocated to Connellsville, Fayette County, PA, where he became a bicycle dealer at 125 North Meadow Lane and resided at 227 South Prospect Street. He was a member of the Central Methodist Church and the local Moose lodge. Later in life, he became blind. Suffering from cancer of the sigmoid, he passed away in Connellsville just four days before Christmas 1948, at the age of 58. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery. Wendell Vanorsdale signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Son Marcellus Flanagan (1851-1927) -- also spelled "Flannigan" and "Flanigan" -- was born on Jan. 3, 1851 in Henry Clay Township. Unmarried at the age of 18, in 1870, he lived on his widowed father's farm in Henry Clay Township. He later was married but later divorced. Marcellus obtained work as a railroad laborer. In about 1871, feeling the need for a change, Marcellus migrated westward to Iowa, putting down roots near Manila in Nishnabotny Township, Crawford County. When the federal census was taken in 1910, the 59-year-old Marcellus boarded in the home of Shelby and Della Londenstricker in Nishnabotny. He migrated again and was in Nebraska circa 1913 but relocated back to Manila. Between 1871 and 1916, he only returned home to Somerset County three times, including trips in 1909 and then at Christmas 1916 to spend with his nephew William A. Burnworth, with the news reported in the Meyersdale Republican. He returned to Confluence for a two months' visit in February 1919 and then again in December 1920 and stayed for several weeks. The 1919 and 1920 visits were fodder for the gossip columns of the Connellsville Daily Courier. When an atlas of Nishabotny Township was published in 1920, Marcellus does not appear as a landowner. At the death of his sister Annabel Burnworth in September 1926, he was named in the Republican obituary. He died at the age of 75 in Nishnabotny on Feb. 2, 1927.


Albia, Iowa, looking northeast, where Howard Flanigan moved prior to 1880.



W.B. Cousins Drug Store, Albia, Iowa

Son Howard Flanigan (1852-1918?) -- also alternatively spelled over the  years "Flannigan" and "Flanagan" -- was born on Jan. 13, 1852 (or 1855 or 1857) in Henry Clay Township. He relocated to Iowa by 1880, establishing a new life and home near Albia, Monroe County. On Oct. 31, 1881, in a ceremony held in Monroe County, the 29-year-old Howard married 23-year-old Martha A. Evans (1858-1895), the daughter of Thomas J. and Martha (Hughes) Evans. The couple went on to produce two children -- Grace Barnett and Irvin T. Flanagan. After 14 years of marriage, heartache enveloped the family when Martha died on Jan. 21, 1895, at the age of 37, and was laid to rest in Oakview Cemetery in Albia. Howard survived his wife by some 23 years. His and the children's home in 1900, as shown in the United States Census, was on a farm in Guilford Township, Monroe County, IA, southeast of the county seat of Albia. He was named in the obituary of his sister Missouri McNear in 1913 and was reported as living in Albia. Howard's world came crashing down in March 1903 when his 18-year-old daughter accused him of incest. The Ottumwa (IA) Daily Courier reported that she alleged that her father "has borne illicit relations with her for some time, but through fear it is stated that she has been compelled to keep silent." He was arrested and indicted by a grand jury and jailed in Monroe County. "News of criminal accusations came to the many friends of Mr. Flanagan with a great shock," said the Daily Courier, "as he has always been highly steemed by all who knew him." Another of the newspapers reporting the story was the Davenport Daily Leader. The outcome of the trial is unknown. In the late 1910s, he lived alone in Albia and was considered "one of Albia's oldest residents." At the age of about 66, on Jan. 22, 1918, Howard died in his sleep from heart problems. Funeral services were held in the local United Presbyterian Church, officiated by Rev. C.C. Crawford of the Christian Church. An obituary was printed in the Ottumwa (IA) Semi-Weekly Courier. [Find-a-Grave]

  • Granddaughter Grace E. Flanigan (1885-1932) was born in March 1885 in Iowa. On June 19, 1911, when she was 26 years of age, Grace was joined in wedlock with 36-year-old Charles E. Barnett (1875- ? ), son of Hannibal and Perni (Kelly) Barnett. The ceremony took place in Albia, and the bride was about a decade younger than the groom. The Barnetts produced six known offspring, born in rapid fire succession between 1914 and 1923 -- Charles Barnett, Edward Barnett, Byron Cecil Barnett, Francis L. Barnett, Nellie M. Barnett and William Barnett, likely all born in Monroe County. In 1918, she dwelledin Oskaloosa, Mahaska County. IA. By 1920, according to federal census enumeration records, the family was back in Albia with a home on Third Avenue. In 1930, now residing in Troy, Monroe County, Charles and his son Charles earned a living working as laborers in odd jobs. Grace passed into eternity in 1932 at the age of 47. She was laid to rest in the Oakview Cemetery in Albia. Charles only lived for another three years and joined her in death in 1935. [Find-a-Grave]

Great-grandson Charles Barnett (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914.

Great-grandson Edward H. Barnett (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915.

Great-grandson Byron Cecil Barnett (1916- ? ) was born in about 1916.

Great-grandson Francis L. Barnett (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917.

Great-granddaughter Nellie M. Barnett (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918.

Great-grandson William Barnett (1923- ? ) was born in about 1923.

  • Grandson Irvin Thomas Flanigan (1890-1985) was born in June 1890 in Foster, IA. When he was 23 years of age, on Oct. 7, 1913, Irvin was united in matrimony with 18-year-old Laurena Lane "Rena" Landin (1895-1950), daughter of Frank A. and Selma Charlotta (Aborg) Landin. They made their home in Albia and produced one known son, Robert Irvin Flanigan. Rena died in 1950, with burial in Oakview Cemetery in Albia. Irvin survived her by 35 years. He passed in 1985. [Find-a-Grave]

Great-grandson Robert Irvin Flanigan (1914-1984) was born on Nov. 12, 1914. He served as a major in the U.S. Army during World War II, including service in the Army Air Corps. He was wedded to Dorothy Love (March 31, 1921-1990).


Copyright 2014-2017 Mark A. Miner