Tragically, when Earl was 20, he survived a severe burn in an oil explosion that claimed the life of his older brother Ray. In March 1924, the brothers were caught "in the Freedom Oil Company's gasoline explosion" near Mt. Pleasant, said the Connellsville Daily Courier. They were rushed to the nearby Frick Memorial Hospital. Two weeks later, on March 27, Ray died of his injuries, though Earl was "getting along nicely at the hospital," said the Courier.
When the federal census was taken in 1930, Earl was employed as an insurance agent. At age 25, he was single, and resided in the home of his parents and widowed twin sister Pearl Hence on Diamond Street in Mount Pleasant.
Earl married Mary S. Hughes (1904-1943), daughter of Sidney E. and Mary (Musick) Hughes of Latrobe, Westmoreland County. They are thought to have had two sons.
They resided near Lycippus, in the Mt. Pleasant vicinity.
In September 1931, Earl is known to have attended a 25th wedding anniversary reception for his cousin Alvin P. Thurston in Mt. Pleasant.
Sadly, Mary contracted breast cancer and passed away at age 38 on April 21, 1943. Mary's obituary in the Courier does not give details of her untimely death, nor does it identify their sons. Ironically, she and Earl's uncle, Charles W. Thurston, died one day apart. She was placed into rest at St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery in Trauger, Westmoreland County.
Earl and his sister Pearl were twins, and their names rhymed. In 1977, when Pearl died, Earl was residing in McKeesport, near Pittsburgh. His ultimate fate is not known.
Copyright © 2001, 2010 Mark A. Miner