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Charles Arthur 'Younkin
a.k.a. "Charleroi Charley" (1880-1950)

See Younkin Family News Bulletin and Younkin National Home-Coming Reunion Archives


Charleroi Charley

"Box 170, Charleroi" was the most famous address in the Younkin family in the 1930s and early '40s, belonging to Charles Arthur Younkin. Nicknamed "Charleroi Charley," he was a businessman, reunion organizer, journalist, letter writer and family cheerleader.  His pioneering genealogy resulted in a national following involving thousands of cousins, during the height of the Great Depression, a phenomenon he called the "great Younkin awakening."  His efforts set the stage for the renewed interest in Younkin family connections today, and the establishment of the Younkin Reunions East and West in the 1990s.

Born at Clay Run, near Mill Run, Fayette County, PA, on April 16, 1880, he was one of 10 children of William Dayton and Lucinda (Harbaugh) Younkin, and grandson of George A. and Charlotta (Younkin) Younkin.  He was raised in the old family farmhouse of his parents, where he no doubt heard many stories of his pioneer Minerd, Younkin and Harbaugh ancestors who had settled in the area. The farm was within a half mile of the ancient Imel Cemetery, where Charley's ancestors rest for etenity.

Thinking he would become a teacher someday, Charley studied at a normal school to prepare for an educator's career. But perhaps attracted by the risks and rewards of entrepreneurial opportunity, he became a wholesale grocer and poultry salesman, following in the footsteps of his brothers.

At age 22, on July 31, 1902, Charley married 18-year-old Saloma Hall (1883-1992), the daughter of John L. and Emma Hall of Connellsville. Because Saloma was underage, her father signed his consent on the marriage license. Rev. J.S. Boyd performed the wedding ceremony in Connellsville. One of Saloma's daughters in law once referred to her as "a grand person."

In an interesting twist, Saloma's sister Margaret Hall married Charley's distant cousin Brady Scott Harbaugh.

The Younkins had six children -- Bessie Marie Todd, Clarence William Younkin Sr., Frederick Arthur Younkin, Harold H. Younkin, Emma Lou Gosney Zance and Pauline Bartack.


Charleroi, along the Monongahela River

For the first few years of their married lives, the Younkins resided in the Snydertown section of Connellsville, Fayette County. Sometime in the 1920s, they moved to Charleroi, Washington County, PA, making their home on Fifth Street Extension. 

Charleroi is a river town in the Monongahela valley. In that locality, Charley initially was employed as a truck driver.

Tragedy struck in 1929, when their married daughter Bessie Todd died in Pittsburgh of tuberculosis, leaving a husband and two young daughters. 

Three years later, on April 21, 1932, the heartache compounded with Saloma died, also of TB, at the age of 49. She was laid to rest in the Younkin family plot at Imel Cemetery near Clay Run. 

Charley was left as a widower at age 49. Having become "engaged in genealogical work" in about 1930, he immersed himself into the field to help overcome his grief. When the Harbaugh Reunion was held in August 1932, the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier reported that he was elected secretary: "The seventh annual reunion of the Harbaugh family will be held Sunday, August 28, at the Mill Run Baptist Church. The affair will be in the form of a basket picnic. Principal speakers will be Attorney F.E. Younkin of Connellsville and Prof. John Harbaugh of Ohiopyle. Officers are: President, G.H. Adams of Connellsville; vice-presidents, Marshal Harbaugh of Ohiopyle and I.D. Younkin of Connellsville; secretary, Charles A. Younkin of Charleroi."


~ Roots of Reunion ~

On July 16, 1934, one of Charley's exploratory letters arrived at the home of Otto Roosevelt "Pete" Younkin in Masontown, Fayette County. The letter began: 

Perhaps you will wonder who is writing you and why. I received your name from a friend. There is quite a bit of talk of holding a Younkin reunion in the near future, and the aim if we do is to have as many branches represented as we possibly can, and you know there are many branches. The opinions of the different ones will be the decision, whether we are going through with it or not.... May I ask to which branch do you belong, are you a descendant from either Jacob or Frederick Younkin who settled near Kingwood before the Revolutionary War. Or are you from a different branch. Dear friend I do not mean to be inquisitive, but I do want to learn as much about our early ancestors as I possibly can.

Otto replied immediately that he "was in favor and would do what [he] could towards making it a success."


Invitation to 1940 reunion


Less than three weeks later, Otto and Charley met for the first time, by accident, in a cemetery near Kingwood, PA  Otto was visiting his mother in the area and decided to visit an old cemetery.  

"Having spent an hour or so in the cemetery," Otto wrote, "we were ready to leave for other old burial grounds when another car drives in through the wilderness. Two men got out of the car, one of them whom I recognized ... [but] the other man was a total stranger to me....  Upon being introduced we learned this stranger to be none other than ... Charles A. Younkin of Charleroi, PA, who was upon a similar mission as ourselves."

And so the friendship began. The two men had much more in common than their names. Both were "double" Younkin. Charley's father, William Dayton Younkin, was the grandson of Charles and Jane (Johnson) Younkin of Fayette County, and of George and Nancy (Johnson) Younken of Greene County, PA. Otto, born in Ursina, Somerset County, was raised by his single mother Mollie and grandfather Balaam Younkin. Otto's double Younkin connection came through two sets of great-grandparents -- Jacob J. "Dorcas Jake" and Dorcas (Hartzell) Younkin and Thomas R. and Barbara (Younkin) King, all of Somerset County. 

Both Charley and Otto grew up surrounded by extended relatives and deep family values. Both were raised in small rural communities. Their story has many ironies; one was born out of wedlock; the other did not begin his genealogy work until widowed. 

Otto was a public school teacher in Masontown, Fayette County. He was married to Mildred Coldren with two sons, Harry "Tom" Younkin and William Younkin. Otto entertained political ambitions, and one distant cousin, Glenn Younkin of Marion, Illinois, once wrote saying, "I am living in hopes of calling you 'Congressman'."


News headline, 1936

~ The First Reunion ~

Charley wrote to Otto proposing that they meet to plan a reunion. They did so, on Aug. 12, at the Kingwood Picnic Grove, where the reunion remains today. In addition to Charley and Otto, the organizers included David F. Younkin of Johnstown, Cambria County; Milton Bruce "Peter" Younkin of Kingwood; Nellie (Younkin) Wiley of California, Washington County; and Wesley D. Younkin. Charley, elected as secretary, sent invitation cards to all he knew.

The first reunion took place on Sept. 2, at the Kingwood Picnic Grove. Charley later wrote that the reunion "sprang up like a mushroom overnight." 


Nancy (Younkin) Forsythe, oldest 
woman in 1935

Colwell Younkin, oldest man 
in 1935

It drew 400 people, on very short notice. Officers were elected to the new Younkin Family Association: Otto R. Younkin, president; attorney Frederick E. "F.E." Younkin of Connellsville, PA, vice president;  Charleroi Charley, secretary;  Milton Bruce Younkin of Rockwood, PA, treasurer; and Nellie B. Wiley of California, PA, assistant secretary. Special stationery was printed, and Charley was using it for his letters by the end of the year. Daniel Martin Younkin of Rockwood received an award as "oldest present," and a daughter of Oakey and Gertrude (Shroyer) Harbaugh of Mill Run was the "youngest present." The news of the successful event was printed in local and even statewide newspapers, which said it "proved a most enjoyable affair." 

Feedback from the family at large was very positive. Charley immediately wrote to Otto: "Let me tell you that I am mighty well pleased with the results. Have been very busy answering many letters. Only this morn I read a letter from Edward H. Youngkin, Easton, Pa., who read the news in the Phila. Pa. papers Sunday...." 

The following year, in 1935, some 750 cousins and friends attended the event. Luella (Prather) Shepard of Kansas led singing, while Frank Younkin of Johnstown, PA led the "Get Acquainted Committee." Dr. Noble Younkin made a speech in Pennsylvania Dutch and classical German, and eight-year-old Martha Van Swearingen gave readings in Dutch, German, Italian and English. Attorney Frederick E. Younkin of Connellsville presented a family history. while J.O. Shepard, and Pauline and Harold Younkin, sang songs. The oldest members in attendance were Mrs. J.C. Forsythe and Colwell Younkin.


~ Some of Charley's & Otto's Correspondents ~

Clarence Lincoln Younkin Miami, FL
Eleanor (Colborn) Delong Somerset, PA
Carmie (Forsythe) Earle Connellsville, PA
Dr. Noble Younkin Decatur, IN
Glenn Younkin Marion, IL
Marcus W. Younkin Paris, TN
Dr. L.A. Younkin Ottumwa, IA
Edith Susan Lichliter Salisbury, PA
William E. Younkin Middletown, MD
William Elmer Younkin Rock Creek, British 
Columbia, Canada
Frances (Younkin) Jackson Riley, KS
Hattie Reeve Albany, OH
John E. Younkin Connellsville, PA
John K. Younkin Great Bend, KS
Grover C. Younkin Wichita, KS

Letterhead of Dr. Noble Younkin, Decatur, Indiana


Letterhead of Marcus W. Younkin, Paris, Tennessee



Letterhead of Dr. L.A. Younkin, Ottumwa, Iowa


Carmie Earle

The event consisted of picnic meals and singing, orchestra music, speeches, comedy, dancing acts and ventriloquists.  A booth displayed old heirlooms, letters, photos, records, titles and Bibles. Left-handed fiddler Fred Younkin, of Ashville, OH, became a regular fixture. The music was so popular that in 1937 the planners bought a piano "just to be used at this and following reunions." 

Over time, the planners became good friends, and initially enjoyed each other's company. Cousin Carmie (Forsythe) Earle wrote to a friend:

We visited Charley last week and what a good time was had by all. Some time I am going to put up a tent in their yard just to sit and watch the boats. They have a wonderful view. We just et and et and talked Younkin -- did your ears burn? Would like to have you folks here on June 6 for noon dinner and more Younkin confab.


Letterhead of the "Younkin Family-History
Society" of Great Bend, Kansas

Yet all was not harmonious, given everyone's differing ambitions and expectations. Another Younkin reunion sprang up in Great Bend, Kansas, called "The Younkin Family History Society," spearheaded by Charles F. Younkin. Major Noble Younkin of Indiana was elected president, with Fred E. Younkin of Connellsville and Clarence L. Younkin of Miami elected vice presidents. Charley asked the group for genealogical information, and jockeyed for territory and position with his rivals. Charley wrote to Charles F. in 1934 and "sure gave him the lowdown from A to Z, 8 pages," he wrote. "I told him that instead of my tossing of data in his lap, that we here expected him to come to us with all he had, as I have been appointed to receive all data." Then in 1936, he reported in a letter that "There is some action to Younkin affairs in Kan. as they seem to have the get together spirit out there and during the Kan. Diamond Jubilee, they are at the same time trying to have a Younkin Jubilee. What the h*ll do you think of that?

In 1938, an incredible 1,500 people attended despite being in the chokehold of the Depression. A columnist for the Pickaway County News, OH, learned of the event and said it was "the largest family reunion of which I have any record..."


Charley's initial letterhead for the
Western Pennsylvania-based group

~ Countless Genealogy Letters ~

Charley's letter writing was prolific. In September 1934, preparing for the first reunion, Charley ordered letterhead to be printed for the new association. He and assistant reunion secretary Nellie B. (Younkin) Wiley were the primary users of the stationery.

He once wrote that "I myself am not a speaker, but my hobby is writing ... [and] to blow the Younkin horn long and loud."  He considered it his "sacred duty" to help others discover their roots.  

In one letter to an Iowa cousin, he wrote:  "My heart is with all you fine Younkin folks in any move to help bind this great family more closely together." 

Another letter promoting the reunion stated:  "...anyone who misses this great affair will be missing a treat of their entire life."  Another said that "there is not any charge for the little information we are able to give on your branch though we are always glad to receive contributions to help carry on as we in our research work are at considerable expense...."


~ The Original Younkin Family News Bulletin ~


Six of the original eight editions of the Younkin newspaper, 1937-1941


Of all Charley's accomplishments, perhaps the one with the most impact was as editor of the Younkin Family News Bulletin.  It was a six-page, five-column tabloid, at a subscription price of $1.00 per year. The first issue, dated Christmas 1937, was loaded with family stories and obituaries, a reunion wrap-up and letters. 

"Dr. Noble Younkin has given a very friendly suggestion regarding a quarterly publication," Charley wrote in November 1936, "which I believe would be in line though it would cost a tidy sum. He offers to donate $5.00 towards this and I will match it." In July 1937, as the idea grew closer to reality, he wrote: "Had a very generous contribution from Ernest Younkin, $5.00 for both piano and news bulletin." That same month, while visiting his brother Frank, Charley "pulled his leg for $2.00 also pulled the same amount out of F.E. for news bulletin. Have about $25.00 already and more soon."

All told, he published eight editions -- Christmas 1937; April 30, 1938; August 5, 1938; December 20, 1938; August 10, 1939; March 15, 1940; Sept. 25, 1940; and June 30, 1941. 

The newspaper served to take the Younkin research and reunion story to a select but nationwide audience. In an editorial in 1940, the editors of the Connellsville Daily Courier opined: 

Of the numerous family reunions which run through the summer season in ever increasing numbers, that of the Younkins is one of a few which take on a national scale. According to Attorney Fred E. Younkin who has been vice-president since the organization was formed, they come all the way from California and Maine. The association has a national printed bulletin... The usual big gathering is anticipated.


~ Charley's Known Research Travels ~

Oct. 1934 Rockwood, PA - with Daniel Martin Younkin 
July 1935 Fultonham, OH - with Margaret (Younkin) Black
Oct. 1935 Kingwood, PA - with his aunt, Rosetta (Harbaugh) Miner 
Oct. 1935 Pickaway County, OH - with Horton and Fred Younkin
June 1936 Homer City and Brush Valley, PA - with Mrs. John Brown, an aunt of Clair and Clarence Younkin of Johnstown, PA
Oct. 1936 Confluence, PA - with James B. and Emerson Younkin
May 1937 Middletown, MD - with William E. Younkins - "he and his wife sure gave me a royal reception"
Nov. 1938 Indiana, PA - with Jacob Younkins, age 81
Summer 1939 Perkasie, PA - at a Hartzell reunion



Margaret (Younkin) Black

To provide material for the newspaper, and to satisfy his own craving for historical details, Charley traveled widely to visit with distant kin. 

In October 1934, he spent a day with elderly cousin Daniel Martin Younkin in Rockwood. Daniel's daughter Alice is thought to have been present and listened as her father told stories of his parents, grandparents and extended kin, and when asked, she said the old family Bible was in possession of a sister. Daniel asked his guests if they knew or were closely related to "to the Younkins that used to butcher in the neighborhood of Scottdale [PA]," Charley later wrote. "I believe if I am not mistaken that he asked me if it was my father. If we are able to see this Daniel may may find out more about these folks." Daniel also told the researchers that one of his uncles was William Younkin, and that a first cousin, John X. Younkin, "married a sister of Charles Rose."

In July 1935, he drove to Fultonham, Ohio, to see Mrs. Margaret (Younkin) Black, which was a "rather lonesome trip all by my self," he growled. 

Later that same year, in October 1935, to "get a few matters straightened out" about how the Minerd-Miner cousins fit into the picture, he spent a night in the home of his aunt, Rosetta (Harbaugh) Miner in Hexebarger near Kingwood. 


~ Amassing an Archive, Now Lost ~ 

The paper archaeology excavations that Charley was delving into produced rare printed material that ended up in his hands. Among these were old letters. He once wrote to Otto: 

During the reunion a fine old man came to me ... David Youngkin of Mountaindale, Cambria Co., Pa. He turned over to me two old family letters, one of 1829, the other of 1832, and were written by his great-grandfather. And who do you think it was? Henry Younkin, brother of Jacob and Frederick, so at last the lost is found. 

He constantly consulted rare historical books, and often borrowed rare volumes via inter-library loans. Among these were Archives of the State of New Jersey, and Annals of the Harbaugh Family (1856). Many old family Bibles were given to him, among these one inscribed by his great-grandfather Charles Younkin.

Following his death, it is said, his research files were thrown away.


View of the Monongahela River, toward Lock #5, Charleroi


~ The Beginning of the End ~


Invitation to 1937 reunion

As the decade of the 1930s turned into the '40s, enthusiasm for the YNFB and reunions waned, and Charley's health began to falter. He received a letter from cousin Anita L. Eyster, a genealogist from Philadelphia, who stated that "I am certainly sorry to hear that you are laid up.  I am afraid you have always worked too hard."

His hot temper likely soured many relationships with cousins he once considered close. In November 1936, he wrote: "Perhaps Mrs. Harvey C. Younkin will bawl me out again. You know how much I care. Really I do miss my weekly reminders from DeLong who has been mum since I blew up at him." In 1937, he said that "I had to give Mrs. Wiley a piece of my mind if she gets sore I cannot help it. If it was not possible to meet once a year at least I would resign. I told her in as many words." 

And in September 1939, after a mis-understanding with Clarence Lincoln Younkin, who had driven all the way to the reunion from Miami, Clarence wrote to a friend: "A difference existing between Chas. & I ... owing to Charlie's attitude. He probably showed you my last letter to him in answer to his very vicious and unseemly letter. As I am a real Younkin I know how to take an insult."


Next-to-last reunion

Cousin F.E. Younkin wrote to Charley in March 1941, from Connellsville, saying that if "the present issue of the News Bulletin will be the last ever to be published strikes me with some pain and much concern." 

The last known YFNB, dated June 30, 1941, contained a foreshadowing of war. Daniel Garfield Younkin of Mesa, AZ, wrote:  "We are certain to be called upon to sacrifice much, to work hard and long with no thought of the dividends which might accrue...." At the time, Charley was age 61, and his longtime colleague and reunion president Otto Younkin was 53. That same issue tellingly contained the obituaries of several of Charley's favorite cousins who had become friends over the years -- David F. Younkin of Johnstown, PA; Nancy (Younkin) Forsythe of Connellsville, PA; and Clarence Lincoln Younkin of Miami.

The "great Younkin awakening" came to a halt during World War II.  Because of rationing of gasoline and fuel oil, automobile trips to reunions were no longer feasible. Due to shortages of paper, publishing was out of the question. 


Book naming Charley

Charles did not lost his interest, however, in continuing his landmark research efforts. He again purchased a listing in the 1943 edition of the Handbook of American Genealogy. In his listing, he wrote that he "specializes in Pa.-German pioneers" and was "Genealogist for Younkin family." He said ne wanted to correspond "with all of name Yonkin- Younken- Younkin- Youngken- Youngkin- Younkins -Junkin- Younker." Expanding his focus, he also offered to exchange data on descendants of Casper Harbaugh. Now a "Fellow" of the Institute for American Genealogy, he maintained his title as secretary of the Younkin National Family Association. 

Otto Younkin and his wife Mildred and sons moved to Wooster, OH in the 1940s, removing him further from the reunion connections and relationships. 

On Jan. 30, 1950, Charley died at his home in Charleroi at the age of 70. His remains were transported to the ancient family burial ground to rest beside his wife in the Imel Cemetery. 


Book naming Charley

In Wooster, Ohio, Otto passed away in 1953.

Luella remained in Charleroi for five years after Charley's death, and lived a total of 21 years in all in the town. She made her home at 432 Oakland Avenue and was a member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, the Ladies Auxiliary of Arden Calvert Post 167, Veterans of Foreign Wars; the Ladies Auxiliary of Charleroi American Legion Post 22 and the Iris Rebekah Lodge. Her son James O. Shepard also lived in Charleroi as an adult. 

Suffering from congestive heart failure and hypertension, added to by what a physician called "excessive obesity," she died in Charleroi-Monessen Hospital on Feb. 16, 1955. Burial was in Charleroi.

In the decades following, many subscribers stored away their Younkin newspapers in shoeboxes and trunks, and passed their copies down to children and grandchildren. This printed record of a golden era in the family has directly led to widespread re-emergence of national interest in Younkin genealogy in the 1990s. In 2007, it was reprinted by the founder of this website, in booklet form, for donation to public libraries all throughout Western Pennsylvania, and for cousins who shared the interest.

Charley is pictured and mentioned in a lavishly illustrated, 2011 book about his uncle Ephraim Miner  -- entitled Well At This Time: the Civil War Diaries and Army Convalescence Saga of Farmboy Ephraim Miner. The book, authored by the founder of this website, is seen at left. [More about the book] 


~ Daughter Bessie Marie (Younkin) Todd ~

Daughter Bessie Marie Younkin (1904-1928) was born in 1904.

She married Albert Todd (1901-1966), son of Oliver and Mary Jane Todd.

They produced two daughters -- Margaret "Jane" Korbe and Audrey Louise Talbot Lobono.

The Todds made their home in Midland, Beaver County, PA, where Albert specialized in industrial bricklaying services.

Tragically, Bessie contracted a fatal case of tuberculosis. After suffering "a lingering illness," said a newspaper, she died at the home of her parents in Charleroi on Aug. 30, 1928. Following a funeral held at the First Christian Church, she was laid to rest in Smithfield Cemetery in Pittsburgh. A death notice was printed in the Pittsburgh Press.

The grieving Albert and his daughters moved back into his parents' home on Churchview Avenue Extension in Baldwin, Allegheny County, as shown in the 1930 federal census.

By 1940, Albert had married for a second time to Jane B. Thomas (1907-1981). They made their home on Hazelwood Avenue in Pittsburgh, where Albert continued to earn a living as a bricklayer in a steel mill. The couple produced at least two more children, William O. Todd and Ronald R. "Dick" Todd. By 1948, they had moved to 1717 McElhenny Avenue, Lincoln Place in Pittsburgh, and they remained for the rest of Albert's life. In 1948, their son Billy, a sixth grader at Mifflin School, was pictured in the Pittsburgh Press, saying he wanted to become an automobile and truck mechanic someday. Albert passed away on June 19, 1966, with a death notice published in the Press. After Albert's death, Jane lived on Lincoln Place in Pittsburgh. She died on March 30, 1981.

Daughter Margaret "Jane" Todd (1922-1995) was born on July 12, 1922. She went by the nickname "Janie." She wedded William Peter Korbe ( ? - ? ). She was named in her step-mother's Pittsburgh Press obituary in 1981. She passed into eternity in Pittsburgh three days after Christmas 1995.

Daughter Audrey Louise Todd (1925- ? ) was born in about 1925. She married (?) Talbot ( ? - ? ) and by 1981 had wedded (?) Lobono ( ? - ? ). She is believed to have relocated to Orlando, FL.


~ Son Clarence William Younkin Sr. ~

Son Clarence William Younkin Sr. (1907-1988) was born in 1907 in Connellsville, Fayette County. 

At a young age he moved with his parents and siblings to Charleroi, Washington County, PA. On Aug. 28, 1930, when he was 23 years of age, Clarence married 20-year-old Mildred Robson (1910-2009) in the parsonage of the First Presbyterian Church. She was the daughter of John and Anna (Wells) Robson of Charleroi, with her father having been born in England, and her mother in Horning, OH.

Clarence was an employee of the former Kinder Mollenauer Store in Charleroi, and a mechanic for many years. Mildred was a practice nurse.

They had four children -- Clarence William Younkin Jr., Irene Cooper, Dorothy Gallagher and Doris Kusaj. 

Clarence passed away in Mon Valley Hospital at the age of 82 on June 18, 1988. He was laid to rest in Monongahela Valley Memorial Park in Donora, Washington County. At the time of his death, he had eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

Mildred outlived Clarence by two decades. She corresponded with the founder of this website in about 1990.

She passed away in the Mon Valley Care Center, at the age of 98, on Feb. 15, 2009. By that time, the number of great-grandchildren had swelled to 10. Burial was in Mon Valley Memorial Park in Donora.

Daughter Irene B. Younkin (1931-2014) was born on Sept. 27, 1931 in Charleroi. At the age of 18, in February 1950, she married 21-year-old coal miner Henry "Vernon" Cooper (March 1, 1929-2006). He was the son of John F. and Florence (Staup) Cooper, and a resident of Fallowfield Township near Charleroi. They had two sons, Dennis Coopoeer and Bruce Cooper. Irene was employed with Montgomery Ward Co. store in Charleroi, specializing as catalog manager and custom orders in the drapery department. Vernon worked for Dravo Corporation's Charleroi plant and was a member of the Teamsters Local Union No. 872. They also were members of the First Christian Church of Charleroi. Sadly, she outlived both her husband and son. Vernon passed away at the age of 77 in Southwest Regional Medical Center in Waynesburg on Sept. 25, 2006. Irene lived for another eight years. She died at age 82 on June 17, 2014 in Mon Valley Care Center. Interment was in the West Newton Cemetery.

  • Grandson Dennis Cooper wed Donna. Their residence in 2006 was in Belle Vernon, PA.
  • Grandson Bruce Cooper ( ? -1994) married Barbara ( ? - ? ). Sadly, he died in 1994. Circa 2006, Barbara made her home in Palm Harbor, FL.

Daughter Doris J. Younkin (1939-2018) was born on March 6, 1939 in Charleroi. She wedded Bruce L. Kusaj ( ? -living). They were the parents of Kelly Wright, Clayton Bruce Kusaj, Dr. Cliff Kusaj, Kally Kusaj and Clark Kusaj. Sadly, the family endured the early death of daughter Kally. Bruce served in the U.S. Army in Orleans, France circa 1963. He was transferred to Fort Lee, VA in about 1966 and then was ordered overseas to Vietnam. Upon his return, the family relocated to Aberdeen, MD, where they spent five years until a transfer sent them to Okinawa for four-and-a-half years. They made their home in Frederick County, MD in 1979, at a time when Bruce held the rank of master sergeant. Then, on on April 23, 1979, further heartache enveloped the Kusajses when 15-year-old son Clark was among 10 children en route to a party who were mortally injured in a crash. They were riding in a pickup truck along Patuxent Road in Anne Arundel County, MD when the driver lost control and careened into a row of trees. He died in a hospital some hours later. The Washington Post called the tragedy "Maryland's worst traffic accident in a decade," and the news was published in newspapers nationwide. Unexpectedly, the driver of the pickup truck who caused the deaths was given a suspended sentence. Bruce was quoted in the Post as outraged at the decision, stating "You call that justice? Where the hell is the sympathy for the 10 dead kids?" After the sentence was handed down, Bruce authored a guest column in the Baltimore Evening Sun, "The Death of 'Bunky' Kusaj as Suffered By His Family." After retirement, they moved to Belle Vernon, PA, where they were members of the First Christian Church. At the age of 78, Doris was admitted to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital where she succumbed on Jan. 31, 2018. Burial was in Mon Valley Memorial Park in Carroll Township. An obituary was published in the Mon Valley Independent.

  • Granddaughter Kelly Younkin married (?) Wright. In 2018, her home was in Drexel Hill, PA.
  • Grandson Clayton Bruce Kusaj wedded Lisa. They reside in Austin, TX.
  • Dr. Cliff Kusaj was joined in holy matrimony with Francesca Biffi. They live in Albany, CA. He holds a doctorate in psychology and has led educational courses in forensic psychology, maladaptive behavior an dpsychopathology, and professional ethics, conduct and law.
  • Granddaughter Kally Kusaj was deceased by 2009.
  • Grandson Clark "Bunky" Kusaj (-1979) was born on Oct. 9, 1963 in Orleans, France. At the age of three, he and his family moved back to the United States and lived at Fort Lee, VA, before relocating to Pennsylvania after his father was ordered to Vietnam. Later, he and the family moved to Aberdeen, MD, where they spent five years until a transfer to Okinawa. He was a 10th grader at Meade Senior High School, with dreams of becoming a pilot. In his spare time he loved to fish, talk to truck drivers on a citizens band radio and play the piano. But his life was snuffed out when he was fatally injured in a motor vehicle accident on April 23, 1979. At his death, he was pictured in the Baltimore (MD) Evening Sun.

Son Clarence William Younkin Jr. (1944-2008) was married and had two children -- Carla Stefan and Terry Younkin. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Sadly, Clarence died at age 63 at home in Charleroi on April 23, 2008. He was laid to rest in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, PA.


~ Daughter Emma Lou (Younkin) Gosney Zdancewicz (Zance) ~

Daughter Emma Lou Younkin (1913-1963) was born on Aug. 6, 1913 in Brownsville, Fayette County.

At age 16, in 1929, she married her first husband, 29-year-old William Ferry Gosney (1900- ? ), the son of Theodore and Minnie (Penn) Gosney. They were 12 years apart in age. 

The 1930 census shows the couple living in the home of William's parents in Charleroi, with William working as a craneman in a steel mill. 

They had one son, William T. Gosney. 

Sadly, the Gosneys' marriage dissolved in the late 1930s, and Emma Lou sued for divorce, citing "cruel and barbarous treatment" as well as "indignities." The couple was divorced on June 29, 1940, by decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County. 

To make a living for herself as a divorcee, Emma Lou was employed as a cook in Charleroi, and made her home at 326 Lincoln Avenue. 

Four years after her divorce, 27-year-old Emma Lou married 30-year-old pipefitter Edward Zdancewicz (shortened to "Zance"), who was residing in Monessen, and the son of Polish immigrants Konstanty and Mary (Roacknoi) Zdancewicz. The wedding was held on April 12, 1944 in the parsonage of the First Christian Church, with Rev. B.R. Mahan officiating. Said the Charleroi Mail, "The couple spent a brief honeymoon in Philadelphia, and are now making their home in Charleroi. The bride is employed in a local store and the groom at the Page Mill in Monessen."

Son William suffered serious injuries in an automobile accident in May 1950. The Charleroi Mail reported that he had a brain concussion, severe laceration of the right knee, fractured right ankle and possible right arm fracture, and forehead lacerations. He first was taken to Monongahela Hospital, but then was rushed to the U.S. Medical Hospital at Carlisle, PA for specialized treatment.

The Zances made their home at 600 Maple Avenue in Charleroi. 

Tragically, Emma Lou suffered for 5 years with cancer of the cervix and uterus. She died at age 52 on June 25, 1963, in Charleroi-Monessen Hospital. Rev. Martin S. Longenecker officiated at her funeral, and she was laid to rest at Monongahela Valley Memorial Park. 


Pennsylvania Railroad station in Charleroi


~ Son Frederick Arthur Younkin ~

Son Frederick Arthur Younkin (1915-1991) was born in 1915 in Brownsville, Fayette County, PA. 

At the age of 30, in 1945, he was employed as a truck driver in Charleroi, and lived at 405 Fallowfield Avenue. In November 1945, Clarence married 30-year-old Jean Rice (1915-1986), a resident of Roscoe, Washington County, the the daughter of Patrick and Jean (Young) Rice.

They lived in Charleroi and bore two sons, Frederick William Younkin Jr. and Charles Edward Younkin. 

Fred worked as a furniture warehouse man and was a member of the Moose Lodge, the Russian Club, the Turner Club and was a steward with the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters Union No. 872. 

Sadly, Jean passed away in 1986. 

After her death, Frederick moved to Dodge City, KS, where he attended the Lansing First Baptist Church, and had a significant other. He died on March 3, 1991, in Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, KS, just four days shy of his 76th birthday.

Son Frederick William Younkin Jr. (1946-2022) was born on Sept. 29, 1946 in North Charleroi, PA. He entered into marriage with Barbara J. ( ? -living). Their union endured 52 years together until separated by death. They settled in Chesapeake, VA. Three children produced by the couple were Frederick W. Younkin Jr., Joseph Younkin and Gina Harris. For two decades, from about 1966 to 1986, he served as an engineman with the U.S. Navy. An obituary said that Frederick "was an avid car enthusiast who enjoyed all types of auto racing - especially slot car racing. He was mechanically inclined and was our go-to resource for everything car-related. In addition to working on cars and racing cars, he enjoyed taking long car rides, traveling, science fiction and spending time with his family." Sadly, Frederick surrendered to death on Feb. 6, 2022. His memorial service was held at St. Stephen, Martyr Catholic Church.

  • Grandson Frederick William Younkin Jr. relocated to New Jersey.
  • Grandson Joseph Younkin maintained a home in Chesapeake, VA.
  • Granddaughter Gina Younkin wed James Harris. They make a home in Virginia Beach, VA.

Son Charles Edward Younkin ( ? -living) wed Toni Guth ( ? -living). They dwell in Monessen, PA. Toni is employed by Duquesne Light Company and for a number of years has held the role of president of the Younkin Reunion East.  


~ Son Harold H. Younkin ~

Son Harold H. Younkin (1920-1990) was born in 1920.

He served in the US Army during World War II. His service included three years of duty in India and Burma. He was discharged in September 1945 and returned home to Charleroi, residing with his married sister Emma.

After the war's end, he married Rose Zurich ( ? - ? ), the daughter of Mary Zurich of Monessen, on June 29, 1946. At the time of marriage, Rose was a waitress in a local restaurant, and Harold was "employed in refrigeration work in Charleroi," said the Charleroi Mail. "Both Miss Zurich and her fiance are popularly known in the valley's younger set." They may have had a son, Harold David Younkin, who married Janet Kucia in November 1967. 

Harold also worked for Corning Glass Works in the Mon Valley. 

In February 1954 he was injured in "a spectacular automobile crash on Route 88 at Wickenham's Corners about midnight," said the Charleroi Mail. "The speeding automobile overturned and was demolished." He survived his injuries and lived for another 36 years.

He died at the age of 70 on Nov. 4, 1990. He rests for eternity in Calvary Cemetery in Charleroi.


~ Daughter Pauline (Younkin) Bartack (or "Bartock") ~

Daughter Pauline Younkin (1923- ? ) was born in 1923 and grew up in Charleroi.

She married (?) Bartack or Bartock ( ? - ? ). 

They resided in Buffalo, NY. 

Nothing more about the couple is known.


~ More ~

[Note -- Click here for the Younkin DNA study webpage.]

This biography originated with Mark A. Miner's article, "Charleroi Charley's Prolific Pen," published in the 1994 edition of the "new" Younkin Family News Bulletin.


Copyright 1994, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018 Mark A. Miner