David Younkin (1814-1901) was born on June 5, 1814 in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of Henry and Elizabeth "Betsy" (Weimer) Younkin.
As a young man, in addition to farming, he learned the trade of shoemaking, and "by giving close attention to these two lines of work was enabled to provide his family with a comfortable home," said the 1906 book History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties.
When David was about age 19 or 20, in about 1833, he was baptized by Chauncey Forward, a Pittsburgh-trained lawyer, former congressman and leader of a movement to establish a Church of Christ in Somerset County. David highly admired Forward, and must have much lamented the man's untimely death a few years later in October 1839. Many decades later, David wrote a tribute which was published in The Disciple, A Monthly Magazine of Christian Literature, Vol. IV (July-Dec. 1886). The paragraph reads:
David Younkin, now of Glade and formerly of the Ridge, whom Forward immersed over fifth-three years ago, writes: "That good man, had he lived, I have no doubt, would have revolutionized this whole country."
On April 9, 1837, the 23-year-old David married 22-year-old Maria Sophia Culver (1815-1889), daughter of Elijah and Nancy (Scott) Culver of Stoystown, Somerset County, and granddaughter of Revolutionary War veteran Mathias Scott.
They lived on a large farm near New Centerville, Somerset County.
The couple produced a large family of nine children, among them Lucina "Cine" Younkin, Ann Elizabeth Elder, Victoria Augusta Evans, Elias Polk Younkin, Louisa Hill McNeill, Josephine Curotte, Fremont C. Younkin, Benton Younkin and J. Allen Younkin.
Sadly, their son Allen died at the age of only a few months, in about 1830, and was buried at the Lutheran Church graveyard in New Centerville.
The Younkins resided in a log house behind where David eventually built a large barn -- the barn was still standing in the 1990s. The white farmhouse nearby was constructed by their son Fremont.
In the winter of 1872, David and presumably Maria were among a group of 23 worshippers with the Church of Christ who banded together to form a congregation, some previously having been members at the Turkeyfoot Church (near Kingwood), Trent and New Centerville. The leader of this new movement was Edward Bevins and M.L. Streator, with David named an elder along with Aaron Boucher and William Flick. Reported Peter Vogel in an article in The Disciple entitled "Tale of a Pioneer Church," chapter XVI (February 1887):
In September, 1874, they purchased the old Methodist chapel, 28 x 40, and now worth about $400. Part of the purchase money came from the sale of the Turkey Foot house. The cause moved on slowly, for the church only met for transient preaching by Bevins, E.L. Allen, James Darsie, David Husband and J.B. Pyatt. No regular meetings were held till the first of March, 1877, when Bros. S. Teagarden and Hiram A. Hartzell held a protracted meeting of eleven days with eighteen baptisms. On the seventh of the following July, reorganization, rather than a permanent organization, was effected by choosing Aaron Schrock and H.B. Barnes as elders, and William Flick, Aaron Boucher and David Younkin as deacons. Thenceforward they met regularly for the breaking of bread and prayers. Teagarden preached again for them in August, and held another protracted meeting in October, 1877, with fifteen accessions, and Bittle preached for the monthly for half a year.
Sadly, Maria died at the age of 78 on Sept. 30, 1889.
David survived his wife by a dozen years. In his final years, he was cared for by his daughter Lucina Kelly. He passed away at the age of 86 years, 11 months and six days on May 11, 1901. Burial was in the Messiah Lutheran Church Cemetery in New Centerville. Rev. F.M. Biddle officiated, and Rev. H.W. Conner read texts from Corinthians 15.
Son Fremont lived on the farm after David's death, and eventually transferred the property to his daughter and son in law, Emma and John Tedrow.
~ Daughter Lucina "Cine" Younkin ~
Daughter Lucina Younkin (1838-1919) was born on April 7 or 9, 1838 in Milford Township. She went by the nickname of "Cine" (pronounced "sign") which led some to think her name actually was "Cynthia."
She never married but is thought to have produced two children.
The photograph of her seen here is from a carte de visite, a type of image mounted on thin cardboard backing, a type of portraiture which was popular during the Civil War era.
Her first child allegedly was with Anthony Joseph Curotte, who did not marry her but cruelly later wedded Lucina's sister Josephine. The daughter's name was Mary Curotte. This story was related to researcher Donna (Younkin) Logan by one of Lucina's grand-nieces, Blanche (Tedrow) Bowman Purbaugh.
The child appears to have been taken in by Lucina's sister Josephine, as they were under the same roof when the federal census was taken in 1880. Later that year, the little girl died at age five on Aug. 28, 1880 and is buried in the Younkin plot in the Lutheran Cemetery in New Centerville.
Circa 1880, the 32-year-old Lucina resided with her parents in Milford Township and earned a living as a teacher.
As of 1899, Lucina was unmarried. She cared for her aged father in his latter years, and upon his death in 1901 she was referred to in a printed paper as "Mrs. Lucina Younkin Kelly."
Family notes compiled by a grand-nephew in the 1930s suggest that she might have been married to or produced a child with (?) Farling and /or Barney Kelley.
Suffering from chronic kidney disease, known as interstitial nephritis, she died in New Centerville on Oct. 7, 1919 at the age of 81. Burial was in the Lutheran Cemetery in New Centerville, under her maiden name. F.J. Younkin of Rockwood provided details about her for the official Pennsylvania death certificate, spelling her name "Cynthia."
~ Daughter Ann Elizabeth (Younkin) Elder ~
Daughter Ann Elizabeth Younkin (1840-1900) was born on June 9, 1840 in Milford Township.
On April 2, 1863, in Schellsburg, PA, the 23-year-old Ann was united in marriage with Joseph Warren Elder (1829-1900), a native of Centreville, Cumberland Valley Township. Joseph is said to have been "born in the old fort, generally known as the store house, four miles north of Centreville." As a child, in 1836, he relocated with his father to Buffalo Mills.
They produced two children -- Margaret "Maggie" Elliott and Warren Pendleton Elder.
The Elders made their dwelling in Buffalo Mills, Bedford County, PA. Said a newspaper, "Mr. Elder was an upright citizen, respected by all. though not a member of any church, he was strictly moral and was actuated by Christian principles."
Joseph died in Buffalo Mills on March 30, 1900. His funeral service was officiated by Rev. G.W. Stroup and Rev. W.A. Lepley, with burial in a family cemetery on the home farm.
Ann only lived for another three weeks, and joined him in death on April 20, 1900.
Daughter Margaret "Maggie" Elder (1864-1953) was born on Jan. 11, 1864 in Buffalo Mills. She married William Henry Elliott ( ? - ? ). They lived in Kearney, NE in 1891; Yuma, AZ in 1900; and later in Berkeley, CA. Their two children were Lucille Elliott and Maurine Elliott James. Margaret died in Berkeley on April 1, 1953. Burial was in Los Angeles. William spent his final years in Whittier, CA, where he succumbed on Feb. 28, 1917.
Son Warren Pendleton Elder ( ? - ? ) married Clara B. ( ? - ? ). In 1900, their home was in Columbus, Franklin County, OH.
~ Daughter Victoria Augusta "Gusta" (Younkin) Evans ~
Daughter Victoria Augusta "Gusta" Younkin (1842-1935) was born on March 4, 1842 in Milford Township.
She was not christened and did not join church until she was age 24 years of age, with Elder Bevins performing the ritual.
On Sept. 26, 1866, in Berlin, Somerset County, when she was 24 years of age, Augusta was united in marriage with 25-year-old Alfred Evans (1841-1899), son of Aaron and Elizabeth Evans of neighboring Bedford County.
They initially esided in Cassville, Huntingdon County, PA at the birth of their eldest daughter Mary in 1870. In time, however, the family relocated back to Rockwood, Somerset County at a time when it was known as "Mineral Point." Alfred is said to have operated a lumber mill initially and later to have been a teacher, surveyor and justice of the peace.
The couple produced two known daughters -- Mary Alberta "Blanche" Berkebile and Emma Gertrude Evans.
The federal census of 1880 shows the Evanses living next door to Augusta's parents in Milford Township, with Alfred working as a carpenter.
Alfred once purchased an oil painting of early Rockwood that had been created in 1875, reputedly by an itinerant French stonecutter, commissioned by Mrs. J.D. Miller. The artwork depicts the town as seen from a hill across the Casselman River. It later was inherited by the Evanses' daughter Emma, and upon her death, it posthumously was donated to the Rockwood Women's Club in her name by Marion Musser, in care of Helen Wolf.
Confined to his bed due to "a complication of diseases," reported the Somerset Herald, Alfred passed away in their home at the age of 58 on Nov. 1, 1899, with burial in the Lutheran Church cemetery in New Centerville. In an obituary, the Herald said: "Deceased was a native of Bedford county, but removed to this county about 1871, since when he had been a resident of Rockwood.... Deceased served as Justice of the Peace of Rockwood for a long term of years. He was a man of great force of character and a high order of ability and enjoyed the confidence and respect of all who knew him."
Augusta survived him by 36 years. She was one of 24 charter members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), organized in Rockwood on Oct. 4, 1904, and opposed to the sale of beer and spirits.
Suffering from chronic "glomerular nephritis" -- kidney inflammation -- she died just two weeks shy of her 94th birthday on Feb. 21, 1935, in Rockwood.
Augusta and Alfred both are named in the commemorative booklet, Rockwood Centennial: 1857-1957. Their oil painting of Rockwood was donated once more, this time to the Rockwood Area Historical Society where it was preserved circa 2020.
Daughter Mary Alberta "Blanche" Evans (1869-1947) was born on Jan. 19, 1869 in Cassville, Huntington County but within a year relocated with her parents to Milford Township, Somerset County. She was a graduate of the Indiana State Normal School and taught school for several years from about 1887 until the mid-1890s. She is named in the commemorative booklet, Rockwood Centennial: 1857-1957, which stated that in 1887, she attended a normal school in Rockwood, with principal C.F. Livengood and intermediate J.C.F. Miller, and that her salary was $15 per month for seven months out of the year. Blanche and her sister Emma launched a millinery shop in about 1894 in Rockwood. The business was located in a building which later was torn down and replaced by the Kerrigan Building. Two years later, in 1896, when Blanche was age 27, she and her sister began to operate the Central Telephone Company office in Rockwood. Said the Rockwood Centennial: "People rang the central office and were connected with whoever they wished to talk with. There was no charge in those days for talking over time." In 1911, at the age of 42, she married Harry Fernanda Berkebile (1870-1955). They had one known son, Albert C. "Turk" Berkebile, who was adopted. Blanche also loved flowers and outdoor life. They made their home at 534 West Broadway in Rockwood. Burdened with cardiovascular and kidney disease, and then felled by a cerebral hemorrhage, she died at home on May 17, 1947 at the age of 78. Harry joined her in eternity eight years later on April 17, 1955.
Daughter Emma Gertrude Evans (1873-1965) was born on Sept. 18, 1873 in Rockwood, Somerset County. She never married. Independent-minded, she owned and operated a millinery store in Rockwood for almost four decades, from about 1894 until the Great Depression year of 1933. The business specialized in fashionable hats for both women and children. In the working process, Emma is said to have formed the shape of the hats, with her sister Blanche providing decoration. The two sisters also jointly managed the Central Telephone Company in Rockwood starting in 1896. The phone company was located in a building which later was torn down and replaced by the Kerrigan Building. Emma and Blanche were close with their cousins Annie Younkin and Henry Clay Younkin and often visited together. In August 1927, following the death of her aunt Louisa Irene (Younkin) McNeill in Iowa, Emma helped host a gathering of their family in a homecoming in Rockwood. Among the guests were Edwin McNeill, Earle McNeill and children Park and Jane, Barbara Clark and Mary Clark. Emma was a charter member of the Rockwood Woman's Club, often hosting meetings at her home. She also belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution, Forbes Road Chapter, with other members including Mrs. Albert Berkebile, Mrs. C.S. Bullions, Mrs. Harold Sanner, Mrs. Leon Romesberg, Mrs. Percy Walters, Mrs. C.T. Saylor, Elizabeth Speicher and Mrs. George Hay. Among the DAR chapter activities was an annual luncheon in the Ferner Hotel in Somerset to celebrate George Washington's birthday. Emma also once authored a paper on "Patriotic Molly Pitcher," a work of authorship which has not yet been located. She is named in the commemorative booklet, Rockwood Centennial: 1857-1957. Socially active, Emma's name was often printed in the gossip columns of the Meyersdale Republican. Toward the end of her life, Emma was admitted as a resident of the Somerset County Home for the Aged in Berlin. In February 1965, her friends from the Women's Club made a donation to the Home in her honor to help support the purchase of an organ. She died in Rockwood on May 7, 1965, with her remains placed into eternal repose in the family's ancient burying ground, the New Centerville Union Cemetery.
~ Son Elias Polk Younkin ~
Son Elias Polk Younkin (1845-1913) was born on Oct. 2, 1845 near New Lexington, Milford Township. He was named for the President of the United States, James K. Polk, who had been in office for seven months at the time of the birth.
On March 4, 1868, when he was 22 years of age, Elias married 20-year-old Emily Jane "Emma" Horner (1848-1934), daughter of William M. and Catherine (Miller) Horner. Rev. C.G. Lint officiated.
They produced 11 children -- Maggie Albertha Younkin, Annie Catharine Fernsner, William Arthur Younkin, David Franklin Younkin, Milton R. Younkin, Albert Younkin, Roy Elias Younkin, Alfred "Earl" Younkin, Henry Clay Younkin, George Harrison Younkin and Charles Horner Younkin, all born in Meyersdale.
The family was plunged into grief over the years when they lost five of their children to untimely deaths over the span of 42 years. The first was daughter Maggie, who died in infancy due to membranous croup on Dec. 14, 1870 -- followed by son Milton who was stricken with typhoid fever and passed at age 12 on Oct. 9, 1888 -- son Albert who succumbed of typhoid fever as he neared his second birthday on May 12, 1880 -- son Earl who contracted diphtheria and passed nearing his second birthday on Nov. 5, 1888 -- and finally son George died at age 20 on Jan. 27, 1912 (further below).
Elias and Franklin Enos are said to have operated the first general store in Garrett, a coal mining community in Somerset County. The store sold supplies to the workers employed in constructing the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Said a newspaper, "With the completion of the railroad in 1871, Mr. Younkin's store business fell off owing to the removal of the railroad laborers."
For some years, they lived on a farm inherited from Emma's father near Salisbury Junction, where Elias was a farmer and brick maker. There were no buildings on the land when they came to own it, but he built a house and barn, and resided there for about a decade. Circa 1883, he owned 45 acres assessed at a value of $1,060.
He later sold this farm and moved to Rockwood to operate a lumber business. After a short time, Elias purchased a portion of a homestead owned by Daniel Beachly, bordering along Thomas Street, along the south bank of Flaugherty Creek and the east bank of the Casselman River.
Emma was a member of the Church of the Brethren and was a charter member of the congregation on Main Street. She was a member of the Ladies' Bible Class and Women's Missionary Society.
While living in the Beachly house, Elias continued to work at farming, brickmaking and draying at a smaller scale until retirement. Yet, after the family had removed some old wallpaper, several of the children became deathly ill from typhoid fever, with two dying and others sick for a long time. They suspected that germs released by the removal had cause the epidemic.
Stricken with intestinal cancer, Elias suffered for six months and then underwent a deadly infection caused by perforations in his bowels, called peritonitis. Reported a newspaper: "When his condition became alarming all of his absent children were sent for and all were with him when the end came. The last to reach his bedside was his son, Roy, of Wheeling, W.Va., who arrived Saturday evening when his father was still conscious and able to recognize him. He was a member of the Brethren church and died at peace with the world and his Maker." He passed in Meyersdale at 7:45 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1913, at the age of 68, with burial in the Union Cemetery in Meyersdale. Rev. H.L. Goughnour led the funeral service, which was attended by all of Elias' siblings with the exception of his sister Josephine in Canada and sister Louisa in Iowa.
Emma survived as a widow for 21 years. She maintained her diary which she had kept almost her entire life.
Circa 1930-1931, she was the oldest living member of the American Legion Auxiliary, and was the recipient of a surprise birthday party at the home of her friend Mrs. J.J. Reynolds. Reported a newspaper, "The evening was spent in pleasant conversation and singing, in which the aged guest joined as heartily and with as much gusto as any of those present, and was correspondingly active in all of the other numbers on the evening's program. Round after round of laughter and jollity were provoked when Mrs. Reynolds dug up the old family album and miscellaneous assortment of photographs taken in the dim and musty past."
As she declined toward death, her children were notified and as many came to her bedside as possible. Only her son Charles, coming from Washington, DC, arrived too late as she had lapsed into a coma. Said the newspaper, "Her mind was clear and she was able to converse with relatives and friends until her last day. She peacefully fell asleep on the eve of the Resurrection morn. She had lived always in the hope of everlasting life in the place prepared for her by her Savior." Death occurred on March 31, 1934.
In November 1966, some five-plus decades after Elias' death, he was named in a Laurel Messenger newsletter article entitled "Capsule Chronicle of Garrett Boro."
Daughter Annie Catharine Younkin (1871-1948) was born on March 8, 1871 on the family farm near Salisbury Junction. On Aug. 3, 1914, at the home of her parents, the 43-year-old Anna was wedded to 46-year-old Charles Winter Fernsner (1868- ? ), a native of four Locks, Washington County, MD, and the son of German immigrant Louis Fernsner who was a well known boat and canal man in Cumberland, MD. He had been widowed two years before, with his first wife Cora E. (Berkeley) Fernsner, and brought three children to the marriage -- Berkeley Fernsner, Evelyn Fernsner and Beatrice Fernsner. How they met is unknown, but as Charles' first wife died in the District of Columbia but was buried in Meyersdale, it's a good possibility that they had known each other before. In 1920, the Fernsners dwelled in Washington, DC on B Street SE, where Charles was employed as a "safety engineer." The family occasionally returned to Meyersdale to visit with Anna's widowed mother, including in August 1930 as reported in the gossip columns of the Cumberland (MD) Evening Times and the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier. They came again in June 1939 and March 1942. Anna and her stepdaughter are known to have traveled to attend the 1936 Younkin National Home-coming Reunion in August 1936, with their names printed in the Daily Courier. By 1940, Charles had retired, and they maintained their home on B Street. Charles and Annie died two days apart in the District of Columbia -- he on July 26, 1948 and she on July 28, 1948 at the age of 77. Their remains were transported back to Somerset County for interment in Union Cemetery in Meyersdale. [Find-a-Grave] This family is described in some detail in Fernsner Family History: Including the Memories of Dick Ebersole, Helen Jayne Fernsner Sterling and John Sterling, written in January 2015 by William Bauman, a volunteer with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Association.
Son William Arthur Younkin (1872-1916) was born on Nov. 20, 1872 on the family farm near Salisbury Junction. At the age of 24, on June 19, 1897, he was united in wedlock with Julia Elizabeth Hibner ( ? - ? ), daughter of George J. Hibner. They never had any children. Circa 1913, they made their home in Williams, PA, where he spent 16 years as manager manager of the Savage Fire Brick Company Store. He left the fire brick business in about 1914 and came back to Meyersdale to join his brother Henry in the South Side Grocery known as "Younkin Bros." He was said to be "a man of excellent character and frank genial disposition, being well liked by all who knew him. He was a faithful member of the Brethren church." When in about 1915 he began suffering from a strangulated hernia, William underwent surgery at Allegany Hospital in Cumberland, MD. He recovered and returned to work. Nine months later, suffering from heart problems, he returned to the hospital for treatment, but could not rally. In between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., he succumbed on July 26, 1916, at the age of 43. In looking back, a local newspaper suggested that "He probably returned to work too soon, or worked too hard, for he began to fail again this summer and on Sunday, July 16th, he was again taken to the hospital, where his condition failed to respond to treatment.... [He died] in spite of all that medical science or surgical skill could do to save or prolong his life. Heart trouble and adhesions of the bowels were among his chief ailments." Rev. J.C. Matteson of the Methodist Episcopal Church led the funeral service in the Younkin home, substituting for the family's pastor Rev. H.L. Goughnour, who was away. Elizabeth served as the administratrix of the estate.
Son David Franklin Younkin (1874-1941) was born on April 28, 1874 in Meyersdale. As a young man, he joined the Church of the Brethren. He married Margaretta "Margaret" Krissinger (1879-1935), daughter of George W. and Mary (King) Krissinger of Berlin, Somerset County. Their wedding took place four days before Christmas 1901 in Maryland, possibly in Cumberland, Allegany County. The Younkins had three sons -- Frank William Younkin, John Ronald Younkin and Charles Emmet Younkin. He was a longtime employee of Lorain Steel, which he joined in 1905, and for its successor, Carnegie Illinois Steel, working for the company for 35 years. He joined the company as a draftsman in 1905 and became a foreman on the layout floor, retiring in April 1940.
David is known to have attended the 1933 Harbaugh Reunion held at Cramer's Grove, New Centerville, Somerset County, where he met distant cousins Charles Arthur Younkin and Edith Lichliter of the family of John C. and Susan (Younkin) Lichliter, who also shared an interest in their ancient Somerset County roots. At that reunion, cousin Edith told David that their mutual great-grandfather Henry Younkin was a heavy drinker and did not always live with his wife -- that she resided with her daughter in a small brick house near Paddytown -- and that Henry was buried in some small country churchyard near Scullton, Kingwood or New Lexington. Fascinated by these stories, David typed his notes into a broader collection of stories about early Younkins on yellow, legal-size paper. He drew upon content from the 1884 Waterman & Watkins History of Somerset County, and the J.H. Beers & Co.'s 1913 History of Indiana County, Pennsylvania and Monongahela of Old, among other published books. At some point, David asked cousin Edith to review his notes, and she made corrections and comments in pencil in the margins. Within a year, David and his son Frank supported the formation of the Younkin National Home-coming Reunion in 1934 and publication a few years later of a related family newspaper, the Younkin Family News Bulletin. David was in a voluminous correspondence for years with the reunion founder and newspaper editor, Charles Arthur Younkin of Charleroi, PA. David and Frank attended the Younkin reunions, held at the IOOF Grove in Kingwood, Somerset County, and were part of the planning committee. Their residence in the mid-1930s was at 800 Coleman Avenue, Johnstown. Sadly, stricken at age 56 with cancer of her right breast, Margaret underwent surgery at the hospital in Johnstown. The operation was not successful, and she succumbed three days later on March 23, 1935. Her remains were shipped for burial to Berlin. Now widowed, David sold his large home and moved in with his sons John and Charles in rural Holsopple, eight miles away from the city. At the 1935 Younkin reunion, Margaret was remembered as one of several cousins who had died during the past year.
The enormity of David's talents was spelled out in an article in the Younkin newspaper in 1941:
Only self-trained and yet far more than usually skillful in many of the familiar lines of applied mechanics, David Younkin practiced civil and mining engineering, surveying, brick-making and farming; he also was adept at steam fitting, electric wiring, framing carpentry, cabinet-making and plumbing, having built several houses in their entirety from the ground up. His interest in local geography was on a part with his interest in early history and the Younkin family derivation, and he possessed valuable maps of the greater part of Western Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia, certain good portions of which he had at one time or another surveyed or scouted on foot. He was regarded as an authority on Somerset County geography.
David was stricken in the spring of 1941 with an infection of the bile duct, known to physicians as acute suppurative cholangitis. After suffering for 20 days, he succumbed on his 67th birthday on April 28, 1941. His remains were brought back to Somerset County to be placed in to eternal rest in Berlin. Funeral services were conducted by his sons' pastor, Rev. C.W. Raley of the Centennial Evangelical Church. As a tribute, he was pictured on the front page of the next edition of the family newspaper, Volume 3, Numbers 3 and 4, dated June 30, 1941 -- the last one ever published. The obituary noted that "His retiring nature again showed to the fore in his reticence toward joining fraternal and such other organizations; excepting only the Veteran Employees' Association of the steel works by whom he was employed, the Younkin Family Association was the only organization to which he subscribed or in which he was ever interested."
Son Roy Elias Younkin (1884-1988) was born on March 4, 1884 in Rockwood. At the age of 29, on Christmas Eve 1913, he was joined in matrimony with 23-year-old Sally Miller (Dec. 24, 1890-1970), daughter of Hiram and Ida (Klingman) Miller of Meyersdale. Rev. Goughner officiated. The couple produced one son, John Kenneth Younkins. They relocated to Wheeling, Ohio County, WV by 1913 and later by the early 1930s migrated north to Erie, Erie County, PA. Their home in Erie was 816 West Eighth Street. Sadly, Sally died at the age of 79 on Nov. 2, 1970. Roy lived for another 18 years. At the age of 103, he passed into eternity on Jan. 11, 1988. They are interred in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Erie. Sally and Roy have an entry in the 1938 book Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman, authored by Rev. Harvey Hostetler (Gospel Book Store, Berlin, OH).
Son Henry Clay Younkin (1888-1982) was born on Nov. 18, 1888 in Meyersdale. As with his brother Roy, he waited until reaching his late 20s to marry. On Jan. 8, 1916, at the age of 27, he and 26-year-old Emma P. Christner (1890-1971) eloped to Cumberland, MD. She was the daughter of Norman and Anna (Hoffmeyer) Christner. They went on to have three daughters -- Margaret E. Crisafulli, Emily Jane Whetzel and Helen Louise Cannon. They made their home in Meyersdale, where they operated the South Side Grocery store for 42 years. He also was a member of Meyersdale Borough Council and a charter member of the Meyersdale Grace Brethren Church. Emma was a member of the Amity United Church of Christ and Meyersdale Garden Club. In 1920, Emma's 19-year-old sister Sadie lived under their roof. After retirement in about 1959, Henry continued to raise chickens and sell the eggs. Emma died in Meyersdale at the age of 80 on Jan. 19, 1971. Henry survived his bride by more than a decade. He passed away on Feb. 9, 1982, at the remarkable age of 94. Burial was in Union Cemetery in Meyersdale, following a funeral service preached by Rev. Lloyd Sechriest, who was assisted by Rev. Robert Burns.
Son George Harrison Younkin (1890-1912) was born on March 17, 1890 (or 1891) in Meyersdale. In young manhood, in Meyersdale, he earned a living as a laborer and did not marry. During the depths of the winter of 1912, he contracted a case of pneumonia and could not recover. He died less than two months before his 21st birthday on Jan. 27, 1912. Burial was in the Younkin family plot in Meyersdale's Union Cemetery, and George's brother Roy was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Son Charles Horner Younkin (1893-1986) was born on Sept. 19, 1893 in Meyersdale. He received his christening at the age of 14 on Nov. 23, 1907. At the age of 30, on June 19, 1924, he married 20-year-old Magdalena E. Bolden (1904-1988), daughter of Frank and Anna (Wilhelm) Bolden Sr., with the ceremony held in Cumberland, MD. The bride was a decade younger than the groom. Their two children were Charlotte Anderson and Ailene Lantz. In early life, he and Harry A Baldwin were partners in a toggery shop in Somerset County. There, he was a charter member of the Meyersdale Rotary Club and a member of the Masons lodge and American Legion post. In the late 1920s, he obtained a government position in Washington, DC. Reported a newspaper:
After about six months in the capital city, he was sent to Philadelphia where he worked for five years with the now defunct Merchant Fleet Corp. He worked for the same agency in Washington another five years and then in 1938 was sent to Norfolk to handle maritime finances. There was disbursing officer for the U.S. Treasury, paying out all Army Base payments and he collected and paid all monies for operation of Southgate-Nelson SS Co., agents for maritime. His next assignments transferred him to Washington, Baltimore and New York. In the meantime he made his permanent home in Hyattsville, Md., and "commuted" to his later assignments. From 1947 to his retirement from duty, Oct. 17, 1952, his work was in connection with the liquidation of the war shipping agents accounts... [He] had the unusual opportunity to get his own job abolished; having worked with the War Shipping liquidation administration in closing out the last 200 or more war shipping agents accounts.... After his permanent return to Hyattsville last month Mr. Younkin commenced working at the Suburban Trust Company of Hyattsville, where he has been put in charge of the comptroller department and general ledger accounts and will at times make periodic examinations at the 12 branch offices of the trust company.
Charles passed away first, in Brooklyn Park, MD at the age of 93, on Nov. 7, 1986. Magdalena outlived him by two years and died on Feb. 28, 1988, at the age of 83. Their remains were brought back to Meyersdale to repose in Union Cemetery. Rev. Ronald Warrick officiated at both of their funeral services.
~ Daughter Louisa Irene (Younkin) McNeill ~
Daughter Louisa Irene Younkin (1847-1925) was born on Oct. 2, 1847 in Milford Township. She and her husband were pioneers of Iowa.
At the age of 20, on May 5, 1868, she was united in the bonds of wedlock with 26-year-old Edwin Ruthven McNeill (1842-1907), the son of Irish immigrant Laughlin McNeill and his Somerset County-born wife Sarah "Sally" McClintock of Lower Turkeyfoot Township. The ceremony was held in the home of Louisa's parents.
The Younkin and McNeill families were close. Louise's aunt Anna Maria Younkin married Edwin's brother Neal McNeill, and Louise's Younkin cousin Frederick Dumbauld -- son of Elizabeth (Dull) Dumbauld -- married Edwin's sister Jane McNeill and became pioneer settlers of Kansas.
After graduating from country schools in 1860, at the age of 18, Edwin had sought his fortune wandering through the western United States, with stops in Idaho and Montana, trying his hand at mining. He also examined western Iowa and was attracted by the farm land of the community of Onawa which was then developing. Said the Somerset Democrat, "After suffering the ups and downs of a miner's life for some years, he managed to accumulate a few thousand dollars and decided to return to his old home in Pennsylvania..." As he and Louisa began to plan for their marriage, they made the decision to go west right away.
They went on to produce the following 11 children, all sons except for one -- A. Earl McNeill, Culver Ruthven McNeill, Benton McNeill, Orthello McNeill, David McNeill, Orville L. McNeill, Neal E. McNeill, Edwin R. McNeill, Maude McNeill, James McNeill and an unnamed infant.
Two months into wedded life, on July 1, 1868, the McNeills left the familiar bounds of Somerset County and migrated to Iowa, settling in Ashton Township near the town of Onawa in Monona County. Reported the Onawa Democrat: "Mr. and Mrs. McNeill made the trip from Pennsylvania with a team, coming part of the way by boat down the Ohio River and then up the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, which at that time was named Canesville, and then drove from Council Bluffs to Onawa. They lived for a short time in the old Belknap home which is still standing, and in the Fall of 1868 purchased their farm in Ashton Township and moved on the same in the spring of 1869, and resided there" for the rest of their lives.
Their farm was in Section 20, Township 84, Range 44, and consisted of 240 acres of land. Edwin added to the acreage from time to time which became a total of 480 acres, of which 210 were cultivated, 80 seeded to timothy and the rest in meadow. The farm was "a fine body of fertile land under thorough cultivation," said the Somerset Democrat. "The farm is situated half way between the towns of Whiting and Onawa on the main road and is one of the land marks of the township. In addition to farming extensively, Mr. McNeill has been engaged largely in feeding hogs and cattle and has been very successful in that line."
Edwin's brother James and Neal also made the migration to Ashton Township and also became prosperous farmers, with James raising horses and cattle, among them high grade Durham short-horns.
In 1880, to handle the needs of the growing farm, Edwin employed two laborers in their early 20s, Frank hardy and Nelson McGregor.
Having been first visited in 1804 as a stop by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Onawa was founded in 1857. It sits on the westernmost edge of Iowa, near the Missouri River marking the border with Nebraska. The town grew to feature a main thoroughfare 150 feet in width, known as the widest main street in the United States.
The McNeills were charter members of the Onawa Christian Church. Tragically, they suffered the deaths of their adult sons Culver, Benton and Orthello, reported the Somerset Democrat, "a sad blow to the family from which they have never fully recovered." After the father's death, another son died an untimely death in World War I.
Louisa was considered an exemplary mother as evidenced by this tribute written after her death:
The strong motherly love of this pioneer woman made a model home for her children, a home to which they have always clung, and to which after making homes for themselves, they have always been glad to return. The minds and hearts of the McNeill sons and daughters will always be full of the seeds of truth and love which fell from her hand along the years of their family life. These they never can lose. Ho hand of death can root these out of their lives. They have grown and will continue to grow into the very texture of their character. The threads of mother McNeill's beautiful Christian life are woven into the very fabric of the lives of her children. Hers was a life of noble service, filled with self sacrifice, and self denials; she was always thinking of others, cheery and happy in her disposition, holding nothing but kindness and love for all.
In 1890, Edwin and his brothers James and Neal all were profiled on separate pages in the book History of Monona County, Iowa, published in Chicago by National Publishing Company. Edwin's profile mentions his wife's maiden name of "Younkin."
The 65-year-old Edwin traveled back to his home region of Somerset County in the fall of 1907. While visiting in the town of Salisbury, on Oct. 15, 1907, he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died suddenly before a physician could arrive. His passing terminated their marriage of 39 years. His obituary was printed in the Onawa Sentinel and in the Somerset Democrat, saying that he "was one of the pioneers of Ashland township and Monona county, and was one of the best known men in the western part of Monona county." His remains were returned to Iowa for burial in the Onawa Cemetery, with the six surviving sons serving as pallbearers, and an astonishing 120 teams counted in the funeral procession going to the cemetery. L.C. Boyer of Elk Lick signed the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Edwin was eulogized as:
...a good citizen in every sense of the word. Kind, genial and loving, he made and retained friends, and his presence will be sadly missed. He had always been prominent in all township affairs and took deep interest in the school local matters. The death of Ed. McNeill is a direct loss, not only to his immediate family but to the township where he lived, and the County of Monona, where for almost 40 years he had been known as one of its most upright, honorable and respected citizens. He leaves a large and valuable estate.
After Edwin's death, a legal claim was brought forward by a 40-year-old woman named Etta Belle McNeill, stating that she also was his daughter, born out of wedlock four decades earlier, and was "generally and notoriously recognized by him as such." Thus, she said she should be eligible to receive a share of his sizeable estate of 640 acres. The case was filed against Louisa as the widow and was known as Etta Belle McNeill vs. Louisa I. McNeill. In her complaint, Etta Belle stated that her mother was Adeline McClintock -- a cousin of Edwin's -- and that the girl had been born at the home of Edwin's brother James McNeill in Lower Turkeyfoot Township on Feb. 4, 1868. The judge summarizing the case noted that "While Adeline and Edwin were cousins, the record shows that the families were not of the same set or class; her father and some of her brothers are shown to have been rough, drinking, fighting people." Edwin's cousin Jane Tressler testified that Adeline was verbally abuse to the daughter, cursing at her and calling her "a damned little black McNeill." Adeline also was quoted as saying "She was going to make it hot for the son of a bitch" Edwin and allegedly filed a case against him with justice of the peace Aleck Hanna of Harnedsville. When Etta Belle was age eight, she and her mother migrated to Iowa and made their home with unmarried uncle Marcellus McClintock, near the town of LeMars. She remained there for more than three decades, within 50 or 60 miles of the McNeill home in Onawa, and for about a year boarded in the home of Edwin's brother Neal. In prosecuting the case, the woman brought forth 16 witnesses to testify on her behalf, while Louisa gathered 61 witnesses in defense.
Among the witnesses for the defense observed that Adeline:
...was a woman of loose morals and bad character prior to the birth of the plaintiff. Some of the witnesses say she was good looking and sporty. There is evidence tending to show that it was common report that she was maintaining illicit relations with different young men of the neighborhood, and also with her own father; that plaintiff was a home child. It is shown tat at about that time Edwin kept a horse and buggy, or sleigh, and went with the girls, and, while some of them say he was inclined to be sporty, they testify that he was a young man of good character. There is no word from any witness that he ever kept company with or waited upon Adeline, the mother of plaintiff. Adeline was married, after plaintiff was born, to one Barron or Barnes; some of the witnesses say his name was Barron, and others say Barnes. She died in 1897. All of her brothers had moved to Northwestern Iowa prior to her coming, and her father and mother had died several years before. The brothers lived in Monona, Plymouth and Lyn counties.
Edwin's brother James testified that after the baby's birth, Edwin came to his home to inquire how Adeline was doing, and that he visited every weekend to see mother and daughter and "said he would like to have the girl at home." James said it was "general talk in the community at that time that deceased was the father." Before departing for Iowa, Edwin allegedly paid $300 in notes to his brother as a settlement, and later fulfilled the obligation. After James too came to Iowa in 1872, he worked for Edwin and recalled that they talked about the girl. Circa September 1895, when James was residing in Plymouth County, IA, Edwin came to his home to see the girl for the first time. Among those providing testimony were B.F. Clevenger, Jane Tressler, Andrew McClintock, Marcellus McClintock, Chauncey McClintock, Maggie McClintock, M.V.B. McClintock, Stephen McClintock, Jonas McClintock, Abi Smith, Jonas Romesburg, C.H. Ankney and Adeline Hochstetler. It came to light during the legal proceedings that Edwin held a bitter grudge against his brother, and that the brother might have been seeking a type of revenge by pursuing the claim. The Supreme Court of Iowa affirmed a lower court's ruling that Etta Belle had not adequately proven her case for purposes of an inheritance. The decision was handed down Sept. 30, 1914 (No. 29520) and was reported in The Northwest Reporter, with the summary spanning more than nine pages of small type print.
Louisa survived her husband by 18 years and endured the ordeal and humiliation brought by the high profile lawsuit. She joined Edwin in eternity on Oct. 29, 1925 in Onawa, just a few weeks after celebrating her 78th birthday. Funeral services were held in her home, conducted by Rev. G.H. Croker and Rev. H.W. Talley. A male quartet including Rev. Talley, Rev. Roseland, attorney Miller and Oliver Woods sang hymns accompanied by Nina Myers Brown on the piano. American Legion pallbearers included Warren Parks, Henry Kreger, Vern Davis, Dr. Nord, George Prichard and Wayne Ropes. Serving as honorary pallbearers were Park Holbrook, J.R. Murphy, D.S. Lorenson, W.C. Whiting, H.E. Evans and William Brenneman. The women's auxiliary of the Legion post directed the music and arranged flowers.
An obituary was published in the Onawa Democrat which was reprinted in the Somerset newspaper. Burial was in Onawa City Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Son Orthello David McNeill (1869-1906) was born on Nov. 24, 1869 in Ashton Township, the first of the family of children, all born in Iowa after their parents' migration from southwestern Pennsylvania. Orthello apparently did not marry. At the age of 30, in 1900, he resided on his parents' farm in Ashton Township and worked as a farm laborer. He died in on Jan. 28, 1906 at the age of 36. Burial was in Onawa City Cemetery.
Son Orville Laughlin McNeill (1871- ? ) was born in January 1871 in Ashton Township. He grew upon his parents' farm, and he made a living as a farmer. On June 18, 1918, at the age of 48, Orville was married to 50-year-old Ella Amanda Mason ( ? - ? ), daughter of Ezra George and Laura A. (Anzell) Mason. Circa 1925, he was county supervisor of Monona County, IA and was named in his mother's newspaper obituary in the Onawa Democrat. By 1927, he had been elected chairman. The federal census enumeration of 1930 shows him as "married" at age 59 but with no wife in the household -- otherwise occupied by his unmarried sister Maud and married brothers James and Earl and their families.
Son Culver Ruthven McNeill (1873-1898) was born on June 5, 1873 in Ashton Township near Onawa. He graduated from Onawa High School in 1893 and then attended the Metropolitan Business College in Chicago, completing his studies there in two years. He then obtained employment with a prominent milling company in Gilham, AR. At the age of 25, in otherwise good health, he was in Gilham but became deathly ill with what newspapers called "remittent fever and congestion of the brain. Word was telegraphed to his brother Neil in Des Moines that he was dying. Before the brother could begin a trip to Arkansas, Culver had died, on Aug. 20, 1898. The brother telegraphed the news to his parents and then immediately returned home to Iowa. The body was shipped to Onawa where a funeral service was held in the Onawa Christian Church, led by Rev. A.J. Marshall and Rev Adkins. Pallbearers included Page Morrison, Ed Holbrook, Evans Holbrook, David Oliver, Harry Whittier and Ora Balknap. A male quartet sang hymns. In an obituary, a local newspaper reported:
Culver was one of the most prominent young men of this community; being studious and industrious he commanded the respect of every one and was beloved by his associates, a favorite at home and at school, displaying those manly qualities which any parents could be proud of. he left a parental roof to blaze for himself a place in the activity of the business world. The sorrowing parents and family have the deep sympathy of all in their bereavement.
Son Neal E. McNeill Sr. (1876-1958) was born in about 1876 near Onawa. He received his college education at Drake University in Des Moines, IA in 1899, and first established a law practice in Spokane, WA. After five years in Washington State, he relocated to Jennings in what then was Indian Territory in Oklahoma. When Oklahoma became a state, he was elected as Pawnee County Attorney and later rose to become Pawnee County Judge. In 1917, his career progressed again when named Tulsa District Judge and, in 1919, was elevated to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. After six years on the top court bench, he moved to Tulsa and began a private law practice in 1925. Neal was wedded to Mary ( ? - ? ). Their children were Neal E. McNeill Jr., Mrs. Howard J. Conhaim and Peggy McNeill. They were members of the First Presbyterian Church, and their home address was 1230 East 17th Place. Neal and his son eventually practiced together in a partnership, with offices in the Mid-States Building. Sadly, Neal died in his sleep in September 1958 at the age of 82. Burial was in Rose Hill Mausoleum following funeral services in the family church.
Son Benton McNeill (1877-1899) was born on March 14, 1877 in Ashton Township and appears to have been named for his mother's brother Benton Younkin. Tragedy shook the family when Benton died on Christmas Day 1899 at the age of 21. Burial was in Onawa City Cemetery. Nothing more about his short life is known.
Son Edwin R. McNeill (1880-1962) was born on Jan. 5, 1880 near Onawa. Census records for 1880 show that he was not named for at least four months. At the age of 20, in 1900, he was employed as a school teacher in or near Ashton Township. He received his bachelor's degree from Minnesota University in 1905 and then obtained his law degree from Chicago-Kent College. Circa 1911, evidence suggests that he traveled back to his parents' home region of Somerset County to gather facts which he hoped would disprove the claim that Etta Belle McNeill was his illegitimate half sister. At the age of 23, on Sept. 3, 1913, he married his college sweetheart, Louise Clark ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce. The couple relocated to Oklahoma in 1916, settling in Pawnee County. During World War I, the McNeills "furnished a party and refreshments for each group leaving for the service, sometimes as many as 125 at one time," said a newspaper. "The Red Cross furnished lunch to each to take on the train and Mrs. McNeill was chairman of the Military Relief Committee." Also during the war, he served as chairman of the newly formed Pawnee County Draft Board, and remained active over time when the board's services were needed. From 1923 to 1931, he served two terms as district judge of Pawnee and Tulsa Counties. From there he was elevated to the Supreme Court, serving from 1931 to 1937, including as presiding judge in 1936-1937. He and his brother Neal "had the distinction of having been the only brothers to have served as chief justice of a state's highest court," said the newspaper. While on the state's top court, Edwin handed down a much-modeled ruling which allowed self-liquidating bonds to be used to finance and construct student union and library buildings at Oklahoma State University. As a district judge, he helped establish the Pawnee County Law Library and set in place a policy allowing visitors and out-of-town lawyers to use it for free. At the age of 82, in 1962, Edwin stopped in his office to get some papers one Saturday morning, while Louise waited in the car. He did not come out, and was found dead of a massive heart attack. Burial was in Highland Cemetery in Pawnee following a funeral officiated by Rev. David Arnold at the Poteet Chapel.
Daughter Maud Agnes McNeill (1882-1970) was born on March 6, 1882. She never married. For many years, she lived with her parents on the home farm. After her father's death, she stayed in the dwelling with her mother and single brothers James and Earl circa 1925. The federal census of 1930 shows her in a large Ashton Township household of brothers, sisters in law, nephews and nieces. By 1940, only she and brother Orville lived in the Ashton Township farmhouse, along with hired hand Petre Dobrato, a Romanian immigrant. She died on July 2, 1970, at the age of 88. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in Onawa City Cemetery.
Son James McNeill (1884-1930) was born on July 17, 1884. On Aug. 19, 1908, when he was 24 years of age, he was united in holy wedlock with 30-year-old Cecelia Dundon (1878-1952), who was six years his senior. The ceremony was held in Onawa. Cecelia's parents, Patrick and Mary (Whelan) Dundon, were emigrants from Ireland. The McNeills produced three children -- Harold McNeill, Helen Cecelia Quigley and Raymond McNeill. In 1930, they shared a dwelling-home in Ashton Township with his brother Orville, sister Maud and brother Earl and his wife and children. Sadly, their marriage was short lived. James died on July 15, 1930 at the age of 46. Cecelia was left alone to raise their daughter. She lived as a widow for 22 more years. She passed away at the age of 73 on July 23, 1952, with burial in Onawa City Cemetery.
Son A. Earl McNeill (1886-1949) was born in April 1886 in Ashton Township. On March 8, 1911, he married Amelia A. Hubbard (1890-1974), a native of Cumming County, NE who had come to Iowa in childhood. They made their home on the McNeill farm near Onawa. Their two children were Jane McNeill and Park Hubbard McNeill. In the aftermath of the death of their mother, Earl and his family traveled to their ancestral Rockwood, PA in August 1927 for a family reunion, covered in some detail by the Meyersdale (PA) Republican. In 1930, census records show them living with Earl's sister Maud and brothers Orville and James and James' wife and children. Circa 1945, Earl ran for public office in Monona County as a Democrat, and was profiled in the Official Register of the State of Iowa, Vol. 41. Circa 1936, he served as secretary of the board of directors of the Monona County Rural Electric Cooperative and secured federal funding of $245,000 for rural electrification covering 240 miles. Earl died the day after his 38th wedding anniversary, in Onawa, on March 9, 1949. Amelia survived as a widow for a quarter of a century. She kept herself very active in the community as a member of the United Methodist Church of Onawa, the Ashton Township and Onawa Women's Clubs and the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for offspring of Civil War veterans. A newspaper reported that she "was the first county chairman of the Women' Farm Bureau of Monona County, the current treasurer of the Ashton Township Rural School District, the past Matron of Queen Esther chapter, Order of Eastern Star, second woman to serve as a director of Monona County Rural Electric Cooperative, current chairman of the Monona County Social Welfare Board, current Ashton Township Clerk and former township assessor." Those who knew her well said she was a "good woman, always fair in her decisions and one who was known for her firm stand for that which in her own mind was right." Amelia passed away in Onawa on Jan. 4, 1974. Rev. Everett Epperson preached the funeral sermon, and Gilbert Smith sung "The Lord's Prayer" and "How Great Thou Art," accompanied by Clara Kelley. Pallbearers were Raymond Fouts, Dick Reynolds, Howard Zortman, Louis Stanslav, Charles Persinger, Paul Benjamin, William Reynolds, Gene Zortman and Wayne Parks. Burial was in Onawa Cemetery.
Son David Younkin McNeill (1888-1918) was born in about 1888 in Ashton Township and was named for his maternal grandfather. During World War I, he joined the U.S. Armed Expeditionary Force (AEF). Tragically, on Nov. 11, 1918, the day of the armistice when ended the war, but just a short time before the hostile firing ceased, he lost his life in France. His body was buried in a local cemetery and then in 1921 bought back to the United States with funeral services held in the McNeill home on July 31, 1921. Members of the American Legion conducted the funeral, and in David's memory, their post was named the "David McNeill Post." More will be added here when learned.
~ Daughter Josephine (Younkin) Curotte ~
Daughter Josephine Younkin (1851-1932) was born on March 31, 1851 in Milford Township, Somerset County.
During the 1870s, she was united in marriage with Anthony Phillip (or "Joseph") Curotte ( ? - ? ), a native of Canada.
The couple apparently initially resided in Connellsville.
Their children were Mary Curotte, Anthony James Curotte, Edward Philip Curotte, Emma Curotte, Louise Curotte, William Henry Harrison "Harry" Curotte and Charles Curotte.
Anthony is believed to have produced a daughter out of wedlock with Josephine's elder sister Lucina. Brecause he was Roman Catholic, his inter-relationships with his wife's family must have been tenuous at best. The girl, named Mary, lived not with her mother but with Josephine circa 1880.
The federal census of 1880 shows 29-year-old Josephine and her eldest two children living under the roof of her parents in Milford Township. The census-taker misspelled her name as "Jurot." Anthony's whereabouts at that time are not known, but a guess is that he was in Canada working.
Sometime after 1889, the Curottes migrated to the Province of Quebec, Canada, and resided for many years in Montreal. In the fall of 1919, Josephine may have learned of the death of her sister Lucina back in Somerset County.
Circa October 1911, one of the Curotte sons ("J.B." -- but who was he?) paid a visit to his aunt, Augusta Evans, residing on Main Street in Rockwood. The visit was noted in the gossip column of theConnellsville Daily Courier.
Josephine died in Montreal on Jan. 3, 1932 at the age of 80.
She was named in an article about her grandfather's family in the Younkin Family News Bulletin (Aug. 10, 1939). Years later, their nephew Charles Horner Younkin provided details of their lives to his daughter Charlotte Anderson.
Daughter Mary Curotte (1875-1880) was born in about 1875 in either Somerset or Fayette County. As a young girl, she lived with her mother and grandparents David and Maria Younkin in Milford Township. She is believed to have died young on Aug. 28, 1880. Burial was in what today is the Messiah Lutheran Church Cemetery in New Centerville.
Son Anthony James Curotte (1877-1960) was born on March 18, 1876 near Rockwood. As a small boy in 1880, he lived with his mother and grandparents David and Maria Younkin in Milford Township. He migrated to Canada with his parents sometime after 1889. Anthony married Montreal native Noella Proulx (1878- ? ). Their known daughter was Beatrice C. Curotte. Evidence suggests that he was a grain merchant who annually traveled to Central America on business ventures. Anthony took Noella and Beatrice to New Orleans and on to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica in 1909, sailing on the ship Parismina. Noella and Beatrice returned to Costa Rica in 1911 and declared their final destination upon return as Essex Junction, VT. In August 1913, Anthony traveled to Preston, Cuba, via New York and Kingston, Jamaica, and returned to New York aboard the S.S. Metapan. Again in July 1914, he, Noella and Beatrice are known to have sailed to Havana, Cuba via Boston, and to have returned on the S.S. Sixaola. Upon arrival back in Boston, they stayed at Youngs Hotel. He went to Cuba again in 1917, returning on the Turrialba. He was embroiled in public controversy in the early 1920s when he constructed a sawmill in South Durham, Drummond County, Quebec. The mill was in close proximity to one owned by a competitor, Joseph Collard, and it allowed Anthony to secure a contract which Collard coveted. The competitor made threats that he would "fry" Anthony. One night in 1923, Collard and one of his employees snuck into Anthony's mill and ignited wood chips and shavings scattered on the lower floor. The material ignited into an inferno and burned the mill to the ground. Anthony still had to fulfill the obligations of his contract, and had no choice but to purchase the competitor's business to complete the work. Collard was found guilty of arson and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. Judge Lacroix, in issuing the sentence, said that "the accused would have received fifteen years were it not for the fact that he had a wife and a family of three children," reported the Montreal Gazette. In 1959, blind and within a year of death, Anthony was visited by his cousins Charles, Henry and Roy Younkin. The Curottes' postal address circa 1960 was 2501 Walkley in Montreal. Anthony died on Dec. 27, 1960 with a requiem mass held in St. Ignatius of Loyola Church and interment in the Notre Dame Cote-des-Neiges Cemetery in Montreal. His obituary was published in the Gazette.
Son Edward Philip "Eddie" Curotte (1881- ? ) was born on May 6, 1881 in Connellsville. He grew up in Montreal. In about 1900, as a machinist, he returned to Connellsville to help "build a Baldwin automobile at South Connellsville when E. Long was the plant superintendent," said the Connellsville Daily Courier, reprinted in the Younkin Family News Bulletin (April 30, 1938). "He has since been located in the mining business in Canada." Then again in July 1907, he paid a visit to his uncle and aunt in Rockwood, Somerset County, Elias Polk and Emily Jane "Emma" (Horner) Younkin, as reported in the gossip columns of the Meyersdale Republican. He married (?) -- she died in June 1930. In April 1938, now residing in Qouyn, Quebec, he returned again to Connellsville to obtain a birth certificate from his infant baptism at the Immaculate Conception Church, only the second visit over a 40-year span. From Connellsville, he was heading to Rockwood to visit relatives and thence to Oklahoma. Circa 1942, when World War II was enflaming the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres of war, he registered for the military draft and resided at the time in Fort Worth, TX, with Sergeant Harvey Curotte, of the Royal Canadian Air Force, listed as someone who would always know his address. He was employed at the time by John Mulleur Company. In May 1958, he applied for Social Security in the United States.
Daughter Emma Curotte ( ? - ? ) was born in Somerset County. She was age two when her family emigrated to Canada. Circa 1960, she was affiliated with St. Theodore de Chertsey in Montreal and was named in her brother Anthony's obituary in the Montreal Gazette.
Daughter Louise Curotte ( ? - ? ) was born in Somerset County. Devoted to her family's Roman Catholic faith, she became a nun. She is reputed to have died in Canada and was deceased by 1960.
Son Charles Carroll Curotte (1886 - ? ) was born on Nov. 21, 1886 in New Centerville. At the age of 19, in June 1906, he visited the United States and spent time in Rockwood, Somerset County, as a guest of his uncle Elias Polk Younkin. He was tall and of medium build, with grey eyes and auburn-colored hair. When World War I broke out, Charles as an American citizen was required to register for the military draft, and had to do so twice. For the first registration, on June 5, 1917, at the age of 30, he was living in Port Henry, NY, and working as a carpenter for the Northern Iron Company. For the second registration a year later in 1918, he registered through the American Consulate General's Office in Montreal. At that time, he made his home in Brownville Junction, Piscataquis County, Maine, and was employed by the Pinkerton Detective Agency of Montreal. He disclosed that he was single and that his mother depended upon him for support.
Son William Henry Harrison "Harry" Curotte (1889-1914?) was born in about 1889 in Pennsylvania. He seems to have been named for William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States who served in 1841, and whose son Benjamin Harrison was elected president the year our Harry was born. At the age of 20 in 1909, Harry sailed from Victoria, British Columbia to San Francisco on the S.S. Ella, taking one trunk and staying in a first class cabin. He gave his occupation that year as "clerk." Circa 1910, at the age of 21, he resided in Yuma, Yuma County, AZ and earned a living as an agent for Wells Fargo Company. The following year, in June 1911, he traveled to Port Limon, Costa Rica with his sister in law and niece, Noella and Beatrice Curotte, where his brother Anthony had business dealings. Harry's occupation at that time was noted as "Conductor" and his place of residence as "Yuma." He is alleged to have succumbed in 1914, at the age of 26, but this is not yet confirmed.
~ Son Fremont C. Younkin ~
Son Fremont C. Younkin (1854-1945) was born on April 15, 1854 in Milford Township, Somerset County.
On Aug. 22, 1876, when he was age 22, Fremont was united in holy matrimony with 19-year-old Malinda Jane Countryman (1857-1933), daughter of Jerome and Charlotte (Walker) Countryman.. The ceremony was held at the home of Malinda's parents, by the hand of Rev. William Rupp, and the news was published in the Somerset Herald. Oddly, Fremont's surname was misspelled "Yonky" twice in the story.
The cople produced two children -- Emma Grace Tedrow and Norman C. Younkin. Sadly, Norman died of scarlet fever, on July 5, 1891 at the age of eight.
As a young man, Fremont taught school and then later devoted his life to farming. Their daughter Emma was born when the family lived at Berkley Mills, PA.
After his parents' death, Fremont took ownership of the farm and made many upgrades and improvements. He eventually transferred the property to his daughter and son in law, Emma and John Tedrow.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Younkins dwelled on a farm in Milford Township, next door to his parents. They remained in Milford during the 1880s and 1890s and, in 1900, employed 15-year-old Charley Bittner as a servant and farm laborer. By 1910, they had moved into Rockwood, where Fremont earned his "own income." In 1920, still in Rockwood, he worked as a special deputy sheriff for a coal company. By the early 1930s, they had moved into the town of Somerset.
Sadly, riddled with cancer of the liver and thyroid gland, Malinda Jane died at the age of 75 on Jan. 13, 1933.
Fremont survived his wife by a dozen years. He became interested in the Younkin National Home-coming Reunion, held between 1934 and 1941 in Kingwood, and was pictured in the Younkin Family News Bulletin newspaper, editions of Aug. 5, 1938 and June 30, 1941.
At the end, while in Milford Township, he suffered heart failure and died two days after Christmas 1945, at the age of 91. Interment was in the Lutheran Cemetery in New Centerville.
Daughter Emma Grace Younkin (1876-1964) was born on Nov. 20, 1876 in Berkley Mills, PA. On Nov. 28, 1900, at the age of 24, she was wedded to John Wesley Tedrow (1877-1974), a native of Trent, PA and the son of Hiram and Amanda (Moore) Tedrow. The ceremony was held in Rockwood. Their six children were Blanche Lorraine Bowman Purbaugh, Frank Warren Tedrow, Robert Maurice Tedrow, Norman Paul Tedrow, Eleanor Tedrow and John C.F. Tedrow. In about 1902 or '03, they moved to a farm one mile away from Rockwood, and kept the farm for the next six decades. John was well regarded and raised fine crops, but also knew when to quit work in the evening so he could read, including the daily newspaper. Said the Somerset Daily American, he "was considered an authority on both ancient and modern history." They were members of the Messiah Lutheran Church in New Centerville and was a charter member of the Milford Grange. She died on April 10, 1964 in Rockwood, with burial in the local Odd Fellows Cemetery. John lived for another decade and passed away in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 97 on St. Patrick's Day 1974. Rev. Gene Abel officiated at the funeral. His obituary in the Meyersdale Republican noted that he was survived by 17 grandchildren and 55 great-grandchildren.
Great-grandson Samuel James Romesberg Jr. (1934-2021) was born on Aug. 8, 1934. He was joined in holy matrimony with Ruth J. Janus ( ? - ? ). Their union endured for a remarkable 55 years. Together, the couple bore two offspring -- Amy Sloan and Samuel James Romesberg III. Samuel served in the U.S. Army and was posted for a time in Germany as a member of the Eighth Infantry. Then for more than 40 years, he taught music in the Meyersdale Area School District, where he also was a curriculum coordinator and guidance counselor. He liked to fish, hunt and work on crafts, and taught a course on Pennsylvania hunter safety. The family were members of Trinity Reformed Church of Christ, and Samuel was its choir director for more than half a century. They liked to camp and, after retirement, spent their winters in Florida in the Sugar Creek Estates in Bradenton. Sadly, Samuel passed into eternity on Jan. 24, 2021. Funeral services were held in the family church, and an obituary appeared in the Somerset Daily American.
Great-grandson Dr. Jack T. Romesberg ( ? -living) was born in (?). He wedded Marjorie "Jean" Phillips ( ? -living). They have dwelled in Rockwood.
Great-grandson Roger Lee Romesberg ( ? -living) was born in (?). He was united in the bonds of wedlock with Martha "Jean" Morgan ( ? - ? ). The couple planted roots in Rockwood.
He earned three successive degrees in soil science at Penn State University (B.S., 1939), Michigan State University (M.S., 1940), and Rutgers University (Ph.D., 1950). In 1947, he was appointed instructor in the Department of Soils at Rutgers, where he was ultimately promoted to the rank of professor II (now, distinguished professor) in 1972. He advanced to the rank of professor emeritus upon his retirement in 1984, and he maintained an active research career in association with the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Sciences nearly until his death.
Beginning with an Air Force contract to study the soils of northern Alaska in 1953, he worked systematically eastward across the Arctic to Inglfield Land in northern Greenland, the northernmost soils on the face of Earth. He then jumped south to continue his studies in the Antarctic. He was a pioneer in the exploration and description of tundra and polar soils of the Arctic and Antarctic, leading the Russian Dokuchaev Soil Science Society to divide the history of soil science into pre- and post-Tedrow eras. His work literally put Rutgers on the map through the namings of Queen’s College Lake in Greenland, a Tedrow Glacier, and a Rutgers Glacier in Antarctica.
~ Son Benton Younkin ~
Son Benton Younkin (1855-1944) was born on Aug. 24, 1855 (or 1857). In 1880, unmarried at the age of 22, he lived on his parents' farm in Milford Township and worked as a farm laborer.
On Jan. 30, 1883, the 28-year-old Benton was wedded to 26-year-old Elizabeth "Minerva" Witt (1857-1920), daughter of William and Martha (Ankney) Witt of Millersburg, Somerset County.
They had five children: Elsie G. Meyers Kumer, Tillie May "Lulu" Younkin, Earl David Younkin, Ross Edward Younkin and Eva B. Mays.
The family resided in Rockwood circa 1906-1920, and in Summit Mills, PA in 1934. He made his living over the years as a laborer.
Benton is profiled in 1906 book History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, authored by E. Howard Blackburn, William Henry Welfley and William H. Koontz. The chapter referred to him as "a practical and progressive farmer."
He also is named in a section about his wife's Ankney family in the Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette and Greene Counties, Pennsylvania, Vol. 2, edited by John Wolf Jordan and James Hadden.
Sadly, Minerva was stricken with what physicians described as paresis -- muscle and brain deterioration, often caused by untreated syphilis -- at the age of 62 and died on Oct. 6, 1920. She was laid to rest in the IOOF Cemetery in Rockwood.
Benton survived his wife by 24 years. In May 1938, he received an unexpected visit from Charles Arthur "Charleroi Charley" Younkin, organizer of the Younkin National Home-coming Reunion and publisher of the Younkin Family News Bulletin. In a letter to Benton's nephew David Franklin Younkin, Charley wrote:
On Sunday last we made a trip to Somerset Co., first stopping at your Uncle F.C. Younkin, then to Professor DeLong, a short visit with each, then on to Rockwood Pa. to Harvey C. Younkin, and on to Benton Younkin. On arrival at his home we were told that he was up in the cemetery but was not told that he was the sexton. On our arrival at cemetery we found the old fellow digging a grave, a remarkable old fellow. We should have taken his photo, where he was, but failed to do so, but in the near future we are going back and will do so. We were after Photos for next issue of Bulletin. I want to make Photos, mostly of old Younkin folks from Penna. I hope to have a short story of Benton Younkin, to accompany his phto, this is something very remarkable, to find a 81 year old person digging graves.
In the early 1940s, he dwelled in Rockwood at the address of 417 West Broadway. Burdened with coronary and kidney failure, he died at the age of 86 on Jan. 5, 1944. Earl Younkin of Rockwood was the informant for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death. Interment was in the Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery, with Rev. J.B. Musser officiating. An obituary appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Daughter Elsie G. Younkin (1883-1977) was born on Jan. 31, 1883 in Milford Township. On Feb. 15, 1904, at the age of 21, she wed her first husband, George A. Meyers (1882- ? ), a native of Ohio but at the time a resident of McKeesport, PA, and whose parents were immigrants from Germany. They initially lived in Mifflin Township, Allegheny County and had two known children -- Hazel Gosnell and George B. Meyer. In January 1906, the Connellsville Weekly Courier reported that she had returned for a visit to her parents and that she resided at Lock No. 3 near Pittsburgh, where George worked for a steamboat company. The federal census enumeration of 1910 shows the young family residing in a rented home along Curry Hollow Road in Mifflin Township, with George earning a living by performing "odd jobs." During the decade of the 1910s, they relocated to a new dwelling along Monongahela Avenue in Swissvale, near Pittsburgh, with George working as a laborer in a local steel crucible manufacturing works. By 1930, the couple had divorced, with George making his home in Swissvale. The 1930 census shows Elsie and the children living in Pittsburgh, on Liberty Avenue, with 57-year-old John Kumer lodging in the residence. Elsie later married Kumer -- a bookkeeper with a boiler factory -- and their home was in Wilkinsburg near Pittsburgh. She enjoyed visiting family back home in Rockwood from time to time, and is known to have hosted a visit by her brother Ross for three weeks in October 1966. Sadly, she endured the death of her son George in 1963. Elsie died in December 1977.
Daughter Tillie May "Lulu" Younkin (1886-1972) was born on April 3, 1886 in Milford Township. She never married and does not appear to have worked outside of the home, but made her residence for decades with her parents in Rockwood for as long as they lived. Circa 1930, she and her widowed father resided in Rockwood along with her divorced sister Eva Mays and sons Edgar and Blair. She had no occupation that year. Their residence was just two doors away from the home of cousin George Pritts and Helen L. (Mitchell) Younkin and sons of the family of Levi Grant and Alice (Pritts) Younkin. The 1940 federal census enumeration shows her in her father's household, again with no occupation, and continuing to share the dwelling with her divorced sister Eva Mays and her sons as well as with 40-year-old divorced road construction driver and roomer George McClintock. Upon the death of her father in 1944, Lulu then made a home with her sister Eva Mays at 417 West Broadway. With Lulu considered a shut-in, the Somerset Daily American encouraged readers to send her a birthday card in April 1961. Then over the Memorial Day weekend in 1961, she and Eva received a visit from their married nephew George Meyers and his family, who traveled there from East McKeesport. Niece Hazel (Meyers) Gosnell came to their home for a chat in October 1965. The sisters hosted a family Christmas dinner in 1966. She died in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 86 on Oct. 25, 1972. Burial was in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery, with the sermon preached by Rev. Clarence Moore. Her obituary appeared in the Meyersdale Republican.
Son Earl David Younkin (1890-1972) was born on July 3, 1890 in Milford Township. When he was age 29, in 1920, he was unmarried and dwelled under his parents' roof in Milford Township. Eventually he married a distant double cousin, Zelda Alta Brougher (1897-1979), daughter of Jacob S. and Sarah Ellen "Ella" (Younkin) Brougher, and granddaughter of Eli S. and Susanna (Dumbauld) Younkin. The couple did not reproduce. Zelda was active in the community as a member of the North American Women's Benefit Association, Rockwood Firemen's Auxiliary and Kingwood Church of God. At age 82, Earl died in Somerset Community Hospital on Nov. 23, 1972. His obituary in the Meyersdale Republican gave few details about his life. Burial was in Rockwood International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery, led by Rev. Paul Tobias. When Zelda passed away on Aug. 24, 1979, in Meyersdale Community Hospital, Rev. Tobias oversaw her funeral service as well. Their grave marker was photographed in July 2016 by the founder of this website.
Son Ross Edward Younkin (1892-1984) was born on Sept. 14, 1892 in Rockwood. During World War I, he served his nation as a member of the U.S. Army. In 1920, at age 27, he lived at home and worked as a laborer at a power house. He spent most of his adult life as a farmer. He was wedded to Anna M. Baker (1894-1987), daughter of Hiram and Rose Baker of Black Township, Somerset County. Their only daughter was Jeanie Younkin. In 1978, his home was in R.D. 1 Somerset. Edward died in the Veterans Administration in Hollidaysburg, Blair County, PA at the age of 91 on Jan. 26, 1984. Interment was in the Rockwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. Roger Forty preaching the funeral sermon. Anna survived her husband by three years and moved into Maple Mountain Manor. She joined him in eternity at age 93 on Feb. 22, 1987. Rev. Jack Hazlett officiated at her funeral.
Daughter Eva B. Younkin (1900-1978) was born on May 16, 1900 in Somerset. At the age of 19, on Oct. 31, 1919, she was united in matrimony with 24-year-old Andrew W. Hudson Mays (1895- ? ), a native of Virginia. Their children were Edgar Harold Mays and Blair E. Mays. Circa 1918, Eva made her home in Swissvale near Pittsburgh when her elder son was born. By 1920, when the second son came into the world, she had returned to Rockwood. The couple is believed to have separated, as the 1920 federal census shows Eva and her children living with her parents in Milford Township, while 25-year-old Andrew boarded with James and Mary Shoyer in Meyersdale and employed as a railroad brakeman. In later years, Eva was a member of the Rockwood Senior Citizens. She made her home with her elderly, widowed father and unmarried sister Lulu in 1940, when the U.S. Census again was enumerated. She passed away at the age of 78 on Oct. 9, 1978. Rev. Clarence C. Moore officiated at her funeral service, followed by interment in Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American.