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Jane (Younkin) Showman



Jane and David Showman

Jane (Younkin) Showman was born on Dec. 19, 1819 in Somerset County, PA, the daughter of George and Nancy (Johnson) Younken.

At the age of 20, Jane married 22-year-old David Showman (1817-1895) on her birthday on Dec. 19, 1839. 

David was a native of Somerset County, and when he was age 18, in about 1835, had moved to Springfield Township, Fayette County, where he spent the remainder of his long life.


The Showmans produced nine known children together -- William "Harrison" Showman, Alexander Showman, Nancy Jane Hart, George Washington Showman, Catherine Johnson, Albert Showman, Mary E. Showman, Jeremiah W. Showman and Sarah Strawderman.


David and Jane, year unknown

David kept a record of the children's births in a family Bible. Many years later, in about 1868, the "old bible was pretty well worn," recalled son Alexander, and David "drew off a list of the ages" and gave it to the son. The list later was mislaid or destroyed. Son Harrison also recalled as an older man seeing the handwritten inscriptions, important information used to verify his age for purposes of a Civil War pension..


In the 1850s, when her parents and some of her siblings migrated to Greene County, PA, Jane was married, in her 30s and had five or six children, and thus she and her husband chose not to follow. 


The couple worried during the Civil War when two of their sons served as soldiers in the Union Army -- Harrison in the 85th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry -- and Alexander in the 54th Infantry. One became ill due to disease, and the other wounded in battle, but both returned home after the war.


When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, the couple remained on their Springfield Township farm. That year, David earned a living as a domestic servant," as did his 28-year-old son George and 25-year-old son Albert. Daughter Mary, unmarried at age 20, lived under their roof, as did her younger siblings Jeremiah and Sarah.


The federal census of 1880 shows Jane and David living under one farmhouse roof in Springfield Township, Fayette County, while their married son Alexander and his wife and children made their home next door.

Jane passed away at age 73 on July 13, 1893. She was laid to rest in Imel Cemetery.


David lived for another two years. He died at the home of their eldest son Alexander at the age of 78 on March 8, 1895. Burial was in Imel Cemetery. An obituary in the Springfield Mountaineer said he was "a highly respected citizen of Springfield township... [and] was one of the pioneer settlers of Springfield township, having been a resident of it for 60 years." [Find-a-Grave]


The Showman grave markers in Imel Cemetery, with Nancy's at left.


~ Son William Harrison "Harry" Showman ~


Normalville Cemetery

Son William Harrison "Harry" Showman (1840-1918) was born on Nov. 6, 1840 in Normalville, known at the time as "Elm."

He spent his entire life in that community except when away at war. As an adult, he stood 5 feet, 6 inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and dark hair, and weighed 158 lbs.

At the age of 19, in 1859, he married 23-year-old Katharine Bungard (1836-1914), daughter of Christian and Elizabeth (Miller) Bungard. The ceremony was performed in Saltlick Township by justice of the peace Zona Witt.

The couple produced at least four children -- Minerva Elizabeth Earley, George E. Showman, William Harrison Showman Jr. and Samuel Showman. 

During the Civil War, Harrison served as a member of the 85th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company K. He enlisted in the county seat of Uniontown on Aug. 25, 1861, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and spent three years and three months in the service. In late June 1862, while lying in trenches at White House Landing/Deep Bottom, VA, Harrison was stricken with diarrhea and left the regiment for treatment. He recovered after a month and returned to his unit. He received an honorable discharge in Pittsburgh on Dec. 7, 1864, and returned home to a life of farming in Normalville.

Circa 1880, the Showmans resided on a farm in Normalville and in about 1885, the family relocated from the country into the city of Connellsville. Their home was on West Eighth Street.

Harrison likely is among these Civil War veterans in Normalville. But which one?



Surgeon's sketch of the bullet wound

In a freak accident, Harrison was shot during a nighttime public dispute in Normalville in October 1876. The backstory of the argument is unknown. He was standing in a crowd when, "without provocation or cause," he wrote, and "molesting no one," someone fired a pistol from 50 or 60 feet away, with the bullet entering the calf of his right leg below the knee. The ball never was removed, remained in the muscle for the remaining 42 years of his life.

Harrison was injured with a hernia while supervising a team of laborers on a public road in Normalville in May or June 1899. He and Andrew Johnson were lifting and turning a large stone when he felt a tearing in the left side of his groin. A few days later, he showed the injury to his friends M.C. Whipkey, Wilson Whipkey and A.M. Ritenour.

Later in life, in about 1890, Harrison applied for a pension as compensation for his wartime ailments. He complained of a kidney infection which caused weakness in the small of his back and a weakness in his urine stream. He also reported neuralgia which affected his neck and side of his head, an enlarged prostate and cystitis. Friends Josiah S. Murray, Andrew Johnson, H.K. Brooks, S.W. Whipkey, John K. Grim, Charles Johnson, Carl C. Brooks, John Walter Miner and Reuben Morrison provided support for his claim. The pension was approved, and he began receiving payments of $10 each month. [Invalid Application #848.171 - Cert. #982.289] 


Normalville Cemetery

Sadly, Katharine contracted a deadly case of bronchial pneumonia and influenza and succumbed in Normalville at the age of 77 on May 14, 1914. Interment was in the Normalville Cemetery, then known as the Springfield United Brethren Church Cemetery.

In retirement, Harrison suffered for five years with hardening of the arteries, and then in the summer of 1918 was afflicted with his recurring acute cystitis. He died on Aug. 15, 1918, at age 77. Burial was in the Normalville Cemetery, following a funeral service held in the Methodist Church. His daughter Minerva Earley of Normalville provided information for the official Pennsylvania death certificate. [Find-a-Grave]

Daughter Minerva Elizabeth Showman (1862-1942) was born on Feb. 12, 1862 in Normalville. She married John B. Early (1861-1939) (also spelled "Earley") and resided in Bullskin Township in 1882 and later in Normalville. They had one daughter, Maude Johnson. The family were members of the Methodist Church in Normalville. John suffered later in life from senility and organic heart disease. He died at home just a few weeks before his 78th birthday on Jan. 31, 1939. Minerva survived her husband by three years, making her home with her daughter at 506 Lloyd Lane in Connellsville. Sadly, while en route to visit her granddaughter Mrs. Ralph Hart in Normalville, she was rocked by a stroke and "dropped dead as she arrived at the Hart home," reported the Daily Courier. Her passing occurred at age 80 on Nov. 14, 1942. Interment was beside her husband in Normalville Cemetery. In a lengthy obituary, the Courier observed that she had five grandchildren, a dozen great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild, and thus "was the oldest of five generations."

  • Granddaughter Maude Early (1882-1953) was born on Feb. 17, 1882 in Bullskin Township. She married (?) Johnson. They had at least two sons -- Raymond Johnson and Harold Johnson. Circa 1942, they dwelled in South Connellsville. Maude died in Connellsville on March 11, 1953, at the age of 71, from a heart attack. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery. Helen Ritenour was the informant for her official state death certificate.

Son George E. Showman (1864- ? ) was born in 1864. As a young man, from about 1904 to 1914, he was employed by the post office as a letter carrier. He resigned after 10 years and relocated to Conneaut, OH and was there in 1922. A gossip item in the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that in December, 1922, he had returned to Connellsville to visit with his brother Samuel and other relatives. By 1942, his home was in Florida, and he was there in 1951 in Tallahassee.

Son William Harrison Showman Jr. (1869-1957) was born on June 11, 1869. He married Mary Elizabeth Kemp (1866-1953), daughter of William T. and Elizabeth (Tressler) Kemp of Pleasant Hills, PA. They lived in Connellsville in 1951. Mary died at age 86 in Connellsville State Hospital on Feb. 8, 1953. Suffering from heart failure, William died in Somerset State Hospital on Sept. 22, 1957, with burial in Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville. Mrs. Leland Whipkey of Connellsville signed his death certificate.

Son Samuel Messemer Showman (1871-1951) was born on Oct. 4, 1871 in Normalville. He moved to Connellsville age age 14 and spent his entire life in the area, with his home on Edna Street circa 1923. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "After teaching school for several years, he was employed by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. In 1911, he founded the showman Tea Company which he conducted along with the Showman Appliance Company until September 1949, when he retired because of ill health." Samuel married Jane "Jennie" (Warrick) Brooks ( ? - ? ), who brought a daughter to the marriage, Pearl O. Barnes. The couple went on to have six more children of their own -- Frank Warrick Showman, Katherine Showman, Harry Showman, Ross Warrick Showman, Ruth Shaw, Eva Whipkey and Frank Showman Jr., the latter of whom was adopted. The Showmans were members of the First Christian Church of Connellsville, where Samuel served on the church board and for two decades was a deacon. Samuel died of heart and artery problems at the age of 79 on Jan. 15, 1951. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Earle R. Starkey, with a male quartet singing "Abide with Me" and a duet "Beyond the Sunset." Burial followed in Normalville Cemetery, with his pallbearers including grandsons Samuel Showman, Robert Neil Whipkey and Joseph Shaw, and granddaughters' husbands Ralph Hostetler, James Schultz and Paul Longenecker. An obituary in the Daily Courier observed that his survivors included 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.


Battle ruins at Chateau Thierry, where Frank Showman was wounded


  • Frank Showman
    Courtesy EmmaLou Millis
    Grandson Frank Warrick Showman (1896-1994) was born in 1896. On April 20, 1918, at the age of 22, he married 22-year-old Madge Gail Conway ( ? -1923), of Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV and the daughter of Luther W. and Sarah I. (Stansbury) Conway. Rev. Harvey W. Ewing, of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Morgantown, presided over the ceremony. Frank went on to serve with the 110th Regiment, Company D, during World War I. His arm and foot were badly wounded in the Battle of Chateau Thierry, and a nurse wrote to his parents with details, saying he would be hospitalized indefinitely. Frank returned stateside for treatment at Camp Sherman. The Showmans established a home in Uniontown, Fayette County. They bore two known children, Frank Showman Jr. and Kathleen Stevens. Grief blanketed the young family when, after having given birth, Madge contracted a bacterial infection in her uterus ("puerperal infection"), which led to a toxic state ("sapremia"), resulting in death at the age of 27 on Feb. 10, 1923. Burial of the remains was in Morgantown. Frank married a second time to Lou Emma Morrow (April 28, 1901-1977), daughter of Lloyd and Mae (Lancaster) Morrow of Smithton. The couple went on to produce four more offspring of their own, Samuel L. Showman, Doris Longanecker, Constance Shepherd and Evelyn Reese. Lou Emma had attended California Normal School and went on to teach school in Bullskin and Dunbar Townships. They were members of the Full Gospel Church of Poplar Grove and belonged to the O'Brien Post of the Disabled American Veterans. When in August 1947 Madge's mother died in Morgantown, after falling and fracturing her hip, Frank Sr. and Frank Jr. traveled to attende the funeral. The Showmans lived for years in Connellsville, with an address of 201 Robbins Street.
    Lou Emma was rushed to Connellsville State General Hospital on April 11, 1977, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said she was survived by 21 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Frank lived for another 17 years. He surrendered to the angel of death in 1994. Interment followed in Normalville Cemetery. 

Great-grandson Frank Showman Jr. ( ? - ? ) - During the Korean War, Frank Jr. served for two and a half years on the crew of the U.S.S. Rombach, a destroyer escort. Then, he was transferred to Philadelphia where he taught atomic defense at the U.S. Navy base. In 1977, he was in Long Beach, CA.

Great-granddaughter Kathleen Showman lived in Aberdeen, MD in 1977.

Great-grandson Samuel L. Showman (1927-2020) was born on Nov. 3, 1927 and grew up in Connellsville, Fayette County. During World War II, at the age of 17, he joined the U.S. Navy and attended radio school in Norfolk, VA. Upon the war's conclusion, he settled in Pittsburgh where he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and worked for the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, learning Morse Code and typing in order to be a telegraph operator. Samuel married Joan ( ? -2001), and their union stood for 50 years. The couple established a home circa 1953 in South Euclid, OH and bore three children -- Dr. B.J. Showman, Patricia Showman-Nelson and David L. Showman. In about 1973, they relocated to Lyndhurst, OH, and remained there for the 47 years of his remaining life. For a quarter of a century, he earned a living as a foreman in the tool and die operation with Fisher Body in Cleveland. Once retired from Fisher, he spent 22 years employed by Dunhill Antiques and Restoration, helping repair and restore antique ceramics to their original colors and appeal. With a skill as a fine-brush painter, he attended Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University, more fully rounding out his knowledge of arts and the humanities. Said a profile in Fine Art America, Samuel "produced hundreds of works with themes such as animals, barns, countrysides, children playing, and water scenes with boats, ducks or fishermen. His medium has been pen and ink, watercolor, gouache, oils and acrylics." In what was left of his spare time, he liked to fish, tend to his garden and do household repairs. Sadly, Joan died in 2001. Samuel spent the next 19 years as a widower. On Aug. 11, 2020, at the age of 92, Samuel succumbed to death.

Great-granddaughter Doris Showman wedded (?) Longanecker. She dwelled in 1977 in Connellsville.

Great-granddaughter Constance "Connie" Showman (1929-2014) was born on Dec. 23, 1929. She married Howard Everett Shepherd (Feb. 16, 1928-1976). Six daughters borne of this union were Catherine Louise Shepherd, Sharon Lynn Butler, Carolyn Ann Foss, Joyanna Ruth Shepherd, Susanna Beth Tinsley and Jane Bernice Watson. During the Korean War, Howard served in the U.S. Navy. The Shepherds made a home in Clarksville, IN. Constance died at the age of 84 on Oct. 30, 2014. Funeral services were conducted in Christ Gospel Church. Burial was in Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN.

Great-granddaughter Evelyn Showman was joined in marriage with Clayton Reese. The Reeses were in South Connellsville in 1977.

  • Granddaughter Katherine Showman died young.
  • Grandson Harry Showman died young.
  • Grandson Ross Warrick Showman (1894-1941) was born on May 27, 1894. He married Zoe Millard ( ? - ? ), daughter of James B. and Annie (Kyle) Millard. They had three daughters -- Mrs. Ferdinand H. DeChambeau, Norma Jeanne Showman and Audrey Ruth Showman. The family lived at 509 Edna Street. Ross assisted his father in the operation of the tea and coffee business, specializing in the tea department. The local Connellsville Daily Courier newspaper said he was "widely known throughout Fayette and Westmoreland counties because of the vast coverage of his route in business." Active in the community, he was a deacon, male chorus singer and Bible class member of the First Christian Church. Heartache shook the family in early October, when Ross had a stroke. At 9:30 a.m. that day, he had left his house "to go on his daily route," reported the Courier. "About an hour later when his wife looked out of a window, she noticed that the automobile was still near the garage. When she went to the car she found her husband sitting behind the steering wheel where he had been stricken as he prepared to start the machine." The tragedy was front-page, headline news in the paper. He died at home five days later on Oct. 13, 1941, at the age of 47. His remains were placed into rest in the Normalville Cemetery, with Rev. Merrill L. Cadwell preaching the funeral sermon.
  • Granddaughter Ruth Showman wed Theodore Shaw and resided in 1965 in Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Eva Showman was married to Leland S. Whipkey and called Connellsville home in 1965.
  • Grandson Frank Showman Jr. was adopted. In 1951, he lived in Santa Monica, CA.
  • Step-granddaughter Pearl O. Brooks (1890-1965) was born on Aug. 6, 1890 in Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County. She married Jesse Barnes (1880-1963), son of James and Sophia (Miller) Barnes of Springfield Township. The Barnses lived in the Poplar Grove outskirts of Connellsville at 1310 Purdy Street. Their only known daughter was Kathleen Stephens. Jesse was a longtime employee of Aaron Furniture Store. Pearl was involved with the community as a member of the Daughters of America, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Brookman-Hernley Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the First Christian Church of Connellsville. Sadly, Jesse died of a coronary occlusion on July 22, 1963. In the final year of her life, she dwelled with her married daughter Kathleen in the White Oak section of McKeesport. She died in McKeesport Hospital at the age of 74 on March 10, 1965. Rev. George D. Massey officiated at the funeral and burial in Normalville Cemetery.


~ Son Alexander Showman ~

Son Alexander "Alex" Showman (1842-1923) was born on Dec. 18, 1842 near Scullton, Somerset County, PA. As an adult, he stood five feet, six inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes and dark hair.

On Christmas Day 1862, when he was 20 years of age, Alexander married 24-year-old Christiana "Tina" Beal (1838-1917, the daughter of John C. and Sarah "Sally" (Boyd) Beal. The ceremony was performed at New Centerville by justice of the peace John Weller.

They had eight children -- Owen Showman, Sarah Susanna Geary, George W. Showman, Emma J. Showman, Martha Showman, John Showman, Lucartha "Cartha" Basinger and Lloyd Showman. Two of the children were born deaf and mute. Alexander recorded their names and dates of birth in the family Bible.

Sadly, daughter Martha died at the age of 2 years, 2 months on Nov. 20, 1876, and her elder sister Emma followed her to the grave 18 days later, on Dec. 8, 1876, at the age of 4 years, 4 months. Their remains were interred together in the family burying grounds of Imel Cemetery in Clay Run, Fayette County, where their stones stand erect but only somewhat legible today. Etched on one face of the children's grave marker is this epitaph:

On earth no more to
hear thou voice.
They have gone with
angels to rejoice.


Graves of young sisters Martha (left) and Emma, 1876, Imel Cemetery


On June 17, 1863, Alexander went to New Centerville, Somerset County to join the Union Army, recruited by his step-cousin, Capt. William Meyers Schrock. The Somerset Daily American said that "It was the only occasion during the course of the Civil War that any unit was mustered within the area of Somerset County." The new infantrymen were assembled in the flat field at what today are the grounds of the annual Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee. Four other Younkin cousins and spouses joined the company as well.

Initially known as Capt. Schrock's Independent Company of Volunteer Infantry, it later became part of Company H of Ramsey's Battalion, Pennsylvania Infantry. The soldiers remained in New Centerville until July 6, 1863, following the Battle of Gettysburg, when they received orders to march to the nearby town of Berlin to receive weapons. The men then were ordered to report to Huntingdon, PA, and served on provost duty during a military draft. In early September 1863, recounted the History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania, the company marched to Harrisburg and thence to Gettysburg:

...where they guarded the field hospital on the battlefield until it was dispensed with in the latter part of October. This company was also in active service at Lewisburg, Sunbury and Selins Grove. From December 11, 1863 until January 8, 1864, the Somerset company was in charge of the Soldiers' Retreat at Harrisburg, where frequently rations were provided for from five hundred to one thousand soldiers who dropped off from trains at meal times. The company was mustered out January 8, 1864.

He returned home to Somerset County. Not wanting to end his wartime service, he enlisted again on Feb. 19, 1864, traveling to Gephart's post office where he joined the 54th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H. This regiment was recruited from Cambria, Somerset and Northampton Counties, PA.


Re-enactment of the Battle of New Market, where Alexander was shot



Surgeon's sketch of Alexander's wound

During the Battle of New Market, VA, on May 15, 1864, he was wounded in the back of his right shoulder and was treated at Claysville Hospital. At that battle, the Union Army was forced out of the Shenandoah Valley, with 120 Union soldiers killed, 500 wounded and 240 missing, and with 85 Confederates killed and 320 wounded, among them cadets from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). 

He received an honorable discharge at Annapolis, MD and mustered out with his regiment on May 31, 1865.

After the war, the Showmans resided in Wooddale, Fayette County circa 1866. By the time the federal census was enumerated in 1880, they had relocated to a farm next door to Alexander's parents near Normalville in Springfield Township. They eventually moved back across the state line to Scullton, Somerset County.

In the summer of 1870, while on a ladder picking cherries, the ladder slipped from under Alexander and he fell to the ground, dislocating his left wrist.

In the late 1880s, claiming that kidney disease rendered him unable to earn a living, Alexander applied for and began receiving a veteran's pension. [Invalid Application #805.042 - Cert. #578.674] He also complained of a wound and rheumatism in his right shoulder and dislocation of his wrist. He began receiving monthly payments of $12 in July 1891, while living in Normalville, Fayette County. His friends Casper Schmuck and William Geary signed affidavits of testimony supporting his claim.


Monument to Capt. Schrock's company, New Centerville, PA. Courtesy Linda Marker

Apparently a practical joker, Alexander played a trick on his younger brother George in October 1895 which backfired into painful consequences for both. Reported the Connellsville Courier

George W. Showman, our blacksmith, was hastily summoned to Laurel Hill by Alex Showman and William Gary this week. George hitched his horse into the buggy and drove to Laurel Hill, accompany by his wife. When they arrived at laurel Hill Alex informed his guests that he had located a beetree and that wanted George to be 'in at the fluish.' Gary climbed up a very tall tree, and after plugging the hole where he bees had been seen coming out and going in, he sawed off the limb. The limb being very large was let down with a block and tackle. When the plug was taken out a swarm of hornets darted from the exit, and the only honey Alex and George is devouring these days is the funny look all their neighbors give them when they pass by.

Circa 1901, Tena was afflicted with some sort of malady. The Connellsville Courier noted that "Mrs. Alexander Showman, who has been quite poorly for a week past, is some better."

Suffering from angina pectoris, Tena passed away on Oct. 17, 1917, at the age of 78. She was interred at Scullton Cemetery.

The census of 1920 shows Alexander heading a household in Normalville including his bachelor sons John (age 42) and Lloyd (33) as well as 19-year-old servant Mary McCoy. Among their neighbors were the families of John Walter and Mary (Miller) Miner and Grant and Ida (Whipkey) Imel (grandson of Rebecca [Younkin] Imel -- all distant cousins of Alexander's in the Younkin clan -- but whether they knew of these ancient connections remains a mystery. 

Alexander suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 81 on March 5, 1923. Burial was beside his spouse in Scullton Cemetery.

Many years later, on Oct. 2, 1966, the Somerset County Historical and Genealogical Society dedicated a monument to honor the company, inscribed with Alexander's name and placed on the site of the mustering ground. Local attorney Robert Keim served as master of ceremonies and Rev. Gene Abel gave the invocation, Judge Thomas F. Lansberry the principal address and Rev. Henry B. Reiley Jr. the dedication prayer. Lansberry remarked in his comments that the local recruits "had ears to hear the call of Father Abraham," said the Daily American. "This was not hearing in the ordinary sense but it was that 'inner ear' through which they heard the call that challenged them to answer the call to colors. He said that they had real courage, not the false type which causes some beatnik to throw a molotov cocktail into a store window, or causes a riot in Watts or Cleveland, but that kind of courage which sends a man through the valley of the shadow of death for the sake of a cause which he considers to be bigger than himself." Also present at the event was George Hoburn, who designed and built the monument, and Bradley Cramer, grandson of Charles Cramer who first developed the monument idea.

Son Owen Showman (1863- ? ) was born on Sept. 13, 1863, presumably in Milford Township, Somerset County. He was deceased by 1910.


Rare aerial view of Indian Head


Daughter Sarah Susanna Showman (1866-1953) was born on March 3, 1866 in Wooddale or Scottdale, Fayette County, or in Milford Township, Somerset County. She married William Geary ( ? -1942). In about 1930, they moved to Indian Head, Fayette County, where William made a living as a woodsman, and they were members of the Mt. Nebo Church of God. Their 11 children were Wilson Geary, Alexander Geary, Emma Hostetler, Theodore Geary, Jacob Geary, Lloyd Geary, Jess Thomas Geary, John Geary, Grant Geary and Ida Lowery. Sadly, William died in 1942. Sarah also outlived her sons Wilson and Alexander and married daughter Emma Hostetler. Sarah survived her husband by 11 years. She passed away at home in Indian Head on Nov. 9, 1953. Burial was in Mt. Nebo Cemetery. The Connellsville Daily Courier reported that her offspring included 40 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. 

  • Grandson Theodore Showman Geary (1886-1964) was born on Nov. 9, 1886. He married Fannie Elizabeth (1891-1965). They made a home in Melcroft in 1953-1960. Theodore died at the age of 77 on Aug. 13, 1964.
  • Grandson Wilson Geary (1888-1904) died at his grandparents' home the age of 16, on April 10, 1904, having contracted cerebral meningitis. Reported the Connellsville Courier, "The young man was sick but a few days and his death was quite a shock to his friends." His remains were placed into rest at Scullton Cemetery.
  • Grandson Alexander "Alex" Geary (1890-1952)
  • Granddaughter Ida Mae Geary (1892-1963) was born in 1892. She married George Washington Lowery (1889-1961). In 1953-1960, the Lowerys made their home in Melcroft. George passed into eternity in 1961. Ida lived for another two years and was swept away by the spectre of death in 1963.
  • Grandson Jacob Geary (1895-1974) was born in 1895. He resided in the early 1950s in Normalville and in 1960 in Indian Head. He succumbed to death in 1974.
  • Granddaughter Emma Frances Geary (1898- ? ) was born in 1998 in Fayette County. At age 17, living in Scullton, she worked as a maid. She wed laborer Walter Leroy Hostetler (1894- ? ), son of George P. and Mancy C. (Geary) Hostetler of Alverton, Westmoreland County. Justice of the peace C.D. Cramer officiated at their wedding, in Saltlick Township, Fayette County, on July 3, 1915. Emma was age 17, and Walter 21, at the time of marriage. She died sometime before November 1953.
  • Grandson Lloyd Showman Geary (1901-1973) was born on Aug. 10, 1901 in Scullton. He made a living as a laborer. At the age of 22, on Nov. 8, 1923, at Holsopple, Somerset County, he married 18-year-old Mary Lucinda Stahl (March 9, 1903/1905-1966). She was the daughter of Amos and Emma (Ferguson) Stahl of Jones Mills, Fayette County. Circa 1953, they lived in Champion, Fayette County. The children produced by this union were Sarah Romesburg, Lois Geary, Loretta Shupe, Eugene William "Gene" Geary, Ernie Geary, Ronnie Geary, Gerald Ray Geary, Lloyd "Bobby" Geary and Donna Beckner. Sadness washed over the family when daughter Lois died in 1930 at the age of about one, and then again 17 years later when five-year-old son Ronald passed from the croup in Connellsville State Hospital on Feb. 6, 1948. The family lived in Stahlstown, Westmoreland County in the mid-1960s. Stricken with colon cancer, Mary Lucinda passed into eternity on May 8, 1966. Lloyd survived his spouse by seven years. He died on Jan. 30, 1973. They sleep side by side with their children Lois and Ronald in Mount Nebo Cemetery in Indian Head.

Great-granddaughter Sarah Geary married (?) Romesburg.

Great-granddaughter Loretta Geary wedded (?) Shupe.

Great-grandson Eugene William "Gene" Geary

Great-grandson Ernie Geary

Great-grandson Gerald Ray Geary (1936-2020) was born on June 6, 1936 in Saltlick Township, Fayette County. He wedded Anna Katheryn Kunkle ( ? -living). They stayed together for an extraordinary 62 years. Their offspring included Terri Legas, Mark Geary and Heather Johnson. The family dwelled in Indian Head, Fayette County and belonged to the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church of Donegal. Gerald earned a living as a truck driver for Borden's Ice Cream of Latrobe, Westmoreland County, and was a member of the Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. In his free time, he liked to bowl, fish, golf, hunt and play cards. Later in life, he relocated to Ligonier, Westmoreland County. Sadly, at the age of 84, Gerald died in Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. His remains were laid to rest in Mount Nebo Cemetery, with Pastor Ed Mikkelsen preaching, and the fire department providing additional rites. His obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Great-grandson Lloyd "Bobby" Geary made a home in 2020 in Champion, Fayette County.

Great-granddaughter Donna Geary was joined in matrimony with (?) Beckner. She was in Stahlstown, Westmoreland County in 2020.

  • Grandson Jesse Thomas Geary (1904-1960) was born on July 3, 1904 at either Scullton or in Saltlick Township. He married Mary Irene Ferner ( ? - ? ), daughter of John S. and Minnie (Miller) Ferner. Their wedding took place on Sept. 10, 1929, when Jess was age 25 and Mary 24. They did not reproduce. The couple were members of the Middle Creek Church of the Brethren. In 1953, he made his residence in Rockwood, Somerset County and in 1960 in New Centerville, Somerset County. Jesse died at age 56 on Aug. 25, 1960. Burial was at the Middle Creek Church Cemetery, and an obituary was printed in the Daily Courier.
  • Grandson John R. Geary (1907-1984) was born in 1907. He lived in Indian Head.
  • Grandson Grant E. Geary (1913-1965) was born in 1913. He resided in Indian Head in 1960.


John Showman

Son George W. Showman (1868- ? ) was born on June 23, 1868. Nothing more about his life is known.

Son John Showman (1876-1962) was born on July 21, 1876 at Scullton, Somerset County. He was born deaf and was mute. At the age of 23, in 1900, he was unmarried and lived at home, working as a farm laborer. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, he "resided in the Scullton and Melcroft areas all his life." When the federal census was enumerated in 1910, he continued to resided under his parents' roof and earned a living with farm labor. After his mother's death, he remained on the family farm with his widowed father. John also assisted family members with farm work, including his niece Goldie (Basinger) Shroyer and family at their Clay Run farm. At age 85, on March 22, 1962, he died in Uniontown Hospital. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.


Lucartha Basinger

Daughter Lucartha "Cartha" Showman (1878-1966) was born on Aug. 14, 1878, as recorded by her father in the family's Bible, although her birth year also has been stated incorrectly as 1880. At the age of 34, on Aug. 16, 1914, she married 22-year-old Alva P. Basinger (1892-1935), son of Jacob and Sadie (Pirl) Basinger. It was a first marriage for both, even though she was a dozen years older than her husband. Justice of the peace A.G.C. Sherbondy officiated. At the time, Alva worked as a laborer and lived in Springfield Township. The couple went on to have at least three daughters -- Stella Miner Neel, Goldie Shroyer and Grace Basinger. Circa 1930, the family resided in Vanderbilt, Franklin Township, Fayette County, where Alva worked as a foreman in a sawmill. He contracted typhoid fever in December 1931 and was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital but fortunately recovered. Tragedy shook the family in the summer of 1935, when Alva was employed at a sawyer at a sawmill in the Indian Creek Valley. Reported the Connellsville Daily Courier, "he was struck by a log which flew around from the saw and struck him in the head." He was rushed to Connellsville State Hospital, where he died at midnight on July 17, 1935. Lucartha survived her husband by more than three decades. She passed away on Sept. 15, 1966, and was placed into repose in Normalville Cemetery.

  • L-R: Lucartha, Goldie Shroyer, unknown, 
    Shroyer girl, Laura Belle Shroyer

    Granddaughter Stella Basinger (1914-1996) was born in 1914. She married a distant cousin, John "Raymond" Miner, son of John Andrew and Susan (Pletcher) Miner. They were wed on Nov. 8, 1930, in Oakland, Garrett County, MD, when she was age 17 and he 17. They had one known son, Clayton "Eugene" Miner. After a divorce, she married again to Leslie Neel (1909-1967). She passed away on Nov. 6, 1996 in Navarre, Stark County, OH.

  • Granddaughter Goldie Basinger (1917-1997) was born in 1927. She married a distant cousin, Kenneth Melvin Shroyer (1912-1993), son of Jacob Adam and Laura Bell (Younkin) Shroyer. They hosted a visit from the founder of this website in the winter of 1993. See their biography for more.
  • Granddaughter Grace Basinger (1922-2005) was born in 1922. She married (?) Baer. She passed away in 2005 and is interred in Scullton Cemetery.

Son Lloyd Showman (1881-1957) was born on June 8, 1881 in Fayette County. He never married, and may also have been deaf and mute. He lived at home at age 18 in 1900 -- age 28 in 1910 -- and age 38 in 1920 -- and worked with his father and elder brother John as a farm laborer and woodsman. He resided in Clay Run until the time of his death at age 75 on Jan. 15, 1957. His remains were laid to rest in Normalville Cemetery, and the cause of his passing was noted as a cerebral hemorrhage and hypertension. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier noted that he was "a laborer [who] had been unemployed for many years."


Nancy Hart in younger and older years

~ Daughter Nancy Jane (Showman) Hart

Daughter Nancy Jane Showman (1845-1916) was born on April 5, 1845 in Springfield Township.


She married George Hart (1832- ? ). The groom was a baker's dozen years older than his bride.  


Their known children were Jonathan F. "John" Hart, William Harrison Hart, Fred Hart, D.B. Hart, Ada Kimmel, Clyde S. Hart and Sarah Tressler.


When the federal census count was made in 1880, the family dwelled near Normalville, Springfield Township, with George earning income as a laborer. That year, son Jonathan, age 12, also worked for wages as a laborer.

George died sometime between 1880 and 1900. More about his fate will be added here once discovered. Census records for 1900 show the widowed "Nancy Jane) living with her sons Jonathan and Clyde and 14-year-old newly married married daughter Ada Kimmel  in Springfield Township. Both 31-year-old Jonathan and 12-year-old son Clyde supported the family that year through their labor work.


In the summer of 1916, when she was age 71, the widowed Nancy was diagnosed with cancer of her uterus. Her health sank rapidly, and she died on Aug. 3, 1916. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery. John Hart of nearby Mill Run, Fayette County was the informant for her death certificate.


Son Jonathan F. "John" Hart (1869-1960) was born on Jan. 22, 1869 in Bullskin Township. He spent most of his life residing in Springfield Township. In about 1896, he was married, but the identity of his bride is not known. By 1900, after four years of marriage, and at age 31, he had moved back in with his widowed mother and younger siblings. In about Aug. 1910, at the age of 40, he married again to 39-year-old widow Martha "Mattie" (Williams) Collins (1868-1937), the daughter of Abraham and Susan (Miller) Williams. News of their marriage license was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. She had been wed previously in 1888 to Nery Collins (1864-1905) and was widowed when the husband drowned in Indian Creek at the mouth of Rodgers' Run in March 1905 when his boat capsized and his companions could not save him due to the swiftness of the current. Thus she brought nine offspring to the second union, among them Abraham "Edward" Collins, Vica Lentz, Cecelia M. "Celia" Shipley, Catherine "Katie" Menuchi, Sadie Collins, Edith G. Collins Hart, Fannie Wallace, Clyde H. Collins and Nery "Samuel" Collins. The federal census of 1910 shows the large family living on Stewarton Road in Springfield, with John earning a living as a laborer on odd jobs.

John and Mattie produced four children of their own -- Harry Arthur Hart, George H. Hart, John F. Hart and Nancy Jane McElhaney Cowger. Circa 1920, John generated income as a farmer in Springfield, with the family now residing on Indian Creek Road. During the 1920s, John and Mattie separated, and the couple divorced. By 1930, he then married his stepdaughter Edith Collins (1898- ? ). The 1930 United States Census shows this family together in Springfield Township. John and Edith went on to have another astonishing 12 children -- Ralph E. Hart, Alexander Z. "Alex" Hart, Viola Gentile Depp, Smith Hart, Philip Thomas Hart, Alice Bryner Burd, Rachel Schoepke, Edith Bowser, Margaret Bryner, Paul Hart, Ethel King and Saul Hart. The family belonged to the Mill Run Evangelical United Brethren Church. Former wife Mattie made her home on East Gibson Avenue in South Connellsville. Suffering from heart disease, she contracted an infection and died at the age of 65 on Aug. 21, 1937. Her burial was in the Indian Creek Baptist Church in Mill Run. An obituary in the Daily Courier reported that her survivors included 49 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. John died on Dec. 22, 1960 at the age of 91. His remains were placed at rest in Normalville Cemetery following funeral services preached by Rev. Robert Blank. Edith survived her husband by many years. At the births of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she was named in photo-feature stories in the Daily Courier. She lived in Mill Run in 1970 and passed away at the age of 82 in Sept. 1979. She rests beside her husband in Normalville Cemetery. All told, John and his wives accounted for 25 children.

  • Step-grandson Abraham "Edward" Collins (1890-1977) was born in Feb. 1890. He married Roszella Wilkinson (Feb. 17, 1891-1953), daughter of George and Susan (Forsythe) Wilkinson of Ruffsdale, PA. They had a family of children including Audrey D. Collins, Charles W. Collins, Abraham Edward Collins Jr. and Ralph L. Collins. Edward was employed for many years as a foreman with West Penn Power Company's transportation department. They belonged to the Missouri Avenue Baptist Church. The Collinses resided in 1937 in the Snydertown section of Connellsville and in 1950 in Poplar Grove. Sadly, Roszella suffered from hypertension and hardening of the arteries for the final decade of her life. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the ae of 62 on July 6, 1953. Her remains were placed into repose in Sylvan Heights Cemetery in Uniontown. The widowed Edward relocated to California and was there circa 1970. He moved again to Florida, establishing a home in Clearwater. He died at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater at the age of 87 on July 22, 1977. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Great-granddaughter Audrey D. Collins lived in Clearwater, FL.

Great-grandson Charles W. Collins dwelled in Pittsburgh

Great-grandson Abraham Edward Collins Jr. made a home in 1977 in Camp Hill, PA.

Great-grandson Ralph L. Collins resided in Kittanning, PA and in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA.

  • Step-granddaughter Vica Collins (1892- ? ) was born in Jan. 1892. She married Roy C. Lentz ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Henry J. Lentz, Harry L. Lentz, Chester Lentz, Roy Lentz, Charles Lentz, Kenneth Lentz, R.C. Lentz, Minnie Helkowski, Virginia Siska, Mabel Irene Guadiano, Charlotte Weaver and Mildred Lutz. Roy was the longtime owner of Mount Pleasant Foundry and counted U.S. Steel Corporation as a customer. Laborers of the plant poured grey iron into specially shaped molds, with tons of the finished produced shipped worldwide every week. In 1930, he added to his holdings with the acquisition of Connellsville Pattern Works. His business also involved repair of furnaces for local schools. They lived in Mount Pleasant in 1914-1977, with an address in 1945 of North Hitchman Street.

Great-grandson Henry J. Lentz (1914-1975) was born on Feb. 7, 1914 in Mount Pleasant. He married Doris Melba Brown ( ? - ? ), daughter of Leasure Brown of Alverton, near Mount Pleasant. Their three children were Dr. Henry R. Lentz, James H. Lentz and Patricia Lentz. At the age of 14, in 1928, Henry began working in his father's business, Mount Pleasant Foundry. Later, he became the owner of the firm. They lived at 129 Center Avenue in Mount Pleasant and were members of the First United Church of Christ. Henry was heavily involved in the community as a board director of Standard Savings and Loan and for four decades as a volunteer with the Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department, serving in the offices of president, fire chief and chaplain. He also belonged to the local Elks Club and was a district deputy of the local lodge 868; the Marion Lodge of the Masons; the Caravan Eight of Greensburg; and Tall Cedars of Derry. Sadly, Henry passed away at home at the age of 61 on Nov. 23, 1975.

Great-grandson Harry L. Lentz (1921-1970) was born on Feb. 11, 1921 in Mount Pleasant. He married Elva J. (?). They were the parents of Harry L. Lentz Jr. and Margaret V. Townsend. He worked for Vanadium Alloys Steel Company (Vasco) in Latrobe. They lived at 327 Morrison Avenue in Greensburg. Harry died in Latrobe Area Hospital on March 18, 1970.

Great-grandson Chester Lentz worked for his father at Mount Pleasant Foundry. In about 1931, he married Anna Siska. She was employed as a young woman at Woolworth Store in Mount Pleasant. Their residence in 1975 was in Mount Pleasant.

Great-grandson Roy Lentz ( ? - ? ) married Lillie Mae Struthers ( ? - ? ), daughter of James F.D. Struthers. Their wedding was held in the parsonage of the First Baptist Church of Mount Pleasant on Feb. 18, 1933, with Rev. A.E. Douglass officiating. The couple dwelled in Mount Pleasant and celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 1958.

Great-grandson Charles Lentz made his home in 1975 in Mount Pleasant.

Great-grandson Kenneth Lentz lived in Connellsville.

Great-grandson R.C. Lentz resided in Wooddale, PA in the mid-1970s.

Great-granddaughter Minnie Lentz married Joseph Helkowski and dwelled in Mount Pleasant.

Great-granddaughter Virginia Lentz wedded Joseph Siska and made a home in Mount Pleasant.

Great-granddaughter Mabel Irene Lentz served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a nurse, receiving her basic training at the naval training station in Hunter College, NY. Later, having returned to Mount Pleasant, she married Rocco Guadiano.

Great-granddaughter Charlotte Lentz was joined in marriage with Kenneth Weaver. The couple lived in Wooddale.

Great-granddaughter Mildred Lentz was united in wedlock with Eldidge Lutz. They dwelled in 1975 in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, WV.

  • Step-granddaughter Cecelia M. "Celia" Collins (1893-1951) was born on June 1, 1893 in Mill Run. She was joined in holy wedlock with Elmer Shipley (Oct. 25, 1887-1970), son of Everhart and Amanda (Linderman) Shipley. They were the parents of Roy E. Shipley, Elmer Robert Shipley, Mattie Bittner, Alvira V. Fullem, Violet Means and Irma D. Shroyer. Their residence in the mid-1930s was a 15-acre farm along the Mill Run-Springfield Pike. Elmer earned a living as a carpenter with the closure division of Anchor Hocking Corporation in South Connellsville. The family were members of Indian Creek Baptist Church. In 1943, they grieved at the untimely death of their married daughter Mattie Bittner. They sold their property in 1949 to Forest E. and Doris Broadwater and moved to 300 Hydman Street in South Connellsville. Stricken with an acute obstruction of her intestine, a result from surgery performed 14 years earlier, she was admitted to Connellsville State Hospital, where she died at the age of 57 on May 6, 1951. Burial was in Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run. Elmer lived for another 19 years as a widower. Toward the end, he became a resident of the Golden Age Nursing Home in Brownsville. He succumbed there at the age of 85 on Dec. 11, 1970. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that he was survived by 19 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

Great-grandson Roy E. Shipley lived in Farmington.

Great-grandson Elmer Robert Shipley resided in Connellsville.

Great-granddaughter Mattie Shipley was joined in wedlock with (?) Bittner. Sadly, she died in 1943.

Great-granddaughter Alvira V. Shipley married (?) Fullem and dwelled in Connellsville.

Great-granddaughter Violet Shipley wedded (?) Means.

Great-granddaughter Irma D. Shipley was united in matrimony with (?) Shroyer. Their home in 1970 was in Scottdale.

  • Step-granddaughter Catherine "Katie" Collins (1894-1950) was born on March 19, 1894 in Indian Creek near Mill Run. She was united in matrimony with Italian immigrant John Menuchi (April 8, 1890-1945). Born in Astonia, Italy, and having come to America at age 14, he appears not to have known his parents' names. Katie and John raised three foster children, among them Paul Menuchi, John Marino and a nephew, Samuel Collins Jr. John worked for many years for Kendall Lumber company of Sang Run, MD, followed by employment with McFarland Lumber Company in the Indian Creek Valley from 1908-1912. In about 1940, he was hired by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways (today's PennDOT). They dwelled in South Connellsville and in about 1937 relocated to Bullskin Township, north of town, with their home along Breakneck Road. They belonged to St. Rita's Catholic Church. John had leart valve problems and, when combined with influenza, died at the age of 54 on Jan. 24, 1945. Interment was in St. Rita's Cemetery. Katie survived her spouse by five years and began to endure her own heart and diabetes issues. In February or March 1950, having sold her house, she went to live with her married half-sister Nancy Jane McElhaney in Niles, Trumbull County, OH. She succumbed in their home at the age of 55 on April 17, 1950. Her remains were transported back to Fayette County for interment beside her husband. A funeral mass was led by Rev. Fr. Henry DeVivo.

Step-foster-great-grandson Paul Menuchi lived in Pittsburgh in 1950.

Step-foster-great-grandson John Marino resided in Cleveland in 1945.

  • Step-granddaughter Sadie A. Collins (1894- ? ) was born in 1894.
  • Step-granddaughter Edith Jeanette Collins (1897-1979) was born on June 28, 1897 (or 1898). In 1920, unmarried at the age of 22, she lived at home with her mother and stepfather. After a divorce, she married her step-father, John F. Hart.
  • Step-granddaughter Fannie Collins (1900- ? ) was born in about 1900. At the age of 14, she made news when she was walking to Normalville and bitten on the hip by a dog which had jumped over a wire fence to get at her. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "Little attention was paid to the wound until a few days ago when it became very sore and is causing the victim much pain." She wedded John Wallace ( ? - ? ). Her home was in East Pittsburgh in 1937 and in Winter Park, FL in 1950-1977..
  • Step-grandson Clyde H. Collins (1904- ? ) was born in about 1904.
  • Step-grandson Nery "Samuel" A. Collins (1905-1970) was born on Nov. 5, 1905, nine months after the drowning death of his father. He married Esther ( ? -1963). The couple produced four children -- Samuel Collins, Earl Collins, Merle Collins and Kathryn Knott. Their residence in 1937-1950 was in Connellsville. He eventually relocated to Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH, making a home at 1571 Claremont Road. He passed away at the age of 64, on March 25, 1970, in Metropolitan General Hospital. The remains were brought back to Fayette County to repose in Normalville Cemetery. An obituary was published in his old hometown newspaper, the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Great-grandson Samuel Collins Jr. was raised by his aunt and uncle, Katie and John Menuchi. Samuel lived in Peoria, IL in 1950 and in El Monte, CA in 1970.

Great-grandson Earl Collins resided in Warren, Trumbull County, OH.

Great-grandson Merle Collins dwelled in 1970 in Niles, Trumbull County, OH.

Great-granddaughter Kathryn Collins married Irvin Knott. They made a home in Cleveland in 1970.

  • Grandson Harry Arthur Hart (1907-1997) was born on Feb. 22, 1907 in Connellsville. Born with the name "Hiram Arthur Collins" to a single mother, once his parents married, Harry took the surname of his father and went by "Harry Arthur Hart." He married Minerva Hinzy ( ? -1980), and they were the parents of five -- Edna M. Meyers Poole, Max Hart, Paul Hart, Clifford Hart and Theodore "Ted" Hart. For three decades, he was employed in Connellsville by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and later its successor, CSX Railroad. Circa 1937, he dwelled in South Connellsville and in 1997 in Connellsville. Sadly, he endured the death of son Paul in 1961 and then Minerva in 1980. As his health failed, Harry was admitted to Highlands Hospital where he succumbed at the age of 90 on March 9, 1997. The Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary.

Great-granddaughter Edna M. Hart was married twice. One of her husbands was (?) Meyers and another (?) Poole. She was deceased before 1997.

Great-grandson Max Hart married Eleanor and lived in Niles, OH.

Great-grandson Paul Hart died in 1961.

Great-grandson Clifford Hart married (?) and resided in Bullskin Township near Connellsville.

Great-grandson Theodore "Ted" Hart (1941-2018) was born on July 13, 1941 in Connellsville. He was married and had three daughters, Jane Stottlemyer, Shelly Erforth and Teddie Watson. He also had six stepchildren -- June Sherman, Robin Nehela, Jenny Sherman, Robert Sherman Jr., George Eans and Terry McNelis. Ted was a self-employed contractor, making his home in Bullskin Township. In his free time, he liked to hunt and work with wood. He belonged to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and Eagles order. He died on Dec. 28, 2018 at the age of 77.

  • Grandson George H. Hart (1909-1926) was born in about 1909. Born with the surname "Collins" to an unwed mother, once his parents married, he took the his father's surname of "Hart." At the age of 17, George and his brother John lost their lives in a drowning accident on Aug. 21, 1926. They were riding in a skiff, which overturned in the Youghiogheny River near Indian Creek. George's body was recovered a week later after it had floated to Greene Junction near the West Penn Power Company powerhouse. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.
  • Grandson John F. Hart Jr. (1911-1926) was born on July 12, 1911. Tragically, on the fateful day of Aug. 21, 1926, while riding in a skiff in the Youghiogheny River near Indian Creek, the 15-year-old John and his 17-year-old brother George fell into the water when their skiff overturned, and both drowned. John's body was not recovered for several weeks, floating downstream past the Yough River Bridge and spotted by an employee of a local ice company. A search was unsuccessful, but later that day, a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad employee spotted it in the river near Dawson. Funeral services were held at the United Brethren Church in Normalville, led by Rev. Frank S. Wortman. He and George rest together in Normalville Cemetery under a stone marked "Hart Brothers."
  • Granddaughter Nancy Jane Hart (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914. Evidence suggests that she was married twice. Her first husband was Lawrence McElhaney ( ? - ? ). Nancy and Lawrence dwelled South Connellsville in 1937 and in Niles, Trumbull County, OH, in 1950, at the address of 549 Iowa Avenue. The couple divorced. By 1970, she had married again to Ray Cowger (or "Crowger").
  • Grandson Ralph E. Hart (1915-1999) was born on Nov. 15, 1915. He married Anna M. Pritts (1908-1998) and bore at least two children, Eleanor Cunningham and Ralph Hart Jr.. The Harts resided in Normalville in 1960-1972. Ralph passed into eternity at the age of 83 on June 7, 1999. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.

Great-granddaughter Eleanor Hart married Harry Cunningham ( ? - ? ), son of Ruth Cunningham of Mill Run. They resided in Normalville and were the parents of Kerry Lee Cunningham and Kelly Cunningham.

Great-grandson Ralph Hart Jr. married Connie Bigam, daughter of Harry J. Bigam of Connellsville. They lived near Normalville and produced a daughter, Vicki Lynn Hart.

  • Alexander Z. Hart

    Grandson Alexander Z. "Alex" Hart (1917-1997) was born on April 21, 1917 in Mill Run. He married Dora (Arsenberger) Bigam (1904-1986), daughter of George and Freida H. (Pagan) Arsenberger of Mill Run. The couple lived in Mill Run for decades. They were the parents of Darlene Firestone and Freddie Lee Hart. Evidence suggests that she had been married previously and brought five children to the union -- Agnes Shipley, Bill Bigam, Hugh Bigam, Ruth Brezo and Marion Serovy. Over two decades, Alexander earned a living working at Spotto's Hardware. From 1959 to 1972, he owned Darlene's Dairy Bar in Mill Run. Alexander belonged to the Fairview Aid Society, the Independent Slovak Citizens Club, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the American Legion of Donegal. He died at home at the age of 79 on Feb. 12, 1997. Rev. Madison Stringfellow officiated at the funeral service and burial in Normalville Cemetery.

Great-granddaughter Darlene Hart ( ? - ? ) married William B. "Bill" Firestone ( ? - ? ), son of Charles Firestone and grandson of Sarah Firestone of Normalville. Their children included Shane Firestone, Donald Blaine Firestone and Vonda Kay Firestone.

Great-grandson Freddie Lee Hart ( ? - ? )

Step-great-grandson Hugh Bigam ( ? - ? ) wedded Alice Elliott of Confluence and had two known children, Cheryl Ann Bigam and Todd Bigam.

  • Granddaughter Viola Hart (1920-2014) was born in 1920. She was wedded to Dominic Gentile ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce. The couple lived in Wilkinsburg near Pittsburgh. Later, she married Charles L. Depp ( ? - ? ) and continued to make a home in Pittsburgh. In 1997, she was in Plum Boro but toward the end of her life returned to Normalville. She died at the age of 94 on March 7, 2014. A death notice was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Grandson Smith Hart (1923- ? ) was born in 1923. He dwelled in Connellsville in 1997.
  • Grandson Philip Thomas Hart (1924-2010) was born on Nov. 4, 1924 in Mill run. He married Grace Bryner ( ? - ? ), daughter of Harold A. Bryner of Beaver, Beaver County, PA. They produced five known offspring -- Norman R. Hart, Philip P. Hart, Henry Robert Hart, Linda Henry and Joann Koster Haffey. During World War II, Philip sereved as a private in the U.S. Army, earning a Bronze Star. They relocated to Beaver County, PA, where Philip was employed as an operator with St. Joe Lead. They resided in Rochester and Ohioville, and Philip was a member of the St. James lodge of the Masons. Heartache swept over the family in Nov. 1977 when 23-year-old married son Norman died during or related to a hunting accident. In 1997, they dwelled in Midland, Beaver County. Philip died at the age of 85 on March 16, 2010. He was laid to rest in Sylvania Hills Memorial Park, with an obituary appearing in the Beaver County Times.

Great-grandson Norman R. Hart (1954-1977) was born on June 5, 1954 in Rochester, Beaver County. He wedded Linda Bonzo ( ? - ? ). Their only known daughter was Michelle Lynn Hart. They lived in West Bridgewater, PA at 413 Bridge Street. Norman was employed as a welder in the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company tin mill in Aliquippa and belonged to the local 1311 of the United Steel Workers of America in Aliquippa. They were members of Four Mile United Presbyterian Church. The family was cleaved apart in Nov. 1977 when Norman lost his life in a huntng accident.

Great-grandson Philip P. Hart lived in Meridian, MS in 1977. He was deceased by 2010.

Great-grandson Henry Robert Hart married Susan and made a home in Ohioville in 1977-2010.

Great-granddaughter Linda Hart married D. Curtis Henry. In 1977, they resided in Coraopolis, PA and in 2010 in Greenville, TN.

Great-granddaughter Joann Hart was joined in wedlock with Fred J. Koster. They dwelled in East Liverpool, Columbiana County, OH. Later, she married Patrick Haffey and moved to Cleveland, OH.

  • Granddaughter Alice Hart (1927- ? ) was born in about 1927. She was united in marriage with James Bryner ( ? - ? ) and resided in Uniontown. Later, she was united in wedlock with (?) Burd and remained in Uniontown. She was in Farmington in 1997.
  • Granddaughter Rachel Hart (1931- ? ) was born in about 1931. Rachel was joined in holy wedlock with (?) Schoepke ( ? - ? ). They lived in the Verona section of Pittsburgh.
  • Granddaughter Edith Jeannette Hart (1932-1981) was born on Dec. 12, 1932 in Mill Run. She married (?) Bowser. She dwelled in Pittsburgh. She died at the age of 48 on March 2, 1981. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Margaret Hart (1935- ? ) was born in about 1935. She was wed to Benny C. Bryner (March 28, 1935-2023), son of Michael and Rebecca Jane (Tressler) Bryner of Hopwood. They stayed together over the ups and downs of an extraordinary 68 years. The Bryners made their home for decades in Uniontown. Benny served in the U.S. Army and for 45 years was employed by Columbia Gas. He also served as code enforcement officer for North Union Township. Together they bore a trio of offspring -- Bonny V. Martz, Benny M. Bryner and Edith R. Steffy. Over the years they endured the untimely deaths of grandson Daniel J. Boyd and great-grandsons Ethan Scott Earley and Trenton Jaxon Carmack. Benny died at home at the age of 88 on May 27, 2023.

    Great-granddaughter Bonny V. Bryner wed Jeff Martz.

    Great-grandson Benny M. Bryner ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Edith R. Bryner entered into marriage with Bradley Steffy.

  • Grandson Paul Hart (1939- ? ) was born in 1939. He may have been a twin with his sister Ethel. Paul lived in Rochester, Beaver County.
  • Granddaughter Ethel Hart (1939- ? ) was born in 1939. She may have been a twin with her brother Paul. Ethel married Howard King ( ? - ? ), son of Benjamin King. The Kings resided in Mill Run and Normalville. They were the parents of Rickey Howard King.
  • Grandson Saul Hart (1942-2005) was born on Oct. 26, 1942 and grew up in Mill Run. He dwelled at home with his parents in 1960 in Mill Run. Eventually, he moved to Uniontown and was "under the loving care of the Fayette Resources," said the Uniontown Herald Standard. He died at the age of May 4, 2005. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery, with funeral services led by Rev. Thomas Bonomo.


Dirt road in Mill Run, early 1900s


Son William Harrison Hart (1870-1945) was born on Sept. 14, 1870 in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. He married a distant cousin on the Younkin side of the family, Sarah "Ellen" Enos. See their biography for more.


Son Frederick "Fred" Hart (1872-1944) was born on Feb. 22, 1872 either in Normalville, Fayette County or in Westmoreland County, PA. He was a coal miner and in 1914 labored in Mt. Braddock near Uniontown. Fred was twice married. His first bride died in July or more likely August 1911 -- her name may have been Bertha (Firestone) Hart and she may have hemorrhaged after the birth of a child. After almost three years as a widower, the 41-year-old Fred was joined in wedlock with 33-year-old Olive Mariah (Hart) Ringer (1871-1942), daughter of James W. and Jane (Grimm) Hart of Hopwood near Uniontown, and the widow of Joseph Humbertson of Markleysburg and John Ringer. The Frederick/Olive wedding ceremony was held on April 27, 1914 at the home of Benjamin Hart of Revere, near Uniontown, officiated by justice of the peace C.B. Conway. She brought a number of offspring into the union with Frederick -- believed to have been Jane Bryner, Chauncey Ernest Humbertson, Arthur Ringer, Mrs. Norman Tedrow, Joseph Humbertson and Clarence Ringer. The Harts dwelled on Reidmore Road in South Connellsville. Sadly, stricken with inflammation of her arteries, Olive died at age 71 on July 11, 1942. She was laid to rest in Connellsville's Hill Grove Cemetery, with an obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier outlining her three marriages. Fred outlived her by two years. During the early 1940s, he obtained work as a laborer with the Works Progress Administration (WPA). He died from heart disease and hardening of the arteries at the age of 71 on Jan. 26, 1944. He was interred in Normalville Cemetery.

  • Step-granddaughter Jane (?) married (?) Bryner. She lived in South Connellsville in 1942.
  • Step-grandson Chauncey Ernest Humbertson (1887-1955) was born on Sept. 22, 1887 in Humbertson, a community near Somerfield, Somerset County, PA. He was twice married, first to Cora Mansberry ( ? -1918). His second wife was a distant step-cousin, Florence May, of the family of Civil War veteran Daniel H. and Julian (Ringler) May. See the May biography for more.
  • Step-grandson Arthur Ringer was in South Connellsville in the early 1940s.
  • Step-granddaughter (?) wedded Norman Tedrow. They dwelled in New Geneva, Fayette County.
  • Step-grandson Joseph Humbertson relocated to Cumberland, MD.
  • Step-grandson Clarence Ringer migrated to Virginia and settled in Roanoke.

Daughter Ada Hart (1885-1918) was born on Aug. 25, 1885. She apparently was married in 1900 at the age of 14 to 25-year-old Lee G. Kimmel (1875- ? ). Later that year (1900), she resided under her mother's roof, with Lee's whereabouts unknown. He is known to have earned a living as a log cutter and thus he may have been away at a lumber camp at the time the census was taken in 1900. The couple eventually reunited and produced a large family -- among them Ivan Kimmel, Ira Kimmel, Grace Kerns, Mary "Jane" Brooks, Reed S. Kimmel, Arthur R. Kimmel, Bernard Creed Kimmel, Evalene Kimmel and Helen M. Kimmel. Tragically, three of the children died as infants -- Evelene on March 17, 1909 from bronchial pneumonia and heart infection; Helen on Sept. 22, 1916 as a result of pneumonia and whooping cough; and Bernard on Feb. 12, 1918 due to acute bronchial pneumonia. All three babies were placed into eternal rest in Normalville Cemetery. The family lived in Normalville circa 1902-1916. By 1918, she had moved to Wharton Township, Fayette County. Having contracted bronchial pneumonia, at a time when a deadly strain of influenza was sweeping the nation, she succumbed and died at the age of 33 on Nov. 15, 1918. Her husband Lee, with an address of Hopwood, Fayette County signed her death certificate. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Grace Kimmel (1901- ? ) was born in about 1901. She wed (?) Kerns. She made her home in 1968 in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Reed S. Kimmel (1902-1956) was born on Christmas Eve 1902 in Normalville. He married Emma Grace Clover ( ? - ? ). Reed was employed as a "fire knocker." Their home was in the rear of 327 South Pittsburgh Street in South Connellsville. Reed suffered a sudden and fatal heart attack in the wee hours of Sept. 17, 1956, at the age of 53, in Connellsville. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery.
  • Grandson Ira Kimmel (1905- ? ) was born in 1905 in Normalville. He lived in South Connellsville in 1968.
  • Anchor Hocking plant in Connellsville

    Grandson Arthur R. Kimmel (1907-1948) was born on Jan. 14, 1907. He married Loretta (?) (1910- ? ). They lived on First Street in South Connellsville, where Arthur worked as a foreman in the forming department of Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation. Arthur was stricken with a heart attack and passed away 10 hours later on Dec. 10, 1948 in Connellsville. His remains were placed below the sod in Mount Olive Cemetery near Indian Head, Fayette County.

  • Granddaughter Mary "Jane" Kimmel (1910- ? ) was born in about 1910. She apparently was married twice, her first husband being (?) Kerns. They produced one known son, Edward Kerns. Later, she wed her second spouse, Abraham "Abe" Brooks (1906-1971), son of Preston and Minnie (Thorpe) Brooks of Dunbar, Fayette County. They had eight known children -- D. Delores Tony, Shirley Yauger, Donna Marlene Brooks, Marshall L. Brooks. Howard D. Brooks, Preston Brooks, Alfred D. Brooks and Gary G. Brooks. Their residence in the 1950s and '60s was in the Leisenring No. 1 coal mining community, where he labored for many years as a miner. Abe was a member of the United Mine Workers of America, and the family belonged to the Uniontown Church of the Brethren. In September 1956, he was struck by a cable, which propelled him against a wall in the mine, and suffered cuts and bruises to his body and scalp. Abe died on June 27, 1971 at the age of 65. The Uniontown Morning Herald mentioned that among his survivors were 28 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Burial was in Mount Olive Cemetery. Jane made her home in the 1970s in Leisenring. In 1972, daughters Delores lived in Leisenring No. 1 and Shirley in Lakewood, OH; and sons Edward resided in South Connellsville; Marshall, Howard and Preston in Levittown, PA; and Alfred and Gary in Cleveland, OH.
  • Grandson Ivan Kimmel (1912-1968) was born on Dec. 5, 1912 in Normalville. He apparently never married. He moved to Connellsville and earned income working for Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation. In his mid-50s, he made his home with his sister Grace Kerns. He died at age 55 on June 28, 1968. An obituary in the Daily Courier said he had "spent most of his life in South Connellsville." Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.


Son David Hart (1875- ? ) was born in about 1875.


Joseph McNett

Sarah McNett Tressler

Daughter Sarah "Sadie" Hart (1877-1964) was born in September 1877 in Normalville. She was twice married. Her first husband was Joseph McNett (1867-1906), also spelled "McNatt," son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Pirl) McNett They were wed in about 1891, when she was only 14 years old and he 24, and bride and groom were 10 years apart in age. Census records show that in 1900, they resided in Dunbar, Fayette County, PA, where Joseph earned a living as a day laborer. The couple produced three children -- John McNett, Minnie McNett and Grace Kline. In 1906, Joseph labored as a coal miner in Leisenring No. 3 mine for the H.C. Frick Coke Company, and the family made their home in Connellsvile. Tragedy rocked the young family in mid-October 1906. On the afternoon of Oct. 14, 1906, Joseph and fellow workers were busy erecting scaffolding in a coal mine pit -- "the deepest shaft in the Connellsville coke region," reported the Connellsville Weekly Courier.  While about 100 feet below ground level, he and his co-workers lowered short planks of wood from one above to the other below. One of the men dropped a plank, hitting Joseph on the head, which instantly fractured his skull. He began to fall, but one man grabbed him before he would otherwise have plunged 400 feet deeper. Unconscious, he was brought to the surface and rushed to Cottage Stage Hospital in Connellsville, where he expired in surgery. Burial was in Saltlick Township, Fayette County, Later, she was wedded to Edward G. Tressler ( ? -1957). For decades, they made their home in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. Their address in the 1960s was 701 Bedford Street in Cumberland, and they were members of the LaVale Chapel of Assembly of God Church. Sarah helped earn income for the family by working at S. Schwab Company. Edward died in 1957. Sarah survived him by seven years. She became critically ill in late March 1964 and died three days later, on March 25, 1964, at the age of 86, in Cumberland's Sacred Heart Cemetery. An obituary in her old hometown newspaper, the Connellsville Daily Courier, noted that she was survived by seven grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Following a funeral held in the LaVale church, led by Rev. Hartley Wigfield and Rev. Mike Stottlemyer, she was placed into eternal repose in Zion Memorial Park.


Sarah and her 2nd husband Edward Tressler



  • Granddaughter Minnie McNett (1892- ? ) was born in June 1892. Just four months after her father's tragic demise, when she was a tender age of 14, Minnie too was swept away by the Grim Reaper after she developed a deadly case of typhoid fever.

  • Grandson John H. McNett (1893-1951) was born on Aug. 4, 1893 in Normalville. He grew up in Dunbar and in about 1917 married Rachel M. Lowery (1896-1934. Their three known children were Helen Marie McNett, Jack Edward McNett and Mack Burton McNett. John held solid employment over the years as an engineer with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. They dwelled in Connellsville at 117 South Pittsburgh Street, where they moved in about 1916. Sadly, Rachel died on Nov. 26, 1924. John survived her by nearly 27 years and remarried to Goldie (?). Stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage, John died in South Connellsville on or about Aug. 31, 1951, at the age of 58. His remains were placed into repose in Normalville Cemetery.



Grace McNett Tressler Kline


  • Granddaughter Grace Bernice McNett Tressler (1902-1971) was born in about 1902 and was age four when her father was killed. She is believed to have taken the surname of her stepfather, "Tressler." She married Wallace C. Kline and lived on Bedford Street in Cumberland. She helped support the family by working at S. Schwab Company. Their three children were Cecil E. Kline, John D. Kline and Audrey Hebner. Grace died on Sept. 20, 1971 at the age of 69. An obituary in the Cumberland Evening Times noted that she was survived by 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and that her children Cecil resided in Tampa, John in Cumberland and Audrey in Puerto Rico. Interment was in Sunset Memorial Park.

Son Clyde S. Hart (1888- ? ) was born in May 1888. He resided in Connellsville in 1945-64.


~ Son George Washington Showman ~


Biographical & Portrait
Cyclopedia of Fayette County

Son George Washington Showman (1847-1912) was born on April 28, 1847 in Dunbar Township, Fayette County, and grew up in Springfield Township, Fayette County.

He is profiled in the 1889 book co-authored by John M. Gresham and Samuel T. Wiley, entitled Biographical & Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

As a young adult, George labored for nine years in the Tyrone and Hutchinson coal mines. He then made the decision to become a farmer, in Tyrone Township, Fayette County. After six years in Tyrone, he then relocated back to a farm in Springfield Township and remained for good.

On Nov. 21, 1872, when he was 26 years of age, George wed 30-year-old Frances Hurst (1842-1900), who was five years his senior. She was the daughter of James Hurst of Tyrone Township.

The couple produced four children children -- Alberti Showman, Mary Jane Showman, Lyda Belle Showman and James G. Showman. Heartache enveloped the Showmans when daughter Alberti died at the tender age of nine months, on Feb. 11, 1879.

Circa 1880, the family resided on a farm in Springfield. Arnie King, age 24, and John Marshall, age eight, lived under their roof as boarders. In March 1882, George suffered a loss on his farm when "a mink killed twelve chickens one night, for George W. Showman," reported the Connellsville Keystone Courier. Then in November 1886, the Courier noted that he had "an apple tree that has borne the second crop of apples this season."

For five years, George served as a Springfield Township school board director, and was elected president circa 1889. He also was a member of the International Order of Red Men (Eylan Tribe) and the Methodist Episcopal Church at Normalville, where he taught a Sunday School class. Said the Biographical & Portrait Cyclopedia, "He is a prosperous farmer and a prominent citizen of his township."

Sadly, Frances passed away on May 10, 1900. Her remains were placed into rest within the earth at Normalville Cemetery.

George spent his widowed years making a living as a carpenter and circa 1906 lived in Connellsville.

On May 30, 1906, he married again, to dressmaker Flora Frances "Laura" (Smith) Cadwallader (1847-1934), daughter of William R. and Hanna Keziah Smith, and a native of Unionville, Bellefonte, Centre County, PA. Flora also was a widow, having lost her husband Warren on Feb. 24 1898. She brought two children to the marriage, Roy S. Cadwallader and Glenn A. Cadwallader.

They made their home in Connellsville, with him laboring as a blacksmith. Six years later, on April 7, 1912, George passed away from cancer, just three weeks shy of his 65th birthday. Burial was in the Normalville Cemetery.

Flora outlived him by another 22 years. The Connellsville Daily Courier once noted that she "was a member of the Baptist Church for 71 years, enrolling at the age of 13"

In August 1934, she traveled to State College to visit with some nieces. She suffered a stroke while there, and died. Her remains were returned to Fayette County for burial in Ohiopyle Cemetery. Rev. J.S. Brownlee, of the First Baptist Church, led the funeral service.

Daughter Mary Jane Showman (1874- ? ) was born on May 29, 1874.

Daughter Lyda Belle Showman (1876- ? ) was born on Oct. 9, 1876.

Son James G. Showman (1881- ? ) was born on Sept. 3, 1881. At the age of 18, he resided in Normalville, Fayette County and labored as a blacksmith. On March 15, 1900, the 18-year-old James married 17-year-old Stella Leonard, also of Normalville and the daughter of S.E. and Sadie Leonard. Justice of the peace C. Stillwagon officiated at the ceremony, held in Connellsville.


~  Daughter Catherine (Showman) Johnson ~

Daughter Catherine Showman (1848-1917) was born on Sept. 14, 1848 (or 1849) in Springfield Township. 

She married Charles Johnson ( ? - ? ) and resided in Springfield and in nearby Somerset County. They had at least six children --  William B. Johnson, Wade Johnson, Harry Johnson, James Johnson, Mollie Pearl Channing and Sadie E. King.


Catherine was afflicted with acute cardiac dilatation, a condition arising when the heart cannot pump sufficient quantities of blood. She died from the ailment at age 69 on Nov. 20, 1917. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.

Son William B. Johnson (1871-1943) was born on Aug. 25, 1871 near Connellsville, where he spent his entire life. He married Margaret (?) (1877- ? ). They had two daughters -- Mrs. Joseph Basinger and Mrs. Homer Pearl. In his final years, William resided on North First Street in Connellsville's West Side, and he earned a living as a laborer. He died of heart problems at the age of 72 on Nov. 16, 1943. His remains were lowered into eternal repose in Normalville Cemetery.

Son Wade Johnson (1876-1918) was born on March 12, 1876. He was married and worked as a farmer in Mill Run. Suffering from tuberculosis of the lungs, over the span of three years, he succumbed on March 9, 1918, just three days shy of his 42nd birthday. Burial was in the Normalville Cemetery.

Son Harry Johnson (1885-1961) was born on Nov. 26, 1885 in Somerset County. He married Susan Pearl (?) ( ? -1961). They had no children and resided in Rockwood and Somerset, Somerset County, where Harry labored as a coal miner. Sadly, Susan Pearl died on Valentine's Day 1961, and Harry followed her to the grave just nine days later, due to heart failure, on Feb. 19, 1961. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery. Harry's obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Son James A. Johnson (1880-1952) was born on Nov. 21, 1880 near Normalville. He married Margaret Channing ( ? - ? ). They produced three daughters -- Pearl Christman, Gladys Ritchey and Mildred Johnson. James was employed at the Homestead Steel Works of United States Steel and for nine years resided in Pittsburgh in (1943-1952). Their address in 1952 was 5020 Liberty Avenue. Suffering from hardening of the arteries and diabetes, James died in West Penn Hospital at the age of 71 on March 22, 1952. His remains were shipped to the Normalville Evangelical United Brethren Church for funeral services led by Rev. Smith Hixson followed by burial.


Above: Channing family, L-R: Ada, Lester, Mollie, Charles and Olive. Evelyn stands in front of her father. Courtesy Marcia Mountan. Below: Mollie in later life. Photo by Blaine Channing, courtesy Jill (Channing) Aird.




Daughter Mary Jane "Mollie" Johnson (1878-1961) was born on Nov. 6, 1878 near Normalville, Fayette County. At the age of 17, on Nov. 24, 1895, she married 24-year-old Charles L. Channing (1870-1956), son of James and Phoebe (Deane) Channing of near Elliotsville, Fayette County. They made their home for decades in Normalville. Their nine children were James Walter Channing, Ada Sleasman, Carl Channing, Olive Kern, Evelyn Leggitt Collins, Lester Channing, Donald Channing, Blanche Dunham and Blaine Channing. Charles was a longtime coal miner. For 47 years, he was a member of the General Worth Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) and for 43 years of the Normalville Evangelical United Brethren Church.


The Channings' 50th anniversary

In August 1930, Mollie and Charles and many of their adult children and grandchildren attended the first annual family reunion of Carl's ancestors, immigrants James and John Channing of Devonshire, England. The event was held in Brooks Grove near Normalville. The Channings held a family reunion at their home on Oct. 1, 1936, with adult children attending from local communities as well as West Virginia and Ohio. On Nov. 24, 1955, the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and were pictured with a feature story in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Charles passed away at the age of 85 on May 27, 1956. The funeral service was held at the family church, led by Rev. Robert Blank and Rev. Paul A. Morris, followed by burial in the Normalville Cemetery. The Daily Courier published an obituary.

For the last four years of her life, Mollie made her home with her married daughter Ada Sleasman in Indian Head. She suffered a heart attack and died within 10 hours at the age of 82 on Oct. 2, 1961. Daughter Ada signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death. Interment was in Normalville. The Daily Courier reported in an obituary that her survivors were counted as 29 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, and that she "was the last surviving member of her family."

  • Grandson James Walter Channing (1897-1947) was born on May 31, 1897 in Normalville, Fayette County. He married Mildred Elizabeth Allen (1903-1988). Their known children were Blaine Lambert Channing, Paul Channing, June Ilene Bradley and Virginia Darlene Warnock. They resided in 1936 in Hollidays Cove, WV. By 1947, they had relocated to Weirton, Hancock County, WV, where he had obtained employment in the blooming plant of Weirton Steel. Tragically, at the age of 50, and suffering from hypertension, he was felled by a stroke and died on Oct. 16, 1947. Burial was in Chestnut Ridge Cemetery in Florence, Washington County, PA. Now widowed, Mildred outlived James by more than four decades. In 1953, she married again to Ira Preston Cline (1898-1993). She passed into eternity at the age of 84 on March 28, 1988. She rests for all time near her first husband.
  • Granddaughter Ada Channing (1899-1992) was born in 1899. She married Grover C. Sleasman (1892-1973), son of John B. and Martha P. (Miller) Sleasman of Alverton, near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. For many years, they dwelled in Indian Head, Fayette County. Their eight children were Beulah Sleasman, Glenn E. Sleasman, Dale W. Sleasman, Merle R. Sleasman, Carl Edward Sleasman, Rev. Earl M. Sleasman, Franklin R. Sleasman and Ruth Wittenmeyer. The Sleasmans endured the death of their daughter Beulah in 1921 and son Glenn in 1936. The Connellsville Daily Courier, summarizing Grover's lifetime of accomplishments, reported that he "was a member of the Indian Head Church of God, whee he was a former member of the Church Council, Sunday School superintendent and Bible Class teacher. He was a graduate of California State Normal School and taught school in Springfield and Saltlick Townships for 38 years before returing in 1954. After retirement, he served as a school director for six years. He was an organizer and former secretary and director of the Mount Nebo Cemetery Association for many years. He was the Democratic Committeeman in Precinct Two of Saltlick Township for more than 30 years." Grover died on March 7, 1973 at the age of 80. Rev. Dr. G. Marion Smith oversaw the funeral service and burial at Mount Nebo Cemetery. In August 1976, at the Channing reunion held at Indian Creek Valley picnic area near Indian Head, their son Carl was elected treasurer. Ada survived her spouse by 19 years. She passed into eternity in 1992.

Great-granddaughter Beulah Sleasman ( ? - ? )

Great-grandson Glenn E. Sleasman ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 2003.

Great-grandson Dale W. Sleasman (1918-2003) was born on July 23, 1918 in Indian Head, Fayette County. He wedded (?). Three known offspring were born to this union -- Eugene D. Johnson, Harry G. Sleasman and Dalene Pritts. In young manhood, he was employed as a timekeeper by the Works Progress Administration. Later, for three decades, he earned income through his carpentry work for the Pennsylvania Railroad, which became part of the Penn Central Railroad. The family attended the County Line Church of the Brethren. In his free time, Dale liked to collect coins, play checkers and work in his garden. Toward the end, he went to live in Hempfield Mahor in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, PA. Death swept him away at the age of 85 on Sept. 17, 2003. His remains are in eternal sleep in Mount Nebo Cemetery in Indian Head.

Great-grandson Merle R. Sleasman ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 2003.

Great-grandson Carl Edward Sleasman (1930-2021) was born on Nov. 19, 1930 in Indian Head, Fayette County. He was joined in holy wedlock with Evangeline Joy Imel (Sept. 29, 1939-2020), daughter of Ernest and Helen (Stairs) Imel. The couple's three children were April Linnell, Hope Dull and Brent Sleasman. Upon graduation from high school, he received a bachelor of arts degree from Findlay College in 1952. With the Korean War aflame, he joined the U.S. Army in 1952 and served as a supply sergeant until his discharge in 1954. He returned to Indian Head and taught school in Saltlick Township from 1954 to 1956. Realizing he could advance in his profession with additional education, he obtained a masters of education degree in 1958 from the University of Pittsburgh. Carl went on to a 36-year career in the Connellsville Area School District, from 1956 to 1992, primarily at Junior High East where he taught U.S. History. His students included the noted Connellsville Class of 1972 surveyed on this website. He was an elder, choir singer and Sunday School superintendent and teacher at the Indian Head Church of God. In the community, he was involved with the Allegheny Region of Churches of God and held a seat on the board of directors of its Camp Sonrise Mountain facility. He belonged to the Indian Creek Valley Lions Club for 65 years and held a membership in the Valley post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In August 1976, at the Channing reunion held at Indian Creek Valley picnic area near Indian Head, he was elected treasurer. Sadly, Evangeline passed away at the age of 80 on July 3, 2020. At the age of 90, as a patient in Alle Kiski Select Specialty Hospital, he succumbed to death on March 4, 2021, caused by complications from the coronavirus disease. Pastor Douglas Noll presided over the funeral service, followed by interment was in Mount Nebo Cemetery.

Great-grandson Rev. Earl M. Sleasman (1935- ? ) was born in 1935. On Aug. 26, 1961, he entered into marriage with Donna J. (1939-living). Their home in 2003 was in Altoona, PA and in 2021 was in Pittsburgh.

Great-grandson Franklin R. "Frank" Sleasman ( ? - ? ) wedded Janis ( ? - ? ). They relocated to Manchester, NH.

Great-granddaughter Ruth Sleasman ( ? - ? ) appears to have been twice-married. Her first spouse was (?) Wittenmeyer ( ? - ? ). Her second husband was Jack Francisco ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in 2003 in Findlay, Hancock County, OH. She was deceased by 2021.

  • Grandson Carl R. Channing (1902- ? ) was born in 1902. He was twice-married. His first spouse was Glenna Virginia (?). After a divorce in September 1934, in Akron, OH, Carl remained in the city and earned a living as a bus operator. On Sept. 14, 1934, in nuptials held in Washington, Washington County, PA, he married his second bride, 22-year-old Mary Jeannette Tummel (1911-1936), daughter of German immigrants Peter and Eleanor (Hein) Tummel of Akron. They produced a son, Robert Channing. Mary Jeannette was a clerical worker for a rubber company in Akron. They resided at 119 North Forge Street. The family traveled back to Normalville in August 1930 for the first annual family reunion of Carl's ancestors, immigrants James and John Channing of Devonshire, England. Heartache blanketed this young family when Mary Jeannette attempted to terminate her pregnancy in the winter of 1936. An acute infection of meningitis set in, and she was admitted to St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, where she succumbed at the age of 24 on March 10, 1936. Her exhausted remains were lowered into eternal repose in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron. Their young son Robert was taken in and raised by Carl's parents. Carl made his home in 1936 in Akron, OH and in the 1950s and '60s was in Massillon, OH. His son Robert served overseas with the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.
  • The Kerns' 25th anniversary

    Granddaughter Olive M. Channing (1904-1978) was born on Jan. 23, 1904. On April 19, 1922, when she was 18 years of age, she was united in wedlock with William Kern ( ? - ? ). Their known children were Alfred Zane Kern, Elsie Ghost and William L. Kern. They lived in Ohiopyle, Fayette County in 1927, Scottdale, Fayette County in 1936 and later on Oglevee Lane in Connellsville. William was a long-time employee of West Penn Railways Company. In 1947, the couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with an open house at their home on 103 Haas Avenue in Connellsville. "The honorees received many beautiful congratulatory cards and gifts," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier in an article which included their photograph. "Bouquets of flowers, included among the gifts, were used in decorating the rooms. Lunch was served by Mrs. Ghost, Miss Dorothy Younkin and Mrs. Evelyn Liggett." In August 1976, at the fifth annual Channing Family Reunion, Olive and William received an award for being the couple married the longest and their son in law Lloyd Ghost was elected vice president. Olive died at the age of 74 on May 21, 1978. Her remains were lowered into eternal sleep in the Indian Creek Baptist Church in Mill Run. The widowed William lived on for another eight years. On St. Patrick's Day 1986, at the age of 89, he was carried away by the Angel of Death.

Great-grandson Alfred Zane Kern (1924-1931) was born on Aug. 1, 1924. At the age of six, he was a schoolboy. But on the fateful day of Jan. 28, 1931, he was struck by a moving automobile along the state road in Springfield Township, fracturing his skull. He was rushed to Connellsville State Hospital where he succumbed  that evening. His tender remains were laid to rest in the Indian Creek Baptist Church.

Great-granddaughter Elsie Keren (1925-2012) was born on Nov. 18, 1925. She was united in marital union with Eugene Lloyd Those (1925-1996). They were the parents of a son, Philip Lloyd Ghost. Sadly, they endured the untimely death of their son in 1990. Eugene died in 1996. Elsie passed away at age 86, in Connellsville, on March 19, 2012.

  • Granddaughter Evelyn Channing (1909- ? ) was born in about 1909. She was thrice married. Her first marriage was to Charles Tatgenhorst ( ? - ? ). They lived in or around Jefferson County, OH. The union ended in divorce on July 10, 1933 by decree of the Common Pleas Court of Jefferson County. Then at the age of 26, on Nov. 30, 1933, she married her second husband, 31-year-old John B. Leggitt ( ? - ? ), son of W.C. and Eva (Mohn) Liggett. Rev. Jacob L. Kooser officiated at the wedding, held in the home of her parents in Normalville. John also had been divorced previously, on Oct. 31, 1933. At the time of marriage, he worked as a railroad laborer and lived at 224 South Fifth Street in Steubenville, Jefferson County, OH. In 1936, their home was in Steubenville. By 1955, she married a second time to Ross Collins ( ? - ? ). In 1961, her home was in Steubenville.
  • Grandson Lester Ward Channing (1910-1957) was born on May 27, 1910. He was married to Mary ( ? - ? ). He labored as a coal miner and in 1936 made his residence in Mill Run, Fayette County. Later, they relocated to Mont Alto, Franklin County, PA. He began to suffer in the late 1940s from "bilateral pulmonary tuberculosis" which he endured for the rest of his life. In early 1955, he was admitted to the Samuel G. Dixon State Hospital in Quincy Township, Franklin County. He remained there for two years, 10 months and eight days until death on Dec. 16, 1957 at the age of 47.  His remains were brought back to Fayette County for burial in Indian Head.
  • Granddaughter Blanche Channing ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). As with several of her older siblings, she moved to Akron, Summit County, OH where she lived in 1936. She eventually married Elbert Dunham ( ? -1954). The coupledid not reproduce. By 1940, they relocated to Phoenix, AZ. Then in 1953, after 14 years, Elbert became employed as a chef at an airport cafe in Prescott. Tragedy ended the marriage on Jan. 4, 1954, when the 43-year-old Elbert was killed in an automobile accident, the first known fatality in Arizona that year. It would have been his first day of work in the new position. A story in the Arizona Republic said that the one-vehicle accident occurred "Six miles west of Kirkland on the Bagdad road... [He] was driving too fast for the condition of the road -- which is under construction -- and went out of control in loose gravel. The car overturned, killing Dunham instantly." Word was sent to her family in Connellsville, with a brief obituary published in the Daily Courier. His remains were transported to New York State for interment in Hudson/Hensonville. Blanche eventually returned to Fayette County and lived at home with her parents in 1956. She was wed a second time by 1961 to Robert Culver ( ? - ? ) and made their home in Mansfield, OH.
  • Blaine, WWII, and with Freda

    Grandson Robert "Donald" Channing moved to Ohio as a young man, where he lived in Steubenville circa 1937. By 1940, he had moved back to Mill Run. He held the rank of sergeant and served in Germany during World War II. Evidence suggests that he was twice-wed. His first bride was Margaret Lillian Harbaugh ( ? - ? ), daughter of McCune B. Harbaugh of Mill Run. The wedding was held in the United Brethren Church in Mill Run, with the engagement news printed in the Connesville Daily Courier. Later, he resided in Lima, OH. His second spouse is believed to have been (?) Thrasher, daugher of Lydia Thrasher.
  • Grandson Blaine Channing (1921-1986) was born in 1921. He married Freda Miller (1922-2007), daughter of Lloyd M. and Agnes (Miner) Miller. See the Miller biography for more.

Daughter Sarah E. "Sadie" Johnson (1891-1916) was born on Aug. 22, 1891. She married John King ( ? - ? ) and lived in Normalville. But the Grim Reaper claimed her just after her 25th birthday, on Sept. 2, 1916, of cancer of the uterus. She was interred in the Normalville Cemetery. Whether or not she reproduced is unknown.




Albert and Mary (Conn) Showman

~ Son Albert Showman ~

Son Albert Showman (1852-1927) was born on Sept. 28, 1852 in Springfield Township. 

His first wife was Anna Hilling (1852-1892). 

Their five children were Jerry Showman, Flora May Channing, Amy Eicher, Elmer H. Showman and David "Hamilton" Showman. 

Heartache shook the family when Anna passed away at the age of 40, in 1892. The cause of her untimely death is not yet known.

Albert wed his second bride, Mary (Conn) King (1865-1948), daughter of Herman G. and Elizabeth (Williams) Conn, and a native of Hexebarger near Kingwood, Somerset County. There was a 13-year difference in Albert's and Mary's ages.

She previously had been married to Samuel King ( ? - ? ), and she brought three children to the marriage, Cora Ferrell, W. Hays King and Esther Millslagle. The Williams and Younkin families were close, and Mary's sister Amanda Williams was married to Albert's distant cousin, Civil War veteran Martin Miner.


Albert's house located on Route 653 between Normalville and Scullton. L-R: Amy, 
Ham, Albert and Elmer Showman , Cora and Esther King and Mary Showman


Obituary, 1927

They bore five more children of their own to round out the mixed family: Ira Showman, Preston C. Showman, Esther Mayme Prinkey, Edward C. Showman and Helen Landenberger. 

The brood lived on a farm near Mill Run for many years, and at some point Albert acquired a farm formerly owned by M.C. Hart and Robert Norris. They moved into East Connellsville in about 1923, purchasing a two-story frame house and building a barn on the property, located on Connellsville Street.

Stricken with an obstruction of his bowel, Albert passed away in Bullskin Township, north of Connellsville, at the age of 74 on Jan. 6, 1927. An obituary said he had been suffering from the grip (pneumonia) "but his condition was not considered serious until Thursday morning. It grew rapidly worse until the end at 6 o'clock." Burial was in Normalville Cemetery, following a funeral at the United Brethren Church of Normalville. Son David Hamilton Showman, from the first marriage, signed the Pennsylvania certificate of death.

Mary survived him by more than two decades. She suffered a stroke on Oct. 1, 1948 and lingered for two weeks. She died at the home of her married daughter Esther Millslagle in Bridgeport, near Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, on Oct. 10, 1948, at the age of 83. Her remains were returned to Normalville for interment. At her death, said the Daily Courier, she was survived by 21 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.



Albert and Mary's house and barn in East Connellsville


Son Jerry Mac Showman (1873-1961) was born on June 14, 1873 in Normalville. He married Nellie McNally (1876-1960), daughter of Patrick McNally of McDonald, PA. The couple had a family of 10 children -- among the known are Albert Showman, Harry Showman, Jerry Showman, Cornelius Showman, Thomas Showman, Leo Showman, Rose Glass, Mary Hoff, Ellen Showman and Agnes Jo Showman. They lived for decades in Lemont Furnace near Uniontown, where he worked as an "engineer." Nellie fell and fractured a pubic bone in addition to having endured diabetes and heart disease. She was felled by a heart attack at the age of 63 and died on June 14, 1960. Jerry spent his final five months in the home of his son Leo in Latrobe, Westmoreland County. He suffered a heart attack and died within 15 minutes at age 88 on April 6, 1961. Burial was in Oak Grove Cemetery in Uniontown.

Daughter Flora May Showman (1876-1958) was born on Dec. 7, 1876. She was united in matrimony with James "Wesley" Channing (1873-1960), son of James and Phoebe (Dean) Channing of Elliottsville, Fayette County. They initially made their home in Normalville before relocating in 1910 to California, Washington County, PA, with an address of 259 Second Street. Wesley earned a living over the years as a carpenter and police officer. The family were members of the California Presbyterian Church, and Flora belonged to the American Legion Auxiliary and Daughters of America. They had seven children -- Sarah Channing, Anna Channing, Dr. Gilbert Clarence Channing, Vern Channing, Elsie Channing, Lelia Channing and Wesley M. Channing. They endured the death of daughters Sarah and Anna in infancy and son Gilbert at age 51 in 1951. See below for more. Sadly, carcinoma developed in Flora's stomach and liver. She died at home at age 81 on May 16, 1958. Interment was in Highland Cemetery in California. Wesley only lived for two years after his wife's death. He passed away on Jan. 26, 1960, after suffering a heart attack.

  • Grandson Dr. Gilbert Clarence Channing (1899-1951) was born on Aug. 11, 1899 in Normalville. He became a dentist and lived with his wife in California, Washington County, PA. He was afflicted with heart disease and sclerosis of the liver, he died at age 51 in Brownsville General Hospital on April 6, 1951. Burial was in California in Highland Cemetery.
  • Grandson Verne Channing (1901-1977) was born in 1901. He passed away in 1977 at the age of 76.
  • Granddaughter Elsie Channing (1904-1990) was born in 1904. She died in 1990 at the age of 86.
  • Granddaughter Lelia Channing (1905-1993) was born in 1905. She passed into eternity in 1993 at the age of 88.
  • Grandson Wesley M. Channing (1914-2000) was born in 1914. He lived in Pittsburgh in the 1950s and Emsworth near Pittsburgh in 1960. He died in 2000.


Book naming Amy
and Lindley Brooks

Daughter Amy Showman (1879-1945) was born on May 12, 1879 in Normalville, Fayette County. She married Lindley Brooks Eicher (Nov. 14, 1876-1954), son of George R. and Martha Jane (Brooks) Eicher. Lindley was of medium height and slender build, with blue eyes and light brown hair. Circa 1900, he is known to have relocated from Normalville to the town of Everson. Eventually the Eichers lived near Scottdale in rural Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County. The family of eight children they produced were Irene Miner, Russell Eicher, Wright Eicher, Evelyn Brooks, Randall Eicher, Glenn Eicher, Wayne Eicher and Darl P. Eicher. Grief swept over the family when sons Wayne and Russell died in infancy. When required to register for the military draft during World War I, in September 1918, the 42-year-old Lindley disclosed that Amy was his next of kin. He was employed for many years as a mill worker and as a self-employed teamster. Later, he became a custodian with the Fayette County Schools. Amy was a member of the Everson United Brethren Church, the Scottdale Dames of Malta and the Ladies Club of Kingview. The Eichers attended the annual reunions of the Eicher family during the 1930s, when the nation was in the grip of the Great Depression. Lindley was elected treasurer of the reunion, and his name was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier when the gathering was held in August 1936 at the Pleasant Hill Church Grove along the Springfield Pike. Edwin E. Cox served as president and Olive Cox as secretary. Lindley also helped organize the reunion in 1937-1939. Suffering from lobar pneumonia, and having taken sulfa medicines, Amy died at the age of 65 on Jan. 26, 1945, in Mount Pleasant Hospital. Burial was in Scottdale Cemetery, with Rev. Paul A. Morris officiating. Daughter Evelyn Brooks of 308 South Hickory Street in Scottdale provided data for the official Pennsylvania certificate of death, and an obituary was printed in the Daily Courier. Lindley survived her by nine years. In September 1945, he attended the annual Walter W. Kern family reunion at the residence of William E. Kern Sr. in Upper Middletown, Fayette County. Stricken with cancer of the lung, he died at age 77 on Feb. 17, 1954. Rev. Millard Lindley of the Kingview Mennonite Church preached at the funeral. An obituary in the Daily Courier reported that he was survived by nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The couple is named, and their offspring spelled out, in the 1975 paperback book, Brooks Family History.

  • Granddaughter Irene Eicher (1901-1986) was born on April 13, 1901. She was united in marriage with Roy Miner (July 6, 1895-1960) of the unrelated English family of Miner/Minor. He was the son of Amzi and Minerva (Keffer) Miner of Connellsville. During World War I, Roy served with the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in France. The Miners resided in Kingview, Fayette County and attended the Mount Olive Evangelical United Brethren Church. They had four children -- Betty Jane King, Dorothy L. Dugger Boyd, Roy Miner Jr. and Phyllis Miner. Roy was employed for many years by Cast Iron Pipe Company of Scottdale and then in maintenance for 17 years by the Duraloy Company. Circa 1937, Roy was elected school director in Upper Tyrone Township. Roy died at home at the age of 64 on Feb. 12, 1960. His remains were placed into repose in Scottdale Cemetery. An obituary in the Daily Courier noted that his surviving siblings were Warren Miner, John C. Miner, Mary Wilson and George S. Miner. Irene survived as a widow for another 26 years. She was gathered away by the Angel of Death in 1986.
Roy Miner Sr.'s employer, Duraloy in Scottdale. Library of Congress 

Great-granddaughter Betty Jane Miner (1923-1987) was born on July 26, 1923. She married Jesse B. King (Jan. 1, 1921- ? ) on Nov. 27, 1943 in a Methodist Church in Blacksburg, VA and made their home in Kingview. The couple bore two children -- Jesse B. King III and Elaine King. Jesse earned a living over the years through employment with Pritchard Bluhm Company. Betty was taken in death in 1987.

Great-granddaughter Dorothy L. "Dot" Miner (1925- ? ) was born on Dec. 17, 1925. She first wedded James Dugger ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of James Dugger and Frederick R. Dugger. Later, she had remaried to Harry Boyd ( ? - ? ). Dorothy earned income as a secretary in the Scottdale area. Circa 2006, Dorothy made a home in Kingview.

Great-grandson Roy Miner Jr. (1929- ? ) was born on Sept. 13, 1929. On June 16, 1956, at the age of 26, he was united in matrimony with Agnes "Cotton" Rodgers (April 3, 1928-2006), daughter of James and Margaret (Kane) Rodgers of Mount Pleasant. They couple did not reproduce, but relished their roles as uncle and aunt to their many nephews and nieces. Their marriage lasted for half a century. Over the decades, Roy worked for DeMuth Florist in Scottdale, while Agnes earned a living as a patient representative for Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant. She retired in 1991 after 43 years of service. They belonged to the Everson Evangelical Church. As Agnes' health failed, she was admitted to her former employer, now named Excela Health Frick Hospital. She died there at the age of 78 on Aug. 24, 2006. As they had done the previous year at the funeral of Roy's sister Phyllis Blystone, Pastor Neil Stevens and Pastor Robert Patton co-officiated at the funeral service. Burial was in Scottdale Cemetery. Her obituary was published in the Greensburg Tribune-Review.

Great-granddaughter Phyllis J. Miner (1934-2005) was born on Aug. 3, 1934 in Kingview, Upper Tyrone Township. She married Ray Donald Blystone ( ? -2002). The couple lived in Kecksburg and Scottdale, PA. They did not bear any children. For 38 years, Phyllis was employed by Connellsville State General Hospital and later Highlands Hospital, working as a receptionist and admission clerk. They belonged to Everson Evangelical Church, and Phyllis was active with the Scottdale Business and Professional Women and also with the Kingview Ladies Club. Sadly, Ray died on New Year's Day 2002. She lived for another three-plus years. Phyllis was swept away by the Grim Reaper, in Highlands Hospital in Connellsville, on Aug. 9, 2005. Pastor Neil Stevens and Pastor Robert Patton co-officiated at the funeral service, and the Greensburg Tribune-Review printed an obituary.

  • Grandson Wright A. "Barney" Eicher (1915-1987) was born in 1915. He married Blanche (1917-1979). The Eichers lived in Scottdale in 1945. Blanche died in 1975, with burial in Scottdale Cemetery. Wright survived her by a dozen years. He succumbed to death in 1987.
  • Tribune-Review

    Granddaughter Evelyn H. Eicher (1911-2006) was born on Feb. 19, 1911 in Upper Tyrone Township, Fayette County. She was joined in wedlock with Glenn Brooks ( ? -1976). The couple did not reproduce. They dwelled in Scottdale at the address of 308 South Hickory Street. For 53 years, Evelyn worked for DeMuth Florist in Scottdale. She was an original member of the Scottdale Business and Professional Women's Association and belonged to the Scottdale Women's Garden Club. They also were members of the Christ United Methodist Church and its Sunday School class. Sadly, Glenn died in 1976. Evelyn outlived her spouse by three decades. Toward the end, she went to live in the Harmon House Convalescent Center in nearby Mount Pleasant. She succumbed to death there at the age of 95 on Sept. 1, 2006. Burial was in Scottdale Cemetery, following services led by Rev. Dennis Henley and Rev. Robert Patton. An obituary was published in the Greensburg Tribune-Review.
  • Grandson Randall Z. Eicher ( ? -2006) made his home in the mid-1940s in Monterey Park, CA. Evidence suggests that he died on July 9, 2006, less than two months before his sister.
  • Grandson Glenn C. Eicher lived in the Pittsburgh suburb of Woodline.
  • Grandson Darl P. Eicher served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. He was pictured in the Connellsville Daily Courier in May 1943 when he was transferred from a base in Pendleton, OR to Sioux City, IA.

Son Elmer H. Showman (1887-1971) was born in 1887. He married Margaret Sephan (1887-1987). They lived in Windon, MN in 1958. Their five children were Millard Showman, Edith Showman, Forrest Showman, Stanley Showman and Russell Showman.


Advertising for Hamilton
Showman's employer

Son David "Hamilton" Showman (1890-1951) was born on Nov. 29, 1890 in Fayette County. He married Carrie Wray Hurst (1891-1941), daughter of William B. and Ida Belle (Wray) Hurst of Lower Tyrone Township. The Showmans resided in Scottdale, at 925 Mulberry Street. They had four children -- Dorothy Jean Showman, Donald Hurst Showman, Grace Showman and Anna Belle "Peg" Forsythe. In Scottdale, Hamilton was employed as a shipping foreman by a local distillery, likely the famed Overholt firm. Tragedy shook the family when, at age 50, Carrie suffered a cerebral embolism and died on Aug. 31, 1941. As a widower, he dwelled at 925 Mulberry Street (circa 1947) and 100 North Broadway in Scottdale. Tragically, he met his end on the highway on Aug. 17, 1951, at the age of 60. As an automobile passenger riding with his son Donald on Route 119 in Alverton, at 2:55 a.m., the vehicle struck a pole and crashed, causing a fractured skull, shock and death for both father and son. Their broken remains were buried in Scottdale Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Dorothy Jean Showman (1915-2007) was born in 1915. She died in 2007.
  • Granddaughter Grace Showman (1923-2002) was born in 1923. She passed away in 2002.
  • Granddaughter Anna "Belle" (or "Peg") Showman (1927-2003) was born in 1927. After high school graduation, she worked for Bell Telephone Company in Scottdale. In nuptials held at the United Presbyterian Church of Scottdale, on Aug. 8, 1947, the 20-year-old Belle was joined in holy wedlock with World War II veteran John R. Forsythe Sr. ( ? - ? ), son of the Showmans' next-door-neighbor John Forsythe of 923 Mulberry Street. Rev. Thomas McKee officiated, with the bride wearing a "poudre blue crepe street length dress with white accessories," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier. They honeymooned at Niagara Falls and Detroit. At the time of marriage, John was employed in Scottdale at the Oppman Store. The couple were the parents of David Edward Forsythe and John Robert Forsythe Jr. Circa the late 1940s and early '50s, they dwelled in or near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA where their sons were born. Sadly, Belle died in 2003.

Great-grandson John Robert Forsythe Jr. (1948-2019) was born on Aug. 1, 1948 in Mount Pleasant. In November 1973, at the age of 25, wedded 27-year-old Hanifa "Nita" Hassan (Nov. 6, 1945-2009), daughter of Mohammed and Hasheya Hassan of Hong Kong. The nuptials were held in Charleston, and the marriage endured for 36 years. They had a daughter, Rose Barker. For two decades, John was employed with the U.S. Navy in Charleston, SC as a fire control technician chief, retiring in 1988. Later, he worked as a naval housing manager for the Naval Weapons Station and made a home in Ladson and Moncks Corner, SC. In his spare time, he belonged to the Santee Cooper Bass Club, which bills itself as "a laid back brotherhood of like minded fishing competition enthusiasts." John also liked to watch football and chat with friends over coffee. Hanifa was considered "well known" in restaurant circles in Charleston. Sadly, she died on Nov. 3, 2009 at the age of 63. John survived another nine-and-a-half years as a widower. He passed into eternity on Feb. 6, 2019. In an obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the National Kidney Foundation.

Great-grandson David Edward Forsythe (1950-2017) was born on Oct. 24, 1950 in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. During the Vietnam War, he served with the U.S. Army. He married Shirley Louise Hale ( ? -2011) and was the father of Cody A. Forsythe and Tina Jo Davis. He endured Shirley's passing on Jan. 15, 2011. He lived for another six-and-a-half years and resided in Boston, Elizabeth Township. David died at the age of 66 on July 11, 2017. His cremains were placed into eternal rest with military honors in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.


Ira C. Showman

Son Ira C. Showman (1896-1981) was born in 1896. He married Effa G. Shearer (1898-1968), daughter of Albert and Rebecca (Bailey) Shearer of Mill Run, Fayette County. Their three children were Archal "Archie" Showman, Lorella Showman and Marlin Kenneth Showman. Upon their marriage circa June 1917, they received a shower at the home of Effa's mother. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier: "The shower was planned by friends of Mr. and Mrs. Showman and all present had a delightful time. Varius games and music were the amusements. At a late hour dainty refreshments were served. Mr. and Mrs. Showman received a number of pretty and useful gifts." In 1920, they made their home in Mill Run and later relocated to Dawson/Dickerson Run, Fayette County. In about 1940, the Showmans moved again to Little Summit near Dunbar, Fayette County, where they remained for a quarter of a century. To get to high school in Uniontown, the county seat, their son Marlin had to travel to and from by streetcar. They then moved to Flatwoods on the outskirts of Vanderbilt, Fayette County. Reported the Connellsville Daily Courier, "She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Connellsville, and in the past had been church pianist in area Baptist churches, including Mill Run, Flatwoods and Dawson. Her name often was printed in Daily Courier articles about church committee activities. Sadly, as Effa's health declined, she went to stay with their married son Archal. She died on Oct. 3, 1968 at the age of 70. In an obituary, the Daily Courier noted that she was survived by four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Ira outlived her by 13 years and passed in 1981. They rest for eternity in Bowman-Flatwoods Cemetery.

  • Grandson Archal R. Showman (1918-2002) was born on July 14, 1918 in Mill Run. On Feb. 4, 1939, when he was age 20, he married 18-year-old Ruth Rachel Smith (1921-2013), daughter of Joseph and Rachel (Lewis) Smith of Venango County. Their wedding ceremony was held in Waynesburg, Greene County, PA, with Archal's uncle, Rev. Lindley Shearer, officiating from the Sycamore Baptist Church. Ruth wore a blue dress with matching accessories including a shoulder corsage of pink rosebuds and lilies of the valley. They had two children -- Janice Critchfield and Brian A. Showman. The familyfirst lived at Star Junction, Fayette County and moved to Vanderbilt, Fayette County in about 1938 and remained for the rest of their married lives. During World War II, Archal served on the aircraft carrier USS Essex which was active in the South Pacific. After the war, he was employed as a salesman. They were members of the First Baptist Church of Connellsville, where he served as a deacon and sang in the choir. Archal died on Sept. 16, 2002. Burial was in Bowman Flatwoods Cemetery with Rev. Larry R. Hellein preaching the funeral sermon. Ruth survived him by 11 years and passed away in Monongahela Valley Hospital on June 14, 2013.
  • Granddaughter Lorella Showman (1920-2015) was born on March 20, 1920 in Mill Run, Fayette County. She never married. She moved to Pottstown, PA, reported the Connellsville Daily Courier, where circa 1968 she was employed as a hospital technician. She then moved to Eaton Rapids, Mich., where she retired from the Super X Drug Store in Lansing, Mich. She returned to Flatwoods and resided there until she took residence in Monongahela. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Eaton Rapids, Mich., and as a member of the Eaton Rapids Camp Meeting Association." Lorella died at the age of 94 on Jan. 21, 2015, with burial in Bowman-Flatwoods Cemetery.
  • Grandson Marlin Kenneth Showman (1925-2017) was born in 1925. He was wed three times. His first bride was a distant cousin, Gwendolyn Whetsel (1927-2014), daughter of Jacob and Gertrude (Miller) Whetsel of Indian Head, one of the branches of the family of Jacob J. and Dorcas (Hartzell) Younkin. Their two children were Bernard "Bernie" Showman and Beverly Plunkett. The couple later divorced. Marlin's second wife was Pauline ( ? - ? ) and that marriage also ended in divorce. His third spouse was Patricia "Pat" ( ? -2016). Marlin survived all three of his wives and lived in Monroe and Charlotte, NC. He passed away on Aug. 11, 2017 at the age of 87.

Son Preston C. Showman (1897-1961) was born on July 15, 1897 near Normalville. He was a longtime plumber and made his home in the Bullskin Township outskirts of Connellsville. On Oct. 12, 1923, he was joined in wedlock with Clara Detwiler (1902-1988), daughter of George Detwiler of Pennsville, Fayette County. The ceremony was held in the parsonage of the Baptist church of Scottdale, PA, led by Rev. E.W. Williams, and announced on the pages of the Connellsville Daily Courier. The three children they produced together were Emogene Blair, Hulda Wingert and Harold Preston Showman Sr. Preston was a longtime plumber, employed by Earl Detwiler & Sons Company. Clara was a member of the Senior Philathea Bible Class at the Scottdale First Baptist Church and liked to entertain the class in their home. In 1929, they dwelled at Iron Bridge near Mount Pleasant and in 1961 in Connellsville. Sadly, Preston was felled by an acute heart attack at home on April 20, 1961 and was rushed to Frick Community Hospital in Mount Pleasant, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at the age of 63. Interment was in Green Ridge Memorial Park, with Rev. H.B. Pollock leading the funeral service. In an ironic twist of fate, Preston's boss, Earl F. Detwiler, attended the funeral home viewing and that night suffered a heart attack at home, lingering only for a few days before he too passed away on April 10, 1961.

  • Granddaughter Emogene Showman (1924-living) was born in 1924. At the age of 25, she resided in Harrisburg, PA and was employed as a secretary by the publishing house of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. Her boss was Dr. Raymond M. Veh, editor of the Builders publication. Then in 1956 she was in Rochester, NY, working in a public relations office of the YMCA. She relocated back to Pittsburgh and was named secretary to the direcor of personnel for United States Steel Corporation. In 1961, at the death of her father, she dwelled in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Lebanon. On Oct. 5, 1967, at the age of 43, she wed banker John H. Blair (1927-living), son of John Blair of Verona, PA. The nuptials were held at the Rosedale Methodist Church of Penn Hills, near Pittsburgh, by the hand of Rev. Robert C. Penrose. In announcing the marriage, the Connellsville Weekly Courier said that she "chose for her wedding an A-line street-length dress of ice blue dacron twill with taupe brown trim. The fitted bodice featured a jewel neckline and long sleeves. Her headdress was of poudre blue satin petals, etched with brown." John, an alumnus of Peabody High School, worked at the time of marriage as a commercial teller at Pittsburgh National Bank. The newlyweds made their first home at 215 Delafield Road in Aspinwall. Circa 2022, she made a residence in Cabot, PA.
  • Granddaughter Hulda Mae Showman (1928-1957) was born on March 23, 1928 in Connellsville. He was a 1945 graduate of Connellsville High School and an alumna of Franklin Commercial College. As a young woman, she earned a living as a bookkeeper by Connellsville Motor Sales. She was united in marriage with Clarence Wingert Jr. ( ? - ? ), son of Clarence Wingert Sr. of Chambersburg, PA. At the time, Clarence was a Chambersburg High School graduate and employed by Western Maryland Railways in Hanover, PA as a telegraph operator. They made their residence in Hanover, York County, PA, at the address of 227 North Stephen Place. There, Hulda was an office manager at an electric service works. Tragically, she suffered a heart attack at the age of 28 and died on Jan. 29, 1957. Her remains were shipped back to Connellsville for interment in Green Ridge Memorial Park.
  • Grandson Harold Preston Showman Sr. (1930-living) was born in 1930 in Pennsville. He married June Haught (1936-living), daughter of Harvey and Tincy Haugh of Tennessee. Their union endured for an extraordinary 67 years. Together, they produced two sons -- Harold P. Showman Jr. and Greg Showman. Harold attended grade school in Pennsville and was a graduate of Connellsville High School. In young manhood he worked for Troutman's Store in the men's and boys department. Having developed a deep interest in radio, he was an early HAM radio operator, licensed in 1949 using the call sign W3PVG. In April 1954, he was hired as a radio announcer for WETZ-AM in New Martinsville, WV. He then spent decades of his career with the radio stations WVSC-AM and FM and Froggy 98 in Somerset, acquiring the nickname "Voice of Somerset County. He belonged to the Somerset County Amateur Radio Club. The couple belonged to the First United Methodist Church. As time allowed, Harold like dto to fish, garden, hunt, admire antique automobiles and root for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He passed away at the age of 92 on Dec. 3, 2022. Funeral services were held in the family church, by the hand of Rev. David McCall. Burial followed in Green Ridge Memorial Park.

    Great-grandson Harold "Preston" Showman Jr. (1956- ? ) was born in July 1956 in New Martinsville, WV. He grew up as a musician and was a 1974 graduate of Somerset Area High School. He received his bachelor of fine arts in organ performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has furthered his education as a graduate of the Perkins School of Piano Tuning and Technology in Cleveland and studying under Dr. Marily Mason at the University of Michigan. Early in his career, he was an organist for the First Christian Church of Somerset and St. Paul's United Church of Christ. Circa 1996, he served as director of music for the Third Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh's Shadyside community and was regional sales director for Wicks Pipe Organ Company. He has performed recitals over the years in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York City's St. Thomas Church. Preston is certified as a professional organ builder and piano technician, with memberships in the American Guild of Organists and the American Institute of Organ Builders. He lived in Somerset, PA in 2022.

    Great-grandson Gregory Showman served in the U.S. Navy. He wed Beatrice. He is the father of Ryan Showman and Abigail Elizabeth Showman. They dwell in Melbourne, FL.

Youngwood's Fourth Street


Daughter Mayme "Mamie" Showman (1899-2000) was born on Nov. 28, 1899 and her life spanned part of three centuries. In about 1920, when she was age 21, she married Earnest "Rayburn" Prinkey (1894-1951), the son of Joshua Kern and Ada W. (Miller) Prinkey of Everson. Earnest was short and stout, with brown eyes and brown hair. They dwelled in Youngwood, Westmoreland County and were members of the Youngwood Evangelical United Brethren Church. They produced three offspring -- Robert Curtis Prinkey, Venita (or "Veneda") "Sis" Proctor and Glada Connors. During World War I, Earnest served as a private with the 110th Infantry, American Expeditionary Force (AEF). Later, he was a brakeman and then conductor with the Pennsylvania Railroad. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Masons, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Syria Temple, Greensburg American Legion, Youngwood Veterans of Foreign Wars and 28th Division Society. Tragically, while on a vacation with Mayme in Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County, NY, Rayburn suffered a heart attack and died on July 6, 1951. His remains were brought back to Youngwood for burial, and the Daily Courier printed an obituary. Mayme survived her husband by nearly a half century. She died on Christmas Day 2000, bringing a close to her remarkable life of 100 years.

  • Grandson Robert Curtis Prinkey (1921-2009) was born on Sept. 16, 1921. During World War II, Robert was a member of the Army Air Corps and was stationed in England. After the war's end, he returned home. On May 29, 1946, at the age of 25, he married Grace Parfitt (1922-2009), and they remained together for 63 years. Their children were Blaine Prinkey and Colette Prinkey. Robert was employed for 43 years by Robertshaw Fulton Controls in Youngwood and retired in 1983. "Always an avid stamp collector, he was a member and former president of the Westmoreland County Philatelic Society," reported the Greensburg Tribune-Review. "He also served as chairman of the committee responsible for planning and hosting their annual stamp shows. After retirement, Robert enjoyed attending and serving as a judge for stamp shows throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio." Robert also helped to plan reunions of the Showman family and the Youngwood High School Class of 1939. They attended Armbrust Wesleyan Church. Both Robert and Grace died in 2009 -- he on Dec. 30, 2009 -- and rest for all time in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.
  • Granddaughter Venita (or "Veneda") "Sis" Prinkey (1923-living) was born in 1923. She married E.F. Proctor (1921- ? ) and had two daughters, Katherine Proctor and Marjory Proctor. In 1951, their home was in Hartzel, AL.
  • Granddaughter Gladys Prinkey (1927-living) was born in about 1927. She married Walter Connors ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in Pittsburgh in 1951. Their six children were James Connors, Sue Ellen Connors, William Connors, Cindy Connors, David Connors and Jonathan Connors.


Edward and Sarah Showman, 50th anniversary

Son Edward C. "E.C." Showman (1902-1974) was born on March 29, 1902 in Mill Run, Springfield Township, Fayette County. As a young man, he was a laborer, residing at 4375 Warner Road. On July 5, 1922, at the age of 20, he was united in holy matrimony with 20-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Channing (1902-1984), a native of Springfield Township and the daughter of William Henry and Elizabeth Keefer (Perdew)  Channing. Their nuptials were held in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, with justice of the peace W.J. Zoul officiating, and with a brief announcement published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. The couple produced a family of four children -- Nesta Ruth Rosendale, Wayne E. Showman, Edwin Showman and Gerald R. Showman. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1930, the Showmans made a home in Bullskin Township near Connellsville, where Edward earned a living as a clerk for a service station. The United States Census of 1940 shows the family having remained in Bullskin and with Edward now working as a manager for a gas company. Later, he became employed as a grain elevator operator for the National Distillers of Broad Ford, near Connellsville. The family's address in the early 1970s was 449 East Georgia Avenue in Connellsville. As his health failed, Edward was admitted to Connellsville State General Hospital. He passed away there at the age of 72 on Nov. 4, 1974. Survivors included 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren as reported by the Daily Courier. Sarah outlived him by a decade. She died in Pittsburgh at age 81 on April 12, 1984. They rest together for eternity in Normalville Cemetery.

  • Normalville Cemetery
    Grandson Gerald R. Showman (1925-2011) was born in 1925. He worked for many years for West Penn Power, a company from which he retired. He married Anna Mae Haas (1929-living) and lived in Connellsville. Their two children were Carolyn Susan Costello and Kenneth G. Showman. Gerald passed away on June 19, 2011. Burial was in Green Ridge Memorial Park north of Connellsville.
  • Grandson Wayne E. Showman (1928-1994) was born on May 13, 1928. He was united in wedlock with Margaret Wickenheiser (1928-living). Their four children were Dennis Showman, Gary Showman, Donna Williams and Kerry Showman. The family resided in 1974 in Phoenix, Maricopa County, AZ. Wayne died there on Jan.  6, 1994, at age 65, with interment in Phoenix.
  • Granddaughter Nesta Ruth Rosendale (1930-living) was born in  Connellsville. In August 1949, she married Charles Harry "Chuck" Rosendale (1928-2013), son of Charles and Mary Jane (Richter) Rosendale. The couple had three children -- Barbara Mulroy, Keith Rosendale and Ronnie Charles Rosendale. Sadly, their son Ronnie died in 1953. A longtime union carpenter, Chuck was employed for many years with the Sofis Company Inc. of Clinton. During World War II, he was a member of the 5th Army Air Force and stationed in Japan at Nagasaki Air Base. In the community, he was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 21 of Connellsville and a four-decade member of the Connellsville Township Volunteer Fire Department. They were members of the member of the East Connellsville United Methodist Church and later the Otterbein United Methodist Church. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "His hobbies included gardening, building his home and some woodworking. He read his bible every day and read through it at least once a year." Nesta and Chuck They attended the national Younkin-Junghen reunions held over the years in Kingwood, Somerset County. In 1976, at the annual Channing family reunion held at the Indian Creek Valley picnic area, Nesta was elected secretary. Chuck passed away at the age of 85 three days after Christmas 2013. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery following a funeral serviced preached by Rev. Doug Johnson.
  • Grandson Edwin K. Showman (1933-2003) was born on Nov. 24, 1933. He grew up in Connellsville and, at the age of 16, in July 1950, suffered severe brush burns in an automobile accident on Route 119 while driving to Uniontown. He was thrice married. His first bride was Dorothy Battenfield (1934- ? ). They produced three children -- Edwin J. Showman, Kay Louise Hayward and David Lee Showman. After a divorce, Edwin married a second time to Betty Kaufman. Following their divorce, he was wedded a third time, to Gertrude Lujan (1934-living). As an adult, Edwin made his home in Winkelman, Gila County, AZ. He died on Aug. 27, 2003 and his remains were placed into repose in Normalville Cemetery.

Daughter Helen Showman (1906-1991) was born on March 4, 1906. She married Ernest Webster Landenberger (1902-1988), believed to have been the son of Albert Oliver and Nevada (Kimmel) Landenberger. They made their home in Connellsville and later in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. Their children were John Landenberger, Richard Landenberger, Charles Landenberger and Doris Tabler. Ernest died in 1988. Helen survived him by three years and passed on March 9, 1991, five days after her 85th birthday.

  • Grandson John S. Landenberger (1927-2005) was born on Sept. 11, 1927. He married Anna Lee Jones (1927-living). They resided in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD and had one daughter, Terri Woodward Coakley. John died on March 5, 2005.
  • Grandson Richard Landenberger (1929-2004) was born on March 20, 1929. He was twice married and divorced, first to Irene House. His second wife was Goldie Havenor (1927-living). Richard spent his adult years in Cumberland and died on Aug. 2, 2004.
  • Grandson Charles Landenberger (1930-living) was born in 1930. He was twice married. His first wife was Dallas Davis (1933-living). They had one daughter, Diane Sites. Charles' second spouse was Joan Morgan ( ? -2004).
  • Granddaughter Doris Landenberger (1932-living) was born in 1932. She was united in matrimony with Fred Tabler (1935-2004). Their two children were David Tabler and Cynthia Tabler.

Step-son W. Hays King (1884-1958) was born on March 15, 1884 in Normalville. He never married. Hays resided over the yers in Dickerson Run, PA. Then in about 1950, he relocated to Uniontown, making a home at 84 Reppert Boulevard and earning a living as a carpenter. In the fall of 1958, under the burden of severe hardening of the arteries, he was admitted for treatment to the Uniontown Hospital. He died after a stay of two months on Oct. 10, 1958. Burial was in Sylvan Heights Cemetery.

Step-daughter Cora Elizabeth King (1889-1953) was born on Jan. 5, 1889 in Fayette County. She married James L. Ferrell (1892-1967). They did not reproduce. Their home in the 1950s was at 69 Lawn Street in Pittsburgh. Suffering from a stroke, diabetes and hardening of the arteries, Cora was admitted to Pittsburgh's Magee Womens Hospital and stayed until death at the age of 64 on July 19, 1953. Both are interred in Sylvan Heights Cemetery in Uniontown.

Step-daughter Esther King (1892-1980) was born  in 1892. She wed John L. Millslagle (1883-1951). Their children were Eugene Sterling Millslagle, Rosinia Millslagle, Winona Millslagle, Everett K. Millslagle and Louise Kemerer. They lived in 1958-1974 in Bridgeport near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. There, Esther was active with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Later, they relocated to Delaware City, DE, where John worked for Curtis Paper Company. John died at the age of 68 on March 5, 1951 "after a lingering illness," said the Connellsville Daily Courier.


Composing room of Everett Millslagle's employer, Mennonite Publishing


  • Step-grandson Everett K. Millslagle resided in Alverton, Westmoreland County in 1965. He married Charlotte M. Saughman and had at least one son, Larry Richard Millslagle of Mount Pleasant. Everett was employed in the press department at the Mennonite Publishing House in Scottdale, a business which produced Christian magazines, newspapers and other publications. He also was active with the Mennonite Camp at Laurelville. Son Larry married Yvonne Walker, also of the lineage of Jacob and Gertrude (Miller) Whetsel of Indian Head, among the branches of descendants of Jacob J. and Dorcas (Hartzell) Younkin.
  • Step-granddaughter Louise Millslagle wed (?) Kemerer and resided in 1951 in Greensburg, Westmoreland County. She volunteered for many years as secretary of the Westmoreland County Chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which raised funds for the fight against polio. She stepped down as secretary in 1961.


~ Daughter Mary E. Showman ~

Daughter Mary E. Showman (1852- ? ) was born in 1852 in Springfield Township. At the age of eight, in 1860, and then again at age 18, in 1870, she resided with her parents in the Normalville area.

Did she marry? Nothing more is known.


~ Son Jeremiah W. Showman ~

Son Jeremiah W. Showman (1857-1928) was born in 1857 in Springfield Township. 


At the age of 18, on New Year's Day 1875, he married 19-year-old Malinda Bungard (1856-1921). They resided in Somerset County early in marriage and had 10 known children -- James Showman, Harry Showman, Jeremiah Franklin "Frank" Showman, Albert Showman, John W. Showman, Laura Roseberry, Jacob Showman, Sadie Hawkins, Lucy Wild and Martha "Mattie" Hawkins. They also helped raise two grandsons -- Weldon Showman, son of their daughter Lucy -- and Ray Roseberry, son of their widowed daughter Laura.

They made their home in the Snydertown section of Connellsville. By 1910, Jeremiah had become an invalid. At that time, their home was in Bullskin Township, north of Connellsville.

Malinda died in Snydertown in June 1921 at the age of 64. 

As a widower, Jeremiah went to reside with his widowed daughter Laura Roseberry in Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH. He died there on April 26, 1928, at the age of 71. His remains were returned to Connellsville for interment. Funeral services were held in the home of his other married daughter and son in law, Martha and Henry Hawkins, on East Apple Street in Connellsville. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that he "had been ill for some time."

Daughter Laura Showman (1876-1962) was born on Dec. 7, 1876 in or near Normalville. At the age of 25, in about 1901, she wed (?) Roseberry. They had one son, Ray Roseberry. At the birth of their son in 1903, they lived in West Virginia. For causes not yet known, Mr. Roseberry apparently died during the decade of the 1900s. Now widowed, Laura and her young son went to live with her parents in Bullskin Township near Connellsville. They are shown in the Jeremiah Showman residence in the federal census of 1910. In 1927, when she was age 51, Laura relocated to Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH. The federal census of 1930 shows here there, marked as widowed, with son Ray and boarder John Wild living in her household. In all, Laura spent 35 years of residence in Youngstown. At the age of 88, she died there in St. Elizabeth's Hospital on Feb. 19, 1962. Her remains were brought back to Fayette County for burial in Normalville Cemetery.

  • Grandson Ray Roseberry (1903- ? ) was born in about 1903 in West Virginia. He moved to Youngstown, OH as a young adult. In 1930, not married, he lived with his widowed mother and earned a living as a painter for a building construction company.

Son Jacob Showman (1879- ? ) was born in 1879 in Springfield Township. Nothing more is known.

Daughter Martha Jane "Mattie" Showman (1880-1936) was born on Feb. 28, 1880 in Somerset County. She married Henry Hawkins (1878- ? ), son of Thomas and Rebecca (Rowan) Hawkins of Stewarton, Fayette County. Their wedding was held at Mill Run, Fayette County in 1901, when Mattie was age 21 and Henry 23. They moved to Connellsville in about 1920, making their home at 233 East Apple Street. There, they hosted the funeral of Mattie's father in 1928. They were members of the First United Brethren Church and was active with its Royal Circle Sunday School class. Henry was a longtime custodian at Fayette County schools in New Salem and Connellsville. The Hawkinses had five children -- Milton Hawkins, Playford Hawkins, Jean May, Marie McDowell and Geraldine Sechrist. Mattie was stricken with a serious illness in May 1936 and suffered for six weeks. She died at age 56, at home, on July 3, 1936. She was laid to rest in Connellsville's Hill Grove Cemetery, following a funeral led by Rev. Elmer A. Schultz. An obituary in the Daily Courier noted that she was survived by four grandchildren. Henry stayed in their home and in June 1958 celebrated his 80th birthday with a ham dinner at the home of his married daughter Jean May in Mill Run.

  • Grandson Milton Wesley Hawkins (1905-1952) was born on Nov. 25, 1905. He was twice married. His first wife was Martha Jane Zimmerman ( ? - ? ), daughter of Ignatius Zimmerman. Their wedding mass was held in April 1931 at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Connellsville's West Side. They had one son, Bernard Hawkins. Milton worked for the Farmers Cooperative Dairy Association. Later, Milton wed Dorothy ( ? - ? ). They resided in Connellsville at 201 North 7th Street. Their children were Stanley Francis Hawkins, Charlene Hawkins and Evelyn Hawkins. Milton was a longtime foreman for Anchor Hocking Corporation at its plant in South Connellsville. They also were members of the First Evangelical United Brethren Church, and Milton belonged to the Connellsville Lodge of the Moose. Having contracted kidney disease, which he endured for some five to 10 years, he died in Connellsville State Hospital on July 29, 1952 at the age of 46. His remains were placed into rest at Hill Grove Cemetery in the city. A Connellsville Daily Courier obituary noted that members of his Moose lodge conducted a ritual ceremony at the funeral home, and that Rev. Meade M. Snyder oversaw the burial.
  • Grandson Playford Hawkins ( ? - ? ) lived in Connellsville in 1952.
  • Granddaughter Jean Hawkins ( ? - ? ) married Joseph May. In 1952, their home was in Mill Run.
  • Granddaughter Geraldine Hawkins ( ? - ? ) was united in marriage with William A. Sechrist and resided in Connellsville.

Daughter Lucinda "Lucy" Showman (1885- ? ) was born in 1885 in Normalville. In 1902, when she was age 17 and not yet married, she gave birth to a son, Weldon Showman. The son was taken in for a period of years by her parents. On Aug. 28, 1907, Lucy was united in matrimony with 32-year-old railroad conductor John W. Wild (1875- ? ), son of William and Josephine Wild of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, WV. Justice of the peace Frank Miller officiated. They apparently had one or more children of their own, including son William Wild. Lucy resided in Connellsville circa 1936-1956.

  • Grandson Weldon Showman (1902-1959) was born on April 14, 1902. At the age of seven, he lived with his mother's parents in Bullskin Township, Fayette County. He married Ival Gurney ( ? - ? ) and resided in rural Bullskin Township. Weldon was a longtime construction worker. They had four known children -- Donald Eugene Showman, Edward Weldon Showman, Robert Dale showman and Dorothy Quattrochi. Heartache shook the family when they lost an unnamed baby at birth in January 1936. Sadly, they endured the untimely death of their son Donald at age 24 on Aug. 23, 1956..Weldon passed away just three years later, of acute angina pectoris, on May 19, 1959, at the age of 57. He was interred in Greenridge Memorial Park.
  • Grandson William Edward Wild (1908-1941) was born on April 25, 1908 in Bullskin Township. He was a teamster and drove his own truck for a living. He married Bella Baker ( ? - ? ) and made their home in Poplar Grove. Tragedy swooped down on this family on Feb. 20, 1941. William, age 33, was working on a truck in his garage when he was overcome by deadly carbon monoxide. His remains were laid to rest in Greenridge Memorial Park, following a funeral preached by Rev. Elmer A. Schultz. Pallbearers included Austin Showman, Milton Hawkins, Charles Grimm, Playford Hawkins and William Baker.  


Fayette County Poor Home, where John Showman died in 1929


Son John W. Showman (1875-1929) was born on May 18, 1875. He married Sinda ("Lucinda"?) ( ? - ? ). John was a farmer and lived in the Connellsville area. He was plagued with multiple sclerosis and eventually admitted to the Fayette County Home near Connellsville. He died on Oct. 14, 1929, at age 54, with interment in Hill Grove Cemetery. His brother James was the informant on his death certificate. The Daily Courier observed that his pallbearers all were nephews -- Playford Hawkins, Byron Harshman, Harold Hawkins, Edward Hawkins, Austin Showman and Albert Works.


Normalville Cemetery

Son Henry "James" Showman (1882-1956) was born on March 16, 1882 at West Overton, Westmoreland County. He lived in Connellsville and Poplar Grove as an adult, where he worked as a farmer and teamster. On July 8, 1906, the 21-year-old Henry married his first wife, 22-year-old Bertha Tedrow (1881-1910). She was the daughter of McClellan and Cathryn (Whetsel) Tedrow. The couple had two children -- among them Austin Showman and Margaret Romesburg. Sadly, Bertha was stricken with acute kidney disease which led to acute indigestion and rapid death. She passed away on July 19, 1910, after just four years of wedded life together. She was placed into eternal repose in Normalville Cemetery. An obituary in the Connellsville Weekly Courier noted that she "Was ill from cramps only for a day." After two years as a widower, James married a second time, on Oct. 1, 1912, to Olive Getts, daughter of Samuel and Sarah Getts. Four years later, on Oct. 10, 1916, he wed a third time, to Elizabeth Katherine (Walters) Rist ( ? - ? ), also known as "Lizzie Kate." The daughter of George and Mary Ann Walter, Katherine apparently had been married once before and brought two children to the marriage -- Rose Montross and Joseph Rist. James and Katherine apparently went on to have a large family of children of their own, including Harry Showman, Lester Showman, Willard Showman, Jack Showman, Richard Showman, Thomas Showman, Louis Showman, Thelma Lilley, Irma Jean Showman and Dorothy Flair. Tragedy struck on March 28, 1930, when five-year-old daughter Irma Jean, playing at home with matches, accidentally ignited her clothing and was severely burned, leading to shock and death. In the 1950s, their home was on East Crawford Avenue in Connellsville. Henry died at home at the age of 74 on July 16, 1956. His funeral service was held at the Normalville Evangelical United Brethren Church, followed by burial in the Normalville Cemetery. He was survived, said the Daily Courier, by 32 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Afflicted with cervical cancer, Katherine only outlived her husband by a year. She died at age 65 on July 15, 1957.

  • Grandson James "Austin" Showman made his home in Connellsville in 1964 and was deceased by 1977.
  • Granddaughter Margaret Showman married (?) Romesburg. In 1977, her home was in Norwalk, CA. She was deceased by 2007.
  • Grandson Harry Showman ( ? - ? )
  • Normalville Cemetery
    Grandson James "Lester" Showman (1919-1987) was born on April 19, 1919. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. On Sept. 11, 1944, he wedded Emma Isabella Johnson (June 15, 1928-1997). They resided in Connellsville and in Normalville in 1977. He passed away on Aug. 10, 1987 at the age of 68. Emma survived him by a decade and entered eternity on Feb. 15, 1997.
  • Grandson Willard Eugene Showman (1927-1977) was born on July 31, 1927 in Poplar Grove. He married Maxine Welch ( ? - ? ), daughter of Lester E. and Clara F. Welch. The Showmans dwelled in Connellsville, where they worshipped at the Lawn Avenue Church of God. Willard worked for Laurel Ridge Coal Company and Cavanaugh Trucking Company and for 15 years by Dura Abrasive Company in Bridgeport near Mount Pleasant. Their two children were Kenneth E. Showman and Charlele "Charlie" Showman. In 1970, their home was in Corona, CA when they received the tragic news of the auto-accident deaths of Maxine's parents. Sadly, Willard died at the age of 50 on Nov. 7, 1977 at Connellsville State General Hospital. Burial was in Green Ridge Memorial Park.
  • Grandson Jack Showman relocated to the West Coast. He made his home in Dell, CA in 1964 and in Norwalk, CA in 1977. He was still in California as of 2007.
  • Grandson Richard Lee Showman (1932-2007) was born on Nov. 11, 1932 in Bullskin Township near Connellsville. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. In about 1955, he was joined in wedlock with Anna Mae Steindl (1936-2006), daughter of Frank Joseph and Gertrude (Fosbrink) Steindl. The couple remained together for 50 years until the separation of death. They were the parents of Debra Ann Rummel, Patricia Marmol and Angela Lazaran. They resided in the mid-1960s Connellsville and in 1977 in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. In about 1986, they relocated to Bullskin Township near Connellsville. Richard earned a living over the years as a road laborer with Bullskin Township. He was a member of the North Union Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) No. 8543. Anna Mae worked as a selector for 34 years in the South Connellsville plant of Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation. Sadly, Anna Mae died suddenly at home at the age of 69 on Jan. 27, 2006. Her funeral service was led by Rev. Father a. Dennis Bogusz. Toward the end of his life, he was admitted to Hillside Manor Nursing Home in Uniontown, Fayette County. There, on Nov. 12, 2007, he died a day after his 75th birthday. Funeral services were led by Rev. Dr. Marvin C. Watson, and interment was in Green Ridge Memorial Park.
  • Grandson Thomas Leroy Showman (1926-2006) was born on March 3, 1926. During World War II, he served as a seaman in the U.S. Navy. He lived in Connellsville in 1964-1977. At the age of 80, he succumbed on April 15, 2006. He rests for all time in Green Ridge Memorial Park near Connellsville.
  • Grandson Louis J. Showman (1929- ? ) was born in 1929. He was united in matrimony with Freda B. (1933-1989). The Showmans resided in the 1960s in Industry, Beaver County, PA but by 1977 were back in Connellsville. Sadly, Freda died in 1989 at the age of about 66. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery. Louis was living in Connellsville circa 2007.
  • Granddaughter Thelma Showman (1924-1964) was born in about 1924. She wed Walter Lilley ( ? - ? ). The did not reproduce. In the 1960s, they made their home in Industry, Beaver County, PA. Sadly, on Jan. 27, 1964, at the age of 40, Thelma died in Rochester Hospital. Interment was in Oakdale Cemetery, Industry. An obituary was published in her hometown newspaper, the Connellsville Daily Courier.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy Showman (1934-living) was born in 1934. She was united in marriage with George W. Flair (1928-living). They produced several children. Sadly, their son George W. Flair Jr. died at the age of three months, 10 days on Sept. 15, 1952 and was placed into rest in Normalville Cemetery. George was a longtime coal miner. He worked at Leisenring No. 3 mine and later obtained work at American Bridge Company in Ambridge, Beaver County, PA. They resided in Industry, Beaver County in 1964-1977 and in Vanport in 2018. Dorothy spoke by phone with the founder of this website in May 2018..

Son Harry Showman (1891- ? ) was born in about 1891. As a 19-year-old unmarried man, he lived at home and earned income as a farm laborer. He resided in Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH in the 1930s-40s-50s. In 1956, his home was in Erie, Erie County, PA, and by 1962 was in Williamsfield, OH.

Son Jeremiah Franklin "Frank" Showman (1894-1936) was born in about 1894. He married a cousin, Olive Younkin, daughter of John "Scott" and Emma Jane (Thomas) Younkin, of the family of Jacob "of John" and Eleanor Younkin. See their biography for more. 

Son Albert Showman (1899- ? ) was born in about 1899. He lived in Grindstone, Fayette County and later in Smock near Uniontown.

Daughter Sarah Catherine "Sadie" Showman (1886-1953) was born on Oct. 26, 1886 in Normalville. She married James Hawkins ( ? -1942). They had five children -- Harold Hawkins, James E. Hawkins, Grace Rasenberger, Frances Prinkey and John W. Hawkins. They lived in Poplar Grove, Fayette County for 45 years, moving there in about 1908. The family were members of the First Evangelical United Brethren Church. James passed away on June 7, 1942. Sadie survived him by 11 years. She also endured the passing of her adult son Harold on Feb. 4, 1947. She died on Sept. 28, 1953, at the age of 67. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery, following a funeral officiated by Rev. E.I. Mankamyer. At the time, reported the Daily Courier, she was survived by 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Sadie Strawderman

~ Daughter Sarah "Sadie" (Showman) Strawderman ~

Daughter Sarah "Sadie" (Showman) Strawderman (1859-1942) was born on March 4, 1859 near Scullton in Springfield Township. 


She married widower William B. Strawderman (1851-1906), the son of George Washington Strawderman, and a native of Richmond, VA.

Early in life, William migrated to Hardy County, WV, lived and worked. His first wife was Caroline Wiltrout ( ? - ? ). He relocated again in about 1876 from West Virginia to Connellsville, Fayette County.

After marrying in about 1878 -- when he was age 27 and she 19 -- William and our Sadie lived on Gibson Avenue in South Connellsville. They produced 11 children, of whom 10 are known -- Joseph C. Strawderman, John C. Strawderman, Mary Strawderman, Virgie Glover, Etta Younkin, Martha Snook, Sarah "Sallie" Reed, Jesse Strawderman, Catherine "Kate" Moore and Myrtle Morgan. 

William was a member of the South Connellsville Evangelical Church, American Order of Mechanics and the Knights of the Mystic Chain. In the early 1900s, he secured employment as a carpenter with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. 

But heartache shook this family to the core in early July 1906 when William was killed in a railroad accident along the rail lines. Reported the Connellsville Courier, he "was run down by a B. & O. eastbound freight train ... while on his way to work at Indian Creek.... He had several ribs broken and a punctured lung, the latter injury causing his death. He also had a very bad scalp wound." Adding to the agony, his children Martha, Sallie and Jesse were seriously ill at home with typhoid fever at the time he was dying at Connellsville's Cottage State Hospital. 

As a widow, Sadie lived in Wooddale, Fayette County, and in 1923 was in Dunbar, Fayette County, at the time of the untimely death of her daughter Etta Younkin. Circa 1927, she was in Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH, where her son Jesse and family lived.


1931 news photo printed nationally with Sadie, 
daughter in law Rose and (L-R) grandchildren 
Billy, Jessie and Kathryn. Sadly, diphtheria 
swept away Billy and Kathryn a year later.

In 1929, son Jesse confessed to Sadie and to his wife Rose that a dozen years earlier, he had been arrested in Virginia for breaking into a railroad boxcar with other youths, and that he had escaped jail. After hearing his story, both women "felt convinced the law had forgotten," said their hometown newspaper, the Courier. "But officials of the penitentiary remembered and traced the man to his new home [in Youngstown]." In June 1931, Jesse was arrested and placed in the county jail, facing extradition to the Virginia Penitentiary in Richmond. News spread and he soon reached fame as a "1931 Jean Valjean," referring to a lead character Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables. Neighbors and friends rallied on his behalf, saying his family depended upon him for support. In a haunting photograph, 72-year-old Sadie, her daughter in law and three grandchildren were pictured, with the image appearing in newspapers nationwide. Jerry Heiman and Herman S. Bonchek, news reporters with the Youngstown Telegram, apparently lobbied on his behalf, and in late July 1931 he was pardoned. 

While the legal victory led to rejoicing, it was tempered the following year when two of the grandchildren, who had been pictured in the wire photograph, died of diphtheria.

By 1942, Sadie had moved into the home of her son John in Indian Head. 

Sarah died at John's residence on Aug. 27, 1942, age 83. She was placed into eternal rest in Mount Olive Cemetery near Pennsville, following a funeral in the United Brethren Church, with Rev. William Wallace of the Melcroft Gospel Tabernacle leading the service. The Daily Courier reported that she was survived by 28 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. At the time of death, her adult children Jesse, Joseph, Mrs. Glover and Mrs. Snooks lived in Youngstown, while daughter Mrs. Reed dwelled in Akron.

Son Joseph Washington Strawderman (1880-1950) was born on Feb. 21, 1880. He made his home in Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH in 1918, and then was back in Dunbar, Fayette County by 1923. Then again in 1950, he had returned to Youngstown, with an address of 642 Erie Street. He was married and divorced. After suffering a heart attack, Joseph died at the age of 70 on Nov. 3, 1950. Burial was in the Tod Homestead Cemetery in Youngstown. Joseph's sister Sarah Reed was the informant for his official Ohio death certificate.

Daughter Mary Catherine "Kate" Strawderman (1882-1918) was born in 1882. She married Grover C. Moore ( ? - ? ). They resided in Connellsville until 1916, when they relocated to Ohio, settling in Youngstown, Mahoning County. Their home was at 352 Byron Street. The couple's four children were Grace A. Moore, Daisy L. Moore, Marguerite F. Moore and G.C. Moore Jr. Sadly, their time together in Youngstown was cut short by death. Just three months after giving birth to their fourth child, Kate was infected with the deadly Spanish influenza that was sweeping the nation. She developed pneumonia and died at home on Nov. 27, 1918, at the age of 36. Her remains were brought back to Connellsville and thence to the home of her married sister Etta Younkin for viewing and the funeral. Burial was in Mount Olive Cemetery, and the Connellsville Daily Courier printed an obituary.

  • Granddaughter Grace A. Moore (1902- ? ) was born in about 1902.
  • Granddaughter Daisy L. Moore (1906- ? ) was born in about 1906.
  • Granddaughter Marguerite F. Moore (1909- ? ) was born in about 1909.
  • Grandson Grover C. Moore Jr. (1918- ? ) was born in about August 1918 in Youngstown. He was just three months old when his mother died.



Jesse and Rose Strawderman

Son Jesse S. Strawderman (1900-1945) was born on May 27, 1900 in Connellsville. He ran afoul of the law as a young man which seemed to define his legacy. At the age of 19, he was "convicted of breaking into a box car while hitch-hiking through Virginia enroute to Connellsville, his home," reported the Daily Courier. While imprisoned in the Virginia Penitentiary in Richmond, after three months, he escaped from a road gang in July 1919, and returned home to Connellsville, living with his dark secret. He found a job as a railroad brakeman and worked odd jobs as a painter. He married Rose Raupach (1907-1993) and had seven known children -- Kathryn A. Strawderman, William L. "Billy" Strawderman, Jessie May Tarary, Betty Thompson, Nancy Ann Flaugher, Rose M. Burrows and John "Jack" Strawderman. Circa 1922, the family relocated to Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH, where they spent the remainder of their lives. At times when Rose was to give birth, she returned to Dunbar, Fayette County.

In Youngstown, they lived in dwellings at 537 Foster in 1932 and later at 1207 Oak Street in 1945. The family belonged to the Grace Lutheran church. Circa 1929, Jesse finally disclosed his secret to his wife and mother, who both "felt convinced the law had forgotten," said his hometown newspaper, the Courier.  "But officials of the penitentiary remembered and traced the man to his new home...." In June 1931, he was arrested and placed in the county jail, facing extradition to the Virginia Penitentiary in Richmond. News of his arrest was published in the Courier. News spread and he soon reached fame as a "1931 Jean Valjean," referring to a lead character Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables who had spent years struggling to lead a normal life after serving a prison term. Family, neighbors and friends rallied to save him, and photographs of him and his mother, wife and three children were printed in newspapers coast to coast. Sadly, two of their children became deadly ill with diphtheria and died in the early spring of 1932 -- six-year-old daughter Kathryn on March 28, and two-year-old son Billy a week later on April 4, 1932. Jesse found employment in 1934 with the Erie Railroad in Youngstown as a yard freight conductor. He was a member of the Eagles Lodge and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Adding further tragedy to their story 13 years later, Jesse lost his life at the age of 45 when he was struck and killed by an Erie Railroad train on Sept. 27, 1945. He was off duty and walking along the Canal Branch of the railroad when he was struck by an Erie switch engine. In the accident, his left and right legs and fingers on his right hand were amputated. He was rushed to the South Side Unit of Youngstown Hospital, but it was too late. His broken remains were lowered into rest in the Tod Homestead Cemetery. Rose outlived her ill-fated husband by a remarkable 48 years. She remained in Youngstown and died there on June 26, 1993.


Left: Jesse pictured in a news story, dubbed a "1931 Jean Valjean." Right: Jesse (left) thanks Youngstown reporters Jerry Heiman (center) and Herman Bonchek.


  • Granddaughter Nancy Ann Strawderman (1944-2009) was born on New Year's Day 1944 in Youngstown. On Aug. 31, 1962, when she was 18 years of age, she wed Terrence "Terry" Flaugher ( ? - ? ). The following year, the couple relocated across the state line to Sharon, Mercer County, PA. They had three children -- Tracy Elsey, Sharon Wallace and Randy Flaugher. The family were members of the Wes Middlexes United Methodist Church. In her career, Nancy was employed by the Sharon City School District as a cafeteria worker and as a cake decorator for Dairy Queen in South Pymatuning Township. Later, for a decade, starting in 1992, she worked in the housekeeping department of Sharon Regional Health System, retiring in August 2002. Said the Sharon Herald, "She was also a member of a Tuesday evening women’s card club, TOPS, and a former member of the Western Reserve trap shooting team. She enjoyed boating, crocheting and cross stitching, and made many beautiful blankets for her family." Nancy was afflicted with a rare form of cancer known as cholangiocarsinoma and suffered for some years before her passing at age 65 on May 3, 2009. She was laid into eternal rest in Oakwood Cemetery in Hermitage following funeral services led by Rev. Sung S. Chung, with an obituary printed in the Herald.

  • Granddaughter Jessie May Strawderman was the only one of the Strawderman offspring pictured in the 1931 wire photograph to live past childhood. She married (?) Tarary. Her home was in Hermitage.
  • Granddaughter Betty Strawderman was united in marriage with Richard Thompson. They resided in Poland, OH.
  • Granddaughter Rose Marie Strawderman (1940-2004) was born on Oct. 4, 1940 in Youngstown. She was married to David Burrows. Their residence was in Boardman, OH. Sadly, Rose passed away on July 6, 2004 in Youngstown.
  • Grandson John "Jack" Strawderman was wedded to Judy and lived in Sarasota, FL.

Son John C. Strawderman (1884- ? ) was born in 1884. As an adult, lived in Casselman, Somerset County, PA. In about 1910, at the age of 26, he was united in marriage with 22-ywear-old Alice "Pearl" (Ohler) Miner (1888-1973). She the daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Phillippi) Ohler of Humbert, Lower Turkeyfoot Township. Pearl had been married briefly once before, to William "Lincoln" Miner, and brought a son to the marriage, Melvin Miner. (Melvin later changed his name to "Strawderman.") In all, Pearl and John had four children of their own -- John Strawderman, Etta Thomas Dushaw, Sarah Phillips, Robert Strawderman and Bessie Eutsey. In 1923, the Strawdermans lived in Dunbar Township, Fayette County. that year, John's sister Etta came down with a deadly case of double pneumonia and was brought into their home, although she died a short time later. Sadly, son John died on May 11, 1928 from influenza and bronchial pneumonia, and his remains were laid to rest in Bethel Cemetery. By 1928, the family relocated to Grey, Jenner Township, Somerset County, where John and Melvin labored together in the mines for Acosta Coal Company. When John's brother was killed in a railroad accident in 1945, John was named in the Youngstown (OH) Vindicator obituary, and at the time lived in Indian Head. They were members of the Assembly of God Church.

  • Granddaughter Etta Strawderman married (?) Thomas and (?) Dushaw.
  • Granddaughter Sarah Strawderman was wedded to (?) Phillips.
  • Grandson Robert Strawderman 
  • Granddaughter Bessie Strawderman was married to (?) Eutsey.

Daughter Virginia May "Virgie" Strawderman (1889-1949) was born on Feb. 18, 1889 in Pennsville, Fayette County. She married W. Clarence Glover ( ? - ? ). In 1918, their home was in Youngstown, and in the late 1940s their address was 156 Shadyside Drive. Having endured hypertension for two years, Virginia was felled by a stroke and died three weeks later on June 1, 1949 at the age of 60. She was interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Youngstown.

Daughter Martha Strawderman (1893- ? ) was born in about 1893 in Pennsylvania. She wed Martin "Frank" Snook (1888-1946) of Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH. (His name also has been spelled "Snooks.") They moved to Youngstown in 1918 and in 1946 their home was located at 24 Rockview Avenue. Their three known children were Clara Belle Snook, Morris Snook and Grace Snook. Frank was a house painter in Youngstown circa 1930 and later earned a living as a painter with Commercial Shearing & Stamping Company. At the age of 57, Frank was stricken with a multiple pulmonary abscesses and died at Youngstown's South Side Unit on June 10, 1946. He was interred in Tod Homestead Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Clara Belle Snook (1918- ? ) was born in 1918 in Pennsylvania. 
  • Grandson Morris Snook (1920- ? ) was born in about 1920 in Youngstown.
  • Granddaughter Grace Snook (1930- ? ) was born in about March 1930 in Youngstown.

Daughter Sarah "Sallie" Strawderman (1896- ? ) was born in 1896. She was unmarried in 1918 and dwelled in Youngstown. She later was wedded to Pennsylvania native Stephen F. Reed (1890- ? ) and in 1923 their home was in Dunbar Township near Connellsville, Fayette County. Later that year, they relocated to Akron, Summit County, OH. Their address in the early 1930s was 1032 Herbrick Avenue. In Akron, Stephen worked as a laborer for a rubber shop. They had two known children -- Helen L. Reed and Ernest Leroy Reed. Tragically, their son Ernest contracted diphtheria added to an infection under the tongue in his mouth ("Ludwig's angina") and died on Feb. 17, 1932, in Akron. They remained in Akron through the mid 1940s if not longer.

  • Granddaughter Helen L. Reed (1922- ? ) was born in 1922 in Ohio.

Daughter Etta Strawderman (1891-1923) was born in 1891 in Pennsville, Fayette County. At the age of 22, on July 18, 1914, she married a cousin, 25-year-old laborer William "Harrison" Younkin (1889-1950), a native of Broadford, near Connellsville. Harrison was the son of John "Scott" and Emma (Thomas) Younkin of Connellsville Township, and the grandson of John X. and Eliza Anne (Rose) Younkin. See their bio for more.



Copyright © 2013-2017 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Olive (Rowan) Duff, the late Donna (Younkin) Logan and Nesta (Showman) Rosendale and Cheri Hebner Ward.