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Nancy (Younkin) Trimpey


Kingwood IOOF Cemetery

Nancy (Younkin) Trimpey was born on April 23, 1847, in Somerset County, the daughter of Frederick F. and Sarah (Faidley) Younkin

Her husband was a wounded veteran of the Civil War, seeing action in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.

Nancy's was joined in the bonds of holy matrimony with carpenter John S. Trimpey (1841-1929) of near New Lexington, Middlecreek Township, Somerset County. They were wed on Jan. 21, 1866, after his return from the army. She was age 19 at the time, and he was 25.


John was the son of Prussian immigrants Frederick and Catharine (zur Heide) Trimpey, and thus a first generation American. John stood 5 feet, 9 inches tall, with grey eyes and light hair, and as a 21-year-old, he made a living as a carpenter. As there was another John Trimpey living in the area, John added a middle initial "S." so he could receive his postal mail without confusion.


Civil War soldier John S. Trimpey.
Courtesy Linda Marker

The Trimpeys spoke a form of German known as "Holland Dutch." They had emigrated from the lowlands of Neidersachen (Lower Saxony) 

During the Civil War, before marriage, John served as a member of the 142nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company C. He enlisted in Kingwood on Aug. 12, 1862, shortly after President Lincoln called for another draft of soldiers for the army. He and his new colleagues traveled to Johnstown, Cambria County, to enroll.

Among other full- and step-Younkin cousins who were John's colleagues in the regiment were Frederick Dumbauld, Michael A. Firestone, Ephraim Minerd, Martin Miner and Andrew Jackson Rose. In one of the battles in which he fought, John allegedly was shot in the hip, but this is not yet confirmed. 

On  or about Nov. 16, 1862, John sought medical treatment for chronic diarrhea. He endured the ailment for at least seven months, and was treated on and off in hospitals where the 142nd Pennsylvania was stationed.


~ John's First Action at Fredericksburg ~

The 142nd Pennsylvania saw its first heavy action at the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. 

On Dec. 13, 1862, just two weeks before Christmas, the 142nd Pennsylvania faced its first battle-test of the war, at Fredericksburg, a refined, genteel town beside the Rappahannock River, precisely midway between Washington, D.C., and Richmond. Several excellent books are entirely devoted to the topic, among them The Federicksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock by Francis Augustín O’Reilly and Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! by George C. Rable.

Expert commentators over the years have noted how brutally the Union Army was repulsed at Fredericksburg — Tony Horwitz’s 1998 Confederates in the Attic calls it “one of the most lopsided slaughters of the War.” In Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative, he said: “Of all these various battles and engagements, fought in all these various places, Fredericksburg, the nearest to the national capitol, was the largest – in numbers engaged, if not in bloodshed – as well as the grandest as a spectacle, in which respect it equaled, if indeed it did not outdo, any other major conflict of the war.”

After crossing the Rappahannock River on pontoon bridges, the 142nd Pennsylvania took a position on what today is the Slaughter Pen Farm. The regiment then marched forward to the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad tracks (today operated by CSX Railroad). As they crossed the tracks about noon, they moved toward a wooded area known as Prospect Hill, where Confederate troops led by A.P. Hill and Jubal A. Early, under the command of Stonewall Jackson, patiently laid low.

Union soldiers at Fredericksburg, preparing to cross the Rappahannock River on pontoon bridges


Pushing forward, the 142nd Pennsylvania met “good fortune” when they “stumbled into a gap in Jackson’s lines and for a short time made great headway, crumpling up a couple of A.P. Hill’s brigades, killing one of his brigadiers, taking prisoners, and just for a moment making it look as if Burnside’s battle plan might make sense after all,” wrote Bruce Catton. But confusion and chaos ensued, and the men were ordered to stop firing, mistakenly believing other Union troops were in the way and thus would be under friendly fire. This forced the 142nd to halt in ditches along the rail line and wait further orders. Exposed and unable to move, there was nothing they could do but endure the enemy’s deadly fire. 

One member of the 142nd recalled “a terrific and most galling fire from the enemy’s rifle-pits… Out of five hundred and fifty men who stood in well ordered ranks in the morning, two hundred and fifty, in one brief hour, were stricken down.” 


Monument where the 142nd Pennsylvania 
broke through Confederate lines at the
Slaughter Pen Farm, Fredericksburg

Several of John’s friends in the regiment went down with gunshot wounds — corporal Simon Pile with a bullet in the head, coming to rest in the roof of his mouth; Nancy's step-cousin Michael A. Firestone with a minié ball through the hip and thigh; Jacob Pritts with a ball shattering his shinbone; and Nancy's double cousin Ephraim Minerd, whose ears were deafened by cannonfire; among many others.


In its halted position, the 142nd Pennsylvania was caught in a trampling of retreating Union troops. They all began to run across the Slaughter Pen Farm. Foote says that “the pursuers stabbed vengefully at their rear and Confederate guns to the left and right tore viciously at their flanks… There was no safety for the survivors until they regained the cover of their artillery…”

As they stumbled and sprinted in retreat, having tasted the shock and terror of their first battle, John and his comrades began to hear a most awful, intimidating sound for the first time in their lives – a guttural battle cry emanating from enemy lines– the “Rebel Yell” – a high-pitched “woo-woo-woo” but described as hellish, spine-chilling, a regular wildcat screech, a yelping of banshees. 

Safely out of range of enemy guns, the 142nd Pennsylvania camped in a ravine for a day and a half, awaiting orders. In the two-acre area of the Slaughter Pen where Ephraim and his mates had fought, wrote George Francis Robert Henderson, “680 corpses were counted, lying in many places literally in heaps...”


Gettysburg monument to
the 142nd Pennsylvania

~ Chancellorsville and Gettysburg ~

After the Battle of Fredericksburg, John became ill and was sent to the regiment hospital, where he was accounted for on New Year's Eve 1862. 

Following the Fredericksburg debacle, the 142nd Pennsylvania went on to fight with vigor and valor at two other major Civil War Battles -- Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. However, due to John's bowel problems, he was treated for typhoid malaria from May 27 to June 5, 1863, and chronic diarrhea from June 18 to July 28, 1863, meaning he probably sat out the battle of Gettysburg. He was returned to active duty on July 28, 1863.

At Gettysburg, his regiment fought on McPherson's Ridge along what today is Reynolds Avenue, battling shoulder to shoulder with the First Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery B, as part of the 3rd Division, I Corps. The division was commanded by Maj. Gen. Abner Doubleday, who later made fame as the founder of organized baseball. They repulsed the invading enemy until reinforcements could arrive.

On that first day's battle, John would have learned that his future wife's cousin by marriage, Andrew Jackson "Jack" Rose, was shot in the right forearm and was sent away for emergency treatment, later losing the limb to amputation.


Old Civil War veteran John S. 
Trimpey. His cane was needed 
due to a dislocated hip

~ Safe at Home ~

Following the war's end, John was discharged and mustered out of his regiment in Washington, DC on May 29, 1865, having served for two years, nine months and 17 days. He returned home to begin the rest of his life. 

On Jan. 21, 1866, at the age of 24, he wed our 18-year-old Nancy Younkin. They were about six years apart in age.

The Trimpeys had nine children, three sons and six daughters: Sarah "Sadie" Cunningham, Mary E. "Columbia" Sechler, Almira Gerhardt, William H. Trimpey, Etta Phillippi Lyons, John "Wesley" Trimpey, Ephraim Trimpey, Ella Roberts and Ida Kreger. They also raised Albert F. Snyder. 

John once noted that after the war, he resided in Milford Township for one year; in Jefferson Township for four years; and the rest of the time in Kingwood.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, this family made its home in Jefferson Township, Somerset County, with John making a living as a farmer. That year, the census-taker spelled their name "Trimpe," and their eldest three daughters along with eight-year-old Albert Snyder lived in the household.

During the decade of the 1870s, the Trimpeys moved back to a farm in Kingwood, where they remained for the rest of their lives.


Meyersdale Commercial, Jan. 17, 1889

Nancy passed away on Jan. 13, 1889 at the age of 41. Daughter Almira Gerhard and son J.W. Gerhard were present at the death scene. A short death notice in the Meyersdale Commercial only reported: TRIMPEY -- January 13, 1889, NANCY, wife of John S. Trimpey, of near Kingwood, aged 41 years, 8 months and 20 days."

Later in the summer of 1889, John suffered a freak accident on his farm. "My hip was dislocated or fractured on the 8th August 1889 by being accidentally thrown from a lod of hay on the Barn floor while in the act of Unloading Hay with a Horse Hay Fork," he wrote. "I had just placed the fork in position to raise the Hay and before I had time to step back the Horse started and three me off." Thereafter, his right leg was about 1¼ inches shorter than the left.

Now widowed, John outlived his wife by three decades. On Aug. 5, 1890, his application was approved to receive federal pension benefits payments as compensation for wartime injuries or ailments. [Invalid App. #864.206, Cert. #593.314] 

The United States conducted a special census in 1890 for Civil War veterans and their widows. John was included in the count, in Kingwood, and disclosed to the census-taker -- apparently in an untruth -- that he had been "shot in hip" during the war.


Connellsville Weekly Courier

He married again, at age 50, to 31-year-old widow Isabelle "Belle" (Liphart) Cramer (1861-1933), daughter of German immigrant John and Elizabeth (Snyder) Liphart (or "Leaphart"), and widow of John S. Cramer (who had died April 14, 1887). Rev. J.E. McClay officiated at the matrimonial service, held at the bride's dwelling at Mt. Union on May 7, 1893. Belle may have had a daughter, Minta Liphart, with her first husband.

In 1899 they produced a son of their own, George Alva Trimpey. 

John apparently held a deep interest in the quality of fertilizer used on his farm. Circa 1906, his name was published in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Market Gardening bulletin, no. 147, for his usage of the "Honest Potato and Tobacco Grower" product made by the Baltimore Fertilizer Company. The report noted that the product contained 7.49 moisture rating in 100 lbs., based on a sample of 564 items he grew. 


John's grave, Kingwood IOOF Cemetery

During the last week of July 1918, when he was age 77, John suffered sunstroke which in the words of his son J.W. rendered him "helpless."

In 1921, to continue qualifying for a federal military pension, the 80-year-old John was examined by government surgeons. He claimed that he was an invalid and noted that a fracture of his right femur bone impeded walking; inflammation of his nasal passages ("catarrh"); kidney trouble; heart trouble "which is very weakening;" bowel trouble requiring medicine; impaired hearing and eyesight; and rheumatism "especially in right hip and lower limbs and in hands." 

In an affidavit for the U.S. Pension Bureau, Belle testified that she "lives with him and looks after him and takes care of him; [he] is an invalid in their home - seldom ever leaves the home for any purpose, because of his physical condition he can not; that she must dress and undress him most of the time, lead him about in the home and to stool, and bathes him and renders such assistance to [him] as usually necessary about one so sickly as he. [He] is either bed fast or lying down in the house most of the time." 


Kingwood IOOF Cemetery

John's personal physician, Dr. C.T. Saylor of Rockwood, wrote this observation: 

[His] physical condition has been extremely bad since the first week of January 1927, has been in bed most of the time since that date. Some days he is able to sit up for a few hours on a chair, but always requires the help of an assistant. His limbs are greatly swollen, which is due to a heart lesion. For this reason he is scarcely able to stand on his feet or walk at all. His mental condition is not good, just about what could be expected of a man of his age and physical condition. Vision poor, but still able to recognize people that call to see him.

John lived for more than two years after the doctor's report. He died on Feb. 22, 1929, age 88. He was laid to rest beside his wife in the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Belle immediately filed to begin receiving his pension payments as his lawful widow. [Widow App. #1636.212, Cert. #?] Signing their names as witnesses to her affidavits were son-in-law Peter Albert Kreger and Forrest L. Hall, both of Kingwood.

She spent her final years living in or near Berlin, Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County. During this time, she suffered from a litany of illnesses, including acid buildup in her bodily fluids ("acidosis"), gangrene of the legs and feet, diabetes and hardening of the arteries. 

Belle passed away at the age of 71 on Feb. 1, 1933. Burial was in Kingwood. Daughter Mintie authorized funeral arrangements with Mills & Mickey, morticians of Rockwood, but as she did not have funds of her own, had to petition the federal government to cover the costs. These included charges for embalming, casket and steel vault, burial robe, flowers, funeral car and graveside services.


Location of the Trimpey farm (circled), 1876 Atlas of Somerset County


~ Daughter Sarah C. "Sadie" (Trimpey) Cunningham ~


Sadie Cunningham

Daughter Sarah C. "Sadie" Trimpey (1867-1921) was born on Oct. 7, 1867 on a farm in Kingwood. She was 22 years of age when her mother died, and "she reared her brothers and sisters to manhood and womanhood," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. 

In February 1893, when she was age 26, Sadie married 40-year-old widower John A. Cunningham ( ? - ? ), of Connellsville, Fayette County, the son of John and Elizabeth Cunningham. John had been wed once before, to Margaret Jane Romesburg, and brought six young children to the marriage. Sadie and John were wed on Feb. 11, 1893, with Rev. James A. Younkins officiating. 

News of their marriage license was printed in the Somerset Herald. Reported the Courier, "upon her marriage she again assumed the role of a mother to a family of small children, born to Mr. Cunningham's first marriage." 

They had three children of their own among them Robert Cunningham, Paul Cunningham and Mrs. Paul Heusken. 

The family moved to Connellsville, where John was a blacksmith, and where they lived at 214 East Apple Street. Sadie "was widely and favorably known" in Connellsville, said the Courier, and "a woman of estimable character, always living a Christian life." She also was a "devout member" of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Connellsville and active in its Ladies Aid Society and Sunday School. 

After enduring an illness for 10 weeks' time, Sadie died on May 26, 1921, at the age of 54, and was laid to rest in Hill Grove Cemetery in Connellsville.

Son Robert E. Cunningham ( ? - ? ) resided in 1936 in Dormont near Pittsburgh, and in 1952 in Pittsburgh. They had at least one son, John A. Cunningham.

Son Paul W. Cunningham ( ? - ? ) made his home in Pittsburgh circa 1952.

Daughter Ruth Cunningham ( ? - ? ) married Paul Heusken ( ? - ? ) and resided in Connellsville in 1921-1952.


Somerset's public square, looking north. 
Note the county courthouse dome

Stepson Fletcher W. Cunningham (1873- ? ) was born in 1873. He dwelled in Connellsville in 1889, where he was employed as a superintendent, and later in Somerset in the early 1920s-1936. On March 29, 1899, the 26-year-old Fletcher married 27-year-old Gertrude S. Fleming (1872- ? ), a native of Centre County, PA but living in Connellsville at the time. 

Stepson Thomas R. Cunningham (1877- ? ) was born in 1877. As a young man, he earned a living as a blacksmith. He married Stella Florence Harlan (1878- ? ) , daughter of Maud Harlan, of Mill Run, Fayette County. The ceremony took place at the residence of justice of the peace Colton Cunningham on July 1, 1900. Stella was a seamstress at the time of marriage. lived in Connellsville circa 1952.

Stepdaughter Ethel Cunningham (1879 - ? ) was born in about 1879. She was a school teacher as a young woman, living in Connellsville. At the age of 28, on May 22, 1907, she wed 30-year-old master mechanic William Young (1877- ? ), son of David and Emelia Young. In 1921-1936, they made their home in Uniontown. They had at least two children, Mary Young and William Young.

Stepson Clark Cunningham (1880-1936 ) was born on April 14, 1880 in Connellsville. He married Ella Ansell, and they had one son, Edwin C. Cunningham. The family resided in Connellsville and were members of the First Methodist Episcopal Church. Said the Daily Courier, "When a young man [Clark] learned the blacksmith trade with his father and followed that occupation until two years ago [1934]. Since its beginning, he had been employed on the stadium project at Wheatfield Park." While wearing new bedroom slippers at home just after Christmas 1936, Clark slipped and fellow down a flight of stairs. He hit his head and lapsed into unconsciousness. He died a few hours later, on Dec. 18, 1936. At this death, reported the Courier, he was "one of Connellsville's best known residents..." His pallbearers included cousin Charles E. Cunningham and nephews Roy Cunningham, Earl Younkin of Somerset, David Young, Emerson Giles and Wade Nicholson. Interment was in Hill Grove Cemetery.

Stepson Homer B. Cunningham (1883-1952) was born on June 21, 1883 in Connellsville. He was a longtime civil engineer, and over time was employed by the J.B. Hogg firm, Consolidated Coal and Supply Company (in West Virginia) and as a coal mine superintendent for G. Corrado Coal and Coke. He finished his career as a surveyor for the City of Connellsville, retiring in about 1954. He was a member of the First Methodist church, the King Solomon's Lodge of the Masons and the Comas Club of Connellsville. He married Nancy B. (?), and they had three daughters -- Mildred Nicholson, Bertha Cunningham and Virginia Raygor. Homer died at home at 205 East Washington Avenue in Connellsville on Dec. 21, 1952. Burial was in Hill Grove Cemetery.

Stepdaughter Bertha Cunningham ( ? - ? ) lived on East Apple Street in Connellsville. She was not married in 1952.


Belle Trimpey (2nd seated from right) with step-children, L-R: West, Sadie, Columbia, Etta, Almira, William, Ellie and Burt


~ Daughter Mary E. Columbia (Trimpey) Sechler ~


Columbia Sechler

Daughter Mary E. "Columbia" Trimpey (1868-1919) was born on July 15, 1868 in Somerset County. 

At the age of 20, on Dec. 30, 1888, she married 20-year-old laborer Charles H. Sechler (1868-1952), son of Daniel Sechler. Rev. Thomas Woods led the wedding ceremony, held near Kingwood. Before they could be wed, however, all three of their living parents had to appear before a justice of the peace to provide their sworn consent to the union. 

Columbia was four years older than her husband, although she apparently tried to conceal that from time to time when asked. 

They produced a family of nine children -- among them Ray Edward Sechler, Maude E. Sechler, Ida G. Sechler, Bertha E. Sechler, Mary "Etta" McKeever, Daniel H. Sechler, Clara Blanche Sechler, James Franklin "Frank" Sechler and Alice F. Sechler. 


Columbia's memorial window,
Kingwood Church of God.
Linda Marker

As a young girl, Columbia joined the Kingwood Church of God and remained a member for more than three decades. 

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, Columbia and Charles and their family of six children resided together near Kingwood. That year, Charles made a living as a saw mill laborer. By 1910, when the census again was taken, Charles was a full time farmer, with his sons and daughters providing labor. 

Sadly, stricken with influenza, Columbia passed into eternity at the age of 50 on Jan. 3, 1919. She was interred in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery. 

A year after Columbia's passing, in 1920, her longtime church was renovated, including a two-story addition and a vestibule with a bell tower. New stained glass windows were installed, and Charles made a donation to dedicate one of the windows in her memory.

Charles survived his wife by more than three decades. He passed away the day after his 84th birthday, on Feb. 21, 1952. He joined Columbia in eternal repose in the IOOF Cemetery.

Son Ray Edward Sechler (1890- ? ) was born in 1890. He served in World War I and was stationed at Camp Devens in Massachusetts.

Daughter Maude E. Sechler (1891- ? ) was born in 1891. She lived in Pittsburgh in 1919.

Daughter Ida G. Sechler (1894- ? ) was born in 1894. 

Daughter Bertha E. Sechler (1895-1985) was born on Oct. 1 or 6, 1895 in Upper Turkeyfoot. As with her sister Clara Blanche, she never married. She was a long time member of the Kingwood Church of God. She made her final home on West Patriot Street in Somerset. She died in Meyersdale Community Hospital on March 1, 1985, at the age of 89. Burial was in the Sechler family plot at the IOOF Cemetery in Kingwood, with Rev. Gregory Pile officiating. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American.

Daughter Mary "Etta" Sechler (1897-1986) was born on Jan. 7, 1898 in Paddytown. She was a teacher circa 1920 in Upper Turkeyfoot. She wed Charles G. McKeever ( ? -1983). The couple had two sons -- Charles H. McKeever and Frank L. McKeever. Etta "was a graduate of California Normal School, now California University of Pa., in 1923," said the Somerset Daily American. "She had taught in the Wilkinsburg Area Schools and was of the Mormon Faith. " Sadly, Charles passed away on March 20, 1983. In 1985, she lived in Slippery Rock, Butler County, PA. Etta died at Bonetti Health Care Center in Harrisville, Pa at the age of 88 on April 23, 1986. Her remains were returned to Connellsville for burial in Green Ridge Memorial Park. Her funeral was led by George W. Price, branch president of the Slipper Rock Branch of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Son Daniel H. Sechler (1900-1967) was born on Jan. 31, 1900. He was employed as a railroad repairman in 1920. He died on Oct. 14, 1967, at age 67. with entombment in the Sechler plot of graves at Kingwood's IOOF Cemetery.

Daughter Clara Blanche Sechler (1903-1982) was born on July 15, 1903. She apparently never married and made her lifetime home in Somerset County, where she was a member of the Kingwood Church of God. In later life, she resided on West Patriot Street in Somerset. She died on April 13, 1983, at the age of 79. She rests with her parents and siblings in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American.

Son James Franklin "Frank" Sechler (1905-1967) was born on May 30, 1905. Whether or not he married is unknown. He died at age 61 on Jan. 14, 1967, with interment in the IOOF Cemetery in Kingwood.

Daughter Alice F. Sechler (1908- ? ) was born in 1908.


Almira Gerhard

~ Daughter Almira (Trimpey) Gerhard ~

Daughter Almira Trimpey (1869-1939) was born on Nov. 13, 1869 in or near Jefferson Township, Somerset County. 

She was single for many years and was a longtime housekeeper.

When the federal census was taken in 1900, she dwelled in nearby Connellsville, Fayette County, and earned a living as a dressmaker. Also living under her roof that year were her unmarried brothers John "West" Trimpey (age 28) and Ephraim "Burt" Trimpey (22).

She moved back to her native Somerset County during the decade between 1900 and 1910. After the untimely passing of her sister Ida Kreger in 1909, she appears to have moved into the farm home of the widower Peter A. Kreger to help care for his young daughters Bertha (age 8) and Gladys (4). They all are enumerated together under one roof in the federal census of 1910 of Upper Turkeyfoot Township.


Almira later in life.
Courtesy Linda Marker

At the age of 43, on June 4, 1913, Almira was joined in holy matrimony with 58-year-old widower and farmer William Gerhard (Sept. 24, 1854-1923), the son of Jacob and Catherine (Brougher) Gerhardt, the father an immigrant from Germany. (The name commonly is spelled with and without the final "t.") Rev. J.C. Cunningham performed the wedding ceremony, held at Ursina, Somerset County, and the event was reported in the Meyersdale Republican.

William's first wife, Mary Elizabeth Younkin (daughter of Eli S. and Susanna [Dumbauld] Younkin), was one of Almira's cousins and, having suffered from hardening of the arteries and a stroke of paralysis, she had died on April 27, 1910. William thus brought seven children into his marriage with Almira, all sons but one -- Charles Gerhard, Ira Clark Gerhard, Frank F. Gerhard, Elmer G. Gerhard, Maude Countryman, John Gerhard and Oran Russell Gerhard Sr.

A year prior to marriage, William was injured in a head-on railroad accident on the Somerset & Cambria Railroad, at Wilson Creek Junction, about two miles from Rockwood. He suffered bruises on the head and back and cuts on his face. Reported the Meyersdale Republican, the train on which he was riding "pulled out of a siding when the passenger train was supposed to have a clear track. Both engineers reversed and jumped when they saw that a collision was unavoidable... Both engines were running at low speed when the crash came, which accounts for the disaster not being worse. The engines were lifted off their front trucks and badly battered. None of the passengers cars left the track. Traffic was blocked for several hours."

In addition to farming, William worked as a carpenter. They are said to have lived in a house in Kingwood that was ordered via a Sears Roebuck catalogue, and which would have been delivered in pieces, needing to be constructed. (The house later was owned by Hick and Dorothy Younkin.)

The Gerhards received the horrifying news of the cold-blooded shooting of Almira's brother William Henry Trimpey in 1914. The muder case was sensational and generated headlines in local newspapers. Almira was called to testify in court during the trial, and said that she "was at the bedside of her brother some time after dinner on the day of the shooting and heard him say that he was going to die."

Circa 1920, their longtime house of worship, the Kingwood Church of God, received an extensive renovation, including a two-story addition and a vestibule with a bell tower. New stained glass windows were installed, and William made a donation to dedicate one of the windows in honor of the family, past and present.


The Gerhards' memorial window, Kingwood Church of God


Sadly, William developed a intestinal obstruction and after five days of suffering, as a patient in Frantz Hospital in Confluence, he died on July 29, 1923 at the age of 69. He was buried with his first wife in the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Cemetery in Kingwood. Public official spelled the family name "Garhardt" on the official Pennsylvania certificate of death, while his son Frank signed his name "Gerhard." An obituary in the Republican said that he had been "a respected citizen of Upper Turkeyfoot Township," and it listed his surviving siblings as Mrs. Peter Dumbauld (of the family of Elizabeth [Dull] Dumbauld) and J.B. Gerhard of Somerset and Susan Sechler of Kingwood.

Almira outlived her spouse by 16 years. Circa 1929, when her father died, Almira lived in Somerset and was named in his newspaper obituary.

She was diagnosed with cancer of the right breast in 1936. Over the next three years, the disease spread into her lungs and spine. She was gathered in by the Angel of Death at the age of 70 on Feb. 22, 1939. Ross Kreger, of Johnstown, Cambria County, was the informant for the death certificate. Her mortal remains were placed into eternal rest in the IOOF Cemetery.

See the of Eli S. and Susanna [Dumbauld] Younkin biography for more on Almira's stepchildren.


~ Son William Henry Trimpey ~


Ill-fated murder victim William H. Trimpey

Son William Henry Trimpey (1870-1914) was born on Feb. 28, 1870 (or 1872) in Kingwood. He was the victim of a cold-blooded murder that generated sensational news headlines and community gossip.

When he was 26 years of age, on Aug. 31, 1899, he married 24-year-old Mary "Ella" Sechler (1872- ? ). The nuptials were celebrated at the parsonage of the Lutheran Church in Glad (New Centerville). She was the daughter of Daniel and Susannah Sechler. 

William and Ella bore three daughters, Lola Trimpey, Minnie Trimpey and Irma Trimpey. 


Booklet about 
William's murder

In a horrific turn of events, William was shot and killed in a sensational murder by Henry "Hen" Cramer, a blacksmith of Kingwood. The Somerset Herald reported that "the tragedy culminates a feud between Trimpey and Cramer of about a year's standing," involving Trimpey's use of Cramer's private road. 

Said the Herald: "It is alleged that Cramer concealed himself behind a maple tree and opened fire on Trimpey with a double-barrel shotgun while the latter was tearing down a fence across a private road. Trimpey was shot in the abdomen, his intestines and bladder being punctured." A physician examining the body found that the pellets had made 16 performations in his intestines.

One of the eyewitnesses, Amos William Harbaugh, later testified in court on what he had seen. The case was covered in great detail in the Herald

Cramer was convicted in 1914, and was incarcerated in Rockville State Prison until his death four years later, in 1918. In 2000, the articles were reprinted in the booklet Commonwealth vs. Cramer, compiled by Younkin cousin Linda L. Marker, BA, MSW. In an introduction, Linda wrote: "The Cramer trial attracted more interest than any proceeding heard in the county court since the famous trial of the Nicely brothers" in 1890. 

As a widow, Ella's fate is not known.

Daughter Lola Trimpey ( ? - ? ) 

Daughter Minnie Trimpey ( ? - ? ) 

Daughter Irma Trimpey ( ? - ? )


Etta Phillippi

~ Daughter Etta (Trimpey) Phillippi ~

Daughter Etta Trimpey (1873-1948) was born on Oct. 25, 1873 near Kingwood. 

At the age of 19, on June 24, 1893, in the Methodist Episcopal Church, she wed 33-year-old laborer John Sherman Phillippi Sr. (1860-1934), son of Jacob and Sarah (Blubaugh) Phillippi of Scullton, Somerset County, and grandson of Frederick and Mary (Hochstetler) Bluebaugh. Rev. J.E. McClay officiated at the marriage ceremony in Rockwood. 

John's father, Jacob Phillippi, served in the Civil War as a member of the 85th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The father was wounded twice, first with shell shrapnel in the back in 1862, and then with a gunshot in the left knee at the Battle of Flat Bottom, also known as Flussers Mills, in Virginia. 

Two of John's nieces also connected into the Younkin clan, daughters of Joseph and Sarah (Phillippi) Ohler -- Pearl Ohler who married triple Younkin William "Lincoln" Miner, and Mary Ohler as a significant other of William "Wesley" Younkin who was killed by lightning at the age of 28.

They resided on a farm in Middlecreek Township, Somerset County circa 1900-1910-1920-1930, when the United States Census was taken. 

The couple produced 10 children -- Harry William Phillippi, Elmira Pletcher, John Sherman Phillippi Jr., Rolla E. Phillippi, Charles M. Phillippi, Ray Rossy Phillippi, Gladys May Phillippi, Earl Howard Wilson Phillippi, Maude Ellen Phillippi and Ralph Phillippi.


Entry in the 1912 book, Descendants of Jacob Hochstetler about Etta and John Phillippi and their children



Descendants of Jacob Hochstetler book

In 1912, when the book Descendants of Jacob Hochstetler, the Immigrant of 1736 was published by Rev. Harvey Hostetler, D.D., Etta and John were named as well as their six eldest children on page 123.

John passed away on Christmas Day 1934 at the age of 74. 

Etta outlived her spouse by 14 years, and married again, by 1940, to stone mason and farmer Freeman Mason Lyons (1877-196), son of Ezra and Annie (Harkum) Lyons. 


Etta and her 2nd husband,
Freeman Mason Lyons

Freeman had been married once before, to Johanna A. (?), and brought these three adult children to his marriage with our Etta -- Vernon Lyons, Ralph Lyons and Mrs. A.J. Crete. They resided in Berlin, Brothers Valley Township, and belonged to the Berlin Methodist Church, where Freeman was "a very active member," said the Meyersdale Republican

When the census was again recorded in 1940, Etta and Freeman lived in Berlin, with her 23-year-old unmarried daughter Maude Ellen Phillippi living under their roof. 

In June 1946, Freeman traveled to Maryland to pick cherries with friends. Upon returning home, he did not feel well. He passed away in his sleep a day or two later, at the age of 69, on June 23, 1946. Burial was with his first wife in Barron's Church Cemetery in Berlin. 

Etta died in Berlin on March 24, 1948 at the age of 75. She reposes in the Rockwood (or Kingwood) Odd Fellows Cemetery. She was survived by 20 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

Son Harry William Phillippi (1894-1950) was born on Sept. 25, 1894 in Middlecreek Township. He married Mabel Mae Barclay on Sept. 2, 1922, when he was 27 years of age. They resided in Rockwood. Harry died on Aug. 7, 1950 at the age of 55, and is buried in St. Paul's Cemetery in Barronvale.

Daughter Elmira Phillippi (1896-1956) was born on Aug. 8 or 20, 1896 in Middlecreek Township. When she was 26 years of age, on Sept. 13, 1922, Elmira married Edward Glen Pletcher ( ? - ? ). They had two known sons: Merle R. Pletcher and Dale Pletcher. Almira died at the age of 59, on June 15, 1956, with burial in Wesley Chapel Cemetery near Scullton.

  • Grandson Merle R. Pletcher (1923-2014) was born on Oct. 1, 1923 in Rockwood. He married Mildred (?) ( ? -1998) and resided in New Centerville, Somerset County. Their children were Terry Pletcher, Joyce Nelson, Cherie Kenemore, Jerry Pletcher and Holly Angermeier. Said the Somerset Daily American, "Merle was a longtime coal miner in the area and also worked as a stone mason. He attended the Rockwood Christian and Missionary Alliance Church." Mildred passed away first, in 1998. Merle survived her by 15+ years. He died at the age of 90, in In Touch Hospice House, on Aug. 1, 2014. Burial was in Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Scullton.


Rockwood, early 1900s, looking west from 
the hill behind the B&O Railroad station

Son John Sherman Phillippi (1898- ? ) was born on June 11, 1898 in Middlecreek Township. He was married twice. His first spouse was Mabel Cora Pauley, with the ceremony taking place in or near Charleston, Kanawha County, WV. His second bride was Pauline Parsons (1912-1967). They resided for many years in Charleston. Pauline passed away at the age of 55 on Oct. 24, 1967.

Son Rolla E. Phillippi (1900-1945) was born on March 28, 1900 in Middlecreek Township. He wed Olive Elizabeth (Baird) Glassburn and may have resided in Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. Rolla died at the untimely age of 45, on March 28, 1945, and was entombed in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Son Charles W. Phillippi (1907-1980) was born on July 25, 1907 in Middlecreek Township. On Aug. 28, 1925, at the age of 18, Charles married Luzeba Hemminger (1908-1977), daughter of Wesley and Jenny (Moore) Hemminger. Their nuptials took place in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD in about 1925, and they remained together for 52 years. They had four children -- Lois Burket, Mary Jane Edmiston, Charles J. Phillippi and Charlene Crawford. The family lived at Somerset R.D. 1. and were members of the church of God. Luzeba passed away in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 68 on June 9, 1977. Her obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republic. Charles lived for another three years. He died in Somerset Hospital at the age of 73 on Nov. 17, 1980, with burial in the Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. He was survived, said the Daily American, by nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Son Rossy "Ray" Phillippi Sr. (1909-1978) was born on April 9, 1909 in Middlecreek Township. Two days before Christmas 1930, Ray married Ethel Fern Cullison (1913-1993), daughter of Walter Chauncey and Mary (Chopson) Cullison. Ray was age 21, and Ethel 17, at the time of marriage. Their six children were Delores Fisher, Ella "Arlene" Singo, Shirley Rae Phillippi, Ray Rossy Phillippi Jr., James Lee Phillippi and George R. Phillippi. Ray was the owner of Phillippi's Electronics in Rockwood. They attended the Center Church of the Brethren, At age 69, he died on May 5, 1978, with burial in Wesley Chapel Cemetery near Scullton. Ethel lived for another 15 years, at her home in Rockwood. She passed away in Johnstown's Mercy Hospital on June 28, 1993, at the age of 80.

  • Granddaughter Delores Phillippi wed James D. "Jim" Fisher and lived in Rockwood. James was deceased by 2021.
  • Granddaughter Ella "Arlene" Phillippi ( ? -2022) was born in about 1935. She married a distant cousin, Ted D. Singo (Dec. 9, 1932-2014), son of Dorsey and Blanche (Ream) Singo of Middlecreek Township of the family of Frederick and Margaret "Peggy" (Faidley) Dull. The Singos' union endured for an extraordinary 62 years. They resided in Rockwood, and the four children they produced together were Shirley Walter, Rev. Tom Singo, Gloria Critchfiel and Rev. Mike Singo. Ted earned a living as a construction worker, with a membership in the Laborers' Union Local 1058 of Pittsburgh. They belonged to the Center Church of the Brethren, where Arlene was a Sunday School teacher and Good News Club member and Ted a deacon. In her spare time she liked to quilt and sew, and he bowled and enjoyed the out-of-doors. Sadly, Ted died on June 4, 2014. Interment of the remains was in Barron Church Cemetery. Her final widowed years were spent in Rockwood. She surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 87 on Sept. 19, 2022. She was survived by seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, said the Somerset Daily American.
  • Grandson Ray Rossy Phillippi Jr. wed Esther Stanczyk and made their home in Rockwood. He was deceased by 2021.
  • James L. Phillippi's workplace
    Grandson James Lee Phillippi (1942-2021) was born on May 27, 1942 in his parents' home in Somerset. He married Nancy Charleton ( ? -2020). Their union endured for 49 years. The pair lived in Friedens, Somerset County and bore three offspring -- Stephanie Menear, Nikki Clawson and Michael Singo. James served with the U.S. Army Reserves and earned a living at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. For a decade, he was self-employed with Phillippi's Electronics in Somerset and for two years of Phillippi's Stereos in nearby Latrobe, Westmoreland County, PA. "At Phillippi’s Electronics he got the opportunity to meet many people and sponsor local sports teams," reported the Somerset Daily American. He was active in the Somerset Church of God and teaching art. But he was best known as an artist, said the Daily American, with works "completed for famous organizations including the 9 for 9 at Quecreek, Eagles, and Steelers." At the age of 78, James died on Jan. 17, 2021. Pastor Dean Sisk and Pastor M.D. Herring jointly officiated the funeral service, followed by military honors at the burial in Beulah Church Cemetery in Friedens.

Great-granddaughter Stephanie Phillippi wedded Roy Menear.

Great-granddaughter Nikki Phillippi married Adam Clawson. The couple is presumed to have borne Cohen Clawson and Addie Clawson.

Great-grandson Michael Singo was joined in marriage with Tammy. They are the parents of Kayla Joy Singo, Nathan Singo and Matthew Singo. Sadly, daughter Kayla and Nathan are believed to have died young.

  • Grandson George R. Phillippi wed Nancy Benner. Their residence was in Columbus, Franklin County, OH. Later, he was united in wedlock with Joanne.

Daughter Gladys May Phillippi (1912-1984) was born on June 23, 1912. She wed Robert H. Baker ( ? - ? ). They resided in Rockwood circa 1948-1984. They had no children, residing in Rockwood and later Somerset R.D. 1. Gladys and Robert were members of the Rockwood Church of the Brethren. Gladys died in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 71 on Feb. 16, 1984. Burial was in the Rockwood Odd Fellows Cemetery, with a funeral service preached by Rev. William Day.


Earl Phillippi (rear) threshing with son Robert near Rockwood



Earl walking on his hands

Elizabeth & Earl Phillippi with grand- 
daughter Melody Gary and her children

Son Earl Howard Wilson Phillippi (1914-2001) was born on Jan. 7, 1914. He contracted polio at nine months old and learned to walk on his hands as other babies did their feet. As a child, he ran races on his hands. As a result, he became very strong and had huge hands. At the age of 19, Earl married 18-year-old Elizabeth Priscilla Ohler (1915-2006), on March 22, 1933. She was the daughter of Israel and Catherine Ohler. Their eight children were John Earl Phillippi, Yvonne Jean Phillippi, Viola Kerns, Martha Lear, Emma Jean Gary Anderson, Robert Phillippi, Wilbur Phillippi, Betty Hyatt and Earl Phillippi Jr. who died in infancy. The family resided near Scullton and were members of the Scullton Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. Said the Somerset Daily American, Earl "was a lifelong farmer and carpenter/stone mason." Recalled a granddaughter, " He never considered himself handicapped & was very proud. He ran the dairy farm he had up into his mid 70s. He hurt his good leg and after that he was only able to get around on crutches. It was only then that he filed for disability. He was an amazing man." The family grieved especially deeply when daughter Yvonne, while playing with an older sister in the bedroom of their home in Middlecreek Township, was accidentally shot in the face with a bullet fired from a .22 rifle and died within minutes on June 26, 1963, at the age of six. Earl passed away at age 87 on Jan. 23, 2001, at Somerset Hospital. Elizabeth lived for another five years. She died on March 7, 2006, at the age of 90. They rest together in the Scullton Cemetery. At Elizabeth's death, the local newspaper reported that she was survived by 12 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson. The Phillippis' granddaughter, Melody Gary, is named in the dedication of the book Well At This Time: The Civil War Diaries of Ephraim Miner.

  • Granddaughter Viola Phillippi ( ? -living) was born in (?). She wed William Kerns ( ? -living). They made their home in Confluence and Fort Hill. The Kernses were the parents of Randy Lee Kerns, William Kerns and Diane Mitchell. Sadness swept through the family when son Randy, a former supervisor at Hidden Valley Resort, died at home in Rockwood at the age of 57 on April 27, 2018. He left behind his former wife Catherine Katon and their children Robert Lee Kerns and Jonathan Andrew Kerns. In 2018, Viola made a home in Fort Hill.
  • Granddaughter Martha Phillippi ( ? -living) married Clair Lear ( ? -living). In 2001, their home was in Aliquippa, PA and in 2006-2018 in Latrobe, Westmoreland County.
  • Granddaughter Emma Jean Phillippi (1940-2018) was born on May 2, 1940 in Upper Turkeyfoot. Her first husband was Harold Gary, son of Harry and Cora (Sanner) Gary of the family of Minnie (Miner) Gary. They produced one daughter, Melody Gary. See their linked bio for more.
  • Grandson Robert Phillippi ( ? -living) married Deborah Stewart. They resided in DeRidder, LA in the 2000s and in Texas in 2018.
  • Grandson Wilbur Phillippi ( ? -living) was wedded to Gertrude "Cris" Crissey ( ? -living), daughter of Elmer and Doris Crissey. The Phillippis have lived for many years in Friedens, Somerset County. They were the parents of Jennifer A. Kraemer and Jeffrey Phillippi. Their daughter Jennifer (1977-2017) was married and had a son Alex and worked for 17 years in the emergency room and telemetry unit of Somerset Hospital. She also was a member of Ridge Church in Somerset. But plagued with juvenile diabetes for many years, Jennifer died at the age of 40 on July 10, 2017, with interment in St. John's Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Betty Phillippi ( ? -living) was united in matrimony with Daniel "Dan" Hyatt. In 2001, their home was in Boswell, Somerset County and by 2006 were in Jennerstown, PA. In 2018, they were back in Boswell.
  • Grandson John Earl Phillippi (1942-1997) was born on June 15, 1942. He was wedded to Jean King. They lived in Somerset and had two daughters, Tammy L. Fundus and Lori Richter. Sadly, John died on Feb. 27, 1997 at the age of 54. Heartache blanketed this family on May 8, 2016 when daughter Tammy died, leaving behind a husband and son Zachary

Daughter Maude Ellen Phillippi (1916-1965) was born on Sept. 25, 1916 in Middlecreek Township, Somerset Coiunty. She never married. Circa 1940, at the age of 23, she dwelled with her mother and stepfather in Berlin, Brothersvalley Township. She was a member of Center Church near Trent. Maude died in the home of a brother at the age of 48 on Jan. 17, 1965. Following funeral services held at her place of worship, officiated by Rev. Gerald Deffenbaugh and Rev. Fred Seese, her remains were placed at eternal rest in the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republic. Virtually nothing more is known of her existence.

Son Ralph Phillippi (-1919-) sadly died the day he was born, on Aug. 20, 1919. May he sing with the angels.


"West" Trimpey

~ Son John Wesley "West" Trimpey ~

Son John "Wesley" (or "West" or "J.W.") Trimpey (1875-1945) was born on Feb. 17, 1875 (or 1876 or 1872 -- sources differ) in Kingwood. 

Circa 1900, he was employed as a railroad fireman in Connellsville, Fayette County. That year, he resided with his unmarried sister Almira and brother Ephraim "Burt" in Connellsville. 

At the age of 25, in 1900, West married 19-year-old Bertha P. Rhoades (1882-1980), daughter of Charles and Lydia Rhoads, and a native of Wheeling, Ohio County, WV. 

They had five known children -- Charles H. Trimpey, Miles Edwin Trimpey, Edwin R. Trimpey, Helen I. Mahaffie and John Surhide Trimpey. They also lost a baby daughter Vida May at the age of five days on Nov. 28, 1910, with burial in the Mount Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery in Kingwood. 

The Trimpeys' first home was in Uniontown, Fayette County, where their son Miles was born in 1903. Circa 1909-1920, they made their home in Casselman, Somerset County, where West worked in the occupation of general carpentry. At some point he joined the Odd Fellows Lodge of Kingwood.

In 1920, he continued his labors as a house carpenter, having relocated to a dwelling on North East Street in Somerset. By 1930, with the country having fallen into the grip of the Great Depression, West found employment as a carpenter with the Pennsylvania Highway Department. When the census again was taken in 1930, the Trimpeys lived on East Catherine Street in Somerset, with 23-year old, unmarried daughter Helen working as a stenographer for a gas and electric company. Said the Meyersdale Republican, he "lived in Somerset 30 years."

The 1940 census shows Wes working in the building industry as a carpenter. 

At the age of 69, Wes died at home in late February 1945. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park, following services led by Rev. Ralph W. Huntsman of the Methodist Church. The Republican reported that he was survived by 11 grandchildren.

Bertha spent her final years living in Uniontown at the Lafayette Nursing Home. She died there just two months shy of her 98th birthday on April 22, 1980. Interment was in Somerset County Memorial Park.

Son Charles H. Trimpey (1902- ? ) was born in about 1902. In 1967, he dwelled in Sarasota, FL.

Son Miles Edwin Trimpey Sr. (1903-1984) was born on Sept. 11, 1903 in Hopwood on the outskirts of Uniontown. Circa 1929, he was employed as a clerk in Somerset. He went on to a career as a construction superintendent for the George A. Fuller Co. of Washington, D.C., and retired due to declining health in 1967. Among his accomplishments was construction of the Sacred Heart Hospital in Cumberland, MD. At the age of 26, on April 19, 1929, he wed 23-year-old Hilda B. Cook (1906- ? ), daughter of A.C. and Mary Cook of Windber, Somerset County. He later married again, to Betty (Wisseman) George (1925-1998), daughter of Fred and Frieda (Bisbing) Wisseman of Meyersdale. In all, he had an astonishing dozen children: Richard Wesley Trimpey, Linda Powell Wells, Marlys E. Harris, Miles Edwin "Eddie" Trimpey Jr., Gary E. Trimpey, Anne Dickstein, Helen L. "Betsy" Heim, Jane Tyler, James E. Trimpey, William C. Trimpey, Mary Kozak and Patricia "Patty" Trimpey. Betty had previously been wed to James Emerson George ( ? - ? ) and brought two stepdaughters into the union with Miles -- Donna Masters of Warren, OH and Peggy L. George of Birmingham, AL. In their final years, Miles and Betty made their home in Westminster, MD, on 141 East Main Street. Suffering from emphysema, Miles died at Carroll County General Hospital on March 25, 1984, at the age of 80. He was laid to rest in Evergreen Memorial Gardens, with Rev. Richard C. Carson officiating. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American. Betty lived for another 14 years. She died in Port Charlotte, FL at the age of 73 on Sept. 28, 1998. Miles is not to be confused with Miles Reid Trimpey ( ? -1990), married to Betty Romesberg, who was owner/operator of Trimpey's Apple Orchard of Berlin, PA.

  • Grandson Richard Wesley "Ricky" Trimpey ( ? - ? ) resided in Westminster, MD in 1984. He moved to Florida where he established a home in Port Charlotte as of 2000 and Venice, FL in 2005. 
  • Granddaughter Linda Trimpey ( ? - ? ) Powell Wells lived in Hampstead (?) and then in 2000 in Port Charlotte, FL and in 2005 in Apache Junction, AZ. 
  • Granddaughter Marlys E. Trimpey ( ? - ? ) Harris resided in 1984 in Hanover, PA and in 2005 in Lancaster, PA.
  • Grandson Miles Edwin "Eddie" Trimpey Jr. ( ? - ? ) relocated to Erie, PA. By 2005, he was living in Las Vegas.
  • Grandson Gary E. Trimpey ( ? - ? ) made his home in Connellsville in the mid-1980s.
  • Granddaughter Anne Trimpey ( ? - ? ) Dickstein was in Holmdel Township, NJ circa 1984. She was in San Diego in 2000. By 2002, she had married again to (?) St. Clair ( ? - ? ).
  • Granddaughter Helen L. "Betsy" Trimpey ( ? - ? ) Heim moved to Edison, NJ.
  • Granddaughter Jane Trimpey ( ? - ? ) Tyler migrated to New York State and made her residence in 1984-2000 in Rochester, NY.
  • Grandson James E. Trimpey ( ? - ? ) wed Jacqueline "Jackie" Baird. He was the father of James Edward Trimpey. He was employed as a surveyor for the large civil engineering firm of Michael Baker Jr., Inc. The family established their dwelling in Coraopolis/Moon Township, PA. At the age of 70, he died on March 12, 2002. His funeral mass was sung at the family place of worship, St. Margaret Mary Church in Moon. An obituary was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in which the family asked that any memorial gifts be made to the Verland Foundation.
  • Grandson William C. Trimpey ( ? - ? ) served in the U.S. Air Force. He entered into marriage with Nora ( ? - ? ). Their brood of offspring included William C. Trimpey Jr., Patricia Bauman, Terry Kovach and Christine Winkelman. The family put down roots in Fair Oaks, CA as of 1984 and then in 1993 moved to Central Florida. They belonged to All Souls Catholic Church. Their final home was in Sun Oaks Court in Lake Mary, FL, near Orlando. He died on Oct. 12, 2000 at the age of 67. An obituary was published in the Orlando Sentinel

    Great-grandson William C. Trimpey Jr. made his residence in Sanford, FL in 2000.

    Great-granddaughter Patricia Trimpey Bauman was in Lake Mary, FL in 2000.

    Great-granddaughter Terry Trimpey Kovach has dwelled at Lake Mary, FL.

    Great-granddaughter Christine Trimpey Winkelman has lived at Lake Mary, FL.

  • Granddaughter Mary Trimpey ( ? -2018) was born on (?). She was joined in wedlock with Ronald E. Kozak ( ? - ? ). Their brood of five children included Sharon Kozak, Mary Lou Kozak, Ronald E. Kozak Jr., Karen Crawford and Edward Kozak. They resided in the Crafton section of Pittsburgh. Sadly, at the age of 88, Mary died on Christmas Day 2018. A notice of her passing appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Granddaughter Patricia "Patty" Trimpey ( ? - ? ) was in Uniontown, Pa in 1984 and Johnstown, PA in 2000.
  • Step-granddaughter Donna Masters ( ? - ? ) dwelled in Warren, OH
  • Step-granddaughter  Peggy L. George (1941-2005) was born on Nov. 21, 1941 and grew up in Meyersdale. She was a 1959 graduate of Meyersdale Area High School. Peggy wed (?) Burkholder ( ? - ? ). Their two sons were Steve Burkholder and Doug Burkholder. The family moved to Birmingham, AL and were there in 1984. She moved in 1985 to Bradenton, Manatee County, FL and earned a living as a nurse's assistant and waitress. Then in 1993, she suffered a debilitating stroke and was confined to a nursing home for the 11 remaining years of her life. Peggy died in Bradenton on Jan. 27, 2005. An obituary appeared in the Meyersdale New Republic.

Daughter Helen I. Trimpey (1909- ? ) was born in 1909. She married (?) Mehaffie in about 1933. By 1967, she had married again to (?) Deolp and resided in Charleston, Kanawha County, WV.

Son Edwin R. Trimpey ( ? - ? ) lived in Sarasota, FL in 1967.

Son John Surhide Trimpey (1914-1967) was born in about 1914 in Somerset County. His middle name was an Americanized version of his mother's maiden name, zer Heide. Translated from German into English, it means "from the Heide/Heather" which grew in the low lying marshy area of "Lower" Saxony from whence they originated. John was united in marriage with Olis Wingert ( ? - ? ). The children born to this union were John Eccles Trimpey and Nancy S. Trimpey. At one time, John operated a restaurant in Connellsville. Later, he accepted a position with Westinghouse Electric Company and relocated in 1955 to Muncie, IN. Their address in 1967 was 266 Janney Avenue in Muncie. At the age of 55, John died at home on Nov. 2, 1967. Burial was in Muncie's Garden of Memory Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Muncie Star Press and Connellsville Daily Courier.

  • Grandson John Eccles Trimpey (1938-2018) was born on Dec. 18, 1838 in Somerset. He married Margaret ( ? - ? ). She brought several offspring to the marriage -- Karen McAvoy, Allison McAvoy and Lee McAvoy. They went on to produce these children of their own -- Susan Trimpey and Meredith Welch. John played football at Connellsville High School and is said to have been scouted by Alabama head coach Bear Bryant and North Carolina coach Jim Tatum, and to have been offered more than two dozen college scholarships. He chose instead to attend Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, where he earned All-New England football honors and was an All-American swimmer. He reputedly turned down Major League Baseball contracts with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. He studied at Cornell University before receiving a bachelor's degree from Ball State University. From there, he earned a master's degree from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. from Ohio University. John was employed as a professor of English at Applachian State University and as chairman of Arkansas State University's English Department. In 1979, he accepted an offer to join the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he served as provost and as dean of arts and sciences. He was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves and enjoyed playing games and woodworking. He passed away on Nov. 1, 2018.
  • Granddaughter Nancy S. Trimpey ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was united in wedlock with (?) Storey and in 2018 made a home in Franklin, OH.


Burt and Alice, early 1900s

~ Son Ephraim Burt Trimpey ~

Son Ephraim "Burt" Trimpey (1878-1948) was born on April 26, 1878. 

As a young man, he taught school at Mount Union in Somerset County, and then moved to Uniontown, Fayette County, where he learned the art of professional photography. He set up shop in Star Junction, near Uniontown, and then was in Rockwood for two years.

Deciding that business would be better elsewhere, he migrated to Georgia, where he ran a studio in the town of Waycross for six months. Circa 1905, he migrated again to South Carolina, where he opened a studio in Anderson, and maintained the business for five years. 

In 1910, he relocated to Wisconsin, settling in the community of Barbaroo, Sauk County. While there, he married Alice Kent ( ? - ? ), daughter of Sylvester and Rebecca (Dennett) Kent. He was almost two decades younger than his wife.

Their wedding was held on March 10, 1910. They had no children. 

He established a studio on Fourth Avenue in Barbaroo, which was noted "for uniqueness and beauty ... unmatched in the whole country round." Over the years, he expanded the firm into antiques. It was said to have been designed by nationally renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Their home for many years was on Oak Street. 

Harry Ellsworth Cole's A Standard History of Sauk County, published in 1918, reported that Burt had proven that "business and professional enterprise and public spirit ... make him one of the city's most valued citizens. He is a very busy man, but always finds time to lend a hand when necessary to the promotion of any organized movement for the general good. Both he and his wife are exceedingly talented people and are well known in local social circles." 


Fourth Avenue in Barbaroo, with the Trimpey antique shop to the left of the tree.



Alice (Kent) Trimpey

In his spare time, Burt was an avid collector of rare coins and more than 200 pieces of Lusterware pottery.

Alice was the inventor of the Priscilla Sewing Rack, produced in Racine and "sold all over the country," said the History. She also was a discriminating collector of about 100 rare dolls having historical value, and in 1935 published The Story of My Dolls, a book by Whitman Publishing Company. Her second book was Becky: My First Love, produced by George Banta Publishing Company of Menasha, WI. 

Burt passed away at St. Mary's Ringling Hospital on July 21, 1948, at the age of 71. His obituary in the Barbaroo Weekly News noted that he was "survived by his wife and one sister, Mrs. Frank Roberts of Markleton, Pa." 

After his passing, Alice arranged for his and her collections to be donated to the Wisconsin State Historical Society in Madison, where they remain today. 

Alice suffered a stroke and died a little more than six months after her husband, on Feb. 8, 1949. Other sources say she fell in her bathtub and was mortally injured. She was survived  by one nephew, Arthur Kent of Everett, WA. She joined her husband in burial at the Sauk Prairie Cemetery. 

In the years following Alice's death, her nephew stepped forward to contest the terms of her will, saying she had changed the document later in life and had been unduly and improperly influenced. The litigation made made headlines in local newspapers. Ultimately, after weighing the merits of the nephew's claims, they were dismissed.



Alice's extensive antique doll collection and book, The Story of My Dolls



Ella Roberts

~ Daughter Ella E. (Trimpey) Roberts ~

Daughter Ella E. Trimpey (1881-1964) was born on Jan. 10, 1881, in Somerset County. She was a dress-maker for many years in Somerset before marrying. 

At age 41, she married 53-year-old widower Frank B. "F.B." Roberts (1868- ? ), son of Joseph J. and Sarah (Millman) Roberts, on Nov. 22, 1921, at Washington, Washington County, PA. They were a dozen years apart in age. 

Frank had been wed once before, and brought a son Lloyd O. Roberts to the marriage. 

Frank was a boat carpenter at the time of marriage, and lived in Monongahela City, Washington County. They made their home in Kingwood/Markleton, but had no children of their own. 

The federal census of 1930 shows the couple living in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, with Frank working on a "truck farm."  Among their near neighbors was Ella's former brother in law Peter A. Kreger and his second family, and the family of Frank G. and Hazel Younkin. 

When her famed brother Burt died in Wisconsin in 1948, Ella was named in the newspaper obituary as his only surviving sibling. 

Ella died at the age of 83 on Jan. 25, 1964, with burial in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Kingwood. 

Frank's fate is not yet known.


Ida Kreger

~ Daughter Ida (Trimpey) Kreger ~

Daughter Ida Trimpey (1882-1909) was born on Oct. 7, 1882. 

At age 17, she wed 22-year-old farmer Peter Albert "P.A." Kreger (Dec. 14, 1877-1969), also spelled "Kregar," the son of George and Catharine (Zufall) Kreger of Upper Turkeyfoot. The wedding ceremony took place in Rockwood on New Year's Day 1909, by the hand of Rev. D.R. Ellis. 

During their relatively brief marriage, the couple bore two daughters, Bertha Grace Sanner and Gladys Brougher. 

Heartache rocked this young family when 27-year-old Ida suffered a stroke and died in Kingwood on Nov. 17, 1909. She was entombed in the Lutheran cemetery in Kingwood. The Meyersdale Republican published a lengthy obituary penned by W.J. Umstead, a portion of which said: 

The entire community was shocked at the sad news of the sudden death of this amiable woman.... Funeral services were conducted in the Bethel Church of God, Kingwood, Pa., by Rev. Hummel, of Rockwood, Pa., assisted by the writer, in the presence of a large and weeping audience, after which we laid her to rest in the Lutheran cemetery to await the resurrection of the just. Oh sister can the awful truth be true, That thou art sleeping now beneath the sod, Where flowers weep their pearly tears of dew, And mourn the precious dust so dear to God?



Kingwood IOOF Cemetery



Kingwood IOOF Cemetery

Ida's untimely demise left her husband to raise their two young daughters.

After Ida's passing, Peter married again to Carrie Pearl Kreger (July 15, 1886-1940), daughter of William H. and Malinda (Schrock) Kreger of Markleton. They tied the knot in the parsonage of the United Brethren Church of Somerset, by the hand of Rev. H.A. Buffington.

Peter's distant cousin Lola Pearl Clevenger had married Carrie Pearl's brother William Wakefield Kreger, and cousin Etta Clevenger wedded Carrie Pearl's brother Clark Kreger, both of the family of Frederick J. and Delilah (Faidley) Younkin.

They are believed to have had at least seven more children -- Elsie Catherine Kreger, Mary "Ellen" Schlenke, Sara Louise Kreger, Ida Mae Kreger, Alice June Kreger, Mary Kreger, George Kreger and Abigail "Abby" Sanner. The family was plunged into mourning repeatedly over the years -- when 14-month-old daughter Alice succumbed to brain fever and whooping cough on Aug. 29, 1921, when 3-day-old daughter Ida Mae passed away from bleeding of the bowels on Jan. 2, 1929 and then again when 9-year-old son George died of diphtheria on Oct. 18, 1931.

Peter owned a general store for many years in Kingwood. From 1924 to 1933, a span of eight years, he served in the elected position of Somerset County Commissioner. The store is pictured in the book Down the Road of Our Past published by the Rockwood Area Historical & Genealogical Society. He was a charter member and first master of the Kingwood Grange and maintained his membership for 51 years, until deafness rendered him unable to continue.

On March 8, 1940, suffering with a goiter and heart failure, Carrie Pearl died in Windber Hospital at the age of 53. "The entire corps of officials of the Somerset county court house attended [the funeral] in a body," reported the Daily American, "Mr. Kregar having been a county commissioner. Besides these was a great concourse of friends and relatives."

Peter outlived his second wife by almost three decades. He continued his store in Kingwood, assisted by his daughter Elsie. He was honored by the Rotary Club of Rockwood in 1960 as "Citizen of the Year." He was a member of a number of other prominent organizations, among them the Kingwood lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows and its affiliated Rebekah lodge and the Kingwood Grange.


Rockwood's Market Street


Grief again enveloped Peter on July 31, 1968 when his adult daughters Mary Ellen Schlenke (age 50, visiting from San Lorenzo, CA, to attend her 30th high school reunion) and Elsie Kreger (54) were killed in a head-on collision in New Lexington at the intersection of Routes 653 and 53. Mary Ellen's husband Albert Schlenke and family friend Calvin Paul Zufall were injured. One of the passengers in the other vehicle, Marguerite Miller, succumbed to her injuries. Rev. Stanley Darrah led the double funeral service, with Elsie's remains interred in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery, and Mary Ellen's shipped to California. The story was reported by the Associated Press and published widely throughout Pennsylvania, including in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Peter lived to the age of 92 and, in all, survived two wives, five daughters and a son. He passed away in Somerset Community Hospital on Dec. 15, 1969, one day after his birthday. Rev. Stanley Darrah and Rev. James Kalp officiated at the funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Republican.

The Daily American printed an editorial of admiration and respect on Dec. 17, 1969, reading in part:

With the passing of Peter A. Kreger, Somerset County has lost a well-known figure. Affectionately known as "Pete," Mr. Kreger served both the county of Somerset and the community of Kingwood, where he made his home.... Mr. Kreger was the owner of the general store in Kingwood. The store was known throughout the county as one of the few real "general" stores remaining in our modern world. Visitors to the Kingwood and Markleton areas often visited Pete's store to catch a glimpse of a fast-disappearing way of life. He was a patriarch and his family was devoted to him. In turn, he guided with with wise, old-fashioned common sense. Pete was a friendly person. Despite the weight of his years, Mr. Kreger's health was generally good until the illness preceding his death. On Sunday, he became 92 years of age. Perhaps, if more Americans had Pete's wisdom and old-fashioned ideals, the world would be a much better place to live.

Daughter Bertha Grace Kreger (1900-1958) was born on Nov. 3, 1900 in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County. She married Jesse Elias Sanner (1896-1970), son of Peter Calvin and Graminta (McCauley) Sanner. They dwelled in Upper Turkeyfoot had at least one daughter, Elizabeth R. "Betty" Mays. Bertha was a charter member of the Kingwood Grange, and served in the office of flora. She also belonged to the Mount Zion Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Kingwood lodge of the Rebekahs, while Jesse was active with the local Odd Fellows lodge and the New Centerville Fire Company. Sadly, Bertha was diagnosed with cancer of the sigmoid colon at the age of about 55. She suffered for two years and at the end endured a perforation of the colon leading to peritonitis. Death carried her away at the age of 57 on Jan. 31, 1958. Rev. Dale Rhodes preached the funeral sermon. Among those traveling to attend the funeral, reported the Meyersdale Republican, were Mr. and Mrs. Otis Vough of Wadsworth, OH; John and George Vough and Mrs. Robert Charlton of Akron, OH; and Robert Wheaton of Brentwood, near Pittsburgh. Jesse outlived her by a dozen years. He died on New Year's Day 1970 in Somerset Community Hospital. Burial was in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Elizabeth R. "Betty" Sanner (1924-2002) was born on July 7, 1924 in Upper Turkeyfoot. She entered into marriage with a cousin, Blair E. "Mick" Mays (1920-2002), son of Andrew W. Hudson and Eva B. (Younkin) Mays of the family of David and Mariah Sophia (Culver) Younkin. The couple enjoyed 53 years of married life together. During World War II, Blair served in the U.S. Marine Corps. They resided at one time in Pittsburgh and produced an only daughter, Deborah Lynn Mays. Blair earned a living as a commercial artist, designing advertisements for the Civic Light Opera, among other clients. Betty "worked as a beauty operator in Pittsburgh until taking over the operation of the parents' farm with her husband," said the Daily American. She was "known as an incredible cook, hostess, loving friend, mother and wife." Their home was along Markleton School Road. Mick was a member of the Rockwood American Legion and Somerset Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as the Pine Turn Rod and Gun Club. Sadly, he died at age 79 in Johnstown's Lee Hospital on Nov. 7, 2000. Burial was in the Kingwood Odd Fellows Cemetery, with Pastor Duane Riddle officiating. The Daily American printed an obituary but only disclosed his mother's name and not the father's. Betty survived him by two years. As she neared death, she asked that instead of flowers or memorial gifts, that her family and friends should "pass love and kindness along to other people in any form appropriate." She died on Jan. 5, 2002, with burial in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Deborah Lynn "Deb" Mays (1952-2022) was born on Nov. 6, 1952 in Upper Turkeyfoot. She was a 1970 alumna of Rockwood High School and spent a year studying dance, theatre and music at West Virginia University. She then moved to New York City's Greenwich Village and enrolled in a school in New York City where she could pursue her fascination with electronic forms of music. She went on to a career playing keyboard and piano for musicians such as blues guitarist Albert Collins, the band Pop Tarts, Japanese jazz guitarist Ryo Kawasaki, the Kinetic Kids, cabaret singer Marilyn Torch and French horn player Deborah Sandolval. In 1969, she attended the Woodstock music festival in New York. To make ends meet, she was employed as a secretary for several law firms a chemical company, the Girl Scouts and the New York publishing office of Bob Dylan. She worked in sales administration for RCA Records, Polygram and a musicians' union. While with Polygram, in the early days of the MTV phenomenon, she was in music video production working with artists as Bon Jovi, Kiss, Rush and Kool and the Gang. At the death of her father and then blindness and passing of her mother in 2002, Deborah returned to Rockwood to settle their estate. She died in Brooklyn, NY on Jan. 6, 2022.   


Oscar Brougher

Daughter Gladys N. Kreger (1906-2003) was born on Feb. 9, 1906 in Kingwood, Somerset County. She was united in holy matrimony with a cousin, Oscar Miles "Shorty" Brougher (1902-2001), the son of Charles A. and Minnie Belle (Romesburg) Brougher of the family of George and Christina [Younkin] Dull. Their marriage lasted for an extraordinary 77 years. They had one daughter, Yvonne DeLuke. Gladys joined the Kingwood Church of God in 1917, at age 11, and was baptized on June 29, 1918. She remained a member for the remaining 85 years of her life. Oscar was employed for more than 40 years by Westinghouse Electric Corporation at its plant in East Pittsburgh. In about 1940, the family took a driving trip to Wisconsin to visit Gladys' great-uncle, Bert Trimpey. During the visit, the uncle posed Oscar for the photographic portrait seen here, and gave the Broughers' daughter Yvonne a violin. Said the Somerset Daily American, he also was an "avid hunter, fisherman and gardener." Gladys died in the Goodwill Mennonite Home in Grantsville, MD at the age of 97 on Nov. 7, 2003. Burial was in the Kingwood IOOF Cemetery, with Rev. James Monticue officiating.


~ John S. Trimpey's Son George Alva Trimpey ~

John's son from the second marriage, George Alva Trimpey (1899- ? ) was born on Aug. 23, 1899. 

He married Anna May Tressler ( ? - ? ), daughter of Milton and Dora (Warrick) Tressler. 

He resided in 1948 in Acosta, Somerset County and circa 1964 in Stoystown, Somerset County.


Copyright © 2013-2016 Mark A. Miner

Minerd.com extends its gratitude for contributions made to this page by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, the late Olive (Rowan) Duff, Linda Marker and Melody Gary. Portions of this biography previously were published in Well At This Time: The Civil War Diaries of Ephraim Miner (Minerd.com Publishing, 2011).