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Ross Younkin (1852-1917) and
Emma Rush (1860-1929)


Ross and Emma wedding portrait

Ross Younkin (1852-1917) was born on June 19, 1852 in Addison Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of Henry F. and Mary (King) Younkin

As a young man, as with his brothers, he relocated to Kansas. Ross may have made this move in 1874, at the age of 12, when his aged father migrated to Kansas to join other family members who had gone years before. 

There, on Christmas Eve 1880, in Davis County, the 28-year-old Ross wed his cousin once removed, 20-year-old Emma Rush (March 22, 1860-1929), daughter of Jacob J. and Sarah (Dull) Rush of the family of Frederick Dull.

The couple eventually produced a dozen children, among them Anna Ward Ringler, Fred Younkin, Etta Mosholder, Russell Younkin, Harry Younkin, Warren Younkin, Clarence Lester Younkin, Bertha Dull, Sarah Suder Conn and Mary "Ada" Steward McAllister. 

The Younkins apparently lived near his family of pioneers in Clay County, KS, where their eldest daughter was born in mid-September 1883. But homesick, or perhaps not liking the harshness of the Kansas prairie, they made the decision in the 1883-1885 timeframe to return home to Somerset County and Ursina, where their next child was born in 1888.

Also in 1888, they would have learned of the shocking account that Emma's first cousin Albert E. Hauenstine had shot and killed two men in cold blood in Nebraska, and later was hanged for the crime. Then in 1898, they would have received the news of another killing, of his brother Moses, savagely beaten in Bellingham, WA, and later of the accused killer's acquittal. 

The federal census enumeration of 1900 shows the Younkins residing in Ursina, with Ross earning a living as a farmer.

By 1910, U.S. Census records show that Ross was a farm laborer and hired himself out to others to provide farmwork. Their home in 1910 was next door to Emma's widowed father in Ursina. At some point he became employed as a laborer in the Confluence Tannery. The work was filthy and smelly and involved using large volumes of animal urine to cure cowhides.


Ross and Emma (Rush) Younkin with their large brood


Meyersdale Republican, 1926

Tragedy struck the family in early January 1917, when Ross was stricken with anthrax poisoning, said to have been contracted at the tannery. He received medical treatment from a cousin, Dr. Winfield Scott Kuhlman (of the family of Garrison and Hannah [Younkin] Smith). Just a few days later, he passed away in Ursina on Jan. 8, 1917, at the age of 64. Burial was in the Ursina Cemetery.

Emma survived her husband by a dozen years. She hosted what a local  newspaper billed as a "Younkin reunion" at her home on Aug. 22, 1926. In an article about the event, the Meyersdale Republican printed the names of those present: "Mr. and Mrs. Ward Ringler, Mr. and Mrs. William Swan and daughter Margerie and son Lee; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Swan and sons Robert and Wayne, Miss Alice Ringler, Elmer Swan and Mr. Skinner, Connellsville; Mr. and Mrs. Russell Younkin and sons Earle and Donald and daughter Jermaine, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Younkin and children, Scott and Virginia, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Younkin and son Lloyd Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Warren Younkin and son, Mr. and Mrs. S.E. Suder, Miss Ada Younkin and Mrs. Emma Younkin, the hostess. The day was very pleasantly spent." 


Hand-hewn Ross Younkin family grave, Ursina

Stricken with cancer of the liver and stomach, she suffered for six months before succumbing. She he joined her husband in eternal rest at the age of 69 on April 24, 1929. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Their son Fred was the official informant for the Pennsylvania certificate of death.

A large hand-hewn stone marks their final resting place, and has been a Younkin Reunion-East tour stop in the 1990s and 2000s, including in 2018 led by the founder of this website.

Their great-great grandson Blair E. "Junior" Younkin Jr. has been a regular attendee of the reunions of the 2010s.


~ Daughter Anna (Younkin) Swan Ringler ~

Daughter Anna Younkin (1883-1957) was born in 1883 on Sept. 17, 1883 in Kansas. As a young child she returned with her parents to their home region of Ursina, Somerset County.

She was married twice in her life. 

Her first spouse was James Weltner Swan (1874-1919), son of William and Agnes (Gibson) Swan. They had five known offspring: William H. Swan, James W. Swan, Thelma Goucher, Elmer McDonald Swan and Robert Edwin Swan. They first resided in Confluence before moving to Connellsville, Fayette County, with an address of 302 East Francis Avenue. James was a laborer in Connellsville. He also retained his membership in the Maccabee lodge of Confluence. 

Sadly, James was stricken with pulmonary tuberculosis in late May or early June 1919. He battled the illness for about two months, but succumbed on July 26, 1919, at the age of 45. After a funeral held in the family home, preached by Rev. G.W. Buckner of the Christian Church, the remains were transported to Confluence for interment. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier

Anna spent six years as a widow and then married a second time to Ward H. Ringler (1872-1958), son of Steward and Alice (Hayes) Ringler of Connellsville, in 1925, at the age of 41. Ward was active in the community as a member of the First Baptist Church, Junior Order of United American Mechanics, General Worth Lodge of the Odd Fellows, and South Connellsville Volunteer Fire Company. She rejoiced in June 1932 when her son James graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy while holding down a job at the Glenn Rush pharmacy. She was a member of the Edna Rebekah Lodge in Connellsville, an affiliated of the Odd Fellows, and held leadership positions over the years. 

In 1941, she endured the early death of her son Robert, a clerk with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, due to chronic heart valve disease. 

She moved to Winter Haven, FL, where she died at age 73 on Jan. 22, 1957. Her remains were returned to Connellsville for funeral services, led by Rev. George D. Massay, and followed by interment in Ursina Cemetery. An obituary in the Daily Courier urged all members of her former Rebekah lodge to attend and assist with conducting a ritual service. Their son Elmer was employed by Swan's G.E. Appliance Store in Connellsville in 1938.


Ursina Cemetery

~ Son Fred Younkin ~

Son Fred Younkin (1885-1950) -- not "Frederick" -- was born on New Year's Eve 1885 in Somerset County. At the age of 20, on Jan. 15, 1906, he wed Mary Elizabeth "Dolly" Layfield (1885-1968), daughter of Charles and Nancy Belinda (Maust) Layfield. They lived in or around Ursina, and had seven children -- Lloyd F. "Punk" Younkin, Clema Stevenson, Virginia Prince, Blair E. "Jake" Younkin Sr., Joseph "Scott" Younkin and two who died young. 

In January 1928, he is believed to have been the same "Fred Younkin" who, as a B&O maintenance foreman at Ursina, received a fleet prize "for keeping his section in the best order ... between Cumberland and Connellsville," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier

He was seriously injured at work in June 1932, and colleague Albert J. Dial killed, when caught in a dynamite explosion at the Benford railroad tunnel near Confluence. He was rushed to Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital, where it was "necessary to perform an operation for the removal of Mr. Younkin's right eye," reported the Courier

He apparently stayed in the company's employment, shifting his responsibilities to fireman. In about 1948, Fred began to suffer from multiple sclerosis. He died in Somerset Community Hospital at the age of 64 on Feb. 4, 1950. Burial was in the Ursina Cemetery. 

In widowhood, Dolly continued her affiliation with the B&O Fireman's Auxiliary and attended social events in Confluence. She moved to Connellsville, where she passed into eternity at age 83 on Oct. 26, 1968. At her death, said the Courier, she was survived by nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. 

Son Lloyd F. "Punk" Younkin (1906-1987) was born on June 17, 1906 in Ursina. He married Edna Ruth Meyers 1905 1995 ), daughter of George W. and Mary E. (Thomas) Meyers. They had three children -- Denzil Younkin, Mary Frances Ryncosky and Lois Maxine Weible. The Younkins resided in Mill Run, Fayette County, and Punk was a longtime railroad maintenance laborer and a member of the Ursina Church of God. He also belonged to the Brotherhood of Railroad Maintenance Workers. He died on May 4, 1987, at the age of 80, with burial in Asher Glade Cemetery. Edna outlived her husband by eight years, remaining in Ursina. She died in Somerset Hospital at the age of 89 on March 15, 1995. 


Joseph Scott Younkin

Son Joseph "Scott" Younkin (1920-2004) was born on Feb. 11, 1920 in Ursina. He served in the 84th Infantry Division during World War II, enlisting on Nov. 28, 1942 and sent overseas on Sept. 20, 1944. A technical sergeant, he was action in the Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. On April 16, 1945, he was captured by the German S.S. troops at Ehra and recaptured two days later by the 102nd Infantry Division on April 18, 1945. (Adolf Hitler killed himself a dozen days later as the German army defenses collapsed.) After the war ended, he was discharged on Jan. 29, 1946. As with his first cousin John Ross and other Younkin kinsmen, he is pictured in the Service Record Book of Men and Women of Confluence, Pa. and Community, sponsored by the Turney-Riley Post No. 7250, Veterans of Foreign Wars.He attended Franklin Business College in Connellsville, Penn State University (Somerset campus) and California University of Pennsylvania. Later, he was a sales representative for Columbia Gas Company, worked for the Rural Electrification Administration in Somerset. He married Cleda R. Prince ( ? - 2003), daughter of Harry Valiant and Nellie Theresa (Fetzer) Prince of Fort Hill. They lived in Ursina and had one daughter, Molly J. Raymond. Circa 1950, Cleda was elected president of the Confluence school board. They spent their final years with their married daughter in Chesapeake, VA. Cleda died there on Sept. 28, 2003. Scott outlived her only by a few months, and passed away on Feb. 18, 2004 in Highlands Hospital. Burial was in Ursina Cemetery.

Daughter Clema Younkin (1909- ? ) was born in 1909 in Ursina, Somerset County. She married Donald Stevenson ( ? - ? ). The family lived in Greensburg, Westmoreland County. Their children were Phyllis E. Edenbo and Donna Marshall.

  • Granddaughter Phyllis E. Stevenson (1930-2003) was born on Jan. 17, 1930 in Greensburg. She wedded Frank E. Edenbo ( ? - ? ), and they remained together for 53 years until the separation of death. They were the parents of Sandra L. Leuthold and Barbara D. Malcolm. Phyllis earned a living working for the Joseph Horne Company store in Greensburg. She belonged to the Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Greensburg and the Carbon Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. Sadly, Phyllis died at home at the age of 73 on Jan,. 26, 2003. Rev. Hans Andrae led the funeral service followed by burial in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.


Daughter Virginia Younkin (1913- ? ) was born in 1913 in Ursina, Somerset County. She married Merle Prince (1907-2003), the son of Harry V. and Nellie T. (Fetzer) Prince of Fort Hill. They resided in Connellsville and Somerset. Merle was a veteran of the U.S. Army in World War II. For more than half a century, he belonged to the Ursina American Legion, Greenwood United Methodist Church of Connellsville, the Somerset Lodge of the Masons and the Pittsburgh Syria Shrine. member of the Somerset Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star. Virginia died first, but her details are not yet learned. Merle spent his final years in the Siemon Lakeview Manor Estate in Somerset. There, he passed into eternity on March 23, 2003, at the age of 95. Burial was in Somerset Memorial Park, and an obituary was printed in the Somerset Daily American.


Hunting for Dead People

Son Blair E. "Jake" Younkin Sr. (1915-1986) was born in 1915. At the age of 19, on Sept. 25, 1934, Jake married 21-year-old Sarah Knotter (1913- ? ), daughter of Nicholas and Alverda (Thorpe) Knotter of Maple Summit, Fayette County. Their four children were Janet Conn, Blair E. "Junior" Younkin, Jr., Fred Younkin and Karen Metz. Jake was a member of the Local Union 66 of Operating Engineers and the United Steel Workers of America. He also belonged to the Ursina Church of God, othewise known as the United Community Church of God. Jake died at age 71 on Sept. 12, 1986, with interment in Ursina Cemetery. Sarah Jane survived her husband by 12 years. She died at Somerset Hospital on Aug. 19, 1998 at age 85. At her death, reported the Daily American, she was survived by 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.


  • Grandson Blair E. "Junior" Younkin ( ? -living) was born in (?). He was twice married. His first bride was Marlene Harbaugh (1941-2011) of the family of Robert Bacom and Alice Elizabeth (Rugg) Harbaugh Jr. Their children were Robert Blair Younkin and Susan Moon. After a divorce, Blair married again to Colleen ( ? -living). Blair and Colleen are believed to have had children of their own -- Theresa Pletcher, Vanessa Lucas and Patty Younkin. Blair has researched this branch of the family, including visits to Clay County, KS, and has shared his findings for this biography. In 2011, he was named in Carolyn McKinney's book Hunting for Dead People in connection with their explorations of old Younkin cemeteries in and around Kingwood, Somerset County.


~ Daughter Etta (Younkin) Mosholder ~

Daughter Etta Younkin (1890- ? ) was born in March 1890. At age 23, she resided in Meyersdale, Somerset County. 

Her husband was Meyersdale resident Edgar E. Mosholder (1897- ? ), son of Samuel and Mary (Gainetz) Mosholder. They wed on May 5, 1918 when she was age 23 and he 21. At the time of marriage, he worked as a teamster. 

Their four children were Mary E. Mosholder, George Mosholder, Orpha Mosholder and Thelma Mosholder. 

Their paper trail in Donna (Younkin) Logan's extensive research ends here.


~ Son Russell Younkin ~

Son Russell Younkin (1892-1967) was born on March 21, 1892 in Ursina. 

He wed Anna Pyle (1892?- ? ), daughter of Chauncey and Mary Pyle. The marriage took place on March 17, 1910, when both were 19 years old. Circa 1920, they lived at 1201 Chestnut Street in Connellsville. By 1929, they had relocated to Somerset. 

Their four offspring were Earl Younkin, Nellie Wilkow, Mary Younkin and Donald Younkin. 

Russell died in Somerset at the age of 74 on March 13, 1967. Burial was in Somerset County Memorial Park.

Son Earl Younkin (1910-1966) was born in 1910. He married Mary Gertrude Cunningham (1913-1989), daughter of Fletcher W. and Gertrude Florence (Fleming) Cunningham of Charleroi, Washington County. Their two children were Jack Cunningham Younkin and Ann Antonius. Earl passed into eternity in 1966 at the age of 56. Mary lived for another 23 years as a widow. She died on Oct. 12, 1989 at the age of 76. They rest together in Somerset County Memorial Park.


  • Grandson Jack C. Younkin (1936-2004) was born on April 24, 1936 in Somerset. He married a double cousin, Peggy Tedrow, daughter of Robert Maurice and Paulene Tedrow, of the family of David and Maria (Culver) Younkin. They had three children -- Janice Salwocki, Mary Elizabeth "Liz" Begby and an infant daughter. Their home was in Elysburg, PA. Sadly, Jack died at the age of 67 on Jan. 12, 2004 in Shamokin Area Community Hospital. Burial was in the Pine Hill Cemetery following funeral services at the Elysburg United Methodist Church. Reported the Somerset Daily American

He was a 1954 graduate of Somerset High School, a 1958 grad of University of Pennsylvania. Wharton School of Business, from 1958-1962 he worked for Pennsylvania Department of Insurance and was a 1965 graduate of the Dickinson School of Law. He was a practicing attorney in Shamokin and Danville since being admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1965; to the United States District Courts, Middle District of Pennsylvania in 1976; and the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, in 1982, serving many private clients, businesses, and municipalities. He was recognized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Advocate. He was last practicing as the managing partner of Younkin & Kerstetter, LLP. He was on the Board of Directors of First Susquehanna Bank & Trust and the Visiting Nurses Association. He served as the president of the Northumberland County Bar Association and editor of the Northumberland County Legal Journal. He was a member of the Elysburg Rotary, Elysburg Lodge #414 F. & A. M., Danville Elks, American Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and Northumberland County Bar Association. He was an active member and lay leader of Elysburg United Methodist Church and ex-officio member of the administrative council and all committees of the church. 


  • Granddaughter Ann Younkin married (?) Antonius. They lived in Downingtown, PA.

Son Donald B. Younkin (1924-2014) was born on Oct. 9, 1924 in Somerset. In about 1946, when he was 22 years of age, he married Devyenna Schenck ( ? - ? ). The couple made their home in Somerset and had two daughters -- Anna Mary Amy" Palermo and Lizabeth Sue "Suzy" Laird. During his school years, Don earned an Eagle Scout honor and later was a Scout Master. He was employed in a management position with Penelec Company. In the community, he was a life member of the Somerset Volunteer Fire Department, Somerset County Club, Somerset lodge of the Masons, a blood donor for the American Red Cross and the First Christian Church in Somerset. Donald passed away at the age of 90 on Dec. 19, 2014, at he In Touch Hospice House. His remains were placed into rest in the Husband Cemetery.


~ Son Harry Younkin ~

Son Harry Younkin (1894-1925) was born on Nov. 12, 1894 in Ursina. He never married.

Circa 1925, he is believed to have worked as a day laborer in or around Confluence. 

Suffering from chronic kidney disease, he died at the age of 30 on Dec. 29, 1925, in the Somerset County Home and Hospital, with burial in the family plot at Ursina Cemetery. 


John R. Younkin, as pictured in the 
Service Record book of Confluence

~ Son Warren Younkin ~

Son Warren Younkin (1897- ? ) was born on April 12, 1897 in Ursina. As a young man, he earned a living as a laborer in Ursina. 

He wed Anna "Frances" Parker (1899- ? ), daughter of John and Ida B. (Zerfoss) Parker. Their nuptials were held on Oct. 25, 1917, when he was age 20 and she 19. 

They lived in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA and had three known children -- John Ross Younkin, George Younkin and Betty Mountain.  

Warren was in Johnstown in 1973 when he was named in the Akron Beacon Journal obituary of his sister Ada McAllister.

Son John Ross Younkin served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, from enlistment on Jan. 19, 1942 to discharge on Sept. 21, 1945. During his years of service, he took part in Atlantic and Northwest Pacific operations as an electrician's mate first class. After the war, he obtained work as a salesman for Esso Standard Oil Company and relocated to Baltimore, MD, living at 515 South Tolna Street. As with his first cousin Joseph Scott Younkin and other Younkin kin, he is pictured in the Service Record Book of Men and Women of Confluence, Pa. and Community, sponsored by the Turney-Riley Post No. 7250, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Later, he resided in the suburb of Whitemarsh and was a park ranger for Gunpowder State Park. His wife was a school teacher. Their children were Ross Younkin and Robert Younkin.


~ Son Clarence Lester Younkin ~

Son Clarence Lester Younkin (1900-1916) was born on April 5, 1900 in Ursina.

At the age of 16, he worked as a laborer in Ursina. Tragedy struck when, suffering from acute septic tonsillitis, added to kidney problems, he threw an embolism and died on June 8, 1916, at the age of 16. He rests with his family at the Ursina Cemetery.


~ Daughter Bertha (Younkin) Dull ~

Daughter Bertha Younkin ( ? - ? ) married Ward S. Dull ( ? -1951). 

They made their residence in 1929 in Meyersdale, Somerset County and had three sons -- George Dull, Charles Sylvester Dull and Robert Dull. Ward died in Confluence on April 23, 1951. 

Son Charles Sylvester Younkin, employed as a baker in Meyersdale, married Frances Cecelia Darrah (1908- ? ), daughter of Augustus F. and Martha (Brooks) Darrah.


~ Daughter Sarah L. (Younkin) Suder Conn ~

Daughter Sarah L. Younkin (1904-1987) was born in 1904 or on Sept. 16, 1906 in Ursina. (Records differ.) 

Her first husband was Skyles Eugene Suder (1899-1955), son of Edmund R. and Emma (Glessner) Suder of Berlin, Somerset County. The couple was wed on Dec. 1, 1922, when she was age 18 and he 23. At the time of marriage, Skyles was a school teacher in Ursina, and he continued teaching at the high school level until his untimely death. 

They lived on Park Street in Ursina and produced two known sons, Jack Suder and Joseph Suder. 

Suffering from hypertension and asthma due to allergies, Skyles was stricken with a heart attack and died two days before Christmas 1955. 

Later, after Skyles' death, Sarah married Donald Conn (1905-1991), widower of Bertha (Ream) Conn. With the second marriage, Sarah became stepmother to Richard D. Conn, Ruby King and Jean Butch. The Conns made their home in Ursina and belonged to the Ursina Church of God. When her sister Ada was killed by a passing motorist in Somerset in April 1973, Sarah was named in the Akron Beacon Journal obituary.

Sara died in Uniontown Hospital at the age of 81 on Sept. 29, 1987. Rev. Nevin Umbel preached her funeral sermon, followed by in Ursina Cemetery. An obituary in the Daily American reported that she was survived by 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Son Jack Suder lived in Confluence in 1987.

Son Joseph Suder made his home in Mechanicsburg, PA.


Ursina Cemetery

~ Daughter Mary "Ada" (Younkin) Steward Mosholder McAllister ~

Daughter Mary "Ada" Younkin (1888-1973) was born in 1888. 

She was thrice married. 

She and her first husband, (?) Steward, had two daughters, Alice Steward and Anna Steward.

Circa 1929, with the name Mosholder, her home was in Youngstown, OH.

Later, Mary Ada wed again, to Lewis McAllister ( ? -1959), also spelled "McCallisker."

Ada was a member of the Goodyear Heights United Presbyterian Church.

Sadly, Lewis passed away in Akron in early November 1959. Traveling from Confluence to attend the funeral were Ada's sister and brother in law, Sara and Donald Ream, as well as Mary Younkin of Ursina and Jack Suder of Confluence.

Ada outlived her third husband by more than a baker's dozen years and eventually returned to Somerset. Tragedy struck on April 12, 1973, when she was struck and killed by another motorist in Somerset. Her remains were interred in the Ursina Cemetery in the family plot, with Rev. Dennis Dawson officiating at her funeral. An obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republican, with a brief death notice appearing in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Copyright 2014-2016, 2018 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan, Marian (Smith) Posey, Laurel Posey, Loretta (Adams) Kelldorf, Blair E. "Junior" Younkin Jr. and Kay Lynn Younkin.