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Anna M. (Younkin) Kantner


Anna M. (Younkin) Kantner was born on Oct. 7, 1832 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Abraham and Mary Ann "Polly" (Haupt) Younkin. Some in the family thought she had been born in Virginia.

On Oct. 11, 1849, at the age of about 17, Anna was wed to Joseph H. Kantner Sr. (1829-1904), a native of Hagerstown, Washington County, MD and the son of John F. Kantner. The wedding was held at Somerset and performed by the hand of Elder Samuel Huston. Among those present were Fred Neff, Alexander Buford, John H. Kantner and Sarah Scott.

They produced a dozen known children -- among them Charles E. Kantner, Sarah Ellen "Sadie" Speicher, Mary Margaret "Maggie" Baer, Emma Smith, John Kantner, Joseph H. Kantner Jr., Lucy Kantner, Annie Young, Harry Kantner, Carrie Grace Herzberger, Lillian Kantner and Howard Kantner, born over a 23-year sweep between 1852 and 1875.

Joseph stood 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighed about 160 lbs. As a young man, he and his father relocated to Stoystown, Somerset County, where they owned and operated a "well-equipped" fulling mill at the nearby Kantner Station, said the 1906 book History of Bedford and Somerset Counties. "Kantner is a large shipping point on the railroad, and has always been something of a business place." Their mill was used to cleanse wools to thicken and purify the fabric for weaving purposes. Sometime later, they took over another woolen mill about a mile south of Somerset, on the site of one of the first grist mills in the county.

During the Civil War, Joseph was drafted into the Union Army and placed within a permanent company of drafted men. His unit spent most of the war providing provost guard duty at Camp Biddle at Greencastle near Carlisle Barracks. The camp was engaged in the business of processing and training draftees.

Joseph claimed that in December 1864, between the Christmas and New Year's holiday, as a result of sleeping on a wet floor, he contracted asthma. The illness was aggravated, he said, by cold and violent winds he experienced in January 1865 aboard the Cambria steamer sailing between Baltimore to Fortress Monroe, VA. He wrote that the Cambria was taking newly minted soldiers to the front at Petersburg, and was "so crowded with recruits that [I] was forced to remain on the deck during the night." Other than Dr. Jaynes cough syrup, or expectorant, he did not receive medical treatment.

Anna's testimony about her husband's postwar health. National Archives

Recalled his fellow soldier Robert K. Rose, Joseph "seemed to be kind of worrysome how or another. He didn't like to be on guard -- and complained... He coughed some." A few days before he was discharged, he was placed into the 149th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H. The discharge occurred on May 5, 1865.

Joseph's signature
In 1868, Joseph relocated from Somerset back to Stoystown, re-establishing his proprietorship of the woolen mill with his brother John and keeping it going for 16 years.

The Somerset Daily American said that Joseph was "one of the thoroughly upright citizens of this county and was always held in high esteem by his acquaintances." They were longtime members of the Church of Christ, and Joseph maintained a membership in the R.P. Cummins Post of the Grand Army of the Republic.

As compensation for his wartime illness, Joseph was awarded a military pension in January 1880. [Invalid App. #336.519 - Cert. #739.147] Friends and acquaintances often noticed him coughing and wheezing.

Federal census records for 1880 place the family in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, where Joseph and his sons Charles, John and Joseph Jr. are listed as manufacturers.


Johnstown, early 1900s


Anna's signature
Joseph retired from the wool business in the mid-1880s. They moved in 1894 to Johnstown, Cambria County, PA -- just five years after the horrific Johnstown Flood -- where they are enumerated in the federal census of 1900 and stayed for the balance of their lives. The couple's address in 1902 was 824 Sherman Street, and they belonged to the Main Street Christian Church.

Grief cascaded over the family when Anna contracted pneumonia. After a week of declining health, she passed into eternity in Johnstown on Jan. 7, 1902, when she was 69 years of age. An obituary was printed in the Johnstown Tribune. Her pastor, Rev. E.A. Hibler, led the funeral service.

Joseph outlived his wife by three years. In October 1904, he suffered a stroke of paralysis, but survived. A second stroke seven weeks later rendered him both paralyzed and unconscious, and the end came quickly after that, on Dec. 14, 1904. The body was shipped to Stoystown for burial in the International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery. His obituary was printed in the Daily American and in the New Castle (PA) Weekly Herald.


~ Son Charles E. Kantner ~

Son Charles E. Kantner (1852-1918) was born four days before Christmas 1852 in Somerset County.

At the age of 28 in 1880, unmarried, he lived at home with his parents in Quemahoning Township and assisted his father with a manufacturing business.

He was married.

At the death of his father in 1904, Charles lived in Newark NJ, but he eventually returned to his home region. Circa 1918, the Kantners dwelled in Somerset or Johnstown, where he earned a living as a messenger with the Pennsylvania Railroad.

At the age of 65, suffering from syphilis of the brain, he was admitted to Conemaugh Valley Hospital in Johnstown and died there on Feb. 25, 1918. His remains were lowered into rest in Stoystown, Somerset County.


~ Daughter Sarah Ellen "Sadie" (Kantner) Speicher ~

Daughter Sarah Ellen "Sadie" Kantner (1853-1906) was born on Dec. 2, 1853.

She was joined in wedlock with John Speicher ( ? - ? ).

They put down roots in Johnstown, Cambria County, with an address in the early 1900s of 724 Franklin Street.

One of their children were Marian S. Coder. There may have been others.

Grief blanketed the family when, after suffering a fractured thigh, Sarah Ellen underwent heart failure and died at the age of 53 on July 12, 1906. John Henderson of Johnstown was the informant for the official Pennsylvania death certificate. Burial was in Grandview Cemetery, Johnstown.

Daughter Marian S. Speicher (1876-1964) was born on Sept. 29, 1876 in Cambria County, PA. She married Norman B. Coder Sr. ( ? - ? ). Their three sons were Kenneth R. Coder, John P. Coder and Norman B. Coder Jr. For 35 years, Marian was an educator in the Somerset schools. As a widow, she relocated to Tacoma Park, MD where she was admitted to the Cur-Lu Nursing Home. She died at age 87 on March 6, 1964. An obituary was published in the Somerset Daily American.


~ Daughter Mary Margaret (Kantner) Baer ~

Daughter Mary Margaret "Maggie" Kantner (1856-1919) was born on Jan. 23, 1856 in Somerset County.

When she was 18 years of age, circa 1885, she wedded William S. Baer (Nov. 28, 1854-1937), son of Solomon and Agnes (Cover) Baer.

Offspring born to this union were Harry Kantner Baer, Nellie Grace Bocock, Georgia E. Havlik and William E. Baer.


Bird's eye view of Beaver City, Nebraska


Sometime between January 1886 and August 1887, the young family migrated to Nebraska. There, in August 1887, their daughter Nellie was born. By 1900, when the United States Census was made, they had settled in the town of Beaver City, Furnas County, on the state's southern border, with Willam earning a living as a merchant. The family remained in Beaver City during the first decade of the 20th century and are shown in town in the 1910 census. At that time, William operated a confectionary store.

From Nebraska, the Baers migrated in 1912 south into Texas, with William establishing a store and residence in Francitas, Jackson County.

At the age of 64, burdened with kidney disease, she was felled by a stroke of apoplexy and died on Dec. 4, 1919. Interment of the remains was in Palacios Cemetery in Matagorda County.

Evidence suggests that William remained in Francitas with his residence on Seventh Street. He retired from the store business in January 1936. Stricken with hardening of the arteries and heart disease, at the age of 82, he succumbed to death on June 1, 1937. Mrs. C.W. Bocock of 2520 Smith Street, Houston, was the informant for the death certificate.

Son Harry Kantner Baer (1886-1961) was born in Jan. 1886 in Pennsylvania and as an infant migrated to Nebraska with his parents. On June 12, 1906, when he was 20 years of age, he was joined in the bonds of matrimony with 17-year-old Bessie L. Dunn (1889- ? ), daughter of (?) Dunn and Maggie Brouhard Penrod. Because Bessie was legally underage, her mother provided consent to the union. Rev. S.J. Medlin, pastor of the local Methodist Episcopal Church, officiated at the wedding. The couple produced two known children -- Mildred M. Myers Dobbs and Harold P. Baer. The couple made a home in 1910 in Beaver City and Harry worked that year as buyer for a grain elevator. They migrated to Texas and were there at the birth of their son in 1912. By 1920, when Harry was named manager of a grain elevator, the Baers relocated again to the village of Stamford, Harlan County, NE. They returned to Beaver City during the decade of the 1920s, with Harry changing his occupation to real estate agentry. In 1930, the Baers shared a home with Bessie's mother. They eventually made the move to the West Coast. Harry died at the age of 75 on Jan. 24, 1961. Burial was in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, and a death notice appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Bessie outlived her spouse by 19 years. She succumbed to the Angel of Death on April 20, 1980

  • Granddaughter Mildred Baer (1908- ? ) was born in about 1908 in Nebraska. She wedded (?) Myers ( ? - ? ). In 1930, having been married a year, Mildred dwelled with her parents and grandmother in Beaver City, and her husband's whereabouts are unknown. Eventually she remarried to (?) Dobbs ( ? - ? ).
  • Grandson Harold P. Baer (1912- ? ) was born in about 1912 in Texas.

Daughter Nellie Grace Baer (1887-1965) was born on Aug. 4, 1887 (or 1892) in Beaver City, Furnas County. Unmarried at the age of 22, she lived with her parents in 1910 and worked as a clerk, possibly in her father's confectionary store in Beaver City. She was united in matrimony with Charles William Bocock Jr. (March 5, 1892-1926), son of Judge Charles William and Pinchney "Pinkie" (Ostrander) Bocock Sr. They bore at least one son, Charles William Bocock III. They dwelled at 1412 Kipling Street in Houston, Harris County, TX. Charles was employed as assistant general foreman at the Southern Pacific Railroad shop in Houston and was a member of the Masons. Evidence suggests that he may have been commandant of the Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter in Houston. But tragedy intervened when he fractured his skull in about October 1925. After lingering for a year, he underwent an epileptic seizure and underwent surgery at the Southern Pacific Hospital, but to no avail. He died at the age of 34 on Nov. 6, 1926. As a widow, Nellie lived in Houston, Harris County at the Clearwood House. On the fateful day of Nov. 7, 1965, she suffered a heart attack and rushed to Peterson Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Burial was in Houston's Hollywood Cemetery.

  • Grandson Charles William Bocock III (1917-2002) was born on Oct. 11, 1917. He wedded Martha Nell Walthall (Dec. 23, 1921-2008), a native of Granbury, Hood County, TX and the daughter of Moten Carl and Willie Belle (Bryant) Walthall. He died at the age of 84 on Aug. 5, 2002. She lived for another six years as a widow, and passed away on April 25, 2008 in Kereville, Kerr County, TX. They sleep for all time in Hollywood Cemetery in Houston, Harris County, TX.

Daughter Georgia Edna Baer (1890-1952) was born on Feb. 25, 1890 (or 1896) in Beaver City, Furnas County. She was joined in holy wedlock with Anton Rudolph Havlik (Sept. 16, 1895-1962). They dwelled in Houston, Harris County, TX, with an address in the early 1950s of 3807 Riley Street. Georgia was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment of pancreatic cancer and obstruction of her bile duct. Sadly, she died there at the age of 56 on Nov. 9, 1952. Interment was in Palacios, Matagorda County. Anton outlived his bride by a decade. He succumbed to death at the age of 66 on Sept. 13, 1962.

Son William E. Baer (1893-1978) was born in April 1893 in Nebraska. He married Bernice Fay Humphrey (1906-1994) and was the father of Alice Ellen Beare and Robert Edmond Beare. Circa 1930, the Baers lived in Modesto, Stanislaus County, CA and in 1940 in Ashland, Jackson County, OR. He was carried away by the Angel of Death in 1978.


~ Daughter Emma E. (Kantner) Smith ~


Somerset Herald, Nov. 5, 1884
Library of Congress

Daughter Emma E. Kantner (1857- ? ) was born on March 3, 1857 in Somerset County.

When she was about 27 years of age, on Oct. 28, 1884, she was united in the bonds of wedlock with Edmund Smith ( ? - ? ) of Hooversville, Somerset County.

The nuptials were held in the home of Emma's parents, presided over by Rev. William D. LeFevre. News of the marriage was announced on the pages of the Somerset Herald.

Nothing more about this couple is known.


~ Son John F. Kantner ~

Son John F. Kantner (1860-1928) was born on June 20, 1860 in Somerset, Somerset County.

In 1880, single at the age of 20, he worked with his father and brothers in a manufacturing business.

Circa 1889, he married Clara Hicks ( ? -1937) of Somerset Borough, the daughter of LaRue M. and Hannah (Taylor) Hicks. News of their marriage license was printed in the Somerset Herald.

The family resided in Somerset. He worked at one time as a court officer for the County of Somerset.

The children born to this union were Mary Moore, Joseph Milton Kantner and John H. Kantner.


Kantner graves, Husband Cemetery, Somerset, PA


Stricken with cancer of the bowels, which spread to the liver, he died at the age of 67 on May 4, 1928. Miss Mary L. Kantner of Somerset signed the death certificate, with burial in Husband Cemetery.

Clara lived for another nine years. She became ill on Easter Sunday 1937 and, 40 days later, on Ascension Day, she passed away at the home of her daughter Mary Moore of West Union Street. Said the Somerset Daily American, "Children said Thursday was the ninth anniversary of the funeral of her husband." Rev. J.F. Messenger, of the First Christian Church, preached the funeral sermon, with interment in the Husband Cemetery.

Daughter Mary Kantner (1891-1963) was born on Jan. 6, 1891 in Somerset. She was joined in marital union with James H. Moore (Dec. 3, 1873-1959), son of Philip K. and Mary (Hanna) Moore of Middlecreek Township. The couple did not reproduce. James was a longtime school teacher, and Mary was employed by the Somerset County Trust Company. Circa 1937, their address was on West Union Street, Somerset. Later, in the 1950s, they dwelled on West Fairview Street. The Moores belonged to the First Christian Church. Mary was active with the Women's Missionary Society of their church ande auxiliary of the Americal Legion, and James was a 7th Degree National Granger. They enjoyed entertaining family and friends in a country cottage in New Centerville, Somerset County. Every spring, reported the Somerset Daily American in 1948, "Mr. and Mrs. James H. Moore send a gift package of Somerset county maple syrup and maple products to Cameno [sic], California, in the Lake Tahoe region. Recipients of the package are John Kantner, youngest brother of Mrs. Moore, and Mrs. Kantner, who went from Somerset to the Golden State to live eight years ago, also the Kantners' son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Sloan." James died on Oct. 21, 1959 at the age of 85. His funeral service was officiated by Rev. Paul Weber and Rev. J.F. Messenger with burial in Husband Cemetery and an obituary appearing in the Daily American. The widowed Mary relocated to California and spent her final years with her brother John in Sacramento. There, she passed into eternity at the age of 72 on Dec. 5, 1963. Rev. Weber, assisted by Rev. Richard Shellenberger, of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, led the funeral.


Somerset exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, where Joseph M. Kantner served as chief engineer during design of the toll road in the late 1930s.



Joseph and Alice graves, Husband Cemetery

Son Joseph Milton Kantner (1893-1971) was born in 1893 in Somerset. In 1917, at the age of about 24, he wedded Alice Ethel McDonald (1895-1971) of Blairsville, daughter of Alexander and Nettie (Elwood) McDonald. The couple bore an only son, Dr. Jack Kantner. During World War I, reported the Somerset Daily American, he was "among the first Somerset men to be inducted" into the military, serving from September 1917 to June 1919. He served with the 519th Engineers, Company C and achieved the rank of second lieutenant. After the war, he returned to Somerset and was employed by coal field developers D.B. Zimmerman and John C. Brydon. The value of coal declined after a time, and he then moved to the anthracite region of eastern Pennsylvania to work as a mining engineer in Scranton. Despite the grip of the Great Depression, he was hired by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as chief engineer in Somerset, responsible for the design of the toll highway between the western side of Laurel Mountains and the eastern side of the Allegheny Mountains. The Turnpike opened to public traffic in 1940, and, with his work there done, Joseph relocated to Trinidad to help the United States government develop a military installation as a defense against German naval forces during World War II. "Along with other Americans," said the Daily American, "he was evacuated from Trinidad in 1942 when German submarines surfaced in the Port-of-Spain harbor." Joseph returned to Pennsylvania and joined the private consulting firm Gannett Fleming Corddry and Carpenter in Harrisburg, Dauphin County. He relocated to Pittsburgh and headed the firm's Pittsburgh office, which was providing design services for "major sections of the downtown road systems," said the Daily American. The Kantners enjoyed vacationing in Del Ray Beach, FL. Although retiring in 1966, Joseph continued to consult with Gannett Fleming on initiatives to develop urban rapid transit. He moved in November 1970 to Towson, MD to live with his married son. Joseph died in Towson on Feb. 9, 1971, and Ethel followed him to the grave just nine months later, in November 1971.

  • Grandson Dr. John Frederick "Jack" Kantner (1920-2009) was born on July 17, 1920 in Somerset. He married Jane Boose ( ? - ? ), daughter of Judge Norman T. Boose of Somerset. They produced at least four offspring. Circa 1942, Jack received degrees from the University of Michigan and Franklin and Marshall College. Jack went on to a career as a college educator, specializing in demography -- the study of changes in population statistics such as births, deaths and disease. In 1957, the Kantners lived in Jakarta, with Jack employed as an instructor at the University of Indonesia. The family eventually returned to the United States, where he joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. His research was federally funded by grants from the Department of Health and Human Services. As well, Jack authored the books Sex and Pregnancy in Adolescence and The Struggle for International Consensus on Population and Development. Jack died in State College, PA at the age of 88 on Feb. 3, 2009.

Son John H. Kantner ( ? - ? ) relocated to Virginia where he and his wife are known to have dwelled in Winchester (1937) and Roanoke (1938). Then in about 1940, they moved cross-country to California, where they put down roots in Camino in the Lake Tahoe region. They were the parents of Mrs. Kenneth Sloan. Their residence in 1963 was in Sacramento, where research suggests that John was employed as a records officer at Folsom State Prison.


~ Son Joseph H. Kantner Jr. ~

Son Joseph H. Kantner Jr. (1862-1928) was born on Oct. 10, 1862 in Somerset County, PA.

When he was 17 years of age, Joseph labored with his father and brother as woolen manufacturers in Quemahoning Township.

He married Della Mangus (April 8, 1867-1942), daughter of Levi B. and Alice (Wagner) Mangus of Somerset County.

They resided at 609 Elder Street in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. Joseph was a longtime machinist in Johnstown for Lorain Steel Company.

He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at home on June 6, 1928 at the age of 65. Burial was in Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown.

Della survived him by 14 years and remained in their home. She was afflicted with heart disease which led to a cerebral embolism and death at the age of 75 on July 10, 1942. Charles S. Kantner of Jerome, PA signed her official death certificate.


~ Daughter Lucy Kantner ~

Daughter Lucy Kantner (1864-1935) was born on Dec. 13, 1864 in Stoystown, Somerset County.

She never married.

Lucy in adulthood dwelled at 500 Highland Avenue in Johnstown, Cambria County.

During the summer of 1935, she was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and lingered for two-and-a-half months. She succumbed to death at home on Oct. 28, 1935, at the age of 70. Burial was in Stoystown. Mrs. F.G. Bender, with whom Lucy lived at the end, signed the death certificate.


~ Daughter Anna (Kantner) Young ~

Daughter Anna "Annie" Kantner (1867-1933) was born on April 17, 1867 in Somerset County.

In about 1913, she wedded (?) Young ( ? - ? ).

he newlyweds first resided in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. From there they moved to Alliance, OH and thence circa 1930 to Berkley, MI.

Sadly, at the age of 66, Anna died in Berkley on March 6, 1933. The body was shipped back to Pennsylvania, and an obituary appeared in her old hometown newspaper, the Somerset Daily American.


~ Son Harry Grant Kantner ~

Son Harry Grant "H.G." Kantner (1868-1952) was born on April 26, 1868 in Kantner, Somerset County.

He married Else Schubert ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles H. and Barbara Schubert. In about 1922, the Kantners relocated to Westmont, Cambria County, PA.

The couple bore three daughters -- Mrs. William A. Seitz, Mrs. Louis McCready and Mrs. Harold C. Wimmer.

Harry earned a living there as a wholesale foods broker. Their address in the 1950s was 834 Edgehill Drive.

For the last five-and-a-half years of his life, Harry was burdened with hardening of the arteries and hypertension. He contracted colon cancer in early 1952 and endured the illness for the last six months of his life. He then was felled by a cerebral hemorrhage and died at home at the age of 84 on Nov. 7, 1952. Interment was in Johnstown's Grandview Cemetery, with Rev. Dr. Walden M. Holl officiating at the funeral.


~ Daughter Carrie Grace (Kantner) Herzberger ~

Daughter Carrie Grace Kantner (1871-1918) was born on March 8, 1871/1872 in Stoystown, Somerset County.

In 1905, she was united in matrimony with George Herman Herzberger ( ? - ? ).

The pair established a residence at 514 Horner Street in nearby Johnstown, Cambria County.

Burdened with chronic kidney disease, which she endured for more than five years, she was admitted to Johnstown's Mercy Hospital. There, she died at the age of 46 on April 6, 1918. Interment of the remains was in Grandview Cemetery.


~ Daughter Lillian "Lilly" Kantner ~

Daughter Lillian Kantner (1873-1940) was born on April 4, 1873 in Somerset. At least one record erroneously give her birth year as 1889.

She never married and spent her life in the town.

In about April 1936, she was diagnosed with rectal cancer. She suffered for four-and-a-half years, with her health further complicated by a type of dementia. Death swept her away, at the age of 51, on Nov. 30, 1940. Her remains were donated to science and transported to Philadelphia for study by the Pennsylvania State Anatomical Board.


~ Son Howard Kantner ~

Son Howard Kantner (1875-1883) was born on July 30, 1875 in Quemahonng Township, Somerset County.

Tragically, he did not survive boyhood. At the age of only eight, he was gathered in by the Angel of Death on Oct. 8, 1883. His remains are in eternal slumber in the Stoystown IOOF Cemetery.


Copyright 2016-2017, 2020, 2022  Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by Dan Floyd, the late Olive (Rowan) Duff and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan.