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Kuhn/Kuhns of Westmoreland Co Pa and beyond

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Kuhn/Kuhns of Westmoreland Co Pa and beyond

Posted: 1195160712000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Kuhn, kuhns, shutt, shutts, rugh, sargant, denham
The Kuhn Family
By: Rena Abigail Kennedy Searles
August 1996

The following article is provided by the many hours of research of Rena Searles, of Spokane Washington. In hopes of providing researchers with a copy of her work, I have merely retyped her work, with her approval. The article as it’s written below is in the format as was given to me in January 2004. Any (*#) is a note that I added as a result of updated information. See the last page of this article for those changes.

The Kuhn Family.

From the German Palatinate, through the Pennsylvania counties of Northampton & Westmoreland, to Belmont Co. Ohio.

The palatinate refers to a region of Germany generally near the Rhine, a thousand mile river system running south-to-north from Switzerland, emptying into the North Sea at the Netherlands. Our Kuhn family departed this region in 1738. The first curiosity is, what would cause a family to quit it’s home and travel unimaginable distances to a strange land?

The Palatinate was a heartland, entirely surrounded by the most powerful, aggressive, and brutal nations on earth. Since land roads of the time were horribly inadequate, rivers were the only reasonable means of transporting great armies, commercial goods, and noble families. Each of a half-dozen empires viewed the Rhine river, the palatinate’s only major river, as the key to both defending and expanding their borders.

This tension had already given rise to a hundred years of warfare. One day’s protecting prince and “correct” religion could become the next day’s justification for state-sponsored ruin and death, should a battle be lost or a treaty signed.

For many ordinary citizens, then, the palatinate was a very good place to leave, which they had been doing for generations, as soon as there was a place to go and a means to get there. Amid this turbulence, Johann George Kuntz, a surgeon and barber, married the former Catherina Muller, daughter of Jacob Muller, and, on 19 Feb 1692, produced Johann Jacob Kuntz. As we will often see, spellings were hugely variable in those days. The surname in our direct line has been spelled Kuntz, Koon, Coon, Koontz, Kuhns, and otherwise.

Johann Jacob Kuntz survived to marry a former Anna Margaretha Platzgraff, daughter Johann Jacob (again!) Platzgraff, and to produce Johann Bernhard Kuntz on 3 December 1723.

On the subject of variable spelling, Platzgraff is an interesting study. The German for Palatinate is “pfaltz” and “graff” is a German or Austrian title of nobility, corresponding to Earl or Count. It would have been politically impossible for Johann Jacob Kuntz to marry wisely, but perhaps he did marry well.

Princely permission was required before leaving the Palatinate, which our Kuhn family finally secured in 1738. The family probably traveled with the current down the Rhine to Rotterdam, Holland’s great port city at the mouth of the Rhine on the North Sea. It is certain that they left the continent for America in that year aboard the ship, Charming Nancy. Many communities of exclusively Germanic people were then known to be well established in Pennsylvania.

Johann Bernhard Kuntz, his four brothers and sisters, and his parents, set sail, but during the always-arduous three-month journey, his mother died and was buried at sea.

A father alone, Johann Jacob Kuntz sustained his five children for several years, but in 1742, he provided them with a new mother, Susanna Klein. Since she had immigrated to America without her parents in 1729 and had remained single, the marriage must surely have been a great relief to all concerned. Susanna came from Alsace, a region of Northeastern France, agreeably near the Palatinate, the daughter of linenweaver Jacob Klein and Anna Catherine, his wife.

Johann Jacob Kuntz’s son, Johann Bernhard Kuntz, married Catharina Elizabeth Eberhard in 1745. in the Trappe Lutheran KB (church) in the Olay Mountains of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. To them were born, in Lehigh township, Northampton County Pennsylvania, Johann Frederick (also in 1745!), and John Philip in 1747. A daughter and another son, Anna Catherina and Jacob, followed. Bernhard’s will was written on 1 July 1807, an event that typically occurred when death was believed to be near, but the probate of that will is not noted as being in that year or any other year. His death has been elsewhere reported (but without documentary support) as 1817. A typographical error is quite possible, but cannot be verified.

Various locations in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania were extremely important to the German immigrant settlers, and they made the most of it. German families came early, and as a consequence, often got the best land available. In 1769, the Brush Creek and Sewickley Creek areas opened for settlement. These creeks gathered the watershed of an area southeast of Pittsburgh, off the western slopes of the Allegheny mountains, but east of the Monongahela. Some settlers came directly from the Palatinate, others from Maryland, and many arrived from eastern Pennsylvania counties: Northampton, Lancaster, Berks, & Lehigh.

German settlers came prepared for farming as none before them had been prepared, with skills, stocks, and tools. The old Forbes Road connecting Philadelphia to Pittsburgh was filled with their blue Conestoga wagons with red wheels, a recent German ships-bottom design that kept their heavy loads nestled securely toward the center. Their wider wheels merited lower road tolls because they packed down, rather than wore out, the road. A peculiar cigar favored by these wagon drivers earned the name, “stogie.” When six days was a fast time to cross Pennsylvania, they slowly but relentlessly rolled, to and beyond the western Pennsylvania counties of Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington, Green, and Allegheny. Upon their arrival, the sailcloth-topped Conestoga’s were stripped down to become tents and housing starts, with the much lightened remainder used as an efficient farm wagon.

With the Westmoreland County town of Greensburg, the German repeated the pattern they had established in their settlement at Germantown, near Philadelphia. They stayed together, moved beyond the English settlements to open country, and established a cohesive, German speaking community. From this, a number of smaller, supportive communities were spawned that fanned out to protect and control the remaining, unbounded lands. Log churches, and schools were quickly erected and strongly supported, securing their present, future, and thereafter.

Bernhard’s sons, now being called John & Philip Kuntz, both served their new country in the Revolutionary War, as privates: Philip in captain Peter Imsweller’s company of Northampton County, and John in another company. Both later received grants of land in payment of their service, which when added to lands inherited from their father, amounted to some 600 acres in all. Some of these lands were situated around Hannastown, Pennsylvania, known for infamous Indian raid at the time of the Revolution. Many western Pennsylvania patriots found themselves fighting the British army in the east, while at the same time, their own homes were being destroyed by quite another enemy.

At least some of Philip’s Revolutionary War service was spent in Greensburg. George Dallas Albert’s “History of the County of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania” gives the Oath of Affirmation that he took there. (Spelling as shown therein):

“ I do hereby Cartyfi that philiph Cons, of Westmoreland
County, Hath voluntarily taken and Subscribed the Oath
Affirmation of allegiance and fidelity as Directed by
an act of general assembly of PeenSylvana penned the
1 day of June 1778.

Christo’r Truby. “

Greensburg became the Westmoreland county seat in 1786. Second- and third- generation Germans moving into Western Pennsylvania could still find cheap land then, and often it had been improved by the German families that would themselves have moved even further west, when the Ohio lands opened up after 1800.

Greensburg was hardly a town as we think of it today. The structures were not so cheek-by-jowl. Great distances could exist between each dwelling house and building (names distinguishing where people did and did not live). Spaciousness opened to the sky and the fields in every vista. On the other hand, Irishtown, an area of “miserable huts” and houses of one story could be found in a more ill favored end of town.

The area of Greenburg known as Dutchtown derived it’s name not from the Dutch of Holland, but from the Germanic “Deutch.” Typical of the German settlement pattern described above, Dutchtown was to the west of town, on the main highway, nearest the open lands of the frontier (and well away from the Irish!) Visitors there in the early 1800’s, wondering among the taverns, blacksmith’s, county building, and provisioners, could easily believe themselves to be in another country, for the Germans resisted conducting their lives in anything but their own language.

At the south end of Dutchtown, at the end of Main street, was the German burying ground. Its first two acres were donated in 1795 by Colonel Christopher Truby, who had certified Philip Kuntz’s Oath of Affirmation of Allegiance some eighteen years before. Here, most of Greenburg’s early German Lutherans, and our Kuhn’s of the day, were buried. Unfortunately, this area was long ago built over and no part of it remains.

The elder brother, John Kuntz, is not the one who our line directly extends, but his family history is included here for completeness and clarity.

The Revolutionary War found John Kuntz in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, from whence he took a wife, Elizabeth Marchand. Elizabeth’s father, David Marchand, was a physician and Huguenot (a French protestant, in the days when the “protest” root of that word had real meaning) who, as was the way with all good Huguenots, fled France and kept on fleeing: to Switzerland, then to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, then to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

John & Elizabeth Kuntz’s children were Jacob, David, Daniel, John, Samuel, and Joseph. Several of these sons became, and in turn sired, very prominent doctors and lawyers in Westmoreland County. This makes it very difficult for Genealogists to trace the right people in the right lines.

After the war, the Kuntz brothers established themselves as hard-working, community-oriented, religious men. The brother’s chopped down trees in the center of Greensburg, making it habitable for others. In doing so, John Kuntz especially had an eye for black oak trees, as the bark of these trees produced the best tannin for his tanning business. Philip Kuntz held political caucuses in his home, and gave land for the Lutheran church in Greensburg.

John Kuntz died without a will, but family deeds detailed the improvements he made to his land, a plantation, or farm, in Hempfield Township of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, which joined his brother Philip’s land and those of a Peter Rugh (whose family will be mentioned later) and a Jacob Reamer. John’s land, 207 acres in all, included 100 acres cleared, and 25 acres in meadow. This was of great significance in the days when heavily wooded land was too common, and inefficient for cultivation or grazing. Also included was a parcel of 11 acres west of the town of Greensburg, valuably situated near the much traveled National Road. These lands held two apple orchards, a shingle-roofed log house, a thatched double barn, and a “still house”.

In the town of Greensburg itself, John Kuntz owned many lots. On the front street, a lot with a log stable: at Otterman and first street, 2 acres with a tan yard and two story brick dwelling with celler and store front. On North and First street, a stone currying shop, stone bark house (for black oak bark, no doubt), and tan yard: elsewhere, a house on a fenced lot with a two story weatherboarded log dwelling house, with a log kitchen (a separate structure in those days, due to fire hazard), and a log stable (also separate from the house for more obvious reasons). The history of Greensburg records John as a tanner and innkeeper, yet his will makes no mention of an Inn. It must have been sold prior to the writing of his will.

Now to Philip Kuntz, who is in the direct line of our particular family:

This Philip Kuntz (grandfather to Martin Lewis Kuhn) made a will in 1822, near the time of his death as was the custom, but the description of his property is not as detailed as his brother, John’s will. Like his brother, Philip owned a plantation in Hempfield township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. On these 285 acres, his son Philip Kuhns (father to Martin Lewis Kuhns) lived. Also mentioned in the will are a lot at First Street and Back Street with a brick dwelling that was his own residence, and two other lots, one of which was his daughter Hannah’s residence. He also owned and devised four lots in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Philip Kuhns, brother of John Kuntz, son of Johann Bernhard Kuntz the Palatinate immigrant, married Margaret Stambaugh of Lynn township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Her name might have also been Steinbach or Steiner. The date of the marriage is as yet uncertain, but their children certainly were Jacob, Philip (our ancestor), Mary, John, Hannah, Catherine, Susan, Margaret, and Elizabeth. Here again, causing many a genealogical headache.

Philip Kuhns, second son to Philip and Margaret Kuntz, was born in 1781. This Philip married three times, which was not then unusual. Wives were given very hard use which they often did not survive, but they were essential to the continuance of all life (though perhaps not their own).

Philip Kuhns first wife, Elizabeth Felgars, died in 1825, leaving him with eight children. His second wife, Margaret Busch Rumbaugh, produced the six children which our line follows. All that is known of the third wife is her name, Mary. We are unaware of any children from the third marriage.

The children of Philip Kuhns and Margaret Busch Rumbaugh, according to the Baptism records of the first Lutheran Church of Greensburg, were (*1) John, Joseph, Susanna, Martin Busch, Sara, and Samuel. Wife and mother Margaret died in 1838 at the age of 44, when Martin was just 6.

Philip Kuhns died in 1848, when his son Martin was just 16, but Philip must have anticipated his death and the need for guardianship for his many minor children. Three years before, in 1845, he had the Westmoreland County Orphans’ Court formally appoint him guardian of his own children. Evidently, he sought to set and control the terms of the guardianships that he knew were coming.

Two more guardians were required. In 1848, Samuel Kuhn, an uncle and a lawyer, was appointed. He died shortly thereafter, and in 1851, Jno. Rugh, whose family was a neighbor of Martin’s great-uncle John Kuntz (previously mentioned) was appointed.

Although father Philip arranged guardianships for his many children prior to his death, he was not able to leave an estate large enough to support them all into their adulthood. A large parcel of Philip’s land had to be mortgaged in 1851, after Philip’s death, to provide $7,000 to fund the guardianships. Brother John Kuhns, Martin’s uncle, put up the money and held the mortgage. The land was kept in the family, but was not available for Philip’s children when they came of age. The mortgage was not paid off until 1868.

Young Martin Kuhn, orphaned and without an inheritance sufficient to support himself or his many siblings, would have seen little opportunity in long-settled Greensburg. In 1853, when he reached age 21, he understandably looked West across the river to Ohio to seek his fortune.

Martin Kuhn’s full and proper name is contradicted in the available records. When he is baptized near the time of his birth in 1832, at the First Lutheran Church in Greensburg, his name is written as Martin Busch Kuhn. Busch is his mother’s maiden name. however, on Martin’s marriage certificate in 1858, the clerk writes the name as Martin Lewis Kuhn, with an initial (perhaps B.) appearing to have been written first then crossed out. “Lewis” was a family name of the 1848 guardian uncle, Samuel Kuhn. Germans are known to have anglicize their names as they emerged from their tight communities. We will refer to him hereafter by his later name, Martin Lewis Kuhn.

Martin Lewis Kuhn’s son, Samuel Lewis Kuhn (our ancestor) is listed in the 1880 census with the middle initial, “B” and not with the middle name, Lewis. His name was probably given to the census-taker by grandfather William Lee Denham, with whom the underage Samuel was living with at the time (more on this later). We have not found any records that spell the “B” name out. We can only suspect it is meant to be Busch.

Martin Lewis Kuhn, a newly emancipated orphan by 1853, traveled the 100 miles from his childhood home in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to Belmont County, Ohio. He most probably traveled the National Road (now U.S. Route 40), which passed just south of a parcel of Kuhn land in Hempfield township, Westmoreland County, near Greensburg, Pennsylvania. At that time, the National Road ran from Cumberland Maryland well into Illinois. Going toward the land poor east was out of the question for a farmer, and Belmont County, Ohio was far enough.

Martin would have been driven, or drawn, west by some combination of lack of family support in Pennsylvania, and a general air of opportunity in Ohio. But, as we shall see, Pennsylvania kept a compelling hold on him.

The girl that Martin Lewis Kuhn met and married in Ohio, Rebecca Ann Denham, has an interesting lineage and family history of her own.

The known Denham ancestry begins in 1597, with the birth of Richard Denham of the barony of Westshield, County Lanark, Scotland. He became an Army doctor and in 1641, perhaps due to his government service, he was awarded property in Ireland: Barret’s Castle, and lands in Rathfriland, Tullyconagh, and Lissize, all County Down.

Richard Denham’s son, Edward was born in 1664. Evidently, his father was a quite vigorous 67. Obviously impressed, Edward also became a physician, but when he fathered his own son, James, in 1695, he was an unremarkable 31.

James Denham married in 1727, to Elizabeth Martin daughter of John Martin of Lissize. James and Elizabeth Denham’s third son Robert, born in 1732, made his home in Lissize and Ballroney regions of County Down, Ireland.

Robert Denham’s son, William, was born in 1762-1763. As a young adult, he made his home in Dromore, Ireland, but in 1789 at the age of 26 he sailed for America on the ship St James. Bound for a more northerly port, the ship was blown off course by a terrific storm and eventually landed in the Carolinas, where William remained for a time. In about 1795, William married a North Carolina girl, Rebecca Sargent. Our research of her lineage is not yet complete.

In 1798, William and Rebecca Denham left North Carolina (perhaps from Lincoln County) with a small party of pioneers, riding horseback toward Ohio. The peculiarities of mountain passes and barriers, few navigable rivers, and primitive roads caused them to take what now appears to be a circuitous route. First, they headed northwest into what is now the eastern tip of Kentucky, then northeast to the western tip of Virginia and the Cumberland Gap. From there, Boone’s Trace took them northwest across Kentucky to the Ohio River near Cincinnati Ohio.

The obvious route at this point would have been to take the Ohio River northeast as far as Wheeling, then turn west into Belmont County. But the strong current of the river was against them, as were the treacherous falls of the Ohio, more than one-hundred miles upstream. Commercial river travel in that direction was infrequent, exhausting, dangerous, and expensive. Crossing Ohio eastward by land was a shorter distance, and Zane’s Trace was there to guide them in a nearly straight line to Belmont County.

Indian hostilities were still in very much a concern for every frontier traveler. During this journey, one of the party became ill and caused them to make camp. Suddenly, a solitary Indian was sighted, and the ill member was the first to leap into his saddle, gun in hand, and be off.

William and Rebecca thus are now numbered among the prestigious “First Families of Ohio”, and of Belmont County, having arrived well before the 1830 criteria. They had seven children: John, William Lee (our ancestor), Sophia, Nancy, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Martha.

Four months after William Lee Denham was born in 1815, his father William came to the Court of Common Please in the Belmont County seat of Saint Clairsville to make application to be admitted a citizen of the United States. With the war of 1812 recently ending, it must have seemed prudent to remove from his family any possible taint of suspicious loyalties. Having been a land-holding resident of Belmont County for 17 years, longer than almost anyone of his acquaintances, he had only to take the Oath of Naturalization and Citizenship. In a manner reminiscent of Philip Kuntz’s some 38 years before, William pledged to:

“…renounce allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate,
state or sovereignty whatever, particularly King Geo. III
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland of which
he was formally a subject, and to support the Constitution
of the United States and this State…..”

And it was ordered that he be given a certificate.

In 1837, William Lee Denham, a citizen by birth before his father, married Mary Ann Forney (1817-1889), whose parents were themselves early pioneers of Harrison County, Ohio. William Lee and Mary Ann Forney established a farm in section 36 of Colerain Township in Belmont County. Their farm adjoined property on which lived two sisters of William Lee, who had married into the Berry and Miller families. Other farms adjoining were those of the Stillwell’s and the Kelley’s. The Denham farm was not far from the Ohio-side Wheeling Creek, which meandered through an area called Wheeling Valley.

William Lee and Mary Ann Denham’s children were Rebecca Ann (our ancestor), James, Elizabeth, and John H.

Rebecca Ann Denham was born in 1839, just in time to marry Martin Lewis Kuhn in 1858, when she was the proper age of 19. Martin Lewis and Rebecca Ann Kuhn had at least three children: Samuel, Catherine (Mary Katie), and Annie. Then Rebecca Ann died after nine years of marriage. Her tombstone, emblazoned with the raised carving of a rose blossom, is just barely readable today in the old Methodist Cemetery in St. Clairsville, Belmont County, two blocks from the back of the courthouse: “Rebecca Ann Kuhn, daughter of W.L. and M.A. Denham. Died January 24, 1868, aged 28 years”.

Rebecca Ann Kuhn’s elaborate makes no mention of her husband, as do the markers of most married persons of the period, whether the spouse was then living or had died previously. There must have been some hard feelings between Martin and his in-laws, but the bare facts available do not allow a clear inference. In 1869, not unseemly close to Rebecca Ann’s death, Martin Lewis Kuhn is found in (*2)Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, where he purchased land. But in 1870, he married (*2)Catherine (Kate Angelina) Shutt, and left the youngest children behind in Belmont County. The 1870 census lists two of his children, Catherine and Annie, in the household of their Denham grandparents. William Lee and Mary Ann. Martin’s son Samuel is not listed, but even if he was then with his father in Pennsylvania, Samuel did not remain long. The 1880 census lists all three of Martin’s children in the household of their Denham grandparents. (*2) We are not aware of any children from Martin Lewis Kuhn’s second marriage, and his date of death is as yet uncertain.

The burial plots of Samuel’s great grandparents, William and Rebecca Sargent Denham, and grandparents, William Lee and Mary Ann Forney Denham, can be found in Union Cemetery, St. Clairsville, Ohio. Other Denham’s are scattered throughout the cemetery.

Our ancestral lineage extends from the children left behind in Ohio, specifically from Samuel Lewis Kuhn. He assisted his grandparents in supporting his motherless and abandoned siblings by hiring out his own labor. Just one mile northwest of the Denham farm, in Colerain Township, was the Watkins farm, being worked by Samuel Watkins and his son Oliver, and much in need of Samuel Kuhn’s assistance. Samuel Watkins also happened to have a daughter, Sara Adeline (Ada) Watkins. As is so often seen, the children on nearby farms eventually become husband and wife, out of convenience, necessity, or to preserve and expand ancestral landholdings. For the similar reasons, surely, Samuel and Ada married in 1882.

Samuel Kuhn started with a very small farm. He was able to enlarge it over his lifetime, but the additions didn’t come easily. For the first nine years after his marriage to Ada, he continued to hire himself out, working in construction, as a miner, off in the oil fields in Mannington (West Virginia), as a laborer, and on other farms. All the while he saved to buy more farm acreage.

His first child was born in a log cabin, but shortly thereafter, Sam and a friend put up a small two-story, wood sided house. Samuel farmed his own land until he was about 50.

The 10(!) children of Samuel Lewis and Sara Adaline Watkins Kuhn were: (*3) Stella, Mary, Archie, Charlie, Florence Abbie (my grandmother), Louetta Pearl, Matilda Mae, George Russell, Theodore Roosevelt, and Milford Earl.

My grandmother’s name was Florence Abbie Kuhn Kirk Nicely. In the 1960’s, in correspondence with her sisters, Abbie recalled their life on several small farms on Sloan’s Run, 2 miles north of Maynard, Ohio, just north of Samuel Watkins farm.

Abbie enjoyed reminiscing about her father’s orchards, berries, and grape arbors. She remembered the cows, chickens, pigs….and bees! Louetta remembered Uncle Oliver’s sheep.

She also told several horse stories. In one, several siblings rode the farm horse, Nellie, up the hill to school at Gray’s ridge. Upon arriving, the horse was shooed back down the hill, riderless, returning itself to the barn to be readied for the day’s labors. One winter, Abbie and Charles had Nellie pulling the sled, and ran her off the road into the Run up by the school. All emerged alive, unhurt, and soaking wet.

Another horse story described the ride in the surrey from the farm on Sloan’s Run to “the church in the valley”. This was Wheeling Valley Church, which was actually on a steep hillside overlooking Wheeling Valley. With Wheeling Creek on its floor. In our visit, we noted that the journey to the church on the still unpaved road was very flat and present for a mile or so down Sloan’s Run from the Kuhn farm. But it turned sharply and wound up and over a steep hill to the church, which was sited on a very steep slope. The surrey must have felt very tipsy to the family when the road cut across the hillside. Poor Nellie would have felt awkwardly light footed when the back heavy surrey’s shafts leveled her up off the road on the uphills, and she would have had to work hard to stop the surrey in time, on the steep downhill heading toward the church door.

Abbie Kuhn further wrote of the fun times at Sunday school picnics and the St. Clairsville fair, and of her pleasure in visiting Uncle John Denham and Aunt Annie. John smoked fragrant cigars, and Annie always used the rhetorical flourish “said I”, when speaking.

Life on the farm could be fun: the butchering and baking were fondly remembered. But Abbie emphasized that there were always lots of work for her in a household with 10 children. She said her sisters learned an important lesson from their father. At home, the chores were just daily drudgery, but to nearby friends and relatives, these were valuable farmhouse skills. The sisters could work just as hard away from home, but for hard cash!

Their father didn’t have to teach them that getting away from the family farm was the only way they could find husbands. Even so, the surrounding farms, and rural Maynard, could not be relied upon to put many gentlemen callers in the way of five sisters isolated on Sloan’s Run. And where they could better support themselves while they might pick and choose: in the row houses of staid St. Clairsville, or in the great family households of the bustling, naughty river port of Wheeling? Abbie went off when she was just 16.

She managed the large home and family of a proper german widower for several years, rising in worth from a responsible housekeeper to a cherished member of the family. When on her own time, the millineries of the Big City prepared her, its amusement park presented her, and it’s photography studios recorded the progress.

The irony was that her efforts in Wheeling won her a Belmont County boy, Wilbur Dempsey Kirk of Bethesda. They married in Wheeling in 1916, with both families in attendance.

As a married couple, their residence had to change from the place where a girl had found a husband, to a place where a husband had found a job that could support a family. My mother Theda arrived in 1917, after Wilbur and Abbie moved to Akron, Ohio.

Twenty years later, my mother moved to the even larger industrial area of northern Ohio where I was born, in a suburb of Cleveland.

Why I write to you from the Pacific Northwest is a story for another time.

The End

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