Latest Minerd.com Recommended News/Blog Stories

Covering the span from New Year’s Day 2017 to today, here’s my list of favorite news articles and blog posts, posted on my award-winning website, Minerd.com. These stories, written by [generally] objective, knowledgeable experts who have examined their subjects in detail, spanning the themes of Americana, culture, art, journalism, genealogy … and Pittsburgh, the epicenter of our family’s growth and development since 1791.

What’s so fascinating is how we always live in the shadow of history and that our current events always seem to be shaped by people of the past.

Private Collections Made Public: New York’s Museum Libraries” – The Bottom Line, May 2017
Are the Dutch Lagging in Efforts to Return Art Looted by the Nazis?” – New York Times, May 12, 2017
Monticello: using the remains of history to illuminate slavery, daily life in Jefferson’s world” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 11, 2017
Thousands to Evacuate After World War II Bombs Found in German City” – CNN, May 6, 2017
Three Years After a Print Went Missing, Boston Public Library Invests $15.7 Million to Preserve Its Rare Book and Manuscript Collection” – Rare Book Hub, May 2017
One City in Pennsylvania is Poised to Crush the 21st Century … but it’s not Philadelphia” – Philadelphia Magazine, April 29, 2017
The Bentley Rare Book Museum Opens” – Fine Books & Collections, April 26, 2017
Neanderthals may have lived in North America 130,000 years ago, study claims” – by Malcolm Ritter, Associated Press, published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Archive Acquired of Theatre and Film Actor Peter O’Toole” – Fine Books & Collections, April 24, 2017
The scourge of misinformation: Disdain for expertise is inherent in today’s culture of self-absorption” – by George Will, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 6, 2017
After Slave Revelations, Retiree Has a New Mission” – New York Times, April 2, 2017
American Textile History Museum, Closed Last Year, Will Transfer Its Vast Library to Cornell University” – by Michael Stillman, Rare Book Monthly, April 2017
Otto Penzler’s Literary Lair” – Fine Books & Collections, April 2017
A Glimpse Into the Life of a Slave Sold to Save Georgetown” – New York Times, March 12, 2017
Study finds white working class increasingly dying ‘deaths of despair’” – Associated Press, published in the Chicago Tribune, March 24, 2017
The Greatest Private Library of Judaica Has Been Sold to the National Library of Israel” – Rare Book Monthly, March 2017
Caren Chooses Christie’s, Cowans & Country” – Rare Book Monthly, March 2017
Who Do You Think You Are?” – 2017 TLC Television Series, Season 9 – Featuring Courteney Cox, Jessica Biel, Julie Bowen, John Stamos, Smokey Robinson, Noah Wyle, Liv Tyler and Jennifer Grey – March 2017
Mark Samuels Lasner Donates $10-million Collection to University of Delaware” – Fine Books & Collections, Feb. 16, 2017
The Furious Eloquence of James Baldwin” – by Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 17, 2017
The Last Original Frank Lloyd Wright Owners” – Wall Street Journal, Feb. 15, 2017
Introducing Open Access At the Met” – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Feb. 7, 2017
Ivor Noël Hume, famed archaeologist, dies at 89” – Virginia Gazette, Feb. 6, 2017
Auction Prices for Books and Paper Rose 1.5% in 2016” – Rare Book Hub, February 2017
A Spectacular Collection Emerges from the Shadows” – Rare Book Hub, February 2017
You Can Write in Mark Twain’s Library” – Fine Books & Collections, Jan. 26, 2017
Penn Libraries Acquires Lost Benjamin Franklin Broadside” – Fine Books & Collections, Jan. 24, 2017
Family Archive of Alexander Hamilton Letters & Manuscripts Achieves $2.6 Million at Sotheby’s New York” – Fine Books & Collections, Jan. 19, 2017
Jolted by Deaths, Obama Found His Voice on Race” – New York Times, Jan. 14, 2017
Obama Makes His Mark as First ‘Social Media’ President” – Associated Press, Jan. 8, 2017
Why Envy Pittsburgh? An Educated Guess” – by Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan. 5, 2017
A Library Plans to Sell a Valuable Century-Old Book Collection” – Rare Book Hub, January 2017
Does History Predict the Future?” – Rare Book Hub, January 2017
Rare Book Hub Passes Seven Million Full Text Records” – Rare Book Hub, January 2017

Now Pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers

MillerRogerSacramentoSolonsCard

Only one known member of the extended Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor family has played Major League Baseball — Roger Wesley Miller — of the Albert Ward and Ada (Whipkey) Minerd branch of Mill Run, Fayette County, PA. His career spanned two games for the Milwaukee Brewers in September 1974, pitching 2.1 innings, striking out two (including future hall of famer Carl Yastrzemski), hitting one batter and giving up three runs on three hits.

In his first big league game, at Boston’s Fenway Park on Sept. 8, 1974, with Bernie Carbo on base, Roger surrendered a two-run home run to Dwight Evans. In his second and final game, he again faced the Red Sox, this time in Milwaukee County Stadium.

Most of Roger’s career was spent in the minor leagues, with the Newark Co-Pilots of the New York Pennsylvania League (1972); Danville Warriors of the Midwest League (1973); and Sacramento Solons (1974-1975) and Spokane Indians (1977) of the Pacific Coast League. Baseball Digest once called him “stocky, a good pitching prospect in his third year of organized ball. In one game last June, he did something nobody else had done all season — allowed no homers” in Sacramento’s Hughes Stadium, where the left-field fence was only 232 feet away from home plate.  An entry featuring Roger in the Brewers’ 1975 media guide says he was an “All-Pacific Coast League performer in 1974 … tied teammate Tom Hausman for league lead in most complete games with 11 for Sacramento … 4.48 earned run average was low on Sacramento club … struckout 101 batters in 185 innings pitched in ’74 … was 8-4 with 3.32 ERA at Danville in 1973…”

He stood 6 feet, 3 inches tall, with brown eyes and brown hair.

Following retirement from baseball, Roger returned to Mill Run and pursued a career as a welder. Tragically, he was killed in an industrial accident in Connellsville, PA on April 26, 1993, leaving behind his wife Joy and several children. Over the years since, Joy has been employed at Fallingwater — the world famous house in Mill Run designed over a waterfall by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright — and was the guest speaker at our 2004 National Minerd-Miner-Minor Reunion, presenting about our family’s long-term love affair with the house and honoring 26 cousins past and present who have worked there. Be sure to see the Minerd.com pages devoted to “In the Days Before Fallingwater” – “Fallingwater Today” – and the four-page booklet, entitled Fallingwater: A Long Family Affair.

Fourth of July 1910 Parade in Kingwood, WV

KingwoodWVFourthOfJulyParade1910A

FOURTH OF JULY 1910 — While schoolboys in knickers watch with reverence, a parade believed to include Civil War veterans makes its way through the unpaved streets of Kingwood, Preston County, WV. One of the old soldiers likely was James Eyster Murdock (1842-1915), who rose from private to brevet captain during the war, saw action in 28 battles and was wounded four times.

James served with the 7th West Virginia Infantry, also known as the “Preston Guards.” He received wounds in action at the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. At Cold Harbor, he was struck on the top of his head by a sharpshooter’s bullet. At Gettysburg, he was in the thickest of the battle defending Little Round Top. And at Williamsburg, he was wounded in the foot, with his name appearing in the May 10, 1862 edition of the Confederate newspaper, The Petersburg Daily Express, Extra edition, reprinted from the Lynchburg Republican.

After his wartime service ended, James returned to Kingwood, where he was a teacher and a blacksmith, and married school teacher Martha Ann Basnett (1845-1913). Due to poor health, however, he gave up the physical work and for many years was a clerk in Kingwood dry goods, drug and hardware esbablishments. In the decade before the turn of the 20th century, he helped organize the Soldiers Reunion of Preston County, with one of these gatherings held at Kingwood in August 1891. As a charter member of local Knights of Pythias, he led summer ceremonies of an “imposing procession,” reported the Preston County Journal, which “wended its way to the beautiful Kingwood cemetery and remembered the brothers gone before.” For several years, James held the office of Adjutant of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a veterans’ organization. He also was township treasurer, postmaster under the first administration of President Grover Cleveland and secretary of the Board of Education of Kingwood for 15 years.

James passed away on April 19, 1915. The Journal reported that “Only a short time before [his death], possibly less than an hour, he had been on the street conversing with friends. He had gone home and had lain down on the sofa to rest and about ten minutes before he was found dead he had conversed with members of his family. Shortly before six o’clock his son, James E., Jr., came in and went into the room where he was and spoke to him, and upon getting no response he went to the sofa and discovered that his father was dead.” His death was top headline news in the Journal‘s April 22, 1915 edition.

John was the son of John Smart and Rebecca (Miner) Murdock of Kingwood and grandson of Preston County pioneers and flour millers Burket and Frances (Skinner) Minerd who had migrated there at the end of the War of 1812. Enlarge>>>

Death of a Pope and American Tourists Gordon and Marjean (Miner) Jones

PopeJohnPaulI

It’s Aug. 12, 1978, and American tourists Gordon and Marjean (Miner) Jones — of the family of Odger and Monalea (Ullom) Miner — arrive in Rome for a long-awaited vacation. With anticipation, they look forward to the opportunity to visit the grand sites and, especially, see the famed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo. Marjean, a fifth grade teacher at Margaret Ross Elementary School in the Hopewell School District in Aliquippa, PA, plans to use their travel photographs as an educational tool with her students.

But fate intervenes. Just six days before Gordon and Marjean arrive in Rome, Pope Paul VI dies of a heart attack. To the Joneses’ dismay, just about everything in Rome shuts down — museums, restaurants, even hotel bookings — in homage to the late Holy Father. Even tours of the Sistine Chapel are canceled. The American travelers are able to keep their hotel reservation but are faced with few options on how to spend their time. Fortunately, they decide to pay their respects at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Illuminated only by faint light from candles and windows, Gordon takes this historic image of the Pope lying in state, wearing his crimson cassock and surrounded by Vatican Swiss guards clad in yellow and purple uniforms.

Within a short weeks, John Paul I (Albino Luciani) is elected Pope, but he is not long for this world. He too suffers a heart attack and dies on Sept. 28, 1978 after just 33 days in office, one of the shortest terms in all of papal history. The selection process begins again, and Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła is elected Pope — the first non-Italian and first Pole in 455 years to achieve this distinction — and chooses the name “John Paul II” to honor his ill-fated predecessor. For the next 26 years, John Paul II presides over the Roman Catholic Church and is widely credited with helping to end Communist domination in his native Poland, the Soviet Union and eventually all of Europe.

Mark your calendar — Our next national reunion of the Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor family — devoted to “SELFIES” — will be held the weekend of June 23-25 at Donegal, PA. Everyone will be engaged in creative selfie-taking and being part of our first-ever, historic national broadcast via Facebook Live. Your best selfie will be uploaded to a reunion selfie collage on award-winning Minerd.com for posterity. You’ll have more than your 15 seconds of fame — your legacy photo will live forever! Depending on the turnout, it may be our last reunion

VisitPITTSBURGH – is the promotional sponsor of the Minerd.com Photo of the Month. Be sure to get your copy of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Official Visitor’s Guide, a 25-page workbook to help event organizers stay on track, no matter what type of reunion or meeting they are planning to hold. The booklet features a page of ideas by the founder of this website, headlined “Take It from a Professional.” Full text>>>

Portrait Photographer Clarence ‘Edward’ Grove of Uhrichsville, Ohio

grovestudiouhrichsvilleoh06

Minerd.com Photo of the Month for February 2017 – Continuing in our occasional series featuring photographers in the family — Clarence “Edward” Grove (1877-1949), who married Sarah Margaret Ferrell (1877-1939) of the family of John William and Catherine (Gillespie) Miner — was a professional photographer who operated his own studio in Uhrichsville, Ohio in the late 1910s. It’s not known how much longer the business remained open.

An example of his work is seen here, showing a subject named William on his first day of school. The embossed stamp reading “GROVE, UHRICHSVILLE, O.” appears centered at the bottom, but not perfectly horizontally aligned. On the back is a handwritten note by “Laura” (presumably the boy’s mother), addressed to Mrs. Karl Bratschi of R.F.D. #2, Alliance, OH, and postmarked Sept. 30, 1918.

grovestudiouhrichsvilleoh04

The couple dwelled in Dutchtown, Mill Township, Tuscarawas County and were members of the Methodist Church. The Groves produced three daughters — Hazel Ellwood, Flora Belle Fowler and Lulu Marie Grove. The family endured heartbreak with the death of three-year-old daughter Lula from acute meningitis on Oct. 31, 1909. Later, they lived in Big Bend, OH.

After contracting cancer of the left breast, Sarah endured the illness for three years and passed away at the age of 61 on Aug. 13, 1939. Burial was in Union Cemetery, following a funeral sermon by Rev. J. Lloyd McQueen. An obituary was printed in the New Philadelphia Daily Times.

Edward outlived his wife by 10 years. Burdened with senile psychosis, he was admitted to Massillon State Hospital in Stark County, where he remained for the 22 months of his life. He suffered a stroke and succumbed on Aug. 30, 1949 at the age of 72. Rev. L.L. Kollar officiated at the funeral and burial in Union Cemetery. An obituary in the Daily Times said that his survivors included five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Other cousin-photographers whose work has been featured as a Minerd.com “Photo of the Month” have included Ward C. Miner of Louisville, CO (November 2005), Harold S. Fawcett of Grafton, WV (September 2006), Charles Henry Rose of Normalville, PA (November 2006) and Harry G. Bowman of Hartford City, IN (April 2012).

Minerd.com 2016 Annual Review

annualreview2017

Now in its 17th year online, Minerd.com continued to attract visits and publish the stories of thousands of forgotten lives in 2016 involving a frenetic pace of research, travel and writing. Not a week went by that meaningful content of some type was not added to the site.

Among the indicators are the number of biographies added or expanded during the year – the number of archival images posted – the number of cousin deaths recorded – and the number and variety of blog posts.

Last year, 17 new biographies were added – many so lengthy that they will be subdivided into new ones in 2017 – and many hundreds more bios expanded with new findings – bringing the total on the site to 1,610. Some 1, 034 images were added as illustrations, bringing the overall site-wide count to 14,541.

In 2016, some 48 deaths were recorded for the year, and scores of deaths back-filled our records for earlier years. Since we began counting in earnest on July 1, 2000, the known number of deaths of cousins and spouses is 1,629, or one every 3.7 days. While many of these are related to old age or illness, some are in fact due to domestic violence and heroin addiction. In some periods of our heaviest losses, such as in the 2002-2003 timeframe, we lost a cousin/spouse once every 2.94 days. Future research will identify even more deaths which have occurred in 2000-2016.

All of this material has some connection with the Pennsylvania pioneer Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor clan and its heavily interrelated German families of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

TravelAs always, the core focus of Minerd.com content is research-driven writing and sharing. During the year, I traveled to 10 destinations to pursue that objective — Washington, DC (2); Morgantown, Wheeling and Elizabeth in West Virginia; Wellersburg, Kingwood and New Brighton in Pennsylvania; and Columbus and Cutler, Ohio.

Writing and Publishing – Other major research was conducted and published on a wide variety of topics. Perhaps the most emotionally moving new content added to the site was a collage of photographs and essay by cousin Linda Marker of Rockwood, PA, “A Mother’s Lamentation Over the Heroin Overdose of a Beloved Step-son.”

During the year, scores of cousins reached out to me to share knowledge and rare images of their immediate families. Eight in particular unselfishly provided extensive, detailed and encyclopedic material and need to be recognized here – Richard Rosswurm (branch of Emanuel and Elizabeth [Minerd] Krick) – Brent Lowell ( branches of Josiah J. Dull and John Dull) –Donald Kuhns Jr. (Annabelle [Trout] Hower) – Yvonne Bonnie (Blair) Morgan (Unknown Shelkey Faces album) — Linda Marker (Jacob and Salome [Weimer] Younkin Jr.) — Denny Shirer (Barbara [Minerd] Firestone) — Mark Terry Youngkin (John Harrison and Eliza Jane [Coble] Youngkin) — and Barb Nelson (Jacob and Ruth Ann [Adams] Minerd Sr.).

More>>>

Recommended News Stories – 2016

favorite_links_05jan2017

See my full compilation on Minerd.com

Here’s my list of my favorite news articles and blog posts from 2016, posted on my award-winning website, Minerd.com. These stories, written by [generally] objective, knowledgeable experts who have examined their subjects in detail, reflect my belief that we are living in a time of unprecedented cultural upheaval.

In our chaotic world filled with fakes, frauds, copies and charlatans, our need is greater than ever for things that are “really real” and for understanding highly complex issues involving the human condition and what unites and divides us as people.

The stories cover a wide sweep of Americana from media coverage of the presidential election to the lingering impact of slavery to historic preservation. Enjoy.

Confessions of a Columnist” – by Ross Douthat, New York Times, Dec. 31, 2016
It’s nearly 2017! Can we finally retire the current year as an argument for social change?” – Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2016
Original Portrait of Charles Dickens’ Wife Found Beneath Cover-Up” – Fine Books & Collections, Dec. 27, 2016
Duchess of Roxburghe Bequeaths ‘Extraordinary’ Book Collection to Wren Library” – Fine Books & Collections, Dec. 22, 2016
‘We Couldn’t Believe Our Eyes’: A Lost World of Shipwrecks Is Found” – New York Times, Nov. 12, 2016
Disruption Will Rule, and Obama’s Legacy Will Wash Away As If Written on Water” – by George Will, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 10, 2016
News Media Yet Again Misreads America’s Complex Pulse” – New York Times, Nov. 9, 2016
Channeling Ida Tarbell: An Unlikely Muckraker” – by Tom O’Boyle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 6, 2016
New Looks at Laurel Hill” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 5, 2016
New Exhibition at the Morgan Library Explores the World of Martin Luther” – Fine Books & Collections, Sept. 20, 2016
Jerusalem as a Place of Desire and Death, at the Metropolitan Museum” – New York Times, Sept. 22, 2016
Scanning Software Deciphers Ancient Biblical Scroll” – Associated Press, Sept. 21, 2016
Through the Place” – Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation documentary, September 2016
How a Dutch Businessman Fulfilled His Dream to Open a ‘World-Class’ Museum” – New York Times, Sept. 14, 2016
Heinz Awards Recognize Inspiring Ideas That Address Global Issues” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 14, 2016
Landmark Labor Ruling Rooted in Beaver County” – Washington Times, Sept. 10, 2016
Almost 50 Years Later, Lawsuit Seeks to Fix Blame for Farmington Mine Disaster” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 4, 2016
Public Permitted to Peruse State Library’s Rare Books” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 4, 2016
Georgetown University Plans Steps to Atone for Slave Past” – New York Times, Sept. 1, 2016
Ken Lopez Updates His Views on Modern Book Collecting Trends” – Rare Book Hub, September 2016
Wreck of Sloop Built in Erie Found Deep in Lake Ontario” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 20, 2016
Why John Oliver Loves Newspapers” – by Kathleen Parker, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 11, 2016
In Frank Lloyd Wright Country, Architecture and Apple Pie” – New York Times, July 27, 2016
Huntington Announces Crowdsourcing Project to Transcribe, Decode Civil War Telegrams” – Fine Books & Collections, June 22, 2016
American Death Rate Increases, Reverses Trend” – Washington Post, June 3, 2016
Stolen Columbus Letter Found at the Library of Congress Returned” – Rare Book Hub, June 2016
Archaeologists Closing in on Finding Captain Cook’s Ship, the Endeavour” – Rare Book Hub, June 2016
‘Roots’ for a New Era” – New York Times – May 22, 2016
Folk Art Starts Here” – New York Times, May 20, 2016
Unearthing the Secrets of New York’s Mass Graves” – New York Times, May 16, 2016
One of Florence’s Oldest Families and Its 600-Year Archive” – New York Times, May 11, 2016
Civil War Museum Transfers Collection to Gettysburg with Constitution Center Exhibit Planned” – Philly.com, May 5, 2016
A Foundation and a Museum Battle Over Maurice Sendak’s Estate” – by Michael Stillman, Fine Books & Collections, May 1, 2016
Why More Suicides?” – by Ambassador Dan Simpson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 27, 2016
An Ambitious Renovation of August Wilson’s Boyhood Home Will Be Good for Pittsburgh and the Arts” – by Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 24, 2016
Letter from Albert Gallatin Donated to Friendship Hill Historic Site” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 23, 2016
Top Court Rejects Challenge to Google Book-Scanning Project” – Reuters, via CNBC.com, April 18, 2016
Georgetown Confronts a Haunting Sale of Slaves” – New York Times via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 17, 2016
Amateur Snapshots Provide Window to American Culture” – Fine Books & Collections, April 15, 2016
Pope Francis Urges Compassion for All in Landmark Statement on Family Values” – The Guardian, April 9, 2016
Supreme Court Finally Puts an End to Long Running Apple-Amazon Price-Fixing Case” – by Michael Stillman, Rare Book HUB, April 2016
Bob Dylan’s Archive to Be Housed in Oklahoma” – Rare Book HUB, April 2016