The Hopwood Band

HopwoodPABand1908Large

Many small communities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries took great pride in their local bands which entertained at holidays, celebrations and festivals. The Hopwood Band, based in a village on the outskirts of Uniontown, Fayette County, PA, featured several Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor cousins among the musicians. This image, from 1908, shows drummer Joseph M. Hopwood (3rd from left) and horn players Simeon Thomas Goff and daughter Lea Ray (Goff) Phillips Guyton (far right). Other known band members from the community were Tommy Hair (far left, who was blind) and Joseph Goff and Frank Goff.

Joseph Hopwood’s great-grandson James Philip “Phil” Parker, who furnished this image, and of the family of Bessie (Hopwood) LaClair, says that the photo was “taken at Hopwood picnic grounds near the site of the Howard Johnson’s restaurant.”

View an enlarged version of this image as the Minerd.com Photo of the Month for July 2018. If you can identify other of the faces in this photograph, please contact us. See other community band images as our Photo of the Month for April 2017November 2012 — and January 2002.

Advertisements

WV Country Music Hall of Famer Lisa Lynn Lizzie-Ann Janoske

HawkerLisaJanoskeBass

Electric bass player and new West Virginia Country Music Hall of Famer Lisa Lynn Lizzie-Ann (Hawker) Janoske — inducted April 21, 2018 — started singing at the age of three and has been going strong for four decades.

Her early teachers were known to say, “Give her a stage, and she’ll perform on it.” Lisa made her first stage appearance at seven with her father’s band, The Royal Tones, at the Westover Fair near Morgantown. Even at a young age, she performed at Applachia Lake in Bruceton Mills with Nashville stars such as the Hagar Twins from Hee Haw, Doyle Holly, the Statler Brothers, Ronnie Milsap, Tanya Tucker, Herb Humphrey and Lynn Anderson. In addition to her late father Jack Hawker, she counts her mentors and teachers over the years as Jack “Tiny” Waycaster, Don Corbin, Bob “Tootie” White, and Dick and Kelly Choma. She also has been a leader in the music business as the youngest member to hold office on the board of directors of the American Federation of Musicians Union in Morgantown. In 2009, Lisa and her daughter Jena joined 155 others in a performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance to benefit House of Hope in Garrett County, MD. In the process, they not only raised more than $30,000 but coordinated their dance with 300 cities in 32 countries to establish a record in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Today Lisa performs for Brenda’s Body Shop dance company in Garrett County, MD and with her husband Bill is a member of the house band at Sagebrush Round-Up, a music hall in Bunner Ridge near Fairmont, WV which also houses the hall of fame. She has produced her own show, Honor Thy Legends, paying tribute to George Jones and Tammy Wynette. She is employed as a guidance secretary with the Garrett County Board of Education, is a Sunday School teacher and youth leader and enjoys using her music and dance to raise money for charity. She is the mother of two, Jena and Jack.

Those who have attended our national Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunion will recall having met Lisa’s mother, our longtime treasurer, Doris (Sands) Hawker of the family of Alma (Ream) Sands. In fact, Lisa’s great-grandfather Joseph Ward Ream was elected secretary-treasurer of the old Minerd-Miner Reunion circa 1924.

Connect with Lisa on Facebook.

Clara (Leonard) Holt: Preservationist of the French & Indian War ‘Camp of the 12 Springs’

LeonardClaraHolt01Blog

Clara (Leonard) Holt was among several of our cousins who had connections to historic French and Indian War sites in southwestern Pennsylvania known as Fort Necessity (site of George Washington’s first battle, a loss to the French) and Braddock’s Grave (marking the burial site of a British general mortally wounded in an attack near Pittsburgh in 1755). Clara was the wife of John T. Holt and daughter of Reuben H. and Martha (Cunningham) Leonard.

An early educator in the family, Clara taught in one-room schoolhouses in Stewart and Springfield townships, Fayette County. The book she’s holding in this image may reflect a love of learning. Tragically, her husband was killed in a freak accident near Markleysburg, PA in 1919, while en route home from a stone quarry. He fell from his truck, driven by a son, and was run over and crushed to death. Clara outlived her husband by more than two decades, remaining in their home along the National Road (U.S. Route 40) in the mountains of Farmington, east of Uniontown.

Part of her 500-acre farm was located 12 miles east of Fort Necessity and considered historic property, referred to locally as the “Camp of the Twelve Springs.” During the war, Washington and his beaten army camped there after surrendering Fort Necessity on July 4, 1754, and the following year, General Braddock made his eighth encampment there on June 25, 1755. Later, Job Clark patented the land and kept a tavern at the site. An article in the Uniontown Daily News Standard reported in 1932 that “Outlines of the old springs and the tavern are still visible.”

Clara had what a newspaper called “considerable interest in the historical significance of the farm on which she lives.” Her sons made an effort to locate each of the 12 springs on the property. In 1932, she paid to have a commemorative marker produced and placed at the site of Twelve Springs. John Kennedy Lacock, an authority on the Braddock expedition, and professor of history at Harvard University, organized a dedication service on Sept. 11, 1932. Yet the site never fully captured the public’s attention. By 1937 John P. Cowan, park ranger and historian at Fort Necessity, wrote to the editors of the Daily News Standard saying “everybody has overlooked” the area. More about our family’s links to the fort and grave sites>>>

Nettie (White) Bailey – Impassioned Kansas Prairie Letter Writer and Lightning Victim of the 1880s

WhiteNettieBaileyResize

Having struck out to a new south-central Kansas prairie home in the spring of 1884 with her husband and parents, Nettie (White) Bailey wrote a prolific series of impassioned letters to her beloved sister Helen (White) Clark who had remained in Missouri with her family. The letters which survive today, mainly penned by Nettie (seen here), describe the death of their mother Mahala (Miner) White, ever-present dust and wind, community gossip, the anguish of the sisters’ separation, and comings and goings of relatives and friends, including the April 1889 departure of their uncle and aunt James and Lydia (Miner) Brown from Kansas for a new life in central Oklahoma.

Tragically, Nettie’s life was snuffed out in a freak lightning storm in July 1889. But the correspondence between the Kansas Whites and Missouri Clarks continued through 1911. The final letter is from Nettie’s brother Layton White to his niece Blanche just before his death.

After the letters stopped, Nettie’s daughters Mabel (Bailey) Phelp and Blanche (Bailey) Peterie lovingly preserved and kept them together. They were shared among various family members until about 1984, when Nettie’s great-granddaughter Janet (Hoyt) Sperry brought them to her home in Montana and painstakingly retyped each and every one. To do so, she carefully studied the faded and small handwriting to make sure she was capturing every word correctly. In the end, on behalf of the family, she donated the originals to the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka, accession number 2003-065.02. A complete set of the retyped letters is in the Lincoln Library in Medicine Lodge, KS.

Today, with Janet’s gracious permission, these letters are being posted on Minerd.com as the “Nett Helen Letters” for all to enjoy and to bring these ancient lives into view. As of April 8, 2018, letters had been posted chronologically through Aug. 25, 1889, with more intended to be added all the time.

You may recall that Janet was featured as the Minerd.com “Photo of the Month” in November 2011. An enlarged version of Nettie’s portrait is the “Photo of the Month” for April 2018.

2017 Annual Review – A Report for Family and Friends

AnnualReviewNumbers2017

[Link to full text – 2017 Annual Review]

Every week and sometimes nearly every day during the past year, I added new material or searched new nooks and crannies to bright to light new facts about lives of our family of the past. The research and publishing are at times exhausting, frustrating and labor-intensive, but also at times exhilarating, especially when cousins from throughout the nation write and say they’ve enjoyed the experience of surfing the site.

The spigot of inbound story and image content for Minerd.com remains turned on, full force, even after nearly 18 years of active publishing. There are just too many stories and rare images distributed in households all across the country for this website ever to be complete.

Minerd.com’s content is written for two different audiences. One is the readers and inquirers of today. The other has not yet been born, but may crave to know something about their ancient people 100 and 200 years from now. Afflicted with the “tyranny of the urgent,” a focus on the here and now and immediate gratification, Americans do not think in these terms. Minerd.com and its archives will continue to produce content and preserve materials to keep old, forgotten lives alive in some flickering way far, far into the future.

PhotoMonthRecap2017

Among the plans for 2018 are a return visit to present at the annual Junghen-Younkin Reunion in July in Somerset County, PA — a continued posting of the “Nett Helen Letters” between two sisters of the 19th century, one in Missouri, the other in Kansas who was killed in a freak lightning storm — and a few days of research in the National Archives in Washington, DC to examine and copy the Civil War records of 14 newly discovered soldiers of the Minerd, Younkin and Owen clans

As Minerd.com is now in its 18th year, it’s exciting that this work never ends. The site continues to be fascinating, surprising, exasperating, eye-opening and never ever dull. New material continues to be shared by long-lost cousins near and farm.

Thank you again to everyone who has contributed your special part from your own family’s trove of family treasures. This site is for you, and would not be possible without you.

Ill-Fated Railroader John David Evans of the B&O in Pittsburgh

EvansJohnDavidRailroad03

John David Evans, right

Held together by tape, this rare, fragile photograph shows ill-fated  John David Evans and a colleague aboard a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad locomotive in Pittsburgh. Rendered fatherless at the age of eight, John spent time in a local Catholic orphanage until his mother Eva remarried George Henry Minerd and settled in the city’s Carrick section.

After marrying Margaret Elizabeth Casey, John was employed in the early 1920s as an locomotive engineer for the B&O. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, an early union. His duties involved work in the Allison Park suburb of the city, near what today is Route 8.

On the frigid and fateful evening of Jan. 26, 1924, John was caught in a freak accident at work. The Pittsburgh Post reported that “Evans’ overalls ignited at Allison Park … when a sudden gust of wind blew the flames toward him from a bundle of oily waste burning on a shovel which he was holding. Evans … was endeavoring to thaw a frozen pipe on his engine when the accident occurred.” Suffering from second and third degree burns of his left thigh and left hand, he was rushed to St. Francis Hospital. There, after 10 agonizing days of suffering, he succumbed.

Today, he is memorialized on the Minerd.com page, “Death on the Rails: 42 Fatal Railroad & Streetcar Accidents.” More>>>

Ol’ Solomon Sturtz, Pioneer of Greene, Iowa

SturtzSolomonJohnGreeneIA02

Solomon “Sollie” and Elizabeth (Troutman) Sturtz, natives of Somerset County, PA, were pioneer settlers of Ohio and Indiana before settling for good on a farm in Greene, Butler County, Iowa. The parents of nine children, they lost a son and several nephews during the Civil War. This image likely dates to the late 1890s or early 1900s.

A local newspaper, the Greene (IA) Reporter, once said that the quality of Solomon’s farm was “among the best in the county, having a fine residence, 18 by 30, two stories high, and the largest barn in the county, it being 40 by 65, with all improvements in arrangement of the modern ‘bank barn’… He was at one time the sole possessor of a single-roofed house in the township.” The story also documented how Solomon and other pioneers “experienced some hardships as hauling grain in Cedar Rapids and Independence and made one trip to Dubuque for goods. There was plenty of deer in those early days and he made it a point to have his share of the shy, but out-witted, creatures. The wily wild turkey was overtaken by the swift bullet guided by an unerring aim.”

Solomon and Elizabeth were charter members of the Presbyterian Church of Coldwater, founded in 1863. A journalist with the Reporter once noted how “well do we remember as a child watching that stern face of Mr. Sturtz as he sat attentive and almost unmovable in his pew at regular services. Here we might mention that one of the early ministers who ‘watched over that flock’ was one Elder James, a sort of circuit rider, we presume, but he preached there, led the song service, and otherwise conducted the affairs of christian supplications. His song for opening the services was usually ‘Pull for the Shore Sailor, Pull for the shore,’ and ‘Lead Kindly Light’ was the other.”

At Solomon’s death in 1907, the Recorder said that “the town of Greene and Butler county lost one of her oldest men and one of her best citizens… His memory was clear until the last few weeks and he delighted to tell the story of his life in the early days of Butler county. His many friends marveled at the patience with which he bore the last sufferings and the release that came to him was not unwelcome. He was honest in business, kind to his friends, faithful in service and has a place in the hearts and minds of a large circle of acquaintances.” More>>>