Among the clergymen portraying the Founding Fathers in colonial costume in this color-tinted image was Rev. William Mullen Minerd, wearing the yellow jacket third from right. He appears to be holding a Bible as part of a June 1932 pageant in the railroading town of Rockwood, Somerset County, PA, honoring the 200th birthday of our nation’s first president George Washington. Reported the Somerset Daily American, “The group created quite a sensation at the pageant by their dress and their ability as actors. Their work was so impressive that they were given an invitation … to present their acts in the Washington Bicentennial at Fort Necessity, July 4…. The scenes depicted by the Rockwood folks were the inauguration of George Washington, the Ball and the corner stone laying.” In this troop, Rev. Minerd portrayed the character of Samuel Allyne Otis, inaugural Secretary of the Senate.
Others, left to right: Rev. Tomfea of the United Brethren Church; Rev. L.W. Gross of Glade, PA, dressed as Roger Sherman, Senator from Connecticut; Rev. Minerd’s cousin James “Jim” Younkin, portraying Vice President John Adams; Rev. V.N. Miller of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, portraying Washington; Domer Kimmel; George Hamilton, as Gen. Henry Knox, first Secretary of War; Rev. W.F. Berkebile of the Dunkard Church, as Robert Livingstone, who administered Washington’s oath of office; G.A. (or C.R.) Miller, as Gen. Arthur St. Clair, President of the Continental Congress; and Domer Kimmel of Schrock, PA. Seated: J.S.W. Snyder, trainer for a ball at the pageant.
The son of Charles Marion and Sabina Matilda (Pierce) Minerd, Rev. Minerd received his license to preach in 1916. His career took him to a number of communities in southwestern Pennsylvania — Freedom, Armstrong County (1916); Jennerstown (1918-1919); Bethany (1919-1924?); Freedom and Salem, Armstrong County (1924-1927?); Valencia (1930); and Harnedsville (1930-1936). His final charge was in the four-church Somerset Circuit of the Evangelical United Brethren Church — Husband, Pleasant Hill, Beulah and Mostoller.
This image is courtesy of the Rockwood Area Historical Society. This organization preserves the history and genealogies of Rockwood, Markleton, Casselman, New Centerville Boroughs, Black, Milford, Middlecreek and Upper Turkeyfoot Townships in Somerset County, an epicenter region of our family’s growth and development over more than two centuries. Several of our cousins recently have been active in a sweeping reorganization of the Society’s facility in Rockwood, among them Kristi (Gross) Brant of the family of Harry David and Amanda (Burkett Miner; Janet (Gary) Orawiec of the family of Jacob and Minnie (Miner) Gary; and Linda Marker and Laurel Peirsel of the family of William Lincoln and Margaret (Nicola) Younkin.