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Other SNODGRASS Families

On this page you will find

Obituary of George F. Mealy, of Claysville
Obituary of
Mrs. Mary (Holmes) Kelly
Obituary of
Mrs. Nancy E. Miller
Obituary of
Mrs. Katherine Ralston Mealy
Obituary for
Alice Miller
The Old Folks Reunion in Donley: abstract from the Claysville Recorder, August 12, 1898
Of the following articles, Miscellaneous Washington Co. Obituaries, the transcriptions were submitted by Lisa Bonar of Pittsburgh, PA for inclusion at the Genealogy in Washington Co., PA web site in October 1998. Lisa writes: These are from my Great Aunt's scrapbook. The book is mostly a pile of crumbling bits of paper. I don't know what newspaper they came from. I hope someone out there enjoys them.


The Old Folks Reunion
Abstracts from Claysville Recorder 1898-1899: The following transcription was submitted by Helen S. Durbin of Greene Co., Pa. for inclusion at the Genealogy in Washington Co., PA web site in October 1998.

Friday, August 12, 1898, Donley:
Those in charge of the reunion of the old citizens at Zion made a wise choice in selection Saturday as the date of that event. The day was a fine one for the purpose between 400 and 500 people where brought together and spent a delightful day. Throughout the affair was entirely was entirely successful: West Middletown, Taylorstown, West Alexander and Claysville were well represented. Entirely fitting was the selection of A.A. Mealy, aged 83, as chairman. No one would have thought, from his composure, that he was the same person who had shown so much anxiety about not getting out in time to get his share of fried chicken and began the exercises. It was held in the grove near the church. Seats were arranged just below the speakers stand. The chair was stationed on the ground and interspersed music during the exercises. Rev. J.A. Craig made the opening prayers. Tom C. Snodgrass (descendant of John Snodgrass and Nancy Glover) welcomed the people in a neat speech. Ill health absenting Rev. J.W.W. Wilson, Rev. W.H. Kirkland made a Timely response. Miss Emma Sawhill was ill and unable to attend.

The dinner was a good one, with ample provision for all. A social hour succeeded the dinner. At 2 o'clock the afternoon exercises began. Rev. Kirkland offered a prayer and Miss Effie Sargeant gave a recitation, "The Battle of Manila," and Miss Susie Brockman recited, "Remember the Maine." Both were good. Daniel Sheller, aged 82, sang a song in German, "Christ on the Cross." On account of his wife taking a sudden sick spell, Prof. J.D. Trussell was unable to be present, though prepared for his address on "School Houses and School Days of Long Ago." Rev. G.W. Birch,D.D., represented his father, Hon. John Birch, and made a pleasing talk, recounting the old school songs and the Dutch Fork people he knew as a boy. Brief talks were made by these aged citizens: Daniel Sheller, David Winters, G.W. Ritchey and George Plants. The latter showed an old ink bottle and spelling book used during his school days. Rev. George C. Cooke gave a "Historical Sketch of the Old Citizens, Old times and The Beginning of Zion Church." He said: It is rather difficult for us who are young in years to go back a century or more and gather facts when scarcely any record has been kept. Of course a great many of the old citizens are forgotten.

Among the first of the pioneers was William Sheller, one of the early settlers of Donegal township, who was born in Germany, in 1746, and died in 1816. He was a member of the German Reformed church and was buried in Zion graveyard. He was grandfather of Daniel Sheller. Another of the old pioneers was Christopher Winter, born in Germany in 1752, and came to this area as a young man. He was married and settled down on the farm now owned by F.W. Lindville. He donated the ground which now stands the church and school house and was looked upon as the father of Zion church. He was the grandfather of David Winters. He died in 1823, and was buried in the Zion graveyard.

Hootman, whose name became quite prominent in story, was also a citizen of Donegal township and of German birth. He served as a Hessian soldier in the day of the British and came here during the Revolutionary war. However, as soon as an opportunity presented itself, the brave young German deserted the British ranks, and enlisted as a drummer boy with the patriots in their struggle for liberty. At the close of the war he remained in America and located here about 1780, where he remained until his death in 1859, after a life of nearly a century, he was laid to rest on his own farm just below Dunsfort. He was one of the oldest members of the church.

Daniel Rice, upon whos farm Rice's Fort was located, was for many years a leader in the Old German Reformed church. Perry McCoy should not be forgotten. He lived on his farm near Acheson. Wolfgang Newcomer, who was Bishop of the U.B. church and who traveled as an evangelist from 1795 to 1830, often stayed with him overnight, as mentioned by him in his journal. In the early days, and among the earliest settlers were the Deeds, and Millers, Capt. Jake Miller, William Barnhart, David Simmons, Andrew Deeds. The people at this time were hospitable, as Rev. John Fahl, one of our early preachers says, every cabin door open for our reception. The people often came to preaching through the woods from 5 or 6 miles carrying their guns with them. The Indians were numerous in those days as well as dangerous.

After sketching the churches, etc., the following menus were given: For breakfast: potato soup, coffee, corn bread, and butter. For dinner: sauer kraut, fat flitch, milk and bread. For supper: Johnny cake, mush and lots of beef. All the preaching out of this settlement was in German in the early days and the first English preacher sent by the conference was Rev. John Wallace, a Scotchman, who came about 1830. He held services in the frist church built on this ground, constructed of hewed loge, two stories, and a large gallery.

In 1803, great revivals took place through their section under the preaching of Rev.'s Fremmer, Berger and Newcomer, all United Brethern preachers, who used both German and English. Rev. Jacob Winter was probably the most efficient pioneer evangelist of that time. He was born in this county in 1780 and licensed to preach in 1808. The U.B. church was established in Western Pennsylvania largely through his instrumentality. Under the pastorate of Jacop Ritter, in 1839, on account of charge of discipline and its enforcement, a dissension took place and one party built a new church on the Mehaffey farm and afterward vacated. The present church was built in 1859.

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George F. Mealy

George F. Mealy, 75, died at 6:20 p.m. yesterday at his home in Claysville, after an illness of several months. A stonemason and carpenter by trade, Mr. Mealy was born February 13, 1867, in Donegal township, the son of Robert and Katherine McAdoo Mealy. He spent his entire life in the Claysville vicinity and for 15 years was a rural delivery mail carrier.

An ardent sportsman, Mr. Mealy made many trips into northern PA for bear and deer and during WWI shot a bear and gave it to the Red Cross, who realized quite a sum of money from the sale of the meat. Surviving are his wife, Margaret Ramage Mealy; two brothers, John of Claysville RD 2, and Denny of Neville Island, and two sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Snodgrass (wife of Samuel H. Snodgrass, son of Samuel Snodgrass and Matilda Lambourn) of Claysville RD, and Miss Sylvia Mealy of Claysville, RD 2.

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Mrs. Mary Holmes Kelly

Mrs. Mary Martha Holmes Kelly, whose life span extending into her 83d year was spent in Donegal and Buffalo townships, passed away at her home on the National Road east of S Bridge, at 10:15 p.m., Sunday, September 17, 1939. She had not been well for some time, but a month earlier had enjoyed an outing with her sister, Miss Margaret Holmes, and her son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Kelly, and the evening of the 15th she enjoyed a visit with her sister, Mrs. Nancy Holmes Miller, Elm street, Claysville. She was in fine spirits on both occasions and at the week end assisted with the housework. The funeral service was conducted at her late home at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, in charge of her pastor, Rev. C.D. Eltringham. Interment was in Claysville cemetery.

Her paternal grandfather, George Young Holmes brought his family in 1830 from Saltcoats, Scotland, reaching New York after a voyage of 58 days, during which he sustained fracture of a bone in the right thigh. He secured quarters for his family in New York City while he looked over sections in Ontario, Canada, but was not satisfied. He came southward from Niagara Falls to Washington county, decided to locate on a tract of 120 acres west of Claysville, and went back to New York for his family. He conveyed them by boat to Baltimore, Md., and thence overland on the National Road to their new home, which his son, George Young Holmes, Jr., succeeded him in ownership.

The latter had married Elizabeth Snodgrass (daughter of John Snodgrass and Nancy Glover) and to their union was born four sons and four daughters, Mary Martha's birth being March 9, 1857. Her father was one - and the last survivor - of 15 Abolitionists of Donegal township who voted for the Free Soil ticket until the Republican party was formed. He was also known as a conductor of the Underground Railroad, his residence being a cottage house, off a side road leading from the National Road. On one occasion two proslavery neighbors became suspicious of him and called one evening when the low hanging bed spread reached down to the floor and concealed two escaping negro slaves. The call was prolonged until Mr. Holmes invited the visitors to remain for te evening devotions. After the Bible reading and prayer he bade them good night. He extinguished the lights and when the moment was favorable he led the slaves out through the orchard to the McKeever Station at West Middletown, returning home during the night. He was an ordained Baptist minister and preached for the North Wheeling, Buffalo and Washington congregations.

Deceased as a girl was a pupil of the Coon Island School and was reared in the community of her birth. She was united in marriage July 10, 188_(date not completed), with Samuel F. Kelly, of S Bridge section, who had served in Company C 22d Pa. Vol. Cavalry in the was for the preservation of the Union. Since 1882 she had resided in Buffalo township. Prior to her marriage she had become a member of Buffalo Baptist church, which was moved to Claysville in 1893. Her membership had been continuous for near 60 years. She was held in high esteem by many acquaintenances throughout her community, and was devoted to her home and family. Mr. Kelly's death occurred October 23, 1916. She leaves three sons, Rupert Kelly, at home; Lawrence Kelly, Washington, RD 5, and Glenn Kelly, in The Meadows, Claysville; three grandchildren, Mary Caroline, Frank and Helen Margaret Kelly; two sisters, both of whom were able to attend the funeral, Mrs. Nancy Holmes Miller and Miss Margaret Holmes, Claysville.

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Mrs. Nancy E. Miller

Mrs. Nancy Elizabeth Miller, 90, died at her home, 139 Elm street, Claysville, Monday, April 6, at noon. She was born two miles west of Claysville in Donegal township, on May 28,1852, the daughter of George and Elizabeth Snodgrass Holmes. Mrs. Miller spent her entire life in Claysville and vicinity. She was a member of the Claysville Presbyterian church and a former teacher in the Sunday school, and was very active in church work as long as her health would permit. Her husband Charles W. Miller, died August 2_, 1938.

Surviving are a daughter, Lulu E., and a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Mary Miller, both at home; one sister, Miss Margaret Holmes of Claysville, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Friends will be received at the Miller home, 139 Elm street, Claysville. Private funeral services for family and relatives will be held tomorrow, April 8, at 11 a.m., in charge of the deceased's pastor, the Rev. Roy Brice. Interment will be in Claysville cemetery.

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Mrs. Katherine Ralston Mealy

Mrs. Katherine Ralston Mealy, 92, one of the oldest and a widely known woman of western Washington county, died at her home north of Claysville, in Donegal township, yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock following an illness resulting from the infirmities of her years.

Mrs. Mealy was a daughter of John and Julia Porter McAdoo. She had lived on the farm where her death occurred for the past 72 years. She was the last member of a family of six children. She had been a member of the Dutch Fork Christioan church for many years.

Her marriage to Robert Mealy, whose death occurred Oct. 15, 1932 was solemnized in 1865. Five children survive: Miss Silvia, at home, Mrs. Elizabeth Snodgrass (wife of Samuel H. Snodgrass) and George and John Mealy, all of Claysville RD 2 and Denny Mealy, of Pittsburgh. Five grandchildren and two great grandchildren survive.

Funeral services will be held at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Snodgrass Saturday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock conducted by her pastor, the Rev. Paul Clemens, assisted by the Rev. W.E. Ferrell. Burial will be in Purviance cemetery, Claysville.

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Private Funeral Service For Miss Alice Miller

Miss Alice P. Miller died at her home 139 Elm street, at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 30, of pneumonia, after illness of more than a week. Friends will be received at Brownlee Funeral Home until ten o'clock this forenoon, May2d. The funeral service will be held at the Miller home at 11:00 o'clock a.m. conducted by Rev. George W. Snodgrass. Interment will be in Claysville cemetery.

Miss Miller was born in Donegal township, daughter of Charles Walling and Nancy Holmes Miller. The family resided earlier here, at Beham, at Coon Island and for near 40 yearshave resided in Claysville on Elm street. Her father was a flour mill operative at Coon Island. During the time the family resided there Miss Miller carried the mail between the post office and the B&O accommodation trains, always dependable in that service. After the family came here to reside Miss Miller and her sister, Miss Lulu Miller were engaged in the millinery trade which they carried on a number of years. Since retirement from that business Miss Miller has been engaged about her home.

She was always very industrious, cultivated flowers, aided in constructing a rock garden on the slope in front of their home, looked after the fruits and vegetables. She was a member of Claysville Presbyterian church. Her father died in August, 1938, and her brother, Edgar Miller, Sept. 27, 1940. Her father built the Claysville Presbyterian church parsonage and other residences in town. She leaves her aged mother, Mrs. Nancy Holmes Miller (descendant of George Young Holmes and Elizabeth Snodgrass), her sister, Miss Lulu Miller. A sister-in-law, Mrs. Mary Sawhill Miller, resides in the Miller home.

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