Malissa Mansfield Slicker: Living In An Always Changing World – Part 2

This is part two of a three-part series on the life of Malissa Jane Mansfield. The beginning of part two retells the part of Malissa’s story when her father goes off to war. In the second paragraph I stated that John boarded a train for Harrisburg. I don’t really know if this is how John traveled to Harrisburg to be mustered into his regiment. He may have gone by foot or horse and wagon. Part two takes Malissa’s story to 1910. In 1910, the family was still living in Conemaugh township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. The three oldest children were married, and Malissa and John had three grandchildren. If you haven’t read part one of Malissa’s story and you would like to do so before reading part two, you may do so here:  https://aslickerfamilyhistory.com/2017/10/15/malissa-mansfield-slicker-her-changing-world-part-1/

Malissa’s Father Goes to War

As she stood there next to her mother and sisters in the Fall of 1861 bidding her father farewell, it was highly probable that Malissa, at age three years and about eight months did not understand that her father was leaving for a long time. Maybe she heard something about a war? But what was a war? Was she scared, confused or indifferent? Could she sense from the adults around her this was not a joyous moment?

Did Malissa bid her father farewell at the front door of the family’s home? Or did she watch as her father boarded the train that would carry him to Harrisburg where he would be mustered into his company and regiment. Was this farewell moment the last time Malissa saw her father?

January 1st, 1864, Malissa’s father, John, reenlisted as a union soldier.[1] Three and half months later he was captured and taken prisoner during a major battle in North Carolina. Malissa’s father was held for four months in deplorable conditions in a Confederate prison in Andersonville, Georgia. At the end of those four months, he took his last breaths.[2]

Malissa was six years old when the heartbreaking news of John’s death reached the family in their wooden framed house in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. Her father had been gone for so long. Did she understand the news? Or had her father been gone so long that her memory of him had faded?

During the war years, Malissa’s mother managed to keep the household running without her husband. In the years following her husband’s death, she not only continued this role, but she also became the sole breadwinner. This new role would not be an easy one to fulfill as jobs outside of the home were still limited for women.

In the months following her husband’s death, Nancy submitted a widow’s application to the Pension Office in Washington, D.C. The application was approved. This gave Nancy eight more dollars a month to use for her and her children’s survival.[3]

As most widows of the Civil War did, Nancy remarried. She exchanged vows with Samuel Stewart Haney in the McKeesport home of H.L. Chapman, a Methodist minister. This wedding that took place on May 16th, 1866 marked another turning point in Malissa’s life.[4] With a step-father in the home, family life stood the possibility of becoming more stable.

Moving to Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

In the years leading up to 1870, Samuel and Nancy moved with their four daughters, Malissa, Matilda, Sarah and Eliza (daughters of Nancy and Samuel) to Webster, a small village resting on the west banks of the Monongahela River in Westmoreland county. Samuel found employment in a nearby sawmill.[5] Later he went to work in the coal mines. Nancy took care of the home and children. By 1876, that family had grown to include two sons, James and Samuel.[6]

Home of Samuel Haney in North Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Home of Samuel Haney in 1876.
Home of Samuel Haney in 1876. I have also marked the area where John and Malissa lived in 1880 after selling their property to John’s half-sister, Mary Steinogle. According to the 1880 census, John and Malissa moved near to John and Eva Vogel. The Vogel’s home is the other blue mark on the map. Eva was John’s half-sister. This map of North Webster was published in the Atlas of Westmoreland County in 1876; Publisher: Reading Publisher Company.

Malissa Marries John Slicker

The family was living in a rented home on what was then called Center Street (presently known as Railroad Street).[7] They were just a short distance from the home of Malissa’s future husband, John Slicker. In January 1880 Malissa married John and moved to his home at the north end of Webster. About two weeks after their marriage, John and Malissa sold the property to John’s half-sister, Mary Steinogle.[8] They rented a house near Malissa’s parents and John’s half-sister, Eva and his brother-in-law, John Vogel.[9]

A few months after their marriage, John and Malissa learned they would soon be welcoming their first child into the family. Milford arrived during the cold, bitter snowy month of December. Whatever joy this new life gave his young parents was briefly lived. Milford was gone before the end of December.

The family grows

By 1882, John and Malissa had moved from Webster, Westmoreland County to Apollo, Armstrong County. Malissa’s mother and step-father also made the move. As 1882 was drawing to end, Malissa and John were welcoming their son, Frank Walton, to the family.[10] In the years following 1882, the family continued to grow. Their son, Samuel John (1885)[11], was the next to arrive. He was followed by Ruth Elizabeth (1887), George Mansfield (1889)[12], James Clifford (1891)[13], and Matilda Belle (1893)[14]. This growing family was giving a more stable home life when Malissa, exercising her right to own property as a married woman, agreed to pay three hundred and fifty dollars for two lots in the borough of Apollo on August 30th, 1890.[15] She would exercise this right again on December 10th, 1895 when she purchased eight acres of land in Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.[16] A month before this buy, the property in Apollo was sold to Esther Owens for one thousand dollars.[17] A year after the second property had been purchased John and Malissa’s sixth son, William Eugene, was born.[18]

The Turn of the Century

At the turn of the century, John and his son, Frank, were working in the local rolling mill. Times were not easy as the 1900 Federal Census show that both John and Frank were unemployed eight months between July 1899 and June 1900. Malissa along with her son, Samuel, farmed a part of the family property.[19] Malissa’s mother and stepfather were living a short distance away in the borough of Saltsburg.[20]

John and Malissa in the 1900 U.S. Census – Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania

John and Malissa Slicker 1900 U.S. Census record.
John and Malissa Slicker and children in the 1900 U.S. Census. This record can be found at http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7, January 2018 for John Slicker (age 43), Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

In the years after the turn of the century, Fred Manners joined the Slicker family. Although Fred had always used his family name Manners, the 1910 U.S. Federal Census listed Fred as an adopted son of John and Malissa.[21]

September 16th, 1905, Frank, the oldest son, married Estella Arnold. [22]Three years later, on September 8th, their son, Samuel married Ethel Hardwick. This same year, John and Malissa’s daughter, Ruth, married John G. Hardwick.[23] Ethel and John were siblings and, the daughter and son of George Hardwick and Violet Davis. The newly wedded couples settled in Conemaugh township. By 1910 Malissa and John had three grandchildren: James and Harold, sons of Frank and Estella, and Violet, daughter of Samuel and Ethel.

Sources:

[1]Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Veterans of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil Wal and the War with Spain, compiled 1861-1934, Fold3.com (http://www.Fold3.com: accessed 15 October 2017) entry for John Mansfield and minor child Melissa Jane Mansfield, page 8.

[2] Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Veterans of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain, compiled 1861-1934, Fold3.com (http://www.Fold3.com: accessed 15 October 2017) entry for John Mansfield and his widow Nancy Mansfield, page 33.

[3] Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Veterans of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil Wal and the War with Spain, compiled 1861-1934, Fold3.com (http://www.Fold3.com: accessed 15 October 2017) entry for John Mansfield and his widow Nancy Mansfield.

[4] Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Veterans of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain, compiled 1861-1934, Fold3.com (http://www.Fold3.com: accessed 3 January 2018) entry for John Mansfield and his widow Nancy Mansfield, page 17.

[5] “1870 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3, January 2018), entry for Samuel Haney (age 24), Webster, Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

[6] “1880 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3, January 2018), entry for Samuel Haney (age 34), Webster, Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

[7] Atlas of Westmoreland County, 1876 for Webster, PA, Reading Publisher Company, 1876.

[8] Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Deed Book 101:439-441, John Slicker and Malissa Slicker to Mary Stinogle, 28, January 1880; Recorder of Deeds, Greensburg.

[9] “1880 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3, January 2018), entry for John Slicker (age 23), Webster, Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

[10] Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1852-1973; County: Allegheny; Year Range: 1905-1906; Roll Number: 549836, database, Anccestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com/search/ : accessed 3 January 2018), entry for Frank Walton Slicker; citing Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1845-1963.

[11] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 7 January 2018), entry for Samuel Slicker, 1968, SS no. 193-03-7191.

[12] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 7 January 2018), entry for George Slicker, 1968, SS no. 389-07-3024.

[13] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 7 January 2018), entry for James Slicker, 1976, SS no. 397-07-6684.

[14] Find A Grave database. Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 7 January 2018), entry for Matilda Belle Seighman (1893-1954).

[15] Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 75:75, S.M. Jackson to Melissa Slicker, 13 August 1890; Recorder of Deeds Office, Kittanning.

[16] Indiana County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 6976:296, Julia A. Hartlett to Malissa J. Slicker, 10 December 1895; Recorder of Deeds Office, Indiana.

[17] Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 84:196, John Slicker to Esther Owens, 4, November 1895; Recorder of Deeds Office, Kittanning.

[18] Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry.com (www.Ancestry.com : accessed 7 January 2018), entry for William Slicker, 1983, SS no. 317-09-9037.

[19] “1900 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25, July 2017), entry for John Slicker Family (9 members), Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

[20] “1900 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7, January 2018), entry for Samuel and Malissa Haney, Saltsburg, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

[21] “1910 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7, January 2018), entry for Fred Maness (age 6), Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

[22] Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1852-1973; County: Allegheny; Year Range: 1905-1906; Roll Number: 549836, database, Anccestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com/search/ : accessed 3 January 2018), entry for Frank Walton Slicker; citing Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1845-1963.

[23] Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. Various County Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania. Ancestry.com Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968 on-line database. Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7, January 2018), entry for Ruth Slicker (age 21).

© Robin Slicker, 2018. All Rights Reserve.

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