The Life of John Slicker Part 2

This is part two of a two-part series narrating the history of John Slicker’s life. Part one of this series https://aslickerfamilyhistory.com/2017/07/12/the-life-of-john-slicker/ gives a brief narrative of John’s life from 1857, the year he was born, until 1890. This second part highlights events in John’s life from 1890 until 1929, the year he died. As you read part two, you may notice that I have not documented the sale of the property John and Malissa owned in Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. I’m not certain if I had a copy of that property deed and misplaced it; or I just didn’t look for it when I was at the Indiana County Courthouse. Nonetheless, I hope to find it. If I do, I will be updating this post to include the sale of that property. So, if you are interested in knowing about that sale, you may want to check back in a month or two.

August 30th, 1890 Malissa signed a property deed agreeing to pay three hundred and fifty dollars for two lots in Apollo Borough.[1] Five years and two months later – on November 5th, 1895- John and Malissa sold their two lots in Apollo for one thousand dollars.[2] They moved the family to Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. On December 10th of the same year, Malissa purchased eight acres and forty and six-tenths perches. Malissa agreed to pay four hundred dollars for this plot of land.[3] It is here, John and Malissa’s sixth son, William Eugene, was born December 13th, 1896.[4]

January 7th, 1892 John’s mother, Magdlena, passed away. John and Malissa were still living in Apollo. Although I have not found any written record, it is probable that John returned to Webster to attend the funeral service. Malissa who had just given birth three weeks earlier to their sixth child most likely didn’t make the trip, but rather stayed home to tend to the newborn and the other Slicker children.

The year was 1900. Twenty years had passed since John and Malissa were united in marriage. During these twenty years they had moved from Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to Apollo, Armstrong County to Conemaugh Township in Indiana County. Over the years John went from digging coal in the mines of Webster to working as a catcher in a rolling mill. His eldest son, Frank, now seventeen, joined his father in the rolling mill as a matcher. Malissa with help from son, Samuel, age 15, was farming the eight acres of land she and John owned. It seemed the family worked together to make life better, but it wasn’t easy. Both John and Frank had been unemployed eight months between June 1st, 1899 to June 1st, 1900. Although Malissa purchased the eight acres in 1895, they were still carrying a mortgage.[5]

The year was 1910. By 1910 Frank, Samuel, and Ruth had married and left home. Frank, Samuel, George, James and Ruth’s husband were working at the sheet iron mill. John Slicker had left the mills and turned to farming the land. Malissa and the younger two children were probably helping with the farm work. In the years following 1901, John and Malissa had welcomed young Fred Manners into their home. Fred was listed as an adopted son in the 1910 United States census. John and Malissa were still carrying a mortgage on their property.[6]

The year was 1914. On October 23rd, 1914 John and Melissa agreed to pay three hundred dollars for lots eighteen and nineteen in Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Each lot had frontage of forty feet on a public street then called Brick Road. The lots extended one hundred twenty feet from Brick Road to an alley.[7] Those two lots would become Malissa and John’s last purchased property.

The year was 1917. On February 23rd, Eva Stinogle Vogel, John’s eldest half-sister passed away.[8] She was seventy years old. It is unknown whether John returned to Webster for the funeral service. Eva is buried next to her mother at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

The year was 1920. It was the start of the Roaring Twenties. The coming decade of economic prosperity and political and cultural change began with women being granted the right to vote, and the enactment of the Volstead Act which closed every bar, tavern and saloon in the United States marking the era of Prohibition. A greater part of the population lived in the cities and small towns than on farms. An increasing number of women were entering the work force. Many American families had extra money to spend; and they spent it on consumer goods – electric washing machines, refrigerators, and vacuum cleaners, radios, ready-to wear clothes, and automobiles.

Despite the major political and cultural changes taking place in America, one cultural norm remained almost intact – families living close to one another. And thus, we find John and Malissa Slicker living on Brick Road, Washington Township (now present-day borough of Oklahoma), Westmoreland County; nearby and on the same road, we find John and Ruth Slicker Hardwick and their four children, Albert and Matilda Slicker Seighman and their three children, George M. And Bessie E. Slicker and their two children, and Samuel and Ethel Hardwick Slicker and their five children and Ethel’s mother, Violet Hardwick. John and Malissa’s son, Frank is living with his wife, Estella, and their five children across the river in the borough of Apollo.

At the time of this writing, I have been unsuccessful in locating James C. and William Eugene in the 1920 census. William’s wife, Lela, and their six-month old son, Eugene, are living with Lela’s parents on the west side of Warren Avenue in Apollo.

All the Slicker men, except John, were working in a steel mill. John was a general merchant and owned his own shop. His adopted son, Fred R. Manners was still living with John and Malissa. Fred was seventeen and working as a utility boy for the railroad.[9]

The year was 1921. John must have received the news from his half-sister, Mary, about the passing of his half-brother, Conrad Stinogle. Conrad, a retired coalminer, left this earth on May 22, 1921.[10] He is buried in the Monongahela City Cemetery, in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

The year was 1924. Mary, John’s half-sister, sold the property she had purchased from John and Malissa in 1880.[11] In 1930 Mary and her two sons, Samuel and James, moved to Butler, Hancock County, West Virginia. Twelve years later Mary, who was living with her son, James in Holidays Cove, Hancock County, West Virginia, passed away.[12]

The year was 1929. On July 31st, about three months before the Roaring Twenties were to come to a crashing halt, John Slicker, our ancestor, left his earthly journey.[13] The second generation of this branch of the Slicker family tree was laid to rest in the Vandergrift Cemetery, in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania.  Malissa would join John twenty-nine years later.

You can visit John’s and Malissa’s Find-A-Grave memorials at:

John Slicker’s Memorial Page at Find-A-Grave

If you know additional details or have a story about John Slicker’s life and would like to share, please do so in the comment section below.

References:

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

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

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

[4]  “1900 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25, July 2017), entry for William E. Slicker (age 3), Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

[5] “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.

[6] “1910 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25, July 2017), entry for John Slicker Family (7 members), Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

[7] Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 554:137, John Orr Chambers to John Slicker, 23 October 1914; Recorder of Deeds Office, Greensburg

[8] Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 25302 (1917), Eva Vogel, Division of Vital Records, New Castle.

[9] “1920 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25, July 2017), entry for John Slicker Family (3 members), Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

[10] Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 49167 (1921), Conrad Stinogle, Division of Vital Records, New Castle.

[11] Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 791:59, Mary Sharrow to Paul Tomecko ET UX, 3 September 1924; Recorder of Deeds Office, Greensburg

[12] West Virginia State Department of Health, death certificate 7484 (1942), Mary Sharrow, Division of Vital Records, New Castle.

[13] Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 77663 (1929), John Slicker, Division of Vital Records, New Castle.

© Robin Slicker, 2017. All Rights Reserve.

An Analysis of Magdlena’s Life Events – Part 2

Children of Magdlena:

Conrad Stinogle was born in Germany (Bayron) in 1847.

Eva Stinogle was born in Germany (Baden) in 1849.

Mary Stinogle was born in Germany (Bayron or Byron) in 1851.

 

Marriage:

Although no written records of marriages have been found, there is a high probability – based on customs – that Magdlena was married to the fathers of her children. Since marriage records have not been found, I will use other documents to prove the relationships between Magdlena and her children’s fathers. I will begin with the death certificates of Conrad and Mary, two of Magdlena’s children.

The death certificate of Conrad Stinogle names John Joseph Stinogle as Conrad’s father and Magdelena Friend as his mother. The death certificate of Mary Stinogle Sharrow names Conrad Stenogale as Mary’s father and Magdeline Cripps as her mother. From these facts of familial relationships, several questions arise.

Questions to be Answered

First, did the informants (providers of information) for the death certificates accurately name the parents of Conrad and Mary? Was Stenogale a typo, or did the informant erroneously give this family name? If Stenogale is inaccurate and the correct spelling is Stinogle, then did Magdlena marry two men with the family name Stinogle? Finally, with the family names of both sets of parents being different I ask, are Mary and Conrad related?

Conrad and Mary, siblings?

Let’s begin with answering are Mary and Conrad siblings? Many sources taken together seem to support this relationship. The first source, the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, shows the following people living in the same household in Baldwin Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania:

Philip Slicker, age 45, born Germany

Magdlena Slicker, age 46, born Germany

Conrad Slicker, age 15, born Germany

Eva Slicker, age ?, born Germany

Mary Slicker, age 10, born Germany

Johny Slicker, age 4, born Germany

The fact they are living together suggests a family unit. You may have noticed everyone has the family name Slicker. Where is the family name Stinogle? The answer: record keepers were not always accurate. Also, recordkeepers had to rely on the accuracy of the person providing the information. All family members were born in Germany.

 

The 1870 U.S. Federal Census, shows the following people living together in Forward Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania:

Conrad Steinogle, age 23, born Germany

Martha Steinogle, age 49, born Germany

John Steinogle, age 13, born Pennsylvania

Conrad was listed as head of the household. It may explain why his mother and John was listed with the family name Steinogle and not Slicker.

 

In 1872, Conrad Stinogle and John Slicker purchased property together in Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

In April 1878, using quitclaim deeds, Conrad Stinogle and John Slicker divided the ownership of the property they purchased together in 1872.

In January 1880, John Slicker sold his property in Webster to Mary Stinogle. This same year Mary married Abraham Sharrow. The 1880 census shows Mary’s mother, Magdlena Slicker, is living with Mary and Abraham. Mary’s son, John W., age 7 is also living with her. Magdlena’s name was spelled Marthalena, similarly to the spelling in the 1870 census.

 

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census shows the following people living in the same household in Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania:

Henry Hedge, head, age 48, born 1851 in England

Mary Hedge, Wife, age 49, born 1851 in Germany, immigration date 1854

Mago Hedge, daughter, age 17, born 1883, in the state of Indiana

Sam Sharrow, step-son, age 16, born 1883, in Pennsylvania

James T. Sharrow, step-son, age 10, born in 1889, in Pennsylvania

 

February 9th, 1905, the Daily Independent of Monessen, Pennsylvania reported that Sam Sharrow was visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hedge.

Thursday, April 25, 1907, the Daily Independent of Monessen, Pennsylvania reported that Henry Hedge left his home on Tuesday and did not say where he was going. This was the last time anyone had seen Hedge. He never returned.

August 7, 1905 the Daily Independent of Monessen, Pennsylvania reported that Miss Bessie Sharrow had spent a couple of days at the home of her aunt Mrs. Henry Hedge.

In 1911 Mary Stinogle, now a Hedge, mourned the death of her eldest son, William J. Slicker. Mary was the informant for her son’s death certificate. She listed Mary Stinogle as John’s mother. She signed her name as Mrs. Mary Hedge and listed Webster, Pa. as her place of residence.

In 1921, Conrad Stinogle passed away. Mrs. Mary Hedge provided the familial information for Conrad’s death certificate. In the certificate, Mary named Webster, Pa. as her place of residence.

 

The 1930 U.S. Federal Census, shows the following people living together in Butler, Hancock County, West Virgina:

James T. Sharrow, head, age 40, born Pennsylvania

Mabel Sharrow, his wife, age 33, born Pennsylvania

James Sharrow, son, age 10, born Pennsylvania

Mary W. Sharrow, mother, age 79, born Germany, immigration date 1853

 

June 18, 1942 Mary W. Sharrow’s obituary appeared in the Weirton Daily Times. The obituary reported that Mary had lived with her son James T. Sharrow since 1927 when she came to this city (Marland Heights, West Virginia) from Webster, Pa. The obituary stated Mary was the wife of the late Abraham Sharrow.

 

Conclusion – Conrad and Mary, Siblings?

If we were to view each source above separately, we would find it difficult to show a sibling relationship between Conrad and Mary. But as we consider the facts in all the records given above, we can build a case for a sibling relationship between Conrad and Mary. Many of the records mentioned above help to show that Mary Stinogle, Mary Sharrow and Mary Hedge are the same person. Mary Stinogle while Mary Hedge, was the informant for Conrad Stinogle’s death certificate. As is still true today, informants for death certificates were usually family members.

Mary’s Family Name – Stinogle or Stenogale?

Next I will address the family name Stenogale by looking at two death certificates. When Mary died in 1942, her son, James T. Sharrow was the informant for Mary’s death certificate. James reported Conrad Stenogale as Mary’s father. Mary’s father disappeared from the family story in the 1850’s. James was born in 1889. He had never known his grandfather. How could he be certain of his grandfather’s name?

In 1911, Mary’s eldest son, William J. Slicker – research has shown William to have been born out-of-wedlock – passed away. Mary, then Mrs. Henry Hedge, was the informant for William’s death certificate. For his death certificate, Mary reported herself as mother of William – William appeared in the 1880 census as John W. –  and her family name as Stinogle. Now I ask, who is more likely to know Mary’s family name, Mary or her son, James? Mary, of course. Thus, it is almost certain that James, perhaps suffering from a memory lapse, erroneously reported Stenogale as Mary’s family name on Mary’s death certificate.

Before moving on, it is interesting to note that the U.S. Federal Censuses show that James Sharrow lived in Webster, PA in 1900 and 1910. We can conclude from these two records that James lived in Webster for at least these ten years. Records for his uncle Conrad Stinogle show that Conrad lived in Webster starting around 1872 until his death in 1921. Point being, James most likely knew his uncle; and therefore, it seems he would have known his mother’s family name was Stinogle.

Furthermore, in his mother’s death certificate, James reported his mother’s birthplace as Berlin, Germany. Berlin is near the northwest border of Germany – near the border with Poland. It has already been established in other posts that Mary, her mother and her siblings were from the southwestern region of Germany – near the border of France, far from Berlin. Mary died during World War II. Did James, known his mother was born in Germany, just add Berlin to her birth place due to hearing the name in the news? Although I would never want to – without sufficient evidence – rule out the information that James provided in his mother’s death certificate, for now, I choose to go with the information his mother has provided as being the more solid facts. These facts support Stinogle as Mary’s family name.

The Father’s First Name – John or Conrad?

Now I have established that Mary’s family name is Stinogle, and Conrad and Mary are siblings, it is time to decide on a first name for their father.

Mary, as the informant of Conrad’s death certificate, reported their father’s name as John Joseph. James T. Sharrow, as the informant for his mother’s death certificate, reported his grandfather’s name as Conrad. Since it is more likely that Mary would know the name of her father better than her son, James, and I have already shown reasons the information James provided may not be reliable, I choose to use John Joseph Stinogle as the name of Mary’s, Conrad’s and Eva’s father.

Summary of Marriage Events

Magdlena married John Joseph Stinogle about 1846-47. They were the parents of Conrad, Eva and Mary. John disappeared from his family’s life somewhere between the Fall of 1853 – after the conception of Mary Stinogle – and about June 1856 – before the conception of John Slicker. Since divorce was rare in the nineteenth century, it is highly probable John died.

Magdlena then married Philip Slicker sometime during the same period in which John Stinogle disappeared from Magdlena’s life. The son of Philip and Magdlena, John Slicker, was born March 17th, 1857.

Date and Place of Death:

Magdlena Slicker died January 7, 1892. She is buried next to her daughter, Eva Vogel, in the St. Mary’s Cemetery in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. The dates on the grave marker are the only records of Magdlena’s birth and death that my mother and I have found. We found Magdlena’s place of burial by understanding the custom that people are often buried near other family members. Thus, we followed Conrad’s life right to his burial-place in the Monongahela city cemetery, but Magdlena was not there. Little did we know, we were just a little more than a stone’s throw from her burial-place. We then followed Mary Stinogle all the way to the St. Paul’s Cemetery in Weirton Heights, West Virginia, but still no Magdlena. Finally, we followed the life of Eva. We found her death date and ordered or death certificate. From her death certificate, we learned Eva was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Monongahela, Washington County, Pennsylvania. After learning this cemetery was next to and overtaken by the Monongahela city cemetery, my mother and I headed back to Monongahela. And there we found, Magdlena Slicker buried next to her daughter, Eva and just a little more than a stone’s throw from her son, Conrad Stinogle.

Magdlena’s place of death is unknown. However, from our research it seems Magdlena lived in Webster from around 1872 until her death in 1892. In the nineteenth century, it was common for people to die in their homes. Thus, it is highly likely Magdlena died in her home in Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

© 2017, Robin Slicker. All Rights Reserved.