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 a single lot in the borough of Apollo on August 30th, 1890.[15] She would exercise this right again on April 8th, 1895 when she purchased part of the lot next to the one she bought in 1890. She paid two hundred dollars for this lot. Eight months later Malissa 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 property in Indiana County 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 War 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 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.

[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 Nancy 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.

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.