This column is part of a feature series which focuses on a different Centre County family each week. Five new columns will be released each month unless some technical difficulty enters the picture.
This column's focus is on Hess. An effort has been made to identify all persons carrying that name in the 1890 U.S. Census, using the Centre County business directory which was formed from a preliminary review of that census before the larger set of 1890 U.S. Census records was destroyed by fire. (Sadly, the postal directory does not typically provide the ages of females, but it's the best record we've got).
There are no books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte that apparently deal with the Hess family.
There are 32 different first-name entries for Hess in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are several references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' HESS neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Willie--17 E. High
In BENNER Township:Catharine--Bellefonte Mary Robert L. 20
In Ferguson Township:Claude B., 51, farmer--State College Ella H. Sadie B. Mattie P. Joseph A. 10 Aggie A. Claude L. 6 Robert E. 2 John G., 57, merchant--Pine Grove Mills Sarah A. Mary--Pine Grove Mills Newton E., 27, farmer--Boalsburg Maggie Samuel, 91, retired--State College
In HAINES Towsnhip:Henry N., 23, farmer--Woodward Fyetta Michael, 50, farmer--Fiedler Mary A. John H. 11 Nora E. William 15 Mary Winfield S. 9 Rebecca--Woodward
In HARRIS Township:Adam, 64, laborer--Boalsburg Mary E. William J. Nellie R. Harry T. 11 Daniel, 72, retired--Linden Hall Drucilla Laura Fredrica Michael, 54, laborer--Boalsburg Emma Earnest W. 23 Winona N. Sarah W. John W. 11
In RUSH Township:Charles C., 35, laborer--Philipsburg Kate S. William M. 12 Lawrence E. 10 Charles H. 8 Samuel M. 6 Carrie M. Claude B., 29--Philipsburg Sallie M. Fay Edward M., 54, laborer--Philipsburg Blanche Maggie