Assorted Eyeglasses and Cases
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

Settlers LII: The Wilbers: A Farm Family from Wheelerville
and Related Families

by Bob Sweeney
With Collaboration from Carol Brotzman, Linda Mutzer, Larry Pardoe and Joyce Ingerson

This history is based upon a unique historical discovery and purchase. In November 2007, I became aware that estate materials were being sold on eBay. In fact, I communicated directly with one of the buyers, a conscientious genealogist named Shelley Cardiel, who told me she had "rescued" the marriage certificate of Lewis N. Wilber and Lillian H. Shaver from an eBay auction. Upon further investigation, we learned that the vendor was a woman named Helen Blow, living in Aiken, SC and since then deceased. Helen had moved to South Carolina was still serving as the Bradford County, PA Picnic coordinator for a picnic held annually in Lakeland, Florida. In any case, Helen reported to me that "My husband and I moved to Aiken 2 years ago after living in Bentley Creek, PA for over 40 years. My husband took care of Gerald Wilber as he was dying of cancer. He lived next door to us. He willed his estate to my husband, nothing of any value, as he didn't own much. But we found all of these old papers, photo albums, etc." Helen had decided to sell them on eBay and had actually sold a few photographs and a marriage license when Carol Brotzman and I became aware of this opportunity. Briefly put, I purchased the entire lot of the remaining estate papers and materials from Helen for $75.00 on behalf of the Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum (SCHS and M), to which I donated the estate materials in June 2008 after conserving and scanning the contents. This web site page is the written and pictorial history of that effort.

In respect of Helen and her responsiveness to our request to preserve this history, we have reprinted her obituary here:

Morning Times
Sayre, PA
March 21, 2008

Helen Bolster Blow, 69, beloved wife of David C. Blow, passed away Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at her residence in Aiken, S.C. A native of Towanda, Mrs. Blow was the daughter of the late Floyd and Leona Kimball Bolster. She was a retired bookkeeper and had moved to Aiken, S.C., two and a half years ago. She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Aiken and a former member of the Bentley Creek Wesleyan Church for many years. She is survived by: her husband, David C. Blow of Aiken, S.C.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Reba and Suriyon Poonpiset of Littleton, Colo., and Tari and David Larkin of Wellington, Fla.; three grandchildren, Miron, Paxton and Chiason Poonpiset; a sister, Verna Parks of Whitefish, Mont.; brother and sister-in-law, Neil and Pat Bolster of Horseheads, N.Y.; and many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to a funeral and committal service on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 11 a.m. at the Roberts Funeral Home, Inc., 279 Main Street, Wellsburg, with Pastor Rob Wuethrich of the Bentley Creek Wesleyan Church officiating. Interment at the convenience of the family will be in Bradford County Memorial Park, Luthers Mills, Pa. Memorials are directed to the Bentley Creek Wesleyan Church, 13255 Berwick Turnpike, Gillett, PA 16925 or to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 1332 N. Halstead St, Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60622.

Shortly after the acquisition, I wrote to several contributors to this page as follows:

I have received and made my first go-over on the Wilber Estate collection. As you may recall, I purchased these items from Helen Blow of Aiken, SC, in lieu of having them sold piecemeal on the Internet. I am still hopeful that we may eventually recover the two wedding photos that were sold before I could get to them. Also, I believe Linda McDonald of Cherry Mill, PA bought several pictures from this collection that I believe included one of her mom. I plan to ask her to scan them for us as well when she gets the time.
Any way, this collection has many remarkable items in it, including old psalm books and letters from the 19th century, the best collection of old postcards I have ever encountered, many old photos [in most cases labeled!!] and other odds and ends from life in the 1880s through the 1930s in the Wheelerville and Shunk area. The families included are Shaver, Wilber, Brown, Beaumont, Lewis, Warburton, Bagley and more. There are also a handful of old tintype photos that are not labeled but we may be able to figure out who they are from comparison with labeled photos as well.
There are many, to me at least, unique items, such as a soldierís pay record from the last phase of World War One, many old postage stamps, complete transaction records between the Wilbers and several local businesses, a dialogue and records of transactions involving the sale of sheng [ginseng] and pelts to a NYC distributor, trolley and bus tickets from Elmira, NY, very touching letters about farm life, and the list goes on.

Then I wrote the following in my cover letter for the donation to the Museum:

....Gerald Wilber (July 27, 1920-April 28, 1990) ** was the son of Vernon Monroe Wilber, whom you will meet in these materials both in writing and in pictures. He was the grandson of Lewis Wilber and the great grandson of Reuben ["Rheuben"].
The Wilber family was historically a farming family living in Wheelerville, although they migrated back and forth to and from Canton, Elmira and other areas of north central PA and southern NY. Those migrations were often for work or due to marriage or other things of that kind. You will find in this collection an assortment of every day items, photos, records and family artifacts that go back as far as 1853. The records tie the Wilber family by marriage and descent to many of the other old families in the Shunk area-Lewis, Brown, Shaver, Porter, Beaumont and so on. Also, the collection includes the best and most extensive collection of old turn of the century postcards and greeting cards that I, at least, have ever encountered.
It is with great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment that I contribute these items to the SCHS and M. I have scanned the collection as well and will be posting it onto the Sullivan County Genealogical Web Page in the next month or so. While doing so, Carol Brotzman, Larry Pardoe and I will provide historical commentary to accompany the posting......
**: According to Linda Mutzer, per a direct communication from Helen Blow, Gerard Wilber was 58 when he died of cancer on April 28, 1990. He also had a brother, Edward, who died earlier and at a younger age. Edward was adopted by Vernon and his wife.

One of the first and most fragile items I found in the Wilber Collection was this letter from John Wilber to his younger brother Reuben, written in 1867 from Minnesota:


A Letter from Minnesota
May 29, 1867
From John Wilber to His Brother, Rheuben Wilber
and Rheuben's Wife, Angeline (Warburton) Wilber
First Page and Envelope Cover
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

Retyped transcription of full letter courtesy of Larry Pardoe:

Dear Brother & Sister, I improbe the present opportunity in writing to you. I am well and well suited with the country. I think it is one of the finest countrys I ever saw and I am very mutch taken up with the looks of this western country. I have not taken any land yet and don't think I will before fall and where I shall take any I have not desided yet but I intend to find me some land some where in this country. Although there are a great many disadvantages in this country. One is the scarsety of timber. It costes a great deal to get fensing timber and fire wood that is one of the greatest difficulties that a man nead to be troubled with but I don't think any man nead to be troubled to rase all he wants to eat drink and ware if he will half work but I am not a going to advise any lady to sell out and come here because I like the country because there are thousands that come here and don't like for one moment after they get here. But my advise is to those that have got good homes in old Pennsylvania to stick to them while they live for if they sell out and spend all they have got in getting here and then are not suted they are ruined for ever or least for a great many years and for this reason If a man is not contented he can not work as he would if he was well suted with the country. Well Rheuben it is quite cold and rany to day and the old setlers say it is the coldest and most backward spring they ever saw in Minnesota but how that is I am not able to say but I feal as if I would like to have an over coat on to day but perhps it will be warmer by tomorrow. I hope so at least. Now I must draw my letter to a close for this time. Give my respects to the old folks and all of the boys and Mat (perhaps Mattie). Tell her I would like to here from her very much. My respects to your self x wife x boys and pleas write soon. Yours Truly, John Wilber.
This letter was reprinted in the Sullivan Review, July 16, 2008 with the following comment:

There are obviously a lot of spelling mistakes in this and we might mention that at no time did Mr. Wilber use a period (we've injected those) but for 1867 it would appear that he had, for the time, quite a good education. The penmanship (using dip ink and quill) is neat and meticulous with slanting to the right on lined and folded paper. The envelope measurers 2 3/4 " x 5" and the stamped postage was 3 cents. After reading, doesn't it make you wonder if Mr. Wilber is somewhat apprehensive about a woman coming to Minnesota but at the same time misses Mattie? Often when reading snippets from history, all we can do is speculate.
Here are the direct observations of Larry Pardoe:
I was curious as to who the "Mat" or "Mattie" mentioned in John Wilber's letter to his brother Reuben/Rheuben Wilber might have been. Reuben/Rheuben D. Wilber married Angeline (Warburton) Brown, March 17, 1867, about two months before John wrote his letter. Angeline was the widow of William Brown, who died November 1, 1859. It so happened that Angeline had a younger sister, Martha Jane Warburton, who was about 25 years old and still unmarried at the time of John Wilber's letter. I do not know if she perhaps went by "Mat" or "Mattie" but this could be a clue. Interestingly, Martha Jane Warburton was wed to John P. Porter later that year on September 2, 1867, so if Martha Jane was John's "Mat" or "Mattie", he ran out of luck. You can follow Martha Jane Warburton and her husband John P. Porter's family by visiting: Descendants of John T. Wilcox by Ronald J. Porter.

Another question I had was in the letter John wrote to Rheuben towards the end he mentions "Give my respects to your self x (?&) wife, x (?&) boys". Reuben married Angeline Warburton, widow of William Brown, on March 17, 1867. The letter above was written May 29, 1867. I'm just imagining that Reuben must have written John about the time of the marriage and now John was replying back. As they didn't have children together, but Angeline did with William Brown, I am assuming that, when John is referring to the "boys" that he means Reuben's step-children or possibly adopted children: Charles Bertiss Brown, b. April 20, 1856 and Liston M. Brown, b. abt. May 1858.

We don't as yet know for sure what became of John Wilber. He does not appear in the 1880 Federal census anywhere in Minnesota. However, there is a man of the right age, John "Willber", born in PA, married to Mercie A. "Willber", living in Stanton, Dunn County, WI in that year, a location not far from Minnesota. Perhaps his travels found a home.



Psalm Book of Angeline (Warburton) Brown (1833-1905)
A Gift from Mary Mullan
January 29, 1853
Angeline was the daughter of John M. Warburton and Hannah Clara Mullan
The gift donor was likely her aunt Mary (Grange) Mullan, wife of William Mullan, who did live in nearby Elkland Township. William and Angeline's mother, Hannah Clara (Mullan) (Warburton) Battin, were siblings.
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

Let us with no more prologue meet the Wilbers through the prism of the things they collected, copied and photographed for over eighty years! We are indebted to Linda Mutzer, Larry Pardoe and Carol Brotzman for this family history. In addition, the reader can find many of the family members and relatives interred at West Hill Cemetery or the Brown Cemetery, both located in Shunk, western Sullivan County,Pennsylvania. Wheelerville, where the Wilber farm was actually located, is just under four miles northwest of Shunk on Highway 154, near the intersection of Sullivan, Bradford and Lycoming Counties.

So, who were the Wilbers and where did they come from? We'll give you a wealth of genalogical information below, but let me start out again with some observations from Larry Pardoe:

Reuben Wilber was the son of Joseph Wilber, b. in NY and Nancy _____? b. in NY. [Info from Pat (Mott) Gobea in 2005]). I have to wonder if the Wilber's originally came from Rhode Island through New York then to Bradford and Sullivan Counties. I have a Hannah Wilber, b. 1742 in Richmond, Washington County, Rhode Island married to Daniel Wilcox, Jr., b. 1740 in Stonington, New London County, Connecticut. They had 17 children, some marrying into Stone, Knapp, Morse, Holcomb/Holcombe, Tice and Albro families of Bradford County, PA. [Info from Linda (Ludwig) Mutzer]. History and Geography of Bradford County, Pennsylvania:1615-1924, by Clement Heverly (Towanda, 1926), discusses several Wilber families in the area, all likely related. The first Wilber settlers appear to be John and Reuben, sons of John Wilber of Rhode Island. The sons came to nearby Troy, Bradford County, PA in 1807 and 1809, respectively. Reuben and his wife, Sarah "Sally" Dobbins, are still living in Troy in 1880, age 95 and 88, respectively, although they both died in November 1881. We are still researching the exact relationship between Joseph Wilber and these local ancestral families.
Maybe something will turn up in the information that will make some of these questions more clearer? As we review all the items contained, please remember there also remains a question of Lewis N. Wilber (1868-1934) regarding his wife Lillian H. Shaver (1882-1929). I have these thoughts in mind:
Lillian is proven in these materials to be daughter of Ira M. Shaver and 2nd wife Sarah (Beaumont). Then, the 1900 census for Sarah shows 7 children born, 3 children living. If we can find her obituary it might throw more light on her siblings and other family relations.


Sarah (Beaumont) Shaver [on right] and Her Daughter Lillian H. (Shaver) Wilber
Undated Photo About 1900
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

As we will see, the Wilber, Shaver and Lewis families are all intertwined and we will be able to resolve Larry's questions as we proceed. For example, the preceding photo proves that Lillian H. Shaver, wife of Lewis N. Wilber, was indeed the daughter of Ira M. and Sarah Shaver. Ira, a blacksmith age 44, and his wife Sarah, age 34, can be found with their son James, age 4, in the 1880 Federal census for Hillsgrove, PA; Lillian was not yet born. James later married Emma Josie Wakely. Emma subsequently remarried John T. Bedford. After Ira's first wife, Annette ("Nettie") Miller * filed for divorce from Ira Shaver, claiming abandonment", she later married William Caldwell. As we know, Ira then married, or at least was in a common law relationship with, Sarah Beaumont.
* Editor's Note: This surname is given provisioanlly, as indicated by the discussion further below on this page.

Let's look over part of the ancestry of the Wilber family as we can guess or know it. Here is an overview courtesy of Linda Mutzer, with obituaries courtesy of Carol Brotzman:

Ancestors of Gerald V. Wilber


Generation No. 1

1. Gerald V. Wilber, born 27 Jul 1920; died 28 Apr 1990 in Bentley Creek, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania. He was the son of 2. Vernon Monroe Wilber and 3. Katherine, Wife Of Vernon Monroe Wilber.
More About Gerald V. Wilber:
Burial: 02 May 1990, Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung Co, New York
Military: US Army
Residence: Gillett, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania

Generation No. 2

2. Vernon Monroe Wilber, born 01 Feb 1900 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died Apr 1981 in Wellsburg, Chemung Co, New York. He was the son of 4. Lewis N. Wilber and 5. Lillian H. Shaver. He married 3. Katherine _________ About 1922.
3. Katherine, Wife Of Vernon M Wilber, was born About 1902 **.
** Editor's Note: Carol actually found Vernon, age 30, and his wife Katherine, age 36, in the 1930 Federal census for Elmira, NY. There is no sign of Gerald, however. We are not sure if his absence reflects a prior marriage for Vernon or not, at this time.
Children of Vernon and Katherine are:
1 i. Gerald V Wilber, born 27 Jul 1920; died 28 Apr 1990 in Bentley Creek, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania.
ii. Edward L Wilber, born 17 Jun 1931; died 21 Apr 1982 in Elmira, Chemung Co, New York.
More About Edward L Wilber:
Adopted child
Burial: 08 Nov 1988, Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung Co, New York
Military: US Army
Residence: Elmira, Chemung Co, New York

Generation No. 3

4. Lewis N. Wilber, born 23 Feb 1868 in Lycoming Co, Pennsylvania; died 05 Mar 1934. He was the son of 8. Reuben-Rheuben D. Wilber and 9. Angeline Warburton. He married 5. Lillian H. Shaver 20 Aug 1899 in Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.
5. Lillian H. Shaver, born 20 May 1882 in Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 30 Dec 1929. She was the daughter of 10. Ira H. Shaver and his second wife, Sarah Beaumont.
More About Lewis N. Wilber:
Burial: Mar 1934, West Hill Cemetery, Shunk, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Farmer
More About Lillian H. Shaver:
Burial: Jan 1930, West Hill Cemetery, Shunk, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
Children of Lewis and Lillian Shaver are:

2 i. Vernon Monroe Wilber, born 01 Feb 1900 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died Apr 1981 in Wellsburg, Chemung Co, New York; married Katherine _______ About 1922.

ii. Gladys M. Wilber, born 10 Feb 1902 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 02 Jun 1992 in Estella, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; married Henry J. Heinze 23 Dec 1926 in Towanda, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania; born 05 Sep 1906 in Elkland Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 17 Oct 1967 in Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.
More About Gladys M. Wilber:
Burial: 05 Jun 1992, Bradford Co Memorial Park, Luthers Mills, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania
More About Henry J. Heinze:
Burial: 20 Oct 1967, Bradford Co Memorial Park, Luthers Mills, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania

Daily Review
Towanda, PA
June 1992

Gladys M Wilber Heinze, 91 a resident of the Dar-Way Nursing home, Estella formerly of Forksville RR 2, passed away Tuesday, June 2, 1992 at the nursing home. Mrs. Heinze was born Feb. 10, 1901 in Elkland Township, Sullivan County a daughter of Lewis and Lillian Shaver Wilber. She was a member of the Living Hope Fellowship in Estella. Surviving are four brothers; Alfred and Walker Wilber, both of Canton RR 2, Walter Wilber of Elmira and Irvin Wilber of Estella; nieces and cousins. The funeral service will be conducted from the Morse and Kleese Funeral Home, 40 N. Center St., Canton, on Friday at 2 p.m. The Rev. Randy Brunstetter, her pastor will officiate. Interment will be in Bradford County Memorial Park, Luthers Mills. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Thursday from 6-8 p.m.


iii. Mertie-Myrtle D. Wilber, born 1903 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died Before 1997.

iv. Irvin-Ervin McKinley Wilber, born 05 May 1906 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 03 Oct 1992.

More About Irvin-Ervin McKinley Wilber:
Burial: Oct 1992, West Hill Cemetery, Shunk, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania

v. Sarrie-Sarah E. Wilber, born 1907 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died before 1997.

vi. Walter S. Wilber, born 20 Nov 1908 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 24 Oct 1998 in Elmira, Chemung Co, New York; married Geneveive Colouche About 1928; born About 1908; died 1986.
More About Walter S Wilber:
Burial: 27 Oct 1998, Forrest Lawn Memorial Park, Elmira, Chemung Co, New York

vii. Alfred Jesse Wilber, born 21 Aug 1910 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 03 Jan 1997 in Sayre, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania; married Myrtle Eloise Kelley, sister of Mabel Isabelle Kelley, on 14 Jan 1939 in Canton, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania; born 16 Oct 1913 in LeRoy Twp, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania; died 26 Feb 1988 in Canton, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania.
More About Alfred Jesse Wilber:
Burial: 06 Jan 1997, Turner/Grover Cemetery, Grover, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania
Occupation: 1975, Retired from work with the PA Railroad
Residence: 1940, Forksville, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
More About Myrtle Eloise:
Burial: 01 Mar 1988, Turner/Grover Cemetery, Grover, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania

Independent Sentinel
Canton, PA
January 2007

ALFRED J. WILBER, 86, Canton, one of the old time railroad men of the area, passed away quietly, January 3, 1997, at the Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre. Born Aug. 21, 1910 in fox Twp., he was one of nine children born to Lewis and Lillian (Shaver) Wilber. Growing up in the forest of Sullivan County, young Alfred was fascinated with railway operations of the lumber companies around Masten and Laquin, as well as the old Susquehanna and New York as it roared through Wheelerville on its run from Ralston to Dushore. When the great depression swept across our nation, Alfred found employment in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He worked diligently in the CCC camps of the Endless Mountains planting trees and repairing roads and bridges. He began a courtship with a young lady from LeRoy named Myrtle E. Kelley, a courtship culminating in their being united in holy matrimony on Jan. 14, 1939. In the 1940ís he secured employment with the PA Railroad as a track inspector along the Elmira branch through Canton. He walked great lengths of the line looking for sign of excessive wear along the rails. He used to collect the little strips of lead which were left behind in the aftermath of a locomotive that had detonated a series of warning signal torpedoes. His sons said they made good weights for fishing. His railroad career often took him away from home to Buffalo. He retired in 1975. The Wilbers were blessed with eight children and shared 49 years together before she died in 1988. Surviving are sons; Elwood and wife, Barbara, Cecil, Lewayne and wife, Marilyn and Gary, all of Canton; daughters, Phyllis Wilber, Canton and Velma and Donald Spencer, Wellsboro; brothers, Walter, Elmira and Walker, Canton; 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by son, Lewis a daughter, Dorothy, three brothers and three sisters. Funeral services were held Jan. 6 at the Morse and Kleese funeral Home, Canton. Interment was in Grover Cemetery.

Independent Sentinel
Canton, PA
January 1997

ALFRED J. WILBER, 86, Canton, one of the old time railroad men of the area, died quietly, January 3, 1997, at the Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre. Born Aug. 21, 1910 in fox Twp., he was one of nine children born to Lewis and Lillian (Shaver) Wilber. Growing up in the forest of Sullivan County, young Alfred was fascinated with railway operations of the lumber companies around Masten and Laquin, as well as the old Susquehanna and New York as it roared through Wheelerville on its run from Ralston to Dushore. When the great depression swept across our nation, Alfred found employment in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He worked diligently in the CCC camps of the Endless Mountains planting trees and repairing roads and bridges. He began a courtship with a young lady from LeRoy named Myrtle E. Kelley, a courtship culminating in their being united in holy matrimony on Jan. 14, 1939. In the 1940ís he secured employment with the PA Railroad as a track inspector along the Elmira branch through Canton. He walked great lengths of the line looking for sign of excessive wear along the rails. He used to collect the little strips of lead which were left behind in the aftermath of a locomotive that had detonated a series of warning signal torpedoes. His sons said they made good weights for fishing. His railroad career often took him away from home to Buffalo. He retired in 1975. The Wilbers were blessed with eight children and shared 49 years together before she died in 1988. Surviving are sons; Elwood and wife, Barbara, Cecil, Lewayne and wife, Marilyn and Gary, all of Canton; daughters, Phyllis Wilber, Canton and Velma and Donald Spencer, Wellsboro; brothers, Walter, Elmira and Walker, Canton; 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by a son, Lewis, a daughter, Dorothy, three brothers and three sisters. Funeral services were held Jan. 6 at the Morse and Kleese funeral Home, Canton. Interment was in Grover Cemetery.


Independent Sentinel
Canton, PA
February 1988

KELLEY ĖMYRTLE E. WILBER, 74, Canton RD 1, died Feb. 26, 1988, at her home. Born Oct. 13, 1916, in LeRoy Township, she was the daughter of Leslie and Ella Paul Kelley. Mrs. Wilber and her husband, Alfred J., celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary on Jan. 14. Surviving, besides her husband, are two daughters, Miss Phyllis Wilber, at home, Mrs. Donald (Velma) Spencer, Antrim, PA; two sons and daughters-in-law, Elwood and Barbara Wilber, Canton, and Lewayne and Marilyn Wilber, Canton RD 2; two sons, Cecil, Canton and Gary at home; 15 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; one brother, Rodney Kelley, Canton. She was predeceased by a son Lewis, Feb. 23, 1977, and a daughter, Dorothy in 1949. The funeral and committal service were held Monday, at the Morse and Kleese Funeral Home, Canton, with the Rev. Melvin Good, pastor of the Wheelerville Mennonite Church, officiating. Those wishing may forward memorial donations to the Kidney Foundation in Mrs. Wilberís memory.


Both Alfred and Myrtle are buried at the Grover Cemetery, with their names on the same marker.


viii. Walker Bradford Wilber, born 06 Mar 1914 in Shunk, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 11 Aug 1999 in Estella, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; married Minnie Ellen Edkin Sept 1933; born 26 Aug 1917 in Burlington, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Henry Edkin and Addie Brown; died 19 May 1981 in Canton, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania. Note obituaries for two of their children, Donald and Douglas Wilber, in the Appendix to this page.
More About Walker Bradford Wilber:
Burial: 14 Aug 1999, Brown Cemetery, Shunk, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
More About Minnie Ellen Edkin:
Burial: 22 May 1981, Brown Cemetery, Shunk, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania

The Daily Review
Towanda, PA
August 1999

WALKER B. WILBER, 85 formerly of Canton passed away Wednesday, Aug. 11, 1999 at the Dar-Way Nursing Home in Estella. Walker was born March 6, 1914 in Shunk, Pa. He was one of 10 children born to the late Lewis and Lillian Shaver Wilber. In September 19333, Mr. Wilber married the former Minnie Edkin of Shunk. Minnie preceded Walker in death in May 1981 following 47 years of loving marriage. As a young man, Walker worked as a well driller and a tree trimmer. In 1964 he acquired a dairy farm in Beech Flats (Canton Township). In 1974 his son Douglas took over the farm and Walker accepted a job with the Canton Area School district as a custodian for the former middle school. Upon the schoolís closure in 1977, Mr. Wilber retired. He was a member of the Grover Church of Christ and the Beech Flats Grange No. 336. Walker was an avid outdoorsman. In earlier years he enjoyed hunting, fishing and working in his garden. He is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Douglas and Marlene Wilber of Canton and Harold and Betty Wilber of Marysville, Pa.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Alice and Walter Wolfe of Marysville and Betty and Gideon Lapitan of Canton; 14 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to his wife, Minnie, Mr. Wilber was preceded in death by an infant son, Harry in 1939; two sons, William in 1970 and Donald in 1995 and six brothers and three sisters. The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, 1999 at the Pepper Funeral home, Springbrook Drive, Canton. The funeral service will immediately follow at 11 a.m. at the funeral home with the Rev. Willard Strunk, his pastor officiating and close friend, William McNett assisting. Burial will follow in the Brown Cemetery in Shunk, Pa. the family suggests that memorials be directed to the Western Alliance EMS, P.O. Box 13, Troy, Pa. in Mr. Wilberís memory.


ix. Heldah-Weldak "Weldie" S. Wilber, born May 25, 1919 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died February 1990.

Generation No. 4

8. Reuben-Rheuben D. Wilber, born Feb 1834 in Pennsylvania. He was the son of 16. Joseph Wilber and 17. Nancy _______. He married 9. Angeline Warburton 17 Mar 1867 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.
9. Angeline Warburton, born 05 Jun 1833 in Pennsylvania; died 07 Sep 1905. She was the daughter of 18. John M. Warburton and 19. Hannah Clara Mullan ["Mullen"].
Children of Reuben-Rheuben Wilber and Angeline Warburton are:

4 i. Lewis N. Wilber, born 23 Feb 1868 in Lycoming Co, Pennsylvania; died 05 Mar 1934; married Lillian H. Shaver 20 Aug 1899 in Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.
ii. Jennie-Angeline Wilber, born May 1870 in Pennsylvania.

Child of Ira M. and Sarah (Beaumont) Shaver is:
5 i. Lillian H. Shaver, born 20 May 1882 in Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 30 Dec 1929; married Lewis N. Wilber 20 Aug 1899 in Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.

Generation No. 5

16. Joseph Wilber, born About 1810 in New York. He married Nancy _________ About 1832.
17. Nancy, Wife Of Joseph Wilber, born About 1812 in New York.
Child ** of Joseph Wilber and Nancy Wilber is:
8 i. Reuben-Rheuben D. Wilber, born Feb 1834 in Pennsylvania; married Angeline Warburton 17 Mar 1867 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.

** Editor's Note: Carol found the 1850 Federal census for Union Township, Tioga County, PA, where we can locate the large family of Joseph and Nancy Wilber:

Joseph Age 51 born in NY
Nancy Age 50 born in NY
Nelson Age 26 born in NY
Nancy A. Age 25 born in NY
Charles Age 23 born in NY
Willson Age 20 born in NY
John Age 19 born in NY
Reuben Age 15 born in PA
Lewis Age 13 born in PA
Lucy Age 13 born in PA
Elizabeth Age 10 born in PA
Caroline Age 5 born in PA


18. John M. Warburton, born 15 Nov 1805 in Liverpool, Co Lancashire, England; died 09 Sep 1874. He was the son of John Warburton and Mary Sadler. He married Hannah Clara Mullan ["Mullen"] 17 Jun 1830 in Elkland, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.
19. Hannah Clara Mullan, born 12 Jul 1809 in Pennsylvania; died 21 Mar 1897. She was the daughter of Charles Mullen and Betsy-Elizabeth Hoagland. After John Warburton died, she married Joseph Battin. Joseph in turn had previously been married to Nancy Bagley. The Battins came to the area from Chester County, PA, whre they settled in the 1700's. Before that, they go back to Ardington, Berkshire, England in the 1600's.
More About John M Warburton:
Burial: Sep 1874, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
More About Hannah Clara Mullan:
Burial: Mar 1897, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
Children of John Warburton and Hannah Mullen are:

i. Charles M. Warburton, born 1831 in Pennsylvania; married (1) Cordelia M. Knapp 29 Apr 1859; born 05 Dec 1831 in Pennsylvania; died 15 Aug 1870; married (2) Estella _______ About 1873; born About 1853 in Massachusetts.
More About Cordelia M. Knapp:
Burial: 18 Aug 1870, LeRoy Cemetery, LeRoy, Bradford Co, Pennsylvania

9 ii. Angeline Warburton, born 05 Jun 1833 in Pennsylvania; died 07 Sep 1905; married (1) William Brown 24 May 1855 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; married (2) Reuben-Rheuben D. Wilber 17 Mar 1867 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.

iii. James Allen Warburton, born 1835 in Pennsylvania; died 1907; married Ruth D. Swisher about 1858; born Jan 1842 in Pennsylvania; died 1912. Per Larry Pardoe, James should not be confused with James A. Warburton (July 14, 1828-August 4, 1906) m. Sarah Bedford (October 17, 1833-March 19, 1914) on October 9, 1852. This latter James was the son of John Warburton and Ann M. Clarke. Sarah Bedford (1833-1914) was daughter of Benjamin Bedford (b. abt 1812 in Yorkshire, England, d. December 10, 1872) and likely Mary M. (surname not known), b. August 18, 1814 in England. These Bedfords may be related to the two main Bedford lines in the area discussed below, but, if so, we do not at this time know how.
More About James Allen Warburton:
Burial: 1907, Stone Heap Cemetery, Franklin Twp, Lycoming Co, Pennsylvania
Military: Union Army Co I 187th PA Inf
Served In Civil War

iv. Elizabeth Ann Warburton, born Nov 1837 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; married William W. Boyles 30 Dec 1858 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; born 1835 in Elkland Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 25 May 1898.
More About William W. Boyles:
Burial: 28 May 1898, Pleasant Slope Cemetery, Estella, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania

v. Alfred J. Warburton, born 04 Mar 1841 in Pennsylvania; died 20 Feb 1885; married Margaret Ann Christman 1867; born 16 Dec 1847 in Pennsylvania; died 11 Apr 1933.
More About Alfred J. Warburton:
Burial: Feb 1885, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
Military: Union Army Co B 28 Regt PA Vol
Served In Civil War
More About Margaret Ann Christman:
Burial: Apr 1933, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania

vi. Martha Jane Warburton, born June 1845 in Pennsylvania; died 16 Jul 1910 in San Diego, San Diego Co, California; married John P. Porter 02 Sep 1867 in Bradford Co, Pennsylvania; born 14 Jun 1845 in Fox Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 26 Oct 1917 in San Diego, San Diego Co, California.
More About John P. Porter:
Burial: Oct 1917, Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co, California
Military: Union Army Co B 58th PA Inf

vii. Cyrus Sadler Warburton, born 1846 in Pennsylvania; died 1912; married Adaline Boyles About 1869; born Aug 1851 in Elkland Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania; died 1919.

viii. Walter E. Warburton, born 30 Mar 1847 in Pennsylvania; died 27 Aug 1898; married Clara [also, "Clarissa"] Lorah about 1869; born 13 Jul 1854 in Pennsylvania; died 25 Oct 1927.
More About Walter E Warburton:
Burial: Aug 1898, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
More About Clara Lorah, Wife Of Walter E. Warburton:
Daughter of William and Elizabeth (Swisher) Lorah ***
Burial: Oct 1927, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania

ix. Austin W. Warburton [see photo below], born 29 Dec 1852 in Pennsylvania; died Oct 14, 1927; married Lydia Alice (aka "Alice Lydia") Lorah about 1878-9; born 12 Dec 1860 in Pennsylvania; died July 8, 1925.
More About Austin W Warburton:
Burial: 1927, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania
More About Alice Lydia Lorah, Wife of Austin W Warburton:
Daughter of William and Elizabeth (Swisher) Lorah ***
Burial: 1925, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania

*** Editor's Note: This link with the Lorah family poses some major historical issues in terms of family relationships. The Lorahs were an old Huguenot family that settled in Berks County, PA before coming to the Columbia and Sullivan County areas in the middle 1800s. The photo below found in the Wilber Collection is labeled: "Uncle Austin's wife's sister Norah, about age 18." This obscure wording should actually read that the subject is Norah Lorah, the sister of Uncle Austin Warburton's wife, Alice Lydia Lorah. This person appears to be Elnora "Nora" S. Lorah, subsequently the wife of Joseph Warren Robbins. Nora had a brother, Albert Augustus Lorah, who was born in 1870 and married Laura "Estella" Robbins, a sister of Joseph Warren Robbins. In this case, a brother and sister (Albert and Nora Lorah) married a sister and brother (Estella and Joseph Robbins). The Lorah family genealogies at Ancestry.com indicates Nora and Albert's parents as Matilda "Warburton" and David Lorah. These confusing statements have been proven to be erroneous as the result of direct research conducted in the National Archives in Washington, D. C. by Bob Sweeney. On July 16, 2009, Bob and his wife, Lynn Franklin, pulled the Civil War Pension file for Richard Rozell, the husband of Matilda (Lorah) Rozell. The documents recovered there show clearly that:

(1) Matilda Lorah was never a ďWarburtonĒ; indeed she was a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Swisher) Lorah, and a sister to Lydia and Clara Lorah.
(2) Matilda was only married once, on Sept. 21, 1871 to Richard Rozell.
(3) Richard had previously been married to Elizabeth Bressler who died in April 1871.
(4) Lydia Alice Warburton and Clara Warburton, both Lorah by birth, attended the wedding of Matilda Lorah to Richard Rozell at the home of Matildaís ďfatherĒ in Franklin Township, Columbia County. They attested to knowing her well, one presumes based on their being her sister and also the previous relationships among the two families.
(5) Richard died in 1892; Matilda, in 1914 at the home of her son James on Long Island.
(5) Richard successfully received a pension and then Matilda succeeded to it. He lost three fingers in a wood chopping accident while on duty near Bailey Cross Roads, VA during the Civil War.

This is an excellent example of how mistakes can be propagated over the Internet and cause other researchers to expend time and effort chasing their tails.

In April 2011, Joyce Ingerson provided additional information on William and Elizabeth (Swisher) Lorah. This couple was married on May 13, 1843 in Columbia County, PA. William was born November 11, 1821; Elizabeth was born January 10, 1826. William died on January 25, 1876. Elizabeth subsequently remarried to William D. Johnson after 1881; Johnson's first wife was Susan (Robbins) Johnson (c. March 25, 1825-May 8, 1881). One of the sons of William and Susan (Robbins) Johnson, also named William Johnson, married Martha Jane Lorah, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Swisher) Lorah, in 1889. These families--Lorah, Robbins, Johnson and Swisher--were obviously closely related throughout the latter part of the 19th century and then some.

We are indebted to people who save these precious photos. Above all, for special moments it takes for anyone to properly identify loved ones in photos. Next, any record can be misleading: The record is only as good as the recorder. For example, even census enumerators made mistakes overtly and covertly; merely people with agendas. So, this William and Elizabeth( Swisher) Lorah family had these children:
1. Mary M Lorah, married Eli Lloyd Heilner/ Hilner, buried Sharp Ridge Cemetery, Elysburg, near Montour, Pennsylvania, USA
2. Daniel B Lorah, disappeared after 1870 census, enumerated twice- at home and working in Davidson twp, Sullivan, PA
3. Matilda Lorah, married Richard Rozell, buried Richarts Grove, Jordan, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, USA
4. Clarissa Lorah, married Walter Warburton, buried Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan, Pennsylvania, USA
5. Alice Lydia Lorah, married Austin Warburton, Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan, Pennsylvania, USA
6. Jane Martha Lorah, married William Johnson, buried Richarts Grove, Jordan, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, USA
7. Elnora/Nora Lorah, married Joseph Warren Robbins
8. Albert Augustus Lorah, married Laura Estella Robbins, buried Hillsgrove Cemetery, Hillsgrove, Sullivan, Pennsylvania, USA

Additional information is available from Joyce on request.


Nora Lorah
She was a sister to Lydia Alice (Lorah) Warburton, wife of Austin Warburton.
Taken about 1887 in Bloomsburg, PA, When she was age 18,
Nora subsequently married Joseph Warren Robbins.
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA


Austin W. Warburton Family
Taken About 1881
Austin W. Warburton; Alice Lydia (Lorah) Warburton, his wife;
and Carrie E. Warburton (June 11, 1879-March 14, 1943), their daughter.
Austin was the brother of Angeline Warburton whose second husband was Reuben D. Wilber.
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

Generation No. 6

36. John Warburton, born about 1781 in Liverpool, Co Lancashire, England; died 08 Sep 1836 in Elkland Twp, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania. He married 37. Mary Sadler 10 Apr 1803 in Liverpool, Co Lancashire, England.
37. Mary Sadler, born about 1783 in Liverpool, Co Lancashire, England. You can access a comprehensive history of this Warburton family composed by Lyle Rockwell and Larry Pardoe at Descendants of John Warburton and Mary Sadler.
Children of John Warburton and Mary Sadler are:

18 i. John M Warburton, born 15 Nov 1805 in Liverpool, Co Lancashire, England; died 09 Sep 1874; married Hannah Clara Mullan 17 Jun 1830 in Elkland, Sullivan Co, Pennsylvania.
ii. Jesse Warburton, born 21 Mar 1808 in Liverpool, Co Lancashire, England; died 27 Mar 1872; married Elizabeth Brown About 1828; born 02 Feb 1808 in Welton, Co, Yorkshire, England; died 09 May 1884
More About Jesse Warburton:
Immigration: 1816, Came to America
iii. William Warburton, born about 1812 in Liverpool, Co Lancashire, England; died 1888; married Christine-Christian Christina/Christianna Casselberry before 1842. She was born about 1822 in PA and died March 25, 1904. *
*: Per Larry Pardoe, William appears to be a brother of John M. and Jesse Warburton, but we have no conclusive proof at this time. This family moved from Elkland Twp., Sullivan Co., PA after the 1860 census. In the 1880 census, they are in 1880 Elk Creek Twp., Republic Co., Kansas. Note that Christianna was the first name of the mother of William's wife, so it is likely the daughter might have carried the same name.

At the beginning of this story, I mentioned a marriage certificate purchased on eBay that stimulated our initial interest in the Wilber Collection. Here is a photograph as it appeared at the time Shelley Cardiel bought it. The certificate is endorsed by Ezra S. Little, Justice of the Peace. The envelope shown in the picture was the means by which the certificate was returned to Little from William J. Lawrence, Clerk of the Court, Laporte,PA, presumably after being registered there. Note that the postmark on the envelope is April 18, 1899 suggesting that the envelope is actually older than the certificate itself and was prestamped, perhaps as a convenience to Lawrence.


Lewis N. Wilber and Lillian H. Shaver
Marriage Certificate
August 20, 1889
Hillsgrove, PA
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

The Shaver Family

Lewis Wilber married Lillian Shaver. What do we know about this family and what can we learn from the Collection itself? Here is a revealing photo on the back of which each person shown in the picture is identified:


Harry Shaver Family
1915-1916
L to r: Sarah (Beaumont) Shaver, Mother of Harry and Lillian Shaver; "Uncle" Harry Shaver [standing];
Florence Estella Brown, Wife of Harry; Leola, Their Daughter on Mother's Lap
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
In The Possession of Linda (Karge) McDonald
Who Bought Four Pictures on eBay
Before Bob Sweeney Acquired The Collection

We also have the obituaries for Sarah Shaver and Leola E. (Shaver) Brown, the little girl shown in the photo above:

Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
Vol. 57, No. 32
August 8, 1934

MRS. SARAH SHAVER

Mrs. Sarah Shaver, widow of the late Ira M. Shaver of Hillsgrove, Pa., died at the age of 89 at 12:10 a.m. Sunday morning at the home of her son, Harry Shaver, in South Waverly, where she made her home.
She had been in ailing health since December 19.
Mrs. Shaver is survived by her son Harry Shaver; one brother James Beaumont of Waterbury, Conn., two sisters, Mrs. D. R. Lattimer * of Binghamton, N. Y. and Mrs. Estella Holmes of South Waverly. Thirteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
The funeral was held Wednesday from the Hillsgrove church in charge of Rev. Leon J. Jelliff of Millview assisted by his father the Rev. Jelliff of Wellsburg and Rev. Braund of Forksville, with burial in Hillsgrove cemetery. The pall bearers were: George Walker, John Brey, Peter Huffsmith, John Speaker, Ernest Vroman and George Boyles.
* Note: Dudley R. Lattimer, then age 68, appears with his wife Josephine (Beaumont), age 71, in the Federal census for Binghamton, Broome County, NY, in 1930. Living with them are two grandchildren: Ira T. and Veronica Odell, both age 29; the record does not indicate whether they are twins. Josephine first appears in the 1860 Federal census for Herrick Township in Bradford County as "Gosline", a seven year old "male". However, this person is listed in subsequent censuses for 1870 [Wyalusing, PA], 1880 [Albany, PA], 1900 [Oakland, PA] and 1910 [Binghamton, NY] as Josephine, a female of the same age. We also suspect that the 1930 census transcription of her age as 71 is incorrect, since there is evidence from several censuses that she was actually 77 in 1930. In 1889, Dudley and Josephine were living in Merryall, Bradford County, PA, where, on August 29 of that year, Josephine gave birth to Arthur Dudley Lattimer [Source: Wyalusing Township Records, book 15, page 57].
In 2003, Clayton ODell, gr-grandson of Dudley and Josephine, confirmed in a message posted on Genforum that: Josephine Beaumont was born on Apr 26 1853. She married Dudley Russell Lattimer. Their daughter, Ada Catherine Lattimer [June 13, 1881-Feb 5, 1971], married Herman William Odell. Ada Catherine, who went by "Mollie", was Clayton's grandmother.


Troy Gazette Register
Troy, PA
Thursday, March 26, 1992

Leola E. Brown, 77, widow of Delbert D. Brown of Monroeton, passed away Wednesday morning, March 18, 1992 at Memorial Hospital in Towanda. Born November 10, 1914 in Waverly, NY she was a daughter of the late Harry W. and Florence Brown Shaver of South Waverly. She attended the Sayre schools and retired from the Monroe-Franklin School in Powell where she was custodian in 1985. Surviving are daughters and sons-in-law, Maxine Brown and John Simpson with whom she made her home in Monroeton and Harriet and Claud Glidewell of Millville, PA; sons and daughters-in-law, Roy and Trudy Brown of Middleburg, PA and Neil and Emma Brown of Towanda; son, Glen Brown of Rome; 15 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; a sister, Marion Dunn of Seattle, WA; niece, Dorothy Saunders of Seattle, WA; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Cenora * and Ed Snyder of Canton, Dorothy and Emery of Proctor, Ida and Earl Preston of Canton of Canton, Ade ** and Charles Groover of Canton, Walter Brown of Troy and Emery and Arlene Brown of Troy. Funeral services were held March 21 at the Maryott-Bowen Funeral Home in Towanda with the Rev. Emmalou Kirchmeier officiating and interment to be in the Brown Cemetery, Shunk, PA. Memorials may be directed to the Monroe-Franklin School in care of Roman Suman or to the Monroeton Public Library in Leola E. Brown's memory.
Editor's Note: Correct spellings are Ada and Lenora.

There is an obituary for Glen A. Brown, son of Leola Brown, in the Appendix to this page.

Let us propose a "theory" of the Shaver family lineage, parts of which will remain to be confirmed as we go through the Wilber Collection or perhaps by future family research beyond the scope of this page. It appears that the Shaver family that came to live in the Hillsgrove area in the late nineteenth century originated in Austria, then came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century. Phillip Shaver was born in Vienna about 1762 and died in Luzerne County, PA, just east of Sullivan County, in November 1826. Although we do not know exactly why he came, we do know that Austria was wracked by border wars with the Russians, Prussians and French during the late 1700s, so perhaps he came to find a better life. He married Mary Ann Workizer, a native of Pennsylvania, and they had several children. Their son, Asa Shaver, was born in Luzerne County in 1807, one of several children born there from the 1790s forward. In turn, Asa and his wife Rachel had many children, including a son named Ira M. Shaver, born in 1832, who appears to be our progenitor ancestor for the Shavers in our story.

Our Shavers moved to Sullivan County some time after 1850, since Ira and his family of origin are living in Dallas, Luzerne Cunty, PA in the Federal census for that year. We believe, but are not certain at this time, that Ira M. Shaver (April 5, 1832-1907) married twice, first to Annette Miller (likely surname), born in 1841 in New Jersey, then later to Sarah Beaumont, born June 27, 1845 and died August 8, 1934. She was the daughter of Walker and Hannah (Grubham) Beaumont and also an aunt to Florence Estella Brown who married her son, Harry Shaver [meaning that first cousins married one another] **. They must have married about 1880.
** Note: You can learn more about the Beaumont heritage, as well as its connections to the Wakeley family [see below] at The Descendants of John Beaumont.

Ira and Sarah are both buried at Hillsgrove Cemetery; we do not have a location for the resting place of Annette (Miller) Shaver. In any case, this second spouse, Sarah, was the mother of Lillian Shaver, wife of Lewis N. Wilber. There were children from each of these relationships, which we propose as follows, thanks to some assiduous sleuthing by Larry Pardoe and Carol Brotzman:

Proposed Child of Ira and Annette:

Miles Shaver, b. abt 1858
Editor's Note: According to Rich Shafer, great great grandson of Miles Shaver (per e-mail to Bob Sweeney on March 31, 2012: "I just got some information showing that Annette went to the courts to get a divorce from Ira M. Shaffer for desertion and married another woman. The article says she states that they were married in 1855 and he left her in 1859. There is a 1870 census that has Miles Shaver, 11 years old, of PA living in Minisink, NY with Peter D. Vansyckle, whose wife we believe was Annette's sister. We are not sure but believe Annette's maiden name was Miller. Miles and Annette rejoined in the 1880 Goshen, NY Census. Annette states on Mile's obituary that he was her only child. This is also supported on some of the census through the years. As far as we know she never married until 1892, when she married William Caldwell of Butler, PA. William died in 1898."

Here is a photo of Annette with her great grandson, Samuel Myles "Miles" Shaver, taken About 1908-9. This "Miles" was the eventual grandfather of Rich Shafer, source of the next two photos.


Annette (Miller?) Shaver (1842-1923)
Widown of Ira Shaver
With Her Great Grandson, Samuel Myles Shafer (1905-1969)
Source: Rich Shafer
Grandson of Samuel Myles

Here is a photo of Miles taken some time between 1884 and 1894 at the well known Steiner Studio on Newark Avenue in Jersey City. The studio operated between 1884 and 1894. Miles died in 1895 from meningitis.


Miles E. Shaver
Son of Ira and Annetee (Miller?) Shaver
Source: Rich Shafer
His gr gr grandson

Proposed Children of Ira and Sarah:

James Shaver, b. September 20, 1875, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co., PA [photo below]. He was first husband of Emma J. "Josie" Wakeley/Wakely [photo below]. They for sure had a son named Olin R. Shaver, sometimes shown as "Olin L." instead of "Olin R.", born February 03, 1911 and died January 8, 1996 in Greeley, Weld County, CO. Somewhere along the line, "Shaver" became transmuted to "Shaffer" for Olin's surname, as shown on his Social Security Death Record. Bob Sweeney also believes they had a daughter named Lila I. Shaver, who ended up being raised by the Robert Lewis family.


James Shaver
Son of Ira and Sarah (Beaumont) Shaver
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

The preceding photo had the unusual caption "061938" on the back, which perhaps refers to his being age 38 on June 19 of some year; that year would be about 1913. The image could not have been taken later in 1938, since the technology of photography had changed greatly by then.


Josie Bedford
Daughter of Eli DeWitt and Mary Lewis
Future Wife of (1) James Shaver and (2) John T. Bedford
Taken About 1900
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

Harry Walker Shaver, b. about June 4, 1880, m. Florence Estella Brown. In 1920 Federal census for Hillsgrove, Sarah was living with Harry and Florence and is shown as his mother. To add to the connection, Sarah was also Florence's aunt; her sister was Estella Beaumont, the wife of John Oliver Brown and Florence's mother. [Note: Some time after 1910, Estella married a second time, to William Kerr Holmes, the surname by which she is referred to in the obituary for Sarah Shaver reproduced below]. Harry and Florence had daughters Leola E. Shaver and Marion Shaver. Florence and Harry are buried at the Merryall Cemetery in Bradford County, PA. He died at age 76 in 1957 and she died at age 81 in 1965.
Lillian H. Shaver, b. May 20, 1882, Hillsgrove, Sullivan Co,. PA, d. December 30, 1929, m. Lewis N. Wilber


Walker Beaumont
Father of Sarah (Beaumont) Shaver and Grandfather of Martha (Beaumont) Lewis
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

Bedford Digression

Larry Pardoe points out that there are two different Bedford families in the history of Sullivan County, as follows:

The first family is represented by John T. Bedford, second husband of Josie Wakely, and goes back to 1600's England. The second one starts with Richard Bedford, also born in England, and comes down to his granddaughters who married into the Norton and Fawcett families of Sullivan County. So, the former line goes back like this:

John T. Bedford (1879-1968), Josie's husband
Samuel Bedford (1837-1921) and Harriet Norton (1840-1894)
John Bedford (1809-1888) and Elinor Sadler (abt 1815- ? )
...... Editor's Note: You can find a comprehensive summary of this Bedford line in a posting by Larry to the Sullivan County Genealogical Page Message Boards at Descendants of Henry Bedford.
Henry Bedford (1784-1863) and Sarah Secker (1783-1857)
Benjamin Bedford (1756- ? ) and Mary Beaumont (b. bef 1760 d. ? )--is this woman related to the larger Beaumont family of Bradford and Sullivan Counties, possibly as a sister of John Beaumont whose descendants are discussed at that site?
Benjamin Bedford (1726-1784) and Mary Hayley (1729-1808)
Richard Bedford (1683- ? ) and Rebecka ? (b. ? d. 1755)
Richard Bedford (b. ?, d. 1720/21) and Sarah (b. ? d. 1721)

The other Bedford line from Sullivan County comes down like this:

Richard Bedford (b. abt 1776 - d. ?) and Grace Varley (b. abt 1790 and d. c. 1824)
Rev. & Hon. Richard Bedford (1812-1884) and Arvilla Wheat (b. abt 1811 VT - 1877)--This is the Rev. Richard Bedford whose marriage docket is listed on this site and who was prominent in the history of western Sullivan County for so many years in the 19th century.
Their daughters:
3. Mary Alice Bedford (b. 1843 VT-1928), married Powell Norton (1841-1928), son of Thomas Norton (1806-1884) and Mary Bird (1816-1902)
3. Ada Bedford (b. 1854 PA-1929), married Watson Fawcett (1857-1944), son of Joseph Fawcett (1814-1888) and Lydia Bird (1822-1899)

Richard Bedford, Sr. was actually married twice, as related in the following excerpt from the Streby History of Forks Township and Forksville:

Richard Bedford was born at Yorkshire, England, Sept. 17, 1812 *, and came to America with his Parents, Richard and Grace (Varley) Bedford, about 1821. The family located in Vermont. In 1835 Richard Bedford, Sr., located on the farm near Campbellville, now owned by Watson Fawcett. Richard Bedford, Jr., was educated and entered the ministry of the M.E. Church, taking his first charge in 1833, and continued until 1849, when his Parents, on account of their declining years, needed his care and assistance. He therefore gave up his active work in the ministry and came to Campbellville, taking charge of his fatherís farm and caring for his aged Parents. Richard Bedford, Sr., was married twice; his second wife was Lorena Waller. The children by the first wife were Richard, born Sept. 12, 1812; Hannah, born Dec. 11, 1816; Franklin, born Dec. 7, 1821, of Iowa. By his second wife: Vartley, born Sept. 14, 1826, of California; Alice, born Sept. 6, 1830, decíd.
Richard Bedford, Jr., on locating in Sullivan County, was one of the ablest and best-educated men of Sullivan County and took a very active Part in the political, industrial and educational affairs of Sullivan County. He was elected County treasurer in 1853, the first superintendent of public schools in 1854, serving three years; associate judge in 1871, serving five years, and member of the House of Representatives in 1874, serving two years. Mr. Bedford was married to Arvilla Wheat, who was born at Rozalton, Vt., Aug. 14, 1811. The wedding took place June 28, 1838. Mrs. Bedford died Nov. 19, 1877, and Mr. Bedford on Jan. 31, 1884. To Mr. and Mrs. Bedford were born: Mary, married Powell Norton, of Campbellville; Richard Edgar, born Oct. 31, 1847, died Aug. 26, 1848; Ada, married Watson Fawcett, of Campbellville.
* Editor's Note: Although his obituary shows b. August 17, 1812 - see below.


Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
February 7, 1884

Hon. Richard Bedford died at his home near Campbellsville [Editor's Note: sic, should be "Campbellville"] on Jan. 31st aged. 71 years, from Bright's Disease. He was born in Yorkshire, England 17 Aug. 1812, and was aged 71 years, 5 months and 14 days at the time of his death. He removed with his parents to Vermont in 1824, where he resided until coming to this county in 1848. He entered the ministry in 1833. He was elected twice to the Legislature, served one term as Associate Judge and one as County Superintendent of Schools. He leaves two children, Mrs. Powell Norton and Mrs. Watson Fawcett, both of whom reside in this county. Mrs. Bedford died about six years ago.

Back to the Shavers......Here, thanks to Carol, is an Ancestral Chart for Leola Shaver that shows how the Shaver, Beaumont and Brown families were connected. If we were to substitute Lillian Shaver for her brother, Harry, in this chart, then we would be looking back in time at the Wilber and Warburton families as well. Carol has also created an Ancestral Chart for Harry Shaver that serves in parallel with the previous chart to show these lineages.

Leola grew up and married Delbert Brown, and her obituary is shown above. The obituary also indicates that her sister Marion's married name was Dunn. Also, it appears from the 1910 Hillsgrove Federal census that "Albert" Wakeley, with his wife Mary [Lewis] and their daughter Eliza, is living with Moses Lewis and his second wife Amelia (Beaumont) Lewis (May 11, 1851-May 19, 1920), sister of Sarah (Beaumont) Shaver, Eliza (Beaumont) Wakeley [see below] and Estella (Beaumont) Brown. Albert Wakeley is actually John Burton Wakeley, who somehow came to be listed as "Albert" in the census, perhaps as a corruption of being nicknamed "Burt"--we are not certain as to why. However. Moses is "Albert"'s father-in-law. Moses was the brother of Robert Lewis, who married Martha A. Beaumont, daughter of the wife of his brother Moses, Amelia Beaumont [see below]. Sarah Shaver, widow of Ira and sister to Amelia, is living a few houses away as a servant with the family of John and Edith (Snell) Morgan. It was a small world in Hillsgrove in 1910! Or, as Larry Pardoe relates, "this is a family that puts the concept of 'togetherness' at a new level"!

Robert and Martha A. (Beaumont) Lewis had the following children before his death in 1916:

Perry R. Lewis, b. 1888
Ann E. Lewis, b. 1891
Arlie H. Lewis, b. 1895
Judson W. Lewis, b. 1901

We will have more to say about the Lewis family as we go along. However, in the 1910 Hillsgrove census already mentioned, the full retinue of people living with the Moses Lewis family was:

Lewis, Moses, head, age 69
Lewis, Amelia, wife, age 58 [see her obituaries in the Appendix]
Lewis, Maud E., dau. age 25 [see photo below]
Lewis, John, son, age 20 [see picture below]
Wakley [nee Lewis], Mary, dau. age 36, married x 1, 9 years [see photo below]
Wakley, Albert (now believed to be Burton J. Wakeley a.k.a. John Burton Wakeley), son-in-law, age 35, b. PA. married x 1, 9 years
Wakley, Eliza (Now believed to be Eliza Amelia Wakeley), granddaughter, age 1, b. PA
Note: John and Mary were married before 1910. They had Eliza Amelia in 1910 and William Kenneth in 1912, after the 1910 census. Apparently Mary died about 1912 maybe even from complications of childbirth, and John Burton Wakeley/a.k.a. Burton J. Wakeley/Wakely remarried October 17, 1913 to Melva Jane Ferrell/Farrell with whom he had two more children: Ethel R. Wakely, born about 1915 and Bertha A. Wakely, born about 1918 (1920 Federal Census for Wysox,PA). Melva Jane was the daughter of James Farrell and Adaline Bird, both from Sullivan County, PA.

Later, in the 1930 Federal Census for Hillsgrove, we find James and Maude E. (Lewis) Davis, and their daughter Edith M. Davis, five years old, living next door to a family headed by the widow of Moses Lewis, Martha A. Lewis, with her sons Perry R. and Judson W. Lewis. Just next to this family lives Martha's half brother Jonathan ("John" in 1910) Lewis. Martha was the daughter of Amelia Beaumont that she brought to the marriage with Moses Lewis, as recounted above.


Maude and Mary Lewis
Sisters and Daughters of Moses and Amelia (Beaumont) Lewis *
Date Unknown
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

Note the striking resemblance of Mary Lewis to her daughter Josie Wakeley pictured above. Here is what Larry Pardoe has to say about these sisters:

* Mary Lewis (b. February 18, 1874 and d. abt. 1912). She was the daughter of Moses Lewis. It is not exactly clear who her mother was. She shows with Moses and Amelia in the 1880 census, age 6, although later census records indicate Moses and Amelia were married between 1878-1880.
Maud/Maude E. Lewis (b. February 22, 1885, d. 1965). She was daughter of Moses Lewis (b. April 19,1841-d. bef. 1930) and Amelia A. (Beaumont) Lewis (May 11, 1851-May 19, 1920). Maude married James W. Davis, between 1905-1906. He was b. 1883 and d. 1939.


Jonathan W. "John" Lewis
(April 8, 1890-December 25, 1978)
As a Boy and a Teenager
Son of Moses and Amelia (Beaumont) Lewis
He later married Velma R. Bartlow
(December 6, 1915-October 23, 1996).
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

There was one more photograph in the grouping with these Lewis family members. It is not yet identified but Larry Pardoe speculates that it may turn out to be John Burton Wakeley (1875-1960), second husband of Mary Lewis, shown above. Carol Brotzman does not see such a resemblance, given that we have a known picture of John on the aforementioned Beaumont family page [see family photo of George and Eliza (Beaumont) Wakeley there]. Bob Sweeney proposes James W. Beaumont, a brother to Sarah and Amelia et al, as a candidate, without any strong feeling or evidence, however. Here is the "unknown" photo and other suggestions are welcome:


Unidentifed Man
Possibly John Burton Wakeley
Second Husband of Mary Lewis
Date Unknown
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

Josie and the Other Wakeley Connections

One question that still lingers over the Lewis, Shaver and Wakely lineage is just where does Emma Josephine "Josie" Wakeley, married first to James Shaver and then to John T. Bedford, fit in? Her obituary is not that revealing:

Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
May 18, 1967

Bedford, Mrs. Emma Josephine

Mrs. Emma Josephine Bedford, aged 77, of Elkland Twp. Forksville R.D.1, died at her home following a lingering illness.
Born April 1, 1890 in Hillsgrove Twp., Sullivan County, she was a life long resident of that county. Mrs. Bedford was a member of the Forksville Methodist Church.
Surviving are her husband, John T. Bedford; three sons, Olin Shaffer of Greenley, Colom; Harry Bedford at home; and Kenneth Bedford of Wyalusing; three daughters Mrs. Roscoe Brenchley of Dallas, Pa.; Mrs. Lewis Hewitt of Hillsgrove and Mrs. Dean Brenchley of Forksville R.D.2; 15 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Russell P. McHenry Funeral Home, Dushore, with Rev. Wesley Kehler, retired minister of Pine City, N.Y. Methodist Church, and Rev. John Richardson pastor of the Forksville Methodist Church, officiating. Interment was in Bethel Cemetery, Elkland Township.

The obituary for Edna Amanda Bedford (Mrs. Dean Brenchley), daughter of John and Emma "Josie" Bedford, can be found in the Appendix below.

Carol Brotzman has accurately summarized the issues as follows:

We are trying hard to untangle the Lewis/Beaumont/Shaver/Wakeley mysteries. Our main question left is: who is the mother of Emma Josie/Josephine Lewis Wakeley Shaver Bedford? She is found with Moses Lewis in the 1900 census, and she is married by the time of the 1910 census. Josie is a part of the Wilber family as well.
We have been told by one uncorroborated source that she was the daughter of Mary Lewis and Eli Dewitt, but have no proof. Would that Mary be the same Mary Lewis who was the daughter of Moses Lewis and his presumed but unverified first wife? Or, would Josie have been a child out of wedlock? We know that Mary Lewis, the daughter of Moses, married John Burton Wakeley of Silvara/Laceyville, PA. Presumably, this is the Mary Lewis who was the mother of Josie Wakeley, for whom we are still searching out the father.

As mentioned earlier, the photos of Josie and Mary show a striking physical resemblance. It is difficult not to believe they are not very closely related, likely mother and daughter, but the uncertainty remains. Here is what Larry Pardoe has to say:

As to Josie ......
I agree with Carol. I think we should name her as Emma Josephine "Josie" (Lewis/Wakeley) (Shaver) Bedford, indicating she was either born or raised as a Lewis but carried the Wakeley surname (as shown by her son Kenneth's obituary), and also that she married twice: 1- James Shaver and 2- John T. Bedford.
The only two times she was referred to as Lewis were: 1 - 1900 census as Josie Lewis, niece, which may or may not have been the correct relationship with Moses and Amelia Lewis, and 2 - the photo above which was labeled "Josie Bedford Josephine Lewis wife of James Shaver"
The 1910 census shows her as "Josie" Shaver, wife. The 1920 and 1930 censuses shows her as Emma J. Bedford. In her son Kenneth's obituary she is listed as Josie (Wakley) Bedford.
As to who her parents, were I'm not sure. According to other sources, previously mentioned, her parents are supposed to be Eli DeWitt and Mary Lewis. The 1900 Hillsgrove census shows "Josie" as a niece. Also on this census Mary Lewis is shown, age 26, single, and doesn't indicate any children born, which leaves open the possiblility that maybe Josie somehow was in fact a "niece" to either Moses or wife Amelia, and she might have been taken in by Moses and raised as a Lewis. By 1910, she was married to James Shaver, and about 1918 was married 2nd to John T. Bedford. As to where the Wakeley part of her name comes in, as shown in son Kenneth's obituary, it would have to be the fact that, if her mother was Mary Lewis, then about 1901 Mary married "Albert" Wakely/Wakeley who we now believe to be John "Burton" Wakeley. I haven't found anything conclusive that shows Mary Lewis Wakeley and Emma J. "Josie" Lewis/Wakely/Wakeley (Shaver) Bedford were mother and daughter, but they sure look alike.

We also know that the Wilbers and the Wakeleys had both a relationship by marriage and a personal bond, because there is a large photo of "Uncle Monroe" and "Aunt Elissa" Wakely at their home in Laceyville, Bradford County, PA in the Wilber Collection, as shown here:


"Aunt Elissa and Uncle Monroe Wakley"
At Their Homestead in Laceyville, PA
Taken Between 1907 and 1919
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection

"Uncle Monroe" is James Monroe Wakeley (April 4, 1854-December 6, 1927); "Aunt Elissa" is his second wife, Eliza Hanna (Beaumont) Wakeley (May 11, 1858-December 3, 1931) *. She had previously beenmarried to Monroe's older brother, George Louden Wakeley, who died in 1901. Monroe, as he was called, was first married to Ida B. Drake (1855-1906). So, we can see how the family connection runs. Eliza was yet another sister of Sarah Beaumont, who married Ira Shaver. Monroe, Ida and Eliza are all three listed in the Spring Hill Cemetery burial records book. So. the Wilber family had relationships to the Beaumonts and the families they married in both Sullivan and Bradford Counties [Laceyville, actually located in Wyoming County, is right on the border of Bradford County].
* Note: The Spring Hill Cemetery book says she was born in 1856, but this could be in error.

In addition, we can pinpoint the date of the photo shown above from information provided once again by Carol Brotzman:

Wakeley House is the house that the great grand parents of a local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought. The deed shows when these they bought the property, and reads November 17, 1919-- "Between J. Monroe Wakeley and Eliza H. his wife of the borough of Laceyville, County of Wyoming and State of Pa. and Washington I. Barrowcliff." Prior to that, James Monroe Wakeley bought the property from Abner M. Luce and Bella Luce on July 13, 1907. So, Monroe and Eliza lived there between 1907 and 1919. This structure also served as the bottling plant for the Christian Dairy. It was torn down about 1960 and today the grounds lie under the Laceyville over pass.

The Autograph Album


Floral Autograph Album of Lewis Wilber
Signatures Collected in Late 1880s
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection

In 1887, while he was still a teenager, through 1889, Lewis Wilber began keeping signatures in an autograph album. Reproduced here are the actual pages from that book:

Hannah Battin, "Your grandmother"
David E. Williams, December 9, 1887, and G. N. Porter, Shunk, PA, January 8, 1888
Rosa Brown, December 11, 1887
Franny Watts
Ella Warburton, Lincoln Falls, PA, May 3, 1889, "Your cousin"
Della Warburton, Shunk, PA, November 25, 1888, "Your cousin"
Elmer Miller, Shunk, PA, November 15, 1888, "Remember Camp Meeting"
Sarah Wilber, February 3, 1887
George D. Warburton, November 28, 1888
L. M. Brown, Shunk, PA, February 3, 1889
F. E. Warburton, Muncy Valley, PA, undated, and Lillian E. Porter, Blackfoot, Idaho, November 27, 1888
Walter E. Porter, Blackfoot, Idaho, January 11, 1889

It is difficult not to conclude that the common element among these people, scattered from next door to Idaho, is one of blood, marriage or descent--that is a "family" connection. Of course, some of these relationships are stated, while others can be determined by some census research or recourse to known genealogical lineages. But not all relationships are obvious. Nor do we know what the numerical code on the leaf opposite the autograph of Ella Warburton means.

Larry Pardoe has given us insights into some of these relationships: Hannah Battin was, as she herself indicated, Lewis' grandmother, having married first John M. Warburton and then Joseph Battin. David E. Williams at the time was married to Lewis Wilber's third cousin, Matilda Lillian Battin, later divorced. Frances "Franny" Watts later married Thomas Earl Williams [see obituary of her son, Clifford S. WIlliams, Sr., in the Appendix below], but we have not yet found a relationship to Lewis Wilber; perhaps he is related to David E. Williams and that is the connection. Ella Warburton was first cousin to Lewis Wilber, the daughter of Charles M. Warburton and his second wife Estella. Elmer may be Elmer E. Miller, three years older than Lewis Wilber; Elmer later married Jessie E. Potter. L. M. Brown is likely Listen/Liston M. Brown, b. 1858, who later married Anna E. Stull. Listen was a half brother of Lewis Wilber; he was born to Angeline (Warburton) (Brown) Wilber and her first husband, William Brown. A picture of their son, Hiram Brown, is shown below. Lillian Ellsie Porter, b. June 17, 1872, Iowa, was the daughter of John P. Porter and Martha Jane (Warburton) Porter. Lillian was a therefore a first cousin of Lewis Wilber. Walter E. Porter, b. April 28, 1875, Iowa is Lillian Porter's brother and also a first cousin to Lewis Wilber. Apparently, they had relocated to Idaho and were visiting Sullivan County when they signed the autograph book. Sarah Wilber may be an aunt by marriage to one of Reuben Wilber's brothers, but for now we are not sure. The first name "Sarah" is common throughout the Wilber lineage. At the same time, several Wilber families only related two or three generations back from Lewis Wilber lived in Bradford and Sullivan Counties and each of them had at least one "Sarah" in the family. The other autograph signers are still under investigation.

Among other miscellaneous items found in the Wilber Collection are several colorful greeting cards, apparently exchanged at the time of graduation from school, or other social events. Also, in those days, teachers often gave cards to their students for having a good attendance record, doing well on a spelling test, passing into the next grade and so on. You can look at several examples of both greeting cards and these approval cards from teachers at:

Personal Greeting Cards: From top to bottom, column one then column two: Sample card [marked "No 820-15 for 10 cts"], Myrima Lewis, Addie Brown, Listen M. Brown, Perry R. Lewis, Listen M. Brown, Elmer J. Brown, Jennie S. Wilber, Charles L. Bagley and Josie Lewis
Teacher Approval Cards and Two Greeting Cards: The approval cards were addessed to Vernon Wilber from his teacher, Belle Rightmire. The greeting cards were, respectively, from Bertie L. Harrison and Sarah Anderson.
Approval Cards from Belle Rightmire: Back Sides assigning approval for spelling and attendance.
Cologne Ad and Additional Approval Cards: The top left item is the front of a card bearing an ad for Hoyts German Cologne. The top right item is another approval card from Belle Rightmire for good attendance. The items at the bottom are a two-part approval card from Blanche McKay, another teacher, to Vernon Wilber.
Two Cards: Back Sides Thse back sides show the text on the back of the cologne ad, and the signature and note of Blanche McKay, respectively.


Hiram W. Brown (June 26, 1903-August 20, 1947)
Son of Liston M. and Anna E. (Stull) Brown
Taken About 1904
At Heims Studio, Canton, PA
Note on photo refers to him as a "cousin".
He was actually the grandson of William Brown and Angeline Warburton,
who later married Reuben Wilber.
Liston and Lewis Wilber were half brothers.
Source: The Wilber Estate Collection
Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte, PA

The Collected Letters

The Wilber Collection contains literally dozens of letters written over the course of at least sixty years. Of course, as we go further back in time, the number and frequency drop off. The oldest, already reproduced above, was dated 1867 and originated in Minnesota. There are countless other messages by mail up into the 1930s. For the purposes of this presentation, we are simply going to list and link to copies of the letters as they appear. Where we can do so, a date and names for the correspondents will also be provided. Comments and additional information from readers are welcome:

The first item is a letter from Vernon Wilber to his father from 238 and 1/2 West Hudson Street in Elmira, NY. The envelope is postmarked October 1918, but the letter found inside this envelope is actually dated January 3, 1919. So, there may be a missing letter and the latter one was simply saved in a convenient earlier envelope. The second page also has a sketch, with the name of Vernon's brother Walter crossed out. We don't know if the sketch is supposed to be of two of his siblings or perhaps a teasing reference to Walter and a girl that Walter might have liked [?]. Presumably, the recipients in the family could make sense of it all:
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Elmira, NY, to Lewis Wilber, October 25, 1918, Envelope Cover
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Elmira, NY, to Wilber family, January 3, 1919, First Page
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Elmira, NY, to Wilber family, January 3, 1919, last Page

Letter from Gladys Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, May 11, 192[8?], First Page and Envelope
Letter from Gladys Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, May 11, 192[8?], Second Page

Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, May 9, 1920, First Page and Envelope Cover
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, May 9, 1920, Second Page

The following letter mentions a train wreck near Canton, social interaction with Henry Rinebolt, Cecile Brown and others, and the doings of Vernon and his sisters Gladys and Myrtle:
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, June 7, 1920, First Page and Envelope
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, June 7, 1920, Pages 2-3
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, June 7, 1920, Last Page

The next letter is addressed from Lillian (Shaver) Wilber from 39 Pittney Street, Waverly, NY. We really apparently was visiting her mother in Waverly, where she know she lived at this time. Also, there are references to "Mother" in the text. The letter is a rambling tract with writing in the margins, spelling mistakes galore, and text that backtracks. We are told in a cryptic note at the top of the front page that Francis Brown, apparently having been abandoned by his betrothed for another man, has himself married someone else. We also read about her train trip through Towanda to Waverly, and assorted hard to fathom remarks about "Harry" [presumably Harry Shaver, her father], Elmore Brown, Aunt Josie [Wakeley, we presume], and her sons "Weldy" [Weldon] and Alfred:
Letter from Lillian (Shaver)Vernon Wilber, Waverly, NY, to Lewis Wilber, September 22, 1920, Envelope Cover
Letter from Lillian (Shaver)Vernon Wilber, Waverly, NY, to Lewis Wilber, September 22, 1920, First Page
Letter from Lillian (Shaver)Vernon Wilber, Waverly, NY, to Lewis Wilber, September 22, 1920, Last Page

The next item is an envelope from the Guardian Life Insurance Company in New York, but the address name has been blocked out. It appears to have been received by Lewis Wilber and there is a handwritten note, apparently written by Wilber, indicating that the annual premium on an insurance policy for the coming year has been paid:
Insurance Letter Envelope and Note, September 23, 1920, Pages 2-3

The next item is a paper sketch, but of what we are not sure--perhaps a shower stall?--:
Paper Sketch, No Date Indicated

The following letter was posted by Vernon Wilber on September 16, 1925[?] from Canton, PA to his family in Wheelerville. It comments on a long train trip he took from Elmira up to Sodus Bay, NY on Lake Ontario to find work. The letter provides a marvelous description of the towns and countryside along the way and gives us a picture of the countryside and life style of upstate New York in the mid-1920s:
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, September 13-16, 1925[?], First Page and Envelope Cover
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, September 13-16, 1925[?], Pages 2-3
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, September 13-16, 1925[?], Pages 4-5
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, September 13-16, 1925[?], Pages 6-7
Letter from Vernon Wilber, Canton, PA, to Family Members, September 13-16, 1925[?], Last Page

 

**********************************************************

Appendix of Obituaries

Independent Sentinel
Canton, PA
November 1995

SMSgt. DONALD E. WILBER, 58, Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, formerly of Canton, passed away Nov. 23, 1995, in Germany. Born June 18, 1937, in Williamsport, he was a son of Walker Wilber and the late Minnie Edkin Wilber. Mr. Wilber was a veteran of the Vietnam War; served with the US Air Force for 29 years, retiring in 1983. Following his retirement, he was employed by the US government as a civilian in Germany. On Nov. 1, 1957, he married the former Irmgard A. Stoetzel in Germany. In addition to his father, he is also survived by his wife of 38 years; two daughters and sons-in-law, Denise and Hans Hobus, Germany and Donna and Shawn Jones, Dimock, PA; two grandsons; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Douglas and Marlene Wilber, Marysville, PA; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Alice and Walter Wolfe, Marysville and Betty and Gideon Lapitan, Canton; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by a brother, William Wilber, in 1970. The viewing will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 30 at the Pepper Funeral Home, Canton, with funeral service immediately following with the Rev. Jasper Smith officiating. Interment will be in Beech Flats Cemetery, with full military honors accorded.

Troy Gazette-Register
Troy, PA
October 12, 2000

Douglas L.WILBER SR., 66, of Canton RR 3, PA passed away Saturday, October 7, 2000 at the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. Born on March 12, 1934 in Shuck, PA, he was a son of the late Walker B. and Minnie Edkin Wilber. He attended canton area schools and served during the Korean War in the Marine Corps. He was employed at Remington Rand in Elmira for 17 years and acquired his fatherís farm in Beech Flats, canton twp. He saw to its daily operations until his retirement in 1993. He was a member of the Canton Moose lodge #429, the Canton American Legion Post 3303 and the Beech Flats Grange #336. He attended St. Paulís Episcopal Church in troy. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Marlene K. Husted Wilber, at home; son and daughter-in-law Douglas Jr. and Vicki Wilber of Canton, PA; daughters and sons-in-law, Debra and Gonzalo Barajas of Mahopac, NY, Cheryl and Mark Rogers of Sylvania, PA and Jane Wilber of Kingston; nine grandchildren and two step-grandchildren; a great-grandson; two sisters and a brother; extended family Charles Storrs of Florida, Phyllis Beck of Canton, PA and Shirley Rathbun of Canton; several aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and cousins; many friends and neighbors. Doug was predeceased by an infant brother in 1939; and brothers, William in 1970 and Donald in 1995. Funeral services were held October 11 at the Pepper Funeral Home in Canton (11 am) with interment to follow at the Beech Flats Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the American Cancer Society, Bradford Unit, 1938 E. Third St., Williamsport, PA 17701 or the American Leukemia Society, 1311 Mamaroneck Ave., Third Floor, White Plains, NY 10605 in Mr. Wilberís memory.

Alternative obituary:

Daily Review
Towanda, PA
October 2000

DOUGLAS L. WILBER, SR., 66, of Canton RR 3, passed away Saturday afternoon, Oct. 7, 2000, at the Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre. Born on March 12, 1934 in Shunk, he was a son of the late Walker B. and Minnie Edkin Wilber. Doug attended Canton area schools and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Where he served our country during the Korean War. Shortly following his honorable discharge, Doug married his sweetheart, the former Marlene K. Husted, on Aug. 6, 1955 in the Alba Christian Church. Together, they raised four children and recently celebrated 45 years of matrimony. Doug was employed by Remington Rand in Elmira, N.Y. for 17 years, but it was his love of the land and farming that brought him happiness. In 1974, he acquired his fatherís farm in Beech Flats, Canton Township, and saw to its daily operations until his retirement in 1993. Doug was a member of the Canton Moose Lodge #429, the Canton American Legion Post #303, and the Beech Flats Grange #336. He attended St. Paulís Episcopal Church in Troy. Dougís main interest in life was his home and family. He especially enjoyed time spent with his loving grandchildren. His hobbies included fishing and a great love for horses. He also enjoyed horse pulling competitions. He is survived by: wife Marlene K., at home; son and daughter-in-law Douglas, Jr. and Vicki Wilber of Canton; three daughters and two sons-in-law, Debra and Gonzalo Barajas of Mahopac, N.Y., Cheryl and Mark Rogers of Sylvania, and Jane Wilber of Kingston; nine grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; a great-grandson; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Alice and Walter Wolfe of Marysville, Pa., and Betty and Gideon Lapitan of Canton, Pa.; brother and sister-in-law Harold and Betty Wilber of Marysville, Pa.; mother-in-law Jane Kelly of Canton; extended family, Charles Storrs of Florida, Phyllis Beck of Canton, Shirley Rathbun of Canton; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins and many dear friends and neighbors. Doug was predeceased by an infant brother in 1939, and brothers William in 1970 and Donald in 1995. The family invites friends from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2000 at the Pepper Funeral Home, Canton. The funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at the Beech Flats Cemetery, Canton Twp. Those who wish may direct memorials to the American Cancer Society Bradford Unit. 1938, Williamsport, Pa. or to the American Leukemia Society, White Plains, N.Y. in Mr. Wilberís loving memory.

Daily Review [likely]
Towanda, PA
November 1998

Glen A. Brown, 57, of Towanda passed away Thursday, Nov. 5, 1998 at Wilson Memorial Hospital in Johnson City, NY. Born March 10, 1941 in Sayre, he was a son of Delbert and Leola Shaver Brown. Glen spent his early years in East Towanda. He was formerly employed by Karl shiner, Steve and Ed Strickland, and the A&P Plant in Horseheads, NY until its closure. He also worked for Rolling Acres in Wysox. Surviving are: a son and daughter-in-law, Allen and Marlene Brown of New Albany; a son, Christopher Brown of Erie, PA; two brothers and sisters-in-law: Roy and Emilie Brown of Middleburg, PA, and Neil and Emma Brown of Towanda; two sister and brothers-in-law: Harriet and Claude Glidewell of Clarksville, Tenn., and Maxine and John Simpson of Monroeton; and four grandchildren: Dustin, Amanda, Jenny and Melinda Brown. the funeral service will be held on Monday, Nov. 9, 1998, at 3 p.m. at the Maryott-Bowen Funeral Home, 217 York Ave., Towanda, PA, with the Rev. Harry L. Ferguson officiating. Interment will follow in Wysox Cemetery, Wysox. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the funeral service Monday afternoon at the funeral home. The family suggests that memorial contributions may be directed to the Brown Grandchildren Continuing Education Fund in care of Allen Brown, RR#2, Box 16B, New Albany, PA 18833, in Mr. Brown's memory.

Independent Sentinel
Canton, PA
May 1991

CLIFFORD S. WILLIAMS SR., 81 of 15 N. Center St., Canton, a Canton resident for 81 years, passed away May 31, 1991 at the Bradford County Manor. He was born June 2, 1909 in Canton the son of Thomas Earl Williams and Frances Watts Williams Belknap. He retired in 1984 as a maintenance man for Belmar Manufacturing in Canton where he had worked for 20 years. Previously he had bee a radio and TV repairman for the Western Auto for 21 years. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Pearl M. Mulno Williams; two sons, Clifford S. Williams Jr., Barton, NY and James L. Williams, Canton; three daughters, Ruth Meuse, Canton, Betty Deljanovan, Trout Run and Phoebe Smith, Bodine; 28 grandchildren and 53 great-grandchildren; one sister Dolly Wrenn, Waterbury, CT and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a daughter, Betty Jean Williams in 1937 and a grandson, Joseph L. Meuse II in 1967. Funeral services were held Monday at the Morse and Kleese Funeral home, Canton with the Rev. Richard Barner, pastor of the Canton Ecumenical Parish officiating. Interment was in the Park Cemetery. Memorial donations may be directed to the Alzheimerís Foundation in Mr. Williamsí memory.

Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
May 26, 1920

Mrs. Amelia Lewis died at her home in Hillsgrove Wednesday, May 19. She is survived by her husband, Moses Lewis, one son, one brother and three sisters.
Funeral services were held at Hillsgrove, Friday, with interment in the Hillsgrove cemetery.
Note: She was born Amelia Beaumont in 1851, daughter of Walker and Hannah (Grubham) Beaumont.

Sullivan Gazette and Herald
Dushore, PA
June 02, 1920

Mrs. Amelia Lewis. Miss [sic] Amelia Lewis of Hillsgrove died at 5 o'clock Wednesday morning at the Williamsport Hospital at the Age of 69 years 8 days.
Besides her husband she leaeves two daughters and one son, Mrs. Robert Lewis, Mrs. James Davis, Mrs. John W. Lewis, all of Hillsgrove.
Four sisters and one brother also survive, Mrs. Sarah Shaver of Waverly, N. Y., Mrs. Dudley Lattimier [sic] of Binghaton, N. Y., Mrs. Eliza Wakeley of Laceyville, Pa., James Beaumont of Waterbury, Conn., and Mrs. Estella Holmes of Waverly, N. Y.
Funeral services were held at the M. E. Church at Hillsgrove May 21st. Interment was made in the Hillsgrove Cemetery.

Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
October 21, 1993

MRS. EDNA AMANDA BEDFORD BRENCHLEY, 65 of RD 1 Forksville passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1993 following a lingering illness. Mrs. Brenchley was the daughter of the late John and Emma Bedford and the wife of the late Dean Brenchley who passed away in 1985. Mrs. Brenchley is survived by two sisters; Mrs. Alberta Hewitt of Hillsgrove, who also had cared for her during her illness and Mrs. Roscoe (Laura) Brenchley of Dallas, Pa.; one step-brother, Olin Shaffer of Greeley, Colo, and numerous nieces and nephews. Mrs. Brenchley was a member of the Estella United Methodist Church in Estella. She had been a life-time resident of the Sullivan County area. She had worked for 21 years in the housekeeping department at the Dar-Way Nursing Home in Estella until her illness. Family and friends are invited to call on Friday at the Russell P. McHenry Funeral Home, 119 Carpenter St., Dushore from 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral service will be held in the Estella United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, 1993 with the Rev. James Lewis, her pastor and the Rev. John Pittinger, pastor of the Loyalsock Baptist Church officiating. There will be calling from 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral. Burial in Bethel Cemetery.

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