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Settlers VIII: George McDonald and Ethel Travis: Descendants of Patrick McDonald and Catherine Burns

The material in this article was contributed by Mary Jane Olson Martin of DuBois, PA. She is a direct descendant of the TRAVIS and MCDONALD families who settled in the area. She can be reached at The Sullivan County Settlers Web Page is grateful to Mary Jane and her family for their contribution of information and pictures.

George McDonald and Ethel Travis:
Descendants of Patrick McDonald (1809-1875) and Catherine Burns (1820-1893)

On the left: son of George Leo
On the right: George Leo McDonald, holding Margaret Monahan, daughter of Ethel (Travis) McDonald's sister Margaret and therefore George Leo's niece
About 1916 based on the age of the child
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

Ethel (Travis) McDonald seated with an unknown friend
About 1916 based on the age of the child
About the time of her marriage in 1915
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

There are at least three great families named McDonald that come out of Sullivan County. It is still not clear if and how they might be related by blood, although we know that they are intermingled by marriage.

One such family descends from Patrick McDonald and Catherine Burns. Both born in Ireland, although we are unsure exactly where, it appears they emigrated to the United States between 1837 and 1841. They came to farm in the Dushore area and raised at least 13 children.

This biographical section will be expanded over time as we add more information about the family and add sections on the families of the various children and grand-children.

Let us begin with William McDonald, Senior, one of those children. Born in 1845 on the farm near Dushore, he grew up to become a miner. He worked in the mines at Bernice near Dushore until 1893, when he moved the family west to Reynoldsville in Jefferson County. He died of a "heavy cold" in 1928. Over time, much of this great McDonald family would relocate into this area. Their descendants still live in that area today. We will add more about William McDonald and his family later on.

However, this is a story about George Leo McDonald (09/19/1889-11/07/1951) and his wife Ethel Travis (04/18/1895-1963). George and Ethel were both born in Reynoldsville. They were married on July 15, 1915. Ethel was the daughter of William Bash Travis (1851-1937) and Mary Jane Cumminskey (1859-1933) and spelled a lot of different ways as well. She is shown front and center in the group family photo taken in 1909, shown here.

Front, l to r: Three children of William and Mary Jane Cumminskey Travis: Patrick, Ethel and Walter Travis
Second row, l to r: Georgia and Robert Travis (holding their son Edward); William and Mary Jane Cumminskey Travis (holding twin grandchildren Jimmy and Joseph Hartless); Joseph and Kitty Travis
Back, l to r: Four sisters: Susan (Travis) Belnap; Martha Elizabeth "Bessie" (Travis) Cassatt; Mae (Travis) Yohe; and Adaline (Travis) Hartless with her husband Robert Hartless
Note: Relationships can be more easily determined from the following text.
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

Here is another picture of George and Ethel with several of their descendants; the photo was taken some time before Margaret Mae, their daughter, was married in 1948.

Standing, l to r: Margaret Mae (McDonald) Olson,
Ethel Dorma (Travis) McDonald, and George Leo McDonald
Center: Adaline (McDonald) Smith
Seated, l to r: Mary Jane (McDonald) Snyder and Harry Patrick McDonald
Note: Relationships can be more easily determined from the following text.
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

Our William Travis was reputed to be a blood descendant of Colonel William B. Travis (1809-1836), the commandant of the Alamo! However, we have no independent verification of this family lore. The oval-shaped picture included with this story is a picture of either our William or his father that has been kept in the McDonald-Travis family for over 150 years. Both had the same name, William, and the back of the picture is inscribed with "William B. Travis". We are still unraveling the actual relationship with the Colonel, if any, since he left no children who subsequently had children of their own named Travis. However, we believe "our" William Travis may be a fourth or fifth cousin of the famous military hero. Take a look at the picture of William Travis in the group photos where he is shown. You can see the family resemblance in the pictures.

The other pictures enclosed show several members of the McDonald, Travis and related families taken between 1915 and 1920. We'll add more pictures and more of the story as details become available.

As of July 2000, the following chronology was believed to be the most current genealogy for the ancestors of Ethel Travis McDonald.

WILLIAM TRAVIS, b. 1720 perhaps in Wales, emigrated to US in 1774, died after 1788, m. to MARY ______; their children were:
JOHN TRAVIS, b. November 10., 1739
WILLIAM TRAVIS, b. October 27, 1774 on ship enroute to the US, d. Jan. 7, 1840, m. MARY ELIZABETH GAHAGAN, b. August 29, 1779, d. Oct. 29, 1831
GEORGE TRAVIS, b. Fe. 11, 1780
MARY TRAVIS, b. April 22, 1772
JANE TRAVIS, b. Nov. 2, 1783
ELIZABETH TRAVIS, birthday unknown, m. _________ BATEMAN.

William Travis and Mary Gahagan had been promised in marriage by their families Both of their fathers fought in the Revolutionary War. Later, in 1802, William built the first mill in what is now West Mahoning Township, PA The children of William Travis and Mary Gahagan were:
THOMAS M., b. Aug. 27, 1799, married REBECCA WATT
JOHN, b. Aug. 22, 1804, m. CATHERINE CRISSMAN
WILLIAM BASH, b. March 21, 1802, m. JANE MCPHERSON
JAMES, b. July 6, 1808, m. PARMELIA _______
GEORGE, b. Oct. 30, 1815, m. MARTHA RICHARDS
JOSEPH W., b. April 30, 1821, m. EMILY COLEMAN
MARGARET, b. Dec. 7, 1818, m. JAMES GOURLEY
MARY, b. Sept. 16, 1811, m. WILLIAM CALHOUN
Note: NANCY, born to a mother named SIMMS, was a half-sister to the other siblings.

William Bash Travis, the Ist, and Jane McPherson had five children:
JOSEPH W. (see picture below), b. 1831
FRANKLIN, b. 1837
ANNA BELL, b. 1841
MARTIN W., b. 1844

Joseph W. Travis
Son of William Bash Travis I and Jane McPherson
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

William Bash Travis, the IInd, and Eliza KIDD had two children:

ANNA BELL, m. _______ SWARTZ
WILLIAM BASH, b. 1851, m. EMILA BRINK; their son was:

William Bash Travis, the IIIrd, subsequently married MARY JANE CUMMINSKEY and their children were:
-1. ROBERT, m. GEORGIA _____, later, when widowed, she remarried as Georgia NAGEL to the mayor of Dubois, PA; children: EDWARD and MARY ELLEN TRAVIS
-v. MARGARET E. (TRAVIS) SHANNON (08/14/1891-04/21/1995); married (1) HARRY "BUD" SHANNON (d. 1916) in 1915, two children: ROBERT MCDONALD SHANNON and MARGARET MAE SHANNON (04/08/1916-12/25/1996). Margaret Mae Shannon married JOHN DAVID MONAHAN (06/05/1913-12/02/1995) on October 20, 1933; four children: BETTY JANE (MONAHAN) COLLINS, JOHN DAVID MONAHAN, WILLIAM MONAHAN and PATRICK MONAHAN. Margaret E. Travis later married (2) WILLIAM SPRATT; they had no children.
Note: Preceding information courtesy of Mrs. John "Bonnie" Monahan.

-vii. WALTER
-viii. ADALINE (TRAVIS) HARTLESS, m. ROBERT HARTLESS, twin sons: JAMES and JOSEPH HARTLESS; later, when widowed, Adaline remarried as Adaline CRICKEY and her son Joseph took this new surname while his brother retained the Hartless surname

Mary Jane Cumminskey (1851-1921) was the youngest child of EDWARD MOHNEY CUMMINSKEY (born in 1810 in Bedford County, PA; died in 1864), a laborer, then subsequently a physician, in Indiana County, PA, and ELIZABETH JAME ("Jane") PORTER (1820-1870). One record suggests she was actually born in Kittanning in Armstrong County, but that is still not established. She may have been the natural child of the oldest son of this couple and SARAH PORTER, a niece of the family matron, and thereafter been adoped and raised by the larger family. We say that because these are the names listed on the death notice for Mary Jane in 1921. In any case, Mary Jane was raised by her mother's older brother, William Porter (born in 1794) and his wife Elizabeth ("Betsy").

After much research, it has been determined that E. M. Cumminskey and Elizabeth Porter had the following children:
-AUGUSTUS -ALEXANDER -JOSEPH -JOHN P. R. -MARTHA AGNES -CRISTYAN, married ANTHONY PETERS -MARY JANE, wife of William Bash Travis, the IIIrd, perhaps an adopted daughter

To digress momentarily, at least two of the children served in the Civil War, Joseph and John P. R., as did Anthony Peters, their brother-in-law. All three were in the Army of the Potomac, 3rd Corps, 1st Division, 1st Brigade, 105th Regiment of PA Volunteers. John was in Company D, Joseph was in Company K, and Anthony was in Company G. Joseph and Anthony survived the war. john was killed at Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862. He was a lieutenant leading his men in battle when a shell struck him in the head and killed him instantly. The casualty sheet listing his death as "killed in action" was certified by Brigadier General Phil Kearney. Early in life, John P. R. (born December 31, 1838) studied for the Catholic priesthood, then was studying law when the war broke out. He was mustered in on June 21, 1861, transferred to the 105th Regiment of PA Volunteers, and promoted on February 6, 1862 to first lieutenant of his company. According to his commanding officer, he was "an excellent officer" who had won the esteem and confidence of his men and fellow officers. (Source: History of the One Hundred and Fifth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, page 198. Chapter III of the same source describes the Battle of Fair Oaks in great detail.)

Here is a picture of the fallen hero from the same source:


Lieutenant John P. R. Cumminskey
Killed in action at Fair Oaks, VA, May 31, 1862
One of five men posthumously recognized in this regimental history sketch, J. P. R.'s is the bottom drawing.

We also have a copy of a letter that John sent home to his sister Mary Jane, whom he called "Janie". The text reads:

We are not far from Richmond now and heavy firing is heard in front nearly every day; and we are hourly expecting a general engagement. If the Rebs don't come out and show fight we will serve them here as we did at Yorktown--"Engineer them out."
The weather would be very pleasant here if it didn't rain so much, but it rains nearly every other day--making very bad Roads and muddy Camps. Yesterday I had 100 men out working on the Roads and today their's 100 out under Capt. Hamilton, Company "I" 105th.
I am sorry to hear of Christyan's eyes being sore, that is very troublesome I have had a touch of it myself.
All is quiet this morning, the storm has driven the Rebs into their dens, they will be out though whenever the sun shines-"like snakes".
I am tired of writing and now I must close for the present.
Write me a letter soon-
I inclose $5.00 in this, for you and Martha-and whenever you need anything you can't getwrite to me and I will send you the money-My wages is $110.50 a month-One hundred ten dollars and fifty cents.
Tell Mom she need not expect me home until Richmond is taken and I can't tell how soon that will be nor how soon after I will get home because Capt. Duff wants to go home and when he goes I must stay with the Company-our 2nd Lt. is sick.

Address: Company "D" 105th Regt., Pennsylvania Volunteers
Washington, D.C.

Your affectionate Brother John to a much loved sister Janie.

Soon after this letter was written, John was killed in battle.

On January 3, 2003, Mary Jane provided us with the latest research into the history and relationships among all of her ancestral families: Travis, Porter, Cummiskey and McDonald. Using her own words, this is what was known at that time:

The Porters and Cummiskeys

John Patrick Porter from Ireland, born 1758, died and was buried in Covode Pa. in 1840. His wife, Eleanor "Nellie" Kearney, born in Ireland in 1780, died and was buried in Covode Pa. in 1850. Eleanor and John Patrick Porter married in Westmoreland County, PA in 1783.

The children of John Patrick Porter and Eleanor Kearney Porter were:

Eleanor born:September 1804
Anna (Joanna) born March 1806
William born 1794; married Elizabeth (Betsy)
Elizabeth; married "_____ LONDIN"
Katherine; married GEORGE RAGER (John Patrick Rager's direct line)
Elizabeth "Jane" born 1817; married EDWARD MOHNEY CUMMISKEY, born in 1803 in Bedford County, PA and buried in Dayton, PA
Note: Donna Travis-Lloyd states she was born 1820.) Agnes married "______ KNEHN"
Mary married "_______ BRUMBAUGH"
John; was married

William Porter and Elizabeth (Betsy) Porter's children were:

John born 1825
Note: 1850 census states he is 25 so his birth year would have been 1825;
1860 census states he is 40 years old. so birth year would have been 1820.
Vicky Condrick states his birth year is 1820-1823.

Patrick born 1827 (Patterson)
Note: 1850 census states his age as 23 years old; birth year would have been 1827.
1860 census states his age as 40 years old, birth year would have been 1832.
1870 census states his age as 43 years old,birth year would have been 1827.
Vicky Condrick states his birth as 1823.

......Married Margaret Leech, daughter of Francis and Anna Leech of Jefferson County, PA. Children to Patrick and Margaret were:

Rebecca Jane, born Dec. 19,1866; died Nov. 26,1920; married James Jackson, then married Henry Magle.
Margaret born 1870
Mary born 1872
Sarah born 1876
An unnamed child who died April 15,1864

William born 1829
Note: 1850 census states his age as 21 years old; birth year would have been 1829
Vicky has the same birth year.

Eleanor born 1831
Note: 1850 census states her age as 19 years old; birth year would have been 1831
Vicky has same birth year.

Mary born 1834
Note: 1850 census states her age 16 years old; birth year would have been 1834.
Vicky has same year.

Jane born 1838
Note: 1850 census states her age as 12 years old; birth would have been 1838.
Vicky has no dates on her.

David born 1840
Note: 1850 census states his age as 10 years old; birth would have been 1840.
Vicky has the same year.

Sarah born 1843
Note: 1850 census does not list her. She should have been shown at 7 years old.
1860 census states her age as 17 years old, birth year would have been 1843.
Vicky has 1838 as birth date.

She married Augustus Cummiskey, her first cousin, son of Edward Mohney Cummiskey and her father's sister Elizabeth "Jane" Porter. In turn, their child Mary Jane Cummiskey/Comiskey was born in 1859.

Children to Elizabeth Jane Porter and Edward Mohney Cummiskey were:

Augustus Cummiskey born 1834;
Note: 1850 census states he was 16 years old.
married Sarah Porter, his first cousin.

Alexander born 1835
Note: 1850 census states he was 15 years old.

John Parick R. born 1839
Note: 1850 census states he was 11 years old.
Fought and died in the Battle of Fair Oaks, May 31,1862. Company D. He was 22 years old when he passed. Has a grave marker at Ringgold, PA.

Grave Marker Ringgold, PA
Lieutenant John P. R. Cumminskey
Killed in action at Fair Oaks, VA, May 31, 1862

Cristyan born 1842
Note: 1850 states she was 8 years old.
She was first married to Anthony Peters; then she was married to "_______ Powell". Buried in Shannondale, PA.

Joseph born 1844
Note: 1850 census states he was 8 years old.
Fought and died in the Battle of Fair Oaks, Comapny K. His body is still in VA.

Martha Agnes born 1846; died 1922; married, William Harmon Miller

Mary Jane born Feb. 8,1851 ,in Kittaning, Armstrong County, PA; died Feb. 25 1921; married Samuel Schilling.

Augustus and Sarah Porter-Cummiskey had one child, Mary Jane Commiskey/Comiskey/Cummiskey, born in 1859.

Mary Jane Cummiskey born May 2,1859; died November 11, 1933; married William Bash Travis, born August 12,1851; died October 31,1937.

William' s first wife was Emilia Brink (daughter of Perry Brink of Armstrong County, PA) They had one son, Samuel James Travis, born 1869; died 1950.

The Travis Line

William Travers/Travis born 1720; married to Mary Love

William Travis, born on a ship from Scotland on Oct. 27, 1774 or 1777 depending on which side of the family you talk to. He died Jan. 7, 1840. at age 65 yrs. 3 mo. He married Mary Elizabeth Gahagan, daughter of Thomas Gahagan and Cristina Jungerman YOUNG. Mary Elizabeth was born Aug. 29,1779; died Oct. 29,1831.

They had many children but Mary Jane's direct line is their son William Travis born March 21, 1802. He married Jane McPherson, daughter of Thomas McPherson. They left Armstrong County in their retirement years and moved to Madison, Iowa. William and Jane also had many children, including another William Travis, born in 1830. He married ELIZA KIDD. They had two children:

William Bash Travis, born August 12,1851 and died October 31, 1937; married Mary Jane Cummiskey
Anna Bell Travis, married "______ Swartz".

You can see a picture of the 1922 First Methodist Church Ladies Bible Class, Reynoldsville, PA. Mary Jane is second from the right seated in the first row. She is the tiny little woman with a black shawl on in a "V" in the front with a white blouse underneath it. Allegedly, all of the aunts to Mary Jane's mother were also standing in the group. Dated to July of that year, the single male in the front row is identified as Rev. J. C. Buck, Pastor. He is flanked by Mrs. W. B. Stauffer, Teacher, and Mrs. Arthur O'Donnell, President. For comparison, an old postcard, vintage about 1910, shows what the church itself looked like about twelve years before the bible class photo was taken:

First Methodist Church of Reynoldsville, PA
An Old Postcard Photo From About 1910
Photo Found on the Internet

The families of both children of William Travis and Eliza Kidd moved to Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA as adults.

The children of William Bash Travis and Mary Jane Cummiskey were:

Robert Travis born November 6,1877; married Georgia __________ . After Robert's death, she remarried to the mayor of Dubois, PA named "Nagel". Robert and Georgia had two children: Edward, who died young of polio, and Mary Ellen.

Joesph Travis born Febuary 3,1880; married Kitty Klug. Had one child, Evelyn Travis McManigle; she married Eugene McManigle; Joseph later married Ann ________.

Susan Travis born March 8,1882; died 1948; buried in Bradys Bend,PA; married Harry Belnap.

Mae Travis born September 19,1889; first married to _______ Starrs; then married Oscar "Clyde" Yohe.

Margaret E. Travis born August 14,1891; died April 21,1995; married (1) Robert McDonald, (2) Harry "Bud" Shannon, and (3)William Spratt.
Had a son to Robert McDonald named Robert McDonald Shannon.
Had Margaret Mae Shannon to Harry "Bud" Shannon.
No children to William Spratt.

Adaline Travis born Aug. 7, 1884; died 1942; married James Hartless and then _____ Crickey. Had twin sons, James and Joseph Hartless, who changed their names to Crickey for their stepfather.

Martha Elizabeth Travis ("Bessie") born: August 4, 1887; died 1966; buried in the Reynoldsville Cemetery, Reynoldsville, PA.
Married (1) J.B. Flowers
(2) Darwin Gilbert Cassatt; died Aug. 18,1994.
She raised Darwin's six sons to his deceased first wife, Mary Jane O'Donnell-Cassatt.
She had no children of her own.

Ethel Travis born April 18, 1895; died Oct. 30, 1963; married George Leo McDonald born September 19,1889; died November 7, 1951.
Buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Reynoldsville,PA.
Married July 15,1915
Note: Mary Jane Olson-Martin's direct line.

Patrick Travis born April 18,1900 died 1935

Walter born January 15,1901; died Tuesday morning, January 15, 1927, when he came into contact with a high voltage wire in a mine near Homer City, Indiana County, PA. You can read about Walter and the other employees of the Coy Mines who were injured or killed in the line of work at A Memorial to the Coal Miners of the Coy Mines. This is part of the online Virtual Museum of Coal Mining in Western Pennsylvania.

To return to our main story, Ethel Travis married George McDonald and they had the following children:

KATHRYN; married HARRY ANTHONY and adopted three children: Kimberley, William and John

JOHN BUFORD, b. 02/22/1916-1983; WW II veteran; m. KATHERINE GIEST; they had one daughter named Janie

WILLIAM FREDERICK, b. 12/21/1923 in Reynoldsville, PA; died July 9, 1990; married KATHERINE ROWE (born in England); their children were: Michael, Karen, Vicky, Judy, Mary Lou, Patty and Tracey

ADALINE; married (1) IVAN UPLINGER; they had one daughter: Mary Kathryn; married (2) RICHARD SMITH; they had these children: Richard, Dorthy, Robert, Martha Jane and Debora

MARY JANE; married JOHN R. SNYDER of Rockton; then they moved to North Tonawanda, NY; their children were: John ("Jack"), Lorrie Mae, William and David

HARRY "PATRICK"; married Patricia Buick; their children were George Leo, Maureen and Susan

MARGARET MAE, born January 28, 1929 m. DONALD PAUL OLSON

ETHEL, b. 06/1925 in Reynoldsville, PA




Note: There was one more child, name unknown.

Margaret Mae and Donald Olson had four children:

MARY JANE; born September 27, 1949 (see more below)
DONALD DAVID; married Linda Rae Kirk; they had a son named Shaun David Olson, born November 21, 1973
PATRICIA DARLEEN; born November 14, 1953; married Raymond Angeletti
KATHRYN MAE; born April 10, 1955; married Thomas George Walls; their children are: Brent Thomas (born November 24, 1974), Jason Patrick (born January 1, 1976) and Meghan Mae (born June 1, 1985)

Donald Olson and Margaret Mae McDonald
Marriage License
August 14, 1948
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

Here is a picture of Margaret Mae Olson in 2001 with Gloria Olson Taylor and Kathryn Olson McBride, two sisters of her deceased husband, Donald Olson.

Three Sisters-in-Law
Gloria Olson Taylor, Margaret Mae McDonald Olson and Kathryn Olson McBride
Summer 2001
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

Mary Jane, daughter of Margaret Mae and Donald and also our primary contributor, was first married to RICHARD DEJOHN with whom she had two children:

BROOKE DAWN; born November 11, 1974; married Robert Scott Shumaker on September 15, 2001
BRANDON RICHARD; born December 30, 1981
She is now married to ALBERT MARTIN. Here is a picture of Mary Jane and Al taken in 2001 at the wedding of her daughter Brook.

Albert Martin and Mary Jane Olson
Husband and Wife
Summer 2001
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

Here are two grave markers for various members of the McDonald and related families.

George L. McDonald and Ethel Dorma Travis
Grave Marker
St. Mary's Cemetery, Winslow Township
Near Reynoldsville, PA
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

John Buford McDonald and Katherine Giest
Grave Marker
Ohl Cemetery, Ohl PA
Northwest of Punxsutawney, PA
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

The two grave marker photos above and the four attached pictures were provided by Mary Jane Martin of Dubois, PA. They were scanned in by her talented daughter Brooke DeJohn. Mary Jane is a grand-daughter of George L. McDonald and Ethel Travis McDonald.Also enclosed here is a brief interview of Margaret Mae Olson (1929-), Mary Jane's mother and a daughter of George and Ethel. The interview was conducted on January 25, 2000 by Meghan Walls, daughter of Kathryn Olson Walls and Mary Jane's niece. Ethel Travis McDonald was Meghan's great-grandmother and Margaret Mae Olson is her grandmother. Meghan was in the Ninth Grade at Dubois Area, PA High School when she wrote up this interview.

"When I was a young girl...", an interview with Margaret Mae Olson about life in the 1930's and early 40's:

When I was a young girl, we had lived in a small, country, farmhouse in the small town of Sandy Valley. That's on the outskirts of Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania. 'And on our farm, we had some cows...', BUT there were NO E-I-E-I-O's, although our name was McDonald. We not only raised cows, but pigs, chickens, and many many more animals. My brothers, sisters, and I usually tended the vegetable garden. We made butter and buttermilk with our large, mahogany-brown churn. The butter would float to the top and the buttermilk stayed at the bottom. Then, at school, they had large, black, pot-bellied-stoves, and, throughout the homes, they used heating stoves. There were no inside restrooms like today. They were all outside ones, like 'Out-houses'. While in school, all of my fellow students would ask to please go to the bathroom. The teacher would let them, but they wouldn't return for about twenty minutes.

Back then my family had no motor vehicle. Not all that many people did. We had to walk anywhere and everywhere we wanted to go. So, my family was pretty slim and had lots of exercise. We were all beautiful young girls, too.

The school my siblings and I attended was the 'Sandy Valley School. As a joke, I called it the 'Sandy Valley Monkey College.' I'm not really sure why, though, I always thought that the kids were pretty well-behaved. This school was a small, two-room schoolhouse, with one classroom on each end of the school. That made two rooms. In one, they taught grades one through four. In the other they taught grades five through eight. My two teachers there were : Miss Mary Marvin and Mrs. Helen Penhall. Miss Marvin had long red hair and we always had a recess. Well, during the recess, I would comb her hair, the whole time. She loved it and I enjoyed it because then I thought I would've liked to have been a beautician. She always said that she was going to take me home because she liked me so much. I think that I would have been considered the 'Teachers Pet'. Also, every day, I would bring in an apple for the teachers. Miss Marvin was a teacher that would spend her day helping you. At the beginning of every day, she would read some of the Bible to us and have us pray, then we would salute the flag. She held these 'Spelling Bees'. That is, if you would win, you would get payed fifty cents. And to make even more money, I would usually stay after class to help clean up the room. I would make sure it was all neat and clean. With that, I earned two dollars. But you only got paid at the end of the month. So, you would have however much you earned from the 'Spelling Bees', and that two dollars, all at the end of the month. Mrs. Penhall, was just as sweet as Miss Marvin. But Mrs. Penhall had a small, terrier dog that she would bring into class. She would yell at it, 'Sit down Judy', when it would bark or act up during class. She was married to a man named Theodore Penhall, 'Teddy' for short. He was in the Navy and then he was discharged and went on to be an insurance man in Reynoldsville. Mrs. Penhall is still living. She lives in Reynoldsville still. Sorry to say, her husband passed away a year or so ago.

Well, with the money I had made at school, I would take my sisters and me, and walk downtown to Reynoldsville, about 3 miles away from home. We would go and watch a 'Cowboy Movie', and a 'Love Story Movie' type thing. It only cost us eleven cents a piece. I was always in love with the Lone Ranger. Then, later, on the walk home, I would buy my sisters and I an ice-cream cone each. There were three of us, and one of us would get vanilla, one would get chocolate, and one would get strawberry. Those only cost about five cents a piece.

Some of the technology of today that was kind of scarce back then is : electricity, telephones, televisions, radios, and motorized vehicles. Cars weren't very popular, but they were around. The oil lamp was our main source of light, even at the schools.

I started my freshman year in school at 'Reynoldsville High School' (RHS) But about my junior year, my mother (Grandma Ethel) got very ill. I had to miss a lot of school to stay home and help take care of her, so, by my senior year, of course she wanted me to return to school, but I was too worried about her. So I never made it to my senior year. If I could go back, I would. I would finish school. About two years after all of this, I met my husband, we got married, then by age twenty-eight we had 4 kids running around. One boy, and three girls.

Currently, I have six grandchildren, two girls and four boys, and one great-granddaughter. But I also have another great-granddaughter on the way. And thats where I stand today. I live here, at my cozy, home in DuBois, Pennsylvania, with my husband and our dogs, a Dalmatian, and a Weinerdog. And thats it.

Mrs. Patrick Travis (sister-in-law of Ethel Travis), Mae Travis Yohe (sister of Ethel Travis), Mary Jane Cumminskey Travis (mother of Ethel Travis),William Travis (father of Ethel Travis) and Margaret Mae (Shannon) Monahan (daughter of Ethel's sister Margaret)
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

Top: Evelyn Travis McDonald, Unknown, Mary Jane Cumminskey, Bud Yohe, Bessie McDonald Anthony, and Mrs. Patrick McDonald, Bottom: Evelyn Travis McManigle (daughter of Ethel Travis McDonald's brother "Uncle Joe" and his wife "Aunt Kitty" Travis) Unknown child (probably a sister of Evelyn Travis McManigle) Adaline McDonald Smith (age two, daughter of George L. and Ethel Travis McDonald) John Buford McDonald (son of George L. and Ethel Travis McDonald)
Photo contributed by Mary Jane Martin

Note: Remember to click the pictures to see them full size!

Photos contributed by Mary Jane Martin

William B. Travis, reputedly related to the Commandant of the Alamo according to some family members, although evidence to that effect is so far lacking; may be the father of William Bash Travis and grandfather of Ethel Travis McDonald, or may be Ethel's father himself

Mary Jane Cumminskey, wife of William Travis, in later life

McDonald Family Crest
Courtesy of Ernest Hatton, Jr.

Travis/Travers Family Crest
Courtesy of Ernest Hatton, Jr.

Contributed by Robert E "Bob" Sweeney

Copyright 1999 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (

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