Welcome to Pennsylvania Genealogy Trails!

Genealogy Trails
Erie County Pennsylvania
Obituaries and Death Notices



Gerald Becker

Contributed by Pete Smith



Meadville, March2.-an Erie medical student was killed ands his two companions were injured critically at 2:55 p. m. Friday when a Nypano tractor trailer, loaded with 27,580 pounds of steel, smashed into and demolished their Ford coupe on Route, 98, three and half miles from here. Gerald Becker, twenty-four , son of Mr. and Mrs. William F. Becker, 3006 French St., Erie died of a broker neck about forty minutes after the crack up, while he was being rushed to the Spencer hospital.

His two companions, Leonard Otis, twenty-one, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Otis, 3106 Cheery St., and Miss. Helen Louise Bovard, twenty-four, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard G. Bovard, 2029 Union Ave. Wesleyville, were critically injured and are in the Spencer hospital. Leonard Otis was reported by state police to be suffering from two bad cuts on one arm, a broken left leg and possible internal injuries. The Bovard girl was said to have suffered a broken left leg, broken left arm and also has possible internal injuries.

State Police said that Walter Stafford, twenty-six, R. D. Cambridge Springs, Pa., was operating the tractor trailer, owned by The Nypano Transport Co.318 E. 16th St., Erie and headed by L. V. Metz., Stafford escaped injuries.

Stafford told state police that he had 25,780 pounds of circular pieces of steel which he obtained at Heppenstall Co., Pittsburg, and was hauling to the Hollow Boring Co., Erie. He was descending a steep grade on state highway Route 102, and was almost halfway down the grade when a drive shaft broke The heavily loaded truck careened out of control, up another grade , through a "Stop" sign and had started down another grade.  It sped through a second "Stop" sign where Route 102 intersects with Routs 98, passing a car which had stopped at the junction of the two roads, when the Ford coupe, Becker was  operating loomed ahead, traveling in the same direction.

Stafford maneuvered the tractor trailer in an attempt to pass the Ford as the stretch of road ahead was fairly level and straight. He was almost ready to swerve around the Ford when another car, going in the opposite direction, appeared over a small rise in the road. Stafford made a sharp cut to the right them to the left to straighten the tractor. It started weaving and swung the right front of the trailer into the left rear of the Ford.  The tractor - trailer shoved the Ford approximately 300 feet along the right bank of the highway, ripped out 29 guard rails and dropped the car over a 15 - embankment . Then, as it swerved to the right, the rear wheels of the trailer broke loose and tore the top of the Ford, knocking the motor out of the frame, telescoping the vehicle and throwing  over the back of the drivers seat, breaking his neck. The truck section of the trailer continued over a little gully before it stopped. The heavy load of steel stayed in the trailer.

Gordon Mc Clellan, Mercer, operator of the vehicle that came over the rise in the road , witnessed the accident through the mirror of his car. He stopped a short distance from the wreckage and hurried back , assisting Otis to the embankment. An ambulance from the Byham Funeral home rushed Becker and the Bovard girl to the hospital , while Otis was taken in another ambulance.

Becker is said to have been studying medicine; . Otis pre-law and business administration, and the girl social service work at Thiel college. They had been traveling to Erie to spend the weekend at their respective homes.

Otis's father is foreman at the Swanson Tool Co., while the Bovard girl's father is a yard foreman for the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. in Erie.

Besides his parents, Becker is survived by one sister, Lucille.  He was graduated from Academy High school with the Class of 1941and enlisted in the armed forces June 9th 1942. He served overseas as a first lieutenant in the 15th Air Force. He was awarded five battle stars and the air medal with two oak leaf clusters. He was honorably discharged Oct. 12, 1945. The young man was a member of the Luther Memorial church.

Friends invited to call at the Chester A. Schaal funeral home, 550 W. 9th St., and to attend services there at 2p. m. Tuesday. Interment will be in Erie cemetery.

James Bedford

Times Picayune  February 2, 1839

A Dreadful Death

A young man named James Bedford, committed suicide at Erie, Pa. a few days since by drinking whiskey, on a challenge that he could not drink a quart, which he however did. He died a few hours afterwards. coroner's Inquest held on the body, charged two persona as being concerned, one for selling the liquor, and the other for challenging. They were taken before a magistrate however and discharged, and exempted from any blame whatever.

- Contributed by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Caroline (Beals) Benjamin
(The Journal And Republican (Lowville, NY) - Wednesday, March 2, 1870)

BENJAMIN - At Elk Creek, Erie county, Penn., Jan. [16]th, Mrs. Caroline, wife of Abel F. Benjamin and daughter of Wheelock Beals, aged 34 years and 11 months, formerly of Greig.

-- Contributed by Jim Dezotell

John Bird

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) June 28, 1826

Erie, Pa., June 15.

Melancholy Occurrence.

On Monday night last about 10 or 11 o'clock as Mr. John Bird, of Fairview township was returning home from Mr. Stones, in a one horse wagon, his horse is supposed to have taken fright and run, and the wheel passing over a stump, upset the wagon and Mr. Bird was thrown against a tree with such violence as to cause his immediate death. He received a severe contusion on the right temple and the back of his head and chin were considerably cut. About 12 o'clock Mrs. Bird became alarmed at his not returning home, having expected him early in the evening and apprehensive that some accident detained him, wakened some of the family and sent them in search of him by whom he was found but a short distance from his own house. Mr. Bird was one of the most respectable farmers of our county and has left a large family to lament their sudden and melancholy bereavement. - Gazette.

George Washington Cleaveland.

Son of John Cleaveland and Rebecca Woodbury, and great-grandson of Rev. John Cleaveland, of Chebacco Parish, Ipswich, now Essex; born in Salem, Mass., December 21, 1815; fitted for college under his kinsman, Dr. Nehemiah Cleaveland, at Dummer Academy, Byfield, Mass.; entered the sophomore class of Bowdoin College and graduated in 1837; studied in this Seminary, 1837-38 and 1839-41, having been principal of Orleans (Mass.) Academy during the intervening year. He was licensed to preach by the Andover Association, meeting with Rev. Samuel C. Jackson, Andover, April 13, 1841, and supplied the First Church, Marblehead, Mass., 1841-42, and the Presbyterian church, Waterford, Penn., 1842-43. In the summer of the latter year he made a long tour into the new region of the Northwest with reference to the home missionary work, for which he was ordained at Orleans, Mass., September 27, 1843. On his journey westward he stopped for a Sabbath at Waterford, and remained there six years, 1843-49. He removed then to the neighboring town of Harbor Creek, and served as pastor of the Presbyterian church there until his death, supplying also for several years a Welsh Presbyterian church in Green township which he had organized - making in all fifty years of faithful, devoted, successful service.

Rev. William Grassie, of Cambridgeboro, Penn. (Class of 1855), for many years settled near Mr. Cleaveland, writes of him: "He was a man of great faith and implicit trust in God, simple in habits and tender in speech, with an open side to humanity in all its moods, a rare comforter of those in affliction. He was a man of prayer, and showed it in the atmosphere he carried with him in his intercourse with men. He was devoted to his work and his people. The little church to which he had ministered for more than forty years had his best days and thoughts and lay on his mind to the last. He was a rare man - patient, faithful, unassuming, caring not for earthly renown, only for the honor that cometh from God."

Mr. Cleaveland was married, September 27, 1843, to Keziah Sparrow Doane, of Orleans, Mass., daughter of Capt. Seth Doane and Abigail Cole. She survives him, with four sons and one daughter, one son and one daughter having deceased. One of his sons, Edward Park Cleaveland, is a Presbyterian minister, now professor of Rhetoric in Adelbert College.

Mr. Cleaveland died of nervous prostration and enlargement of the heart, at Harbor Creek, Penn., May 22, 1893, in his seventy-eighth year.

Source: Necrology … Andover Theological Seminary (1828 - 1865) transcribed by Kim Mohler

James Doyle

Doyle--Saturday, Nov 6, 1915,

Funeral from the residence of his son, John P. Doyle, 423 Ross St Tues morning, at eight oclock and from Saint Anns Church at nine oclock Friends invited.

Submitted by, Linda Dougan

William Doyle

William Doyle dies in Theater.

William Doyle, sixty-two, 950 E. 5th St, an oiler at Hammermill paper co for the past 43 years, succumbed of a heart attack in the Avenue Theater, 810 East Ave, at 7:30pm Monday according to Coroner Warren W. Wood. A fire Department inhalator squad under the Asst. Chief Edward Flannagan, was summoned by Theater employees, but Doyle was pronounced dead after efforts to revive him for an half an hour failed. Dr. JC Law, 819 East Ave was summoned from his office nearby.  

Doyle a native of Erie, survived by his wife, Emma Schuda Doyle, three sons, Vernon, Ernest and Major Clarence Doyle, with the US Army, at Fort Dix, NJ and two daughters  Mrs. Leonard Dougan and Miss. Beatrice Doyle.

Funeral Services, under the direction of A. Brugger and Sons Funeral Home, will be held In the Funeral Home and Ssaint Anns Church at a time to be announced.

Submitted by, Linda Dougan


Mrs June M. Dougan age 50, 1739 West 11th ST, Died Thursday Feb 22, 1973 at Hamot Medical center. Wife of Leonard Dougan. Mother of Mrs. Richard Brogdon (Linda) Mckean Pa, Diana and Patricia Dougan both of Erie. Sister of Clarence, Ernest and Vernon Doyle and Mrs Beatrice Tansey, all of Erie. Friends may call at the Donald C Burton Funeral Home, 602 West 10th St. on Thursday from 7-9pm and on Fieday from 2-5 and 7-9pm and are invited to services on Sat at the funeral home at 10:30 AM followed by mass of the resurrection at St Jude Church at 11:00am, burial will be in Calvery Cemetary.

Submitted by, Linda Dougan

Mrs Emma Doyle

Emma Schuda Doyle, 82 of 1739 West 11th St, died Wednesday April 29th at Hamot Medical Center after an extended illness.

She was born in Titusville Pa, January 16, 1884, the daughter of the late Albert and Julia Statdmiller Schuda.

She was the wife of the late William J. Doyle.

Survivors include three sons, Vernon, Ernest and Clarence Doyle all of Erie and two daughters Mrs Lionard Dougan of Erie and Mrs Beatrice Tansey of Brookville Pa. Fourteen grandchildren and eight ggrandchildren. Friends may call at the Donald C Burton Funeral Home 602 West 10th St from 2-5 and 7-9 Thursday Friends are invited to a prayer service at the funeral home at 8;30. A Requiem Mass will follow at St Patricks Church, 130 East 4th at 9am Internment in Calvery Cemetery.

Submitted by, Linda Dougan

A Broken-Hearted Doctor Suicides - Erie, PA., November 30. - The young and beautiful bride of J.W. Flowers, a prominent physician of Wellsburg, died recently. He became inconsolable and today committed suicide by taking poison. (Anniston Hot Blast, 01 Dec 1883, p1. Transcribed by Heather Holley)

Abbie (Blystone) Forbes

Contributed by Pete Smith



Abbie E. Forbes, forty-six, wife of Clifford B. Forbes, died suddenly of a stroke Sunday night in her residence, 837 E. 22nd St.  Mrs. Forbes had been employed by the Erie Dry Goods company for the past year.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Clarence Beamis, and two sons, Gerald Forbes and Milton Forbes ; three grandchildren, Gerry and Norman Beamis, and Jacqueline Forbes, and the following brothers and sisters, Otto Blystone, Mrs. Jerome Fileger, Emmet Blystone, Rodney Blystone, Gordon Blystone, Mrs. Raymond Morehouse, Russell Blystone, Mrs. Nellie Brindle, Mrs. Roy Brozell, Mrs. Herbert Groves, Virgil Blystone, and Eric Anderson.

The Rev. Chester W. Mc Caskey of the Wayne St. Methodist Church will officiate at at funeral service at 2 p. m. Wednesday in the Donald C. Burton funeral home, 602 W. 10th St. Interment will be in Laurel Hill cemetery.

Abraham Fuller

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) January 19 1825

Last Thursday week, a Mr. Abraham Fuller, of Erie county, was killed by a fellow of the name of Law, who struck him twice with his fist, and then kicked him in the breast. - Greensburg Gaz. -- Contributed by N. Piper

Mrs. Lillian Mabel Gates

Contributed by Pete Smith



Mrs. Lillian Mabel Gates, seventy-two, a well known resident of Cambridge Springs, Pa. died Monday noon in the residence of her son, Charles D. Gates, 523 Vennango Ave.,

Cambridge Springs, following an extended illness.

The widow of Frank Gates, she is survived by two sons, Charles, and F. Ardell Gate, of R.D. 5, Waterford; a daughter, Mrs. Fred Drake, of Lynn Haven Fla.; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Friends may call at the home of her son, Charles Gates, 523 Vennango Ave., Cambridge Springs, any time until Thursday noon, and are invited to funeral services in the Levine

funeral home, Cambridge Springs, at 2p.m. Thursday. Interment will be in Cambridge Springs cemetery.

William Cunningham Hunter

Contributed by Allen Bankson

Date: Dec., 1933

Obit: W.C. Hunter, formerly a postmaster of this City [Meadville, Pa.], but more cecently a resident of Erie, died at his home there, 710 Wallace Street, at 9:45 Thursday evening [Dec. 28, 1933]. He was 77 years old on Christmas Day. Surviving are his wife; two brothers, John T., of Hayfield township [Crawford County, Pa.], and James S., of East Mead township [Crawford County, Pa.]; three sisters, Mrs. A.T. Brown and Miss Mary Hunter, of Cochranton [Pa.], and Mrs. Ella Drake, of Whittier, California.

Mr. Hunter was born on Christmas Day, 1856, and was the fourth son of the family of 11 children of the late Andrew J. and Sally (Pardee) Hunter, of East Mead township. He grew to manhood on the farm, and in early life was engaged in oil production in the Richburg (N.Y.) field. For a long period he was a traveling salesman for the Brown-Hamilton Shoe Company of St. Louis, Mo., resigning that position to become postmaster of Meadville in September, 1922, but was compelled by failing health to resign before expiration of his term. In October, 1888, he married Miss Margaret Wilder, of Hayfield township, and Mr. and Mrs. Hunter were well known in Meadville prior to locating in Erie about two years ago. Mr. Hunter several years ago purchased a portion of the old farm in East Mead and made many improvements, and it was known as Brookside, a Summer home which the husband and wife enjoyed for a long period, and where many vistors were made welcome. Some time ago Mr. and Mrs. Hunter became members of the First Church of Christ (Scientist) of Meadville.

The funeral will be held from the Brugger funeral home, East Ninth Street, Erie, at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon [Dec. 31, 1933], to be conducted by Mrs. W.S. Minnium, reader in the local First Church of Christ, Scintist.

Class of 1877 - JOSEPH FOSTER LAND. B. 2 June, 1838, W. Dennis, Mass. Capt. and Brev. Maj. 20th Me. Vol. Inf., 1862-65. Physician. D. 29 Oct., 1912, Erie, Pa.
Source is: Dartmouth College Necrology, 1911-1912, Hanover, N.H. Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

Erie, Pa., April 8—Special Telegram— George Vance Maus, Division Freight Agent for the Pennsylvania company, died at his home in Erie today. An illness of two or three days resulted in an apoplectic stroke. He leaves ample fortune to a wife and five children.
Date: Monday, April 9, 1888 Paper: Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL) Volume: XVII Issue: 16 Page: 2 - Contributed by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Christina Moses

MOSES - July 21, on board steamer St. Paul, during the passage from Detroit to Buffalo, Christina, infant daughter of Dr. Thos. F. and H.C. Moses. July 23, at Erie, Pa, Ethelwyn, twin sister of the above.

The Medical and Surgical Reporter, Philadelphia, Sept 11, 1875. D.G. Brinton, M.D., Editor. Contributed by Linda Rodriguez

Lula (Strasser) Muth

Contributed by Pete Smith

Feb 1, 1941


Mrs. Lulu Muth, fifty, wife of Jessiah Muth 1115 E. 28th St., who was injured Dec. 28 last when the automobile in which she was riding skidded into a telephone pole on W. Ridge rd., died in St. Vincent's hospital at 5:43 p.m. as a result. According to hospital advices, she was returning home with relatives from a funeral when the accident occurred. Her husband was driving the car, Coroner W. G. Stoble, who has opened an investigation, said he was advised by the hospital.


Mrs. Muth suffered severe body bruises and from shock. Her death ensued 37 days after the accident. According to meager reports, the crash happened when the car skidded on an icy stretch of road. No other car is said to be involved.

Besides her husband, Mrs. Muth left two daughters, Mrs. Harold drake and Miss Wanda Muth, both of Erie; five sons, Carl, Roy, Lloyd and Miles Muth of Erie, and Perry Muth of Cleveland O.


She is also survived by her father, S.A. Strasser, Terra Alta, W. Va.; two brothers, Fred L. Strasser, Terra Alta, and Claude L. Strasser, Cuzzart, W. Va., and five grandchildren. Last rites will be held Friday at 3:30 p. m. in the Chester Schaal funeral home, 550 W. 9th St. Internment will be in Laurel Hill cemetery.

William Owen

Contributed by Pete Smith

Abt 1946


A WELL known Erie band leader and musician, William S. Owen, fifty seven, a resident of the Wesleyville hotel, died at 4p. m. Tuesday in the St. Vincent hospital following a brief illness.

Mr. Owens was for many years director of bands and orchestras in the Erie school system. He began his work in the school s in March 1923, when he started two classes in instrumental music at Academy High school. In July, 1923, Mr. Owens was appointed director of bands at, East Academy and the former Central High school.

In 1930 when strong Vincent high school opened and the classes at Central shifted, Mr. Owen became band leader at Vincent. He retained his post at Academy, but dropped his duties at East. He was made supervisor of senior and junior high school instrumental music in 1931and he held that position until 1936 when he was granted a year's leave of absence because of illness.

In September, 1937, the school board reappointed director of bands at Academy and Tech high schools. Later he became head of the instrumental music department at Academy.

Mr. Owen was the director of the band at St. Joseph Home for Children for many years. At one time he was also leader of the Zem Zem band.

Surviving are his wife, Dorothy Landon Owen; two sons, William S. Owen, Jr., Swampscott, Mass.; and James L. Owen, Erie; and one sister, Mrs. Lena Fitzhugh, Nashville, Tenn. Friends may call at the Chester A. Schaal funeral home, 550 w. 9th St., at any time and are invited to funeral services there at 2p. m. Saturday.

Richard Patchen


Contributed by Pete Smith


Richard Patchen, eighteen, 3019 Plum St., injured Sunday in a motorcycle-auto crash at 29th and Myrtle Sts., died at 6:05 a.m. Tuesday at St. Vincent's hospital. The youth employed at General Electric Equipment Company here received the injuries when the motorcycle he was operating crashed into an auto operated by Bruno Scalise, 1805 Walnut ST.


Patchen received a fractured skull, fractured jaw and a compound fracture of the right leg. Albert De Marco, twenty-eight, 613 Brown Ave., and Mildred De Marco, twenty-five, riding with Scalise, received minor injuries in the same accident. Patchen a brother of Theodore Patchen, investigator for the State Liquor Control Board, was well known in Erie.


Patchen's death brought the city's 1941 fatal accident toll to 14, Traffic Captain William Mc Donald said. He has ordered a full investigation into the crash and Deputy Coroner Charles Leone indicated today that an inquest will be held. The date will be set later.

Besides the brother, Patchen leaves his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Patchen; one sister Florence Patchen, and Grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Richards, of Ashtabula, O. Funeral services will be held in the Chester A. Schaal funeral home, 550 W. 9th St. Interment will follow at the Erie cemetery.

William J. Sessamen

Contributed by Pete Smith

Jan. 1941


AT St. Vincent's Hospital Tuesday morning, Jan. 7th, 1941, William J., husband of Jennie Smeltz Sessamen. Residence, 726 E. 31st St. funeral services at a time and place to be announced later.

(note: this is Great granddad Sess - Pete Smith)

Abram Tourlette

Chester Times (Chester, Pennsylvania) April 26, 1882

State Telegrams

Captain Abram Tourlette, of Union City, Erie county, was so overcome with excitement on Sunday at seeing his dwelling on fire that he dropped dead. - Transcribed by Nancy Piper

Bruce Wright

Contributed by Pete Smith



Erie clergy lost one of it's most prominent leaders Saturday night in the sudden death of Dr. Bruce S. Wright, pastor of the First Methodist church, who suffered a heart attack while visiting in the home of his son, Robert B. Wright, in Silver Springs, Md.

The Rev. Dr. Wright had suffered a heart several years ago, but had been in apparently good health recently. He was taken suddenly ill while preparing a sermon which he was to deliver in the Foundry Methodist church in Washington D. C. Sunday, where the Erie pastor was to fill the pulpit for morning services.

Prominent not only in Erie ministerial work but throughout the United States, the rev. Wright was a member of the World Peace commission of the Methodist Church and the Dean of the summer graduate school for ministers at Silver Lake, N. y. He was an Author and his articles have appeared in many religious publications throughout the country. He had served as Methodist Exchange minister to the British Isles.

A graduate of Allegheny College, Meadville, in 1905, the minister accepted his first pastorate at the First Methodist church in Fredonia, N. Y. He later came to Simpson Methodist church in Erie, leaving in 1915 to assume the pastorate of the American Church in Manila, Philippine Islands. In 1918 he returned to the United States and became pastor of Trinity church in Albany. After two years there he left for Buffalo, N. Y. where he was a minister of the Asbury church for thirteen years.

In 1934 he became pastor of the Old Stone Methodist church in Meadville and in October of that year returned to Erie and had since been pastor of the First Methodist church.One of the civic leaders of Erie, the Rev. Dr. wright was active in the Erie Community Chest and in the Erie War Chest community fund. He was recognized as an authority on Methodist church activities and was one of the leaders of the denomination's confrences. He was past commander of the Far East Commandery Knights Templar, Manila, Phillippine Islands.

Surviving are his widow and three children, Elizabeth Wright, Robert Bruce Wright, and Mrs. Howard Preston, and a sister who resides in California.

The body will lie in state in the Old Burton Homestead, 352 W. 8th St., Monday and Monday evening, where friends may pay respect. Friends are also invited to services in the First Methodist church at 11a. m. Tuesday. Dr. E. Roy Myers, district superintendent of the Meadville district, will be in charge of the services, and Bishop James H. Straughn resident Bishop of the Pittsburg area, will deliver the funeral message. Internment will be in Kane Pa.

Squire Wood
(The Journal And Republican (Lowville, NY) - Wednesday, March 23, 1864)
March [?]th, at the residence of his son, at Moreheadville, Pa., Squire Wood, aged 61 years, formerly of Turin.
-- Transcribed by Jim Dezotell

Death Records

From Vol. XVI, Number 3, page 14 Erie City Death Register

  • Doyle, Anna died 23 Feb 1884 from consumption age 28 yr.
  • Doyle, child of James, 2 Dec 1879--stillborn
  • Doyle, Hugh E, 4 nOV 1880-- From Diptheria, Age 2yr 6mo.
  • Doyle, Maggie 21 Dec 1881--From enterities, age 10 MO.

Submitted by, Linda Dougan


Back to Pennsylvania Trails History and Genealogy

Genealogy Trails National Site