Sunday, November 6, 2011

Veteran's Day

William C. McCune & Franklin R. McCune

As Veteran's Day is approaching fast. I cannot help but think what the "McCune" Family was going through during World War II. The troubling deaths of Staff Sergeant Robert Leroy  McCune on May 17, 1943 in the States, Corporal Joseph C. McConaughey on November 29, 1943 (Five months after his marriage to Eleanor Grace McCune) in France, and Private Franklin Richard McCune on December 14, 1943 in the States. On January 13, 1945 the New Castle News published:

"First Sgt. William C. McCune Is Home"

"Local Soldier Returns From Front Lines And Will Be Assigned To Duty In This Country

First Sgt. William C. McCune, son of Mr. and Mrs. William G. McCune, of Grandview avenue, arrived home Tuesday from the front lines in France, where he had been serving with the signal corps of the First Army, and after a leave which will be spent with his parents here, will be assigned to permanent duty in the United States.

Sgt. McCune, whose two brothers, S-Sgt. Robert L. McCune and Pvt. Franklin R. McCune, were killed in training accidents in this country, and whose brother-in-law, Cpl. Joseph C. McConaughey, was killed in action in France, has been in service since April, 1941, and has been overseas for the past ten months, where he has seen plenty of action against the Nazis.

He started on his journey back home from the front lines about the middle of December."

This shows your whole life could change in a matter of months and you will never realize what you have until it is gone.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Anna M. Brown

This is Anna M. Brown. She was born on April 1, 1842 to the late William and Letsa (Davidson) Brown. William Brown was the son of Joseph Brown and grandson of a Revolutionary soldier, Ensign Joseph Brown, from Connecticut. William Brown was born in Virginia in 1800. It says in the 1877 History of Lawrence County that,
"Joseph Brown came with the Parks [from Berkeley County, Virginia] and settled with them at Parkstown, but afterwards removed to Mahoning township, and rented the old Ashton farm about 1816-17. He stayed on the Ashton farm a while and then
removed to the Martin farm, on the north side of the river, where he lived four or five years, and again removed to the farm in Pulaski township, now owned by Messrs. Miller and Peyton. He finally came back to Mahoning Township and located on the farm where his son William now lives.
In 1819 William Brown began learning the mason's trade with Joshua Chenowith, at Parkstown. In 1823 he went to Cumberland County and commenced business for himself. On his birthday, in the year 1832 he was married in Cumberland County to Miss Letsa Davidson. She was the daughter of Elder George Davidson, of Mount Rock Spring. Mr. D. was elder of the Presbyterian Church at Carlisle for some thirty years. After Mr. Brown was married he came back to Lawrence County, and located where he now lives. The farm originally contained three hundred and seventy-five acres, and Mr. B. now owns two hundred and fifty. He has held numerous township offices."

Anna married George Hunt on February 12, 1867. George was born on November 30, 1833. Together they had three children, with only one growing to adulthood. George died on October 27, 1895 and Anna had died on September 7, 1933 Her family was one of the first settlers who came to Western Pennsylvania and helped Lawrence County become a county.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Franklin Richard McCune

This is Franklin Richard McCune. He was born on October 6, 1923 in New Castle, Pennsylvania to William Gray McCune and Emma May Biddle. William Gray McCune was born on May 3, 1891 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to William James McCune and Elizabeth Patton. His family's origin was County Armagh, Ireland in 1859. He and Emma May Biddle were married on February 21, 1917. Emma May Biddle was born on February 17, 1895 in Edinburg, Pennsylvania to Silas Cassidy Biddle and Margaret Zurich Cooper. Emma and William had five children together; Eleanor Grace, William Cassidy, Robert Leroy, Elizabeth Margaret, and Franklin Richard (our subject). Of these five, the three boys had gone to fight in World War II. On May 17, 1943, Franklin would have soon gotten word that his brother, Robert, had died in testing a plane in the states. With this Emma would become a Gold Star Mother for the death of her son. After the funeral, Franklin and William had gone back to serve in the military. It was no more than seven months later that Franklin would breathe his last breath. On December 14, 1943, Franklin Richard McCune died while practicing on a base in the states. Emma would then become a double Gold Star Mother with both deaths of her sons. It was such a struggle that the family had gone through. The two brothers both gave their life and devotion to their country and will never be forgotten.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Aurie C. Miller

This is Aurie C. Miller. She was born on October 8, 1864 in Hillsville, Pennsylvania to the late Isaac Rife Miller and Mary Miller. Isaac was the eldest of five children. He was born on June 10, 1834 in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Isaac's family originated from Palatine, Germany in 1725. He and Mary were married on September 22, 1863. Mary Miller, the daughter of J. H. and Elizabeth Miller, was born on September 29, 1841. Isaac died on July 1, 1903 and his wife on November 24, 1928. Together they had three children. The eldest of these three children was our subject, Aurie C. Miller. On February 29, 1888, Aurie C. Miller and George Henley were joyfully married. George was the son of John and Angeline (Brown) Henley and born on October 24, 1864. Together they had five children: Irvin Miller Henley, John Roy Henley, Carl Lumus Henley, Mabel Henley, and Margaret Henley. John Roy was born on December 20, 1891 and died at six months old. Carl Lumus Henley was born on February 8, 1864 and died at age 10 on April 3, 1904. Mabel Henley was born on November 29, 1896 and died at two months old on January 9, 1897. Margaret Henley was born on December 5, 1905 and had died while on a vacation in Florida at age 21 on April 29, 1927. While just 5 years before Margaret had died, George, Aurie's husband, had also passed away. As many were dying around Aurie, she still had her eldest child, Irvin Miller Henley. Irvin was born on September 29, 1889 and was the only child of Aurie and George's to survive to adulthood. Irvin married Jean Elizabeth Rummel on June 10, 1930. However they did not have any children, "Miller" (as many people called him), lived to be 100 years old dying in early 1990 in New Castle, Pennsylvania. The troubles that Aurie had to go through were something that a mother would dread and would be a disaster to most families.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

William Akstulewicz

This is William Aloysius Akstulewicz. He was born October 26, 1914 in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He was the son of a tin mill worker, Walter Akstulewicz who came to this country from Konveliski, Poland in the early 1900s. His mother, Helen Rudzis, was born in Zyrmunach, Poland on January 22, 1891 and came to this country at the age of 21 to seek a new life. She came to New York City on October 20, 1910 and then came to New Castle, Pennsylvania where she married Walter on February 12, 1912. William married Jane Ann Kusnierczyk, who was originally born in Detriot, Michigan on August 23, 1920. Her father was a worker for Mr. Henry Ford at the Ford Motor Company there. He moved to New Castle because he thought that he could find better business and raise a family in this new growing town of New Castle, Pennsylvania. William and Jane were gladly married on October 7, 1939 in New Castle and began to start a new life together. William's brother-in-law bought a two houses, one of them being a duplex and one a nice house on Pollock Hill in New Castle and offered the duplex to William. William accepted the offer regardless of his wife wanting a nicer house down the street. Many hours then were put into that house to make it suitable to accommodate a family. However, the house was completed and they raised four children there with their neighbors being William's sister's family. The two families grew closer, as relatives and as neighbors.
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