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Frederick Christian Held

Frederick Christian Held and Susannah Amanda Lessig were married in Leechburg, Pennsylvania on August 8, 1878, by Rev. Francis Trout Hoover, a Luthern minister. Susannah was the daughter of Mary Magdalene Allshouse and Joseph born June 25, 1853.

Susannah's mother died when she was born.(Editors note: there seems to be a problem here, since the Forks Church baptismal records show another yourger child born to Susannah's mother.) She was raised by Grandmother Riggle, paternal grandmother of Susan Riggle Held, wife of John D. Held of Leechburg. When her father remarried Susannah went to work for Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong. Three brothers, Ab, George, and Frank, and one sister, Mary Ann, completed her family. Mary Ann married Daniel Wilcox. They had two sons: David and Leb and two daughters: Elsie and Ophra.

Frederick and Susannah had ten children and gave most of them Biblical names. Frederick was a farmer all his working years. He had a huckster route, bought and traded, took farm products to market at Cochran Mills. He told a story about how a woman on his route put a rock of salt inside her roll of butter to make it weigh heavier. The next time he passed her house to buy butter he cut the butter roll in half to show her he knew how she had tricked him. Needless to say, he didn't stop there again. He didn't have red hair for nothing.

Every fall Frederick went to Kittanning by horse and buggy to get fabrics and shoes for the children plus a gallon of whiskey for medicinal purposes during the winter. One time on the way home he met a friend. It was customary to offer a drink, if any was in his possession. He did this and the friend drank so much Frederick worried all night that the friend might not have arrived home safely. He was much relieved when he saw the friend the next day.

In the spring after the sheep were shorn, Susannah washed, dried, dyed, and spun yarn from the fleeces. She knitted socks, mittens, and scarves from this yarn for the family. When she had accumulated enough colored yarns, a woman with a loom came to the house to weave blankets and rugs for her.

In Sept., 1901, Frederick and his son Clarence traveled by train to Buffalo, N.Y. to view President McKinley when he was shot.

The children all reached adulthood and moved to various places to live and work. Bertha married and settled on a farm in Little Germany, Armstrong County. John went to the Leechburg Steel Mill. He was janitor of Leechburg Lutheran Church for many years. Also, he learned the paper hanging and painting trade. Clarence worked in the Youngstown Steel Mill but lived in Struthers, Ohio. He loved to play the organ. Harriet learned the seamstress trade, married and moved to a farm near Rockville, Pa. Lydia mastered the millinery trade and enjoyed playing the organ. She married and moved to Cochran Mills, Pa. Elsie learned to be a seamstress. She married and moved to Struthers, Ohio, where her husband Wilson worked in the Youngstown Steel Mill.

Daniel mastered the plastering trade and was Postmaster of North Apollo, Pa. He plastered the present North Apollo Fire Hall near his residence. Emma graduated from the Elderton Academy. Her father as a member sf the Burrell Township Elementary School Board, gave the only teaching position available in that township to another applicant. Without work near home Emma went to Vandergrift to work in journalism. Mahala worked at home until she married the local blacksmith. Later as an employee of the Peoples Gas Co., her husband Frank was sent to Ligioner, PA., to work as a driller in the deepest gas well in the world at that time. Twelve years later they moved back to the Elderton area. Mahala had art & craft talent and took time to paint beautiful pictures after she was age forty-five and painted til age 90. All the girls did beautiful quilting. Fred went to Portland, Oregon, bought a property and grew mint.

In 1928, Frederick and Susannah celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Albert Riggle's barn, which was cleaned and scrubbed for the occasion. A barn was the largest available building at that time which could accommodate a  large group for a day's picnics. Five of the children celebrated their 50th
wedding anniversaries; the other five were married forty some years each.

At the age of 71 Frederick and Susannah sold their farm and moved near Lydia at Cochran Mills. When the Crooked Creek Dam was built they had to leave the house because the valley would be flooded. They moved to North Apollo near Daniel. In Aug. 1946, they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. On  January 13, 1947, Susannah died at the age of 94 and was buried in St. Michael's Lutheran Church Cemetary at Brick Church, Pa.

Frederick took turns living with his children. Each year on July 27 his family gathered wherever he was to help him celebrate his birthday. In 1955 he celebrated his 103rd birthday at Elsie's home in Struthers, Ohio. On Sept. 30th, he died and was buried beside Susannah.

Living family members at this writing were two children, 40 grandchildren, 98 great grandchildren, 164 great-great grandchildren and 16 great-great-great grandchildren.

From The Frederick Held Family Tree 1983, by Lois Jean Altman Rupert ©1998.

Copyright 2004 by Fred H. Held