Monday, August 20, 2012

Minnigh Homestead

My Grandfather, Robert Minnigh, lived on Minnigh Lane. I asked him many years ago how it was possible for him to live on a road that shared his last name and he told me..."Back in 1800's some of our ancestors settled in this part of Penn on 200 acres, what is now Minnigh Lane was the lane that ran through the property - it is now a public road."

Picture if of my 3rd Great Grandmother Eliza Jane Bradley and her husband William Minnigh standing in front of their home.

Eliza and William had four children: Edrie Viola (1852-1857), May (birth and death unknown), Catherine (birth and death unknown) and son Elmer Oliver (1861 -1945). My grandfather's modern day home was located about 500 feet from Eliza and William's home (as seen in picture above). The land on which it sat consisted of 200 acres, which had been purchased by William from Eliza's father (John Guy Bradley) at the time of their wedding. In 1889 William invented and obtained a U.S. Patent #396887 on what he called a "seed grader and cleaner"  - something to be used by all growers of grains. Whether or not it was ever produced I have no idea.

Another interesting story was told to my Grandfather Robert by his father Harold. In the 1800's the home was built in approx 1860 - after William & Eliza had married and moved to the farm - William started growing tobacco in addition to his regular farm crops. (There use to be a photo taken long ago of tobacco tied in bunches hanging in a barn located behind the house). Indians still lived and roamed through out the area, usually several in number - they would come by the  house from time to time to beg or barter. They were primarily interested in the tobacco and at some point it was agreed upon - tobacco for lead. The lead to be melted down and cast to form lead balls for ammunition for hunting. It is said that is was never made known where the lead came from but the Indians were never gone long before they were back with the agreed upon amount of lead for tobacco. It was quite certain that the location of the lead deposit was on the farm nearby but William supposedly never learned of the location and though it was searched for, they never found it.

Pictures from Minnigh Homestead

Foundation from Eliza and Williams home

There is a walnut tree that still stands adjacent to where the house stood that still produces a few walnuts each year. As a child Harold would gather nuts from that tree.

An oil painting by Mary B. Dille was given to William Minnigh on July 1, 1896. I'm waiting for a photo of the actual painting to be sent to me, but below is the card that was attached to the painting.

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