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Tombstone Tuesday- Israel I. COOPER and Bessie F. (MYER) COOPER

Israel I. COOPER- Headstone- Hebrew. From Find A Grave, posted with permission of photographer.
Israel I. COOPER- Headstone- Hebrew. From Find A Grave, posted with permission of photographer.

The headstone of Israel I. Cooper in Franklin Street Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung, New York, USA took a very long time to find- many years. Finding the burial place of Israel and his wife Bessie was a wonderful collaboration of family, a local library, interested volunteers that aren’t even related, Find A Grave, and those who own the cemetery.

Israel I. COOPER- Headstone- English. From Find A Grave, posted with permission of photographer.
Israel I. COOPER- Headstone- English. From Find A Grave, posted with permission of photographer.

It is a peaceful feeling to know where ancestors are “quietly resting.”

Israel Cooper belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America. They are (still) a fraternal insurance society that also provides fellowship and service through their many chapters throughout the country. The following was in an Elmira newspaper on 24 Jul 1904:

Modern Woodmen Tribute to Israel. I. Cooper. Elmira gazette, 24 Jul 1904.
Modern Woodmen Tribute to Israel. I. Cooper. Elmira Telegram, 24 Jul 1904.

 

Bessie lived 28 years after Israel’s death, living with their daughter and son at various times. She died at the home of their son, Joseph Cooper, at Montgomery, Lycoming, PA, on Saturday, 28 May, 1932, at 1 o’clock, per her obituary that was published in the Elmira Gazette on 29 May 1932. The obituary states that she was a former resident of Elmira for 35 years. She was survived by 4 daughters: Mrs. Harry Tatelbaum and Mrs. Israel Kremer of Rochester, NY; Mrs. Joseph Oppenheim of Elmira; Mrs. Samuel Blostein of Worcester, MA; and 3 sons: Joseph Cooper of Montgomery, PA; Joseph B. Cooper (should be Jacob B. Cooper) also of Montgomery, PA; and Samuel Cooper of New Haven, CT. She had 27 grandchildren at her death, and 8 great grandchildren. The funeral took place at her son Jacob Cooper’s home at 165 Washington St, Elmira, on Sunday at 2 pm.

Bessie F. (Meyer) Cooper- Headstone- Hebrew Inscription. Posted with permission of Find A Grave photographer.
Bessie F. (MEYER) COOPER- Headstone- Hebrew Inscription. Posted with permission of Find A Grave photographer.

 

Bessie F. (Meyer) Cooper- Headstone- English inscription- Franklin Street Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung, New York, USA. Posted with permission of Find A Grave photographer.
Bessie F. (MEYER) COOPER- Headstone- English inscription- Franklin Street Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung, New York, USA. Posted with permission of Find A Grave photographer.

 

It would be nice to have the Hebrew section of their headstones translated.

Israel I. COOPER- Headstone_Hebrew Detail
Israel I. COOPER- Headstone_Hebrew Detail
Bessie F. (MYER) COOPER- Headstone_Hebrew Detail
Bessie F. (MYER) COOPER- Headstone_Hebrew Detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Helbling Family Home & School, Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Helbling Family Home & School

 

Helbling family home in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. From a family photo but image may also be found in St. Augustine Diamond Jubilee, page 40-2, St. Augustine Catholic Church, Lawrenceville, PA. From a family photo but image may also be found in St. Augustine Diamond Jubilee, page 40-2, St. Augustine Catholic Church, Lawrenceville, PA.
Helbling family home in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania.
From a family photo but image may also be found in St. Augustine Diamond Jubilee, page 40-2, St. Augustine Catholic Church, Lawrenceville, PA.

In the year 1854, the Franz Xavier and Maria Barbara (Helbling) Helbling home was across from the Allegheny Cemetery and halfway between Sharpsburg and St. Philomena’s Roman Catholic Church. The Redemptionist Fathers of St. Philomena’s often stopped at the home of the devout Helbling family when traveling between the Church on Fourteenth St. and Sharpsburg. (The home was still standing in the 1930s, but 4807-4809 Butler St., Lawrenceville, PA, is now an empty lot.) German Catholics were very devoted to parochial schools- they felt their children should start their day with a Mass and that they should be schooled in a Catholic school. The Helblings had eleven children, and there were many more children of German Catholic families in the town of Lawrenceville, PA, near Pittsburgh which was rapidly becoming an important industrial city.

The Helbling children attended the English-speaking school at St. Philomena’s on 46th St., but it was quite a long way to travel. Father John Hotz, C.SS.R. visited the Helblings at their home in the fall of 1854, and asked if the Helblings would board a teacher who could instruct their children. A schoolroom was set up on the second floor of the double house, and the teacher arrived.

 

Nine of the Helbling children attended school with this teacher: Elizabeth Barbara, Francis X., William, Philomena Rosanna, Catherine Josephine, Mary Sophia, John Baptist, and Joseph Anthony Helbling; sometimes Bertha Louise, just 2 or 3, attended class. The teacher was very stern and strange, only left the house on Sundays to go to Mass, and wore a long black robe but was not actually a priest. (He may have been a Redemptorist lay brother but no information has confirmed this.) He prayed to a picture of Our Lady of Guadeloupe constantly. The story told is that when, one day, Mrs. Helbling sent little daughter Bertha Louise to get some corn cobs from the yard, the child returned with them and said, “I got them.” The teacher, not being very fluent in English, thought that the child had said a curse word, and said, “Bertha Louise is surely going to hell.”

The adults in the family soon began to question the eccentric behavior of this teacher that their children greatly disliked and feared. The family never even knew his name- he was always just addressed as “Teacher.” As a mother, Mary Theresa (Knipshield) Helbling feared for her children that the teacher was about to lose his mind, and asked Father Hotz to dismiss him from their school and home. Fr. Hotz transferred the teacher to a school in Sharpsburg, where he did in fact lose his mind and have to be removed. Nothing further is known of him.

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) St. Augustine’s Parish History 1863-1938. Personal copy from a cousin, but the entire history may be found online at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njm1/StAugJub-TC.html, page 11. Accessed 1-22-2014.

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