Yesterday I left Dayton, for Uniontown, Oh. I spent the night with my mother’s only remaining cousin. We had a wonderful time sharing memories – mine of his parents, and his of my mother and grandparents. We went through an album of old pictures, and I was delighted to find that he had a picture of Howard G Affleck – the young man who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Shiloh.
I was especially surprised to find a picture of my grandfather’s maternal grandparents. Gottlieb Heil lived in Bridgeport, OH and had a butcher shop in Wheeling WV. His Catholic wife did not approve of the budding romance between their daughter, Mary Katherine, and the young man at the other end of Patterson Run. One Sunday, Mary Katherine set off, ostensibly for church, and met up with John G. Patterson – they eloped, were married and eventually had 4 daughters and 1 son. Every time a child was born, Katherine Heil would march up the street, knock on the door and announce “so I hear you’ve had another bastard.” Other than that, she never spoke to her daughter, or to any of her grandchildren from that marriage.