Alonzo E. PYLES, my great grand uncle, was the son of William Wallace PYLES and Emeline PRICE PYLES. He was also the brother of my great-grandmother Sally PYLES PRICE.
Alonzo was born in Dickerson, Maryland in August 1864. He went to school and learned to read and write and eventually left Maryland for Pennsylvania sometime between 1880 and 1887. In 1887, Alonzo married Malinda BURKETT in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
In 1900 36-year old Alonzo, wife Malinda, and their four children were living in the Londonderry Township of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Jesse Roy was born in 1888, Laura in 1889, Hulda Belle in 1893, and Everett in 1895. Alonzo was working at a tannery, but the census record is difficult to read so I don’t know exactly what his job was.
Alonzo was an ambitious man, it seems. In 1910, he was a railroad foreman, and he owned a house free and clear. The family was living in Garrett, Somerset County, Pennsylvania which borders Bedford County to the west.
Here in Garrett, Alonzo joined the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization. The Knights of Pythias ran camps for underprivileged youths, worked to raise money for medical research, and had homes for their aged members. It is an active fraternal organization still today.
In 1920, Alonzo and Malinda were back in Londonderry Township and on their own, but now Alonzo was farming on land he owned free and clear. I don’t know what Alonzo was farming, but at 56 years of age it may have been just enough for himself and Malinda…a gentleman’s farm perhaps.
For reasons unknown, in 1930 Alonzo and Malinda were living at the Masonic Home of Right Worshipful Grand Lodge in West Donegal, Pennsylvania. Alonzo was 66, and Malinda was 61. They didn’t stay there long after that, though.
In 1932, Alonzo again bought property in Londonderry Township, and he and Malinda went to live there.
Throughout his adult life, Alonzo visited his family in Maryland. In June of 1934, Alonzo and Malinda took a final trip together to see his sisters in Washington, DC and Frederick, MD; and their son, Everett, in Meyersville, MD. Alonzo never made it home.
One June 20th, Alonzo and Malinda started for home around 7 o’clock, according to Alonzo’s obituary. At the foot of Sideling Hill, Mr. Pyles was stricken with paralysis and died at a nearby garage a few hours later.
His death notice said, Word was immediately dispatched to Everett Pyles, but the father died before he arrived.
Alonzo was buried at Hyndman Cemetery in Hyndman, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
After some years Malinda left Bedford County for her daughter’s home in Ohio, and she lived out her life there.
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