by Sophia Thompson (age 12 at the time)
William and Lottie Duncan were a caring couple of late nineteenth century, whose family persevered through adversity. The couple were wed and lived in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, having two sons together, Irvin and Harris. When Harris passed in infancy, Irvin became the only child of this couple.
William had an average build with short brown hair and brown eyes. He worked for the Pennsylvania railroad as a machinist and a blacksmith. William was named after his grandfather, William, a German from the old county of Mecklenberg, who never set foot in the developing America. William and Lottie attended Lutheran church and began their life together in Sunbury. Sadly, at the young age of thirty, William Duncan passed away due to tuberculosis.
After this tragic incident, Lottie married Mr. McNaught. Lottie was progressive and when the new step-father hit Irvin, she kicked McNaught out and never looked back. During this time, she gave Irvin care and love and eventually she remarried a third time to Mr. Willard, a widower with ten kids! Lottie was suddenly a mother of eleven! But in her motherly way, she happily took care of them as well.
Lottie was a very strong independent woman and was much ahead of her time. She had an average build, brown eyes, and short brown hair. Although her birth name was Charlotte, she always went by the name Lottie and was a homemaker all her life. She was quite spirited and was very outspoken, especially about women’s rights. Taking care of eleven kids was a lot of work, but she was a great mother and wife and accomplished most things women did not during this time. She was very different than many women, in a good way, setting up women’s groups and other similar services in her community.
Later, when son Irvin was older, he would sell produce and build houses for a living. In the Twenties, Lottie then had helped Irvin buy a house on Old Mill Road in Hummels Wharf. Irvin married and started his family there. Soon, Lottie moved into that house with Irvin, finishing her short but important life there. This family endured many hardships but survived with adversity and love.
- Bob & Nancy Anderson, Lewisburg, PA, 1999, 2001
- Harry Anderson, Hampton, VA, 1998
- Harvey Anderson, Leetonia, OH, 1992
- Marc D. Thompson, Harrisburg, PA, 1995, 2000
- Shirley Duncan, Mechanicsburg, PA, 1995,1999, 2005, 2018
- Stephanie Gormley, Lewisburg, PA, 1995