In the summer of 1858, Andrew Guise Hensel and Catherine Workman Hensel welcomed their fourth son and named him Howard Andrew Carson Hensel, using an atypical four names. Howard’s name celebrated his father and grandfather, both of who were named Andrew. The Carson name was meaningful, as it was used by two of Howard’s brothers when naming their sons. Howard’s parents and his two older brothers, Joseph and Ira, welcomed the new addition with joy and excitement to their home in Wiconisco, Pennsylvania. The eldest son, John Henry William, died as an infant, as was sadly common at the time.
The Reverend William Yose presided over Howard’s baptism, and the neighbors and nearby cousins came to welcome the new baby. With three boys born within four years of one another, it was a busy household that would continue to grow. Over the next eight years, four daughters were added to the family: Catherine, Lillian, Clarissa, and Emma filled out a family of eight children. Howard was born before the outbreak of the Civil War and was named for John Carson, the founder of Carsonville, Pennsylvania. Howard’s mother passed when he was a teen. In 1870, their father, Andrew, worked as a plasterer, helping to keep the ever-increasing number of miners in the region housed. In 1877, mother, Catherine, passed away, leaving the younger members of the family without a mother as they came of age. Howard was eighteen at that time and had likely already been working to help support the family. In 1880, he was still at home working as a laborer, helping his father to support his sisters while also saving for his own future.
In the same year the Hensels welcomed their youngest daughter, the Updegrove family announced the birth of their second daughter, Clara Matilda, one day after Thanksgiving, on November 30, 1866, in Lower Ranch Creek. That December, she was baptized by Reverend Brady and introduced to the community. Her big sister, Anna, about two years old, was particularly proud. Her parents, Daniel Updegrove, a laborer and miner who was originally from Wiconisco, and Sarah Culp, from nearby Union County, would have two more children—William and Nora—in the following years. Clara was born amidst the hectic days of the Civil War… (see book for remainder of narrative)
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