Calvin Franklin Benninghoff
born February 20, 1889 in Lowhill Township, Lehigh County, PA.,
a son of
Harrison & Adalina
grew up on
his father's farm which was in the vicinity of Weidasville.2
21 year old Calvin, still living at home, was working as a
in a cement mill.3
He was still living
at home when his father died in early 1912.4
Calvin married Elva Mae Serfass
January 27, 1917.5
By this time he was
already living in
His World War I Draft
Registration Card lists his occupation as a driver for Prince
It also gives
a physical description of him as tall, stout, with blue eyes and brown
In 1920 Calvin, Elva and their
first two children were living with her grandfather Oliver O. Blose
on Fireline Road
just outside of Bowmanstown. His
"helper at Spiegel Furnace".9
furnace was a part of the New
Jersey Zinc Company which was just southeast of Bowmanstown.10
familiy was living in a rented house on Canal Street in
Bowmanstown, and he
was back working for Prince Manufacturing Company as a truck driver.11
On the morning of June 26, 1942 he died
at his home on Canal Street. The cause of death was myocarditis
(heart failure) due to diabetes. He suffered from
diabetes the last five years of his life, and at his death he was also
suffering from gangrene of the left foot.12
next to his wife Elva (who died just eight months
earlier) in Bowmanstown Cemetery.
Elva Mae Serfass - born
14, 1899 in Fireline, Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County, PA, a
daughter of Wesley Alvin & Mary
Ellen (Blose) Serfass
married Calvin when she was 17 (he was
She died on the morning of May
28, 1941 at her home on Canal
Street. Her cause of death was Pulmonary Tuberculosis of
which she was
afflicted for four years.15
buried in Bowmanstown Cemetery.
[Calvin's Baptismal Certificate
[Picture of Calvin
& Elva's Tombstones
Children of Calvin Franklin &
Elva Mae (Serfass) Benninghoff
Naomi Araminda Benninghoff
born August 4, 1917.21
Married 3 times,
1st December 30, 1933 to Leroy Wilson
, 2nd April
10, 1953 to Gordon Howard
3rd after 1970 to Alfred A. Reph
the Palmerton Hospital on November 9, 197525
in Slatedale Cemetery in Washington Township, Lehigh County. [Naomi's Tombstone
Willard Calvin Bennyhoff, Sr.
He married on June
25, 1938 to Florence Eva Mae Christman
veteran of World War II. They lived in Bowmanstown,
Danielsville and Slatington. He died
June 21, 1963 in East Allen Township, Northampton County after he came
in contact with a crane that had touched a high voltage power
He is buried next to his
parents in Bowmanstown
Loide Joyce Benninghoff
She married on November 8, 1941
in Slatington, Lehigh
died August 11, 1994 in Lehighton, Carbon County33
Union Cemetery in Slatington. [Loide's Tombstone
Evelyn Marie Benninghoff
, married on April 30, 1950 to James
1. Records of Calvin's birthdate are
consistent. The best
source for his place of birth is his baptismal certificate (see note
2. Haines &
Worman’s Directory of the City of Allentown and Lehigh County For 1895
1895), page 5 of the General Directory section.
3. U.S. Census, 1910, Pennsylvania, Lehigh, Lowhill,
E.D. 179, page 4A, line 24.
4. The Morning
(Allentown, Pennsylvania newspaper) January 27, 1912.
5. Carbon County Clerk of Orphan's Court, Marriage
Licenses, book 18, page 11. The license is also dated January
6. Ibid. Also on Calvin's 1942 death
certificate, it states that he lived in Bowmanstown for 25 years (see
7. Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration
[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The
Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States,
Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System
Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
Washington, D.C.: National
Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls.
Registration Location: Carbon County, Pennsylvania;
Roll: 1877832; Draft Board: 2
9. U.S. Census, 1920, Pennsylvania, Carbon, Lower
E.D. 24, page 3B, line 62. The census enumerated this house on
Stemlersville Road, but a few families later were listed as Upper
Fireline Millport Road. Today this is known as Fireline Road.
10. The First
Hundred Years of The New Jersey Zinc Company
The New Jersey Zinc Company, 1948), 24-25.
11. U.S. Census, 1930, Pennsylvania, Carbon,
E.D. 13-4, page 9A, line 30.
12. Death Certificate, Pennsylvania Department of Health,
Division of Vital Records.
13. Carbon County Clerk of Orphan's Court,
Registration of Births.
14. Carbon County Clerk of Orphan's Court, Marriage
Licenses, book 18, page 11.
15. Death Certificate, Pennsylvania Department of
Division of Vital Records.
16. Baptismal certificate in possession of the
author. Photograph by the author. Transcription: Den
Chegatten William Beneighoff und seiner frau Adlina eine geborne
Hoffman ist ein Sohn geboren worden den 20ten tag Februar im jahr
unsers Herrn 1889. Dieser Sohn wurde geboren in Lowhill Townschip
Lecha County im Staat Pennsylvanien, in Nord-Amerika, und wurde getauft
am 8ten tag Juni im jahr unsers Herrn 1889 von dem Chrw. Pastor O.
Leopold und erhielt den namen Calvin Franklin, die taufzengen
waren: die eltern selbst.
17. Original photograph in possession of a family
member. Scan by the author.
18. Ibid. The baby she is holding is
unidentified. Perhaps it's one of her grandchildren.
19. Carbon County Register of Wills Estate File
5284, Adline Bennighoff. This signature appeared on a petition in
his mother's estate file. The document was dated August 13,
1918. Scan by the author.
20. Photo taken December 2006 by the author.
21. The Morning
(Allentown, Pennsylvania newspaper) November 10, 1975, date
of birth calculated from age at death.
22. St. John's
United Church of Christ, Towamensing Reformed Parish
, MS at
Lehigh County Historical Society Library, Allentown, PA, Vol. 3, page
3, hereafter cited as Towamensing Reformed Parish.
23. Ibid, Vol. 3, page 9.
24. Tombstone inscription from Slatedale Cemetery,
Washington Township, Lehigh County. Gordon Wertman died in 1970.
25. The Morning
(Allentown, Pennsylvania newspaper) November 10, 1975.
26. Photo taken October 2006 by the author.
27. Records of Willard's birthdate are
consistent. Earliest record is his baptismal certificate in
possession of the author. Transcription: Certificate of
Baptism. In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the holy
Ghost, Willard Calvin, child of Calvin F. Bennighoff and his wife Elva
M. Born at Fireline Dec. 24, 1919 was Baptized by me in the Parental
Home the 16th day of May in the Year of our Lord 1920. A. W. Reis.
, Vol. 3, page 4.
29. The Morning
(Allentown, Pennsylvania newspaper) June 22, 1963.
30. Photo taken July 2005 by the author.
, Vol. 2, pages not numbered. Her birthdate
is given when she was confirmed on March 28, 1937.
32. Ibid, Vol. 3, page 4.
33. The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania
newspaper) August 13, 1994.
34. Photo taken April 2007 by the author.
35. Towamensing Reformed Parish, Vol. 2, page 9.
36. Ibid, Vol. 3, page 8.
37. Times News
(Lehighton, Pennsylvania newspaper) May 3, 2011.
Prepared by Tony Bennyhoff, last updated May 21, 2011.