Eighty Years or More by Asa W. CLIMENHAGA

A number of years ago while looking through records held by the Ridgeway Museum I came upon a photocopy of an address given by Asa W. Climenhaga on the occasion of his father’s ninetieth birthday celebration. In it he describes, in brief, the characteristics of his brothers and sisters, and his many nieces and nephews. As the majority of these folks have passed on, this is now an important family document. As Asa had a great interest in the Climenhaga family history I believe he would very much approve of it being reproduced and shared here. –James Climenhage

Ridgeway, March 9, 1940 – Peter M. Climenhaga, Stevensville, retired farmer, celebrated his 90th anniversary on March 7. He was born on the farm where he is now living, half a mile east of Stevensville, of pioneer stock retiring from active work about ten years ago. He is widely known, having been Foreign Missionary Treasurer for the Brethren in Christ denomination for many years, of which he has been a prominent member. He also served on the public school board.

In 1872 he married miss Anna Winger, who resided west of Stevensville, and who passed on some years ago. He now resides with his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Neff. Mr. Climenhaga was the father of six boys and  three girls. Four of his sons are ministers, one a deacon and one a  school teacher deceased. Asa, John, Abigail reside in Pennsylvania; Reuben, Laban, and Naaman live in the Canadian northwest, and Sarah  resides near Stevensville. There are 39 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. A son Solomon and a daughter Ella are deceased. Mr. Climenhaga enjoys good physical health and has never suffered any  serious illness.

Solomon is the oldest son. He was born April 16, 1874. He  graduated from Norman School and taught in the public school system. [He married Elizabeth Sherk, who was born] at Fisherville, Ontario December 21, 1872. She is five  feet two inches high and her average weight is one hundred and fifteen  pounds. She is noted for being early to bed and early to rise. They had one son and one daughter. Naomi was born August 6, 1904 at  Stevensville, Ontario. She is five feet one inch with an average weight of one hundred and sixty pounds. Her motto is things done by  half are never done right. Oscar is a little older than his sister  Naomi. He is also slightly taller and slightly heavier. He is known  for the statement “you know what I mean.” Naomi has remained single. Oscar is married and lives at Fort Erie. He is a customs officer on  the Canadian side.

Reuben Sinclair is the second eldest of Peter Martin Climenhaga’s  family. He is five feet eight inches tall with an average weight of  one hundred and seventy pounds. He is a minister and is noted for  saying “Look here.” He married Elizabeth Bert of Kansas. Elizabeth  was born October 13, 1880 near Detroit, Kansas. She is about five  feet five inches in height and an average weight of 160 lbs. Her  characteristic is others first. To this union were born ten children.  The following is a record of them made in 1938.

Paul Harris October 23, 1906 170 5’ 10” Anxious to get things done
Alice Irene February 10, 1908 160 5’ 6” Good natured
Mabel Elizabeth June 29, 1909 150 5’ 9” Carefulness
Frances Anna September 26, 1910 160 5’ 3” Kind to others
Evan Peter April 6, 1912 175 5’ 10” Rather modest
Orville Samuel November 27, 1913 159 5’ 8” Quiet and steady
John Leroy November 7, 1916 160 5’ 7” Believes he can if he tries and tries
Miriam Ruth June 16, 1918 136 5’ 5” Quiet and fond of reading
Verna Evelyn January 16, 1920 181 5’ 5” Cheerful
Daniel Bert July 24, 1921 117 5’ 2” Enjoys stories and poetry

Abbie was born December 22, 1879. She is five feet and three inches tall, with an average weight of 138 lbs. She is noted for her success as a home maker. She married Jesse E. Brechbill of Detroit, Kansas. He was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania August 12, 1878. He is 5′ 6″ in height and his average weight is 138. He is noted for his ability as a business manager. To them were born six children, the youngest being twins with one dying in infancy.

Helen Amanda May 24, 1908      
Ray February 9, 1910 155 5′ 11” Why worry?
Anna M. May 19, 1917 118 5′ 3″ A true heart
Ruth Miriam July 20, 1919 115 5′ 5″ I can

Ella Ann was born September 30, 1882. She was a little taller than Abbie. She so much appreciated her parental home that she hesitated a long time before she consented to leave it. She married Carl Baker of Ontario and moved with him to a prairie farm in Northwest Canada. The transition from her childhood home to a home in the west was more than her tender life could stand. After a short period of married life she suddenly departed to be at rest with Him whom she loved and sincerely served from childhood.

John Arthur was born April 16, 1884. He is 5′ 7″ with an average weight of 170 lbs. He is a minister, missionary, and teacher. His chief characteristic is “Made clear by the words I know.” He married Emma Smith of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She was born February 24, 1892. She is 5′ 5″ and weighs 175. One word, loyalty, best explains her characteristic. To them were born five children.

Arthur Merlin February 21, 1916 155 5′ 11″ Student
David Elbert June 14, 1919 185 5′ 10″ Deliberate
Joel Ray April 9, 1922 100 5′ 1″ Writer
Leoda Marie February 14, 1931 Reader
Kathryn Anna June 28, 1933 Mother’s helper

Laban was born March 7, 1886. He is 5′ 10″ tall with an average height of 150 lbs. His life work consists of tilling the soil, rearing a family, and serving his church as deacon. He is noted for his desire to be punctual. He married Priscilla Bert of Detroit, Kansas. She was born July 24, 1887. She is five feet five inches tall with an average weight of one hundred and twenty six pounds. A faithful wife and mother describes her well. To this union were born eleven children.

Ethel March 17, 1912 130 5′ 6″
Earl Richard December 6, 1913 135 5′ 7″ That’s all right
Ruth Elizabeth January 20, 1915 129 5′ 3″ Ability
Florence Mae May 15, 1916 140 5′ 6″ On the square
Velma Irene September 2, 1917 130 5′ 6″ Willing worker
Helen Marie September 1, 1918 145 5′ 4″ Kind
Dorcas Doreen February 20, 1921 125 5′ 5″ Loyalty
Samuel Bert January 11, 1923 100 5′ 0″ Dependable
Ernest Charles December 12, 1924 95 4′ 11″ Reader
Viola Rowena April 14, 1927 66 4′ 5″ Spirited
Lois Catherine January 22, 1931 36 3′ 9″ Affectionate

Asa W. was born July 1, 1889. Height 5′ 10″ with an average weight of 170. Educator, minister, and author. He greatly appreciates the beautiful and is noted for being systematic. He married Anna Elizabeth Kipe. She was born July 13, 1896 at Waynesboro,  Pennsylvania. She is 5′ 7″ with an average weight of one hundred and thirty. She is a scholar, teacher, homemaker. She is noted for being thorough in her work.

Sarah was born November 22, 1890. She is 5′ 5″ with an average weight of 130. She is an ideal Christian and a friend of youth. She married Edmund Neff of Stevensville, Ontario who was born June 2, 1869. He is 5′ 10″ with an average weight of 145. He is reserved but helpful.

Naaman was born March 14, 1893. He is about five feet ten inches tall with an average weight of about 170. He is a minister and tiller of the soil. He married Sallie Wenger of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. She was born December 21, 1897 and is about 5′ 4″ with an average weight of about one hundred and forty. She is a homemaker. To them were born six children.

Anna Elizabeth September 1923 99 Worker
Clarence Eugene February 1926 92 Full of life
Eunice May July 1927 86 Kindhearted
Merle Austin January 1929 60 Likes horses
Marjorie Lillian March 1932 33 Entertainer
Ferne Ruth April 1934 31 Imitator


Compiled by Asa W. Climenhaga, Messiah College, Grantham Pennsylvania, 17025

Also read Later Family Links by Asa W. CLIMENHAGA

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