“Old and New Westmoreland” Vol. 4
Author: Boucher, John Newton, 1854-1933
GEORGE BLANK – BLANK is a name which has been long and favorably known in Westmoreland County, where it is represented at the present time by a number of successful and enterprising citizens, who well maintain the enviable reputation established by their ancestors there in past generations.GEORGE BLANK, the distinguished gentleman whose name heads this brief appreciation, is a grandson of ADAM BLANK, (pg. 1071) who was a native of Montgomery County, Pa., and who came at the age of nine years to Westmoreland County in company with his parents and who ever afterward made his home in that region.An aunt of his, one MRS. JACOB BERGER, had preceded ADAM BLANK and his parents to this part of the State, her husband having been a pioneer here, and it was natural that the new-comers should join their relative and make their home close at hand.The old BERGER place, one of the oldest in this section, afterward passed into the possession of the BLANK family and is now owned by JOHN JACOB BLANK, a cousin of GEORGE BLANK.
GEORGE ADAM BLANK, a son of ADAM BLANK, and the father of GEORGE BLANK, made his home in Unity, Mount Pleasant and Penn Townships, and eventually died in the latter place at the age of sixty-three years.He was in poor circumstances, and at a very early age his son GEORGE became inured to hard work.The father died at the age of sixty-three on the old place, and there his son continued to live for a time.MR. BLANK married LAVINIA CATHERINE BAUM.
GEORGE BLANK was born January 6, 1858, on a farm in Hempfield Township, the property which is now the farm of JOHN J. BLANK, and which is situated one mile northeast of Greensburg.He continued to reside there during his childhood and early youth, moving from there when he had reached the completion of his twenty-fifth year and was married.His married life was spent in Penn, Salem and Unity townships, in the second of which places he bought a farm and lived for some eight years.It was in 1904 that he purchased his present place, which had been known as the John Walters farm, and which is situated in Unity Township, six miles southeast of Greensburg.Before it was the property of Mr. Walters, it was the home of one of the Jamisons, who were among the most successful coal operators in the region.This Mr. Jamison erected the house, while the barn was built by Mr. Walters.The property originally consisted of 86 acres, but to this, MR. BLANK has added 50 more, which were adjacent to it.At one corner of this farm, about 40 years ago, there centered the greatest oil interests ever known in Westmoreland County.Here a fine flowing stream of oil was struck and great excitement was at once created in the neighborhood.Leases of lands were eagerly sought and there were many visions of a city's rising in this location, the prosperity of which was to be based on the oil supply.Unfortunately, however, the supply was speedily exhausted and the end came as suddenly as the beginning.MR. BLANK, in association with his brother, SOLON BLANK, operated for a number of years a threshing outfit, with which he did the threshing for a large number of the neighboring farms.They formed a partnership and were widely known as the possessors of an excellent machine, GEORGE BLANK earning a reputation as a good mechanic and a successful thresher man.In politics he is a Democrat, and has served at various times on the school boards of Salem and Unity Township.
GEORGE BLANK was united in marriage, May 14, 1885, with LINDA LOVE, a daughter of BENJAMIN and SUSAN (MILLER) LOVE, who resided near the town of Mutual, where both MR. and MRS. LOVE eventually died.Of this union a large family of children were born, eight of whom are now living, as follows: NELLIE, who became MRS. CHARLES KALP, of Mount Pleasant, and who taught for several terms in the local public schools; LETTIE, who is also a teacher, and later married JAMES KALP, of Mount Pleasant; PEARL, who became the wife of JAMES BORTZ, of Midland, Pa., where he is employed by the Crucible Steel Company; JENNIE, who attended the Normal School at Latrobe, and now resides with her parents; ANNA; MARY; ROY and HAZEL, all of whom reside at home.
In the matter of his religious belief MR. BLANK is a Lutheran and attends, with the other members of his family, the old Ridge Lutheran Church.He has taken a keen interest in genealogy, particularly in connection with the origin of his own (pg. 1072) family, and has made an expedition into Berks County, the original home of his great-grandfather, who died in 1758, one hundred years before MR. BLANK'S birth.This great-grandfather came from the Scotch Highlands to the American colonies at a very early date.He married a French lady, and to this day French traits and characteristics are obvious among her descendants.In spite of their origin, however, the early members of the family all spoke German as they settled in the midst of a German colony in this country.