Alvin Albert Altimus of Indiana County, PA, Early 20th Century

Alvin Albert Altimus looked quite distinguished for his young age when this photo was taken in the 1880s.

Alvin was born on 12 April 1870 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, where his family had lived for generations. In fact, both sides of his family lived in Pennsylvania at least back to the time of the American Revolution.

Alvin was the fourth of eleven children born to Nicholas and Cordilla (Wolfe) Altimus:

  1. Sarah A., born April 1862; died 4 August 1937, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, unmarried.
  2. Nicholas A., born 18 June 1866; died 22 July 1944, Cambria County, Pennsylvania; married Anna Priscilla (MNU).
  3. Peter Wilson, born 24 May 1868; died 10 November 1929, Cambria County, Pennsylvania; married Druzilla Frances Stiles.
  4. Alvin Albert, born 12 April 1870; died 7 November 1902, Cambria County, Pennsylvania; married (1) Unknown, c1891 (2) Millie Ellen Young, 1 September 1898, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
  5. Kathryn Belle, born 1872; died 1940, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania; married Jerry B. McGinnis.
  6. Benjamin Franklin, born 2 January 1874; died August 1939, Cambria County, Pennsylvania; married Katherine Dora Laney.
  7. Mary Ellen, born c1876; died 1955, Indiana County, Pennsylvania; married Hugh D. Tomb.
  8. David, born 5 August 1878; died 18 December 1951, Indiana County, Pennsylvania; married Sara Henry.
  9. Edward, born 2 February 1881; died 21 September 1965, Cambria County, Pennsylvania; married Jean (MNU).
  10. Alexander, born June 1883; died 25 November 1964, Cambria County, Pennsylvania; married Duretta Ray, 26 February 1910, Cambria County, Pennsylvania.
  11. Carrie Cordilla, born August 1884; died 1929, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania; married John Lloyd McGinnis, 30 March 1904, Jefferson County, Ohio.

Nicholas Altimus died on 25 November 1891, Indiana County, Pennsylvania and was buried at Armagh Cemetery in Indiana County. Cordilla and the children still at home moved to Cambria County, Pennsylvania sometime before 1900.

Alvin and his family had but a few short years together. He had apparently married about 1891 to a woman who gave birth to Roy Edmund dick Altimus on 16 February 1892. I’ve found no clues to the name of his birth mother and I am guessing she might have died in childbirth. Alvin married (2) Millie Ellen Young on 1 September 1898 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Millie was born on 7 March 1871 and died on 22 November 1965 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Alvin and Millie settled down in Cambria County, where they were enumerated in 1900.

1902 was to prove to be a heartbreaking year for Millie. First, Albin and Millie lost Roy to scarlet fever, when he died right after New Year’s on 3 January 1902. He was buried at Armagh Cemetery, where many Altimus members were buried through the years.

Then, Alvin came down with typhoid fever and passed away on 7 November 1902.

Two months later, on 18 January 1903, Millie gave birth to William Alvin Altimus, a baby who never had the chance to know his father.

I think it took her a few years to get over losing her stepson and husband within a few months of each other. She married (2) Sutton H. Murdick, 5 June 1906, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.


  1. Roy Edmund Dick Altimus, born 16 February 1892; died 3 January 1902, of scarlet fever, in Cambria County, Pennsylvania.
  2. Russell Wilbur Altimus, born July 1899; died 24 March 1990, Indiana County, Pennsylvania; married Alice Helene Hooper.
  3. William Alvin Altimus, born 18 January 1903; died 10 September 1995; married Cora Agnes Rugh.

Because Russell and William lived long lives well into the 20th century, I am not sharing any more family information.

However, my vintage photo of Alvin Altimus has gone back home to a great grandchild, who has never seen a picture of Alvin. That makes me very happy.

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