Helen Hottenstein's Picture Collection

Edward F. Francke and His Seven Sons
L to r: Joseph, Carl, Eugene, Edward O., Richard, William and Herman
Center:Edward F. Francke
All the Sons Were Born in Overton, PA
Unidentified Priest on the Left
Identifications courtesy of Andy Francke in January 2011

Helen Hottenstein's Picture Collection

Helen Hottenstein was a colorful individual who traveled around the world as a nurse, came back to Sullivan County to found the area's first home health agency, and was active in a variety of local social and historical organizations. When she died in October, 2002, Ruth (Kester) Gleason was the only member of the related Kester family who could attend Helen's memorial service in Sullivan County. Ruth was approached by Marie Hottenstein, the executor of Helen's will. Marie took Ruth's name and address and subsequently mailed her any pictures and documents that she came across that the Hottenstein family didn't want. Lucky for us! Helen, as the only person of her generation in the Dushore/Overton area, had accumulated family photos not only from her parents, but also from her Aunt Ruth Arey in Dushore. Ruth Gleason gave the materials to her brother, Dave Kester, an active contributing genealogist to this web site. Dave touched up, scanned and forwarded the following pictures to Bob Sweeney, the site administrator in June 2004. He also provided clarifications to help identify individuals in the photos and their then current or subsequent relationships by marriage or descent.

Before we get into the pictures found in Helen's estate, we should point out that the Hottenstein was an old and prestigious one in Sullivan County, going back to before the Civil War. Thanks to Carol Brotzman's research, we know that the Hottenstein family was deeply involved in defending our county in the Civil War. The Hottensteins who settled in Sullivan County were all common descendants of three brothers who over one hundred years earlier had landed in Philadelphia. They were related by marriage to the Grim ("Grimm"), Reber and other families. One source for these relationships is the Appalachian Trails site. The eventual settlers in Forks Township were Jacob Hottenstein, who first came to Overton in 1829, and Henry Hottenstein, who came directly to Forks in 1847. It was their children who served in the Civil War. Jacob and Lydia Ruth Hottenstein had four sons serving, two of whom died for their country. The July 14, 1880 issue of the local Sullivan Review reports as follows:

Jacob S. HOTTENSTEIN, a veteran of 8(?), has voted the Democratic ticket for 60 years. He lost two sons in the late war.

Their 4 sons serving in the Civil War were as follows:
Died: Solomon Hottenstein, corporal, Company I, 163rd (18th Cavalry): mustered October 30, 1862; captured May 5, 1864 at Mine Run, Va., and died November 3, 1864, in Florence prison, S.C. [Editor's Note He was not the Medal of Honor winer of the same name who served in the 107th and to whom he was related. See below.]
Mandes Hottenstein served in the 149 PA volunteers, one of the Bradford County units.
John C. Hottenstein, corporal, Company D, 171st; mustered October 28, 1862, discharged August 8, 1863.
Died: George W. Hottenstein, private, Company I, 163rd (18th Cavalry): mustered October 30, 1862; captured at Brandy Station and exchanged: captured May 5, 1864 at Mine Run, Va., and died July 28, 1864, in Andersonville prison - grave 1,483.

The Medal of Honor winner, Solomon J. (Joseph) Hottenstein, is believed to be the son of Henry and Polly Hottenstein, blood relatives of Jacob and Lydia. This conclusion is derived from the following census information:
1850 Forks Twp., Sullivan County, PA census:
58 58 Huttenstyn Henry 45 M Farmer 150 Germany
REMARKS: 1860 census, Forks Twp, family #218
31 58 58 Huttenstyn Polly 40 F PA
32 58 58 Huttenstyn John 17 M Farming PA x
33 58 58 Huttenstyn Mary 14 F PA x
34 58 58 Huttenstyn Lavina 12 F PA x
35 58 58 Huttenstyn Soloman 10 M PA

His military data is as follows: HOTTENSTINE, SOLOMON J.: Private, Company C, 107th Pennsylvania Infantry. Petersburg and Norfolk Railroad, Va., 19 August 1864. Citation given: 2 February 1865. Captured flag belonging to a North Carolina regiment, and through a ruse led them into the arms of Federal troops.

This Solomon, who also uses the name Joseph in the 1870 census, married Rebecca Clark/Clarke. The family moved to the Manassas, Virginia area some time after the 1880 census and were eventually buried there. He and Rebecca applied for and received a pension. His citation reads: "Private Solomon Hottenstein with three hundred others of the division, while prisoners under guard of part of a North Carolina regiment, suddenly rose, demanded the surrender of their guard, seized their colors, and forced them to yield, bringing them all into the Union lines."

For his act of gallantry, Private Hottenstein was also supposed to receive a furlough of thirty days, in additon to the Medal of Honor from the Secretary of War. But he said he never got the furlough!

Getting back to the estate photos, two of the larger group shots are posted at our Guilds page, along with Helen's obituary. However, all the rest are shown here or on pages linked directly to this page. We have created these 3xtra links simply to avoid loading this page up with more pictures that it would be easy for our readers without a cable internet connection to load. We are grateful to Dave and his sister Ruth for their efforts to preserve this part of local history. Comments, identifications of currently unknown persons in the pictures, and suggestions should be directed to Dave Kester You can learn more about the Kester heritage and its connections to these and other families at The Descendants of Jacob Kester and Katherine Knubaharin.

The photos below show mostly Musselmans with some Franckes and Kesters thrown in. They were in really bad shape and took about four hours for Dave Kester to clean up just the two large pictures for the Guilds page alone.. One was so bad he had to perform what he called an "eye transplant" by cloning a left eye and copying it where the right eye shoud have been, and then shading it so it looked like a left eye. He defies anyone to spot which one it is. He also learned something of which he was not aware by an inscription on the back. Amanda Musselman (youngest daughter of Reuben Musselman and Vialina Kisner) married Arthur Benton Monroe in a double ceremony with Dave's grandparents, Alf and Clara May (Musselman) Kester. He had 28 Jun 1893 recorded as marriage dates for both couples, but never noticed that they were the same date. Amanda and May were first cousins. Dave's grandmother May (Musselman) Kester probably provided the lists of who the folks in the pictures are or who she thought they were. In some cases, she wrote their married names even though they were just children in the photos. Dave added several conjectures and they are subject to correction. You may also want to look at the many photos of the grave markers of members of these related families. They were taken by June Howard, who graciously contributed them to this site. They are posted at our listing for St. Paul's United Church of Christ Cemetery, Overton, PA.

As mentioned, the photos present a medley of Francke, Kester, Musselman and Spinks family members. Anna Maria Clara "Clara" Francke was Dave Kester's great-grandmother. She married Edward Musselman first and then Alfred Spink Sr. Several pictures show siblings of hers: Edward, Eugene and Valeska Francke. Otto Musselman was Ed and Clara Musselman's first born, Adah was Otto's wife; Agatha "Inez" and Arthur "Horton" were their children. Amanda Filena Musselman was a daughter of Reuben Musselman (brother of Edward, and part of June Rowe Howard's ancestral line). Anna Filena and Ellen Elizabeth were Ed & Reuben Musselman's sisters. Then, Fern, Lena and Richard Spink were A.M. Clara FRANCKE Musselman/Spink's grandchildren by her second husband, Alfred Spink, through their son, William T. Spink. You probably won't run across the Spinks very often, as they lived in Sayre a while then moved to New Jersey. Finally, there are five group photos of people already mentioned plus Dave's father, Edward (Ted) Kester; his older sisters, Blanche (Hottenstein) and Ruth (Arey); and younger brother, Gordon Kester.

One of the photos is of Samuel Clinton Kester and his brother (Dave's grandfather), Alfred B. Kester. This is not the Samuel Kester who worked for Barth & Kester and committed suicide. Dave is not sure the latter Samuel is related, but he might have been. His father was a Charles and Dave's g-g-great grandfather, Jacob Kester, had a son Charles whose family he knows nothing about.Dave hopes this overview isn't too confusing!

Edward Francke, the emigrant and father of the various siblings shown here, was a conspicuous individual in the Overton area. He was a son of Edward F. and Augusta (Grosskopf) Francke, both natives of Prussia, who came to America with their family in 1854, locating in Forks Township. Edward, the son of the emigrant, was born December 22, 1842 in Gdansk (Danzig), Poland, and died April 18, 1908 in Overton, PA. Both Edward F., the father, and Augusta are buried at St. Paul's United Church of Christ Cemetery in Overton, PA, with several other family members.

In June 1863, Edward Francke, the son, enlisted in the Civil war; he was a member of Co. A, 18th PA Cavalry, and was discharged from the service Oct. 30, 1865 as a Sergeant. In 1867, he took charge of the F. Osthaus store at Overton, where he remained seven years. He then devoted his attention to farming, having previously purchased his father's farm and located his family there. About 1896, he purchased the store in Overton, formerly conducted by F. Heichemer, continuing the business in the name of E. Francke & Son. In 1871, he married Mary McCann, who was born in Overton Township. She was a daughter of Owen McCann, a native of Ireland. Mrs. Francke died Aug. 17, 1903, and after that time Edward lived with his son, Joseph J., at Overton. He died April 19, 1908 in Overton, and was buried at St Francis Xavier Cemetery there. Edward had two sisters, Valeska who was killed while young by a runaway team, and Jennie, who married Frank Osthaus, the owner of the store that Edward took over in 1867.

We know the names and birth order of the sons shown in the picture above, but not which are which. Many look about the same age. All were born in Overton, PA. Here is the order:

1. Edward Owen Francke, b. about 1872, lived in Athens, d. Jan. 9, 1943 of "hydrocyanic poisoning"; married Margaret C. (Kinney)
2. Herman A. Francke b. about 1874, removed to Kansas City, MO
3. Joseph J. Francke b. Feb. 14, 1875, m. Elfie (Lancaster); served as postmaster of Overton 1907/8, d. 1945 in Overton, bur. St Francis Xavier Cemetery. Daughter: Evangeline
4. Eugene A. Francke b. about 1877, d. Overton
5. Carl F. Francke b. 20 Nov 1880, d. 25 Aug 1976, Overton
6. William A. Francke b. about 1883, lived in Sayre
7. Richard R. Francke b. 1885, m. Beatrice McVaugh, d. 1938 Athens, bur. St Francis Xavier Cemetery.

For those inclined to learn more about the Francke family ancestry, there are recordings in Old German in the Francke Family Prayer Book that is posted on Joyce Tice's Tri-Counties Site. Dave Kester pointed this link out to us in the context of providing the material shown here.

The other pages with photos linked to this page are as follows:

1.) Selected Kester Family Photos
2.) Selected Musselman Family Photos

You can also see pictures of various members of these families in the section on the Kester and Musselman Reunions at Old Reunions from Yesteryear.


Amanda Philena Musselman

Anna Filena Musselman

Anna Maria Clara Francke

Ed Musselman and Ed Francke

Ellen Elizabeth Musselman

L to r: Alf, Ed, Gordon, May, Ruth, Blanche and Al Spink, Jr.
August 1907

Otto Musselman in background with Captain Jinks (the dog)
Children: Ruth, Blanche and Ted Kester

Samuel C. and Alfred B. Kester

Johanna Henrietta Valeska Francke

Back, l to r: Gordon Kester, Horton Musselman, Blanche Kester, Ruth Kester, Ted Kester, Inez Musselman
Front: Lena and Fern Spink

Adults, l to r: Ellen and May Musselman, Alf Kesterbr
Children: Blanche and Ruth Kester
Captain Jinks, the dog, is varely visible

Anna Maria Clara (Francke) Musselman

Anna Maria Clara Francke

Adah (Horton) Musselman

Arthur Horton and Agatha Inez Musselman

May (Musselman) Kester
Holding Edward M. "Ted" Kester at 3 Months and Agatha "Inez" Musselman at 8 Months

Eugene A. Francke

Alfred B. Kester

Richard Spink

Fern and Lena Spink

The following picture of Otto Musselman was taken by his father Edward Musselman. It was taken no later than 1872. As Dave Kester relates the story, Edward Musselman made quite a good start at becoming a photograpic artist between the time of his discharge from the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry in 1865 until his untimely death from smallpox at age 31 in 1872. Shown also is his logo on the back of the photo of his son, and also a letter he wrote to a friend (just eleven months before his death) in which he discussed his family and his budding business in the coal mining community of Blossburg, Tioga County, PA. This town, like many others in northern Pennsylvania, developed rapid growth and attracted new businesses and entrepreneurs as it was linked by rail to Corning, NY and thereby to the rest of the northeastern rail system, including the Lehigh Valley Railroad that ran through Sayre, Towanda and Dushore, PA.

Blossburg is in Bloss Twp., about 10 miles south of Mansfield, PA. Dave's wife, Janet, did her student teaching there when they were both attending Mansfield State and that was mhisonly connection with the town until he found out his great grandfather had lived there. Edward Musselmanmust have figured Blossburg needed a photographer and was therefore a good place to get a start. Dave has no idea who his friend Herman was. This is the only letter we have of Edward's and Dave knows very little about his life except for his Civil War rercord. Herman could have been someone he met in the war or a fellow photographer. The fact that he devoted seventeen lines to his "business" without mentioning that it was a photographic studio, except in the context of attending a photographic exhibition in Philadelphia, suggests it may have been the latter.

The letter was also among Helen Hottenstein's photos, as were Francke documents from Prussia and a purchase deed by which Clara (Francke) Musselman's maternal grandfather, Edward Grosskopf, bought land in Heverlyville (Overton). There is also a letter and what appears to be a poem written in 19th century German handwriting.

Otto Musselman

Logo of Edward Musselman

Letter to "Herman" from Edward Musselman
March 26, 1871

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