Rachel Thrasher

Rachel Thrasher and Descendants

We are indebted to Linda Ryan Crawford, a Thrasher descendant who lives in Ringdale, PA, and to Tina Pastusic from Plains, PA, for this historical presentation. Linda can be reached at ringdale@hotmail.com and Tina can be reached at Tmpiglet1964@aol.com.

Rachel Thrasher and Descendants

RACHEL THRASHER (George, George); born November 25, 1840; died April 18, 1925

Married Benjamin Hieber on July 26, 1868, son of John and Margaret (Steiner) Hieber; born in 1838; died June 13, 1895 when struck by lightning; both are buried in Thrasher's cemetery, Dushore, PA. Benjamin was the younger brother of Emanuel Gotlieb Hieber who married Maria Houser, fathered fifteen children and became a prominent farmer and citizen of Sullivan County at the end of the nineteenth century. You can learn more about him and the Hieber family heritage at Faces and Families of Old Sullivan County, Group Four, by scrolling down to the section entitled The Hieber Family.

The Sullivan Review
Dushore, PA
June 20, 1895


A very hard thunder storm passed over this section Thursday, lasting from about 5 ot 7 o'clock p.m. A few minutes before six everyone was startled by a terrific crash that shook the ground and made the windows rattle. The flash that caused the crash killed Benjamin Hieber of Cherry, as he was standing at the kitchen sink washing for supper.

The bolt struck the chimney and passing down burst into the room, with the result above stated. Mrs. Hieber and her daughter had just left the room to close the windows in other parts of the house. There was a boy churning in the same room, but he was not hurt, the force of the terrible fluid seeming to be expended on Mr. Hieber. The house was nearly wrecked by the escaping lightning, plaster falling, windows broken, etc. Mr. Hieber was alive when reached by the frenzied wife and daughter, but never regained consciousness, and died before medical aid could be summoned.

The funeral was held Sunday at Thrasher's church, the interment being in the cemetery adjoining. The funeral was one of the largest ever known in this section, hundreds being unable to gain admittance to the house or church. Mr. Hieber was known as one of our very best citizens and his terrible and untimely death has caused a deep impression and profound sorrow throughout the community. He lacked one month of being 57 years of age and leaves a wife and three daughters.

Children of Rachel & Benjamin Hieber:

    1. Anna Hieber 1869-1957
    2. Addie Hieber 1874-1964
    3. Ida Hieber 1876-1962
    4. Phoebe M. Hieber 1881-1944

1. Anna Hieber (Rachel, George, George); born November 8, 1869; died May 10, 1957

Married William C. Steiner; he was born January 27, 1867, son of Henry Steiner; died March 12, 1937; buried in Thrasher's cemetery, Dushore

No Children

2. Addie Hieber (Rachael, George, George Thrasher); born 1874; died 1964

Married William H. Kelley; he died in 1940

Here is a picture of Addie Hieber before she was married. Addie was actually the school teacher for Maud Anna Crawford, daughter of Preston L. Crawford and wife of Levi Sylvester Sayman. You can learn more about the Crawford, Sayman and related families at these locations on our site:

Faces and Families of Old Sullivan County, Group One--see the long section on the Crawford family

Faces and Families of Old Sullivan County, Group Four--see the sections on the Sayman family and the Hartzig family

Addie Hieber (1874-1964)
Later Married William H. Kelley
Photo contributed by Carol Brotzman
Source: The Ellen (Crawford) Shefler Collection

Children of Addie & William Kelley:

  1. Rachael Kelley 1906-1986
  2. Benjamin Kelley 1910-1961
  3. Phoebe Kelley 1914-

I. Rachael Kelley (Addie, Rachael, George, George Thrasher); born June 14, 1906; died January 31, 1986

Married Anthony Touschner

Children of Rachael & Anthony Touschner:

  1. Kathleen Touschner
  2. Jane Touschner

Benjamin Kelley (Addie, Rachael, George, George Thrasher); born in 1910; died in 1961

Married Catherine Walsh; she was born June 19, 1915, a daughter of Patrick & Helen (Stevens) Walsh. She died November 22, 1981; buried in Thrasher's cemetery, Dushore

Children of Benjamin & Catherine Walsh Kelley:

  1. Raymond L. Kelley
  2. John W. Kelley
  3. Ann Marie Kelly


3. Ida Hieber (Rachel, George, George); born in 1876; died in 1962

Never married

4. Phoebe M. Hieber (Rachel, George, George); born July 3, 1881; died January 21, 1944; buried in Thrasher's cemetery, Dushore

She never married

The Sullivan Review
January 27, 1944

Miss Phoebe M. Hieber died Friday, January 21st at the home of her sister, Mrs. William Steiner of Cherry Township, following a short illness.

Miss Hieber was born in Cherry Township, July 3rd, 1881, a daughter of the late Benjamin and Rachel Hieber. She received her early education in the public schools of the county and then entered the high school at Weatherly where she was graduated. She engaged in the profession of teaching, continuing in this work until she retired a few years ago. During this time she taught in Cherry and Colley Township, and at Lopez and Bernice.

She was a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran church of Dushore.

Miss Hieber is survived by three sisters, Mrs. William Kelley, Mrs. William Steiner and Miss Ida Hieber all of Cherry township, two nieces and one nephew. Funeral services were held Monday afternoon from her late home with further services in "Old Zion" Lutheran church ("Thrasher’s") in Cherry Township. Rev. John D. Keener, pastor officiated. Interment in the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery.

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