Alice Becker

Alice Becker (abt. 1880 - 1952)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Alice Becker
Born about [location unknown]
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in York, Pennsylvaniamap
Profile last modified 31 Jul 2019 | Created 6 Oct 2017
This page has been accessed 152 times.

Biography

Alice Becker was born in Pennsylvania in approximately 1880 to Angeline Luckenbaugh and Solomon Becker. She had at least 4 older siblings and at least 11 siblings altogether. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

The 1900 census recorded her on June 1st living as a ‘Servant’ in the household of her sister Anna and brother-in-law Ezra Mummert. According to the census, she was a single white female, born in December of 1877 (age 22), with no children. She and her parents were born in Pennsylvania, and she could read and speak english, but could not write. [5]

On October 28, 1901, She was cleaning the house of Paul Thoman when she accidentally detonated a dynamite cartridge that she found on top of a cupboard. The explosion severely injured her hands and face, and the incident was reported in local newspapers as far as Philadelphia:

“ITEMS FROM HANOVER PAPERS OVER 50 YEARS AGO … OCT. 29, 1901 … Miss Alice Becker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Becker, of near Porters, was injured yesterday by an explosion of dynamite while cleaning house at the home of Paul Thoman. Miss Becker found a box containing two dynamite cartridges, one of which she picked with a pin. The resulting explosion badly mangled her hands. Dr. L. H. Sterner dressed the injuries.” [7]
– The Evening Sun, 30 Oct 1959
“Miss Alice Becker, of near Porter’s, York co., was injured Monday afternoon by an explosion of dynamite. She was cleaning house at the home of Paul Thoman, and on the top of a cupboard she found a box containing two dynamite cartridges, one of which she picked with a pin, causing it to explode, terribly lacerating her left hand, badly burning her face, and also injuring her right hand somewhat.” [8]
– New Oxford Item, 01 Nov 1901
“A dynamite cartridge, which Miss Alice Becker, of Porters, York county, was trying to pry open with a pin, exploded, blowing off several fingers of her left hand and the thumb nail on her right, as well as severely injuring her face.” [9]
– Gettysburg Compiler, 05 Nov 1901
“Dynamite Shattered Her Hand. Hanover, Oct. 30. – While cleaning house Miss Alice Becker found a dynamite cartridge, which she picked with a pin, causing it to explode. One of her hands was blown to pieces and the other terribly lacerated, as was her face.“ [10]
– Harrisburg Telegraph, 30 Oct 1901
“HANOVER – While Alice Becker, a domestic, employed in the family of Dr. L. H. Serner, was cleaning a room Monday she found a box on top of a cupboard containing dynamite caps, which she endeavored to pry open. An explosion occurred, which tore off all the fingers on one hand and badly mangled the other hand.” [11]
– Wilkes-Barre Times, 30 Oct 1901
“GIRL STUCK PIN INTO DYNAMITE CARTRIDGE Special to The Inquirer. HANOVER, Pa., Oct. 29 – While cleaning house yesterday Miss Alice Becker, of Porter’s Siding, found a box containing a dynamite cartridge which she foolishly picked with a pin, causing it to explode. One of the girl’s hands was blown to pieces and the other terribly lacerated, while her face was also severely injured.” [12]
– The Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 Oct 1901

This must have been a major life changing event for Alice Becker and could explain why she never married and was unable to sign her name.

In the spring of 1915, she had an extramarital relationship with Franklin Charles Copenheaver who was likely working as a farm laborer and residing in the same house that Alice Becker was working and living in as a domestic servant. The relationship produced a daughter who was born on Christmas Day of that year and was given the name of Arlene Louise Copenheaver. Frank Copenheaver may have denied paternity and did not appear to have any relationship with his daughter. [13]

The 1920 census recorded Alice Becker and her young daughter (ages 38 and 4) on January 8th in the household of her father, Solomon Becker. She was still working as a ‘Housekeeper’ for ‘private family’, and according to the census, the entire Becker household could not read, write or speak english which was not likely to be entirely accurate. [14]

According to the 1930 census, she was still working as a ‘Servant’ for a ‘Private Family’ at the age of 50. And she was residing within the household of her brother, Paul Becker. [15]

She died on June 13, 1952:

“Alice L. Becker, 72, Spring Grove R. D. 2, died this morning at 12:55 o’clock in the York City hospital, where she was a patient since April 21. She was a daughter of the late Solomon and Angeline (Luckenbaugh) Becker. Surviving are one child, Mrs. Arlene Kessler, New Oxford R. D. 1; seven grandchildren and a brother and three sisters, Paul Becker and Mrs. Clara Feeser, Hanover R D; Mrs. Milton Lawyer, Broadway, and Mrs. Emma Fissel, Spring Grove R. D. 2. The Rev. A. M. Hollinger, pastor of the West Manheim Lutheran charge, will conduct funeral services Sunday at 2 p. m. at the William A. Feiser funeral home, Carlisle street. Burial will be in the York Road cemetery. Friends may call tomorrow evening at the funeral home.“ [1]
– The Evening Sun, 13 Jun 1952
“The funeral of Alice L. Becker, Spring Grove R. D. 2, daughter of the late Solomon and Angeline (Luckenbaugh) Becker, who died Friday at the York City hospital, was held yesterday afternoon with services at the William A. Feiser funeral home, Carlisle street. Officiating was the Rev. A. M. Hollinger, pastor of the West Manheim Lutheran charge. Interment was in the York Road cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were Bruce L. Richard and Preston Gladfelter and Claude A. Wagner.“ [16]
– The Evening Sun, 16 Jun 1952

Notes

Census records are not coherent with respect to age.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pennsylvania) 13 Jun 1952, Fri, Page 1
  2. "United States Census, 1870," Solomon Becker, Pennsylvania, United States; enumerated on the 19th day of August, 1870, p. 48, family 387, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,967.
  3. "United States Census, 1880," Solomon Becker, Heidelberg, York, Pennsylvania, United States; enumerated on the 23rd day of June, 1880, enumeration district ED 13, sheet 42A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1206; FHL microfilm 1,255,206.
  4. “United States Census, 1900," Solomon Becker, Heidelberg Township, York, Pennsylvania, United States; enumerated on the 11 day of June, 1900, enumeration district (ED) 152, sheet 6B, family 120, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,501.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "United States Census, 1900," Alice Becker in household of Ezra Mummert, West Manheim Township, York, Pennsylvania, United States; enumerated on the 1st day of June, 1900, enumeration district (ED) 182, sheet 1A, family 3, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,502.
  6. "United States Census, 1920," Solomon Becker, Heidelberg, York, Pennsylvania, United States; enumerated on the 8th day January, 1920, ED 63, sheet 6A, line 1, family 77, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1667; FHL microfilm 1,821,667.
  7. The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pennsylvania) 30 Oct 1959, Fri, Page 5
  8. New Oxford Item (New Oxford, Pennsylvania) 01 Nov 1901, Fri, Page 5
  9. Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) 05 Nov 1901, Tue, Page 2
  10. Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) 30 Oct 1901, Wed, Page 2
  11. Wilkes-Barre Times (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) 30 Oct 1901, Wed, Page 4
  12. The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 30 Oct 1901, Wed, Page 9
  13. Marriage Application of John O. Kessler and Arlene Copenheaver numbered 51949 Filed Mar. 10 1936 by A M Hollinger (Minister of the Gospel). Marriage Records (1885-1949), York County Archives, York, Pennsylvania
  14. ”United States Census, 1920," Alice Becker in household of Solomon Becker, Heidelberg, York, Pennsylvania, United States; enumerated on the 8th day January, 1920, ED 63, sheet 6A, line 5, family 77, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1667; FHL microfilm 1,821,667.
  15. “United States Census, 1930," Alice Becker in household of Paul Becker, Heidleberg, York, Pennsylvania, United States; enumerated on April 14, 1930, enumeration district (ED) ED 33, sheet 6A, line 35, family 123, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2165; FHL microfilm 2,341,899.
  16. The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pennsylvania) 16 Jun 1952, Mon, Page 4


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