According to the Elizabethville Echo, 8 April 1897, Julia died on Monday, 5 April 1897:
Mrs. Jonathan Zerby, of Loyalton, died at her home of pneumonia after a brief illness, funeral took place at Vera Cruz on Friday.
Julia is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery, Elizabethville, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. See: Findagrave Memorial.
This couple had four children, the first of whom was:
Harry Franklin Zerbe, born 11 July 1883, and died about 12 September 1884 in Tower City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, according to the records of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church there. He is interred in Maple Grove Cemetery, Elizabethville, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania according to his Findagrave Memorial.
After the death of Julia, a family photograph was taken of Jonathan Zerbe and his three children.
The three children in the photograph are:
Mary Alberta “Bertha” Zerbe, was born 2 September 1887 probably in Lower Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and was baptized at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church there on 9 November 1887. She married Elmer Romberger as his second wife. His genealogy can be found at the Romberger Family History Site. They had no children. Bertha is pictured front left in the photograph.
Lottie May Zerbe, was born 19 October 1891, probably in Tower City, Schuylkill County, and died 16 February 1970, in Lebanon, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, according to the Social Security Death Index. She was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Tower City. Lottie is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery, Elizabethville. She did not marry. She is pictured front right (blonde hair).
Walter Scott Zerbe was born on 28 February 1895, in Loyalton, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (according to his death certificate). He died on 25 October 1956 in the Polyclinic Hospital, Harrisburg. At the time of his death, his occupation was listed as Treasurer, Lykens Mercantile Company. Walter is the young boy standing in front in the photograph.
Note: This photograph was incorrectly identified here on this blog and the explanation of the correction appears below. Information leading to the correction was pointed out by a Ancestry.com member.
The photo must be dated by the age of the children, particularly Walter, who appears to be at least 3 years old. Walter was born on 28 February 1895, and the death of his mother, Julia [Messner] Zerbe occurred on 8 April 1897. Thus, Walter was just slightly older than 2 when his mother died. While it is not impossible that Walter is only 2 in the photo, it is very unlikely that Jonathan Zerbe would have had a photograph taken of his children and wife, leaving one of those living children out of the photo. If the photograph is dated as 1898, then the photo does picture the three children, and not the wife who died in 1897. Previously, the woman (or girl) on the left has been identified as Julia, the wife Can it now be assumed that the previous identification is incorrect?
Corrections and additional information should be added as comments to this post.
Originally posted on blog on 21 June 2016. Text re-written and re-posted on 6 May 2017.