STORY OF A DAISY
(CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE)
Daisy Pearl Cobleigh
was born on June 02, 1884 in Plymouth, Luzerne County, PA, the sixth of ten children of George John Cobleigh and Mary Eliza Whitesell.
At age 20, she married Andrew Sherman Steltz on
February 08, 1905 at the Loyalville Church in Lake Township.
The homestead of Andrew and Daisy Cobleigh Steltz
was situated across the street from the Maple Grove Methodist Church.
She bore Andrew two children:
Burton Andrew Steltz, on July 19, 1907; and Hilda Louise Steltz on August 28, 1910. Hilda,
unfortunately died at a very young age of 10 years.
Not much is known of her early years or education and it is not certain if she ever earned a formal nursing degree. However, she did work closely for much of her life with Dr. Harry Brown (at one time the school doctor at Lehman) and, among other duties, assisted him in the deliverance of many babies. From that experience, Daisy evolved into a midwife and delivered, it is estimated, over 100 babies either with Dr. Brown or by herself over the space of nearly 30 years. An admittedly partial list of those babies is posted at the end of this biography and additions to it are welcomed.
Daisy might be said to have been a "real pioneer lady",
as she thought nothing of hiking three miles in one direction from her home in Pikes Creek to visit her sister Louise in Sweet Valley to a mile and a half the other way to see her sister Lydia in Loyalville. She kept chickens, pigs and a couple of cows that she milked.
She was an excellent cook, known for her rice pudding and homemade bread, and she preserved meats, vegetables, and strawberries that she picked with her granddaughter Gloris (Mrs. Lloyd) Naugle at Fred Updyke's farm. Daisy and Gloris would walk to the farm and pick berries all day. Amid all this activity, she still found time to be a vibrant member of the women's group at the Maple Grove United Methodist Church.
Grove Centennial- 1st Row- Carrie Wolfe, Evadne Ruggles, Arlene Mott 2nd
Row- George Bronson, Emma Cornell, William Naugle, Velma Wagner
Daisy's husband, Andrew Steltz, died at age 62 on July 21, 1946 and she went to live with her sister Annie (Mrs. Harold) Kocher but continued her habit of visiting all her nearby relatives. After nearly 5 years of widowhood, at age 67 she married Herman Millard Lutes (5 and a half years her senior)
on June 16, 1951. They remodeled a one-room schoolhouse,
the former Cambra Schoolhouse,
and their music livened the family's Sunday get-togethers, Daisy on the organ and Herman playing the fiddle. Herman also amused their guests by always eating his dessert first-"Have to make sure I have room for it!! ", he'd exclaim. They enjoyed 14 good years of marriage. In 1965 Herman was beset by heart problems and, for a time, Daisy's granddaughter, Gloris, came to stay with them at night. They eventually moved in with Daisy's sister Lydia (Mrs. William) Garnet. Herman died suddenly at Lydia's house of an acute coronary occlusion due to cardiovascular disease on March 28, 1965.
Following Herman's death, Daisy bought a house trailer, sat it on the old homestead property across from the Maple Grove United Methodist, and lived there with her son Burton.
On September 18, 1966 a fire consumed the trailer. Daisy, now 82, was not at home but Burton was seriously injured and nearly lost his sight. He eventually recovered and lived for another 5 years. What didn't survive the fire were Daisy's meticulous records of all the births she'd attended over the years. Saddened but undeterred, she sat down and tried to recreate the "babies list" but could come up with no more than 40 names. In preparing this document for posting to the Internet, research has turned up a few more of "Daisy's babies" but it is still far from complete and readers are asked to help out by submitting even more names to the web site owner.
Following the fire Daisy went to live with her niece, Louise J. Garnet Heslop, for approximately 8 years. Louise suffered a stroke in 1974 and Daisy returned to the home of her sister Lydia (age 84) and lived there with Lydia and Lydia's daughter Pearl (age 66.) Pearl died in February, 1976 and Daisy made her next-to-last move, to her granddaughter Gloris's home. In 1978 she entered the Carpenter Nursing Home and she died on April 7, 1984, a mere 2 months shy of what would have been her 100th birthday. Daisy Pearl Cobleigh Steltz Lutes was buried by the Curtis L. Swanson funeral home and interred at the Maple Grove Cemetery with the Rev. Jeffrey L Rarich presiding.
Over the years the Sweet Valley and Pikes Creek communities honored Daisy with parties on her 70th, 82nd, and 90th birthdays.
On the 96th she wanted only to go to Burger King and Kathleen Hunter Cornell and June Covert Lynn obliged by driving her there. For her 98th, there was another party and she received a card from President Reagan.
Daisy Cobleigh Steltz Lutes celebrating her 80th birthday, in 1964.
Daisy Cobleigh Steltz Lutes celebrating her 90th birthday with members of the Maple Grove Methodist Church, below, she is pictured with church member, Elmer Wolfe.
also celebrating with sisters: Lydia Cobleigh Garnett, Daisy Cobleigh Steltz, Anna Cobleigh Kocher
Pictured above is Jennie Meeker Steltz, Daisy Cobleigh Steltz Lutes, Herman Lutes, and Burton Steltz
Pictured above in front- Daisy Cobleigh Steltz, Ben Cobleigh, Louise Cobleigh Foss and in the back- Lydia Cobleigh Garnett and Anna Cobleigh Kocher in 1961.
Pictured above in front of the Maple Grove Methodist Church is Daisy Cobleigh Steltz.
Pictured above Herman Lutes, Daisy Cobleigh Lutes, Burton Steltz, Jennie Meeker Steltz
Pictured above Burton Steltz, Gloris Steltz Naugle holding Christine Naugle Perkoski, Jennie Meeker, Herman Lutes, Daisy Lutes, Beverly Ann Steltz Rebert with Brenda Naugle
Row- Gary Naugle, Brad Todd Naugle, Gloris Steltz Naugle, Lloyd Thomas
(Cubby) Naugle, Jr., Louis Foss (sitting in chair), Eva Martin Steltz
Thomas, Jennie Ellen Meeker Steltz, Catherine Foss Lynn, Pearl McKeel
Midwifery is truly a noble profession and "Daisy's babies" have undoubtedly gone on to produce hundred, if not thousands, of productive citizens. She served her community ably and, although she is no longer with us, by posting this biography to the Internet we hope that in some small way we can continue to honor her memory.
Here is the list of "Daisy's babies" as it is presently known:
Babies delivered by Daisy Pearl Cobleigh Steltz, midwife
Donated by Gloris Steltz Naugle