Once Upon a Town 34: Cora May (ZARFOS) & William A. LAHR

As I move into my great-grandparents' generation, it's taking a lot more time to sort through the people.  Photography was becoming accessible to the general public at the turn of the 20th century, and my ancestors were getting into the game.  There are some wonderful slice-of-life shots coming up...


The eldest child of Benjamin Franklin & Melvina Jane (RUPP) ZARFOS was Cora:


Birth: 24 Sep 1877

Death: 31 Dec 1964 724 West Broadway, Red Lion, York Co., PA

Burial: 3 Jan 1965 Red Lion Cemetery, Gay St., York Twp., York Co., PA

Occupation: cigar maker in 1899

Father: Benjamin Franklin “Frank” ZARFOS (1858-1942)

Mother: Melvina Jane "Jane" RUPP (1856-1944)


“Mrs Cora M LAHR

Red Lion, Jan 1--Mrs Cora M Lahr, widow of William LAHR, died at 10:45 am yesterday at her residence, 724 West Broadway, after an illnes of five and one-half months.  She was 87 years of age.

A daughter of the late BF and Jane RUPP ZARFOSS, she was a member of St Paul’s EUB Church, its Ladies’ Aid and Missionary societies, and Class 3 of the Sunday school.

Surviving are a sister, Mrs Addie HOFFMAN; a brother, Charles F ZARFOS, both of Red Lion, and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 pm Sunday at the Burg Funeral Home, 134 West Broadway.  Her pastor, the Rev Dr Alfred J Thomas, will officiate.  Interment will be in Red Lion Cemetery.”



Cora M. Lahr


September 24, 1877


December 31, 1964


The Burg Funeral Home

Sunday, January 3, 1965, at 1:30 P.M.


Rev. Dr. Alfred J. Thomas


Red Lion Cemetery


Charles S. Zarfos, Jr.   James F. Favino

Gerald Zarfos             Jay Zarfos

J. Palmer Burg            Arthur Adair


Marriage: 23 Jul 1899 Red Lion PA by Rev ?H E Berkey


Married: William A LAHR

Birth: 27 Apr 1875 Maryland

Census: 1890 Windsor Twp., York Co., PA

Residence: 1899 Red Lion, York Co., PA

Death: 6 Nov 1918

Occupation: Red Lion cigar mfg 1899

Father: Francis LAHR

Mother: Lena


Notes from York County Archives

"No.11627.  Application of [Wm A LAHR] and [Cora M ZARFOSS] for Marriage License...Filed [July 21] 189[9]  [329]

APPLICATION FOR MARRIAGE LICENSE.  1.  Full name of the man, [William A LAHR]  2.  Full name of the woman, [Cora M ZARFOS]  3.  Relationship of the parties, either by blood or marriage, [--]  4. Age of the Man, [25 years]  5. Age of the woman, [21 years]  6. Residence of the man, [Red Lion, Pa]  7.  Residence of the woman, [Red Lion, Pa]  8. Parent's names-man, [Francis & Lena LAHR]  9. Parent's names-woman, [Benj. F & Jane ZARFOS]  10. Date of death of man's former wife, if any, [--]  11. Date of death of woman's former husband, if any, [--]  12.  Date of Divorce of man at any time, [--]  12.  Date of Divorce of woman at any time, [--]  14.  Color of parties, [white]  15. Occupation of man, [cigar mfr]  16. Occupation of woman, [cigar maker]


Personally appeared before me, a Justice of the Peace in and for said County of York, Pa., [William A LAHR] and [Cora M ZARFOS] who being duly qualified according to law, did depose and say that the statements above set forth are correct and true, to the best of their knowledge and belief.  [Affirmid] and subscribed before me this [19] day of [July] AD 189[9] [signed J B Herman] J.P.} [signed William A LAHR, Cora M ZARFOS]   


MARRIAGE LICENSE.  No.11627 State of Pennsylvania, County of York.

To any Minister of the Gospel, Justice of the Peace or other officers or persons authorised by law to solemnize marriages...You are herby authorized to join together in the holy state of Matrimony, according to the rites and ceremonies of your church, society or religious denomination and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, [Wm A LAHR] and [Cora M ZARFOSS] 

Given under my Hand and Seal of the Orphans' Court of said County of York, this [21] day of [July] AD 189[9].  [L S STONER], Clerk.


I, [H E Berkey], hereby certify, that on the [23] day of [July] one thousand eight hundred and ninety-[nine] at [Red Lion, Pa] [William A LAHR] and [Cora M ZARFOSS] were by me united in marriage, in accordance with license issued by the Clerk of the Orphans' Court of York County, Pennsylvania, numbered [11627]  When returned [July 27] 189[9]  [signed H E Berkey] Minister of the Gospel."


Children: none


Cora & Sadie SMITH

Cora & Liely QUIGLEY

Girlfriends circa 1890
Girlfriends circa 1890 by AprylZA
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Cora and her sister, Addie, appear together in many photos, especially after William's death in 1918.


This generation had more access to photography than their parents'—even having their own cameras—so we have more glimpses into their lives.  Outdoor lives, because artificial lighting was inadequate for indoor photography.

Sisters at Home, circa 1900
Sisters at Home, circa 1900 by AprylZA
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Sisters by AprylZA
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Forever Sisters Post Card
Forever Sisters Post Card by AprylZA
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Previous <—> Next: Cora's husband, William


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