Once Upon a Town 38: Hettie Marvin ZARFOS & Earl Britman BURG and the Chicken Fork


It seems a bit strange that I have so few photos of Hettie, considering the size of the collection from Cora and Addie.  Hopefully, they're in a BURG attic somewhere.


Interesting, too, that although it's usually a mother photographed with her children, Hettie makes no appearance in the BURG portraits.  Was she really that camera shy?  


There's such an enormous bouquet of words regarding her interment, that I'm saving the family portraits for the next blog...

Hettie Marvin ZARFOS

Birth: 7 Jan 1880

Residence: 1905 Red Lion, York Co., PA

Death: 18 Sep 1931

Burial: 21 Sep 1931 Red Lion Cemetery, Gay St., York Twp., York Co., PA

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

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


Death of Mrs Earl B Burg

  Mrs Hettie Marvin burg, wife of Earl B Burg, of the firm of Zarfos and Burg, local funeral directors, died this morning at 6 o’clock.  She was aged 51 years, 8 months and 11 days.  Mrs Burg was widely known in Red Lion and was an active member and worker in St Paul’s Evangelical church.  She was converted at the age of 12 years and had been a member of St Paul’s congregation since that time.  She was a member of the Sunday school class taught by Mrs Arthur Kelly, of the Ladies’ Aid Society and the Ladies’ Missionary society.  For a number of years she was pianist and later organist in the church.

  Mrs Burg, whose maiden name was Hettie Marvin Zarfos, was married to Earl B Burg on Aug 12, 1905, the ceremony being performed by Rev C W Finkbinder.  she leaves her husband; two sons, Henry F Burg and John Palmer Burg; her parents, Mr and Mrs B F Zarfos; two sisters, Mrs Cora M Lahr and Mrs Addie I Hoffman, and a brother, Charles F Zarfos, all of Red Lion.

  The funeral services will be held at the home on Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock.  Burial will be in the Red Lion cemetery.  To a large extent Mrs Burg arranged for the funeral service.  She requested that Rev G C Gabriel, pastor of St Paul’s Evangelical church conduct the service and that he be assisted by Rev J Theodore Pettit, a former pastor.   She asked that the songs, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and “The Old Rugged Cross” be sung at the service.”


  “Mrs Hettie Marvin Burg, wife of Earl B Burg, member of the firm of Zarfos & Burg, funeral directors and furniture dealers, who died last Friday morning, was buried today.  Largely attended funeral services were conducted at 2 o’clock this afternoon at the Burg residence, West Broadway and Charles street, by Rev G C Gabriel, pastor of St Paul’s Evangelical church, assisted by Rev J Theodore Pettit, this place, a former pastor.  The  casket was covered and surrounded with beautiful floral tributes.  The flowers were so numerous that it required three extra automobiles to convey them to the cemetery.  The pallbearers, selected by the deceased before her death, were:  Robert Strobeck, Harry Barnhart, John E Kelly, William C Fruitiger, Thomas Holtzinger and Stewart Leiphart.  The choir of St Paul’s Evangelical church, of which the deceased was a member, sang the hymns, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and “The Old Rugged Cross.”  Members of the choir were composed of Latimer C Stein, Earl Stein, Mrs Claude C Herman and Mrs Ivan Zeigler.  The songs were sung at the request of Mrs Burg, who also selected the officiating ministers before her death.  Burial was made in the Red Lion cemetery.



Married: Earl Britman BURG

Birth: 24 Dec 1878 Woodstock Forge, York Co., PA

Death: 1979

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

Occupation: clerk for C W Detwiler Funeral Director & Furniture Store,  Red Lion (1905); made cigar boxes & worked in the office of Miller Brothers, Red Lion box factory; with Charles F Zarfos purchased C W Detwiler’s, and conducted the Funeral Home for 28 years.

Father: Henry William BURG (~1855-1943)

Mother: Lydia GILBERT (1857-1946)



One day Henry was not home and the family was seated at the dinner table, when a chicken came in the kitchen through a hole in the screen door.  Aunt Lydia, who was left-handed, was eating with a fork and made a motion with her hand to chase the chicken.  While doing so, the fork flew from her hand and stuck in the chicken’s back.  Her son, Earl, caught the chicken and pulled out the fork.  The chicken survived.  Earl still has the fork in his possession.  (Source: Gilbert, Melvin: The Gilberts of the Conajohela Valley, self-published 1980, p.302)  


My grandparents gave this to me when I started nosing about our family history.  I don't know if it's the weapon, or simply an antique fork.  Great story, though.



Misc. Notes

At 27 years of age, his brother-in-law, Charles F. ZARFOS and himself purchased the business of Charles W. Detwiler Furniture & Funeral Director.  He conduced the Funeral Home and Mr. Zarfos the Furniture Store for 28 years.

  In 1935, Earl bought the Funeral Director’s business from Mr. Zarfos and built the present Funeral Home on the corner of West Broadway and Charles St.  He took his son, Henry, as a partner and called the building the Earl B. Burg & Son Funeral Home.



from York County Archives


No.17778.  Application of [Earl B BURG, Red Lion, York Co Pa] P.O., and [Hettie M ZARFOS, Red Lion, York Co. Pa] P.O.,  for Marriage License.  Taken before [T E Brooks] Filed [Aug 22] 190[5]

APPLICATION FOR MARRIAGE.  No.[17778] 1.  Full name of the man, [Earl B BURG]  2.  Full name of the woman, [Hettie M ZARFOS]  3.  Relationship of the parties, either by blood or marriage, [none]  4. Age of the Man, [26 years]  5. Age of the woman, [25 years]  6. Residence of the man, [Red Lion York Co, Pa]  7.  Residence of the woman, [Red Lion York Co, Pa]  8. Parent's names-man, [Henry & Lydia BURG]  9. Parent's names-woman, [Benjamin F & Jane ZARFOS]  10.  Guardian's name-man [--]  11. Guardian's name-woman[--]  12. Consent of parent or guardian-man [--] 13. Consent of parent or guardian-woman [--]  14. Have either of you been married before? [No.]  15. Date of death of man's former wife, if any, [--]  16. Date of death of woman's former husband, if any, [--]  17.  Date of Divorce of man at any time, [--]  18. Cause for which divorce was granted [--]  19.  Date of Divorce of woman at any time, [--] 20. Cause for which divorce was granted [--]  21.  Color of parties, [white]  22. Occupation of man, [clerk]  23. Occupation of woman, [Works in house at home.]


Personally appeared before me, [a Justice of the Peace] in and for said County of York, Pa., [Earl B BURG] and [Hettie 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.  [Affirmed] and subscribed before me this [21st] day of [Aug] AD 190[5] [signed T E Brooks.  Justice of the Peace]  [signed Earl B BURG & Hettie M ZARFOS]    


MARRIAGE LICENSE.  No.17778 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, [Earl B BURG] and [Hettie M ZARFOSS] 

Given under my Hand and Seal of the Orphans' Court of said County of York, this [22] day of [Aug] AD 190[5].  [V R WEAVER], Clerk.


I, [C W Finkbinder], hereby certify, that on the [22] day of [Aug] one thousand nine hundred and ninety-[five] at [Red Lion, Pa] [

Earl B BURG] and [Hettie 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 [17778]  When returned [Aug 24] 190[5]  [signed C W Finkbinder] Minister of the Gospel."


Marriage: 22 Aug 1905 Red Lion, York Co., PA



 Henry Franklin (1908-1993)

John Palmer (1910-)



The death Angel strikes again:

After Hettie's death, Earl married:

Julia Mary CILLEY

Birth: 1910

Death: 1994

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

Father: Harry CILLEY

Mother: Eva FIES


Marriage: 20 Oct 1945 St. Paul’s Evangelical United Brethren Church, 1st Ave., Red Lion, York Co., PA


Children: Mark J (1946-1963)




That's enough for one day.  More photos tomorrow...


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