Our Father Nathaniel E Fake 2023

Our father Nathaniel E Fake is celebrated on Father’s Day 2023 for the foundations he built for his family. Our father, Nathaniel Edward Fake, 1916 -1999 was a hard-working sole provider for our family with two jobs. His daytime employment of 40 years involved the assembly of metal structures for heating and air conditioning in commercial buildings. I remember one project for a local donut maker where my father helped build most of the stainless steel equipment to manufacture donuts. He took my younger brother and me to the donut shop for the grand opening.  As I recall, the donuts tasted great.

Nathaniel’s second job was that of a part-time farmer with two helpers- Ronald (author of the post) and brother Ray. We always had tasks to complete before our father arrived home from work. The bottom line is that my father, Nathaniel Fake, was the role model in our family for hard work and its benefits.

Our Father Nathaniel E Fake Birth

Nathaniel was born on February 17 in 1916, on the family farm located on East Prospect Wrightsville Road. Located about 2 miles from East Prospect Boro, York County, Pennsylvania.

Nathaniel, grand-daughter Shannon
son Ronald, great grand-daughter

His parents are Kurvin Edward Fake 1887-1959 and Rosie May Dellinger1892-1964.    Kurvin was 29, and Rosie was 23 years old. My grandparents had two children- Nathaniel and his sister Amy Ellen Leiphart 1921- 2009.

Description of Grandparent’s Farm

Let’s set the background for my grandparent’s 50-acre farm in the period 1916 to the mid-1940s. Their farm is located on the Wrightsville- East Prospect Road about 2 miles from the boro of East Prospect.

There was no electricity, no water pumped from a well, and no telephones. Heat and cooking came from a  cast-iron wood stove with an oven and a large surface area for cooking in pots and cast-iron skillets. Freshwater was brought from the springhouse for cooking and drinking.

The springhouse was the modern-day refrigerator for the cooling of milk and butter for sale to customers. No indoor bathrooms. Only an outhouse where you sweat in the summer and freeze your rear end in the winter.

My grandfather Kurvin Edward Fake 1887-1959 was a farmer for most of his working life, where he planted corn, wheat, oats, and tobacco. He maintained a small herd of dairy cows and raised hogs for family meat consumption. One can imagine that our father Nathaniel started his day with numerous farm chores at an early age. After chores, he and his sister Amy Ellen hustled off to Gilbert’s one-room country school.

My grandmother, Rosie May (Dellinger) Fake 1892-1962, easily handled the making of lunch for 8-10 workers, helping make hay or harvesting grain. She would prepare several different menu items plus the best homemade pies.

 I spent numerous weeks on the farm during the summer helping my grandfather with many different farming tasks. When I first arrived at my grandfather’s farm the farm implements were all attached to mule power. Several years later a bright red Farmall tractor pulled the plow, harrow, mower, etc.

Our Father’s Education

Early education took place at Gilbert’s one-room country school near Spring and Nursery roads in Lower Windsor Township, York County, Pennsylvania. The school is located about 1 mile from the family farm for a 2-mile walk to and from school. 

Class of One Room Country School
Nathaniel Age 12 and Amy Age 7 Class of 1928

In 1854 York County school officials planned and built a series of one-room schoolhouses for grades one to six. Each building had the same layout for 30 students at double desks with one large cast-iron stove that used either wood or coal for heat. Each school had one teacher for six grades. 

I am proud to recognize that our Father, Nathaniel Edward Fake received his  High School Degree on May 25th, 1933, from Wrightsville High School. Why the big deal? He was the first in his family to graduate from High School. I salute him for his extra efforts to receive his high school diploma. 

In reviewing his high school grade records, I noticed that his grades were consistent across all subjects in the range of 80-90 out of 100. I believe after his chores; he studied by the kerosene lamp to earn those higher grades.

Nathaniel E Fake Marriage and Family

On June 11th, 1938, Nathaniel Edward Fake 1916-1999 and Mildred Elizabeth Witmer 1916-1977 entered into Holy Matrimony with Pastor Darnell officiating. The service was held in Denver, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. On the date of the wedding, my father was 22, and my mother was 21.

The mothers of the bride and groom witnessed the ceremony. They were Mrs. Minnie Mae Witmer 1887- 1940 and Mrs.Rosie May Fake 1892-1964. Father of the bride George Washington Witmer 1882- 1960 and Father of the Groom Kurvin Edward Fake1887- 1959 completed the wedding party.

Our Family

Our father and mother’s first home was in East Prospect Boro, York County, Pennsylvania, about two miles from his parent’s farm. Nathaniel attended night school to learn mechanical drafting. The drafting knowledge helped Nathaniel land a job with C C Kottcamp mechanical contractors in York, Pennsylvania. He retired from sheet metal fabrication at Kottcamps in 1978 at age 62.

Ronald Lamar Fake Birth

The family of three sons kept my mother very busy. First, the writer of this story, Ronald Lamar Fake, was born on March 29, 1940, at his grandparents George and Minnie Witmer’s home on Windsor Road near the borough of Windsor. Unfortunately, my grandmother, Minnie passed away on November 2, 1940. The only recollection of her is from photographs in my collection.

Ray Edward Fake Birth

Our father Nathaniel was 26 when brother Ray Edward Fake was born on June 1, 1942, in East Prospect, Pennsylvania. Next, my parents moved to the boro of Dallastown. My mother’s sisters, Effie Flinchbaugh, and Pauline Ferree resided on Main Street several blocks from our new home. Ray and I attended Dallastown Elementary School. We made friends in the neighborhood and played cowboys and Indians in the cornfield behind our house.

New Family Farm Hellam Township

In 1947 we moved to a small farm located on Tracey School House Road in Hellam Township, York County.  Our new home was about one-quarter mile from my father’s sister Amy Fake Leiphart 1921- 2009 and uncle Levere Leiphart 1918- 2011. Ray and I would frequently visit our first cousins Leonard and Dean Leiphart to play games or watch TV on their new 13-inch Motorola.  

I attended Tracey’s one-room school with one teacher Mrs. Myers teaching six grades. My grade was second with two fellow students. The easy part of school attendance was the relatively short walk-about one-quarter mile. Drinking water for the School was fetched from the Drake farm next to the school. I volunteered often to deliver water because Mrs. Drake made the best cookies in her bakery.

The following year we went by bus to a brand new elementary school in the boro of Hellam.

Family Farm Chores

My father could capture his farming roots here on the new 8-acre farm. Early on, the farm needed a lot of attention, like clearing brush and moving large rocks with the Allis Chalmers tractor. Later our father, with assistance from us, started growing sweet corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, and other vegetables for home use and sale to customers.

We raised chickens for fresh eggs and meat and hogs for butchering in the fall. On short notice, my mother would decide chicken was on the menu for supper. My job was to catch the chicken, cut its head off with an ax, and prepare it for cooking- plucking lots of feathers.

Ray and I always had chores to complete after school or during the summer. Also, we were encouraged to work jobs away from home to make extra income.

Brother Jay Dennis Arrives

At age 34, Nathaniel and Mildred became the proud parents of a third son Jay Dennis Fake 1950-1988. Mother had a lot of responsibilities with the new baby. The great thing Ray and I were self-reliant and did not require extra care.

Experiences That Our Father Enjoyed


When Ray and I were young, Nathaniel would take us fishing to a local stream to catch trout. Boys being boys, we never could stay quiet or have patience waiting for a hit from the bait on the fishing line. These trips did not last very long. Our father discovered deep-sea fishing with his sister Amy Leiphart and uncle Levere Leiphart. They went on half-day deep-sea fishing boats on the Atlantic Ocean out of Lewes, Delaware. We always had fresh fish for supper the following day.

Farm Auctions

In the spring, summer, and fall, there were lots of farm auctions where real estate, farm equipment, and all kinds of additional items were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Our father was a frequent participant at the York County auctions. When Ray and I were younger, we went to the auctions. Sometimes our father won bids and the items came home to the farm. Auctions are significant social events where you meet new people, relatives, and neighbors.

Family Ancestry and Reunions

I am very fortunate that our father, Nathaniel Edward Fake, was into the ancestry hunt long before computers. His files contain hundreds of handwritten forms, scraps of paper with family info, and certificates of birth, baptism, and graduation.

He worked with Earl E. Fake from Reading, Berks County, in compiling the Fake family tree for York County, Pennsylvania.

In the inherited information base are original ledger books with handwritten wills, deeds, estate settlements, and personal and business accounts.

Part of the ancestry discovery process is the annual Fake Reunion usually held in a park located in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. As a young person, I remember attending numerous Fake family reunions.

Hellam Fire Company

Nathaniel’s membership in the Hellam Fire Company consisted of many years of attending the Friday night fundraising dinners. His favorite seafood is oysters and fish is second. This event is a great social outing to talk with friends and neighbors.

Our Father’s Main Hobby

He was an inventor, builder, and fixer of new things or things that failed to work. He was a craftsman that worked with wood, metal, and almost anything else.

He was an electrician, carpenter, welder, plumber, farmer, and jack of all trades. If he needed help, he would consult his extensive collection of Popular Mechanics Magazines found in the basement.

His workshop was about half of the barn’s first floor. This space was previously used for the raising of chickens, domestic rabbits, and hogs. He had lots of hand tools and some power tools, plus welding equipment. My father purchased many of these items at farm auctions. He preferred buying used instead of new, especially automobiles or pickup trucks.

On his to-do list, were numerous projects underway in various stages, working towards completion. I remember the remodeling of the kitchen, which took months. This project wore my mother’s patience thin.

Canadochly Family Church

Our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents have always worshiped at a church with Canadochly as part of the name and located near the intersection of East Prospect Road and Wrightsville Road in Delroy, York County, Pennsylvania. 

Our family regularly attended Sunday school and church services. Nathaniel served on numerous committees. As young boys, we always looked forward to the annual church picnic.

Later in Life Experiences From My Father

Reflecting on life experiences with our Mother and Father’s guidance was refreshing. When you are growing up as a citizen in today’s world, you almost always believe that your parents are too strict in their discipline. I am very thankful that our Mother and Father set the gold standard in these areas: principles, character, work ethic, and a sense of caring and giving beyond the immediate family.

You can find the Ancestry Post recognizing Mother at Our Mother Mildred Witmer Fake May 22, 2022.

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Ronald L. Fake

Pennsylvania native from York County. After graduating from Wrightsville High School enlisted in U.S. Navy. While in the Navy working in the field of Aviation Electronics decided to enroll in college. Selected San Diego State University with a focus on urban geography and environmental studies. After graduation in 1968 worked with county and state governments, and private industry on the environmental impacts of transportation projects. After retirement started my ancestry research and today I am writing that history as a blog at https://ancestryeuropetoamerica.com.

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