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Ernest Monroe Thornton was born in 1902 in Radford, Virginia. At a young age his father drowned and his mother died of pneumonia. Around the age of 20 he moved to Pittsburgh for a better life. Helen Lucille Strawser was born in Preston County, West Virginia. They met and married and started a family. Ernest worked as a watch repair and maker and the family appeared to be doing well in North Side, Pittsburgh, PA. But something happened during WWII, and the family fell on hard times and ended in tragedy.

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