Searching for my ancestors in The Monessen Daily Independent has helped me find death and marriage dates so that I was able to request vital records. I have found articles on bankruptcy meetings, car accidents and hospital stays. In the "society" pages, I have learned about the social lives of my family - clubs, church groups, and trips to Pittsburgh.
All of these articles, announcements, obituaries, records, and mentions have helped me to put "flesh on the bones" of my ancestors and fill in the gaps between vital and census records. Adding this information (with a grain of salt regarding all of it's validity) to my other research has helped me see who these ancestors really were, as well as what life was like in the growing city of Monessen.
For example, I learned a lot about my grandmother, Agnes Speck, as a child: she played the piano and had many recitals, she performed in several operettas and plays, she won second place in a humorous reading contest and went to a national speech competition at Bucknell University, she had her appendix removed when she was 23 years old, and she worked at Page Wire & Steel until she was married.
Below are just a handful of my many "finds" from The Monessen Daily Independent: