Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Philip Koch, Buried at Erdman – Was He A Civil War Veteran?

Posted By on July 25, 2016


Philip Koch was born about 8 April 1813, the son of Heinrich Koch and Catherine [Ploutz] Koch, of Lykens Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  Philip’s baptismal record is found in the records of the Zion (Klinger’s) Lutheran Church at Erdman, 22 May 1813.

In 1850, Philip Koch is found in Lykens Township.  He was married to Catherine, and was working as a laborer.  There were five children in the household.

In 1860, Philip Koch is found in Lykens Township where he was a farmer.  Wife Catherine and six children were also in the household.  Also living with the family was Philip’s widowed mother Catherine, age 76.  Although Philip gave his age as 38, based on his birth/baptismal record, he was actually about 47.

KochPhilip-PAVetCardFile-001 (2)

According to information found in the Klingerstown Bicentennial Album, page 161, the Philip Koch who is buried at Erdman, Lykens Township, at the Zion (Klinger’s) Lutheran Church Cemetery, served in the 16th Pennsylvania Infantry.  The grave marker pictured at the top of this post shows a G.A.R. star and flag.  However, the Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives, gives some information which seems to conflict with what is known about the Philip Koch of Lykens Township.

  1. Philip Koch enrolled in the 16th Pennsylvania Infantry at Tamaqua, on or before 30 April 1861.  Tamaqua is located in the eastern part of Schuylkill County, a distance from Lykens Township, although not an impossible journey in 1861.
  2. Philip Koch claimed he was 26 years old at the time of enrollment.  The Philip Koch of Lykens Township was actually 48 years old in April 1861.  Could a 48 year old man have passed for a 26 year old?

In 1870, Philip Koch is found in the Lykens Township census as a farmer who was living with his wife Catherine and seven children.  He indicated to the census that he was 56 years old.

In 1880, still living in Lykens Township and working as a farmer, Philip Koch indicated that he was 66 Years old.  In the household were his wife and three children.

Philip Koch was not located in the 1890 Veterans’ Census, although he was still alive and living in Lykens Township in 1890.

According to his grave marker, Philip Koch died in 1896.  Other sources give the death date as 30 January 1896.  Although no obituary has been seen, a brief notice appearing in the Harrisburg Telegraph, “Gratz News” column, 20 January 1896, indicated that he was “feeble” and “prostrated:”


Philip Koch, past 80 years, is quite feeble.  A cold contracted while at Lykens Saturday necessitated the performance of a very painful surgical operation, which has completely prostrated the old man.

Two years later, the Harrisburg Telegraph reported that the second and final accounting of the Estate of Philip Koch was filed in Dauphin County.

Nothing has been located, other than at graveside (and the Klingerstown Bicentennial Album), that suggests that the Philip Koch who is buried at Erdman, was the same person as the Philip Koch who served in the 16th Pennsylvania Infantry.  Note:  The Findagrave Memorial for Philip Koch notes that he was “G.A.R. 1861-1865,” which apparently is based on the marker placed there.

For the Philip Koch who served in the 16th Pennsylvania Infantry, who was discharged on 30 Jul 1861, no other military records have been located, other than the Military Index Card, shown below from Fold3.

KochPhilip-MilitaryIndex-001Perhaps a reader who has further information on Philip Koch (1813-1896) can shed some light on this mystery.  Was this Philip Koch a Civil War veteran and did he serve in the 16th Pennsylvania Infantry?  Please add comments to this post or send the information via e-mail.


Anton Haake – 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry – Not Recognized on Lykens Monument

Posted By on July 22, 2016


On 24 October 1864, Anthony “Anton” Haake, aged about 34, enrolled at Harrisburg in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company D, as a Private.  He was honorably discharged on 18 July 1865, and the record shows that he returned to his home in Lykens, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

The return to Lykens is known because when he died there on 1 October 1869, his obituary indicated that he had lived in Wiconico Township, of which Lykens is a part, for 20 years.

In a recent post on his blog Wynning History, Jake Wynn described how Anton died on 1 October 1869 by falling off the railroad bridge over the Wiconisco Creek while in a “state of intoxication.”  He hit the stony bottom of the creek and was found by a railroad worker.  The coroner’s jury ruled the death accidental, but alcohol was a contributing factor.  The article describing Anton’s death appeared in the Harrisburg Telegraph, 2 October 1869.  Previous to reading Jake’s blog post, Anton had not been included in the Project‘s Civil War list of veterans, although he had been mentioned as “Anthony Hawk” in a prior post on the Civil War Draft of 1863.

The article also indicated that Anton’s remains were committed to rest in the Catholic Cemetery in Lykens.


In searching the database “Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans,” on Ancestry.com, a card was found for Anthony Hawk, in Company K, of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  This is clearly the same person since the death date is the same – 1 October 1869.  However, the cemetery designation as “Odd Fellows” or “Union” in Lykens is confusing in that neither of these cemeteries is considered to be the “Catholic” cemetery in which Anton was supposedly interred.


The Lykens cemeteries are all located south of the Main Street of the borough.  In all, there are seven distinct areas as noted on the above map supplied by Sally Reiner of the Lykens-Wiconisco Historical Society.  From the East (or left side of the map), the seven cemeteries are:  (1) Irish Catholic Cemetery; (2) Greek Orthodox Cemetery; (3) G.A.R. Cemetery; (4) Odd Fellows Cemetery*, or I.O.O.F. Cemetery; (5) Roman Catholic Cemetery; (6) P.O.S. of A. Cemetery; and (7) Union Cemetery (Lutheran & Reformed)*, also known as Citizens’ Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in the borough.  The cemeteries for which there are published lists in geographical format are marked with an asterisk.  These cemeteries are on the side of a mountain and are difficult to traverse and photograph.  Many of the stones cannot be located and some have surely been removed.  However, in the case of Anthony Hawk, a Findagrave Memorial has been created and his stone is pictured there.  The photograph, according to site information, was uploaded on 13 August 2013.

The grave marker at that site is of military issue and alongside the marker is a G.A.R. Star-Flag Holder.  But is this marker in the Odd Fellows [I.O.O.F] section of the cemetery?  A search of the published geographical list of that cemetery section indicates that this burial is not recorded there.  Likewise, a search of the two other sections of the cemetery for which there are published lists [P.O.S. of A. and Union] reveals the same results.  Is it possible that the burial was actually made in one of the Catholic sections which does not have a published list?  The death notice would seem to indicate that he was buried in the Catholic Cemetery:

His remains were taken in charge by the township [Wiconisco], and deposited it Tuesday in the Catholic Cemetery.

The actual, physical location of the government-issued stone has not been determined, and is not given in the Findagrave Memorial.  The combined Lykens cemeteries are difficult to traverse because they are on the side of a hill or mountain, and when this area was last “walked” to photograph for this Civil War Project, the ground was leaf-covered and rocky, and this stone was not seen.  Perhaps someone who has recently visited the cemetery can give an exact location of this grave marker (GPS coordinates) and report back to this blog with a comment or e-mail.

Finally, in relation to the government issued marker, there are other records available, including the actual application for the stone, which apparently was made several years after Anton’s death.  That application should contain the name of the applicant – which may have been someone from the G.A.R. or from the Catholic Church in Lykens.  But, that application was not located on Ancestry.com.

Another point of analysis is made on the residency of Anton Haake.  The death notice states the following:

The deceased had been a resident of this township for upwards of twenty years….

A search of the township and borough censuses for 1850 and 1860 produced no good results under the name of Anton Haake, Anthony Hawk, or any similar name.

But previously, on this blog, the name of Anthony Hawk, was mentioned as a draftee in 1863, and a resident of Wiconisco Township and Lykens Borough.  See:  The 1863 Draft for Upper Dauphin County.

The comment in the death notice, that he had traveled to Germany to visit his mother in 1867 is borne out by a ship list found for 1867 which shows that he arrived in New York from Bremen on 11 June 1867 and his original immigration record could be possibly be found in one of several pre-Civil War arrival lists in New York found on Ancestry.com.  However, mid-19th Century lists do not give information such as the destination in the United States, although they do contain the age of the traveler, the date of arrival, the points of departure and arrival, and the name of the ship.

Genealogical information about Anton Haake, including birth and parents, can probably be found in German records, which have not been consulted for this blog post.  Anyone who has obtained these records and can provide any insight into his past, is urged to contact the Project.

Likewise, the military index cards which reference the muster rolls of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, have not been consulted for this blog post.  Those cards could give a better understanding of the campaigns and battles in which Anton participated, as well as any injuries he may have received and any incidents which may have contributed to his post-war alcoholism.  If anyone reading this post has obtained those cards from the National Archives, sharing them with the Project could help in drawing conclusions as to why he “was known as a man of dissipated habits.”

No Pension Index Card was located for Anton Haake, either in Ancestry.com or in Fold3.  This would not be unusual if he had not been physically injured during the war, as only those whose physical injures could be directly war-related were eligible to apply in 1869 when Anton died.  And, since the death notice indicates that he was “unmarried,” no widow would have made application in the years after.  Previously on this blog, a post entitled “Pvt. Peter W. Miller – Mental Health & the Civil War,” explored the topic of emotional and mental scarring as a result of Civil War experiences.

Finally, the last comment in the death notice, that he had been “employed at the time of his death at the new operation of the Lykens Valley Coal Company,” may provide a lead to finding more information about him, but that would involve searching the records of the coal company and it is not known at this time what, if any records have survived and are available.

Curiously, if Anton Haake had been living in the Lykens area for “upwards of twenty years,” he apparently was completely forgotten (or intentionally ignored) when, at the beginning of the 20th Century, the list of names to be placed on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument was compiled.  In a prior post here on this blog, the efforts to compile an “accurate list” of area veterans who should have been named on the monument were discussed.  Those efforts were chiefly conducted by Henry Keiser, whose career as a clerk in the Lykens coal companies and his active participation in the Lykens G.A.R. Post were well-known in the area.  Keiser, who lived in Lykens, was certainly familiar with the Lykens cemeteries and who was buried there, and the evidence indicates that the government-issued grave marker was contracted in 1888 (see above, “Headstones Provided”).  Someone had to “speak” for Haake in ordering the stone and it is odd that in 1888, the Heilner G.A.R. Post in Lykens was very active.  The grave marker also should have been present in the cemetery in 1925 when the list of soldiers was compiled by Keiser.  Why then was he not named on the monument?

While it cannot be concluded with any certainty that Anton Haake’s name was not included on the monument because he was Catholic, further research should be conducted to determine if there was a pattern to exclude veterans because of their religion.

A 1906 incident in neighboring Williamstown, Dauphin County, resulted in the local G.A.R. Post being “severely rebuked” for its bigotry against Catholics.  See:  Williamstown G.A.R. Post Severely Rebuked for Bigotry.  And, an African American Civil War veteran, a native of Gratz, lies unrecognized in the present as a result of the bigotry of a local historical society that doesn’t want it known that African Americans ever lived in or were part of the history of that community.  See:  Edward Crabb – Victim of Bigotry in Gratz.

Note:  Jake Wynn was a contributor to this Civil War Blog during his college years.  All of his posts can be found in the blog archive.


John Henry Jury – 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry – Some Additional Information

Posted By on July 20, 2016


Previously on this blog, as part of a post describing Forney’s Cemetery, Washington Township, Dauphin County, the following was published about John Henry Jury:

John Henry Jury was born in 1834 in Berrysburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the son of Jacob Bretz Jury (1799-1884), a farmer, and Mary Ann or Anne Marie [Schupp] Jury.  John Henry is sometimes found in the records as Johannes Heinrich Jury, the German equivalent of his name.  During the Civil War, he was drafted into the 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Private, serving from 2 November 1862.  Bates indicates he was not accounted for at muster out, but this must have been later clarified, because the Pension Index Card indicates he applied for and received a pension when the requirements were much more strict than they were years later.  After his death in 1918, his widow received the pension until her death in 1926. John Henry Jury was a farmer who settled in Upper Paxton Township and with his wife Susanna [Knoll] Jury began raising a family during the Civil War.  His known children were (birth years approximate):  Charles H. Jury (1862); Ann Jane Jury (1864); Ephraim Jury (1866); Harriet A. Jury (1868); William Lawrence Jury (1870); Catharine F. “Kate” Jury; (1872); Emma Jury (1876); Lora Jury (1878); and John H. Jury (1888).  Both John and his wife are buried in Emanuel (Forney’s) Cemetery.  John Henry Jury’s name is inscribed on the Millersburg Civil War Monument.

The following additional information can now be given about John Henry Jury:

J. H. Jury” on the Millersburg Soldier Monument:


From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 23 Aug 1889:JuryJohnHenry-HbgTelegrpah-1889-08-23-001

Mrs. John H. Jury, residing near Berries Mountain, four miles east of this borough, and her children gathered 900 quarts (over 28 bushels) of berries this season and sold them all in this market.

From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 2 Jan 1885:


John H. Jury of Upper Paxton Township, had two shotes stolen from his pens on the night before Christmas.  They were to have been sold the next day.

From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 20 Jun 1910:


Trees in Orchard Uprooted by Storm

Special to the Telegraph

Millersburg – 20 June — During the heavy wind and hail storm Saturday afternoon, nearly every tree in John H. Jury‘s orchard, four miles east of Millersburg, on the Lykens Valley Railroad, was uprooted.

From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 7 December 1905:

John H. Jury was elected to the Council of Administration of the Kirkpatrick Post of the G.A.R., Millersburg.

And, in a column entitled “50 Years Ago in Harrisburg,” the Harrisburg Evening News reported on 19 July 1937:

John H. Jury, Upper Paxton, recently received from the Government more than $900 back pension and his name had been added to the Pension Lists.

Also, in Portrait of Our Ancestors, page 96.2, more accurate birth-death information is given about the children of John H. Jury, as follows:

Sarah Alice Jury, 19 September 1857 to 12 August 1955.

Charles Harrison Jury, 25 January 1862 to 25 February 1934.

Annie Jane Jury, 21 April 1864 to ?

Ephrum Elsworth Jury, 1 Aug 1866 to 21 June 1943.

Harriet Amelia Jury, 26 July 1869 to 12 October 1939.

William Lawrence Jury, 27 October 1870 to 21 May 1939.

Kathryn Fianna Jury, 8 October 1872 to 8 June 1927.

Henry Oscar Jury, 4 December 1874 to 13 August 1875.

Emma Nora Jury, 3 January 1876 to 12 Jun 1930.

Nora Seville Jury, 14 May 1879 to 1 May 1969.

Verna Celeste Jury, 5 March 1881 to 5 September 1881.

John Edwin Jury, 20 May 1882 to 17 December 1945.

But, in Portrait of Our Ancestors, some incorrect information is given about John H. Jury‘s Civil War service.  Apparently, based on a misreading of the grave marker (or a mistake on the grave marker), the regiment is given as the 77th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, when the correct information should be the 172nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A.


The Pension Index Card (above from Ancestry.com), correctly names the regiment and notes that John J. Jury was a “conscript’ [draftee] and gives the first date of pension application as 28 February 1880. From the news column appearing in the Harrisburg Evening News (see above), the awarding date of the pension was July 1885 and the back pay he received amounted to payment to the date of application.


Finally, the Pension Index Card (above from Fold3) adds his death date of 23 December 1918 and place of death as Millersburg.

Additional information is sought on this veteran.  Thus far, no picture of him has surfaced, although he died in 1918 and had many surviving children, some of whom may have passed down a photo.  A photo is particularly desired at this time because of his connection to Washington Township and MillersburgWashington Township is participating in the Elizabethville Area Bicentennial in 2017 and Millersburg has an ongoing project of trying to document the soldiers named on their monument.

News clippings are from Newspapers.com.


Who Was John Z. Kebler who Lived in Tower City in 1890?

Posted By on July 18, 2016


John Z. Kebler is found on Line 49 of the 1890 Veterans’ Schedule for West Porter Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  At this time, it is not known who this is or in what Civil War regiment he served.

The known information about him from the census is:

  1. He was a Private in an unknown regiment, with unknown dates of service.
  2. His closest neighbors who were also Civil War veterans were John H. Horn and Joseph Buccannon and their exact service is also unknown.
  3. His post office address was Tower City.
  4. He claimed “ruptured in war” as a disability.

It is possible that his surname was Keubler, Kuebler, Kibbler, Kibler, Kepler, or some other spelling variation, but to date, efforts to find a veteran who lived in Tower City or Porter Township in 1890 who is a good match have been unsuccessful.

Anyone with information about John Z. Kebler is urged to contact the Civil War Research Project via e-mail.

The 1890 census page is from Ancestry.com.



Joseph Jeneskey – Another Lykens Soldier Not Regognized on G.A.R. Monument

Posted By on July 15, 2016


On 26 April 1861, Joseph Jeneskey answered the call to arms by enrolling at Lykens Borough in the 10th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company F. as a Private.  At the time, he gave his residence as Lykens, his occupation as miner, and his age as 21 (born about 1840).


Click on image to enlarge.

In 1890, a Joseph Jenaskie appeared in Shamokin census.  He claimed Civil War service in the19th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company D, as a Private, from August 1863 through 1866.  Was this the same person  who served in the 10th Pennsylvania Infantry?








On 18 August 1879, a Joseph Janiszchaskie applied for a disability pension for his service in both the 10th Pennsylvania Infantry and the 19th Pennsylvania Cavalry, thus confirming that the Shamokin individual in 1890 was the same person as the Lykens individual of 1861- although there were surname spelling variations.  In addition to his service in Company D of the 19th Pennsylvania Cavalry, he also served in Company B and Company E.  Records from the Pennsylvania Archives confirm the service in three companies and also add that at some point in this service he was promoted to Corporal.

The above Pension Index Card from Fold3 also gives a death date of 1908.


Additional information is found on the Pension Index Card available from Ancestry.com (shown above).  Joseph Janiszchaskie (a different spelling) had a wife named Catherine Janiszchaskie who applied for benefits from Ohio on 19 October 1908.

It is not known why the different surname spelling were not cross-indexed as aliases in the Pension Index Card file.  It was the usual practice to do so, particularly when the military records from different regiments had the name spelled so differently.  Additional information about him will most likely be found in his pension application file which can be found at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  That file was not consulted for this blog post since obtaining those papers is beyond the budget of this Project.

However, it is clear from the Pennsylvania Archives Veterans’ Index Card for the 10th Pennsylvania Infantry that a Joseph Jeneskey was a resident of Lykens Borough in 1861 (see top of post, from Pennsylvania Archives).  Why then is his name (in any variation) not on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument?   This makes him still another forgotten Civil War veteran with a connection to the Lykens Valley.

Comments can be added to this post or sent via e-mail.