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Civil War Blog

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Gratz During the Civil War – Dr. Andrew Maurer House

Posted By on July 21, 2011

Lot #54 – Dr. Andrew Maurer House. Click on map to enlarge.

This is the sixth in a series of posts on Gratz during the Civil War.

The house on Lot #54 on the south side of Market Street was built sometime between 1820 and 1824, probably by John Coleman who was the original purchaser of this lot from Simon Gratz in 1818.  Coleman sold the lot and house, or partially completed house in 1821 to Elizabeth Schreiner.  After her death, her executors sold the lot and a two-story house on it in 1824 .  The house and lot changed hand several times until around 1830. Thereafter it was owned by several medical doctors who came to Gratz and stayed for periods of time, including Dr. Edmund O’Neill, Dr. John O. Witman, Dr. Jonas Crain, Dr. Joseph Eyster, and finally Dr. Andrew G. L. Maurer.

Dr. Witman’s son Henry O. Witman served as a Captain in the 36th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company C., during the Civil War.  He was born about 1830 and it is not know for sure if he had any association with this house.  Henry O. Witman is included in the Civil War Research Project.  Of the other doctors mentioned, the only other one with a known relationship to to the Civil War was Dr. Andrew G. L. Maurer (1815-1876).

Dr. Maurer was a doctor in Gratz during the Civil War and his practice was located in this house on Lot#54.  His oldest son, Henry Maurer (1846-1947) served in the Civil War in the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private, and in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company B, also as a Private.  Henry Maurer was the oldest surviving veteran of the Civil War from the Lykens Valley area.  He is buried in Wiconisco in the Methodist Cemetery.  The Gratz Historical Society has an extensive collection of materials on his family and military service.  As for Dr. Maurer, he placed the property in trust for his wife Elizabeth in 1864, and she is listed as the owner on the tax records of 1865.  The Maurers moved to Wiconisco, and in 1876, Dr. Maurer died as the result of a railroad accident.  Henry Maurer returned to Gratz after the Civil War and his daughter Carrie married the son of Dr. Schimnky, another Gratz doctor.

Around 1912, one of the owners of the house divided it up into a two-family rental property, and with the number of tenants that lived in the property both before 1912 and after, it is difficult to tell if any were associated with the Civil War.  Research is on-going into the question and if any readers have any information they are encouraged to comment.  In the late 1980s, the house was in a very run-down condition.  It was purchased and restored and today it stands much as it would have looked during the mid-nineteenth century.

The grave marker of Dr. Andrew Maurer is located at the head of the family plot in Calvary Methodist Episcopal Cemetery in Wiconisco.  One of the graves in the plot is that of his son Henry Maurer, Civil War veteran.

Dr. Andrew Maurer (1815-1876)

Margaret Moyer Maurer (1825-1907)

Henry Maurer (1846-1947)

Some of the information for this post was taken from the book A Comprehensive History of Gratz Pennsylvania.


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