Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Gratz During the Civil War – Theodore Gratz House

Posted By on July 16, 2011

Lot 16 – Theodore Gratz House. Click on map to enlarge.

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

After restoration in the 1970s.

Lot #16 and the house on it was purchased by Daniel Good (1809-1870) in 1859, the owner of the Good Tannery at the west end of Gratz, who owned it and several other properties in this block during the Civil War.  Previously, the property had been owned by Louisa Gratz (sister to Simon Gratz); Josiah Riegel; and Solomon Shindel and his wife Elizabeth [Fry] Shindel  The stately brick house was built around 1836 by Elizabeth [Fry] Shindel .  Tax records show that the Shindel’s leased the house to Theodore Gratz  around 1837 through about 1857.  It is probably the only house in Gratz that is known by a name other than a long-time owner.  Theodore Gratz was the first “Mayor” of Gratz Borough and several of his children were born in this house, including John C. Gratz who died during the Civil War.  See prior post:  Gratz Family of Gratz, Civil War Veterans.

Not much is known about the occupants of this house during the Civil War years, 1861-1865, other than the name of the owner, Daniel Good. One of Daniel Good‘s sons, John L. Good (1845-1928) was living here in 1860 and he later served in the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company I, under Captain Benjamin J. Evitts, and later with the 210th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H, as a Corporal.  After the war, he left the area and took up farming in Boone County, Iowa.  Daniel Good’s oldest son, Jeremiah Good (1836-1905) operated the Good Tannery during the war years and his account books are preserved at the Gratz Historical Society; no record of Civil War service has been located for Jeremiah Good and he was not living at the “Gratz House” in 1860, but he was living in Gratz.

John L. Good (1845-1928)

Only one Civil War veteran is known to have lived here after the war years, Jonathan B. Gise (1840-1915), who served in the 210th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H.  He was a veterinarian and had moved away from Gratz for a while but returned after 1900 as a widower.  His daughter Gertrude gave musical lessons here and was the church organist for the Evangelical Church on the opposite corner.  Jonathan Gise’s wake and funeral were held in the front parlor of the house in 1915 and he was buried in Gratz Union Cemetery.

J. B. Gise (1840-1915)

The “Theodore Gratz House” became part of the mural to celebrate the Bicentennial of the founding of Gratz, 1805-2005.  The mural is located inside the Gratz Community Building on North Center Street.

Today, the “Theodore Gratz House” proudly retains its character and charm in restored condition as a private home on West Market Street in Gratz Borough – looking much the way it must have looked during the Civil War years.

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


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