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Civil War Blog

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Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, Williamstown (Part 1 of 3)

Posted By on August 1, 2011

 

This is the first of three posts on the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, Williamstown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  The cemetery is located at the east end of Williamstown on the north side of Market Street.  Today, and for the next two days, a total of eighteen grave markers will be shown from this cemetery with information known about each of the persons interred there.  It is possible that in a few cases, the graves have been misidentified as Civil War veterans and readers are asked to contribute information which could verify the veterans status.  Corrections and additions are always welcome!

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John Poticher (1843-1907).  Served in the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private from 9 August to 29 May 1863.  Also served in the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry from 19 June 1863 to 30  July 1863, as a 1st Sergeant.  He lived in Williams Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a coal miner.  His wife’s name was Mary according to census reports, but the Pension Index Card names Matilda as his wife.  This is possibly a second wife. There is also a Jonathan Potiger in the same company in the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry, so there could be confusion here between two different people.

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John Harper Hoffman (1846-1928).  John Harper Hoffman was a direct descendant of John Peter Hoffman, an early settler of the Lykens Valley, who was the subject of a prior blog post.  John Harper Hoffman’s  Civil War service included the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company B, as a Private, from 23 June 1863 to 20 February 1864, and the 208th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Musician, from 30 August 1864 through 1 June 1865.  He had several brothers who also served in the war including Thomas William Hoffman who was one of only 300 Civil War recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.  John married Mary Swab and lived in Lykens Township, Selinsgrove, Uniontown (Pillow), Millheim (Centre County), and the Williams Township area where he was a merchant and for a time around 1910 was the manager of a knitting factory.  He had a son who attended the U.S. Naval Academy in 1910.

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John McCollum (1833-1901). He is buried in the McCollum family plot and a ground marker notes his name as “John.”  Census records indicate he was born at sea while his parents were emigrating to America.  A G.A.R. star is mounted next to his stone.  John McCollum served in the 1st Pennsylvania Infantry from 20 April 1861 to 24 Jul 1861.  He and his wife Priscilla lived in Berrysburg and Williamstown where he worked as a stone cutter.  In 1900 he was a widower, living a hotel in Williamstown operated by Solomon Hess.

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David John Lewis (1839-1895).  Served in the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company H, as a Private.  A Pension Index Card has not been located, so it is possible that this David Lewis is confused with someone else. There are census records which place a Daniel Lewis in Tremont in 1890 (who served in the 39th Pennsylvania Infantry) as well as Millville (Cambria County), Duncan (Tioga Country), and Williamstown, working as a coal miner.  The wife’s name was Mary Martin.  More research needs to be done to confirm if this is the same Daniel J. Lewis who is buried in Williamstown.

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William Reesz (1841-1896).  While there is a G.A.R. star-flag holder next to this grave marker, no Civil War record has been located.  The spelling of the name on the stone is unusual, in that it ends with a “S-Z”  – unless there has been some alteration or defacing.  Anyone with information on this individual which would connect him to Civil War service is urged to contact the Civil War Research Project.

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Tomorrow and Wednesday more graves will be presented from this cemetery.

Information for this post was taken from the files of the Civil War Research Project.

This is the first of three posts on the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, Williamstown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  The cemetery is located at the east end of Williamstown on the north side of Market Street.  Today, and for the next two days, a total of eighteen grave markers will be shown from this cemetery with information known about each of the persons interred there.  It is possible that in a few cases, the graves have been misidentified as Civil War veterans and readers are asked to contribute information which could verify the veterans status.  Corrections and additions are always welcome!


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