Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Death and Funeral of Jacob B. McCoy

Posted By on April 22, 2012

Jacob McCoy (1847-1929)

When there were only five veterans of the Civil War living in the vicinity of Lykens Borough, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, a local newspaper featured them in a lead article:

The Ages of Five Remaining Civil War Veterans of Lykens Totals Over 4 Centuries

The above picture represents five survivors of the Civil War who reside in Lykens.  Their combined ages total 425 years.  Reading from left to right they are:

William Irvin, born 1841; enlisted in Pottsville in the First Defenders in 1861; re–enlisted in Company I, 96th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry [96th Pennsylvania Infantry]

Jacob McCoy, born 1847; enlisted in 1864, in Troop M, 6th United States Cavalry; discharged in 1867 at Austin, Texas.

Isaac Garber, born 1849; enlisted in April, 1865, in Company H, 215th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry [215th Pennsylvania Infantry], discharged in July 1865.

R. F. Martz, born 1843; enlisted 21 September 1861, in Company B, 9th Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry [9th Pennsylvania Cavalry]; discharged 31 December 1863; re-enlisted 1 January 1864, as Veteran Volunteer 9th Cavalry, discharged in July, 1865.

Henry Kaiser, born 1840; enlisted in April, 1861, in Company E, 10th Regiment [10th Pennsylvania Infantry], three months service; discharged in July, 1861; re-enlisted 23 September, 1861, in Company G, 96th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry [96th Pennsylvania Infantry]; discharged 16 March 1864, on account of re-enlistment Veteran Volunteer after 30 days’ home leave; re-joined his regiment and was consolidated with the 95th Philadelphia Volunteers [95th Pennsylvania Infantry]; finally discharged in July, 1865.

When Capt. Jacob B. McCoy passed away on 4 October 1929, his obituary appeared in the local newspapers.  The picture at the top of this post was from one of the obituaries:

Capt. J. B. McCoy Dies After Three Day’s Illness

Capt. Jacob McCoy, 82, one of the five Civil War veterans of this place, died at his home in South Second Street, Friday afternoon, 4 October, at 3:50 o’clock, following a three day illness, death having been caused by kidney disease and complications.

Capt. McCoy was born in Lykens Valley and was the son of the late William McCoy and Eva McCoy. He was twice married, his first marriage to the late Eva Smith of Germany, and the second to Bessie Love of England, the ceremony being performed in Shamokin in 1917.  His wife, one son, Willis McCoy of Shamokin; five stepsons, James Hall of Binghamton, New York; Alfred Hall, of Hamilton Square, New Jersey; George Hall, of St. Louis, Missouri; William Hall, of Mahanoy City; Richard Hall, of Conklien, New York; eight grandchildren, and four great grandchildren, survive. Fraternally he was a member of the K. of P. and the Shamokin Post G.A.R.

During the strife between the North and South, Capt. McCoy enlisted in the Union Army when but 16 years of age, being discharged three years later at Austin, under the command of Gen. Philip Sheridan.  While in the exciting period of the Pittsburgh Riot, he served at Lieutenant of Company E, 7th Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guards.  Later he was advanced to Captain of Company K of the 12th Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guards, which position he held until the organization was disbanded.  For many years he was a member of the local Heilner Post 232, G.A.R., acting in the capacity of Captain until his transfer to the Shamokin Post.

Funeral services were held from his late home in South Second Street, Monday evening at 7:30 o’clock, Rev. C. S. Holsten, pastor of the Grace M. E. Church, officiating.  Tuesday morning at 8:30 o’clock the funeral cortege left town for the home of his son, Willis McCoy, Sr., at 15 South Third Street, Shamokin, where further services were held that afternoon at 2 o’clock in the Chestnut Street M. E. Church, Rev. Edward Jackson, assisted by the Rev. Clyde S. Holston, officiating. Burial was made in the Shamokin Cemetery.

The following attended from a distance:  Andy Koppenhaver and wife; Mrs. Ed Feese and Mrs. Harman Witt, Shamokin; Jacob Bitterman, Howard Bitterman, daughter Mrs. Parfet and Mrs. Maud Prim, Harrisburg; Mrs. Josephine Love, son Perry Love and wife and James Love, Wilkes-Barre; Richard Hall and wife, and Jane Hall, Binghamton; William Hall, wife and daughter and son William Hall and wife, Mahanoy City; Mrs. William Weinick and Mrs. Colebreaker, Nanticoke; Mrs. Elsworth Fidler and daughter of Trevorton; Mrs. Eva Booker, New York City; Willis McCoy and wife, Miss Pearl McCoy and Ralph McCoy, Shamokin; Frank McCoy and wife, Mt. Carmel; Ed McCoy, Tharptown.


LYKENS, 27 October 1929 —  Funeral services for Jacob B. McCoy, 82, a Civil War veteran, who died Friday, will be held at the home here at 7:30 o’clock this evening with additional services in the Chestnut Street Methodist Church, Shamokin, tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock.The Rev. Clyde Holstein, pastor of the Lykens Methodist Church, will officiate at both services.  Burial will be in the Shamokin Cemetery.

McCoy was one of the five surviving Civil War veterans in Lykens.  He was a member of the Knights of Pythias.

He is survived by his second wife, Mrs. Bessie Love McCoy, formerly of Cornwall, England, to whom he was married in 1917; a son, Willis McCoy, of Shamokin; five stepsons, James Hall,Binghamton, New York; Alfred Hall, Hamilton Square, New Jersey; George Hall, St. Louis, Missouri; William Hall, Mahanoy City, and Richard Hall, Conklin, New York; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The undated obituaries and articles were supplied by Sally Reiner of the Lykens-Wiconisco Historical Society.  Further information is sought on the life and military record of Jacob McCoy.

Jacob McCoy is named on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument as a charter member of the Heilner Post and his rank is given as “Private.”  The military rank of “Captain” was achieved post-Civil War while he was a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Note:  Jacob’s brother, Jeremiah McCoy also served in the Civil War and some information was provided about him in a previous post entitled Sweitzer’s Memorial Cemetery, Berrysburg.



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