Civil War Blog

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Charles D. Arters – Postmaster and Educator

Posted By on August 2, 2012

The following is taken from the Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Schuylkill County, by Samuel T. Wiley, published in 1893 by Rush, West and Company, Philadelphia:

Professor Charles D. Arters, ex-postmaster of Tremont and superintendent of the schools of Tremont Township [Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania], is a son of Robert Arters and Harriet [Cox] Arters, and was born in Caernarvon Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 11 December 1834.

John Arters, paternal great-grandfather, a descendant of Quaker stock, born in the north of Ireland, emigrated to the United States during her early colonial history, and settled near the present site of Downington, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Several of his brothers fought in the War of the Revolution.

John Arters, paternal grandfather, was reared near Downington, Chester County, this state, where he died in 1852, at the age of sixty-nine years.  His remains were interred in Brandy Manor Presbyterian Cemetery.  He and his father before him were pioneer farmers of that county.  Some of his relatives were engaged in the manufacture of wooden plates, with which they supplied the soldiers of the Revolution.  In politics, he was a Democrat from principle and belonged to the Friends’ Society.  He married Anna Miller, a descendant of one of the early English Quaker families that settled in Quaker County, and had by her a family of three sons and one daughter.

His father, Robert Arters, was born near Downingtown, in 1812, and on reaching his majority moved to near Churchtown, Lancaster County, where he passed away in the year 1856.  By trade he was a tanner, but most of his life was devoted to farming, especially the latter part of it.  In politics, he was an active Democrat, and successively filled most of the offices of his township.  Though entertaining many of the doctrines held by the Friends, yet he never identified himself with them.  He married Harriet Cox, the talented daughter of John Cox, who was born in Lancaster County… in 1769, and died there in 1852.  His life was spent principally in tilling the soil.  He entertained the doctrines of the Episcopal Church, and was one of the most devoted and consecrated members.  In his younger days he was a Federalist, but later in life a Democrat.  He married Catherine [Kochler] Keller, to whom were born ten children, seven sons and three daughters.

Robert Arters, father, reared a family of eleven children, six sons and five daughters, nine of whom lived to grow to maturity.

Prof. Charles D. Arters received his education in the common schools of Lancaster County and Caernarvon Academy.  He was a close, industrious student, and his work was always thoroughly prepared.  At the age of twenty-four, he commenced to teach, having chosen the profession as his life work.  His first experience was in the common schools of Lancaster County, where he taught with marked success for six years.  In 1868, he removed to Newcastle, Schuylkill County, since which time he has taught continuously.  He removed from Newcastle to St. Clair in 1868 thence to Tremont in 1872, where he has since resided.  In 1869, he was elected principal of the schools of Tremont Township, and so satisfactory has been his work that he has been continued in his position until the present time [1893], a compliment bestowed upon few of the profession.  He is abreast of the times, being conversant with all the modern ideas of education, and ranks deservedly high among the teachers of the county.  He is a staunch Republican, and was appointed Postmaster of Tremont under the Harrison regime in 1889, and in connection with this office conducted a stationery store.  In religion he is a consistent member of the Episcopal Church.

On 14 February 1864, he enlisted as a Private for one year, in Company K, 195th Pennsylvania Infantry, and did active service in the field.  He now belongs to Lieutenant Williams Post, No. 136, G.A.R.  He is a member of Caernarvon Lodge, No. 357, I.O.O.F., and is Past Master of Swatara Lodge, No. 267, F. and A. M.

Professor Ayres was married to Ellen Hoffman, a daughter of Jacob Hoffman and Eliza Hoffman of Lancaster County, 22 December 1869.  This marriage has been blest with two children:  Ida, wife of George Haak, a colliery smith of Pottsville; and Laura, married to Charles A. Snyder, an attorney, of Pottsville.

As a professional man and upright Christian gentleman, none of the Citizens of Tremont are held in higher esteem than is Prof. Charles D. Arters.

Charles D. Arters served in the 195th Pennsylvania Infantry as noted in the biographical sketch.  His Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card is shown below:

The card from the Pennsylvania Archives contains no personal information about him.  The screen capture from Steve Maczuga’s database, “Pennsylvanian in the Civil War,”  confirms that he was “unassigned” to a company.

Click on picture to enlarge.

Steve Maczuga’s website also features Pennsylvania Civil War Regimental Flags from the collection of the Capitol Preservation Committee, Harrisburg.  These flags are also available on the Capitol Preservation Committee website.

Charles D. Arters applied for a pension based on his Civil War service.  The Pension Index Card, referencing the files in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., is shown below:

The Pension Index Card notes that the initial application was made prior to 1890 and therefore, Charles D. Arters probably was able to specifically connect a disability with his Civil War service.  His “unassigned” status is recorded on the card as is his service in the 195th Pennsylvania Infantry.  He received a pension which he was collecting at his death, which occurred before 10 January 1901, when his widow, Ellen Arters. applied for benefits.  She received benefits and probably collected them until her death.

A check of the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Burial Card File (compiled and available at the Pennsylvania Archives, but now available on-line at Ancestry.com), produced a card image that documented his place of burial:

According to the card, death occurred in 1900, and he is buried in the Charles Baber Cemetery in Pottsville, Schuylkill County.

A search of historical Pennsylvania newspapers (through the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia) produced a notice of his death from the Philadelphia Inquirer of 1 January 1901:


Special to the Inquirer

POTTSVILLE, Pennsylvania, 31 December 1900 — Professor Charles D. Arters died at his home here very suddenly of heart disease.  He taught school for many years and was appointed postmaster of Tremont under the harrison administration in 1889.  He also served one term as clerk at the county prison.  In February, 1864, he entered as a private for one year in Company K, 195th Pennsylvania Volunteer infantry, and did active service in the field.  Two daughters, one of whom is the wife of County Solicitor C. A. Snyder, survive him.

One final footnote to this story.  Charles A. Snyder, the prominent Schuylkill County attorney mentioned in both the published biography of Arters and the notice of Arters’ death, was born in Pillow, Dauphin County.

The Civil War Research Project is seeking more information on Charles D. Arters and especially would like to locate a picture of him as well as personal stories about his time in Tremont.  Contribute by adding a comment to this post or sending an e-mail to the project.


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