Civil War Blog

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Funerals Conducted by Rev. O. E. Pflueger, 1889-1902

Posted By on April 17, 2013


Rev. O. E. Pflueger was the Lutheran pastor of the Lykens Valley Charge from 1889 to 1902.  The charge at first consisted of five congregations in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania:  Simeon’s Lutheran Church in Gratz; St. John’s Lutheran Church (also known as the Hill Church) in Mifflin Township, near Berrysburg; Salem Lutheran Church, Elizabethville; Zion Lutheran Church in Rife; and St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church in Centre View.  During his time of service, St.John’s (which was not a Union Church), split off from the group and for the remainder of his service, Rev. Pflueger served the four other congregations while being headquartered in Elizabethville.

Rev. Pflueger was a avid record keeper and communicator and established The Parish Record, which in the early years was an annual report of his activities and pastoral acts as well as a summary of the events of the year  in the parish.  After the split of St. John’s from the parish around 1895, it appears that The Parish Record was only published in the year of Rev. Pflueger’s departure, 1902, but is a summary of all the pastoral acts of the years 1895-1902.  In 1902, as a commemoration of Rev. Pflueger’s service and as a souvenir of his service to the parish, the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania re-published all the nubers of The Parish Record in one bound, hardcover edition.


For the Civil War Research Project, the information provided by Rev. Pflueger in the obituaries is invaluable in that it exceeds the information provided by the local newspapers.

The Civil War veteran Harrison Riegle died in 1899.  The obituary that appeared in a local newspaper was very brief:


Harrison Riegle, a prosperous farmer living near Loyalton died on Monday afternoon of miner’s asthma.  He was buried this morning in the Gratz Lutheran and Reformed Cemetery.  Solomon Rettinger and Mr. Riegle wedded sisters and died three hours apart.

The obituary by Rev. Pflueger included the following:

Harrison Riegel, a son of Daniel Riegel and Catharine Riegel, was born 15 November 1840, baptized in infancy, 9 April 1867 he was united in marriage with Hannah Rickert, who remains with four sons and three daughters, the fruit of this union, to mourn his departure, after having been preceded by three sons and four daughters.  He was received into membership with Hoffman’s Reformed Church by confirmation 2 March 1889.  Died 31 July 1899, aged 58 years, 8 months and 16 days.

Rev. Pflueger conducted dozens of funerals in the years he served in the Lykens Valley Parish and nearly all are recorded in the same detail in The Parish Record.  In addition to the funerals, detailed information is given on parish activities – information which is very helpful in tracing the ancestry and descendants of Civil War soldiers.  If a Lutheran “event” occurred in the Lykens Valley between the years 1889 and 1902, it probably can be found in this volume.



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