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Civil War Blog

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The Steever Brothers of Millersburg (Part 1 of 4)

Posted By on January 9, 2014

SteeverJJ-MillersburgMonument-002a

On the Millersburg Soldier Monument there are three Steever brothers who are honored as Civil War soldiers.  Initially it was difficult to identify them as brothers and construct a genealogy.  However, a biographical sketch was located of a younger brother, Aaron M. Steever, a pharmacist born in Millersburg, which clarified the relationship.  In today’s post, the relationship and ancestry of the brothers will be presented.  In three succeeding posts, each of the Civil War veteran brothers will be profiled with known information.

The biographical sketch of Aaron is from the Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, a free download of which can be obtained from the Internet Archive:

Aaron M. Steever, pharmacist, was born at Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 17 September 1850.  He is a son of James Steever and Catherine [Swineford] Steever.  His father was born at the old Murray Farm, about two and one half miles northeast of Millersburg, 28 July 1806,and died 11 January 1868.  His mother died 27 February 1832 [sic, should be 1882?].  They had a family of nine children, namely: Wesley Steever, born 4 August 1834, residing in Ohio; John Jefferson Steever, born 30 June 1837, who was killed at the Second Battle of Bull Run, while nobly serving in defense of his country, 30 August 1862; William Leonard Steever, born 22 August 1839 and died 4 January 1885; Henry Mitchell Steever, born 21 December 1841, residing in Avoca, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania; Mary Jane Steever, born 25 February 1844, wife of Henry Morne, residing at Etter’s Post Office, York County, Pennsylvania; Edward Washington Steever, born 10 March 1846, residing in Millersburg, Pennsylvania; Charles C. Steever, born 27 June 1848, also residing at Millersburg, Pennsylvania; Aaron M. Steever, subject of this sketch; and Emma Catherine Steever, wife of Henry Wagner, residing in Snyder County, Pennsylvania.

Aaron M. Steever spent his boyhood in his native town and received the advantages of a common school education.  He began business as a stationary engineer and followed this occupation for about four years.  On 3 March 1868, he entered the store of his uncle, Benjamin G. Steever, and was employed there six years.  [On] 1 September 1874 he removed to Harrisburg where he has been continuously employed in the drug business for twenty-one years.

He was married at Millersburg, 1 January 1874, to Miss Annie M. Shriber, daughter of Seth Shriber and Mary A. Shriber.  One daughter has been born to them named Jessie Lee Steever.  Mr. Steever is a member of Perseverance Lodge, No. 21, F. & A. M.; Dauphin Lodge, No. 160, and Dauphin Encampment No. 10, I. O. O. F.; Nazareth Commandery, No. 125, Knights of Malta; and Royal Areanum, Council No. 110.  In political views he is a Republican.  The family attend the Ridge Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mr. Steever has succeeded in business and is a reliable man and an honored citizen.

The Steever (Stever) family can be found in the Lykens Township Census for 1850, as shown below:

SteeverJJ-Census1850-001a

Click on document to enlarge.

At the time of the 1860 Census, James Steever, the father, was working as a farmer. By 1860, the family had moved to Millersburg, where James Steever was working as a laborer, and all of the brothers who would end up as soldiers in the Civil War had already left the fold.  The family enumeration for 1860 is shown below:

SteeverJJ-Census1860-001a

Click on document to enlarge.

James Steever, the father, is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Millersburg:

The Findagrave Memorial for James Steever can be found by clicking here.

No ancestry has yet been located for the Steever family beyond the father, James Steever, and likewise, for the mother who was of the Swineford family.

Only one of the sons is mentioned as a Civil War veteran in the Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia sketch given above:  John Jefferson Steever.  He is is the “J. J. Steever” who is the first of the Steever brothers named on the Millersburg Soldier Monument.  “W. L. Steever” is now known to be William Leonard Steever.  The final Steever brother named on the monument is Wesley Steever.  No middle name has been found for him.  It is not known why the sketch does not give William and Wesley credit for their war service.

There are several persons named Henry Wagner (husband of one of the Steever sisters) who had Civil War service and it is not known at this time if this Henry Wagner was a veteran.  Also, no Civil War service has been located for Henry Morne – if that is the correct spelling of his name; he does not appear in the Dennis Brandt‘s database which can be found at the York County Heritage Trust web site.

Part two of this series will appear tomorrow with the story of John Jefferson Steever, who was killed in the war.

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Census “crops” are from the full census sheets which are available on Ancestry.com.


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