Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Obituaries of Civil War Era Women, 1909

Posted By on June 3, 2015

The following are obituaries of some Civil War era women:


From the Harrisburg Patriot, 18 February 1909:

Famous Civil War Nurse Dies

Philadelphia, 17 February 1909 — Miss Emily Virginia Mason, of a famous Virginia family, who won fame during the Civil War as a nurse of Confederate soldiers and who ministered to Union soldiers at Libby Prison, died last night in this city, aged 94 years old.


From the Harrisburg Patriot, 10 March 1909:

Widow’s Heart Gives Out

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, 9 March 1909 — Mourning over the body of her husband, Samuel Bossard, a Civil War veteran, who died in Chester yesterday, Mrs. Bossard, while preparing for the funeral, which was to take place today, died suddenly of heart failure.  Bossard’s body arrived home late last night.


From the Harrisburg Patriot, 5 May 1909:

Mrs. Susan M. McKee Corbin

Lewsitown, 4 May 1909 — Word has been received in this city to the effect that Susan M. McKee Corbin, who was born 20 September 1835, in Bolesburg, Centre County, died at Ridott, Illinois, 21 April.  Her parents were William McKee and Sarah McKee.  Mrs. Corbin’s parents were members of the Presbyterian Church.  She was baptized in infancy and in early life had the advantage of Christian training.  She was married to Mr. John Corbin at Lewistown, Pennsylvania, in 1859, who, when the Civil War broke out enlisted in the army, served two years, contracted typhoid fever and died.  A few years later Mrs. Corbin accepted a position in the Kemper Academy at Boonville, where she served several years.  After this she entered the Osewootome Asylum as a nurse.  Her health failing, she spent the rest of her life with relatives.  The last several years were spent with Mrs. S. D. Cable, who is the daughter of her oldest sister.  She leaves to mourn her loss two brothers, Rev. William McKee, of Chicago, and James T. McKee, of Harrisburg.


From the Harrisburg Patriot, 24 May 1909:

Death of Mrs. Catherine Bowers Gloss

Mrs. Catherine Bowers Gloss, wife of Franklin Gloss, died on Saturday afternoon at her home, 442 South Second Street.  Mrs. Gloss was born in Sharpsburg, Maryland, 14 April 1842, and was married to Mr. Gloss, 14 February 1860.  One daughter, Anna Gloss, died at the age of 13 years.  In 1874, they removed to this city.  Mr. and Mrs. Gloss were married forty-nine years, during which time they were never separated, except during the Civil War when Mr. Gloss served for three years in the Union Army.  For over two years, Mr. Gloss has been an invalid and unable to work.  Mrs. Gloss was first taken seriously ill on Monday afternoon a week ago.  She was a member of Reformed Salem Church.  The funeral services will be in charge of Rev. Ellis N. Kremer, D.D.


From the Harrisburg Patriot, 9 August 1909*


Aged Woman Barricaded Home Against Her Neighbors

Latrobe, 8 August 1909 — Following the death at his home near Ligonier on Monday of her aged husband, John Gardner, a Civil War veteran, Mrs. Gardner has lost her reason.

She was alone with her husband when he died and possessed with an idea she could protect herself from the entrance of death, she barricaded the house.  She fastened the windows, drew down the shades, bolted and locked the doors, piled furniture against them and then lighted lamps.  She dragged the body of her husband from a bed to the floor.  Wednesday she appeared on the streets, and when asked regarding her husband’s health, she said he was dead or sleeping and that she could not arouse him.

When neighbors went of the house they saw the body on the floor and sent for an undertaker.  He was refused entrance, but returned later with a constable.  The door had to be forced.  The woman refused to have any preparation made for the funeral.  When neighbors came to comfort her she drove them out of the house.  The body was taken from the place and the funeral held at the Methodist Episcopal Church at Etna.

The widow did not attend but locked herself in the house and will admit no one.

*Note:  Although the above article is not an obituary of Mrs. Gardner, it is nonetheless an unusual reaction to the death of her husband.


From the Harrisburg Patriot, 17 August 1909:


Mrs. Jane McCaskey Was One of Nation’s Oldest Postal Employees

New Bloomfield, 16 August 1909 — Mrs. Jane R. McCaskey died on Saturday at her home in Shermansdale, after a lingering illness from cancer.  She was for more than thirty years postmistress of Shermansdale and was probably one of the oldest postmasters in the United States, both in point of age and length of service.  Her maiden name was Smiley.  Her husband, Joseph McCaskey, was a soldier in the Civil War, and died in the army.  She was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and was an active church worker until ill health prevented.

She is survived by two sons, John L. McCaskey and Joseph A. McCaskey, who was until recently a resident of Harrisburg, and by one daughter, Miss Anna McCaskey, of Shermansdale.  Funeral services will be held on Wednesday and interment will be made in the graveyard of the Presbyterian Church near Shermansdale.  She was about eighty years old.





Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is currently enabled so there will be a delay between when you post your comment and when it shows up. Patience is a virtue; there is no need to re-submit your comment.