Posted By Norman Gasbarro on October 30, 2015
Previously on this blog, the question was asked: “Who was Thomas Elder and Why Was He Visiting Elizabethville in 1908?” The original story of his visit appeared in a Lykens Valley area newspaper in that year and stated that he was visiting family and friends on his way to Philadelphia to raise the new 46-star flag at Independence Hall – a flag that was carried to Philadelphia by G.A.R. members from the new state of Oklahoma where he then resided/ However, it was never determined what family members were visited by Thomas Elder and what his exact genealogical connection was to persons living in Elizabethville at that time.
One more interesting piece of information can now be answered as research continues on that question.
Thomas J. Elder, who served in the 46th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Corporal, from 2 September 1862 through 6 June 1865, died at the National Soldiers’ Home in Sawtelle, Los Angeles, California, on 4 October 1923. His body was returned to Harrisburg for burial at the Paxton Presbyterian Churchyard.
While searching the newspapers of 1923 for an obituary of Thomas J. Elder, the following items were found:
(1) Harrisburg Telegraph, 15 October 1923:
Letters testamentary in the estate of Thomas J. Elder, a former resident of this city, who died in California, were asked by the Harrisburg Trust Company. The entire estate is given to the trustees of the Paxton Presbyterian Church Cemetery funds, for maintenance purposes. Mr. Elder was a Civil War veteran, serving in Company D, 46th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
(2) Harrisburg Evening News, 15 October 1923:
Civil War Veteran Leaves Estate to Paxton Church
Thomas J. Elder, formerly of this city, a Civil War veteran who died on 4 October at the National Soldiers’ Home at Sawtelle, California, by his will, which was probated today, bequeathed his entire estate to the Paxton Presbyterian Church of Paxtang for the maintenance of its cemetery. The estate is valued at $3000. The Harrisburg Trust Company is named executor of the estate.
(3) Harrisburg Evening News, 16 October 1923:
Probate Elder Will
The will probated here yesterday of Thomas J. Elder, a Civil War veteran, who died on 4 October at the National Soldiers’ Home at Sawtelle, California, leaves a legacy of $3000 to the Paxton Presbyterian Church of Paxtang for the maintenance of its cemetery. He formerly lived in this city. The Harrisburg Trust Company is named executor of the estate.
(4) Harrisburg Telegraph, 8 November 1923:
Notice: Letters testamentary in the estate of Thomas J. Elder, late of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, deceased, having been granted to the undersigned, all persons indebted to said estate are requested to make immediate payment, and those having claims will present them in, proper form for settlement to
HARRISBURG TRUST COMPANY, Executor
10 S. Market Square, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
In addition to the above articles, a “Legal Notice” from the Harrisburg Telegraph of May, 1873, possibly can provide information on some of the family connections of Thomas J. Elder to Elizabethville and the Lykens Valley area. It appears from the notice that the Robert F. Elder whose estate is being settled is the father of the mentioned Thomas J. Elder, who in 1873, was living in Lenark, Illinois.
Research is ongoing into the information given in the above “Legal Notice” and as of this writing, no definite conclusions have been reached.