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Orton F. Ingersoll – Brother-In-Law of Lykens Valley Medal of Honor Recipient

Posted By on May 26, 2016


The first wife of Thomas W. Hoffman (1839-1905) was Sallie Shindel, who was born in Gratz in 1941 and died in Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, on 26 April 1890.  The couple had at least 3 children together.  After Sallie died, Thomas W. Hoffman moved to Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, where he lived with his second wife, Dr. Helen Delucia Fisk.  Dr. Fisk was featured here in a blog post entitled Dr. Helen Delucia Fisk – Wife of Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas W. Hoffman.  The circumstances which led to the awarding of the Medal of Honor to Thomas W. Hoffman were also reported here in a post entitled Obituary of Thomas W. Hoffman…

Sallie Shindel was the daughter of Solomon Shindel (1808-1863) and Elizabeth [Fry] Shindel (1818-1848).  Solomon was appointed Postmaster of Gratz in 1834, a position in which he served for about 6 years while conducting a mercantile business in Gratz.  Solomon, who was born in Lebanon, was the son of Rev. Jeremiah Shindel, the second pastor of the Simeon Lutheran Church of Gratz.  In addition to Sallie, the Solomon Shindel‘s had several other children, including Susan A. Shindel, born in Gratz on 26 May 1844.

Orton F. Ingersoll was born in New York State on 14 December 1836, the son of Thomas Ingersoll and Sarah Ingersoll.  In 1860, Orton was living in a hotel in Fulton City, Whiteside County, Illinois, where he was forking as a foreman on the railroad. On 6 May 1861 he was mustered into service in the 11th Illinois Infantry, Company A, as a Sergeant.  Later, he was promoted to Captain.  Following his discharge from the army, he married Susan A. Shindel in 1866.  By 1880, the couple had moved to Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas, where he was working as a railroad station agent.  Kansas Grand Army of the Republic Post Reports through at least 1916 have him at that same location, but by 1920, he was living in Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, where his occupation was “none,” most likely meaning he was retired.  In that same census, his wife’s name was given as “Ray” with her age of 79 to Orton’s age of 83.  This second marriage to Ray most likely occurred after Susan A. [Shindel] Ingersoll died in 1907.

Numerous articles in the Arkansas City Daily Traveler in the 1890s attest to the financial troubles of Orton Ingersoll and his wife Susan.

At this time it is not known how Orton Ingersoll met his first wife or whether he knew the Shindel family, including Susan’s sister Sallie and her children with Thomas W. Hoffman.


Orton F. Ingersoll died on 3 February 1923, and is buried at the Riverview Cemetery in Arkansas City.  Some additional information can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.  Both wives are buried at the same cemetery, but Susan is named on the same stone (shown below from Findagrave), while Ray has her own stone. Ray, as noted on the Pension Index Card, shown above from Ancestry.com, survived Orton and was able to collect the widow’s pension until she died in 1925.


Orton Ingersoll is mentioned in two places in the Comprehensive History of the Town of Gratz Pennsylvania, each time in connection with his marriage to Sarah Shindel.



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