Posted By Norman Gasbarro on May 30, 2016
The following are some mishaps which occurred in 1917 involving Civil War veterans and their families.
From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 14 March 1917:
Stricken With Paralysis While Top of Tree
Columbia, Pennsylvania, 14 March 1917 — William T. Strauss, Civil War veteran, and a former borough engineer, was stricken by apoplexy while on top of a tree which he was trimming, and fell to the ground in an unconscious condition. His condition is serious.
From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 5 October 1917:
Civil War Veteran Lost for Two Days in Woods
Lewistown, Pennsylvania, 5 October 1917 — Lost for two days and nights in the woods between Yeagertown and Vira, and found only after a wide search early yesterday morning, was the experience of W. H. Kreider, aged 78, of Yeagertown. Almost famished from lack of nourishment and weak from exposure, the missing man, a Civil War veteran, was located near Vira, and an auto was rushed to the spot and he was brought to Lewistown.
Mr. Kreider disappeared from the home of a daughter on Tuesday morning. When he failed to return that night fear was felt that harm had overtaken him and searching parties were organized. Thirty Boy Scouts helped to hunt for the missing man. Mr. Kreider had left the home of a daughter in Yeagertown to visit a daughter at Maitland and lost his way.
From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 27 February 1917:
American Woman and Her Daughter Died of Exposure After Sinking
London, 27 February 1917 — United States Consul Frost at Queenstown has telegraphed the American Embassy here that Mrs, Hoy and her daughter died of exposure and that their bodies were buried at sea.
Consul Front’s message read:
Mrs. Mary Hoy and Miss Elizabeth Hoy, passengers on the Laconia, died from exposure. Their bodies were buried at sea.
Mrs. Hoy’s husband, Dr. Albert H. Hoy, who is a Civil War veteran, and her son, Austin T. Hoy, reside in London. The latter called at the embassy this morning and received a copy of the message from Consul Frost.
As far as the embassy knows, these were the only two Americans lost on the Laconia….
From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 8 February 1917:
Pensioner Applied for License to Wed Negress
Dan Cupid’s darts brought two strange victims to the marriage license bureau yesterday, when George Ettinger, white, aged 81, and Emma Terry, colored, age unknown, applied for a certificate so that they could be happily wed.
Ettinger explained that he was a veteran of the Civil War and was getting a pension. The woman could not remember her age. Recorder James E. Lentz investigated and learned from the Directors of the Poor that Ettinger’s pension barely was enough for him, let alone providing for his wife. Both appeared to be greatly disappointed when told they could not get a license.
From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 27 September 1917:
VETERAN KICKED BY BULL
Lewistown, Pennsylvania, 27 September 1917 — David Hough, one of the best known citizens of Mifflin County and veteran of the Civil War, had his face crushed, the teeth with part of the jawbone attachment driven from his mouth and the jawbones badly fractured and splintered by the kick of a mule. He is confined to be at his home on the Hough farm, near here, in a critical condition. Mrs. Hough found him in a dazed condition and he has not recovered sufficiently to give an account of the accident. The mule which kicked Mr. Hough put a boy by the name of Soles out of commission several years ago when it got into a hornet’s nest and broke the leg of Frank Hough, a son, with a kick some time ago.
From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 9 November 1917:
Brakeman Cut in Two When He Falls Between Cars of Freight Train
Grover Polm, 22, of Oberlin, was killed on the Philadelphia and Reading Railway this morning, between Harrisburg and Reading. Polm was a brakeman and while he was walking over the the cars he fell between two of them and was cut into two pieces. His mother, Mrs. John Polm, had breakfast ready for him to appear when the news that he was dead came to her.
Polm was married just a few months ago to Margaret Markwood Richwine. He had many friends here. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Polm, of Oberlin. His father is a veteran of the Civil War.
From the Harrisburg Telegraph, 16 January 1917:
FIND JANITOR DEAD
Noticing that the building was getting cold, employees of the State Printery last evening instituted a search to discover the cause and found the janitor, Samuel Crook, lying beside the coal pile dead. Crook, who lived at 1422 Derry Street, was a veteran of the Civil War. He was a janitor for the State Printery and the Harrisburg Burial Case Building adjoining for many years. He has been in ill health since a fire at the Burial Case Company when he jumped from a window, breaking several bones in his right foot. No funeral arrangements have been made.
News stories from Chronicling America.