Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Who Was Gustavus Martin – On Lykens Monument?

Posted By on January 23, 2017

The name Gustavus Martin appears on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument as a veteran of the Civil War who joined the Heilner Post after its organization.

A search of the military records notes that Gustavus Martin first enrolled in the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company F, as a Private on 3 March 1865, and was mustered into service the same day at Harrisburg.  He was 31 years old at the time (born about 1834, was 5 foot 7 inches tall, had dark hair, a fair complexion, and hazel eyes.  He indicated he was a miner and was a resident of Dauphin County.  On the 24 July 1865, he transferred to Company F of the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  He was mustered out of service on 11 August 1865.  [Note:  The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card, above, is from the Pennsylvania Archives].

In 1870, Gustavus Martin, age 35, was living in Wiconisco Township with his family and working as a miner.  His wife, Wilhemina, was 31 years old and “keeping house.”  Both Gustavus and Wilhemina Martin were born in Wurtemberg [Germany].  Children in the household, all born in Pennsylvania, were:  Charles Martin, age 8; Augustus Martin, age 7; Lewis Martin, age 4; and Helena Martin, age 2.

In 1880, Gustavus Martin, age 48, was living in the Borough of Lykens with his family and working as a coal miner.  His wife, Wilhemina was 44 years old and keeping house.  Sons Charles and Gustavus were 18 and 17 respectively and working as laborers, while son Louis, age 15, was “picking slate.”  Others in the household included Caroline Martin, age 12 [possibly Helena from the 1870 census]; Clara Martin, age 9; John Martin, age 7; and Emma Martin, age 5.

The 1890 Veterans’ Census notes service for an August Martin, living in Lykens Borough, in the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry, but no war-related disabilities were reported.

In 1900, Gustavus Martin was a widower, living in Lykens Borough, and working as a mine laborer.  In his household were three sons, also working as mine laborers:  Lewis Martin, age 34; John Martin; age 24; and Frank Martin, age 15.

Death certificates were required in Pennsylvania starting in 1906.  Since Gustavus Martin was not found in the 1910 Census, and since no death certificate has been located for him, it could be assumed that he died between 1900 and 1906.  No burial place has been located for him on Findagrave.  Also, no obituary has been located for him in available, on-line Harrisburg newspapers.

More information is sought about this Civil War veteran whose name appears on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument.  Readers who can add to this story are urged to share by adding comments to this blog post or sending the information via e-mail.





2 Responses to “Who Was Gustavus Martin – On Lykens Monument?”

  1. Bob Averell says:

    Gustave Martin’s death is recorded on page 223 of “Selected Dauphin County, Pa Death Records 1893-1906”

    The citation reads Martin, Gustave 17 Apr 1905 72y1m7d, Germany, Lykens, killed in mines, Odd Fellows Cem.

  2. Beth Berger Chamberlain says:

    From the newspaper

    Mount Carmel Item
    17 Apr 1905, Mon, Page 4

    Gustavus Martin, inside foremen at Lykens colliery, was killed in the mines this morning.
    He was the father-in-law of Tobias Gearhart of town.

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.