Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Death and Funeral of John E. Nace

Posted By on April 13, 2017

This obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Evening News, 12 June 1924:


John E. Nace, 89 years old, of Halifax, who for the past two months had been living with his son, O. C. Nace, 22 North Harrisburg Street, Steelton, died this morning.  Besides his son, he is survived by two brothers, David Nace of Chambersburg, and Aaron Nace of McConnellsburg.  Short funeral services will be held Monday morning at 8 o’clock from the son’s home, with further services at 2 o’clock Monday afternoon at Halifax.  Burial will be in the Halifax Cemetery.

Nace, who was a retired business man, worked for the Pennsylvania Steel Company, Steelton, as a timekeeper. from 1876 to 1879. Later he followed his trade as carpenter, moving from Steelton to Lebanon and later moving to Halifax, where he entered business.

Information on the funeral appeared in the Harrisburg Evening News, 14 June 1924:


Funeral services for John E. Nace, 89 years old of Halifax, who died Thursday morning at the home of his son, O. C. Nace, 22 North Harrisburg Street, will be held Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock from his home in Halifax.  Burial will be in the Halifax Cemetery. The body may be viewed here tomorrow night from 6 to 8 o’clock.  Besides his son, he is survived by two brothers, David Nace , of Chambersburg, and Aaron Nace of McConnellsburg.  Nace, who had been living at Steelton for the past several weeks, was a retired business man.  During 1876-1879, he was employed as timekeeper with the Pennsylvania Steel Company, the predecessor of the Bethlehem Steel Company at Steelton.

Curiously though, nothing is mentioned in the obituary or funeral information about his Civil War service.

The following information is modified and edited from Captain Enders Legion, pages 162-164, a book describing the participation of the descendants of Capt. Johann Philip Christian Enders (1740-1809) in the Civil War:

John E. Nace was born 1 April 1835 in Halifax Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  He was the son of Barbara [Enders] Nace and David NaceBarbara Enders was born 20 April 1814 in Armstrong Valley, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and married David Nace, son of John Nace.  David was born 4 October 1808 in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  Barbara and David had ten children and additional family data is only known for Henry Nace, born 20 May 1833 and the subject of this biographical sketch, John E. Nace.

John E. Nace married Lydia Ann Fetterhoff on 8 January 1861, the daughter of Joseph Fetterhoff and Catherine [Loudermilch] Fetterhoff.  She was born in Halifax Township on 8 December 1841.  They had three children, two of which had unknown histories.  The birth and place of residence of Oscar C. Nace are unknown.  He married Emily Smith.

When evidence finally became unmistakable that General Lee with his entire Army was north of the Potomac, and marching in force toward the Pennsylvania border, Governor Andrew Curtin on 26 June 1863 issued his proclamation to call up 60,000 men to be mustered into service.  They would remain only so long as the safety and honor of the Commonwealth should require.  John E. Nace was mustered in at Harrisburg on 4 July 1863, in the 36th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment [36th Pennsylvania Infantry], Company C, “Militia of 1863.”  The 36th Regiment was sent to Gettysburg and its commanding officer, Col. H. C. Alleman was made Military Governor of the district, embracing the battleground.  It was engaged in gathering in the wounded and stragglers from both armies and collecting debris on the battlefield.  In Col. Alleman’s official report, the following property was collected:  26,664 muskets, 9,250 bayonets, 1,500 cartridge boxes, 204 sabers, 14,000 rounds of small arm ammunition, 26 Artillery wheels, 702 blankets, 40 wagon loads of clothing, 60 saddles and bridles, 5 wagons, 510 horses and mules, and six wagon loads of knapsacks and haversacks.  On 11 Aug 1863, John E. Nace was discharged in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with the rank of Private.

John E. Nace was a merchant, served a term as a Councilman in Lykens, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania; another term as a Councilman in Steelton, Pennsylvania and one term as a Burgess in Lykens.

According to the Lykens-Willliams Valley History, published in 1922, John E. Nace was Chief Burgess of Lykens Borough from 1876-1877.  Despite the fact that he was the chief officer of government and he honorably served in the Civil War, he is not named on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument.

The Civil War service of John E. Nace is confirmed by the Pennsylvania Veterans File Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives.

His name also appears on the actual roster of the militia company, as shown above on a portion of that document which is available from Ancestry.com.

Since John E. Nace died in 1924 and his son Oscar C. Nace did not die until 1951, it is possible that a family member has a photograph of him, although it is not known if Oscar and his wife Emily [Smith] Nace had any children.  John E. Nace had at least nine siblings and many of those had descendants for whom photographs are available.  John also had two brothers with confirmed Civil War service:  Samuel Otterbein Nace (1842-1862), died at Cedar Mountain, Virginia; and David Benjamin Nace (1838-1933).  A photograph does exist of David Benjamin Nace.



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