Civil War Blog

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Nelson C. Meck – Charter Member of Millersburg G.A.R. Post

Posted By on April 3, 2017

Nelson C. Meck was born 24 March 1847 in Pennsylvania, the son of John Meck (1820-1886), a drayman, and Lydia Meck (a819-1887).  Both parents are buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

On 7 March 1865, Nelson Meck enrolled at Harrisburg in the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry, the second Company K, and the next day was mustered into service as a Private at the same place.  Although he gave his age as 20, it was more likely that he was 17 at the time of enrollment, and lied about his age in order to serve.  He also indicated that he was working as a laborer and was a resident of Dauphin County.  At the time, he was 5 foot 7 inches tall, had light hair, a fair complexion and grey eyes.  The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives, indicates that he was honorably mustered out on 28 June 1865.

Nelson C. Meck applied for an invalid pension on 29 March 1875, which he received and collected until his death, which occurred on 13 January 1924 in Millersburg.   The Pension Index Card shown above is from Fold3.

Records available on Ancestry.com show the following:

  1. About 1868, Nelson C. Meck married Mary M. Schroeder (1851-1920) in Pennsylvania.
  2. In 1870, the family was living in Millersburg, where Nelson was working as a laborer.  In addition to wife Mary, a son, Ira Meck, age 10/12 was also in the household.
  3. In 1880, the family was still living in Millersburg and Nelson was still working as a laborer. Wife Mary is also in the household, along with 10 year old son, Ira Meck.
  4. In 1890, Nelson Meck reported to the census his service in the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry, and also noted that he had incurred “chronic diarhea [sic]” as a result of his service in the Civil War.
  5. In 1900, the family was still living in Millersburg, where Nelson Meck indicated that he was the owner of a tobacco store.  Another child, Nora Meck, age 10, appears in the household, and Ira seems to have gone his own way.  Mary [Schroeder] Meck reported that during her lifetime, she had two children, both of whom were still living.  The Meck’s were married for 32 years in 1900 (confirming, #1 above, that they were married about 1868).
  6. In 1910, the Meck’s were living in Harrisburg, where Nelson was working as the driver of a bakery wagon.
  7. In the 1920 census, Nelson and Mary were back to Millersburg where their daughter Nora [Meck] Heckert and son-in-law William Heckert are living in their household.  Two grandchildren are also in the household.  Nelson has resumed his former business as a retail merchant of tobacco, but has added candy to his merchandise.  William Heckert is working as a filer for a reamer works.  On 21 November 1920, Mary will die and thus, this is the last census in which she will appear.  Also, this is the last census for Nelson.
  8. On 13 January 1924, Nelson C. Meck died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Millersburg. Note:  Pennsylvania Death Certificate is available on-line.

Previously on this blog, in a post entitled The Charter of the Kilpatrick G.A.R. Post of Millersburg, Nelson Meck was named as a charter member, and a photograph of the charter with its names was shown in the post.  The original of the charter is located at the Historical Society of Millersburg and Upper Paxton Township, and is on permanent display there in its military exhibit.

Both Nelson Meck and Mary M. [Schroeder] Meck are buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Millersburg.

For his service in the Civil War, Nelson C. Meck is honored on the Millersburg Soldier Monument.  Just below his name on the monument tablet, is the name of his brother Morris Meck, also a Civil War veteran from Millersburg.





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