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John A. Seltzer & Amanda [Eckel] Seltzer – Die One Day Apart, 1917

Posted By on June 28, 2017

During the Civil War, John A. Seltzer of Tremont, Schuylkill County, answered the call for service by enlisting in the 17th Pennsylvania Infantry (Emergency of 1862), Company H, as a Private.  His militia service was from 15 September 1862 through discharge at the end of the emergency, 28 September 1862.  Although in the 1890 census he reported service in the same company and militia regiment from 19 June 1863 through 1 August 1863, no confirming record has been located that he served during the Gettysburg emergency.  The card above from the Pennsylvania Archives is the only record of his service.

John Seltzer died on 7 November 1917.  One obituary was found, in the Reading Times, 10 November 1917:

John Seltzer, of Tremont, died on Wednesday, following an illness of five weeks, being bedfast for less than a week.  Mr.Seltzer was 82 years of age.  He was a successful business man, being president of the Auburn Brick Company for a number of years, retiring from that office about a year ago owing to his advanced age.  He continued in an advisory position with the concern, however, and was considered one of the best learned men in the state in this business.

Nothing was mentioned in the obituary that he was a Civil War veteran.

In searching for his obituary on Newspapers.com, a surprising number of obituaries were found for his widow, Amanda [Eckel] Selter, who coincidentally died only one day after he did.  This apparently made the obituary of interest to a much wider audience than normal.

A sampling of those obituaries appears below:

From the Harrisburg Evening News, 10November 1917:

GRIEF FOR HUSBAND KILLS

Grieving over the death of her husband, John Seltzer, who died Wednesday at their home at Tremont, Amanda Seltzer, died Thursday night.  He was 82 and she 78.  They had been married nearly sixty years.  Mrs. Seltzer was the daughter of the late Aaron Eckels, a pioneer coal operator at Tremont.  Mr. Seltzer was the president of the Auburn Pressed Brick Company, at Auburn, and was interested in the furniture business with his sons at Tamaqua and Bethlehem.

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From The Morning Call, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 12 November 1917:

MRS. AMANDA SELTZER

Grieving over the death of her husband, Amanda Seltzer, died at Tremont on Thursday shortly after four o’clock.  Her husband, John Seltzer died on Wednesday and soon after his death she grew ill.

Mrs. Seltzer was a daughter of the late Henry Eckel, coal pioneer who moved from Berks County to Tremont and was one of the founders of the Borough of Tremont.  Her father was in the coal business, the firm with which he was affiliated being known as the Eckel-Spangler Company.  Mrs. Seltzer was seventy-eight years of age.

Mrs. Seltzer has four sons surviving and three daughters as follows:  George Seltzer and Charles Seltzer, of Bethlehem; Benjamin Seltzer, of Tamaqua; Howard Seltzer of Somerville, New Jersey; and Mary Seltzer, Annie Seltzer, and Bertha Seltzer, at home.

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From the Mount Carmel Item, 10 November 1917:

SHE FOLLOWED HER HUSBAND IN DEATH

Grieving over the death of her husband, Amanda Seltzer, died at Tremont on Thursday shortly after four o’clock.  Her husband, John Seltzer died on Wednesday, and soon after his death she grew ill and a day after his death she passed to the Great Beyond.

Always together Mr. and Mrs. Seltzer lover each other dearly and they had often said to each other that if one of them was lost to each other the other would surely die.  It came to pass for Mrs. Seltzer lived only a few hours more than a day after her husband’s death.

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From the Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 November 1917:

Killed By Grief for Husband

Special to the Inquirer

POTTSVILLE, Pennsylvania, 9 November 1917 — Grieving over the death of her husband, John Seltzer, who died Wednesday at their home at Tremont, Amanda Seltzer, died last night.  He was 82 and she 78.  They had been married nearly sixty years.  Mrs. Seltzer was the daughter of the late Aaron Eckels, a pioneer coal operator at Tremont.  Mr. Seltzer was the president of the Auburn Pressed Brick Company, at Auburn, and was interested in the furniture business with his sons at Tamaqua and Bethlehem.

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From the Reading Times, 12 November 1913:

Follows Husband In Death

Grieving over the death of her husband, Amanda Seltzer died at Tremont on Thursday shortly after four o’clock.  Her husband, John Seltzer died on Wednesday.

And, on 13 November 1917, the Reading Times followed its 12 November notice by adding:

… and soon after his death she grew ill.

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Note:  In two of the above obituaries, Amanda’s father is mistakenly referred to as Aaron Eckels.  Her father’s name was Henry Eckel (or Eckels) and her brother’s name was Aaron.

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News clippings are from Newspapers.com.


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