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Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Some Clarifications on Franklin Speese

Posted By on August 14, 2017

In the initial Civil War Veterans’ List of this Project, there is a Benjamin Speece [or Speese] and a Franklin Speece [or Speese].  Recent research has proven that this is actually one person, who should be identified as Benjamin Franklin Speece (1828-1906) who served in the 184th Pennsylvania Infantry, and who is buried at Messiah Lutheran Cemetery, Fisherville, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

The photograph above, by Jack Richter, who has done extensive research on Civil War veterans buried in Lykens Valley area cemeteries in and around Elizabethville, is posted on Findagrave

In addition to the Findagrave Memorial, the veteran’s name appears on two reliable lists.  First, Benjamin Speece is named in the Halifax Area list as a veteran buried at Fisherville.  Second, the name Franklin Speece appears in the 1890 Veterans’ Census for Millersburg as having served in the 184th Pennsylvania Infantry.  From cross-checking the information from these sources and from actual military records, Franklin and Benjamin are the same person.

Benjamin Franklin Speece was born 16 December 1928.  He married Catherine Wagner prior to the Civil War.  On 27 August 1864 Speece was mustered into Company I of the 184th Pennsylvania Infantry as a Private. He served nine months and was honorably discharged on 2 June 1865.  He made application for a pension on 6 August 1890, which he received and collected until his death, which occurred on 1 February 1906.

Research continues on this veteran.  The portrait above was cropped from a photograph said to be of Benjamin Franklin Speece and his wife and publicly posted on Ancestry.com.  And, a notice of his funeral appeared in the Elizabethville Echo, 8 February 1906:

Benjamin Franklin Speece was buried on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Fisherville.  Rev. G. W. Spotts assisted by Rev. S. A. Garnes officiated.  The funeral was attended by many fiends and relatives; his age was 77 yrs. 1 mo. 16 days.

In addition to the above brief notice, several mentions were found of pension awards and pension increases for Speece in the Harrisburg and Philadelphia newspapers.  The notices gave the post office addresses as Millersburg, Enterline and Fisherville.

After the death of B. F. Speece, his widow moved to Millersburg.

No information was found to indicate that Speece was a member of the Fisherville G.A.R. Post.

There is no mention in the funeral notice that he was a Civil War veteran.

And, his name does not appear on any Millersburg Civil War list nor is he named on the Millersburg Soldier Monument, despite the fact it is well documented that for a time, he lived in Millersburg and after his death, his widow moved there – still another Civil War veteran with a Millersburg connection who is not recognized by that community!

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News clipping from Newspapers.com.


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