Civil War Blog

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Was Daniel Shive Murdered in 1893?

Posted By on August 16, 2017

During the Civil War, Daniel A. Shive served in the 210th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Private, from 12 September 1864 through his honorable discharge on 30 May 1865.  He applied for a disability pension on 28 March 1891, which he received, but not long afterward, he was found dead along the railroad tracks near his home in Halifax, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

The Harrisburg Telegraph of 29 August 1893 reported the incident as follows:


Daniel Shive’s Body Found Near His Home at Halifax

Daniel Shive had been a track-walker on the Northern Central railroad for eight years and was regarded as a particularly trustworthy employee.  This morning, Morris Shroyer, of Mahantongo, a foreman of the railroad company, found Shive’s body striped of all clothing along the track near his home at Shivetown, about two miles south of Halifax All that could be found was one shoe, and it is supposed he was murdered by tramps.  His face was terribly mangled, as was also his body.  One leg was crushed and an arm was broken.  The body was a horrible sight to look upon,  Shive was sixty years old and leaves a widow and several adult children.  Halifax was greatly excited this morning and tramps will be shown little consideration in that vicinity.

Coroner Hoy empanelled a jury at Halifax this morning and adjourned the inquest until Friday.

The supposed murder was also reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer the next day:


An Old Track-Walker Found Terribly Mangled Near His Home

HARRISBURG, 29 August 1893 – The dead body of Daniel Shive, for eight years a track-walker in the employ of the Northern Central Railroad Company, was found at the side of the track near his home at Halifax this morning.

It is supposed he was murdered by tramps.  His body was horribly mangled and was stripped of all clothing.  Shive was 60 years old.

Two days after the news appeared in the Philadelphia newspaper, the Harrisburg Telegraph followed-up with the coroner’s verdict:

Daniel Shive’s Death Accidental

It is believed now that Daniel Shive‘s death along the railroad at Halifax on Tuesday, was accidental.  His watch, which had stopped a few minutes past 2, and some of his clothing were found, making it clear that he was not killed by tramps, but by the cars.  Mr. Shive was a great fisherman.  The funeral took place yesterday.

An in the year-end news summary, published on 1 January 1894, the Harrisburg Daily Independent noted that Daniel A. Shive was “killed on railroad at Halifax” in September.

The matter may have been settled if it had not been for a similar incident which occurred in July 1895 when another track walker, Simon Glaze, met a similar fate at nearly the exact same spot on the railroad.  In reporting on the second incident, the Harrisburg Daily Independent recalled the death of Daniel Shive nearly two years prior.  Glaze lived in Matamoras, just outside Halifax Borough, and was 56 years old.


News articles from Newspapers.com.





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