Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Emanuel Straub – Former Hegins Resident Dies at Shamokin, Age 90

Posted By on September 11, 2017

Emanuel Straub, who was born in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, on 5 November 1842, was the son of George Straub (1803-1859) and Barbara [Zerbe] Straub (1803-1899).  After the death of his father, the mother and Emanuel moved in with Daniel Straub, Emanuel’s brother, who was a farmer in Hegins Township, Schuylkill County.  All appear together in the Hegins census of 1860.

On 27 March 1865, with his residence at that time declared as Northumberland County, Emanuel enrolled in Pottsville in the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Private.  He gave his age as 22 and his occupation as miner.  His height was 5 foot 7 inches, he had light hair, a light complexion, and blue eyes.  According to the record card at the Pennsylvania Archives (shown above), he was honorably discharged on 17 July 1865.

Following the war, about 1868, Emanuel married Adaline “Ada” Snyder (1849-1941), and with her had several children.

On 21 February 1880, Emanuel Straub applied for a pension based on his Civil War service.  He was awarded the pension, which he collected until his death on 19 February 1933.  Afterward, his widow applied for benefits.  She died in 1941.

When Emanuel Straub died in 1933 in Shamokin, Northumberland County, he was one of the longest surviving area Civil War veterans.  His obituary, and several other news articles told of some of his war experiences.

The obituary from the Shamokin News-Dispatch, 20 February 1933, follows:


Comrade Emanuel Straub, One of the Last Survivors of Civil War Succumbs to Stroke Suffered Friday


The ranks of Lincoln Post, No. 140, Grand Army of the Republic, of this city, were reduced to six through the death of Comrade Emanuel Straub at 8 o’clock last evening at his home, 39 North Coal Street, where he succumbed to a stroke of paralysis suffered last Friday  Mr. Straub was the second oldest member of the post he aided in founding.

Comrade Straub, a former widely known stone mason, had been in fading health for several months and became bedfast a week ago.  Pneumonia developed and this was followed by a severe stroke.

Emanuel Straub, son of George Straub and Barbara [Zerbe] Straub, was born in the Mahantongo Valley, 3 November 1842, and was reared to manhood on the family farm.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted as a member of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry [48th Pennsylvania Infantry] and served throughout the civil conflict, having participated with distinction in many of the major battles in the southland.  At the close of the war he returned to his home, later residing in the Deep Creek Valley of Schuylkill County.  He was married in 1866 to Miss Ada Snyder, of Tremont, and in 1868 came to this city and became affiliated with fellow comrades in the upbuilding of the Grand Army of the Republic veterans, in which organization he was keenly interested and active as long as health permitted.

A member of a family of stone masons, Mr. Straub had followed his trade until he attained the age of 72, when he retired.  During his many years as a stone worker, he had assisted in the building of many of the town’s oldest stone and brick structures, these included the former G.A.R. Opera House, several local churches and other large buildings.

Religiously, Comrade Straub was the oldest member of St. John’s Evangelical Church.  Surviving are his wife, one brother, Tobias Straub of Williamstown, six grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 Wednesday afternoon from the Shamokin funeral parlors on North market Street, with the Rev. Earl Slichter to officiate and with burial to follow in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Note:  Emanuel Straub’s enlistment date needs to be checked.  The Pennsylvania Archives gives his date of enlistment as 27 March 1865, but his obituary states he served from the “outbreak,” which was in 1861.


News clipping is from Newspapers.com.  Grave marker is from Findagrave.



Obituary of Emanuel Stoneroad

Posted By on September 8, 2017

Emanuel Stoneroad, whose name appears on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument, died in 1917 in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, and his obituary appeared in the Reading Times, 25 June 1917:


Many Descendants Left by Emanuel Stoneroad, Dead at 88

Survived by one daughter, nine grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, Emanuel Stoneroad, 88 years of age, died yesterday at the home of his only living child, Mrs. Thomas George, of 318 North Front Street, of senile debility.  He was a veteran of the Civil War, having gone to the front in ’61 with the Dauphin County recruits.

He was born in Lancaster County and lived the greater part of his life at Lykens, Dauphin County, where interment will take place.  The body will be taken to Dauphin County Wednesday morning and interment will be made Wednesday afternoon.  Deceased was a member of the Lykens Post of the G.A.R.  Undertaker – Seidel.


A more brief obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Telegraph, 27 June 1917:

Emanuel Stoneroad, a native of West Hempfield Township, near Elizabethtown, died Monday, age 88 years.  On daughter, nine grandchildren, twenty-three great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren survive.  He was a veteran of the Civil War and was wounded.  He was a member of the Grand Army.


Emanuel Stoneroad enrolled in the militia at the time of the Emergency of 1863, 26th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, as a Corporal at Lykens and was mustered in at Harrisburg four days later.  He served at Gettysburg and was discharged on 30 July 1863 at the end of the emergency.  He said he was 34 years old at the time, and for some unknown reason was registered as Emanuel Stonewood.

After his discharge, he enrolled in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry on 24 August 1864 at Harrisburg, and on the same day and place he was mustered into Company B as a Private.  He served the duration of his enlistment and was honorably discharged by General Order on 29 May 1865.

During his working years, Emanuel Stoneroad was an engineer in the mines at Lykens and Wiconisco.


News clippings are from Newspapers.com.

William D. Stites – Obituary & Portrait

Posted By on September 6, 2017

Previously on this blog, the Stites Family in the Civil War was featured.  At that time, a portrait of Dr. Samuel Stites (1816-1882), a contract surgeon during the Civil War, was featured, along with some Civil War records of his son, William D. Stites.

The portrait at the top of this post is said to be of William D. Stites and was found on a public tree on Ancestry.com.

William D. Stites died in Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery there.  During the Civil War he served as a Private in the 47th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D.  He is recognized on the Millersburg Soldier Monument as “W. D. Stites.”

AN obituary of William D. Stites appeared in the Elizabethville Echo, 11 November 1915:

Death at Millersburg

William Stites died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Ream, at Millersburg, on Monday evening from the effects of a paralytic stroke about two weeks ago which left him in helpless condition.  He was an aged veteran of the Civil War.  The following children survive him:  Mrs. Ray Brubaker; Mrs. Benjamin Musser; Mrs. John Ream; Boyd Stites and Ray Stites of Millersburg; Mrs. Charles Rettinger of Sunbury; Charles Stites of near Gettysburg.


News clipping is from Newspapers.com.

August 2017 Posts

Posted By on September 4, 2017

A listing of the August 2017 posts on The Civil War Blog with direct links:

Confusion in the Records of Joseph M. Smith of Halifax

June 2017 Posts

July 2017 Posts

What Was the War Service of Aaron Snyder?

Samuel H. Sharron – 1890 Millersburg Veterans’ Census, But Not Civil War?

Some Clarifications on Franklin Speese

Was Daniel Shive Murdered in 1893?

Isaac M. Spong – Buried in Lebanon, Not Malta!

Pennsylvania Railroad Offers Excursion from Lykens to K.K.K. Rally in Washington, 1926

The Ku Klux Klan Orphanage Fire and the Fund Raising Scam of 1926

Lykens Valley Ku Klux Klan Events Needing Further Research

Who Was Jacob R. Smith Who Enrolled at Lykens?

Obituary of Daniel A. Shultz


John G. Sommers – Upper Paxton Township, 1890

Posted By on September 1, 2017

John G. Sommers, who was found in the 1890 Veterans’ Census for Upper Paxton Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, served in the 3rd Maryland Cavalry, Company K, as a Bugler, from 27 November 1863 through his discharge on 7 September 1865.

That same John G. Sommers, applied for a disability pension on 11 February 1889 and received benefits until he died on 23 December 1908 (date on card), whereupon, according to the Pension Index Card (shown above from Fold3), a widow applied and collected benefits until her death.  The above card also shows that John G. Sommers also served in two U.S. Cavalry regiments/companies.

The above version of the Pension Index Card, available from Ancestry.com, shows that John G. Somers applied for pension benefits from Ohio the year before he appeared in the 1890 Upper Paxton Township census.  Strangely, the widow pension application does not appear on the card, but a pension on behalf of a minor (or minors) was applied for on 16 March 1909 by Joseph D. Drum, guardian.  That latter pension application was made from Pennsylvania.

The three sections of a page from the Soldier’s Home in Dayton, Ohio, are shown below (available from Ancestry.com).

Click on document to enlarge.

The military history closely matches the previously known information and adds the “muster” in place of Baltimore, Maryland, and the “muster out” place of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  A war injury, a sabre cut of the head, was deemed to be “not disabling.”

On domestic/personal history [in 1902], he was 54 years old, was 5 foot 5 inches tall, had auburn hair and was literate.  His place of residence was Akron, Ohio, and he was a widower.  And, his daughter, Mrs. Emma Brown, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was his next of kin.

Click on document to enlarge.

The home history shows that John G. Sommers entered and left three times from 1902 to his death in December 1908, which resulted from a cerebral hemorrhage.

In the final remarks, it is noted that John G. Sommers was buried in the National Cemetery at Dayton, Ohio, Section P, Row 2, Grave 11.

Other than the above information, not much more is known about this John G. Sommers at this time.  If he lived in Upper Paxton Township in 1890, he should be included in the list of men who had some connection to the Millersburg area.  It was through the census that he was initially identified.

Any reader with information about this John G. Sommers is urged to come forward.  Please add comments to this post or send to the Project by e-mail.