February 13th, 2012
S.B. MORGAN CAMP # 225, SONS OF VETERANS
On November 12, 1881 in Pittsburgh, PA the G.A.R. formed the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America (SV) to carry on its traditions and memory long after the G.A.R. had ceased to exist. Membership was open to any man who could prove ancestry to a member of the G.A.R. or to a veteran eligible for membership in the G.A.R. In later years, men who did not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership, but who demonstrated a genuine interest in the Civil War and could subscribe to the purpose and objectives of the SUVCW, where admitted as Associates. This practice continues today. Many G.A.R. Posts sponsored Camps of the SV. In 1925 the SV name was changed to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), under which its federal charter was issued on August 20, 1954. The SUVCW is legally recognized as the heir to, and representative of, the G.A.R. The G.A.R. existed until 1956 when the last veteran of the Civil War died.
For a town the size of Watsontown, S.B. Morgan Camp, No. 225, PA Sons of Veterans was the equal of many Camps in much larger towns. The camp was mustered in July 31, 1905 with 59 charter members and within two years the membership reached 104.
The Charter Members included:
Wm. W. Albright Harry A. Dieffenderfer J.W. Lesher Jas. L. Rodarmel
C.A.F. Auten Wm. H. Diehl Chas. A. Lindauer Geo. E. Rodarmel
David F. Barr Arthur Fink Jay V. Lynn Chester A. Rothermel
Wm. W. Barr Edwin D. Fisher Chas W. Machamer C.E. Royer
Edgar S. Barto Harry Fordesman John A. McFarland Erb A. Sanders
Herbert Billman John C. Fosnot George E. McKee Chas. E. Sees
H.E. Browman Harry T. Geiger James H. McKee John Springer
M.C. Browman Curtis Gold John S. McKee Curtis Wagner
John A. Brown George L. Gold Chas Mohart Jay H. Wagner, Jr.
A.T. Buck Clyde Harrison James Oaks John Wertman
J.D. Buck D. Curtis Hester Amos V. Persing Lester M. Wesner
D.W. Campbell Harry C. Krisher John Raup Wm. L. Widell
E.C. Campbell William M. Lantz Gilbert Raush Jas. A. Zettlemoyer
Geo. V. Campbell Robert C. Leech William Reeser John E. Zettlemoyer
H.A. Campbell Fred H. Lesher William Ritter
The Company of Reserves, the military part of the order was mustered in as Co. H. Third Regiment, PA Division, on October 30, 1906 with 34 members and 25 guns.
The Camp had the only Sons of Veterans’ Band in the commonwealth and was organized on February 19, 1906 under the leadership of Charles E. Trate and was mustered in as Trate’s Third Regiment Band, S.V.R. on January 7, 1907 with 25 members, fully uniformed and equipped with a fine set of new instruments.
The Ladies Auxiliary was organized April 9, 1907 with a charter membership of 29.
The members would meet each Monday evening at 7:00 pm from October 1 to April 1; and at 7:30 pm from April 1 to October 1. The membership fee was originally $2.15 and weekly dues of 10 cents. The family of a member who died could have the Sons of Veterans’ ceremonies performed at the funeral with all brothers of the camp taking part and if a brother was absent without a reasonable excuse they were fined 25 cents. Similar to the GAR, the organization was concerned with the remembrance of those who served during the Civil War and Memorial Day services along with decorating the graves of Civil War veterans were a priority. In addition, the Sons of Veterans were also remembered on Memorial Day. One member of the organization was G.A. Patterson who served 24 years as the treasurer. Listed in the membership rolls were the deaths of current members whose names and death dates are listed here for posterity.
A.J. Keener, February 3, 1908 Harvey T. Geiger, December 13, 1919
John S. McKee, January 23, 1909 Harry Seriff, April 21, 1922
Ralph M. Huff, March 3, 1911 – killed J.D. Buck, April 25, 1922
George A. Seriff, Jr., August 3, 1912 – killed E.A. Sander, April 30, 1926
J.C. Gibson, October 15, 1912 D.W. Campbell, June 23, 1926
Chas. E. Trate, May 4, 1913 E.D. Fisher, October 17, 1927
Trenton Straub, March 26, 1915 – drowned H.E. Browman, February 24, 1928
Clayton Reitmeyer, June 3, 1915 George L. Gold, August 9, 1929
William Reeser, July 10, 1915 G.A. Patterson, October 20, 1931
Edgar T. Sampsell, July 2, 1916 A.E. Bruner, November 27, 1931
A.W. Waller, November 6, 1919
On February 2, 1920 an amendment was introduced to change the name from S.B. Morgan to Jacob H. Wagner Camp No. 225 W.S.A. This change took effect on the third and final reading of the amendment on February 16, 1920. With the end of the Bryson Post of the GAR in 1929 and the newly formed American Legion, the Sons of Veterans dwindled and relinquished its duties of Memorial Day and decorating the graves of veterans to the Clyde F. Mowrer Post #323 American Legion. The last records of the Jacob H. Wagner encampment was in 1931.
Commanders of S.B. Morgan Camp # 225, Sons of Veterans:
1905 John A. Brown 1914 George McKee 1923 Chester A. Rothermel
1906 James A. Zettlemoyer 1915 Jay V. Lynn 1924 E.C. Kemble
1907 George V. Campbell 1916 Frank Marshall 1925 Joseph Ulrich
1908 Harry C. Krisher 1917 E.C. Kemble 1926 Harry Fordesman
1909 Wm. W. Albright 1918 E.D. High 1927 Harry Fordesman
1910 Jay H. Wagner, Jr. 1919 Aaron K. Batdorf 1928 —
1911 Charles L. Baker 1920 Wm. H. Diehl 1929 —
1912 John T. Mulligan 1921 Fred W. Ankstad 1930 George McKee
1913 Wm. H. Diehl 1922 D. Curtis Hester 1931 George McKee
Last Modified: 01.28.12