April 27th, 2009


Bryson Post, No. 225 Department of PA, Grand Army of the Republic was organized September 29, 1881 in the Odd Fellows Hall (3rd floor of Boot & Shoe) by Capt. John F. Parker, Commander of Henry Wilson Post, No. 129, Milton, assisted by a large delegation from that Post. Officers installed were: Frederick A. Reen, Commander; Jacob M. Follmer, Senior Vice Commander; Edward W. Fosnot, Junior Vice Commander; Thomas G. Caldwell, Officer of the Day; Joel R. Messinger, Officer of the Guard; George P. Straub, Quartermaster; Thomas H. Kisner, Surgeon; Rev. David Kennedy, Chaplain; Ambrose Lamm, Adjutant; Sergeant Major, Lewis C. Fosnot.
The Post rented the hall in the Hogue Building, now the property of the Farmer’s National Bank, and over its history mustered into its ranks 188 members. Primarily as a social outlet the men met every Friday evening. Each year they would arrange to hold services in eight cemeteries in the Watsontown vicinity for Memorial Day, decorating the graves of over 200 deceased comrades. Membership began to dwindle since the Union Veterans limited membership into the G.A.R. strictly to those who had served the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue Cutler Service during the Civil War. Because of the limited life span of the G.A.R., a handful of surviving comrades helped establish the Sons of Veterans with the primary purpose of passing on the patriotic duty of remembering those who served their county in preserving the Union during the Civil War.
Though the organization’s focus was primarily social in nature it would become a political force that would influence the nation for more than six decades. During the first quarter of the new century, the handful of surviving comrades attended reunions and honored those from their ranks who were being called to that “eternal camp in the sky.” The adjutant who kept the record books of the Bryson Post of the G.A.R. had inscribed the dates of the current members who had died. 
The name of the comrade and the date of his death are recorded here for posterity’s sake:
W.A. Fisher, September 8, 1885                                      A.D. Barto, August 13, 1914, aged 78 years
Austin Stull, November 2, 1886                                       John R. Cooner, January 5, 1915, aged 72 years
Israel Philips, November 30, 1888                                   H.A. Pardoe, February 21, 1915, aged 67 years
Jasper DeMott, August ?, 1890                                        I.W. Long, July 26, 1915, aged 77 years
H.W. Hagenbugh, July 16, 1892                                      S.W. Riddell, March 6, 1916, aged 79 years
M.F. Gardner, January 27, 1896                                      Martin Prowant, May 2, 1916 (b. December 31, 1837)
W.H. Gibson, January 30, 1899, aged 61 years                  John Ulrich, May 16, 1916, aged 77 years
Jos. W. Whitman, October 30, 1899                                 George P. Straub, November 25, 1916, aged 81 years
Jacob Sheddy, May 4, 1900                                             J.H. Bruner, February 11, 1918, aged 77 years
A. Rathburn, September 24, 1900                                    Josiah Diehl, April 9, 1918, aged 81 years
Hiram Rennold, December 20, 1900                                 S.P. Orwig, June 26, 1918, aged 85 years
Wm. Cunningham, February 20, 1901                              Daniel Truckenmiller, November 25, 1918, aged 81 years
D.W. Denius, February 7, 1902                                       L.G. Heck, December 30, 1918, aged 77 years
Clinton C. Hughes, April 5, 1902                                     Jacob H. Wagner, February 24, 1919, aged 76 years
H. Sander, March 23, 1903                                             J.R. Messinger, June 10, 1919, aged 75 years
B.G. Shires, May 13, 1903                                              J. Harvey Nye, July 21, 1919, aged 86 years
Wm. H. Kline, May 16, 1903                                          George G. Killmer, August 1, 1919, aged 76 years
Wm. Reed, December 16, 1903                                       John Harrison, August 13, 1919, aged 77 years
Michael Ficks, January 20, 1904                                      Isaac N. Messinger, January 12, 1920, aged 78 years
B.F. Ketler, April 29, 1904                                             W.I. Wilson, February 12, 1920, aged 76 years
D.C. Hogue, February 27, 1905                                       Daniel Hester, February 18, 1920, aged 74 years
Henry Miller, June 19, 1905                                            Lew O. Fosnot, February 21, 1920
Jacob Tyson, May 15, 1905                                             Josiah Stewart, May 25, 1920, aged 77 years
Abram Unangst, June 15, 1905                                        Joseph Huff, January 11, 1921, aged 83 years
John W. Erb, April 5, 1907                                             John McCoy, April 28, 1921, aged 75 years
R. Hayman, July 22, 1909                                               Fred A. Reen, June 15, 1921, aged 82 years
Dr. E.H. Horner, January 11, 1910                                  John F. Meckley, September 30, 1921, aged 82 years
Jacob S. Crossley, November 20, 1910                             Daniel Raup, May 5, 1922, aged 80 years
Elias Lynn, April 15, 1911, aged 68 years                         Wm. Ranck, May 20, 1922, aged 82 years
Daniel Stahlnecker, November 8, 1911, aged 69 years        Frederick H. Knight, September 16, 1922, aged 85 years
John Huhn, October 9, 1912, aged 80 years                      Joseph R. Housel, July 4, 1923, aged 83 years
M.O. Eilert, March 15, 1913, aged 79 years                      John Seriff, May 22, 1925
James Zettlemoyer, November 10, 1913, aged 77 years      Nicholas Carroll, February 14, 1926, aged 84 years
Elisha Kisner, December 28, 1913                                   Charles Crawford, June ?, 1926
E.F. Gold, January 2, 1914, aged 80 years                        Wm. L. Baker, October 18, 1929
V.S. Truckenmiller, April 26, 1914, aged 71 years            Alfred Diehl, December 1, 1930, aged 91 years
A credentials report written by T.G. Caldwell as post adjutant to the 65 th Department Encampment either in late 1930 or early 1931 stated that “Commander W.L. Baker was the last commander. He passed on about one year ago. We have no one to take his place. We have 3 members living in town. 2 of them are not able to attend meetings.” The writer, Thomas G. Caldwell died in 1932 and could have been the last local survivor of the Civil War. The last soldier of the Civil War died in 1956.
The following comrades have served the Post as Commanders:
1881    Frederick A. Reen        1898    William L. Baker         1915    William L. Baker
1882    Lewis C. Fosnot           1899    Lewis C. Fosnot           1916    William L. Baker
1883    Orlando F. Benson       1900    Joel R. Messinger         1917    William L. Baker
1884    James Cummings         1901    James Zettlemoyer       1918    William L. Baker
1885    William H. Kline          1902    Frederick A. Reen        1919    William L. Baker
1886    Jacob H. Wagner         1903    Israel W. Long             1920    William L. Baker
1887    Joseph R. Housel         1904    M. Oliver Eilert            1921    William L. Baker
1888    John R. Cooner            1905    Samuel B. Morgan       1922    William L. Baker
1889    William L. Baker         1906    Samuel B. Morgan       1923    William L. Baker
1890    Thomas H. Kisner        1907    George G. Kilmer        1924    William L. Baker
1891    Simon G. Stadler          1908    John P. Zimmerman     1925    William L. Baker
1892    William D. Moyer        1909    Nicholas Carroll           1926    William L. Baker
1893    Isaac N. Messinger       1910    S.Wilson Riddell          1927    William L. Baker
1894    George P. Straub          1911    Wm. Rank                   1928    William L. Baker
1895    Samuel B. Morgan       1912    G.W. Lowry                 1929    William L. Baker
1896    Alfred Diehl                1913    James Batdorf              1930    —
1897    Stewart R. Averill        1914    Henry Berger               1931    —              
Post Commanders
Frederick A. Reen1881S.R. Averill18971913
Lewis C. Fosnot1882William L. Baker18981914
Orlando F. Benson1883Lewis C. Fosnot18991915
James Cummings1884Joel R. Messinger19001916
William H. Kline1885James Zettlemoyer1901William L. Baker1917
Jacob H. Wagner1886Frederick A. Reen19021918
Joseph R. Housel1887I.W. Long19031919
John R. Cooner1888M. Oliver Eilert1904William L. Baker1920
William L. Baker1889Samuel B. Morgan19051921
Thomas H. Kisner1890Samuel B. Morgan19061922
Simon G. Stadler1891George G. Kilmer1907William L. Baker1923
William D. Moyer1892John P. Zimmerman1908William L. Baker1924
Isaac N. Messinger18931909William L. Baker1925
George P. Straub1894S. Wilson Riddell1910William L. Baker1926
Samuel B. Morgan189519111927
Alfred Diehl189619121928
Last Modified: 12.27.22

2 Responses

  1. Jeff Myers Says:

    This is a great site with wonderful local information! I acquired a few items this week that connect to this pages focus. I have acquired William Bakers Civil War discharge paperwork, along with this GAR meeting place ledger book! Both are in original condition and also contain names of 201 members. Along with a few pages that have battle overviews and eyewitness accounts. If these items could be of use to the Watsontown GAR historical society contact me.

  2. Daniel Aunkst Says:

    There is now a Watsontown Historical Assoc. that would be interested in these materials. I do not know what has transpired since your posting but I do know that the Assoc. would be desirous of obtaining this material.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Posted by jamesdrobison and filed under | 2 Comments »