Ordinary People Make History

Flood in Union City

One of the many French Creek floods in Union City history. Another major flood occurred on June 4 and 5, 1892, when storms and French Creek flooding demolished buildings and scattered wreckage throughout the Borough and Township. The Union City Times estimated that the damage to city property including streets and bridges would reach $30,000 while the individual losses would approach $75,000 in this 1892 flood.

cycone shreve ridge

 

feed mill fire union city pa 1938

This 1938 feed mill fire was just one of many in Union City.The Union City Chair Company caught fire on September 17, 1904. The damages amounted to $200,000 and 23 men from the fire department fought the blaze. Another chair company, the Standard Chair Company, burned on November 14, 1906, with $120,000 in losses. The fire supposedly started in the boiler room of the factory. Seventy-five firemen fought it. On April 29, 1907, at 9:45 p.m., the Union City Chair Company again caught fire, this time suffering $300,000 in damages. A total of 83 men fought that fire. The Shreve Chair Factory burned on March 8, 1913, with a $250,000 loss. The fire started in the paint room and required 85 men to put it out. Since all of this fire activity continued to blaze in Union City, it was fortunate that Coleman Hose Company, Hunter Hook and Ladder, and the Union City fire Police merged and incorporated in 1939. The new fire fighting body became the Union City Volunteer Fire Department.

feed mill fire union city 1928

This feed mill fire in Union City happened in 1938. After the business district began to build up in the 1870s, Union City experienced some bad fires. One of the worst happened on April 24, 1879, when fire roared down both sides of Main Street from French Creek south to the corner of South Street. It did $75,000 worth of damage, but most businessmen resolved to rebuild and did so. A major fire started in Union City on January 19, 1885 in a row of frame buildings opposite the post office owned by the Ezra Cooper estate. It did $27,000 worth of damage. The chair companies in Union City provided some lasting fuel for fires. On July 25, 1881, a fire started in the boiler room of the Heineman and Cheney Chair Factory on the west side of town. It burned eight other buildings beside the chair factory and did an estimated $50,000 in damages.

Irena and James Loomis

Irena and James Loomis at their home on Waterford Street in Union City. The Babcock and Loomis families were among the early ordinary settlers in Union City.

walter babcock and cows

Walter Babcock and his cows The 1930 Federal census reported that nearly 53 percent of farms in Pennsylvania were either general, self-sufficing or abnormal, meaning mainly part time farms. The census defined specialized farms as deriving at least 40 percent of their income from a single source, including farms classified as dairy, cash grain, fruit, poultry, and truck farms. Walter and Blanche Babcock owned a mostly dairy farm in Elgin.

walterbabcockandhorses

Walter Babcock and his horses. Horses played an essential role in Erie County and Union City farming for centuries.

blanche babcockandchickens

Blanche Babcock tends her chickens on the farm she ran with her husband Walter Babcock.

Blanche Babcock

Blanche Babcock Blanche Babcock poses in front of the farm car with the farm and its horses and cows in the background.

Leon McCray and Lillian Babcock

Leon McCray and Lillian Babcock Early settlers in Beaverdam were William Miles and William Cook, his brotherin-law, who came in June, 1795. In 1800 James and Robert McCray from Ireland, and Joseph Hall from Virginia, moved over from Beaver Dam to the site of the present Elgin. Elgin supported many dairy farms. The McCray farm was a mile south of Lovell’s Station.

 

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The Persevering Presbyterians of Union City, Pennsylvania

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by Kathy Warnes

Chapter Nine

1905-1920

 

Reverend C.H. Williamson

Reverend Edgar M. Smead

Reverend E.E. Lashley

 

On March 28, 1905, the members of the Presbyterian Church held a congregational meeting. Reverend William Grassie acted as moderator and the congregation decided to extend a call to Reverend C.H. Williamson to become pastor of the church. Reverend Williamson accepted the call and occupied the pulpit on Sunday morning and evening April 9th. He served the church as pastor from April 1905 until June 1907.

During the time Reverend Williamson was pastor, he worked with Andrew Carnegie to purchase a pipe organ for the church on a matching fund basis. He oversaw major repairs to the front of the church and renovations on the inside.

In November 1906, Reverend Williamson made a ministerial trip to Butler and received and exciting benefit. He acquired a valuable hall clock which had been in his family and passed down from one generation to another for more than 150 years. He brought the clock home with him and had it varnished and repaired. It stood in the Presbyterian parsonage and kept better time than 9/10 of all modern clocks. He prized the grandfather clock very highly, not only on account of its antiquity, but also as an heirloom.

Another domestic note happened in 1907 during Reverend Williamson’s pastorate when the Presbyterian Cook Book appeared in the kitchens around Union City and the surrounding territory. The Union City Times said that no young married couple should go to housekeeping without it. Indeed, it wouldn’t be amiss for some older married people to purchase a copy! The cook book could be purchased from church members or at the millinery story formerly owned by Mrs. J.A. Boyd. The Times warned that the supply was “getting low and those desiring one had better get it soon.”

In May 1907, Reverend Williamson received a unanimous call to become pastor of the Park Presbyterian Church at East End, Pittsburgh at a salary of $2,000. At the close of the morning church service on Sunday, May 12, 1907, Reverend Williamson announced that he had decided to accept the call. He preached his farewell sermon at the Union City Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 9, 1907. The Union City Times reported that the people of Union City and its Presbyterian Church reluctantly let Reverend Williamson go, because he had been a faithful and successful pastor for the last two years.

Mrs. Williamson had also been very helps and “this worthy couple have good reason to be proud of their success.” They left the church free from debut, with a largely increased membership, and a fine new organ costing about $2,000 had been installed since they came to Union City. Reverend and Mrs. Williamson left Union City Monday morning June 10, 1907, followed by the hearty good wishes of a large number of friends.

Over the next few months, the pulpit committee and Trustees interviewed several candidates for pastor of the church. Finally on Tuesday evening, October 1, 1907, the members of the congregation held a meeting to decide upon and extend a call to one of the several candidates who had been filling the pulpit for the past few months. They unanimously chose Reverend W.J. Hogue of Swissvale, Pa. Elders J.R. Mulkie, Fred J. Shreve, E.R. Gates and Trustees C.E. Hunter, E.D. Clough and W.L. Fuller were delegated to sign the call to Reverend Hogue. James S. Thompson and Lee Wilson were chosen to prosecute the call before the Presbytery. The Elders and Trustees thought that after fully considering the call, Reverend Hogue would accept it. The salary fixed for the new pastor was $1,200 with the manse and one month’s vacation   each year.

Reverend Hogue had some outstanding qualifications to be pastor of the Union City Church. He was born in Harrison County, Ohio, on November 16, 1878 and was descended from an old French Huguenot family exiled by the Edict of Nantes in 1685. After graduating from Franklin College in June 1900, he entered the Allegheny Theological Seminary at Allegheny, Pa., and graduated from there in May 1903. Then he went to Edinburg, Scotland where he took a post graduate course in the Edinburgh University in the fall and winter of 1903-1904. After he graduated from Edinburgh University, he traveled for about six months through Great Britain, France, the Holy Land, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. While he was Europe he received a call from the United Presbyterian Church at Swissvale, which he accepted. He began his work as pastor there in September 1904 and had served the church since then.

Reverend Hogue came highly recommended as an able preacher and an excellent pastor. The Union City Church considered itself fortunate to have secured such a man as its leaders. Then the pulpit committee discovered that its work wasn’t over after all. Reverend Hogue sent them a letter which they received on October 16, informing them that he had received a call from a larger church near Pittsburgh. He decided to accept the call.

For the next few months, the members of the Presbyterian Church wondered if they would ever have a pastor again. Reverend Williamson had vacated the pulpit in June and by December 1907; the church still did not have a new pastor. Finally, a few weeks before Christmas of 1907, Reverend Edgar Mason Smear of Montgomery, Pa. occupied the pulpit at the Presbyterian Church for the morning and evening services. Reverend Smear came highly recommended by a former pastor of the church, Reverend C.H. Bruce, and everyone was urged to come out and hear him. The congregation liked what it heard, because it held a congregational meeting the day after Christmas 1907, and extended a unanimous call to Reverend Smear.

Reverend Smear began his pastorate at the Union City Presbyterian Church on Sunday, February 2, 1908. He was born near Owego, New York, on October 13, 1871. His education began in the school of Nichols, a small town near Owego. In his early teens he entered his father’s saddle shop in Owego, where he received his business training. But his purpose to enter the ministry was formed during this time and he took a preparatory course for college at the Owego Free Academy. After graduating from the Owego Academy, he entered Princeton University in 1891, and graduated with his class in 1895.

For the next three years Edgar Mason Smear enjoyed the benefits of the Zabriskie Scholarship at Auburn Theological Seminary at Auburn, New York. After graduating from this institution, he took charge of the Presbyterian Church at Naples, New York, as stated supply. During the last year of his pastorate, fifty people were added to the church.

In October 1900, Reverend Smead’s ambition to take some post graduate studies at Princeton was realized when the Princeton Theological Seminary awarded him a scholarship. In the spring of 1901, he received a degree of A.M. from the University of Princeton where he had taken a year’s work, and he also received a degree of B.D. from Princeton Tehological Seminary for a year of post graduate study.

He left Princeton in 1901 to accept a call from the Presbyterian Church at Milford, Pennsylvania, and remained there for five years. In 1905 Reverend Smead took a cruise to the Orient where he visited the Holy Land, Egypt, and other countries bordering upon the Mediterranean Sea. On the first of January 1906 he accepted the pastorate at Montgomery, Pa., and remained there for two years. He came to Union City from there.

On the sixth day of February 1907, Reverend Smead married Miss Grace M. Zink of Buffalo, New York. He and Mrs. Smead arrived in Union City on the afternoon of January 30, 1908. A good sized delegation from the Presbyterian Church met them and gave them a royal welcome and helped them settle into the parsonage at the corner of South Street and Third Avenue.

(To be continued)

 

 

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The Persevering Presbyterians of Union City, Pennsylvania

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by Kathy Warnes

Chapter Eight (Conclusion)

 Presbyterian Profile

 People Lift Their Debt in Seventeen Minutes

 Tuesday morning, September 22, 1903

 There was a scene in the Presbyterian Church Sunday morning which will be long remembered in the church as well as in Union City proper.

At a joint meeting of the Session and Trustees of the church, the pastor, Reverend A.J. Herries, appealed to the people to lift the debut which had accumulated on several different accounts. He said freedom from debt would emancipate the church and make worship pleasanter. The amount of debt was $744.00. It took exactly seventeen minutes for Reverend Herries to deliver his appeal. The response was about $800.00. The people were delighted and when the result was announced they broke forth into singing the long meter doxology.

The young people of the church provided one of the most delightful features of the emancipation service. They spontaneously held up their hands to indicate their dollar subscriptions. The Union City Times commented that “the spirit in which this event was conducted is a splendid manifestation of the harmonious and united feeling which prevails among the people in the Presbyterian Church.”

Reverend Herries announced in connection with the day’s doings that since his advent as pastor eight years ago, the church had raised for all purposes, $22,851.00, a record of which he felt proud and which must be stimulating and satisfactory to all concerned.

In the evening service, Mr. William Herries of Brooklyn, addressed the people on the subject of Temperance. There was a large congregation who seemed to enjoy the occasion. The speaker discussed temperance from the standpoint of church responsibility and individual duty by law of Christian love rather than by the law of the State. He sought to impress upon parents the home duty of caring for the young and the importance of earnest and fervent prayer for the redemption of the erring and for the protection of the innocents. Mr. Herries expressed himself thankfully in having been able to be present with the people of the Union City Presbyterian Church as a witness of their day of triumph and joy.

 Presbyterian Pastors

 Friday March 6, 1903. Reverend A.J. Herries went to Franklin yesterday to assist in the installation of a new pastor in the Presbyterian Church. He was in Wattsburg this week and preached three sermons in a series of evening meetings being held there in the Presbyterian Church.

 Tuesday, April 28, 1903. At a meeting held last evening, the Session of the Presbyterian Church unanimously refused to take any action looking to the dissolution of the pastorate of Reverend A.J. Herries.

Tuesday, May 26, 1903. Reverend Charles R. Hunt, a former pastor of the Union City Presbyterian Church, is presently located at Mt. Vernon, Kentucky where e is president of the Mt. Vernon Collegiate Institute. Mrs. Hunt is a member of the faculty, teaching piano and vocal music.

Tuesday September 8, 1903. At the conclusion of the morning service in the Union City Presbyterian Church last Sunday Dr. J.F. Read, who was the pastor of the church in the early sixties said goodbye to his many friends. He is leaving for Pittsburgh, where he will live with his daughter. He is 92 years old.

Friday, November 13, 1903. Reverend A.J. Herries, who has been in rather poor health for several weeks, went to the Corry Hospital Wednesday evening.  Yesterday he underwent an operation performed by Drs. A.C. and Andrew J. Sherwood.  It will probably be some days before he will be out again.

 Presbyterian Participation, 1904

 January 1, 1904. On Sunday morning at the Presbyterian Church, the pastor, Reverend A.J. Herries, will preach on “The Sin of Ingratitude” In the evening there will be a specially arranged musical program as follows:

 Music               Bartholme’s Orchestra              Chorus of young people

Scripture Lesson

Prayer, Response

“Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me”

Solo                             Dr. Andrew Jackson Sherwood

Offertory                      Bartholme’s Orchestra

Lecture             The Ages

Violin Solo                                                       Miss Grace Main

 The offering taken at this service will be for the Butler fever sufferers and it is earnestly desire that the offering be a liberal one.

Tuesday, March 8 1904. The Presbytery of Erie has appointed Reverend A.J Herries of Union City to preach the opening sermon at the spring meeting of the Presbytery to be held in the First Church of Erie on the second Tuesday in April.

Friday March 11, 1904. The Brooklyn Eagle of March 7th contained a sermon delivered by Reverend A.J. Herries of the Union City Presbyterian Church.  His subject was “Lost Through Neglect.”

 April 1, 1904. Miss Katherine Agard was elected musical director of the Young People’s Choir.

 Friday April 8, 1904. The Annual Congregational meeting of the Presbyterian Church was held last Monday night.  The attendance was large with deep interest manifested in the affairs of the church. J.W. Middleton and Fred J. Shreve were elected to the Eldership for a term of three years. J.D. Westcott and James H. Bonney were elected Trustees for three years. W.B. Fulton was elected Treasurer for one year.

The Session’s report showed that the congregation had raised and disbursed $475.00 for benevolent work. The Trustee’s report showed that the church was $879.00 in debt on April 1, 1903, and now on April 8, 1904, it had a debt of $40.00. The Trustees reported that every dollar of the special subscription to the debt fund had been paid.

The Session signed a resolution saying that the church was in the most prosperous condition, temporally and spiritually, than it has ever been in and this condition was due to the earnest and faithful service of Reverend Herries during his 8 ½ years at the church. They will ask the Presbytery of Erie not to accept his request to resign.

 Tuesday, April 19, 1904. The Presbytery of Erie in session last week emphatically refused to entertain the request of Reverend A.J. Herries for a dissolution of the pastoral relations existing between him and the Presbyterian Church of Union City. Mr. Herries, therefore, remains the pastor of the Presbyterian Church.

 Tuesday, April 19, 1904. The 66 churches with 52 ministers and 11, 858 members in the Erie Presbytery met in Erie last week. The church and ministers contributed during the fiscal year $169,479 for congregational an benevolent purposes.

 Tuesday, May 31, 1904. The Presbyterian Church was filled last Sunday morning. The G.A.R. Post, Sons of Veterans, and the Women’s Relief Corps were present to hear the excellent Memorial Day sermon delivered by Reverend A.J. Herries.

 Tuesday, August 2 1904. The primary department of the Presbyterian Sunday School will picnic at Dick’s Grove tomorrow. Teams will be at the church at 10:00 to convey the little ones to that place.

 Friday August 5, 1904. Reverend A.J. Herries, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, has been granted a vacation for the month of August.

 Friday, November 15, 1904. Those wishing to contribute to the Christmas box for Miss Lee will please do so at their earliest convenience. Partly worn clothing for boys toys or candy gratefully accepted. Leave your contributions at the lecture room of the Presbyterian Church Thursday evening.

 Friday, November 18, 1904. On next Sunday evening there will be a Thanksgiving praise service at the Presbyterian Church. The young people’s choir, assisted by Miss Lenore White will render the following program:

Organ voluntary; anthem; hymn; scripture text; prayer; response; offering; anthem; violin solos Miss Lenore White; Remarks; Reverend Herries; prayer; hymn; benediction.

 Presbyterian Pastors

 Friday, January 15, 1904. Miss Margaret Herries of Long Branch, New Jersey, was the guest of her brother, Reverend A.J. Herries, at the Presbyterian parsonage a few days this week.

 Friday February 5 1904. Reverend A.J. Herries suffered a relapse soon after he reached home from the morning service at the Presbyterian Church last Sunday.  He has been confined to his room all the week.

 Friday March 11, 1904. The remains of Mrs. Dilworth, wife of Reverend R.B. Dilworth, who for many years was pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Union City, were brought here for burial beside their children in Evergreen Cemetery yesterday afternoon.

The funeral party was met at the Erie Depot by a large number of sympathizing friends and former neighbors, many of whom had not heard of her illness in Pittsburgh until the announcement of her death was received on Wednesday afternoon.

Mrs. Dilworth was a woman of more than ordinary lovable character and making friends, readily retained them. Her last illness, we understand, extended over a long period of time. The surviving husband and three children have the deepest sympathy of a large circle of friends. Brief services as conducted by Reverend A.J. Herries, were held in the new chapel.

 Tuesday March, 15, 1904. A large congregation was in attendance at the Presbyterian Church last Sunday evening to listen to a sermon delivered by former pastor Reverend R.B. Dilworth.

April 22, 1904. Upon the invitation of Reverend A.J. Herries, the Union City Fire Department will attend services at the Presbyterian Church in a body, accompanied by Burgess and Borough Council on Sunday evening, April 24, at 7:30 o’clock.

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The Day William B. Gray, Soldier from Union City Died in Virginia

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Battle of Gaines’ Mill. Library of Congress

by Kathy Warnes

The 83rd Regiment, Pennslyvania Volunteer Infantry, suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill. William B. Gray of Union City was one of the casualties.

Clerk of the Session David Wilson entered a terse sentence in the session records of the Union City, Pennsylvania Presbyterian Church in June 1862. He wrote:”Was killed in battle near Richmond on the 27th day of June 1862- William B. Gray, a member of this church, in the 26th year of his age.”

William B. Gray Enlisted in the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Some of William B. Gray’s personal history can be gleaned from examining previous session records. The record says that in May 1837, Reverend Chamberlain baptized one child for William Gray, a boy christened William Bracken Gray. In October 1854, William made a public profession of his faith, partook of the Lord’s Supper and became a member of the Presbyterian Church.

William probably worked with his father on the family farm until he enlisted in Company E of the 83rd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers at Waterford on September 9, 1861. The farm and factory boys of Northwestern Pennsylvania resolved that the Union had to be preserved at all costs, even at the price of leaving home to fight their countrymen in the tangled woods and swamps of Virginia and the alien countryside of the remainder of the South. Many of them were convinced that the war wouldn’t last long. After all, hadn’t Mr. Lincoln called for three month volunteers?

By October 1861, the 83rd Regiment had reached its full complement of 1,000 men. Of these, nearly 300 had been members of Colonel John McLane’s Three Month’s Regiment. The 83rd was mustered into the United States service on September 8, 1861, and departed for Washington on September 16, seven days after William B. Gray enlisted. The 83rd soon earned an excellent reputation for drill and soldierly appearance.

Friday June 27, 1862 – The Day William B. Gray Died at Gaines’ Mill

Less than a year after William B. Gray and his 83rd Regiment left Erie, they found themselves in the thick of what would prove to be one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The day that William B. Gray and Colonel John McLane died- June 27, 1862- seemed like a day suited more to frittering away than fighting. A Union veteran recalled it: “The morning of Friday, the 27th day of June 1862 broke hot and sultry.”

The Seven Days Campaign Ends a Three Month Union Drive to Capture Richmond

Despite the hot weather, the Union and Confederate armies had determined to fight and fight they did. The battle they fought came to be called the Battle of Gaines’ Mill and was part of the Seven Days Campaign which began on June 25, 1862. The Seven Days Campaign ended a three month Union drive to capture Richmond. From June 25 to July 2, 1862, General Robert E. Lee and his army and Major General George B. McClellan and his army fired at each other and marched and maneuvered in the Chickahominy swamps that stretched to the James River. More men were involved in these battles and more casualties resulted from them than in any other campaign in American military history to this point. The biggest and bloodiest battle of the Seven Days Campaign was Gaines’ Mill.

General Robert E. Lee had a combat strength of 56,000 men to Brigadier General Fitz-John Porter’s 35,000. The casualty figures were 8,750 Confederate and 6,937 Yankee dead and wounded. Captain Judson states in his regimental history that the position of the Union Army resembled a letter V, occupying both banks of the Chickahominy. The Army’s left flank rested a little beyond Fair Oaks, some four or five miles from Richmond. Then the lines extended in a northeasterly direction down to the river at Gaines’ Mill, whose position may be called the head of the letter. Then the line ran northwest on the left bank of the river to the vicinity of Mechanicsville. General Fitz-John Porter’s entire corps occupied the left bank and constituted the right wing of the army.

General Robert E. Lee Vows to Defend Richmond

Confederate General Robert E. Lee had spent weeks concentrating his forces and building new levees to help defend Richmond. He brought Stonewall Jackson down from the Shenandoah Valley to Hanover Courthouse. He planned to transfer the main body of his army to the left bank of the Chickahominy and attack the Union forces in front, while Stonewall Jackson with 30,000 men was to hurl them on the Union flank and rear. The Confederates wanted to crush the right wing of the Union Army, to break up the base of the Union supplies at Watt House, and force it to fall back and seek another base on the James or at a greater distance from Richmond.

The Union infantry prepared as best it could to beat off the Confederate attack. Brigadier General Porter had established his headquarters at the Watt House and a little beyond that the Union front line formed along the bottom of the brush-choked swamp. The soldiers formed a second line at the crest of the ravine, and threw up breastworks of knapsacks, logs, and dirt. Open fields stretched beyond the ravine, and Union artillery commanders positioned their guns to stop any Rebel advances across them. The ground on which the battle was fought consisted of rolling hills, broken up into ravines and hollows. Some of it was open country and some was heavily timbered.

The woods extended from the slope of the high ground terminating in the flats from one half to 3/4 of a mile from the river to Gaines’ Mill and were about a mile in length. The stream on which the mill stood emptied into the Chickahominy, flowing a little over half way between these woods and Gaines’ house. At a point below the mill, a small rivulet branched off and running along the skirts of those woods again emptied into the stream. It was on the banks of the rivulet, in a hollow on the edge of the woods, that the 83rd and 44th New York formed a line of battle.

The Battle of Gaines’ Mill Ends for William B. Gray

With a roar of guns and the Rebel Yell, Robert E. Lee’s, Band his men opened the Battle of Gaines’ Mill. The 83rd, according to Captain Judson, had “the hottest corner.” He wrote: “It now became evident that the principal attack was going to be made along the lines of our brigade, for, if they could succeed in crushing us, our left flank would be turned, and the whole corps turned back toward the Pamunky and cut off from the rest of the army.”

The men of the 83rd hastily built a breastwork of logs in their corner and held the position which was on the extreme left of the Union Army. Captain Judson saw Colonel McLane standing near the center of the regiment, beneath the shade of a wide-spreading beech. The Colonel told his men that they must hold their position to the last. Inspired by his courage, the men vowed never to be driven from their position. Aided by artillery, the 83rd repelled the Rebels in three ferocious charges, but then the Rebels partially broke through. The men of the 83rd knew that the Rebels wanted to break through the Union lines, sweep down the river bank, secure the bridges, and cut off retreat.

It seemed that the Rebels were successful. The 83rd Regiment was cut off from the rest of the Army and flanked upon the right as well as in front. All the 83rd could do was come out from cover and fight in the open. They came out and stood to it, while men fell thick and fast on all sides. There is no record in the regimental history of when, where and what time William B. Gray fell. It is just noted in the church record that he died on June 27, 1862.

References

Bates, Samuel P., History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869

Burton, Brian KI., The Peninsula and Seven Days: A Battlefield Guide. Bison Books, 2007

Gallegher, Gary W., The Richmond Campaign of 1862: The Peninsula and the Seven Days (Military Campaigns of the Civil War). The University of North Carolina Press, 2000

Judson, Amos M., Captain, Company E., History of the Eighty-Third Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Dayton, Ohio: Morningside Books, 1986

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

christmastreeA Blessed and Happy Holiday Season to everyone!  Thank you for reading my Union City History blog and please continue to do so.  Life has intruded a lot this past year, but I love writing about Union City history and helping to preserve it.

Here is a link to some Christmas stories and the stories behind some of the songs that we sing at Christmas time.  I hope you enjoy them and pass them on to the next generation.

Kathy Warnes

Christmas Cheerc

 

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Union City Veterans Helped Build America

LoganDyke

 

Dear Union City,

I reposted Logan Dyke’s story and links to the names and stories of other Union City veterans in honor of Veteran’s Day.  I don’t pretend that this list is complete, but I think it will give you an idea of the sacrifices that Union City men and women have made for our country. I hope other historians will continue to research their lives.

Sincerely,

Kathy Warnes (Babcock)

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/a-short-history-of-john-krol-post-6773-and-john-krol-and-his-comrades/  John Krol Post

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/the-grand-army-of-the-republic-enjoys-companionship-and-celebrates-memorial-day/  Grand Army of the Republic

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/some-civil-war-navy-men-from-union-city-and-northwestern-pennsylvania/  Union City Navy Men

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/union-city-and-the-war-of-1812/  Union City and the War of 1812

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/william-oscar-black-union-city-pioneer-and-civil-war-soldier/ William O. Black, Civil War Soldier

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/old-abe-and-the-keystone-soldier/ Old Abe and the Keystone Soldier

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/a-german-pow-roams-the-union-city-area-in-july-1944/  German POW Roams the Union City Area in July 1944

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/some-union-city-world-war-ii-korea-and-vietnam-veterans/  Union City Veterans

 http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/union-city-world-war-ii-veterans-continued-3/  Union City World War II Veterans- 1

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/bits-from-the-boys-union-city-world-war-ii-veterans-continued/ Union City World War II Veterans – 2

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/bits-from-the-boys-union-city-pennsylvania-world-war-ii-veterans/  Union City World War II Veterans – 3

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/union-city-world-war-ii-veterans-continued-2/ Union City World War II Veterans – 4

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=381&action=edit Union City World War II Veterans – 5

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=377&action=edit Union City World War II Veterans – 6

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/a-peek-at-union-city-soldiers-in-world-war-i/ World War I

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/still-more-union-city-civil-war-veterans/ Union City Civil War Veterans

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/367/ Thompson Family Service in Revolutionary War and the War of 1812

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/union-city-soldiers-in-andersonville-during-the-civil-warconclusion/ Union City Soldiers in Andersonville

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/union-city-prisoners-in-andersonville-during-the-civil-war/ Union City Soldiers in Andersonville

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/more-union-city-civil-war-veterans/ Union City Civil War Veterans

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/some-union-city-civil-war-soldiers-and-grand-army-of-the-republic-members/ Union City Civil War Soldiers

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/clark-mcallister-reverend-james-summerton-and-john-b-young-union-city-civil-war-veterans/ Civil War Veterans

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/union-city-yankees-at-fredericksburg/ Union City Veterans at Fredericksburg

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/a-few-more-union-city-civil-war-veterans/ Civil War Veterans

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/union-city-mexican-war-soldiers/ Mexican War Soldiers

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/daniel-hatch-civil-war-soldier-and-farmer/ Daniel Hatch, Civil War Soldier

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/union-city-war-of-1812-veterans/ War of 1812 Veterans

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/union-army-veteran-clark-mcallister-rests-in-evergreen-cemetery/ Civil War Veteran Clark McCallister

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/james-j-harris-union-city-civil-war-veteran/ James Harris, Civil War Veteran

http://kathywarnes.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/logan-a-dyke-civil-war-soldier-from-union-city-pennsylvania/ Logan Dyke

They were the boys in blue, the fresh-faced, peach-fuzzed young men who marched off to save the Union and came back to pick up their lives as weathered veterans. Logan A. Dyke had been in the thick of it. His service record is peppered with names like Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain and Buzzards Roost. During his long life – he lived to be 102 years, 11 months and 10 days- he often reminisced about his battle experiences.

Dyke was born on a farm in Franklin County, new York. He was the son of school teachers and one of Oberlin College’s first graduates. He came to Erie County, Pennsylvania, when he was very young and attended the public schools there. He also studied bookkeeping and accounting in an Erie commercial school. When the Civil War started, Dyke was living in Harbor Creek, and he, along with hundreds of other young men hurried to enlist.

The Civil War officially began for Dyke on November 23, 1861, when he enlisted as a private in Company F, 111th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He left Erie in 1861 with 1,000 other soldiers from the area. The newly organized regiment entrained for the state capital at Harrisburg on January 26, 1862, and that spring was transferred to Harper’s Ferry where it joined the Army of the Potomac. From that time on, Dyke and his comrades fought in all major battles, including Harper’s Ferry, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga,Gettysburg, and Atlanta.

One of the battles Dyke remembered with bayonet sharpness was the Battle of Gettysburg when the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry successful defended Culp’s Hill against Confederate attack. He said that from his position on the hill he could see the men of Longstreet’s command, led by Pickett and his Virginians, advance upon Cemetery Ridge and meet their doom at the high-water mark and bloody angle. It was during this battle that a bullet creased his cheek. He also remembered that several other attacks made on the 111th Infantry during the war were just as courageous and bloody as the world-famous charge of Pickett’s men. Congress cited his outfit for the part that it played in the Battle of Gettysburg.

In 1864, during Sherman’s famous “march to the sea” Dyke lost his left arm and nearly lost his life. His company was fighting just outside of Atlanta in the first engagement of the siege at Peach Tree Creek, on July 20, 1864, when he was hit. He received three serious wounds. One bullet raked the top of his head. Another bullet struck his side directly over his heart, but glanced off after hitting his gold fountain pen.

Recalling the event, Dyke said, “I would have been a total casualty if it hadn’t been for a gold pen I carried which the bullet struck, glancing off into my arm.”

The third wound, the most serious hit, was in his left arm and shoulder where a main artery was severed. An Army surgeon amputated his arm on the battlefield, and the following day, he was moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where the wounded were sheltered temporarily before being taken to Louisville, Kentucky. He was confined to the hospital for eight months and the doctors predicted that he would not survive his wounds.

Altogether, Dyke served in the Army for three years and eight months and was on active duty with his command at the end of the war despite the loss of his arm. When the war ended in April 1865, Private Dyke had advanced to the rank of sergeant major, the highest non-commissioned rank in the Union Army.

When Logan Dyke came marching home again, he picked up the threads of his civilian life. In 1869, he married Sarah Baer at Pigeon, Michigan. After living on a farm near Wesleyville, Pennsylvania, for ten years, he spent ten years in Kansas, and then moved to Union City in 1898. The Dykes had three children: Ella, E.M. and Fred. After Sarah died in 1919, Dyke moved in with his daughter, Ella, and her husband, D.E. Junkins.

The people of Union City became accustomed to seeing “His erect, spare figure, his soldierly bearing, dignity, and impeccable neatness, his snow-white hair, moustache, and beard, his kindly grey eyes, his cane and empty left sleeve pinned back – all of these made up a picture familiar and loved by all.”

On Wednesday, January 28, 1942, Union City citizens celebrated the 100th birthday of Sergeant major Dyke. He received congratulations from President Roosevelt in the White House. Pennsylvania Governor Arthur H. james sent him a congratulatory telegram, as well as Congressman R.L. Rogers, Senator James J. Davis, the adjutant general’s office and other national officials. He received handwritten messages of congratulations from friends in all parts of the United States.

Local celebrations were just as noteworthy and festive. Members of the Union City High School band in full uniform serenaded Dyke at his home on Second Avenue at 11 o’clock in the morning. The day’s activities climaxed at 6:30 in the evening when about 250 people attended a community banquet in his honor at the Baptist Church. Coleman’s Band played his favorite selection, a march called “The Boys in Blue.” As they played, Logan Dyke, accompanied by members of his family was escorted to his table in the main dining room.

During the dinner, Dyke’s eyes gleamed as someone placed a birthday cake with 100 lighted candles on it in front of him. After looking it over carefully, he remarked, “Well, you can have your cake and eat it!” With two healthy puffs, he extinguished the candles.

Attorney Mortimer E. Graham of Erie, speaker of the evening, pointed out that Dyke had lived during the administrations of 19 presidents and the waging of seven American wars. After Graham’s talk, Dr. George H. Ledger, president of the Union City Lion’s Club, presented Dyke with a scroll, enrolling him as an honorary member of the Union City branch of the Lions. This made Dyke the oldest member of the Lion’s International.

Next, toastmaster O.C. hatch on behalf of the residents of Union City, presented the guest of honor with a banjo clock. It was inscribed:  “Presented to Sergeant major Logan J. Dyke, of 111th Regiment, Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, with veneration and esteem by the citizens of Union City, Pennsylvania, in celebration of his 100th birthday, January 28, 1942.

The Sergeant Major accepted his gifts graciously at his place and in a “clear, understanding tone,” thanked the community for its consideration of him on his 100th birthday.

When Logan Dyke died on Monday, January 10, 1945, he had reached the grand old age of 102 years, 11 months and 10 days. He would have been 103 years old on January 28, if he had waited another two weeks to answer the final bugle call.

They were the boys in blue, the fresh-faced, peach-fuzzed young men who marched off to save the Union and came back to pick up their lives as weathered veterans. Logan a. Dyke had been in the thick of it. His service record is peppered with names like Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain and Buzzards Roost. During his long life – he lived to be 102 years, 11 months and 10 days- he often reminisced about his battle experiences.

Dyke was born on a farm in Franklin County, new York. He was the son of school teachers and one of Oberlin College’s first graduates. He came to Erie County, Pennsylvania, when he was very young and attended the public schools there. He also studied bookkeeping and accounting in an Erie commercial school. When the Civil War started, Dyke was living in Harbor Creek, and he, along with hundreds of other young men hurried to enlist.

The Civil War officially began for Dyke on November 23, 1861, when he enlisted as a private in Company F, 111th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He left Erie in 1861 with 1,000 other soldiers from the area. The newly organized regiment entrained for the state capital at Harrisburg on January 26, 1862, and that spring was transferred to Harper’s Ferry where it joined the Army of the Potomac. From that time on, Dyke and his comrades fought in all major battles, including Harper’s Ferry, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga,Gettysburg, and Atlanta.

One of the battles Dyke remembered with bayonet sharpness was the Battle of Gettysburg when the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry successful defended Culp’s Hill against Confederate attack. He said that from his position on the hill he could see the men of Longstreet’s command, led by Pickett and his Virginians, advance upon Cemetery Ridge and meet their doom at the high-water mark and bloody angle. It was during this battle that a bullet creased his cheek. He also remembered that several other attacks made on the 111th Infantry during the war were just as courageous and bloody as the world-famous charge of Pickett’s men. Congress cited his outfit for the part that it played in the Battle of Gettysburg.

In 1864, during Sherman’s famous “march to the sea” Dyke lost his left arm and nearly lost his life. His company was fighting just outside of Atlanta in the first engagement of the siege at Peach Tree Creek, on July 20, 1864, when he was hit. He received three serious wounds. One bullet raked the top of his head. Another bullet struck his side directly over his heart, but glanced off after hitting his gold fountain pen.

Recalling the event, Dyke said, “I would have been a total casualty if it hadn’t been for a gold pen I carried which the bullet struck, glancing off into my arm.”

The third wound, the most serious hit, was in his left arm and shoulder where a main artery was severed. An Army surgeon amputated his arm on the battlefield, and the following day, he was moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where the wounded were sheltered temporarily before being taken to Louisville, Kentucky. He was confined to the hospital for eight months and the doctors predicted that he would not survive his wounds.

Altogether, Dyke served in the Army for three years and eight months and was on active duty with his command at the end of the war despite the loss of his arm. When the war ended in April 1865, Private Dyke had advanced to the rank of sergeant major, the highest non-commissioned rank in the Union Army.

When Logan Dyke came marching home again, he picked up the threads of his civilian life. In 1869, he married Sarah Baer at Pigeon, Michigan. After living on a farm near Wesleyville, Pennsylvania, for ten years, he spent ten years in Kansas, and then moved to Union City in 1898. The Dykes had three children: Ella, E.M. and Fred. After Sarah died in 1919, Dyke moved in with his daughter, Ella, and her husband, D.E. Junkins.

The people of Union City became accustomed to seeing “His erect, spare figure, his soldierly bearing, dignity, and impeccable neatness, his snow-white hair, moustache, and beard, his kindly grey eyes, his cane and empty left sleeve pinned back – all of these made up a picture familiar and loved by all.”

On Wednesday, January 28, 1942, Union City citizens celebrated the 100th birthday of Sergeant major Dyke. He received congratulations from President Roosevelt in the White House. Pennsylvania Governor Arthur H. james sent him a congratulatory telegram, as well as Congressman R.L. Rogers, Senator James J. Davis, the adjutant general’s office and other national officials. He received handwritten messages of congratulations from friends in all parts of the United States.

Local celebrations were just as noteworthy and festive. Members of the Union City High School band in full uniform serenaded Dyke at his home on Second Avenue at 11 o’clock in the morning. The day’s activities climaxed at 6:30 in the evening when about 250 people attended a community banquet in his honor at the Baptist Church. Coleman’s Band played his favorite selection, a march called “The Boys in Blue.” As they played, Logan Dyke, accompanied by members of his family was escorted to his table in the main dining room.

During the dinner, Dyke’s eyes gleamed as someone placed a birthday cake with 100 lighted candles on it in front of him. After looking it over carefully, he remarked, “Well, you can have your cake and eat it!” With two healthy puffs, he extinguished the candles.

Attorney Mortimer E. Graham of Erie, speaker of the evening, pointed out that Dyke had lived during the administrations of 19 presidents and the waging of seven American wars. After Graham’s talk, Dr. George H. Ledger, president of the Union City Lion’s Club, presented Dyke with a scroll, enrolling him as an honorary member of the Union City branch of the Lions. This made Dyke the oldest member of the Lion’s International.

Next, toastmaster O.C. hatch on behalf of the residents of Union City, presented the guest of honor with a banjo clock. It was inscribed:  “Presented to Sergeant major Logan J. Dyke, of 111th Regiment, Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, with veneration and esteem by the citizens of Union City, Pennsylvania, in celebration of his 100th birthday, January 28, 1942.

The Sergeant Major accepted his gifts graciously at his place and in a “clear, understanding tone,” thanked the community for its consideration of him on his 100th birthday.

When Logan Dyke died on Monday, January 10, 1945, he had reached the grand old age of 102 years, 11 months and 10 days. He would have been 103 years old on January 28, if he had waited another two weeks to answer the final bugle call.

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The Persevering Presbyterians of Union City, Pennsylvania

 

by Kathy Warnes

Chapter Eight (continued)

Presbyterian Participation

1902 

Friday, February 7, 1902. The Woman’s Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church will give a missionary ea in the parlors Tuesday evening February 11 from 6 to 7:30. Miss Charlotte E. Hawes who escaped from the Boxers over the wall at Wei Hien, China at the time of the uprising will be present and deliver a lecture at 8 p.m. The supper and lecture will be free, but a free-will silver offering will be taken.

Friday April 11, 1902. The members of the Presbyterian Church and congregation held their annual business meeting in the church on Monday evening last. There was a fair attendance and the meeting was very harmonious throughout. The following officers were elected.

Elders for three years:  Hon. J.R. Mulkie and W.F. Olberg

Trustees for three years:  C.N. McLean and Charles A. Stark

Treasurer:  C.E. B. Hunter

Later in the evening the Trustees organized for the coming year by electing J.D. Westcott as President and C.N. McLean as secretary. At this meeting the Board of Trustees made the following report of the amount of money raise during the year ending April 1, 1902.

For current expenses                     $1,724.79

For Improvements & Repairs        $3,008.00

For Benevolence and

Boards of the Church                     $360.00

                                                       $5,092.79 

The church starts out on the present years’ work entirely free of debt and with a small amount in the treasury.

Presbyterian Profile

May 16, 1902.  Arrangements have been made whereby Hugh Cork, Superintendent of the State Organization of Sunday School will spend Saturday and Sunday in the city and meetings will be held on both days.

On Saturday evening at the Baptist Church there will be a teacher’s conference held, over which Mr. Cork will preside, and to which all Sunday School teachers are invited.

Sunday afternoon at the Presbyterian Church at 3:45 there will be a mass meeting held and all are invited to attend and hear Mr. Cork talk along the lines of general Sunday School work.

On Sunday evening commencing at 8:00 o’clock there will be a union service held at the M.E. Church at which the pastors of the city will be present and when Mr. Cork will deliver an address that will be beneficial to all to hear who have any interest whatever in Sunday School work.

All superintendents and teachers in the city and surrounding country should come, especially to the teacher’s conference on Saturday night.

Presbyterian Participation, 1902

Friday July 25 1902. At the Presbyterian Church next Sunday morning Reverend Mr. Tucker of Harrisburg, President of the Anti-Saloon League of Pennsylvania will present the cause of the League. The league, according to Dr. Tucker, was non-partisan and non-sectarian. Its object was to partially or completely over throw the saloon. The League’s motto is: “The Saloon Must Go.” It says if the abolishment of the liquor traffic cannot be secured at one blow, any step which will limit its power is worth taking. To this end the League advocates the passage of the Van Dyke local option bill, which provides that the question of license shall be voted upon biennially by every locality. The removal of all screens and blinds from saloon windows is also advocated. 

Friday, September 12 1902. It is certainly worthy of mention that at the communion service at the Presbyterian Church last Sunday morning there was a larger number of church members present than at any former service of the kind during the six year pastorate of Reverend A.J. Herries.

Friday , September 12, 1902. At the meeting of the Erie Presbytery in session at Mercer, Pa., this week Reverend A.J. Herries was elected moderator for the ensuing year.

December 6m 1902. David Lee Wilson and Carlton Eugene Clough baptized members of the church were present. They confessed their faith in Christ and were admitted to the sealing ordinances of the church.

Presbyterian Participation 1903

March 26, 1903. The annual report of membership in the Union City Presbyterian Church was adopted as follows:

Elders                            5

Added on exam             21

Added on certificate         5

Dismissed                         4

Deceased                           3

Total number communicants  251

Baptisms   Adults              8

Infants  6

Total membership of Sabbath School      230 

Friday April 10, 1903.  The annual meeting of the Presbyterian Church of this city was held last Monday evening. The church was in good working condition and making advancement along every line. During the year 26 names were added to the roll of communicants, while the amount of money contributed to the various boards of the church showed a substantial increase over last year.

The election of officers was:

Elders for three years:     J.S. Thompson and Earl Gates

Trustees for three years      C.E.B. Hunter and W.B. Fulton

After the business was transacted the congregation remained for the banquet given by the Men’s League. The entertainment was pleasant.

Tuesday, July 7 1903. The old sheds in the rear of the Presbyterian Church having out lived their usefulness, took a tumble on day last week and will now be carted away and burned up.

Tuesday, July 21, 1903. Attention is called to the special sale of bicycles to be continued this week by A.F. Young at Everson’s old stand.

Tuesday, December 8, 1903. At the close of the prayer meeting services in the Presbyterian Church parlors next Thursday evening, Reverend A.J. Herries will organize a Bible class for the study of scripture during the winter months.

Tuesday, December 8, 1903. A Christmas cantata entitled “Mother Goose’s Visit to Santa Claus” will be given by the Presbyterian Sunday School in that church on Wednesday evening at eight o’clock. Part one will show Mother Goode’s land and the start and journey to Santa Claus land. Part two will witness the arrival and greeting in Santa Claus land. Between parts one and two the Misses Bassett will play a violin duet.

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