Amos Helphenstine, Co. F, 8th Pennsylvania Reserves

Helphenstine is found on the muster rolls of the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves’ Regimental Band. Based on the evidence suggested in this biography, it is largely believed that Helphenstine began his service with Company F, which hailed from Bedford County. This company was assigned to the 8th Reserves.

Amos Helphenstine, hardware merchant of Greenfield[, Missouri], and one of the prominent business men of the city, was born in Greene County, Penn., in 1837, and is the son of William Alexander and Elizabeth (Piatt) Helphenstine, and the grandson of William Henry Helphenstine. The grandfather was a native of Holland, and come to the United States long before the Colonial period, and the family took active part in the Revolution. He was merchant at Winchester, Va., and died in 1852, at the age of 87 years. William Alexander Helphenstein was a native of Winchester, Va., born April 1, 1808, and was a coppersmith and tinner by trade. He is now living at Waynesburgh, Penn., where he has made his home since 1834. His wife, Elizabeth Piatt, was born near Waynesburgh, Penn., in 1818, and was the daughter of Amos, who was a native of Paris, France, and Julia Ann (Engle) Piatt, who was a native of Maryland, born near Frederick. Julia Engle Piatt’s father was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was on Gen. Washington’s staff. Amos Piatt was expelled from France during the Hugenot rebellion. Mrs. Helphenstine is still living, and is the mother of eight children, six sons and two daughters. Of these children Amos Helphenstein, the subject of this sketch, was the eldest.

He was educated in Waynesburgh College, and, in 1851, he commenced learning the coppersmith and tinner’s trade, and where he also took up the study of music; was an apt pupil, and soon became a skillful Eb bugle player. In August, 1858, he returned to his birthplace to attend college, but the war came on before he graduated, and in July, 1861, he enlisted in Company F, Eighth Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. He was in the seven days fight in front of Richmond, and was in service until August, 1864, when he was discharged at Baltimore, Md. After the war Mr. Helphenstine went west to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and in 1867 came to Greenfield, Mo., where he has since remained, engaged in the hardware business. March 10, 1868, he married at Crawfordsville, Ind., Miss Sarah Jane Newton, who was born in Farmington, Iowa, in 1842. Two children were the fruits of this union, Mary E. and Annie E. Mr. Helphenstine has done considerable teaching of band music, having been the instructor of one of the best bands in the State. He thoroughly understands both the science and art of the profession. He is a member of the G. A. R., post commander of Greenfield Post, and has been counsel of administration of the State for two years. In his religious views Mr. Helphenstein is a Spiritualist in belief, and his wife is a Presbyterian. He is one of the prominent citizens of the county, is a man who assists in all laudable and public enterprises, and is an ardent supporter of free public schools, and a strong Republican on all occasions.1

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Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.

  1. HISTORY OF HICKORY, POLK, CEDAR, DADE AND BARTON COUNTIES, MISSOURI, 1889; Published by Goodspeed.