Bazel Lemley, Co. I, 8th Pennsylvania Reserves

Bazel Lemley
Bazel Lemley at the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg Reunion in 1937.

LEMLEY, Bazel; age 101 years, and the last of Greene County’s Civil War Veterans, died at 8 o’clock, Thursday, February 18, 1943, just eight days after the observance of his 101st anniversary, at his home in Mt. Morris.

Mr. Lemley was remarkably active until after his 100th anniversary a year ago, but since that time had not enjoyed good health. He was born February 10, 1842 at Marietta, Ohio, a son of Israel and Mazie White Lemley, and had spent practically all his life in Greene County, the family having moved from Ohio to Mt. Morris five weeks after his birth.

He was twice married. His first wife, Eliza Jane Higgens, to whom he was married September 3, 1865, died February 27, 1925. To this union were born three daughters; Mrs. Dora Kerr, of Orlando, Florida; Mrs. Lou Headley, of Toledo, Ohio, and Mrs. Bertie Areford, of Waynesburg. He married for the second time October 7, 1935, to Mary Kennedy Endle, who survives with one stepdaughter, Mary Ellen Dean. There also survive five grandchildren, one step-grandson, and 12 great-grandchildren. One half-brother, W.L. Guthrie, of Washington, also survives.

Mr. Lemley was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, and had been affiliated with the I.O.O.F., since July 1865, being the oldest member of the Waynesburg lodge and believed to have been the oldest Odd Fellow in Pennsylvania if not in the whole United States.

Mr. Lemley enlisted June 30, 1861 at the age of 19, in Company I, Eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Reserve Corps and was transferred to Company H, 191st Pennsylvania Infantry, of which he was the last survivor. He was mustered out of the Union Army in Harrisburg on July 5, 1865, after seeing action in 19 engagements which included some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

Mr. Lemley was slightly wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness. Mr. Lemley was active in the G.A.R., and was chaplain of the state encampment at the time of his death. He attended state and national encampments of the G.A.R. until the last few years of his life, and otherwise traveled extensively, attending among other notable events the World’s Fair in New York and the dedication of the “Eternal Light” memorial on the Gettysburg battlefield in 1937 on the 75th anniversary of that battle which marked the turning point in the Civil War and the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. He was a staunch Republican.1


Bazel Lemley, Greene County’s last Civil War veteran and it’s oldest citizen, died last month at his home in Mount Morris, PA, at the age of 101 years. He had been ill only a short time.

Mr. Lemley celebrated his 101st birthday just a week before his death. For almost his entire life he has been a resident of Greene County. He was born at Marietta, Ohio, Feb. 10, 1842. When only 5 weeks of age his parents moved to Greene County, where he spent the remainder of his long life, with the exception of four years, while in the Union Army.

When the Civil War broke out, Bazel Lemley went to the front with the first troops to leave Greene County. He was mustered into the Federal service July 15, 1861, as a member of Co. I, 8th Pa. Reserve Corps (37th Regt.). He was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness, and on May 15, 1864, he was transferred as a veteran to the 191st Pa. Vol. Inf., in which he served until the close of the war.

He saw action in 19 battles of the war and was mustered out of the service July 5, 1865.

Mr. Lemley had long been a member of the Waynesburg Lodge No. 469, I.O.O.F., and on Feb. 12, 1942, just two days after his 100th birthday, he was honored my that lodge at a meeting which he attended. He was the oldest member of the Odd Fellows in Pennsylvania and perhaps in the United States.

President Roosevelt, Gov. Arthur H. James and Senator James J. Davis sent him congratulatory messages on his 100th birthday.

On Oct. 7, 1935, he married Mary Kennedy ENGLE, who was his second wife; she survives. Three daughters also survive: Mrs. Dora KERR, Orlando, Fla.; Mrs. Lou HEADLEY, Toledo, Ohio, and Mrs. Bertie AREMONT, Waynesburg, Pa.2

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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. Research by R. Ross Houston.
  2. Greene County Obituaries