Enos M. Russell, Co. A, 1st Pennsylvania Reserves

Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Enos M. Russell, now one of the prominent men of his locality, and one who has been the recipient of many honors, has had, also, more to contend with than many of his fellow citizens. Left motherless at the tender age of seven years, after which his father broke up housekeeping for a time, he had few educational advantages and lost that tender maternal care which smooths the path of childhood. At the age of fifteen years he began to learn the blacksmith”s trade, and completed his term of apprenticeship in Chester county just in time to enlist almost at the very outbreak of the Civil war.

He became a member of Company A, 1st Pennsylvania Reserves, on April 20, 1861, a private under Capt. McIntire and Col. Roberts. He accompanied the regiment in all its campaigns until the battle of South Mountain, when his left leg was shattered, below the knee. Remembering, as we do, the great lack of surgical appliances at that time, and the almost total absence of the merciful anesthetics of the present day, we, of a younger generation, read of the suffering of the war heroes of 1861 with moistened eye and deep sympathy. From the battlefield Mr. Russell was conveyed to the hospital at Middletown, Md., and later home. As soon as possible he was fitted with an artificial leg, which kept him from returning to the active service of his country and prevented work at his trade. In looking about Mr. Russell learned two new trades, both at Coatesville, Pa., one being the making of a patent pocket which is a protection from pickpockets, and the other mechanical dentistry. During a visit to Carlisle, in 1863, he was on horseback, by the side of Gen. Smith, when the Confederates advanced on the city, and they just escaped the first shell which was fired into the city, the court house, near which they were standing, probably being the target.

In the winter of 1868 Mr. Russell went to Harrisburg and was employed during that session at the State Capitol as a paster and folder of records. In the spring of 1869 he hired with Judge A. O. Hiester on his truck and fruit farm, and was there seventeen years. He was repeatedly elected tax collector of Susquehanna township, Dauphin county, and from that was appointed, Jan. 26, 1887, as messenger of the Flag room, by Gov. Beaver, being reappointed under the administrations of Pattison, Hastings, Stone and Pennypacker. In the spring of 1887 he removed to Harrisburg, where he made his residence until November, 1899, when he came to Lower Allen township, and in 1902 removed to his handsome new home in Elkwood.

On Oct. 2, 1870, Mr. Russell was married (first) to Mrs. Mary Rinebarger, daughter of Benjamin Unger, a member of one of the oldest families of Dauphin county. Mr. Unger died with our subject, at the age of eighty years. Mrs. Russell died Dec. 3, 1892, and is buried in Paxton Church cemetery, Susquehanna township, Dauphin county. She was a devout member of the M. E. Church. On Feb. 1, 1894, Mr. Russell was married (second) to Miss Carrie Coyle, who was born in Lancaster county, daughter of Henry and Susanna (Becker) Coyle, the former of whom was a farmer all his life. His death took place in 1857, in Lancaster county. Later his widow married Frederick Heiner in Lancaster county and they subsequently removed to Perry county. Mr. Heiner enlisted in the 49th P. V. I., and after his return from the army lived for a time in Duncannon, Perry Co., Pa., removing to Harrisburg, where he died July 21, 1891. His widow still resides in that city.
\r\n \r\n     Mr. Russell has but one child, a daughter Mary, who became the wife of W. F. Kepler, May 7, 1892. The latter was born May 1, 1869, at Quincy, Franklin Co., Pa., and was educated in the district schools, and is now employed by his father as florist, in Lower Allen township. He is a son of John A. and Martha (McCleary) Kepler, both of whom were born in Franklin county. Mr. and Mrs. Kepler, have three children, Mary A., Martha V. and Esther R. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kepler are members of the U. B. Church at New Cumberland. In politics Mr. Kepler is an Independent Republican. He is prominent in a number of fraternal orders, belonging to the Knights of the Golden Eagle, No. 335, Chambersburg; the Jr. O. U. A. M., No. 185, New Cumberland; Red Men, No. 183, New Cumberland; and Heptasophs, No. 42, of Harrisburg.

While residents of Harrisburg Mr. and Mrs. Russell were associated with the Fifth Street Methodist Church, in which he served many years as trustee and steward and taught a Bible class in the Sunday-school. At present both are valued members and liberal supporters of the Methodist Church in New Cumberland. He first united with the church in 1870, in Coxtown, Dauphin county.

Mr. Russell cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln and has always been a stanch supporter of the Republican party. He belongs to Grand Army Post No. 58, of Harrisburg, and is a welcome member and comrade of the Knights of Malta, No. 96, of Harrisburg; and the Heptasophs, No. 42, of the same city.

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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.