CIVIL WAR VETERAN ANSWERS LAST CALL
James T. Hebel, 79 years old, a veteran of the Civil War, while accompanying a neighbor, Joseph Lenig from his home in Hunter’s Valley to Newport, Perry County, Pa., on Friday morning, May 26, got off the wagon in the narrows, along the steep mountain road to walk up a hill, and while walking along back of the wagon, dropped dead in the road. Death was due to heart failure.
His son, Alfred of Osecola Mills, went to visit him on Monday, May 22, as had been his custom, about every four to six weeks. On Tuesday morning his father suggested that they go to Newport on Wednesday morning, as he wanted to buy a suit and hat and shoes to wear to the Memorial services at Liverpool on Sunday, May 28 and on Tuesday, May 30. As planned, they went to Newport on Wednesday morning and after making the purchases, and were about to part to go in different directions to their homes, and as his father said “Good Bye” to his boy he remarked, he would wear his new clothes to the memorial services, neither thinking that the time was so near at hand when he should answer the final “roll call” and be numbered among those whose graves would be strewn with flowers, by his few surviving comrades on that day.
Mr. Hebel was born near Liverpool Perry County, Pa., March 19th, 1843. He was the son of George and Rosanna (Matchet) Hebel, natives of Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. The early part of his life was spent in working as a millwright with his father. He was eighteen years old when the Civil War broke out and at once enlisted in the service of his country in Co. B, 7th Penna. Reserves, being organized at Liverpool by Capt. G.K. Shull and after serving in this regiment and company for some time was transferred to the “Old Bucktails” and at the expiration of his 3 year enlistment re-enlisted1, for three years more, or until the close of the war. He took part in nearly all the important battles between the Army of the Potomac and the Confederate forces under command of Robert E. Lee, from the first battle of Bull Run to Appomattox. Then took part in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C. Then went to Harrisburg where he was honorably discharged from the United States Service, July 5th, 1865, after having served his country over four years, in its most trying hours.
He then returned to his home in Perry County, but in December of the same year, came to Clearfield, where he learned the carpenter trade under Ezra Ale. During the spring of 1867 he was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte Deis, and moved to Luthersburg, where he followed his trade, farming and lumbering until October 1897 when he was appointed and assumed the position of post master. He resigned that position April, 1906 and moved to Curwensville where his wife died on the 19th of December 1907. He then returned to Perry county and purchased forty acres of land in Hunter’s Valley, near the place of his birth, and about midway between Newport and Liverpool, where he lived during the summer and spent the winter with his four surviving children, Alfred M. of Osceola Mills, Mrs. Mary Freedline of Bell Township near Mahaffey, Clearfield County, Pa., Mrs. C.U. Downs of Kansas City, Mo and Warren L. of Harrisburg, Pa. He is also survived by nine grandchildren.
His Body was taken to Osceola Mills to the home of his son Alfred, on Saturday evening at which place funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at 4:30 o’clock, conducted by Rev. J.W. Shillington of the M.E. Church. On Monday morning the body was taken to Luthersburg where it was laid to rest beside that of his wife and deceased children.
Mr. Hebel was a kind and affectionate father and was dearly loved by his children. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church from the time he first moved to Luthersburg until he returned to Perry County, where he associated himself with the church he attended as a boy and was regular in attendance at services until his advanced age made it almost impossible for him to walk the six miles to the church and back.
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.