Roger S. Searle, of Montrose, son of the late Daniel and Johanna (Stark) Searle, was born September 24, 1826, at the Searle homestead in Pittston, Penn. A year later he was brought by his parents to Montrose, in which vicinity, with little exception, his life has been passed. He received quite a liberal education, attending the Moravian school at Nazareth, Penn., John Mann’s Academy, and also the Montrose Academy. From fourteen years of age until twenty-one, when not in school, he clerked in the store of his father and uncle, Rasselas Searle, at Montrose. His father at this time was the owner of 1,000 acres of timber land in Lathrop township, Susquehanna county, and in connection with his other line of business was largely engaged in manufacturing and shipping lumber. To this business the son, on becoming of age, in 1847, succeeded his father, and was busily engaged in manufacturing and marketing lumber until the breaking out the Civil War in 1861. He filled large contracts in his line, furnishing lumber for the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D. C.; supplied for a period the D. L. & W. Railroad with wood for fuel; and shipped lumber largely to Baltimore and Richmond. He also had charge of the stage line from Montrose to Scranton, and a section of the route from Great Bend to New York.
Fired by patriotism, he left his business, and gathering together a squad of men proceeded to Harrisburg, where most of them enlisted, Mr. Searle entering the army as a sergeant-major under Cols. Seiler and Biddle. Later, in May, 1861, he enlisted in Company B, and was transferred to Company H, 4th Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserves. He arrived with his regiment at Baltimore on the day of the first battle of Bull Run, July 21. At Baltimore Mr. Searle was detailed, and served for a time in the Medical Department, under Dr. Page. Later, rejoining his regiment, he served for a time, by appointment , as hospital steward, and still later he was made sergeant-major of his regiment. The last of December, 1861, he returned home under orders from Gov. Curtin, recruited a company of men for the 12th Penn. Reserves and reported with them at Harrisburg. Following this, his health being impaired from rheumatism incident to his service, he went as a volunteer, under Dr. Horn, in hospital service, to the Peninsula, and as such served in the seven-days’ fight. Later he served, by appointment of the governor of Pennsylvania, as drill-master at Camp Curtin, and there during the year drilled eight companies, four each of cavalry and infantry. Later, and at the formation of the Wyoming regiment, Mr. Searle was offered the office of major of that command, but owing to ill-health was compelled to decline it. On his return to Susquehanna County, in the spring of 1863, he assisted his father in looking after some of his business interests, and afterward located on a farm just out of Montrose, on Jones’ Lake, there making his home until the last few years, when he came to the home he now occupies at Montrose.
Mr. Searle has been an active business man, and an agriculturalist of method and system. He was president of the County Agricultural Society in 1884, and for several years following January, 1885, he served by election as a representative to the State Board of Agriculture. He was instrumental in obtaining from that board an appropriation for establishing a Farmers’ Institute at Montrose. This was organized in 1886, and Mr. Searle was made its president. He has ever been active and influential in the Grange movement in Pennsylvania, was a prime mover in organizing Susquehanna Grange, the first in the county, of which he was the first master, and has organized many Granges throughout Susquehanna county. He as served as State deputy, and in 1885 was a member of the executive committee of the State Grange. Mr. Searle is a strong advocate of Temperance, and in his political views a Jeffersonian Democrat. A man of commanding presence, he will attract attention anywhere. He is possessed of the characteristics which have ever made those bearing the name popular. Genial and affable, his friends are many.
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.