Allison-Antrim Museum

Gilbert B. Valentine


Daniel Valentine, the focus of last week’s Soldier’s Story, was the eldest child in his family. He had a much younger brother, George, who was 13 years, his junior. They were the children of David and Margaret Valentine. Both of his parents were born in Maryland. Daniel and two of his sisters, Caroline and Mary A., were born in Ohio. All the other children were born in Maryland. In 1850, the family, of 10, lived in Antrim Township. The eight children of David (50) and Margaret (46) were: Daniel (19), Caroline (18), Mary A. (16), William (13), John (10), Isaac (8), Gilbert (6), and Indiana, a girl, (5). David was a farmer, as was Daniel, but David did not own real estate. Gilbert B. Valentine is the subject of this week’s Soldier’s Story.


During the 1860 U.S. Census, in Franklin County, Gilbert, at the age of 17, was living with the family of J. L. Shoaf (22), a master wagon maker, in Guilford Township. It is not known how long Gilbert had been serving as an apprentice wagon maker, under Shoaf. Shoaf and his wife Margaret (24) had a one-year old son Samuel.


Isaac (18), a laborer, was living with his father David (65) in Greencastle. His sisters, Mary (27) and Indiana (15), were also living in the household. Margaret, David’s wife, was not recorded in the household, on the 1860 Census in Greencastle. As she appeared on future censuses, she may have been visiting someone in or out of town, at the time the census taker stopped at the Valentine’s home.


It is through the list of Civil War Veterans Burial Cards of veterans buried in cemeteries and graveyards in Greencastle and Antrim Township that I discovered Daniel and Gilbert both served in the Civil War but not together. In the process of doing research on Gilbert, I discovered that two more of the Valentine brothers, also, served in the Civil War. Gilbert, John T., and Isaac all served, at the same time, in Co. M, 17th PA Cavalry. Gilbert, being 13 years younger than Daniel, served twice in the Civil War. His first tour of duty was in Co. K, 126th PA Infantry, from August 7, 1862 to May 20, 1863. Brothers Henry and George Bartle, from Antrim Township, were also in Co. K, 126th, with Gilbert.


A year and a few months after their discharge, from the 126th, on May 20, 1863, Gilbert and George Bartle, and Gilbert’s two brothers, John and Isaac, all enlisted in Co. M, 17th PA Cavalry. Gilbert was 20 years old, 5’7” in height, with brown hair and eyes, and a light complexion. Gilbert’s occupation was wagon maker.


Isaac was 23, 5’7” tall, with brown eyes, dark hair, and a dark complexion. Although Isaac was listed as a laborer on the 1860 census, his occupation, upon his 1864 enrollment into the 17th PA Cavalry, was given as blacksmith.


John was 24, 5’4” tall, with hazel eyes, dark hair, and fair complexion. He was a miller, by trade. All three brothers, John, Isaac, and Gilbert, had training in specific trades.


George Bartle was mustered in on September 16, 1864, Isaac on September 17, John T. on September 22, and Gilbert B. on September 24. Nine months earlier on December 19, 1863, Henry Hellane, Antrim Township, enlisted in Co. G., 17th PA Cavalry. Henry fell ill on June 1, 1864 and remained in the hospital until his discharge on May 3, 1865. George Besore Snively, also, served in Co. G, with Henry Hellane. Snively was mustered in on October 12, 1862. Even though the fall of 1864 was late in the Civil War, local men were still able to serve together, through the end of the war. At the beginning of the war, men from individual towns and townships comprised whole companies within a regiment, such as Co. K in the 126th PA Regiment, which primarily included men from Greencastle.


The 17th’s involvement from September 1864 until the end of the Civil War was covered in George Bartle’s April 21, 2014 Soldier’s Story. This is a brief recap of the 17th’s important service in 1865. From December 31, 1864, when the 17th was ordered to protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the citizens of Lovettsville, VA, and the Union’s interests in that area, until April 9, 1865, at the Appomattox Courthouse, the men of the 17th played a vital role in Sheridan’s continuous offense against the retreating Confederate forces. Gilbert, James, and Isaac Valentine, George Bartle, and George Snively were all present to witness Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. The 17th PA Cavalry rode to Washington City, where it encamped until it was mustered out. On May 23, 1865, the 17th Cavalry paraded in the Grand Review in front of President Lincoln. All the men were mustered out with their regiment on June 16, 1865. There are no Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards for John T. and Isaac Valentine, indicating they may have moved out of Pennsylvania.


Through information recorded on the 1910 census, it is learned that Gilbert was married twice. Evidently, Gilbert got married after he was discharged from the Civil War in 1865 and with his first wife, he had two sons. His first wife died sometime after giving birth to Jacob. During the 1870 U.S. Census, Gilbert, 25, and his two sons Oren, 3, and Jacob, 1, were living with his parents David (76) and Margaret (63), in Greencastle.


On the 10th and 11th day of June 1880, John R. Ruthrauff, the census taker in Greencastle, recorded Daniel, Gilbert, and David Valentine and their families as living within the Borough of Greencastle. Daniel (49) was a laborer and Nancy (46) was keeping house. Their son Charles (18) was a printer’s apprentice. Nancy’s father was George Stump (80) because he was listed as father-in-law to the head of the household; he had a “general disability.” Nancy’s father was born in Maryland and her mother, in Pennsylvania.


Elsewhere in town, Gilbert (37), his second wife Rebecca (23), and his two sons Oren M. (12) and Jacob B. (10) were living in a house beside his parents David (87) and Margaret (73) Valentine.


From this information, we know that the two brothers stayed in contact and within proximity of each other and their parents. It’s very difficult to trace the daughters in a family because of marriage and their surnames changing.


Gilbert had to apply, as an invalid, for his pension money on October 12, 1888, two years before the information was gathered for the 1890 Special Schedule for Civil War veterans. Through the information recorded on the 1890 Special Schedule, it is learned that Gilbert suffered from chronic diarrhea.


Between 1890 and the next census on June 15, 1900, Gilbert and Martha R. had moved from town into Antrim Township, in the second election district. The census taker made a note that it was in the “north” part of Antrim. Gilbert (57) was born in September 1842 and she (45) in August 1854. They had been married for 26 years but did not have any children together. Gilbert and Martha owned a farm and were still paying off a mortgage.


On the 1910 U.S. Census, Gilbert and Martha were still living on their farm, by which time they had paid off the mortgage. He was self-employed and did not hire anyone to help on the farm. At the ages of 68 and 54, Gilbert and Martha took in a 12 year-old orphan, Sarah E. Valentine. I have not been able to find out who Sarah’s parents were.


It is my assumption that between the 1900 and the 1910 U.S. Censuses, that the Borough of Greencastle extended its boundary to include the farms on its northern border. Estelle Rhodes was the census taker in 1910 for Greencastle. The consecutive numbering of families, in order of visitation, indicates that Gilbert and Martha’s residence/farm was in the fifth block of North Allison Street. All their neighbors, on either side of them, within the 400 block, were all farmers who owned their farms.


Gilbert B. Valentine died in 1918. He is buried in Section Q, Lot 64, Cedar Hill Cemetery, Antirm Township, Franklin County, PA. The headstone only gives the year he died and the year of birth (1843), which is different from his answer of September 1842 that he gave the 1900 census taker. The headstone also, records his service to his country during the Civil War – Co. K, 126th PA Infantry and Co. M, 17th PA Cavalry. Martha Rebecca Valentine, widow, applied for Gilbert’s Civil War pension on April 20, 1918. I believe Gilbert died in either March or April 1918.


It was a pleasant surprise to discover that his first wife Leah Ann, 1842 to 1870, was never forgotten. She was buried in the family plot, reinterred, most likely, from a church graveyard. Cedar Hill Cemetery did not open until 1880. We know Leah died prior to June 10, 1870, the day Gilbert and his sons, Oren and Jacob B., were recorded on the U.S. Census, that year. Additionally, Jacob B. Valentine is buried in Lot 64, with his mother and father. Jacob’s birth year was 1869 and he died in 1887, at the age of 17 or 18.


On the January 13, 1920 census, Martha (63) was renting a room from Benjamin Whitmore, on Linden Avenue. Martha was considered a head of household, as was Benjamin. His wife Clara and mother Henrietta were included in the Whitmore household. In the June 1959 United Telephone directory, Benjamin Whitmore still lived at 64 Linden Avenue. Whitmore was a well-known and respected school teacher in the Greencastle School District. The Greencastle and Antrim Township School Districts were separate until the jointure was formed in 1954.


Oren and his wife Alice and their two children, Leah M. (17), named after Oren’s mother, and Irvin G. (9), lived in Chambersburg during the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Censuses. I can imagine Leah’s middle name being Martha, after Oren’s stepmother, and Irvin’s being Gilbert, after his grandfather. They lived at 362 East Catherine Street in 1920 and 1930 and owned their home, free and clear of a mortgage. In 1920, Oren was a machinist who worked in a machine shop. He was a storekeeper at Letterkenny Ordinance Depot, in 1930. In 1930, Oren was 61 and Alice was 59. 1940 is the last U.S. Census available to the public. Oren (72) and Alice (70) still lived at 362 Catherine Street, Chambersburg. He was still working as a manager of a retail grocery store.


Martha (73) lived a 15 East North Street, in Waynesboro, on April 2, 1930. She owned her home, free and clear of a mortgage. It was valued at $3,000. No one else lived with her. Martha Rebecca Valentine died in 1939. She is buried with her husband Gilbert, in Section Q, Lot 64, Cedar Hill Cemetery, Antrim Township. The headstone only gives her year of birth – 1856, and year of death – 1939. Martha Rebecca Valentine lived a very long life and died about 83 years of age.





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