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Mr. George T. Humerick

From the Emmitsburg Chronicle.  September 27, 1940

Emmitsburg Oldest Citizen Expires

Emmitsburg Oldest and most beloved citizen, Mr. George T. Humerick, the first civilian to learn of the death of General Reynolds on the Battlefield of Gettysburg during the Civil War died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Edwin Chrismer, Tuesday morning at eleven o’clock. Mr. Humerick’s death at the age of 97, was due to complications, and was hastened by three falls sustained within a period of 2 months. Two months Mr. Humerick fell and broke several ribs but but miraculously he came through despite his great age. A week ago he fell again and sustained a broken arm.

With Mr. Humerick at the time of his demise were Rev. Fr. Sullivan, who administered the last sacrament to him, and three of daughters: Mrs. Mary Reynolds, Mrs. Annie Kelly and Mrs. Chrismer

Most Of His Life Here

Mr. Humerick was born in the vicinity of Emmitsburg known as Eyler’s Valley, September 3, 1843, just ninety-seven years ago. He was the son of the late Andrew and Lydia Ann Humerick. Nearly all of his 97 year where spent in Emmitsburg. At the age of nine, his father hired him out to farmers and practically his whole life up until seven years ago, when he went to live with his daughter, was spent farming on the old home farm in Eyler's Valley. He loved work, he said, and it always seemed to agree with him. ‘Hard work, no worries, and I never used liquor or tobacco" was the recipe Mr. Humerick gave for his long life. It was his earnest desire to reach 100 years of age, and had it not been for the accidental fall which injured him, he probably would have lived to see his dream fulfilled because other his health was comparatively perfect.

First Funeral Toll Of New Bell

Remarkable is the fact that Mr. Humerick was six years old when the old church bell was erected in St Joseph's Catholic church of which fie was a life-long member. The Phenomenal and most incredible aspect of it is the fact that Mr. Humerick was also alive when that same bell was recast and re-erected in the same steeple just ninety-one Years later.

Mr. Humerick's funeral was the first one for which the bell tolled since its erection Monday. It had been in its new home just three days when its beautiful but dolorous notes mourned the loss of one the Church's God fearing and pious Citizens and told us that God had called Mr. Humerick to live with him in his happy home in heaven.

Recalls Seeing Soldiers

The war broke out when Mr. Humerick was sixteen Years old, but he was not drafted and so never entered the conflict. However. he recalled standing for three hours on the northwest corner of the Square here watching soldiers pass through toward Gettysburg. Seventy-five.

Years later he stood on that same corner watching those same troops pass through here to Gettysburg once again-this time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the-battle.

Found Signal Corps Men

On the first day of the battle he saw flags waving from the top of the mountains west of town. He went up and on what is known as the old Wagaman farm, came upon seven signal 'corps men taking signals from the Gettysburg Battlefield. The signal from Gettysburg read: "General Reynolds was killed and they are pressing us hard.' Mr. Humerick, the first civilian to bear of the death, spread the news through the valley. It was by means of the signal corps that the Union forces at Gettysburg kept in contact with Washington, D. C. From atop the mountain here the signal was relayed to Sugar Loaf mountain, below the city of Frederick, and thence to Washington.

Thursday following the Union army victory at Gettysburg, Mr. Humerick shook hands with General, Meade. Ten days after the battle he visited the scene of the battle. Of this, Mr. Humerick related that out Confederate avenue, he walked for hundreds of feet over the bodies of dead horses side by side. In the, Devil's Den section, he came upon the bodies of hundred or more men. Some people were picking teeth from the skulls. Whether these people were taking the teeth for souvenirs or because they might have been made of gold, Mr. Humerick did not learn. As a souvenir for himself, he picked up a Harper's Ferry musket, A canteen with cartridge shell, hung it over the musket and walked back home to Emmitsburg, a distance of ten miles

Lived Healthful Full Life

Up until a short time before his death, Mr. Humerick was enjoying good health. He walked over the town streets and ate three good meals a day. Two senses, sight and hearing, showed signs of failing health within the past couple of years, but otherwise he was strong and healthy. To show their admiration and esteem for him, the Emmitsburg Lion's Club presented him with a white cane, which served as a reminder to both drivers and pedestrians that they should be overly cautious while Mr. Humerick was out for a stroll.

Married In I867

Mr. Humerick married Miss Anna Jackson on October 27, 1867, who preceded him in death 13 years ago, in 1927. They had ten children, eight of whom are living today. Edgar and Mrs. Eninia Stone died a short interval apart during the past winter. Those children who survive the deceased are: Charles, Jackson, Albert, Bernard, all of Altoona, Pa.; Mrs. Mary Reynolds, Elizabethtown, Pa.; Mrs. Elizabeth Pfeiffer, Baltimore; Mrs. John Kelly and Mrs. Edwin Chrismer, of this place. In addition to the above children, 32 Grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren survive the deceased.

Funeral services for the most dearly beloved aged resident of Emmitsburg were held at St. Joseph’s Catholic church, this place, Thursday Morning at nine o'clock with Rev. Fr. Francis Rogers, officiating at the requiem mass. Pallbearers, all grandsons of Mr. Humerick, were: Messrs. Thornton Rodgers and Paul Humerick, this place; George Reynolds, Goldsborough, Md.; Taylor Humerick, Altoona, PA; , and Gordon Prof, Baltimore. in the sanctuary, serving as altar boys and cross bearers were Messrs. Eugene, William and Joseph Rodgers, great grandsons of Mr. Humerick.

Mr. Humerick has made a life long impression in the hearts of every Emmitsburgian and will always be remembered for his, pleasant speech wherever and whenever he met anyone. He was a dearly beloved figure, almost an attachment or a beloved fixture in Emmitsburg, and he will continue to hold that esteemed position in our hearts by his spiritual, if not by his bodily presence.

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