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
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
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
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 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
you know of an individual who helped shape Emmitsburg?
If so, send their story to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org