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knowledge of physiology and hygiene, made him go, thinking
that going to school was the all-essential thing to prepare a boy
for a useful life — a very great mistake. I remember well how, more
than sixty years ago, I was called up several times each day merely
to say my letters, and by and by to spell words of one and two syl-
lables from a primer, and then compelled to keep quiet during all
the rest of the school hours — an outrage on child nature. How I
did hate school ! Herbert Spencer said, "The first requisite is to
be a good animal," but I was not even that. Once an irate and
unreasoning teacher held me up by my feet and bumped my head
roughly on the floor, but a stout, broad-shouldered pupil, incensed
by this unwonted exhibition of rudeness, pulled off his coat and
rushed forward to turn him upside down if he did not instantly
desist and reverse my position. The upright posture to which
mother nature gives every boy an absolute right was immediately
restored, and — ^there was peace. My protector became a great
man in my eyes. Several years later another impatient and un-
thinking teacher tried to help me in arithmetic, but because I was
rather dull in comprehending what he said he became greatly en-

The Gernhardt Family History. 185

raged, and gave me a terrific broad-side with his big, heavy hand
that gave me the sensation for a time that either my cranium was
smashed, or that my neck was broken — and perhaps it would not
have mattered much which had happened. There were many
things that prejudiced me against school. I got entirely too
many lickings. There were some competent and considerate
teachers in those days as well as now, but many were not qualified
for teaching young ideas how to shoot. The day of rigid examin-
ations, of teachers' certificates, normal and model schools, moral
suasion, pictures on the walls and flowers in the school rooms,
had not yet arrived.

But life is from first to last the great and real school. Every
one can by choice and chance have good and efficient schoolmas-
ters. There is always opportunity to make good use of ones time,
brain and hands, and learn. Two years after marriage, and after
having served eighteen months as a clerk in the postoffice at
Muncy — a postoffice is a good school to learn some things — I
started out in business for myself in a small way, opening a music
and variety store, with which I soon combined a circulating libra-
ry, and continued the business until 1872. Also served two terms
about this time as school director, three terms as a notary public,
and at different times, about ten years in all, as book-keeper in
the First National Bank of Muncy.

While keeping store I purchased an amateur printing outfit
and started to publish a little serial, with the only idea at first of
advertising my business. As the intention was only to issue it
once-in-a-while, as business and inclination prompted, I entitled
it Now AND Then. A taste was suddenly acquired for collecting
and preserving items of local history, an intellectual diet that prov-
ed very acceptable to its indulgent readers. A number was launch-
ed forth every nozv and then until ^lay, 1892, when the third vol-
ume was completed — the three volumes together comprising a
total of forty-three numbers, and consisting of 520 double column
pages. Brown, Runk & Co.'s History of Lycoming County, on
page 479, says :

1 86 The Gernhardt Family History.

"A little historical magazine, called Nozv and Then, was start-
ed by J. M. M. Gernerd in June, 1868, and published irregularly
up to February, 1878, when it was discontinued. During the ten
years of its existence nineteen numbers were published, and it be-
came very popular on account of the valuable local historical mat-
ter it contained. After a rest of ten years Mr. Gernerd resumed
his Nozv and Then in an enlarged form as a bi-monthly July-
August, 1888, and continued it up to May, 1892. It largely in-
creased in popularity and value during the four years it was pub-

In 1875 I undertook to raise money by one. dollar subscriptions
for the erection of a monument to the memory of the bold pioneer
of the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna, Capt. John
Brady, who was killed by the Indians near the site of Muncy Bor-
ough, in April, 1779, and I finally succeeded in thus raising about
$1,600. In the centennial year of his death, 1879, the plain but
gracefully proportioned cenotaph of Maine granite was erected on
a large circular lot in, and that was donated by, the Muncy Ceme-
tery — hardly two hundred rods from the site on which the hero
had built his houses and the stockade around them, as a place of
refuge for the then harassed inhabitants of the neighborhood,
known as Fort Brady. The memorial was unveiled on the 15th
day of October, in the presence of the greatest gathering of people
ever seen in the Muncy Valley. The Hon. John Blair Linn, the ora-
tor of the occasion, in a foot-note to his oration, which, with much
other matter relating to the monument and the day, forms the con-
tents of a pamphlet published soon after the dedication, says :

"Meginness, in his History of the West Branch Valley, No-
vember 1st, 1856, on page 239, says: The people of Lycoming
County cannot show a better appreciation of true patriotism than
by erecting an humble slab, at least, in perpetuation oi the mem-
ory of the gallant Brady. Let the sacred spot where his ashes
repose be marked in this way, with a tablet, on which to inscribe
the many virtues of the noble dead.' The praise for carrying out
this suggestion all belongs to J. M. M. Gernerd, of Muncy, who,
by days and nights of toil, has carved from Mr. Meginness' slab
a cenotaph of wondrous beauty."

It may be proper to add here that I likewise soon afterwards

The Gernhardt Family History. 187

raised a sufficient sum to provide also the "humble slab," of gran-
ite, which now marks the spot, at Hartley Hall, three miles north-
east of Muncy, where the ashes of the hero repose

This was not my first monument venture. Thirteen years
previous I had raised money for the erection of a Soldiers' ]\Ionu-
ment — one of the first, if not the first raised in Pennsylvania, to
the memory of the defenders of the Unionf — by means of a gift-
concert, a method of raising money not then so imfavorably re-
garded as now. The ladies of Muncy had by festivals and dra-
matic entertainments already raised about $500, when I announced
the scheme of selling 10,000 tickets at $1 each, and proposed to
give to the ticket-holders $8,000 in pianos, organs, music boxes,
spy-glasses, microscopes, etc., and $2,000 to the monument fund.
The undertaking was a success. The cause was unselfish, appeal-
ed to the patriotism of the people, and the scheme was endorsed
by the best citizens. But times have changed, the people have
changed, I have changed, and the laws have been changed, and
there are now well-understood reasons why all such chance opera-
tions should be discouraged, no matter how honestly conducted,
nor what the object may be. The money raised was put out at 7
per centum per annum interest, until the fund amounted to $3,000.
In 1869 the beautiful marble monument in the Muncy Cemetery
was dedicated. Seventy-one names of the gallant boys — many of
them companions of mine in my boyhood — who went to the war
from this neighborhood, and fell in battle or died in hospitals, are
enrolled on the four sides of the dado supporting the shaft, and
the bodies of nineteen of the number are mouldering back to earth
around its base.

At the age of 13 I began: to make a collection oi curiosities —
rare, and not rare, just as happened — and in time had a museum
that I valued highly, if no one else did, consisting of fossils, min-
erals, insects, Indian relics, and various other objects. This be-
came a rather serious and expensive hobby. Making collections
of little practical benefit, either to the collector or to the public,
or to science, more from a kind of craze, or selfish gratification of
personal taste, often to the neglect of business and the duties of

The Gernhardt Family History.

life and family, and often, too, to the annoyance oi people who
have chanced to find a few relics, is not an uncommon thing, as
examples of such importunate hobby horsical relic-hunters may be
found in almost every community. To tell the truth, I was one
of them. A witty writer has said that, "Modesty is only egotism
turned wrong-side out." My kindred must not think this is too
much of the wrong side out. Not having the time required, nor
the means and knowledge to make good collections of so many
kinds of objects, I finally devoted my recreation hours to gather-
ing such imperishable things as stone axes, arrow points, celts,
gorgets, pestels, drills, pipes, pottery fragments that the aborigi-
nes have left scattered over the soil on whiclT they hunted, fished,
ate, slept, played, danced, loved, hated and fought, precisely as our
own untutored ancestors did in ancient Brittannia, Germania and
Gallia ; and as many even in the civilized world are now practical-
ly doing, with hardly a better conception or greater enjoyment of
intellectual life. Of one thing well informed people are now gen-
erally well convinced, and that is, that the red man is by nature
just as good, is, under equal conditions, just as capable of civili-
zation, and is as truly made in the Divine Likeness, as the white
man. As to the collection of Indian relics, Meginness, the eagle
of historians of this section, thought it worthy of notice, and in
his revised History of the West Branch Valley, 1889, said:

"The largest assortment, consisting of about 7,000 specimens,
is found in the magnificent collection of J. M. M. Gernerd, of the
borough of Muncy. His museum is methodically arranged and
carefully classified, so that those who have any taste for examin •
ing and studying the rude and peculiar handiwork of a race now
extinct in this part of the country, can go there and spend an hour
or two in it with profit. The proprietor, who is a gentleman of
intelligence and culture, always takes pleasure in explaining the
curiosities. Many friends have assisted him in making the collec-
tion, by contributing articles found by them at various times, be-
cause they knew that he not only appreciated, but greatly prized
such contributions, and would label and place them where they
could be seen and studied. His collection of spear and arrow
heads is very full. These implements were fashioned in many
styles by the manufacturers, which show that they possessed some

The Gcnihardt Family History. 189

definite idea as to what they were doing in their rude workshops.
The study of these reHcs alone affords a pleasant and profitable
pastime. His collection of gorgets, pestels, sinkers, gouges, stone
axes , tomahawks, pipes, and ceremonial weapons, is also yery
large and many of the specimens are exceedingly rare and yalu-

When the Confederate army attempted, in 1862, and again in
1863, to change the seat of war to northern soil, the people of the
North more fully realized the desperate yalor of the Southern
people, the supreme danger of disunion, and the necessity of
prompt action to turn back the inyaders. They, who were then
old enough to remember the real situation, can alone understand
the spirit and excitement that moved like a great and irresistible
tidal wave over the Northern States. It was a day of dark fore-
bodings. I was confident, as many were, that if whipping the
South was more than a breakfast spell, it would soon at least end
in a noon-spell. But two months later many who were so san-
guine were fearfully alarmed and felt impelled to hasten away as
militia to help drive back the inyaders. I belonged to the 14th
Pennsylvania Emergency. When we got near the front things
began to look terribly warlike. We lay in line of battle for a
number of days. Fortunately for the undrilled and awkward (but
not ragged) militia, however, the out-flanked, but gallant battle-
scarred Army of the Potomac, was soon on hand to cope with the
emboldened Army of Northern Virginia on the fields of Antietam
and Sharpsburg, September 16 and 17, and our erring brothers of
the South were persuaded that the prudent move for them to make
was to skip back across the Potomac into Old Virginia. But they
went rather deliberately, as if they thought the}^ had come North
rather late in the summer to have a good time, and concluded to
defer their visit until another season. And earlier the next sum-
mer they came. McClellan with his superior force might have
won a very decisive victory at Antietam, but in justice to him it
must be said that there was want of concert on the part of some of
the corps commanders, and that the attacks on the Confederate
positions were not made promptly and simultaneously as he had

iQO The Gernhardt Family History.

ordered. And yet many think that had McClellan vigorously re-
newed the struggle the morning after the battle, he could have de-
stroyed the rebel army. Perhaps! McClellan, it is insisted, had
decided to renew the fight, but he found his heavy guns almost
without ammunition, and that 10,000 of his troops were stragglers
among the hills. But I must not torget the militia. McClellan
sent a letter of thanks to the Governor of Pennsylvania for call-
ing them out. Though they did not share in the fighting, he said
the moral support they rendered "was none the less mighty." I
always shall thank McClellan for these kind and mighty words.

While the 14th P. V. M. was encamped in a piece of wood-
land between Hagerstown and Sharpsburg, in advance of the other
regiments of our division, a scout rode up to our Colonel one day
and said that a strong body of rebel cavalry had the preceding
night approached our camp and appeared to contemplate paying
us a visit, and cautioned him to be on the alert, as he might be
attacked at almost any moment. Shortly after the regiment was
given a lesson on the formation of a hollow square, right across
the road on which the cavalry was expected to come, and each
company was instructed as to the position it was promptly to take
in case of alarm. It was already dark when the companies scat-
tered to their camping grounds and stacked their arms, forming a
long line in the woods, and fires were lit and the men began to
make coffee and open their haversacks. The pickets were on at
their posts ready to give instant warning in case of any ill-dispos-
ed visitors. The scene under the overhanging foliage of the trees,
the long line of stacked guns, and the busy campers, as seen by
the light of many fires, was new, strange and novel to most of the
men, as there were but few who had seen service. We soon felt
at ease, ready to enjoy a quiet and restful night. Bang! went off
a gun in the direction of the enemy. Then another! "Fall in!"
"Fall in !" the command ran quickly along the line. In an instant
all was commotion, every man rushing to the stack that contained
his gun. I remember seeing one man near me so confused that
he could not think where he had stacked his, and in his awkward
flurry tO' find it got in the way of the biggest man in the regiment,


The Gcrnhardt Family History. 191

who was himself so madly excited and full of fight that he gave
his poor bewildered comrade a kick that sent him flying nearly a
rod. The scene for a few moments was one of terror, but of un-
flinching determination, and would have been a grand subject for
a great painting. Quicker than I relate this soul-stirring incident
the men were all in their proper places, and the hollow square was
again formed. It is wonderful how quick men can act and do the
right thing when under the spur of intense excitement. But not
another sound did we hear, and by and by the very silence became
painful and ominous. Did the Johnnies know that we were ready
to receive them, and would they now wait until we were all
alseep ? I will merely add that we lay there on our arms under
the pressure of suspense and uncertainty until morning, and then
filed back to our places and — eat our breakfast. We had another
such a fright a night or two after, when with other regiments of
militia we were arrayed in line of battle to guard the road leading
from Hagerstown to the Potomac, but the Boys in Gray then also
failed to come, and some of us were "mighty" glad — that — the
moral support we rendered was so "mighty !"

In June, 1863, Lee, with a greater army and still greater con-
fidence, again crossed the Potomac to invade the North, and great
was .the terror he again inspired, especially in Pennsylvania.
Again I enlisted, for three months, in the 37th Pa. V. M. — again
was honorably discharged, again never once heard the song
of a rebel bullet, and again the militia rendered a "mighty" ser-
vice. The campaign of Gettysburg, as now termed, covered a
great extent of territory, from the Potomac as far north as Har-
risburg, and from the Susquehanna River down through the Cum-
berland Valley. Lee had his deliberately formed plans, and it
was now the business of the Union generals to find out what they
were, and when and where to strike and checkmate him. The
duty of the militia was again to stand guard at certain points
along the border and support the main army. Forty years have
since come and gone, yet how vividly some of the sights then seen
come to mind while writing of that trying period. As the 37th
drew near where it first was placed on duty a body of rebel pris-

192 The Gernhardt Family History.

oners, who were being marched to the rear for safety, were halted
on the side of the road to allow us to pass. They were a rough,
dirty, defiant lot, and never can I forget the contemptuous manner
in which they regarded, or pretended to regard, us militiamen.
They sneeringly taunted us with such remarks as, "Say, Yanks,
where are you-uns going with them guns?" "What are you-uns
going tO' shoot?" "Give us a lock of your hair to take back to the
gals you-uns left behind!" "Bobby Lee will soon be around after
ycu-uns." Some of us wondered what the consequence would be
when we came into contact with an army of such irrepressibles
with guns in hand and plenty of ammunition. The brave boys of
the Army of the Potomac knew what the fearful result was on
the 1st, 2d and 3d days of July, at Gettysburg. And the not less
valorous Confederates will never forget either what happened to
them, as the tide of war was there turned against them, never to
ebb back again.

VII. SOLOMON GERNERT3, b. Feb. 20, 1817; m. Annie
M. Eisenhart, April 20, 1840. He d. April 22, 1887; she d. June
10, 1896, and both are buried at Jonestown, Lebanon County, Pa.
Ten children :

I. Joseph H. Gernert^, b. Jan. 24, 1841 ; m. Elizabeth j\Iohn,
of Annville, Pa., Sept. 2, 1865; o. farmer; r. Myerstown,
Pa. Ten children :

i. Harrison Moses G.^, h. Sept. 4, 1867 ; m. Emma Pfautz,
Sept. 9, 1896.

a. Mary Ellen G.^, h. March 25, 1869 ; m. Amos Conrad
Rabel, of Annville, Pa., Dec. 20, 1890. Children : Miles
Walter^, b. Oct. 9, 1891 ; Stella Elizabeth*^, b. Feb. 19,
1895 ; Warren Joseph^, b. Jan, 9, 1898.

Hi. Albert William^, b. Feb. 27, 1871 ; m. Lizzie T. Brown,
June 6, 1895. He graduated from the Hahnemann
Medical College, of Philadelphia, May 2, 1895, and soon
after commenced the practice of his profession at
Myerstown, Pa.

iv. Priscilla Jndy^, b. July 29, 1873 ; d. Dec. 18, 1874.

V. Calvin Joseph^, b. July 22, 1875 ; d. in infancy.



The Gcniliardt Family History. 193

vi. Cora Jennie^, b. July 29, 1876.

vii. Harvey John^, b. Sept. 10, 1878; m. Alary Ulrich, of
Myerstown, June 2, 1900.

via. Joseph Adam^, b. July 18, 1880.
ix. William Arthui^, b. May 13, 1882.
X. John Adam^, b. June 22, 1884.

2. Hiram Gernert^, b. Nov. 16, 1842; m. Lucinda Kirst, of

Fredericksburg, Pa., Jan. 10, 1867; o. saddier and farmer;

r. near Cloud Chief, Oklahoma. Three children :

i. Revere KirsP, b. March 4, 1872 ; m. Nov. 25, 1897. One

daughter: Esther Ulrich^, b. Oct. 11, 1899.
a. Lena Florence^, b. Nov. 14, 1876.
Hi. Walter Byron^, b. Sept. 2, 1881.

3. Susanna Gernert-*, b. Sept. i, 1844; m. George W. Has-
singer, of Reading, Pa., Sept. 22, 1872. Mr. H. d. Nov.
18, 1900. Two children :

i. Elhvood Solomon^, b. Nov. 11, 1873; m. Flora Ethel
Glaze, Sept. 10, 1901. He is head book-keeper in the
Second National Bank, of Reading. Became identified
with the institution when 18 years old, directly after
graduating from the Reading High School.

a. Walker Byron^, b. March 17, 1876; d. Oct. 18, 1880.

4. Helen Gernert^, b. Sept. 8, 1846; m. Dr. William Grum-
bein, of Lebanon, Pa., Nov. 4, 1880. The Dr. d. Oct. 28,
1884. She d. Sept. 22, 1901. No issue.

5. Francis Gernert*, b. Dec. 26, 1847. Went West many
years ago and has never been heard from. Is believed to
be dead.

6. Solomon Sylvester Gernert^, b. Oct. 20, 1850; m. Emily

Elizabeth Trexler, of Breinigsville. Pa., Feb. 8, 1876 ; o.
tinman and roofer ; r. Reading, Pa. Eleven children : Irwin
Jonas 5, b. Sept. 15, 1877; Herbert Solomon^, b. Nov. 15,
1879; Arthur James Garfield^ b. July 26, 1881 ; Clarence
Stillman^, b. April 26, 1883 ; Chester Francis^, b. May 24,
1884; Jennie Leah^, b. April 4, 1886; Ralph ClintonS, b.
Dec. 28, 1887 ; Leroy Trexler^, b. Feb. 17, 1891 — d. in infan-
cy ; Raymond Sylvester^, b. Aug. 14, 1893 ; Stanley Nor-
man^, b. March 21, 1895; Emily Elizabeth^, b. July 25,
1901 — d. in infancy.

194 The Gernhardt Family History.

7. George Albert G.^ b. March 26, 1853; d. in infancy.

8. Elias G.^ b. Nov. 24, 1855 ; d. Aug. 4, i860.

9. Milton J. Gernert^, b. Jan. 24, 1858 ; m. Miss Lizzie
Moore, of Huntingdon, Pa., March 24, 1897 ; r. Hunting-
don ; o. hardware business. Children : Ruth^, b. June,
1899, and d. 'in August; Mary May^, b. April 14, 1901.

10. Jeremiah Gernert^ b. March 23, i860; m. Emma L,
Spatz, June 29, 1895 ; r. Denver, Lancaster County. One
child: Eugene Bryan^, b. Aug. 2, 1898.

VHL HENRY GERNERT^, b. Nov. 6, 1818; m. Phoebe
Eisenhart, a sister of his brother Solomon's wife, Feb. 18, 1841.
He d. Nov. I, i860, and she d. Dec. 31, i860. Eight children :

1. Matthias Gernert^, b. Aug. 19, 1841 ; m. Miss Mary
LIchenwal.lner, Feb. 16, 1864 ; o. Vet. Surgeon ; r. Ono, Fa.
Served one year during the Civil War as a member of Co.
F, Fourth Penn'a Cavalry. Was discharged in 1862. As
he was in some big fights, I am sorry I did not have an op-
portunity to interview him. Eight children : Walter S.,
John M., Henry, Minnie, Elizabeth, Ida, Laura, Annie.

2. Aaron Gernert^, b. Oct. 12, 1842 ; m. Miss Mary E. Keim,

of Grantville, Pa., Sept. 2, 1865 ; r. Lickdale, Pa. ; o. keep-
ing hotel, farming, and dealing in cattle. Five children:
i. Elmer H. G?, b. July 25, 1867 ; d. Oct. 12, 1868.
a. Grant E. G.^, b. Dec. 28, 1869; m. Ida Ulrich, Dec. 25,

Hi. Ellen B. G.^, b. March 24, 1871 ; m. William Sherk. She
d. Jan. 18, 1893.

iv. Sallie A. G.^, h. Dec. 7, 1873 ; m. Harry Raber, of Lick-
dale, Pa., Nov. II, 1893. One son: Paul Stanley Ra-

V. Grace T. G.^ b. Dec. 31, 1880; d. Jan. 4, 1893.

3. Anna Maria Gernert* b. Oct. 28, 1845 - "i- John Bom-
gardner, Oct. 18, 1866; r. Palmyra, Pa. Eight children:

i. Phoebe Rebecca B.^, b. July 24, 1867 ; m.x Ramler, Sept.

I, 1888.
7/. George Eugene B.^, h. June 26, 1869; m.x Jan. 17, 1893,
Hi. John B.^, h. Jan. 20, 1872; m.x May 12, 1895.

The Gernhardt Family History. 195

iv. Claudius Alonzo B.^, b. April i, 1874 ; m ^ May 19, 1890.
V. Miles Abncr B.^, b. April 11, 1877; m.x Feb. 16, 1897.
vi. Mary Elisabeth B.^, b. Aug. 18, 1879.
vii. Caroline May B.^, b. Oct. 20, 1883.
via. Anna Dora BJ>, b. Aug. 15, 1887.

4. John Henry G.*, b. Nov. 16, 1847; d. young.

5. Caroline Gernert^, b. May 18, 1849; m- Samuel Kreider,

March 17, 1870; r. Ono, Lebanon County, Pa. Eleven

children :

i., a. Elmer K.^ and Lillie K^>, twins, b. Nov. 13, 1870 ; both
d. in infancy.

Hi. Clinton K.^, b. Feb. 8, 1872 ; m. Annie Fagen, April 19,
1898; r. Lebanon, Pa. Children: Edna Caroline K.^
b. Oct. 7, 1899; Olive Sarah K.^ b. Jan. 2, 1901.

iv. Cora K.^, b. Dec. 31, 1873; m. Amos T. Ritter, Oct. i,
1872 ; r. Jonestown, Pa. One daughter : Edna May R.^
b. June 23, 1895.

V. Mary K.^, b. Aug. 16, 1876.

vi. Harry K.^, b. Jan. 4, 1879.

vii. John K.^, b. June 2, 1881.

via. Morris K.^, b. Sept. 4, 1883 — d. Feb. 24, 1901.

ix., X. Sallie K.^ and Edivard K.^, twins, b. Dec. 11, 1886;
Edward d. in infancy.

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