Jeremiah Meitzler Mohr Gernerd.

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right hand, but he instantly and vigorously commenced sucking
the wound and spitting the blood from his mouth, and did not
suiter from the bite. This was the only time he was ever bitten
by a venomous snake, and this he is sure would not have happened
had not a bystander irritated or frightened it by imprudently pok-
ing a stick at it while he was handling it. Snakes, he contends,
are not without some power of observation, some measure of in-
telligence, some understanding of their surroundings, though he
does not rank them high in this respect. They are God's creations,
and proofs of His wisdom and power, the same as all other ani-
mals, and they have their rig'htful place among the innumerable
creatures of which He said, 'T^et the earth bring forth." While
Hiram can say that they have, save in one instance, been to him
as harmless as doves, he has never found one as wise as the one
that it is said beguiled a certain woman to eat of prohibited fruit

2o8 The Gernhardt Family History.

and made her believe that she, too, would become wonderfully

Hiram's parents were greatly horrified by his anomalous affec-
tion for snakes, and for some time tried to dissuade him from
bringing the (to them) loathsome things home and making play-
things of them. But after seeing the impunity with which he con-
stantly fondled them, and the pleasure his strange fancy afforded
him, they finally ceased to object, and let the boy have his way
unhamperedi — ^but they could never love snakes, and continued to
keep out of the way whenever "the creeping things thai creepeth
upon the earth" were in the way. By having unrestrained free-
dom to pursue his study of provincial ophiology, he probably made
greater progress and was the sooner satisfied with his experi-
ments. He always had an eye open for snakes, and even made ex-
cursions to the neighboring mountains to hunt for specimens. He
liked big snakes. Whenever he found a snake that he wanted he
closely observed its movements, and was soon able to determine
by its behavior and motions whether it was in a dangerous mood
for handling. When at all uncertain as to its temper he used a
forked stick long enough so that the reptile could not reach him if
it attempted to jump at him and bite, and pinned its head to the
ground, then seized it by the neck with his hand and without further
formality gently transferred it to his snake-box for transportation
home. In some cases he would simply clutch Mr. Snake near the
head with the thumb and forefinger, just as he would pick up a
switch or cane, and with hardly any more fear. When in captiv-
ity for a few days, and frequently visited, the most vicious of his
snakes would allow him to take it up in his hands without mani-
festing the slightest resentment or desire to escape. He would
often carry the creepers about in his hands, on his arms, in his
pockets, in his hat, and even would let them nestle under his shirt
on his bosom. They appeared to like the touch and warmth of his
body, and would at times cling to him almost like filaments of iron
to a horse-shoe magnet. And he, too, liked the peculiar sensation
of their smooth gliding along over his person, by the gentle motion

The Gernhardt Family History. ^ 209

of their ribs and muscles, and the alternate action of the overlap-
ping scales on the under side of their bodies.

Hiram's pet snakes appeared to know him and like him. His
mother remarked to me that she one day walked up almost against
a couple of snake boxes that he had hung up side by side in the
sun, on the garden fence, near the kitchen— the open sides of the
boxes were covered with strong wire screens, so she mustered
courage to go up close — when the Rattlers began to rattle, and the
other occupants raised their heads in threatening attitudes, so that
she was alarmed and did not consume much time in getting away.
Hiram then walked up to them, and instantly every snake was
pacified, and appeared glad that he came to them. He is sure
that his pets knew him from the other members of the family,
and therefore thattheycan learn to distinguish people. If strangers
came near when he was handling them they would cling tighter to
him than usual, and sometimes, when in his ordinary dress, would
even push their heads under his clothing, as if they then thought
they were safe.

When his fame spread and people came in groups to see
him handle his serpentine pets, he made himself a suit of tights,
leaving his neck and arms bare, as more suitable for giving exhi-
bitions of his much commented on but never claimed power as a
Snake Charmer. After he had his snakes "tamed" they never
tried to escape from him. He gave them complete freedom, and
had them lie on the ground all around him when performing with
them out of doors. He never had a combat, or saw any signs of un-
friendliness between his snakes when he had them together out
of their dens. He kept the Rattlers, Copperheads and Black-
snakes each in separate dens, however, but the Vipers, Milk-
snakes and Garters always lived amicably together in one den.
Before me, as I write these paragraphs, lies a photograph of our
kinsman as he appeared in his improvised close-fitting costume,
showing him seated on a cane-seated rocking chair, on a blanket
spread on the lawn in front of his home, giving an exhibition to a
group of. visitors. In his right hand he holds up a fat Rattler,

The Gernhardt Family History.

the reptile with its head hanging down and looking complacently
into his face; a Milksnake more than a yard long lay gracefully
stretched out, suspended over his uplifted left hand, and his larg-
est and greatly prized Blowing Viper appears contentedly coiled
around his bare neck. None of the bystanders stood up near
enough to appear in the picture — having perhaps asked the pho-
tographer to excuse them. Vipers he regarded as the most know-
ing of all the snakes he handled, and after capturing them he
could take hold of them sooner to fondle than any other species.
The Rattlers he found the hardest to tame, and the most nervous
and easily alarmed. Though the Milksnake is considered as a
harmless reptile, — at least as not hurtful to man and other large
animals, — it is about as vicious, Hiram says, and as ready to show
fight as any snake found in Pennsylvania. But in his hands all
were entirely tractable. A lady living several miles from the
Dangle home informed me that at one of his exhibitions — always
free — she saw him open his mouth wide and put the head of one
of the ugliest of his pets in between his teeth, a sight she thought
even more thrilling than the spectacle of a man putting his head
between the jaws of a lion.

Late one autumn Hiram lay by his aggregation of snakes for
the season, then fifteen in number, in a box, and buried box and
all in the garden for the winter. On a mild day in March he un-
earthed the cage and had the satisfaction of finding all his pets in
good condition, though naturally somewhat dormant, as he ex-
pected. Thinking that the hotbed would be an admirable deposi-
tory for his esteemed hibernators, he concluded to give them quar-
ters there until the return of wann weather, but the place proved
too hot, or stifling, and when he went to see how they were pros-
pering he had the mortification to find that every one was a life-
less corpse, and that he was no longer the owner of a living snake.
The loss that grieved him most of all was that of his big and fa-
vorite Blowing Viper, for which he said he would not have taken
ten dollars. His dens were once more replenished, however, when
warm weather enticed the snakes to delight in out door life again.
But there were plenty of others just as good.

The Gernliardt Family History.

The snake has often been pronounced to be without an equal
in the animal world for merciless destructiveness and cannibalism.
Hiram does not entirely assent to this opinion. All carnivorous
creatures, he urges, are by nature cruel and destructive to their
prey. Even gentle Puss has no more tender feeling for a mouse
or a bird than the despised snake. The Vulture does not pity the
Lamb, nor has the Hawk the slightest compassion for its victims.
Alligators, Crocodiles, Sharks, and many kinds of fish, are just as
merciless and more destructive, and some are as cannibalistic —
kind eating kind — as serpents. What commiseration has the
hungry lion, "Man Eater," for his victim when he drags him
from his hut to make a meal of him? Hiram makes no apology
for snakes, but he claims they have their parallels, and many of
them, and even their superiors as destructive gormandizers. One
good square meal often satisfies a snake for one, two, and some-
times even three weeks, while the shark is always hungry and
greedy, and is incessantly destructive. There is hardly a verte-
brate creature known that can fast as long as a snake, and that
so often refuses to eat when in captivity. Hiram sometimes com-
pelled his pets to eat by taking them in hand, one by one, forcing
open their mouths and pushing food down their throats. It was
no rare thing for a mouse, toad, or sparrow to be in the den with
the snakes for days and even weeks before it was seized and
swallowed. When fed enough at a meal they would on an average
eat only once every fifteen or twent}^ days. And when th^y
wished to eat, the Rattlers, Vipers and Garters would voluntarily
take the food from his hands. The Blacksnakes would also drink
milk when he held it to them in a saucer.

But Hiram, after a few seasons of satisfying experience,
went entirely out of the snake business. It was but a boy-day
fad, and lasted only until his curiosity was satisfied. He is intelli-
gent, modest, and agreeable. At school he was regarded as a
bright scholar. In drawing and penmanship he so excelled that
his work won him the first honors at the County Teachers' In-
stitute. He had taught school one term, and when I saw him at
his home he had just made application for another school. He

The Gernhardt Family History.

is now, at twenty-four, as fond of flowers as at seventeen he was
partial to snakes, and has quite a botanical collection. He is also
an expert amateur photographer, and has made an immense col-
lection of beautiful and interesting pictures. He is always doing
something, and appears to be handy at almost anything. When
I visited his home I found him engaged laying a new floor on the
veranda. His mother says he is as much of an adept in the
kitchen and at cooking as anything. He is also a lover of music,
and is a member of the Warraisville Cornet Band — first playing a
horn, but of late a clarionet.

7, Hiram Washington Mosteller*, b. Feb. 4, 1849; m. Miss

Hannah Ann Mansel, of Eldred Township, July 27, 1871 ;
r. Eldred Township. Owns and resides on the farm on
which he was born, and nearly all of which had been
cleared by his father. He and his son, William H., who
lives on a farm near by, buy up and butcher a great many-
cattle, and take the meat to the Williamsport market. Has
four children :

i. Willimn Henry M}, b. Jan. 14, 1872; m. Miss Saloma
Philips ; r. near Quaker Hifl, Eldred Township. Has
three children: Rebecca^, b. Feb. 28, 1897; Harold
Mansel^, b. June 22, 1899; Margaret^, b. April 7, 1901.

a. James Mansel M.^, b. April 18, 1876; m. Miss •

King; r. Williamsport, Pa.
Hi. Harold George M.^, h. May 13, 1880.
iv. Margaret Ellen M.^, h. Jan. 15, 1887.

8. Hannah M.^, b. Dec. 4, 1850; m. Henry F. Loudenslager,

Oct. 30, 1877; r. on a farm in Eldred Township. Two
children :

i. Hiram Clayton L.^, b. Oct. 24, 1878; m.x One son:
Charles Henry L.^ b. Sept. 16, 1900.

a. Myrtle Vesta L.^, b. Aug. i, 1883.

n. JOHN FOGLEMAN3, b. July 4, 1809 ; m. Lydia Treon,
daughter of Dr. George Treon, of Muncy, Pa., Feb. 14, 1837.

Soon after his father's demise he bought the homestead. In
i860 he built the large brick house now on the farm, a few rods


Tlie GernJiardt Faiuilv History.

farther back from the river than the family birthplace, and in
1866 built the present barn. In the beginning of June, 1889, a
greater flood, by four feet or more in height than the rise of '65
occurred, reaching a number of feet above the first floor of the
new house, carrying away all the outbuildings and all the fences
on the river flat, and ruining hundreds of bushels of corn. A tre-
mendous downpour of rain, the most extraordinary ever known
in the drainage basin of the West Branch of the Susquehanna
River, in a short time changed the stream into a furious torrent,
entailing immense loss to the inhabitants along its inundated
banks- — a loss estimated at thirty millions of dollars. No one
seemed to think it possible that a greater flood than that of '65
could occur, so again many were deterred from making efforts to
save much of their movable property until the overpowering cur-
rent was upon them. On the 21st of May, 1894, came another ex-
traordinary flood, only twenty-eight inches lower at the Fogleman
place than the inundation of '89, but yet two feet or more higher
than the surprising rise of '65' and again doing great damage,
and after its subsidence leaving its course a scene of desolation.
The loss to the Foglemans was again heavy, among other things
the complete destruction of a promising tobacco crop. According
to meteorological records kept the total rainfall in May, '89, was
less than in May, '94, but the downpour was greater during the
short times in which it occurred. John died March 7, 1867.
Lydia survived him until July 9, 1900, when she was laid beside
him in the Delaware Run churchyard. She had remained on the
farm with some of her children until her decease. "Mother Fo-
gleman," as she was often called by her many friends, was a truly
good woman, of strong common sense and judgment, and was
in every way deserving of the high esteem in which she was held.
John and she were the parents of eleven children :

I. Henry Fogleman'*, b. April 3, 1838; m. Matilda Dorothea
Shuman, June, 1878. Resides on the next farm below the
Fogleman homestead. Four children : Joseph Edward^,
b. March 19, 1880; William Treon^, b. Aug. 30, 1882 ; John
Wilbert^ b. April 16, 18S4; Norman Henrv^, b. Sept. 2,

214 The Gernhardt Family History.

2. Caroline Fogleman^, b. Dec. lo, 1839; m. Aaron Hilliard,

Oct. 30, 1856; r. Watsonlown, Pa. Eight children:

i. Emma H.^, b. Nov. 21, 1857; "^- Lewis Master, Oct. 5,
1882; r. Neosho Falls, Woodson County, Kansas. Four
children: Clara H.^, b. April 30, 1883; John Edwin*',
b. Nov. 16, 1885; Chester Albright^, b. April, 1887;
Matilda Blanche^, b. Aug. 4, 1890.

a. John L. H.^, b. Sept. 23, 1859.

Hi. Edwin Heller H.^, b. Nov. 2, 1861.

iv. Mary Elisabeth H.^, b. Feb. 23, 1868.

V. Henry F. H.^, h. April 6, 1871 ; m. Jennie L. Everett,
Dec. 21, 1893; r. Emporium, Pa. Two children: Olive
Caroline^, b. Oct. 11, 1894; Kathrvn Verdilla^, b. June
I, 1896.

z'i. George Delbert H.^, h. March 9, 1873 ; m. Matie Low,

of Emporium, Aug. 5, 1903.
vii. Carrie S. H.^, b. June 22, 1877.
via. Lydia Anne H.^, b. Jan. 4, 1883.

3. Marietta Fogleman^ b. Oct. 18, 1841 ; m. James M. Dun-
bar, Nov. 13, 1877; r. Elimsport, Pa. One son: James
ClayS, b. Oct. 17, 1881.

4. John Fogleman*, b. Dec. 20, 1843 ; m. Malinda Taylor,

Aug. 25, 1866. He d. at Watsontown, Pa., Oct. 30, 1887.
Two children:

i. May Hepburn^, h. Nov. 30, 1868; d. Feb. 20, 1874.

a. Annie L.^, b. March 22, 1870; m. Charles Tibbetts. of
Penobscot County, Maine, Dec. 30, 1896; r. Baltimore,
Md. One son: ]. Nelson^, b. July i, 1902.

5. Ephraim Fogleman^, b. April 16, 1846; m. Agnes Koons,
Jan. 24, 1874; r. Delaware Township; o. farmer. Seven
children :

i. Henry Vernon^, b. Oct. 24, 1875; m. Annie Leinbach,
Feb. 14, 1899. Two children: Thelma Ray^, b. Oct. 2,
1899: Glen W. F.6, b. May 18, 1901.

a. Fanny^, b. April 26, 1877; m. Lloyd Miller, Aug. 21,
1902 ; r. Jersey Shore, Pa. One son : Nelson G. M.^,
b. May 20, 1903.


The Gcrnhardt Farnily History. 215

Hi. Lydia^, b. Oct. 15, 1878.

iv. Maud S.^, b. March 19, 1880; m. Edwin J. Lilley, Feb.
19, 1902.

V. Mary Elizahcth^, b. April 18, 1882; m. Bert R. Entz,

Dec. 24, 1903 ; r. Jersey Shore, Pa.
vi. John Forrest^, b. April 5, 1885.
vii. Guy Bozvman^, b. June 6, 1887.

6. George Fogleman'*, b. May 8, 1848 ; d. in childhood.

7. Emma Fogleman*, b. Oct. 2, 1849; m- Henry Artman,

Sept. 25, 1867. She d. Jan. 7, 1892. Had six children:

i. Essic^, b. Feb. 4, 1870; d. July 25, 1902.

a. Sarah^, b. May 26, 1872; m. W. A. Dietterich, July ii,
1895 ; r. Philadalphia, Pa.

Hi. Lydia^, h. May 4, 1874; m. David T. Koons, June 15,
1895 ; r. Philadelphia, Pa. Five children. x

iz>. H. Clay^, b. April 29, 1876; m. Elizabeth Trump, Feb.

14, 1901 ; r. Philadelphia, Pa.
V. Boyd^, h. Dec. 20, 1878; r. Montgomer}-, Pa.
z'i. Rachel^, b. July 13, 1884; r. Philadelphia, Pa.

8. Thomas Fogleman"*, b. Jan. 3, 1852; unm. With Simon

owns and lives on the homestead.

9. Simon P. Fogleman"*, b. Feb. 28, 1854; m. Anna Martha
Huffman, Dec. 18, 1901. He and Thomas remained on the
homestead until their mother's death, after which they
bought the place at public sale.

10. Rachel Fogleman"^, b. Nov. 21, 1856; m. Thomas J.
Hoffman, Dec. 16, 1889; r. less than a mile from the place
of her birth. Two children : Lydia Matilda^, b. Aug. 22,
1891 ; William Lloyd^, b. March 20, 1894.

11. Lydia Fogleman-^, b. Nov. 23, i860; d. April 10, 1864.

HI. ELIZABETH FOGLEMAN^ b. Oct. 20, 1810; m.
Joshua Harleman, Dec. 25, 1838; she d. June 5, 1878, and he d,
June 28, 1898, at Oregon, 111. Had four children :

I. Joseph F.*. b. Oct. 11, 1839; m. Elizabeth Doebler, Dec.
29, 1864 ; r. Holcomb, Ogle County, 111. ; o. fanner; n. c.

2i6 The Gernliardt Family History.

2. Mary C. Harleman^, b. Dec. 20, 1840; m. Robert Walker

Sheadle, Feb. 21, 1861 ; r. Rochelle, 111. Two children:

i. Walker Clarence^, b. Jan. i, 1862; d. Aug. 11, 1897.

a. Arthur Burr^, b. Feb. 26, 1864; m.x Oct. 20, 1897. One
child: Gertrude^ b. Sept. 30, 1898.

3. Lucy E. Harleman*, b. Nov. 21, 1842; m. Charles Hart,
April 7, 1870. She d. Sept. 25, 1896, at Coin, Page County,
Iowa. Two children: Josephine M.''', b. Dec. 29, 1874;
Perley Ross^, b. Nov. 13, 1876.

4. Davis Emerson Harleman'*, b. Feb. 3, 1845 '> i^i- Elizabeth

Jones, Feb. 2, 1871 ; r. White Rock, Ogle County, 111. Five

children :

i. Rosaltha^, b. Dec. 8, 1874; m.^ Hazleton, Aug. 19, 1896.

ii. Vernon EUszuorth^, h. March 9, 1877.

Hi. Ernst^, h. Sept. 29, 1879.

iv. Bessie Loretta^, b. Dec. 26, 1886.

V. Joseph Amerson^, b. May 11, 1889.

IV. CATHARINE FOGLEMAN^, b. Nov. 8, 1814 ; m. first,
John Washington Baker, Dec. 26, 1837; second, Daniel Frey^.
Baker d. June 15, 1849, and she d. March 14, 1882. Resided in
Muncy Creek Township, Lycoming County, Pa. Three children :

1. Margaret Ann^ b. Jan. 17, 1840; d. April 27, 1847.

2. Jeremiah E. Baker^, b. March i, 1841 ; m. Eliza Ham-

mond Foresman, Jan. 27, 1874; r. Buffalo, N. Y. ; n. c.

3. Charles Michael Baker^, b. Sept. 5, 1844; m. Lizzie Cal-

lahan in 1871 ; he d. at Williamsport, Pa., Jan. 11, 1876;
n. c.

Jeremiah E. Baker enlisted in the U. S. servce Aug. 8, 1862;
served in Co. H, 131st Reg't. Pa. Vol. Infantry, and was mustered
out with his company May 23, 1863. A few days after its organ-
ization the 131st crossed over the Long Bridge at Washington —
the famous bridge over which so many of the loyal and brave
marched never to return — into Virginia, to confront the armies of
treason and disunion. Our faithful relative soon began to see
some of the dismal effects of war, as his regiment was at once en-

The Gernliardt Family History. 217

gaged in picket duty, and helped to check the stream of panic-
stricken stragglers from the ill-fated fields of Bull Run and Chan-
tilly. As the Confederates were now moving to invade Maryland,
the Third Brigade was ordered tb recross the Potomac, and, after
exchanging its Austrian rifles for Springfield muskets at the Na-
tional Arsenal, joined the Third Division of the fifth Corps, and
then hastened forward as part of the Army of the Potomac to meet
the now elated and greatly emboldened, but mournfully deluded,
Army of Northern Virginia. After wearisome marches, meeting-
many stragglers, and passing many worn out soldiers unable to keep
up with their commands, the corps reached the battle-field of An-
tietam, where it relieved the fatigued troops that the day before
had so determinately and effectually checked the Confederate ad-
vance, and here J. B. first saw the distressing picture of a fiercely
contested battle-field, sometimes as trying to the undisciplined as
to be engaged in actual battle. Field hospitals had been quickly
improvised on all sides, where the disabled were having their
wounds dressed and their shattered limbs amputated The rebel
dead were still unburied, as well as hundreds of dead horses, and
the stench was beginning to be offensive The painful evidences
of savage struggle and unsparing destruction were everywhere

But there was no ordeal of veritable carnage here yet for the
131st, as the next morning the baffled enemy had fled. The regi-
ment was then ordered into camp near SharpsDurg, and assigned
to picket duty along the Potomac River. Here for several weeks
the boys had the usual experience of camp life, cleaning up quarters
and moving tents for sanitary reasons, cleaning their guns for the
inspection of arms, drilling to acquire martial efficiency, standing
guard for order and security, getting orders now and then to be
ready to march at a moment's notice, etc. The weather about
this time was excessively hot, and many of the regiment \vere on
the sick list. Every day had its excitement or diversion of some
kind. Sometimes it was an observation balloon ascension, always
an interesting sight. One day they got a large mail, and nearly
everv one had letters from the dear ones at home, some of which

2i8 The Gernhardt Family History.

were read many times over. Another day they were deeply inter-
ested in heavy firing eighteen miles away, knowing that a brisk
engagement was going on at Charlestown, and expecting to re-
ceive orders at any moment to "fall in." Once a number of the
boys "chipped in" and sent to Sharpsburg for flour and apples,
and had Henry Harris, colored, the company cook, get them up an
apple-dumpling dinner — about which one of the participants of
vigorous digestion wrote in his diary, "I filled myself with dump-
lings clean up to my ears." At last, on the 30th day of October,
after having packed up half a dozen times, the brigadebroke camp
for good, and with much hearty cheering started back over the
battle ground of Antietam, forward over hills and mountain, cross-
ing the Potomac on a pontoon bridge, and on the evening of the
31st, after marching twenty-five miles, encamped about five miles
from Harper's Ferry. Once during the march that followed the
wagon train was delayed by heavy rains and mud, depriving the
boys of rations for two days and one night, and subjecting them
to an involuntary fast that did not very much promote their piety.
After various experiences during November and part of De-
cember, as marching in dust, or in rain and mud — sleeping on the
cold or wet ground, or on more or less crooked and sharp-edged
Virginia worm-fence rails, when such a luxurious bed was obtain-
able, as even fence rails became scarce where hostile armies
tramped back and forth — being routed out of sound sleep by the
sharp and inexorable command to "fall in," sometimes without
rations, and no time to make a cup of coffee — all trials against
which a patriot is not supposed to demur even in a whisper — the
Third Brigade, about four o'clock on the morning of December
nth, broke camp and moved to the vicinity of the Rappahannock,
not far from Fredericksburg, ready to participate in what proved
to be one of the most desperate and futile struggles of the war.
The heights around Fredericksburg formed a stronghold that
blocked the way to the Confederate capital, and the whole loyal
North and West kept up an incessant shout, "On to Richmond."
For two days following there was a constant booming of heavy
guns, no less than one hundred and seventy-nine cannon having




The Gernhardt Family History. 219

opened on the doomed town with shot and shell, the object being to
drive out the sharpshooters, who interfered seriously with the
crossing of the river. The concussions were so terrific as to make

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