01 November 2015

Sunday’s Obituary: Edward O’Flaherty

Edward O’Flaherty, a Civil War Veteran, died Saturday, 9 December 1922 in Franklin, PA. While I cannot connect him to my O’Flaherty line, I am fascinated by his obituary. It was published in the News Herald, out of Franklin, on Tuesday, 11 December 1922. His obituary lists his parents, immigration information, employment, children and of course his wartime information. It is truly a gem. 

His obituary reads:
Edward O’Flaherty, in his 76th year, Civil War survivor and one of the most prominent of the early day business men of this city, died at 6:30 o’clock Saturday evening at the family home, 240 Washington avenue. Death was due to locometor ataxia, which had confined him to his bed for the past 23 years. During that time he had been wonderfully patient and cheerful. Until so weakened by the disease that he was not able to use his hands any longer he spent much of his time making wooden and paper toys for the youngsters in the neighborhood, all of whom were great friends of the afflicted man. 

Mr. O’Flaherty was born on St. Patrick’s Day, 1847, in County Galway, Ireland. His parents emigrated to this country in 1849 and located at Geneva, NY. Mr. O’Flaherty learned the trade of baker at Medina, NY, and followed the trade for many years. He was an artist in the line of baking and icing cakes. 

On August 15, 1862, when he was but 15 years of age, he enlisted as a private in Company I, 138 NYV., which would later become the Ninth New York Heavy Artillery. He was promoted to corporal on October 19, 1864; to color corporal on March 25, 1865; sergeant on April 5, 1865, and on the same day received another promotion to color sergeant. 

His official record during the Civil War shows much service including: Cold Harbor, Va., June 1 to 12, 1864; before Petersburg, Va., June 15 to 19; Weldon railroad, June 22 and 23; Monocacy City, July 9; Fort Stevens, Washington, DC, July 12; Snicker’s Gap, Va., July 17 and 18; Strasburg, August 15; Summit Point, August 21; Smithfield, August 29; Opequan, September 19; Fisher’s Hill, September 22 and Cedar Creek, October 19 all in 1864. He was wounded in the head at the siege of Petersburg and in the left knee at Cedar Creek. On April 9, 1865, he was at Appomattox Court House, was present at the surrender of Lee and was part of an expedition sent to Danville to co-operate with General W. T. Sherman’s forces. He was mustered out October 15, 1865. 

At the close of the was he returned to Medina, where 54 years ago in January, he was married to Miss Mary Milligan of that place. In 1869 they removed to Titusville, where M. O’Flaherty engaged in the bakery and grocery business until 1870, when he went to Petroleum Center, which was then in the height of its activity, and engaged in the same business. He was then employed to oversee the construction of the brick block on Elm, Center and Sycamore streets, now occupied by the Edwards Bros. store, by the late O. F. Schomblom, who died recently in Bradford. While the building was under construction, he still continued his business in Petroleum Center and when the building here was completed in 1873, he opened one of the largest groceries and bakeries in this section of the state. This he continued until the latter 80’s when he and Charles Settle, of this city, and W. H. Whisner, of Titusville, went to Oklahoma to look after land claims owned by members of the G.A.R., of this city. He went from there to Gatesville, Tex., where 24 years ago he was stricken with the malady, which eventually caused his death. He was brought to his home here by his son, Charles and Mrs. O’Flaherty. 

Mr. O’Flaherty always took an active part in any movement for the upbuilding and development of the city in the earlier days. He was a member of one of the volunteer fire companies, of the Oil City Grey militia and of many fraternal organizations. In his younger days he was an active part in amateur theatricals for the benefit of the G.A.R. He was commander for a number of terms of the old Captain Evans Post, G.A.R. He was a member of St. Joseph’s church. 

Surviving are his wife and the following children: Charles O’Flaherty, of Olean, NY; Edwin C O’Flaherty and Mrs. E. M. Downes, of Oil City and Mrs. Edward Kaufman, of Washington, PA. 

A high mass of requiem for the repose of his soul will be celebrated at 9 o’clock Tuesday morning in St. Joseph’s church. This afternoon at 3 o’clock members of Hayes Post, G.A.R., conducted the committal services of that organization at the family home. 

Sources:
The News Herald. (Franklin, PA), 11 December 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. 

 

Sunday’s Obituary is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.