Photo of the Week – Decoration Day, May 1931

This photo taken in May of 1931 on Decoration Day, shows the grave marker of Paris W. Albert (1836-1913) buried at Cassel Cemetery, York Haven, York County, PA. He served in Company B of the 12th Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry (also called 41st Volunteers). His wife, Susan Daugherty Albert, is also buried here. This picture was taken by Benjamin and Maude Stewart, when they visited the cemetery of Ben’s grandfather, a Civil War veteran.

Originally Memorial Day was called Decoration Day in the United States, and it was a one-day remembrance for those that gave their lives in service to their country.  It originated after the American Civil War to memorialize the roughly 620,000 that died in that conflict. The holiday gradually grew to include tribute to all those men and women that died or gave their service to our country while serving in the Armed Forces. Families traveled to their ancestral burial plots, and placed flags and planted flowers at the gravestones of their loved ones that had served in the military.

Ben Stewart owned a gas station called the Kingston Garage in Middlesex County, New Jersey. Born in York Haven, York County, PA, he was the son of Benjamin F. and Olive Albert Stewart.  He enjoyed going back home for Albert family reunions, although it took a very important holiday for him to close his business. Here, in another photo taken that day, Ben is in the middle, with his brother Tom Stewart (the big guy) on the left, and his brother-in-law, Walter Herrman, on the right. Walter was the husband of Hazel Stewart. All three men are shown at the family picnic wearing their work clothes.

This photo above was also taken on Decoration Day in 1931, and shows the grave marker for Washington Lockard (1835-1905), at Mount Rose Cemetery, York City, York County, PA. He served with Company C of the 83 Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. His wife, Elizabeth Remick Lockard, and his son, George Lockard, are also buried here. The grave of Maude’s grandfather, Washington Lockard, is shown decorated with newly planted flowers and with a similar flag blowing in the breeze. Washington Lockard was from Lancaster County right across the Susquehanna River from York City, but had moved to York County by the 1880 Federal Census.

Maude is shown here in this picture (sitting on the right) with her two sisters, Minnie Eisenberger Greiman and Eva Eisenberger Welsh, resting on the front bumper of their car at the Mt. Rose Cemetery. The three ladies are looking very stylish! Maude enjoyed any occasion for family to reunite and she loved cooking, especially the old Pennsylvania Dutch recipes. All three Eisenberger sisters were born in York City.

Here’s a link for ordering Civil War Pension Records from the National Archives. I ordered the pension records for both Washington Lockard and Paris W. Albert, and was stunned as to how much information they included. Both files were over 100 pages, and included personal service histories, plus birth and marriage records and injury records. A website to locate regiments of Civil War veterans is the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System from the National Park Service. Be aware that you may have to use alternative spellings; for example Washington Lockard’s records are also under Lockart and Lockhard.

My sister and I took Evelyn Stewart Barnes (the daughter of Ben & Maude) to these cemeteries, plus the York County Heritage Trust, in June of 2000. Evelyn enjoyed seeing that someone had recently left flowers at her grandmother’s (Ida Lockard Eisenberger) grave at Mount Rose Cemetery. Evelyn shared old stories with us and we all looked up records. Our last stop was the Cassel Cemetery, but we couldn’t stay long because a storm came up with tornado warnings. What a wonderful day we had searching for history together!

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