Silas I Neese


SILAS I. NEESE, of Red Bank township, Armstrong county, was born May 24, 1888, on the farm he now occupies, the old homestead of the Neese family.

The grandfather of Silas I. Neese was born in Schuylkill county, Pa., and on coming to Armstrong county settled in Red Bank township, on what was later known as the Jesse Reinhart farm, near New Salem. Later he moved to Forest county, Pa., where he continued to carry on general farming until his death, and he is buried in that county. He was a Democrat in politics. He married Catherine Shuman, who died Aug. 1, 1885, and is buried in the United Evangelical cemetery at North Freedom, Armstrong county. They had children as follows, besides Jacob, father of Silas I. Neese: Susanna, who married Dr. Emmanuel Rettinger (both are deceased); George, deceased, who married Polly Haines, and lived at Oak Ridge, Armstrong county; Catherine, who married Aaron Holben (both are deceased); John, who married Mary Ann Emery, and lived in Tennessee (she is deceased); Hetty, who was the wife of Eli Haines, of Emerickville, Jefferson county (both are deceased); Mary, wife of W. R. Darrah (both are deceased); Sarah, wife of James Steele, of Brookville, Jefferson county; Isaac, who died in infancy; Lydia, who died in infancy; and Mary, who was burned to death when two years old.

Jacob Neese, father of Silas I. Neese, was born at Leatherwood, Clarion Co., Pa., and was a child when the family moved to Red Bank township, where he received a common school education. He worked for his father on the farm and was twenty-one years old when he went to Forest county, where he continued with his father until he went into the service during the Civil war. On Aug. 28, 1861, he enlisted from Armstrong county in Company G, 105th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, under Captain Freas, and was mustered in at Pittsburgh for three years� service. This regiment, which was attached to the 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 3d Corps, Army of the Potomac, was commanded by Col. A. A. McKnight until his death. Mr. Neese took part with his regiment in the following notable engagements: Yorktown, April 5-May 2, 1862; Williamsburg, May 5, 1862; Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862; White Oak Swamp, June 30, 1862; Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862; Bristoe Station, Aug. 22, 1862; second Bull Run, Aug. 30, 1862; Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862; Chancellorsville, May 1-4, 1863; Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863; Auburn, Kelly�s Ford, Nov. 7, 1863; Mine Run, December, 1863; Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864. On May 6th he was injured, receiving a gunshot wound on the right side of his head, and he was sent to a hospital in Washington, D. C., where he remained for ten days. Thence he was sent to Baltimore, Md., for two weeks, and from there to York, Pa., for a short time, until able to rejoin his regiment at Pittsburgh, at which place he was honorably discharged, Aug. 28, 1864. During his service Mr. Neese was captured twice and was home twice on furlough.

Mr. Neese had bought a farm of thirty acres in Forest county, and after the war he bought a tract of seventy-three acres, adding to his possessions as he prospered until he owned two hundred acres. He was actively engaged in general farming until his death, which occurred Nov. 5, 1910, and he is buried in the Eddyville cemetery. He was a useful citizen of his locality, serving a number of terms as supervisor, and he was a prominent member of the McWilliams United Evangelical Church, in Red Bank township, serving as treasurer of both Church and Sunday school. Politically he was a Republican.

On Aug. 21, 1861, Mr. Neese married Susanna Emery, who was born July 20, 1844, daughter of George and Catherine (Hilliard) Emery. They had a family of five children, namely: Anna Clara, wife of Albert Wombler, of Jefferson county; Mary Catherine, wife of A. C. Smith, of Red Bank township; William P., who married Margaret Burket, and lived in Red Bank township; Robert E., of Red Bank township, who married Annie Sherry; and Silas I. The farm was divided among the children upon the father�s death, Silas I. receiving the homestead.

George Emery, father of Mrs. Neese, was born May 13, 1813, in Northampton county, Pa., where his father settled after coming to America and passed the remainder of his life. George Emery came to Red Bank township, Armstrong county, and bought a farm of one hundred acres, part of which lies over the line in Jefferson county. He carried on farming all his life, from this region moving to Tennessee, where he bought a tract of 125 acres, which he cultivated for twenty years. He died there in 1881 at the age of sixty-eight years, and is buried in that State. His wife subsequently sold the Tennessee property and returned to Red Bank township, buying a tract of five acres and a home from her son-in-law, Jacob Neese. She passed her closing years, however, with her daughter Sarah, Mrs. Holben, in Butler county. She was born in 1820, daughter of Francis and Susanna (Eckert) Hilliard, of Leatherwood, Clarion county, and died in 1908 at the age of eighty-eight years; she is interred in the Lutheran Church ground in Ringgold township, Jefferson county. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Emery: Mary Ann, deceased, married John Neese, of Tennessee; Susanna is the widow of Jacob Neese; John married Maria Fisher, and lived in Red Bank township (she is deceased); Sarah Jane married John Holben, of Butler county, Pa.; Catherine, deceased, was the wife of James Duncan, of Coffee county, Tenn.; Priscilla died when three years old. The father of this family was originally a Democrat in politics, but later became a Republican, and he was a Union sympathizer during the Civil war, in which he served two years as a member of the 2d Pennsylvania Cavalry; he was discharged on account of sickness. He served as supervisor of his township, and was a member of the Lutheran Church. His daughter, Mrs. Neese, is a member of the United Evangelical Church at McWilliams, to which she has belonged for over fifty years.

Silas I. Neese has always resided on the home farm in Red Bank township. He received his education in the local schools, working for his father until the latter�s death, when he inherited the homestead property. Politically he is a Republican. Mr. Neese married Esther Ruth Snyder, daughter of Daniel and Laura Alice (Weaver) Snyder, of Jefferson county, Pa., and they have one child, William Ivan, born April 14, 1912.

Walter Snyder, grandfather of Mrs. Neese, was a farmer in Porter township, Jefferson county, until his death. He was of German stock. He was twice married, and by his first wife, Elizabeth Sherry, had children as follows: John, who died while serving in the army; Henry, of Jefferson county, who married Catherine Milliron; Simon, deceased; William, of Oklahoma, who married Caroline Commandeiner; David, deceased, who married Elizabeth Ellenberger; Conrad, who died young; Daniel; Catherine, who died young. Mr. Snyder�s second marriage was to Annie Blanchard, who came from Germany, and they had four children: George, Mary, Samuel and William Weaver, all deceased. The mother of this family survives, living with Mrs. Daniel Snyder in Ringgold township, Jefferson county. She is a member of the Lutheran Church, to which her husband also belonged. He and his first wife are buried in the Lutheran graveyard in Ringgold township.

Daniel Snyder, father of Mrs. Neese, was born April 19, 1855, in Jefferson county, Pa., and received his education in the schools of Ringgold township. Until he reached his majority he worked for his father, later buying the farm of seventy-five acres from his father in Ringgold township, the place he is still occupying, and he has been a successful farmer. He has served as supervisor and school director of his township, is a Democrat in politics, and holds membership in the Lutheran Church in Ringgold township, Jefferson county.

Mr. Snyder married Laura Alice Weaver, daughter of Amos and Eliza (Albert) Weaver, and they have had five children: Annie, wife of Robert McCanna, of Armstrong county; Lowry, living on the farm in Jefferson county, who married Della Fisher; Mattie, who died when nineteen years old; Esther Ruth, born Dec. 16, 1892, who is the wife of Silas I. Neese; and Iva Alma, at home.

Source: Pages 946-947, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Kathy Zagorac for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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