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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: October 12, 1870

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Re-Union of the 77th Regiment Penna. Vols.
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Summary: The editor described in vivid detail the reunion of the 77th Pennsylvania regiment. Different speakers gave a detailed history of the regiment, including all the battles they fought during the war. The members of the reunion then picked officers to plan the next reunion and offered toasts to the veterans. Within these toasts some of the speakers mentioned the attributes of women and their steadfastness in the cause(at the same time insisting they would never want the vote).
(Names in announcement: Col. F. S. Stumbaugh, Capt. H. C. Demming, Lt. C. Snively, Housum, M'Kesson, Stevens, McDowell, Capt. G. W. Skinner, Col. Pyfer, Neal Foy, Col. William A. Robinson, M. J. Malony, Capt. Miles Zentmyer, Rhodes, Lt. Martin)
Full Text of Article:

This interesting occasion, which had been duly announced in the REPOSITORY, came off on Thursday of last week. Quite a large number of the old veterans from various parts of the State were in attendance, and the reunion is not likely to be soon forgotten by our citizens.

At 12 o'clock, M., the members assembled in the Court House, and were called to order, Col. F. S. Stumbaugh presiding. Capt. H.C. Demming, and Lieut. C. Snively, were appointed Secretaries. A committee on officers for the ensuing year was appointed. Harrisburg was determined upon as the place for the next reunion, in 1871. Adjourned till 2 P.M.


Meeting called to order at the appointed time. Prayer by Rev. Dr. Robinson. He prayed for the regiment; returned thanks to the God of Battles, who had brought all safe through past dangers; besought His protection for the absent members of the regiment and for the families of all; prayed for our country that it might ever have as true men for its guardians as those of the 77th; that it might be the first love of fathers, the true faith of children, and ever be protected by the strong arm of the people.

The address of welcome was then delivered by Col. F.S. Stumbaugh. He bid all a hearty welcome--the guests--the ladies--a welcome in the name of the officers and men of the 77th; and the regiment in turn a greeting in the name of the widows and orphans of the war, in the name of the good citizens of Chambersburg. He spoke of the time that the regiment was mustered into service, October, 1861, and the time that it was mustered out, August, 1865. He adverted to the changes that the regiment had undergone as a military body, and the dreadful changes war had wrought. He recalled the names of Housum and M'Kesson, of Stevens and McDowell, and the memory of others whose names shall never be forgotten. He spoke in glowing terms of the trip down the Ohio, the plaudits of the people along the route, and the reception at Louisville, the march through Tennessee and Kentucky, North Georgia and Mississippi, Louisiana to Texas, and of the first and last battles of the war. He was glad to see that other regiments were having reunions, and hoped that more would be encouraged to work for them, so that there might be one grand reunion of all. In conclusion, he thanked the ladies for their presence and again bid one and all a hearty welcome to the second reunion of the 77th regiment of Penna. Volunteers.

Capt. G.W. Skinner, then proceeded to deliver the annual oration, somewhat as follows: It is as much a matter of regret to me as it can possibly be to you, that the gentleman first selected to deliver this address could not perform the duty. Not knowing till within the last few days that Col. Pyfer would not be here, and that I was to take his place, my opportunities for preparation have not been as great as I could have desired. I therefore ask your pardon for anything that may to you seem amiss. On the 12th day of April, 1861, that fearful civil war, which had for so many months been protending, unclasped its purple leaves at Sumpter. Dark as were the clouds which in these months had overhung our Country's Southern horizon, our people were as yet unprepared for the shock of battle. But the Flag of our Union was assailed, and from every section of the North there went up the cry "to arms." Companies and regiments were speedily formed. States vied with each other in their haste to succor the cause of our own imperiled flag. Pennsylvania, true to her instincts and true to her own time honored position as the first among the foremost in this patriotic world. She sent out regiment after regiment, and in October, 1861, she sent out the 77th, and briefly as possible let its history speak for itself. On the 1st day of August 1861, Col. Stumbaugh received authority to recruit the regiment. On the 18th of October it was transported to Louisville, by way of the Ohio river; thence to Nolin's river, where it encamped for several weeks. Here it was assigned to General Buell's army, and participated with it in the advance on Nashville. From Nashville it advanced in the direction of Savannah; arrived at Savannah, it was announced that General Grant was in sore peril on the field of Shiloh. Part of Buell's forces were already on the field and the rest were hurried forward, the 77th arriving at the scene of conflict at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 7th of April, 1862. On that field the regiment received its baptism of blood, leaving three killed and several wounded. After Shiloh it participated in the siege of Corinth; then in the long, wearisome race between Bragg and Buell to Louisville. It was at Stone River when that battle began, and to a member of the 77th belongs the honor of firing the first shot in the fight. Many of its bravest men were killed and wounded there, and some of its best officers. It was there that Housum fell at the head of the regiment. Brave, gallant fellow, he met the stern messenger of Death with the same coolness and inflexible courage which had characterized every other act of his life. I speak no words of superfluous praise when I say that he was one of the most honorable of men, one of the best commanders, and one of the bravest soldiers. Over his grave, in yonder cemetery, stands a monument whose simple inscription tells the story of his courage as a soldier. "Davis, I am wounded; stay by the brave boys of the 77th," were his last words. At Stone River the 77th did its duty well, and needs no other compliment of the fact than the words of Gen. Rosecrans: "Colonel, I see that your regiment is all right; give my compliments to the boys, and tell them that I say it was the banner regiment at Stone River, they never broke their ranks." The regiment moved South again with the army; was at Liberty Gap on the 25th of June, 1863, and, although the battle there lasted but ten minutes, our loss in killed and wounded was fifty. Time will not permit me to follow up closely the history of the regiment. After many long and tiresome marches, the regiment again come face to face with the enemy at Chickamauga, on the 19th of September. That was its most terrible struggle. Entering the battle with 18 officers and 215 men, it came out with but 6 officers and scarcely fifty men. By myself nothing is more clearly remembered than the conflict there on the night of the 19th. The scene was fearful. The heavens were dark and cloudy, and the air through the woods in which we fought was murky with the smoke of battle. The conflict was hand to hand, and it was only by the light of slashing muskets that friend could be distinguished from foe. Our colors were taken, but only when the brave fellow who bore them was pinned to the earth by a rebel bayonet. After participating for a month in the defence of Chattanooga the organization went into camp, where it remained until the close of 1863. In January, 1864, most of its survivors re-enlisted and the regiment was sent home. After remaining in the State a little over a month, it again returned to the front in time to take part in the Atlanta campaign. In that campaign which might justly be termed the hundred miles and hundred days fight from Resaca to Atlanta, the regiment must have been engaged twenty times. When Sherman began his march "From Atlanta to the Sea," the 77th followed the fortunes of the 4th army corps, to which it was then attached, back through Georgia, through northern Alabama and through middle Tennessee, until on the 30th of November, 1864, it found itself facing Hood at Franklin. Seven times in succession did the united forces of Hood's army hurl themselves against the temporary breastworks we had erected, each time to be driven back with fearful slaughter. Retiring from Franklin under cover of night we fell back to Nashville, where on the 15th and 16th of December our little army of scarcely two corps again met Hood's forces in battle. In those two days we almost destroyed his army. On the 5th of March, 1865, we began preparing to join in the last great "On to Richmond." But ere we were ready for the forward march "the last ditch" of the enemy was found and emptied by our boys in the East. At Appomattox Court House, on the 8th day of April, 1865, the head of that army which had struggled against us for four long years, surrendered. With Lee's surrender the war virtually closed, many regiments being soon after mustered out. Not so, however, with the 77th. A few weeks before the surrender the regiment had been reinforced by the addition of five new companies. These companies arrived too late to take part in any engagement, but soon enough to see some hard service. There being no further work for it in East Teennessee, it was sent back to Nashville, where it lay until the 17th of June, when it was ordered along with others to Texas. On the 13th of July it embarked for Matagorda Bay, Texas, where it landed on the 20th. The intervening time from July 20th till the 17th of the following December, was spent in that far distant State. We were now three thousand miles from home, in an inhospitable clime. Many a gallant soldier fell there in that far off land a victim of disease. Leaving Galveston on the 17th day of January, 1866. Among the first to enter, it was one of the last to leave the service.

Time has allowed me to give but a synopsis of its history, but enough to show its record. Who will say that the record is not one of which every member may justly feel proud? How pleasant to all of us is this re-union here to-day. It is like brothers long parted meeting together again. And are we not brothers? Members for years of the same great family, eating from the same table, drinking from the same fountains and streams, reposing together on the same fields, companions in camp and on the march, comrades in battle, the tie that binds us is almost as strong and indissoluble as that which links together the hearts of those, who, in childhood's hour, knelt at the same parental knee. All was not hardship and danger. There were, really, many pleasant evenings spent round the camp fire. There were those whose spirits no amount of hardship could dampen. In the camp, on the march, and even where great dangers lurked, they were always in a jolly mood. Who does not remember Neal Foy, of Co. A? always lively, always ready with a joke, no matter where it was. Poor fellow, he died in Texas, just before our time of service expired. I wish I could stop to-day to pronounce a eulogy upon each one of our cherished dead. Our re-union to-day is not for them. Our festivities this evening will carry no enjoyment to the place where they are resting. It is meet, therefore, that we should speak of them, if not by name, at least in general terms, for

"A debt of gratitude we owe,
To them 'tis justly due,
And till our nation's latest day
Our children's children still shall say,
They died for us and you."

There are those too who have come back to us mere shattered wrecks of their former selves. These are to a certain extent the nation's care, yet it seems to me sometimes that some of them are unkindly dealt with. This should not be, the man who laid a limb upon the field of battle, has a claim upon his country and his people which cannot be ignored. Nor should I forget to-day that there is still another class to whom the nation owes its meed of praise, not of those who endured the danger and fatigue of the camp and march. This class is still perhaps to be held in more grateful recollection than any other. Unfitted for the bivouac of actual army life, its silent watch was kept by the side of the dying. All honor then to that noble army of Christian women which carried its ministrations to the bed aide of the suffering one. Back along the past we find many instances of the heroism of women, but it remained for our great civil war to develop the brightest type of nobility in her sex. Oh! my comrades, if true devotion is to be found anywhere, it is to be found in the hearts of such as these. If there is hope for our country in the uncertain future it rests on the altar they have erected. Somebody has fitly remarked, "If woman be with us who can be against us," woman who was last at the Cross and first at the Sepulcher. To the crippled ones then, to the mother in her sorrow, to the widow in her loneliness of her heart, to the orphan in its bereavement, let our sympathies go out. Let our thanks and benefactions be showered on their heads.

It may not be inappropriate, my comrades, to call to mind the fact that we meet to day in a place which has suffered more than the ordinary evils of war. Many of you doubtless remember the day (I remember it well,) when the news was brought that Chambersburg had been burned. I remember how deep was the indignation that ran through our ranks; how our boys vowed vengeance and how they fought that evening in remembrance of it. "Oh! if the 77th had only been there," was the expression heard on every lip. Yes, if the 77th only had been here, I feel free to say the unholy work would only have been accomplished when the power to defend had been taken away from our arms.

Briefly, my comrades, I have traced the history of our regiment. In a feeble manner, I have essayed to pay tribute to the memory of our dead; and to the faithful services of others, who, though still living, are but wearing out lives of sadness. I have spoken too of the peculiar sufferings of the people you have come among to day, so I am about to leave the subject with you. This history we will remember while we live, and when the last one of us has obeyed the bugle call to another world, the lids of the great volume will still stand open for those to read who are to come after us.

It may be permitted many of us to meet together again, on future occasions of this kind, so while the opportunity remains let us come to these re-unions wherever they may be held. True in the past, I know each one of you will be true in the future. Tried in the furnace of battle, your country knows now of what stern material you are made. She knows that in any just cause she may again rely on the same strong arms and stout hearts which had saved her in the hour of her greatest peril. In the future she may need you again. Let us resolve then, that whatever others may do, we, at least, will stand by the Union of our fathers, they founded it, their best blood cemented it. It was good enough for them, it is good enough for us, and it will be good enough for all those who are to come after us. In order, then, that it may be perpetuated, let us forget the hatreds and animosities of the late war. This country cannot long exist if bound together only by a paper tie called the Constitution. No, it needs a stronger and far more enduring tie than that. It needs the firmly cemented affections of this people, of all the States. Though deep and wide the wounds may be, heal them all up.

Let us take a lesson in this from the gallant dead of both sides. On every battle field they sleep, "the grey and blue," almost in brotherly embrace, their warfare over and forgotten. So let it be with us. Let us join hearts and hands again, and go forward to labor for the fulfillment of what I trust will be a great destiny for our country.

After the address of Capt. Skinner, the following business was transacted:

Report of the Committte on Officers for the ensuing year, as follows:
President--Capt. H.C. Demming.
Vice Presidents--Col. F.S. Stumbaugh, Col. Wm. A. Robinson.
Corresponding Secretary.--M.J. Malony.
Recording Secretary.--Capt. Miles Zentmyer.
Treasurer.--Capt. G.W. Skinner.

A committee of three, consisting of the following named persons, was then appointed to choose an orator for the next reunion:--Col. Robinson, Private Rhodes, Lieut. Martin. The same committee was also instructed to prepare a badge for the members of the regiment.

On motion the meeting then adjourned, and the regiment in a body paid a visit to the tomb of Lieut. Col Housum. Not a word was spoken at the tomb, and the regiment stood with uncovered heads while the band played a solemn dirge.

After leaving the cemetery, the grounds of the Franklin County Agricultural Society were visited, and the regiment was there disbanded.

At 8 o'clock, P.M., a reception was held in Repository Hall, which was a perfect success, notwithstanding the little misunderstanding which at first existed as to the character of the entertainment. It was not a "hop," but merely a social gathering, where a trio of hours passed away very pleasantly indeed. At 11 o'clock supper was announced, and officers and guests repaired to the National Hotel, where a splendid banquet was spread. After the blessing had been pronounced by Prof. Shumaker, Co. Stumbaugh said, "all things are ready and the word is action." It is needless to add what followed. Af- the meal, Capt. Skinner proposed the following toast:

First: "The Pennsylvania Volunteers."

Response by Gen. Russell. He expressed his satisfaction at being called on to respond to the sentiment, "The Pennsylvania Volunteers."--Though not one of them, yet he took into account his connection with them. He was proud of them, for when the first time it became necessary to call out troops to put down the rebellion, the State of Pennsylvania, the Keystone of the Federal Arch, responded so promptly. Pennsylvania gave 366,000 men, yes, counting all her enlistments in army and navy, her contributions amount to full 400,000. Who were these men? They were the representatives of almost every family in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania did the government put its trust, and she vindicated its honor. It was no thirst for territory which incited to this war, the greatest in the annals of the world. No, it was to protect this government, made for the people and by the people, that it should not perish off the earth. Where to-day are to be found better men? When the war was over they returned to society and gave a more patriotic tone to it. His had been the honor of presenting to the 77th, 78th and 79th regiments their first regimental colors, at Allegheny City, in October, 1861. The 77th had been among the first out in defence of the cause, and the last but three mustered out of service. Exposed to captivity and death, again restored to civil life and to the quiet homes from which they had departed, they have the consciousness of knowing that they have served their country well and faithfully. He considered re-unions of regiments eminently proper, and wished the 77th many happy ones.

The next toast was "The Army of the Cumberland," to which Gen. Jordon responded. Not having made a public speech for some time, he requested the favor of reading what he had to say, and in a full, strong, soldierly voice he read a glowing eulogy on the Army of the Cumberland, of which army the 77th was the only Eastern regiment. He traced the course of this army, and especially of this one regiment through all its wanderings in the South, and closed with a tribute of respect to the memory of Gen. Thomas.

The third toast of the evening was "The Ladies," which was responded to by Lieut Snively, in the following happy manner: The ladies, heaven bless them all! The tongue of men can never do them justice. We don't understand the sweet creatures, and, to tell the truth, sometimes they don't understand themselves. They are so perverse and yet so gentle, they always conquer just when they seem ready to yield. As wives they are the sweetest blessings of our lives. Strong minded ladies are one sided in their views. The ladies want no Sixteenth Amendment to our Constitution, they don't want to vote. For how could Susan Jane vote on age, or Arabella have Charles Augustus know that she could have voted Lincoln's first election. Then they are said to have their foibles, top, of false hair, Grecian hand and high heels. We don't know that they are guilty, we don't want to know. We have seen their little fixings in the shop windows, but of course they are kept there only for show, nobody ever saw the ladies buy them. And the ladies are blamed with being false, fickle and addicted to coquetry. Is this true? No, surely not. They are God's greatest blessing to man and the complement of his nature.

The next toast proposed was: "The 126th Regiment Penna. Vols," to which Lieut. Welsh made an impromptu response. He spoke of the sympathy which existed between the two regiments of the 126th's appreciation of the invitation to the evening's entertainment. He could sound no louder praise of the 77th than to repeat the compliment paid it by Gen. Rosecrans: "Give the brave boys my compliments, their's is the banner regiment, the only one that stood at Stone River;" and the last words of Col. Housum, "Stay with the 77th."

Capt. Miles Zentmyer responded in a most eloquent manner to the fifth toast of the evening, "Our Country. Her past history and her destiny were his theme. The dread ordeal of war, the woe, and anguish are past, and America basks in the bright sunlight of peace.

The toast "Our Fallen Comrades," was drank standing and in silence.

The last toast was "Our Guests," and Prof. Shumaker, in response, said that he could understand how there could be a sympathy between soldiers; how those who had gone through the same privations could feel as brothers. There was sympathy at home for the soldier, it was enough for him to say I have fought for the old flag. It was said in Europe "clothe all your women in black, rob them of their ornaments, of all things which makes them beautiful, and your wars will cease." They blamed the wars on the women; but they were wrong. The women have done good. How many are they who have been kept from a cowardly set because some loved woman at home would hear of it. Then there is the record of hospital service. Without women there is a lack of true military spirit. From the spirit the true character of a man can be known. Not one Pennsylvania regiment disgraced the flag.

At two o'clock the guest arose and the Reunion of the 77th was at an end.

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Olive Logan
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Summary: The paper expects a full crowd for the upcoming lecture by Olive Logan, one of the most "brilliant of the female orators of the present day." "Olive is one of the celebrities of the day--one of the products of the nineteenth century, which only this progressive nation can exhibit. To have an opportunity to hear her is a privilege a Franklin county audience does not often have a chance to enjoy." She will lecture on "Girls." "Who does not feel anxious to hear them talked about by one of the most brilliant of their sex, and who knows all about them? What a relief from political harangues, and dry scientific topics! She will tell us some new things about the pretty dears."
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: The editor copied some racist remarks made by a Democratic voters to incite black voters to support the Republican party.
Full Text of Article:

An ardent Democrat, full of devotion to the great White Man's party, thus delivered himself to the patentee of that popular idea on the Court House steps: "I'm a Democrat, yes, I always stood up for Democracy; I got many a black eye for talkin' for that party. I am not for the nigger, no sir-ee. I didn't send my son to the army to fight to free the niggers; he got fifteen hundred dollars for going in the army. I don't go for the nigger Republicans." This bit of raw material no doubt was intended to be worked up by the aforesaid patentee, as an exhibit of the spirit which animates the White Man's party in its struggles to keep the nigger down, but unfortunately it came too late for the present campaign. Lest it should be lost in the excitement of the last hours of the fight with the colored voters, we preserve it for their future use.

[No Title]
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Summary: The Gas Company is working on installing gas pipes out North Front Street to Wilson College. This will allow residents on the streets to have gas in their homes. The paper advocates installing gas street lamps as well.
Shooting Gallery
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Summary: Mr. Gilvrey, a "generous, open hearted son of the Emerald Isle," has opened a shooting gallery in the Repository building which has become "the constant resort of the sporting lads of Chambersburg. It presents a good opportunity of becoming proficient at fire arms."
(Names in announcement: Gilvrey)
Wilson College
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Summary: The ceremonies "inaugurating Wilson College as one of the Institution of Learning of the land" will be held on Thursday.
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Church of God Bethel will hold services on Sunday. The topics are "Who and how many are to be saved?" and "Was Dickens a Christian?"
Temperance Lecture
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Summary: Rev. E. W. Kirby of Chambersburg will lecture on temperance in Lyceum Hall, Greenvillage, on the 14th.
(Names in announcement: Rev. E. W. Kirby)
Vote of Franklin County
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Summary: The editor printed the voter returns from township in Franklin County. He put complete data for the gubernatorial election in 1869 but has incomplete data for the 1870 Congressional election, although he said the outcome would be very close.
Full Text of Article: Governor,'69 Congress,'70 Geary, R. Packer, D. Cessna, R. Meyers, D. Antrim 507 485 .. 26 Chamb'g, N.W. 323 253 103 .. Chamb'g, S.W. 256 271 152 .. Concord 28 99 .. .. Dry Run 105 103 .. .. Fayetteville 220 210 .. 9 Greenvillage 183 114 84 .. Guilford 182 210 .. 44 Hamilton 88 156 .. 54 Letterkenny 149 223 .. .. Lurgan 89 153 .. .. Loudon 78 119 .. .. Metal 132 96 .. .. Montgomery 205 172 128* .. Orrstown 86 140 .. .. Peters 136 69 .. .. Quincy 214 299 .. 67 Southampton 48 73 .. .. Sulpher Spring 33 46 .. .. St. Thomas 147 221 .. 104 Washington 330 297 14 .. Welsh Run 124 139 .. .. Warren 35 58 .. .. 3698 4006 .... ....

-Includes Peters box. voting at Mercersburg

Returns received from the election districts indicate that the County will be close.

(Column 04)
Summary: Robert F. Mosser of Fulton County and Miss Henetta Bennet of Mercersburg were married on October 6th in the U. B. Church by the Rev. John Fohl.
(Names in announcement: Robert F. Mosser, Henetta Bennet, Rev. John Fohl)
(Column 04)
Summary: Willis P. Hafer of Cumberland County and Mary A. Stouffer, daughter of E. Stouffer, were married at the home of the bride's parents near Newburg on October 4th by the Rev. J. P. Anthony.
(Names in announcement: Willis P. Hafer, Mary A. Stouffer, E. Stouffer, Rev. J. P. Anthony)
(Column 04)
Summary: W. C. Aughinbaugh of Pittsburgh and Miss Lizzie A. Crawford were married at the residence of the bride in Tarentum on September 29th by the Rev. W. D. Stevens assisted by the Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: W. C. Aughinbaugh, Lizzie A. Crawford, Rev. W. D. Stevens, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 04)
Summary: Joseph H. Willson of New York and Miss Lizzie Culbertson of Chambersburg were married on October 4th by the Rev. Crawford.
(Names in announcement: Joseph H. Willson, Lizzie Culbertson, Rev. Crawford)
(Column 04)
Summary: Samuel F. Eiker and Miss Jennie Cook, both of Franklin, were married on October 4th by the Rev. A. Tripner.
(Names in announcement: Samuel F. Eiker, Jennie Cook, Rev. A. Tripner)
(Column 04)
Summary: Lewis D. Warnich and Miss Charlotte Zeeks, both of Franklin, were married on October 9th by the Rev. A. Tripner.
(Names in announcement: Lewis D. Warnich, Charlotte Zeeks, Rev. A. Tripner)
(Column 04)
Summary: Willie Jenkins, son of John D. and Nannie T. Jenkins, died in Hanover on October 3rd. He was three years old.
(Names in announcement: Willie Jenkins, John D. Jenkins, Nannie T. Jenkins)
(Column 04)
Summary: John Andrew Schofield, son of Josiah E. and Sarah F. Schofield, died in Chambersburg on September 20th. He was 3 years old.
(Names in announcement: John Andrew Schofield, Josiah E. Schofield, Sarah F. Schofield)
(Column 04)
Summary: Susan Reed died on October 6th at the residence of her son-in-law, L. B. Kurtz. She was 70 years old.
(Names in announcement: Susan Reed, L. B. Kurtz)

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