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BERNHEISEL, Luther, merchant tailor, was born in Perry county, Pa., April 1, 1834. He is a son of George and Susan (Kepner) Bernheisel. His maternal grandfather, John Kepner, was a farmer, and one of the wealthiest men in Juniata county. George Bernheisel was a native of Perry county and a merchant. He was married to Miss Susan, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Loye) Kepner, who was also born in Perry county. Three of their children are living: John C., Cornelius and Luther. The deceased children are: Catherine, who died at the age of fourteen; Jacob, and Samuel, who died from wounds received at the battle of Lookout Mountain. Mr. George Bernheisel and his wife were members of the Lutheran church.

Luther Bernheisel received a limited education. He attended the public schools at intervals until he was about fourteen, when he began to serve a four years’ apprenticeship at tailoring with Patterson Alexander, in Juniata county. At the end of this term he was employed for a few months by Mr. Howell. He then worked for a few months for Mr. Stroup, in Mifflintown, Juniata county, then seven months for Christian Metz, of Williamsburg, Blair county, Pa. He attended the first State fair held in Harrisburg and during his stay in the city visited some of his relatives. After this he returned to Blair county and spent eight months working for his former employer, Mr. Metz. In 1856 Mr. Bernheisel went into the tailoring business for himself, purchasing the establishment formerly owned by Squire Howell, at Pleasant Hill, Juniata county, which he conducted for a few years. He was next in business for some time at Green Park, Perry county, Pa., and lived there three years when the war broke out. Mr. Bernheisel enlisted, August 20, 1861, for three years, in company H, Forty-seventh regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers. He again enlisted at Fort Jefferson, in 1863. He was discharged at Camp Cadwallader, January 11, 1866. He was wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Shenandoah Valley, under General Sheridan. He took part in the battles of Pocotalgo, S. C., and also Sabina Cross Roads, Pleasant Hill, and King River, in Louisiana; Berryville, Cedar Creek, and Fisher’s Hill, Va. During his service he was in eleven States, took eleven trips on the ocean and was in eleven battles.

After the war he returned to Green Park and was in the tailoring business there for a short period, and then for three years for a short period, and then for three years at Andersonburg, Perry county. He then removed to New Bloomfield, where he was engaged for three years, and from there to Newport. Three years later he bought out the business of David Care, at Harrisburg, ands established himself at 106 market street. After a few years he sold his business and was for twelve years with Mr. Coover, as manager of his tailoring department. Mr. Bernheisel was again in business on his own account for one year, at 121 Market street, and afterwards removed to the opposite side of the street, at the corner of Market Square. Later he was with Mr. Coover in the Harrisburg Manufacturing Company as cutter. While in this position he removed his family to the corner of Boas and Green streets. Between 1892 and 1893 he resigned his position and established himself in business at his residence, where he has built up and important trade.

Mr. Bernheisel was first married, at Williamsburg, Blair county, Pa., March 4, 1856, to Miss Catherine, daughter of George Winters, born in 1835, in Blair county. They had twelve children. Those now living are: Charles O., Susan, Wife of Charles Snyder; Robert N., Frank W., Bessie M., wife of William Shoemaker, (sic) Rachel, Mattie, wife of George Briggles, (sic) and Lewis C. Their deceased children are: Alice E., died February 3, 1859, aged seven months; Edwin M., died October 10, 1862, aged two years; Luther A., died August 24, 1865, aged one year; Frank L., died December 16, 1868, aged six months. Mrs. Bernheisel died, February 1, 1888, aged fifty-three years.

Mr. Bernheisel was married again, October 1, 1891, to Miss Susan E., daughter of Josiah and Salome (Lenhart) Sheets. They had two children, Harry S., and Harvey Da Foe, who died June 19, 1894, aged four weeks.

Mr. Bernheisel is a member of Post No. 58 G. A. R., and for many years has been a member of the U. V. L., No. 67. He is a Republican and a member of the Messiah Lutheran church.

The parents of the first Mrs. Bernheisel were natives of Blair county. Her father was a farmer, and was also engaged in the mercantile business.

The parents of the second Mrs. Bernheisel were natives of Dauphin county. Her father was a farmer, and still resides in Dauphin county. He has held various township offices and is a director of the Halifax Bank. His politics are Democratic. He is a member of the Lutheran church.

Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Linda Mockenhaupt for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -

Date of Transcription: 5 April 2001

Copyright (c) 2001 - All Rights Reserved: Use, duplication or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.