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DETWEILER, John Shelly, was born on the 18th of October, 1829, in Londonderry township, Dauphin county, on a farm occupied by his father, David Detweiler, near what is now known as the Buck Lock, Pennsylvania canal. His mother, Susan Detweiler, was a daughter of William Shelly, of Shelly's Island. When ten years old he attended the school in the neighborhood of his birthplace, and continued there until he was sixteen years old, when he came to Harrisburg and entered the printing office of Theophilus Fenn, where he remained but a short time, and then went to Lancaster, entering the office of the Lancaster Examiner and Herald.

Leaving the Examiner office, Mr. Detweiler entered Franklin and Marshall College, at which institution he pursued a course of regular studies and graduated with high honor, after which he began the study of the law with Gen. George B. Ford, of Lancaster city, and was admitted to the bar of that county in 1850. He remained in Lancaster only a few months after his admission, and came to Harrisburg in the winter of that year, entering at once in the practice of the law here, in which profession he continued until the breaking out of the Civil war.

At the organization of the Ninth cavalry, Mr. Detweiler took an active part in securing the necessary companies to make up the regiment, and as captain of Company E was very prominent in securing a completed organization. He was commissioned captain October 17, 1861. While on duty in Tennessee he was appointed on the staff of General DuMont. On the 19th of March, 1863, Captain Detweiler was appointed major of the regiment, and on the 2d of April of the same year he resigned his commission and returned to Harrisburg, when he was appointed United States recruiting officer at this point, which post he held until the close of the war. In 1864 Mr. Detweiler was appointed deputy United States assessor of internal revenue under Charles J. Bruner, which office he held until it was abolished in 1871. In 1872 he was appointed by Judge Cadwalader register in bankruptcy, which office he held at the time of his death. In 1874 Mr. Detweiler was nominated and elected by the Republicans county solicitor for the term of three years. Major Detweiler married Eunice Parke, daughter of Benjamin Parke, of Harrisburg, and they had three children who survived their father. He died at Harrisburg, Pa., August 16, 1878.


Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Becky Tuszynski for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -

Date of Transcription: 24 February 2001

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