Samuel Whysong, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Samuel Whysong is known as a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith from a map in the 1877 county atlas, and from the 1877 tax roll.

1832: Samuel Whysong was born on January 28, 1832.

The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that Samuel Wysong/Whysong apprenticed with John Nicholas Matthesiee, and made Matthesiee's coffin, charging $5.00.

1859: Samuel Whysong's infant daughter Catherine died on March 3, 1859 at the age of 1 year, 7 months, and 20 days, and is buried at the Mount Zion Cemetery (40.26103508, -78.58498401) in Pavia, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1861 & 1864: Samuel Whysong of Bedford County enlisted in Company K of the Fifty-Fifth Regiment of Pennsylvania Infantry in 1861 and 1864, according to this excerpt from page 140 of the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania".

1863: The following item from the September 18, 1863 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper documents the death of Samuel Whysong's mother Elizabeth (Burket) Whysong.

1865: The following item from the 1865 book "Report Relative to Frauds at Elections, in Certain Counties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania..." indicates that Samuel Whysong participated in the Pennsylvania state election of 1864 from a hospital in Philadelphia.

1861-1865 Volume II of Samuel Bates' ""History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5" indicates that Samuel "Wysong" enlisted in Company K of the Fifty Fifth Regiment as a Private on November 5, 1861 and again on March 2, 1864 and was discharged on August 3, 1865 for wounds received at Chesterfield Courthouse, Virginia.

1869: The following notice of the death of Samuel Whysong's father appears in the February 2, 1869 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper.

1870 & onward: Back in the day, Pennsylvania counties were divided into school districts that sometimes appeared on maps. The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" puts Samuel Whysong in the Rock Island School District of Union Township, Bedford County from 1870 onward.

1875: Samuel "Wysong" of Pavia began receiving a military pension of $8.00 per month on August 2, 1875 (Certificate 100,231).

1877: The 1953 edition of the book "American Gun Makers" puts Samuel Whysong in Pavia (which is in Union Township, Bedford County) in 1877. In my opinion, he lived out in the country and had a Pavia-based post office address.

1877: The following image is from the Union Township map in the 1877 book "County Atlas of Bedford Pennsylvania". It identifies the residence of S. Whysong and a nearby gunsmith shop in the Rock Island District portion of Union Township. The approximate location of the gun shop is 40.276545, -78.591164.

This excerpt from the 1877 atlas of Bedford County, Pennsylvania shows the Union Township gung shop of the black powder gunsmith Samuel Whysong.

1877: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Samuel Wysong is identified as a gunsmith in the 1877 tax roll of Union Township, Bedford County.

1878-1879: In the 1878-1879 edition of "Farquhar's Official Directory of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" Samuel Whysong is identified as a wheelwright in Pavia. The reference to Pavia probably just means that he was serviced by the Pavia Post Office.

1884: The following excerpt from the Union Township section of the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" places the Civil War Soldier Samuel Whysong in Union Township, Bedford County.

1891: The following item from the March 6, 1891 issue of the "Cambria Freeman" newspaper documents the marriage of Samuel Whysong's daughter Annie to Lewis Long.

1897: According to the 1975 book "Descendants of Samuel Diehl", the Marietta Ritchey who married Samuel Whysong died on March 17, 1897, Samuel Whysong was born on January 28, 1822 (sic) and died on November 8, 1898, and Samuel and Marrietta were the parents of Rebecca Whysong who married a Clingerman, Andora "Annie" Whysong who married Lewis Napoleon Long, and George Whysong who married Annie Imler.

1898: Samuel Whysong was born on January 28, 1832 and died on November 8, 1898 at age 66. He is buried at the Mount Zion Cemetery, near Pavia. His first wife, Mary Etta (Ritchey) is also buried there. In addition to Samuel Whysong, several other veterans of the 55th Pennsylvania Infantry are also buried in the Mount Zion Cemetery, including Frederick Claycomb, Francis T. Crist, John Dibert, Malachia Mock, Tobias Mock, Henry Wentz, and John Whysong.

From what may be a synopsis of page 149 of the Bedford County Register of Deaths, Samuel Whysong:

  • was married at the time of death
  • was a carpenter
  • was born in Union Township
  • was the son of John Whysong and Elizabeth Burket
  • died on November 8, 1898 at age 66
  • died from a fever that lasted two months

    1898: The funeral card of Samuel Whysong follows:

    1908: Samuel Whysong's second wife was Julia Miller. The December 18, 1908 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper has the following wedding announcement: "Groom at 73 -- A marriage license was issued at Somerset last week to Joseph Holsopple of Cherry Hill Township, Indiana County, and Julia A. Whysong of East St. Clair township, this county. The groom, who is a minister, is 73 years of age and was married previously to Catherine Lehman, who died October 1, 1903. The bride, who is a trained nurse, was married twice -- to Joseph Claycomb who died May 24, 1893, and Samuel Whysong who died November 8, 1898."

    1914: The obituary of "Mrs. Julia Claycomb Holsopple, wife of Elder Joseph Holsopple" appears in the October 5, 1914 issue of the "Johnstown Daily Tribune" newspaper. It includes the statement, "The deceased was a daughter of Jacob and Catherine Walters Miller, and was born at Pleasantville, Bedford County, over 71 years ago. ... Mrs. Hosopple is survived by ... two children, Mrs. Evans ... and Elmer Claycomb..."

    Work Product
    According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Samuel Wysong once made a gun with a barrel that was 48 inches long.

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