Harry was born 16 Sept 1897 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He was raised in Lebanon where he graduated from high school, and soon after he entered World War 1 in 1917. A large group of young men from Lebanon went overseas together. They were part of the Machine Gun Battalion in France.
Wounded in the war
In September 1918, Katie received word that Harry had been gassed and wounded. He reported in a letter to his mother that he was in three gas attacks and was gassed to a certain extent. He said, ‘My lungs are not as they should be since I was in the hospital before. I hope they do not find anything else the matter with me.’
He also told about being wounded. ‘I had a narrow escape the afternoon before I left the company. One of the German’s favorite shells (a 9-inch high explosive) landed about five feet to my left and the force of the explosion knocked me across the street…I was knocked out for about a half hour, but not wounded.’ He was reported as wounded to his mother, though, by the War Department.
Harry returns and gets on with life
Harry returned home in May of 1919 and found work as an iron worker like his father. I guess Harry didn’t care for iron work since he went to school for accounting. By 1927 he was married to Dorothy A. BOETTNER, living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and working as an accountant. He likely met Dorothy at the Pennsylvania Business College in Lancaster. Their only child, Gloria, was born in 1927.
Harry became a mail carrier in the mid 1930’s, a job he stayed in until retirement. Perhaps he was tired of working inside all the time. Or perhaps he tired of numbers all the time. Or perhaps the business he worked for went under during the Depression.
Dedicated to veterans
Harry’s time in the military influenced how he spent his non-working hours. As early as 1921, Harry was volunteering his time to honor veterans as part of a gun salute at a military funeral.
Once married, Harry and Dorothy were both active in veterans organizations in Lancaster – American Legion, VFW, Military Order of the Purple Hearts, Disabled Veterans, and more. Harry was a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Hearts and served as a national commander and state commander in that organization.
Still active in retirement
Harry and his family lived in several locations in Lancaster through the years, renting each time. But around 1950 they settled at 504 W. Chestnut Street in Lancaster. Here’s a link to the house: 504 W. Chestnut Street
Harry retired from work in 1964, but he didn’t retire from life. As he had done most of his adult life, he continued to support veterans in his state and community.
In 1984, Harry passed away at his residence after a lengthy illness. He was 86 years old.