John and Mary Yous lived in Montgomery Township during the 1850 U.S. Census. John, a farmer, owned land that was valued at $5,000. The children of John (54) and Mary (43) were living with their parents.
Joshua (24) was a gunsmith. He later married and moved to Greencastle, where he was still listed on the 1860 U.S. Census as a gunsmith. A Joshua Yous rifle is part of Allison-Antrim Museum’s collection. Heretofore, the 1854 tax record for Joshua Yous was the earliest government document found, which recorded Joshua as a gunsmith.
Brother, Levi (21), was a farmer and John (16) was a laborer, both of whom most likely worked on their father’s farm.
Levi is the subject of this week’s Soldier’s Story. Searching for the Yous family in the U.S. Census records proved to be a challenge because of the many misspellings of their surname. It required searching page by page in several censuses. I found Levi on the 1860 U.S. Census in Montgomery Township. His last name was spelled Yost. Levi (31) owned land valued at $600, while his personal estate was worth $400. His occupation was “farmer.” Levi and his wife Catharine (35) had three children – Emma (7), John (4), and William (3).
In Chambersburg in November 1862, military records indicate that Levi volunteered and enlisted in Co. D, 158th PA Infantry, on November 1, 1862. The 158th was ordered to Suffolk, VA and was attached to Spinola’s Brigade, 7th Corps, Dept. of VA. No reason is given on any of his military records to explain why he deserted on December 7, 1862. The next record found with Levi’s name is the 1863 Civil War draft registration book for the 16th U.S. Congressional District. He was in the Class II category, i.e. all persons more than 35 years old and under the age of 45. There was no notation under the column “Former Military Service,” which mentioned his desertion from the army.
Levi redeemed himself when he was drafted into Co. F, 99th PA Infantry, on February 22, 1865. In Samuel Bates’ History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65,” the story of the 99th says, “On the 26th (March) five hundred drafted men were assigned to the regiment.” The Appomattox Campaign began on March 28, 1865 and the Union army began advancing on Petersburg.
On March 25, the regiment crossed Hatcher’s Run. A fierce battle was fought at Five Forks and again at Sailor’s Creek, during the first few days of April. Lieutenants Ayars and Clifton were wounded, Clifton mortally. On April 8, near Appomattox Courthouse, the 99th lost 76 men, killed and wounded. Levi Yous was present at the Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, when the troops learned that Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army had surrendered. The war was over! The regiment then marched, at an easy pace, back to Richmond and then to Washington City. Levi Yous, from Franklin County, PA, was one of thousands of Union soldiers, on May 23, who marched through the streets of Washington and participated in the Grand Review of the Union Army, in front of President Abraham Lincoln. The 99th PA Infantry was mustered out on July 1, 1865.
Within the next five years, between July 1, 1865 and July 29, 1870, Levi and Catherine moved their family to Antrim Township. July 29 was the day the Yous family was enumerated during the 1870 U.S. Census. His farm and land were worth $5,000 and his personal estate was valued at $1,000. In addition to Emma (16), John W. (14) and William (12), Levi and Catharine had another child, Mary C. (7). Although it is not noted, I’m sure John and William would have been working on the farm, helping their father.
The value of Levi’s land was the highest of any of his immediate neighbors in Antrim Township. The only other landowners were Christopher Plutz, 29, a stone mason, whose land was worth $2,000. Jacob Wilt, shoemaker, owned land valued at $1,120. Daniel Valentine, farmer, lived in the “dwelling” before Levi’s family was recorded on the census. Valentine’s land was worth $800. There were others whose occupation was “Farmer” or “Works on Farm” but they didn’t own land.
Levi Yous died on June 28, 1875. He is buried in Section F, Lot 10, Cedar Hill Cemetery, Antrim Township, Franklin County, PA. There are no other headstones nearby, although the burial card on Ancestry indicates there is a headstone and footstone. The headstone was underground at least eight inches therefore the footstone may also be covered by sod.
In 1880, during the U.S. Census in Antrim Township, Catharine and her youngest child Mary C. “Mollie” were living in the same dwelling with Catharine and Levi’s oldest child, Emma, who married John F. Henneberger, a farmer. Emma and John had two children, Mollie K. (6) and John E. (1). The 1880 census did not provide a column for real estate value.
Because the majority of the 1890 census records were destroyed by fire, the only document from 1890 is Catharine’s application, on April 25, 1890, for Levi’s Civil War pension. Catharine is not listed on either the Greencastle or Antrim Township 1890 Special Schedule for Civil War Veterans or their wives.
I could not find Catharine Yous or John F. and Emma Henneberger in the 1900 U.S. Census records.
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