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Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah Mark Carvell’

Rev. Jeremiah Mark Carvell, Ph.D., the name alone impresses. At least it does me, but then it should. You see, he was my great-great grandfather.

He was born on the 3rd of March in 1843 near McKees Half Falls, Pennsylvania, not even “full” falls,  but “half” falls, whatever they may be, to Joseph Britton Carvell and his wife, Rebecca Mark Carvell. His mother died when he was only 4 years old, leaving his father with 3 small children. Within two years he had a new mother, and would eventually have at least 10 more brothers and sisters.Headstone in Springhill Cemetery, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

According to his 2 column obituary found in Shippensburg Pennsylvania’s The News on 7 September 1894:

In addition to his common school education,

  • he attended, in 1861-62, the Millerstown Academy, and after his second term of enlistment had expired completed his studies in the academy at Markleysville
  • In 1866, without any further collegiate or theological training, he entered the ministry of the Church of God, beginning his labors in Perry County.  Upon entering the ministry Mr. Carvell discovered that his most serious deficiency was his partial training for the work.  He at once became a student. 
  • Under private tutors he made commendable progress in scientific, philosophical and classical studies, taking up to some extent Latin, Greek and Hebrew. 
  • Later he began a post-graduate course at Wooster University, Ohio, a having previously been honored with the degree of A.M. from Bates College, Lewiston, Ma. 
  • Of scholarly tastes and habits, he gradually accumulated a library of valuable literary, theological, scientific, philosophical and classical works of a standard character second to few, if any, in the Church.  He was a man of high ideas in education, morals, aesthetics and religion, which he was often but too conscious of failing to realize.  His abilities and singleness of purpose, his purity of character and power of intellect were fully recognized by his associates in the ministry, so that the Church repeatedly honored itself by promoting him to places of greater usefulness. 
  • He was for years a member of the various boards and standing committees of the East Pennsylvania Eldership.  He had also been a delegate to the General Eldership of the Church a number of times and served on its Board of Publication and Board of Education.  
  • he became one of the incorporators of Findlay College, Findlay, Ohio, on whose board of trustees he also later served for nearly two terms. 
  • He took an active part in the organization of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, at Mt. Gretna, and was a member of the Executive Committee. 
  • He was also a member of the Dauphin County Bible Society
  • He held prominent positions in different orders, being Chaplain of the Grand Lodge Royal Arch Masons of Pennsylvania, a member of I.O.O.F. and the Valley Encampment and Grand Army Post of Shippensburg; past master of Big Spring Lodge of Masons at Newville, P.H.P. of No. 71 Royal Arch Chapter at Carlisle, P.E.C. of St. John’s Commandery at Carlisle”
Very impressive accomplishments for a long life, aren’t they? Well, they would be, but he died when he was just 51 years of age! and that obituary didn’t mention that he enlisted not once, but twice in the Civil War ~ the first enlistment he was a foot soldier, the 2nd time he had a horse!

When Jeremiah got out of the service he met a young widow with a daughter, and married Mary Jane Ziegler Gantt on 2 August 1866 in Dauphin, Pennsylvania. The couple would have 4 children, with only one, my great-grandmother, living to adulthood. Mary Jane died when Jeremiah was a pastor in Philadelphia, leaving him with two daughters to care for him. In the Family Bible, started by him is a pressed flower, and I am assuming it was from flowers from her funeral. There is a piece of fabric with it and it was with their Wedding Certificate.  (Yes, I have the Bible, all filled out in his hand, with births and deaths of each child and his beloved wife)

According to his Civil War Pension file, he died from injuries associated to a gunshot wound. The last months of his life he was confined to his bed in the household of his step-daughter and her husband. He died in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania on 1 September 1894 and is buried in Springhill Cemetery which was once at the edge of town. This headstone cost $90 according to his inventory  filed with Cumberland County. (The original Inventory w/the county stamp was in that wonderful Bible!)

The man with humble beginnings in Perry County Pennsylvania was a true man of God and took advantage of everything he could to better himself in order to serve the Lord and his fellow man. This is why I’ve decided to honor him as

Linda’s Headstone of the Week for Week #9.

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