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Ephraim H. Niess
Ephraim H. Niess was born in Lititz, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on October 21, 1841 and died in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania on November 25, 1915. Little is known of his formulative years. He enlisted as a private on August 4, 1862, serving in Co.E, 122nd Pennsylvania Volunteer infantry. The 122nd saw action at Chancellorsville in the spring of 1863. After discharge from service he married and he and his wife, Catharine Auxer, migrated to Harrisburg from the Lancaster County area, where he got a job at Bailey Iron Works. He worked there for almost 50 years.
Ephraim was slight of build, standing only 5' 6 3/4" tall. For a man of such a small size, he must have been very strong, for his job entailed replacing the bricks in the furnaces. To do this, he wore several layers of clothing, and went into the furnaces to replace the bricks. In those days, they did not put the fires out, since to re-start them and get them up to the proper temperature would take too much time; so the bricks were replaced while they were still hot. He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Post #58, and the International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge #160. He was twice elected as Ward Assessor for the First Ward in Harrisburg. Ephraim died at age 74 - 1 month after a trip to Washington D.C. to see his first great-grandchild, born September 4, 1915, my father!
For more information on his life, please access the following webpage:
Information and photograph submitted by Ephraim H. Niess's great-great-granddaughter,Linda Stienstra.
Ephraim H. Niess