James E Shellenberger

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Photos from the Past

Dr. James E. Shellenberger

Piqua Leader Dispatch February 5, 1907
In Army of United States
Is Dead * Varied and Interesting Career * Brother of Mrs. Wm. Freshour

Dr. James E. Shellenberger, the well known army surgeon, formerly of this city, died last night at nine o'clock at the Christ hospital, Cincinnati. He was taken from Fort Sam Houston in Texas to Cincinnati about a week ago. He has been ill for some time past, and at the hospital was treated for heart trouble by Dr. Hegner. Although his death was caused by heart failure, it was not unexpected. His widow, who is now stopping at the Emory hotel, Cincinnati, was with him when he breathed his last. During his last visit in this city, Dr. A.B. Frame, one of his close friends attended him.

Dr. Shellenberger is well known to almost every one in Piqua, and all who have heard of his death have expressed sincere grief over the news. He was born in Covington, Miami County, in 1846, and his early education was acquired in the schools in that village. In August of 1862, when but sixteen years of age, he enlisted as drummer boy in company B, 94th O.V.I. [Ohio Volunteer Infantry], under Captain John Drury of Troy, and received his honorable discharge from the service in June of 1865, returning home at the age of nineteen.

In a short time he took up the study of medicine under Dr. John Sensman of Tippecanoe City, and industriously pursued it until '67 and '68, when he attended the Jefferson medical college of Philadelphia from which he graduated in March of '69. After leaving there he practiced six years in Covington, two years in Tippecanoe, and after '77 came to Piqua, where he established a good practice, and became one of the most promising young physicians of the time. In November 24, 1875, two years later, before he came to this city, and just after he went to Tippecanoe, he was married to Miss Emma Chaffee of Tippecanoe City, the daughter of S.L. Chaffee.

He practiced here in Piqua a number of years, making many firm friends, some of whom he had met during the Civil war. He was asked to take a position as surgeon in the regular army of the United States, but was too old to take the regular position, and went in as contract surgeon, and would have received no pension had his time expired before his death.

After leaving this city he was at numerous posts, mostly in Texas, and has served for many years. His letters published in the newspapers here have always been full of news for his many friends, and they have followed his progress with interest. His last post was at Ft. Sam Houston, and he had been there for some time.

He was in the Philippines for two years, serving as army surgeon before he went west with the regular army. All his experiences during his service were such as to make his record one to be envied. His death brings to a close an eventful life.

Dr. Shellenberger was in Piqua only about three or four weeks before his death, and was in poor health at the time.

Mrs. Emma Freshour, the wife of Judge William Freshour, is his sister. Mr. and Mrs. Freshour went to Cincinnati this morning and will probably attend to the funeral arrangements. The arrangements are not yet known, but will be announced as soon as possible.


Piqua Daily Call October 17, 1907
Body of Major Surgeon James F. Shelleberger Laid to Its Final Rest
Comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic Give Ceremonies at the Grave * A Tribute by a Comrade

This afternoon in the soldiers lot at Forest Hill cemetery, the body of Major J.E. Shellenberger, was placed in his last resting place, there to remain until the call is sounded for all the world to rise again to eternal life. Surrounded by the bodies of comrades he loved so well, with the granite shaft raised to their memory by fellow citizens, throwing its shadow, he lies where he wished to rest.

The body which had been previously placed in the receiving vault was carried to the waiting hearse, this afternoon by six non-commissioned officers of Company 'C', 3d. O.V.I. and preceded by the firing party and followed by the members of Alexander Mitchel Post, G.A.R. [Grand Army of the Republic] , of which he was an honored member, and his relatives and friends, was escorted to the Soldiers lot.

The casket was born to the grave, Captain Harrison Gear, with Chaplain John Bowman, conducted the simple and impressive funeral ceremonies of the G.A.R. Then T.C. Hirst, of Yellow Springs, an old comrade and member of the 94th O.V.I. read an obituary which was a true soldiers and comrades tribute to his departed friend. The Rev. John Montgomery read a brief service concluding with prayer and the final salute was fired, taps blown, and the services were over. The members of the Miami County Medical Society, were present and a large number of friends from near and far testified by their presence the respect and esteem in which the dead soldier was held. While the ceremonies were brief and simple, they were very impressive and just what the departed would have wished.

Sketch and information submitted by Daryla Young.

Dr. James E. Shellenberger