Thursday, May 23, 2024

Veterans History

Lycoming County Veterans Affairs

A Look Back

On May 26, 1951, this article appeared in the Gazette and Bulletin (now the Williamsport Sun-Gazette).

Newspaper Article from May 26, 1951

Caption of Photograph

Charles E. Mahaffie, county veterans’ grave registrar, kneels beside the grave of Capt. Simon Cool, Revolutionary War veteran buried near No. 2 bridge along Lycoming Creek. Mr. Mahaffie has just placed a flag on the grave and cleared away the high grass as he will do on many veterans’ graves before Memorial Day.

Text as follows:

4,214 Graves Given Special Care

The dead veterans of Lycoming County may be gone but they are not forgotten. Each one of their graves will have a flag on it – if its location is known – when Memorial Day is celebrated Wednesday.

Charles E. Mahaffie, the county director of veterans’ affairs and veterans’ grave registrar, has been hard at work for several days distributing flags to graves in remote sections of Lycoming County.

According to records kept by Mr. Mahaffie, 4,214 veterans of all wars, dating back to the Revolutionary War, are buried in this county.

The veterans’ posts will aid Mr. Mahaffie in distributing the flags to the larger cemeteries, but individual graves located in family plots or alone must be taken care of by him. He puts out an estimated 400 flags and travels nearly 1,000 miles of county roads during the week it takes him to do this job.

Since Memorial Day 1950, as additional 75 veterans have died and are buried in the county. One of these was the only veteran of the Korean War to be buried here. He was Lloyd A. Willets, of this city.

Civil War Highest

The rundown on veterans and wars in which they fought shows: Revolutionary War, 71; War of 1812, four; Mexican War, three; Civil War, 2,774; Campaigns, 29; Spanish American War, 224; World War I, 824; World War II, 254; Korean War, one.

Mr. Mahaffie also carries a sickle to cut down the high grass that grows around graves where there is no one to attend to them.

American Legion and VFW posts in Jersey Shore, Hughesville, Montgomery, Muncy, Montoursville, South Williamsport and Williamsport will distribute flags to the cemeteries.

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