Schuylkill Frontier Girls raise money to fix Civil War veteran brothers’ gravestones


CRESSONA, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/ WYOU) — Honor those who’ve served and respect those who have passed.

A local organization and funeral home in Schuylkill County have joined forces to do just that.

“You don’t want to see them like this,” Michael Sausser of Harold D. Sausser’s Memorial said. “That’s horrible.” 

Here lies the bodies of George and John Dentzer. They were both Union soldiers who fought in the American Civil War. 

The year’s have not been kind. The base of John’s stone endured wear and tear from the weather, causing his stone to fall.

“We noticed that his grave was knocked over and we don’t want to see any veteran’s grave knocked over,” Ellen smith, Schuylkill Frontier Girls said.

So Ellen Smith and her Schuylkill Frontier Girls troop sprang into action. They did research to find more about the brothers who gave their lives for this country. George died in 1862 at the battle of Antietam and John died in 1864 in Petersburg.

The brothers’ bodies were sent back to their hometown, Cressona. Now when Smith found this out, she knew she had to do something to fix this.

They are now raising money to replace and reset the gravestones. Harold D. Sausser Memorial has joined their efforts. Donating new markers to go in front of the originals. But the engraving and replacing of the markers will cost about $750. Michael Sausser says he decided to chip in because it’s just the right thing to do.

“Nobody else was going to do it so we have the knowledge and the technology to do it so,” Sausser said.

Smith has contacted the Dentzer brothers’ family, who live in South Carolina and Virginia, through a social media blast.

“They are very happy with what we are doing. That we are honoring their family members and not letting them be disrespected,” Smith said.

Their goal is to have the new markers, honoring an old commitment by Memorial Day. 

Schuylkill Frontier Girls also plans to hold a Memorial Day service with a candlelight vigil at the new Veteran’s Memorial on Parkway in Schuylkill Haven at 8:00 a.m.

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