|Birth: ||Aug. 25, 1842|
|Death: ||Jan. 2, 1907|
Gearge Geary, the son of George and Sarah Carl Geary, was born in East Greenville, Penn., in 1842. He had an older sister Mary, and an older brother Monoah, and a younger brother Ambrose. When George was two years old, his mother died. After the death of his father when he was 14, he lived with his Aunt Lydia and Uncle Amos Antrim, who treated him as a son. The Antrims and the Gearys have always had a close relationship, continuing to the present in Illinois.
When George Geary was 19, he joined the Union Army, being in active fighting in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. After three years of service, he returned to civilian life in September 1864.
PERSONAL WAR SKETCH
George Carl Geary
George Carl Geary entered the service, Sept. 7, 1861 at Doyleston, Penn. as a private of Co. D-104 Regiment, Penn. Infantry Volunteers. After the enlistment they went into camp at Doyleston, Penn. remaining there for a brief time when they were ordered on to Washington D.C. where they remained in camp until spring. They were then sent to Fortress Monroe, and with the 52nd Penn., 56th N.Y., and the 11th Maine formed what was known as the Henry M. Neyelyn's Brigade. 'The first battle in which Comrade Geary participated was at Gloucester Point, Va., and in this action he was wounded in his left shoulder. This occurred on May 16, 1864. Soon after this they went to Beaufort, N.C., and soon on to Port Royal, S.C., thence to James Island, S.C., and here engaged in a lively skirmish, driving them back with slight loss to themselves. From here they were ordered to Morris Island and were stationed there for r-early a year, fighting nearly every day, and losing many men. He was also in an engagement at Fort Wagner and John's Island. He was sick and confined in a hospital at Baltimore, Maryland in April 1862, also at Beaufort, S.C. in 1863 when he was sick and sent to the hospital for a month. After he returned to his Regiment, they were sent to John's Island, thence on to Jacksonville, Flor3'dii;,-'where they guarded railroads for a time. Among his most intimate comrades, while in service, were John B. Museelman, Harrison G. Antrim, and Henry Schelly. They were sent to Washington, D.C. and for a short time did garrison duty in a fort; thence were ordered to Philadelphia and mustered out at that city Sept. 30, 1864, on account of the expiration of their term of service.
This account was taken from "Personal War Sketches Grand Army of the Republic, Polo Post No. 24 Department of Illinois, Polo, 1891," which is in the Polo Public Library.
George Geary's great Aunt Catherine married Michael Hillegass, first treasurer of the United States under the Continental Congress. George's children and grandchildren recall being told that on the ten dollar bills was the picture of Michael Hillegass.
The Geary family were members of the Goshert Hoppen Reform Church, one half mile west of East Greenville.
In the churchyard are many tombstones with the inscription Geri, which was the spelling at that time. Here are buried George Geary's parents and other relatives.
On January 25, 1868, George Geary was married to Camilla M. Smith at East Greenville by the Reverend C. Y. Wiser.
That spring George Geary came to Polo, Illinois, to purchase a farm for H. M. Siegmund of East Greenville, Pennsylvania, who had money to invest. He had arrangements with Mr. Siegmund to operate the farm. He bought the farm known as the Noble farm and now owned by John Reid, one and one-half miles west of Polo on the Eagle Point road. In the fall he sent for his wife Camilla and six-week-old daughter Annie.
When Mr. Siegmund because of financial difficulties was forced to sell the farm the Gearys lived on several other farms west of Polo. It was not long before George Geary bought a farm four miles west on the Eagle Point road, and one half-mile north, now owned by George Boddiger.
Nine children were born to George and Camilla Geary: Annie the eldest born in Pennsylvania, and the others in order of age, born in Illinois George, Celeste, Charles, Lydia, Samuel, Clinton, Sarah (died in infancy) and Camilla (called Milly). George Geary kept a careful record of the births of the children in a large illustrated family bible. This bible is now in the possession of Camilla Poole Jones, Polo.
George Geary and his wife worked hard to provide for the necessities of the family, and make payments on the farm. Camilla Geary besides regular household tasks helped with the chores, picked corn and did other farm work, and at night knit socks, made mittens, and sewed for her family.
In the early years there was not much money. it is told George Geary, not wanting to disappoint his children at Christmas, walked to Polo and bought stick candy for the children. Camilla Geary made fine handsewn shirts for Addison Schell, and Annie worked for the Schell family.
Jake and Ellen Lackey, who lived up the road a ways, helped them at times. Jake helped build fences and Ellen helped boil apple butter.
As her children and grandchildren remember "Grandma Geary" set a good table and had a well-filled Pantry with good Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. The first thing grandchildren did when thev came was to go to grandmas pantry. Annie, Lesta, Lydia, and Milly learned to make chicken pot pie, pon-hoss, gumna kucken, poor-man's pie as their mother did.
The children went to the Donaldson School, one mile south of the farm. Annie, the eldest, spoke only Pennsylvania Dutch when she started to school.
Before long the other children and the parents spoke only English. Lydia, Sam, Clint, and Milly went to Polo High School. Lydia and Milly taught country school. Lydia attended college in Valpariso, Indiana, and Clint went to the University of Illinois.
Annie married Frank Poole, a young farmer, and they lived on the Poole farm a mile south of the Donaldson School. George married Esma Smith, who taught the Donaldson School, moved to Milledgeville, where he engaged in plastering. Charles, who never married, went to Montana, where he lived on a ranch near Wilsal. Lesta married Jim Ports of near Hazelhurst, who farmed and later engaged in implement business in Polo before retiring to Eagle Point. Lydia married John Bon whom she met at college and lived at Elroy, Wisconsin, where he worked as a railroad brakeman. They moved back to Illinois where he farmed and later owned and operated the Exchange Hotel in Polo. Sam married Daisy Haugh of near Milledgeville, farmed west of Polo, was Ogle County Deputy Sheriff and Polo policeman. Clint remained at home after his father's death, and farmed the home place until his marriage to Emma Roderick of Milledgeville. Later he farmed west of Chadwick and Milledgeville until he bought a farm in Eagle Point. Milly married Walter Beckenbaugh of Maryland, and after living a short time in California, the Beckenbaughs farmed near Polo, west of Chadwick and near Hebron, and last lived in Woodstock.
George Geary, the father, maintained his membership in the Dutch Reformed Church in East Greenville, Pennsylvania. Camilla Geary, the mother, was one of the charter members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Polo, where some of the children became members. However the Gearys at times attended the United Brethren Church "Brick Church" near Hazlehurst.
George Geary died January 2, 1907. He suffered a stroke while doing chores that evening. His son Clint, found his body in the farmyard. After his death Clint took over the responsibilities at the farm until he married. Then Lydia and family lived with Mother Geary on the farm before she moved to Polo. Before setting up housekeeping in a small house near down town, she lived a short time with Lesta and family. During her later years she lived with Lydia and family in the Exchange Hotel in Polo.
Camilla Geary died June 3, 1931, at the Exchange Hotel from a stroke. At the time of her death there were eight living children, thirty-six grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren of George and Camilla Geary.
George and Camilla Geary were buried in the Brick Church cemetery adjacent to the grave of daughter Sarah who died in infancy. All the other children excepting Lydia who was buried in Fairmount Cemetery north of Polo, are also buried in the Brick Church Cemetery, with other members of their families.
This information about the Geary family was collected by the Rev. Kenneth Ballard of 1711 Addison St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He got his information from these sources:
Records of the Reformed Church, Falkner Swamp, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania.
Justice Collection, Genealogical Records, The Geary Family of Upper Hanover Township and Surrounding Areas
Hinke History of Goshen Hoppen Reformed Church
Rev. Ballard wrote that the Justice Collection, handwritten notes, contains considerable material on the Geary family. He pointed out that George, who married Sarah Carl, and Lydia, who married Amos Antrim, were children of John and Susanna Geary. The father of John was Jacob, who came to America from Switzerland.
Rev. Ballard mentioned that in the 1700's the name was spelled Geri, Gery, Gory, and Goeri. In the 1800's some of the records had the name spelled Geary.
George Gery (1794 - 1857)
Sarah Carl Gery (1819 - 1844)
Camilla M Smith Geary (1846 - 1931)
George G. Geary (1870 - 1943)*
Celeste Ports (1872 - 1942)*
Charles Geary (1874 - 1935)*
Samuel Geary (1879 - 1964)*
Clinton G. Geary (1883 - 1955)*
Sarah Geary (1884 - 1884)*
Camilla L. Geary Beckenbaugh (1886 - 1940)*
Brick Church Cemetery
Maintained by: Jim Smith
Originally Created by: Charles W Brown
Record added: Jul 18, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28372765