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 John Sherman Bashore

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John Sherman Bashore

Birth
Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death
10 Dec 1959 (aged 86)
Lebanon, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial
Lebanon, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot
Section N
Memorial ID
37173658 View Source

The hand of death this morning led John S. Bashore from the earthly Lebanon scene to which he was an outstanding contributor, of his wealth and leadership for many years. The widely known and beloved Clothing merchant, banker, philanthropist and good citizen died at 7:30 o'clock in Good Samaritan Hospital. He was 86 on Feb. 24. Bashore's death, attributed to ailments of his age, followed a period of illness that first resulted in his hospitalization on Sept. 24. He was last re-admitted to the hospital on Nov. 27. He resided at 10th and Chestnut Sts. News of the passing of the highly respected business and community leader was received with profound regret by Lebanon Countians in all walks of life. Few Lebanon, Countians, present or past, touched the lives of both the young and the mature as did Bashore during his lifetime. To several generations of Lebanon Countians, Bashore was the merchant who supplied the clothing needs of the men and boys of the family. For many years fire companies in the city and several in the county were beneficiaries of his generosity. Each year at Thanksgiving Bashore sent $10 checks to the fire companies, a practice that in the words of one veteran fireman "has been going on as long as I can remember." In the field of commerce Bashore was a leader as the longtime president of Lebanon's First National Bank. He served as a director of this bank since 1920. Community leaders found him ready and willing at all times to give his assistance to the promotion of civic programs and projects for the good of the community. However, it was in the realm of the youth that the greatest and most durable monument of his contribution to the area of his heritage is erected. It was a monument that he unwittingly erected himself, an act that was solely for the benefit of the youth of Lebanon city and county. In 1947 Bashore purchased the 250-acre Foehler farm near Green Point and donated it to the Lebanon County Boy Scout Council for development as a Scout camp. He also aided the development of the camp. The camp, which serves both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, was appropriately named Camp Bashore in honor of its contributor. Each year several hundred boys and girls use the camp facilities which are among the best of their kind lo be found anywhere. Bashore's contribution to the Scout movement, which embraces a large proportion of the county's youth population, was a modest gesture in keeping with his character. An unassuming man, Bashore did not seek out the limelight. However, since he was a born leader and respected for his opinions and experience in business and civic matters, the limelight continuously sought him out. The recipient of many honors throughout his life, Bashore received his last accolade from the public on Feb. 25, 1958. At that time, as he was observing his 85th birthday, he received the annual Good Government award from the Lebanon Jaycees. Miss Genevieve Blatt, Secretary of Internal Affairs of Pennsylvania, was the guest speaker. As he accepted the Jaycees honor Bashore's eyes dimmed with tears and his voice faltered with intense emotion as he fervently spoke the words that formed his philosophy in life. "The greatest thing in the world we can do is to do something for the other fellow," the venerable benefactor of his fellowman declared. Then he added, "It is likely I should have done more, but I do the best I can, I certainly appreciate all you have done for me." Among the presentations to Bashore by the Jaycees was a large framed photograph of himself. This was later hung at Camp Bashore. Lebanon area citizens also paid a tribute to Bashore for his many years of devoted service and assistance to his native area. On the occasion of his 80th birthday In 1953 a community testimonial dinner was conducted at the Hotel Weimer. The principal speaker was Miles Horst, this city, at that time State Secretary of Agriculture. Horst is now the liaison officer between the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the President and Congress. The endearment in which Lebanon Countians held Bashore was not confined to Lebanon County. An example of his influence on the lives of Countians is best told by the story brought back to Lebanon by a World War II navy officer. This officer, while on a lonely Pacific island, came upon a bench made by an American and fashioned after the beaches that were popular fixtures outside of stores and in public places in years gone by. A close inspection of the rear of the bench revealed it bore the chalked inscription "John S. Bashore, Lebanon, Pa." During the many years these benches were in popular style Bashore distributed more than 1,000 throughout the Lebanon County area.

A native of Union Township, Bashore was born Feb. 24, 1873, the son of Peter C. and Sarah (Lash) Bashore. The place of his birth was near the hamlet called Bordner's Store in the Lickdale and Indiantown Gap areas. His humble start in life and the success he attained makes the story of John S. Bashore typical of the opportunities under the American way of life for those with vision and ambition. His story is also typical of the inherent Pennsylvania German traits of thrift and hard work. In fact, the story of John S. Bashore could well be the basis of a Horatio Alger story, the type story popular a generation ago. The Alger subjects traditionally, began life in humble circumstances and by dint of perseverance and devotion to duty-attained positions of eminence in the business or professional world. As a child Bashore received a country school education in a school he later was proud to refer to as a two-room school. While in his early teens he entered on what was an apprenticeship for his life's major activity, that of a merchant. His first job was that as a clerk at Bamberger's store near his home, after which he "graduated" to the Oberholtzer general store in Fredericksburg. It was while clerking at Oberholtzer's he decided upon his life's work. In later years Bashore recalled that he chanced to buy a suit of clothes that had a city-like appearance. The experience so enthralled him he decided his real forte in life was selling clothing. At the age of 20 Bashore came to Lebanon to seek a career as a clothing salesman, a career in which he was fated to rise to great community heights. His first job in Lebanon was as a clerk in the Isaac Wolf clothing store then located on the site of the present McCrory's five and 10 cent store on Cumberland St. Within a short time the young clerk established a reputation as a master salesman who had the complete trust and confidence of his customers. Bashore became a partner in the Wolf store and upon Wolf's death in 1915 he took over sole operation of the business. At that time he moved the store to its present location at 810 Cumberland St. For many years the leading clothier of men and boys in the Lebanon area, Bashore's store was a tradition for several generations of county men and boys. One of the greatest tributes paid to his fairness and honesty as merchant was that frequently paid by parents who would bring their sons to Bashore's store and leave them in his care with the admonition, "John, here are the boys and they need clothing you pick something." 'For many years Bashore remembered the birthdays of his youthful customers with gifts. While he relinquished some of his mercantile duties in recent years to his so n, John K. Bashore, the elder Bashore was a daily visitor to his store prior to his illness. He was also a regular attendant at meetings of committees and the board of directors in connection with his First National Bank affiliation. Despite his advanced years he was a picture of vigor as he strode along Cumberland Street. Throughout the years Bashore was actively associated with practically every worthwhile activity in the city and county. At one time he served on 22 boards of directors. Among the organizations of which he is or has been a director or a member of the advisory board are: Visiting Nurse Association, Home For Widows and Single Women, YMCA, Community Library, Good Samaritan Hospital, Lebanon County Chamber of Commerce, Coleman Park Commerce, Coleman Park Commission, Lebanon Valley Gas Company and Cornwall Rail Road. He served as president of the Lebanon Rotary Club of which he is a member and he also headed the Lebanon Cemetery Association. The oldest director of the First National Bank, he was elected a director in 1920 and president in 1942. He was also the oldest director of the Countrymen's Mutual Insurance Company, having been named to the board in 1917. Bashore's concern for the welfare of his fellow men was exemplified by his long association with the Community Chest and it predecessor organization, the United Welfare Association. He served as treasurer of these two organizations for many years. During the nation's two world wars he was in the forefront among community leaders promoting the sale of war bonds. His community service endeavors won for him the 40 and 8 Society's Certificate of Distinguished Service in 1950. Religiously he was a member of Walmer's Lutheran Church. In addition to his son, John K. Bashore, this city, he is survived by two grandchildren, J. Thomas Bashore, at home, and Sandra, wife of Navy Lt. (jg) Joseph C. Mesics, Villefranche, France. A sister, Mrs. Ida Kirst, Fredericksburg and a brother, Harry Bashore, Orlando, Fla., also survive. His wife, the former Jennie Kleiser, died July 17, 1943. Mrs. Bashore's father, Jeremiah Kleiser, operated the former American House, now the Hotel Lebanon on Market Square. [Lebanon Daily News, May 10, 1959, Page 1 & 24]

The hand of death this morning led John S. Bashore from the earthly Lebanon scene to which he was an outstanding contributor, of his wealth and leadership for many years. The widely known and beloved Clothing merchant, banker, philanthropist and good citizen died at 7:30 o'clock in Good Samaritan Hospital. He was 86 on Feb. 24. Bashore's death, attributed to ailments of his age, followed a period of illness that first resulted in his hospitalization on Sept. 24. He was last re-admitted to the hospital on Nov. 27. He resided at 10th and Chestnut Sts. News of the passing of the highly respected business and community leader was received with profound regret by Lebanon Countians in all walks of life. Few Lebanon, Countians, present or past, touched the lives of both the young and the mature as did Bashore during his lifetime. To several generations of Lebanon Countians, Bashore was the merchant who supplied the clothing needs of the men and boys of the family. For many years fire companies in the city and several in the county were beneficiaries of his generosity. Each year at Thanksgiving Bashore sent $10 checks to the fire companies, a practice that in the words of one veteran fireman "has been going on as long as I can remember." In the field of commerce Bashore was a leader as the longtime president of Lebanon's First National Bank. He served as a director of this bank since 1920. Community leaders found him ready and willing at all times to give his assistance to the promotion of civic programs and projects for the good of the community. However, it was in the realm of the youth that the greatest and most durable monument of his contribution to the area of his heritage is erected. It was a monument that he unwittingly erected himself, an act that was solely for the benefit of the youth of Lebanon city and county. In 1947 Bashore purchased the 250-acre Foehler farm near Green Point and donated it to the Lebanon County Boy Scout Council for development as a Scout camp. He also aided the development of the camp. The camp, which serves both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, was appropriately named Camp Bashore in honor of its contributor. Each year several hundred boys and girls use the camp facilities which are among the best of their kind lo be found anywhere. Bashore's contribution to the Scout movement, which embraces a large proportion of the county's youth population, was a modest gesture in keeping with his character. An unassuming man, Bashore did not seek out the limelight. However, since he was a born leader and respected for his opinions and experience in business and civic matters, the limelight continuously sought him out. The recipient of many honors throughout his life, Bashore received his last accolade from the public on Feb. 25, 1958. At that time, as he was observing his 85th birthday, he received the annual Good Government award from the Lebanon Jaycees. Miss Genevieve Blatt, Secretary of Internal Affairs of Pennsylvania, was the guest speaker. As he accepted the Jaycees honor Bashore's eyes dimmed with tears and his voice faltered with intense emotion as he fervently spoke the words that formed his philosophy in life. "The greatest thing in the world we can do is to do something for the other fellow," the venerable benefactor of his fellowman declared. Then he added, "It is likely I should have done more, but I do the best I can, I certainly appreciate all you have done for me." Among the presentations to Bashore by the Jaycees was a large framed photograph of himself. This was later hung at Camp Bashore. Lebanon area citizens also paid a tribute to Bashore for his many years of devoted service and assistance to his native area. On the occasion of his 80th birthday In 1953 a community testimonial dinner was conducted at the Hotel Weimer. The principal speaker was Miles Horst, this city, at that time State Secretary of Agriculture. Horst is now the liaison officer between the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the President and Congress. The endearment in which Lebanon Countians held Bashore was not confined to Lebanon County. An example of his influence on the lives of Countians is best told by the story brought back to Lebanon by a World War II navy officer. This officer, while on a lonely Pacific island, came upon a bench made by an American and fashioned after the beaches that were popular fixtures outside of stores and in public places in years gone by. A close inspection of the rear of the bench revealed it bore the chalked inscription "John S. Bashore, Lebanon, Pa." During the many years these benches were in popular style Bashore distributed more than 1,000 throughout the Lebanon County area.

A native of Union Township, Bashore was born Feb. 24, 1873, the son of Peter C. and Sarah (Lash) Bashore. The place of his birth was near the hamlet called Bordner's Store in the Lickdale and Indiantown Gap areas. His humble start in life and the success he attained makes the story of John S. Bashore typical of the opportunities under the American way of life for those with vision and ambition. His story is also typical of the inherent Pennsylvania German traits of thrift and hard work. In fact, the story of John S. Bashore could well be the basis of a Horatio Alger story, the type story popular a generation ago. The Alger subjects traditionally, began life in humble circumstances and by dint of perseverance and devotion to duty-attained positions of eminence in the business or professional world. As a child Bashore received a country school education in a school he later was proud to refer to as a two-room school. While in his early teens he entered on what was an apprenticeship for his life's major activity, that of a merchant. His first job was that as a clerk at Bamberger's store near his home, after which he "graduated" to the Oberholtzer general store in Fredericksburg. It was while clerking at Oberholtzer's he decided upon his life's work. In later years Bashore recalled that he chanced to buy a suit of clothes that had a city-like appearance. The experience so enthralled him he decided his real forte in life was selling clothing. At the age of 20 Bashore came to Lebanon to seek a career as a clothing salesman, a career in which he was fated to rise to great community heights. His first job in Lebanon was as a clerk in the Isaac Wolf clothing store then located on the site of the present McCrory's five and 10 cent store on Cumberland St. Within a short time the young clerk established a reputation as a master salesman who had the complete trust and confidence of his customers. Bashore became a partner in the Wolf store and upon Wolf's death in 1915 he took over sole operation of the business. At that time he moved the store to its present location at 810 Cumberland St. For many years the leading clothier of men and boys in the Lebanon area, Bashore's store was a tradition for several generations of county men and boys. One of the greatest tributes paid to his fairness and honesty as merchant was that frequently paid by parents who would bring their sons to Bashore's store and leave them in his care with the admonition, "John, here are the boys and they need clothing you pick something." 'For many years Bashore remembered the birthdays of his youthful customers with gifts. While he relinquished some of his mercantile duties in recent years to his so n, John K. Bashore, the elder Bashore was a daily visitor to his store prior to his illness. He was also a regular attendant at meetings of committees and the board of directors in connection with his First National Bank affiliation. Despite his advanced years he was a picture of vigor as he strode along Cumberland Street. Throughout the years Bashore was actively associated with practically every worthwhile activity in the city and county. At one time he served on 22 boards of directors. Among the organizations of which he is or has been a director or a member of the advisory board are: Visiting Nurse Association, Home For Widows and Single Women, YMCA, Community Library, Good Samaritan Hospital, Lebanon County Chamber of Commerce, Coleman Park Commerce, Coleman Park Commission, Lebanon Valley Gas Company and Cornwall Rail Road. He served as president of the Lebanon Rotary Club of which he is a member and he also headed the Lebanon Cemetery Association. The oldest director of the First National Bank, he was elected a director in 1920 and president in 1942. He was also the oldest director of the Countrymen's Mutual Insurance Company, having been named to the board in 1917. Bashore's concern for the welfare of his fellow men was exemplified by his long association with the Community Chest and it predecessor organization, the United Welfare Association. He served as treasurer of these two organizations for many years. During the nation's two world wars he was in the forefront among community leaders promoting the sale of war bonds. His community service endeavors won for him the 40 and 8 Society's Certificate of Distinguished Service in 1950. Religiously he was a member of Walmer's Lutheran Church. In addition to his son, John K. Bashore, this city, he is survived by two grandchildren, J. Thomas Bashore, at home, and Sandra, wife of Navy Lt. (jg) Joseph C. Mesics, Villefranche, France. A sister, Mrs. Ida Kirst, Fredericksburg and a brother, Harry Bashore, Orlando, Fla., also survive. His wife, the former Jennie Kleiser, died July 17, 1943. Mrs. Bashore's father, Jeremiah Kleiser, operated the former American House, now the Hotel Lebanon on Market Square. [Lebanon Daily News, May 10, 1959, Page 1 & 24]


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