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    George Town was born in North East in 1848, the son of Bester C. and Julia Burdick Town. His older brother, Warren, had been serving in the Union Navy and the lure of adventure must have been too much for young George to resist. He joined the Union Army on February 1, 1864, at age 15, and went off to fight in the Civil War as a musician with Company F of the 111th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
    He was present at many battles including River Tree Creek, Pine Knob, Kenshaw Mountain, Buffalo Creek, and the burning of Atlanta. He was assigned as a forager from Atlanta to the sea Battle of Bentonville. He was present for the Grand Review at Washington DC at the end of the war and was discharged July 19, 1865.
    After the war he moved to Easton Maryland for a while. He married Elizabeth Ehmke, daughter of Johann & Friederike Winks Ehmke on April 10, 1879 in North East. He then worked in the west at various jobs. One of the highlights of his western career was when he appeared as a defense witness for “Wild Bill” Hickock, Marshall of Abilene, in connection with the death of two soldiers in a brawl.
    He came back east to Erie where he was keeper of the “Flash Light” lighthouse on Presque Isle from fall of 1880 to spring of 1883. This job paid $550 a year and a place to live. This place was very much secluded in those days, in fact in the winter they were often completely isolated.
After his wife died in 1889 he headed west again to Oklahoma Territory coming back east when his father died in 1898. Town lived to be 90 years old, finishing his life living with his nephew Harry Town in Chicago. Harry was the son of George’s brother, Warren C Town.
    George would always make the G.A.R. encampments including the last one in Gettysburg in August of 1938. When in died on September 17, 1938 he was the last member of the Captain John Braden Post 488 of GAR in North East.
    Because of the monument on his grave he became known as the “Little Drummer Boy”. In his will he donated the money for the monument to the Unknown Soldier of the Civil War located in the North East Cemetery. It is a rare occurrence to have such a monument financed by a private citizen. A curious thing about Town is “Where did he get all that money to build these two monuments?” He never seems to have held a steady high-paying job and descendants of his nephew, Harry, with whom he lived until his last days have seen reference to friction in the family for him not contributing to the family finances. 

* The images on the left include:
The George Town monument in North East Cemetery and The Unknown Soldier Monument before it was vandalized.

 

 

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