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CUSTER, Philip

    Johnstown Daily Tribune, 14 Apr 1913, Page 13, Contributed by Kelly Kendig


Physicians Say That Patent Medicine Poisoned Aged Man's System

Had Been Ill A Week

Philip Custer, 73 years old, one of the most prominent citizens in Jackson Township, died at 1:30 o'clock this morning at his home in Vinco following a week's illness. His aged wife has been ill for many weeks and the death of her husband, it is feared, may result seriously for her. Physicians who attended Mr. Custer are of the opinion that death resulted from poison taken into the system through patent medicine.

Funeral services for Mr. Custer will be held at the residence at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, when the Rev. F. D. Ellenberger, formerly of the Eighth Ward, now of Salisbury, Somerset County, will officiate assisted by the Rev. J. Q. A. Curry, of Conemaugh. Interment will be in Wesley Chapel.

Mr. and Mrs. Custer celebrated their golden wedding anniversary only last October, when their children, 20 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren were presented in addition to a number of acquaintances.

Philip Custer was born in Richland Township, but spent the greater part of his life in Jackson Township. He was a newspaper writer of some note and many articles of news from Vinco have appeared over his signature "Wheelwright."

Philip Custer and Miss Emily Riblett were married on October 5, 1862, in Richland Township by Moses Yoder, Esq., of Scalp Level, who was then the employer of Mr. Custer, and within two weeks from that time Mr. Custer enlisted as a private in Company E., 171st Regiment, P.V.I., in the Army of the Potomac, for nine months. After his discharge he again entered the wheelwright shop of Modes Yoder at a salary of $15 per month. Mr. Custer said he had his house rent free, but had to pay $15 for his first barrel of flour. In 1864 Mr. and Mrs. Custer moved to Fairview, near Vinco, and built a home.

Mr. Custer never lost a day's work nor missed a meal on account of sickness. He was Justice of the Peace for five years, always voted the Prohibition ticket ever since the organization of the party, was repeatedly placed in nomination for county offices, and engaged in many lines of business, including wagonmaking, conducting a planing mill, shingle mill, the undertaking business, farming, etc. He just recently retired from business at the age of 73 years, later spending a great deal of his time working at odd jobs about his farm.

The Custer family consisted of six children, five of whom are living. One died at the age of seven months. Jacob B. Custer is a merchant at South Fork, M. Malissa is the wife of W. E. Rager, a truck gardner of Richland Township; William H. is a member of the firm of C. H. McMullen & Co. harness dealers of this city; Ida B. is married to S. S. Penrod, a merchant in South Fork; O. Bird is a machinist and foreman of the structural department of the iron and coke works at Corey, Ala.

Mr. Custer was a brother of Martin Custer of Conemaugh, Frederick Custer, of the South Side, this city; William Custer, of South Fork; Mrs. Samuel Wissinger, of Morrellville, and Mrs. Mary Wendell, of South Fork.

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