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|Johnstown Tribune, 20 Jul 1903, Contributed by Lisa Baker|
Joseph Orris, one of the best-known citizens in the region around Scalp Level, died at his home there at 6 o'clock this morning, from diseases incident to old age. He was aged about seventy-six years. The funeral will take place at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning, the Rev. L. A. Bush, pastor of the Scalp Level Lutheran Church, conducting services, after which the burial party will proceed to Headrick's Cemetery, above Conemaugh, where interment will be made.
Joseph Orris was born in 1827 on a farm near Scalp Level. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Adam Orris and moved to this region from Hagerstown, Md., in the '20's. His mother died when he was two years old. In his youth he went to live with Samuel Livingston of Conemaugh Township, Somerset County, from whom he learned the trade of blacksmithing. He returned to Scalp Level in 1845 and two years later was married to Miss Eve Foust, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Foust, who survives her husband with the following children: Ananias, of Scalp; William, of Conemaugh; Mary Jane, wife of Albert Kunkleton of Sheridan Station; Emma, wife of Nelson Burgoon of Conemaugh; Three children--Sarah Ellen, Howard, and Josiah are dead. An item of interest in connection with the Orris-Foust wedding is the fact that the bridesmaid, who was Miss Angie Fockler, is still living at Omaha, Neb., the wife of Henry Levy.
Mr. Orris served in the Civil War, first enlisting for the nine-month service. He was enrolled July 31, 1862, in Company A, One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment, Capt. John Downey, and served until his discharge, May 26, 1863, at Harrisburg. On September 3, 1864, he re-enlisted, this time in Company K, Two Hundred and Sixth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Capt. Joseph S. Coulter and Col. Hugh Brady, and was discharged at Richmond, Va., June 26, 1867. His regiment was one of the first of the Federal organizations to enter the Rebel capital after the capitulation.
On his return from the war, Mr. Orris resumed his trade of blacksmithing, which he followed all his life. He was a citizen who had the respect of all who knew him.
The wedding of Mr. Orris to Miss Foust was performed by old Squire Jacob Horner, who lived on the farm later occupied by Joseph Geis, near Geistown.
Upon locating at Scalp Level on his return from Somerset County, Mr. Orris went to work for Jacob Berkey, brother of the well-known Capt. Peter Berkey, of Minneapolis. Jacob Berkey, it will be remembered, afterward sold out his business to Mr. Orris and went to the Southwest, where he was drowned while trying to cross a river in Texas.