SOLDIERS' ORPHAN SCHOOLS/HOMES
LOYSVILLE ORPHANS' HOME
According to the book,
History of Perry County, Pennsylvania; H. Hain; 1922
What more appropriate place could have been
chosen for a Soldiers' Orphan School than the Tressler
Orphans' Home at Loysville, and where there have been found a man more
entitled to be its first principal than Capt. D. L. Tressler, the young
principal of the institution (which had previously been an academy) who, when
the safety of the Union was imperiled, dropped his educational work, and
organized a company composed mostly of his own students, and left for the front?
While Perry County has sent forth to larger fields many men of note, of heroic
mould, and of noble character, it can scarcely be doubted that D. L. Tressler,
soldier, officer, teacher, attorney, theologian, and college president, stands
in the very front rank. Just as he reached the top in the field of his
choice, would he have reached it should he have chosen the law. During the
first eighteen months of the existence of this school W. H. Minich was its
superintendent, G. V. Tressler succeeding him. It was established in 1865.
In 1867 the General Synod of the Lutheran Church, through Rev. Philip Willard
purchased the building and five acres of land, and it became the home of both
church and soldiers' orphans. During the first two years of the
church ownership it was leased to Philip Bosserman, with Rev. John Kistler as
superintendent. An additional plot of twenty-seven and one-half acres was
then purchased by the trustees, who had been named by the Church. On June
1, 1869, it was placed under the charge of Rev. Willard as superintendent.
When he took charge the institution had eighty soldier orphans and eighteen
wards of the Church. By 1876 the proportion was sixty-two soldiers'
orphans and forty-six Church wards. The original brick building was 40x60,
three stories high. Upon taking charge for the Church, Rev. Willard
erected a frame building, 20x48, the first floor being a dining room and the
second a dormitory. In 1875 the old cooking house was torn away and a new
brick one, 30x50, two stories high, replaced it. It had separate
departments for cooking, for baking, for washing, and for shower baths.
This school under the long control of Father Willard, as Rev. Willard came to be
known, had a fine reputation with the state authorities, as their many reports
testify. Among the early teachers were: George Sanderson, George W.
Weaver, Ira Wentzel, Herman F. Willard, S. S. Willard, L. A. Haffley, G. M.
Willard, A. M. Paff, and Misses Nettie Willard, Elsie Berg, Hattie Anstadt, and
M. L. Willard. Its further history follows:
(The above information was extracted from the book, History of
Perry County Pennsylvania; H. H. Hain; Hain-Moore Co.; Harrisburg, Pa.; 1922.