Resources and Context for Chapter 6

Samuel Fahnestock moved his business into the store that bore his name in 1833. The building was erected in 1810 and for a number of years served as a tavern. When Samuel opened his business there, he called it the Samuel Fahnestock Store. When his sons came of age and joined the business, it became the Samuel Fahnestock & Sons Store, and when he passed it to them, it became the Fahnestock Brothers Store.

The building was such a prominent landmark that people advertised their own businesses by referencing its location.

For close to two decades, the Fahnestocks advertised in the various Gettysburg newspapers regularly and ubiquitously. Their store sold “dry goods,” which ranged from lawn rakes to tools to flour and oats to clothes and fashions.

They sold to business to consumer and business to business. Almost every business in town had accounts with them. The Fahnestocks were also employers of young men throughout the town. Jack Skelly’s younger brother, Daniel, worked there. Catherine Bushman (Samuel Milton Bushman’s mother) later noted that her children had all been clerks at the store, and we will see later that she helped the Fahnestocks just before and during the battle.

The Bushmans lived on Baltimore Street about one-third of a mile away from the Fahnestock store. Their former home is now a UPMC medical office, and the Fahnestock building is now senior housing. Samuel Milton Bushman showed an early aptitude for work and money management, which will be explored in coming chapters.

As noted in the resources of previous chapters, children and young adults were often put to work at very young ages. In this chapter, Samuel is around eight years old, and John Henry is about twelve. Wages for children this age would have totaled a tick more than one dollar per week.

In this chapter, Samuel Fahnestock is just a few years away from his untimely death at age 64 in Philadelphia (he died in 1861). At his passing, he was one of the wealthiest residents in Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Compiler described him as being of “untiring energy and perseverance” and as having a “kind, generous and genial heart” (July 21, 1863 issue).

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