Who killed Police Officer Benjamin Franklin Yost? A Mollie Maguire Story


Chapter 3 - The Deceased Officer

            Benjamin Franklin Yost was born on May 24, 1841, one of six children of his parents, Benjamin and Mary (nee Stamm) Yost. His siblings were Sarah, Mary, Caroline, Amanda and Catharine. He had recently married his young wife, Henrietta Wertmann, the daughter of Elias and Catherine (nee Boyer) Wertmann, who became a widow at the age of fourteen.

            The funeral of Officer Yost is described by the newspaper The Tamaqua Item, with the following account:  The funeral of the late officer B. F. Yost took place this afternoon and was one of the most largely attended and most solemn and impressive ceremonies of the kind that have taken place in our city in a long time. Business was entirely suspended during the afternoon, and our citizens seemed anxious to testify in every way possible their respect for the deceased and their sorrow and indignation at the brutal manner in which he was hurried into eternity. The deceased had served honorably through the war in Company I, 48th P.V., and the ex-soldiers of our city turned out in strong force to pay the last sad honors to their departed comrade. A meeting of the soldiers was held at the U.S. Hotel last evening, at which a firing squad was detailed, and all arrangements made to carry out the military portion of the ceremonies properly. Accordingly at one o’clock the soldiers formed at the U.S. Hotel, and headed by the Pennsylvania Silver Cornet Band, the services of which had been very kindly volunteered for the occasion, marched to the late residence of the deceased on South Lehigh Street.

            After appropriate religious services at the house the remains were brought out and the funeral cortege formed in the following order: Detachments of Police Force of Pottsville, Mahanoy City, Tamaqua, and the Coal and Iron Police; Pennsylvania Silver Cornet Band; Firing Squad of Returned Soldiers in Uniform; Returned Soldiers in a body, carrying Stars and Stripes and Battle-torn Flags of 48th P.V.; Washington Camp No. 100, Patriotic Order Sons of America; Washington Camp No. 57, Patriotic Order Sons of America; Town Council; Detachment of City Fire Department; Clergymen; Hearse, with Coffin – Draped with American Flag, and flanked by six pall bearers; Comrades of the deceased in the 48th P.V.; Family and Relatives; Friends and citizens generally.

            The procession, which was a very large one, moved in this order to Odd Fellows’ Cemetery, where appropriate religious services were held, followed by the beautiful and touching burial service of the Patriotic Order Sons of America, after which the soldiers fired their three volleys over the grave of their departed comrade, and all that was mortal of the martyred officer was laid to its final rest.

The procession then again formed in the same order and proceeded down Broad Street to the M.E. church, where the customary services were held, and solemn and affecting funeral discourses were delivered by Rev. Mr. Kline, of Schuylkill Haven, in German, and Rev. G. Oram, of this city, in English.

            On February 12, 1880, Henrietta Yost married William Bailey, a photographer, who had worked at his father’s studio in Tamaqua. They were quick to start a family, with children – Herbert (1880), Estella (1882) and Earl (1886). Sometime prior to 1892, William and Henrietta Bailey relocated to Columbia, Lancaster County. Henrietta passed away in 1924, at the age of 64.

No comments:

Post a Comment