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Free Genealogy Biography of William Lanius,
Pennsylvania Volunteer of the Civil War

Captain William H. Lanius

Captain William H. Lanius one of the leading representative business men of York County, is a descendant of Christian and Anna (Updegraff) Lanius (grandparents). The former was born at Kreutz Creek, York County. September 16, 1773; died in York, February 16, 1847. The latter was born in York, March 16, 1774, died at the same place October 9, 1830. The parents of our subject were Henry and Angeline (Miller) Lanius. The former born September 20, 1809, died June 26, 1879. The mother was born March 28, 1822, and is still living in York. Henry Lanius was a prominent business man of York and highly esteemed. He was extensively engaged in the lumber trade, and continued an active business man up to his death. In 1860 and 1861 he served as chief burgess of the borough, and was for several years a director on the school board. He was a prominent member of the Moravian Church, and at the time of his death. president of the church council. Eight children are descendants, viz.: Marcus C., Annie L., William H., Ellen A., Charles C., Sarah F., Paul and Susan H.

Captain Lanius was born at Flusbing. Long Island, N. Y., November 26, 1843, and when a youth, came with his parents to York, where he received a liberal education, attending the public schools and the York County Academy.

In August, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company A Eighty-seventh Regiment, 87th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, but was soon after transferred to Company I, as first sergeant, remaining until the close of their service. He was commissioned second lieutenant, March 1, 1863; first lieutenant, November 18, 1863, and as captain, June 25, 1864. Captain Lanius was with his regiment in all its engagements and battles, among which may be named Winchester, Mine Run, Locust Grove, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Monocacy, Opequan and Fisher's Hill. He was wounded at the battle of Monocacy, July 9, and honorably discharged October 13, 1864, after over three years' faithful and active service.

Captain Lanius embarked in business in York in 1867, engaging in the lumber trade, which he has continued up to the present time. In 1871 he formed a business association with his brother, Marcus C., conducting a branch at Wrightsville until 1878, and at the present time has extensive lumber interests at Williamsport. Captain Lanius has also been identified with various-other enterprises, and ranks as one of the leaders in all measures of progress. He published in 1884 a superior map of the borough of York, and has laid out a valuable addition to the same in the Fifteenth Ward. He is the originator and president of the West End Improvement Company, described in another portion of this book. He organized the first Post of the G. A. R. in York County; is a member of York Lodge No. 266, A. F. & A. M., and a representative in the common council.

Captain Lanius has always taken an active interest in political affairs, and early in life organizing the Boys in Blue in the campaign of 1866 at the age of twenty-two years, and was made president of the organization. and remaining in that position in 1868 and 1869. In 1884 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention at Chicago. In 1867 he was united in marriage with Miss Lucy Smyser, daughter of Michael Smyser, of York. They have three children: Mary S., Grace A. and Perry L.

Source: York County, Pennsylvania Biographical History, John Gibson, Chicago: F.A. Battey Publishing Co., 1886.

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