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Connecting the Past to the Present

By Staff | Jun 4, 2010

MUNCY Connecting soldiers from the past with present day students was the goal for fifth graders at Myers Elementary School in Muncy.

In conjunction with the Muncy Historical Society, eighty three students and four teachers spent last Wednesday decorating the burial grounds for the Memorial Day service.

All students were given an opportunity to personally place a flag on the veteran’s graves of relatives if identified beforehand. As part of the education process, classes were shown drawings of medallions attached to stanchions identifying specific wars.

Takoda Moyer was the first student to claim a Civil War soldier as a family relative during this year’s event for the second year featuring the idea of connecting families. Takoda is the son of Greg and Lena Ball Moyer of Muncy.

Takoda’s relative, John Ball of Co. F, 84th Pennsylvania Volunteers, is not interred at Muncy. According to briefs supplied by author and Gettysburg tour guide, David Richards, Ball was listed as being in and out of hospitals three times beginning in September 1862. “There was a small pox epidemic about the time Ball died. I would believe he probably contacted his fatal disease from a fellow patient in the many ‘Convalescent Camps’ about the area,” Richard’s wrote.

Never returning to his parents Charles and Elizabeth Sones Ball, or his home currently occupied by Barb and Jay Snyder in Moreland Township, the unmarried young soldier succumbed in January 1863, about 13 months after entering the conflict. He was buried at what is now known as Old Soldiers Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

The 19-year old’s name was neither recognized nor recorded when the Muncy monument was erected. When the Muncy Historical Society sold pavers on which to inscribe additional names of Civil War fatalities, a relative provided one for John Ball.

Ball’s uncle, Isaac Sones, served in the same war along with several additional nephews including Simpson S. Simmons for whom the GAR post in Sonestown was named.

While there seems to be minimal information on Ball’s paternal line, the mother’s lines are well documented as descendants of Revolutionary War soldiers Johan Peter Sones and John Lowe.