homepage logo

Charter member of local Legion Post served in WWI

By Staff | May 23, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED WWI Army veteran Lancaster "L. D." Rager of Muncy and his wife, the former Alma Gray.

MUNCY – Just 18 years of age when registering for WWI, Lancaster Dennis Rager had been born in Muncy on March 15, 1889. He was the son of George B. and Harriet (Marr) Rager.

The new recruit was assigned to Company D of the 13th Infantry, a division of the Pennsylvania National Guard. He later served with Company D of the 109th Infantry where he would remain until discharge.

Rager shipped overseas in May 3, 1918, the first big wave of the military to join the Allied Armies, part of nearly 2 million Americans destined to do so. The Army Private 1st Class was wounded with the degree of injuries undetermined.

Back home in his parents household in Muncy, “LD” as he was known, was a day laborer. His brother Ralph had a milk route, while the father operated a tobacco store. Also in the home were nephews Charles, age 6, and James Rager, age 5.

In 1923, “LD” Rager wed Alma L. Gray, a sister of WWI veteran Dale Gray whose account was given in a former article in this series by The Luminary. The veteran was now employed as a repairer at a railroad train car shop. The couple resided on West Penn Street and in 1924 had a son Frank Dennis Rager.

By 1942, the Rager’s had relocated to the Newberry section of Williamsport where the veteran was a member of several organizations including the Brotherhood of Railroad Carmen, The Williamsport Moose, St. Matthews Lutheran Church of Newberry, and the Edward J. Smith VFW in Muncy.

At Muncy’s Roland Ritter America Legion Post, Rager had been a charter member and a past commander. Succeeding generations, also members of the Ritter Post, were sons Frank D. Rager and his grandson, our informant, Dennis M. Rager of Jersey Shore, PA.

LD died Marcy 30, 1976, his wife surviving him by two years. The veteran was survived by their son Frank Dennis, brothers Oscar of Lewistown, Ralph of Muncy, Walter of Wilmington, Delaware, and a sister Mrs. William Brobst of Muncy. Also surviving were four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The couple was interred in Muncy Cemetery.