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Old photo of Dillsburg Medal of Honor winner’s birthplace

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, December 13, 1917. Courtesy of

Back in June 2009, I wrote a blog entry about Colonel Matthew S. Quay, a native of Dillsburg in northwestern York County, Pennsylvania. In my research on Dillsburg on the on-line subscription website for old newspaper archives, I stumbled across this 1917 photo of Quay’s birthplace in Dillsburg. That modest log-frame house is long gone, having been sold in 1840 and then razed in the 1900s. The site is now Quay Park. The main Quay family house is still standing at 22 N. Baltimore Street. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Other houses and outbuildings on the property are long gone.

Quay’s father, Anderson B. Quay, was a preacher in the local Presbyterian Church. In 1850 Matthew graduated from Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson) and in 1854 was admitted to the bar. He mastered several languages and boasted one of America’s finest private libraries.

Quay is one of a small number of York Countians who received the Medal of Honor in the years after the war ended, and he was the most prominent of that group. He became a powerful U.S. Senator and business / civic leader in the Pittsburgh area and was well respected and much loved by his supporters and admirers.