Three miles only to meet the Rebels
This nicely restored Manchester Township house on Greenbriar Road was owned during the Civil War by York merchant and businessman Israel Laucks. On July 1, 1863, he hitched his 7-year-old bay to his spring wagon in downtown York. Laucks did not expect any trouble. He had managed to protect his horse during the 3-day Confederate stay in York, and he must have been relieved when Jubal Early’s division left town the morning of June 30.
Like so many other York Countians, he had not expected the arrival of J.E.B. Stuart’s cavaliers…
Israel Laucks (September 6, 1827 – May 15, 1918) and his wife Imilda Arabella (Wilt) lived at what was later numbered as 409 West Market Street. He entrusted his wagon and horse to his father, George Laucks, and asked him to take the wagon back to Manchester Township (presumably to this farm).
George had driven more than three miles from York and was in Manchester Township the morning of July 1 when he was suddenly accosted by a patrol of Confederate cavalrymen. Laucks was forced to get down from the wagon and hand it and the horse over the the Rebels, who took it away. One of the largest men in York, George Laucks apparently had to walk back to York to inform his son of the Rebel thievery.
Israel Laucks filed a state damage claim for $200. He, like all other York Countains, never received a dime, even though the commissioners approved the claim.
He and his household are listed in the 1860 census as:
Laucks, Israel 32 master farmer $50,000 farm/ $2200 personal property, born in PA
Imilda A. 23 PA
Irene E. 5 PA
George W. 3 PA
Amanda L. 2 PA
Carr, Mary 14 domestic Prussia
Gipp, John 25 domestic PA
George and Israel Laucks are buried near each other in York’s Prospect Hill Cemetery.
Here is Israel’s biography from John Gibson’s History of York County.
“ISRAEL LAUCKS, of the leading firm of Laucks & Son, dealers in dry goods and
notions, was born in York County, in September, 1827, and is the son of George
and Elizabeth (Smyser) Laucks. He remained at home with his father on the farm
until he was twenty years of age, in the meantime attended the common schools.
At the age of twenty he came to York and entered the York High School. After
finishing his studies he formed a co-partnershp with S. K. Myers, and engaged
in the boot and shoe, dry goods and notion business at York. This partnership
was afterward dissolved by mutual consent, and Mr. Laucks formed a partnership
with his son, George W. Laucks, December 31, 1883, under the firm style of
Laucks & Son, dealers in dry goods and notions. They have a large stock and do
a thriving business. Mr. Laucks was married May 4, 1854, to Imilda A., daughter
of William A. and Lyda Wilt, of York. To this union were born six children, as
follows: Irene E., George W., Amanda L., Grace V., Sadie M. and S. Farry. Mr.
Laucks has been director of the First National Bank of York; treasurer of the
Farmers’ Market Company, and is president of the York Coach Company, also
president of the York Safe and Lock Company. He has been an active member of
the Reformed Church for more than thirty-seven years, and was elected to the
office of deacon, and subsequently elder in the church of his choice.”