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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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LUTHER ALEXANDER LINE. In the biography of William R. Line it is stated that his father, William Line, was married a second time, his second wife being Mrs. Catherine King, widow of Dr. John King, and daughter of Dr. John Luther. William Line and Catherine, his second wife, had two children, Cornelia Emily and Luther Alexander. It is the object of this particular sketch to treat principally of the latter.

Luther A. Line was born Dec. 21, 1835, while his father lived at the eastern edge of Carlisle, upon the property he purchased from Major Sterrett Ramsey in 1819. There the child grew into youth, and the youth into manhood, and within a radius of a few hundred yards has always lived, and at this writing is still living. When the boy reached the prescribed age he was sent to the Carlisle schools, first to the private schools of Miss Harper, Miss Mains and others, and afterwards to the public schools. His education was limited to that provided by the common schools of the day. For employment and manual training he was put to work in his father’s nursery and greenhouses, and there occupied he gradually came into a thorough and practical knowledge of flowers, shrubbery and plant life generally. Growing to manhood in this employment, it naturally became his life work and his delight. He has engaged at it ever since in the immediate vicinity in which he started in it when a youth. While a young man he at one time thought he would like the drug business, and went to Philadelphia and engaged at it for a short time, but the confinement incident to it not agreeing with his health, he abandoned all further efforts to master it.

In August, 1864, Mr. Line enlisted as a recruit in Company A, 101st P. V. I., under Capt. James Sheaffer, of Pittsburg, Colonel Morris, commanding. Peter Monyer, William Lytle, Alfred Taylor and Henry D. Comfort, also of Carlisle, were some of his comrades in the same Company. Soon after joining his regiment it was sent to Roanoke Island, North Carolina, and in that section was engaged in doing scouting duty and skirmishing until the close of the war. It was mustered out of service June 25, 1865, at Newbern, North Carolina. Through soldiering in the Lowlands of North Carolina he contracted swamp fever, with which he was ailing for a long time after he returned to his home. After the recovery of his health he resumed his former occupation of florist and nurseryman at the old place, and nothing has since then occurred to seriously interrupt his labors.

Luther A. Line’s career has been quiet, and in a general sense uneventful, and yet some of his experiences are interesting and could be enlarged upon with entire propriety were his biographer given permission to do so. The natural modesty of the man restricts the writer to a simple recital of the bare facts of his life. Having always lived in Carlisle he is well known to its people generally, and he is greatly esteemed by all of them. As a life-long citizen of the place he has participated in the making of its history, and has been an interested observer of its affairs. His home being in the part of the town where was located the United States military post known as the Carlisle Garrison, he in his earlier years, became acquainted with many young army officers who in the Civil war rose to distinction on one side or the other. Some of these he afterward met under memorable circumstances. On the evening of July 1, 1863, after the Confederates under General Ewell had retired, and the Union forces under General Smith had again come into possession of Carlisle, he was in his home quietly resting from the anxiety and dread through which he had passed. His rest was disturbed by the entrance into his room of a young man, whom he recognized as Samuel Weller, a former student of Dickinson College, who informed him that General Lee was outside and wanted to see him. Going out he met a Confederate officer who said he was General Fitzhugh Lee, and asked whether he knew him. Mr. Line replied that he knew a Lieutenant Lee who some years before had been stationed at the Carlisle Garrison. “Well, answered the officer, “I am he.” Lee was in charge of the advance of Gen, J. E. B. Stuart’s command, which had come from Hanover by way of the York Road, with the view of joining the body of Confederates that had come down the Cumberland Valley. This body of Confederates having gone to Gettysburg, and the town being in possession of the Union forces, the progress of Stuart’s command was halted in the road near the Line home. Later General Stuart also interviewed Mr. Line, and requested him to convey his respects to Johnson Moore and Major Hastings, two of Carlisle’s prominent citizens with whom Stuart had cordial relations while in former years he was stationed at the Carlisle Garrison. That night the Confederates treated the town to a vigorous bombardment and burned all the principal buildings at the Garrison, and also the gas house, which stood within a stone’s throw of where Mr. Line lived. Among the articles on Mr. Line’s parlor table at the time was a picture of General Lee which Lee had presented to him while stationed at the Carlisle Garrison as a lieutenant. After the Confederates were gone he missed this picture, and could account for it on no other theory than that Samuel Weller, recognizing it as the likeness of his commander, had taken it. Weller was Sergeant of the Confederate Signal Corps, and it is presumed was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg, at any rate he was never heard of afterward. Once, in recent years, when General Lee was on a visit to the Carlisle Indian Training School, Mr. Line met him and took occasion to mention to him the loss of the picture. The distinguished ex-Confederate expressed regret at its loss, and promised to send him another, but as no picture ever came the probability is that he forgot all about it.

On Dec. 22, 1870, Luther A. Line was married to Miss Caroline Goekeler, of Carlisle, Rev. Dr. Joel Swartz, pastor of the First Lutheran Church, performing the ceremony. Caroline Goekeler was the daughter of Godfrey and Mary Magdalene (Thudium) Goekeler, both of whom were born in Wurtemberg, Germany, but after immigration to America met and married in Philadelphia, where their daughter Caroline was born. Subsequently they moved to Carlisle and lived there for some years.

Luther A. and Caroline (Goekeler) Line became the parents of three children, two of whom died in infancy. The surviving child is William Ramsey Line, born at Carlisle May 16, 1878, and educated in the public schools. Upon reaching early manhood he turned his attention to mechanics and became skilled in the manufacture of electrical appliances, and he now lives in Gloversville, N. Y., where he for some years has been successfully engaged in the bicycle and electrical business. On May 15, 1901, he married Miss Mae Johnson, of Gloversville. They have no children.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

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