Pennsylvania Volunteers
in the Spanish-American War

1898-1899

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PA Spanish-American War

Biography of a PA soldier, George W. Neff

Dr. George W. Neff, son of Dr. George W. (1) and Mary Ann (Rhoads) Neff, was born in Masontown, Pennsylvania, December 19, 1845. His early and general education was received in the public schools of Masontown, and later he attended Waynesburg College, Pennsylvania. After his decision to follow the profession of his father, he attended the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, where he was graduated M.D. with high honors in the class of 1870. Soon after taking up his practice with his father in Masontown the latter was compelled by illness to retire from active life.

Dr. Neff then assumed full charge of his father's business and has since built up a large and extensive practice of his own in Masontown and vicinity, where he is well and highly regarded as physician and citizen. His abilities have been recognized in many ways, and he holds several positions of honor and trust in the medical world. At present he is a member of the board of trustees of the Cottage State Hospital at Connellsville, Pennsylvania, an appointment he received from General Beaver. He also is examining physician for the Equitable Life Insurance Company of New York, the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, and the Pittsburgh Life Insurance Company. He has been known as a lifelong Republican, and during the sessions of 1887 and 1889 he ably represented Fayette county in the Pennsylvania legislature, serving on the committees on appropriations, education, public health and sanitation. In fraternal life he is past master of Valley Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He is also a prominent and influential member of the State Medical Society of Pennsylvania and the Fayette County Medical Society.

Not only has he been conspicuous in political and professional life, but he has a military record which embraces service both at home and in our Pacific possessions, the Philippines. His military career began in 1887 when he was recommended by the late Colonel A. L. Hawkins for a position on the staff of the Tenth Regiment National Guard of Pennsylvania, as first lieutenant and assistant surgeon. When the governor summoned the regiment to quell the riots at Morewood in 1891, he received both a military and professional promotion with the rank of major and surgeon, and in this capacity served during the Homestead riots. On May 5, 1898, when the conditions in the Philippine Islands were becoming serious, Major Neff was Mustered In to the volunteer service, retaining his former rank, and served with distinction through the Spanish-American war. During the insurgent campaign he was in charge of the dressing station of the Second Division, commanded by General Arthur McArthur, of the Eighth Army Corps, a position of importance and responsibility in the advance on Malolas, the insurgent capital. When the regiment was in garrison at Cavite he was appointed district surgeon of the military district of Cavite, which included work among the natives as well as those in the service.

Dr. Neff and wife are both followers of the faith of John Wesley. Major Neff's career is remarkable in many respects. He is a man of high culture and education, well informed on all subjects, however lofty the topic, an exceptionally fine surgeon and physician; an influential fraternal figure; prominent in military life; in morals beyond reproach and a solid, substantial, respected member of the Masontown community. He married, November 14, 1872, Loretta P., daughter of Elias and Hannah M. Parshall. Children: 1. Robley P. born January 21, 1874, died August 6, 1874. 2. Hannah M., born February 12, 1875; married Norman Powell; children: Hannah M., George, Frances M. 3. Mary A., born January 5, 1877; married Willard O. White, of Rome, New York; child; Mary. 4. Loretta P., born November 11, 1879 : married Chester Mingle, of Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania; children: Loretta, Gertrude, Carolyn. 5. Elizabeth P., born March 21, 1882; married Harold B. Stephens, of Rome, New York; children: Elizabeth, George, Esther H.


Source: Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Genealogical and Personal History , John W. Jordan and James Hadden. Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County Pennsylvania, Volumes I-II. New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1912.

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