William Heyser (1862-1863)
William Heyser was born in Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1796. William went into coppersmithing with his father, Jacob. Several years after the death of his father, William sold the business. He then began manufacturing paper, eventually employing the aid of his son, Jacob. Through their prosperous ventures, the Heyser family accumulated enough money to purchase several farms outside of Chambersburg. William supervised some properties and rented others. In his sixties when the Civil War began, Heyser remained on the homefront with his family until his death in 1863.
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During the war, William Heyser remained in Chambersburg with his wife, adult children, and grandchildren until his death on November 5, 1863, just after this diary concludes. In his twilight years when the war began, Heyser reflects upon his life and labor in this excerpt from his diary.