SAR honors patriot John Brubaker from the American Revolution

Great Glades Chapter Secretary William Lehman and Chapter President Stewart Saylor conducting the ceremony

John Brubaker was finally acknowledged as a soldier and patriot of the American Revolution on June 12.

The Great Glades Chapter, Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the American Revolution spearheaded the purchase of the memorial grave stone and conducted the memorial service with about 45 people in attendance, eight of whom were direct descendants of Brubaker. 

Calliope Lehman, eighth great-granddaughter, and Michael Mariano from Parkinson's Ferry Society Children of the American Revolution place a wreath.

“We at the SAR have made it a priority to honor the Patriots of the American Revolution. We will normally have one or two of these ceremonies each year. Last year really put a damper on that,” said William Lehman, chapter secretary and past president of the Sons of the American Revolution Great Glades Chapter. “We have had mixed results with these ceremonies. I put a lot of effort and did a lot of research for John Brubaker and we had a fantastic turnout. We have done these in the past with only five SAR members in attendance. It’s sometimes discouraging, but we keep moving forward with our goals.”

Great Glades SAR chapter members Ron Horner and Stewart Saylor, both fifth great-grandsons, place the wreath.

The Berlin Brothersvalley School District gave permission to have a memorial gravestone on its property in the Berlin Grove. It has been placed adjacent to the veterans’ plaza. The Berlin Grove property was originally a part of the Brubaker farm.  

The memorial stone for John Brubaker.

John Brubaker

John Brubaker was born in about 1752 in Lancaster County to Hans Jacob and Maria (Baer) Brubaker. His known siblings were Joseph, Peter, Jacob and Benjamin. John married a Lancaster County neighbor, Anna Musser, in about 1770. Her father was Peter Musser.

To John and Anna were born 10 children:  Elizabeth (1772–1840) married Solomon Kimmel; Mary Anna (1775–1825) married John Weigle; Sarah (1776–1809); John Jr. (1779–1852) married Sarah Faust; Peter (1780–1830); Jacob (1783–1856); Magdalena (1785–1864); Daniel (1787–1837); Benjamin (1792–1870) and Joseph (1796–1863) married Elizabeth Ankney.

John and Anna moved to Bedford (now Somerset) County in about 1790. Jacob Berkey sold this 251-acre tract of ground to Brubaker on May 24, 1790. All of the children came with John and Anna to Bedford County. His oldest daughter, Elizabeth, who was 18, married Solomon Kimmel. He lived about 2 miles north, near the village of Brotherton. Solomon’s father was Philip Kimmel, a very early resident of Brothersvalley Township, and a tax collector for Bedford County during the Revolutionary War. All of the other children of John and Anna were younger than 15.  


Daughters of the American Revolution records and the Pennsylvania Archives indicate that in 1780, Brubaker served under Capt. John Ashton in the 3rd battalion of the Lancaster County Militia. Then, in 1782, he served under Capt. Edmond Lintner in the 1st battalion of the Lancaster County Militia. He was less than 30 years old. His brother Jacob served with him in 1780.

Actual field service experienced by Brubaker is not known. Many militia units were used as guards during the war and many prisoners were held in Lancaster. He may have helped guard prisoners. Many militia units were also used as scouts, as they knew the region and its geography.

Brubaker lived here until his death in 1803. His farm was sold in 1805 to Jacob Smucker. Some genealogists believe that Anna married Jacob Smucker sometime in 1805, coinciding with the sale of the property.

The precise location of Brubaker’s grave has been lost to history. The family cemetery is no longer evident. A Brubaker cemetery was identified by the WPA as being 10 rods (165 feet) west of the barn on the Jacob Glessner farm.  

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“I believe it is imperative that we have these memorials placed and conduct these ceremonies because these veterans graves are disappearing regularly,” Lehman said. “When possible, we will try to highlight those Patriots that have not before been recognized. If we don’t, all that history will be gone as generations pass by.”

Special service

At the memorial service, wreaths were placed at the tombstone by two descendants and members of the Great Glades Chapter SAR with fifth generation great-grandsons Stewart Saylor and Ronald Horner; by the Forbes Road Chapter DAR, Linda Darr Regent and Nancy J. Lehman, Past Regent and sixth generation great-granddaughter; and also  by the Pittsburgh based Parkinson’s Ferry Society Children of the American Revolution by Calliope Ann Lehman, eighth great-granddaughter and Michael Mariano.  

The Arthur St. Clair Chapter SAR (Greensburg) and Great Glades Chapter SAR Color Guard presented the colors. The Bethel Fife and Drum Chapter DAR (Pittsburgh) and the Phoebe Bayard Chapter DAR (Greensburg) were in attendance along with the local Forbes Road Chapter DAR. The Berlin Fife and Drum Corp supplied martial music of the 18th Century.  

The original fife and drum corps was composed of Revolutionary War musicians and soldiers. It is the oldest continually operating fife and drum organization in the United States.  

State Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar and Somerset County Commissioners Colleen Dawson and Pamela Tokar Ickes also attended the ceremony.

The Great Glades Chapter displayed its array of colorful American and Revolutionary War flags, 37 in total. Each flag told an historical story of its own. These flags have been purchased over the last 40 years by individuals or organizations and donated to the Great Glades Chapter in the memory of a Patriot ancestor or descendant.

The flag and veterans plaza at the Berlin Grove.

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