Joseph D. Gise, farmer and stockman, was born in Lykens Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 27 April 1834.
His grandfather, Nichlas Gise, was a native of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and a carpenter. He married in Lehigh County and had a family of five sons and three daughters. Among the sons of Nicholas Gise, was Benjamin Gise, father of Joseph D. Gise.
Benjamin Gise was a farmer in Lehigh County, where he was born and spent his early life. While still a young man he removed to Dauphin County, locating in Lykens Township, on a farm of eighty acres, which he greatly improved, and on which, besides farming, he made a business of raising live stock. Benjamin Gise was married in Lykens Township to Rebecca Umholtz, born in Lykens Township, 25 December 1810. They had ten children:
Joseph D. Gise;
John B. Gise, at Gratz;
Mary A. Gise, wife of Jacob Shiro, of Gratz;
Sarah A. Gise, wife of Benjamin J. Evitts, postmaster at Gratz;
Amanda Gise, wife of J. W. Hoffman, farmer, Lykens Township;
Henry Gise; and
Daniel Gise, deceased
Mr. Benjamin Gise died in Gratz in 1885. He was a Republican and served as supervisor of roads. In all religious matters he took a deep interest, and was an active member of the Evangelical church, serving as deacon, elder in class leader, also as a local preacher. He was a prominent and very useful citizen, and an upright and devout Christian.
Joseph D. Gise attended subscription schools and was for one year in the public schools of Lykens Township. He was also for two terms a pupil in the New Berlin Academy, Union County, Pennsylvania. He began to work on the farm in early boyhood and was employed there until he was twenty-three years old. During the latter part of this time he taught school for two terms. For fourteen years after leaving home he worked as a farm hand in summer and taught in the township schools during the winter months. Throughout all that time he diligently pursued a course of private study and reading with the view of acquiring a more liberal education.
Under the administration of President Grant, Mr. Gise was appointed and commissioned in the Internal Revenue Service as storekeeper and gauger of the Fourteenth Congressional District of Pennsylvania, and entered upon the duties of the office under an official bond of $20,000. He retained this position for seventeen years and performed its responsible duties with entire satisfaction to the Government and with the utmost credit to himself. After leaving the Government service, Mr. Gise bought a farm of twenty acres in Lykens Township, on which he made substantial improvements, building a fine dwelling house and barn, planting orchards, etc., and engaged in farming and stock raising.
Joseph D. Gise was married at Berrysburg, Pennsylvania, 27 January 1857, to Elizabeth E. Witmer, born in Uniontown [Pillow], Pennsylvania, 14 March 1840, daughter of Benjamin Witmer, a tailor of Uniontown. They have three children:
Henry Day Gise, professor in the high school, Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, where he has been employed for eleven years, being a graduate in the class of 1878 of the State Normal School, Millersville, Pennsylvania;
George W. Gise, attorney-at-law, Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, read law under Guy Farquhar of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and has a large practice;
Mary A. Gise, died young.
Mr. Joseph D. Gise enlisted in the Union Army [Civil War] at Harrisburg, 25 May 1862, in Company I, One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania volunteers [177th Pennsylvania Infantry], Colonel George B. Wiestling and Captain Benjamin J. Evitts, and was mustered in as second lieutenant. He was discharged and mustered out 5 August 1864, having served on guard duty at Norfolk and Suffolk, Virginia, and at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Gise is a Republican. He has held most of the township offices, and was twice elected justice of the peace, but declined to serve. He is a member of Kissinger Post, No. 376, G.A.R., at Gratz, and has also belonged to the I.O.O.F., to K. of P., to S. P. K., and the Grangers. He is interested in the Grange store at Gratz. He is a most worthy man, honored and esteemed in the community.
The above information was modified/edited from Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, published in 1896 by J. M. Runk and Company of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A free download is available from the Internet Archive.
Findagrave Memorial #69180857. Joseph D. Gise died on 25 October 1908. He is buried at the Gratz Union Cemetery, Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.