Mr. Irving, one of Lykens elderly and respected citizens, was born in Wilkes-Barre in the year 1841. He came to Lykens in 1874 and entered the bottling business, in which he engaged until 1877 when he entered the hostelry business, conducting the Valley House located at Main and Pine Streets. This business he sold in 1908 and retired. Mr. Irving was a member of the First Defenders, enlisting on 16 April 1861. He was attached to the National Light Infantry. He delights in having had the occasion to shake hands with President Abraham Lincoln. He saw service in many important battles of the war and fortunately was not injured. He is a member of the organization known as the First Defenders, who meet on 18 April of each year. Of this organization, which originally numbered five hundred and thirty members, there are today only about fifteen left. Their meetings are of mutual discussion and a general “get-together” character, and have been carried on since the end of the Civil War.
Mr. Irving is held in highest esteem by all who know him. He is known to nearly every person (man, woman, and child) in the town and his kindly appearance and jolly disposition have won for him and enviable pedestal of local citizenship. He has assisted and taken initiated in many civic movements during his career here, and withstanding his age, is about every day with the alacrity of one many years his junior.
From: “Who’s Who in Lykens, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania,” Lykens-Williams Valley History-Directory and Pictorial Review, by J. Allen Barrett, published in 1922.
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