Jacob Bicher
Sarah Reider
Harrison Seibert
Catherine Felker
Benjamin Beicher
Elizabeth F. Seibert
Blaine S. Beicher


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Blaine S. Beicher 1

  • Born: 6 Dec 1893, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA 1 2 3 4
  • Died: 20 Jul 1954, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA at age 60 1 4 5
  • Buried: 24 Jul 1954, Schoeneck: Mellingers Cemetery, Lancaster, PA 1 4

   Another name for Blaine was Blaine Biecher.1 4

   FamilySearch ID: 9C6N-P63.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Census in 1900 in Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 2 Benjamin Bicher, born Sep 1863, age 36, is listed as head of the household that included his wife, Lizzie F. (born Jun 1868); daughter Gertie S. (Oct 1890); and son Blaine S. (Dec 1893). They had been married 10 years and gave birth to three children, two of whom were living in 1900. His occupation is furnace man.

2. Fact: Blaine Beicher shot a bowling alley owner during a dispute. He was guilty and imprisioned., 24 Apr 1916, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA.

3. Newspaper: Lebanon Daily News: Ferd. Gremminger Shot on Easter Eve by Blaine Beicher, 24 Apr 1916, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 6 Ferd. Gremminger Shot on Easter Eve by Blaine Beicher

Assailant Ejected From Bowling Alley and Returned Later and Committed Deed - Injured Man Still Living But in Critical Condition

GOOD SAMARITAN HOSPITAL, 3 O'clock Today - "Mr. Gremminger's condition remains practically unchanged. On Sunday there were several vomiting spells, but there were no hemorrhages to denote the laceration of vital organs. The patient has been mentally bright and cheerful all the time. We can make no statement at this time as to chances of recovery. The patient is, of course, in a very serious condition."

rdrbrdrsrdrw20rsp20 Ferdinand Gremminger, proprietor of the Casino bowling alleys and billiard room in the basement of the Mann building, was ruthlessly shot down in his business place at 8.30 o'clock Saturday evening by Blaine Beicher, an ejected patron, of this city, and is in the Good Samaritan hospital suffering from three bullet wounds. One of them is in the abdomen, on the left side, and may result in his death. The other wounds in the left shoulder and left arm just above the elbow are considered slight. Meanwhile Beicher and his companion, Chas. Books, also of this city, are being held without bail at the county jail to await the outcome of Gremminger's wounds. Beicher is charged with shooting with intent to kill, and Books with being an accessory. Their hearing has been tentatively fixed for Wednesday by Alderman R. L. Miller of the Third ward.
Prompted by Revenge
The shooting is thought to have been prompted out of a spirit of revenge and was the product of a liquor inflamed brain. It was both deliberate and wanton, Beicher calling Gremminger to him as he stood in the main entrance to the place and then, although there were many patrons in the room, without warning whipped out his revolver and began shooting. The first three shots found their mark in Gremminger's body while a fourth, going wild, struck and snapped in two a cue standing in its rack. That the shooting was premeditated and prompted by revenge is traced to the fact that both Beicher and Books had been in the place earlier in the evening. Both were visibly under the influence of liquor and when they expressed a desire to bowl Gremminger appreciating their condition declined them permission. It was not the first time they had appeared in the place in such condition and had caused trouble, so when the again became abusive Gremminger's patience became exhausted and he called on the police to eject them. Officers Moudy and Tice responded and escorted the troublesome pair out of the place, the former walking with them eastward on Cumberland street for some distance in advising them to keep away from Gremminger's place. They promised him they would do this before he parted from them, but instead they returned there a short time afterward.
Doctors Summoned
Gremminger was engaged in speaking with Roy Creager, of the Miller music company, when Beicher appeared in the doorway and hailed him. Responding to the call Gremminger asked Beicher to leave the place and not cause further trouble, but instead of obeying the request Beicher pulled out the gun an began shooting. With the report of the first shot patrons of the place thought some mischievous fellow had set off a fire cracker or exploded a blank cartridge, but when the other shots followed in rapid succession and Gremminger was seen to reel and then fall behind a table there was a scurrying for places of safety. However Beicher and Books, who stood immediately behind him in the doorway, turned and fled up stairs, those in the place immediately recovered their senses and while some started in pursuit of the pair others rushed to the aid of the wounded proprietor. He was carried into the private apartment behind the counter and the telephones were used in notifying the police, summoning doctors and the ambulance.
Made Will
Dr. J. DeWitt Kerr was first to respond and at once took measures to prevent infection of the wounds, which were later dressed with the assistance of Dr. W. H. Brubaker. Gremminger was then removed to the hospital in the ambulance. He continued conscious and following his admission to the institution, appreciating the seriousness of his condition, is reported to have made his will disposing of his estate and making his brother his sole legatee.
Assailant Captured
Cumberland street was filled with Saturday evening shoppers at the time of the shooting and although there was a general rush toward the Mann building with the report of the shots both Beicher and Books had no trouble getting away from the scene of their crime. Dashing northward in Doe alley they quickly disappeared outstripping those who had pursued them. The police were quick to take up the pursuit and within an hour Beicher was under arrest. Jumping into a jitney Officers Moudy and Shott with former Constable John L. Fisher, first rushed to the Beicher home on Fifth street, immediately north of the Reading railway, and on learning that Beicher had not been there they determined to search for him in the western part of the city where he was employed in a scrap yard. Their quest led them to West Lebanon, where they had learned a man, apparently laboring under great excitement and almost breathless, had been seen. When their pursuers had reached a point near Twenty-sixth street Office Moudy detected the form of a man seeking to gain the shadows between two houses. Believing it was their quarry Office Moudy had former Constable Fisher attract the man's attention while he and Officer Shott came from behind. The scheme worked admirably and it was quickly discovered that the prisoner was Beicher, who was unarmed. He was bundled into the automobile and take to city hall, where he declined to make any admissions. He was locked up and the search for Books begun. It was brief and entirely successful Books being found in his home on North Twelfth street, near Church, where the revolver which Beicher had used was also recovered, Books sister explaining that her brother left it there, Books was also taken to city hall and locked up.
Beicher's Story
A News reporter found Beicher calmly smoking a cigarette when he visited him soon after his delivery there by the officers. Questioned concerning the shooting Beicher professed entire ignorance of the occurrence. That he was not telling the truth was disclosed by his willingness and ability to detail his actions both before and immediately after the shooting. He said he had quit work for the day at noon and that he and Books, who were employed in a local scrap yard, had spent the afternoon and evening in drinking. He fixed the number of drinks which he had at eighteen whiskies and admitted that he and Books had been in Gremminger's place early in the evening. First denying that he had returned to the Casino, he later insisted that Books had not gone back with him to the Casino but left him at Sixth and Cumberland streets for the purpose of calling on his girl. When the reporter pressed the question of just how he came to shoot Gremminger, Beicher displayed impatience and pleaded that he be given a drink of water as his throat was "burning up." He denied that he had a revolver and would not say what disposition he had made of it.
Not First Offense
Beicher, who says he is 22 years old, is a son of former Constable Benjamin Beicher, of the Fifth ward, and unmarried. He lives with his parents and only at the March sessions of criminal court was a defendant in a case of carrying concealed deadly weapons, being charged with creating a disturbance at a Myerstown fair. On pleading guilty before Judge Henry he was fined and let go on his promise to be good. Books is said to be 33 years old and single.
Born In Switzerland
Gremminger was born in 1881 at Bickeisee, Switzerland, and became a lacemaker. He arrived in the United States on September 7, 1906 and on Dec. 30, 1911, became a naturalized citizen qualifying before Judge C. V. Henry. For many years Gremminger was employed at the Lebanon Industrial works and some years ago gave up the employment to go into business. After taking over the management of the Casino he later became interested in the bowling alley at Mt. Gretna and more recently became proprietor of the Mt. Gretna store. He has a wide circle of close friends here with all of whom he is popular and they are united in their hopes that he will be soon restored to his accustomed activity.

4. Newspaper: Lebanon Daily News: Biecher Sentenced, 5 Jun 1916, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 7 Blaine S. Biecher, of this city, who on the night of April 22, last, shot down Ferdinand Gremminger in the latter's Casino bowling alley in the basement of the Mann building, was this morning sentenced to a term of not less than 5 years nor more than 7 years in the penitentiary. Biecher had pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with intent to kill and Judge Henry told him in passing that the sentence was all the law allows and that he deserved it, pointing out that it was through no fault of his that he was not in court on a murder charge. Gremminger who was discharged from the hospital a week ago after five weeks' confinement, was in Court and told of the shooting, the entire blame for which Biecher assumed himself. He declared his chum and companion, Roy T. Books, jointly charged with him, was not a party to the shooting. He insisted it was not Books revolver that he used in shooting Gremminger.

5. Military on 6 Jun 1917 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA: WWI Draft Card indicates he was an inmate at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. 3 Registration Card No. 136
Name: Blaine Bicher
Home address: 329 N 5th St., Lebabnon, Penna.
Date of birth: December 6, 1893
Natural born citizen
Where were you born: Lebanon, Penna. U.S.
What is your present trade: unemployed
By whom employed: inmate at Eastern State Penitentiary
Married or single: Single
Race: Caucasian
What military service have you had: none
Signed: Blaine Bicher

Registrar's report:
tall, medium build, blue eyes, dark brown hair, not bald, not disabled.
Signed: James K. Johnson
Eastern State Penitentiary
Philadelphia, Penna.
June 6 1917.

6. Blaine was an inmate at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Census in 1920 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. 8 The 1920 census recorded as an prisoiner at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia: Blaine Beeker, 26, single. He and his parents were born in Pennsylvania.

7. Fact: Department Reports of Pennsylvania: Blaine was pardoned for his assualt with intent to kill charge., 15 Sep 1920, Harrisburg, Dauphin, PA. 9 Board of Pardons

Action taken at Meeting Held in Harrisburg, September 15, 1920

Recommended: Blaine S. Bicher, Lebanon, assualt and battery with intent to kill, carrying concealed weapons.

8. Newspaper: Lebanon Daily News: Blaine Beicher's Case Before the Pardon Board, 15 Sep 1920, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 10 Harrisburg, Sept. 15 -- The board of pardons today heard the case of Blaine S. Biecher, Lebanon, serving sentence with intent to kill. Biecher is represented by G. H. Moyer, Esq.

9. Newspaper: Lebanon Semi-Weekly News: Pardon For Blaine Beicher Recommended, 16 Sep 1920, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 11 Pardon For Blaine Beicher Recommended
Shot Ferd. Gremminger In The Abdomen April 22, 1916
Served Over 4 Years
Man Shot Proves Magnanimous and Signs Petition For Release

Largely through the magnanimity of forgiving spirit of Ferdinand Gremminger, proprietor of Mt. Gretna park, Blaine S. Beicher will probably be released from the Eastern Penitentiary in a few days, although the bullet he fired at Gremminger on April 22, 1916, still has a resting place in Gremminger's anatomy.

Signed Petition

The Board of Pardons, at Harrisburg on Wednesday, recommended to Governor Sproul a pardon for Beicher. It was stated that Gremminger joined in the petition for his release.

Served Over Four Years

Beicher had been sentenced to not less than five years, nor more than seven years in teh penitentiary. He passed his fourth year in the institution in June of this year.

Shot in Abdomen

On the day the crime was committed, Beicher and Roy T. Books entered the Casino bowling alleys, of which Gremminger was then proprietor in the Mann building. The young men started rough house and when Mr. Gremminger protested, Beicher pulled a revolver and shot. The bullet entered Gremminger's abdomen and for a time it looked as if he might not survive the injury. He did recover, however, and then was magnanimous enough to join in an appeal for the pardon of his assailant.

Young Men Sentenced

The pair of young men were tried at a June term of criminal court in 1916, and Beicher went to the pen, and Booker was sentenced to the Reformatory at Hungtingon, Pa., from which institution he was discharged on January 21, 1918.

G. H. Moyer, esq., of this city, represented Beicher in the proceedings before the board of pardons.

10. Book: Journal of the Pennsylvania. General Assembly. House of Representatives, 20 Sep 1920. 12
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
Board of Pardons
Harrisburg, September 20, 1920

His Excellency, William C. Sproul, Governor.

Sir: At No. 26, June Sessions, 1916, in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Lebanon County, Blaines S. Biecher, twenty-six years of age, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging aggravated assault and battery, assualt with intent to kill, and carrying concealed deadly weapons. On June 5, 1916, he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment in the Eastern Penitentiary for a period of not less than five, nor more than seven, years.

The circumstances of the crime were briefly as follows:

The applicant and a companion, after consuming a large amount of intoxicating liquor, entered a certain pool room and attempted ot bowl. Their conduct became so disorderly that the proprieter ordered them from his premises, and when they refused to leave summoned an officer, who took them away. Later in the evening of the same day the two youths re-entered the establishment, and the petititoner, drawing his revolver, shot the proprietor.

The peititioner has never heretofore been accused of any crime. He has now been confined for considerably more than four years. Both the District Attorney and the Trial Judge do not oppose clemency.

Under all the cicumstances of the case we are impelled to the conclusion tha tthe applicant has been sufficiently punished, and therefore, "after full hearing upon public notice and in open sissions", recommend that a pardon be now granted to the said Blaine S. Biecher.

E. E. Beidleman, Lieutenant Governor.
Cyrus E. Woods, Secretary of the Commonwealth
W.I. Schaffer, Attorney General
Jas. F. Woodward, Secreatary of Internal Affairs.

11. Census in 1930 in North Lebanon Twp., Lebanon, PA. 13 In the 1930 Census for some reason Benjamin is recorded as Norman H. Bicher, working in foundry, 64, living with wife Lizzie, 61, and son Blaine, 36, laborer in scrap yard. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.

12. Newspaper: Lebanon Daily News: Man Found At Seventh and Hill Streets; Hit By Hit-And-Run Driver, 7 Jul 1931, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 14 One man is a patient at the Good Samaritan Hospital, and a "hit-and-run" driver is being sought by police as the result of an accident at Seventh and Hill streets, Independent Borough, late Monday.
Blain Biecher, 35, of Reinoehlsville R. D. 2, is suffering from a fractured jaw and head injuries received when struck by an automobile. When found by employes of the Thompson Furniture store, who were driving the delivery truck on Seventh street, Beicher was in an unconscious condition and bleeding about the face. He was taken to the Good Samaritan Hospital, where several hours later he regained consciousness.

13. Newspaper: Harrisburg Telegraph, 8 Jul 1931, Harrisburg, Dauphin, PA. 15 Struck by a hit-and-run driver, Blaine Biecher, Reinoeldville, today was recovering from a fracture of the jaw, a head injury and severe bruises. He was found lying along the Fredericksburg road, a short distance north of Lebanon.

14. Newspaper: Reading Times: Blaine Biecher Victim of Auto, 9 Jul 1931, Reading, Berks, PA. 16 LEBANON. July 8. Lebanon men today picked up the unconscious person of Blaine Biecher, of Reinoeldville, Route 2, son of Benjamin Biecher, and brought him to Good Samaritan hospital this city, where it is believed he is the victim of a hit-and-run driver. Biecher's body was found along the Fredericksburg road a short distance north of the city. It is said that the man's face was bloody. He regained consciousness several hours after he had been admitted to the hospital.

15. Census in 1940 in S. Lebanon Twp., Lebanon, PA. 17 The 1940 census recorded Blaine Beecher, 38, single, as an inmate in the Lebanon County Almshouse (poorhouse).

16. Military Draft: WW II Draft Registration, 27 Apr 1942, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 18 Registration Card Serial Number U 905
Name: Blaine Beicher
Residence: Lebanon County Home, R#1, Lebanon, Pa.
Age: 48
Place of birth: Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania
Date of birth: 12/6/1893
Employer's Name: Unemployed

Signed: Blaine Beicher

Race: White
Height: 5 3 1/2"
Weight: 154
Hair: black
Complexion: light

Signed: Anna Naugle
State College, Pa.
Date: April 27, 1942.

17. Census in 1950 in Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 19 The 1950 census recorded Blaine Beicher, hired hand - mail nurse, at the county poor farm, age 56, born in Pennsylvania.

18. Cause of Death: Orderly in county hospital, 20 Jul 1954, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 4

19. Cause of Death: carcinoma of liver, lungs, kidney, malignant tumor mass in small bowel, 20 Jul 1954, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 4

20. Residence: Blaine, who was never married, lived at 931 Cumberland St. In Lebanon with Adeline L. Brown, informant on his death certificate. On 20 Jul 1954 in Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 4

21. Obituary: Daily News: Blaine Biecher, County Hospital Orderly, Dies on 21 Jul 1954 in Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 20 Blaine Biecher, 61, an orderly for the past 17 years at the Lebanon County Hospital, died last night at 10:10 o'clock in his home, at 931 Cumberland Street.
He was born in Lebanon and was a son of the late Benjamin and Sarah (Beckley) Biecher. He was a member of the Perserverance Fire Company.
A number of nieces and nephews survive.

22. Newspaper: Lebanon Daily News: Card of Thanks from Adeline L. Brown, 27 Jul 1954, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 21 Card of Thanks. BIECHER -- I desire to thank neighbors and friends for the kindness and sympathy shown me during my recent bereavement in the illness and death of Blaine Biecher. I also wish to extend my thanks for the beautiful floral tributes and use of automobiles. ADELINE L. BROWN.


1 Find A Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=25838922&.

2 1900 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Lebanon County, Lebanon City Ward 3, Page 215.

3 United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KZ67-CBQ Blaine Bicher, .

4 Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, U.S., Death Certificates, 1906-1968 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates. Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Death Certificate 59136. Blaine Biecher. Father Benjamine Biecher. Mother Lizzie Seibert. Informant Adeline L. Brown.

5 Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania, Death Indices (Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, New Castle, PA, 16103. Online at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/public_records/20686 .), Death Certificate 59136. Blaine Biecher.

6 Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, PA), 24 Apr 1916, pages 1-2.

7 Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, PA), 5 Jun 1916, page 8.

8 1920 United States Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 15, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1621; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 308; Image: 525. Philadelphia, Eastern Penitentiary.

9 Department Reports of Pennsylvania, Volume 6. Page 2111. Available online at http://books.google.com/books?id=N-oaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA2111.

10 Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, PA), 15 Sep 1920, page 1.

11 Lebanon Semi-Weekly News (Lebanon, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.), 16 Sep 1920, page 2.

12 Journal of the Pennsylvania. General Assembly. House of Representatives (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Printed page 230. Online at http://books.google.com/books?id=iaQlAQAAIAAJ.

13 1930 United States Census, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XHQX-DQD Blaine H Bicher in household of Norman H Bicher, North Lebanon, Lebanon, Pennsylvania; citing enumeration district (ED) 0034, sheet 10A, family 234.

14 Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, PA), 7 Jul 1931, page 10.

15 Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, PA), 8 Jul 1931, page 2.

16 Reading Times (Reading, PA) (Reading, Berks, Pernnsylvania.), 9 July 1931, Page 7. Blaine Biecher Victim of Auto.

17 1940 United States Census, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KQCM-6MV Blaine Beecher in household of Walter F Garrett, South Lebanon Township, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 38-51, sheet 24B, family 461.

18 FamilySearch.org, United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VQFZ-JFL Blaine Beicher, 1942; citing NARA microfilm publications M1939, M1936, and M1937; FHL microfilm 2243664.

19 "1950 United States Census," https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:6XBT-PX5J Blaine Beicher Lebanon, PA.

20 Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, PA), 21 Jul 1954, page 12. Obituary of Blaine Biecher.

21 Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, PA), 27 Jul 1954, page 18.

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