John W. Overacre, for many years postmaster of Manchester village, Ontario county, New York, is one of the veterans of the civil war, whose record in that struggle must make every right thinking person proud of the bravery and patriotism displayed by the citizens of the Union during that memorable time. He is descended from a family whose interests were those of the state of New York for a number of generations, and who in the earlier days were mainly engaged in agriculture.
John Overacre, his father, was born in Herkimer county, New York, and was by occupation a millwright, in which he was enterprising and successful. He removed to Clifton Springs, Ontario county, New York, in 1842, and to Manchester village, in the same county, in 1846, and there spent the remainder of his life. He married Emily Blanchard and had children: John W., see forward; Franklin; Emily and Elizabeth.
John W., son of John and Emily (Blanchard) Overacre, was born in the town of Warren, Herkimer county, New York, July 25, 1835. He removed with his parents to the town of Sterling, New York, in 1838, and to Clifton Springs in 1842, in which place he attended the public schools for a few years, and supplemented this after leaving school by devoting every moment he could spare from his more active duties to the study of the best books that he could obtain. In this way he acquired an education of which any might be proud, and he may say with truth that for the greater part of the time he was his own tutor. In 1846 the family removed to Manchester village, where he worked on a farm until 1850, but thinking there were but small prospects for advancement for him in this line of industry, he became apprenticed to learn the carpenter’s trade, which he followed until shortly after the outbreak of the civil war. In 1862 he enlisted in the Eighth Company, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New York Volunteers, was advanced to the rank of fourth sergeant in this company and detailed for duty as a hospital steward, a position he filled until the battle of Gettysburg. He was taken prisoner at Harper’s Ferry, in September, 1862, and exchanged in November of that year, but illness overcoming him, he was sent to a hospital in Chicago, Illinois, but as soon as he was able to leave the hospital he reported to his regiment, in March, at Centerville, Virginia, and was detailed for duty as regimental steward. At the battle of Gettysburg Mr. Overacre was taken sick with typhoid fever, was sent to Baltimore Hospital, and upon his recovery joined the regular army as hospital steward, serving until January. 1866, when he was honorably discharged from the volunteer service. Upon his return from the army he entered the employ of the Empire Drill Company, at Shortsville. Ontario county, New York, with which he was connected for a period of twenty-eight years, being pattern maker for the company for fifteen of these years. He removed to Manchester village, where he is at present living, and was appointed postmaster in 1894, an office he has filled so capably that he is still holding it. He has frequently received commendation for the model manner in which the details of his office are’ carried out, and his executive ability is of an unusually high order. He is a member of Herendeen Post, No. 107, Grand Army of the Republic, and of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which institution he has served as steward.
Mr. Overacre married in Baltimore, Maryland, December 31, 1867, Juliet S., who died in June, 1906, a daughter of Jacob Day. Children: Mattie S., married A. W. Hawks; Charles B., married Pearl Gaffney, and they have one child, Gordon W.; Elizabeth, married Eugene DeVail, two children.