George Ord, Ship Chandler (1741-1806)

George Ord, Sr. was born in England in May, 1741 and settled in Southwark. He married Rebecca Lindmeyer on January 17, 1767. They lived in a three-story brick house with a large garden at 784 South Front Street, between Catharine and Clymer Streets. Prior to settling in Philadelphia he was a successful ship captain.

Captain Lodge Colton, Master’s Mate (1837–1913)

Being a riverfront Church, Gloria Dei has a rich history that involves many people who were involved with maritime related occupations. Captain Lodge Colton was no exception. At the age of 14 he became a mariner on the clipper barque “James Cornor.” (sp. Corner?) He served the CSN being appointed in Baltimore, Maryland. Lodge Colton was a Master’s Mate on the CSS Rappahannch in 1864 and the CSS Shanandoah in 1865. The CSS Shanandoah crossed the equator four times. On April 16, 1868 he was married in Baltimore to Marian Watts. The next year they moved to Philadelphia. Although his service took him to ports of call around the world, they maintained sittings at Gloria Dei from 1870 on. In 1874 they settled in New Orleans. Captain Colton’s ship sailed between New Orleans and Havana, Cuba. In 1880 he became a captain in the Ward Line, making voyages between New York, Cuba, and Mexico. He moved to New York and became a senior captain in 1887.

John C. Hunterson, Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient (1841–1927)

John C. Hunterson was born on August 4, 1841 in Philadelphia.

He entered the Union Army on July 23, 1861, where he was mustered in as a Private in Company B, 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery June 5, 1862, a few days after the Battle of Fair Oaks. His citation reads “While under fire, between the lines of the two armies, voluntarily gave up his own horse to an engineer officer whom he was accompanying on a reconnaissance and whose horse had been killed, thus enabling the officer to escape with valuable papers in his possession.”

Captain Morris Sheer (c. 1820-1859)

During the 19th century, Philadelphia’s waterfront was lined with wharves which were operated by numerous shipping lines. Smaller vessels designed for domestic use, called packet boats, carried mail, packages, and a limited number of passengers to major cities across the Eastern seaboard. Morris Sheer, a parishioner at Gloria Dei, was one of the first captains of the line of packets that ran between Philadelphia and Charleston.

Private Jacob Jackson and The War of 1812

By A. William Bodine
Director of the Pennsylvania Society of the War of 1812

Jacob Jackson was a native son of Pennsylvania and South Philadelphia in particular. He was the son of John and Elizabeth Jackson. Born in 1779, at age 33 Jacob joined the U.S. Navy and served as a Boatswain aboard the Little Adams and also the Scorpion with Capt. Jonathan Jones of the 1st Pennsylvania Militia directed by Col. Jeremiah Shappell.

Alexander Wilson, Father of Ornithology (1766-1831)

Alexander Wilson was born on July 6, 1766, in Paisley, Scotland. At the age of 13 he apprenticed in the weaving trade spending ten years as a weaver. He then began traveling about Scotland as a peddler and writing dialect poems, which he published. Discouraged by poverty and by political persecution because of some satires he wrote, he immigrated to America
in 1794.

John Douglass, Ship Captain (1747-1840)

Captain Douglass was born in 1747. Soon after the Battle of Lexington he began his military service. On June 3, 1776, the Continental Congress resolved “that a flying camp be immediately established in the middle colonies.” The definition of the Flying Camp Battalion is a Reservist or a Home Guard. Their duties were to serve and protect citizens of the state in case of an invasion. They acted like a police force guarding barracks and government buildings. For its part, Pennsylvania was called upon to provide a force of some 6,000 men. Delegations of one officer and two enlisted men from each of Pennsylvania’s fifty-three associated battalions met in Lancaster, on July 4, 1776, for the purpose of selecting this force.