The American Civil War created many orphaned children. At the end of the war {1865}, the “Tressler Civil War Orphans Home” was opened in Loysville, Pennsylvania.

Thousands of children grew up in the Orphans’ Home in the 97 years it was in operation. The home eventually featured its own high school and church.

After the closing of the Orphans Home in 1962 many of the former residents kept in touch. There were occasional reunion events as well.

It has now been nearly 60 years since the facility shut down and the number of serving residents has grown smaller over the years. This website and companion Facebook group were created to make it easier for the surviving residents and their descendants to keep in touch.

Timeline of The Tressler Orphan’s Home

Tressler Orphans’ Home


1865 First Civil War orphans entered Tressler Orphans’ Home.

January 6, 1868 Charter granted for Tressler Orphans Home (Tressler) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

1868 Philip Willard named Superintendent.

1868 First Lutheran orphans entered Tressler.

1884 Three-story building—school, kitchen, & boys dormitory—constructed

1889 Remaining Civil War orphans sent to other homes/schools.

1891 Charles A. Widle named Superintendent.

1900 Children’s Memorial Chapel constructed.

1901 Kunkle Memorial Building constructed.

1909 Annie L. Lowry Hospital constructed.

1914 Emeline Murray Loy Memorial (kitchen) constructed.

1915 Sharretts’ Memorial (printing building) constructed.

1916 Pittsburgh Hall constructed.

1922 Fritz Memorial Building constructed.

1922 West Penn Hall constructed.

1922 East Penn Hall constructed.

1923 Rev. G. R. Heim named Superintendent.

1923 Mrs. Vera Scott Cushman gifted the Tressler farm.

1923 Allegheny Synod Building constructed.

1923 New Annie Lowry Memorial Hospital constructed.

1924 Central Pennsylvania Porch and Dining Hall (attached to Old Main) constructed.

1925 First class graduated from four-year High School.

1926 Charles Widle Trade School constructed.

1938 Zimmerman-Bingaman Hall constructed.

1940 Luther Grossman named Superintendent.

1943-44 Hill-side Altar constructed.

1954 Rev. Justus Liesmann named Superintendent.

1962 Tressler Orphans’ Home closed.


Karry has helped develop programs and workshops that have altered the course of education throughout the country.


Karry’s experience as a mayor puts her in a unique position to capitalize on her experience in education.


Karry Barker has the absolute fortitude to fight for our community, bringing the best of what we have to offer together.

I run not for fame, but for the people of my community – my home.

– Karry Barker

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