Petersburg Observer, September 29, 1932
Petersburg's Last G.A.R. Member Is Dead - Henry Balster Dies At Home Here; Funeral Held Saturday. Henry Balster, Petersburg's last surviving Grand Army member, died at his home here Thursday morning September 29 at the age of ninety-one years, eight months, and ten days. Mr. Balster had been in failing health for the past three years, but it was only a few days before his death that his condition became such as to cause immediate concern. Of the six remaining G.A.R. members in the county, Mr Balster was the only one whose home was in the city. Henry Balster was born January 19, 1841, at Marks, Hanover, Germany and there spent the first nineteen years of his life, coming to America in 1860. He came directly to America in 1860, to Menard County only a year when the Civil War broke out, and he enlisted in Co. K, 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served three years, having been mustered out of the service on August 3, 1865 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. After being discharged from the army, Mr. Balster returned to Petersburg, and was married here on March 13, 1866 to Miss Seede F. Luken and to this union were born eight children of whom two died in infancy, and one daughter Mrs. Marie Kasten died November 20, 1928. Mrs. Balster preceded him in death twenty years ago. Surviving are the following children: John, Ben, and Tom Balster of Tice; Harmon Balster of Louisville, Kentucky, and Henry Balster Jr. of Petersburg. He is survived also by several grandchildren and a great many other relatives and friends. Mr. Balster was baptized in the Evangelical faith before he came to America, and was a charter member of St. Paul's Evangelical Church. He was proud of the fact that he furnished the brick used in the construction of the present church edifice. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 1 from St. Paul's Evangelical Church in this city, conducted by the pastor, Rev. R. Schnathorst, and burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery. Kirb-Watkins Post Number 198 American Legion had charge of the burial service and the body was laid to rest with military honors.