Private John Garscia
Pennsylvania State Police
Biographical Info Age: 35 Years of Service: 3 years 3 months
Cause of Death: Gunshot (Accidental) Date of Incident:
February 13, 1909 Date of Incident:
February 21, 1909
John Garscia was born January 11, 1874, at Brody,
Galicia County, Austria.
He enlisted with Company C, 9th U. S. Infantry, June 5, 1893, and served with that unit until
his honorable discharge June 9, 1900. Private Garscia was enlisted by Captain Frank D. Beary,
Troop B, Wilkes-Barre, December 15, 1905. He resided at 508 Elm Street, Scranton. He was a
laborer at the Mt. Pleasant Colliery in Scranton. He was 30 years old and 5'6" tall.
Private Garscia and Private Frederick Carlton were serving warrants in Inkerman, Luzerne
County, on Saturday night, February 13, 1909. When Private Carlton drew his revolver, the
weapon accidentally fired wounding Private Garscia. The bullet penetrated Private Garscia's
liver. He underwent surgery at Pittston Hospital, where he died on February 21. Private
Garscia confirmed the affair as an accident and on his deathbed he so advised his parish
A funeral band and a procession of Troop personnel accompanied his body to the Wyoming
railroad station. His pallbearers were Privates Chalkley Booth, Joseph Carroll, Walter
Henning, Jasper Oftedall, Thomas Parkinson, and Robert Tipton. The sum of $100 was approved
for burial expenses.
Private Garscia was buried at Sacred Heart Polish Cemetery in Scranton on February 24, 1909.
Private Garscia was survived by his wife and son, who moved to Warsaw, Poland. The U. S.
Consulate was notified that the widow was a hardship case. The Troop offered to help from
personal funds if her situation included a need for food and clothing. (The State's Workmen's
Compensation Act was not approved until June 2, 1915.)
At 35, Private Garcia had completed
three years and three months of Constabulary service. Grieved by this accidental shooting and
the death of his comrade, Private Carlton threatened to take his own life. He was relieved of
his gun as a safeguard.