The Late Walter S. Casterlin

The late Walter S. Casterlin, was born at Orange, Luzerne County and State of Pennsylvania, forty-eight years ago, the son of Asa and Mary Casterlin. He was reared on the farm, the old homestead at Orange, and after attending the country schools at home entered Mansfield State Normal school, where he was a leader and from which institution he graduated with honor, and was awarded a teacher’s certificate.

After coming home he was elected to a school in Nanticoke, where he taught with great success and where many of his pupils now hold very responsible positions in life. While he was teaching school he read law in the office of the late James L. Lenahan, and was admitted to the Luzerne County Bar, cum laude, and gradually acquired a large practice.

During the tenure of coroner held by Dr. Boyd Dodson, of Nanticoke, Walter S. Casterlin was deputy coroner, which office he filled with distinct and dispatched all matters pertaining to his office with great thoroughness.

Not only was his time taken up with legal questions and clients’ needs, but he embarked in the real estate business and built up a wonderful organization. He improved many streets in the northern part of the city with fine residences, and opened up a street running between Carey avenue and Gates street on which he erected some of the finest homes in that section of the city. This street he named after his son, Sterling, and called the street Sterling avenue.

Later he organized the National Realty Company, which corporation is now located at 11 Franklin street, whose charter prescribes for the renting, selling and building of modern homes. No greater operations were undertaken by one man in the building line than those conceived and perfected by the late Walter S. Casterlin. He did much for Wilkes-Barre and aided people with small means to acquire a home.

He was joined in marriage with May Smith, granddaughter of the late John B. Smith of Plymouth. Their union was blessed with two children, Sterling and Asa, who now survive their father, together with the widow, Mrs. May Smith Casterlin, and Mr. Casterlin’s mother, Mary Casterlin, and his brother, Frank.

His untimely death is a severe loss to his family as well as the community at large. It seems hard that the Grim Reaper should cut him down in his prime with so many years of usefulness before him. W.S. Casterlin was a loving husband, a devoted father and an honor citizen.

Today the journey is ended
I’ve worked out the mandates of fate;
Naked, alone undefended
I’ve knocked at the innermost gates.
Lo the gates swing wide at my knocking,
Across endless reaches I see,
Lost friends with laughter come flocking,
To give a glad welcome to me.
Farewell the maize has been threaded
This is not the end of all strife.
Say not that death should be dreaded:
Tis but the beginning of life.

Contributed by an old tried and true friend of my late comrade.

Source: Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, March 3, 1921.


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