Remembering the Alamo in Mifflin County

It remains one of the most heroic events in American history.  189 American officers and volunteers fighting to the death against 4-thousand Mexican soldiers at the Alamo in Texas.

Among the defeated were the legendary names of Colonel William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett.

But many Midstaters might not know that the Alamo casualties included three volunteers from the Lewistown area of Mifflin County.

“The three men that were involved were John Purdy Reynolds, David Cummings and William McDowell,” noted Forest Fisher, President of the Mifflin County Historical Society.

“When people learn that three men from Mifflin County died along with the notables of Crockett, Travis and the rest at the Alamo, it’s quite a surprise, but they’re interested to learn more,” said Fisher.

The story of how and why these central Pennsylvania natives wound up at the Alamo has been carefully documented through records and research of the Mifflin County Historical Society.

It appears that  the appeal of going West for available land was likely a key motivation for the young men to set off from their home area.  Reynolds and McDowell settled for a while in Tennessee, where they founded the community of Mifflin in honor of their home county, before meeting and teaming up with a Texas-bound militia, headed by Davy Crockett.

Meanwhile, Cummings, who had been traveling separately, delivered rifles to the Alamo defenders, as arranged by his father back in Lewistown.

Beginning in 1959, off and on through 2009, the three Mifflin county heroes were honored and remembered annually at ceremonies near the John P. Reynolds monument at St. Mark’s cemetery in Lewistown.

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