John Peter Shindel Gobin
Fifteenth Grand Master
Sir Knight Gobin was born in Sunbury, Pennsylvania on January 26, 1837. He was educated in the public schools, and learned the printer’s trade. While still an apprentice he studied law and was admitted to the Bar of Northumberland County in 1859. He continued his practice until 1861.
He entered the United States Army in 1861 with the rank of Lieutenant in the 11th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. He subsequently recruited company C, 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, in which regiment he was rapidly promoted for conspicuous service and gallantry, and was brevetted Brigadier General on March 13, 1865.
From the close of the war until January, 1866, he remained with his regiment in Charleston where he acted as Provost Judge. He was commissioned Colonel of the 8th Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1874, and was Commander of the Third Brigade of the Pennsylvania National Guard from 1885 to 1907, and finally attained the command of the troops of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During the Spanish American War he served as Brigadier General. He was Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic and a high ranking officer in the Loyal Legion.
General Gobin was officially connected with many business corporations and was associated with various philanthropic and fraternal organizations. He was prominent in the Odd Fellows and had been head of that Order in Pennsylvania.
He was distinguished in the legislative and executive offices of the State. Early in his career he was County Solicitor of Lebanon. He was elected State Senator in 1884 and served honorably for 15 years, and in 1898 was elected Lieutenant Governor.
Gobin married Miss Annie M. Howe, a daughter of Captain Howe, U.S. Army in 1866. There were no children.
He died at his home in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, on May 1, 1910. The funeral was held in Lebanon on May 5th. The services were conducted by Reverend Dr. William E. Stahler of the Zion Lutheran Church of which Sir Knight Gobin was a member. The funeral was attended by representatives of the Bar, State and Military officials, Civil War Veterans, and prominent Knights Templar. On his grave was placed a large white floral pillow with the triple Cross of the Grand Encampment in purple.
Sir Knight Gobin was made a Mason in Sunbury Lodge No. 22 in 1859. He received the Capitular Degrees in Northumberland Chapter No. 174 at Sunbury in 1865. He was a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and received the 330 in 1906. He was made a Knight Templar in Crusade Commandery No. 12 at Bloomsbury, Pennsylvania, in 1866. He was elected Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania in 1879. The next year he attended the Conclave of the Grand Encampment in Chicago in 1880 and was elected Grand Captain General. He was advanced at each Triennial and in 1889 he became Grand Master. During his term in office he served the Order with fidelity and zeal.
Sir Knight Gobin had a most attractive personality. He was skilled in oratory and was an interesting conversationalist. He was a great reader of history and was fond of travel. He was devoted to his family, friends, and had a ready sympathy for the affairs and interests of others.
Reference: From Dr. Francis J. Scully’s…History of the Grand Encampment, Chapter XXIII, Biographies Of The Grand Masters, as published in the Knight Templar Magazine