Posts in Category: Exhibit Posts

Louis Woodmansee’s Model 1

Partly Engraved Model 1

Personalized firearms offer a unique glimpse into the lives of the people that owned them, and this gun is no exception.

This Smith & Wesson Model 1, 2nd Issue, serial number 42,684, was engraved to "Capt. L. Woodmanse." An otherwise unremarkable Model 1 that was re-plated at some point in the past, this gun was owned by a Civil War veteran from Ohio.

Louis Woodmansee was born on November 17, 1829 in Ohio. He enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant in Company B of the Ohio 98th Infantry Regiment on August 20, 1862, and mustered out on December 23, 1863. Several years after the Civil War, Louis moved his family to Wheeling, West Virginia, where he and his father-in-law operated the Grant House hotel. Local newspapers indicate that President Ulysses Grant visited the hotel in 1869, much to the delight of Wheeling's citizens.

Louis operated the hotel until it burned down in 1876. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1887, and was buried in Saint Clairsville Union Cemetery in Belmont County, Ohio. The local newspapers reported that he used a .32 caliber Smith & Wesson to end his life, but it's possible that they confused this gun with a larger .32 caliber top hinge gun.

Over the years this gun made its way to Wasilla, Alaska, where it was located in July of 2017.