Bio: Chesterman, John W. (1838 - 1928)





----Source: History of Clark County, Wisconsin (1918), by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge



John W. Chesterman, 1838


JOHN W. CHESTERMAN, a retired farmer and veteran of the great Civil War, now residing in the village of Loyal, was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on the farm of his parents, Abraham and Susan (Spangler) Chesterman, July 29, 1838. The father, Abraham, was born, reared and educated in the same county, his father having come from the state of New York, and his grandfather from England. Abraham as a young man worked on his father's farm, and was married when about 22 years of age, he and his wife living in Tusearawas County for about nine years after their marriage. Three children were born to them there--John W., Mary and one that died in infancy. From that locality they removed to Hardin County, Ohio, where Abraham worked out, and there he and his wife died. John W. Chesterman was about 9 years old when he lost his parents and his sister Mary about 7. They went to live with a Mr. Botkin and there he alternately worked and attended school. Six years later, in the spring, the subject of this sketch went to Fort Wayne, Ind., and in the following summer began driving on the Wabash and Erie Canal, running to Fort Wayne, Toledo, Lafayette and Cincinnati. A year later he went to Roanoke, where he cut cord wood one winter and the next summer worked on a farm. Then, going to New Troy, Mich., he entered the employ of a lumber company, to work in the woods, and was engaged in that occupation about five years. A new phase of Mr. Chesterman's career was now about to begin.

In 1861 he enlisted, at Niles, Mich., in Company E, Sixth Michigan Infantry. They were sent to Fort Wayne for six weeks of training and then returned to Niles to recruit, Mr. Chesterman being mustered in Aug. 20, 1861. The next move was to the South, the regiment going by way of Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and from there to Ship Island as a part of the army commanded by Gen. B. F. Butler. From there they went up the river to take part in the bombardment of Fort Phillips Mr. Chesterman also took part in the capture of New Orleans, but his company stayed there only a few days to rest, being then ordered up the river to Baton Rouge camp. August 5, 1862, they took part in the battle of Baton Rouge and were subsequently engaged in police work until the siege of Fort Hudson, when they fought almost continuously from May 23, to July 8, 1863. After that they were given thirty days furlough. At the end of his furlough Mr. Chesterman rejoined his regiment and went with it to Port Hudson and up the White River to St. Charles, then back down the river to Mobile Bay, where he was at the taking of Forts Morgan and Gaines. Mr. Chesterman was then commissioned lieutenant and remained at Fort Morgan to ship ammunition to the Union troops that took part in the battle of Fort Spanish. After that, Lieut. Chesterman joined a heavy artillery regiment, with which he saw six months' service and then returned to Carlton, La., where he was mustered out, being discharged at Jackson, Mich., Aug. 20, 1865, after a service of four years.

He then took up his residence in New Troy, Mich., where he was employed at jobs of various kinds until Dec. 7, 1865, when he was united in marriage with Frances E. Morley, a daughter of John and Jane (Wood) Morley, her father being a Michigan farmer. She was born, reared and educated in that state. Mr. Chesterman resided in New Troy for seventeen years after his marriage, buying a farm in the vicinity, and during that time two children were born to him-Henry and Alice. It was in 1883 that he and his family moved to Clark County, Wis., settling in Loyal, where they lived for about six years. He then bought a farm in Beaver Township, there being a shack on the place and three acres cleared of trees. Beginning work on this place with a team of horses and three head of cattle, he cleared the land, and in time built a seven-room frame house, and barn for stock and hay, 24 by 40, and 20 by 43 feet in dimensions. On this farm, besides growing the usual crops he raised cattle and was successful in his operations, becoming one of the substantial and prominent citizens of his township.

He was treasurer of the school board for six years, and was connected with the Beaver Telephone Company, serving as secretary one year and one year as treasurer. His retirement and removal to the village of Loyal took place Mar. 20, 1915. Of Mr. Chesterman's two children already mentioned, Henry went, in 1898, to Valdez, Alaska, where he engaged in prospecting and government work. Alice married J. M. Philpott, and resides in Loyal, this county.

John W. Chesterman is also featured in the book, "Civil War Soldiers in the heart of Clark Co., Wisconsin."



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