Bio: Edgbert, William Darius (1837 - 1919)

Contact:  Steve Ray

William Darius Edgbert

Born Feb. 27, 1837 Pennsylvania

Died Feb. 25, 1919 Boise, Idaho

Family story

Circa 1837, Sarah Edgbert was left at home with her young son William Darius while her husband John Darius went preaching as a lay pastor. During his absence Mary was baking bread when a party of Indians appeared and took up a position near a fence or outbuilding. She was quite frightened but decided to bring out some of her freshly baked bread. The Indians were amazed, as they had never seen a white baby. After eating the bread the Indians departed into the wilderness. A while later they returned with a freshly killed deer for Sarah. This started a long friendship with the natives. They called her "Sioska", which according to the family story means "The woman with kind hands".

Another part of the family story is that William Darius Edgbert was a Corporal in Company H of the Wisconsin 23rd Infantry. He was badly wounded at the battle of Vicksburg and was left on the field for dead. Later that evening they discovered he was alive and he was accused of desertion. For many years after the event he was quite dismayed at the false accusation. From some of my research I found he was part of the main attack on the Redoubt at Vicksburg. William Darius went on to found the town of Sioska, WI. The name of the town was later changed to Canton in honor of a local businessman.

We have heard that William donated a house in Neillsville, which became the first hospital. He later donated land that became the town of Sioska. William remarried Mary Harriman in 1882. She died in June 19, 1912 and is buried in Neillville, WI.

When William Darius was 82 years old he set out on a journey with his son Leo Vernon Edgbert and family to move to California. Leo Vernon was a veteran of the Spanish American War where he contracted some type of tropical lung disease. After many years of suffering ill health, which was intensified by winter conditions in Wisconsin, they sold the family farm near Sioska and set out for California. Enroute his condition worsened and they were forced to stop in Boise, Idaho. They spent two years at Boise waiting for Leo’s health to improve. On Feb. 25, 1919, William wandered away from the house and died of hypothermia. We were told he had dementia.

Leo Vernon and his wife and children Ruth, Grace, Faith, Mary, William and Allen moved to California and settled near Pasadena, Ca. On arriving in California Leo was admitted to the Veterans Hospital at Sawtelle and died in 1926. He never regained his health.


1920 Federal Census;

Jasper Edgberts age 54 b Wisconsin

Home in 1920;

Bellingham, Whatcom, Wa.

Wife Mattie age 36 b Oregon parents b Illinois Children;

Beatrice age 13

Gladys age 12

Nina age 10

1900Federal Census lists;

W. B Edgbert (think it is suppose to be W. D.) age 63 b abt 1837, Pennsylvania, parents born in N.Y

Wife is Mary 58 b abt 1842 in Maine, Father b in New Hampshire and mother in Maine


Land Records


Land Office: EAU CLAIRE

Sequence #: 1

Document Number: 2108

Total Acres: 160

Misc. Doc. Nr.: 2308

Signature: Yes

Canceled Document: No

Issue Date: October 01, 1880

Mineral Rights Reserved: No

Metes and Bounds: No

Statutory Reference: 12 Stat. 392

Multiple Warantee Names: No

Act or Treaty: May 20, 1862

Multiple Patentee Names: No

Entry Classification: Homestead Entry

Original Land Description: 1 N½NE 4TH PM - 1831 MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN No 34 N 10 W 31 2 W½NW 4TH PM - 1831 MINNESOTA/WISCONSIN No 34 N 10 W 32



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