Friday, May 14, 2010

Walter Edward Partridge

W. E. Partridge, now living retired in Alta, is numbered among the old settlers of Buena Vista county and is one of the few remaining veterans of the Civil War. He is a native of England, born in Berkshire, June 3, 1833, a son of James and Anne (Edwards) Partridge, who spent their entire lives in that country. The father was a mechanic, being a wheelwright by trade, and he also engaged in farming. His family numbered thirteen children, of whom twelve grew to years of maturity.

W. E. Partridge, whose name introduces this review, spent the years of his boyhood and youth in his native land and when fifteen years of age accompanied a brother to the United States. He first located in Maryland and secured work on the construction of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in that state, after which he spent two years working on the canal. He then took up his abode in Pennsylvania and from that state removed to Illinois, where he engaged in farming until 1882 when he came to Buena Vista county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 34, Nokomis township. This was an uncultivated and unimproved tract when it came into his possession but he at once began to develop the land, erected a good house, barns and outbuildings, and now has a well improved and valuable farm property, whereon he made his home for twenty-seven years. He planted a good orchard, which is now in bearing, and beautiful shade trees add to the attractive appearance of the place. In addition to general farming he engaged in raising stock, keeping registered shorthorn cattle and good grades of hogs. In 1908 he removed to Alta and is now living retired.

Mr. Partridge’s private affairs were interrupted at the time of the Civil War when, loyal to the best interest of his country, he enlisted September 9, 1861 at Aurora, Illinois, as a member of Company F, Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry, joining the regiment at St. Louis. From that city they made their way to Rolla, Missouri, and Mr. Partridge participated in many of the important battles, including Pea Ridge, Perryville, Chickamauga, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville, and was with Sherman on his march to Atlanta. He was also for four months on duty at New Orleans, his regiment acting as guard to General Sheridan. After a hard service lasting four years and two months he was mustered out at New Orleans and was honorably discharged at Springfield, Illinois.

When the country no longer needed his services, Mr. Partridge returned to Illinois and took up his abode in Kankakee county, where he purchased eighty acres of land, which he operated for sixteen years prior to taking up his abode in Iowa. It was prior to his enlistment for service in the war that Mr. Partridge was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Harriett Cottew, who was likewise born in England, coming to America when but two years of age. Their marriage was celebrated in Ottawa, Illinois, in 1860, and their union has been blessed with ten children: George, who follows farming in Nokomis township; Martha, the wife of William Miller, a farmer of Linn Grove, Iowa; Lizzie, the wife of Charles Reese, of Nokomis township; Charles who follows farming on the hold homstead in Nokomis township; Lincoln, who is engaged in farming in Minnesota; Ida, the wife of G. H. Tutt, a resident of Marathon, Iowa; Kate, the wife of John Sassman, who follows farming near Albert City, this state; Frank, who carries on farming near Marathon; Hugh; and William who died when eighteen months old.

Mr. Partridge gives his political support to the republican party and cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln. He has held some township offices. He keeps in touch with his old army friends through his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic at Alta, of which he has served as vice commander. He has been identified with the Methodist Episcopal church at Alta for several years. His labors have contributed in substantial manner to the development and progress of Buena Vista county and not only as a worthy pioneer settler but also as a loyal defender of the Union cause he is well deserving of mention in this volume. His circle of friends is large and all esteem him for his genuine worth. In 1908 he had the pleasure of visiting his old home in England where he remained from July 12 until the 23rd of August.

SOURCE: Wegerslev, C.H. & Thomas Walpole, Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa, S.J. Clark Publishing Co., Chicago, IL, © 1909, p. 279-280

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