Milton Council, a very successful contractor and builder of Topeka, Kan., was born on a farm in Marion county, Ind., July 27, 1840, the son of Rev. Matthew W. and Lucy (Senour) Council, the former of whom was born in North Carolina in 1812. Rev. Matthew Council, when a young man, came to Indiana, where his subsequent career was spent in the ministry of the Christian church and where he died in Clinton county in 1854. He was married in Indiana to Lucy Senour, who was born in Covington, Ky., in 1815, of Scotch and Dutch descent, and who died in 1853.
Milton Council was the eldest of four sons and one daughter born to these loved and honored parents. As is usual in the life of a minister his family moved about from place to place, so that the early boyhood of Mr. Council was spent in different places in Indiana. Reverend Council died when Milton was fourteen years of age, and as his mother had died the year before, the lad was left an orphan and was bound out to Thomas Abernathy, a cabinet maker, to learn the cabinet trade. At the age of seventeen he began carpentering, and as he was without an education he attended the district schools during the winter months, receiving in all about thirty months of educational training. The cause of the Union and the stirring events of the great national conflict, which opened in 1861, so appealed to the patriotism and youthful ardor of the young man that he enlisted on Aug. 1, 1862, in Company D, Seventy-second Indiana infantry, under Col. Abram O. Miller, and was in active service until the close of the war. This regiment was organized at Lafayette, Ind., and was mustered in Aug. 16, 1862. It left the state the next day and proceeded to Lebanon, Ky., where it remained until Bragg's invasion, when it moved with Buell's army. It moved into Tennessee in November and arrived at Murfreesboro Jan. 8, 1863, when it was mounted and served as mounted infantry in the campaign against Tullahoma and Chattanooga. It aided in defeating the enemy at Hoover's Gap, sustaining a heavy loss; met and routed a brigade at Rock Springs; and Company D was in the great battle of Chickamauga, where it met with the loss of but one man, although repelling two charges of General Longstreet, the last one especially made against their brigade. Later Mr. Council's command aided in driving Wheeler out of middle Tennessee. In November, 1863, it engaged the enemy at Mooresville, Ala., and was sent to Memphis the following month, where it was attached to the cavalry command of Sherman's army, moving with it on the Meridian raid. It returned to Memphis, thence to Nashville, where it joined the Third brigade, Second cavalry division, in March, 1864, and on April 30 started on the Atlanta campaign. It was constantly engaged in battles and skirmishes until the fall of Atlanta. When Sherman began his march through Georgia the horses of this regiment were turned over to Kilpatrick's division and the Seventy-second was ordered to Louisville for new mounts and then joined the command of General Thomas. During the battle of Nashville, on Dec. 15-16, 1864, Mr. Council was on detached duty, and soon after that battle his regiment was ordered to join General Wilson on his famous raid. After it had been mounted, in 1863, this regiment belonged to what was known as the famous "Wilder's Brigade." It moved to Grovelly Springs, Ala., and joined Wilson's cavalry expedition, which resulted in the capture of Selma and Montgomery, Ala., and Columbus and Macon, Ga., with 8,000 prisoners and great quantities of supplies and artillery. The hottest fighting occurred at Selma. When Lee surrendered to Grant this regiment was in Alabama and was sent out in detachments to intercept and capture President Davis of the Confederacy. It was at Macon, Ga., when Johnston surrendered to Sherman. It left Macon for Nashville May 23, and was mustered out at that place on June 26, 1865. Upon receiving his honorable discharge, on July 6, 1865, Mr. Council returned to Indiana and resumed his trade of carpentering. In 1867 he came westward to Kansas, locating at Topeka, where he has since resided. He first engaged at his trade, but he later began general contracting and has had a very successful career in that business.
On Feb. 5, 1868, Mr. Council was united in marriage to Miss Jane Bell, who was born in Ohio, July 28, 1844. To their union have been born the following children: Abraham, Justin, Ida Bell, Ernest, Lucy May, and Cora, who died at the age of twenty-one. Mr. Council is a Republican in politics, and fraternally is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of Lincoln Post, No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic of Topeka, Kan.Pages 1255-1256 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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