ELIAS BRIGGS BALDWIN GRAVESTONE PHOTO
Oswego Independent, April 1, 1921
Died: March 26, 1921
Lieut.-Col. Elias Briggs Baldwin, a lineal descendent of the family of Lieut. Col. George Baldwin, Haselriggs’ regiment in the Parliamenary Army under Protector Oliver Cromwell and afterwards Colonial settler at Warwick, Rhode Island, 1650, and of Gravesend and Huntington, Long Island, New York, in the days of Governor Peter Stuyvesant, died at Oswego, Saturday morning, March 26, 1921, at 6:15, aged 86 years, nine months and nine days. He was a pioneer settler of Kansas, locating first in Ottawa in 1868, but next year removed to Labette County, where he continued to reside until the date of his death. He held numerous offices of public trust and took an active interest in all matters relating to the public welfare. In politics he was a Republican and as such was a delegate from Iowa to the National convention which first nominated General Grant for the Presidency.
Lieut.-Col. Baldwin was born in June 17, 1834, near Poughkeepsie, Duchess County, New York, being the eldest of fifteen children born to Jacob Baldwin and his wife, Abigail Briggs. Of these thirteen lived to mature years. One, Daniel, was killed in battle at Resaea, Ga., in May 1864, while carrying the regimental flag of the 35th Illinois Volunteers. The youngest, Hon. A. E. Baldwin, is now judge of the municipal court, Omaha, Neb.
Lieut.-Col. Baldwin was educated at East Greenwich, Rhode Island Academy, and early in life engaged in educational work. It was while he was principal of the school in Auburn, N. Y. that he formed a personal friendship with the Hon. William H. Seward. In the Civil war, he was active in the organization of the 36th Ills., Vols., under President Lincoln’s first call for the troops and was captain of Co. C of that regiment. During the rivalry as to which regiment should be accepted first and in succeeding order under the President’s call. Capt. Baldwin wrote Secretary Seward urging the acceptance of his regiment, and in reply Seward telegraphed that it would be accepted as soon as it might be ready. As captain of Co. C in this regiment he succeeded Captain later General Phil. H. Sheridan, as Quartermaster, at Springfield, Mo., and it was while serving in this capacity that supplies passed through his hands to General Franz Sigel in the battle of Pea Ridge, Mo.
At a later date Captain Baldwin was promoted to be a Lieutenant Colonel of the 8th Mo., Cavalry, Volunteers, Union Army. The war department official records show that at one time he was commanding an independent detachment of cavalry, and at another was Provost Marshal, 3rd Division, Army of the Frontier.
Lieu.-Col. Baldwin was twice married, first to Julia, daughter of Nathaniel and Lucy Dudley Cramton of distinguished Connecticut and Massachusetts ancestry. By this union three sons were born: Evelyn B., Arctic explorer, now in the government service, Washington, D. C.; Milton N. of Princeton, Ills, and Burton L. of Miami, Okla. By his second wife, Lydia Gibbs, of Bridgeton, Maine, and Chelsea, Mass, two children were born: Edwin M., died aged 22, while in office as Deputy Clerk of the District Court, Labette County, Kansas, and Julia A, now wife of O. W. Ball, prominent resident of this city.
A man of great ability and energy and cultured as he was, he early in life assumed a prominent place in any community that he honored with his citizenship. He attended the public schools at the Academy of Red Creek New York, and in 1854, at the age of 21 years, he went to Rhode Island, where he attended the Providence Conference Seminary, and also studied medicine. He taught school in Rhode Island and Connecticut, and for a time worked as bookkeeper in a wholesale grocery house at Providence. In 1857 he went to Auburn, N. Y., and studied medicine, and in 1858 journeyed West to Aurora, Ills, where he taught for five years in Clark Seminary. He was likewise a great religious student and with this accomplishment also possessed a fine voice for signing. During these years he filled many of the pulpits of that section of Illinois, organized Sunday Schools and led community signing. At the outbreak of the Civil war, he with five brothers volunteered their services. His work at the close of the war left him at Springfield, Mo., and with failing health. He returned to Aurora, Ills., and spent a year in mercantile pursuits. His health failing to improve there, with his family he moved to a farm he had previously purchased in Clinton County, Iowa, residing there for four years, or until the fall of 1868, his first wife having died in the meantime.
From Iowa he came to Kansas. His first residence in this county was at Chetopa, where he located in 1869, moving there from Ottawa. The following year he moved to his farm in Howard township west of Edna where was the family home for many years, and where himself and family played a most important part in that part of the county. He was the first physician in that section of the country, ministering to the sick and afflicted far and near, visiting his patients on horse back. He directed the farm work, advised with his neighbors, took a prominent part in organizing the schools and churches and Sunday Schools at one and the same time. .One of these was at Valeda, where he held Sunday School in the morning, at his home school house at Trenton, where they met at two o’clock Sunday afternoon, and over at Kingston, where the school was held at four in the afternoon. Both he and the second Mrs. Baldwin, whom he married in Massachusetts in 1867, taught school in the county many terms. In 1884 Mr. Baldwin was elected to the office of Clerk of the District Court of Labette County, and with his family moved to Oswego. He held this office for two terms. They returned to the farm in 1894 and in 1900 they retired and removed to Edna, living there until about four years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin came to Oswego to make their only daughter Mrs. O. W. Ball and family. Here they have since resided, loving hands ministering to their every want. For the greater part of the past year the deceased has been unable to leave the house. The aged companion, who survives him, also suffered an accident about a year ago and has been confined indoors the greater part of the time since. In religious belief he was Methodist, was one of the most influential members of the G. A. R. in the county and politically he had always been a Republican, casting his first vote for John C. Freeman, for President. He was also a member of the A. O. U. W. Lodge of Chetopa.
Funeral services were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Ball, on Fifth Street, Monday afternoon, March 28th, conducted by Rev. A. W. Way pastor of the M. E. Church. A quartet composed of Fred Rettig, Mrs. Margaret Farley, Miss Bessie Sharp and R. H. Montgomery, sang three of his favorite hymns and Rev. Way, in a very beautiful sermon, drew many fine lessons from his long and useful life. The Oswego G. A. R. of which the deceased was a member, with its rapidly thinning ranks, was present in a body, bearing aloft the flag, which they and their silent comrade had risked their lives to defend on the battle field sixty years ago. The casket was also wrapped in Old Glory, in accord with his request, for he loved his country and his flag with a fervor that was good to see and to emulate. The pall bearers were all world war soldiers, Dr. F. J. Faulkner, B. W. Pinson, Chas. Milliken, Lester Smith, Carroll Carpenter and Athen Pittser. A large concourse of friends were present to pay their last token of respect to one who has truly been a pioneer and a patriot in Kansas and Labette County in all that the words imply.
Relatives here for the funeral were Milton N., the second son, from Princeton, Ills., and Burton L. of Miami, Okla., the youngest son, Chas. Ball of near Edna, a grandson, and Walter B. Baldwin of Wichita Falls, Texas, another grandson. The eldest son Evelyn B. Baldwin, of Washington D. C., of Artic exploration fame, was here a few weeks ago to see his father.