Bio: Cheesbro, Alexander Jerome (1914)


Surnames: Cheesbro, Rowell, Hooker, Sherman, Cole, Steffy, Overpaugh, Van Dresser

----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 676-678

Alexander Jerome Cheesbro, a veteran of the Civil War residing in Eau Claire, was born at Springwater, Livingston County, New York, July 6, 1845, a son of Alexander and Jane (Rowell) Cheesbro, both natives of Vermont, and comes of New England stock, though some of his ancestors were of English, German and French descent. His paternal grandfather, Stephen Cheesbro, a farmer by occupation, was a pioneer of Polaski, Jackson county, Michigan. His maternal grandfather was Benjamin Rowell, a native of Vermont, who spent many years of his life in New York State and in later life moved to Badger Mills, Chippewa county, Wisconsin, and to Lake Hallie where he died in 1869 at the age of 82 years.

The parents of Alexander J. moved from New York to Polaski, Jackson county, Mich., in 1847, and during the gold excitement in California in 1849 he made the trip overland in search of the precious metal, and later went to Arizona, where he died. His family returned to Ossian. N. Y., where our subject was reared until the breaking out of the civil war. On August 30, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, 136th New York Volunteer Infantry, of which he was one of twelve men later assigned to Company I of the same regiment. He took part in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Spruce Creek and Gettysburg. In September, 1863, he, with his regiment, were ordered to Tennessee and were placed on guard duty along the Nashville & Tennessee railroad. On October 26, 1863, he was relieved and joined the brigade at Bridgeport, Ala., and on October 28, 1863, was engaged in the famous midnight battle at Raccoon Ridge and Wauhatche Creek, at the foot of Lookout Mountain. The regiment then marched to the assistance of General Burnside at Knoxville, Tenn., then back to Lookout Mountain, where they went into winter quarters and did picket duty that Winter. In April, 1864, the Eleventh and Twelfth Army Corps were consolidated and became the Twentieth Army Corps under Gen. Joe Hooker. On May 1 they broke camp and started with Sherman on the Atlantic campaign; took part in the battles of Buzzard Roost, Rockface Gap and Resaca, Mr. Cheesbro losing his right leg at the latter engagement, and was honorably discharged on June 19, 1865. The balance of that year and during the next he kept a grocery store at Byersville, N. Y., and then engaged in farming in that vicinity until 1872, when he came to Wisconsin and located near Lake Hallie, and there purchased land, which he added to from time to time until he had accumulated 500 acres. He was engaged in various vocations up to 1880, conducting a hotel, livery, barber shop, etc. For the next twenty years, until 1902, he was successfully engaged in farming, to which he gave his whole attention. In the latter year he disposed of a large part of his land and moved to the city of Eau Claire, where he has since lived in retirement.

Mr. Cheesbro has been twice married. His first wife was Henrietta Cole, daughter of Thomas and Catherine (Steffy) Cole, of Dansville, N. Y. They had one daughter Georgia. On March 5, 1882, he was married for the second time, taking for his wife Nancy M., daughter of Aaron and Margaret (Overpaugh) Van-Dresser, natives of New York and pioneers of Chippewa county, where they settled in 1861. In religious affiliations Mr. and Mrs. Cheesbro are members of the First Methodist church. Mr. Cheesbro is a member of Eagle Post, No. 52, G. A. R., of Eau Claire, of which he was commander in 1908. Mrs. Cheesbro belongs to the Colonel E. M. Bartlett Circle of Ladies of G. A. R., of Eau Claire, and previous to her marriage was a successful teacher for ten years. Mr. and Mrs. Cheesbro are members of the First M. E. Church of Eau Claire.



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