Reveille On Friday For Region's Post Century Old Civil War Veteran

Charles Nelson Wilmarth Succumbed to Heart Attack, Week Following One Hundred and Third Birthday

A long life, reflecting the attributes of loyalty and service to county, fidelity to principles, to family and to friends and in maturity, past the allotted span of longevity, winning signal recognition and gratifying honor, terminated Friday morning, June 23, 1944 in the passing of Charles Nelson Wilmarth, last surviving veteran of the Civil War, in Ogle County and over this region of northern Illinois.

Although in gradually failing health due to his advanced age, Mr. Wilmarth had taken an unusual interest in plans made for the observation of his hundred and third birthday anniversary, held Saturday, June 17, at the home of his son, Earl Wilmarth, north of Oregon, at which were present nearly two hundred well-wishers, during an open house reception of afternoon and evening duration. He suffered a heart attack Sunday evening, from the effects of which he had appeared to recover. However, a recurrence, Friday morning, resulted in the close of a long, useful and happy life.

Charles Nelson Wilmarth was one of two sons, born June 17, 1841, near Providence, Rhode Island, to Stephen and Hannah Wilmarth. He was one of a family of thirteen children. His twin brother died at the age of twenty years. The family located in 1855, in the Kishwaukee neighborhood, northeast of Stillman Valley. On August 7, 1862, Charles Wilmarth enlisted at Rockford, in the Seventy-fourth Illinois infantry regiment and was honorably discharged from the service July 3, 1865. He took part in the battles of Mission Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Murfreesboro, Stone River and Prairieville, Kentucky, which was a three-day battle.

He spent much of his time during the Civil War on detail duty in Buffalo, New York, where sailors who claimed they did not belong to the United States as citizens, caused trouble.

Following the war, he married Miss Carrie Baldwin. They were parents of two daughters, Mrs. William Condon and Mrs. D.C. Haselton, both of whom died in the past year. He later married Amelia Erxleben and they were parents of children, Mrs. James Corlett of Rockford and Earl Wilmarth, with whom he lived for the past thirty years. Mrs. Wilmarth died in 1934.

Survivors beside the two children are thirteen grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.

Mr. Wilmarth accompanied by his granddaughter, Miss Marion Wilmarth, attended the seventy-fifth anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July 1938, and they spent some time in Washington, D.C.

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon, from the home, with burial in the Kishwaukee neighborhood cemetery.

Submitted by Randi Wilmarth Marcos

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