St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Booth Brothers of Wolf Creek

George Booth (the stripes on the
photo are not prison stripes,
but artifacts of the scanning)
Each year at the Wolf Creek Cemetery along the St Croix River in NW Wisconsin, the Sterling Eureka and Laketown Historical Society selects a veteran buried in the cemetery to honor with more depth than just reading his or her name and putting a flag on the grave.   This year, at the urging of LeRoy Booth, of St Croix Falls, we chose George Booth.  It turns out that George was one of three brothers who served together in the Civil War, and all lived for at least some time in the Wolf Creek area.  George stayed in the area, but his brothers moved on to other places.   

 Lieutenant William Thomas Booth and his two brothers, Sergeant Sam Booth and Private George Booth, of the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company C, the "Grant County Greys." This photo was likely taken during May or June 1862 while the brigade was encamped near Fredericksburg VA; the original tintype belongs to Ernest W (Bill) Booth.

George Booth—buried in Wolf Creek Cemetery

    Death Of An Old Veteran
    George Booth, a veteran of the Civil War, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Frank Zace, Thursday, July 8, 1909, aged 79 years.
    He was born in Goshen, Litchfield Co., Conn., in 1830  He was married in 1853, came west and located at Galena, Ill.  He enlisted in Co. C. second Wisconsin Infantry and was mustered into service June 11, 1861.  He was badly wounded Sept. 17 1862 in the battle of Antietam and was discharged on account of wounds Jan. 17, 1863.  In January 1864, he reinlisted in Co. "F" seventy Wisc. volunteers and served in this regiment until the close of the war, taking part in the grand review of the army in Washington June 8, 1865 and was mustered out of the service July 2, 1865. 
    Two years ago (1907) he went to Minneapolis and underwent an operation, having the bullet removed from his hip that he received in the Battle of Antietam.  He was a charter member of Frank Jackie Post No. 65 G.A.R. and was highly esteemed by his old comrades and by all who knew him.
    The deceased, was the father of eleven children, grandfather to thirty-three and great grandfather to thirty-eight.  The funeral services were conducted Friday morning by Frank Jackie Post No. 65 G.A.R.  The remains, accompanied by his wife and daughter were taken to Wolf Creek, Wisconsin for interment.
    One by one the old boys of '60 and '61 are leaving us and in a very few years they will all have answered the roll call.  But the American people will never forget what they done for us and every year will strew their graves with beautiful flowers, the tokens of love, in appreciation of their valuable services.  As Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg address, "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here”  -- Standard Press newspaper obituary 

Booth Information
    Three Booth brothers and their families were in the Wolf Creek area of Polk County after the Civil War.
   In the 1887 Sterling Plat book:  George Booth, Farmer and Stock Raiser. Assessor of the Township. Justice of the Peace. Director of the School District. Post Office Wolf Creek.
    He Lived in Section 34. He owned 160 acres description:  NW 1/4 of Section 34 Township 36N Range 19W. This is about 1 mile north and 1 1/4 miles east of Wolf Creek. He homesteaded this piece of land and got it from the govt on 12/30/1876.  Currently it is the Lauritsen farm and before that the Roy Brenizer farm.
    His brother William also homesteaded land just south in Eureka township. BOOTH, WILLIAM      5/20/1873   035N - 019W  SW¼     Section 2  160 acres – This is south of Hwy G and south of the farm where Joan Swanson lives.  

Military and biographical summaries
Booth, George   Born: April 10, 1830 (CT) - Died: July 8, 1909 (WI)  Residence at time of enlistment: Potosi, Grant Co., WI  Enlisted: May 20, 1861 as a Private in the 2nd WI Infantry, Co. C. Discharged: January 17, 1863 (wounds)  Re-Enlisted: January 2, 1864 as a Private in the 7th WI Infantry, Co. F
Mustered Out: July 3, 1865   Wounded - September 17, 1862 at Antietam, MD
 Buried: Wolf Creek Cemetery - Wolf Creek, Polk Co., WI

Booth, Samuel
Born: 1831 - Died:1917 burial Sunset Cemetery, Quincy, Adams, Illinois, USA
Residence at time of enlistment: Potosi, Grant Co., WI
Enlisted: Company C, Wisconsin 2nd Infantry Regiment on 22 Apr 1861.Promoted to Full Corporal.Promoted to Full Sergeant. Mustered out on 28 Jun 1864. Wounded: August 28, 1862 at Gainesville, VA (Brawner's Farm)
    SAMUEL BOOTH Source: Illustrated Album of Biography of Pope and Stevens Counties, Minnesota (1888)  An ex-union soldier and a prominent farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 4, Hoff Township was born in Goshen, Litchfield County, Connecticut and is a son of George and Martha (Nixson) Booth. His parents were both natives of Ireland, who had come to the United States in 1845 and settled at Philadelphia. They soon moved to Webster, Massachusetts.
    After this the family moved about considerably, and we find them, in quick succession, located for a short time in the following places: Tolland, Connecticut, Tariffville, Connecticut, then west to (Galena, Illinois two years later to Grant County, Wisconsin, and then to Blue Earth County, Minnesota, and from there back to Grant County, Wisconsin.
    The father died there in l871, and the mother died in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, April 1, 1888 latter being over ninety years of age at the time of her death.
    They raised quite a large family. When the war broke out four of the brothers enlisted in the Union Army, James, George, William and Samuel. James enlisted in 1863 in the Seventh Wisconsin infantry and served until 1865. George, William and Samuel enlisted in the Second Wisconsin Infantry, William and Samuel in 1861 and George in 1862. William resigned in the fall of l862 on account of disease contracted in the service, but re-enlisted in 1863 as a private in the Seventh Wisconsin Infantry. He was taken prisoner, and spent six months in the famous Libby prison. He participated in thirty-seven hard fought battles, and part of the time held commissions as lieutenant and adjutant. George served all through the war, and was mustered out as a private. Samuel, our subject, enlisted as a private, but soon rose to the rank of second sergeant. He participated in both battles of Bull Run. He was wounded in both, once seriously, and lay upon the battle ground for seven days. He was placed in the hospital at Nicetown, then near Philadelphia, now a part of the city. He was unfit for duty for about a year, and upon his recovery he again went to the front, serving until July 1864, when he was mustered out at Madison, Wisconsin and returned to Grant County Wisconsin. After this he moved about considerably and we find him shortly afterward in Pocahontas County, Iowa, then in the St. Croix River then in Tollen County, Connecticut, and finally to Morris, in Stevens County, Minnesota, where he took charge of the "Morris farm." In 1876 he came to Pope County and selected a pre-emption and tree claim 320 acres in all in Hoff Township.     This has since been his home and he has brought the place up to a high state of cultivation.
    Mr. Booth was married, April 16, 1865 at Rolfe, Iowa, to Miss Angenette Keeney a native of Connecticut and a daughter of Anson and Marilla Metcalf Keeney natives of the same state.
    The father was a machinist and is now deceased; while the mother is still living. They were the parents of three children Angenette, Mary, and Katie. Mrs. Booth, was educated in Iowa, attending the High School at Grinnell, for several years. Mr. and Mrs. Booth are the parents of seven children, as follows: Katie, Mary, Frank, Emma, Arthur, Maud and Minnie. All are single, and Mary is a school teacher. Mr. Booth is a prohibitionist in political matters, and he and his wife are members of the Congregational Church and exemplary citizens. He has always taken an active and prominent part in church and religious work, and while in Pocahontas County took a prominent part in all public matters. He is at present a deacon in the church to which he belongs.
    Mr. Booth's early life was passed at Tariffville, Connecticut, and for many years he was employed in the mills of Connecticut and Massachusetts. When the family first came west, Chicago was a mere village, and there were only twenty-eight miles of railway constructed west of that place. He lived at Galena, Illinois, and then in Grant County, Wisconsin, for a number of years, and then removed to Blue Earth County, Minnesota, as has already been stated. They were living there at the time of the famous "Inkpaduta Indian Outbreak" in 1857, and from there removed back to Grant County, Wisconsin.

William Thomas Booth   
Born: September 8, 1833 (CT) - Died: February 15, 1919 (WA)  Residence at time of enlistment: Potosi, Grant Co., WE.   Enlisted: April 23, 1861 as a Private in the 2nd WI Infantry, Co. C - Resigned: March 3, 1863 (disability) Promoted: February 17, 1862 to 1st Lieutenant in the 2nd WI Infantry, Co. C   Enlisted: January 2, 1864 as a Private in the 7th WI Infantry, Co. F Mustered Out: July 3, 1865    Promoted: December 14, 1864 to Sergeant Major of 7th WI Infantry -Field & Staff  WND & POW: July 21, 1862 at Bull Run, VA  Buried: Elma IOOF Cemetery - Elma, Grays Harbor Co., WA
    Along with his two older brothers, George and Samuel, William enlisted in Company C at Potosi, Wisconsin on April 23,1861 (3 days after marrying his bride, Louisa Daniels). He was 27 years old at the time (Sam was 29; George was 32). He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant while both of his brothers enlisted as privates. William's higher rank was possibly due to previous military experience. His war records show that on August 5, 1848, at the age of 14, while living in Hartford Connecticut, he enlisted in the general services at New York, NY and was assigned to a company of "Music Boys" at Principal Depot, Fort Columbus, NY. Apparently his term of service lasted only a short time; he was "Discharged Oct 9/48 by Civil Authority Minority - A Recruit." I'm unclear on the circumstances of his discharge but it appears he was found to be under-age and released from service.
   During the first Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, William was wounded by a musket ball in the calf of his left leg and taken prisoner. He spent the next six months in the Tobacco House prisons at Richmond. He had a rough time of it in prison; his pension application filed in 1879 states "while in prison had chronic diarrhea and Typhoid Fever, affected throat and lungs, piles, chronic rheumatism and wound by gunshot through left leg." He was paroled on January 26, 1862 and exchanged for Lieutenant Julian G. Moore of the 7th North Carolina Volunteers, and rejoined Company C on January 28. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on February 17, 1862. He remained with the 2nd Wisc. for the remainder of 1862, but in January of 1863 he resigned from the Company due to disability. The circumstances of his resignation are unknown; his pension records state "He was honorably discharged on tender of resignation Jan'y 3, 1863, on order from Head Qtrs, but papers on which discharge was based are not on file. No medical certificate on file."
    The other Booth brothers also saw their share of combat action. Sam was wounded during the fighting at Brawner's farm on August 28, 1862 although apparently not seriously enough to remove him from Company C, and George was wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862. George was discharged due to his wounds on January 17, 1863. Sam remained with the 2nd was mustered out with the company on June 28, 1864; at the time of his discharge his rank was Sergeant.
    On January 3, 1864, William and George both re-enlisted as privates in the 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company F. (It appears there was some sort of recruiting drive in Potosi, as records show that 8 other Potosi men enlisted in the 7th during the first week of January 1864, and two others joined other regiments.) William was promoted to Sergeant Major and reassigned to Field & Staff command on December 14, 1864, while George served out the war as a private. Both brothers were with the 7th Wisconsin at the conclusion of the war and marched in the Grand Review in Washington.
    Following the Grand Review William returned to Potosi, but apparently did not remain there long. The family lived in Wolf Creek WI in 1869, and was living in Murfreesboro TN when William filed his pension application in 1879 (in spite of his long list of hardships suffered in prison, his pension application appears to have been denied!). In 1883 they moved to Joy, Minnesota, and in 1902 moved to Elma, Washington. Prior to the war William had worked as a fisherman along with his brothers, and after the war he worked as a farmer, miner, storekeeper, and census taker. William and Louisa were married for 58 years, until William's death in 1919 at the age of 85; they had 9 children. William is buried in the IOOF Cemetery in Elma, WA.
  Information taken from Internet article by Steve Wyrick, Concord, CA—Source Bill Booth

In the Standard Press microfilms at the St Croix Falls library 1890 issue there is a brief article saying that George Booth, son of George Booth of Wolf Creek was exonerated for shooting two outlaw brothers in his job as Marshal of Rush City while trying to arrest them.  One died immediately and the other lingered.
   Much more information on the Booth family can be found at where several folks have made extensive family trees.  

Join us Monday, May 26th, 11 am at the Wolf Creek Cemetery for a traditional Memorial Day program with lunch in the nearby historic Wolf Creek School after the services.  

Memorial Day is when remember the soldiers who fought for our country.  George Booth has been lying in the cemetery for 105 years. It is good for us to think about him and his fellow veterans at least one day each year.  Come and honor their service.