Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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Elias Briggs Baldwin

COL. ELIAS BRIGGS BALDWIN, one of the early pioneers, and a prominent citizen of Labette county, Kansas, resides at Edna. He bears a most honorable record for service during the Civil War, and his extended business career, unblemished by a single act of dishonor, bespeaks the character of the man. He was engaged in farming in Elm Grove township for many years, and is still the owner of large landed interests. He was born in Dutchess county, New York, June 17, 1834, and is a son of Jacob and Abigail (Briggs) Baldwin. The ancestry of the Baldwin family can be accurately traced through Richard Baldwin, an Englishman, back to the sixteenth century. In 1639, three brothers came from England to America, one stopping in New Jersey, another in Virginia, and the third, James Baldwin, from whom Col. Baldwin is directly descended, settled at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Jacob Baldwin was born near Hopewell, Dutchess county, New York, December 25, 1807, and was reared, on a farm. He loved books, was a great reader, and took an active interest in current politics. In January, 1833, at her home, he was united in marriage with Abigail Briggs, a daughter of Elias and Katherine (Campbell) Briggs. The Briggs family was a very wealthy one, and owned large estates in Dutchess and Columbia counties. She was one of 10 children, the others being as follows: Nancy, Athalina, Amy, Sarah, Katherine, Melissa, Robert E., Walter M., and Caleb C. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin resided in Dutchess county until 1838. They then moved to Victory, Cayuga county, New York, and in 1858, to Hale, Illinois, where Mr. Baldwin died in October, 1893. She died at Kirkwood, Illinois, January 25, 1888, at the age of seventy-five years and six months. They were the parents of 15 children, of whom 12 grew to maturity. They were as follows: Elias Briggs, the gentleman whose name heads these lines; Elisha Jacob, who was born June 1, 1836, and resides at Carthage, Missouri; Philetus Robert, who was born February 26, 1838, and lives in California; Charlotte Josephine (Hall), of Kirkwood, Illinois, who was born December 12, 1839; Frances Jerlene (Bruyn), of Chicago, who was born October 13, 1841; Daniel P., who was born May 11,, 1844, and was killed at the battle of Resaca (Georgia), May 14, 1864; Sarah Melissa, who was born March 3, 1846, and died at the age of one year; Miletus Oscar, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, who was born August 23, 1848; Charles Hamilton, deceased, who was born November 18, 1849; Noah Augustus, who was born September 18, 1851, and is an editor, at Fairview, Iowa; George W., of El Reno, Oklahoma, who was born September 20, 1853; Hattie Minora (Durand), of Topeka, Kansas, who was born September 24, 1854; Elmer Arthur, an, attorney-at-law, of Omaha, Nebraska, who was born October 9, 1856; and two others, twins, who died in infancy.

Elias Briggs Baldwin attended the public schools at the academy at Red Creek, New York, and in 1854, at the age of twenty years, 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, New York, and studied medicine, and in 1858 journeyed west to Aurora, Illinois, where he taught for five terms, in Clark Seminary. Then the Civil War broke out, and he was one of five brothers who tendered their services to their country, although but two of them we're accepted, - the subject hereof, and, Daniel P., who lost his life in battle. The former enlisted, April 13, 1861, was elected captain of Company C, 36th Reg., Ill. Vol. Inf., and was mustered into service in August, 1861, under Col. Greusel. He went with his company to Missouri, and served in the Department of the Southwest. In February, 1862, he was made quartermaster at Springfield, Missouri, relieving Gen. Sheridan. He served as captain until August, 1862, when he was promoted to be lientenant-colonel of the 8th Reg., Mo. Vol. Cav., in the Third Division, under Gen. Herron. He served as provost marshal of the division until June, 1863, when his health failed, and he returned to Aurora, Illinois, and was engaged in mercantile pursuits for one year. As his health failed to improve, he removed to a farm he had previously purchased in Clinton county, Iowa, and on this he resided for four years. In the fall of 1868, he moved to Ottawa, Franklin county, Kansas, where he stayed until May, 1869, and then located at Chetopa, Labette county. In May, 1870, he removed to the farm he still owns in Howard township, in sections 1 and 2, township 35, range 18, east, and resided there until 1884. He was then elected clerk of the district court, at Oswego, and served in that capacity two successive terms. He returned to his farm in the fall of 1894. He and his sons, together, own more than 500 acres of valuable farm land. In the fall of 1900, he removed to Edna, which had long been his postoffice address, and there purchased lots and built a comfortable home.

Mr. Baldwin was married in Naperville, Illinois, in September, 1861, to Julia C. Crampton, who died in Iowa, in November, 1866,leaving three children, as follows: Evelyn B., Milton N., and Barton L. Evelyn B., a gentleman in whom Labette county takes great pride, is famous throughout this country by reason of his Polar expeditions with Peary and others. He is now associated with W. A. Zeigler, a capitalist, and has fitted out an expedition, which started in search of the north pole in July, 1901. He is recognized as a remarkable man; he is practical in his methods of procedure, and expects success to attend his efforts. Milton N., the second son, is a nurseryman of Princeton, Illinois. Barton L. resides at Sapulpa, in the Creek Nation.

Mr. Baldwin formed a second matrimonial alliance by wedding Lydia A. Gibbs at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1867. She is a daughter of Alpheus and Sophia Gibbs, and was born in Bridgton, Maine, in 1837, whence she removed to Massachusetts, with her aunt when she was ten years of age. Her grandfather Gibbs was a native of Massachusetts and of English parentage, - two brothers of the family having come to this country shortly after the Mayflower brought the Pilgrims. He and his wife were among the earliest settlers of Bridgton, Maine. Alpheus Gibbs died in the West at an early age, and his widow died in Maine. They had four children: Aaron, a retired farmer of Bridgton, Maine; Charles B., who is in the ice business at the same place; Lydia A.; and Mary (Gleason), a widow, residing also at Bridgton. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin have had two children: Edwin M., who died at Oswego, at the age of twenty-one years; and Julia A., wife of O. W. Ball, manager of C. M. Condon's mercantile interests at Oswego, Edna and Cherryvale, - they have two children, Charles Edwin and Geraldine. Politically, Col. Baldwin is a Republican, and cast his first vote for John C. Fremont. He has served as justice of the peace and held other township offices. Fraternally, he is a member of the G. A. R., and was commander for six years, at Oswego and Edna. He was made a Mason in Illinois in 1861, and is also a member of Chetopa Lodge, A. 0. U. W.; and the Select Knights, of Parsons. In religious belief he is a Methodist.

On preceding pages of this publication, in connection with this biography, are shown portraits of Col. Baldwin and his eldest son, Evelyn B.