Horton, Charles Morgan (History - 1838)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin

     Charles M. Horton & Family


CHARLES MORGAN HORTON, who resides on a good homestead in 19, Levis Township, has been an inhabitant of Clark County for the last thirty-five years, and has assisted in its agricultural development. He is also a veteran of the Civil War. He was born in Chenango County, N. Y. Sept. 7, 1838, son. of Andrew and Anna (Finch) Horton, the parents being of English and Scotch ancestry, respectively. Andrew Horton was born on a farm in Green County, N. Y., and his wife on a farm near Binghamton, that state. The latter died when Charles was 6 years old, leaving, besides him, three other children-Susan, Lawrence and John. The father subsequently contracted a second marriage with Anna Bunson.


Charles resided At home until reaching the age of 13, during which time he obtained some schooling, and when he left home it was not to go far away, for he remained in that section until he was 28 or 29 years of age, except for the time spent in military service. Enlisting in 1862, in Company A, 161st New York Volunteers, he was mustered in at Elmira, N. Y., his regiment being sent south to Washington.for general inspection. His service three years, during which time he took part in the fighting about Charleston, S. C., and was present when that city surrendered. It was there that he was mustered out, after which he returned to Elmira, N. Y., and from there went to Watkins, in the same state, where he engaged in farming. On July 28, 1867, Mr. Horton was married at Bordette, N. Y., to Olive Marian Depue, whose family name is now spelled "Depew," and who was born in Steuben County, N. Y., Feb. 2, 1849, on the farm of her parents, William and Narina (Walling) Depeu. Both parents were natives of Chenango County, the father, William, being a cousin of the famous Chauncy Depew. The Depues were of French Huguenot ancestry, William being a son of Abram, who was a soldier in the War of 1812. The Walling family was of old Colonial stock. William Depue and wife reared nine children: Emily, Lavina, Stephen, Irvin, Olive, Josephine, Fannie A., Hulda and one that died when four days old, who was a twin of Irvin. After their marriage, Charles M. Horton and wife resided for about a year in Bordette and then went to a place called Peach Orchard, on the shores of Lake Seneca, where he worked on a farm. He then removed to Steuben County, where he bought a farm in Woodhull, in company with a brother-in-law, Irvin Depue. It consisted of eighty acres, and they resided on it for about a year, after which they sold and rented a farm in Camron Township. In 1880, Mr. Horton came with him family to Merrilan, Wis., and from there to Clark County in the spring of 1882, locating at Dell's Dam. He then got a homestead of 160 acres in Section 20, Levis Township, it being so thickly covered with timber that the sunshine could hardly filter through. There was no road to the place, nor any buildings on it.


It was on the first of December that he arrived, bringing with him a span of horses, a cow his household goods, and that winter, 1880-1881, he helped to build the railroad to Neillsville from Merrilan, living at Merrilan. In the following summer he worked at Trow's mill at Merrilan. In the meanwhile he had built a log house on his farm, 20 by 30 feet in size, with three rooms below, his wife occupying it with their three children-William Andrew, Victor Hugo and Emily Susan. The dates of birth of these children were: William A., July 16, 1872 Victor H., March 1, 1875 Emily, June 19, 1879. Another child, Melville, was born Feb. 15, 1884. Mr. Horton used both Neillsville and Merrilan as his markets. For a few years he worked in the woods at logging and on the drive on Black River. In time, with the help his sons, he succeeded in clearing the farm, and also bought forty acres more land in Section 19, disposing of the old homestead in Section 20. The year after they came to the place the schoolhouse was built in Section 8, William and Victor Horton being the only scholars the first winter. Prayer meeting was often held in their log house in early days, Mr. Horton helping to build both the church and schoolhouse. He also helped in the construction of the road past his farm. His wife served as school clerk for a number of years. Mr. Horton has long since attained prosperity and is now able to enjoy the fruits of his former hard work. He and his family are well known and respected, and he is a man of influence in the community he resides.



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