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Subject: [SDDATA] Sd-Clay Co. Bios (Palmer)
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007 22:16:11 -0500
Clay County, SD Biographies.....Palmer, Silas N. 1836 -
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File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Joy Fisher December 29, 2007, 10:16 pm
Author: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. (1897)
SILAS N. PALMER, commissioner of Clay county, who has for many years off and on
been identified with the mercantile and farming interests of the county, but is
now living a somewhat retired life in Vermillion, was born in Canton, St.
Lawrence Co., N. Y., July 13, 1836. His parents died in that county when he was
young, and at the age of twelve years he went to reside with an elder brother in
Essex county, of the same state, with whom he lived until the fall of 1857. At
that time Mr. Palmer in company with the late Horace J. Austin and another young
man, came west to Dubuque county, Iowa. He was living in that city when the
Rebellion broke out, and was one of the first to offer his services in the
defense of the National honor, enlisting in June, 1861, in company G, First Iowa
cavalry. He served until September 9, 1864, when he was discharged and returned
to Dubuque. He engaged in mining for a short time, but soon after went back east
to Essex county, N. Y., where he re-enlisted February 23, 1865, in company B,
Eighth regiment, Hancock Veteran corps, and served until August of the following
Mr. Palmer's war record was one of activity and excitement, and the incident
here related occurred during the early part of the war in the west. He with
fifteen other soldiers formed an advance guard of an expedition in northern
Missouri and while on the march were suddenly confronted by the enemy. Every
other member of the company was either killed outright or wounded later on, and
Mr. Palmer himself was taken prisoner by Quantrell's band. First he was robbed
of all he possessed by the rebel who had him in charge, but as a fight was in
progress and the rebel was paying more attention to that than his prisoner, Mr.
Palmer picked up his carbine and cracked him over the head, and at once made a
dash for the open field in front of the Union soldiers. They supposed him to be
a rebel and opened fire, but on Mr. Palmer throwing up his hands they ceased
firing and he was enabled to escape. After the engagement he returned to the
field where the Confederate soldier in whose custody he had lately been lay, and
Mr. Palmer recovered his money, watch, etc., which had been taken from him. The
Confederate was still alive and later on was taken to Sedalia, Mo., and confined
in a hospital, where our subject used to visit him and take him many things for
his comfort. He ultimately recovered and was in due time exchanged.
Mr. Palmer was honorably discharged in New York and immediately returned to
Essex county, where he was employed as a clerk in the store of his brother until
1869. In the meantime he was married to Miss Harriet N. Eggleston, a native of
Essex county, the ceremony being performed October 30, 1867, and in March, 1869,
with his wife he came to Vermillion, Dak. Ter. He formed a partnership with his
old friend, Mr. Austin, in the mercantile business, which continued until 1874,
when they sold out. In the meantime Mr. Palmer was appointed postmaster of
Vermillion, and also elected judge of probate, and in this latter office and
that of county treasurer he served two years. He was postmaster three years. In
March, 1875, he went again to the Empire state, being absent there for about a
year, and then returned to Vermillion and engaged in farming for a short time.
His crops, however, were destroyed by grasshoppers, and he gave up agriculture
to become a clerk in a store in Vermillion, serving in that position a period of
six or seven years, after which he spent another twelve months with a government
surveying party. The last few years, however, he has been living a more retired
life, and enjoying the fruit of his early labors. Mr. Palmer was a member of the
township board of supervisors several years, also the city council and has
served as mayor of Vermillion. In the fall of 1894 he was elected to the office
of county commissioner, and, as noted above, this capacity he is now serving in.
Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have been blessed in their married life with three
children, but only one survives-Leon G., who is a druggist. The deceased
children died in infancy. Both Mr. Palmer and his good wife are members of the
Congregational church, and he belongs to Miner post No. 8, G. A. R., and also
holds membership in Incense lodge No. 2, F. & A. M., Vermillion chapter No. 2 r,
and the Demolay cornmandery No. 3, of Yankton.
Mrs. Palmer was born in Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y, December 11, 1841.
When about six years of age, she accompanied her parents to Essex, N. Y., and
there was reared to womanhood and educated, she and the youth who subsequently
became her husband, attending the same school together. Her father, Abram
Eggleston, was born in Essex county, N. Y., of English descent, and by
occupation was a farmer. He married Sally Hoskins, a native of Vermont, in which
state she was also reared. The family are noted for longevity, Mrs. Palmer's
maternal grandfather having attained the advanced age of ninety-four years, her
father ninety-one and mother eighty-four years.
MEMORIAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD
Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay Counties,
Containing Biographical Sketches of Hundreds of Prominent Old Settlers and
Representative Citizens, with a Review of their Life Work; their Identity with
the Growth and Development of these Counties; Reminiscences of Personal History
and Pioneer Life; and other Interesting and Valuable Matter which should be
Preserved in History.
GEO. A. OGLE & CO.
Publishers, Engravers and Book Manufacturers.
Biography is the only true history.EMERSON.
A people that take no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will
never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote
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