Biography

Aaron G. Bardwell

Company F, 104th Illinois Volunteer Infantry


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Transcribed from volume 4, pages 2099-2100 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998

A. G. BARDWELL—Aaron G. Bardwell is a retired farmer of Erie, Kansas, who by many years of close association with agricultural interests, won a competence that now enables him to rest from his labors. He was born in Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, in 1834, a son of Silas and Mahala (Ball) Bardwell, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Vermont. The father was a farmer and followed that pursuit throughout his entire life. In 1855 he removed to Lasalle county, Illinois, where he made his home until his death which occurred in 1861 when he was sixty-five years of age. His wife died in 1867 also at the age of sixty-five. They were devout and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Our subject was the third in order of birth of their eleven children, five of whom are yet living, namely, Aaron G., of this article; Nelson H.; Silas W., who resides at Great Bend, Kansas; Catherine, the wife of George Greer of Denver, Colorado; and Zachariah of Hutchinson, Kansas. Those who have passed away are Lovina, the wife of William Barker; Daniel; Irene, the wife of Christopher Osborn; Lydia, the wife of William Julian; Charles, and Helen.

Upon the old farm Mr. Bardwell, of this review, was reared and remained until August, 1862, when he enlisted in the 104th Illinois infantry of which he became orderly sergeant. He was in the Kentucky campaign and at the battle of Hartsville was on detail duty. At Gallatin, being taken ill he was sent home, it was thought to die, but he recovered and rejoined his regiment at Stevenson, Alabama, and after that time never lost a day from the service, participating in the engagements at Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, Rocky Faced Gap, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, and the Siege of Atlanta. He was made color bearer by Colonel Hakeman for distinguished military conduct. He also took part in the pursuit of Hood as far as Chatanooga, then joining Sherman, was with him in the march to the sea, the campaign in the Carolinas and the battle of Bentonville, bein mustered out with his regiment on the 6th of June, I865. He did valiant service for his country in her hour of trial and deserves the praise due to the old soldier and the upright citizen. He was never wounded or taken prisoner but his health became impaired from the experience and hardships of army life. Before enlisting he was very rugged and no man could boast of better health or a stronger constitution, but the experiences at the front told upon him as upon thousands of others and he has never been a rugged man since.

After the close of the war Mr. Bardwell returned to Illinois and has since followed farming. He yet owns a quarter section of land in Big Creek township, Neosho county. For a number of years he was an active factor in agricultural interests here but at the present time is living retired.

On the 6th of January, 1860, at Ottawa, Illinois, Mr. Bardwell wedded Mary Drake, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of Jesse R. and Jemima (Ferguson) Drake, both natives of the Keystone state. Her father, who was born in 1800 served his country in the war of 1812 and died in July, 1869. Her maternal grandfather, William Ferguson, was a drummer of the Revolutionary war and remained with the army for seven years undergoing all the hardships of the memorable winter at Valley Forge. His wife, Patience (Franklin) Ferguson, was captured by the Indians and many were massacred, including her two brothers but she was released, a girl of twelve years and for two weeks she wandered through the woods, eating berries and whatever she could find, but at length reached civilization and safety. Unto the parents of Mrs. Bardwell were born eight children, but she is the only one now living. The others were Ruth M., the wife of John Wright; William A.; Benjamin F.; Jesse Wells; Adelia, the wife of William Brooker; Isaac 0., and James Henry.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Bardwell has been blessed with six children. Helen J., born November 1, 1861, died October 18, 1864, at which time her father was marching with Sherman to the sea. Mary D., is the wife of R. B. McCutcheon, editor of the Longton News of Longton, Kansas, who has two children—Ruth B. and Charles Herald. Charles H., of Longton, who for the past twelve years has been employed as postal clerk on the railroad, married Cora Ferrell and they had two children—Everett, deceased, and Frank. Dora B., is at home and is a twin sister of Cora B., the latter the wife of 0. N. Holly, a traveling salesman, residing in Independence, Kansas, and Frank A. a, grain buyer of Longton, married Ira M. Ferrell.

In his political views Mr. Bardwell is an ardent Republican, having supported that party since 1856 when he voted for Fremont. He has since cast a ballot for each of its presidential candidates and has firm faith in its principles. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and the Grand Army of the Republic and both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church. His worth in the community is widely acknowledged and he commands the warm regard of a very large circle of friends.

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