VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR: MILTON B. FRISBIE
BY KAREN HANSEN
M. B. FRISBIE DEAD.
“Captain Wilton [should be Milton] B. Frisbie, son of Seth B. and Elizabeth Frisbie, was born September 16, 1831 in Madison county, New York, and died at his late home in this village on Tuesday evening May 8th, 1906, at the age of 74 years, 7 months and 22 days.
He grew to manhood in his native state, where he was married to Lucy Knapp on September 18th, 1856. Nine children were born to this union, four of whom are living, Mr. Bronson Frisbie of Marion, Iowa; George E. of Belfield, N. D., Helen E. and Emeline of Walnut.
At the beginning of the War of the Rebellion, Mr. Frisbie responded to the call for volunteers and enlisted on September 23, 1861 in Company G, 75th New York Volunteer Infantry for a period of three years. He served as private for a period of 13 months when he was made captain of Company H, Third Louisiana Infantry for soldiery conduct and gallant bravery.
He took part at the siege of Port Hudson, the Red River Campaign and the capture of New Orleans. During the last year of his service he was disabled by sickness and finally received his charge for disability.
He returned to his home and was engaged in farming until May 1, 1872 when he moved to Iowa and settled upon a farm 2 1/2 miles northeast of Walnut.
In the spring of 1893 he purchased a home in this village where he resided until his death. His wife preceded him to the spiritland, departing this life August 4, 1898, and he is laid to rest beside her in the Walnut cemetery.
The deceased has been ailing and under the doctor’s care since last February, but was confined to his home only about three weeks when death’s summons reached him Tuesday evening at 7 o’clock.
The funeral will be held Friday afternoon May 11th at 3 o’clock, at the Presbyterian church and the body will be in charge of the Masonic lodge of which order he had been an enthusiastic member for 50 years. The burial exercises will be conducted by Rev. Mary G. Andrews of Omaha, assisted by Rev. J. C. Orth.
Captain Frisbie has been a loyal member of John A. Dix Post, G. A. R. No. 408, and his former comrades will miss him from their assembly.” (The Walnut Bureau, May 11, 1906, p. 1)
MRS. M. B. FRISBIE
“DIED at her home in Walnut, Iowa, at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, August 4, 1898, after a lingering illness of several months, aged 63 years and 9 days.
Lucy Knapp was born in Westmorland, Oneid[a] county, N. Y., July 26, 1835, and grew to womanhood in that vicinity, and was married to M. B. Frisbie September 18, 1856. They made their home at Ira, Cayuga county, N. Y. from that time until 1872, when they moved to this county and settled upon the then unbroken prairie and opened up a farm, upon which they continued to reside until the spring of 1893, when they removed to Walnut where they have since lived enjoying the fruits of the labors of their early life.
To them were born seven children, five sons and two daughters. A husband, two sons and two daughters survive her and were present at the last sad rites over the grave of wife and mother.
Mrs. Frisbie leaves two brothers, one residing in Denver, Colorado, the other in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
Funeral services were held in the Presbyterian church, Saturday morning at 10 o’clock by Rev. Mary S. Andrews, of Omaha. Interment was made in Walnut cemetery.” (The Walnut Bureau, August 12, 1898, p. 5)
There were only 4 children, Bronson, George E., Helen E. and Emeline, who survived Milton and Lucy Frisbie, so I searched for the other children, as his obit said they had 9 children and hers said 7 children.
In the 1860 Census, they lived in Ira, Cayuga County, New York with a one-year old child, Brunson. George E., 4, was the only child listed in the 1865 New York Census, so Brunson must have died. The Brunson whom they lost may have been Bronson, because they named a son Milton Bronson. Father Milton usually used M. B. or Milton B., but his middle name must have been Bronson, as it was in the Walnut G.A.R. Post records.
The Ira, New York town clerk did not have death records for this time period, but the Cayuga County Historian’s Office was a great help. They found the following January 24, 1862 death: “DIED. At Westmoreland, Oneida county, N. Y., on the 24th ult. [of the past month], MILTON B., infant son and only child of Milton and Lucy K. Frisbie, late of Ira, N. Y. Mr. F., in response to the call of his country, enlisted as a soldier for its defense, and is now at Santa Rosa, a member of the 75th Regiment. The tender charms and bright developments of her first-born, had so far absorbed the whole heart of Mrs. F., that she feels her affliction most keenly, more especially in the absence of her husband, but she enjoys the consoling thought that ‘It is well with the child.’ And can say—‘But now he is dead wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’ This will be sad intelligence to the stout heart of a brave soldier.” (Auburn Daily Advertiser Union, February 4, 1862, p. 2)
The Index to Pension Files shows that Milton B. Frisbie applied for an invalid pension on November 1, 1864. His service was listed as Co. H 3 & Co. A 12 La. [Louisiana] Corps D’Afrique Inf., Co. G 75 NY Inf. and St 3 La. Native Gds., and Co. A 84 U.S. C. [Colored] Inf. On February 22, 1863, Capt. Frisbie wrote a letter from Camp Butler, Baton Rouge to his uncle, Mr. V. B. Wade of Utica, N. Y. The letter was extracted from the Utica Herald and published in the Auburn Daily Advertiser Union on March 26, 1863. He said that he thought it would interest his uncle to know something about the dark-skinned soldiers, with whom he had three months’ experience. They were all slaves, few could read and write, but they were willing and anxious to learn. The majority of them were clean and neat and took pride in keeping their arms and accoutrements clean. He had confidence in their courage. He told of dress parades and of being assigned to build a fort at Baton Rouge.
The 1865 Census stated that Lucy, 29, was the mother of 6 children. Apparently 5 were already deceased. They were still in Ira in 1870; George E. was 9 and Rufus T. was 4. Rufus T., which should be F., is Rufus Fenton. I found George E. on findagrave.com. He is buried in the Ira Hill Cemetery and died on November 28, 1871 at 10 years 6 months and 20 days old. They later named a second child George E. Frisbie.
By the 1880 Census the Frisbie family was in Layton Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. With Milton and Lucy were their 5 children Fenton R., Hellen E., Emeline, M. Bronson and George E. The same children were listed in the 1885 Iowa Census; Fenton R. was listed as Ruben and M. Bronson was listed as Milton Frisbie, Junior. If Lucy had 6 children by 1865 and these 5 later, she had 11 children. In 1885 they lived 2 1/2 miles northeast of Walnut in se se section 3 of Layton Township; the address is now 51826 Whippoorwill Road.
In the 1895 Iowa Census, Hellen, 27; Emaline, a teacher, 26; Milton, a laborer, 23; and George, a farmer, 21, were still living with their parents. Fenton had died from tuberculosis on May 21, 1892 at the age of 25 years, 10 months and 16 days and is buried with his parents in the Layton Township Cemetery, as is Emeline Lorine Frisbie. She was born on March 19, 1869 in New York state and died at her home in Denver, Colorado on May 6, 1915. While at Walnut she was a teacher in the rural schools; at the time of her death she was a governess for a family in Denver.
On familysearch.org I found the marriage of Milton Bronson, Jr. to Elizabeth Ann Binks, daughter of Thos. M. Binks and Elizabeth Cherry. They married on February 7, 1901 at Ottumwa, Iowa. The second George E. Frisbie died on September 6, 1944 in Yacolt, Washington at the age of 71 years, 1 month and 25 days.
Another familysearch match found father Milton Frisbie in Ira in the 1850 Census; he was 18, Hiram was 13 and Seth B. was 4. They were living with David Stedman, 62, and Elizabeth Stedman, 46. The Stedman name was new to my research. I put David Stedman into findagrave and found that he had married Elizabeth Wade Frisbie, his second wife, on January 9, 1848. Elizabeth’s page says that she was born about 1804 in Connecticut and married Seth Frisbie in Oneida County, New York about 1830. Son, Milton Bronson, was born in Madison County, New York in 1831. They moved to Wood County, Ohio where two more sons were born, Hiram C. about 1837 and Seth B. in 1841. After the death of Elizabeth’s husband Seth in 1842, Elizabeth and her sons returned to New York. Elizabeth died on July 3, 1871, one month after her husband David had died. They are buried in the Meridian Cemetery in Cayuga County, New York.
The following are other articles that I discovered in our local newspaper: “Farmers insure in the Pottawattamie Mutual. Inquire of M. B. Frisbie.” (The Walnut Bureau, July 5, 1883, p. 1)
On March 27, 1886, the board of directors of Layton Township decided to relocate the school house site in sub-district No. 1. The new site was 1/2 mile east of the present site and 1/4 mile east of the center of the sub-district. M. B. Frisbie and J. H. Henry appealed to the county superintendent, who affirmed the order of the board. The first school house had been destroyed by fire.
School Report of Shady Hill school, district No. 1, Layton twp., for month ending Feb. 4, 1887 includes George Frisbie. (The Walnut Bureau, February 10, 1887, p. 4)
“The Register, in commenting on the sale of the Frisbie farm, thinks it was sold altogether too cheap.” (The Walnut Bureau, Aug. 19, 1892)
“M. B. Frisbie departed Monday noon to attend the National meeting of the A. H. T. A. (Anti-Horse Thief Association), at Tarkio, Mo, going via Des Moines and Keokuk.” (The Walnut Bureau, Sept. 16, 1892)
“For Rent—Frisbie house, enquire on premises.” (The Walnut Bureau, October 5, 1906, p. 5)