Welcome to "Remembering the 142nd PVI". The purpose of this site is post pictures, information, and the final resting places of this regiment of the American Civil War. It seeks to tell a "bottom up" history, straight from the common soldiers themselves. If you have any information concerning the 142nd, please email me at bmonticue@gmail.com. Thank you and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Go west, young man!

In the years after the American Civil War, there was a westward expansion like our country had never seen. People picked up and moved west for many reasons: increased population growth in the East, increased financial opportunities in the west, and to seek their fortunes on the frontier. The residents of Somerset County, PA were no different.

The town of Dixon, IL became home for many Somerset County expatriates, including several former members of the 142nd PVI. It seems like it was perfect location for anyone trying to make it as a farmer.

Dixon, IL arch. Originally built as a World War I memorial
According to the 1872 Lee County Plat Book,"South Dixon County ranked as one of the first in agricultural wealth. There were about 19,000 acres under cultivation, with a population of 900. The land for the most part is rolling prairie, well watered and fenced, and under a high state of cultivation. The building improvements are good. The Illinois Central Railroad passes through the township, north and south. Eldona is on this line and furnishes a small market for the citizens, but the mass of the inhabitants do their trading and marketing at Dixon, which is one of the finest markets on this line of rail road. Corn and wheat are the primary crops and livestock raised is mostly hogs, sheep and cattle."

Aaron Hartman was a member of Co. C. He and Harriet Elizabeth Young were married in Dixon and had a son Albert before the couple was divorced. Although Aaron left Dixon, son Albert is buried in Emanuel (Heckman) Cemetery.

Brothers Charles I. Will and George A. Will fought with Co. F. Their family moved to Dixon a few months after the war was over. Charles ended up farming his wife's family's land, while George later moved to Nebraska.

Elias Caton was another member of Co. F 142nd PVI. He was friends with the Will family, and after Elias was killed in action at Fredericksburg, VA, his sons Emanuel and William stayed with the Wills. When the Wills moved to Illinois, the Caton boys went with them.

Daniel Heckman fought with Co. F and moved to Dixon, IL in 1865 with his wife Mary. He is buried in Mt. Union Cemetery.

Henry Ware, another member of Co F, moved to Ogle County, IL in 1867 where he was a farmer. He then moved to another farm in Nachusa Twp, Lee County, and finally to Dixon when he retired around 1904. Henry passed away in 1932 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.