Biography - AMOS ROBERTSON
Amos Robertson is now living a retired life in Sheridan, but for many years was actively identified with its industrial interests. He is a loyal and public-spirited citizen, who during the civil war manifested his fidelity to his country by entering the service and fighting for the Union. Therefore as an honored veteran, a straightforward business man and a reliable friend, he well deserves representation in this volume.
He was born on his father's farm in Cass county, Illinois, March 7, 1845, his parents being Rev. William H. and Nancy (Stockton) Robertson. The former was born near Greencastle, Indiana, in 1820, and was a son of Amos Robertson, who for several years represented Putnam county in the state legislature of Indiana. The great-grandfather of our subject, Robert Robertson, was born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, and served under General Anthony Wayne in the Indian war of 1794. In an early day he removed to Clark county, Indiana. Amos Robertson became a resident of Putnam county, Indiana, in 1820, and in 1831 became a resident of Illinois, his death occurring in Morgan county, in January, 1832. In the fall of that year his widow settled on land which is now the site of Camp Point, Illinois. The maternal ancestry of our subject was Irish and the greatgrandfather Warnock served for seven years in the Revolutionary war. Two of his sons, Joseph and James, served in the war of 1812, and the former was killed in the battle of Tippecanoe. Having arrived at years of maturity.
W. H. Robertson, the father of our subject, was married, in 1840, to Nancy Stockton, and they had five children, two of whom died in infancy, while George, Sarah and Amos grew to years of maturity; but George died in his twentieth year. The sister became the wife of George Sprague, who served for three years in the One Hundred and Sixtieth Illinois Infantry, and died from disease contracted in the army in 1871. His wife died in March, 1874. In the spring of 1847 Mrs. Robertson died, and in September, 1848, Mr. Robertson married Martha A. Lindsey, of Hancock county, where they lived until 1855. He then joined the ministry of the Methodist Protestant church and for many years preached the gospel, his labors resulting in great good. He was located at various points in Illinois, and in September, 1864, was elected the president of the Illinois conference, and in 1865 was again appointed to the Clinton circuit. In 1866 he became a minister of the Bloomington circuit, which he traveled three years. Later he had charge of various churches in the state, coming to Sheridan in 1875. The following year he was elected president of the North Illinois conference. His influence in the church was most marked and his forceful, persuasive and logical utterances led many to a knowledge of the better life. As a citizen he was public-spirited, progressive and loyal, and in Sheridan he served for a number of years as justice of the peace, being first elected to the office in 1881. He also served as the president of the board of village trustees, and did all in his power to promote the best interests and the upbuilding of the town. He died in Sheridan in 1895, respected by all who knew him.
Amos Robertson, whose name introduces this review, accompanied his father on his various removals, and enjoyed such educational privileges as the schools of the neighborhood afforded, but after the inauguration of the civil war he put aside his text-books in order to battle for the Union, enlisting on the 13th of August, 1862, at the age of seventeen years. He became a private of Company D, One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry, and the first engagement in which he participated was at Chickasaw Bayou, four miles from Vicksburg, in December of that year. In January, 1863, he took part in the battle of Arkansas Post, and was at Champion Hills, a hotly contested engagement in the rear of Vicksburg. He also aided in besieging Vicksburg from the 19th of May until the 4th of July, when the city surrendered, and later he took part in the battles of Jackson, Mississippi, Mission Ridge, the Atlanta campaign and the siege of Atlanta, followed by the celebrated march with Sherman to the sea. His was one of the nine regiments selected at Savannah to capture Fort McAllister and open up a connection with the fleet. It was a difficult and arduous task, but the work was accomplished, and Mr. Robertson was the first man to surmount the walls of the fort, with the exception of two color-bearers. Subsequently, he participated in the Carolina campaign and was near Durham, North Carolina, when General "Joe" Johnston surrendered. At Washington he participated in the grand review, the most brilliant military pageant ever seen on the western hemisphere, and then returned to Springfield, where he was discharged, July I, 1865. Throughout his service he was in the same company and regiment and was ever a loyal and faithful defender of the stars and stripes. Just after the siege of Vicksburg he was made corporal and was discharged with that rank. After three years of faithful service he returned home, and was not then twenty-one years of age. He had been four times wounded: first at Vicksburg; then at Dallas, on the Atlanta campaign; at Atlanta; and in the side at Bentonville, South Carolina. Mr. Robertson maintains pleasant relations with his old comrades in arms through his membership in Clayton Beardsley Post, No. 672, G. A. R., at Sheridan.
For the first five years after his return from the war he resided in Cass and Morgan counties, Illinois, and in 1870 came to Sheridan, where he has since continued to reside. He is a painter and paperhanger by trade, and diligently followed that business for many years, but for the past seven years has lived retired, having, through his well directed efforts, gained a comfortable competence which now enables him to rest from active labor.
In 1867 Mr. Robertson married Miss Lucy Osborne, who died in 1878, leaving three children, - Clinton, now deceased, William H. and Frank. In 1880 Mr. Robertson was again married, his second union being with Eliza Widman, by whom he has a daughter, Genevieve. The family have many friends in the community, and the Robertson household .is noted for its hospitality.
In his political connections Mr. Robertson is a Republican, and has been honored with several local offices of trust and responsibility. He served as a constable for eight years, was police magistrate for four years, and for five years was the efficient president of the village board of trustees. Socially he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His life has been characterized by diligence, by enterprise and by fidelity to every duty, and the record he has made is an honorable one.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 28-30.