Schoharie County NYGenWeb Site

Notes on Abram Towson

Submitted by Arlene Goodwin
May 1, 2001

Abram Towson, an honored and respected citizen of La Crosse county, Wisconsin, was born in the State of New York, in Schoharie County, July 10, 1824, and is a son of John and Mary (Krank) Towson, who were also natives of the Empire State. The mother died when Abram was three days old, and he was then taken by his grandfather, John Towson, by whom he was reared. When he was a lad of fifteen years his grandfather died, and he was then thrown upon his own responsibility. He had been trained to the occupation of a farmer, and followed this calling for many years. In 1861, when there was a call for men to go to the defense of the Union, he enlisted in the Second Wisconsin Cavalry, Company B, and served until some time in 1863, when his eyes became inflamed so seriously that he secured a furlough and returned to his home for a season; he had been in the hospital in St. Louis for a month previous to this departure for home. He lost his sight entirely for two years, and then through Dr. Berry, an oculist, the sight of one eye was restored; in a surgical operation the optic nerve of the other eye was destroyed. He was honorably discharged in June, 1863, and in July his sight was gone; it was not until June, 1865, that he consulted Dr. Berry. To one who has never suffered the loss of sight, it is impossible to convey an idea of the joy experienced upon the restoration of that sense, and Mr. Towson proved no exception to the rule. During his army life, he did not spend a single cent of his pay, but sent every dollar to his family; the money he used for himself was earned by doing extra guard or other duty; this is a rather remarkable fact, and is worthy of record. When he enlisted in the service of the Government he had $400 and a house and lot, but after the payment of his doctor’s bill he lacked $40 of paying his account. He then went to work for David Wright, a man who had shown him much kindness during his affliction; he was in his employ for more than four years, and during this time managed to accumulate a small amount of money; he purchased a team, and worked on a farm for two years, having rented the land. By industry and wise management he succeeded in buying the land on which he now lives; he built a comfortable little house and as his means increased added to the home comforts, enlarged the dwelling, and is now one of the most contented and thrifty of laboring men of the community. Captain Bishop of Company B, was a most considerate friend to Mr. Towson, and did much to relieve the tedium of his sightless days.

Mr. Towson was married January 1, 1884, to Miss Nancy M. Howe, a daughter of Elisha and Bromagen Howe, of New York. Two children have been born of this union: Elvira, deceased, married C. Van Etten, and they had two children; Jessie, deceased, and Gertrude; Martha is the widow of Lyman Allen and the mother of one child; Arthur, who is also deceased. Both Mr. and Mrs. Towson are members of the Baptist Church. Politically our subject adheres to no party or platform, but casts his suffrage for the man best suited in his estimation to fill the office. He is a man of quiet, unassuming manners, and possessed of those sterling traits which win the respect of the entire community.

Biographical History of La Crosse, Monroe and Juneau Counties, Wisconsin. The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892. Pages 379 -380.

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