top shadow

1882 Biographies - Addenda

Major P. E. HOLCOMB, retired army officer. A sketch of the eventful life of this war veteran of Bond County furnishes interesting and instructive reading. The following brief outline of the life of Maj. HOLCOMB, the only retired army officer of Bond County, and one of the most gallant soldiers of our late war, speaks for itself:

He was born January 13, 1824, at Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, P. J. HOLCOMB, was a native of Vergennes, Vt., a merchant and a mill owner, and came West at an early date, and was one of the earliest and most active pioneers of the Buckeye State. He was of English descent, and married Miss Ruth A. FRANCISCO, of Corsican lineage.

Our subject was the third child of a family of six children. When about seven years of age, his father removed from Ohio to Bond County, located upon a tract of land and began farming. Our subject received his primary education in the public schools of his native town and afterward attended school at Greenville, and at a comparatively early age entered the law office of Judge RUST, of Edwardsville, Ill. Under his tuition he read law, and was admitted to practice in the courts of the State. Maj. HOLCOMB never practiced his profession, however, but proceeded almost directly to Cincinnati and enlisted in the United States Army for general service in the Mexican war, and joined Company E, Third Artillery, Bragg's Battery.

The gallant services of this battery at Monterey and Buena Vista have made it famous in history. At the first-named battle, Maj. HOLCOMB received a musket ball wound in his right arm. He figured in the Mexican war until August, 1848, when his regiment disbanded.

At the opening of the rebellion, in 1861, Maj. HOLCOMB was the first in his county to come to the rescue, and immediately set about recruiting a company of soldiers, to defend again the Stars and Stripes. This he accomplished with his usual success, his being the first drilled company to enter the conflict from Bond County. He remained with the company until the latter part of June, 1861, when he received orders to report to Fort Preble at Portland, Me., reaching there in July, and from Fort Preble he was detailed on recruiting expeditions. March 22, 1862, he was ordered to take command of the Second Battery Vermont Light Artillery. He acted as Captain of his battery until they were mustered out of the service in August, 1863. August 20, 1863, he was commissioned Major of the First Texas Union Cavalry. He served with his regiment in that State and Louisiana, a portion of the time as Brigade Commander of the Nineteenth Corps. October 5, 1864, he was ordered, and accordingly

[Page 327]

reported to his regiment at Fort Preble, and was soon after detailed to Fort La Fayette, New York Harbor, where he was placed in charge of prisoners, under Col. BURKE. In the winter of 1866, Maj. HOLCOMB was ordered to Texas. He served in regulating the hostiles in that STATE until January 30, 1867, when, on account of disability and for gallant and meritorious service, he was retired from the service, with a salary sufficient to support him in independence during his declining years.

Maj. HOLCOMB, it will be seen, served his country continuously for over twenty years. During that time he took active part in over 100 engagements, and many times in the very heat of the most important ones. Eighteen different times shots have pierced through his uniform, but in most instances his person has escaped harm.

April 3, 1856, he was married to Miss Bell BLANCHARD, daughter of Seth BLANCHARD, one of Bond County's earliest and most active pioneers, and a native of Stoughton, Mass. They have one son, James E., born September 26, 1874.

Prof. S. M. INGLIS was born in Marietta, Penn., August 15, 1838, son of Rev. George S. and Keziah R. (MARTIN) INGILS, he is a native of Baltimore, Md., a minister labored largely in the cause of African Colonization; she a native of Lancaster County, Penn. They were the parents of six children, two boys and four girls. Our subject was compelled, through force of circumstances, to educate himself, but by hard struggling completed a course of study in Mendota Collegiate Institute, located in Mendota, La Salle County, being valedictorian in a class of nine at his graduation. He adopted the profession of a public instructor, and has given nearly all his time to that calling. He enlisted in the One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but after three months of camp duty was discharged in consequence of disability. He has been a member of the Presbyterian Church since he was fifteen years of age, and filled the position of Elder in the same; also takes great interest in Sunday school work, being Superintendent; Trustee of Southern Illinois Normal University through appointment of Gov. CULLOM; also First Lieutenant and Captain of Illinois State Militia. Prof. INGLIS has been for fourteen years connected with the public schools of Greenville, and may be said to be the father of the school system of that city, which is the pride of the county, and would reflect credit upon any section of the country. In habit, the Professor is industrious and persevering, and benevolent to a fault, always assisting with his means every worthy enterprise and person, being especially the friend of struggling students. He is, and has been since the formation of the party in 1856, a Republican, and holds membership with the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

Williamson PLANT, son of Lorenzo D. PLANT, and grandson of Williamson PLANT, was born near Pocahontas, Bond Co., Ill., December 19, 1827. The first fourteen years were spent on the farm upon which he was born, and from a near schoolhouse received a common-school education for that day, one term of eight months having been spent at school at the academy in Hillsboro in the winter of 1839-40, in which Mr. Edward WYMAN was teacher. He was in partnership in a store in Greenville with his father from 1848 to 1851, and has served three regular terms as Sheriff and Collector of the county, and three other years had charge of same office, making nine years in that position. He has been Secretary of the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad Company since

[Page 328]

its organization, November 22, 1865. He is engaged in farming, and is one of the proprietors of the "Greenville City Mills." Mr. PLANT has been twice married, first on May 3, 1848, to Susan G. Grover, by which marriage he had one son, Emery D. Mrs. PLANT died March 15, 1852. He was married to his present wife formerly Sarah Jane WAFER, March 31, 1853. Six children have been born from last marriage – Emma J., Willie W., Ida L., Lillie E., Sallie L. and Ada J., and all living. Mr. PLANT has resided at Greenville continuously since December, 1852.Extracted by Norma Hass from the History of Bond and Montgomery Counties Illinois, published in 1882, Part II Biographical Department, pages 326-328.

Templates in Time