The Last Soldier Project: Clark County, Wis.
Albert Ellsworth Darton

Albert Ellsworth Darton was born December 5, 1844, in Toronto, Canada. He was the second child of William and Sarah (Brasier) Darton. When Albert was a young boy the Darton family moved from Canada to Hartford, Wisconsin purchasing land to farm at $1.25 per acre. Six more children were born to William and Sarah Darton in Wisconsin.

In 1861, A. E. Darton tried to enlist in the Civil War at Hartford, Wisconsin, with a neighbor friend. Albert's younger brother, William Jr., overheard their plans the night before and told his father. Mr. Darton quickly rode his horse into town in search of the young man. He found Albert at the train station talking with a recruiting officer from the 17th Regiment and after a few harsh words took his eldest son, not yet 18, back home.

It wasn't long after that Albert's father went off to war himself. Albert was forced to take on the responsibility of running the family farm near Hartford. William Darton enlisted for one year and returned home a very ill man. When he recuperated enough to handle the farm work Albert enlisted with Company D, 45th WI Infantry, following in his father's footsteps. He was mustered out of service on July 17, 1865. In his old age, Albert regretted missing the only major struggle of his company because he was on furlough when they fought to protect Nashville, Tennessee, from the Confederates.

Albert Darton married Eliza Ward shortly after the end of the war at Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He worked at a saw mill in Holland, Sheboygan County, and relocated in the 1870's to the Town of Unity, Clark County, Wisconsin, where he farmed for over thirty years. Albert and Eliza had two daughters, Nelly (Catlin), and Rhoda (Brasure).

By 1920, Albert and Eliza retired in the Village of Loyal, Clark County, where they lived with Nellie's son, Allie Glen Drake, and his wife, Tillie, the remainder of their days. In Albert Darton's later years he was active and well respected in Loyal, visiting shut-ins and the sick. He also enjoyed playing a good game of sheephead. Each Memorial Day, Loyal children stopped in front of Darton's grandson's home while the school band played a salute to the old veteran as he sat on the porch.

Eliza Darton died in 1928 and Albert died December 30, 1942, at the age of 98 years. His funeral was held on a snowy Sunday afternoon, January 3rd, 1943, with full honors from various military organizations who took pride in honoring the life of Clark County's last Civil War veteran. Mr. Darton was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Clark County, Wisconsin next to his wife.

Information Sources:
Clark County Press, Jan. 7, 1943
1918 History of Clark County, Wisc.
U.S. Federal Census for 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920
1885 Wisconsin Veteran's Census
Clark County Register of Deeds - Death Records
Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of Rebellion

Researched and submitted by Kay Scholtz

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Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Department of Wisconsin


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