Captain Robertson

Captain T. M. ROBERTSON’s Scrapbook

Captain Thomas M. ROBERTSON, the venerable citizen who is now spending an honorable retirement at Brazil, Clay County, earned his military title by three years of hard and efficient fighting in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. For nearly thirty years he was successfully engaged in mercantile pursuits in that city, has seen long years of fine public service, and both in the fields of battle and the province of civic administration has upheld the family name for generations back. His great-grandfather was a native of the city of Edinburgh, where, as in other portions of Scotland, the ROBERTSON’s have always stood shoulder to shoulder with the most ancient and honorable families of the motherland. The American branch of the family was established in Maryland in 1731 by William ROBERTSON, who came to America at the age of ten years and died March 25, 1773. It is known that the grandfather of Captain ROBERTSON was a valiant upholder of the Patriots’ cause. As the father served under General HARRISON in the War of 1812, there is conclusive evidence that in the transplanting of the ROBERTSON family to America it lost none of its virile and patriotic virtues.

Thomas M. ROBERTSON is the fourth son of William and Catherine (SHIVELY) ROBERTSON, and was born in Ross County, Ohio, on the 30th of December 1833. The father was born in Charles County, Maryland, on the 6th of January 1783, and died in Clay County, Indiana, June 18, 1853. The mother was a native of Loudun County, Virginia, born on the 30th of March 1799, and died January 24, 1874. In his younger days William ROBERTSON was a slave overseer in his native state. Upon his removal to Harrison County, Ohio, he conformed to the new order of agricultural labor northwest of the Ohio River, and by individual work and good management became a prosperous farmer. In 1812 he enlisted under General HARRISON and followed him through several campaigns, returning then to his farm and its duties. In 1820 he removed to Ross County, where he was married and engaged in farming for seventeen years, the family removed to Logan County in 1837 and to Clay County in 1851. The homestead, on which he passed his last years, in the county named, was located on Birth Creek, Jackson Township. He had been twice married, his first wife being Sarah FRENANDEZ, a native of Loudoun County, Virginia, and seven children were born to this union. The deceased died several years before the formation of the republican party of today, and during his lifetime he was what was known as a Jeffersonian and a Jacksonian Democrat.

Captain ROBERTSON accompanied the family in its various shiftings through Ross and Logan counties, Ohio, to Clay County, Indiana, being in his eighteenth year when the homestead was finally fixed on Indiana soil. The youth had been raised on a farm and had enjoyed but meager educational advantages, but he was quick to learn and was therefore so far in advance of most young men of his age that soon after locating in Clay County he secured a position as a teacher in the district school. In 1858 he became a clerk in the dry goods store of Oliver H.P. ASH, in Bowling Green, with whom he remained nearly three years.

In 1860-1 Captain ROBERTSON was one of the editors of the “Clay County Democrat,” but upon the breaking out of the Civil War he promptly dropped his pen for a gun and enlisted in the first company raised in Bowling Green. Before the men could muster, however, the state quota had been filled, and the company was disbanded. In 1861-1862 he served as Deputy Clerk of the Common Pleas and Circuit Courts, under Dillion W. BRIDGES, and in July of the latter year, under the presidential call for 300,000 men, he enlisted in Company D, Seventy-first Indiana Volunteers, afterward known as the Sixth Indiana Cavalry…

Captain ROBERTSON is one of the honored veterans in both the Benevolent Fraternity of the Masons and the Patriotic Order of the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1859 he was initiated in Clay Lodge No. 85, A. F. & A. M., at Bowling Green, and in 1904 was honored with the Pastmaster’s Jewel of Brazil Lodge No. 264….

On the 16th of May 1866, Thomas M. ROBERTSON was united in marriage with Miss Eunice BUELL, a native of Venice, Butler County, Ohio, born on 7 December 1836. She is a daughter of Ephraim and Margaret (SHAW) BUELL, her father being born at Ledyard, New York, on 5 July 1798, and dying in the year 1847. The mother was born in September 1800 and died on 5 September 1867.

(There are two more pages of information about the ROBERTSONs and BUELLs in the front of his scrapbook. Ask the librarian to see them.)

Clay County Indiana