Albert O. Barton, who related the following bit of history about the James P. McPherson family,wrote several books and numerous articles about the history of southern Dane County. According to the Centennial History of Springdale, he was born n 1870 in the town of Primrose, which was about 15 miles south of the village of Springdale, so it was doubtful that he personally knew J. P. McPherson. However, he was certainly aware of J.P.s impact on the political history of Dane County, as well as the village of Springdale.
It is interesting to note, the A.O. Barton also carries forth the story of William Burns McPherson, the eldest son on J.P and Mary McPherson, being a Major in the Civil War (see blogpost of December 12, 2011).
The following is from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, 1848-1948, p.105-107, and told by A.O. Barton:
Wisconsin and Madison lost a pioneer and Civil war officer when Major W. B. McPherson died in St. Cloud, Fla. He was buried beside his parents in the Verona cemetery.
Major McPherson was born in New york , April 23, 1843. He came to Wisconsin with his parents in 1850 and soon after settled on a farm in the town of Springdale. In 1862 he enlisted in the Civil War Co. E, 8th regiment of Wisconsin Infantry, with which he served until the end of the war.
Soon after his return he was married to Miss Razetta Miles, and moved to Clark County, where eight children were born. His wife died in 1890, and he returned to Madison, where he was appointed assistant attorney general under Gov. G. W. Peck.
Major McPherson is survived by six children, Mrs. Clara Manly, Minneapolis; Charles C. McPherson, Wagner, Okla.; James P., Seattle, Wash.; Jabez B., Bently, Alberta; Allen V., San Francisco; and Mrs. R. L. Holmes, Hawthorn, Calif.; a number of grandchildren; two b brothers, James B., Mura, Minn., and Peter B., Madison; three sisters, Mrs. Mary Blair, Winter Haven, Fla.; Mrs. Jessie Walts (Watts), Fargo, N.D., and Mrs. Margaret Burmeister, Madison.
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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications