Eveline Tillotson Darling

Eveline Maria Tillotson and Abram Reuben Darling

Eveline Maria Tillotson (1851-1907) was born June 20, 1851 in Brunwick, Medina County, Ohio. Eveline was the daughter of my great-great-grandparents Franklin James Tillotsonand Jane Ann Sexton. Eveline was usually called "Eva" by her family. She married Abram Reuben Darling on December 7, 1869 in Goodenow, Will County, Illinois. The Reverend Samuel L. Porter officiated. Abram was born January 7, 1846 in Sterling, Cayuga County, New York. He was the son of Abram Darling and Elizabeth "Betsey" Irwin.

Abram Reuben Darling

Abram Reuben Darling.
Possibly his brother James.

Eveline and Abram had four children:

Abram Reuben Darling's father, Abram Darling, was born in Oneida County, New York on January 9, 1817. He was the son of Reuben Darling and Sophia Goodenow. Reuben Darling was a native of New York and a farmer. Sophia was the daughter of Isaiah Goodenow, originally of New Hampshire. The name of Isaiah's wife is unknown, but they had fourteen children, Sophia among them. Isaiah was the son of Edmund Goodenow and Olive Glazier.

Abram Darling grew up on his father's farm. He married Elizabeth "Betsey" Irwin who was born in 1822. In 1853 Abram moved his wife and four children (including Abram Reuben Darling) to Illinois. He settled his family in Crete Township, Will County Illinois, east of Goodenow. Here Abram purchased 120 acres of land and began farming. After retiring from farming in 1872, Abram moved to Goodenow where he remained until his death. Abram Darling also held the office of Road Commissioner for over fifteen years.

The village of Goodenow was named for George W. Goodenow, son of Franklin Goodenow and Betsy Smith. George moved to Illinois in 1838 and laid out the village of Goodenow by 1870. Franklin Goodenow was another child of Isaiah Goodenow, and so a first cousin once removed to Sophia Goodenow Darling.

While in Crete on August 22, 1862, Abram Reuben Darling volunteered for three years of military duty. Because he was underage (16) at this time, he wrote "18" on both soles of his shoes so he could truthfully state that he was "over 18." Abram was mustered in at Joliet on August 30, 1862 and was enrolled as a member of Company G, 100th Illinois Regiment. He fought in several important battles. Abram was badly wounded at Resaca, Georgia on May 15, 1864. Two Will County boys, privates Simeon Barse and James Ricker, carried Abram from the battlefield. Their report notes that Abram was shot through the fleshy part of the right hip. The bullet passed through the left thigh and fractured the bone. Abe was sent to the General Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee where spent May 17 through June 1, 1864 recovering. He was then sent to the No. 1 U.S. Army General Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Abram left the hospital in Nashville on August 3, 1864 and spent a month-long furlough in Louisville, Kentucky. Abram returned to the hospital in Nashville on September 2. On February 18, 1865 he transferred to Company A of the Fifth Veterans Reserve Corps. He was mustered out and honorably discharged at Indianapolis, Indiana on July 5, 1865. In later years Abram said he served with the honor guard on the funeral train that returned President Lincoln's body to Illinois for burial after his assassination.

In 1886, when Abram was 40 years old, he stood 5'8" tall and weighed 180 pounds.

Abram and Eveline lived in Enterprise, Kansas where Abram engaged in the livery business during the 1880s. In 1889 Abram and Eveline moved their family to Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri. Here Abram worked as an engineer in the lead works. He also helped build the first electrical power plant in Webb City.

Eveline Maria Tillotson Darling died February 1, 1907 in Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri. After her death Abram took up residence in the National Military Home in Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas. From 1917 until his death he lived at the Danville Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Danville, Vermillion County, Illinois.

In his later years Abram often visited his brother Norman Darling in Crete, Will County, Illinois. Abram always smoked cigars leaving his vest coated in ashes. Norman's wife Lydia Ruhe Darling insisted Abram smoke only when sitting in a chair under which she placed a sheet to keep the ashes from penetrating the rug. In the evening before retiring to the upstairs bedroom, Abram grabbed a one-handled chamber pot. His announcement that "My friend and I are going to bed" always provoked a laugh.

On the fourth of July, Abram impressed the children in Crete by exploding two inch firecrackers in his bare hands. His Civil War experiences with explosives allowed him to handle the firecrackers safely.

Abram died in 1938 at the age of 92. He is buried at Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri. His obituary reads as follows.

Civil War Veteran Dead.
Abram Darling. 92 Built First Power Plant in W.C.
Civil War Soldier's Company Stood Guard at Casket of
Abraham Lincoln.

Abram Darling, 92, civil war veteran and early day Webb City electric light plant operator, died yesterday afternoon at his home there. He had lived in Webb city since 1889 and built the first commercial light plant operated there.

Mr. Darling was a native of New York state but was reared at Crete, Ill., and enlisted in Company G, 100th Illinois infantry, in the civil war, serving three years. He was wounded in action and invalided home. When President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, Mr. Darling's company was selected to stand guard at the dead president's casket.

From Illinois he moved to Kingman, Kans.,where he operated salt mines, and came to Webb City as related in 1889 and built the electric plant there. The plant was located near the site of the Southwest Missouri railroad power plant which recently was dismantled.

Funeral services will be held at the Hedge-Nelson funeral home at 2:30 o'clock tomorrow afternoon with the Rev. John G. Hilton in charge. Burial will be in Webb City cemetery. Mr. Darling's death leaves two civil war veterans living in Webb City.

Mr. Darling is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Celia Smith of St. Paul, Mrs. John Albert of Webb City and Mrs. Grace Gehlback of Lincoln, Ill., and one brother Norman Darling, Crete, Ill.

My thanks to Howard Piepenbrink for providing much of the biographical information about Abram Reuben Darling. Lynn Pfannenstiel provided the obituary for Abram Reuben Darling. Tom Tompkins supplied the photos of Bertram Francis Darling and Eveline Tillotson Darling.

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Last modified by pib on January 21, 2013.