|PIONEER AND VETERAN WILLIAM BLACKWOOD|
was more of a hero than most people give him credit for. He was probably born in Georgia in 1844 and came with his parents to the farm now occupied by James Sully in DeSoto in 1854, where his father died in territorial days.
When the war broke out he was 17 years old and needed by his widowed mother, but Oct. 21, 1862, he enlisted in Co. D, 1st Neb. nine months regiment. When his time expired he spent some months with his mother and in September, 1963, he re-enlisted in Co. D, 1st Neb. Battery, but as this was only state service, he got a re-muster into more active service August, 1864, and became a member of Co. I, 1st Neb. Vet Vol., and was mustered out July 1, 1866. When he first applied for a pension and someone entered charges against him, a special agent was appointed by the government to examine his record and the government decided that his record entitled him to all of the honors the pension laws would allow. Deprived of the opportunities to go to school in childhood, he learned to read and write during odd moments while in the army.
For years he has lived at the foot of the old fort with his brother Perry, neither one ever having married, whose record for honesty is above reproach. They were both rather feeble and depended mostly on a little farm stock and their pension. (They were both soldiers.) They may have one brother in Montana. No other living relatives are known.
Friday, Nov 12, they both came to town with the team. Perry was in a hurry to get home to look after some garden truck and William said he would come later. As he often stayed away one night, but little attention was paid to his absence for a couple of days and then small parties occasionally look around in odd corners, this writer among the number.
There were numerous tracks in the snow within a few feet of where he lay. The old path down the bluff east of the flagstaff is very steep and slippery and ends in their garden. It seems that in the darkness he veered about five rods to the north, fell against a big cottonwood tree, dropped around it and fell in very thick brush and was buried in snow. Nov. 18, Sheriff Mencke of Blair directed Wm. Sievers to begin a systematic search, in which many citizens joined, including all the boys in the High school and their professor, and in less than an hour gunshots announced that Henig Nelson of Coffman and Carl Moeller of Moore’s creek, from the High school, had found him. He had apparently died without a struggle. His watch, etc., were intact and as there were no signs of suicide, Coroner Pierce and all concerned decided that there was no need of an inquest. Sievers and Schraeder, on an allowance of $32.50 from the soldiers’ fund, furnished a $30 casket, hearse, shroud and complete set of clothing and brought the body in and prepared it for burial.
The funeral was held Nov. 19 from the Presbyterian church, Rev. Hilkeman officiating, Miss Elsie Rix, organist. The pallbearers were L.L. Wagers, Lou Bannister, W. Frahm, W. Baunister, Hans Schwager and Chas Stoltenburg.
25 Nov., 1909 - Blair Democrat - William Blackwood
The body of William Blackwood was found by a searching party last Thursday at the foot of a bluff 200 yards from his home near Calhoun, from which he mysteriously disappeared nearly a week before.
Blackwood evidently lost his footing and fell from the top of the bluff. The body was in thick brush and covered with snow.
The searching party was under the direction of William Sievers and was composed of citizens and high school pupils. Those who discovered the body were Carl Mueller and Hening Nelson, high school pupils.
Blackwood of late had been feeble and childish. He had lived in Washington county fifty years.
~~~Obituaries courtesy of the Nebraska Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair, Nebraska Public Library~~~
Find a Grave Memorial #18175148