BENJAMIN F. GLEASMAN
From New York State to Colorado
In upstate New York, a son Benjamin F. Gleasman was born in 1845 to German immigrant parents, Johan Valentine and Johannah Buttinger Gleasman. Benjamin was his parents’ ninth child and sixth son and was born in the family homestead on the Gleasman Road in the Town of Ava, Oneida County. This fairly new home was of frame construction and was built in 1838 to replace the Gleasmans’ original log cabin that had been built in 1828.
Benjamin received his education in a one room schoolhouse that was located near the intersection of the Gleasman Road and the East Ava Road. This schoolhouse still stands but is now incorporated as part of a house along the East Ava Road.
During the latter years of the Civil War, Benjamin was of age to enlist in military service but he chose not to as he was needed on the family farm. There may have been other, more compelling, reasons not to enlist. His uncles, George and Gottfried Gleasman, had been killed in the infamous cornfield at the Battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862 while serving with the 97th New York Infantry and his older brother Charles J. Gleasman had died at age 21 in October 1864 while serving with the 117th New York Infantry. Charles had suffered a grievous wound to his leg “before Richmond” and it required amputation. He survived the surgery only to lose his life from a sudden hemorrhage of the amputation site. None of these Gleasman soldiers’ remains ever were returned home. George and Gottfried lie buried with the Unknowns at Antietam, Sharpsburg, Maryland and Charles lies buried in the National Cemetery on the grounds of Hampton Institute in Virginia.
After the Civil War and before 1870 Benjamin’s spirit of adventure took hold of him and he headed west to Iowa where several Gleasman relatives had settled in earlier years. He worked as a farm hand on the Clark Miller farm for several years. It was in Iowa that Benjamin met and married Christina Houser (Hauser/Howser) who, like him, had been born in New York State. They were the parents of seven children, all of whom are believed to have been born in Iowa.
Birth order is uncertain and there is little information on the children.
Valentine: born 1872 and died 1950 in Los Angeles, California, and in 1913
he resided/roomed at 1722 Larimar Street in Denver, Colorado. Charles served
time in the Colorado State Prison after being convicted of running a confidence
scam. He married Nellie Faulkner Crutcher 31 December 1919 and raised her son
William Crutcher. William died in 1964. It is unknown if Charles had any
children of his own.
2. Rosa M.: born 1876 and died 1908, unmarried
3. Benjamin F. Jr.: born
circa 1880 and died 1962, probably unmarried
4. Julia J.: no information on her
5. Lillian Kate: no information on her
6. Mary E.: no information on her
7. Belle Christina: born
either 1889 or 1892 and died 1970. She never married.
Belle was a Latin teacher at Ainsworth High School in Ainsworth, Nebraska
in 1921. She was a member of the faculty of Kearney State Teachers’ College
in 1933 where she taught Modern Languages.
Benjamin F. Gleasman’s nephew Charles C. Gleasman followed in his uncle’s footsteps and arrived in Colorado about 1902. He purchased land in Otero County while his uncle resided in Weld County. In 1905 at the age of 27, Charles C. Gleasman, a bachelor, drowned in the Peatra River near LaJunta, Colorado while trying to cross the river at a popular ford. Unfortunately, Charles tried to cross when the river was very high and the current terribly swift. When he drove the horses and wagon into the river, all were swept away. The horses and parts of the wagon were later found two miles below the ford but Charles’ body was never recovered.
Research shows that Benjamin F. Gleasman died 1909 in Otero County, Colorado and his son Benjamin F. Gleasman, Jr. died 1962 in Weld County, Colorado.
It was after the 1909 death of Benjamin Sr. that the Colorado branch of Gleasmans lost contact with their kinfolks back in New York State.
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