Samuel Heslet's Family

From Pennsylvania to Illinois


Samuel Heslet was born on July 29, 1826 in Union, Dunbar Twp, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, son of John C. and Eliza Ann Minor. He grew up there attended school Dunlap’s Creek. He graduated from Washington College [now Washington and Jefferson College] in Washington, Pennsylvania, 1853 with a Bachelor's Degree. In 1853 he applied for a position of Male Principal in Portsmouth, Ohio. He taught there for 2 years .

 He returned to Pennsylvania where he married Mary Margaret Stewart  July 11, 1855  in Brownsville, Fayette Co. in the house that her father built.

 They moved to Earlville, LaSalle Co., Illinois in 1856. They had 3 daughters:


Anne E, born Earlville in 1856. While attending school in Clinton, Illinois she was on the honor roll with at grade of 99.5.  She received her teaching degree in 1878, in Marshall Co., Illinois. She taught  school for a few years, with her father in Mendota, before she married John H. Jenks on 16 Jun 1881. They moved to Avoca, Iowa where John worked in a bank and by 1910 was a Bank President. They had one daughter, Florence, born Feb 1894. Anne died in 1946 and is buried with her parents and sisters in Precinct Cemetery, Earlville



Mary Ellen ‘Ella’ was born 1857 in Lakeville, Minnesota. She married John T. Eager  on 11 Oct 1877. [click on link for Ella's story]



 Frances R. was born in Earlville, 1859.  She was a teacher and assisted her father at the school. Frances never married and lived in Mendota until her parent's death. She moved to Earlville and built a house, where she lived with her sister Ella. Frances died in Earlville in 1927 and is buried in Precinct Cemetery, with her parents and sisters.

Samuel Started in April 1860 as Superintendent of Schools in Mendota, Illinois. In the 1860 Census for Earl Twp, he is 33 years old and listed as a teacher.

May 29, 1861: Hoisting Stars & Stripes over Union School House- exercises at Congregational Church. Spirited address by Principal S. M. Heslet. Cannon fired. Three cheers for General Scott, President Lincoln, the Union, General McClellan and the Whole Army.

Being a patriot, he started a company of men and entered the service August 9, 1862 in Mendota for a period of 3 years, amount paid in advance, $25.00; amount of Premium paid $2.00. He was elected Captain on August 13, 1862 and mustered in on August 27, 1862 in Ottawa by Capt. Christopher. The Company muster-in roll for that date list his company as Capt. Heslet’s Co., 104th Reg’t Ill Inf. He is listed as present on the company muster roll for August 23, 1862-Feb 28, 1863. The company was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky and attached to 39th Brigade, 12th Division, Army of the Ohio until November, 1862. District of Western Kentucky, Dept. of the Ohio, to December, 1862. They moved from Louisville to Frankfort, Ky., September, 1862, and had duty there till October 25. Then they moved to Hartsville, Tenn., October 26 - December 1.

On  December 7th, at the Battle of Hartsville the regiment was captured and paroled. They marched to Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., and had duty there as paroled prisoners of war till April, 1863, when they were declared exchanged.

During the fighting at Hartsville,  Tennessee, Samuel received a gun shot wound in the right thigh near hip joint and a gun shot wound in the left thigh entering from the front and lodging behind the femur. On 14 December 1862 in Hartsville, Tennessee, Dr. Rueben Flynn, Surgeon 104th Reg’t Ill Vol Inf., in charge of Hospital #E,  wrote Samuel a certificate for a leave of absence.  That same day, Samuel wrote, in Gallatin, Tennessee,  for a leave of absence of twenty days. It was approved by S. W. Hamilton, Medical Director.  In his original invalid pension application Sam states that "I was first treated four days in a temporary hospital in the house of a Wm. Stadar at Hartsville and I was then removed to Gallatin, Tennessee where I was treated in a hospital, for a period of about six weeks."

He tendered his resignation from the Army, Feb 16, 1863 at Camp Douglas, Chicago Illinois, where he was held, with his company, as a prisoner of war.  A doctors note was attached. His resignation was accepted March 9, 1863.

March 28, 1863: Captain Heslet returned on account of several wounds at battle of Hartsville, Tenn. He will assume the Captaincy of the Union School at the opening of its term.

August 23, 1866: East Dist. #10, S. M. Heslet, Principal 302 pupils.

May 28, 1868: Political rally draws 1000. Among speakers- Prof. S. M. Heslet. Mr. Heslet also worked as fund raiser when effort was made to get Lutheran College to locate to Mendota.

June 3, 1869: Capt. S. M. Heslet, Principal East Side School has accepted call to Clinton, IL at $1500 per year.

On June 14, 1870, Samuel and Mary Heslet and their three daughters are on the census for Clinton, DeWitt Co., IL. Samuel is age 43, teaching school, $8300 real estate, $2350 personal value.

By 1874 Sam was farming at Meriden, LaSalle Co., IL.

In 1876, he was elected to  the Legislature as representative of his district. He was a Republican.

On the 1880 census Sam is 53 years old and a farmer. From 1880 to 1889 Sam was once again principal in Mendota, LaSalle Co.

On November 27, 1886 Sam Heslet applied for Invalid Pension. He was 60 years old; 5 ft 9in tall; weight, 242 lbs; complexion, florid; Hair, brown; eyes, gray. Describes his wounds from battle and his hospitalization afterwards. He was living in Mendota, LaSalle Co., Illinois and worked as a teacher. Also appearing and witnessing was Reuben T. Dyer [the doctor who examined him while in the Army] residing at Ottawa Illinois and Daniel Evans, residing at Ottawa, Illinois.

This was approved and "he is entitled to a 5/8 total rating for the disability caused by gunshot left hip, 3/8 total for that caused by gunshot of right thigh." He is to receive $10 per month, commencing December 28, 1886.

April 28, 1894: Wednesday evening Capt. Heslet met with an accident which injured his back and badly bruised him all over. He was driving on the East Side near the elevator when a loose horse which had pulled up a picket pin came running up the street. The picket rope struck Mr. Heslet’s horse starting him out against the fence and hurting him badly.

November 29, 1898: Samuel M. Heslet died at his home, Tuesday afternoon on 13th Avenue, Mendota, at the age of 72.  Contributing cause was diabetes.

Mary Margaret Heslet, Samuel’s wife died February 22, 1900 in Mendota, Illinois after a long illness.

Both Samuel and Mary Margaret are buried in Precinct Cemetery, Earlville, Illinois.

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