Daniels of Massachusetts Bay Colony - Generation VI George Cook Daniels (1800 - 1875)


George Cook Daniels

b. April 7,1800, Newport, New York, d. April 28, 1875 , Port Washington, Wisconsin

George Cook Daniels was born in Newport, New York just after the turn of the century. He was the first Daniels boy in my direct line of ancestors to be born outside of Massachusetts since their coming from England over 164 years earlier. George was the first born child of Nahum Daniels. George's mother Ann Cook Daniels died the day he was born. Ann was buried in the church cemetery located on Main Street in Newport above the steep banks of West Canada Creek. Those circumstances would shape George Cook Daniels personality and life over the next 75 years.

Newport, New York
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George Moves to Hammond, Saint Lawrence County, New York

Map Showing George Cook Daniels Movements in 1820
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1820: 20 year old George Daniels moved from his family's home in the Danielsville, (Poland), New York area to Hammond, Saint Lawrence County, New York. Located 120 miles to the north of Danielsville, (Poland) is adjacent to the St. Lawrence river a major route to the Great Lakes. An early map shows his property in district 12 south of the village in 1820. In the years following his mother's (Ann Cook Daniels) death George's father married Susan Enos and by 1820 George had 9 step sisters and brothers.

Daniels - Baker Marriage

Sometime prior to the fall of 1824 George met and married Maria Louisa Baker (those knowledgeable with local records speculate the name Baker may have been recorded as Belanger). Maria was born April 22, 1803.

Forming a Family

Over the next 20 years Maria would give birth to 8 children: 6 sons and 2 daughters.

1825, June 25: Maria Daniels, at the age of 23, gave birth to her first child, a son they named Nahum after his grandfather.

Step Brother Nahum Daniels Arrives in Hammond

1829: Nahum, George's step-brother moves to Hammond area. Over time Nahum becomes a large land owner in the Hammond area.

Forming a Family

1832, Marion Daniel, George and Maria's second son is born
1832, October 30th, Jerome Bonapart, a third son is born
About 1834, Baron Stuban, a fourth son is born
About 1836, Cordelia, George and Maria's first daughter is born

Note: Cordelia is not a name common to the Daniels Family and is likely a family name in the Baker line

Birth of Jasper Sargent Daniels

1838, October 4th, Jasper Sargent Daniels was born. The fifth son of George and Maria, Jasper would become my great grandfather.

Two additional children were born after Jasper:
1842: Ann Jane, their second daughter is born
1845: Stewart Daniels the last son is born

Hammond Town Records

While living in Hammond, George Cook Daniels was active in civic affairs. Beside his terms as supervisor, (1836 - 1837) George also served as an inspector of schools and elections and as an assessor and path master. In November 1829, he received one vote for Justice of the Peace.


Family Moves West

As we have seen numerous times in the family history, a Daniels son leaves behind all that is familiar to live in a frontier settlement. In 1835 the federal government began advertising that land was for sale at the bargain price of $1.25 per acer in what had become the Wisconsin Territory. A major route to Wisconsin from the lands settled in the east was via water using the Erie Canal which was located at the southern edge of Herkimer County quite close to George's boyhood home and then by ships that traveled the Great Lakes.
History of Ozaukee County, by Don Silldorff

1844: George and Maria moved their five sons and two daughters 850 miles west to what was then Old Milwaukee (Ozaukee today) County, Wisconsin, settling on the banks of the Sauk Creek near the western shore of Lake Michigan. Only 13 years earlier, the land George occupied was the home and hunting grounds of the Menominee Indians. Ceded to the whites in 1831 the land was first visited by French explorers and missionaries. Worchester Harrison had purchased the land from the government in 1836 for development of a town where the Sauk Creek empties into Lake Michigan. The village, with a home and a few additional buildings developed by Harrison, went bust in 1837; however, Harrison returned to reclaim his abandoned home and additional buildings in 1843. That same year a pier was built to allow the arrival of passengers and cargo at the village. Soon others followed. The majority, like the Daniels, came from the eastern states having roots going back to the original colonial families. It is very likely that the Daniels traveled to the village via the Great Lakes.

Map Showing George Cook Daniels Movements in 1844 & 1846
Click on image to enlarge

Naming the Village of Port Washington

1844: The name of the old Sauk Harbor village, which had been called both Washington City and Sauk Washington, was officially changed to “Port Washington.” The name was changed largely as a result of the leadership of George C. Daniels, who stated that the name “Sauk Washington,” which was commonly used at that time, was “uncouth.”

Port Washington - Incorporated

1846, January 21: The Town of Port Washington, incorporated on January 21, 1846 after the Territorial Legislature voted to establish 11 independent townships, including the present towns of , Belgium, Fredonia, Mequon, Port Washington, and Saukville.

Town Meeting - George C. Daniels, Chariman

1846: February 24, The following article was published in the Sentinel & Gazette reporting the events of that day.

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Port Washington, held at the School House on the evening of the 24th day of February, 1846, Mr. GEORGE C. DANIELS was call to the Chair and Mr. Orlando A Watrons appointed Secretary.

On a motion, a Committee of five, Consisting of Messrs. Wooster Harrison, Solon Johnson, Teall, Loomis and Foster, was appointed to draft and report Resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting.

After reading and consulting, the Committee reported the following Preamble and Resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

Whereas, a law has been passed by the recent Legislature of this Territory, authorizing the people of the county of Washington to locate, temporarily, the county seat of said county by a vote by ballot in the month of April next; and also to determine the expediency of raising, by tax, the sum of one thousand dollars to build necessary county buildings, according to the provisions of the said law. Therefore

Resolved, That it is for the best interest of the people of the county of Washington; that by so doing they will do more than they can otherwise do, to establish a near market for all their surplus produce, as good as any on the Lake; that they will enable themselves to purchase merchandize cheaper than by any other means; that they will enhance the value of the land of the farmer, more than to have the location at any other place, that congress will be more likely to make liberal appropriations for the benefit of the county, that a county newspaper will be sooner established; that this county will be made by it as ventral as any other in the Territory; that it will increase immigration to and through this county, and direct travel this way.

Resolved, That as it is the uniform practice in the Lake Counties to establish the county seat on the Lake it would seem desirable and proper, as every other Lake county has a flourishing lake-port town, we should not seen behind them by having none.

Resolved, That in lieu of the tax of one thousand dollars proposed by said law, the inhabitants of Port Washington, in case the county seat shall be located here, will build county buildings in said Port Washington, as the board of supervisors shall direct and appoint, to the value of one thousand dollars, to be had by the county forfeits use, free of expense so long as the county seat shall remain at said Port Washington.

Resolved, That we, the undersigned, tender to the inhabitants of the county of Washington, that we will give security to the Board of Supervisors, to their satisfaction, when they shall be elected, that buildings for the county shall be constructed as mentioned in the preceding resolution.

I. C. Loomis - Solon Johnson
Wooster Harrison - Wm. Teall
Orman Coe - O.A>Watrons
Harvey Moore - W.S. Coe,
Benjamin Pidge.

Resolved, That the proceedings and resolutions of this meeting be pubished in the Milwaukee Sentinael and Gazette, the Milwaukee Courier, and the Wisconsin Banner.

O.A. Watrons, Sec'y

Port Washington - First Town Meeting

April 1846, The first town meeting was held in the schoolhouse, in the month of April, 1846, when the following town officers were elected: Board of Supervisors, Solon Johnson, William Teall and John McLean ; Commissioner of Highways, Allen C. Daniels ; Assessors, Wooster Harrison, Alva Cunningham and William Hudson ; Collector, Isaac N. Loomis ; School Commissioners, Sylvester P. Watson, Abram Bates and Jerome B. Young; Constables. Sylvester P. Watson and L. D. Cunningham; Justices of the Peace. George C. Daniels and George W. Foster; Sealer of Weights, Orlando N. Watrous ; Town Clerk, F. W. Merritt.

Allen Enos Daniels who was named Commissioner of Highways is George C. Daniels younger step-brother who it seems moved to Wisconsin with George. At the time of his appointment Allen would have been 28 years old which is 18 years younger than George.

History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties, p.509

Builds House in Saukville

1846: "The first European style house used as a residence in the Village of Saukville was built for George C. Daniels". The location of the Daniels' house may be pinpointed by using the following description:

Beginning at a stone in Elm Street, said stone is 58 rods South from the North [Section 35] line, and 28.16 rods West from the East line of the section [35], then S. degrees-00'W.220 rods, then S.2 degrees-00'W.60 rods to the center of the Road near Mr. Daniels corner.

The official Village of Saukville web page provides the following information:

George Daniels, was the first to build a house in Saukville in 1846, and had given Port
Washington its name in 1843. Two years after Daniels built his house; enough other people
inhabited the Saukville area that in 1848 the Township of Saukville was created. That same
year the State of Wisconsin established an immigration office in New York that promoted
population growth in Wisconsin and Saukville. From the years 1848 through 1853,
Saukville had grown to a population of 250.

Note: it is unclear as to whether or not this represents a "new" home or it just recognizes it as the first house that was built in the area of Port Washington that became the Township of Saukville.

Source: Document

Wisconsin Territory Allows George Daniels to Build Dam Across Milwaukee River

February 3, 1848: George Cook Daniels was granted permission to build a dam across the Milwaukee River upon any land owned by him and his associates. The land in section 1, town 10, range 21 in the town of Grafton, Washington county and to make use of the water for hydraulic purposes. The act was approved on March 2, 1848 by Henry Dodge.

Laws of Wisconsin Territory passed by the Legislative Assembly at the session commenced in February, A.D. 1848 p.43-44

Township of Saukville Formed

1848, April 4: The town of Saukville was set off, and made an independent organization. Prior to that time it formed a part of old Port Washington. It now comprises town 11 in range 12.

Wisconsin Becomes 30th State

1848 May 29: Wisconsin was admitted to the Union as the 30th state.

Two years after Daniels built his house enough other people inhabited the Saukville area that in 1848 the Township of Saukville was created. That same year the State of Wisconsin established an immigration office in New York that promoted population growth in Wisconsin and Saukville. From the years 1848 through 1853, Saukville had grown to a population of 250.

Cholera Epidemic in Port Washington

"This terrible and malignant disease made its first appearance in Port Washington during the summer of 1849 when in the space of two weeks, it ravaged almost every home in the village. In many cases whole families were prostrated by its direful influence. The exact number of deaths caused by the disease during its reign of that year is not given. Some of those who passed through the trying ordeal claim that the mortality would range somewhere in the fifties."
History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties, p.509

Daniels Moves to Grafton

1849: At this time it is unclear when George moved his family to a large plot of land located at the intersection of present-day Cedar-Sauk road and present-day south County Highway O (Greenbay Road). Cedar-Saulk Road is the border between Grafton and Saukville. The new homestead was about a mile or so south of his original home. No record could be found showing that Daniels had title to the land. It is likely that he was a 'squatter' allowed to build there by Jabez Foster, who held the land title. Foster was William Payne's business partner during that time when Saukville was the principal village in ''old' Washington County."
Additional information from various reliable sources provide additional information about his activities during his years at that location.
"He kept a county tavern for several years on his old place, now owned by William F. Opitz, and had always the reputation of being a good landlord.” The Daniels obituary was also published in The Milwaukee News. The tavern referred to, which was also a hotel, was located at the junction of present day Cedar-Sauk Road and south County Highway O. The property, later known as the Kurtz farm, was at the town line between the Town of Saukville and “Old Town Ten.”

1850 Washington County Census

1850, October 24: Census data indicates George as a farmer with land valued at $4,500 located in Grafton, District No. 15.

1854, March 7: Washington County, Wisconsin was divided into 2 counties. The eastern portion of the original Washington county was named Ozaukee County with Port Washington serving as the county seat.

1854: George C. Daniels was one of three Court Commissioners appointed by the United States District Court

1855, June 12: An article published in the Ozaukee Advertiser provides us a picture of George C. Daniels' life.

Ozaukee Advertiser
What Jack Frost did - The heavy frosts which visited nearly every portion
of our state on Sat & Sunday nights the 2nd and 3rd instant, we may
believe were more severe in this section than any yet heard from. We
saw the remains of some of its "doings" - the orchards of Mr. E. C. Turner
and G.C. Daniels of Grafton. Plums, peaches, cherries, & currents were
totally destroyed, and in some instances the apples were affected. Corn,
potatoes & in fact everything - these parts were nipped more or less by
this notorious frosty "Jack".

1860 Ozaukee County Census

1860, June 1: Census data indicates George as a farmer with land valued at $3,310 and a property value of $500 located in Grafton. George's son's Nahum now age, 25 and a surveyor; Baron Stuban, age 23 listed as a farmer and Stewart, age 14, and daughters Cordelia, age 21 and Ann Jane, age 18 are living at the Grafton homestead.

Draft Riots in Ozaukee and Washington Counties

1862, November, 10: Open opposition to the Civil war by newly arrived immigrants led to violence aimed toward public officials and the destruction of public buildings. The rioters were brought to justice after the governor of Wisconsin, Salmon, ordered troops to quell and arrest those involved.
History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties

Daniels Boys in the Civil War

5 Daniels boys served Wisconsin and the Union during the Civil War.

Baron Stuban Daniels, Corporal - Company D, 19th Infantry
Jasper Sargent Daniels, Private - Company A, 2nd Infantry & Sr. 1st. Lieutenant Company I, 1st Heavy Artillery
Nahum Daniels, Captain, Company I, 3rd Infantry
Stewart Daniels, Corporal, Company G, 16th Infantry
Marion "Daniel" Daniels Private, Company C, 3rd Cavalry & Reorganized Company H, 3rd Cavalry

Daniels in the Civil War Article "Ozaukee County's War History" by Daniel E. McGinley
as extracted from THE PORT WASHINGTON STAR January 16, 1897

As stated in a former chapter, two Saukville boys, Stewart Daniels and Thomas Murphy, served as the regularly detailed foragers for the company on the march to the sea and during the Carolina campaign, and as such performed the arduous and dangerous duties of the forager with great credit to themselves and to the satisfaction of their commanders.

Although Stewart Daniels' home was in the town of Grafton, it was so near to the town line and to the village of Saukville, that he has been always reckoned as a Saukville boy by his comrades. Stewart was the first white child born in the territory now included in the town of Saukville, he first seeing the light in 1845, in his father's log cabin, which stood upon the site of the village of Saukville and was the seventh son in a family of nine children. Shortly after Stewart's birth his family moved nearly a mile south of the village, to the homestead on the banks of the Milwaukee river which for nearly thirty years was known as the "Daniels' farm," and which is now owned by the Opitz family.

Here Stewart lived and thrived in the wilderness, and as he grew in years and stature attended the village school in Saukville in the winter months; but though a bright boy who learned easily, he did not make the progress in his studies that he might have done, he caring more for hunting, fishing, trapping and such sports. He grew up a manly, healthy boy, with a frame remarkably well developed and knit, and although but sixteen when the war began he considered himself large and strong enough to undertake the life of a soldier in the field.

His father, Capt. George Cook Daniels, a pioneer of Puritan blood and a veteran of Indian wars, was a man of more than ordinary intelligence and ability, rough in appearance and speech, but a good neighbor, an upright, worthy citizen, and patriotic clear through. The names of the sons Nahum, DeWitt Clinton, Marion, Jerome, Baron Steuben, Jasper and Stewart, were nearly all taken from America's roll of honor and show the love of country possessed by the parents.

It is no wonder then, that when their country and flag was in danger these boys were nearly all ready to risk life and limb in their defense. Nahum, Marion Daniel, Baron Stuban., Jasper Stewart and Stewart all entered the army, each in a different regiment. Baron S. died in the field, and the others remained in the service until the close of the war, Nahum becoming a captain and winning fame as Sherman's chief signal officer, and Jasper fighting his way up to a first lieutenancy. Jerome engaged in a fistic battle with a Copperhead in 1861, in which he lost a thumb, a loss that barred him from becoming a boy in blue.

Stewart being so young, and so many of his brothers being willing to go, his father thought that Stewart ought to stay at home, at least a year longer. But Stewart thought otherwise and October 28, 1861, he went to Port Washington and enlisted in the Ozaukee Rifles. He being under age his father took him home again, but Stewart ran away at the first opportunity and rejoined the Rifles. Taking the sheriff with him, his father brought Stewart home handcuffed and chained him to his bed. But that night he managed to loosen the chains from the bed, jumped out of a window, went to a neighbor's whom he induced to cut off the handcuffs, threw them and the chain into the river and was soon back to the company. After the Rifles reached Camp Randall his father made another attempt to bring Stewart home but the colonel would not let him take his boy without an order from the governor. For some unknown reason the governor did not issue the order, and the father went home alone.

Stewart made a fine soldier, following the fortunes of the gallant Rifles from its muster in to its muster out, participating in all the battles and campaigns in which his regiment took part, never missing a day's duty, and always ready to volunteer for any dangerous or exciting task. After the close of hostilities, Stewart returned home, but was not contented there, and was soon wandering over the great northwest. He has been a lumberman in Wisconsin and Minnesota, a Fenian member of the unfortunate Louis Reil's army, a scout for Generals Sheridan and Custer on the plains, one of the first adventurers at Pike's Peak, a volunteer soldier in several Indian wars, a ranch owner in Arizona, a prospector and engineer in Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Mexico, and a contractor in several places. In 1895, after making a prospecting journey across the great American Desert, he came east to visit his Ozaukee county friends, after an absence of twenty-seven years. During the past summer, Stewart joined a company of Americans bound for Cuba to assist the patriots there, and if still living is doubtless taking an active part in the struggle for liberty that is being waged in that unfortunate island. Although but fifty-one years Stewart has had a wonderful and varied experience, which if properly told would overshadow the wildest fiction, and hundreds of his old comrades and friends will wish him a safe return from his new field of adventure.

George C. Daniels Becomes a Mason

1869, March 1: George petitioned the Ozaukee Lodge and on March 22, 1869 he was elected to the lodge.

Ozaukee County Old Settlers' Club

1873: The Ozaukee County Old Settlers' Club was organized by a number of pioneers surviving at the time. A listing of the clubs members, (and year of arrival) since its founding was published in 1881. The list included the following entry: George C. Daniels, 1844.

George Cook Daniels Dies

1875, April 28: George C. Daniels died. George and Maria had been married for 59 years.
Sometime prior to his death George Cook Daniels prepared a will in the presence of Henry L. Coe and L.E. Moore, both of Port Washington.

The Milwaukee News

The following information regarding George's death was published in the Milwaukee News on 1875, May 4,

George C. Daniels, one of the oldest pioneer's of Wisconsin, died at his residence in this village on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 28th. The Captain, as he was familiarly called, was widely known in the State and elsewhere. He was "a man of indomitable energy and stern will; when not crossed in his purposes was genial and sociable."

A Masonic Square may be found at the top of his headstone located in Port Washington's Union Cemetery.

Maria Louisa Baker Daniels Dies

1883, January 22: 79 year old Maria Louisa Baker Daniels dies and is buried in Union, Cemetery next George. Sometime prior to her death Maria prepared a will in the presence of Chas. E. Chamberlain, and L.E. Moore, both of Port Washington. In her will, Maria provided money and securities to 3 sons, Nahum Daniels, Jasper S. Daniels and Stewart Daniels: each of said sons to received one third part of said moneys and securities for moneys remaining after her death.


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