WILLIAM W. BRANSON, one of the
highly respected citizens of Ross township, Cherokee County,
located in section 32, township 31, range 23, is also a survivor
of that gallant army which marched out in defense of the
country's integrity, in the stormy days of 1861. He was born in
Harrison County, Ohio, May 10, 1837, and is a son of Abraham and
Ann W. (Wilson) Branson.
Abraham Branson was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, and the
mother in Pennsylvania. They were married at Bridgeport, Ohio,
where our subject's father was in the business of manufacturing
woolen goods. They had seven children: Lindley, Rachel, Jonathan,
Elizabeth, William W., John C. and Abraham, the survivors being
our subject and Elizabeth and Abraham, both of whom reside in
Harrison County, Ohio.
William W. Branson obtained his education in the schools of
Harrison County and remained at home, assisting his father, until
21 years of age. He then made a visit to Cedar and Muscatine
counties, Iowa, and while there, in April, 1861, he enlisted for
three months, in Company C, 1st Reg., Iowa Vol. Inf., and took
part in the battle of Wilson's Creek and later was mustered out.
Seeing that the war would continue, he re-enlisted, entering
Company C, 98th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., and participated in many of
the most terrible battles of the unhappy struggle. From
Chattanooga he marched with his regiment through Georgia and on,
with Sherman's army, to the sea, and took part in the battles at
Resaca, Peach Tree Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta and
Jonesboro, and in innumerable skirmishes, his last fight being at
Bentonville, North Carolina. His was an unusual case, for he was
much exposed but was neither captured nor wounded and when he was
finally discharged at Camp Dennison, he was able to go back to
the farm and resume his work.
Prior to enlisting, Mr. Branson had married, in February, 1860,
Amanda Sergeant who was born in Harrison County, Ohio, and died
in 1873. She was the mother of seven children, viz: Hortense, who
married J. H. Jacobs, a farmer of Oklahoma; Russell W.,
postmaster at Cherokee, Kansas, who married Edith Glover; Mary
Ann, who is the wife of J. S. Larimer, of Greenwood County,
Kansas; Rachel E., who is the wife of F. M. Curry, of Argentine,
Kansas; Loretta, who is the wife of Montgomery Boore, a farmer of
Cherokee County; Lizzie, who is the wife of George Millard, of
Crawford County, Kansas; and John H., who married Huldah Johnson
and resides at Argentine, Kansas.
Mr. Branson was married, second, to Kate Marsh, who was born in
Noble County, Ohio, and they have one daughter, Elsie Edith.
In 1878 Mr. Branson settled with his family, in Cherokee County,
Kansas, for a period of four months and then bought a farm of 80
acres in Crawford County, which he operated some years. In 1888
he bought one half of section 29, township 31, range 23, in Ross
township, for a brother, and remained on that place until 1891.
Since then he has rented his present farm in section 32, a
property that shows evidences of good management.
Politically Mr. Branson is identified with the Republican party.
He has never desired political recognition, and is satisfied to
do his full duty as a citizen and to permit others the honors of
office. He is a member of the Methodist Church.
History of Cherokee County
Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by
Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Mike York,
student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter
Springs, Kansas, 12/20/96.