Biography - G Upstone

G. S. UPSTONE. For a number of years past the city of Nokomis has been noted far and wide for its excellent mercantile establishments, and particularly that conducted by Mr. Upstone, who is one of the first-class business men of the place. In his active career through life he has gained to an unlimited extent the confidence and esteem always awarded integrity, honor and industry, and is now one of the foremost men of the county. He is progressive in his ideas, pleasing and courteous in his manner, and well understands how to suit the desires and wishes of his patrons. He is now President of the Town Board, and is active in his support of all laudable enterprises.
Mr. Upstone is a Canadian by birth, having been born in Button Township, Brome County, Province of Quebec, Canada, near the Vermont line, in 1835, and is of English-Scotch ancestry. His father, John Upstone, was born in London, England, and his mother, Jane (Sinclair) Upstone, was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland. The parents emigrated to Canada in 1832, and in that country the father followed the occupation of a farmer. Young Upstone was reared to the arduous duties of the farm, and as he had to labor most assiduously during his youth, his education received very little attention. When eight years of age his mother died, and he grew up deprived of the loving care and helpful words of that parent. His early life was one of hardship and privation, but he was possessed of much determination, great energy, and an unusual amount of enterprise.
Upon the breaking out of the Civil War, our subject was in Ripley County, Ind., and when the tocsin of war sounded, he was filled with patriotism for his adopted land so on the 3d of June, 1861, he donned his suit of blue, shouldered his musket, and enlisted in Company G, Thirteenth Indiana Infantry, as a private. He was mustered in at Indianapolis and was at once sent to Virginia. Soon afterward he participated in the battle of Rich Mountain, in that State, and here had his first taste of fire from the enemy. After this he was on guard duty and engaged in skirmishing in Maryland until his command was plunged into the battle of Winchester. Following this the command marched up the Shenandoah Valley, and crossed the mountains into the Luray Valley, where he and a number of his companions were detached from the regiment and sent back to the Shenandoah Valley, the objective point being Winchester. They were surprised at Kerntown, May 23, 1862, by a detachment of cavalry from Gen. Bank's army, and taken prisoner, being conveyed to that death trap, Belle Island. Here our subject suffered the horrors of starvation to such an extent, that when released in September he was a physical wreck and weighed but one hundred pounds, when he had entered a strong man, weighing one hundred and ninety pounds. After his return, he was sent to Parole Camp, at Annapolis, and there remained until exchanged. When able to join his regiment, which at that time was at Suffolk, Va., his health was so battered by his life in the Rebel prison, that he was not able to stand the hardships of war further, and upon a surgeon's certificate of disability (the physician saving he could not live thirty days), he returned to his home in Indiana. He soon regained health and strength, however, and determined to again enter the service.
On the 15th of July, 1864, our subject enlisted in the Mississippi Squadron of the United States navy, and was assigned to duty on the "Fair Play No. 17," of the Mississippi Squadron. He held the commission of Master Mate, which is equal to the rank of Second Lieutenant in the army, and was in service on the lower Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. After the surrender of Gen. Lee, our subject went up the Red River to Shreveport, with his command, and there Gen. Dick Taylor surrendered to them. In all the expeditions Mr. Upstone was ever active in the performance of his duty, and displayed much bravery and faithfulness. After the surrender of Dick Taylor, the squadron was ordered to Cairo, July 23, 1865, and there our subject was discharged on the 27th of August of that year.
Soon afterward Mr. Upstone came to Nokomis. Ill., worked on a farm for a short time, and then spent two years in the South. In the years 186970, he served as Superintendent of the farm at the Illinois Industrial University, and while there he met with an accident that nearly cost him his life, and from which he was laid up for more than a year. After recovering, he engaged in the drug business in Nokomis, and since then he has been a prominent factor in business circles, owning at present a large general store. He is a prominent member of Cottingham Post No. 236, G. A. R., having been one of the charter members, one of its first officers, and in 1889, its Commander. A stalwart Republican in his political views, he is no small factor in local politics, in which he has always been a leader. He has filled many of the local offices, among them being Assessor and Collector, while at the present time he is President of the Town Board. A good business man, a shrewd politician and a very pleasant gentleman, it is a pleasure to meet or have any dealings with him.
Mr. Upstone was married on the 1st of January, 1870, to Miss Catherine Day, a native of the Buckeye State, and they have one child, a daughter named Martha, a charming young lady in her teens.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 332-333.

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