Edwin Wilbur

In Honor of those who fought Edwin Wilburb. 02 Nov 1840, d. 25 Apr 1933

Transcribed from the Notes of Grace Wilbur

Edwin Wilbur was born November 2, 1840 in Oakham, MA, son of Horace P. Wilbur and Eliza Hagar. He died April 25, 1933 in West Brookfield and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Sec. 3 Lot 63. He was a descendant, on his mother’s side in the fourth generation, of Colonel Isaac Hagar who married Anna, daughter of Captain Jonathan Bullard on April 26, 1770. Edwin married Mary Elizabeth Duell, daughter of Judge George S. and Elizabeth Hallowell of Brookfield. Children were: 1) Charlotte E. who married Eugene A. Gilbert, 2) Lucy Edna, 3) Grace Duell, 4) Lora Belle who married Lewis H. Bruce. Mrs. Eliza Wilbur died in October of 1925.

He enlisted into Co. H, 25th Reg’t. of Massachusetts Vol. Infantry on September 16, 1861. He was a 20 year old farmer. He re-enlisted on January 18, 1864, and was discharged on June 17, 1865. He was a Charter member and Commander of Alanson Hamilton Post 160 G. A. R. He was one of 19 men from Oakham to enlist on September 16th and was mustered-in at Worcester, MA. and sent to Annapolis, MD.

The first pay he received after entering the service, he sent home to his mother. It contained a gold dollar which his mother saved wrapped in paper.

The 25th Regiment soon took part in the battle at Roanoke Island. Other battles in which he engaged were Newbern, Kingston, Whitehall, Goldsboro, Port Walthall Junction, Petersburg (June 15), Appomattox River (June 18) and the Crater. He was wounded in the hand at Port Walthall Junction near Petersburg on May 6, 1864. The bullet was found in his sleeve at the elbow and brought home. Although badly wounded and told three time to go the the rear, he continued in action until the Captain discovered him and ordered him to the rear. He was sent to the field hospital and the next mourning to the General Hospital at Fortress Monroe and Portsmouth, VA. where he stayed from May 7 to June 10, 1864.

When he reported back to his Regiment he was without a gun, but saw one sticking up from the ground on the battlefield and took it with him. It proved to be in good condition.

After the Regiment returned from Virginia, he contacted yellow fever at Beechwood Station, North Carolina in October of 1864. He remained in General Hospital until February 1865 when he was given a furlough to Massachusetts. On his way home, Clara Barton was aboard the boat and assisted him with passes, etc. He weighed 92 lbs. He reported to Dale Hospital, Worcester, MA. He was mustered-out from Dale Hospital on June 17, 1865.

He received the Purple Heart for bravery in action. After the war he lived in West Brookfield.

From his Obituary – April, 1933

Edwin Wilbur was one of the oldest Masons in period of membership in Massachusetts. He first joined the Mount Zion lodge, A. F. & A. M. of Barre, soon after the Civil War. He became a member of Hayden Lodge of Masons in Brookfield, after locating in West Brookfield, and was a past master of the lodge. He possessed a Henry Price Medal, awarded in recognition of more than half a century of affiliation with the Masonic order. He also had a “Purple Heart” awarded a year ago by the War Department.

Mr. Wilbur was chairman of the committee appointed by the town to erect a monument to the Civil, Spanish, and World War I veterans, which stands on Quaboag Park (now the Common). He was a representative of the 25th Massachusetts Infantry to New Berne, N.C., to assist at the dedication of the monument erected for the members of his regiment who were killed in the battle of New Berne.

He was a representative from this district to the General Court of Massachusetts, and served on the committee on election laws in 1885.

He was a shoemaker as a boy, working with his father at the time of his enlistment at age 20. Later he was for two years a conductor on the one time Warren, Brookfield, and Spencer Street Railway, and later a public building janitor.

Mr. Wilbur was a past officer in the town, having served as chairman of the Pine Grove Cemetery Commission, also as inspector of meats, sealer of weights and measures. He was one of the first fire engineers of American Co., which manned the hand tub.

He was a member of the First Congregational Church and for 32 years served as its clerk and treasurer. He was a past treasurer of the West Brookfield Farmers’ Club and also served the town as a constable at one time.

Mr. Wilbur had been a resident of West Brookfield for 62 years. He was engaged in the meat trade for 25 years in this town He also lived in Barre, North Brookfield, Brookfield and Philadelphia.

Mr. Wilbur leaves three daughters, Charlotte E., wife of Eugene A. Gilbert of Springfield; Grace D. Wilbur, at home; and Lorabelle, wife of Lewis H. Bruce of West Brookfield; also three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted in the First Congregational Church.