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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Richard Phalen

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 324 - 325

Richard Phalen, an honored veteran of the late war, and a highly respected early settler of the town of Mitchell, was born in the city of New York, November 15, 1836, and is a son of Richard and Catherine (Martin) Phalen. His parents were natives of Ireland. The father was born in County Kilkenny in 1800, and the mother in County Meath in 1802. His father emigrated to America at the of sixteen years, and his mother when about the same age. The former first settled in Salem, Mass., where he was married; but two years later moved to New York City. Subsequently he removed with his family to Providence, R.I. For several years he was employed on the Sound steams plying between New York and Providence. In 1850 he came West with his family, and settled on a farm in the town of Mitchell, Sheboygan County, Wis. Here he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1887, his wife having passed away October 22, 1875.

Their family numbered seven children, of whom five are living. John married Catherine Hines, and resides in Fond du Lac; Mary is the widow of Levi Sherman; Catherine Ann is the wife of Samuel W. Neal, of Buffalo N.Y.; Richard, who is the next, married Delia Martin; George married Emma Brown, now deceased, and resides in Escanaba, Mich.; Emma died at the age of eighteen years; and William, the fifth, started to California in 1854, but was never afterward heard from.

The gentleman who name heads this sketch attended school in Providence until fourteen years old, when he came with his parents to this county. After coming here he aided his father in clearing up and carrying on the home farm, and attended school in the winter time for a few terms.

On the 4th of October, 1861, Mr. Phalen enlisted in the war for the Union, becoming a member of Company E, Seventeenth Wisconsin Infantry. Before leaving the State he was promoted at Madison to Commissary Sergeant. Two years later he was commissioned First Lieutenant and later Quartermaster. He took an active part in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Holly Springs, and the entire siege of Vicksburg. He participated in the battle of Natchez, Miss., after which he returned to Vicksburg and veteranized. He then served under Sherman through the Atlanta campaign and in the celebrated march to the sea. At the close of the war, Mr. Phalen had the pleasure of taking part in the Grand Review of the army at Washington, an event never to be forgotten. He was mustered out a Louisville, KY, July 14, 1865.

On his return from the war, Mr. Phalen bought his present farm of one hundred and fifty-two acres, situated on section 22, in Mitchell Township, which has since been his home. On the 28th of December, 1867, he was married in Fond du Lac, Wis., to Miss Delia Martin, a daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Bradley) Martin. Mrs. Phalen was born in Canada and came to Wisconsin in her youth. Of this union seven children were born, of whom one is deceased, Emma, the oldest, who died at the age of nineteen years. Those living are as follows: Thomas E., Mamie, Catherine, Margaret, Richard and William.

In politics, Mr. Phalen is a Democrat, and has held various official positions. He served as Assessor three terms, Town Treasurer two years and Chairman of the Town Board and member of the County Board two years. He is a charter Member of Abner O. Heald Post No. 92, G. A. R., of Cascade, of which he was the first Commander. He held that position the first two years of the existence of the post, was out one year, and then served a fourth year. He was appointed by the Probate Judge as a member of the Sheboygan County Board of Commissioners to care for the indigent soldiers. Having served three years in that position, he was reappointed for the succeeding term.

Recently, Mr. Phalen has entered a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres near Bayfield, Wis. His present postoffice is Parnell, Sheboygan County. In all the relations of life, both civil and military, Mr. Phalen has been ever been found faithful to every trust and competent to discharge the duties of every position he has undertaken to fill. As a neighbor and citizen he enjoys in a marked degree the confidence and esteem of all who knew him.

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