William Wolcott

William Reed Wolcott

by Michael A. Spaulding

William Reed Wolcott was son of Elijah and Elizabeth (Park) Wolcott, and grandson of Silas Wolcott, a soldier in the Revolutionary War who had wintered at Valley Forge with Gen. George Washington. William was born 24 Apr 1821, 13 years before Silas died, and probably heard stories of the Revolution from his grandfather. William married Asenath Hotchkiss, daughter of Nathaniel and Esther (Davidson) Hotchkiss, in North Rome, Bradford Co., PA on 5 Jul 1844. William died at the age of 55 on 30 May 1876, in Litchfield, Bradford Co., PA.

The Wolcotts were a prominent colonial family—one distant relative of William’s signed the Declaration of Independence. William, however, was not particularly prominent, just a hard-working farmer and timber cutter. Each spring, he would build a raft and float logs down the Susquehanna River to Williamsport. He enjoyed square dancing and held dances in his own house, where he taught local children to dance. He enlisted in Co. D, 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry, 19 Sep 1862, at the age of 41. While in the army, he was injured when he was thrown from a horse and it fell on him, causing a permanent disability. According to one witness who supported the pension application of his widow, after the injury he “was a good soldier as far as his disabilities allowed, but was very much favored by the officers and comrades when it was possible to do so. The injury of which he complained was of the right shoulder, arm, and side, [so] he was never required to perform sword exercise, nor much fatigue duty on account of it.” He was mustered out on 16 Jun 1865. After the war, his arm and shoulder were numb and useless, and he was unable to do manual labor or, at times, even feed himself. In 1870, he was listed in the census of Litchfield Twp., Bradford Co., PA as a farmer with property valued at $2000. By the time of his death, his arm was horribly swollen and he could not move it or have it moved without screaming. He is buried in Hadlock Cemetery, Bradford Co., PA.

William and Asenath had eleven children, 3 of whom died before their fourth birthday.

  1. Emmeline Caroline (B. 1845. She M. William M. Conrad.)
  2. Alice Amantha (B. 1849; D. 1919. She M. Christian P. Merrill.)

iii. Elijah (B. 1851; D. 1853)

  1. Neil Wayne (B. 1853. He M. Martha Lamont.)
  2. Monisal J. (B. 1855; D. 1859)
  3. Walter G. (B. 1857; D. 1859)

vii. Addie Celinda Wolcott (B. 28 Aug 1859, Rome, PA; D. 20 Nov 1907, Athens, PA. She M. 11 Sep 1882-Charles Adelbert Spaulding, (He B. 27 Feb 1856, Danby, NY; D. 22 Jul 1936, Binghamton, NY).)

viii. Putnam Beauregard (B. 1861; D. 1924. He M1. Eva B. Stedge. He M2. Sarah Hand.)

  1. Elizabeth W. (B. 1866; D. 1945. She M. Perry Milton Pitcher.)
  2. Maria C. (B. 1870. She M. Randolph H. Benson.)
  3. Mervin Thompson (B. 1875; D. 1941. He M. Leafy Griffen Beach.)

source: primary records as recorded in an unpublished manuscript called “Spaulding Family Ancestors in The 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry During the Civil War,” by Michael Spaulding, Dayton, OH, 2011.


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