Niagara County

1897 Biography - Charles V. Mesler

Mesler, Capt. Charles V., who served with distinction in the late Civil war and is now one of the leading business men of Gasport and a prominent and influential citizen of Niagara county, is a son of Absalom and Sallie M. (Wyman) Mesler, and was born in the town of Barrie, Orleans county, N, Y., October 12, 1836. His great-grandfather, Abraham Mesler, was a native of Holland and settled first on Manhattan Island and later removed to Morris county, N. J., where he died. He married Miss Covert, by whom he had a large family, one of whom was Bergen Mesler (grandfather), who was born on Staten Island January 4, 1759, moved with his father to New Jersey, and in 1822 returned to New York, locating in Seneca county. In the following year he removed to the town of Hartland, Niagara county, where he died July 15, 1824. He was a farmer and carpenter, an old-line Whig in politics and a member of the Baptist church; he was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving directly under General Washington, and also served for a time in the war of 1812. He married Mary Cooper, by whom he had thirteen children, ten sons and three daughters. Absalom Mesler (father) was born in the town of Chester, Morris county, N. J., October 3, 1812, and came to Niagara county with his parents. He moved to the then village of Lockport in 1825, and entered the employ of Eli Bruce, then deputy sheriff and afterward elected sheriff, being the second man to occupy that office after the formation of Niagara county. In the spring of 1826 Mr. Mesler removed to the town of Cambria, where he engaged in farming for two years and then went to St. Catherine's, Can., and from there came to where the Catholic College now stands, between Lewiston and Niagara Falls. He lived at a number of other places during the next seventeen years, after which he resided near Royalton Center for twenty years. In 1868 he removed to Gasport, where he is still living at an advanced age. Here, in partnership with his son, Charles V., he engaged in the commission business, handling all kinds of produce and agricultural machinery. In 1887 Mr. Mesler practically retired from business and his son, Merrill A., assumed control and has since successfully conducted the enterprise. Mr. Mesler is a Republican in politics and married Sallie M., daughter of Samuel Wyman, August 22, 1833, by whom he had a family of eight children; Candis R., married Nelson Thompson (deceased); Charles V. (the subject); William M., married Lizzie Miller, resides in Michigan; Augusta, married Oliver J. Brunson, a farmer in Hartland; Samuel, married Helen Babcock, a commission merchant at Gasport; Sarah, married John Jenkins of Middleport (deceased), and Merrill, married and in business at Gasport. Capt. Charles V. Mesler was educated principally by his own efforts; he improved every opportunity that came within his reach and applied himself diligently to such books as he could procure. He attended Leoni College in Michigan for two terms, and at Adrian College three terms, but at the breaking out of the Civil war laid down his books and enlisted, April 19, 1861 as a private in Co. K, lst Michigan Infantry, for three months. While in camp at Sooter's Hill, Va., in the latter part of June, 1861, he was attacked by typhoid pneumonia and sent first to the City Infirmary at Washington, and from there to the General Hospital at Annapolis, Md. After regaining his health be joined his company, but was soon poisoned by eating cake bought of a female huckster, and only saved by the prompt and energetic efforts of the surgeon in charge. He was mustered out at Ft. Wayne, Detroit. Mich., August 7, 1861, but immediately returned to Niagara county and re-enlisted at Lockport in Co. B, 105th N. Y. Inf. At Front Royal, Va., he again suffered from typhoid pneumonia and was placed in the General Hospital at Alexandria, and as soon as able he reported to headquarters for duty. In the second battle of Bull Run, August 30, 1861, he was wounded by a ball in the ankle and was also injured at South Mountain and at Gettysburg; later he was again wounded in front of Petersburg, but in a few days joined his company and on the Weldoii Railroad was taken prisoner and sent to Danville, where he remained in captivity for six months, during that time being prostrated with rheumatism. He was appointed orderly sergeant of his company February 10, 1862, and commissioned second lieutenant September 30, following; he was promoted to be first lieutenant November 25, 1863, and received a captain's commission January 1, 1865; later was brevetted colonel by the governor of the State and mustered out at Albany, N. Y., July 28, 1865. When the war was over Captain Mesler returned to Gasport and engaged in the commission business for some years with his father; later he became a dealer in coal, lumber and phosphate at Gasport, which business lie has since conducted very successfully. In 1867 Captain Mesler married Hattie E., daughter of Caleb Drake of Gasport, and to them have been born three children: Frank M., May H. and Mattie D. In politics Captain Mesler is an ardent Republican, giving his party an active, energetic and influential support. In 1867 he was appointed postmaster of Gasport, which office he held for nineteen consecutive years; he is now, and has been for sixteen years, a notary public. He is a member of Cataract Lodge No. 94, Ancient Order of United Workmen, at Gasport, and has held all the offices in the lodge, and is a charter member of Lodge No. 787, F. & A. M., at Gasport. In April, 1864, in accordance with General Order No. 49, Adjutant-General's office, Captain Mesler, then lieutenant, was given a thirty-five days' furlough to enlist veterans for the war-a lucky prize granted to but few.

Contributed 2017 by Lisa Slaski from Landmarks of Niagara County, New York, by William Pool, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, NY, 1897

Design by Templates in Time