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David C. Fulton (1838-1899)

David Clements Fulton was born in New York in 1838 and died in Chicago in 1899.  He lived in Hudson, Wisconsin, from 1854 until his death.  Fulton was the captain of Company D, 30th Wisconsin Infantry, 1862-1864, and was promoted to major of the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, 1864-1865.

From Fifty Years in the Northwest, by W. H. C. Folsom (1888):

DAVID C. FULTON, second son of James M. Fulton, was born in New York, February, 1838.  He came to Hudson with his parents, and, after completing a common school and academic education, engaged in mercantile and real estate business.  Mr. Fulton has been elected to various important positions.  He was mayor of Hudson one term, supervisor of St. Croix county three years, member of the board of education, alderman, and member of the state assembly (1872).  He served three years during the Civil War as captain in the Thirtieth Wisconsin Infantry, and was promoted to position of major.  Since the war, he served six years as one of the board of managers of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers, and is now serving, by appointment of President Cleveland, as United States marshal for Western Wisconsin.  Mr. Fulton was married in 1866 to Minnie Champlin.


Hudson Star-Times, April 7, 1899:

Major David Clements Fulton Mustered Out.

A Brave Soldier and a Valuable Citizen Passed Away.

Biographical Sketch of His Public and Private Life.

The community was intensely shocked and deeply saddened, last Friday morning, by intelligence from Chicago announcing the sudden death, through heart failure, of Maj. D. C. Fulton.  He was one of our earliest pioneers, and ranked among the most influential, kindly-spirited, helpful and generally useful citizens in St. Croix county, so the bereavement came to this entire people in the nature of a personal, as well as a public loss.

The Major had been ailing all winter, his breathing was difficult and the rigor of the winter affected him keenly.  Yet very few, aside from his family physician realized that his condition was critical.  Though in much distress for many weeks, he ever complained, and everywhere, maintained that genial, happy, social exterior which had ever been a characteristic of his life.  To the general run of his associates and neighbors, therefore, his physical condition was not thought to be in any way serious.

On the 21st of March, he left his desk in the first National Bank for a short rest, and recreation, expecting to be gone about ten days.  He stopped at Madison to see a few friends and transact a little business.  While there he had a bad spell but rallied sufficiently to resume his journey to Chicago a day or two later.  It was his purpose to go to Highland Park, Friday, March 24, where his only son, Marcus, was on that day to end his winter term of school.  He was too feeble to do so, however, and instead sent for Marcus to join him at the Clifton House in Chicago.  It soon became apparent that the Major was a very sick man, and the best medical skill was summoned.  On the physician’s advice he was removed to Polyclinic hospital, where the very best of care could be insure.  The patient’s wife and daughters were summoned from New Orleans, and the friends in Hudson were notified.  Dr. Johnson, who had closely diagnosed the Major’s case many months ago and many times since, was apprehensive of the gravest consequences, and from the start gave the Hudson people practically no encouragement.  A close vigil was kept from the hour of the first news of Mr. Fulton’s sickness until the shocking tidings of his death came by wire, Friday morning.  The telegram stated that he had experienced a severed relapse, Thursday afternoon, and expired at about nine o’clock the same evening.  Mayor Bashford at once ordered the flag to be unfurled at half mast upon the city hall; and there was universal grief manifest on every hand as the news spread throughout Hudson and to the whole surrounding country.  In Major Fulton’s death hundreds of people realized that they had lost a genuine friend, a wise adviser, and a generous financial helper.

Mrs. F. J. Burhyte and Judge John D. Goss started for Chicago, Thursday evening, but only reached there in time to aid the bereaved family in getting the body of the loved one returned to the old home.  They reached Hudson Friday night, where an escort of public officials, masons, old soldiers and friends were at the depot in waiting.  No end of sympathetic citizens were on hand to lend their services for the funeral pageant which was to be held from the family residence at 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

At the hour appointed an unprecedented number of people from every part of the country assembled to pay their last sad rites to this distinguished citizen, soldier and friend of the masses—Major D. C. Fulton.  Rev. Wellington McVettie of the Episcopal church was the officiating clergyman, and the Sir Knights had charge of the burial services.  Masons and grand army men were present in a body from all the surrounding towns.  The pall bearers were selected from among the Major’s old company, from the masonic fraternity and from the bank employes.  They were: L. G. Greene, James Johnston, Peter Kircher, Frank D. Harding, Joseph Yoerg and Charles D. Parker. Music was furnished by a male quartette—Messrs. Bohrer, Warner, Arnquist and Frear.  The selections were: “Nearer My God to Thee,” “Book of Agew,” “There’ll Be No More Sorrow There.”

The remains were deposited in old Willow River Cemetery beside those of the father, mother, and other members of Mr. Fulton’s own family who had passed on before.   A noteworthy incident in this connection was the fact that it was just 41 years to a day from the time the father died to when the son David C. passed away.  The father died March 30, 1858; the son March 30, 1899.

The deep hold which Major Fulton had left upon the people of this country is well illustrated in a little incident which was told to the writer by a prominent Catholic Irish farmer of the county: “I cannot begin to tell you,” he said, “the sad feeling which came over me when I heard of the death of Major Fulton.  Nothing short of  taking away a member of my own home could have affected me so keenly.  My wife, at our house, was arranging for the closing experiences of Lent and for the service of Easter, when I told her the sad news.  That night, Friday, and the next night, my wife, without asking me anything about it or considering whether it would be in accordance with the rules of our church said to me, Pat, I am going to say the rosary tonight and tomorrow night, and also a prayer for the repose of the soul of Major Fulton; he has always been so kind and good to us.  We all joined with her in the prayers, and I don’t think our church will think a bit the less of us for it, do you?  I tell you, Mr. Editor, I believe there are a good many Catholic friends in this city and county who said the very same prayer in their homes for Major Fulton.  He was a good friend to a good many of us.  We have all met with a very great loss.


Major David Clements Fulton was born at Bethel, Sullivan county, New York, February 1, 1838; second son of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Fulton.  The ancestors of Mr. Fulton came from Scotland about 1770, and those mother from the north of Ireland in an early day.  This sturdy stock did much toward developing the industrial growth of the Empire state, Mr. and Mrs. James Fulton being excellent representatives of the sterling races from which they sprang.  The grandfather was a veteran in the war of 1812.  In 1854 Mr. Fulton and his family moved to Hudson and engaged in the mercantile business upon an extensive scale.  His family numbered three children—Marcus A., David C, and Anna Fulton, now Mrs. F. J. Burhyte.  The father died March 30, 1858, leaving his large affairs to Marcus and David, who was then just 20 years of age.  The affairs of the family were conducted uniterruptedly until the death of Marcus Fulton, August 4, 1892, when a division was made in a most amicable manner, after which the Major devoted his time to his varied personal interests.  The mother died January 10, 1897, at the advanced age of 81 years.  This now leaves Mrs. Burhyte the only survivor of the original family, which has done so much to shape the affairs of Hudson and St. Croix county.

During the progress of the civil war David Fulton, through Governor Edward Salomon, received a captain’s commission, and, at the head of Company D, Thirtieth Wisconsin volunteers, he did valiant service for his country.

He enlisted August 14, 1862; was promoted to Major of Wisconsin heavy artillery September 9, 1864, and mustered out June 26, 1865

Mr. Fulton was always popular before the people, having been elected to the positions of Mayor, Alderman, Supervisor, School Commissioner and member of Assembly, to some of the positions repeatedly.  He served six years as a manager of the National Homes for Disabled Soldiers, and was United States Marshal during the first Cleveland administration.  Since then he has been Cashier and President of the First National Bank, and President of the Board of Trustees of the St. Croix County Asylum—being incumbent of the last two named places at the time of his death.  He was also a prominent mason and grand army man.  Whatever place he occupied whether public or otherwise, he filled it with marked ability, individuality and popularity.  As a man of affairs he was thoroughly honest in his deal; cautious, conservative, prudent and instinctively imbued with the principle of live and let live.  As a political adviser he was sagacious and ever watchful for the interests of the common people as he viewed them.  He was very slow for innovations of any kind and often opposed to public improvements.  This was for the reason that while he might admit they were wholesome and desirable, he yet thought the cost too great for the common laboring people.  He preferred to deprive himself of luxuries if he thought the getting of them would prove burdensome to the poor who were struggling along upon small incomes.  He was always a wise modulating force in the business and public affairs of our people, a safe adviser and a substantial friend in time of trouble. He filled a unique place in the affections of this community which can never be filled.

In 1868, Mr. Fulton and Miss Minnie Champlin were married. Mrs. Fulton, two daughters, Miss Mildred and Miss Jane and one son, Marcus, survive.


Hon. James Johnston’s Sketch of Major Fulton as a Soldier.

In laying away our friend, our comrade, our captain, we of his old company D. 30th Wisconsin Infantry, have suffered a great personal loss. I knew very little about Major Fulton until he joined us at Camp Randall as captain, in October 1862. In the absence of a more extended notice, I only wish to refer to a few of his many qualities for which we all admired and loved him.

First, there was his love of order. A body of American volunteers are, until they learn the necessity of discipline, a rathre difficult thing to manage. And it does no injustice to the captains of the other companies of the 30th regiment to say, that in enforcing the rules essential to make us effective soldiers he had no equal in thought, nor anywhere else, so far aspersonal knowledge goes. In another respect, others may have equalled him, but no one surpassed him in the matter of courage, and it was a common remark among the booys of his company, that  Capt. Fulton feared nothing under the sun. I well remember one dark night, ordering out a file of four soldiers, and going some half mile from his tent and into the tepee of drunken Sioux and arresting one of the most boisterous, paying no attention to the scowls and threats of indignant savages. Another thing was his intense pride in his men. Sometimes we thought he was a little harsh, but I know now that it was only his pride in us and his love for us that occasioned his stearnness. He could not bear to ever think that any other company could appear better, have their equipments in better order or march more evenly in the ranks than his own boys. And then what pains he took to secure our welfare. If any honor was to be gained we all rested in the certainty that no one would or could get ahead of Company D. At our reunino in the city, he had taken special pains to get as many of his old company as possible together. Everyone of his old comrades whose address he could learn received from his old captain a personal letter; and by this means 23 or 24 of Company D sat down together to dinner at our captian’s own home. When dinner was over he made us a short address, and in tones of deep feeling called us once more his dear boys, and expressed the pleasure that this reunion gave him. My eyes grow moist when I think of that reunion, and that parting, and as I saw him lying so peacefully Sunday Morning, in his coffin, I remembered more keenly than ever before, the loss that his city, his county, his state has sustained in the death of this great and good man.  Those of his old company can never forget him, but think of many to whom he was a father; the loss to those to whom he gave counsel, and the weak to whom he gave strength. Captain, counsellor, friend, patriot: Hail and farewell.


Pierce County Herald, April 6, 1899:

Polk County Press, April 8, 1899:

River Falls Journal, April 6, 1899:

St. Croix Republican, April 6, 1899:

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