The Blakeman Family
Capt. Curtis Blakemann II
Curtis Blakemann II was born on Dec. 20, 1807 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was mustered-in as 1st Lt. of Company G in the 117th Illinois Regiment and was quickly promoted to Captain of the Company. He served along side three of his sons, James, Curtis III and William, and his son-in-law, Alexander Gregg. Following the Civil War, he was one of the builders of the Cable Flour Mill in Marine, Illinois.
His father, a former sea-captain, was Captain Curtiss Blakeman of Stratford, Connecticut. He arrived in the Ferguson Settlement on Point Prairie in Marine Township when he was just a little over 40 years old in the year 1819. He was a well-traveled sailor, reaching as far away as China on his cargo ship “Trident.” The elder Blakeman purchased 160 acres of land at $1.25 an acre which would later become Marine Township. He was later elected to the 3rd General Assembly of Illinois which convened at Vandalia on Dec. 2, 1822, with only 40 members. In 1823, he erected the first treat mill in Marine Settlement. In 1824, Blakeman was re-elected to the Illinois General Assembly and married Eliza Mead Blakeman, the younger sister of his first wife, Levina. He and Eliza had three children but in 1833, Captain Curtis Blakeman, Eliza, and their daughter, Bythenia, all died from the Cholera epidemic. He had eleven children total, including Curtis Blakeman II, Elizabeth, Caroline, Lavina, Bythenia, Priscilla, George Wolcott, Maria, Munson Hinman, and William Henry.
Curtis Blakemann II (as he signed his name with two “N”’s and with a single “s” at the end of Curtis) was the fourth born of Captain Curtis Blakeman. He married Sarah “Sally” Webster Reynolds in 1830 and had three sons and four daughters. He remarried Mary Suppiger in 1864. Blakemann, like his father, was a representative in the Illinois Legislature in 1842, 1846, and 1848. In September of 1867, he was a charter member of the Highland, Illinois Masonic Lodge. He died on April 26, 1875 in Marine, Illinois.
Sgt. William Thomas Blakeman
Sgt. William T. Blakeman, son of Curtis Blakemann II, was discharged from service in 1863 on disability. He served with his father and brothers in Company G of the 117th Illinois Regiment. There has been documentation and stories that show he enjoyed cooking and prepared meals for fellow soldiers during the war. Following his service, he lived in Alhambra, Illinois. He died on Feb. 9, 1927 in Edwardsville, Illinois and is buried in the same plot as his father in Marine City Cemetery.
Pvt. James Blakeman
Pvt. James Blakeman, son of Curtis Blakemann II, was born in 1831. He served with his father and brothers in Company G of the 117th Illinois Regiment. He attended McKendree College in 1860 and was a member of the Platonian Literary Society. He died in 1910.
Pvt. Curtis Blakeman III
Pvt. Curtis Blakeman III, son of Curtis Blakemann II, was born in 1835. He served with his father and brothers in Company G of the 117th Illinois Regiment.
First Lt. Alexander Gregg
Alexander J. Gregg was born on March 1, 1835. He served as 1st Lt. in Company G of the 117th Illinois Regiment. In 1862, he married Mary Blakeman, daughter of Curtis Blakeman II. He died on March 2, 1908 and is buried in Harris Cemetery in Alhambra, Illinois.