An Old Settler Departs

Amanuensis Monday
Darling Line
By Don Taylor

I’ve been researching the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling and had three left to research. Sally Ann Darling, Hannah Darling, and Franklin C. Darling. I haven’t been finding much on any of them. I suspected that a Franklin Darling in Minnesota might be Franklin, the brother of Rufus Holton Darling, but hadn’t found any definitive evidence that they were the same person. In searching for Franklin on Newspapers.Com, I encountered an amazing article about the death of Franklin and Rufus’ brother, Abner C. Darling.

Document Image & Transcription


Death of Abner C. Darling.

Obituary: Abner C. Darling (1812-1880)
Obituary: Abner C. Darling (1812-1880)

On Monday, Sept. 20, 1880, at his residence, in the town of Grand Chute, near this city, Abner C. Darling, for more than 40 years a resident of Wisconsin, over 30 of which were spent in this city, departed this life at the age of nearly 68 years.

This death created a profound sensation among the old settlers, all of whom were personally acquainted with the deceased.

Mr. Darling was born near Rome, N.Y., October 29, 1912, went with his father’s family, a very large one, to Michigan, when he was a boy. in 1825 was married in Western New York to Miss Nancy A. Green, at the residence of her uncle, Robert Green, who has resided with Mr. Darling for many years, and still survives him at an advanced age; emigrated in 1840 with his wife and their only daughter, now Mrs. L. S. Colman, of Milwaukee, to the very new village of Racine; removed in 1850 to Appleton, then almost a dense forest, and speedily erected a store on College Avenue, which still stands with its red front as one of the few land marks left of Appleton’s early days, and embarked in business. His wife, a most estimable lady, died in the spring of 1867, and some years subsequently he married Miss Sarah Green, daughter of Robert Green, who with three children survives him. Only two of his brothers are living, Henry Darling of Fox Lake, Wisconsin, and Franklin Darling, of Minnesota.

The great fire of 1873, which swept the old Crescent Hotel and many other business buildings, originated in the building he then occupied, about where Schroeder’s furniture now stands and destroyed $4,000 worth of uninsured goods. This loss, with the subsequent depreciation of real estate that followed the Great Panic of 1873, left him nearly penniless, and from that time to his death, it has been a constant struggle with financial disappointment and disaster until the strongman succumbed. Always active ever seeking to rise above the pressure of events, he has commanded sympathy and respect, and this announcement’ of his demise elicited on every hand the most earnest regrets.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at
Mr. Darling, during nearly all the years of his manhood, was an active yet unobtrusive communicant of the Methodist Episcopal church, and all who know him intimately will bear testimony that he was sincere and sought to do right. On Wednesday, a large number of citizens and friends, including most of his old neighbors, gathered at his dwelling to pay their last tribute of respect to his genuine worth, and on that beautiful autumnal day, they placed his remains in their resting place, Riverside cemetery, his life work all done, his eternity begun.


New Facts

This article suggests many new facts. Facts new to me are identified as bold. Questionable facts are identified as red and in italics.

1812 – Abner C. Darling was born near Rome, NY 29 Oct 1812.

1825 – Married Nancy A. Green in 1825 in Western New York. – Question fact.  Abner would have been 13 years old in 1825 and Nancy 9 years old.

1840 – Moved to Wisconsin c. 1840 with wife and only daughter. Although not false, the fact appears to be incomplete. Abner and Nancy’s son, Ned, was born before 1840 in New York and died about 1840 in Racine Wisconsin, so it appears that Abner moved to Wisconsin c. 1840 with his wife and two children.

1850 – Moved to Grand Chute c. 1850 and built a store on College Ave.

1873 – Fire destroyed his stock and the Great Panic of 1873 left him penniless.

1880 – Abner C. Darling died 20 Sep 1880 in Grand Chute, Mich.

1880 – Buried Riverside Cemetery.

Religion: Methodist Episcopal

First Wife:  Nancy Green (niece of Robert Green)

1867 – Nancy Died

Daughter is Mrs. L. S. Colman lives in Milwaukee in 1880.

Uncle Robert Green lived with the family for “Many years” prior to 1880.

Abner married Miss Sarah Green (Daughter of Robert Green) some years after 1867. Sarah and her father Robert are living in 1880

Brother Henry Darling of Fox Lake, Wisconsin is living in 1880

Brother Franklin Darling of Minnesota is living in 1880.

Because Abner’s sisters are not mentioned at all, It appears that they probably had passed before September 1880. Abner’s sisters were Deidamia [Limbacker], Sally Ann, and Hannah.


This obituary provided eight new facts including proof that Franklin located to Minnesota.


[i] The Appleton Crescent (Appleton, Wis.) · 25 Sep 1880, Page 3; via Newspapers.Com.

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