Alonzo J Batchelder

Alonzo J Batchelder

Death 1925 (aged 80–81)
Barnes County, North Dakota, USA
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Valley City, Barnes County, North Dakota, USA
Memorial ID 74160567 · View Source
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Two young easterners, whose paths were to be interwoven for many years, answered - as strangers - Abe Lincoln's call for volunteers. Alonzo J. Batchelder enlisted. from Vermont, and Michael Tracy enlisted from Connecticut. Entering the service before either one was of age, they both served through the entire war years. Batchelder was returned to his Vermont home in 1865, and Tracy was released from Andersonville Prison at the same time.

Each married and started a family before the strong call of free lands in Dakota cut their Eastern ties and brought them to the far West. Michael Tracy, his wife, Mary, a step-son, and three children arrived in Valley City in 1880. He took up land in the valley adjacent to the small town that was building up here. His land's western border was the present 4th Street S.W.; its eastern boundary was the present 5th Avenue S.W., running west and south to encompass 160 acres of fertile valley soil. He farmed his small acreage, for much of it was wooded or river bottom land; and between farming seasons, he was a carpenter and part-time cook. Never in robust health because of his dreadful prison treatment, he died at age 59 in 1903. He left at his death his three children - all grown -John in the banking business, Mayme a stenographer, and Agnes, newly married to Walter McDonnell.

Alonzo Batchelder brought his family west in 1881 , having stopped off one year in Evanston, Illinois, and another in Hutchinson, Minnesota to recoup his finances sufficiently to make the entire journey. He had married Frances Stevenson in his home town and she, with their two children; Jessie, aged 12, and Robert, a baby, were his family. They settled in a tiny house in the south end of town. Alonzo took land in the Dazey area, but he later traded this piece for another in the Cuba area. He was never more than a part-time farmer. Most of his working years were spent carpentering or in janitorial and gardening work. His wife died in 1924, and he followed her in death one year later.

These two easterners - bound together by ties to their homeland and the Civil War - became fast friends in Valley City. But it was the children of these two, who had no longings for the East, who left the deepest imprint on their City. John Tracy and Jessie Batchelder were married in Valley City in 1892, settled on a small plot of the Tracy land, raised their family and gave a lifetime of service for the growth and betterment of their home town.

John Tracy went to work at the First National Bank (the only one then) in 1889, spent all his working years there while advancing from minor clerk to president. For forty years, he had a financial finger in almost every business, home, or farm that was established in Barnes County. He prospered as the community prospered, and went down to financial ruin when lands, crops, and businesses failed during the late 1920's. He died in the middle of the cruel drought of 1936, so he did not live to witness North Dakota's amazing comeback, although he believed it was certain to come.

Jessie Batchelder Tracy was the first school-trained typist in Barnes County, having saved her school-teaching money for two years for the purpose of attending a Business College in Minneapolis for a few months. Upon the completion of the course, she took a job in Valley City with the D. W. Clark Insurance Agency, at which place she worked until her marriage. Later years, she worked at the Bank during vacations and at seventy, she was her husband's secretary. The Tracys were married for 44 years and she survived her husband by 8 years, dying in 1944.

Three children were born to this marriage: Leila (Mrs. Almer Tracy Skretting) of Milwaukee, deceased in 1972; and J. Frank, who died in 1971.

Source: Barnes County History 1976 Page 251

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  • Created by: StacieND
  • Added: 29 Jul 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74160567
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Alonzo J Batchelder (1844–1925), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74160567, citing Woodbine Cemetery, Valley City, Barnes County, North Dakota, USA ; Maintained by StacieND (contributor 47352985) .