Henry J. Aten
Biography


Henry wrote this about him in his book "History of the Eighty-Fifth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry; Compiled and Published under the Auspices of the Regimental Association by Henry J. Aten, Hiawatwa, Kansas; 1901:
  He was born Oct 12, 1841 on a farm near Astoria, Fulton County, Illinois, on which his parents, Richard Aten and Ann Peterson, of Brook County, Virginia, had settled in the spring of 1840. His paternal and maternal ancestors were from Holland; both his great grandfathers served the colonies in the War of the Revolution, and his maternal grandfather was a soldier in the war of 1812. He first enlisted August 8, 1861, in Company H, Twenty-eight Illionis Infantry, and served until discharged at Grand Jaunction, Miss., June 19, 1862, for disability resulting from an attack of typhoid pneumonia. He again enlisted August 12, 1862, and was chosen corporal at the organiztion of Company G, was promoted sergeant at Bowling Green, Ky., Dec 12, 1862, and first sergeant Feb 17, 1863, at Nashville, Tenn. He participated in all the battles and campains in which the command was engaged; commanded the company from Atlanta to the sea, and was mustered out with the regiment. Returning to Illinois at the end of his service, he worked on the old homestead until the autumn of 1866, attended business college at Chicago, and began teaching bookkeeeping in the business college at Quincy, Ill., the following spring. He taught and kept books until the spring of 1870, when he went to Kansas, and engaged in the real estate and loan business at Hiawatha, in Brown County. He married Miss Marla L. Burbige (Burbidge, Burbridge), of Quincy, Il., Sept 15, 1870, and has two daughters the issue of this marrigae. Has served as clerk of the district court, mayor of Hiawatha, and was appointed by President Harrison to negotiate with the  Pottawatomie and Kickapoo Indians for the allotments of their lands in severalty. Later he was appointed special agent and allotted lands to the members of both tribes. For ten years past he has been vice-president of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland for Kansas. Is the writer of the history in which this sketch appears, and resides at Hiawatha, Kansas."
  Note: ( ) are corrections added by Sara Hemp




Left picture: Group of Company G,  
85th Illinois Volunteer Infantry:
left to right:  Sergt. W. Irving Shannon; Lieut. John M. Robertson; 1st Sergt. Henry J. Aten

Note: from Mamie McKinney: Henry J Aten was at the second annual reunion of the Aten and Albertson families, held at Delaware, New Jersey, August 27th, 1898. He recorded much family history at that time. He must have traveled from Hiawatha, Kansas to the Delaware water Gap for this wonderful reunion.  About 300 people were in attendance. The reunion was held on the old homestead of Nicholas and Japie Aten Albertson, where they lived and died.  The house they lived in stood near the top of the mountain, and was still lived in by two Miss Albertson's. In back of the house and orchard, a great view could be had of the great mountain, "the Delaware Water Gap", and the farm on which Japie Aten grew up.  "Her father Dirck's farm".  Her father established the Aten Ferry, that was known as such for 120 years.  The Aten Cemetery was also made by him and was visited at length by Henry J Aten while on this trip. The farm of Derick was situated on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River, it extended west to the hill tops, embracing a wide stretch of fertile valley, and had an extended water front, where he established the Aten Ferry in 1760.
  One of Henry J. Aten's daughters "Stella Walcott Aten" donated all his writtings and genealogy research to the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois.  "Research of the Aten family". (The only problem was that Henry J's wife had hired a man to come in her home and complete Henry J's work after Henry J died).  The man was no doubt a con man, as he did not use the corrected data that Henry J had, but instead used the old data, and added his own comments to make it more believable. Nonetheless, a book was never published, all the information went to the Newberry Library, and much confusion on who the father of Adrian who married Jacobje Middagh has come from this. (note: Letters from Henry J to the Aten's here in Western PA have disputed what some of these records say. (we believe we have proof that Hendrick was NOT the father of Adrian. "Thomas was".)
  Henry J's other works were on the Civil War's 85th Illinois Regt.  His brother "John" served in the 85th Illinois Regt. with Henry J. "note" letter from John to President Lincoln. Note: Henry J Aten's rank was Colonel {incorrect: Henry's highest rate in the war was 1st Sergeant. Sara Hemp}.
  Henry J Aten wrote the Allottees roll of the Pottawatomie/Prairie Band Tribe/Indians, of the Hiawatha, Kansas area. 1891-1897. This was the list of Indians allotted land under the Dawes Act. Henry J Aten was appointed this job by President Lincoln. Henry J was also mayor of Hiawatha, Kansas, and in the real estate business there.  He had been in the newspaper business in IL as a younger man. We visited Henry J's grave and his home in 1998.

More on Henry J. Aten:

On Genealogy Trails Brown County, Kansas
  Bio
  Henry J. Aten's and his widow's, Civil War Pension paper

On Genealogy Trails Schuyler County, Illinois
  Pictures

On Genealogy Trails Fulton County, Illinois
  History of the 85th Illinois Volunteers Illinois Volunteer Infantry by Henry J. Aten
  Letter To Lincoln from John Aten, Company G, 85th IL Regiment, during the Civil War

Note: You'll find many other Aten in these Counties which are related to Henry J. Aten.  For more info on Henry J. and other Aten Ancestery, contact Sara Hemp <cryssara@merr.com>


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