Friday, March 30, 2012


COL. PERCY DANIELS, P. O. Girard, owner of the "Narragansett Farm," son of the Hon. David Daniels, of the Rhode Island bench, and grandson of Dexter Ballon, one of the pioneers of the woolen manufacturing industries of the New England States. He was born in Woonsocket, Providence Co., R. I., in 1840. He received his rudimentary education in the public schools of Woonsocket, and his literary education at the Westminster Seminary, Vermont, and the University Grammar School of Providence, R. I. At eighteen, he commenced the study of civil engineering, under the preceptorship of S. B. Cushing, Sr. In poor health at the breaking out of the war, and anxious to go, he "roughed it" in the Michigan pineries during the winter of 1861-62, and then returning to Woonsocket raised Company E, of the Seventh Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant July, 1862, First Lieutenant when the regiment left the State, September, 1862, promoted to Captain after the battle of Fredericksburg, to Lieutenant-Colonel on the opening of the siege of Petersburg, was brevetted Colonel for gallant service at the "Mine fight," when inviting the men of a strange brigade to follow him; a line of works were carried from which they had before been repulsed; and assigned to duty on his brevet commission for meritorious conduct at the battle of Pegram farm (September 30, 1864).

During the latter months of the siege his regiment formed part of the garrison of the famous Fort Sedgwick (or Hell, as commonly called), and apart of this time he was in command of the fort, and in the fall of Richmond and Petersburg took part with the Ninth Corps in the pursuit and capture of Lee's army. He returned to Providence in June, 1865, with the 350 men that remained of the original 1,000. After the war, intending to locate in the South, he accepted a position in the Engineer Corps of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, but after two winters in Tennessee came West, traveled through Eastern Nebraska and Kansas, and concluding to locate here, went East and married Miss Eliza A. Eddy, of Leicester, Mass., a graduate of the Westfield State Normal School, and teacher in the Worcester schools. Returning at once, he engaged in merchandising at Crawfordsville, the then county seat, till 1869.

In 1868, he bought the present farm sited and was engaged in its improvements and cultivation till 1873, when he rented the farm, went back East and accepted a position in the City Corps of Engineers of Worcester, Mass., and subsequently became Chief, staying till 1878. From there he went to Providence, R. I., and was interested in professional duties and the settlement of the estate of a brother, Judge Francis A. Daniels, till 1881, when he returned to his farm, where he has been actively at work since. He has been connected with the Masonic Order since 1865, and he and his wife are active members of the Presbyterian Church. "Narragansett Farm" contains 380 acres and is beautifully located on Section 10, Crawford Township, three and a half miles northwest of Girard, the county seat; 125 acres of it is used for grain tillage, 160 acres devoted to pasture, and the balance is wild grass, which yields an abundance of hay. The land is first quality; handsome dwelling and substantial barn and stables; an orchard of eight acres, a small grove of chestnuts, several groves of other forest trees, and a large fish pond, are located on the farm. Col. Daniels pays considerable attention to the breeding of good cattle and hogs.

1 comment:

Brian Youmans said...

I believe his grandfather's last name was "Ballou", not "Ballon". Typo, I expect. I just wrote a Wikipedia article on Daniels.
Brian Youmans, Arlington, MA