|Cassius M. Palmer, dealer in real estate, who makes his home at 1809 Jefferson Street, Madison, was born in Erie county, Pa., September 19, 1844. His parents were O. M. and Huldah Palmer, natives of Pennsylvania, where the father was a farmer.In 1853 O. M. Palmer brought his family to Wisconsin, settling on a farm in the town of Oregon, Dane county. His parents, Daniel and Beulah (Warner) Palmer, had preceded him to this county, and in 1853 Cassius and his grandfather celebrated their joint birthday by a visit to Madison, the first opportunity either of them had to seeing the capital city of the state.
O. M. Palmer was a prominent figure in the early history of the Methodist Episcopal church of Oregon. He cut and hauled the logs to mill for the lumber used in the construction of the first Methodist church and parsonage. He took no active part in politics until the breaking out of the Civil War, when he became exceedingly influential in the matter of raising troops. He died March 22, 1898, at the age of seventy-six years, after having disposed of his farm. His wife died June 17, 1897, at the age of seventy-five.
Their three children are still living–Mary, widow of Cole Kierstead, lives in Oregon; Cassius M., the subject of this sketch; and John, contractor and builder, living at Portland.
Cassius M. Palmer received his education in the district schools of the town of Oregon. His first labor was on a farm, and he continued at it until his enlistment in September, 1864, in Company E, Thirtieth Wisconsin Infantry, serving in Sherman’s army on garrison duty until the close of the war. On July 2, 1865, he received an honorable discharge and returned to Oregon.
On November 1, 1866 he married Esther Annette, daughter of Marvin P. and Emma A. (Rogers) Colby, the former a native of Erie county, N.Y. and the latter of England. Mr. Colby was a shoemaker of Oregon village, who died in March 1869. He had served in Company B, Eleventh Wisconsin Infantry, and risen to the rank of lieutenant. His death was due to the exposure and hardships of army life.
His widow is still living in Oregon at the age of eighty-three. Mrs. Palmer was the eldest of four children. The others are Elizabeth, Mrs. Samuel W. Howe, of Florence Kas., Charles, died in 1865, at the age of fourteen; and Mortimer T., a traveling salesman, who makes Oregon his home.
To Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have been born three children: Arlie, the oldest, is Mrs. W. T. Longham, of Belleville, Canada; Merle C. is principal of the high school at Boscobel, Wis.; he married Nina Phalen, and has one child, Genevieve; he is a graduate of Whitewater normal school, and has taught at Lake Mills, Rochester and Sheboygan. The youngest child is Mabel, the successful teacher of music in the Richland Center schools.
Mr. and Mrs. Palmer are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Palmer is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, serving three years as commander of the O. E. Rice post of Oregon. He is little interested in politics and is not affiliated with any party. He exercises his right of franchise as his judgment dictates.
1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 686-687.