JAMES BARTLESON, farmer, P. O. New Grand Chain, was born February 2, 1834, in Morgan County, Ohio. He received a little schooling in that county, and coming with his parents to what is now Pulaski County, in 1843, he attended the schools here and also two winter terms in Vienna, Johnson Co., Ill. In the spring of 1857, he went to Perry County, Ill., and was engaged as a teacher in the schools of that county, and here he was married October 1, of the same year, to Sarah Steers, a daughter of John and Sally (Tharp) Steers. After his marriage, he taught two winter terms east of Duquoin, and then in the fall of 1859 removed to Blairsville, Williamson Co., Ill., where he taught a seven months' term. During the following summer he was engaged in brick-making, and had engaged a school for the next winter, but the civil war was then brewing, and the Republicans and Democrats were becoming somewhat hostile toward each other. The affairs of the Board of School Directors were manipulated Democratically, so to speak, and it was soon discovered that there was no need for any Republican teachers whatever. Mr. Bartleson moved back to Pulaski County, where his services were desired, and he taught for two winter terms. He enlisted in August, 1862, as First Lieutenant in Company I, Eighty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Col. Dolling. They did valuable service throughout the Mississippi campaign, and were mustered out August, 1865. At Vicksburg, he was promoted to the Captaincy of his company, and served two years as such. During the war, he had traded his farm in this county for seventy acres of his present place, which now consists of 190 acres, which are given to general farming. He taught school several terms after his return from the service, and who also in partnership with W. I. Steers, engaged in the mercantile business for a short period in Old Grand Chain. Mr. and Mrs. Bartleson are the parents of nine children, seven of whom are living — John W. and Zylpha, the two oldest, are both deceased, James W., Luella M., Ida E., George G., Sally M., Frederick A. and Elsie G. Mr. Bartleson is a member of the A., F. & A. M.; K. of H., K. & L. of H., G. T. and G. A. R., and with his wife and daughters members of Christian Church. In politics, he is a Republican, and also gives his support to the temperance cause. During the winters of 1855-56 and 1856-57, he was engaged in trade, boating on the Mississippi. In the summer of 1853, his brother, A. C,. who was with him in New Orleans, took the yellow fever and had nearly succumbed to the disease when they had reached Caledonia, upon their return.
Extracted 02 Nov 2014 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V - Biographical Sketches, pages 300-301.