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Kingsley, Levi Gleason
Age: 30, credited to Rutland, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT INF, 12th VT INF
Service: comn 2LT, Co. K, 1st VT INF, 5/9/61 (5/9/61), m/o 8/15/61; comn MAJ, 12th VT INF, 9/26/62 (10/2/62), m/o 7/14/63 [College: NU 56]
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 05/26/1832, Shrewsbury, VT
Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Rutland, VT
Gravestone photographer: Jennifer Snoots
Findagrave Memorial #: 18987551
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 7/31/1902, VT
Portrait?: Gibson Collection, VHS Collections, History of Rutland County, off-site
College?: NU 56
Veterans Home?: VT
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
Remarks: See Benedict's Army Life in Virginia
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Evergreen Cemetery, Rutland, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.
Levi Gleason, son of Harvey and Elvira Gleason Kingsley, was born in Shrewsbury, May 21, 1832. His maternal grandfather, Stephen Gleason, was a prominent citizen of Shrewsbury, and with him Levi G. passed a portion of his youth, receiving the education of the com- mon schools of that day and afterward attending for two terms the Brandon Seminary ; in 1854 he was at Norwich University (a military school at Norwich, Vt.), which in 1882 very deservedly conferred upon him the honorary degree of Bachelor of Sciences. He has been a trustee of his alma mater for the past fifteen years and has done much to promote its interests. During the intervals of his periods of study he assisted his father in the woolen mill, into whose possession it had passed; in teaching school a short time, and for a time acting as station agent on the railroad at East Clarendon. From 1857 to 1859 he was employed at Rutland in the freight department of the Rutland and Burlington Railroad. In the latter year with Benjamin French, he purchased the hardware store of J. & A. Landon, where the wholesale grocery store of E. D. Keyes & Co. now is. The business was removed in 1863 to the present location and the partnership ceased with the death of Mr. French in 1865, since which Mr. Kingsley has conducted the business alone, and has added largely to it as the growth of the town demanded; it is now one of the most complete establishments in the State.
General Kingsley, having a natural taste in the direction of military science and having acquired a military education at Norwich University, became a member of the Rutland Light Guard, a popular company organized in 1858, then under command of General H. Henry Baxter, and afterward of General William Y. W. Ripley. He was elected lieutenant of the company November 10, 1859, and when that company patriotically responded to the call for troops in 1861, and unanimously joined the First Regiment of Vermont Volunteers, he (like hundreds of others) left his business and went to the front as second lieutenant of the company and served during the three months for which the company was mustered. On his return he again gave his attention to his business interests. On the organization of the nine months' men, a large part of his old company returned to the field and he was elected its captain, but before the regiment left the State he was promoted to major, a position he creditably filled until the end of the term of service. He was elected and commissioned captain of Company A, of the Ninth Regiment of the National Guard in December, 1864, and elected colonel January 17, 1865; he occupied that post until the regiment was mustered out in the fall of 1865. In October, 1874, he was elected by the Legislature quartermaster-general of the State, holding the office by four re-elections until 1882. He was untiring in his labors for the State in this department, thoroughly re-organizing many features of it and saving the State much expense by his economy and foresight. It was during his administration that the National Guard of Vermont was put upon a firm basis and fully equipped. He was elected brigade commander of the National Guard of Vermont in 1882, a position and rank he holds at the present time. In so large a measure have his military services been appreciated, and through his universal popularity, the present military company of Rutland, one of the foremost organizations in the State, bears the name of Kingsley Guard, in his honor. The military career of General Kingsley has been one of great usefulness, one of work and earnest effort. In 1S80 the Legislature made an appropriation to send two companies of the National Guard to the Yorktown, Va., centennial celebration. The whole arrangements were made by General Kingsley and accomplished with credit and at less cost than the amount appropriated by the State, A prominent gentleman and soldier of Vermont said of General Kingsley, in speaking of his military record, " He was a popular and efficient officer, esteemed by his fellow officers and men. He was always ready to do his duty, and was well informed in all that pertains to military life. As a State officer it may safely be said, Vermont never had a better or more efficient servant in the positions he has occupied."
General Kingsley is in the prime of life. The records of the high positions he has held, which have met the approval of his comrades and fellow citizens, for his efficient and honorable service, indicate the estimation in which he is held in the community and State. In private life his courteous and affable manner and his broad and liberal views have won him many friends in all circles.
In the town of his residence General Kingsley occupies a prominent place in its business and takes a leading position in public affairs and the promotion of its industries and prosperity. He has been from his first residence an active member of the fire department and is one whose labors did much to place it in its present efficient standing; he has been foreman of the Killington Steamer Company for seventeen years. He occupies a conspicuous position in the Grand Army of the Republic and is the present commander of Roberts Post, which is the largest in the State. He is also actively identified with the Masonic fraternity and has held many official relations with the institution in all its branches. He was grand captain general and grand generalissimo of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Vermont. General Kingsley has been twice married: First to Luceba J. Ross, in 1857; she died in March, 1862. On the 14th of June, 1865, he married Cornelia S. Roberts, a sister of Colonel George T. Roberts and of Mrs. H. Henry Baxter. Their children are Henry Baxter Kingsley, born November 21, 1867, and Harvey Roberts Kingsley, born January 8, 1871.
Source: History of Rutland County, off-site
Gen. Levi G. Kingsley, one of the most prominent citizens of Rutland, and of this part of Vermont, Civil war veteran, retired merchant and public servant, died at his home, No. 73 Pine street Saturday night at 9:30 o'clock after a long illness with a complication of diseases. Gen. Kingsley had been in failing health for the last year and a half, being critically ill for the last two weeks. He lost consciousness five days ago and since then has been apparently asleep, his pulse at times being barely perceptible.
Gen. Kingsley's regiment, the first Vermont volunteers, was rated among the finest contributions of Vermont to the Union forces during the war following secession and the general served with distinction on many battle fields. At the time of his sale of the hardware store on Merchants row to Parker & Ryan he was the oldest merchant in Rutland, having continued in one line of business longer than any other man within the confines of the city. He played an important part in the political history of the community, holding office in Rutland as a town, village and city, and being its second mayor.
Gen. Kingsley was particularly interested in all Grand Army work, and was a charter member of Roberts post of this city, and for two terms served as commander. He was the oldest member of the post and he was the oldest member of Center lodge of Masons.
At the time of his death Gen. Kingsley was a trustee of the Vermont State Soldiers' home in Bennington and he was also a member of the board of visitors to Norwich university, being appointed by Gov. J.A. Mead and reappointed by Gov. A.M. Fletcher.
The funeral will be held at Trinity church tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 o'clock and burial will be in Evergreen cemetery. The prayers at the house at 2 o'clock will be private.
Levi Gleason Kingsley was born in Shrewsbury, May 21, 1832, being the eldest son of Harvey and Elvira Gleason Kingsley. His direct ancestors came to America early in the 18th century, and settled near Hartford, Ct. His great-grandfather, Solomon Kingsley, came to Vermont from Wapping, Ct., after the close of the Revolution, locating in Ira. Gen. Kingsley was one of a family of three, consisting of himself, Nahum P. And Elizabeth. He was educated in the common schools, and spent two terms at Brandon seminary. In 1854 he spent one year at Norwich, which university in 1882 conferred upon him the honorary degree of Bachelor of Science. He was for many years a trustee of Norwich.
Gen. Kingsley was for a time station master on the Rutland and Burlington railroad, at East Clarendon, and from 1857 to 1859 a clerk in the company's freight office in this city.
In 1858, with Benjamin F. French, he purchased the hardware store of J. & A. Landon, which they removed in 1863 to its present location on Merchants row, where it is known as the Parker & Ryan store. In 1865 the Kingsley-French partnership was terminated by the death of Mr. French.
Gen. Kingsley, soon after coming to this city, became a member of the Rutland Light Guard, organized in 1858 under Gen. H. Henry Baxter, and later commanded by Gen. W.Y.W. Ripley. Mr. Kingsley was elected lieutenant of the company in 1859, and responded with the company in 1861 to the call for troops, joining the 1st regiment of Vermont volunteers. He went to the field as second lieutenant of company K of Rutland and served with credit at Fortress Monroe and Newport News, Va., during the regiment's three month's term. He re-enlisted with many members of the old company in 1862, being elected captain. On the organization of the 12th Vermont volunteers, he was promoted to the rank of major, which he held until the expiration of his term of service.
After leaving the field, company A, 9th regiment, Vermont National guard, elected him captain, and he became colonel of the regiment in 1865. In 1874 he was elected by the Legislature quartermaster general of Vermont, and held the office until 1882. During his administration the department was reorganized, and put on a firmer basis. He was elected brigadier general in 1882, and again in 1884, declining re-election in 1886. On his retirement from the National guard the governor of the state issued a general order, highly complimentary to the soldier.
After the war Gen. Kingsley became active in commercial and political affairs in this city. He was elected president of the village of Rutland in 1886, selectman of Rutland town for four years, and mayor of Rutland city in 1894, being the second mayor, preceded by the former governor of Vermont, John A. Mead. In 1890 he was made state senator from Rutland county. He was a member of the fire department for 20 years, and captain of Killington Steam Fire Engine company for 17 years.
Gen. Kingsley was a director in the Baxter National bank, and a trustee of the Marble Savings bank. He was an old member of Masonic bodies, and had been grand captain-general and grand generalissimo of the grand commandery of Knights Templar of Vermont. He was also a member of the Loyal Legion and a vestryman of Trinity church.
In November, 1857, Gen. Kingsley married Miss Luceba J., daughter of Walter and Eliza Ross of Clarendon, who died in 1862. In June, 1865, he married Miss Cornelia Sophia, daughter of Benjamin and Sophia Roberts of Manchester. Mrs. Kingsley, who died Oct. 1, 1902, was a sister of Mrs. H. Henry Baxter. Of this union two sons were born, Henry Baxter, who died November 14, 1903, and Harvey Roberts of this city, who survives him.
Gen. Kingsley retired from active business August 31, 1905, when he sold his hardware and furniture business to Richard A. Ryan and Henry S. Parker. He was at that time the oldest merchant in the city, having conducted the business for 46 years.
Source: Rutland Daily Herald, June 28, 1915
Contributed by Jennifer Snoots.