Biography of Frederick J. Haller
Adams County, NE Biographies

During the later years of his life Frederick J. Haller was a resident of Kenesaw and enjoyed the respect, confidence and goodwill of all who knew him there, as he had in various other localities in which he had made his home. He was of foreign birth but America had no more loyal nor devoted citizen among her native sons. It sometimes seems that men born under monarchial rule have an even higher appreciation of the opportunities and privileges afforded under a republican form of government than those who have always enjoyed them, as they judge their condition in contrast to what they have formerly known, and Mr. Haller was among those who proved his patriotic devotion to America by valiant service in the Civil war.

He was born in Bavaria, Germany, December 11, 1832, a son of John and Eva Catherine (Frone) Haller. The father, a man of great intelligence, devoted his life to the profession of teaching, Frederick J. Haller was reared in his native country to the age of seventeen years and was liberally educated, displaying particular skill in mathematics. Crossing the Atlantic in 1849, he landed at New York, where he made his home for two years, after which he removed westward to Wisconsin and later to Michigan, where he engaged in farming and lumbering. Subsequently he removed to Huron county, Ohio, where he was living at the outbreak of the Civil war. In response to the country's call for troops he offered his services to the government, enlisting as a private of Company A, One Hundred and First Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He left a wife and small children to go to the front, feeling that he owed a duty to his adopted country in aiding in her preservation. He took part in a number of hotly contested engagements and with his command entered the field at Chickamauga, where he was shot on the 19th of September, 1863. On the 13th of November the first lieutenant of his company, Benjamin F. Bryant, then commanding the regiment, wrote Mrs. Haller: "Our regiment went into action on Saturday, September 19th, at about 11 o'clock A. M. At first we lay down in front of the battery, placed on an eminence behind us, which shelled the woods in our immediate front where the enemy were. Then we rose up and advanced to the edge of the woods where we became engaged. It was almost noon, and while we were engaged near the edge of the woods your husband was shot through the body by a musket ball and fell dead. We were driven from the first position and never regained it. At sundown the fighting had ceased. Our skirmishers were full forty rods from the place of which I speak and we could not get beyond there as the rebels were in the woods and shooting at every one who approached. On Sunday the fighting was near Chattanooga and as we left the field Sunday night and fell back to Rossville, and Monday night went to Chattanooga, we know nothing of those who fell in the fight. Everything your husband had was about his person and of course lost. I most sincerely sympathize with you in your irreparable loss. I bear testimony to the good conduct of your husband as a soldier under all circumstances. I am, Yours very truly, Benjamin F. Bryant, 1st Lieut. Comdg. Company A, 101st O. V. I."

Such was the account which reached Mrs. Haller but fate had not been thus unkind to the family, for many years more of active and useful life remained to Mr. Haller. As his commander had stated, he was struck by a musket ball which entered just below the left eye, passed through it and came out the back of the neck but though left for dead, life was not extinct. He lay all night on the battlefield, was captured and kept in the open. He was afterward for fifteen months in prisons at Richmond, Danville, Andersonville and Florence and was paroled in December, 1864. He then rejoined his regiment and was mustered out with his command.

When his military service was over Mr. Haller returned to Huron county, Ohio, and in 1865 went to Michigan, where he engaged in farming until 1888. He then went to Clarke county, Iowa, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits until 1905, when he became a resident of Kenesaw, Nebraska, there spending his remaining days.

It was on the 17th of March, 1856, that Mr. Haller was married to Miss Frances L. Stevens, of Berrien county, Michigan. She was born in Huron county, Ohio, September 4, 1837, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John M. Stevens. She traces her ancestry back to the Revolutionary war period, her great grandfather having served as a captain in the conflict to establish American independence. On the paternal side the family was represented in the War of 1812. To Mr. and Mrs. Haller were born seven children: Mary H., the wife of J. M. Russell, of Kenesaw; Emma F., who is deceased; Martha B., who has also passed away; Almeria G., who died at the age of nineteen months; John F., who is in the general offices of the Union Pacific Railroad Company at Omaha; Ernest L., deceased; and Romaine W., who is engaged in farming at Elk Head, Colorado.

The family are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church, to which Mr. Haller belonged, and he guided his life by its teachings. His political allegiance was given to the republican party and he held membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. He died August 9, 1915, and in passing on left a memory honored and revered by all who knew him. Once more from B. F. Bryant came a word of sympathy and condolence, such as he had written when, more than a half century before, he believed he was sending to the widow the news of her husband's death upon a southern battlefield. Mrs. Haller was sent a Resolution of Respect, reading:

"When sounds the last assembly
And the guard has gone the round,
May we pitch our tents together on
Some happier camping ground.

"It becomes our duty as members of the One Hundred and First Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to record the death of Comrade Frederick J. Haller, a member of Company A, who entered the service of his country August 4, 1862. He was wounded in the battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19, 1863, was captured and spent fifteen months in Confederate prisons, paroled and rejoined his command, December, 1864, served to the close of the war, and was mustered out with his company, June 12, 1865.

"Resolved, That in the death of Comrade Haller we have lost out of our ranks a noble hero, loyal, brave and true; his country a peaceable, law abiding citizen and a good man; his family, to whom we tender the love and sympathy of all our comrades, a devoted husband and father.

"Resolved, That a copy of these Resolutions be forwarded to his family at Kenesaw, Nebraska; also, a copy filed with the Association records.
"B. F. BRYANT Committee."

For ten years Mr. Haller had been a resident of Kenesaw and during that period had gained a firm hold upon the affectionate regard and goodwill of his fellow townsmen who appreciated his sterling worth and his fidelity to principle. He held friendship inviolable and was a devoted husband and father, counting it his greatest happiness to provide for his wife and children and in every way promote their interests.

Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, 1916

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