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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches

Joseph Dalton Jr.


Joseph Dalton Jr.

(A biographical sketch by Tina Culbertson, CupaTea712@hotmail.com)

Joseph was the fifth child of Joseph and Jane Dalton, born September 10th and baptized at Wetheral parish church on October 18, 1840. He was their last child born and baptized in England. Sometime between his recorded baptism and June of 1842, Joseph arrived in the United States with his parents and 4 older siblings.

In 1850 Joseph was 10 years old and attended school in Upland. He was employed at the cotton mill during his teenage years, later joining the United States Army during the civil war era. The reason for his enlistment is not certain - did he join to escape the laborious work at the mill? Was it for a cause he felt was right and honorable, or for allegiance to his adopted country? He arrived in the United States when he was a young child and was not a citizen of this country. However, he grew up in Pennsylvania and for all intents and purposes it was the only home he ever knew.

Joseph enlisted in the U.S. Army in Philadelphia on August 17, 1861. According to muster roll and pension records he was 5 feet 5 inches tall, had sandy colored hair and blue eyes. Joseph stated Scotland as his nationality on the enlistment papers. He selected or was assigned to a Calvary unit – whether this was by choice or whether he was assigned as a matter of his experience is unknown. Muster rolls indicate he was hospitalized from March 10th until July in 1862. Records also show him absent from July through September 1862 due to appointment on a special detachment with the Provost Marshall. His regiment assisted in transporting wagon trains of weapons to Fortress Monroe. Joseph was absent again from July 24, 1863 until January 1864 on detached service with the Provost Marshall. He was discharged August 26, 1864. Joseph served in Co. I, 3rd Regiment Penna. Calvary, Army of the U.S. under Captain Heyl. His name is inscribed on the Pennsylvania monument in Gettysburg, along with all other Pennsylvania soldiers who fought in the Civil War. 

After Joseph’s discharge from military service he resumed life in Upland and became a member of the Upland Lodge of Pythias, No. 428, Knights of Pythias and Post Wilde, No. 25, G. A. R. This affiliation continued until his death. 

On May 2, 1866 Joseph Dalton Jr. married Miss Emma Caroline
Cloud of Linwood. They were married in Chester, 
Pennsylvania by the Rev. H.E. Gilroy at Madison Street 
Methodist Church
in Chester. Emma is the daughter of 
James Cloud and Jane Jones. She was born July 10, 1841 in 
Wilmington, Delaware.

Joseph and Emma’s first child, Charles, was born April 10, 
1867 and baptized in Upland by the Rev. H.E. Gilroy on 
August 18, 1867. 

After living in Pennsylvania for approximately 26 years, and serving honorably in the Pennsylvania military forces, Joseph decided to petition the District Court of Philadelphia to become an American citizen. This petition was signed September 19, 1868 renouncing his allegiance to the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen Victoria.

1869 brought a second son to the Dalton household. Edward Whitman Dalton was born August 19, 1869. Joseph and Emma had two more children in the following three years. Jane was born October 14, 1870 and Joseph Henry was born November 15, 1872.

Approximately 1875 Joseph, in addition to his employment at the cotton mill as a mechanic, was the assistant postmaster in Upland. His father, Joseph Dalton Sr. was the postmaster for many years until his health started to fail. In 1876 Joseph was appointed as one of the Directors of the Public Schools for Upland. The Borough of Upland had grown in population over the years and, in 1869, it was incorporated and made an independent school district. The appointments for the position of director were changed each year. In 1876 the directors were Joseph Dalton, Jr., Daniel Compton and Timothy Keely. 

The Dalton family increased over the next several years. On April 30, 1876 Emma had baby boy – Walter, followed by Rufus who was born on May 11, 1878. 

In January of 1880 Joseph Dalton Sr. died and Joseph Jr. became the head postmaster of Upland. By this time Joseph and Emma had been married for fourteen years and had six children. According to census information Joseph still worked as a machinist at the cotton mill in Upland. Emma was “keeping house” and their two eldest sons, Charles and Edward (aged 13 and 10 respectively), were working at the cotton mill. Young Jane and Joseph (aged 9 and 7) were attending school. Their last child, George, was born May 11, 1883.

In November 1892 Joseph had a stroke and had to quit working. He applied for a pension relief on June 1, 1892 at the age of 51. Testimonials in a general affidavit were given by acquaintances to support his application.
April 24, 1893 by Robert J. Cluelow states they were in the same lodge and Joseph has “declared himself off the lodge” as he is unable to do full work. Mr. Cluelow visited once a week during Joseph’s three month illness. Rev. C. L. Williams stated he also visited during Joseph’s sickness and proclaimed him critically ill and unable to do any manual labor. “He has always been a man of most strictly temperate habits.”
April 29, 1893 – Mr. John Cullingworth, of 414 East Eighth Street in Chester, averages a weekly visited and observed Joseph to be very sick and felt he would not recover. Although he could “be out and walk around he is physically unfitted to follow his trade that of a machinist.”
February 16, 1895 – William Howard aged 50, John Taylor aged 49 and John Pedlow aged 55 are acquainted in years 29, 19 and 7 respectively “two years ago J. Dalton was taken sick with apoplexy and since that time has not been able to do a single days labor and to the best of their knowledge and belief he is not able to.
April 17, 1895 – Declaration for the original invalid pension gives full description of his service during the War of the Rebellion and states he is now suffering from vertigo, cramps in stomach, rheumatism and failing eyesite.
“That he is totally unable to earn support by manual labor by reasons of disability from giddiness at frequent times, staggering unless accompanied by another person and at times is affected with a feeling of fullness about the neck and head which causes an alarming condition of mind and a sense of dire results. At other times he suffers with intense pains and a cracking noise in the head making life almost unbearable. The physicians inform the applicant that the foregoing conditions are results of an attack of apoplexy. The said disabilities are not due to vicious habits and are to the best of his knowledge and belief permanent.”

The last payment to Joseph was paid out on February 4, 1903 in the amount of $12. After Joseph’s death Emma applied for a Widows pension. In an affidavit on July 1, 1903 she stated she was 61 years of age and a resident of Upland; owns no real or personal property of any description; has no income from any source since May 14, 1903 except what she earns by her own daily labor – except that a son george M Dalton who works in the city of Philadelphia. He pays her $3 per week for room and board; she has received no life insurance benefit of any description but did receive a funeral benefit of $75 from the Upland Knights of Phyhias.

Emma Dalton received $30 per month until her death on December 24, 1925.

Joseph died April 30th, 1903 in Upland and Emma Dalton died December 24th, 1925 in Upland. Both are buried in the Upland Baptist church cemetery.

Joseph and Emma Dalton had seven children:

1. Charles born April 10, 1867

2. Edward Whitman Dalton born August 19, 1869
died February 11, 1950
married Margaretta W. Van Riper

3. Jane born October 14, 1870
married Robert Cowan

4. Joseph Henry born November 15, 1872
never married

5. Walter born April 30, 1876
married Sadie Jackson who died young; 
then married Emma Shopshire

6. Rufus born May 11, 1878
married Isabel Carrol

7. George born May 11, 1883
married Jennie Rae

All seven children were born in Pennsylvania.





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© 2002 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 02/23/07