Parmerter Family Papers, 1848-1955; bulk, 1861-1862
SC21590

Quantity:  1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Gift; Virginia Upton Houghtaling, Minneapolis, Minn., March 1997
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts & Special Collections, March 1997; revised July 2012

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Biographical Note

Jacob Parmerter* was born in Vermont ca. 1821, and married his first wife, Lovina Imus, about 1842. They had at least four children before she died about 1850. The family appears to have moved from Vermont to Schroon River, Essex County, New York, in the mid-1840s, where he found work in the iron manufacturing industry. About 1856 he married Lucy A. Wyman and they had at least five children between 1858 and 1870.

During the Civil War, Jacob Parmerter and three of his sons served in the army. He himself enlisted and mustered in in August 1862 as a captain of Company E of the 118th New York Infantry Regiment, whish was known as the Adirondack Regiment. He lost a leg at Cold Harbor on June 2, 1864, and received a disability discharge on December 15, 1864. George Parmerter, Jacob’s eldest son, enlisted on October 1, 1861, and soon after mustered in as a private with Company H of the 5th New York Cavalry Regiment. He died of disease in May 1862 at Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. In February 1865 sons Eugene and Frederick enlisted for service with 47th Wisconsin Volunteers. 

After being discharged from the army, Jacob Parmerter and his family moved to Plattsburgh, Clinton County, New York, where he was collector of customs for the district of Champlain from 1866 to 1876. He died in Plattsburgh in December 1907. 

Frederick W. Parmerter eventually settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he became a lumber dealer. He married to Eudora [?] circa the early 1870s and they had a least two children. Gertrude, their daughter, married John E. Upson of Minneapolis in 1903. The Upsons had several children, including a daughter named Virginia, who married a Houghtaling.

*There are variant spellings of the surname that appear on documents in these papers as well as in public records and other published sources of information, including Parmenter, Parmeter, and Pometer.

Scope and Content Note

The papers consist chiefly of correspondence between Jacob Parmerter and his son, George Parmerter, while the latter served in the army from October 1861 to May 1862. George wrote about his experiences in the military, including news of fellow soldiers, and of his personal health problems. His father replied with words of encouragement and hope that someday he would see his son home from the war alive and well. However, his hopes were dashed upon receipt of the letter of May 6, 1862, from Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C., informing him of his son's death.

The papers also include letters from Jacob Parmerter’s other sons, regarding their experiences in the military during the Civil War and beyond. Eugene Parmerter wrote from Camp Randall at Madison, Wisconsin, on February 12, 1865, informing his father that he and his brother, Frederick, had enlisted for service with 47th Wisconsin Volunteers. James Parmerter sent his parents letters in 1872 and 1873, detailing his service in the 6th U.S. Army Infantry, which was primarily responsible at the time for protecting settlers from raids by Native Americans in the Dakota Territory.

Letters and papers from later years relate mostly to the family of Frederick Parmerter, who eventually settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Items of significance include a letter of John E. Upson, written at Manila, Philippines Island, June 20, 1899, regarding his experiences of living there at the time of occupation by the U.S. Army; and a letter of Lee Parmerter to Frederick Parmerter, dated October 24, 1920, concerning the settlement of their father’s estate and sale of the family home in Plattsburgh. The letter mentions that several letters between their father and his sons, George, Eugene, and James, were enclosed.

Box and Folder List

Box Folder Description
1 1 Letters of Jacob Parmerter, 1847-1849 (2 items)
  1. D.C. Goodale, Adirondack, N.Y., October 25, 1849
  2. Lovina Parmerter, [Vergennes, Vt.], September 22, 1848
1 2 Letters of Jacob, George, and Eugene Parmerter, October-December 1861 (12 items)
  1. Jacob Parmerter to George, [Schroon River, N.Y.], October 7, 1861
  2. Jacob Parmerter to George, Schroon River, N.Y., November 7, 1861
  3. George Parmerter to father, New York, October 27, 1861
  4. R.B. Sharp, to George, November 29, 1861
  5. Eugene Parmerter to brother, Schroon River, [N.Y.], December 8, 1861
  6. George Parmerter to brother, Camp Harris, December 13, 1861
  7. George Parmerter to father, Camp Harris, December 18, 1861
  8. George Parmerter to brother, Camp Harris, December 24, 1861
  9. George Parmerter to brother, Camp Harris, December 25, 1861
  10. George Parmerter to brother, Camp Harris, December 26, 1861
  11. George Parmerter to brother, Camp Harris, December 27, 1861
  12. Eugene Parmerter to brother, Schroon River, December 28, 1861
1 3 Letters of George and Jacob Parmerter, January-February 1862 (7 items)
  1. Jacob Parmerter to [George], Schroon River, January 4, 1862
  2. George Parmerter to father, Camp Harris, January 6, 1862
  3. George Parmerter to father, Camp Harris, January 26, 1862
  4. George Parmerter to friend, Camp Harris, January 27, 1862
  5. George Parmerter, to brother, Camp Harris, January 28, 1862
  6. Jacob Parmerter to [George], Schroon River, February 2, 1862
  7. Jacob Parmerter to [George], Schroon River, February 9, 1862
1 4 Letters of George and Jacob Parmerter, March-July 1862 (12 items)
  1. George Parmerter to brother, Annapolis, March 5, 1862
  2. Jacob Parmerter to [George], Schroon River, March 9,1862
  3. George Parmerter to brother, Camp Harris, March 10, 1862
  4. J. Hammond to [Jacob Parmerter], Camp Harris, Annapolis, March 14, 1862
  5. George Parmerter to father, Camp Harris, Annapolis, March 20, 1862
  6. George Parmerter to father, Gen. Hauspittle [sic], April 2, 1862
  7. George Parmerter to father, General Hospital, Annapolis, March 6 [sic – should be April 6], 1862
  8. Jacob Parmerter to son, Schroon River, April 8, 1862
  9. George Parmerter to father, April 24, 1862
  10. Curteis [sic] Merton to [Jacob Parmerter], Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C., May 5, 1862
  11. Curteis Merton to [Jacob Parmerter], Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C., June 25, 1862
  12. Curteis Merton to [Jacob Parmerter], Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C., July 25, 1862
1 5 Family letters, 1865-1955 (9 items)
  1. Eugene Parmerter to father, Madison, Camp Randal [sic - Randall], February 12, 1865
  2. James W. Parmerter to father, Camp Supply, February 23, 1872
  3. James W. Parmerter to mother, Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory. June 12, 1873
  4. Jacob Parmerter to L.A. Parmerter, Chicago, August 20, 1882 (telegram)
  5. John E. Upson to C.B. Upson, Manila, P.I., June 20, 1899
  6. Heuttie [?] to Mrs. [Eudora] Parmerter, Picketts Station, [ca. 1907]
  7. Mrs. C.B. Redfield to [Eudora Parmerter], Reddick, April 7, 1907
  8. Lee [Parmerter] to Fred [Parmerter], Plattsburgh, N.Y., October 24, 1920 (see envelope in folder 7)
  9. Ray [Upson?].to sisters, Englewood, Col., December 18, 1955; accompanied by an envelope with a strip of pictures
1 6 Military records, 1859-1862 (2 items)
  1. Muster roll of Capt. Jacob Parmerter of Company E of the 118th New York Regiment of Infantry, December 31, 1863
  2. Squad warranty and return, Company E, 31st Regiment, New York State Militia, August 13, 1859
1 7 Printed material and miscellaneous papers, ca. 1862-1931 (7 items)
  1. Booklet: Upson Family Association, 1931
  2. Roster: Schroon Valley Reunion, 1889
  3. Roster: Second List of ex-Schrooners [1889]
  4. Receipt: “Company H” March 1862
  5. Receipt, George Parmerter, Schroon River, Essex County, N.Y., April 24, 1862
  6. Typescript of poem by unknown author
  7. Envelope (empty) addressed to Mr. F.W. Parmerter of Minneapolis, Minn. (This was used to mail several documents found in this collection from New York to Minnesota; see letter of October 24. 1920.)
Last Updated: September 27, 2019