Col. N. C. Buswell, Neponset, the subject of the following biography, was born December 5, 1831, in Caledonia County, Vt. He is of Scotch descent, a son of James Buswell, a native of Caledonia County, Vt., where he was born in 1793; he died in 1875 six miles south of Neponset, in Stark County, Ill., to which he came in 1837. He came to Peoria County, Ill., in the fall of 1833, and the next year brought his family. He was a farmer by occupation, and dealt extensively in land while in the West.
The grandfather of our subject, N. C. Buswell, Sr. was a native of Salisbury, Mass.: he died in Caledonia County, Vt. He was also a farmer, and a soldier in one of the Indian wars. His mother was Elizabeth Colby, whose brother, Nicolas Colby, took an active part in the battle of Lake Champlain, and is honorably mention in the naval history. After him Col. Buswell was named.
The mother of our subject, Mrs. Chloe (Pratt) Buswell, was born in 1800, in Caledonia County, Vt. She is yet living in Neponset. She is the mother of ten children, viz.: Elizabeth, deceased, former wife of Judge A. Tyler (she left three children, viz.: William, Mary and Grace Tyler); William P.; Lucinda, wife of J. A. Gilfillan, Principal of a St. Louis school; James, deceased; Mrs. Mary C. Dunham, now a resident of Florida; Nicholas C., our subject; Charles P., of Osceola, Ill.; Henry C., of Grinwell, Iowa; Mrs. Ellen B. Scott, and Albert, the latter deceased.
Our subject, Col. Buswell, is principally self-educated. He was reared on a farm, but followed farming only in early life and then turned his attention to various occupations. He came to Neponset in 1857, and here kept a hotel and livery stable, but was connected with different enterprises, and at that time was one of the leading business men of the town.
In the summer of 1862 he was commissioned by Gov. Yates, of Illinois, to raise a company of soldiers for the late war, and was made Captain of Company H, of the Ninety-third Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. In September, 1862, the Ninety-third Illinois Regiment was organized at Princeton, and of this N. C. Buswell was elected Lieutenant-Colonel. At the death of the commanding Colonel he was promoted, November 25, 1863, to the rank of Colonel, which he held till the close of war. He participated in the capture of Jackson, and the battle of Champion Hill, siege of Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, capture of Atlanta, Bentonville, and was also with Sherman in his famous march to the sea and across the Carolinas. He was with his regiment in the grand review at Washington, D. C., and was mustered out at Chicago, July 6, 1865. He was never wounded, although his horse was shot from under him at the battle of Champion Hill. Col. Buswell always had the esteem and good will of the men in his command, and his military career has been, to say the least, a brilliant one.
As an evidence of his ability as a military man he received in the summer of 1866 an appointment in the Regular Army as First Lieutenant, which position he did not accept, as he had just been elected Sheriff of Bureau County, serving one term.
After this he engaged in the livery business with B. F. Cox, of Princeton. In 1873 the organizations known as “Farmers’ Clubs” chose Col. Buswell as agent to go to Europe to buy and import blooded draft horses for breeding purposes. He bought a number of animals in Normandy, France, and returned with them to Princeton. He was very successful, and in 1874 made another trip to Europe, which was equally successful. While in Europe he visited Scotland, England and France both times.
In 1879 he returned to Neponset, where he now resides and does a general collecting and pension business. He has been Village Attorney and Marshall, and holds the office of Notary Public. Politically he is independent. He is a member of G. A. R., W. S. Bryan Post, No. 284.
Col. Buswell was married February 13, 1852, to Miss Ellen Fowler, a native of Hillsdale, Vt., where she was born September 6, 1834. She is yet living, and is a daughter of Elias and Eliza (Elmore) Fowler.
Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885