Mark Dare was born October 14, 1830 and was one of
three brothers who emigrated from England by 1842 and married three Howard sisters.
He was a son of Samuel Dare and Anna Biggs (or Briggs). Simon Dare married Catherine
Howard and Frances Howard married John Dare.
When they came to America they settled in the area where descendant Arthur Willis Dare still lives on the Soule farm that dates from the 1780's in Upstate New York. He stopped at the big Howard farmhouse on Maguire Road outside Duanesburg. He was in his twenties but appeared older due to a bushy mustache. At the Howard farm, he met Abigail Howard (a direct line to the Mayflower George Soule]. They were married in Duanesburg April 10, 1852, where the Howard homestead is. Some of their children were born there, and, prior to the Civil War, Mark was a School Master of a Quaker School there. They were all Quakers.
Based on the ages and birthplaces of the children, Mark moved to Illinois between 1854 and 1860 with his wife Anna and daughter Flora. However, his Civil War record indicates that he moved back and forth between Illinois and New York several times.
Mark was one of the earliest to enlist in the Civil War. Although the actual date is not known, oral family history is that it was before the first shot at Fort Sumter in April 1861. He initially enlisted in a New York Infantry contingent, leaving behind his wife Abigail and children Flora, Maudie and Frankie, the first of the ten children he was to have with Abigail. He was a Private at Bull Run in July 1861 where he received a minor flesh wound. He recovered and showed up in Illinois--perhaps moving with his troop.
He was wounded at Shiloh in 1862 in northeastern Tennessee. His life was probably saved by a small book on Infantry tactics carried in his hip pocket--a momento still held by a family descendent today. Another family momento held is a sword and scabbard with a fabric medallion still attached to the hilt with the inscription "Lincoln" which Union officers wore attached to their swords at the time of Lincoln's funeral.
The Muster and Descriptive Rolls of Illinois Civil War Units for Company E , 53rd Infantry, Regiment of Illinois Volunteers contains the following information regarding Mark Dare. He was 31 years of age, 5'11' tall with black hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. He was married and a native of England. He joined the service Dec 5, 1861 for a period of three years and was mustered into the service as a private on Jan 1, 1862 by Lt. Christopher. He was a resident of Kankakee, Illinois at that time. He was transferred by promotion to the rank of Captain to "Y La Inf Troops". There were no other Dare's on this register. He commanded K Company of the 64th Regiment of the United States Colored Infantry of Louisiana. While black soldiers could serve in the military, they could not be officers, so all officers in these companies were white. He was recognized by the Union for "Distinguished Service".
After mustering out of the service in 1866, he headed home. From there the family records are a little spotty, but it suggests he headed West and sent for his family--which grew to ten children--and then moved on. Mark eventually moved to Danville having served there and liking the area. Some family researchers believe he had at least fourteen children, but in census records, his wife stated twice that she was the mother of ten children.
Once or twice he returned to Duanesburg with his family and headed off West again. He homesteaded in Dakota Territory in 1876 and returned to Danville for the 1880 census. He also homesteaded in the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma Territory in 1893 when the land was opened to white settlers.
When he heard of nuggets at Bonanza Creek in the Klondike he was off again in 1896 at age sixty six to pan for gold. In the 1900 Census in Danville, he and his youngest son Roscoe were missing from the household. Perhaps they were still off on an adventure. Roscoe did live in Colorado in later years and it is perhaps why he settled there.
By 1910 Mark was finally settled in Danville Illinois where 57 years before his regimental bars were pinned to his uniform. He was then an aging widower, his wife Abigail having died in 1914. He stayed in Danville to be among some of his comrades for the rest of his days. He died there in 1916 at age eighty seven and was buried with others of his command in Soldier's Circle of the Springhill Cemetery in Danville, Illinois.
Children included Grace, Florence, Gertrude, Arthur, Roscoe, Flora, Frankie, Maudie and Sarah Mabel.
Manuscript THE DESCENDANTS OF ENOS HOWARD OF DUANESBURG, N.Y. by Henry Clay Young Jr. , Buffalo NY 1946: p 47.
Research by family descendents Bonnie Willis Cornue, Peggy Dare and Vinita Shaw.