John Sebald
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

Mr. SEBALD is a resident of Butler, and is one of the honored veterans of the Civil war who responded to the call of his adopted country and went forth in defense of the Union. A loyal devotion to duty has characterized his entire life, whether on the battlefield, in the shoe-shop or in the discharge of public service. A native of Bavaria, born on the 11th of May, 1842, he is a son of John and Margaret (STAGER) SEBALD, who also were natives of the same country, whence they emigrated to America after their marriage. The father, who was born in 1814, now makes his home with his son John. He has one other son, George, who also resides at Butler. His life has been a busy one, devoted to the work of the farm or to other manual labor, and for many years he was a resident of Paterson, New Jersey.

It was during his father's residence in Paterson that John SEBALD attended the common schools, after which he began learning the shoemaker's trade, under the direction of Henry RICHET, of Newark. He was thus engaged when in 1862, he was aroused by his country's need for more troops to serve the Union, and joined Company A, Twenty-sixth New Jersey Volunteers, for nine months' service. He went to the front under command of Captain Morris and returned under command of Captain Fordham. His company was at once ordered to the front and was under fire for the first time at the battle of Fredericksburg, where they were stationed as a reserve, their position was so near the battlefield that they were actually within range of the enemy’s bullets. Company A actively participated in the second battle of Fredericksburg and aided in the capture of Marye's Heights, which stronghold had caused to General Burnside a loss of twelve thousand troops in one day, in the first engagement at Fredericksburg. Mr. SEBALD also participated in the hotly contested engagement on the Rappahannock river, June 5, 1863, known as Franklin Crossing, in which the Twenty-sixth New Jersey, by a remarkable exhibition of courage, captured the force in charge of the enemy's batteries, which were costing heavy losses to the advancing Federals. Mr. SEBALD also took part in the battles of Chancellorsville and Salem Church, and being taken ill on Burnside's famous mud march, was discharged on special order of the war department, June 27, 1863.

Returning to the north he resumed his labors at the shoe-bench, and completed his term of apprenticeship under Mr. RICHET, of Newark. He then resided for some years in Paterson, New Jersey, and in 1874 located in Newfoundland, Morris county. Since 1882 he has resided in Butler, and is now conducting a lucrative business as a dealer in boots and shoes. He has a well equipped store, and his straightforward business methods and excellent stock insure him a liberal patronage.

On the 26th of March, 1866, Mr. SEBALD was married, in Paterson, New Jersey, to Miss Mary M. MAINS, a daughter of James MAINS, of Oak Ridge, New Jersey. Eight children were born of this union, and concerning them we offer brief record, as follows:

  • Maggie is the wife of Isaac Q. GURNEE, of Butler.
  • James is at time of this writing (September 1, 1898) serving in Company G, First New Jersey Regiment, United States Army, as musician.

The other surviving children are

  • George,
  • Theodore and
  • Joseph.
  • John died at the age of twenty-one years;
  • Charles B. died at the age of eighteen years, having been a student in the Bloomingdale school; and
  • Bertha died at the age of five months.

Mr. SEBALD is a member of Farragut Post, No. 28, G. A. R., at Paterson, and belongs distinctively to that class of citizens who, by the faithful performance of each day’s duties, insure the welfare and continued prosperity of the community with which they are connected.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


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