A highly honored veteran of the Civil war, who was for many years identified with the commercial interests of Sheboygan county, is Charles A. Corbett, who is now living retired in Plymouth. He was born in Benson, Rutland county, Vermont, on the 21st of November, 1840, and is a son of Peter and Melinda (Adams) Corbett.
The paternal ancestors were Scotch and upon their arrival in this country they located in Vermont and later they became residents of the state of New York where Peter Corbett was born in 1798. In his early manhood he went to Vermont, where he was married in 1822 to Miss Adams, who was born and reared in that state, her birth occurring in 1802. In 1855 they came to Sheboygan county, the father buying a farm in the vicinity of Greenbush which he cultivated during the remainder of his active life. The mother passed away on the homestead on the 18th of March, 1879, but the father survived her until June 22, 1882. Their family numbered eleven children, ten of whom lived to. attain maturity and of these three are still living.
Charles A. Corbett was a youth of fifteen years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Wisconsin in 1855. His early years were passed in very much the manner of those of other lads who were reared in the country at that time. He obtained his education in the district schools, during which time he also assisted with the work of the farm and by the time he had attained his maturity he was a skilled agriculturist, having a thorough knowledge of the practical methods of caring for the crops and tilling the fields.
On the first of June, 1861, he enlisted in Live Eagle Regiment, Company B, Eighth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and went to the front in defense of the Union, remaining in the service for four years, six months and twenty-two days. He participated in many notable conflicts, including the siege of Vicksburg, the battles of Corinth, Island Number Ten, New Madrid and Iuka, and he also took part in many skirmishes. In an engagement at Lake Chicoth, or Old River lake, Arkansas, on June 6, 1864, he lost a leg and was taken to the hospital at Memphis and Jefferson barracks, Missouri, and later was removed to a hospital at Prairie du Chien, and from there came to Madison, where he was honorably discharged on the 22nd of November, 1865.
Upon returning to civil life it was impossible for Mr. Corbett to resume agricultural pursuits, so he went to Milwaukee and spent nine months in the Spencerian Business College, thus qualifying himself for the practical duties of a commercial career. At the expiration of that time he opened a general mercantile store in Forest, Fond du Lac county, this state, and soon thereafter he was also appointed postmaster. He engaged in business there for about a year and then returned to Greenbush and started a store which he successfully operated for fifteen years. At the expiration of that period he withdrew from active work and lived retired in Greenbush, where he had built a nice residence. In 1896 he removed to Plymouth, but a few months later he returned to Greenbush. Subsequently, however, he permanently located in Plymouth, purchasing his present residence property in 1898.
Since withdrawing from commercial activities, Mr, Corbett has participated quite prominently in local politics and in 1889 was elected to the state assembly, serving for one term of two years. Upon his return to Greenbush he was elected chairman of the town, discharging the duties of this office for three years and at one time prior to that he had served for five -years as town clerk. While living in Greenbush he purchased an interest in a drug store in Plymouth and his elder son and a nephew conducted it for a number of years under the firm name of Corbett and Corbett. Later Carl Corbett, the younger son of our subject, acquired his cousin's interest and he has since taken in another partner, the enterprise now being conducted under the name of Corbett and Ackermann.
In 1870 Mr. Corbett was united in marriage to Miss Mary Jane Lewis, whose birth occurred on January 14, 1847, in the state of New York. Her father, Benjamin Lewis, was also a native of the Empire state, whence he removed to Wisconsin with his family in 1855, settling "in Dodge county and in 1868 engaged in farming in the vicinity of Greenbush. Two sons and one daughter have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Corbett, as follows: Adison, who is living at Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Estella, the wife of Dr. S. M. Kyes, of Weyauwega. this state; and Carl, who is engaged in the drug business in Plymouth.
Mr. Corbett has been a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity since 1868, his local affiliation being with Greenbush Lodge, No. 78, I. 0. 0. F.; he is also a charter member of H. P. Davidson Post, No. 212, G. A. R., and served as commander for three terms. He is now chaplain of the Post and has thus served for eight years. In politics he is a republican and is conservative in his views, and has always been stanchly loyal to the principles of the grand old party. Mr. Corbett is a highly estimable citizen and has always taken an active interest in all movements affecting the welfare of the community, and in the discharge of his official duties has ever manifested the same conscientious fidelity that characterized him when a soldier on the battlefields of the south.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL