From the Memorials of Deceased Companions of the Commandery of the State of Illinois.
A native son of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Abalino Cutler Bardwell migrated to Illinois with his family while still a child and as an adult grew to become a man of prominence in the county of Lee, being a veteran of the Civil War, a newspaper publisher, and an attorney. In the mid 1870s, he was elected as State's Attorney for Lee County, this office being his only involvement in political affairs.
Abalino C. Bardwell was the son of Dr. George and Julia A. Bardwell and was born in Conneautville, Pennsylvania on October 23, 1844. The 1904 history of Lee County, Illinois relates that the Bardwell family removed from Pennsylvania to Prophetstown, Illinois in 1853, and the then nine-year-old Abalino Bardwell received his primary schooling in the county of Whiteside. He would later begin the study of law in Dixon in 1864, and in that same year was called upon for military service, later raising a company of men (Company G.) for the 147th Volunteer Infantry regiment. Bardwell was elected as captain of this company and during his service was appointed as "Provost Marshall of the First Brigade, Second Separate Division, Army of the Cumberland", occupying this post in the towns of Resaca, Americus, and Savannah, Georgia. While stationed in Savannah Bardwell was connected with the Department of Georgia's "Bureau of Freedman, Refugees and Abandoned Lands".
Abalino Bardwell was mustered out of service in January of 1866 and returned home to Illinois. Soon after his return, he recommenced with his law studies and in September of 1867 was admitted to practice by the Illinois bar. Shortly afterward he began a practice in the town of Rochelle, but "owing to impaired health shortly after abandoned it", according to the 1897 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. Bardwell returned to Dixon, Illinois sometime later and in February of 1868 entered into publishing, establishing a weekly newspaper entitled the "Dixon Weekly Herald", which was later merged with another city paper in 1869. This paper continued under Bardwell's stewardship until 1871, when he relinquished control of it to return to practicing law.
On November 16, 1871 Bardwell married in Dixon to Ms. Clara Utley (died 1897), and this couple later became the parents to three children: Henry Utley (1873-1920), Edward Cutler (died in infancy in 1876) and William M. (birth-date unknown.) Five years following his marriage Bardwell won election as State's Attorney of Lee County, Illinois, serving in this office from November of 1876 to 1880. He would later be appointed as a Master in Chancery of the Lee County Circuit Court, beginning in 1899. In the early 1900s, Bardwell served as the editor of a lengthy work entitled the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Lee County, eventually seeing the book published in 1904.
During the latter portion of his life, Bardwell spent the winter months in Florida and in December 1919 fell ill. Henry Utley Bardwell later brought his father back to Illinois, where he died on January 30, 1930 at age 75. Although an exact burial location for both Abalino or his wife could be found, it is presumed they were buried at a cemetery somewhere in the confines of their native Lee County, Illinois.
From the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Lee County, 1897.