John Edwin Aldeson

John Edwin Aldeson also known as “Alderson,” was born on January 5, 1845, in London, Ontario, Canada or in New York.

At some point before 1864 John left his home in Canada and immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in western Michigan.

John stood 5’7” tall, with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 19-year-old farmer living in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County, Michigan when he enlisted in Company D on January 29, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) John joined the regiment on April 28, 1864, at Brandy Station, Virginia, and was reportedly wounded soon afterwards. In later years John claimed that he had been hit by a rifle buttstock in his left side during an assault on enemy lines at Spotsylvania, Virginia on May 12, 1864. In any case, he remained with the regiment and was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war John returned to Michigan and was living in Ingham County when he married Emma Cole on December 27, 1875; they had at least three children: Katie (b. 1878), William and Leroy.

In 1883 he applied for and received pension no. 1,005,251, drawing $16.00 per month.

By 1880 John (listed as “Edwin J.”) was living with his wife and daughter Katie in Lansing, Ingham County, next door to the Cole family, probably Emma’s parents. Indeed, John probably resided in Lansing most of his life: he was living at 623 Lewis Street in 1890 and also when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2556) in Grand Rapids on December 3, 1895. Upon admission to the Home he listed his occupation as sailor, and he may have been either divorced or a widower when he entered the Home, since he listed himself as a single man when he was first admitted to the Home.

In any case, John was discharged the first time on January 3, 1896, and readmitted on April 4, and discharged on June 8. He was readmitted on January 8, 1900, discharged April 15, readmitted on July 27, and discharged on September 10, 1900; admitted on July 14, 1905, discharged on October 12, admitted on August 4, 1906, and discharged on November 26, 1907; admitted on March 30, 1908, and discharged on October 4, 1910.

By 1908 John was back living in Lansing, Michigan at 623 Lewis Street, and was under the care of Mrs. Barbara Schelhammer. He remained in Lansing until his final admission to the Home on December 16, 1910.

John died of organic heart disease on March 22, 1913, at 2:00 p.m. at the Home, and was buried in the Home cemetery: section 5, row 15, grave 11.