Edmund and Richard Arthur

Edmund B. or E. Arthur was born probably on October 30, 1837, in Chateaugay County, New York, the son of William B. (b. 1811) and Polly (Bostwick, b. 1811).

William married New York native Polly, probably in New York where they resided for some years. Sometime around 1851, when he was 17 years old, Edmund’s family left New York and moved westward, eventually settling in Saranac, Ionia County, Michigan, where he was living when he married New York native Harriet M. Belote (1837-1923) on February 22, 1859. They had at least five children: Jay R. (b. 1860), Asa, Elwin, Mrs. Nora Gibson and Mrs. Elmer Mallory. By 1860 Edmund was working as a laborer and living with his wife and son in Boston, Ionia County; also living with them was 9-year-old Inez Arthur. (His mother and younger siblings were also living in Boston in 1860.)

Edmund was probably still residing in Boston in July of 1860 when he and his younger brother Richard joined the Boston Light Artillery (also known as the Boston Light Guard), under the command of Captain Moses Houghton. (The Boston Light Guard was a local militia company comprise mostly of men from the western side of Ionia County and many of whose members would serve as the nucleus for Company D of the Third Michigan infantry which would be organized in Grand Rapids in the spring of 1861. Indeed, Moses Houghton would also command Company D, Third Michigan.)

Edmund was 24 years old and working as a laborer probably living in Boston when he enlisted in Company D on December 21, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, was mustered on December 23 at Detroit (Richard Arthur had enlisted in Company D in May). He was present for duty from January of 1862 through April, but was absent in the hospital at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, in May and June, recovering from a wound he received when he accidentally shot himself in the hand with a revolver. Edmund reportedly deserted from the general hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 2 or 5, 1862, and he was on the deserter’s descriptive list for May 31, 1863, as having deserted from Washington, date unknown.

There is no further record and no pension seems to be available.

However, there is reason to believe that Edmund in fact reentered the service while living in Pennsylvania. According to one report Edmund took his family and moved to Pennsylvania where he reportedly lived until enlisting in Company A, Ninth (or Twenty-ninth) Pennsylvania infantry on December 23, 1864, for one year, and was honorably discharged on December 25, 1865. After leaving the army Edmund apparently entered the Evangelical ministry and for some 20 years preached the gospel in several states.

Edmund eventually returned to Michigan and settled near Ludington in Mason County, and was living in Amber, Mason County in 1894. (In fact he was reported as living in Amber in 1890 and also listed as having served in the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania and discharged on July 1, 1865.)

He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic S. D. Haight post in Mason County.
Edmund died at his home on Crowley Street, presumably in Ludington, on Saturday, April 9, 1910, and the funeral services were held at the Grace Evangelical church in Scottville. He was buried in Brookside cemetery.

Richard E. Arthur was born February 2, 1843, at Chateaugay, Oswego or Clinton County, New York, the son of William B. (b. 1811) and Polly (Bostwick, b. 1811).

William married New York native Polly, probably in New York where they resided for some years. Sometime around 1851 Richard’s family left New York and moved westward, eventually settling in Saranac, Ionia County, Michigan. By 1860 Richard was a farm laborer working for one Thurman Mosher, a farmer in Boston, Ionia County, and attending school and living with his mother and two siblings on the family farm in Boston.

Richard was possibly residing in Boston in July of 1860 when he and his older brother Edmund joined the Boston Light Artillery -- also known as the Boston Light Guard -- under the command of Captain Moses Houghton. (The BLA was a local militia company comprise mostly of men from the western side of Ionia County and many of whose members would serve as the nucleus for Company D of the Third Michigan infantry, which was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County and which would be organized in Grand Rapids in the spring of 1861. Indeed, Captain Houghton would also command Company D, Third Michigan.)

Richard stood 5’8” with gray eyes, light hair and a dark complexion and was 18 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861 (Edmund Arthur would join Company D in December).

From January of 1862 through June of 1863 Richard was present for duty. He was promoted to First Sergeant on May 4, 1863, replacing Hiel Clark who had been killed at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863, and was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 3, 1863.

Richard was wounded in the left leg while the regiment was engaged in the Peach Orchard on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He remained hospitalized until May 25, 1864, when he was discharged at Jarvis general hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. His discharge paper noted that he suffered from a compound comminuted fracture of the left thigh caused by a musket ball and the bone had united and the wound was nearly healed, but that he was not eligible for the VRC “as his time soon expires.”
Following his discharge from the army Richard returned to Michigan and may have lived briefly in Grand Rapids. He soon returned to Saranac where he was living in 1865 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 53622), dated November of 1865, drawing $6.00 per month.

He was married to Michigan Lydia E. Branson (1842-1905) on December 11, 1866, in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County, and they had at least seven children: Jennie (b. 1867), Hugh (b. 1869), Lizzie (b. 1875), Lydia (b. 1877), Thomas (b. 1879), John (b. 1883) and Frederick (b. 1885).

By 1870 Richard was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Berlin (Saranac). By 1880 Richard was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Boston, Ionia County.

Richard was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Clark Post No. 153 in Saranac, and he was still living in Saranac in 1882 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

He remained in Saranac through 1888 but by 1890 he was living in Ontonagon, Ontonagon County, Michigan, and indeed in 1891 he bought 121 acres of land in Ontonagon County. There is some evidence that by 1894 he had settled in Polkton, Ottawa County, Michigan by 1894, but that is by no means certain. In 1902 he was living in Texola , Greer County, Oklahoma, and probably around 1907 as well although he soon afterwards returned to Saranac.

Richard was probably still living in Saranac when he died of pneumonia on January 23, 1909, probably in Saranac. He was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot 144.