Martin Beebe

Martin Beebe was born about 1825 in Genesee County, New York, possibly the son of Theophilus (b. 1795) and Harriet (b. 1797).

New York natives Theophilus and Harriet were presumably married in New York where they resided for many years. By 1850 Martin was probably working as a farmer and living with his family on a large farm (his father owned some $2000 worth of real estate) in Lysander, Onondaga County.

Martin was married to New York native Nancy J. Kincaid (1828-1881), in Onondaga County, New York, and they had at least three children: Mary E. (b. 1851), Sama J. (b. 1854) and Rosella, Rosalia or Rose L. (b. 1857).

Martin and his wife resided in New York for some years. Between 1851 and 1854 Martin took his family and left New York state and by 1860 had settled in western Michigan where he was working as a farmer living with his wife and children in Cascade Township, Kent County.

Martin stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 36 years old and probably still living in Cascade when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was present for duty through August but by October had been reported as absent sick, quite possibly at Seminary Hospital in Georgetown, DC, reportedly suffering from fever.

He apparently returned to the regiment but suffered a relapse in the field and in December he was listed as “sick in quarters”, implying that if he had been hospitalized he was most likely back with the regiment but not performing any duty. (He was also reportedly treated at a field hospital in or near Arlington, Virginia.) In any case, he remained sick in his quarters through April and was discharged for consumption on June 5, 1862, near Fair Oaks, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Martin returned home to Cascade where he reentered the service in Company H, Sixth Michigan cavalry on September 10, 1862, for 3 years, crediting Cascade, and was mustered October 1 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was being organized. He was left sick at Camp Kellogg in Grand Rapids, on December 10 when the regiment left for Washington (where it would participate in the defenses until June of 1863).

He was still sick in camp in Michigan in February of 1863. According to Martin, “on or about the 17th day of November 1862, while with his company going through skirmisher drill at Camp Kellogg . . . and while scouting through a piece of woods, he was struck in the right eye by a limb or bough of a tree which injured the eye in such a manner as to cause the entire loss of sight within the next month.”

In fact, it quite likely that Martin never left Michigan and probably remained at his home in Cascade or in Grand Rapids at the rendezvous camp until he was discharged for disability (probably for the injury of the right eye) on April 1, 1863, at Detroit. By the end of the month he was reportedly living at his home in Cascade.

Martin settled for a time in Stanton, Montcalm County, but apparently he and his wife moved back to New York and were living either in Lockport, Niagara County, New York or at 482 Main Street in Buffalo, in May of 1880. His wife Nancy died the following year in Lockport. Martin subsequently returned to western Michigan and was was undergoing treatment for a lung ailment in 1882 in Montcalm County.

It seems that Martin was married to one Amelia C., and they were living in McBride in 1884. (Curiously, Martin never mentions this marriage in any of his subsequent affidavits to the Pension Bureau. Yet when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldier’s Home in 1890 he was reported as a married man, and not as a widower, while his nearest relative was listed as his daughter Rosa, then living in Stanton.)

In any case, according to Amelia’s statement (undated) she had

been in attendance of all his sickness since 1884 in March he was taken violently sick with lung complaint and bleed [sic] for some time. Had to have the doctor which treated him for some time. He was confined to his bed about 4 weeks. He got Hall’s Lung Balsom and used that through the summer. In the winter of 184 & 5 he was taken again with lung trouble and came very near bleeding to death and was sick all winter and unable to do but any little work for one year. He has complained all summer with pain right lung. About a week ago he was taken very sudden with pneumonia. [He] thought he was dying and the doctor thought so. We had all we could do to keep him alive for he knew but little for 48 hours. He has not been able to do anything since, When he is very sick he employs a doctor, other times he has prescriptions [and] also uses patent medicines.

Martin apparently recovered, however, and was living in McBride, Montcalm County by 1887, and for many years worked off and on as a farmer. Montcalm County marriage records list one Martin Beebe who married on Mrs. Susan S. Joseph in Montcalm, on October 17, 1888.

He listed himself as a married man when he entered the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1274) on March 17, 1890, was dropped on July 16, 1891, and probably returned to Montcalm County. He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic McCook Post No. 94 in McBride, but not a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association (although he was listed in their records).

Martin apparently moved to Indiana and was probably living in South Bend in 1893. He was a widower when he married his fourth (or third or second) wife, Christina Heaton, on March 20, 1895, in Goshen, Indiana, and Martin was residing in Elkhart, Indiana in 1897 and 1898.

In 1862 he applied for and received pension no. 259,332, drawing $12.00 per month by September of 1899.

Martin died possibly in Indiana or perhaps in Montcalm County. In any case, he was buried in the Grand Army of the Republic section of Forest Home cemetery in Greenville.