Job Brewer

Job Brewer was born November 10, 1840, in Grass Lake Township, Jackson County, Michigan, the son of Alonzo (b. 1793) and Laura Eliza (Lucas, b. 1805).

Vermont native Alonzo married New York-born “Eliza” and moved to Michigan from New York between 1828 and 1840, settling for a time in Jackson County. By 1850 Alonzo had settled the family in Alpine, Kent County where he worked a farm and where Job attended school with his siblings. In 1860 Job was still living with his family in Alpine, Kent County.

Job stood 5’10” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was promoted to Corporal, and in early February of 1863 was recommended for promotion to Sergeant. On February 10, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Byron R. Pierce, then commanding the Third Michigan, recommended Brewer for promotion. “I take pleasure,” he wrote the Michigan Adjutant General, “in recommending Corpl Job Brewer of Co F of this Regiment for promotion. He has served with this Regiment since June 1861 and has participated in all the engagements with it during the Peninsular Campaign [and was] also at Blackburn’s Ford, Second Bull Run & Fredericksburg. He has distinguished himself for coolness & bravery in the battles. In camp he has a good moral character [and] is a good disciplinarian and commands the respect of officers and men.”

There is, however, no record of Brewer ever being promoted to Sergeant. In early March of 1863 his sister Laura married a former member of Company F, Ambrose Bell, in Norfolk, Virginia. Ambrose and Job had been good friends (Ambrose mentioned Job in several letters home, referring to him once as a “good soldier”) and presumably Job attended the wedding.

Job was present for duty when he was shot in the left thigh on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and was subsequently awarded the Kearny Cross for his service during that engagement. He was treated for his wounds, presumably in the regimental hospital, from May 11 to the 18th and returned to duty, and again in the hospital for treatment ofg inflammation of the conjunctiva from September 23 to the 25th. He returned to duty and was apparently reduced in the ranks to private (offense unknown) by the time he was again listed as sick in mid-November (diagnosis unknown). Job was subsequently treated for chronic diarrhea from December 11, 1863 until January 3, 1864 and returned to duty. Curiously he was reported as a corporal (again) when he was being treated for dyspepsia and diarrhea from February 1 to the 10th. He returned to duty but was again being treated for diarrhea by February 12. He sprained an ankle (presumably) around April 4 and was treated for that through May 4. Job was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge Job returned to Alpine and married Harriet A. House (d. 1929) on February 15, 1865, in Sparta, Kent County; they had at least four children: Minnie May (b. 1868), Oscar L. (b. 1873), Myrtle Anne (b. 1879 and Theo (b. 1888).

A month later he reentered the service, reportedly in “Hancock’s Army Corps”, Veterans’ Reserve Corps, on March 15, 1865, for one year, and was mustered the same day, crediting Alpine. According to the War Department, however, Job enlisted in Company I, Fifth U.S. Veteran Volunteers for one year, on March 15, 1865. He was reported absent on furlough for 20 days from August 23, 1865, and presumably returned to duty. He was probably a corporal when mustered out of service with the company in New York City, on March 15, 1866.

In any case, after the war Job returned to Michigan and resided in Kent County until about 1869, then moved to Muskegon County where he lived for about five or six years before moving on to Newaygo County. He lived in Newaygo County for five years and then settled in Luther, Lake County where he was living in 1888, 1890, in 1892 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In fact Job lived the remainder of his life in the Luther area. Job testified in the pension application of Henry Magoon, also formerly in the Third Michigan Infantry.

In 1891 Job himself applied for and received a pension (no. 953,339), drawing $15.00 per month by 1911.

Sometime around 1891 Harriet and Job separated and, according to one Henry A. Cutler (a neighbor in Luther), although they both resided in Luther, they lived apart: Job with his oldest daughter and her husband (Mr. and Mrs. Will Matthews) and his wife Harriet with her younger girl who taught school in Luther at the time. Henry further claimed he did not know the cause of the separation but that he was certain there was never a divorce.

Job was still living in Luther in 1894, and in fact he probably lived in Luther the rest of his life. He was a member of GAR Wells Post No. 218 in Luther.

Job died of paresis (paralysis) at his home in Luther on May 15, 1911, and was presumably buried there.

In 1911 his widow applied for and received a pension, no. 728,251, drawing $50.00 per month by 1929.