Henry Clay

Henry Clay was born February 22, 1849, in England.

Henry eventually emigrated from England and settled in the United States. In 1860 there was one Henry Clay, born in England in 1847, living with his father William D. (b. 1825), a farm laborer, in Antrim, Shiawassee County.

Henry stood 5’3” with gray eyes, light hair and a dark complexion, and was an 18-year-old laborer living in Campbell, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company I on February 2, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Campbell, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

He was reported absent sick in July of 1864, and mustered out on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is not known if Henry returned to Michigan. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living in Lancaster County, Nebraska.

Henry married Missouri native Manda J. Dudley (b. 1850) and they had at least five children: James D. (adopted), George B. (b. 1877), William (b. 1879), Minnie C. and Josephine (b. 1881, Mrs. Charles Smothers). Manda had been married at least once before and had two sons from her previous marriage.

By 1877 Henry and Manda were living in Kansas and in Nebraska in 1879. By 1880 Henry was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children and two stepsons in Panama, Lancaster County, Nebraska. By the early 1880s Henry was probably still living in Nebraska (where his daughter had been born), but eventually settled in Missouri. By 1890 Henry was living in Blue, Jackson County, Missouri. He and Manda eventually divorced.

Sometime around 1916 Henry, who had worked as a laborer, went to live with his daughter Josephine and her husband Charles Smothers and their children in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, and he remained with them for at least 12 years.

In January of 1927 he married Laura Ward in Kansas City, Missouri; but they were together just a short time when the two separated.

Laura was living in Panama City, Nebraska in 1928, and in San Bernardino, California in 1929. In July of 1929 Henry sued Laura for divorce and the decree was entered into the record in Jackson County, Missouri. Nevertheless the Pension Bureau found in Laura’s favor when she sought to gain access to half of his pension and they accepted her argument that he had in fact deserted her in January of 1927.

In 1874 he applied for and received a pension (no. 130619).

Henry was living in Kansas City, Missouri, where he died on January 31, 1933, and the funeral was held at the Rose and Henderson funeral home. Henry was buried in Panama Cemetery, Panama, Nebraska on February 2, 1933.