Lawrence Croy

Lawrence Croy was born September 13, 1839, in Coshoctan County, Ohio, the son of Jacob (1811-1886) and Mary Ann (Schults, b. 1818)

Lawrence’s parents were both born in Ohio and were probably married there sometime before 1837. In any case the family was living in Washington, Coshocton County, Ohio in 1850 and resided in Ohio for some years before emigrating westward. Jacob eventually settled his family in Lansing, Ingham County, and by 1860 Lawrence was working as a day laborer along with his father and older brother Philip and living with his family in Lansing’s First Ward.

Lawrence stood 5’6” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion, and was a 21-year-old laborer probably living in Lansing's First Ward when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles”, was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.) He was wounded severely in the leg on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and in early June was among the wounded reported to be in a Washington hospital; although Homer Thayer of Company G wrote on June 20 that Croy was in fact a patient in the State Hospital at New Haven, Connecticut. In any case, he remained hospitalized from July of 1862 through January of 1863, and was discharged on February 13, 1863, at New Haven, Connecticut for “deformity of the left leg in consequence of fracture of the femur from wound received in action.”

After his discharge from the army Lawrence returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company B, Third Michigan cavalry in early spring of 1864, crediting Dewitt, Clinton County, and joined the Regiment in March, possibly at Little Rock, Arkansas. In May Lawrence was reported on furlough, possibly as a consequence of being ill although this is by no means certain. In any case he was discharged for disability on July 10, 1864, at Devall’s Bluff, Arkansas.

Lawrence listed Grand Rapids on his discharge paper as his mailing address but he would eventually return to Lansing, where he lived for some fifty years, working as a laborer.

He married Ohio native Mary J. Elder (b. 1848-1872), on June 15, 1863 in Dewitt, Clinton County, Michigan or in Macomb, Ohio, and they had at least four children: John (b. 1867), Ira Jacob, (b. 1868), Virgel (b. 1871) and one other.

The family lived in Macomb, Ohio for several months before moving to Toledo where they remained for “some time”, Lawrence eventually brought his family to Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan. By 1870 he was working as an engineer and living with his wife in Lansing’s Third Ward. After Mary died in Lansing in 1872, Lawrence placed his son John in the care of a man named Wrath, and another son Ira went to live with his grandmother. Lawrence married his second wife, a woman named Agnes “Belle” Kramer, at which time, according to John and Ira, they returned to his father’s home. Lawrence and Belle had at least one child: Mary Ann. They were separated and subsequently divorced (she eventually married a man named Brooks).

In fact, in June of 1875 “Belle” sued Lawrence for divorce, on the grounds of cruelty and adultery.

The divorce was granted and Lawrence was ordered to pay $5 per week alimony and child support.

On June 15, 1878 Lawrence married his third wife, Margaret Cinderella “Cinda” Fletcher (1858?-1910), in Findaly, Hancock County, Ohio, and they had at least three children: Jesse or Jessie (b. 1886) Wesley (b. 1887) and Thornton (b. 1890).

Lawrence had a total of eight children by his three wives. Other children’s names were: Bert and Mrs. Wayne Gregory.

In his last years he was residing at 444 Grand Street, (North) Lansing.

Lawrence became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in June of 1904, and in July of 1889 joined the Grand Army of the Republic Foster Post No. 42 in Lansing.

In 1863 (?) He applied for and received a pension (no. 16337), drawing $30 per month by 1907.

Lawrence died of paralysis and a “general breaking down” on April 5, 1908, at his home at 412 Lapeer Street, Lansing. One obituary reported “For the last four weeks, the flag on the hall of Charles T. Foster post Grand Army of the Republic has been half mast for some member of the order. The flag was again placed in that position for Lawrence W. Croy who passed away last night. . . . He had resided in Lansing for 50 years.” The funeral was held on April 9 at his home at 2:00 p.m., under the auspices of the GAR. He was buried in Mt. Hope cemetery in Lansing: section B, lot 229, grave 7.

In 1908 his widow Cinda applied for and received a pension (no. 665,696).