Emerson Danforth

Emerson Danforth was born around 1822 or 1823 in St. Albans, Franklin County, Vermont, probably the son of William (1794-1850) and Louisa (Keyes).

Vermonter William married Louisa, possibly in Vermont, where they resided for some years. In any case, Emerson left Vermont and was probably working as a laborer and living with the Dennis Andrew family on a farm in Richmond, Berkshire County, Massachusetts in 1850. (His father William's family was from western Massachusetts.)

Emerson eventually moved westward -- his father William had moved to Newbury, Wisconsin where he died in 1850 -- and by 1864 Emerson had settled in northern Michigan where he found work as a logger.

Emerson was probably married in 1861, in Manistee, Michigan, to Canadian-born Eunice (1836?-1882) and they had at least three children: Emma (Mrs. Crouch, b. 1864), Elbert (b. 1866) and Olive (b. 1878).

Emerson and his wife were living in Wisconsin in 1864 when Emma was born.

Emerson stood 5’5” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 41-year-old lumberman living in Manistee, Manistee County when he enlisted in Company I on February 29, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County and many of whom had worked in the logging and lumbering business.) He joined the Regiment March 20 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. It is not known how long Emerson remained with the regiment since he was reported absent sick through December of 1864. In any case, he was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is not known if Emerson returned to Wisconsin after his discharge.

By 1866 Emerson had settled in Michigan and by 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Brown, Manistee County. He was probably living in northern Michigan in 1873 when he purchased 160 acres of land through the Traverse City land office. He served as treasurer for the Township of Maple Grove in Manistee County and in 1880 was living in Brown with his wife and three children (his oldest daughter Emma was working as a teacher). (There was also one C. N. Danforth, born 1826 in New York who was living with his wife and children in Manistee, Manistee County in 1880.) It was quite likely that Emerson was living in Manistee in 1882 when his wife died.

In any case, on June 22, 1893, Emerson was admitted to the Northwestern Branch National Military Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; he was still living in the National Home in Milwaukee in 1896. Emerson may have returned to Michigan and was possibly living in Manistee around 1900.

Emerson was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and he applied for and received a pension (no. 846153).

Emerson died on May 22, 1902, possibly in Milwaukee although he does not appear to be buried in Wood National cemetery at the National Home. He may in fact have died and was buried in Manistee, Michigan