John Fluhrer

John Fluhrer was born June 8, 1838, in Germany, the son of John.

Sometime before the war broke out, John (younger) left Germany and immigrated to America, eventually settling in western Michigan.

He stood 5’5” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was a 22-year-old blacksmith probably living in Kent County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal in Company F on May 13, 1861. “On or about the fourth (4th) day of April, 1862, he was attacked by a disease of the throat and entirely lost his voice, but still remained with his regiment in the line of his duty” until August 15, 1862 when he was sent to McKim hospital in Baltimore. He remained hospitalized in Baltimore until he was discharged on December 10, 1862, for aphonia (loss of voice) at Baltimore, Maryland.

After his discharge from the army John returned to Grand Rapids where he was living in January of 1863 when he applied for a pension (no. 10,664); by 1883 he was drawing $2.00 for aphonia (pension no. 10,664), and $15 per month by 1908.

He was living in Grand Rapids when he married Neu Darmstadt native Catharine or Katarina Ritz (1838-1916) on December 15, 1864, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least five children: Elizabeth (b. 1867), Mary (b. 1870), Sophia (b. 1876) and two unknown.

He was working as a laborer in Grand Rapids in 1865-66, and living at 143 Turner Street on the west side of the Grand River. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Lisbon, Chester Township, Ottawa County. By 1883 he living in Ravenna, Muskegon County, where he was living in 1886 when he became a charter member of Grand Army of the Republic Sperry Post No. 337 in Ravenna. In 1888 he was living in Muskegon, Muskegon County, and in 1890 and 1894 he was residing in Harrisburg, Chester Township, Ottawa County.

John died of cardiac asthma in Conklin, Chester Township on June 18, 1909, and was buried in the Lutheran cemetery in Chester.

The epitaph on his tombstone carries two verse references from the Bible: the first is 2nd Timothy, 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing;” and second is Psalm 4:8, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”

His widow was living in Conklin, Ottawa County when she applied for a pension in July of 1909.