Lycurgus E. Granger - updated 01/03/2009

Lycurgus E. Granger was born on November 19, 1839, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan (according to a statement he made on May 12, 1912, Pension Records, National Archives), probably the son of Thomas A. (1808-1901) and Julia Ann (Hubbard, 1809-1879). Thomas was the older brother of Sylvester Granger (1810-1845) who was married to Matilda Walker (b. 1810).

In 1860 there was one Lyman E. Granger, age 21, working as a carpenter and living at the Eagle Hotel in Grand Rapids (also living at the Eagle was George Nairn who would also join the Third Michigan).

Lycurgus stood 5’6’, with dark eyes and complexion and black hair and was 22 years old and probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861.

He was reported to be driving an ambulance from July of 1862 through March of 1863, in June he was with the ammunition train, in July was a guard on the ammunition train, and in August he was AWOL. He apparently lost his right eye at some point in the war, and was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps on September 14, 1863, probably to the One hundred-forty-fourth company, Second Battalion. He allegedly deserted from the VRC in New York City on December 4, 1863.

Lycurgus eventually returned to Michigan and was possibly living in northern Michigan when he married Eliza Ann Kidd on July 16, 1867, in Bay City, Michigan. They were divorced in 1871 in Chicago.

Eliza claimed in 1907, however that she was not, in fact. the Eliza Granger who was divorced from Lycurgus in 1871 in Chicago. That woman had been married to one Lyman Granger and they had a daughter. She and Lycurgus had no children.

Furthermore this other “Eliza” had remarried her brother-in-law and that she was reportedly a blond while she herself was dark. For his part, Lycurgus claimed in 1907, that his wife had left him in 1868 or 1869. “I never seen her but twice since she left me. The last time I saw her was in 1873. At that time she told me that she had a divorce from me and have always taken it for granted that she was divorced since that time. She informed me that she secured her divorce in Chicago. . . .”

In any case, in 1907 Eliza claimed that Lycurgus was a traveling salesman and that prior to 1873 he left her a number of times while they were living in Rockport, Illinois, and that in the fall of 1873

he went away with the understanding that when he obtained a home for [her] she was to come to him; that he wrote her several months after and said he had brain fever but did not speak of returning home or of his future plans, and she did not from him again until 1875, when he wanted to know if she would live with him again; that she wrote him that she would, but that she would have to bring her mother with her; that he answered stating he would as soon as live in hell as to live with [her] mother, and that she never heard from him since.

Sometime in 1879, Eliza continued, she finally learned of Lycyrgus’ address and “wrote him of her mother’s death, and that she would come and live with him, but never received any answer to [the] letter.”

He was probably residing in Grand Rapids, and in 1867-68 was working as a laborer and living at the Bronson House. In 1868-69 he was employed as a laborer living on Ottawa between Bronson and Lyon Streets. By 1880 he was listed as divorced and working as a traveling salesman and boarding at the John Grant’s hotel in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward. He was still living in Grand Rapids in September of 1885 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

By 1888 he was residing at 1083 Michigan Avenue in Detroit, at 976 Michigan Avenue in 1890, and on January 2, 1891, when he transferred to a Detroit Grand Army of the Republic post from Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids.

He received pension no. 736,221, drawing $25.00 in 1912.

He also reportedly resided in Saginaw County for a year and a half and in Saratoga, New York for three years.

By 1899 Lycurgus was working as a salesman and living in Lawton, Van Buren County when he was admitted on March 9, 1899, to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3281).

Curiously, in a statement Lycurgus gave in 1907, in response to Eliza’ efforts to obtain part of his pension, he declared that he had remarried around 1902 and that his wife was living near the Michigan Soldier’s Home. (According to family historian Tim Stark, Lycurgus had in fact remarried one Rachel P. Fowler, nee Barber, on June 10, 1902, in Grand Rapids.)

Lycurgus died of apoplexy at 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, 1915, and was buried in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 4 grave no. 37. He had no known family when he died. (His obituary in the Grand Rapids Press read, in part, that the Home “authorities have no record of any of his relatives.”)

Eliza was living in Chicago when she was allowed one-half of Lycurgus’ pension in December of 1907, and in July of 1915 she was living in Minnesota when she applied for a pension (no. 1049783). However her claim was rejected on the ground that she had obtained a divorce from Lycurgus in 1871.