Frederick R. Shriver

Frederick R. Shriver was born in 1833 in Prussia or Baden, Germany.

Frederick left Germany and came to America sometime before 1855.

He married Irish-born Mary Gillespie (1834-1874), possibly in New York, and they had at least two children: Frederick (b. 1855) and Mary Armina (b. 1859).

They were living in New York in 1855 but by 1859 had moved to Grand Rapids where Fred worked as a coppersmith for Foster & Metcalf; at that time they were living on the southside of Fountain between Bostwick and Ransom Streets.

In October of that same year Fred was elected Second Lieutenant of the Valley City Guard, the prewar Grand Rapids militia company whose members would form the nucleus of Company A. In 1860 he was a coppersmith living with his wife and two children in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward. (Two doors away lived the lumber dealer JeffersonMorrison; his son Walter would also join the Third Michigan in 1861.)

Fred was still Second Lieutenant of the VCG in June of 1860, and on December 3, 1860, he was elected First Lieutenant of the VCG.

Frederick was 28 years old and still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as First Lieutenant in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was commissioned Captain on August 1, 1861, and assigned to Company B, replacing Captain Baker Borden. He was wounded in the right arm on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and on September 4 he requested a leave of absence to go home and recover his strength; Regimental Assistant surgeon W. B. Morrison confirmed the nature of his wound and also certified his request to go home on leave.

He was absent wounded until he resigned on account of disability on October 23, 1862. On October 23, he wrote from Washington, DC, to tender his resignation on account of enlarged veins in his right leg which had caused an ulcer and thereby rendering him unfit for service. And on October 25, W. B. Morrison, who was then Assistant surgeon for the regiment wrote that Fred was suffering from varicose veins of the right leg with ulceration. Indeed, Fred was honorably discharged on October 27.

After his discharge he settled briefly in Buffalo, New York, living with his brother, but in 1864 Fred returned to Grand Rapids where he lived the remainder of his life. He engaged in manufacturing plumbing fixtures, first as a coppersmith from 1865-66, living at 35 LaGrave Street, then as a foreman for the tinshop of W. D. Foster from 1867-69 and also working as a carpenter and living at 35 LaGrave. In 1870 he was back living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward where he worked as a tinsmith and owned some $8000 in real estate. (Also living with them were Maggie and Bridget Gillespie; possibly Mary’s sister and mother respectively.)

Fred was working as a sheet metal worker and living at 33 Luce Street in 1874 when his first wife Mary died. The following year he married Ohio native Mrs. Mary Pennell Moon (1838-1912) on September 16, 1875, in Grand Rapids. “Capt. Shriver is married to Mrs. Moon,” wrote the Grand Rapids Democrat. “The ceremony came off very quietly on Friday night last. Both parties are in high favor in the community, and may consider themselves overwhelmed with congratulation.” (She had been married to one John moon in Oakland County, Michigan in 1855.) Fred was working in plumbing and steam heating and living in Grand Rapids in 1880 along with his wife and daughter Mary and his mother-in-law Maria Ferris who was the widow of William P. H. Ferris who had also served in the Third Michigan.

By the early 1880s Fred had gone into partnership with a Mr. Weatherly, to open Shriver, Weatherly & company which manufactured gas and various plumbing fixtures, with a salesroom at 62 and 64 Pearl Street. “The reputation of this firm,” wrote the Eagle on September 27, 1882, “for furnishing and doing fine work is not local simply but extends to all parts of the State. No better selection or parties better informed can be found. In addition to what is shown [at the County fair] they handle a full line of heating apparatus for hot air, hot water or steam heating. The finest residences of this city bear evidence of their workmanship and superintendence.”

Fred was living in Grand Rapids, Third Ward in 1883 when he served as a school trustee. In 1887 and 1888 he was living at 98 LaGrave Street, in the Third Ward in 1890 and 1894 and in 1907 at 270 Lyon Street in Grand Rapids.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and of Grand Army of the Republic Custer post no. 5 in Grand Rapids. In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 247258), drawing $15.00 per month by 1906.

Fred was seriously injured in a sleighing accident on late Tuesday morning, February 5, 1907. According to one report, Fred had been trapped, noted the Grand Rapids Press, “beneath the body of a heavy bob sleigh while a team of maddened horses dragged him for a distance of nearly 300 feet.”Just before noon on February 5, Fred was

in the yards of S. A. Morman & Co., Wealthy Avenue and South Ionia Street. With one of his customers, Frank Roberts of Jenisonville [Ottawa County], Mr. Shriver had called to purchase a load of tile pipes. While these were being loaded upon the sleigh stood at the horses' heads holding lightly to the reins. The animals are but colts and a passing train caused them to rear suddenly and bolt. The unfortunate man was knocked down and as the vehicle passed over his prostrate body his clothing was caught upon the projecting box. In this manner he was dragged and bumped along through the Morman yards and into the yards of the Grand Rapids Ice company before the horses were finally captured. When removed from his position it was seen at a glance that he was probably fatally hurt. Both legs were broken and he was hardly recognizable.

He died of his injuries in the operating room at St. Mary's hospital in Grand Rapids.

The funeral service was held at the residence at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7. “Shriver,” wrote the Grand Rapids Herald, “whose tragic death Tuesday shocked a wide circle of friends, was eminently a good citizen. He came to Grand Rapids as a young man, enlisted in the war from here, and when peace was restored returned to enter upon a life of active business and usefulness. For more than 40 years he was identified with the city's business life and won the respect and esteem of the community by the exercise of those qualities which are admired in men. He was sterling in his integrity, staunch in his friendships and ever loyal to his public duty as a citizen.”

Fred was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section K lot 42.

In 1907 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 627940).