Anton Steffes

Anton Steffes was born in 1829 or 1834 in Muhlbach, Germany, the son of John and Mary (Ohlich).

Anton left Germany and immigrated to America sometime before the war broke out, eventually settling in western Michigan.

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 27-year-old farmer possibly living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was reportedly discharged on November 19, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia, for chronic rheumatism.

According to his service record, however, he was apparently sent to Columbian College hospital in Washington, DC on November 10, 1861, where he remained until he was discharged on March 1, 1862. The discharging physician noted that he suffered “from tuberculosis, for which he should be discharged from the service, and has but little rheumatism during the first week after his admission” on November 10, 1861.

Anton returned to Michigan.

He married Ohio native Louisa Strickfaden (1845-1918) and they had at least six children: Catharine (b. 1867), John (b. 1869), Susan (b. 1871), Mary (b. 1873), Anton (b. 1877) and Sophia (b. 1880).

In 1870 he was probably working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Jamestown, Ottawa County; his father John was probably also living with them. By 1880 Anton was working as a farmer and still living in Jamestown with his wife and children. He was living in Byron, Kent County in 1883 when he was drawing $8.00 per month in 1883 for disease of the lungs (pension no. 194,043, dated 1881).

Anton died in 1884 in North Dorr, Michigan, probably from tuberculosis.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 218826). By 1890 his widow was living in Jamestown, Ottawa County.