Benjamin Franklin, Isaac O., John Nelson and Thomas Milo Waite

Benjamin Franklin Waite was born October 1, 1839, in Summit County, Ohio, the son of Isaac E. (1800-1859) and Rebecca (Dove, d. 1844).

Massachusetts native Isaac married his first wife Matilda Jenkins in 1824 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and they had at least five children (one of whom was Isaac O. who would enlist in the Third Michigan infantry). Isaac married his second wife, Rebecca Dove in 1836 in Medina County, Ohio (and three of their sons would also enlist in the Old Third, one of whom was Benjamin). Isaac E. was married a third time to New York-born Jean or Joana Willis or Wills (b. 1813) sometime before 1850 by which time Isaac was working as a shoemaker in Richfield, Summit County, Ohio, where Benjamin (listed as “Franklin”) attended school with seven of his siblings, including his brothers John and Thomas and his half-brother Isaac.

Isaac moved most of the family to Indiana sometime in the early 1850s, possibly settling in Angola before moving to Michigan where he settled the family in Georgetown, Ottawa County by 1854, and in 1860 Benjamin may have been a farm laborer working for Marcus Lane in Cheshire, Allegan County.

By 1860 there was one Joana Wait (b. 1814 in New York) listed as the head of the household; living with here was one William Kelley (b. 1831 in New York) and one Thomas M. either Wait or Kelley (b. 1843 in Ohio). This is probably Thomas Milo Wait (see below). Two houses away lived a 35-year-old farm laborer named Allen Wait and his wife (?) Melissa, on the Edson farm.

Benjamin stood 6’4” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 22-year-old lumberman probably living in Georgetown when he enlisted as First Corporal or Sergeant in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his half-brother Isaac and brother John; Walter Waite of Company K may have been a cousin and he may have been related to Thomas Waite. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) Ben was reported sick in the hospital in January of 1863, and by April had been detached to the ambulance corps where he remained at least through July.

In November, for reasons unknown, he was reduced to the ranks from Sergeant by order of Colonel Stephen Champlin and fined one-months’ pay. He nonetheless reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Tyrone, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, possibly in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment (or ambulance corps) on or about the first of February.

By the first of March Benjamin was back with the ambulance corps and still on detached service when he was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He probably remained with the ambulance corps through October, and from December through January of 1865 was a nurse serving in the medical department in City Point hospital, Virginia. By February he was back with the ambulance train where he remained through May, and was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Benjamin returned to Michigan, settling in Ottawa County again.

He was married to Ohio native Laura Jane Thompson (1843-1919), on December 30, 1866, in Georgetown, Ottawa County, and they probably had at least five children: Lillian A. (b. 1868), Rosetta D. (b. 1870), Miles A. (b. 1873), Maretta A. (b. 1876) and Ruby Dove (b. 1881).

Benjamin remained in Georgetown for some years, but by 1873 had settled in Colfax, Michigan and by 1878 in Manton, Wexford County. By 1880 he was working in a saw mill and living with his wife and children in Colfax, and he was living in Manton in 1881.

He was possibly living in Grand Rapids in 1888 but had apparently moved back to Manton by 1890. He was living in Greenwood, Wexford County in 1894, in Manistee, Manistee County in 1906 and 1909, and in Manton in 1911. In fact he probably lived the rest of his life in Manton. He married his second wife, Canadian-born Victoria (b. 1854) and by 1920 they were living in Cedar Creek, Wexford County.)

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and Grand Army of the Republic Morton Post No. 54.

He applied for and received a pension (no. 415295).

Benjamin was possibly a widower when he died on September 3, 1924, in Manton and was buried in Greenwood cemetery, in Manton, section 1, lot no. 186 (presumably next to his wife Laura).

Isaac O. Waite was born on January 31, 1836, probably in Richfield, Summit County, Ohio, the son of Isaac E. (1800-1859) and Matilda (Jenkins or Allen).

Massachusetts native Isaac married his first wife Matilda Jenkins in 1824 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and they had at least five children (one of whom was Isaac O. who would enlist in the Third Michigan infantry). Isaac married his second wife, Rebecca Dove in 1836 in Medina County, Ohio (and three of their sons would also enlist in the Old Third, one of whom was Isaac O.). Isaac E. was married a third time to New York-born Jean or Joana Willis or Wills (b. 1813) sometime before 1850 by which time Isaac was working as a shoemaker in Richfield, Summit County, Ohio, where Benjamin (listed as “Franklin”) attended school with seven of his siblings, including his half-brothers John, Thomas and Benjamin.

Isaac E. moved most of the family to Indiana sometime in the early 1850s, possibly settling in Angola for a brief period before moving to Michigan where he settled the family in Georgetown, Ottawa County in 1854.

By 1860 there was one Joana Wait (b. 1814 in New York) listed as the head of the household; living with here was one William Kelley (b. 1831 in New York) and one Thomas M. either Wait or Kelley (b. 1843 in Ohio). This is probably Thomas Milo Wait (see below). Two houses away lived a 35-year-old farm laborer named Allen Wait and his wife (?) Melissa, on the Edson farm. In any case, Isaac may very well have been working as a farm laborer and living with John and Maria Wait in Michigan Township, Clinton County, Indiana in 1860.

Isaac O. stood 6’0” with dark eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was a 25-year-old farmer probably living in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his half-brothers Benjamin, Thomas and John; Walter Waite of Company K may have been a cousin. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

He was discharged probably for disability sometime in October or on December 1, 1861, or possibly in May of 1862.

Isaac O. was married to Ohio native Adelia A. Thompson (1849-1886), on January 31, 1863, and they had at least 4 children: Leon Abijah (b. 1863), Charles Burton (b. 1868), Allen D. (1870-1846), and Ira P (b. 1876).

After he left the army Isaac returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company B, First Michigan Light Artillery on November 29, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Georgetown and was mustered on December 29, 1863 probably at Grand Rapids where the battery was originally organized between September 10 and December 14, 1861. (The battery left Michigan on December 17 for St. Louis, Missouri, and during the battle of Shiloh in early April was overhwlemed and captured except for Lang’s section which was attached to Mann’s Battery “C,” First Missouri Artillery. It was subsequently reorganized at Detroit in December of 1862.)

The battery left for Columbus, Kentucky on Christmas day, and remained in Columbus until it was moved to Corinth, Mississippi January 4-9, 1863. It remained in Corinth until early March when it was moved to Bethel, Tennessee and remained on duty there until early June. It subsequently moved back to Corinth on June 7 and remained there until October 29 when it was moved to Pulaski, Tennessee, remaining on duty there until late April of 1864.

It participated in the Atlanta campaign from May until September and was on duty at Rome, Georgia until mid-October. It then moved to Alabama where it participated in numerous operations and was also involved in the March to the Sea November 15 to December 10. It was possibly during the March to the Sea campaign, and according to one source perhaps during the battery’s engagement at Griswold, Georgia, that Isaac was short in the left side “the bullet traveling across his back muscles and coming to rest against his spine.” It was decided by the surgeons to leave the bullet where it was rather than risk paralyzing him and according to subsequent statements this caused him some considerable pain for years afterwards.

In any event Isaac recovered his health enough to rejoin the regiment and was possibly on duty by the time the regiment participated in the siege of Savannah in late December and the campaign of the Carolinas from January until April of 1865.

The battery assisted in the occupation of Raleigh, North Carolina on April 14, participated in Johnston’s surrender and the march to Washington via Richmond April 29 to May 19 and Isaac was with the battery when it joined in the Grand Review in Washington, on May 24. It was then moved to Detroit June 1-6, 1865. Isaac was mustered out with the battery on June 14, 1865 at Detroit.

After he was discharged from the army Isaac returned to Michigan, probably first to Grand Rapids, but by 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Georgetown, Ottawa County. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Georgetown; next door lived Allen Wait and his family. Isaac was living in the Hudsonville area of Ottawa County in 1888 and 1890. Sometime around 1891 he was residing in Kalkaska County, and may have lived for a time in Manton, Wexford County (possibly with or near his half-brother Benjamin).

Isaac may have been a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. He applied for and received a pension (no. 884251).

Isaac died on June 20, 1913, in Manton, and was buried in Georgetown cemetery. (There is also a report of his burial in Ridgeview memorial gardens in Hudsonville, Ottawa County)

John Nelson Waite was born on September 10, 1840, in Richfield, Summit County, Ohio, the son of Isaac E. (1800-1859) and Rebecca (Dove, d. 1844).

Massachusetts native Isaac married his first wife Matilda Jenkins in 1824 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and they had at least five children (one of whom was Isaac O. who would enlist in the Third Michigan infantry). Isaac married his second wife, Rebecca Dove in 1836 in Medina County, Ohio (and three of their sons would also enlist in the Old Third, one of whom was Benjamin). Isaac E. was married a third time to New York-born Jean or Joana Willis or Wills (b. 1813) sometime before 1850 by which time Isaac was working as a shoemaker in Richfield, Summit County, Ohio, where John attended school with seven of his siblings, including his brothers Thomas and Benjamin and his half-brother Isaac.

John reportedly left home around 1850 and lived with a neighbor in Summit County, Ohio until about 1856. His father had moved to Indiana sometime in the early 1850s, possibly settling in Angola before moving to Michigan where he settled the family in Georgetown, Ottawa County by 1854, and that same year John accompanied the neighbor to Macomb County. Two years later he moved to Ottawa County where he lived with his father and worked on neighboring farms.

By 1860 there was one Joana Wait (b. 1814 in New York) listed as the head of the household; living with here was one William Kelley (b. 1831 in New York) and one Thomas M. either Wait or Kelley (b. 1843 in Ohio). This is probably Thomas Milo Wait (see below). Two houses away lived a 35-year-old farm laborer named Allen Wait and his wife (?) Melissa, on the Edson farm.

John stood 6’0” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old cooper probably living in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, with his half-brother Isaac and brothers Benjamin and Thomas; Walter Waite of Company K was his cousin. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He was sick in the hospital in August of 1862 until he was discharged on September 27 at Chesapeake hospital, Fortress Monroe, Virginia, for hypertrophy of the left ventricle of the heart.

After he was discharged from the army John returned to Ottawa County and on December 14, 1862, married New York native Jane L. Johnson (b. 1846), and they had at least eight children: Frank Dorr (d. 1873), Mrs. Eva R. Hoyt (b. 1864), Louis Ruez (b. 1866), John J. (b. 1868), Mrs. Carrie Laverne Barnaby (b. 1871), Glenn Howard (b. 1875), Theresa B. and Byron.

John was married a second time, to Mrs. Martha Martin (d. 1919).

Soon after he married Jane John settled on a farm in Jamestown, Ottawa County where he resided until 1870 when he moved to Hanley, Ottawa County and engaged in the mercantile business. By 1880 he was working as a grocer and living with his wife and children in Jamestown. In 1883 he moved to Hudsonville, Ottawa County and opened a mercantile establishment, expanding his business in 1890.

He was living in Hudsonville in 1894, and possibly in 1896 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and he was still residing in Hudsonville from 1906-11. In 1885 he applied for and received a pension (no. 466886).

John was active in the local school board, was a Freemason, and, though formerly a Republican, he switched first to the “Greenback Party” and then to the Democratic party about 1890. He served for many years as a Justice of the Peace and for four years was Township Supervisor. John was appointed Postmaster in Hanley in 1872 and in Hudsonville in 1884, a position he held through 1893. In 1920 he was living with his daughter Theresa and her husband Frank Bowmaster in Georgetown, Ottawa County.

He died a widower on Wednesday August 30, 1922, at the home of his daughter, Mrs.Theresa Bowmaster in Hudsonville, Ottawa County. Funeral services were held on September 1, and he was buried in Georgetown cemetery.

Thomas Milo Waite was born on July 11, 1842, in Summit County, Ohio, the son of Isaac E. (1800-1859) and Rebecca (Dove, d. 1844).

Massachusetts native Isaac married his first wife Matilda Jenkins in 1824 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and they had at least five children (one of whom was Isaac O. who would enlist in the Third Michigan infantry). Isaac married his second wife, Rebecca Dove in 1836 in Medina County, Ohio (and three of their sons would also enlist in the Old Third, one of whom was Benjamin). Isaac E. was married a third time to New York-born Jean Willis or Wills (b. 1813) sometime before 1850 by which time Isaac was working as a shoemaker in Richfield, Summit County, Ohio, where Thomas (listed as “Milo”) attended school with seven of his siblings, including his brothers John and Benjamin and his half-brother Isaac.

By 1860 there was one Joana Wait (b. 1814 in New York) listed as the head of the household; living with her was one William Kelley (b. 1831 in New York) and one Thomas M. either Wait or Kelley (b. 1843 in Ohio). This is probably Thomas Milo Wait. Two houses away lived a 35-year-old farm laborer named Allen Wait and his wife (?) Melissa, on the Edson farm.

Thomas stood 6’1” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his brothers Benjamin and John, half brother Isaac and one Walter Waite of Company K may have been a cousin. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

Thomas was shot in the left forearm, fracturing the arm, on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and by late July he was a patient at the U.S. General Hospital in Annapolis, Maryland. He remained hospitalized until he was discharged on October 9 at Annapolis for a “gunshot wound of the left forearm with fracture, loss of substance of the ulna.” His discharging physician also noted that he “Has no pronation [or] supination and but little use of the forearm.”

Following his release from the army Thomas returned to Michigan, probably to Ottawa County. By 1870 Thomas was working as a laborer and living with the Justus Waite family in Blendon, Ottawa County; also living there was Walter Waite, the son of Justus and who had also served in the Third Michgian during the war. (In 1870 there was a 28-year-old Thomas Wait, born in New York married to New York native Lucy (b. 1848) and they had at least two children: Ann (b. 1867) and Sarah (b. 1869). He was a farmer (he owned $2000 worth of real estate) and living with his his wife and two daughters in Georgetown, Ottawa County; also living nearby were two of the Tate brothers (Alfred and John) who had also served in the Third Michigan infantry and their parents. )

By 1880 Thomas was working as a farm hand for one Eugene Williams in Burr oak, St. Joseph County.

He was living in Hanley, Ottawa County in 1883 when he married Mara or Mary Prescott Cook (1852-1904) on September 27, 1883, in Grandville, Kent County, and they had at lerast two children: George H. and Bernice (Mrs. Gibson).

Thomas eventually settled in Hudsonville, Ottawa County where he was living in 1896, 1888, 1890, in Georgetown in 1894, in Hudson in December of 1896 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

By 1906 he had moved into Grand Rapids and was residing at 42 South Division. In 1907 he was living at 319 Jefferson and was still in in Grand Rapids in 1909, but had moved to Georgetown, Ottawa County, by 1910. By 1918 Thomas was back in Grand Rapids residing at 1051 Jefferson Street. He provided an affidavit for the pension application of the children of Samuel Camp (also of Company I) on August 10, 1896, and he himself received pension no. 12,575, drawing $10.00 per month in 1883.

Thomas was a widower when he died of bronchitis, on Wednesday evening, December 11, 1918, at his home at 1051 Jefferson in Grand Rapids, and the funeral service was held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in a Hudsonville church. He was reportedly buried in Georgetown cemetery, although in fact he was interred in Grandville cemetery, lot no. 659.