Felix Zoll

Felix Zoll was born May 19, 1832, in Ertingen, Riedlingen, Wurtemberg, Germany.

Felix left Europe in the late 1850s and came to the United States. Felix and possibly his older brother Fidelis arrived in North America in April of 1857, and eventually settled in Ohio.

He married his first wife Ohio native Elizabeth (1836-1872) in 1859, and they had at least three children: Ida or Ada (b. 1864), Mary (b. 1866) and Matilda (b. 1869).

By 1859-60 he was operating a boot-and-shoe store and living on the north side of Bridge Street between Front and Scribner Streets on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. In October of 1859 Felix joined the Grand Rapids Rifles, commanded by Captain Chris. Kusterer. (The GRR or “German Rifles” would serve as the nucleus for Company C of the Third Michigan infantry.) The following year he was reported as a bootmaker living with his wife in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. (Curiously, there was also a Felix Zoll living in Union, Champaign County, Ohio in 1860.) By 1860 Felix and his wife were living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward where he worked as a bootworker. (His older brother Fidelis was living in Ravenna, Muskegon County.) Just two houses away lived 19-year-old John Morgridge, who would join Company B in 1861.

Felix was 29 years old when he enlisted as Second Lieutenant in Company C on May 13, 1861, and was commissioned First Lieutenant on August 1, 1861.

In October of 1861 he was admitted to Georgetown Seminary hospital, suffering, he claimed in 1867, from typhoid fever, and on November 5, Dr. B. E. Thyer, Assistant Surgeon in one of the hospitals in Washington, DC, wrote to the War Department informing them that he had “carefully examined this officer and find that he has suffered from typhoid fever for six weeks, and that in consequence thereof he is in my opinion unfit for duty.” Since he could not recover his health “he was induced to resign and this was sole cause of such resignation.” Thus, on December 30, 1861, he wrote to Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas, “I hereby tender my resignation as 1st Lieutenant 3d Regiment Michigan Vols. on the following ground: I have been sick and was in the hospital about three months, I have had leave of absence for 30 days, but returned to my duty. I feel that I am not able to bear the hardships of camp life any longer. I hope that my petition will be granted.” It was. Felix was released from military service on account of typhoid fever on or about January 3, 1862.

Felix eventually returned to Michigan and was living in Lisbon or Wright, Ottawa County in 1867 when he applied for a pension (no. 95,423), drawing $17.00 per month in 1897. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughters in Wright, Ottawa County; next door lived the family of John Zoll, possibly a brother. Felix probably remained in the Lisbon area through 1872 (when his first wife died), but sometime around 1873, he either moved to Havana, Ohio and remarried, or remarried and then moved to his second wife’s home in Ohio.

Either way, he married his second wife Frances Brown (1850-1936), on June 10, 1873, in Bismark, Ohio, and they had at least seven children: Andrew J. (b. 1874), Otto V. (b. 1876), Mary M. (b. 1878), adopted daughter Mary (b. 1880), Joseph (b. 1884), Pauline (b. 1887) and Carlos B. (b. 1893). By the end of 1873 Felix was living in Havana where he would spend the rest of his days. By 1880 he was working as a shoemaker and living with his wife and children in Havana, Ohio; also living with them was his 10-year-old stepson, Mathias Brown.

He was possibly still living in Ohio in 1897.

Felix died of paralysis on October 22, 1897, in Havana, Ohio and was buried on October 24 in Havana.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 475,616).