Ashland cemetery

Porter Dennis Thayer - updated 12 Aug 2016

Porter Dennis Thayer was born in 1830 in Washtenaw County, Michigan, the son of John (b. 1791) and Hannah (Pangborn, b. 1796).

Massachussetts native John married New York-born Hannah in about 1811. Porter came to western Michigan with his family in the 1830s, living variously in Kent and Ottawa counties. By 1850 he was living with his parents on their farm in Tallmadge, Ottawa County.

Porter married New York or Michigan native Sarah Randall (1835-1921) on February 13, 1855, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least eight children: Martin A. (b. 1856), John G. (b. 1857), Richard R. (b. 1859), Mary (b. 1860), Porter (b. 1865), Cora (b. 1867), Robert (b. 1869) and Elmer (b. 1873). By 1860 Porter was working as a lumberman and living with his wife and three children in Alpine, Kent County, next to his mother and three brothers, both of whom were also lumbermen.

He stood 6’1’ with blue eyes, light hair and a fair complexion and was a 31-year-old lumberman probably living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County or possibly in Indian Creek, Alpine Township, Kent County when he enlisted in Company H on November 18, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered December 23 at Detroit. He was absent sick from August of 1862 through July of 1863, reported wounded in the leg on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg and subsequently hospitalized in Philadelphia.

Porter returned to duty and was wounded in the left leg on November 27, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia. Porter was subsequently hospitalized at Chesapeake hospital in Fortress Monroe, Virginia, and then transferred to Annapolis, Maryland. His wife and several children were on relief in Zeeland, Ottawa County in late 1863.  He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon, Muskegon County, but listing Ottawa County as his place of residence.

Porter was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, probably at home in Ottawa County, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was slightly wounded in the right arm in early May, subsequently hospitalized and was possibly still absent wounded when he was transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Porter returned to western Michigan, probably to Ottawa County. By 1870 he was working as a sawyer and living with his wife and children in Spring Lake, Ottawa County and by 1880 he was “keeping boarders” and living with his wife and children in Spring Lake.

In 1882 he applied for and received a pension (no. 333704).

Porter was killed when struck by a train on September 11, 1886, in Ashland, Newaygo County, and was buried in Ashland cemetery.

In 1890 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 340407).


Conrad Kritzer - updated 12 Aug 2016

Conrad Kritzer or Kreutzer was born on January 26, 1840, in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Moll).

Conrad came to the United States in 1855, quite possibly by himself, and worked for a while on a farm in Lisbon, Chester Township, Ottawa County. In 1857 he went to Illinois where he remained only a few months before returning to Michigan. In any case, by 1860 he apparently worked for and lived with the family of Anton Cline in Chester.

Conrad stood 5’5” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 21 years old and probably working as a farm laborer in Chester when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. He was taken prisoner on July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill, Virginia, and in early July was reported sick in a rebel hospital along the York River. He was soon released on parole, and on the afternoon of July 11 arrived at Old Point, Virginia, near Fortress Monroe, on the John Tucker. Conrad returned to the Regiment December 20 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was wounded slightly “in the body” on May 3, 1863, by a fall from some breastworks at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and was hospitalized in June and July of 1863. He was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps on July 3, 1863, where he remained until April of 1864.

Conrad was eventually discharged from the VRC and by 1865 had settled on 80 acres of land, presumably in Newaygo County. He soon moved to Grant, Newaygo County, and then on to Ashland, Newaygo County where he was living when he married Hesse-Darmstadt native Elizabeth Schafer (1846-1909) on June 4, 1868, at the Lutheran German church in Grand Rapids. They had at least six children: John (b. 1870), Charles H. (b. 1873), Henry S. (b. 1875), Mary Elizabeth (b. 1878) and “Maggie” (1879-1887).

By 1870 Conrad was working as a farmer (how owned some $1000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and daughter Matilda in Ashland. By 1880 Conrad was working as a farmer and living in Ashland with his wife and children. Indeed, Conrad probably lived in Ashland the rest of his life. He was living in Ashland in 1890.

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in September of 1885, and both he and his wife were members of P of H. Lodge No. 545 in Ashland. Conrad himself was a member of Lodge No. 331 I.O.O.F. at Ashland; he was also a Republican.

In 1880 he applied for and received a pension (no. 231179).

Conrad died a widower in Grant, Newaygo County, on March 22, 1916, and was buried in Ashland cemetery: section A, grave no. 64.