George W. Childs

George W. Childs was born December 1, 1840, in Onondaga County, New York, the son of Ephraim (b. 1801) and Elizabeth (Redford, b. 1818)).

New York natives, George’s parents were probably married in New York sometime before 1836 when their daughter Elizabeth was born. By 1850 Ephraim had settled the family in Schroeppel, Oswego County, New York. In 1854, when he was 14 years old, George went to live with an uncle in Ohio, and the following year he moved to Allegan County, Michigan, to live with a sister. He then moved on to Berlin (Marne), Ottawa County, where he reportedly settled, although it appears that by mid-1860 he was working as a farm laborer and living with Elmer Lord in Clay Banks, Oceana.

In any case, George stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and probably residing in Berlin (Marne) when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. By late June of 1862 he was sick in a hospital in Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia, suffering from fever and diarrhea.

It is not known if George ever returned to the Regiment and from December of 1862 through January of 1863 he was on duty at Brigade headquarters detailed as a wagoner. In February he was serving with the Brigade wagon trains, possibly as a teamster although this is by no means certain, and in April he was with the Quartermaster department. From May through August he was serving with the Regimental wagons, in September was serving as a hostler, and by October he was at First Division headquarters and in November was a teamster for the First Division. He reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids, and went home on furlough in January of 1864. Following his return, probably on or about the first of February, he resumed his duties as a teamster and by March was back with the Brigade wagon trains.

George was still serving in the Brigade wagon trains when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained on detached service with the ammunition train. In fact, he continued to be detached as a teamster through April of 1865, and was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war George returned to western Michigan and was living in Ottawa County when he married Delia M. Lafavor or Lefeve (1845-1917) on April 23, 1865, at the Eagle Hotel in Grand Rapids; they had at least two children: Charles (b. 1867) and William (b. 1869).

George soon moved to Muskegon where he probably lived the rest of his life. By 1870 he and his family were residing in the First Ward in Muskegon where he worked as a laborer. By 1880 he was working on a boom and living with his wife and children on Sumner Street (?) in Muskegon’s First Ward. In 1883 he founded the Adjustable Chair Company in Muskegon. He was living in Muskegon in 1888, at 109 S. Prospect Street in 1890 and in the First Ward in 1894.

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in 1881, and joined Grand Army of the Republic Phil Kearny Post No. 7 in Muskegon in June of 1883. In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 888019).

George was a widower when he died of apoplexy at his home in Muskegon on June 21, 1917. According to his obituary, George was having a nap in George Ross’ barber shop on Ottawa Street in Muskegon, waiting for his great grandson to get a haircut when he suddenly had a stroke and died. He was buried in Oakwood cemetery in Muskegon: 2-25-25.