Coopersville cemetery Ottawa county

Amasa Tolford Duram - update 9/7/2017

Amasa Tolford Duram was born on October 14, 1829, in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York or 1833 in Port Byron, Cayuga County, New York, the son of New York natives Tolford (1806-1878) and Sylvia Collins (b. 1805).

In 1840 there was one Tolford Duram Jr. living in Mentz, Cayuga County, New York. By 1840 there was a Tolford Duram living in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York. Tolford and Sylvia were probably married in New York sometime before 1829. By 1850 the family had settled in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York, where Tolford worked as a boatbuilder and Amasa (“A. T.”) was employed as a boatman with his older brother “W. B.”; another brother Andrew “A.T.”) was attending school. Andrew would also join the 3rd Michigan infantry. Tolford eventually moved his family to western Michigan and by 1860 he was farming in Polkton, Ottawa County.

Amasa stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was either 32 or 28 years old and perhaps still living in Polkton, Ottawa County or Oakfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on November 9, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered December 23 at Detroit, crediting Oakfield. (He was an older brother of Andrew Duram and probably the cousin of Samuel Duram of Company I.)

Amasa was on detached service driving an ammunition wagon from at least October of 1862 through February of 1863, and from March through July he was with the Brigade wagon trains. In September or October of 1863, he was tried by a Regimental court martial and fined $13.00, although the offense(s) remains unknown. He was an ambulance driver for the Third Brigade in October and November, and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, possibly in Michigan, and returned to duty in late January. By March of 1864 was on detached service in the Division hospital, probably as ambulance driver.

Amasa was still on detached service, at Brigade headquarters serving with the supply train, when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained detached as wagoner through May of 1865. Indeed he probably remained on detached service until he was mustered out as a wagoner on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Amasa returned to Michigan after the war and settled in Coopersville Ottawa County.

He was living in Michigan in 1876 when he applied for a pension (no. 2190854) but the certificate was never granted.

He died of dropsy in Coopersville on January 14, 1879, and was buried in Coopersville cemetery. His original government stone listing him as “A. T. Duram,” is missing (as of September 2016).

Guilford Dudley Taylor - update 9/7/2016

Guilford Dudley Taylor was born on June 1, 1847, in either Vermontville, Franklin County, New York or in Hermon, St. Lawrence County, New York, the son of Vermonters David (b. 1812) and Nancy (Van Kamp, b. 1807).

The family moved to Michigan sometime between 1847 and 1850 when David and his family had settled in Wright, Ottawa County where he worked as a blacksmith. By 1860 Guilford was a farmer living with his parents in Polkton, Ottawa County.

Guilford stood 5’4” with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion and was 14 years old and probably still living in Polkton when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. He was discharged on October 21, 1861, at Fort Richardson, Virginia, for “general debility” and “deformity of right elbow of long standing caused by fall from horse 10 years since, [which] produced fracture of joint.”

After he left the army Guilford returned to Ottawa County, probably to the family home in Coopersville, Polkton Township.

He married Lucy A. Randall (1845-1934), on December 3, 1866, in Coopersville and they had at least four children: Percy (b. 1868), Adda (b. 1873), Fanny (1876-1895) and Guilford (b. 1896). Lucy was the sister of Charles Randall also of the 3rd Michigan.

Guildford was probably living in Polkton in September of 1869 when his son Percy. By 1870 he was working as a shoemaker and living with his father in Polkton, Ottawa County, and Lucy is living with her parents in Coopersville -- also living with her is a 6-year-old boy named Charles Randall, probably named after her brother who died during the war. Guilford was living in Polkton in September of 1873 when his daughter Adda died of dysentery.

By 1880 Guilford was working as a sailor and living with his wife and children with his father-in- in Coopersville. In 1920 Guilford was living with his wife Lucy and their son Guilford in Coopersville. It is quite likely Guilford lived in Coopersville the rest of his life.

He was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and of the Grand Army of the Republic Randall post. no. 238 in Coopersville (close to Charles Randall in fact), and he received a pension (no. 389732) dated June 6, 1888, increased to $30.00 per month in 1918, and to $72.00 per month in 1924.

Guilford died on Sunday February 9, 1930, in Coopersville. Funeral services were held at the family resident on Wednesday. The service was conducted by the Rev. Joseph Tuma who spoke on Titus 6:7. Horace Walcott and Lester Westover sang “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Nearer my God to Thee.” Guilford was buried in Coopersville cemetery.

In late February of 1930 his widow was living in Michigan when she applied for a pension (no. 1661926) but the certificate was never granted.


Charles Edward Randall - update 9/7/2016

Charles Edward Randall was born on May 5, 1835, in Rouse’s Point, (just a few miles north of Coopersville), Clinton County, New York, the son of Schuyler (1807-1893) and Sarah Stancliff (1805-1886).

New York native Schuyler married Vermonter Sarah at Rouse’s Point, New York on July 23, 1829 and by 1840 Schuyler was probably living in Champlain, Clinton County. By 1850 Charles was working as a farmer and living with his family in Champlain, New York.

According to family historian Max Riekse, Schyuler brought his family to Coopersville, Ottawa County, around 1850, joining his brother Reuben Sr. who had settled in Lamont, Ottawa County, in about 1842. Another brother Benjamin would also join them in Ottawa County. By 1860 Charles was a farm laborer living with and/or working for Jeremiah Hedges, a wealthy farmer in Tallmadge, Ottawa County. (Matthew Wright, who would enlist in Company I, worked nearby for Silas Hedges, and next door to Silas hedges’ farm lived Reuben Randall Sr., Charles’ uncle. His son Reuben Jr. would also join Company I.) That same year Schuyler was living in Polkton, Ottawa County.

Charles was 26 years old, stood 5’10,” with a light complexion, blue eyes and light hair and residing in Polkton, Ottawa County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal in Company B on May 13, 1861, along with his cousin Reuben Randall Jr. By the fall of 1861 Charles had been struck down with typhoid fever and he was sick in the regimental hospital in October and November. He was treated in the regimental hospital and, by mid-December was convalescing. Dr. Bliss, the regimental surgeon recommended that Charles be given a furlough to go home and complete his recovery.

Apparently Colonel Champlin, then commanding the 3rd Michigan agreed and while the regiment was in winter quarters at Camp Michigan, near Alexandria, Virginia, in late December of 1861, Charles was given a 30-day furlough to go home to Lamont, Michigan. He left on December 30 and returned to the regiment on or about the February 1, 1862.

Charles never did recover his health and died of typhoid pneumonia on August 1 or 4, 1862, in the Regimental hospital at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia. Charles’ cousin Reuben wrote home on August 28, 1862, “I suppose Charley’s death nearly killed his mother. The boys that were with him said he died very easy – it was like going to sleep. You don’t know how I missed him while I was with the boys. It turned very lonely without him.”

He was buried in Glendale National Cemetery: section B, grave 165. It is possible that his family arranged to have his body returned to Michigan since there is both a government stone and a private marker for Charles Randall in the family plot in Coopersville cemetery in Ottawa County.

His father was still living in Polkton, Ottawa County in 1870. In 1887 his father was a widower still living in Michigan when he applied for and received a pension (no. 251173).


Charles E. Mead - update 9/7/2016

Charles E. Mead was born around 1846 in New York, possibly the son of New York natives Daniel (b. 1815) and Mary (b. 1837).

By 1850 Charles was living with his family in Polkton, Ottawa County, where his father Daniel worked as a laborer. (Next door lived Cornelius Mead and his family, possibly Daniel’s brother.)

Charles stood 5’4” with brown eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was 18 years old and probably a farmer living in either Muskegon County or in Polkton, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day. (He was possibly related to Henry Mead of Ottawa County who enlisted in Company K in 1861.)

Charles joined the Regiment on February 10, and was reported sick when he was transferred to Company E, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Charles remained absent sick, possibly in Michigan, until he entered Harper hospital in Detroit, on October 25, 1864, and was discharged from Harper hospital on May 13 or 15, 1865.

After he was discharged from the army Charles returned to western Michigan.

He married Eliza J. Jones (1849-1920) on July 14, 1868, in Polkton, Ottawa County, and they had at least four children: Lillian (1869-1870), William F. (b. 1871), Charles H. (b. 1874) and Freddie E. (b. 1877).

By 1870 Charles was working as a farmer and living with his wife on her family’s farm in Polkton; in 1880 he was working as a shoemaker and living with his wife and children in Coopersville; also living with them was his father-in-law. By 1888 he was living in Coopersville, Ottawa County, and in 1891 he was residing in Allegan, Allegan County.

In 1876 Charles applied for and received a pension (no. 491564).

Charles died on September 22, 1891, presumably in Allegan or possibly in Coopersville, and was buried in Coopersville Cemetery, Polkton Township.

In 1891 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 377467). In 1919 she was boarding at 1012 W. 3rd Avenue in Flint, Michigan.


Andrew Tolford Duram update 9/7/2016

Andrew Tolford Duram was born January 18, 1842 in Molineux, Niagara County, New York, the son of New York natives Tolford (1806-1878) and Sylvia Collins (b. 1805).

In 1840 there was one Tolford Duram Jr. living in Mentz, Cayuga County, New York. By 1840 there was a Tolford Duram living in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York. Tolford and Sylvia were probably married in New York sometime before 1829. By 1850 the family had settled in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York, where Tolford worked as a boatbuilder, and two of his sons were working as boatmen, one of whom Amasa would also join the 3rd Michigan infantry, and Andrew (“A.T.”) attended school with three of his older siblings. Tolford eventually moved his family to western Michigan and by 1860 he was farming in Polkton, Ottawa County, where Andrew continued to attend school with his siblings.

Andrew stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Polkton, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. (He was a younger brother of Amasa Duram, also of Company F, and and probably the cousin of Samuel Duram of Company I; all three men had lived in Ottawa County before the war.)

Andrew was shot in the right shoulder on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and subsequently sent to Columbian College Hospital where by early September he was reported to be “doing well.” Nevertheless, he remained absent sick in the hospital and had probably been transferred to the hospital in Detroit -- indeed he may in fact have returned to his home in Ottawa County -- when he was discharged on January 14, 1863, at Detroit for a gunshot to the right shoulder.

Andrew listed Polkton, Ottawa County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and was probably living in western Michigan when he reentered the service in Company D, Tenth Michigan cavalry on September 23, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Pokagon, Kent County, and was mustered on October 14 at Grand Rapids.

Andrew did not join the Regiment, however, and remained in Grand Rapids, reportedly sick, but in fact he was malingering and running afoul of the local authorities. On October 13, 1863, the Eagle reported that one “Andrew (‘Dick’) Duram, who has been on a drunk during the greater part of the time for the last two weeks, was taken before Justice Harlan today, upon that old and common charge, ‘drunk and disorderly’, and being found guilty of the offence charged, he was fined $3 and the costs in the case, amounting to $5.67, and in default of payment he was ordered to jail some 20 days.”

He was reported still sick in western Michigan from February of 1864 through April, but in fact the story was somewhat different. On March 8, 1864, the Eagle reported that “Three men, ‘Dick’ Duram, Tom Berry and another, whose name we have not got, were arrested by Sheriff Bailey and his officers, yesterday, and lodged in jail, charged with burglary and theft in breaking open the stores of Cappon & Bertsch, A. Preusser and others, and stealing goods therefrom.”

Drinking, stealing, Duram was involved with virtually every vice available in Grand Rapids in the 1860s, and on September 4, 1864, the Eagle wrote that “Andrew Duram and Hattie Johnson, arrested a few days since, by officer Parkman, for disorderly conduct, had an examination before Justice Harlan today. Duram was found guilty of keeping company with disreputable females, and fined $3 and costs, $7, and in default of payment he was ordered to be imprisoned 15 days. He was committed. On examination, Hattie Johnson was found guilty of disorderly conduct, and fined $1, and costs, $7.55. In default of payment, she was ordered to jail 10 days.”

By November of 1864, Duram had at last joined the Regiment and he was reported on detached service in Kentucky, promoted to Corporal on September 2, 1865, and mustered out November 11, 1865, at Memphis, Tennessee.

After the war Andrew returned to Michigan after the war. He was married to New York native Alice Josephine Washburn (d. 1896) on April 1, 1868 in Ravenna, Muskegon County, and they had at least two children: a daughter Sylvia (b. 1869) and Vivette (b. 1888).

By 1870 Andrew was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife and child with his parents in Coopersville, Polkton Township, Ottawa County; also living with them was his brother Charles and his family. Andrew was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife in Polkton in 1880 and in Coopersville in 1883 drawing $4.00 per month for a wounded right shoulder (pension no. 21,626) and by 1890 in Muskegon, Muskegon County. Andrew died in Muskegon on November 15, 1893, and was buried in Coopersville cemetery.

His widow was living in Coopersville, Ottawa County in 1894 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 398051). Alice was living at 96 Apple Street in Muskegon when she died of pneumonia in March of 1896, and was buried in Oakwood cemetery, Muskegon. Shortly afterwards one Henry S. Duram, then living in Muskegon was listed as guardian in the pension application (432478) for Andrew’s daughter Vivette M. (Henry Duram died in 1918 and is also buried in Oakwood Cemetery.)

Andrew is the government stone on the left with his brother Charles (10th Michigan cav) on the right; the third brother Amasa, also in the 3rd Michigan,  just to the right of the flag in front of Charles; his government stone is presently missing:

Joseph Brown - update 11/29/2016

Joseph A. Brown was born on August 7, 1825, in Colerain, Franklin County, Massachusetts, son of Massachusetts natives Thomas Brown (1802-1885) and Matilda Peck (1804-1847).

Thomas and Matilda were married on February 3, 1823, in Colerain, Franklin County, Massachusetts (they were both natives of Colerain). In 1830 Thomas was living in Colerain, Massachusetts. Sometime around 1831 Joseph’s family moved west to Pennsylvania and after Matilda died in 1847 Thomas returned to Colerain, Massachusetts. In 1853 he remarried to Mary Ann Oaks.

Joseph pushed on to Michigan, settling in Polkton, Ottawa County around April of 1850. (In 1850 there was a 25-year-old farmer named Joseph Brown, born in Massachusetts living in Yolo County, California.)

Joseph married 16-year-old New York native Sarah A. Lawton (1837-1913) in Polkton on December 28, 1852, and they had at least eight children: Arathusa (b. 1854), John C. Fremont (b. 1856), William A. (b. 1858), Edward A. (b. 1860), George (b. 1866-1879), Sarah E. (b. 1872), Joseph P. (1876-1921) and Edith J. (b. 1879).

By 1860 Joseph was working as a millwright and living with his wife in Polkton, Ottawa County. Next door lived the family of Abraham Peck, probably Matilda’s brother. Near by lived Henry Himelberger and his family; Henry too would serve in the 3rd Michigan.

Joseph stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 35 years old and probably still living in Ottawa County when he enlisted as Eighth Corporal in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

Joseph was reported killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, but in fact was only wounded by a gunshot to the left thigh. His wound produced a “fracture of upper third of left femur” and resulted “in permanent shortening of from 3 1/2 to four inches.” According to a statement Joseph gave in 1888, as a result of the wound he eventually “underwent an operation known as an excision of the head of the Femur.” Apparently on “March 21st, 1863, the head, neck and trochanter all being removed, and the shaft of the femur being cut off 6 inches below the head of the trochanter.” (Part of his femur was removed and subsequently placed in the Army Medical Museum at Washington.)  In a Report of Excisions of the Head of the Femur published by the Surgeon General’s Office:

The limb was kept in position by appropriate apparatus; but suppuration was profuse, and, on two occasions, fragments of bone were removed from the wound. Early in march, 1863, there was great swelling of the thigh, and discharge became scanty and fetid ad pus burrowed amidst the muscles. On March 21st, an exploratory incision was made from three inches above to five inches below the prominence of the great trochanter. The neck and upper extremity of the shaft of the femur were found to be extensively diseased, and excision was decided on. Surgeon D. P. Smith, U.S.V., performed the operation. Difficulty was experienced in separating the muscular attachments from the trochanters, on account of foliaceous masses of callus that had been thrown out. When this dissection was accomplished, many necrosed fragments were extracted, and the periosteum and new bone separated by the handle of the scalpel and preserved as far as practicable. The shaft of the femur was then divided by powerful cutting bone forceps, about six inches below the tip of the great trochanter. A screw was driven into the mass of callus, below the trochanters, to be used as a lever in disarticulating the head, but it would not hold, and the bone seized with large forceps and rotated, so as to facilitate the division of the capsular and round ligaments. The head, neck, and trochanters, and the masses of callus adhering to the trochanters, were then removed. The operation was accomplished with but very trifling hemorrhage, yet great prostration followed and the patient rallied slowly. As the anesthesia passed off, he had much nausea and vomiting. As soon as this subsided, he was given a very full allowance of concentrated nourishment, such as strong beef-tea eggs, milk, etc., with half an ounce of brandy every two hours. The wound was partially closed; the limb was supported on pillows until the third day, when it was dressed in a Smith’s anterior splint. About forty-eight hours after the operation an erysipelatous blush pervaded the limb and the constitutional symptoms assumed a typhoid character. A female catheter was passed though the middle of the wound and another at its lower extremity, through which much offensive decomposed serum and grumous blood escaped. The wound was thoroughly washed out through the catheters with warm water impregnated with chlorinated soda. On the fifth day there was a rigor, and hemorrhage to the extent of six ounces. As the anterior splint did not permit convenient access to the limb, it was removed, and the leg and thigh suspended in a canvas hammock, the leg being horizontal and the thigh in san almost vertical position. A piece of soft toweling extending from the perineum to the popliteal space, and, connected by cords with an upright post at the head of the bed, supported by the muscles on the sides and under surface of the thigh. The wound freely discharged synovia, bloody serum, and thin pus, until the seventh day, when healthy suppuration was fairly established. During April, 1863, the patient’s progress was satisfactory. He was supplied with a very nutritious diet, with porter, and cod-liver oil. He took for a time as much as half a pint of oil daily. During May, the case continued to progress favorably. It was necessary to keep a tube in the wound until June 1st. Previously, whenever it was removed pus would accumulate and burrow. A mesh of suture wire was finally substituted for the tube. This was retained until June 20th, when the patient began to get about on crutches. In the latter part of July the wounds closed.



By mid-September he was reported in Fairfax Seminary Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, and was discharged for disability on August 25, 1863, at Fairfax Seminary hospital, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Joseph returned to Michigan and by 1864 had settled in Coopersville, Ottawa County where he lived for many years working as a miller.

On March 21, 1864, he wrote from his home in Coopersville, Michigan, that his "health was good; that he had some control over the movements of the thigh, being able, when standing on the right foot, to swing the left backward and forward, and to adduct the thigh enough to carry the injured limb across the other. He could bear some weight on the limb, and use but one crutch, with a stirrup for the foot. There had been no fistulous orifices since March, 1864, and there was no soreness about the cicatrices. In November, 1865, in accordance with a request from the Surgeon General’s Office, Mr. Brown had a photograph taken to represent the amount of deformity in his limb. . . . The excised bone is preserved at the museum. . ."

In 1867 he was appointed postmaster of Coopersville. On February 12, 1868, he wrote to the Surgeon General's Office:

“I take pleasure in informing you that my limb is in as good condition as when I last wrote you; but think there is no improvement, except that it is not as tender. There have been no abscesses, nor any pain in the limb, excepting slight pains about the knee, just before storms. About two years ago, I slipped and fell upon the ice, injuring the limb severely about the knee, and was thereby confined to the house for about three weeks. in March last I had a severe attack of ague. The limb swelled quite badly at this time, and was much inflamed for about ten days. I applied cold water and a bandage to reduce the swelling. I had to keep it bandaged about two weeks after the inflammation was removed. Since that time the limb has given me no more trouble than usual. Since I was discharged I cannot see that there is any lengthening of the limb. I have to use a crutch and cane all the time when moving about, and I think I shall always have to do this. The injured limb has wasted away somewhat since I last wrote. The circumference of the well limb at the upper extremity is 22 inches, and the injured limb measures at the same place 19 1/2 inches. The knee of the well limb measures around the centre of the knee-pan 15 1/2 inches; the injured limb measures at the same place 17 inches. The above measurements were made in the evening; I think that in the morning the measurements of the injured limb would be less. The knee still remains quite stiff, and gives me about all the pain there is anywhere int he limb. I have been troubled during the cold weather by coldness of the outer side of the leg, and I have to warm it by the fire before going to bed nearly every night when I have been out.” On November 19, 1868, another letter was received from Mr. Brown, from which the following extract is made: “ I take pleasure in informing you that my limb is in as good as condition as it has been at any time since it was entirely healed, and. if anything, in better condition. It does not pain me about the knee as much as it did one year ago. It does not have any spell of swelling at the knee as it did for the first two years after my discharge, and there is less soreness about the limb than there was even one year ago. I can get around without hurting it as much as formerly. I can bear some weight upon it. I have walked across a room without the aid of crutch or cane, by stepping very quick with the well limb; but it is more like hopping than walking. There have been no abscesses in the limb. I think that it is gradually improving, and hope that I may yet see the day that I can go without a crutch. My general health is good. I have not been sick a day for a year and a half, and then only a few days with ague. My weight is 167 1/2 pounds. Before I entered the army my weight was never quite up to those figures, but within a few pounds of t. I have been postmaster at this office for over a year, and have attended to all the business of the office almost entirely without assistance, and it gives me pretty good exercise.” 

Joseph was working as Postmaster and County Clerk in Coopersville in 1870.

On September 6, 1875, the date of his last examination for pension, the Grand Rapids Examining Board stated: “ There is now a false joint with shortening of the limb.” Since then this pensioner has been exempted from further surgical examinations. He as paid September 4, 1877, remaining in comparatively good health more than fourteen years after the operation.

He was still postmaster in 1879 and in 1880 and living in Coopersville with his wife and children. (In fact he probably lived the remainder of his life in eastern Ottawa County, probably in the Coopersville-Nunica area.)

In 1883 he was still living in Coopersville, where he also served as a Justice of the Peace and a notary public. That same year he was drawing $18.00 per month (pension no. 19,511), drawing $46.00 per month by 1908.

He was also a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1890 and 1895 he was living in Nunica, Ottawa County.

Joseph died of general debility on June 17, 1908, at his home in Nunica. The funeral was held at Nunica on Sunday, June 21, Rev. Ingalls officiating. The text was “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” He was buried in Coopersville cemetery. Note that his government veteran's stone has almost completely disappeared into a nearby tree.

His widow received a pension (no. 667432).