Lutheran cemetery Ottawa County

Valentine Schaefer

Valentine Schaefer was born on October 16, 1836, in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany.

Valentine immigrated to the United States and headed west, eventually settling in western Michigan. He was possibly the younger brother of one Phillip Shaffer (b. c. 1822) who was also from Darmstadt, and who was married there and had immigrated to the United States eventually settling in Michigan sometime before 1859. By 1860 Philip and his family were living in Chester, Ottawa County.

In any case, Valentine stood 5’11” with brown eyes and hair, and a dark complexion and was a 24-year-old farmer probably living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for general debility on November 16, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia.

Valentine eventually returned to Michigan and was living in Lisbon, Chester Township, Ottawa County when he married Wurtemberg native Katerina Breitmeier (1842-1923) on November 26, 1867, and they had at least one child, Karl or Charles (b. 1870).

In 1867 he was living in Lisbon, Kent County, along the County line with Ottawa County, and by 1870 Valentine and his wife were living on a large farm in Lisbon (near Philip and his family) and in 1880 he and his wife and son Charles were living on a farm next to his older brother (?) Philip and his family. He was living in Lisbon in 1888, in Lisbon or in Chester, Ottawa County in 1890. In fact Valentine probably lived the remainder of his life in the vicinity of Lisbon.

In 1886 he applied for and received a pension (no. 768495).

He died on December 3, 1910, presumably in Chester, and was buried in the Lutheran cemetery.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 714978).

John Frederick Klenk - update 5/2/2017

John Frederick Klenk was born on June 4, 1837, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of German natives Gottlieb Klink (1811-1882) and Katherine Hummel (1814-1901).

John’s father was born in Wurttemberg and immigrated to the United States sometime before 1837, eventually settling in Maryland. His family moved from Maryland to Ohio sometime between 1837 and 1839 when his sister Sophia was born. By 1850 the family was living in Bern, Fairfield, Ohio where John was attending school with his siblings. Gottlieb and the family were still living in Fairfield County Ohio by 1860 (but John was not with them); sometime that year, however, Gottlieb moved westward, and settled in Alpine, Kent County. That same year John was a farm laborer working for and/or living with the family of Conrad Kritzer, a farmer in Chester, Ottawa County.

John stood 5’5” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 24 years old and still living in Chester, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. He was employed as a teamster from at least July of 1862 until September 24 when he became ill at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was subsequently hospitalized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until March 25, 1863, when he was discharged for chronic nephritis at Germantown hospital in Philadelphia.

After his discharge John returned to Alpine, Michigan.

John was living in Alpine he married Michigan native Margaret Fahling (1846-1923) on February 23, 1865 in Ottawa County, and they probably had at least six children: Elizabeth (b. 1866), Amelia S. (1867-1882), George Philip (1870-1952), and Fred Henry (1871-1940), Rosa C. (b. 1874) and Matilda C. (1875-1946, Mrs. Ritz).

John’s parents were living in Sparta in 1870. By 1874 John was living in Grand Rapids. By 1880 John was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Alpine, Kent County. They were still living in Alpine in 1894 and 1900.

John was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association. In 1888 he applied for and received a pension (no. 474731).

He died on November 15,1902, possibly in Alpine or in Chester, Ottawa County and was buried in Lutheran cemetery, Chester.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 587384).

John Fluhrer

John Fluhrer was born June 8, 1838, in Germany, the son of John.

Sometime before the war broke out, John (younger) left Germany and immigrated to America, eventually settling in western Michigan.

He stood 5’5” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was a 22-year-old blacksmith probably living in Kent County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal in Company F on May 13, 1861. “On or about the fourth (4th) day of April, 1862, he was attacked by a disease of the throat and entirely lost his voice, but still remained with his regiment in the line of his duty” until August 15, 1862 when he was sent to McKim hospital in Baltimore. He remained hospitalized in Baltimore until he was discharged on December 10, 1862, for aphonia (loss of voice) at Baltimore, Maryland.

After his discharge from the army John returned to Grand Rapids where he was living in January of 1863 when he applied for a pension (no. 10,664); by 1883 he was drawing $2.00 for aphonia (pension no. 10,664), and $15 per month by 1908.

He was living in Grand Rapids when he married Neu Darmstadt native Catharine or Katarina Ritz (1838-1916) on December 15, 1864, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least five children: Elizabeth (b. 1867), Mary (b. 1870), Sophia (b. 1876) and two unknown.

He was working as a laborer in Grand Rapids in 1865-66, and living at 143 Turner Street on the west side of the Grand River. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Lisbon, Chester Township, Ottawa County. By 1883 he living in Ravenna, Muskegon County, where he was living in 1886 when he became a charter member of Grand Army of the Republic Sperry Post No. 337 in Ravenna. In 1888 he was living in Muskegon, Muskegon County, and in 1890 and 1894 he was residing in Harrisburg, Chester Township, Ottawa County.

John died of cardiac asthma in Conklin, Chester Township on June 18, 1909, and was buried in the Lutheran cemetery in Chester.

The epitaph on his tombstone carries two verse references from the Bible: the first is 2nd Timothy, 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing;” and second is Psalm 4:8, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”

His widow was living in Conklin, Ottawa County when she applied for a pension in July of 1909.