Marne cemetery Ottawa county

William A. Smith

William A. Smith was born in 1843, in Canada.

William came to western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He was 27 years old and possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick or wounded in a general hospital from July of 1862 through August, and discharged for rheumatism on April 26 or 29, 1862.

After he was discharged from the army William returned to Michigan and for a time may have lived in Grand Rapids, however he eventually settled in Berlin (Marne), Ottawa County where he was living when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1888. He was still living in Marne in 1890. (In 1870 there was a 26-year-old harness-maker named William Smith, born in Canada, married to 19-year-old Anna, and they had at least two children: Carnette (b. 1868) and Francis (b. 1870).

William received pension no. 816,955, drawing $8.00 per month in 1895, and had been married; he had at least one son, William L.

In fact, William was either divorced or a widower when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2354) as a single man on January 25, 1895. He was discharged on May 9 and readmitted to the Home on December 31, 1895.

William died of heart failure at the Home on January 12, 1900, and the funeral services were held in Berlin (Marne) on Sunday at the residence of relatives. He was buried in Marne cemetery.

Henry S. Calkins - updated 1/28/2017

Henry S. Calkins was born on August 14, 1837, in Clinton County, New York, the son of New York native John Calkins (b. 1807) and Canadian Elizabeth “Betsey” Hedges (1805-1895).

Between 1838 and 1846 the family left New York and settled in Michigan and by 1850 Henry was living on the family farm in Tallmadge, Ottawa County. In 1860 Henry was working as a farm laborer and still living with his family in Tallmadge.

Henry stood 5’10” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 24-year-old farmer probably living in Tallmadge, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. According to Reuben Randall, who was also from Tallmadge and who also served in Company B, Henry was taken sick sometime in mid-July and was confined to the regimental hospital while the regiment was advancing towards Bull Run. Henry was discharged on July 29, 1861, for consumption and “a predisposition to insanity.” After his discharge he returned to Michigan and settled in Tallmadge, Ottawa County. He was living as a single man in Tallmadge, Ottawa County in the summer of 1863 when he registered for the draft.

In 1863 Henry married Michigan native Ellen Coldron (1845-1934), and they had at least two children: Charles (1867-1929) and Elizabeth Bertha (1868-1934, Mrs. Ransom).

By 1870 Henry was working as a painter and living with his wife and children with his in-laws, the Jacob Coldron family in Grand Rapids’ 2nd Ward. (In 1870 his parents were still living in Tallmadge.) By 1880 Henry was reported to be working as an engineer and still living with his wife, who was working as a dressmaker and son Charles was working in a laundry at his in-laws’ home on Coit Avenue in Grand Rapids (his parents were still living in Tallmadge).

Henry may have been active in the Reform (or Temperance) movement in Ottawa County, and although he was mentioned in Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association records he was apparently not a member. At some point Henry became mentally unstable and he was reportedly unable to support his wife (but not as a consequence of “vicious habits”).

Henry was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 386) for the first time on July 31, 1886. Although he reported himself as a married man he listed his nearest relative as his mother Betsey who was then living in Lamont, Ottawa County. He was discharged at his own request on November 29, and in February of 1887 he was residing at 87 Coit Avenue in Grand Rapids (possibly with his wife and/or in-laws). Sometime around 1888 he was admitted to an insane asylum, presumably in Kalamazoo, where he resided for about six months before being transferred to the Soldier’s Home in Grand Rapids. He was readmitted to the Home on November 29, 1888, discharged on June 20, 1891 and was in and out of the home several times until he was admitted for the last time on November 11, 1904. By 1900 Ellen had moved to Oregon and was living with her daughter Bertha and her family in Portland’s 9th Ward. It appears that she remained in Oregon for the rest of her life.

In 1890 he applied for a pension (application no. 966,665) but the certificate was never granted (and indeed his Home records note that he received no pension).

Henry was listed as a widower when he died of valvular heart disease at the Home on January 12, 1908, at 4:00 a.m., and according to the Home records his remains were taken to Ottawa County for interment in Berlin (Marne) cemetery, Ottawa County. In fact it appears that he was buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Lamont, Ottawa County, section I.

Curiously, his wife Ellen, who sometime around 1900 (or perhaps earlier) had moved to Oregon to live with her daughter Bertha and her husband Oscar Warren, listed herself as a widower in the Portland city directories beginning in 1900.

By 1910 Ellen was living with her son Charles and his family in Hood River, Oregon. By 1920 Ellen was living with her daughter Bertha and her family in Mount Hood, Hood River County, Oregon. She was living in Portland, Oregon in 1930 and 1931, and she died in Portland in 1934.

John Beard

John Beard, also known as “Baird”, was born 1847 in either Rome, Oneida County or Essex County, New York, the son of Dexter F. (b. 1825) and Catharine (b. 1828).

Dexter and Catharine were probably born in Vermont and possibly married there, but soon settled in New York and may have resided in Essex County, New York. In any case, by 1844 they were living in New York. In any case, by 1850 Dexter (“D. F.”) had settled his family on a farm in Rome, Oneida County, New York where John attended school with his older sister Louisa. The family eventually left New York and moved westward, moving to Michigan sometime between 1850 and 1855. They eventually settled in Manistee, Manistee County, where by 1860 John was living with his family and where his father worked as a carpenter.

John stood 5’ 7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 17 years old and probably still living in Manistee when he enlisted in Company I on February 6, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment at Camp Bullock, Virginia on February 17, and was shot through both hips by a minie ball on May 5, 1864 at the Wilderness, Virginia. Specifically, the “musket ball entered outer surface of left buttock & passing directly across through muscles and above anus, made its exit from corresponding point on outer surface of right buttock.” He was subsequently admitted on May 11 to Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC, transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported as absent wounded.

John was granted a furlough from the hospital to go to Chicago, Illinois and/or his home in Manistee commencing June 13 and ending July 13, 1864. He failed to return to the hospital on time and on July 31 he was declared a deserter from the hospital. Interestingly, while home on leave in Manistee, Beard was in fact seeking an extension of his furlough through a certificate of disability.

On July 13, the day Beard was originally to have reported back to the hospital, he was examined by Dr. Lothrop Ellis, a Manistee physician. Ellis certified that he found the soldier “suffering from a gunshot wound through both hips” and was unfit for travel. On August 3, 1864, Dr. Ellis wrote to the War Department that he found Beard to be “suffering from a gunshot wound in the right lateral wall of the abdomen received by the accidental discharge of a gun in his hand on the 16th day of July and that in consequence thereof he is in my opinion unfit for duty & unable to travel.”

It is not known if John ever returned to the hospital, although he was reported absent sick in the hospital until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865 near Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war John was married to New York native Lillian (1855-1894), and they had at least one child: Harry (b. 1875).

By 1875 John was probably living in Michigan when his son was born. In any case, by 1880 John was working as a lumberman and living with his wife Lillie and son Harry in Grand Rapids’ Eighth Ward, at 166 W. Bridge Street. He was probably still living in Grand Rapids in 1883, drawing a pension (no. 28,348) $2.00 per month for gunshot wound to both “nates” (buttocks), and was still living in Grand Rapids in 1890.

John probably died near Marne, Ottawa County, and was buried in Marne (old Berlin) cemetery. His wife Lillian is also buried in Marne.