Mt. Calvary cemetery Grand Rapids

Stephen Winterhalter

Stephen Winterhalter was born on December 27, 1826, in Baden, Germany.

Stephen left Germany and immigrated to America, eventually settling in western Michigan.

Stephen married Prussian-born Brigetta or Maria Brigette Ekhoff or Eickhoff (1835-1908) on July 25, 1859, at St. Mary’s church in Grand Rapids. (She was possibly related to Ferdinand Eickhof, also born in Prussia and who would enlist in the Band in the Third infantry.) They had at least four children: Mary (b. 1860), Ferdinand (b. 1865), Isabella (b. 1870) and William (b. 1874) and Hugo (b. 1879).

By 1859-60 Stephen was a laborer working for Charles Taylor’s tannery and sawmill in Grand Rapids, and in 1860 he was a farm laborer living with his wife and child and his younger brother Frank (or Franz) in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. (Ferdinand Eickhof was also living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward in 1860.)

Stephen stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 34 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids 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 reported as a guard at Brandy Station, Virginia, in February of 1864, and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge Stephen returned to Grand Rapids where he probably lived the rest of his life on the west side of the Grand River and for many years worked as a laborer.

In 1865-66 he was working as a teamster and living at 34 Broadway on the west side, in 1867-68 he was living on the east side of Broadway between Second and Third Streets, and in 1868-69 was a laborer working for I. L. Quimby and living near Quimby’s mill (probably on Broadway between Second and Third Streets). By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward. Stephen was living at 82 Broadway and employed as a laborer in 1889 and 1890, in the Seventh Ward in 1894.

He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Champlin Post No. 29 in Grand Rapids, a Catholic and he received pension no. 527,476, drawing $12.00 in 1903 and increased to $20.00 in 1907.

Stephen was living at 84 Broadway when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4136) on October 22, 1903, and remained in the Home until he died a widower of cardiac insufficiency at 7:30 p.m. on March 17, 1909. Funeral services were held at 7:30 a.m. on March 20 at his residence (84 Broadway) and at 8:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic church. He was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section C lot 100.

In May of 1909 one Isabella Marshall (possibly Stephen’s daughter) applied for a pension as guardian for William Winterhalter, her younger brother who was listed as a “helpless child.” In fact, according to testimony William was listed as “mentally incompetent” and an ‘imbecile and confined in an asylum.” The pension claim was eventually rejected.

Ferdinand Eichoff

Ferdinand Eichoff, also known as “Eikhoff”, was born 1830 in Prussia, possibly the son of John and Catharine.

Sometime before 1855 Ferdinand left Prussia and immigrated to the United States.

He was married to Prussian-born Ann Catharine Winterhalter (1835-1870) and they had at least four children: Joseph (b. 1855), Ann or Anna (b. 1857), Louisa (b. 1861) and Lizzie (b. 1864). His wife Ann was possibly the sister of Stephen Winterhalter who would also enlist in Company C.

By 1855 they had settled in western Michigan, and in 1859-60 Ferdinand was working as a grocer living on the west side of Front between Second and Third Streets, on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Kent County. On July 19, 1859, Ferdinand joined the newly organized Grand Rapids Rifles (or “German Rifles”), commanded by Captain Chris. Kusterer. (The GRR would serve as the nucleus for Company C of the Third Michigan infantry.)

In 1860 Ferdinand was working as a grocer and living with his wife and two children in the Fourth Ward; also living with them was one Mary Ann Eickhoff, probably a younger sister. His father John was also living in the Fourth Ward and working as a harness-maker, probably for the blacksmith Anton Thiele. In 1860 John Eichoff, age 69, was working as a harness-maker in Grand Rapids Fourth Ward.

Ferdinand stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 31 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in the Band on June 10, 1861. He was discharged for a “broken down constitution” on July 17, 1862, at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Ferdinand returned to Grand Rapids and from 1865-68 he was employed in harness-making (possibly with his father), and living at 25 First Street (on the south side) between Broadway and Turner Streets on the west side of the Grand River. By 1868-69 Ferdinand was working as a harness-maker for Willibald Voss & Co., at 123 Canal Street, and living on the northwest corner of Turner and Elizabeth Streets, west side. He was working as a harness-maker and living with his four children (his son Joseph was working as a clerk in store) in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward in 1870. He continued to work for Voss until his death in 1878.

He and his wife were both members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Grand Rapids.

Ferdinand remarried German native Catharine Koenig (b. 1840) on May 2, 1871, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least three children: Mary Catharine (b. 1875), Mary Matilda (b. 1877) and Ferdinand Stephen (b. 1879).

Ferdinand died of heart disease on Friday, July 5, 1878 at his home at 19 Broadway in Grand Rapids. According to one report, on July 4, Eichoff worked a short time in the morning, which “was passed very pleasantly by him.” When he woke up on the morning of July 5, “feeling as though a glass of lemonade would taste good he went a short distance after it and returning to his house complained of not feeling well, and in a few minutes and almost unknown to those around he was a corpse.”

Ferdinand “was an old and much respected German resident and his sudden ‘taking off’ will be deeply mourned by his distressed family and a large circle of friends and acquaintances.”

The funeral service was held at his home at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 6 and he was buried by local undertaker William Koch (who had served in the Third Michigan during the war) in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section 5 lot no. 8. (The death certificate erroneously lists St. Andrews cemetery as his place of interment.)

His widow Catharine applied for and received a pension (no. 361588).

Anton Bott

Anton Bott, also known as “Batt”, was born January 13, 1837 or 1838, in Germany, the son of Johann Valentine and Maria Margaretha (Balzer, b. 1811).

Johann may have been married previously to one Eva Schwab, and if so that was possibly in 1814 and he had seven children by that marriage, and another 12 children by Maria (Anton’s mother). In any case, sometime before 1863 Anton left Germany and immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in western Michigan.

According to Christof Ockert, who roomed with Anton before the war, Anton settled in Gaines Township, Kent County, before the war broke out and began “keeping company with Katharine Bissot and it was a matter of common knowledge in the community that he was to be married to Katharine . . . as soon as he returned from the war. . . .”

He stood 5’6” tall with hazel eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was a 26-year-old farmer possibly living in Grand Rapids, First Ward when he enlisted in Company C on December 27, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on January 6, 1864, at Grand Rapids. (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 joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was absent sick, probably from chronic diarrhea, from July of 1864 through May of 1865, probably in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was discharged from Mower hospital in Philadelphia on June 7, 1865.

After his discharge from the army Anton eventually returned to western Michigan, probably to Grand Rapids. From about 1872 until his death in 1897 he resided at 37 Stocking Street in Grand Rapids, and for years he worked as a stone mason; he was probably a member of St. Mary’s Catholic church.

Anton married Katherine Bissot or Bissott (1847-1936), on April 5, 1866, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least seven children: Katharine (b. 1870), Henry (b. 1871), Albert (b. 1871), Frank J. (b. 1876), Anthony G. (b. 1880), Mary M. (b. 1881) and Caroline Anne (b. 1882). (She was quite possibly related to Henry Bissott, who would come to the U.S. in 1862, join the Third Michigan Infantry in 1864, and settle in Grand Rapids after the war.)

He was probably working as a laborer and living with his wife and one child in Jamestown, Ottawa County in 1870.

In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no. 481993).

Anton died of stomach cancer at his home at 37 Stocking Street on Sunday, May 16, 1897, at 7:00 p.m., and the funeral service was held at 8:00 a.m on Thursday at St. Mary’s Church. He was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section D lot 254.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 449288). She eventually remarried one Frank Hammerschmidt, in 1901, in Grand Rapids (he died the following year), and lived for a time on Jefferson Avenue. After Frank died Catharine returned to her old home at 435 (or 37) Stocking, where she was living in 1903 and in 1917.

Franz X. Blessle

Franz X. Blessle, also known as “Blesser”, “Blessler”, Blasle, “Blassel” or “Bessle”, was born 1822 in Württemberg, Germany.

Franz or "Frank" married Württemberg native Eleanora Businger (1813-1891) on April 30, 1844, in Richtenstein, Germany, and they immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Michigan. By 1860 he was working as a musician and living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward with his wife; they were sharing living space with Frank Hesler of Bohemia and his two-year-old son Joseph who had been born in Michigan.

“Frank” was 39 years old and still residing in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as a Musician in the Regimental Band on June 10, 1861. He was discharged for chronic “sinovitis” of the left knee on August 13, 1862, at Detroit Barracks.

Following his discharge he returned to western Michigan, and between 1867 and 1869 he was working as a musician and living on the north side of Bridge Street between Lincoln and Turner Streets in Grand Rapids. He was probably a Catholic.

Frank died of unknown causes on March 3, 1869, in Grand Rapids, and his funeral was held at his residence near Lincoln Hall at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning, March 5. He was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery, section 1.

His widow was working as a servant and living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward in 1880; also living with her was another servant, an 18-year-old Polish girl named Julia Funke. In 1890 Elenora was still residing in Grand Rapids when she applied for a pension (no. 480646), but the certificate was never granted.

Henry A. Bissot Sr.

Henry A. Bissot Sr., also known as “Bissott” and “Pissott”, was born in 1845, in Württemberg, Germany and probably the son of Sebastian and Margaret (b. 1810).

It is quite possible that Henry’s family immigrated to America sometime before 1857 when they were reportedly living in St. Clements, Canada; in any case, by 1862 they had settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (According to the 1920 census Henry as well as his wife to be came to the U.S in 1862.) Henry may have been related to Catharine Bissot (b. 1847) who would eventually marry Anton Bott, also of Grand Rapids and who joined Company C in December of 1863 -- in fact just a week before Henry would enlist.

In any case, Henry stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 19-year-old carpenter possibly living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he enlisted in Unassigned on January 3, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, and was mustered on January 6.

However, it is uncertain if Henry in fact ever joined the Regiment in Virginia -- he is not listed in the 1905 Third Michigan Regimental history although he is found in the Old Third regimental descriptive roll which noted that he was transferred to Unassigned, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

In any case, he was reported absent sick since January 24, 1865, and was reported absent sick on June 24, 1865, at Brown’s hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. He was mustered out on July 20, 1865 at Louisville. (The Fifth Michigan infantry was mustered out of service on July 5 at Jeffersonville, Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville.)

After the war Henry returned to western Michigan and lived most of his life in Grand Rapids and vicinity.

He married Württemberg native Catharine (1853-1935) in 1870, presumably in Michigan, and they had at least eight children: Henry A Jr., Albert A, Frank X., Mrs. Charles Knapp, Mrs. Daniel Krupp, Mrs. Joseph Bergman, Mrs. John Heinbeck, and Emma Bissott.

Henry and Catharine (and Henry’s mother) were living in Walker, Kent County in 1870. He was probably living in Plainfield, Kent County in 1890. In fact Henry probably lived the rest of his life in the Grand Rapids area. In 1920 he and Catharine were living in Plainfield, Kent County, and they were still living in Plainfield in 1930.

He was a Catholic.

In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no. 468947).

Henry was a widower and may very possibly have been the second to the last surviving member of the Old Third when he died on Wednesday, January 22, 1936, at the home of his daughter Mrs. Charles Knapp in Plainfield Township, Kent County. The funeral was held at Holy Trinity church in Alpine 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and he was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section D lot 250.

Conrad Beuter

Conrad Beuter, also known as “Benter”, was born 1828 in Prussia, Germany.

Conrad immigrated to the United States, probably in 1862 or 1863, eventually settling in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is possible that he had been married since his son Frank (1862-1897) was born in either Prussia or Austria.

He stood 5’2” with gray eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, and was a 35-year-old farmer possibly living in Grand Rapids’ First Ward when he enlisted in Company C on December 24, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids’ First Ward, and was mustered on January 6, 1864, at Grand Rapids. (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.)

Conrad joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was wounded severely, possibly in the foot, and was reported missing in action on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia. Conrad was transferred as missing in action to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was in fact absent sick from May through December. He was eventually transferred to Harper hospital in Detroit, from whence he was returned to duty on December 18, 1864, and was mustered out July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Conrad returned to western Michigan.

Conrad was married (possibily a seocnd time) to Prussian-born wife Theresa Kraut (1834-1899), on November 7th, 1867 at St. Mary’s church in Grand Rapids.

By 1870 Conrad was working as a laborer (although he reportedly owned some $1000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and son Frank in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward.

By 1880 Conrad was living with his wife and son Frank and working in a sawmill in Walker, Kent County; and he was living in Walker in 1890. He might have been working as a farmer in the vicinity of Alpine road in 1889. He was probably living in Walker, Kent County in 1891.

Conrad was living in Michigan when he applied for and received pension (no 565,213, dated 1889), for his service in the Fifth Michigan. He was probably a Roman Catholic.

While the record is unclear Conrad presumably died in Grand Rapids and may likely be buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery in Grand Rapids. In any case, his wife and son (?) are buried in Mt. Calvary.