Ottawa County

Pilgrim Home Cemetery Ottawa County

Dutch immigrants Hendrikus "Henry" Dykema (1836-1869) and Martin Deboe (1837-1908) are buried in the soldiers' section; German immigrant Henry Koenigsberg (1826-1911) is buried nearby.

Note that Martin was discharged from the 3rd Michigan during the war and subsequently reentered the service in the 23rd Michigan Infantry.





Daniel Stocking of Company B is buried in Grattan Cemetery, not Wells Cemetery

Having walked both cemeteries this past week I can safely say that Dan Stocking, his wife Lucy and his parents as well as other family members are definitively buried in Grattan Cemetery, Kent County, and not in Wells Cemetery in Ottawa County. Oddly, each family member is listed in both places, but there are stones for them only in Grattan, as you can see (Dan in the middle with the flag):


Tucked away inside a facility for boarding horses, Wells Cemetery has plenty of missing stones to be sure but none that list Stocking:

Lemuel J. Ward - update 10/29/2016

Lemuel J. Ward was born on June 11, 1837 or 1839, in Onondaga County, New York, the son of New York natives Louis or Lewis (b. 1802) and Fidelia (b. 1802).

Lemuel’s family left New York and moved to Michigan before 1850, when they were living on a farm and Lemuel was attending school in Eaton Rapids, Eaton County.

He stood 6’1” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Henry Clay Ward of Company A; both were born in Onondaga County, New York.)

Lemuel was shot in the left wrist, left hip and left leg on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and put aboard the S. R. Spaulding at White House Landing, Virginia, and transferred to a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he arrived on June 8. By early July he was reported hospitalized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, probably first at Buttonwood Street hospital but by July 26 he was a patient in the Fifth Street hospital in Philadelphia, where he was listed as “severely wounded in arm, hips and legs at Fair Oaks” but “doing well.” Although he was listed as missing in action as of early September, in fact he was discharged for his wounds on September 24, 1862, at Fifth Street hospital. After his discharge from the army Lemuel returned to Michigan.

Lemuel married New York native Sarah Minna Fish (1848-1927) on July 3, 1865, in Portland, Ionia County and they had at least nine children: Ernest (b. 1866), Byron (b. 1869), Henry B. (b. 1872), Silas E. (b. 1874), Ira (b. 1878), Charles (b. 1881), Wellington (b. 1882), William (1884) and Mabel (Mrs. Reynolds 1888-1927).

By 1866 Lemuel was living in Lyons, Ionia County and in 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Muir, Ionia County. He probably lived in Muir until the mid-1870s when he moved to Adams County, Nebraska. He eventually returned to Michigan and by 1880 was working in a saw mill and living with his wife and children in Ferrysburg, Ottawa County. By 1888 he was living in Nunica, Ottawa County, where he may very well have lived the remainder of his life.

Lemuel was living with his wife and two youngest children in Crockery, Ottawa County in 1900.

He received pension no. 23,456, dated 1866, drawing $8.00, increased to $15.00, to $18.00 in 1872, and $24.00 per month by 1912.

Lemuel died of apoplexy on September 6, 1912, in Nunica and the funeral was held in the Nunica M.E. Church. He was buried in Nunica cemetery: S-45 (there is no stone for Sarah).

In 1912 his widow applied for and received pension no. 765317.

John Nelthorpe update 10/29/2016

John Nelthorpe was born on May 9, 1828, in Norfolk, England, possibly the son of James and Elizabeth.

John may have been living with his family in Great Chesingham, Norfolk, England in 1841. He eventually left England and immigrated to America, settling in western Michigan.

John married Scottish-born Jane Bogue Sligh (1823-1905), sometime around 1852, and they had at least four children: Ida (b. 1857), Frank W. (b. 1859), Hattie (b. 1863) and Fred H. (1869-1935). Jane was the sister to Robert Sligh who also served in Company K, 3rd Michigan Infantry during the war (Robert was killed at Gettysburg).

In 1860 John was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Wyoming, Kent County. Also living with them was 3-year-old Sarah Nelthorpe (born in Michigan) and 17-year-old John Nelthorpe (born in Canada).

John stood 5’9” with gray eyes, fair hair and a fair complexion and was a 31-year-old farmer possibly living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company K on August 2, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids. He joined the Regiment on September 8 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and was sick in Summit House hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from at least mid-July of 1863, probably until he was discharged on September 19, 1863, at Summit house hospital, suffering from consumption of the left lung.

John listed Grand Rapids as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and in 1870 he was working as a stone mason and living with his his wife and children in the 3rd Ward; he eventually moved to Ottawa County. (His son Fred was born in Jamestown, Ottawa County, in 1869, however.) In 1880 John was working as a mason and living with his family in Nunica, Ottawa County; he was still in Nunica in 1888, and he was living in Crockery, Ottawa County in 1890 and in Nunica and in 1895.

John was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association., and in 1895 he applied for and received a pension (no. 357691).

John died of cancer of the shoulder on March 19, 1900, in Nunica and was buried in Crockery Cemetery.

Jane applied for a widow’s pension (application no. 716187), but the certificate was apparently never granted. She was listed as his widow in 1900 and living with her son Fred and his family in Crockery; she died in Muskegon in late 1905.

George W. McClain updated 7/16/2017

George W. McClain was born in 1846 in Ohio, the son of Aaron Jackson McClain (1823-1884) and Mary Ann Harris (1823-1904).

 George’s family left Ohio and settled in Michigan by 1850 when George was living with his family in Chester, Ottawa County. He was still living with his family in Chester on a farm in 1860.

George stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 18 years old and probably working as a farmer in Chester, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company E on January 15, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Chester, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 17, and was transferred to Company F, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was absent sick from June 12 through May of 1865, and was discharged “ by order” on June 9, 1865, at Washington, DC, for reasons unknown.

George married Michigan native Ella Wheat (1858-1882) on June 22, 1873 in Colfax, Wexford County and they had at least three children: S. Willie (b. 1875), Denica (1876-1945, Mrs. Richardson) and Lewis (1880-1927).

By 1880 George was working as a farmer and living with his wife and three children in Chester, Ottawa County. In 1890 he was living in Lake, Newaygo County.

He reportedly married Sarah Wheat on October 17, 1886 in Ottawa County.

In 1865 George applied for and reveived a pension (no. 147753).

George died on May 26, 1896, probably in Ottawa County and was buried in McNitt Cemetery.


Michael C. McCarthy - update 9/7/2016

Michael C. McCarthy was born on August 31, 1836, in Ireland, possibly the son of Thomas (b. 1794 in Ireland) and Mary (b. 1798 in Ireland).

Thomas and Mary both left Ireland and immigrated to the United States. Michael left Ireland and settled in western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 6’0” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 26 years old, and probably working as a farmer in Polkton, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was listed as being on 20 days extra duty as a teamster in July and august of 1861 and as on extra duty as a teamster in the Commissary department in September and October, and again in November and December of 1861. He was still listed as being on extra duty as a teamster in the Brigade Quartermaster Department in January and February of 1862, as a Brigade teamster in March and April, but was not reported at all in the returns for May and June.

He was listed as a teamster from July of 1862 through January of 1863, a teamster with the 3rd Brigade wagon trains from February through July, reported as AWOL in August, and was at the 1st Division headquarters from September 21 through November, probably working as a teamster.

On December 23, 1863, he reenlisted as a wagoner at Brandy Station, Virginia, was on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to duty on or about the first of February when he rejoined the Brigade trains.

Michael was on detached service as a teamster with the ambulance trains when he was transferred to Company E, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and remained with the ambulance trains through May of 1865. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Michael returned to Michigan and was living in Coopersville, Ottawa County in 1870 (?). He married Irish-born Margaret Finnell (b. 1848), on April 3, 1864, in Michigan, and they had at least two children: James (b. 1869) and Michael (b. 1872).

By 1870 Michael was working as a farmer (he owned some $2,500 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and son in Polkton, Ottawa County; also living with him were his parents (?) Thomas and Mary McCarthy and 8-year-old Peter (born in New York). Michael’s property was located near the corner of 88th Avenue and Arthur, approx, 1/8th of a mile east of the intersection on the north side of Arthur in section 20. Michael ‘s son Michael was born in Polkton, Ottawa County in September of 1872.

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association.

Michael was killed in railroad accident on May 13, 1872, probably in western Michigan and was buried in St. Mary’s cemetery in Wright Township, Ottawa County.

In 1903 his widow, who had remarried a Mr. Lillie, was living in Michigan when she applied for a pension (no. 784222) but no certificate was granted.


John H. Herriman - update 9/7/2016

John H. Herriman was born in 1840 in Phelps, Ontario County, New York.

Sometime in the late 1850s, John left New York and came to western Michigan along with his two brothers, James and William.

He married Jane B. Goodrich (d. 1911) on August 30, 1857, in Allen, Hillsdale County, and they had one child: Elizabeth (b. 1860).

By 1860 he was working as a painter and living with his wife in Allendale when his only child, Elizabeth Jane, was born.

John stood 5’8” with blue eyes and brown hair and was 21 years old and probably still residing in Allendale when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. He was sick in the hospital from August through October of 1862, and discharged for chronic diarrhea on October 20, 1862, at Chesapeake hospital in Fortress Monroe, Virginia.

Following his discharge he returned home to Allendale but never recovered his health, and died at home on February 6, 1863, probably from dysentery, and was buried in Allendale cemetery.

In 1863 Jane applied for and received a pension (no. 40310). She eventually remarried to Alfred See, a veteran of the 15th Illinois infantry, on January 23, 1864, and one of the witnesses at the wedding was Chauncey Taylor, also formerly of Company I, and son of James H. Taylor, the Justice of the Peace who performed the wedding.

The same day Jane married Alfred See, Andrew Webster, also of Company I, married Alfred’s sister Susan See.

Alfred and Jane lived in Allendale until 1865 when they moved to Lamont and eventually settled in Midland County. In 1866 Jane applied on behalf of her daughter for pensions and the request was granted (no. 66226).


John Hefner - update 2/27/2017

John Hefner was born in 1837 in Ohio.

John came to Michigan, probably from Ohio, sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’4” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 24-year-old farmer possibly living in Allegan County (or Kent County) when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861, crediting Lowell, Kent County. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lowell, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

John was transferred to Company F, 5th Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and in July and August of 1864 was detached as a nurse in the Division hospital. In September he was still on detached service, presumably in the hospital as a nurse, and he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

John eventually returned to Michigan after the war.

He married Ohio native Emily Thompson (1842-1907), and they had at least eight children: Mary (b. 1866), Rosetta (b. 1868), John H. (b. 1871), Orpha (b. 1873), Frances (b. 1875), twins Morris and Martha (1877), Ann Eliza (b. 1880) and Josephine (b. 1882).

They were living in Michigan by 1866 and by 1870 John was working as a farmer (he owned some $2600 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Jamestown, Ottawa County. By 1880 John was working as a shoemaker and living in Jamestown with his wife and children.

John died sometime before 1890.

In 1890 one Byron McNeal was listed as guardian in the pension application for a minor child (no. 464289). She was living in Byron Center, Kent County on December 23, 1896 when she married Ohio native Terrell Tillotson (b. 1820) in Byron Center.

By 1900 she was using the name of Hefner and living with her daughter Orpha and her husband Frank Higby in Byron Center. Emily was still living in Michigan in 1906 when she applied for a pension (no. 846216) but the certificate was never granted.

Harley C. Bement - update 9/7/2016

Harley C. Bement was born January 3, 1835, in Prattstown, Steuben County, New York, the son of Harley (1797-1882) and Eliza (Briggs, 1805-1856).

According to a family source, Harley (elder) was about 14 years old when he enlisted “in Capt. Hugh "Henry" R. Martin's Company, 13th U.S. Infantry at "Skenactady" New York, commanded by Colonel Christie,” during the War of 1812. “Records indicate service in the battles of St. Johns Canada, Little York (later Toronto) under General Pike, Fort George, 2nd Battle of Queenstown, Burlington Heights, Eldridge's Defeat, Wilkerson's Defeat and Plattsburgh. He served as a second sergeant and was honorably discharged July 1815 by a proclamation of the President of the United States while home on furlough at Onondaga, New York.” According to the family history,

In or about the year 1832, he left Bath, Steuben County, New York, and settled for a time at New Haven, Macomb County, Michigan, later moving on to Ingram County, Michigan and became one of the early pioneers of Central Michigan. The family existence was primitive with Harley, an excellent hunter, often providing game for food. Michigan was yet a Territory and their nearest neighbor was four miles away. The area Indians were harmless but given to dishonesty. Apparently he was quite the "Old Boy", often very ornery and few got along very well with him. In June 1839 Harley purchased 40 acres in Putnam Township, Livingston County, and sold it in October same, for a tidy $400 profit. In 1840 they resided in Handy Township, Livingston County where he helped build the first sawmill. In 1844 he owned 80 acres in Leroy Township, and purchased additional land in 1847. Sometime before 1850 his family made a western mover to Georgetown, Ottawa County, where he farmed and lumbered. For eight years prior to the Civil War he ably administered the law as a Justice of the Peace. While at Georgetown, Harley and Eliza were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Eliza died in a disastrous home fire in June or October of 1856. He then married, 27 Feb 1857, Mrs. Anna M. (Wood) Parker, the widow of Ezekiel W. Parker of Ohio. As a resident of Alaiedon Township, Ingham County in 1858 he purchased 40 acres, selling it later that year. In June of 1858 his son Harley C. Bement married Anna's daughter (his step sister) Marinda Parker at Georgetown.

On 19 Jan 1863, in his middle sixties but apparently in excellent health and residing at Georgetown, he enlisted in the Civil War at Grand Rapids. He was assigned to Company F, 7th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry (Capt. Mann) and served as a Ferrier, later changed to Private's rank, in charge of horses in transit from Michigan. On 26 Mar 1863 after an extremely tough winter camp at Washington, D.C., he was admitted to the Washington Columbian Hospital suffering from diabetic complications and diarrhea. On 12 May 1863, at the age of 66, he was discharged from that hospital and the army for disability, suffering from bronchitis and chronic diarrhea, with the comment that he "should not have been enlisted".

His last two decades are cloaked in mystery. Apparently he never recovered from his war exposures and privations and was unable to do a days work thereafter. His daughter Hannah indicated that he was forced to break up housekeeping because of his Civil War disability. According to the 1870 Census records, at age 74, he resided at Leroy with his son Silas; Anna's whereabouts then are unknown. In the 1880 Census (age 86, MA/CT), and an old record book, he resided at least three months in the Ottawa County Poorhouse, and was listed as a Pauper. Anna later applied for his military pension, being turned down more than once, but finally receiving $8 per month a few months before her own death.

Little documentation is available on Harley Bement in the original chronicles. Almost all of the preceding documentation was gathered by Spencer Leigh BeMent of Ann Arbor, Michigan who is believed to be Harley's second great-grandson. He indicated that little was known about Harley's parents and the early facts about him are vague and inconsistent. His birth era and the naming of his children provide some evidence that he is from the Samuel/Silas line. He may be an undeclared last son of Samuel or the first child of Bingham, or one of several other assumptions that are still being explored.

In 1836, when Harley C. was only a year old, his family moved to Michigan from New York, settling in what would become Macomb County. “At first,” wrote one postwar biography, “the family were obliged to go to Mt. Clemens for their flour, and the father frequently carried it on his back the long distance of fifteen miles. The Indians, who were numerous, were usually harmless, although driven to dishonesty, and upon one occasion during the absence of the family stole everything the house held, even carrying away the clothing of the mother and children. The father followed the Indians two days and recovered their table-knives, all ground to fine points, and his wife's silk dress, which had been cut short in the skirt to be worn by the Indians. The daughters’ dresses were served in like manner, and everything which had been carried away was more or less injured.”

Around 1839 or 1840, Harley’s family moved to Ingham County, where his father “assisted in building the first sawmill erected in Hardy, Livingston County, and which was on the County line of Livingston and Ingham counties.” By 1850 Harley (elder) and his brother Levi had moved their families to Georgetown, Ottawa County where Harley Sr. engaged in farming and lumbering. Harley Jr. was educated in the common schools and spent most of his time working on the family farm and in the lumbering business prior to the war.
Eliza died in a fire in June of 1856 and in 1857 Harley Sr. remarried Anna Wood Parker. (Mrs. Parker was the mother of Benjamin Parker who would also serve in the Old Third during the war.)

Harley Jr. married his stepsister Miranda A. Parker (d. 1916) on June 14, 1857, and they had at least 11 children: Elemuel (b. 1858), Harley G. (b. 1860), Medona or Dora (b. 1863), Clemens (b. 1866), Benjamin (b. 1867), Pearl (b. 1870), Priscilla (b. 1873), Anna (b. 1874), Albert (b. 1879), Charles (b. 1881) and Maud (b. 1883).

By the time the war broke out Harley (younger) was living in Georgetown, working a farm next to Stephen Lowing who would serve as Lieutenant and then Captain of Company I; in fact according to Lowing Harley was working for him by the spring of 1861.

Harley Jr. stood 6’0” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 27 years old and working as a farmer living in Georgetown, Ottawa County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his first cousin Wilbur. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)
Harley Jr. was wounded three times on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run: first, through his left hand; second, before he could get off the field he was shot in the fleshy part of the right thigh; and third, he was hit by a grape shot, which struck him in the back, tearing his cartridge box into pieces. According to Harley, he was struck by a minie ball in the left hand “and by the same ball at the same time in his left elbow . . . said ball struck near the knuckle of the second finger of his left hand passing through the back of his hand lengthwise passing to and striking his left elbow.” He was eventually hospitalized in New York City and was discharged for disability on December 11, 1862, at Bellevue hospital in New York City.

After his discharge from the army Harley “returned at once to his home and family in Michigan” and “devoted himself to farming and threshing, and for seven years farmed for Edward Cole, of Ottawa County, hauling logs and lumber from the woods to the sawmill.” Indeed, by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Georgetown, Ottawa County.

In 1875, Harley “went to Utah for the purpose of mining, first stopping at Salt Lake City. He remained in Utah one summer, but not finding his mining venture a success returned home and engaged in farming in the Township of Croton,” Newaygo County. In 1882 he moved to a farm of 80 acres in Georgetown (at the southeast corner of Pierce Street and 92nd avenue), Ottawa County. “At the time Mr. Bement purchased his Allendale Township homestead, the land was entirely unimproved, but” by the late 1880s “contained 50 highly cultivated acres. In February, 1892, the residence and contents were entirely destroyed, and since then our subject has erected a handsome two-story frame building at a cost of $1,100.” Aside from the year spent in Utah in 1875, Harley lived all his life in the Allendale and Zeeland areas.

In 1883, Harley’s son Clemens (named after Harley’s brother who had died during the war) was thrown from a horse, and suffered a head injury that left him an invalid for five years, two of which he spent flat on his back unable to turn or move. However, “Science restored him in great measure to health, but excellent care and a large outlay of money was needed to save his life and give him permanent relief.” Harley’s family was, noted one source, “widely known and highly esteemed, occupy positions of useful influence and command the confidence of many sincere friends.” The same year in which his son was injured Harley was residing in Allendale drawing a pension of $6.00 per month (no. 10,487), and increased to $24.00 by 1916.

He and his wife were both members of the First Christian Church of Georgetown, and he may have been a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Thirkittle Post No. 388 in Allendale, in which he served as Post Commander for two years; he may also have been a member at one time of Weatherwax Post No. 75 in Grand Haven, Ottawa County.

Harley was a widower when died in Zeeland, probably at the home of his son Albert, of “general old age” and chronic cystitis a widower, on November 5, 1916, and was buried in Allendale cemetery.