Sayles

John Sayles - update 5/2/2017

John Sayles was born in 1846 in Ionia County, Michigan, the son of New York native Elias Sayles Sr. (1803-1897) and Canadian-born Hannah Showers (1808-1872) and stepson of English-born Eliza Ann Wrigley (1819-1885).

Elias, probably along with his brother Cyrenius and his family, moved from Canada to Michigan sometime between 1843 and 1846, and by 1850 John was living with his family and attending school with his older siblings (which also included his older brother William who would enlist in Company F) in Keene, Ionia County; next door lived Charles and Harrison Soules, both of whom would enlist in Company C in 1861. And not much farther away lived a Sayles cousin, Lyman, Cyrenius’ son, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan.

John stood 5’7” with black eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was a 16-year-old farmer probably living in Lowell, Kent County or in Keene when he enlisted in Company G on April 4, 1862, at Lowell for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (He may have been related to Lyman Sayles of Company H.) By late June, according to Homer Thayer of Company G, John was sick in the hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, and he remained absent sick in the hospital through September when he allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he was discharged for consumption on June 24, 1862, at Annapolis, Maryland.

After he was discharged John returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company L, 6th Michigan Cavalry on February 27, 1865, for 1 year at Grand Rapids, age 21, and was mustered on February 28 at Grand Rapids, crediting Keene. He joined the Regiment March 19, was absent sick in May -- he may have missed the participation by the regiment in the Grand Review in Washington on May 23 -- and was discharged, probably for disability, on June 23, 1865, at Washington, DC.

John eventually returned to Michigan after the war.

He married Canadian Mary M. Gardner (1848-1926) on February 21, 1867, and they had at least five children: Rebecca (b. 1869), Lewis (b. 1872), Leon (b. 1874), Grace (b. 1881) and Ida (b. 1884).

He may have been living in Lowell, Kent County by 1870. In 1870 John, his wife Mary and their infant daughter Rebecca were living with Mary’s father in Keene, Ionia County. By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County. He was living in Otisco, Ionia County in 1890. In 1910 he and Mary were living in Otisco; also living with them were their daughters Grace and Ida and daughter Rebecca Brooks and her husband. By 1910 John was working as a commercial traveler selling pianos and living with Mary and his daughter Ida in Belding’s 3rd Ward, Ionia County. By 1920 John was living in the Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids.

In 1880 he applied for and eventually received a pension (no. 984966).

John died on June 17, 1921, and was buried in the Michigan Soldiers’ Home cemetery, Grand Rapids: 6-10-2.

In 1921 his widow was residing in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 905653).

Lyman Allen Sayles - update 5/2/2017

Lyman Allen Sayles was born on October 21, 1844, in Lowell, Kent County or Keene, Ionia County, Michigan, the son of New York native Cyrenius Chapin Sayles (1812-1893 ) and Canadian Eliza Gardner (b. 1816).

Cyrenius and Eliza were married in East Dumfries, Canada, in 1835. Between 1842 and 1844 Cyrenius, probably along with his brother Elias, took his family and left Canada, eventually settling in Keene, Ionia County, Michigan where he farmed for many years and raised 15 children. (Elias also settled in Keene.) One source described Cyrenius as “a man universally respected and liked, while having strong opinions his humerous expressions of them gave no one offence.”

By 1850 Lyman was living with his family on a farm in Keene. Nearby lived his cousins John and William Sayles, two of Elias’ sons, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan, as would two of the Soules boys who lived near both Sayles families. By 1860 Lyman was living with his family and attending school with ten of his siblings, one of whom, Olive, was the teacher, in Keene.

Lyman stood 5’6” with dark eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was a 17-year-old farmer probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company H on November 21, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 13 at Detroit. (He was probably related to John and/or William Sayles of Company G and Company C respectively.) Lyman was reported absent sick in the hospital from July of 1862 through August, but according to Lieutenant William Ryan of Company H, in fact he had been absent in the hospital since the first of May.

Although he was reported as having deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, Lyman had in fact been discharged from the army on either June 28, 1862, at Detroit or October 3, 1862 at Edward’s Ferry, Maryland, for “anchylosis of the fingers of his right hand, prior to enlistment.” Lyman listed Lowell, Ionia County as his mailing address on his discharge paper (he probably lived along the border between Kent and Ionia counties), and he probably returned to the Lowell/Keene area after his discharge.

It appears that he was living in Lowell when he enlisted at the age of 20 on March 24, 1865, in Company A, 6th Michigan Cavalry and was mustered the same day. He was discharged on August 4, 1865, at Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory.

Lyman eventually returned to Michigan.

He may have been living in Eaton County in 1870.

For reasons which remain unclear, Pinkney Cemetery records in Ionia County report that Lyman died on July 2, 1878 (or July 16, 1868), presumably in Ionia County and was buried in Pinkney cemetery, Ionia County: lot 13, row 3, grave 8.

Lyman married Maine native Sarah Martin or Marston (b. 1847) on February 23, 1863 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, and they had at least two children: Emmanuel or Emmet (1867-1930) and a son Jesse E. (1870-1886).

They were probably living in Illinois in 1867 when Emmanuel was born but by 1870 Lyman was working as a farm laborer and living with Sarah and two children in Osolo, Elkhart County, Indiana.

Lyman was working as a teacher in Pierson, Montcalm County when he married New York native Emma Jane Huntington (b. 1852), in Pierson, Montcalm County, Michigan, on July 5, 1874, and that they had at least three children: Laverne (1878-1879), and Ingersoll (b. 1879). By 1880 Lyman was farming and teaching school and living with his wife Emma and his children Emmanuel, Jesse and Ingersoll in Vergennes, Kent County.

Lyman was working as a school teacher and living in Lowell, Kent County when he married 16-year-old Cattaraugus County, New York native Hattie Belle Griswold (b. 1866) on December 3, 1882 in Clarksville, Ionia County, Michigan. They had at least four children: Hattie Mae (b. 1883), Lilla Alta (1886-1980, Mrs. Sopp), Lyman Jay (1891-1959), and Elma Alta (1895-1896).

Lyman and Hattie lived in Evergreen, Montcalm County for some years before moving to South Lyon, Oakland County. Lyman who had worked as a farmer and school teacher eventually became a physician and for many years he practiced in South Lyon, Oakland County. Lyman was living in South Lyon, Oakland County in 1894. In 1900 Lyman and Hattie were living in South Lyon where he was working as a physician; also living with them were their four children. By 1910 Lyman was still working as a physician and living with Hattie in South Lyon; also living with them was their son Jay and mother-in-law New Yorker June Randall (b. 1844). In 1920 Lyman was working as a physician and living with Hattie in South Lyon; their granddaughter Mildred Sayles (b. 1813) was also living with them.

In 1928 Lyman was admitted to the hospital at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 8184) in Grand Rapids, and was apparently under the guardianship of one Allen Wilkinson of South Lyon, Oakland County; his nearest relative was Hattie living in South Lyon and a daughter Lillie Sopp in Rushton, Michigan.

Lyman was living in the Home in 1930.

In 1880 Lyman applied for and received a pension (no. 354745), drawing $72.00 per month by 1928.

Lyman was still living at the Home when he died of “cirrhosis of the liver (not alcoholic)” on October 19, 1931, and his body was sent to South Lyon for burial.

His widow applied for a pension (no. 1706373), but the certificate was never granted.

William R. Sayles - update 5/2/2017

William R. Sayles was born December 22, 1839 in Canada, the son of New York native Elias Sayles Sr. (1803-1897) and Canadian-born Hannah Showers (1808-1872) and stepson of English-born Eliza Ann Wrigley (1819-1885).

The family moved from Canada to Michigan between 1843 and 1846, and by 1850 William was living with his family and attending school with his siblings (including a younger brother John who would enlist in Company G in 1862) in Keene, Ionia County; next door lived Charles and Harrison Soules, both of whom would enlist in Company C in 1861. Nearby lived a cousin, Lyman Sayles, Cyrenius’ son, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan.

William farmed for some years in Keene before the war, and in 1860 he was working as a farm laborer and/or living with the Matthew Brown family in Keene; his parents were still living in Keene as well.

William stood 6’1’’ with dark eyes, hair and complexion and was a 23-year-old farmer living in Saranac, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was transferred to Company B on June 12.

There is no further record.

In fact, William may have never left with the 3rd Michigan when it departed Grand Rapids on June 13, 1861.

He married Michigan native Hettie Jane Hunter (d. 1895) on July 14, 1861, and they had at least two children: Charles (b. 1862) and Elroy (1864-1950).

William enlisted as a Private on September 5, 1861, at Marshall, in Company H, 2nd Michigan Cavalry for three years, and was mustered on October 12. He reportedly deserted on March 22, 1863, in Michigan.

Again, there is no further record.

Apparently William eventually enlisted in Company L, 6th Michigan Cavalry at Grand Rapids on January 29, 1864, for 3 years, crediting Keene, Ionia County, and was mustered on January 30. (Both Lyman and John Sayles, also reentered the service in the 6th Michigan Cavalry.)

He joined the Regiment near Stevensburg, Virginia about February 15, and was serving with the wagon train as a teamster from December of 1864 through March of 1865. In June he was on detached service as a teamster through July, and he claimed some years after the war to have been seriously injured by an accident at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the summer of 1865. (The 6th had been transferred to Fort Leavenworth on June 1 and the veterans and recruits consolidated into the 1st Michigan Cavalry later that month.)

“On or about June 16, 1865,” Sayles testified in 1881, “while on soldier’s duty [with the 6th Cavalry] he was in the act of harnessing a mule to a wagon, the mule becoming scared jumped over the wagon tongue and a rope that was attached to [the] mule’s neck and hub of wagon caught [Sayles] between it and wagon tongue in such a manner as to bend him backwards between the wheel and wagon-box, until assistant wagon-master George Bothwell came to [his] rescue and cut the rope, and from there [Sayles] was sent to hospital.”

And on May 4, 1888, William wrote to Mr. J. C. Black, Pension Commissioner in Washington, that after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox his Regiment “was ordered west and that while in camp at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas,” round June 15, 1865, “I was detailed to drive mules and that (against my own will) and that while in the act of harnessing one of the mules, I was hurt across the back and in the region of the kidney so much so that when I was helped loose that I could not walk or stand on my feet and was injured so that I was sent to [the] convalescent hospital at Fort Leavenworth and remained there about six weeks and was discharged” on August 17, 1865. In fact he was honorably discharged on August 8, 1865, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

After his discharge, William returned to Michigan and resumed farming first in Polkton, Ottawa County from 1865 to 1870, then in Vergennes, Kent County from 1870 to 1874 (actually living in Lowell village in 1870), in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County from 1874 to 1876, and in Keene from 1876 to 1881. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with Hettie and his two sons in Keene, Ionia County.

By 1888 he was living in Lowell when he wrote to the Pension Bureau on May 4, 1888, continuing his efforts to be granted a pension for his war-related injury. He wrote of how needless his injury had been and yet how much he had suffered ever since.

Now I do not want to find fault but I thought that we should have been discharged after the war closed but was not and the result has been ever since my hurt as I have mentioned I have been impaired so much that I have been a great sufferer ever since and . . . as I grow older I grow worse and I have thought that in time will be unable to perform my labor and now the witnesses that saw the accident are dead as well as all of my company officers with the exception of my first Lieutenant and he was on detached duty at the time. My captain died at Grand Rapids about 4 years ago. Now I do not know as I am entitled to pension or not but Mr. Black if after hearing and reading these few lines you think I had ought to or am entitled to have a pension I wish you would write. I have thought of writing you a great many times for information.

He was eventually granted pension no. 507,485, increased in August of 1902, drawing $12.00 per month.

In 1889 he was probably working as a laborer for Cupples Co. on Coldbrook near Ionia Street in Grand Rapids. By 1890 William was residing at 32 Quimby street in Grand Rapids where he worked for some years as a furniture finisher; he was living in Grand Rapids’ 6th ward in 1894 (as was another civil veteran his brother Elias Sayles Jr.).

William was living in Grand Rapids when he married New York native Mary A. Smith Lovelace on March 21, 1896, in Holland, Ottawa County. Each had been married once before.

William was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2928) on September 26, 1899 (no mention made of enlistment in the 3rd Michigan).

William was a widower when he died of “progressive paralysis” at the Home on October 17, 1906, and was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot no. WH-462.