Spring Lake cemetery Ottawa County

Thomas Somerset

Thomas Somerset was born on August 14, 1841, in Sandusky County, Ohio, the son of Charles (1818-1883) and Catharine (Kelly, 1816-1882).

While still a young boy Thomas and his family moved from Ohio to Wisconsin, settling briefly in Milwaukee before moving back across Lake Michigan to Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan in 1848, becoming one of the pioneering families of that town, and where his father engaged in farming. In 1850 Thomas was living on the family farm in Crockery, Ottawa County. By 1860 Thomas was a farmer living with the Austin family in Robinson, Ottawa County, and living with his parents in Crockery. (Next door to his parents lived Isaac Burbank and his family; Isaac would also join the Third Michigan.)

He was 19 years old and living in Grand Haven when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He was sick in the hospital at Yorktown from May 3, 1862, until about May 10 when he was transferred to the hospital at Portsmouth, Virginia, where he remained some two months. Thomas eventually returned to duty and reported as a guard at Brandy Station, Virginia in February of 1864. He was wounded slightly in one of his fingers on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and was mustered out at Detroit on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge from the army Thomas returned to his home in Ottawa County where he engaged in farming and fruit growing, and for many years he farmed on 320 acres he had purchased in 1864, located about seven miles southeast of Grand Haven along the banks of the Grand River. According to one source he “owned a 337-acre farm in Sections 30 and 31 of Crockery Township. His land, bordering the Grand River, was frequented by the Fort Village band of Ottawa Indians that once inhabited the adjacent area called Battle Point. Cobmosa was their Chief. The Somerset farm was on part of the Indians’ burial grounds.”

He married New York native Catharine C. Miles (1845-1893) on October 24, 1867, and they had at least six children: Louise Elizabeth (b. 1868, Mrs. Frank Robbins), Alice Mabel (b. 1869), Ada Corinthia, Georgia Eleanor, Johnnie T. and Etta May.

By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $4000 worth of real estate) and was living with his wife and three children and his younger brother Charles in Ottawa County. (His parents lived near by.) Thomas was living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County in 1874 and by 1880 Thomas was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Crockery. He was living in Spring Lake in 1888 and 1890.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, a strong Democrat (he reportedly voted for McClellan in 1864), a Mason and a member of the I.O.O.F. He also gave an affidavit in the pension application of Washington Davis, a former member of Company A. and he himself applied for a pension (no. 1132048).

Thomas was a widower when he died at about 10:00 p.m. on February 2, 1900, and was buried in Spring Lake cemetery,

“Thomas had been ailing some little time with paralysis,” noted the Grand Haven Daily Tribune, “and when he was in [Grand Haven] the Friday before his death, he complained that he could not use his fingers. He grew rapidly worse thereafter and was entirely helpless and unconscious for eight hours prior to his death.”

When Thomas died his three unmarried daughters were either teaching school or in college: Alice was teaching at Harrisburg, Michigan, Ada in Wisconsin and Georgia was in school at Valparaiso, Indiana.

His funeral took place on Monday afternoon, the Rev. W. W. Slee officiating.

Orange McClure - update 5/2/2017

Orange McClure was born February 25, 1836, in Schuyler County, New York, the son of Vermonter Orange (1789-1868) and New York native Anna Maria (b. 1806).

Orange (elder) was living in Tinmouth, Rutland County, Vermont in 1820 but by 1830 was living in Franklinville, Cattaraugus County, New York and in Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County in 1840 . Orange’s parents resided in New York between 1832 and 1843. The family moved to Michigan sometime after 1843, and by 1850 Orange (younger) was living his family and attending school in Paris, Kent County, where his father worked as a mason. By 1860 his parents were living with one their oldest son, Jay McClure, in Ada, Kent County.

Orange (younger) stood 5’9” with black eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 25-year-old farmer, unable to read or write, and probably working in the vicinity of Hastings, Barry County when he enlisted in the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. The company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids and its members distributed to other companies of the 3rd Michigan Infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city, and Orange eventually enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861.

He was working as a pioneer, probably for the Brigade, from July of 1862 through October, and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Alpine, Kent County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably at his home in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Orange was reported a Brigade pioneer from April of 1864 until he was shot in the left thigh on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, and subsequently hospitalized. He was still absent in the hospital when he was transferred to Company F, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, but by August he was again a pioneer detached to Brigade headquarters where he remained through September. For reasons unknown he was in the Division hospital in October, and in November was back with the Brigade where he was employed as a pioneer through May of 1865. He was a provost guard in June and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Orange returned to Michigan.

He married Louisa A. Gray on June 10, 1867, in Kent County. (She may have been the same Louisa Gray, b. c. 1838, who had been married to James Gray, with one child and living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County in 1860.)

However, sometime before 1868 he married Vermont-born Delia Thomas (b. 1840) and they had at least one child: Lucy (b. 1868).

Orange lived for a time in Grand Rapids, although he eventually settled in the northeastern part of Kent County, where he worked as a farmer. By 1880 he and Delia and their daughter were living in Greenville, Montcalm County where Orange worked as a wagonmaker. He joined the William A. Kent GAR Post No. 83, Greenville, Montcalm County on September 29, 1882. He was living in Greenville, Montcalm County in 1883 when he was drawing $4.00 in 1883 for a wounded left thigh (pension no. 214,627, dated June of 1882) and had been increased to $40.00 by 1918.

He was residing in Spencer, Kent County in 1884 and in Greenville in 1890 (the same year he applied for a pension).

In 1891, one Louisa A. McClure was living in Missouri when she filed for a dependent widow’s pension (application no. 534,120) but the certificate was never granted.

Delia and Orange divorced sometime before 1893 when she remarried another old 3rd soldier, Cornelius Barkhuff in Hastings, Barry County. By 1900 Delia was listed as a widow and living with one Orrin McClure (b. c. 1845 in Vermont) and her granddaughter Flossier McClure (Lucy’s daughter) in Hastings, Barry County.

Orange was admitted as a widower to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3489) on November 1, 1900, listing his nearest relative as one Flossie McClure (his granddaughter) of Hastings, Barry County. He was discharged at his own request on March 7, 1902, and readmitted on August 27, 1902. He was living in the Home in 1910.

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

Orange died of endocarditis at 7:40 p.m. on May 8, 1919, at the Home. His remains were sent to Ottawa County and buried next to his brother Jay in Spring Lake cemetery, East side: E 8 22.