Andrew Jackson Ipe was born on September 10, 1832 in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio, the son of Jacob (1803-1883) and Sarah (Shafer, 1813-1885).
Ohio natives Jacob and Sarah, neither of whom could read or write, were married about 1826 in Columbiana County, Ohio, and for many years lived in Ohio. By 1850 Andrew was a farm laborer and living with his family in Mahoning County, Ohio. His family left Ohio and moved west, and by 1860 had settled on a farm in Algoma, Kent County.
Andrew, who was also unable to read or write, also left Ohio (probably with his family) and moved westward, eventually settling in western Michigan by 1860 when he was a shingle-maker, working for and/or living with Peter Googen, a farmer in Solon, Kent County.
(It is possible that he was related to Olivia Ipe who would marry Leonard Parrish in 1871; Leonard not only served in the Third Michigan infantry but in 1870 was working for Jacob Ipe in Algoma, Kent County.)
He was married to Catharine who died sometime before 1861.
Andrew stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion, and was 28 years old and living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. By mid-June of 1862 Andrew was sick in the hospital at White House landing, Virginia, suffering from debility. Indeed, he had apparently suffered from exhaustion and was treated June 6-11, and returned to duty.
He soon returned to the Regiment and was wounded in the head on July 1, 1862, at the battles of New Market Crossroads and Malvern Hill, Virginia. Andrew later claimed that he “was treated by regimental surgeon . . . first in field hospital at Harrison’s Landing, Va and sent from there to Brooklyn, N.Y.” Although reported absent sick or wounded in a general hospital from July of 1862 through January of 1863, in fact, Andrew had been sent to a hospital in Baltimore and then transferred to New York City, where he was discharged on September 26, 1862, at Brooklyn City hospital for “a fracture of the skull caused by a gunshot wound [with] the ball entering the brain.”
After his discharge Andrew returned to Kent County, and was probably living in Solon when he married New York native Eunice McDonald (1830-1897) on December 3, 1865 in Solon, and they had at least one child Emily or Emma (b. 1866). It appears that Andrew’s wife had been married before and had four children from a previous marriage: Donald or Eugene (b. 1854), Clark (b. 1857), Elisha or Elihu (b. 1859) and Charles (b. 1862) – all of whom had been born in New York.
In 1870 Andrew (listed as “Jackson”) was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Cedar Springs, Solon Township, and he was still farming in Solon in 1880. (His parents were living on a farm in Algoma in 1880.)
He was living in Cedar Springs, Kent County in 1883 when he was drawing $4.00 per month for a wound to the head (no. 152,757), drawing $15 per month by 1907. He was still living in Cedar Spring in 1888, but by 1890 he was residing in Plainfield, Kent County in 1890. He claimed that he resided at Remus, Isabella County, in 1905, at Pelston (?), Michigan in 1906, and Cedar Springs in 1907.
In 1907 a friend in Cedar Springs, Wesley Barnum, observed that Andrew “is a very illiterate man unable to read or write. I have known him for fifteen years and know him to be a straight, honest man.”
Andrew died of “old age” on March 16, 1909, in Solon, and was buried in Solon cemetery: grave no. 189.