Wednesday, June 17, 2009

George Koch

George Koch was born in 1835 in Wurttemberg, Germany.

George came to Grand Rapids about 1857, and by 1859-60 was a laborer working at G. & C. Christ’s saloon (one of the Christs’ bartenders, William Klump, would also enlist in Company C).

George stood 5’5” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 26 years old and working as a laborer probably in Kent County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861 (he may have been related to William Koch who was also from Wurttemberg and who also enlisted in Company C),

He was absent sick in the hospital at Yorktown, Virginia from April of 1862 until July 7 when he was admitted to the general hospital at Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island, for hemoptyses (spitting of blood). He remained in Portsmouth until discharged for chronic bronchitis on December 1, 1862, and according to his discharge certificate he “had pneumonia in May of 1862, typhoid fever in June [and] has done no duty since May 7, 1862. Atrophy of the muscles both legs, tenderness of spine, haemoptysis and general debility.”

Following his discharge George returned to Grand Rapids where he apparently lived the remainder of his life.

He was married to Prussian- or W├╝rttemberg-born Margaret (b. 1839) and they had at least three children: Anna (b. 1857), Mary (b. 1868) and Frank (b. 1869).

In 1867-68 George was probably working as a carpenter for Chris Kusterer, a local brewer, and living on the west side of Siegel between Bridge and First Streets in Grand Rapids, and in 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. By 1880 George was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward. In 1884 George was living at 39 Jefferson Street; he also worked for some years as a cooper and brewer.

George was a Catholic, a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1884 he applied for and received a pension (no. 304,521).

George died a widower in Grand Rapids on July 25, 1889, of heart disease, and was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section 1 lot 175/173.

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