Theodore Robert McLain was born in October 26, 1841, in Livonia, Wayne County, Michigan, the son of John (1791-1870) and Margaret (Magden, 1808).
Theodore’s parents were married in 1826 or 1827 in New York where they lived for some years. By 1839, however they had moved westward and were residing in Nankin, Wayne County, Michigan, but by 1842 had settled in Livonia.
Theodore stood 5’6” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and probably working as a farmer in either Ionia or Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company D on February 5, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids’ Second Ward, and was mustered the same day. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) Robert was sick in the hospital from July through August of 1862, and absent sick or wounded in the Division hospital in July of 1863.
He apparently had recovered and returned to duty by the time he reenlisted near Culpeper, Virginia on February 18, 1864, and was mustered on February 20. He was transferred to Company K on February 24, and subsequently absent on veterans’ furlough in March. He probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of April and was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was reported as an attendant in the Regimental hospital in September, in February of 1865 he was absent sick and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
It is not known if Theodore (“Rob”) returned to Michigan after the war.
He was probably living in Wisconsin when he married Ellen Squires (1847-1914) in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, in April of 1866. They had at least 13 children: Sarah Roseltha (b. 1869), Emma A. (b. 1871), Theodore William “Dude” (b. 1872), James Washington (b. 1874), Amey (b. 1876), Addie (b. 1878), Baby boy (b. 1881), Orpha (b. 1882), Ella (b. 1884), Charles (b. 1886), Lewis Roy (b. 1887?) and Herbert A. (b. 1889).
Theodore and his family settled in Little Falls, Monroe County before 1870 and were still there in 1871 and eventually in Cataract, Wisconsin by 1874 where they lived for some years. “Rob” operated a wagon shop in Cataract from 1883 to 1890 and a blacksmith shop in Cataract between 1890 and 1895. In the late 1880s they were probably living in Sparta, Monroe County, Wisconsin. In about 1907 he was probably living in Fence (?), Florence County, Wisconsin. Around 1926 he moved to Wisconsin Rapids (then called Grand Rapids, Wisconsin).
In 1888 he applied for and received a pension (no. 978988).
Theodore was probably a widower when he died of “senility” in Wisconsin Rapids at 5:50 p.m. on February 7, 1927, and was buried in Cataract, Wisconsin.