William O. Morgridge was born on October 15, 1843, in Corinth, Maine, perhaps in Franklin County or Kennebec County, probably the son of Lorenzo (b. 1819) and Vienna (b. 1811).
Maine natives Lorenzo and Vienna (?) were married, presumably in Maine where they resided for some years. By 1850 William was attending school with his siblings, one of whom, his older brother John, would also join the Third Michigan in 1861, and living with his family in Parkman, Piscataquis, Maine. Lorenzo took his family and left Maine sometime after 1851 and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 William was working as a farm laborer and living with the Hiram Darling family in Paris, Kent County. (Just several houses away lived Lorenzo and probably his second wife, Canadian-born Mary.)
He was an 18-year-old farmer living in Paris, Kent County when he enlisted in Company B (joining his older brother John) on December 12, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered December 23 at Detroit. William was absent sick suffering from “debility” in the hospital at Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia in late June of 1862, and was in the Regimental hospital from August of 1862 through December when he was probably transferred to New York. He was sick at the hospital at David’s Island, New York harbor in January of 1863 when he was discharged for consumption on January 18, 1863, at David’s Island.
William returned to Kent County and worked for Hiram Darling until the fall of 1863 when he moved to Crystal Lake, Montcalm County, where he learned the trade of carpenter.
He was living in Montcalm County where he married Canadian-born Selina M. Gee (1844-1876) on February 1, 1866, and they had at least three children: Myrtle “Myrtie” M. (1868-1879), an infant daughter (d. 1876) and a son William F. (b. 1879).
By 1870 William was working as a druggist and living with his wife and daughter in Crystal, Montcalm County. In 1871 or 1872 he moved to Boulder, Colorado where he continued to work in the druggist business as well as in the jewelry business, probably with one Isaac Bond. Selina probably died in childbirth; in any case their infant daughter died six weeks after Selina. By 1881 he was living in Boulder, and by 1882 he was living with his wife on North 12th Street in Boulder and in 1883 at 2417 12th Street.
In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 222188). He was a member of the GAR Nathaniel Lyon Post in Boulder, Colorado.
By 1880 William was listed as a widower and working as an apothecary and living with the Alvin Sawyer family in Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado.
He eventually married his second wife, English-born Henrietta M., Ferry on June 28, 1881, probably in Colorado, and he had at least one child: William F. (b. 1882).
William died of consumption on March 26, 1883, in Boulder, and the funeral services were held under the auspices of the GAR Lyon Post in Boulder, as well as by the minister of St. John’s Episcopal church in Boulder. He was buried next to his first wife and two daughters in Columbia (Pioneer-IOOF) cemetery in Boulder: C-026-2 NW (see photos G804-806).
In 1883 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 202924). She married to a Mr. Hathaway and was probably living in Boulder, Colorado when, as guardian she applied for and received a minor child’s pension (no. 241087), drawing $12 per month by 1887. By 1900 William was living with his aunt and uncle, Joel and ella Eastman, in Boulder, Colorado (his aunt was apparently his father’s sister).