Orlando D. Rowe was born in 1843 in Pennsylvania, the son of Gilbert (b. 1822) and Margaret (b. 1824).
His parents were both born in New York and presumably married there before settling in Pennsylvania by the time Orlando was born. The family may have lived briefly in Michigan around 1844 but soon returned to Pennsylvania and by 1850 the family had settled in Columbus, Warren County, Pennsylvania where Orlando attended school with his younger sister Mary and their father worked as a bookkeeper. The family moved from Pennsylvania to Michigan sometime after 1853, and by 1860 Orlando was a boatman living with his family in Tallmadge, Ottawa County where his father was employed as a mill worker. Two houses away lived the Cyrus Miller family. Miller had also spent quite a bit of time in Pennsylvania before moving to Ottawa County and he too would join Company I. And living with Miller’s family was a blacksmith named John Richberg who would join Company B.
Orlando was 18 years old and probably still living in Tallmadge 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 absent sick in the hospital from July of 1862 through August, and allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, probably while he was still hospitalized. He was eventually returned to the Regiment and discharged on January 2, 1863, in order to reenlist in the regular army. He was transferred to K battery, First United States Artillery on January 3, 1863.
Orlando eventually returned to Michigan after the war.
He was probably living in Wayland where he was married to Frances Elifia Spencer (b. 1853) on November 5, 1870; they had at least seven children: Elinor Mae (b. 1872), Byron Gilbert (b. 1874), Mary Angie (b. 1876), Eva Maud (b. 1878), Millie Belle (b. 1880), Georgia Margaret (b. 1889) and Myron Watson (b. 1893).
By 1870 Orlando had moved to Neosho, Woodson County, Kansas. Although he may have returned to Wayland, Allegan County around 1900, it seems that at some point he moved to Missouri and was apparently residing in Missouri in 1891 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 819271). In fact, in 1889-91 he was working as the superintendent for the Walnut Street Planning Mill and living at the rear of the east side of Kenwood 1st Street south (?) of 39th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.
He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.
Orlando died on July 14, 1918, in Seymour, Missouri, and is presumably buried there.
In June of 1918 his widow was living in Missouri when she applied for and received a pension (no. 882073).