Isaac H. Shekels was born on April 16, 1838, in Stark County, Ohio, the son of John W. (b. 1808 in Pennsylvania died in 1881) and Elizabeth Katherine (Yant, born 1812 in Ohio and died in 1875).
By 1850 Isaac was attending school with his siblings and living on the family farm in Paris, Stark County, Ohio.
Isaac eventually left Ohio and by 1860 he was possibly working as a fisherman with and/or for John and Cornelius More, also fishermen, in Crystal Lake, Leelanau County.
Isaac stood 5’7” with dark eyes and hair and a dark complexion, and was 22 years old and possibly residing in Mecosta County or in Wright, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. Isaac was wounded by a shell in the right thigh on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and put aboard the Elm City at White House Landing, Virginia, and transferred to the hospital in Washington, DC, where he arrived on June 5 or 6. He remained hospitalized until he was discharged on October 29, 1862, at Douglas hospital in Washington, DC for “shell wound on inner aspect of lower third of right thigh, injuring the muscles extensively and permanently disabling him for duty as a soldier.”
It is not known if Isaac returned to Michigan after he was discharged from the army. He did go to Indiana where he reentered the army as a Second Lieutenant in Company A, 152nd Indiana Infantry. He was mustered out on August 30, 1865, at Clarksburg, West Virginia.
Isaac returned to Indiana after the war.
He was married to Pennsylvania native Harriet Danner (1848-1904) and they had at least nine children: Marietta (b. 1865), Carrie (b. 1870), Catharine (b. 1872), Abram (b. 1875), Elsie (1879-1967), Nellie (1882-1942), Harry (b. 1880), Bernice (b. 1885) and Jesse Howard (1888-1949).
By 1880 Isaac was working as a butcher and living with his wife and children in Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana. By 1884 he was a farmer living three and a half miles south of Elkhart, Indiana, and in 1890 he was living in Concord, Elkhart County. In 1900 he was still working as a butcher in concord, Indiana, and living with his wife and children. By 1903 Isaac and Harriet were living on Cleveland Avenie in Elkhart, Indiana.
He was probably still living in Elkhart when he married his second wife Amanda Brown on March 12, 1908.
In 1910 Isaac was working as a meat cutter for Lloyd Bros. grocers and meats at Elkart and living with Amanda at 409 St. Joseph Street.
In 1911 he sued Amanda for divorce charging here with being a woman of bad reputation. Although a number of sources including Amanda’s first husband, denied that her character was tarnished, it turned out otherwise.
According to a local newspaper,
Isaac Shekels was divorced from Amanda A. Shekels today. Mr. Shekels testified that his wife, whom he married in 1906 , spent all of his money, made his home so disagreeable that he could not stay in it, called him a liar frequently, and associated with women of bad character, naming two. Judge Vanfleet denied the divorce at first, saying he could not grant it on such evidence, but after a witness had testified to the general reputation of the women mentioned, he entered the decree. Mrs. Shekels was in court, but made no contest.
Isaac was still living in Elkhart in 1913, in 1914 at 604 Capitol Blvd., in 1917 he was living at 1004 Capitol Blvd in Elkhart.
In 1874 he applied for and received a pension (no. 144548).
Isaac was listed as a widower when he died of prostrate cancer on May 3, 1918, in Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana and was presumably buried there (his fist wife Harriet is reportedly buried in Grace Lawn Cemetery in Elkhart).