Minor P. Spaulding was born on January 5, 1843, in Paris, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Orleans (1804-1889) and Aurella “Rilla” Ann Patterson. (1817-1879)
New York native Orleans married Sally Van Dyke in 1823, presumably in New York and by 1830 they were living in Buffalo, Niagara County where Minor’s older half-brother Samuel was born. Orleans took his family and left New York sometime between 1830 and 1832 by which time they had settled in Michigan; according to one local history Orleans and Philanzo Bowen settled in Kent County by 1836 and in Paris Township the following year. Sometime after Orleans’ first wife died he married New York native Aurella Ann Patterson (“Rilla,” 1817-1879).
By 1850 the family was living in Paris, Kent County where Orleans operated a small farm – although curiously Minor does not seem to be living with his family or attending school with his siblings. In any case, by 1860 Minor was working as a farm laborer with a wealthy farmer named Minor Patterson who lived next door to Orleans and Aurella. (Also living with Orleans and his family was John Laraway, who would also enlist in Company A.) It is quite possible that Minor Patterson was Aurella’s brother.
Minor stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 19-year-old farmer probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A, along with his older half-brother Samuel Spaulding, on March 3, 1862, at Grand Rapids, and was mustered the same day. Minor was reported absent sick in the hospital in September and was discharged for chronic diarrhea on October 18, 1862, at Fort McHenry, Maryland.
Minor returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company E, Tenth cavalry on September 7, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Paris, Kent County, and was mustered on September 12 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.
In March of 1865 he was at the dismounted camp in Knoxville, Tennessee where he remained through May, and on furlough in June and July. By September he was reported to be “in charge” of the military prison at Jackson, Tennessee, was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant on October 2, 1865, to First Sergeant on November 2, and mustered out on November 11, 1865, at Memphis, Tennessee.
After the war, Minor returned to Kent County, and was working as a farmer and living in Paris Township when he married Michigan native Harriet Loraine Cook (1848-1902) on May 12, 1868, at Cascade, and they had at least three children: Carrie E. (1869-1916), John C. (b. 1871-1924) and Helen Lorraine (b. 1874-1938).
By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter Carrie in Cascade, Kent County. Due to ill health he moved to Texa around 1877 and eventually settled in Sherman, Texas where he lived for some years; he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic post in Sherman. By 1880 he was reported as married but working as a farmer and living with the James Anglin family in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas. Curiously, in 1880 Lorraine and their three children were living with her parents in Cascade, Kent County. Minor returned to Michigan around 1886, when he was made postmaster of Caledonia, Kent County and was living in Caledonia in 1886 and 1890.
He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 162570).
Minor was confined to his bed for nearly a year and a half before he died (probably of consumption) on May 23, 1892, and was buried in Lakeside cemetery in Caledonia.
At the annual reunion of the association held in December of 1892, the following resolution was read and entered into the records: “Whereas - Minor Spaulding, after having served with honor in Co. A in the old Third Mich inf’ty and after being discharged by reason of a disability from which he never recovered, yet was so filled with patriotism, that he could not remain quiet, but reenlisted in the Tenth Mich Cavalry, and served as long as his strength should permit, And Whereas - said comrade, after long and almost continuous illness, since the close of the war, was, by the Great Commander, ordered to the realms above to join the great Grand Army there, Resolved that we tender to his wife, children, and relatives, our sincere sympathy. That we know their great loss of husband, father and protector, is irreparable, but feel that they must know their loss is his gain; that his brave indurance [sic] during life and his noble efforts to provide for his family, must be rewarded in the hereafter; that we fell ourselves identified with the family and join with them in pride at having been connected with so good a man, true, noble, and generous, in every particular. That we cordially invite the wife of Minor P. Spaulding to become an honorary member of our association.”
In June of 1892 Loraine was still living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 359257).
Samuel Jackson Spaulding was born on April 2, 1830, in Buffalo, Niagara County, New York, the son of Orleans (b. 1804) and Sally (Van Dyke (1803-1835).
New York native Orleans married Sally in 1823, presumably in New York and by 1830 were living in Buffalo, Niagara County. Orleans took his family and left New York sometime between 1830 and 1832 by which time they had settled in Michigan; according to one local history Orleans and Philanzo Bowen settled in Kent County by 1836 . Sometime after Orleans’ first wife died he married New York native Aurella Ann Patterson (“Rilla,” 1817-1879). By 1850 the family was living in Paris, Kent County where Orleans operated a small farm and Samuel -- called “Jackson” -- was attending school with his younger siblings.
In any case, by 1860 “Jackson” was working as a farm laborer and living with his father and stepmother “Amelia A.” and their family in Paris. Also living with the family was John Laraway, who would also enlist in Company A.
Samuel was a 31-year-old farmer probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A, along with younger half-brother Minor, on March 14, 1862, at Grand Rapids, and was mustered the same day.
He was absent sick in the hospital at Newport News, Virginia, from probably late June of 1862 through August, but was eventually returned to duty. He was reported missing in action on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in fact had been taken prisoner and confined at Richmond, Virginia, on July 21. He was paroled at City Point, Virginia on December 28, 1863, and sent to Camp Parole, Maryland on January 6, 1864, where he was admitted to the hospital on March 27. Samuel was eventually transferred to Camp Distribution, Virginia on May 14.
Samuel had apparently been returned to duty by the time he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and although reported present with the Regiment in August, by the end of October he was absent sick, probably at Beverly hospital, New Jersey, where he remained through at least February 28, 1865. He was reported as returned to duty on March 6, 1865, but was mustered out as a Corporal on March 15, 1865. at Philadelphia (or at Beverly, New Jersey), although his pension records note that he was mustered out on April 18, 1865.
After his discharge Samuel returned to Kent County. (His father Orleans was still living in Paris in 1870.) Samuel was living in Wyoming, near Grand Rapids, when he married the twice-widowed New York native Emeline V. Meech Lyon Leavitt (1825-1920) in Wyoming on March 24, 1868.
By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Paris, Kent County. By 1880 Samuel was working as a farmer and living with his wife Emeline in Plainfield, Kent County. Also living with them was Emeline’s daughter Mary Leavitt, who was listed as an invalid and Emeline’s granddaughter 4-year-old Mary Slater.
Samuel was residing in Grand Rapids in 1886 and 1888, in Plainfield in 1890, in Grand Rapids in 1894, in East Paris, Kent County in 1898 when he applied for a pension. In fact he lived virtually his entire life in Kent County, mostly in the Grand Rapids area where he worked as a farmer for many years, and was residing on R.R. no. 4 in Grand Rapids in 1906-1909 and 1911.
Samuel was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association as well as the Old Residents’ Association, and probably the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) as well. In 1880 he applied for and received pension no. 509,807, drawing $12.00 per month in 1890, increased to $30.00 a month in 1912. Along with his wife, Samuel attended the last national parade of the Grand Army of the Republic in Detroit, on September 2, 1914.
Samuel died of “laryngitis” on Sunday, November 15, 1915, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Earl Hoag, in Grand Rapids Township, and the funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday November 18 at the daughter’s residence. He was buried in Oak Grove (formerly East Paris) cemetery.
He was survived by his wife, a sister, Mrs. Sally Ann Patterson and two half-brothers, Ransom Spaulding of Caledonia and Charles Spaulding of Harbor Springs.
His widow was living in Grand Rapids in April of 1920 and drawing a pension (no. 802,699) of $25.00 per month when she died.