Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Aaron E. Durfee

Aaron E. Durfee was born in January of 1829 in Orleans, New York, the son of Edward (1790-1846) and Mary (Fuller, b. 1792).

Edward and Mary were married in 1811 in Marion, Wayne County, New York and lived for many years in New York State. In late 1831 Edward, who had served as an officer during the war of 1812, was granted 80 acres of land in Washtenaw County, Michigan and shortly afterwards moved his family to Michigan. Edward then moved the family to Brighton, Livingston County, where they were living in 1840. By 1850 Aaron was working as a laborer living with Porter Kenwood in Maple Grove, Barry County.

On New year’s Day, 1855, Aaron married New York native Amanda Macomber (1834-1905), in Maple Grove, Barry County, and they had at least four children: Lois (d. 1871), Elizabeth (b. 1856, Mrs. Bryant) and Henry (b. 1861) and Harriet (b. 1866, Mrs. Bagg).

By 1856 they were living in in Barry County.

Aaron stood 6’3” with hazel eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 34 years old and working as a farmer possibly in Baltimore, Barry County when he enlisted as a substitute for Pliny Macomber (his brother-in-law), who had been drafted from Maple Grove on February 10, 1863, for 9 months, crediting Maple Grove, Barry County.

Aaron joined Company H on March 10 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. According to Thomas Waters also of Company H, "while we were on the march from Falmouth [Virginia] to Gettysburg, on or about the 15th day of June, a.d. 1863, the weather became intensely hot and [Aaron] was completely overcome by the heat, [and] he was obliged to fall out of the ranks, and was a very sick man for a few hours.” Aaron was discharged on November 10 at Brandy Station, Virginia, at the expiration of his term of service.

Aaron returned to western Michigan, presumably to his home in Barry County. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and three children in Baltimore, Barry County; also living with them was Amanda’s father Charles (?). By 1880 Aaron was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Baltimore. In fact Aaron lived in Baltimore for many years: they were still living in Baltimore in 1882 when their son Henry died and again in 1887. He was reported living in Hastings, Barry County in 1888, 1889, 1890, 1894, back in Baltimore in 1900 and in Hastings in 1911.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 952410), drawing $22.50 per month by 1912.

Aaron was probably a widower when he died on August 7, 1913, probably in Barry County and was buried in Dowling cemetery, Baltimore Township, Barry County.

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