John Hefner was born in 1837 in Ohio.
John came to Michigan, probably from Ohio, sometime before the war broke out.
He stood 5’4” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 24-year-old farmer possibly living in Allegan County (or Kent County) when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861, crediting Lowell, Kent County. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lowell, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.
John was transferred to Company F, 5th Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and in July and August of 1864 was detached as a nurse in the Division hospital. In September he was still on detached service, presumably in the hospital as a nurse, and he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
John eventually returned to Michigan after the war.
He married Ohio native Emily Thompson (1842-1907), and they had at least eight children: Mary (b. 1866), Rosetta (b. 1868), John H. (b. 1871), Orpha (b. 1873), Frances (b. 1875), twins Morris and Martha (1877), Ann Eliza (b. 1880) and Josephine (b. 1882).
They were living in Michigan by 1866 and by 1870 John was working as a farmer (he owned some $2600 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Jamestown, Ottawa County. By 1880 John was working as a shoemaker and living in Jamestown with his wife and children.
John died sometime before 1890.
In 1890 one Byron McNeal was listed as guardian in the pension application for a minor child (no. 464289). She was living in Byron Center, Kent County on December 23, 1896 when she married Ohio native Terrell Tillotson (b. 1820) in Byron Center.
By 1900 she was using the name of Hefner and living with her daughter Orpha and her husband Frank Higby in Byron Center. Emily was still living in Michigan in 1906 when she applied for a pension (no. 846216) but the certificate was never granted.