Thursday, September 10, 2009

Henry Crittenton Marvin

Henry Crittenton Marvin was born on May 8, 1817, in Romulus, Seneca County, New York, the son of Mather (1789-1862) and Matilda (Vreeland, 1792-1864).

Connecticut native Mather married New York native Matilda in 1812, probably at her home in Lodi, Seneca County, New York. In any case the family soon settled in Romulus, Seneca County, New York where they lived for many years.

Henry married New York native Eliza (b. 1815), probably in New York, and they had at least eight children: Sarah (b. 1840), Franklin (b. 1842), Mary E. (b. 1844), Dwight T. (b. 1847), Emma C. (b. 1850), Martha (b. 1852), Henry Baker (b. 1858).

They moved to Michigan, probably from New York, sometime before 1840, and by 1850 were living in Lodi, Washtenaw County, as were Mather and Matilda. (In fact Mather would die in Lodi in 1862.) Henry eventually moved to the western side of the state and were living in Grand Rapids, probably on the west side of the Grand River, in March of 1858 when their 16-year-old son Franklin died. Two years later Henry was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward.

Henry stood 5’8” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 45 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as a Musician in Company H on May 13, 1861. He was discharged for hemorrhoids on August 28, 1861, at Fort Albany, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Henry returned to Grand Rapids where he lived the rest of his life. In 1867-69 he was working as an insurance agent and living on the east side of Turner (no. 18) between Bridge and First Streets on the west side of the Grand River, and may at one time have been a member of the Presbyterian church on the west side. By 1870 he was working as a life insurance agent (he owned some $7,000 worth of real estate) and he was living with his wife in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. (A few doors away lived one Sarah Marvin, age 70.) By 1880 Henry was living with his wife, son Henry and grandson William DeKator (?) in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward.

In late November of 1871 there were reports around Grand Rapids that Henry had disappeared while on one of his frequent business trips. On November 30, 1871 the Democrat reported that “H. C. Marvin, of this city, an insurance agent, has been absent from home for several weeks, and his friends entertain fears that he has met with foul play, or was burned to death in the Chicago conflagration. He was in Chicago on the 8th of October, and mailed a letter to his family in this city on that day, since which time nothing has been heard of him. Any information concerning him will be thankfully received by his friends.” While the details remain unknown, Henry eventually returned home safe and sound.

By 1880 Henry was working as a “canvasser’ and living with his wife and son Henry on Turner Street in Grand Rapids; also living with them was his grandson William Dekator (?). He lived just two doors from Baker Borden who had also served int he Third Michigan. Henry was living at 26 Turner Street in Grand Rapids in 1889 and 1890 when he gave an affidavit in the pension application of Capt. Baker Borden (formerly of Company B).

Henry died of pneumonia on April 9, 1891, and was buried in Greenwood cemetery, Grand Rapids: section I lot 48; see photo G-80.

In July of 1891 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 388781).

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