Monday, December 21, 2009

Robert Musgrove - updated 1/14/2017

Robert Musgrove was born on January 19, 1845, in Canada, the son of Irish-born James (1812-1873) and English-born Charlotte Brunson (1813-1861).

By 1839 the family was possibly living in Albright, New York (or they may not have left Ireland until after 1845). By 1843 when their daughter Charlotte was born they were probably in Ohio, were almost certainly in Ontario Canada in 1850 when Melissa was born. By 1851 they were living in Mersea, Ontario, Canada. and wee in Canada in 1853 and 1856 when their children Betsey and William were born. James eventually settled in Ionia County, Michigan and by 1860 Robert was living with his family in Odessa, Ionia County.

Robert stood 5’11” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 19-year-old farmer probably living in Otisco, Ionia County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company E on February 9, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Otisco, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on March 29, was absent sick from June 1, and was probably still absent sick with chronic diarrhea when he was transferred to Company E, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Robert entered Chester hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 30, and was discharged on July 17 at Philadelphia from Company A, 20th Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC).

Robert returned to Michigan after his discharge.

He married Michigan native Mary J. (1843-1880) and they had at least child, a son (b. 1872).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife in South Cass, Odessa Township, Ionia County. His brother or cousin (?) James Musgrove (b. 1840 in New York), was living nearby with his family. By 1880 Robert was working as a farmer and listed as a widower (his wife Mary had died of a fever on May 2, 1880) and living in Odessa; also living with him was a 20-year-old Ohio-born laborer named Umer Shocky.

In 1881 Robert married his second wife, Michigan native Lycia Allen (1858-1923), and they had at least three children: Ruby (b. 1883), Robert W. (b. 1889), Leland Clare. (b. 1897) and William (b. 1904). (It appears that Lycia or Lucy as she was also known might have been married previously to Franklin Gilbert in 1875 in Berlin, Ionia County. Oddly enough in 1880 she was listed as Lycia Allen, married and working as a servant for the Harris family in Saranac, Ionia County.)

Robert was living in Bonanza, Ionia County in 1888 and in Lake Odessa in 1900 along with his wife Lucy and three children. By 1889 he was in Lake Odessa, Ionia County where he still living in 1894. He was living in Lake Odessa in 1889, 1890, 1894, from 1906-11. Indeed he probably lived nearly all of his life in Odessa.

In 1910 Robert was living alone in Lake Odessa but listed himself as married and that he had been married for 29 years. In fact, it appears that he and Lucy separated, probably sometime after William was born and by 1910 Lucy and her two sons were living in Keene, Ionia County. By 1920 Lucy was listed as the head of the household living in Ruby, Elko County, Nevada, along with her sons Leland and William.

Sometime after 1910 Robert married his third wife Martha Belle Unger (1856-1945). She had been married twice before: to Alvin Meyers in 1882 and she was a widow when she married John King in 1890. It appears that Belle and John King were divorced but that remains unconfirmed. It also remains unconfirmed what the status was at the time of the third marriage between Robert and Lucy; she was still using his last name in 1920.

By 1920 Robert was living with his wife Belle in Lake Odessa. He was still living in Lake Odessa in 1922-23 and in 1930 when he was worth about $1800.

In 1877 Robert applied for and received a pension (no. 414642). He was one of the six surviving members of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association who attended the final reunion of the association held in Grand Rapids in June of 1927.

Robert died of “myocardial senility” on February 21, 1932, in Lake Odessa and was buried in Lakeside cemetery, Lake Odessa: section 2, lot no. 98, next to his first wife Mary.

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