Saturday, July 10, 2010

George Schermerhorn

George Schermerhorn was born in 1839 in Ontario, Canada, the son of Daniel (1804-1887) and Ann (Wall, 1810-1891).

His father was born in New York and married New Brunswick native Ann sometime before 1829, presumably in Canada where they were living by 1829. The family moved to Michigan from Canada sometime between 1846 and 1850 when George was attending school with his siblings and living with his family on a farm in Walker, Kent County. In 1860 George was still working as a farmer and still living with his family in Walker, where his father owned and operated a substantial farm.

George stood 5’11’ with brown eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion and was a 22-year-old farmer living with his family in Walker when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick at Alexandria, Virginia from October of 1862 until he was discharged on December 28, 1862, at the Third Corps hospital, near Fort Lyon, Virginia, suffering from consumption and chronic diarrhea.

George eventually returned to Walker. He married his first wife Canadian-born Elizabeth Ann Edison (b. 1832) on December 26, 1866, in Grand Rapids, and by 1870 he and Elizabeth were living with her parents on their farm in Walker. He continued farming until about 1872 when he moved into Grand Rapids where he worked for many years as a carpenter and builder.

He was living in Grand Rapids in 1879 when he married his second wife Michigan native Dana Smith Rounds (b. 1843) on January 27, 1879. By 1880 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife on Canal street in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward; next door was the office of Dr. Walter Morrison who had also served in the Third Michigan as a hospital steward.

In 1878 he applied for and eventually received a pension (no. 324387)

George was still living in Grand Rapids when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 250) on March 10, 1886. He was discharged from the Home on May 15, 1886 as a consequence of “local aid discontinued,” and was residing in Paris, Kent County in 1890; by the following year had returned to Grand Rapids. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association (and served as its president in 1890), as well as Grand Army of the Republic Custer post no. 5 in Grand Rapids.

George died of “rheumatism of the heart” at 12:00 (noon?) on December 26, 1891, at his home, 840 Hall street (corner Hall and Salem), in Grand Rapids. According to the Democrat,

Since the war the deceased has suffered ill health almost continuously as a result of disease contracted in the service. For the past 10 years he has suffered acute pain at times, arising from a diseased condition of the bowels. This difficulty of late has been very frequent and excruciating agony has accompanied its recurrence. On Thursday night last the patient had to succumb to his malady and go to bed. His condition steadily grew worse from that time to the moment of his death and the event came as a release from suffering too intense for human endurance. In his lifetime deceased was an active, energetic man. He was congenial in his relations to his fellow men and respected and beloved by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. He was an honored member of Custer post and during the year ending with Dec. 16 last was president of the Old 3rd Inf. association. He attended the reunion of his Regiment on the date mentioned. The day before Christmas he was down town for the last time.

The funeral was held at the residence on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m., arranged by Colonel Edwin S. Pierce (formerly of the Old Third). He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section D lot 44

At the annual reunion of the association held in December of 1892, the following resolution was read and entered into the records: “Whereas - Shortly after our last reunion, our honored and beloved President Geo Schermerhorn, was by the Supreme ruler called from our midst to join the army of patriots above, Resolved -- that we we deeply regret, that he who we so much loved,. should be taken from us, while yet in the prime of life, and that we extend to his bereaved wife and family our sincere sympathy. That we feel that his wife and all his relatives, as well as ourselves, may feel proud that they have been connected with so good a man, soldier and citizen. That we feel an assurance of the eternal bliss of Geo Schermerhorn, that we cordially invite his wife to consider herself an honorary member of the” association. She did.

In 1892 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 336978).

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