Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Delonson J. Sprague

Delonson J. Sprague was born on May 19, 1804, in Waltham, Addison County, Vermont.

Around 1817 Delonson’s father moved his family to Ohio, settling eventually near Cleveland. Sometime around 1845 Delonson moved to Michigan, eventually settling in Branch County. By 1852 he was living in Algansee, Branch County. He was married to one Maria E. and after she died in July of 1851, he married a widow New York native Matilda V. Welch (b. 1813), on October 14, 1852, in Batavia, Branch County. (Her husband had died in June of 1851.) In 1860 Delonson was still living in Batavia.

Delonson stood 5’5” with gray eyes, gray hair and a light complexion and was a 58-year-old carpenter and peddler possibly living in Coldwater, Branch County when he enlisted in Company G on September or October 1, 1862, at Coldwater, crediting Batavia, Branch County. He joined the Regiment on September 9 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, was reported as a nurse in the Regimental hospital from February of 1863 through April, and was still in the hospital from May until he was discharged on August 21, 1863, at Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, Virginia, for “old age (59 years) and partial paralysis of left side.” The discharging physician also noted that Sprague’s was “an illegal enlistment,” perhaps referring to his age or infirmities previous to enlistment.

In any case, Delonson never recovered from the paralysis of his left side; according to a statement he made in 1885, he suffered from paralysis of his left side. He returned to Branch County after his discharge from the army. By 1864 was living in Batavia, and in Coldwater by October of 1869 when he applied for an increase in his pension (no. 35,954). (For a number of years he worked as a carpenter & joiner.) In fact he probably lived in Branch County the rest of his life.

In 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife Matilda in Batavia. He was living in Coldwater in 1876 and by 1880 he was working as a fruit tree agent and living with Matilda in Bronson, Branch County. By 1883 he was living in Coldwater and drawing $12.00 per month for paralysis of the left side.

By the fall of 1886 Delonson was confined to his bed and needed daily attention from his physician, Dr. H. P. Mowry. He died from complications attending his paralysis, specifically from heart failure, on April 30, 1887, at his home in Bronson, and was buried in Batavia Township cemetery, Branch County.

His widow was living in Bronson in 1890 when she received pension no. 235,542. She died in February of 1899.

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