Milan Township Communities Cone and Azalia


Milan Township Hall.  Photo by Dwight Burdette

Milan Township is located in Monroe County, Michigan, sharing a northern boundary with the City of Milan. The Township of Milan and the City of Milan have been completely separate units since Milan became a city in 1967. Azalia and Cone are two historic unincorporated communities in Milan Township and both of their back stories illustrate the impact of individuals on history. [1]

Azalia – East Milan in a Past Life

 azalia methodist church

The Methodist Episcopal Church began classes in the early 1850s and by 1870, held classes and worship services in a church building.  Their church continues to the present as Azalia United Methodist Church. Azalia United Methodist Church, Dundee Azalia Road.  Photo by Dwight Burdette

First named East Milan or Reeves Station, Azalia is located approximately five miles south of Milan and four miles north of Dundee, between sections 24 and 25 of the Milan Township on the north branch of Macon Creek.

According to Talcott Wing in the History of Monroe County Michigan, Sayre Reeves and his son William operated the Star Bending Company in the community which became known as Reeves Station., and later East Milan.Sayre Reeves and his wife Betsey Youngs Reeves were both born in New York in 1807. They married in New York and the first of their ten children were born in New York. Some were born in Dexter, Michigan, and the youngest were born in Oakville, just east of Milan. Some of the Reeves children married Azalia citizens, so Sayre moved to the center of Azalia. . children married Azalia residents, so Sayre moved to Azalia.  He died in 1877.[2]    

Some historical accounts say that in 1869, on August 4, 1869 (others say that in 1866) a settler named Daniel T. Hazen worked to have the government open a post office at East Milan to avoid having to journey to West Milan, present day Cone, to get his mail. On August 4, 1869 (other accounts say in 1866) the government opened the post office in East Milan. Steven Frink served as the first postmaster of East Milan. Daniel T. Hazen became postmaster in 1867, Joseph Meadows in 1872, John M. Lewis in 1877, and A.C. Reynolds in 1884. [3]

In 1878, the Toledo Ann Arbor and Grand Trunk Railway began operations in Michigan and on September 1, 1887, the United States postmaster general ordered the name of the East Milan post office changed from East Milan to Azalia and reappointed Joseph Meadows as postmaster.[4]


Between 1880 and 1884, the railroad running through Azalia was called the Toledo, Ann Arbor and Grand Trunk Railway as this schedule reflects. It eventually became the Ann Arbor and Grand Trunk Railway and then the Ann Arbor Railway.[5]

Walter Romig, in his book, Michigan Place Names wrote that Stephen B. Frink became the first postmaster of East Milan on August 4, 1869.William C. Reeves and his son operated the Star Bending Company and the settlement was called Reeves Station.  The United States Postmaster General renamed Reeves Station Azalia to match the name of its railroad depot which had been named for the daughter of an executive of the railroad.[6]

Local historians have differing versions of how Azalia received its name. Some agree with the story that Azalia was named after the daughter of a conductor on the Toledo, Ann Arbor, and Grand Trunk Railway and others contend that Azalia was named after the daughter or wife of a railroad executive like owner James Ashley or his sons James Jr. Henry Winfield, and Charles Sumner Ashley who worked for the railroad. Other historians say that none of the railroad officials had a daughter or wife name Azalia.

The Michigan State Gazetteer of 1875 profiled East Milan as a village of 200 people in Milan Township, Monroe County, 18 miles northwest of Monroe, with the nearest railroad point located six miles south in Dundee on the Chicago & Canada Southern Railway. East Milan had a saw mill, two planing mills, and a bending factory which William C. Reeves and his father Sayre had founded. Lumber and live stock were the chief shipments. There was a weekly mail delivery and Joseph W. Meadows served as postmaster.

East Milan’s 1875 Business Directory[7]

T.J. Ball, saw mill[8]

A.W. Becker, general store

  1. Ingraham, cooper

C.H. McBride, wagon maker

Reeves & Hanson, saw and planing mill

S.L Shaw, cooper

Henry Smith, builder

Star Bending Company, general store, saw mill and bending works

James Turnbull, builder

Wendhousen, blacksmith

After September 1887, East Milan officially became Azalai after the azalai railroad station of the Toledo, Ann Arbor & Northern Michigan Railway. The 1887-1888 Michigan State Gazetteer listed East Milan or azalai as being settled in 1837 with a current population of 250 people. The village featured two churches, Methodist Episcopal and Free Methodist, Western Union, and a daily mail delivery, with A.C. Reynolds serving as postmaster. The nearest banks were located in Dundee and Milan, each about five miles away.

Samuel S. Winters operated a brick yard on his farm along the Macon Road on the north side of Day Road in Milan Township.  According to Reverend Ronald A. Brunger in his history, “A Century of Methodism,” that he wrote in 1956 for the Azalia Church’s 100-year celebration, part of the brick for building the Methodist Episcopal Church of East Milan came from the Samuel S. Winters farm.  Samuel is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Azalia Business Directory, 1887-1888

Lewis Andrews, carpenter

Joseph Emmette, carpenter

Alonzo C. Hitchcock, railroad express agent[9]

Moses J. Howe, notary and supervisor[10]

Mrs. Lewis Knittle, blacksmith [11]

George Leet, shoemaker[12]

Theodore Leet, barber[13]

Edwin M. Lewis, general store and brick manufacturer

Joseph W. Meadows, general store[14]

Benjamin F. Paine, justice of peace

Cassius M. Paine, carpenter

Miss Laura Paine, school principal

William C. Reeves, lumber and charcoal manufacturer[15]

A.C. Reynolds, constable

Dr. Randall Schuyler, druggist; He is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor.

Daniel Springer, charcoal[16]

James Turnbull, carpenter[17]

Some Azalia Pioneers

Edith Ruth Lytle Carter – Dedicated to her family and her country

Born in Ohio, Ruth moved to Michigan at a young age and she married Marcus Carter in Dundee, Michigan, on February 15, 1936.  They built a home on Baraga Street in Taylor, Michigan, and eventually had two daughters and a son.

In 1942 as the United States geared up as part of the Allied effort to defeat the Axis powers, Ruth vowed that she would do something for her country and that her children would have a good Christmas. Acting on these beliefs, she took a job at the Willow Run Bomber plant.  On the morning of December 17, 1942, she was a passenger in a car on the way to work at Willow Run when she was killed in a car accident on an icy road. Friends and family members said that a few days before her death Ruth had a premonition of her death and asked some of them to take care of her children if something happened to her.

Ruth left behind a grieving widower Marcus and three young children, 5, 3, and 2.  Her friends and family said that on the day of her funeral schools in Taylor, Michigan closed so that the faculty could go to her funeral.  She hadn’t worked at the school, but regularly took treats to the children and volunteered there when she had some free time.  She is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Prominent Farmers

Arthur Milburn Heath, 1880-1955, the son of Nathan and Mary Heath, owned and operated one of the largest farms in Milan Township. He was a member of the Azalia Grange and he is buried in Azalia Cemetery. The extended Heath family farmed in the Mila area for over decades.

Road Construction and Deputy Sheriff

John Michelsen

John Michelsen was born in Latchie, Ohio in 1877 and lived near Milan, Michigan since 1913.  He was superintendent of road construction in Monroe County and he served as a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy for 15 years. He died in June 1956 and he is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Supervisor and John Deere Dealer

Sayre W. Reeves

Sayre W. Reeves was born on September 17, 1878, in Milan Township to William C. and Elizabeth Masten Reeves. In November 1917, he married Mae Allen in Dundee and they had a daughter, Adlaine.

A Milan area resident all of his life, he was a John Deere implement dealer.  He also served as a Milan Township Supervisor for eighteen years, Milan Township treasurer for a time, Milan Township Clerk, and justice of the peace.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Teacher and Township Clerk

Myron L. Winters

Myron L. Winters was born on July 31, 1870, the oldest of the four children of Myron and Mary A. Winters.  He grew up on the family farm on Day Road in Milan Township. He graduated from Dundee Schools in 1890 and furthered his education, becoming a teacher. He taught school in the Milan, Dundee, and London Districts and he also served as principal in Ida, Newport, Temperance, Samaria and Waterloo schools.  He retired in 1939, after ten years at Waterloo.

He served as Milan Township clerk from 1944 to July 1953, retiring because of ill health. He was a lifelong member of the Azalia Methodist Church and after his death in January 1953, he was buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Some Veterans Resting in Azalia Methodist Episcopal Cemetery


Civil War

Nathan Austin.  Civil War. Co. I, 1st Michigan, E8M.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Albert A. Austin. Civil War.  6th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Nelson Delois Baird. Civil War. Company E, 1st Michigan Light Artillery. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

 William E. Blackburn. Civil War. Co. D. 15th Michigan Infantry. He died on March 14, 1863 while in the Army in Michigan.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

 Vernon DeAnon Foster. Civil War.  Co. K, 18th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

James S. Dowsett. Civil War. Co. B., 5th Michigan Cavalry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery. 

Myles Frink.

Civil War.  Dr. Albert A. Aiston. Battery B, Sixth Michigan Heavy Artillery.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Stephen B. Frink married Sally Maria Holcomb in 1842. Both had immigrated from New York to Michigan and after their marriage settled on a farm in Milan Township.  They had four children. Their son Myles enlisted in Company H, 18th Michigan Infantry on August 26, 1862 as a private and was promoted to corporal. He reenlisted in Company H of the 12th Michigan. Myles was captured at Athens, Georgia while charging the fort there and he was exchanged as a prisoner of war and was on his way home on the Steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River when it exploded on April 27, 1865.  Myles was killed.

James H. Galloway.  Civil War. He enlisted in Co. I, 1st US sharp shooters and Co K, 5th MI info as well as Co B 14 VRC (veteran reserve corps).  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Horace Hayes.  Civil War.  Enlisted in Company I, 11th Michigan Infantry at age 42 in August 1861.  He received a disability discharge on July 11, 1862 at Detroit, Michigan.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Nelson Truman Hazen. Civil War.  Co, C, 4th Michigan Infantry. Nelson enlisted in Company G of the Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry on September 9, 1862. On detached service with Company G of the First Michigan Infantry, by order, July 2, 1864, Petersburg, Virginia. Discharged from service on June 5, 1865. Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War 1861 -1865, vol. 4.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

John Jones. Civil War. Co. C, 17th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Pvt. Nathaniel Jones. Civil War.  Co. F, 26th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

James P.Knowles. Civil War. Co. C, 17th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery

Michael Thomas Knowles. Civil War. Company C, 17th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Warren T. Lafler.  Civil War. 1821-1887.  Co. K, 15th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Warren B. Lafler, his son.  Civil War. 1845-1911.  Co. D., 7th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

William Lamson. Civil War.  Co. B, 5th New York.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Silas W. Leet. Civil War. Co. E, 1st Michigan Cavalry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Hiram Libbey.  Civil War.  Pvt. Co. G, 9th Michigan Cavalry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Oliver Libbey.  Civil War. 17th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

George M. Marshall.  Civil War.  Co. D., 7th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Paden Marshall.  Civil War. 6th Michigan Cavalry, Company C.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

George Richard Martin or George Gest. Civil War.  George was born in Wallaceburg, Ontario in 1846. He served in the U.S. Civil War, Company F, 22nd Michigan Infantry and in Company B, 29th Michigan Infantry. He died on November 13, 1919, in Wallaceburg, Ontario. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Abe Masten. Civil War.  Company C, 5th Michigan Cavalry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Lewis A. Mellinger. Civil War. Pvt. Co. A, 13th Reg., IN, Cal. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Moses Morgan. Civil War. Co. G. Fourth Michigan Infantry. He was wounded in action at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, and he reenlisted as a Corporal on December 29, 1863. On detached service with Company G of the Fourth Michigan Infantry, by order, July 2, 1864, Petersburg, Virginia. Transferred to Company C of the Reorganized Fourth Michigan Infantry on July 5, 1865. Discharged on Surgeon’s certificate of disability on February 9, 1866, at Detroit, Michigan. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Emmet Reeves. Civil War. Company B, 1st Michigan Infantry. He drew a pension of $22.00 a month and he died on January 23, 1881 from his injuries he received during the war. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

William C. Reeves.  Civil War. Corporal. Company H, 18th Michigan Infantry. POW survived the War. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Daniel Ronecker. Civil War.  Co. C, 30th Illinois Infantry. He was the proprietor of a dry goods store in Azalia and he is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Aaron Sanders. Co. B, 189th Ohio Infantry. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Cornelius O. Smith. Civil War.  17th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Daniel Webster Smith.  Civil War. Co. E, 9th Michigan Cavalry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Denias Smith.  Civil War.  Corporal Co. D, 7th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Henry O. Smith. Civil War.  Company H, 18th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

David C. Spears. Civil War. Co. B, 104th New York Infantry. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Edmund L. Thompson. Civil War. Co. C, 17th Michigan Infantry.  Wounded at the Battle of Antietam and died from his wounds on March 28, 1863.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Daniel Warner. Civil War. Co. H, 18th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Edwin Webster. Civil War.  Company G, Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry. Edwin Webster enlisted in Company G of the Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry on September 19, 1861, at Hudson, Michigan, for 3 years. Wounded and missing in action at Gaines’ Mill, Virginia, on June 27, 1862. Re-enlisted December 29, 1863. On detached service with Company G of the First Michigan Infantry, by order, July 2, 1864, Petersburg, Virginia. Transferred to Company C of the Reorganized Fourth Michigan Infantry on July 1, 1865. Promoted to Corporal on November 1, 1865. Mustered out of service at San Antonio, Texas, February 26, 1866. Information from: Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War 1861 -1865, vol. 4″, also known as the “Brown Book”. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

William Webster. Civil War. Co. A, 17th Iowa Infantry.  His pension file states that he served with Company B, 17th Iowa Infantry and that Sarah Collins filed a pension request on April 5, 1890. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Jacob Wilcox.  Civil War.  Company E, First Michigan Cavalry. He was injured at the Battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

William L. Woodward.  Civil War.  Co. H, 18th Michigan Infantry. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Spanish American War

George A. Palmer. Spanish American War. Cpl. Co.D., 35th Reg. Michigan Infantry. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Elzer L. Winters. Spanish American War. Co. G, 31 Michigan Infantry. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

World War I

Charles Dewey Austin.  Fireman 3rd Class, U.S. Naval Reserve.  He died at Great Lakes Naval base in Illinois on October 15, 1918 of influenza.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Melvin Davis. World War I.  Mich. PFC. 104 Field Artillery, 27th Div., WWI. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Marvin Davis.  World War I . Michigan, PFC 104 Fld Arty 27 Div, World War I. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Raymond A. Droller. World War I. Ohio Pvt., 16th Infantry. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Myles A. Frink.  World War I.  Myles served in the Polar Bear Regiment, 339th M.G. Company, on the Russian Front.   He is buried in Azalia Cemetery. (He is the son of Simon Frink.)

Harold K. Goetz. World War I.  Naval Aviation Machinists Mate.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Leslie Darius Masten. World War I.  Illinois. Pvt. Base Hospital, World War I.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Windsor D. Paine. 2D Lieutenant, World War I.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

World War II

Merlin F. Bachman.  World War II.  Mich. T. Sgt., 1371 Signal Co., Wing, WWII.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

William S. Marshall. World War II. S SGT SVC 36, Armd Regt.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Harold L. Masten. World War II.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Richard C. Pickens.  Mich. Pvt. 243 Port Co. TC WWII.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Olen Alfred Tucker. World War II.  MOMM 2 US NR. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

John D. Wittkop.  He served in the U.S. Army in World War II and was awarded the   Bronze Star. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.


Daniel Eyler, Jr. Korea.  Michigan PFC, Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Edwin Keith Fouts. Korea. Corporal, U.S. Army.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

Fred R. Walker.  Korea.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

West Milan Becomes Cone


Cone Elevator, Cone Road, Cone, Michigan.  Photo by Dwight Burdette.

Cone is located south of Milan on Cone Road, west of US 23, a community that is much smaller than its original settlement. In the early 1830s, Erastus S. Cone bought farmland in the southwest part of Milan Township in an area soon known as West Milan. He had six children, including John C. Cone, who later became postmaster of West Milan.  Erastus and his wife were divorced and then Erastus married again and had 11 more children by his second wife.  John C. Cone became the first postmaster of West Milan on August 4, 1869.

As the years rolled on the Cone name became prominent in the area because so many people acquired it by birth or marriage. In 1880, the Wabash Railroad opened a station in West Milan, calling it Cone, in honor of post master John C. Cone and in 1882, the United States government changed the name to the post office to Cone instead of West Milan.[18]

Businesses in West Milan -1879

WEST MILAN. Is a village situated in the township of Milan, 20 miles northwest of Monroe City, in the northwest corner of Monroe county, and southwest of Detroit 47 miles.  Dundee, a station on the C. S. R’y, 9 miles south, is its railroad point. Among its interests are two saw mills, stave and Leading mill, shingle mill, Methodist and Catholic churches. Farm produce and the products of the above mills form considerable shipments. Stage to Dundee weekly, carrying mail. John C. Cone, postmaster. [19]

Business Directory, 1879

Daniel T. Cone , cheese mnfr.

Horace  Cone, vinegar and cider mnfr. He and other family members are buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

John C. Cone Store and Saw Mill. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

William Cone . painter.

James C. Dennison cooper. He is possibly buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Reverend  Pierce-Methodist Episcopal

William C, Reeves & Co, saw mill. He is buried in Azalia Cemetery, Azalia, Michigan.[20]

John B. Zeluff , wagonmaker. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan

Cone Business Directory, 1887-1888[21]

CONE. Formerly known as West Milan, is located on the Indianapolis div. of W., St. L. & P. Ry, in Milan township, Monroe county, 21 miles northwest of Mon roe, the seat of justice, and 41 southwest of Detroit. Settled in 1880. Has a Methodist church. Population, 150. Exp., Pacific. Tel., W. U. Mail, daily. Wm. Curry, postmaster.

J.M. Auton, charcoal mnfr. (John M. Auten, Find a Grave, Martha Churchill)

James Calkins, painter. He is buried in Woodland Cemetery, Monroe.

Joseph Cone, Grocer and Railroad Agt.. – He is buried in Marble Park Cemetery, Milan, Michigan

Cone & McPherson, brick and tile mnfrs.

Jacob  Dennison, general store and asst postmaster. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

J.C. Dennison, cooper. – He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone

Peter M. Getty, justice of peace. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

George Gould, well digger.

Lewis Gould, carpenter.

G.W. Gurned, charcoal mnfr.

Hayden & Cone, saw mill and stave mnfrs.

William Landt, stave cutter – He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

John McDonald, watchman.

Nelson Rice, justice of peace.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

P.P. Vanerman, blacksmith

Some Cone Pioneers

Samuel Church Austin- Civil War Soldier and Traveling Preacher

Samuel Church Austin was born in Nunda, New York on September 4, 1838.

In 1861, Samuel married Polly Bowen and they had five children. She died in 1877, leaving him with four children to raise. He married Julia Rankin who died of the grip a few years later. After that, he married Hester Burr.

He was a Civil War veteran serving in Company B, First Michigan Infantry, who suffered for many years from chronic diseases that he had contracted in the Army.

Converted at the age of 28, Samuel accepted a call to preach at the Protestant Methodist Church, and afterward joined the Free Methodist Church.  Reverend Austin and his wife Hester traveled the United States and Canada for 17 years, evangelizing. He preached on town and city streets, in rough- hewn north woods lumber camps, and among the freed slaves of the South.  He often remarked, “I have got a wife who will go with me anywhere.  She is not afraid.”

His last words before he died in Milan, Michigan on March 7, 1907 were, “ We know through the prayer of Faith.”  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan and his wife Hester is buried in Cherry Valley Cemetery in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.

Merchant and Justice of the Peace – Erastus Samuel Cone, Sr.

Erastus Samuel Cone, Sr.  1798-1869. Born in Westminster, Vermont on March 34, 1798, Erastus Samuel Cone, Sr. was the son of John Cone and Rebecca Sage Cone. Erastus was a merchant and owned a grist mill in Claridon, New York. He married Nancy Thomas in July 1820 and they moved to what became the village of Cone, Michigan.  They had six children together and apparently later divorced.

On January 12, 1848, Erastus married his second wife Sarah Uptegraph and they eventually had eleven children.  In 1866, he served as justice of the peace.  He died on April 14, 1869, and he is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Stave Manufacturer,  John C. Cone

John C. Cone was born in Holley, New York on February 19, 1827 to Erastus Cone Sr. and Nancy Thomas Cone who moved their family from Vermont to Milan Township.  John settled in Cone where he manufactured staves, heading, and brick tile.  He married five times and had four children.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery in Cone, Michigan.

Farmer- Josephus Rice

In the fall of  1833, Caleb Rice left his wife Betsy and children in Orleans, New York and traveled to Michigan searching for farmland.  On October 11, 1833, he purchased three sections of land of 80 acres each in Milan Township at $100 per section and then he went back to New York and gave the land to his son Josephus.

Josephus was born in Orleans on October 22, 1815, and he moved to Michigan to farm the land his father Caleb had given him. He farmed his land and portion of it became the Rice Cemetery.

Josephus married Mary Goss and they had six children. He and Mary are buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Village Assessor and Village Councilman , Nelson Rice

Nelson Oliver Rice was the son of Josephus Rice and Mary Goss Rice who was born in 1846 on the farm where the Rice Cemetery is located. He married Ellen Gauntlett and they had two children. After her death, he married Fanny McMllen and that had one child. Nelson served as assessor of Cone Village for five years and he served on the village council for many years.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Some Veterans Resting in Rice Cemetery


War of 1812

David Harry.  1791-1885, War of 1812. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Virgil Holcomb. 1787-1855. War of 1812.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Gilbert Allen Munson. War of 1812. Buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

George Taylor. War of 1812. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Civil War

Samuel Church Austin. Civil War. Company B,  First Michigan Infantry. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Jehiel Auten. Civil War. Enlisted February 1864 in Company G of the 23rd Michigan Infantry. He mustered out on June 28, 1865 at Salisbury, North Carolina.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone Michigan.

Thomas Jefferson Auten. Civil War. Company F, 26th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Edwin Bailey. Civil War. Company D, 20th Michigan Infantry at Ann Arbor on September 9, 1864. He mustered out on May 30, 1865 at Delaney House, Washington, DC.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Alonzo B. Cadwell. Civil War. Co. I, 1st Michigan Cavalry. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Benjamin Caswell. Civil War.  Company B.  First Michigan Sharpshooters.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

Thomas Caswell. Civil War.  Company F, 15th Michigan Infantry. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Martin Dennison. Civil War.. Company K, 9th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Benjamin W. Ellis.  Civil War.  Co. D., First Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

Eusebia (Buck) Ellis. 1846-1902. The daughter of Solomon Buck and Rebecca Darling Buck, she married Willet Ellis.  She was a member of the Women’s Relief Corps,  the official women’s auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, recognized in 1883.

Eusebia married Willet Ellis who served as a Corporal in the 86th New York Infantry, Company A. Eusebia and Willet are buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Norman Minor Engle. Civil War. Company H, Michigan 1st Sharp Shooter Regiment. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Ira Gray. Civil War. Company F, 6th Michigan Infantry. He is buried in Rice Cemetery in Cone.

Ansel Green.  Civil War. Sixth Michigan Cavalry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery in Cone, Michigan.

Lyman Greenfield. Civil War. Company F, 49th Ohio Infantry. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Socrates Hoag. Civil War. First Regiment, Michigan Sharpshooters.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

John E. Hobbs. Civil War. M. Sgt. Company C, 5th Michigan Cavalry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

Julius Holcomb. Civil War.  Company D, 20th Michigan Infantry. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

Justin Holcomb. Civil War.  Co. E., First Michigan Sharpshooters.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery in Cone, Michigan.

John Sears Jipson. Civil War. Company K, 1st Michigan Cavalry. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Monroe Lunger.Civil War. Company I, 120th New York Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan..

.L.M. McBride. Civil War. Company K, 20th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Daniel Robert McFall. Civil War. Sergeant, Company E, 17th Michigan Infantry. On May 12, 1864, he captured Colonel Theodore G, Barker, commanding officer of the Confederate Brigade that charged the Union position at Spotsylvania, Virginia. On the same day, he rescued Lieutenant George W. Harman of his regiment from the enemy. For bravery and courage in the face of the enemy, he was awarded the Medal of Honor on July 27, 1896.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Sidney B. Montonye. Civil War. Company G, Fourth Michigan Infantry. Reenlisted in Company G, Furst Michigan Infantry, and later transferred to Company C, Reorganized Fourth Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Clarence D. Phillips.  Civil War. Hall’s Independent Battalion, Michigan Sharpshooters, Company B.  He served and died at City Point, Virginia, at age 22. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Wade Richardson. Civil War. Company K, 26th New York Cavalry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Andrew Shaler. Civil War. Company B, 18th Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Jed Smith. Civil War.  Company K, 15 Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Smith L. Squires. Civil War. Company B, Hall’s Independent Battalion Michigan Sharpshooters. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

William Harrison “Harry” Wilcox.  Civil War. Company F, Fourth Michigan Infantry.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Spanish American War

Francis W. Draper. Spanish American War. Company L. 32nd Regiment, Michigan Volunteers. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

World War I

Morstean E. Caswell. World War I.  Horseshoer.  330th BN,  85th Division.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

Thurlow Caswell.  World War I.  Michigan, PVT HQ, CO 399 Infantry, World War I. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Glenn Elmer Hill. World War I. Sixth Company. Recruit Tank Corps, USA.  Died at Camp Polk, North Carolina on November 27, 1918. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Arthur Utley. Ohio. Sgt. US Army, World War I.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

World War II

Ivan Leroy Bame. World War II. Corporal, U.S. Army, World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Ervin A. Billau. World War II.  Tec 4 U.S. Army, World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Henry W. Billau. World War II.  CPL U.S. Army, World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Bert J. Bradner.  World War II. PFC U.S. Army, World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

Walter Jacob Curry.  World War II.  U.S. Navy, World  War II. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Howard L. Freeman. Sgt., U.S. Army, World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Edward F. Godzina. U.S. Coast Guard, World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Wilton J. Mangus. S1 U.S. Navy. World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Merrit F. Meaker, Jr. World War II.  U.S. Navy Veteran.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

James D. Pattie. PFC U.S. Army, World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Edward J. Smetka. World War II. Died in World War II, August 10, 1944.  Michigan. PFC 793 Field Artillery BN. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Donald G. Staulter. World War II. United States Navy, World War II.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Robert E. White. Pvt. U.S. Army, World War II. He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.


Richard W. Hoag. CPL U.S. Marine Corps, Korea.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone.

Norman R. Jackson. U.S. Army, World War II and U.S. Air Force, Korea.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

James Studnicka.  U.S. Army, Korea.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.

Myrl A. Wilsey. PFC U.S. Army, Korea.  He is buried in Rice Cemetery, Cone, Michigan.


Bikers Participate in the Annual Cone-Azalia Classic Bike Race.



[1];cc=micounty;sid=abb867ef6b9e2c2bab12d72b2a6a662b;q1=azalia;rgn=full%20text;idno=BAD1008.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000737  History of Monroe County, Michigan. Talcott Enoch Wing

[2] Biography of Sayre Reeves.   

[3] Talcott Wing. The History of Monroe County, Michigan. p. 593.

[4]      This long web page is taken from a series of articles which was published in The Double ‘A’ in the Fall of 1997 and Winter of 1998 and combined into one story.  This will give a construction era view of the building of the railroad along with the change through reorganization into the Ann Arbor Railroad Company as it was known, up until about 1906 in time-frame. BACKWARD IN TIME Building – THE ANN ARBOR RAILROAD. By Graydon Meints

[5] Toledo, Ann Arbor and Grand Trunk Railway

[6] Walter Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 38.

[7] Michigan State Gazetteer, East Milan, 1875

[8] T. J. Ball was married to Amanda Rice Ball who is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

[9]   Alonzo C. Hitchcock. 1837-1914.  Alonzo fought for three years in the Civil War.  On July 20, 1878 he began working on the  Ann Arbor Railroad and stayed on the job until ill health forced him to quit in 1911.  He is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

[10]  Moses is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

[11] Louis and Mary Knittle are buried in Azalia Cemetery.

[12] George Leet is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

[13] Barber Theodore Leet is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

[14] Joseph W. Meadows is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

[15] William C. Reeves is buried in Azalia Cemetery.  He is a Civil War Veteran.  Company H, 18th Michigan Infantry.

[16] Daniel Springer is buried in Azalia Cemetery.

[17] The 1880 U.S. Census shows James and his wife Mary iving in Milan with their children Thomas and Mary.  He is buried in Esmond Evergreen Cemetery in Hale, Michigan.

[18] Walter Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 129. History of Monroe County Michigan.;cc=micounty;sid=abb867ef6b9e2c2bab12d72b2a6a662b;q1=azalia;rgn=full%20text;idno=BAD1008.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000737

[19] Michigan State Gazetteer, 1879

[20] Beers Monroe Atlas.

[21] Michigan Gazetteer 1887-1888


New Prohibition Book


Downriver Prohibition:  Its People and Particulars and Perspectives
I have written a book about Prohibition in the Downriver Detroit communities and I have included Monroe, Toledo, and the Canadian side of the Detroit River in the stories of the “Downriver funnel” for bootlegging and rumrunning. I didn’t include the Purple Gang and the more organized crime aspects of the story, because there are many books about organized crime in Prohibition. Instead, I wanted to paint a portrait of Prohibition from the viewpoint of ordinary people who had varying feelings about the Law and acted on those feelings. I think their stories are just as historically relevant and fascinating as those of Al Capone and the Purple Gang.
This is the synopsis of the book and links to where you can buy it. I will add more links as it is published.

To many ordinary Downriver Detroit, Monroe, Toledo, and across the Detroit River in Canada residents, Prohibition didn’t mean the Purple Gang and criminal activity. Many Downriver residents needed bootlegging and rumrunning money to survive the Depression. To others smuggling liquor meant adventure, and to some, defying the Prohibition law meant showing the government their opinion of what they considered an unjust and intrusive law. Here are some of their stories.

​ Sincerely,
Kathy Warnes






Barnes and Noble;jsessionid=695CA8E47D725ACD7E872C15617C9E76.prodny_store01-atgap07?ean=2940154687673

Monroe High School- 1930


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Monroe High School Memories from 1930 and advertisements from the high school year book. It’s interesting to compare the advertisements from different years and see which businesses survived and which did not, and it’s fun to look at old pictures. The old jokes are funny too!

Monroe Bugle, 1915

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Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words and visual memories and advertisements can be fun! Even if you don’t personally know the people, you can get a good idea of the manners, morals, and moods of the time the picture was snapped, and advertisements of the time can be an entertaining history lesson. These pictures and advertisements from the 1915 Monroe Bugle made me smile. I hope you enjoy them, too. (This isn’t the entire issue, just some selections.)

George Redfield Spalding, Following in His Father’s Footsteps

George Redfield Spalding

George Redfield Spalding was born on January 25, 1877 in Monroe, Michigan, a continent away from Blairgowrie, Scotland, where his father George W. Spalding began his life. In 1843, George Redfield’s grandparents, Andrew and Isabella immigrated to the United States and settled on a farm in Monroe, Michigan.

After serving with distinction in the Civil War and advancing from the rank of private to General, George W. Spalding returned to Monroe and married Augusta Lewis on December 6, 1871. They eventually had four children:  Emma Spalding Sterling, Elizabeth Spalding Orvis, George Redfield, and Isaac Lewis Spalding. George W. Spalding built a successful business career, including two terms as Monroe postmaster, Treasury Department special agent, Monroe mayor, lawyer, two terms as a Republican Congressman from Michigan, and Director of the First National Bank in Monroe.

A Complicated Career – A Family Tradition

Following the pattern and dedication of his ambitious father, George Redfield forged his own ambitious career which branched out in as many directions as that of his father. After graduating from West Point in 1901, the United States Army Corps of Engineers commissioned him second lieutenant and assigned him to the Philippines with the 1st and 2d Battalions of Engineers, with the mission of building roads and performing bridgework. After earning a promotion to First Lieutenant in April 1903, he returned to Washington D.C. to serve with the 2d Battalion of Engineers at Washington Barracks from December 1904 to June 1905. He also did surveying work in Manassas, Virginia from May 1904 to September 1904.

Alice Minnie Ruff Spalding

While he was on leave from September 11, to October 10, 1904, George Redfield Spalding married Alice Minnie Ruff on September 17, 1904 in Washington, D.C. She was born on April 11, 1880, in Washington D.C. to Albert and Alice Ruff and received her education and taught school before she married George. The Spaldings had three children:  George Redfield was born on July 5, 1905; Alice Margaret was born on May 28, 1907; and Albert Ruff was born on March 31, 1914, in Kansas.

In the time tested tradition of Army wives, Alice and their children followed  First Lieutenant George Spalding around the country while he fulfilled his assignments with the Army Corps of Engineers. The assignments continued to appear in rapid succession. First Lieutenant Spalding worked with the 2d Battalion of Engineers, Washington Barracks from October 1904 to June 1905 and then under the immediate orders of Major Sibert with the Pittsburg Corps of Engineers from June 1905 to November 1906. From November 1906 to June 1907, he was the Chief Engineer Office of the Southwest Division.

From July 1907 to January 1908, First Lieutenant Spalding was Engineer Officer, Department of the Colorado and from January to February 1908 he served under the immediate orders of Colonel C.E.L.B. Davis, Corps of Engineers in Detroit and took temporary charge of the Detroit District, river and harbor works from February 1908 to March 1908.  He served under the immediate orders of Lieutenant Colonel Townsend, Corps of Engineers in Detroit, Michigan from March to July 1908 and on June 2, 1908, First Lieutenant Spalding received a promotion to Captain, Corps of Engineers.  Beginning on August 1, 1908, he supervised various works of fortifications and rivers and harbors in Jacksonville, Florida and spent the next three years spearheading building a harbor in Tampa, building the St. Johns River jetties, and starting the inland waterways canal. He also received the Carnegie Medal for saving the lives of two drowning men. [1]

First Lieutenant Spalding spent the next three years of his career as an instructor in the Army Field Engineer School in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After that he was promoted to Major and assigned to superintend the First River and Harbor District in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky.

Major Spalding had writing as well as administrative and teaching talents which the Army utilized by asking .him to write training manuals. His manuals included Notes on Bridges and Bridging and Training Manual in Topography, Map Reading, and Reconnaissance. The Encyclopedia Britannica is one of publications that printed his article on “Light Rails, Military.”

Serving with General John J. Pershing

Major Spalding’s left the Harbor District in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky, to go to Fort Myer, Virginia, as an instructor at the training camp there. In 1917, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Divisional Engineer Officer, in charge of defense and offensive training on the staff of General Pershing. While serving on General Pershing’s staff in Europe during WW I, he organized Engineer Corps administration and he was promoted to Colonel. In France, he commanded the 305th Engineers, was Division Engineer of the 80th Division, and served as Chief Engineer with the 5th Corps, First Army, and Third Army. He then was Assistant to the Chief Engineer, American Expeditionary Force. At Trier, Germany, he was a member of the Dickman Board on Organization and Tactics.

He  received three medals during the war, the Distinguished Service Medal, the French Legion d’Honneur, and the Belgian Order of Leopold. After the Armistice he was a member of the Superior Board which was in charge of the occupation of Germany and the demobilization of U.S. Forces from Europe until July 1919.

More Assignments and Promotions

 After he returned to the United States, Colonel Spalding  took a position as an instructor at the General Staff College in Washington D.C., and returned to the grade of Major. In 1920, as a Lieutenant Colonel, he worked in Florence, Alabama, as District Engineer and completed the Muscle Shoals Dam. Returning to Louisville, Kentucky as District Engineer, he completed the Ohio River project that he had begun in 1916.

On July 1, 1931, Lieutenant Colonel Spalding was promoted to Colonel while a Division Engineer of the Upper Mississippi River Commission, a position he held until 1935. His next assignment took him to Washington, D.C. in the Office of the Chief of Staff and then to Fort Humphreys, Virginia, as Commander of the Post and Engineering School. In New York, he served as Engineer of the North Atlantic Division. In 1936, he was promoted to Brigadier General. In 1938, after suffering a heart attack, he and Mrs. Spalding retired to their home in Florida.

Serving in Another War and Another Retirement

Recalled to active duty in 1941, Brigadier General Spalding served from 1941-1945 as executive officer for the Division of Defense Shipping and Storage Section . His assignment involved coordinating requests for aid that foreign countries submitted. He resigned from his post at the end of World War II.

After his retirement, Brigadier General Spalding and his wife Alice moved to Bradenton, Florida. George Redfield Spalding died on June 28, 1962 in Bradenton, Florida and he and his wife Alice, who died on December 31, 1966 are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

A Daughter Remembers

Brigadier General George Redfield Spalding

Brigadier General George R. Spalding

Brig. Gen. George R. Spalding was born in Monroe, Michigan, 25 January 1877. His father, George Spalding, who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, came to America at the age of twelve and settled with his parents in Monroe, Michigan. George Spalding, senior, was also a Brig. Gen. and served with distinction in the Union Army during the Civil War. He subsequently served his country as a congressman from Michigan and while in Washington, his son George R. Spalding acted as his assistant. Gen. Spalding’s mother, Augusta Lewis, was also from Scotland and was loved by all who knew her.

George R. Spalding graduated with the Class of 1901 from West Point. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. His first assignment was in the Philippines during the Spanish American War. The engineers were building roads through the interior during George’s service in the Philippines and he often said, “The most valuable service to the Engineers during that troubled time was performed by the mules. Mules could always detect a Moro ambush, and the Engineers were many times warned of danger by their so-called ‘stupid’ helpers.”

west point 1901

After two years in the Pacific, Lt. Spalding was stationed at Washington Barracks which was at that time the Engineer School. While in Washington, he was made an Aide to President Theodore Roosevelt. Also while in Washington, he met Alice M. Ruff whose family were long-time residents of Washington. Alice and George were married on 17 September 1904 and were never separated, when it could be prevented, until Gen. Spalding died.

Leaving Washington Barracks, George was ordered to Pittsburgh under the command of General Seibert where he helped to start the Ohio river series of dams which would eventually bring the river up to the “nine foot stage.” (Years later, in 1929, while serving as District Engineer in Louisville, Ky., he completed the Ohio river project. This accomplishment was marked by a ceremony attended by, the then President of the United States, Herbert Hoover.)

Following service in the Pittsburgh District, George had a series of duties which in the space of two years sent him to St. Louis, Denver and Detroit. In 1908, Captain Spalding was ordered to Jacksonville, Fla. as District Engineer. While there, he built the St. Johns river jetties and started the inland water-ways canal. It was George Spalding who recommended a harbor in Tampa which was at that time, a very small port. Also while in Jacksonville, he saved two men from drowning and received the Carnegie medal of which he was always proud.

From Jacksonville, George was ordered to Leavenworth, Kan. as instructor in the Department of Engineering in the Command and General Staff School. There he and his family had a taste for the first time of real post living. The “family” by this time consisted of George and Alice and two sons and a daughter.

After leaving Leavenworth, George served as District Engineer in Cincinnati from 1915 to 1916 and in Louisville from 1916 until 1917. While in Louisville, war was declared and George was asked to write manuals which would be of help to Engineers in the field. Some of those manuals were used in the Second World War.

As a major, in 1917, Spalding was sent to Fort Meyer Training Camp and there he served training troops until he was sent “overseas” with the 305th Engineers, of the 80th Division. The men who served with him in the 305th have always called him “The Colonel”, no matter what his rank became later. Also, those men kept in touch with George even though they became civilians at the end of the war. Most men who served with him in times of stress really loved and respected him.

In France, George Spalding was made Chief Engineer of the V Corps after leaving his regiment, serving under General Sommerall, and then later was made Chief Engineer of the Third Army under General Dickman. During the war, he received three medals: Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Honneur, (Officer), French, and Order of Leopold, (Officer), Belgian.

After the war, George Spalding was sent to the General Staff College at Washington Barracks, Washington D. C. as an instructor. This detail was almost a “coming home” as George and Alice had started their married life at Washington Barracks. Four years of the warmth of post life for the family seemed to dim the separation which the war had caused.

In 1923, Lt. Col. Spalding was assigned to the post of District Engineer at Florence, Ala. and given the important task of completing the Muscle Shoals Dam, now known as the Wilson Dam. This work and other engineering assignments, i. e. District Engineer at Louisville, Ky. and Divisional Engineer, Upper Mississippi Valley Division, St. Louis, Missouri related to the development of US rivers and harbors earned him the high regard of professional and military engineers. The following quote is from The Waterways Journal of 11 August 1962, published after General Spalding died.

“In the 1920’s, with the rank of colonel, George R. Spalding made his mark in river circles as District Engineer in Louisville while several lower Ohio river wicket dams, particularly No. 46 at Owensboro, Ky. were under construction. In the fall of 1929 the US Engineers abolished the Division Engineer offices at two or three cities on Western rivers and stationed Colonel Spalding in St. Louis as Division Engineer for all western rivers north of Cairo. His territory stretched from the Allegheny River in New York state to the Mississippi in Minnesota and the Yellowstone River into Yellowstone Park. Col. Spalding filled this vast responsibility with ease and efficiency. He also had great ability for getting along with anybody and everybody and especially for cutting through red tape.” After leaving the St. Louis Division in 1933, Col. Spalding was ordered to Fort Humphries, Va. as commander of the Post and the Engineering School. From there he was sent to the North Atlantic Division, New York as Divisional Engineer, and then to Washington, D. C. as Assistant Chief of Staff G-4.

On 31 July 1938, General Spalding was retired from active service due to a heart attack. He and Alice then made a home for themselves in Bradenton, Fla. where he regained his health. Subsequently, when he was recalled to duty on 15 Feb 1941, he was ready and willing to serve his country once again. He returned to Washington and was made the Liaison Officer between the Headquarters, Army Service Forces, and the Office of Lend Lease Administration during the period of 1942 until 1944. For this service, he was awarded the Citation for the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. The Citation quotes at the end, “As a result of his constant devotion to duty and the brilliant manner in which he accomplished his assignment, General Spalding has contributed markedly to the successful prosecution of the war.”

Once again retired, General Spalding returned to Bradenton where he lived quietly and in good health with Alice. On 28 June 1962, George died peacefully in his own home. As “old soldiers”, he died with his “boots on”.

General Spalding is survived by his wife Alice, who was with him until the end; two sons, George and Albert, and a daughter, Mrs. L. R. Wirak; eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Many things can be said of George, but none can say that he didn’t live a full life, with fun and work each getting its share.Alice S. Wirak, daughter[2]


[1] George Washington Cullum and Edward Singleton Holden.  Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.(Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1910) p. 651

[2]  George Redfield Spalding’s daughter Alice wrote a memorial article about him.



Veteran Family Portraits- Lewis and Spalding


Isaac and Sophia Redfield Lewis

George W. Spalding and Augusta Lewis Spalding

George Redfield Spalding and Alice Minnie Ruff Spalding

Isaac Lewis – Monroe Pioneer and Toledo War Veteran

Isaac Lewis, George W. Spalding and George Redfield Spalding survived three different wars and were proud veterans all of their lives. Their wives Sophia Lewis, Augusta Spalding, and Alice Minnie Spalding walked and worked alongside them and were proud veteran advocates all of their lives.

Born in Derby, Connecticut on September 25, 1804,  by the time he turned 22, Isaac Lewis had moved to Clyde, New York and he married Miss Sophia Redfield there.  The couple eventually had seven children:  Mary Eliza Lewis, died 1866. James Henry Lewis, 1829-1848; John Redfield Lewis, 1832-1833; Harriet Lewis Taylor, 1836-1912; Augusta Lewis Spalding, 1839-1923; Emily Lewis, 1841-1926; and Frances Lewis Marsh, 1846-1933.
In his earlier career at Clyde, New York, Isaac served as one of the first lock tenders on the Erie Canal and he had the honor of opening the first canal boat passing through the Canal and carrying New York Governor DeWitt Clinton who in turn carried a barrel of Lake Erie water to mingle with Hudson River water. In his capacity as lock tender, Isaac also opened the Erie Canal lock when General Marquis de Lafayette navigated the canal on one of the Erie Canal boats.

Isaac and Sophia Lewis lived in New York until the spring of 1835, when the family settled in Monroe, Michigan. Almost as soon as he arrived in Michigan, Isaac became involved in a war, as well as many peaceful enterprises. In 1835, the states of Michigan and Ohio were embroiled in a border dispute over ownership of “the Toledo Strip,” present day Toledo and Maumee. Historians later dubbed the dispute “The Toledo War.” Throughout 1835, the argument escalated with both Michigan and Ohio maneuvering and sending out militias to conduct minor skirmishes, fortunately with no deaths on either side.

On December 14, 1836, Michigan accepted a compromise negotiated in Congress, where the Michigan Territory relinquished its claims on the Toledo Strip to the state of Ohio in exchange for being admitted to the union as the 26th state and with 9,000 square miles of land in the Upper Peninsula between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. The Detroit Free Press called the Upper Peninsula a wasteland covered with perpetual snows, but when prospectors found valuable deposits of copper and iron ore the dissatisfied citizens and the Detroit Free Press changed their attitudes.

Isaac Lewis didn’t fight in the front lines of the “Toledo War,” but he did make cannon balls for the Michigan militia. He had learned the trade of molder and started a foundry in Monroe, the first foundry in Michigan outside of Detroit. After the Toledo War had been settled, Lewis continued his foundry work and in 1839, he and his foundry cast all the gear wheels for the Michigan Southern Railway. He is listed as contributing $50.00 in an 1846 list of Michigan Southern stockholders.[1]

Turning his attention to plows, Lewis produced and introduced an improved plow to the farmers of Southern Michigan. The plow quickly became a favorite tool to help its owners plow their fields and the Lewis Foundry cast most of the machinery to build the saw and grist mills for Southeastern Michigan. Isaac’s reputation came to the attention of Cyrus McCormick, inventor of the mowing machine, and when he needed a top-notch mechanic to build his first mowing machine, he chose Isaac Lewis. Isaac built the mowing machine and led a series of experiments with it on the Caldwell farm, west of Monroe.

Isaac Lewis channeled his mechanic ability in other directions with the help of three United States Presidents. President Franklin Pierce appointed Isaac Lewis supervising inspector of steamboats, a position that he held through the administrations of Presidents Pierce, Buchanan and part of President Abraham Lincoln’s terms.

After he retired from the foundry, Isaac Lewis opened a book and stationery business at 27 Front Street, operating it for many years. His business is listed in the Michigan State Gazetteers for several years, including 1867-1868, 1875,1877, 1879, and 1881. [2]

Inspector of the Poor and Elder of the Presbyterian Church

Isaac Lewis looked to his community as well as his business interests. On October 20, 1863 he was elected superintendent of the poor and served for any years. He became widely known throughout the state. One of his biographers, John McClellan Bulkley, in his History of Monroe County Michigan, told the story of an encounter Isaac Lewis had with one of his fellow state superintendents of the poor. One Sunday morning, one of Michigan’s Superintendents of the Poor came to the residence of Isaac Lewis and after introducing himself, he told Isaac that his schedule was so crowded that he needed to inspect Monroe County’s Poorhouse on the Sabbath. Isaac Lewis looked at him sternly and said, “If your duties are so numerous that you have to violate the Sabbath, you had better resign. Anyway, you cannot inspect our poorhouse on that day.” With that, Isaac bid him good morning, and closed the door.[3]

Tending to the spiritual as well as the business side of his life, Isaac joined the First Presbyterian Church Monroe, and served as an elder for many years. When in 1837, the church members had a falling out, he joined 28 others who withdrew and formed the Second Presbyterian Church with Reverend R.S. Crampton, pastor. Isaac served as one of the elders of the newly created Second Presbyterian Church, and when the two Presbyterian churches reunited in 1839, he continued to serve as an elder in the church until his death on November 17, 1889 at age 85. His widow Sophia and five daughters survived him. His contemporaries described him as a “gentleman of the old school and a Democrat.” He is buried in Woodland Cemetery.[4]

Isaac’s wife Sophia Redfield was born in Junius, New York on February 19, 1812. After she and Isaac were married in Clyde, New York in 1828, they came to Michigan across Lake Erie from Buffalo to the mouth of the River Raisin and settled in Monroe. They had eight children, with their five daughters surviving them.

In 1835, just a few years after the organization of the First Presbyterian Church, they joined it by letter. From the time of their joining the Presbyterian church, Sophia worked zealously to add to its foundations until illness confined her to her home. Any part of her church work was her delight and she was the oldest living member of the First Presbyterian Church when she died at age 88 on August 7, 1900. She is buried in Woodland cemetery beside her husband Isaac.[5]

Isaac and Sophia’s daughter Augusta Lewis and her husband George W. Spalding made valuable contributions to the next generations of veterans.

The Civil War Generation – Augusta Lewis Spalding and Colonel George Spalding


George W. Spalding was born in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland on November 12, 1836 to Andrew and Isabella Spalding who were rock-ribbed Presbyterians and raised their children with the same granite certainties. He immigrated to the United States with his family in in 1843, when he was seven years old. The family settled in Buffalo, New York where George attended the local schools, and then 1853, Andrew Spalding purchased a farm on the River Raisin near Monroe.

Working and living on the farm until he was 24, in the winter of 1860-1861, George accepted a teaching position at a district school and in the spring of 1861 his fellow citizens elected him clerk of Frenchtown,  Monroe Township, running as a Douglass Democrat. His clerkship hadn’t been fully launched when the South fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, launching the Civil War. George quickly enlisted as a private in what would become Company A, Fourth Michigan Infantry, mustered into the United States Army in May 1861. Colonel D.A. Woodbury served as the Colonel of the Fourth Michigan, with George Spalding First Sergeant.

In the summer of 1861, the Fourth Michigan Regiment moved through Baltimore toward Bull Run, but stopped at Fairfax Court House where it established a courier line between the telegraph office and General Irvin McDowell’s headquarters at Bull Run battlefield. That same summer, Sergeant George W. Spalding received a promotion to first lieutenant and assumed command of Company B of the Fourth Michigan. In July 1861, the Union Army reorganized and General George McClellan formed the Army of the Potomac.

In the fall of 1861, First Lieutenant Spalding was commissioned captain and the Fourth Michigan Infantry assigned to General Fitz John Porter’s Corps. The regiment performed picket duty and survived several sharp skirmishes with the Confederate forces, eventually arriving at Yorktown. At Yorktown, General Porter requested Colonel Woodbury to send an officer and thirty picked men to scout the Confederate position at Yorktown to learn its strengths and weaknesses.

Colonel Woodbury chose Captain Spalding for the mission and Captain Spalding scouting successfully, received a gunshot wound in the left shoulder as he performed his mission. The army began moving again, so Captain Spalding declined the leave of absence he had earned and commanded his company with his arm in a sling. He and the Fourth Michigan participated in the battles in the advance on Richmond and at New Bridge, Captain Spalding again was wounded. A rebel officer had surrendered to the Captain, but fired his rifle when he was within ten feet of Captain Spalding, the shot tearing away his pistol and belt and inflicting a painful wound.

By this point in the Civil War, the Fourth Michigan Infantry had fought in battles at:

  • Hanover Court House, May 26, 1862, in Hanover, Virginia, part of the Peninsula Campaign.
  • Mechanicsville, June 26, 1862
  • Gaines Mill, June 27, 1862
  • Savage Station, June 29, 1862
  • Turkey Bend, June 30, 1862
  • White Oak Swamp, June 30, 1862
  • Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862

The Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862, took a heavy toll on the Fourth Michigan Infantry. Colonel D.A. Woodbury, and First Lieutenants Richard  Dupuy and Morell A, Rose were killed and Captain George Spalding severely wounded in the left of the neck and reported killed in press dispatches. The total loss in the Fourth Michigan Infantry in six days included 53 killed, 144 wounded and 52 missing.

Captain Spalding accepted the offer of a leave of absence, but when he was about to depart Brigade Commander General Griffin handed the captain a sealed letter addressed to Michigan Governor Austin Blair. The letter urged him to promote Captain Spalding to major and the Governor commissioned him a major of the Fourth Regiment, but Captain Spalding waived his promotion in favor of the senior captain and shortly accepted the position of Lieutenant Colonel of the 18th Michigan Infantry.  Lt. Colonel Spalding and his regiment were ordered to report to General Lew Wallace, commander at Cincinnati, Ohio, then threatened by an attack from Confederate General Kirby Smith.

The 18th Michigan Infantry advanced over the Ohio River and into and over the Dry Ridge of Kentucky to Lexington, where it camped over the winter of 1862-1863. The campaign opened early in the spring of 1863, and the Confederates were driven out of Kentucky. Shortly after this, the 18th Michigan Regiment followed orders to report to General William Rosecrans, Army of the Cumberland. When  the 18th Michigan Infantry arrived at Nashville, Tennessee, Lt. Colonel Spalding found himself appointed Provost Marshal of the City of Nashville.

The Provost Marshall’s Most  Perplexing Task

As Provost Marshal of Nashville, Colonel Spalding had almost absolute power. The full manpower of the 18th Michigan Infantry reported to him for duty as provost guard and the military and civil police of the entire city of Nashville reported to and received orders from him.


In his turn, Lt. Colonel Spalding received an order from General Rosecrans in the early weeks of July 1863 that must have made him shake his head and sigh. The order from General Rosecrans directed Colonel Spalding to arrange for all of the prostitutes living and working in Nashville to be seized and transported to Louisville.

General Rosecrans had not taken leave of his senses. He knew that hundreds of Union soldiers were suffering from venereal diseases, a reality that was nearly as dangerous to soldiers as fighting in battles.  (By the end of the Civil War, the Surgeon General of the United States Army had documented 183,000 cases of venereal diseases in the Union Army.) General Rosecrans also knew that Nashville with its notorious Smokey Row, a two block-long stretch of brothels, had earned the reputation of being a hub of prostitution. Before the Civil War, Nashville had a documented 207 prostitutes, but by 1863, common wisdom fixed the number at approximately 1,500 prostitutes.

To a degree, the General could even understand the lure of prostitutes. Uneducated farm boys far from home, men missing wives and sweethearts, fear, boredom, loneliness- the General understood why the soldiers allowed the women to snap up their money, but he knew that he had try to stop the epidemic of syphilis and gonorrhea that decimated the ranks in the regiments. Even though he understood, General Rosecrans ordered Colonel Spalding to proceed with the roundup. Colonel Spalding didn’t have any trouble finding the public women, but deporting them posed more of a challenge. [6]

The during the second week in July Colonel Spalding met John Newcomb, the captain of a new steamboat called the Idahoe. Backed by General Rosecrans and other officials, Colonel Spalding ordered Captain Newcomb to take the Idahoe on a maiden voyage north – probably Louisville, but Colonel Spalding didn’t pinpoint a specific destination. Rosecran’s staff and Colonel Spalding furnished Captain Newcomb with enough rations to last the passengers to Louisville, but after that they were left to their own devices.

By July 9, the Nashville and other newspapers were reporting that the “public women” were being loaded onto the steamboat Idahoe. Eventually 111 public women were loaded aboard the Idahoe and sent down the Ohio River to Louisville. After a week’s trip down the Ohio River, they reached Louisville, but they weren’t allowed to land. They traveled further on down the Ohio River to Cincinnati. Many of the women became ill during the voyage because of the lack of food and other conditions, and finally the Idahoe turned around and chugged back to Nashville.

Lt. Colonel Spalding had to come up with another plan, and using his analytical mind he reasoned that since these public women would overcome any obstacle to be with soldiers for money and that these soldiers would overcome any obstacle to be with women for money, and since these were the facts of soldier and public women life, he would see to it that the encounters between them would be safe. In cooperation with the Union Army in Nashville, Lt. Colonel Spalding established the first system of legalized prostitution in the United States. When the public women arrived back in Nashville, Lt. Colonel Spalding created a system of registering prostitutes that resembled the plans in place in several European counties. The regulations that he used to manage the public women of Nashville included:

  • Requiring that each public woman register and be issued a $5 license complete with her name and address, and a record be kept of the license.
  • Appointing a skillful surgeon as a Board of Examination to give each licensed public woman a weekly examination and certificate to verify her health and ordering the diseased public women to receive hospital treatment.
  • Establishing a suitable hospital for sick public women and collecting a weekly tax of 50 cents from every licensed public woman to defray the hospital expense.
  • Arresting public women plying their trade without a license and certificate immediately, and sending them to the workhouse for at least thirty days.


(A Prostitution license that George Spalding signed in 1863.  National Archives.)

The majority of Nashville’s public women appreciated Lt. Colonel Spalding’s program that offered no danger of arrest or prosecution and a significantly healthier prognosis for their lives. By early 1864, more than 352 public women were licensed and at least 100 had been treated and recovered from venereal diseases, but the reforms for public women and their clients didn’t last beyond the end of the Civil War. In 1865, the Union Army no longer controlled Nashville and the public interest in licenses and hospitals for public women faded into other issues. Yet, in the 21st century, the few counties in the United States allowing prostitution use a regulatory system strikingly similar to the one that Lt. Colonel Spalding created out of desperation.[7]

Lt. Colonel Spading didn’t remain as Provost Marshal of Nashville long enough to witnesses the entire effectiveness of his program for the Nashville public women. In February 1864, he resigned that position to become a colonel in the Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry and he immediately became command of a cavalry brigade ordered to take charge of the Nashville and North Western Railroad. Large bands of guerillas infested the entire length of the Nashville and North Western Railroad, but within a few months Colonel Spalding and his men had eliminated all of the organized guerilla bands along the railroad.

His next orders assigned him to command a division of the Cavalry called the Fifth Division, A.C., with headquarters at Pulaski, Tennessee. Colonel Spalding and his men were ordered to protect the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and during the summer and fall of 1864, the Colonel and his troops constantly battled General Philip Roddy, General Joseph Wheeler, and General Nathan Bedford Forrest who consistently tried to destroy the railroad. When General John Bell Hood invaded Tennessee, General George Henry Thomas ordered General Spalding and his division to try to prevent the Confederate forces from crossing the Tennessee River, and to report his observations and estimates of the Confederate opposition.

Once he arrived at Florence, Alabama, Colonel Spalding discovered that the Confederates had gathered a strong force on the opposite side of the Tennessee River, and he immediately sent a message to General Thomas that General Hood’s entire army was poised to invade Tennessee and would cross the river near Florence Alabama. General Forrest’s cavalry covered the movements of General Hood’s army. Several battles were fought between these two armies in what was called the Franklin-Nashville Campaign, including Spring Hill and Franklin.

At Nashville, General Thomas reorganized his army and on December 15, 1864, the Confederates attacked and the Union Army put General Hood’s Army to flight. Colonel Spalding and one hundred picked men were selected to follow the remnants of General Hood’s command until the last man had crossed the Tennessee River. Colonel Spalding and his men broke the Confederate lines, scattering them in all directions and captured many prisoners, including General E.W. Ruckel.

Colonel Spalding was severely wounded in the left knee during the Battle of Nashville. General George Thomas issued a general order, complimenting Colonel Spalding for his bravery and he was brevetted brigadier-general for “gallant and meritorious service” in the Battle of  Nashville.

On Feb. 8, 1865, the regiment went into camp at Eastport, Miss., where it remained until May 11.    The new General Spalding was assigned to command the First Brigade, Fifth Division Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi, and ordered to report to Major-General Pope’s headquarters at St. Louis, Missouri. After General Spalding arrived in St. Louis on May 17, 1865, General Pope assigned him to command the District of Northern Missouri at Macon and from there he was assigned to a district in Kansas with headquarters at Lawrence, Kansas. General Spalding’s command was mustered out of the service on October 24, 1865 and he returned home to Monroe, Michigan.

A Busy Civilian Life


Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

According to his obituary, the Civil War transformed General Spaulding from a strong Douglass Democrat to a granite Republican, “one of the most vigorous and aggressive ones in Michigan,” equal to his granite Presbyterian faith. On July 27, 1866, General Spalding received an appointment as U.S. postmaster for his hometown of Monroe and he served this term as postmaster until December 15, 1870.[8]

In 1871, the United States Treasury Department appointed him Special Agent, a position that he filled for four years. His duties included traveling to the Rio Grande River to report on the commerce between Mexico and the United States. The year of 1871 proved to be a personally significant one for General Spalding. He married Augusta Lewis on December 6, 1871 and they eventually had four children:  Emma Spalding Sterling, Elizabeth Spalding Orvis, George Redfield, and Isaac Lewis.

In 1875, General Spalding joined the First National Bank of Monroe and forged a four decade career with the bank. In 1876 the citizens of Monroe, a Democratic town,  elected General Spalding, a strong Republican, mayor, and in same year he was elected president of the Monroe School Board. As well as fulfilling his personal and business obligations, General Spalding found time for the study of law and  in 1878, he was admitted to the Michigan bar.

Although he had previously been a Democrat, General Spalding changed his political stance to Republican, chairing the Monroe County Republican Committee for several years. He stumped Monroe County for Republicans and frequently made speeches in Lenawee and Hillsdale Countries, where he gathered many warm friends and admirers who considered him a good citizen and an honest man.[9]

From 1885-1897, General Spalding served as a member of the board of control of the State Industrial Home for Girls, located in nearby Adrian, Michigan. The Michigan State Legislature created the State Industrial Home in 1879, under the administration of Governor Charles M. Croswell and the influence and effort of Laura Haviland, the Quaker Abolitionist who fought for freedom for slaves and the rights of women.

The mission of the first Board of Control of the State Industrial Home included choosing the location and providing buildings, appointing officers, and in general, making the Industrial Home functional. The first Board of Control members were: Charles T. Gorham of Marshall; William H. Waldby of Adrian; Mrs. S. L. Fuller of Grand Rapids; Mrs. C.B. Stebbins of Lansing; and Miss Emma Hall of Ypsilanti, with Governor Croswell an ex-officio member. General Spalding’s experiences in the Union Army, and especially with the Nashville public women and his political offices since returning home provided him the broad range of experiences that made him an invaluable Board of Control member of the Michigan Industrial Home for Girls.[10]

Besides his other activities, General Spalding expanded his political career to include serving as a Republican member of the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses from March 4, 1895 to March 3, 1899, representing Michigan’s Second District. During the Spanish American War of 1898, he supported the United States President and U.S. forces with the “vigorous, clearheaded judgment of a statesman and a soldier.[11]

The government again appointed General Spalding as Monroe Postmaster on February 20, 1899, and he held that office until February 13, 1907. When his second term as postmaster ended, he returned to practicing law and agricultural pursuits. He made time to pursue personal interests and he was a member of Monroe Commandery No. 19, Masons, and the only living Charter Member of the Knights Templars of Monroe. He joined the Joseph R. Smith, GAR Post, and the Loyal Legion of the GAR, a Detroit organization composed of men who had assumed great risks in battle.

50th Anniversary of Gettysburg – Family Photograph

General Spalding established his business career by joining the First National Bank in 1875. In 1877 he became director and cashier of the bank and in 1892, he advanced to president. In 1911, he was re-elected to the presidency of the bank and held that position from 1877, until his death on September 13, 1915.[12]


Monroe’s Grand Old Man

 The erect form and sturdy walk of General George Spalding were familiar to Monroe residents for years and even when trouble with his eyesight made his steps unsteady he walked to the bank and around town as usual, showing no signs of advancing age. During his entire career, General Spalding enjoyed a well-earned reputation as a witty, persuasive speaker at patriotic and other gatherings. Whenever organizers of public events advertised General Spalding on the program as a speaker, a crowd almost always collected to hear and applaud him.[13]

When General Spalding died at 5:00 o’clock in the morning of September 13, 1915 at age 79, word of his death spread quickly around the city of Monroe and a steady stream of friends made their way to his resident at 159 South Macomb Street to pay their respects. As soon as they heard of his death, Monroe businessmen planned a public and military funeral for General Spading.  Monroe Mayor Betz issued a proclamation urging every businessman to close their establishments from 2:00-4:00 on the afternoon of the funeral.  Captain Isaac C. Godfroy, was in charge of the military services as marshal of the day. The Light Guards, GAR, City and County officials, Spanish American War Veterans, the Bar Association, and the Masonic officials attended the funeral in a body.

General Spalding rested in a flag draped coffin  in the Presbyterian Church in Monroe from 11:30 to 2:00 p.m. the day of the funeral, Wednesday September 15, 1915. Dr. W.C. Burns conducted the services and he was buried in Woodland Cemetery, Monroe.[14]

The General’s obituary in the Petersburg Sun emphasized that his brother William Spalding was a long-time resident of Petersburg.[15]

Augusta Lewis Spalding,  the General’s Wife

The General’s wife, Augusta Lewis Spalding who survived him by eight years,  was born in Monroe on September 3, 1839, the fourth of seven children of Isaac and Sophia Lewis. She grew up in a strict Presbyterian household, both parents were deeply involved in their local Presbyterian Church and they tried to instill Calvinistic principles of hard work, honestly, and patriotism in their children.

As she grew up, Augusta appreciated her father’s skill at molding items in his foundry and her mother’s dedication to the church and their love of America. When the South seceded from the Union in April 1861, and old friends and acquaintances including George Spalding left to join the fight to preserve the Union, Augusta decided that she had to do something too. She and several other dedicated local women organized the Monroe Ladies Soldiers Aid Society with the mission of furnishing hospital supplies and other items that the general government didn’t provide to the Smith Guard Soldiers of Monroe. An executive committee of 16 local women were elected from the newly formed group which held its first meeting on July 29, 1861 at the home of Mrs. J.M. Oliver. Augusta Lewis was elected the new treasurer of the group. From its beginnings in 1861 to the end of the Civil War in April of 1865, the young ladies demonstrated untiring energy, perseverance, and genuine patriotism for the Union Army.

When the Union soldiers, including George Spalding, returned from the War, like any soldiers, they hurried to rebuild their lives and establish homes and families of their own. George Spalding established a business and political career and then turned to establishing a home and family of his own. On December 6, 1871, he and Augusta Lewis were married in Monroe. George was 34 and Augusta was 31. The Spaldings had four children:

Emma Spalding Sterling was born on November 17, 1872. She married -William Sterling Jr. and she died in 1964.

Isaac Lewis Spalding was born on March 4, 1875 and he died in 1952.

George Redfield Spalding born on January 25, 1877 and he died in 1962

Elizabeth Thurber Spalding Orvis was born on June 25, 1879 She married Harry Orvis and she died in 1968.

Augusta Lewis Spalding died on November 11, 1923. The Monroe Evening News reported her death with the headline “Esteemed Woman Called by Death.”

Mrs. Augusta Lewis Spalding, widow of the late General George Spalding, died at her home, corner of Third and South Macomb Streets, Sunday night at 10:40 o’clock of pneumonia. Mrs. Spalding was one of the best known women of this city and her many friends will learn of her death with sorrow. Her husband was a Civil War Veteran and served as postmaster of this city. Funeral services will be held Wed. afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at her late home, Third and Macomb streets. Friends will kindly omit flowers.[16]
(Next:  George Redfield Spalding and Alice Minnie Ruff Spalding)


[1] John  McClellan Bulkley, History of Monroe County, Michigan:  a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests. Volume I. (Chicago, New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913) p 368..

[2] Michigan State Gazetteer Listings of Isaac Lewis, Books and Stationery.

[3] John McClellan Bulkley, History of Monroe County, Michigan (New York: Munsell & Company, 1890) p. 525-526.

[4] John  McClellan Bulkley, History of Monroe County, Michigan:  a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests. Volume I. (Chicago, New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913)p. 436.Talcott Enoch Wing, History of Monroe County, Michigan (New York: Munsell & Company, 1890) p. 50
[5] Monroe Record, August 9, 1900, p. 1.

[6]  The Civil War, Sex and Soldiers

[7] ; The Curious Case of Nashville’s Frail Sisterhood by Angela Serratore,, July 8, 2013.;The Nashville Experiment, New York Times;

[8] “Monroe Mourns Citizen’s Death.” The Record Commercial, Thursday, September 16, 1915, page 1, column 1

[9] That Reaction.”Hillsdale Standard, October 6, 1868, page 2. General George Spalding of Monroe whose name occupied a place on the Democratic state ticket for Auditor General two years ago is out for Grant and Cofax.

[10]  The State of Michigan’s Industrial Home for Girls

Report of Michigan Industrial Home for Girls

[11]“Monroe Mourns Citizen’s Death.” The Record Commercial, Thursday, September 16, 1915, page 1, column 1

[12] Congressional Biography- George Spalding

[13] “Monroe Mourns Citizen’s Death.” The Record Commercial, Thursday, September 16, 1915, page 1, column 1

[14]“General George Spalding Dead After An Illness of Two Weeks.” Monroe News Courier, Monday September 13, 1915, page 1, Column 5

[15] Petersburg Sun, September 17, 1915, p. 1

[16] Monroe Evening News, Nov. 12, 1923



Monroe and Monroe County Veterans, Memorial Day

Monroe and Monroe County Veterans, Page One

This is just the first page in many volumes of their stories.

Remember Them on Memorial Day and Every Day…


They, too, loved the ordinary human things – the soft spring breeze scattering wayward hair, the smell of a woodfire with stew bubbling above it, loving faces reflected in firelight, emerging from a dark physical or mental woods to home, a welcoming square of light and hope. Yet, they left home to fight for reasons of their own and sometimes caught in a government’s twisting arm. Some of them returned home to live out their lives. Others returned home to rest in quiet graveyards and watch the lives of others.

All across the country and the world, they are with us:  in names covered with moss covered stones, in names etched on stone monuments, in the hearts and minds of people who can’t forget. Remember them this Memorial Day and the other days of the year and thank them.

Revolutionary War

Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey









Samuel Stone. He served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

War of 1812

Battle of Frenchtown, Monroe

John Barnett. Died August 11, 1872. Aged 86 years. Served in the War of 1812 through New York State. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

David Vanpelt. Circa 1788-November 25, 1880. He was a Private in the New Jersey Militia of Captain J. Vorhees in the War of 1812. He died at Dundee and he is buried in Old Petersburg Cemetery.

William Walters. He was born in 1794 in Pennsylvania. He fought in the War of 1812 and he is buried in Port Creek Evergreen Cemetery in Carlton.

Toledo War (1835)

Captain Nelson White. 1808-1899. Nelson White came to Michigan in 1832, locating his farm two miles west of the village of Dundee. He received his deed from President Andrew Jackson and owned the land since then. For many years after he settled in Dundee, Captain White went back east during the summer, commanding a boat on the Erie Canal. In 1838, he married Emily Jenne and they had ten children. He served as first lieutenant in the company recruited in Monroe County to fight the Toledo War. With his men, he “invaded” enemy territory and always enjoyed telling war stories.  He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Mexican War – 1846-1848

Augustus Glean. Soldier in the Mexican War. He also served in the Civil War in Company D, 7th Michigan Infantry He was wounded twice at the battle of Cold Harbor He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Edwin F. Mills. Company B., 2nd Ohio Infantry, Mexican War. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Civil War

Private Frederick A. Ballen of Company B, 47th Ohio Infantry, received the Civil War Medal of Honor for his bravery at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on May 3, 1863. His citation reads “Was one of a party that volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and 2 barges loaded with subsistence stores”. He received his medal on November 6, 1908. He is buried in Carleton Cemetery.

John Banmiller. 1838-February 2, 1925. Civil War Veteran. He enlisted on November 18, 1862, in the First Michigan Light Artillery Battalion K. He is buried in St. Paul Cemetery, Maybee.


Grand Review, Union Troops, Washington D.C., May 1865.

Martin Bela Brockway. Company B, Fourth Michigan Infantry, Civil War. (1835-1905.) He was Wounded in action at New Bridge May 24, 1862. Shot in arm. Taken prisoner at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. He was held as a prisoner of war for 21 months; most of that time at Andersonville, Georgia. His brother, Oliver of the Eighteenth Michigan Infantry, was also held at Andersonville and died the day after Martin arrived there. He was badly affected with scurvy that his gums bled and swelled. His teeth were all loose, so that he could not eat his rations of corn bread. His leg and foot were much swollen so that he could only walk with great effort. Discharged at Detroit, Michigan, July 13, 1865. He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg.

Elijah M. Lamkin was born at Raisinville, Michigan on September 5, 1830,attended the district schools, and became a farmer. On August 23, 1861, he enlisted in Co. I of the 11th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. His regiment participated in the Battles of Gallatin, Elk River, Stone River, Chickamauga and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Wounded at the Battle of Stone River, Elijah had also been suffering from inflammation of the eyes which became so severe at Chattanooga that he had to be hospitalized. Later he was transferred to the hospital at Louisville, Kentucky, where he soon took charge of it as steward. He continued as steward for eight months and then received his honorable discharge on September 15, 1864. Elijah returned to Michigan and in 1865, he married Miss Martha D. Sabin. They raised a family of six children. (Talcott Wing, History of Monroe County, Michigan. (New York: Munsell & Company, 1890) p.665. Elijah is buried in London Township Cemetery, London.

John Peter McGill, Sr. was born on October 15, 1829 in Scotland. He served in the Confederate Army in the 1st Louisiana Infantry (Strawbridges), which fought in the Western Theater in the Battle of Shiloh and others. He and his wife Mary Jane McCusick McGill had three children. John died on August 29, 1912 in Toledo, Ohio, and he is buried in Doty Cemetery, Monroe.

Henry Alonzo Stewart, 1838-1906. In 1847, Henry Alonzo Stewart came to Dundee with his parents and until he reached 19 years of age, he lived with Mr. Cady who conducted a hotel in Dundee for many years. Henry learned the blacksmith trade and worked as a blacksmith for five years. In November 1863, he enlisted in Company L of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry. He lost the sight of one eye while serving in the Civil War and he mustered out on August 28, 1865. He was a member of William Bell Post No. 10 of the G.A.R. in Dundee. He married Mary A. Haines on April 15, 1860 and their three children all died in infancy. Henry operated a grocery business in Dundee for many years and was undertaker for two years. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Irvin Rufus Whipple was born in New York, and raised, educated, and married there.  He came to Ash Township with his wife Sarah shortly after they were married, and eventually they had five children. An ardent supporter of the Union, Irvin Rufus enlisted in Company K of the 24th Michigan Infantry. He was so seriously wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864, that one of his legs had to be amputated in the field hospital and he died from loss of blood on August 26, 1864.  He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

After her husband’s death, Sarah Whipple fought her own battles with trial and hardship  and the survival of her family, but according to her contemporaries, she met the challenges with fidelity, and endured its privations with a “serene and lofty spirit.” Sarah and her five children lived in Ash Township and Flat Rock, Michigan. )Talcott Wing, History of Monroe County, Michigan. (New York: Munsell & Company, 1890) p.613. Irvin Rufus Whipple is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Jerome Willard was born on April 16, 1835, to George and Elizabeth Rider Willard in Monroe County, Michigan. (There is some confusion about his birth year. His obituary says he was born April 16, 1835; his family genealogy says he was born in 1844, but his tombstone lists his age as 29 years, 9 months.) Jerome enlisted in Company M, Eighth Michigan Cavalry, on August 23, 1864 at Ida. He died of disease at Louisville, Kentucky on January 16, 1865, and he is buried in Neriah Cemetery, Ida Township, Monroe County.

Indian Wars (1873-1878)

Frank McCallum. Frank was born on September 15, 1863 in New York, but later moved to Michigan with his family. Frank served as a private in Company F of the United States 7th Infantry. Colonel John Gibbon was his commanded when Frank arrived at the valley of the Little Big Horn River on June 28, two days after the massacre of General George A. Custer and his men. He probably served on burial detail and prepared wounded troopers to be moved to the riverboat Far West. He died on June 1, 1921 in Marion, Michigan, and he is buried in Ash Center Cemetery, Carleton.

George Augustus Stone. Indian Wars – 1873-1878. PVT 2nd Cavalry-Massachusetts. He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg.

Spanish American War

Spanish American War Nurses

John Beyer. Cuba, Spanish American War. He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg.

Jerome Bentley Galloway. 1876-1945. Company C, 33rd Michigan, Spanish American War. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Edwin F. Gates. Edwin served in Company I, Ohio Infantry, 7th Regiment, Spanish American War. He is buried in Carleton Cemetery.

Richard Vivian. 1865-1945. Spanish American War. Sgt. 31 Mich. Inf. He is buried in North Side Cemetery, Maybee.

World War I


Edward Clinton Biccum. 1896-1918. Killed in action in France during World War I. He is buried in North Side Cemetery, Maybee.

Dr. A.H. DeGroot was born on a farm in Vriesland, Michigan, and received his early education in Vriesland, “a widening of the highway about four miles from Zeeland.” Between farming seasons, he worked at a furniture factory in Grand Rapids, and eventually enrolled in the Grand Rapids Veterinary College, graduating with the class of 1917.

During his junior year at college, he had the opportunity to become acquainted with Monroe Country when he went to Ida for several months to take over the practice of Dr. D.M. Hagen who was recovering from an operation. After he graduated, he went to Dundee to set up his veterinary practice. In 1918, he enlisted in World War I and was training as a second lieutenant in the Sixth Co. Veterinary Corps when the war ended. He returned to Dundee and resumed his practice. In 1922, he joined Edward A. Schaap in founding the Dundee Hatchery, but in 1936 he dropped out to concentrate on his veterinary practice. On October 4, 1923, he married Leona M. Schultz and they had one daughter. He served on the Dundee Village Council for three years. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Henry S. Lewis. Michigan. Pvt. Company M, 26th Infantry. He is buried in St. Patricks Cemetery #2. Carleton.

Andrew Neidermeier, Michigan. Pvt. Co. C 121 Infantry, World War I. He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg.

World War II

Female Pilot

Leland L. Abel. 1925-2014. Leland served in World War II as a corporal in the United States Marine Corps, fighting in the Pacific Theater from 1944-1946. He participated in the Iwo Jima Campaign and the occupation of Japan. He is buried in McIntyre Cemetery, Monroe.

Paul J. Benore. U.S. Army, World War II. Paul served in the United States Army during World War II, from March 2, 1943 to January 10, 1946. Paul fought in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. He received the American Theater Ribbon, the EAME Theater Ribbon with four Bronze Battle Stars, the Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal. He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg.

Lewis Vernon Esper. 1925-April 19, 1944. Seaman 1st Class, USNR. Killed in action. Lost at Sea. Listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Hawaii Punchbowl Cemetery. Memorial in St. Patricks Cemetery, Carleton.

Genevieve E. “Gen” Niemann Gramlich. She worked at the Ypsilanti Bomber Plant during WWII. She is buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, Maybee.

Henry Phillip “Hank” Karen. 1915-2016. He worked for the Karner Brothers Elevator in Dundee, the family business, and during World War II, he was a test pilot and member of the flight crew that flew B-24’s at Willow Run. He ran the Ann Arbor Airport, was a flight instructor and charter pilot, and then a corporate pilot for Hoover Ball Bearing. He retired as Chief Pilot in 1964. After he retired, he joined the Boyne Highlands professional ski patrol.  He loved to hunt and fish and shot a bear at age 91. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Corporal Hiram Davis Wilkinson. CPL, U.S. Army Air Forces, World War II. Corporal Wilkinson was the flight engineer on B-17E #41-2635, assigned to the 5th Air Force, 19th Bombardment Group, 30th Bombardment Squadron. They were one of a group of six planes that took off in 1942 from Seven Mile aerodrome near Port Moresby on a night mission to bomb Japanese shipping in Tonolei Harbor, but Wilkinson’s plane disappeared on the way to the target and the crew was officially declared dead in 1945. Because of that he is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.

In 1999, the plane’s wreckage was discovered where it struck a mountain near Alotau, Papua New Guinea. The crew’s remains were recovered and what could be identified of Wilkinson via DNA is interred in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg. There is also a group burial in Arlington National Cemetery. He received the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.


WAC Company Marching

Edgar T. Crawley, Sr. SK G3 U.S. Navy. World War II, Korea. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Lawrence S. “Larry” Esper. U.S. Navy, Korea. He is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Carleton.

Clyde E. Knaggs . CPL Co. B 32 Infantry 7 Inf. Div. Korea PH. 1932-1950. His casualty date is December 2, 1950, and he is listed as declared dead – missing in action or captured. He was a light weapons infantryman. He is buried in North Side Cemetery, Maybee.

Clinton J. Strouse, Michigan. PFC 35 INF 25 INF DIV, Korea. He was killed in Korea and he is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg.


Vietnam Nurses

James LaVern Bowman. Vietnam. E3, Private First Class, U.S. Army. C CO, 2ND BN, 3RD INFANTRY, 199TH INFANTRY BDE, USARV. PFC Bowman, 20, was killed on March 28, 1968, in Long An Province, South Vietnam. He us buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Spec Vincent Michael La Rocca. SP4, U.S. Army, Vietnam. He was born October 1, 1949 and he died on February 11, 1970 in Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam. On 11 February 1970, Specialist Four Vincent Michael La Rocca was serving with B Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. On that day, SP4 La Rocca was killed in action when he sustained wounds from small arms fire. His body was recovered. Badge and Medals: Combat Infantryman Badge; Purple Heart; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal. Vincent Michael La Rocca’s name is located on Panel W14 Line 126 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. SPC4 Vincent M. La Rocca has Honoree Record 210069 at He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg.

Ronald Frederick Parish, Sr. Michigan. A03 U.S. Navy, Vietnam. 1943-1970. He is buried in Ash Center Cemetery, Carleton.

Frank Anthony Uhlik, Jr. Frank Anthony Uhlik, Jr. Airman First Class, 388th MM SQDN, 388th CBT SPT GRP, 388thTFW, 7th AF United states Air Force. Vietnam. Ground casualty on March 15, 1968. He is buried in North Side Cemetery, Maybee.


Lloyd Thomas Harris, Jr. Naval officer for 35 years in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, and Grenada wars and conflicts. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Dundee.

Persian Gulf


Todd Allen Prajzner. 1972-1999. PFC U.S. Army. Persian Gulf. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dundee.


Sgt. Christopher P. Messer. Army, Polar Bears, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Drum, N.Y. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom from February 2004 to March 2005 He died December 27, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq. His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with ‘V’ device, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and the Driver Badge. He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Petersburg.

More Veterans Voices

Arlington National Cemetery

This PDF features more Dundee cemeteries.


This PDF features more Petersburg veterans.

Petersburg Veterans

This list features a few Veterans in Carleton Cemeteries     a-few-veterans-buried-in-carleton-cemeteries

This list is a link  to the list: maybee-veterans

Veterans Voices, South Rockwood