William H. Borden Post No. 211, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized in the city of Ionia and the charter was issued on December 26, 1883.

The quarters of this post are located on the second floor of 348 West Main street, where they have been since the organization.

It is a lamentable fact that the charter of this post has so faded that the names of the charter members are undecipherable.

The membership totals fifty-two of those loyal veterans who fought so nobly in the Civil War.

The present officers of the post are:

  • W. E. Normington, Commander;
  • James H. Laden, Senior vice-commander;
  • Asa Randall, Junior vice-commander;
  • I. Buck, Chaplain;
  • J. L. Fowle, Quartermaster;
  • J. H. Laden, Patriotic instructor;
  • W. A. Woods, Adjutant;
  • L. G. Barnard, Quartermaster sergeant;
  • E. S. Shattuck, Officer of the day;
  • A. Willard. Officer of the guard.

At a meeting held in the Masonic hall in the village of Lyons on January 11, 1883, a post of the Grand Army of the Republic was organized.

General B. R. Pierce, department commander of Michigan, assisted by Captain Rove, of Company B, Second Regiment, Michigan State Militia, had charge of the organization and forty-eight soldiers responded to the roll call and were mustered into the ranks of this post.

It was moved and carried at this initial meeting that the name of the post be M. W. Dresser.

The following officers were then duly elected and served as the first officers of the post:

  • D. C. Crawford, commander;
  • John R. Dougherty, senior vice commander;
  • P. C. Cutler, junior vice-commander;
  • F. T. Gleason, quartermaster;
  • D. C. Spaulding, sergeant;
  • J. O. Probasco, officer of the day;
  • Henry Hitchcock, officer of the guard;
  • J. S. Preston, chaplain;
  • A. E. Barr was appointed by the commander as adjutant;
  • John Ashley was appointed sergeant-major by the adjutant,
  • and Thomas Ranger was appointed quartermaster sergeant by the quartermaster.

A committee was then appointed to make arrangements for a hall in which to hold the meetings of the post and H. Hitchcock, D. C. Spaulding and J. R. Dougherty composed this committee.

A motion was made and carried that the second meeting of the post should be held in the Masonic hall on the fourth Wednesday in January, 1883.

There being no further business the last was closed in due form and the initial meeting was brought to a close.

This post flourished and it is safe to say that at one time had the largest membership of any post in the county.

At the greatest prosperity this post numbered one hundred and fifty-four members, but death and pecuniary reasons have reduced the ranks so that at the present time it numbers only eighteen.

The present officers are:

  • C. W. Lung, Post commander;
  • Michael Couty, Senior vice-commander;
  • John Ashley, Junior vice-commander;
  • B. H. Stevens, Chaplain:
  • F. T. Gleason, Quartermaster;
  • William Croel, Officer of the day;
  • John A. Dalzell, Officer of the guard;
  • Ransom Howe, Sergeant;
  • A. S. Brunnell, Adjutant:
  • Simon Newhouse, Sergeant major;
  • J. O. Probasco, Quartermaster sergeant.



Dan S. Root Post No. 126, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized at Belding on April 14, 1883. with the following charter members:

Z. W. Gooding, E. S. Moulton, Clark W. Wakeman, Hawley M. Cotton, Jasper S. Gage, Andrew Curtis, John W. Cooper, S. Z. Dunkca, Milton J. Holcomb, Wilbur H. Lacke, Fred Lounds, Frank R. Chase, Willard R. Olds, George A. Hanks, Michael Zahn, George B. Fish, A. H. Moore, Oscar A. Day and Charles Brown.

Frank R. Chase was the first commander.

The present officers of the post are:

  • Frank R. Chase, Commander;
  • Jeff C. Godfrey, Senior vice-commander;
  • Matthew Kahn, Junior vice-commander;
  • George A. Hanks, Surgeon:
  • Edgar L. Bernz. Quartermaster;
  • H. A. Waldron, Chaplain:
  • John W. Cooper, Officer of the day;
  • Eli Hanks, Officer of the guard;
  • M. L. Howe, Patriotic instructor;
  • W. R. Olds, Adjutant;
  • B. F. Bowen, Sergeant-major and quartermaster sergeant.

The post now has real and personal property worth $1,060.



Hiat P. Clark Post No. 153, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized on January 26, 1885, at Saranac.

There were twenty-one charter members, as follow:

E. P. Gifford, B. A. Cotton, G. B. Wilson, William Remdick, H. A. Hatan, W. B. Sayles, W. E Wandruff, N. T. Hubbell, R. E. Arthur, E. Peller, H. Case, A. D. McConnell, R. S. Hines, S. Hines, G. Phillips, John Morehouse, G. E. Wherlock, F. T. Haskins, Devila Bishop, Isaac Chatfield and H. B. Savensteve.

Of whom the following are now living:

G. B. Wilson, W. R. Sayles, N. T. Hubbell, R. S. Hines, F. T. Haskins, Isaac ChatField and H. B. Savensteve.

The roll-call officers for the first year were as follow:

  • Commander, E. P. Gifford;
  • Senior vice-commander, B. A. Cotton;
  • Junior vice-commander, G. B. Wilson;
  • Surgeon, W. E. Woodruff;
  • Officer of the day, William Rimillick;
  • Officer of the guard, W. R. Sayles;
  • Chaplain, H. A. Harlen;
  • Instructor, C. G. Hubbell;
  • Adjutant, R. E. Arthur;
  • Sergeant major,A. E. Wheelock;
  • Quartermaster sergeant, F. P. Haskins.

Names of comrades since the organization of the post:

James Pernlick, E. H. Warden, W. M. Cant, J. A. Quant, B. E. Hess, H. Gluster, J. Woodruff, John Greaves, A. Pirham, J. C. King, William Fitzleans, F. P. Thompson, G. W. Chipman, Alex Sprague, E. Paunsand, A. Wellman, Z. Hull, J. Converse, K. R. Olmstead, C. H. Phillips, G. A. Paltz, E. Hull, P. Taylor, S. W. H. Morrison, G. Leary, R. Vasper, J. Patrick, S. W. Smith, H. H. Power, A. F. Summer, M. Fitzgibbons, C. Smith, C. Herrington, J. Dunberry, J. Faulks. W. O. Sible, S. Sible, A. Youngs, E. M. Guernsey, J. Green, D. G. Shummey, J. Taylor, J. Steele, C. E. Mason, J. P. Anderson, J. Waller, S. Hart, J. T. Livermore, A. Dunn, P. Mullen, W. Z. Bull, J. A. Lacher, P. Abbott, F. J. Spencer, J. H. Mills. A, J. Raymer, D. Walen, O. H. Brunder, J. Buxton, J. Leish, J. T. Canright, G. W. Leart, A. C. Cruff, F. E. Hart, W. Hinderliter, M. Tanner, C. C. Radis, A. A. Walter, V. C. Watkins, G. Houseman, Peter Oversan, E. Walkins, W. H. Davenport, W. Gates, J. A. Weynant, J. A. Aldrich, S. S. Wheeler, G. Dinsmore, J. M. Diber, A. S. Quent, S. Hart, H. C. Crothers, S. L. Halliburker, G. Dinsmore, J. M. Diber, J. P. Gould, A. E. Tucker, P. W. Martin, L. E. Church, John Miller, A. Sisca, S. E. Bevier, E. Landery, W. Gibean, H. English, E. D. Sargeant, J. Bolster, J. Sines, D. K. Pruin, William Hines, S. Day, S. Seer, R. Trans, M. M. Johnson, McArthur, S. L. Pickins, A. Ketchum, A. Abbitt, A. W. Knee, P. Pinkey, H. C. Meyers, C. W. Hall, E. Lewis, Percy Leavey, John J. Capple, William Case and S. S. Linamore.

The officers at the present time are as follow:

  • Commander, James Keindicke:
  • Senior vice-commander. S. E. l'ickens;
  • Junior vice-commander, T. W. Wilson;
  • Quartermaster, N. P. Hubbell;
  • Officer of the day. C. T. Tanner;
  • Officer of the guard, C. G. Lawrey;
  • Chaplain, S. R. Curtis;
  • Patriotic instructor, A. l'. Hart;
  • Adjutant. C. H. Brndes;
  • Quartermaster-sergeant, M. Lawrey.



John Megarrah Post No. 132, Grand Army of the Republic, of Portland, was organized on April 24, 1883, with;

Jonas Ackley, Milton Sawyer, Joseph Warren, Franklin Roe, J. C. Clark, Henry Rinebolt, Henry Rumball, William P. Shay, W. II. Howard, Hozial Horner, Benjamin Balderson, Lorin Jenkins, William Budd, James Sayers, Stephen Drum, A. O. Stone, Charles Hastings, M. E. Kenyon, James Frazee, Francis Coy, John W. Klotz and C. W. Shelby as charter members.

The post has forty-three members at the present time and owns property valued at $98.17.

It also has two auxiliary bodies, the Woman's Relief Corps and the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The present officers of the post are as follow:

  • John W. Klotz, Commander;
  • Henry Losey, Senior vice-commander;
  • George Friend, Junior vice-commander;
  • H. W. Holcombe, Adjutant:
  • Jason D. Woodbury, Quartermaster;
  • Seth Munger, Surgeon:
  • W. G. Miner, Chaplain;
  • John Van Horn, Officer of the day:
  • Emory C. Fox, Patriotic instructor;
  • Samuel S. Sleight, Outer guard;
  • Vinson Taylor, Quartermaster-sergeant.

John Megarrah post meets on the first and third Saturdays of each month at Blanchard's hall.


Woman's Relief Corps.

Dan S. Root Woman's Relief Corps No. 175, auxiliary to Dan S. Root Post No. 126. of Belding was organized on April 22, 1889.

The following are the charter members and first officers:

  • Betsy Filkins, president;
  • Harriet L. Laske. secretary;
  • F. L. Berry, treasurer;
  • Lizzie Milland. conductor;
  • Martha M. Gooding, Hattie E. Chase, Eva Bowen, Emerette Bradish, Ella M. Granger, Gertrude E. Olds, Martha Skellenger, Wate A. Kohn, Laura Autliff and Sarah Slayton.

The present officers are:

  • Ettie A. Chase, President;
  • Zada Case, Senior vice-president;
  • Elvira Waldron, Junior vice-president;
  • Mary E. H. Coville, Secretary;
  • May Little, Treasurer;
  • Leona Howe, Chaplain;
  • Mary Skellenger, Conductor;
  • Latecia Currie, Guard;
  • Marie Johnson, Patriotic instructor.



M. W. Dresser Woman's Relief Corps No. 70 was instituted in Lyons, Michigan, May 20, 1891, by Lois J. Dunn, deputy junior vice-president.

There were thirty-two charter members and the first officers were as follow:

  • Ruth Lung, President;
  • Belle Manning, Senior vice-president;
  • Ella Cook, Junior vice-president;
  • Melissa Dougherty, Secretary;
  • Mary Marsh, Treasurer;
  • Ella King, Conductor;
  • Myra McOuillen, Assistant conductor;
  • Lizzie Gleason, Guard;
  • Elisa Edwards, Assistant guard;
  • Addie Crittenden, Chaplain.

The present officers of the corps are:

  • Marian Billings, President;
  • Emeline Crowell, Senior vice-president;
  • Thursa Howe, Junior vice-president;
  • Mary Welch, Chaplain:
  • Susie Lung, Secretary;
  • Mary Duhig, Treasurer;
  • Vera Steadman, Conductor;
  • Pearl Powell, Assistant conductor;
  • Mary Marsh, Guard;
  • Marietta Spencer, Assistant guard;
  • Grace Sage, First color bearer;
  • Kate Smith, Second color bearer;
  • Myrtle Burch, Third color bearer;
  • Jennie Earl, Fourth color bearer;
  • Mary Faxon, Patriotic instructor;
  • Lillian Grant, Press correspondent;
  • Pearl Upton, Musician.



Clara Barton Post No. 7, Daughters of Veterans, was organized on April 5, 1915, with the following charter members and first officers:

  • Hattie Currie, President;
  • Blanche Eckles, Senior vice-president;
  • Melissa Cobb, guide;
  • Bessie Shepard, First color barer;
  • Marina Conkell, Chaplain;
  • Ada Fowler, Patriotic instructor;
  • Helen Randal, Treasurer;
  • Ellen Everhart,Junior vice-president;
  • Dora Everhart, Second color bearer;
  • Anna Cole, Third member council;
  • Anna Parent: Nora Wise, Secretary:
  • Ida Cobb, Assistant guard;
  • Leah Mcintosh, Guard;
  • May Choate, Third color bearer;
  • Wealtha Sparks; Jennie Whitney, Fourth color bearer;
  • Minnie Gettings; Cora Greene, First member council; Hattie Warner.

The present officers are:

  • Nora Wise, President:
  • Ellen Everhart, Senior vice-president;
  • Leah Mcintosh, Junior vice-president;
  • Mavina Conkell, Chaplain:
  • Helen Randall, Treasurer:
  • Hattie Currie, First member council;
  • Anna Cole, Second member council;
  • Hattie Warner, Third member council;
  • Ada Fowler, Patriotic instructor;
  • Anna Parent, Secretary;
  • Ida Cobb, Guide;
  • Melissa Cobb, Guard.



Frank R. Chase Camp No. 25, Sons of Veterans, was organized with the following charter members and first officers:

  • Commander, Harvey H. Currie;
  • Senior vice-commander, Roy Ring;
  • Junior vice-commander, Alex Kelly;
  • Patriotic instructor, William H. Malone;
  • Camp council, A. V. Batchelor.
  • Chairman; Elmer C. Wise, E. O. Hildebrand;
  • Chaplain, Leo Foreman;
  • Color Bearer, O. J. Collier;
  • Guide, F.. O. Hildebrand;
  • Musician, Frank H. Davis;
  • Inner guard, Bert Hough;
  • Outer guard, Ralph Johnson;
  • Treasurer, A. Merton Eaves;
  • Secretary, J. M. Langston.

The present officers are:

  • Commander, William H. Malone;
  • Senior vicecommander, S. A. Collier;
  • Junior vice-commander, Vern Davis;
  • Patriotic instructor. Roy Ring;
  • Camp council, Elmer C. Wise, Clyde Cooper, O. J. Collier;
  • Chaplain, Elmer C. Wise;
  • Color bearer, Charles R. Case;
  • Guide, Ralph Johnson;
  • Musician, Frank H. Davis;
  • Inner guard, Bert Hough;
  • Outer guard, John Mehny;
  • Treasurer, A. Merton Eaves;
  • Secretary, Frank E. Collier.


A copy of the book containing this story of Ionia Grand Army Membership in Ionia, Michigan can be found here.