Benjamin Kingman CURTIS
- Born: 12 Jan 1828, Genesee Co., New York 2 3
- Marriage: Sarah Lavantia CARD 24 May 1851, Park, St. Joseph Co., Michigan 1 2
- Died: 13 Dec 1902, Preston, Franklin Co., Idaho 4 5
- Buried: Preston, Franklin Co., Idaho 6 7
Known Occupations and the Source of Information:
Sawyer - stated in his Civil War pension records
Farmer - census records
Plumber - pictoral history of Preston, Idaho
Lumberman - Civil War military and pension records
Mill Laborer - 1860 Census
Detailed lists of all research done for Benjamin and his family are available for review. A summary of the completed research is as follows:
Benjamin and Sarah lived in several different counties in Michigan. St. Joseph county is their first known place of residence. The county court house records, including the probate records, have not been microfilmed. Therefore, original research is needed in Michigan to search the probate records for possible clues into Benjamin's parentage. Vital records, land records, newspaper records are among the long list of records already searched.
I visited the National Archives in Washington D.C. and conducted original research on Benjamin's Civil War service. Every available record in the National Archives was searched. Several records were restricted from being photocopied due to record deterioration. When photocopies were not permitted, every detail was hand-copied. Two places of birth are listed in Benjamin's records. Unfortunately, no record was made concerning his parents or siblings.
LDS Church Membership records in Logan and Ogden were searched. I was hoping to find the names of Benjamin's parents in the membership records. Every time his name was listed in the membership records as the spouse of Sarah Curtis, nothing was ever including about his parents' names. I have also tried to document where the family settled after their migration from Michigan. Land and other records still need to be searched. Nothing is conclusive right now.
I have personally visited the County Record offices, searching for land and other records which would document the date of his arrival in Preston. A personal visit with the Preston City Cemetery sexton was made on two different occasions. A pictoral history was made of the cemetery, documenting the Curtis family burial locations. Cemetery and other records were searched on microfilm at the Family History Library. One record example: Historical Scrapbook of Preston and vicinity; FHL film 237808 item 1. Benjamin was mentioned as the father of DeWilton (Cap C.D.) Curtis. Benjamin was also mentioned as a tax payer in school district #36, signing a petition against changing boundry lines of the school district. He protested the change because it would result in bringing about a division of the district, and would make it necessary for some children to cross the Bear River and attend school in the community of Battle Creek. The scrapbook included a picture of the school.
Born in Genesee Co., Ontario Co., or Prairie Round, New York. Maxine Phelps Lines research as found on film 1307501, item 2 gave his place of birth as Prairie Round, New York. Old family records from Ada Johansen had the same information, but I have never been able to confirm or disprove any of the three locations as the actual place of birth. Gazetteers do not list such a place. Two documents in Benjamin's Civil War papers have different birth locations. The first record, the muster-in roll recorded his place of birth as Genesee, New York. Research on location at the U.S. National Archives permitted viewing the actual record book in which was recorded "Genesee." The column in which the place was written was titled "County," therefore we can assume the place of birth was recorded in the muster-in roll was Genesee County, not the town of Genesee which is located in a different county. The second document, a Surgeon 's Certificate, filed in 1898 in an effort to have his pension increased asked for his place of birth. The location recorded on the document was Ontario County, New York. At one time is was assumed the birth location was a town named Genesee, but research indicates the town was not formed until 6 April 1830. Prior to this date, Genesee was part of the town of Cuba.
Sexton's record of Preston, Idaho, 1892-1953. FHL film 7551. Lists him as being buried in the Preston Cemetery. No other information was given in the record. An index of the Preston Cemetery was also found on FHL film 1035775 item 52; Preston, Idaho cemetery records.
"Owner: Curus Curtis. #30 Benjamin Curtis; #31 Mrs. Curtis; #32 Etta Curtis. Five others with no record." Etta Curtis was a daughter-in-law to Benjamin and Sarah. The five additional graves in the family plot are assumed to be grandchildren of Benjamin and Sarah who died in Preston. The Sexton does not have any record of this family plot, or of the burials for each person in the family plot. Today, the Sexton also does not have the original record book which was filmed by the Family History Library. She also does not know the current location of the book.
• Alt. Birth: Alt. Birth, 12 Jan 1828, Ontario Co., New York. 2
• Alt. Birth: Alt. Birth, 12 Jan 1828, Prairie Round, New York. 1 8
• Census: 1850 US, 21 Sep 1850, Park, St. Joseph Co., Michigan. 9 He was living in Park Township with the Shelhouse household as a boarder.
• Census: 1860 US, 25 Jun 1860, Tallmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. 10
• Military, 14 Aug 1862, Tallmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. 11 Benjamin, of Lamont, enlisted in company B, Fifth Cavalry, as Corporal, for 3 years, age 34.
• Military: Mustered into service, 27 Aug 1862, Tallmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. 11
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, 27 Aug 1862. 2 Benjamin was listed on the Company Muster-in Roll.
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, 31 Oct 1862. 2 Benjamin was listed as present on the Company Muster Roll.
• Military, Nov 1862, Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan. 2 Benjamin was sent to the St. Mary's Hospital in Detroit.
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, Nov - Dec 1862. 2 Benjamin was listed as "Absent, sick in hospital at Detroit."
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, Jan - Feb 1863. 2 Benjamin was listed as "Absent, sick at Detroit."
• Military, Mar 1863, Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan. 2 Benjamin was discharged from the hospital and sent to return to his regiment.
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, 12 Apr 1863. 2 1863 Apr 12 was a Special Muster Roll. Benjamin was listed as Absent. Detailed as Hospital attendant, Detroit Barracks, Detroit, Michigan. A note said there was supposed to be a special muster roll April 10 , 1863. The roll must have been lost or destroyed, because none of his military cross-reference cards noted the special muster roll.
• Military: Muster and Descriptive Roll of Convalescents in Detroit Hospital, 4 Jun 1863, Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan. 2 Benjamin Curtis appears with rank of Corp on Muster and Descriptive Roll of a detachment of convalescents forwarded for the 5th Reg 't Mich. Cavalry. The Roll included the following information about Benjamin:
Place of birth was listed as - Genesee, N.Y.
Age 35 yrs.
Eyes-Blk; hair-Drk; Complexion-Drk; height-5 feet 8 inches.
Remarks-Never been to Regt
Benjamin's "Declaration for Original Invalid Pension" form stated he "was treated in hospitals as follows: St. Mary's Hospital Detroit, Mich. from Nov 1862 to March 1863 ... incurred the following named disabilities: First, catarrh ... result of typhoid fever. Rheumatism [result of] camping out in stormy weather. That since leaving the service I have resided in Lamont, Mich., Logan Utah and the last eight years in Preston Idaho. And my occupation as been that of a lumberman. Prior to entry into the service ... Sawyer."
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, Mar - Apr 1864. 2 Benjamin was listed as "Present. Private horse & equipment since last muster."
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, May - Jun 1864. 2 Benjamin was listed as, "Present. Private horse & equipment since last muster."
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, Jul - Aug 1864. 2 Benjamin was listed as, "Present. No remarks."
• Military: 5th Cavalry, Company B Muster Roll, Sep - Oct 1864. 2 Benjamin was listed as, "Present. Pay due on private horse & equipment in service from Jan to June 20."
• Military: Mustered out of service, 20 Jun 1865, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 11
• Land, 22 Jun 1866, Lamont, Ottawa Co., Michigan. The Land Record, was recorded in Liber 10 Page 281; on 17 Dec 1869 stated that on 22 June 1866 Benjamin Curtis and Sarah L. Curtis his wife of Lamont, Ottawa, Michigan sold land to Walter S. Wood for $200.00. Witnesses, Wm T. PerSee (Justice of the Peace) and Charles A. Westervill.
• Land, 4 Sep 1866. On 13 Oct 1874, the purchase of land from the State of Michigan was recorded in Liber 25 Page 158. The sale took place on 4 Sep 1866 to Benjamin Curtis from Michigan for $80.00. Certificate no. 8905 for Primary School land. Recorded at the Dept. Secretary of State; Book 24 Page 498.
• Census: 1870 US, 1870, Tallmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. 12
• Land, 25 Sep 1874, Tallmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. The Land Record, recorded in Liber 18 page 626 on 13 Oct 1874 stated that on 25 Sep 1874 Benjamin Curtis & Sarah L. Curtis his wife sold land to Francis Lord for $1,000 of Tallmadge, Ottawa, Michigan. Witnesses, Eben Smith and W. Hinsdell.
• Land, 21 Jun 1875, Lamont, Ottawa Co., Michigan. The purchase of land was recorded in Liber 28 Page 155 on 9 Aug 1875. The land record stated that on 21 Jun 1875 Benjamin Curtis bought land located in Lamont, Ottawa, Michigan from Miner Hedges & Carrie his wife for $2,000. The witnesses were Henry M. Hedges and Frank Hedges.
• Census: 1880 US, 1880, Tallmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. 13
• Land, 19 Aug 1882, Tallmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. Benjamin Curtis bought land from Sarah A. Rice on 19 Aug 1882 for $1.00. The indenture states "This deed is made to release levy in care Sarah A. Rice and Benjamin Curtis on said land." The transaction was recorded in the Land Records, Liber 54 Page 68. The witnesses were E.A. Maher (Notary Public) and J.W. Phillips.
• Land, 17 Nov 1883, Tallmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. Benjamin Curtis and Sarah L. Curtis, his wife sold land to Emanuel Thinkettle on 17 Nov 1883 for $2,800. The land was located in Talmadge, Ottawa Co., Michigan. The sale was recorded in the Land Records, on 4 Feb 1884, Liber 49 Page 467. The witnesses were O.W. Putnam, Henry Fralick, J.T . Hammond, and C.W. Card.
• Employment, Abt 1885, Preston, Oneida Co., Idaho. Shortly after moving to Preston, Benjamin started his own company called the "Curtis Pump Shop" a plumbing company. The building in which the business was located was previously used a pool hall.
• Military: Pension Record, 26 Jul 1890, Preston, Oneida Co., Idaho. 2 Benjamin's Declaration for Invalid Pension, dated 26 July 1890 states Benjamin Curtis was 62 years old. The first witness signature was Charles Curtis, who was probably his son Friend Charles Curtis.
• Military: Pension Record, 22 May 1891, Preston, Oneida Co., Idaho. 2 Benjamin submitted a "Neighbors Affidavit" for his pension application, dated May 22, 1891. The record states that "O.B. Curtis age 35 resident of Preston, Oneida, Idaho ... is well and personally acquainted with Benjamin Curtis for 20 years." Benjamin had a son named, Oscar Benjamin Curtis, which was probably the person mentioned in the affidavit.
• Military: Pension File Records, 4 Jun 1898, Preston, Oneida Co., Idaho. 2 The following family and marriage information was supplied by Benjamin in relationship to his pension application papers:
"U.S. Pension Agency, San Francisco, Act of June 27, 1890. Certificate No 696058 . Name, Benj. Curtis: Sir: In forwarding to the pension agent the executed voucher for your next quarterly payment please favor me by returning this circular to him with replies to the questions enumerated below. Preston, Oneida Co., Idaho. Date of reply 4 Jun 1898
1) Are you married? Answer-No
2) When, where and by whom were you married? Answer-May 24, 1851 at Park Tp, St Joseph Co. Mich, by Rev. Hershel Foster
3) What record of marriage exists? Answer-The above recorded.
4) Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife and the date and place of her death or divorce. Answer-Sarah L. Card died Dec 14, 1891 Logan City Utah.
5) Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth. Answer -- Yes. Cyrus J. Curtis born 1 Jun 1852; Friend C. born 31 Jul 1853; Sarah E . born 28 Nov 1856; Oscar B. born 4 Jan 1857; Cara Belle born 16 Feb 1861; Geo L. born 2 2 Apr 1863; William R. born 12 Aug 1866; Mary L. born 1 Feb 1871; Dewilton E. born 6 Sep 1873.
• Census: 1900 US, 7 Jun 1900, Preston, Oneida Co., Idaho. 14
• Cemetery: Preston City Cemetery: Preston, Franklin Co., Idaho. 7 15
• Military: Pension Record, 28 Feb 1903, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California. 2 Benjamin was officially dropped from pension benefits with the following notice: Pensioner Dropped - "United States Pension Agency, San Francisco, Cal; Feb 28, 1903 ; Certificate No 696,058; Class-Invalid; Pensioner-Benjamin Curtis; Service-B. 5 Mich Cav. The Commissioner of Pensions. SIR: I have the honor to report that the above-named pensioner who was last paid at $12.00 to Dec 4, 1902 has been dropped because of Death Dec 13, 1902."
Benjamin married Sarah Lavantia CARD, daughter of William Fuller CARD and Sarah or Sally Ann SABIN, on 24 May 1851 in Park, St. Joseph Co., Michigan.1 2 (Sarah Lavantia CARD was born on 4 Apr 1832 in Ossian, Allegany Co., New York 1, died on 14 Dec 1890 in Logan, Cache Co., Utah 2 16 and was buried in Preston, Franklin Co., Idaho 7 15.)
Benjamin's Civil War pension records stated that they were married by Reverend Hershel Foster.
In the book, "Descendants of Richard Card of Rhode Island, and his wife, Rebecca, 1596-1918" by Maxine Phelps Lines (FHL US film 1307501 item 2) the author records the date of marriage for Benjamin and Sarah.