GAR Organized

By dhowell - Posted on 02 January 2008

The Chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic was organized in 1886 and signed in Flint, May 1, 1886, by John Northwood, Dept. Commander and Oscar Lechheagle.

The Comstock Post No. 352 was named for Lerine Comstock who was killed in Knoxville, Tenn., 1863. The charter members were: S. Davis, E. Logan, James Kelly, A. A. Stringham, H. L. Rose, N. Whitmoore, Thomas Rushton, Joseph E. Tichner, A. J. Luce, H. H. Fellows, A. J. Lee, Geo. Nisle, Albert Green, William Henson, G. W. Bailey, G. B. Sherwood, Burdett Goodell, Robert Teeter, M. Hough, Ed. O'Neil, J. Zimmerman, William T. Severance, John Tripp, William Neebling, Daniel M. Burch, William Freeman, Sam R. Sherwood, T. J. Farrell.

Commander T. H. Williams of Jackson mustered the men, according to the Manchester Enterprise of May 20, 1886. There was entertainment and refreshments at Goodyear hall. Capt. James Kelly of Manchester organized the men and they marched to the Lake Shore Depot to meet the Jackson and Napoleon posts and paraded down town. Installation took place behind locked doors with the following officers elected: Commander, James Kelley; Senior Vice Com., William Severance; Jr. Vice Corn., E. Logan; Chaplain, T. F. Rushton; Adjutant, Sam Davis; Quarter master, Ed. O'Neill; Officer of the Day, G. B. Sherwood; Officer of the Guard, H. L. Rose; Sgt, Major Sam Sherwood and Quartermaster Sgt., William Freeman.

Among those who are buried at Oak Grove or St. Mary's Cemetery: M. N. Hough, Geo. Mathews, Philander Millard, Geo. W. Bailey, Addis Gillett, Harvey D. Rose, Luther C. Benedict, N. C. Holloway, James Kelley, William J. Tower, Thomas J. Farrell, Thomas F. Rushton, Geo. Sherwood, Albert P. Retan, Geo. Nisle, Daniel Burch, Alfred A. Stringham, William Nebling.

The blue soldier statue in Oak Grove was dedicated in 1907 by the GAR Comstock Post.

World War I claimed two from Manchester. Emil Jacob was killed in the battle of the Argonne in October, 1918. The Legion Post is named in his honor. William J. Ehnis died in France on January 31, 1919, of pneumonia.

Manchester had casualities in World War II. They were Sgt. Arthur C. Frey, Karl M. Rague, Wayne R. Alber, Edward A. Brazee and Richard Seckinger.

Those who gave their lives in the Vietnam conflict were: Ronald Alexander, Roy Bihlmeyer and Peter Valencich.

The tiny Main Street riverside park with its memorial stone made way for the expansion program for a parking area at the corner grocery; The memorial stone was moved to Wurster Park in front of St. Mary's Church and the Library. Oddly enough it is very near the site that the Comstock GAR Post had once considered for a memorial to their Civil War dead.