Franklin Eldredge was born on March 27, 1841 in Ohio City, Ohio, which is now a part of the city of Cleveland. Franklin was the third child of his father, Hezekiah's, marriage to Eunice Kellogg of Rochester, N.Y., having lost his first wife and one of his original seven children to illness. Hezekiah was a builder-architect who maintained a lumber yard in Ohio City and built St. Johns Episcopal Church, the oldest church still standing in Cleveland today. Eunice died when Franklin was three, and his father the following year, leaving Franklin and his eight brothers and sisters orphans. Franklin lived with an older brother until he was 9 or 10, when he went to live with a farmer in Portage County where he worked until a year after the farmer died, and thereafter lived with and worked for another farmer just outside of Edinburg. The neighboring farm belonged to the Carr family, and Frank became friendly with their daughter, Susan.
Responding to a call for volunteers, Frank enlisted in the 7th Regiment, O.V.I. on April 25, 1861 for a 60 day term, and reenlisted for three years thereafter. He remained with his unit until March 24, 1864, when he was honorably discharged for disabilities, having achieved the rank of Sergeant. His regiment fought many battles in Virginia, and Frank was wounded at the Battle of Port Republic and again at Chancellorsville. He also fought at Antietam, Gettysburg, and Lookout Mountain, Tn. before being discharged. On July 4, 1865, Frank married Susan Carr and at that time found work as an engineer on the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. When oil was discovered in Oil City and Titusville, Pa., Frank traveled there and drilled oil wells, returning home to Ohio when his absence upset his growing family. He resumed farming and had sired four children when he became ill suddenly one day while working a field. He died on May 24, 1872, aged 31, of appendicitis.
Excerpted by Harold P. Baird from The Account of the Life and Civil War Service Record of my Grandfather Franklin Eldredge (1966) by Sarah Eldredge Rusk
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