||Charles I. Rathbun
Charles I. Rathbun, jeweler, Fremont, was born in Adrian, Mich., Sept. 20, 1841. His parents, Thomas R. and Hannah E. (Davis) Rathbun, were natives of New York and came to Michigan in an early day, settling first in Lenawee County, and afterward removing to Branch County. His father was one of the most prominent business men of Adrian. Charles I. Attended the common schools and afterward Adrian College. When the civil war broke out he enlisted in the 1st Regt. Mich. Inf., Co. K, for three months. This company was known as the Adrian Cadets, and the regiment was the first from Michigan to respond to the President's call for troops. Being small of stature, Mr. Rathbun. was made the "right general guide" of the regiment. He was in the engagement when Alexandria, Va., was taken, and also at the first battle of Bull Run. He has several mementos of the battle of Alexandria; prominent among them is a piece of the rebel flag which floated over the Mansion House; also three of the buck shot that were fired at Col. Ellsworth, which he dug out of the casing of the door, and a piece of the oil-cloth which was covered with his blood. He was slightly wounded at the battle of Bull Run. At the expiration of his term of enlistment he went to New York and re-enlisted in the 111th Regt., Co. E. as Sergeant, and served three years, receiving an honorable discharge. He was in the battle of Harper's Ferry when Miles surrendered and his entire regiment were taken prisoners; in three months they were exchanged, and were again in the field. He was in the battle of Gettysburg, where he was severely wounded in the foot with a grape-shot, and was in the hospital at Fort Schuyler, N.Y., 11 months. He was in the battle of Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and the siege of Petersburg when Lee surrendered; he was slightly wounded in the battle of the Wilderness.
After his discharge Mr. Rathbun came to Adrian Mich., remained a short time, then went to Buffalo, N.Y., where he worked two years at his trade (jeweler), which he had previously learned. He then went to Elkton, Ky., where he lived six years, then came with his family to Pentwater, Mich., where he opened a store and operated about one year. In the summer of 1874 he settled in Fremont, where he resided and followed the occupation of watchmaker and jeweler. He was the leading merchant, in this line, in Fremont. While living in Kentucky, Mr. Rathbun was burned out by the Ku Klux, and lost all his household effects, tools, etc.
He was married in Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 24, 1868, to Ida, daughter of Thomas and Artemisia (Sherman) De Lancy, the former a native of England and the latter of New York. They had one child, Clark, born Oct. 29, 1871. Mr. Rathbun held the office of Justice of the Peace four years; and Village Clerk, five years. He was a member of the Masonic Order, of the Odd Fellows fraternity, and was the Senior Vice Commander of Post Henry Dobson, No. 182, Grand Army of the Republic. In politics he was a Republican. He was a member of the fire department while in Adrian, holding offices in the same, and while in Kentucky was Postmaster, under Grant, and agent for Adams' Express Company.
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