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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Benjamin F. Southworth - Bishop Post, G.A.R.

Benjamin F. Southworth ended the Civil War as a Major in Company E, 111th Ohio.  He enlisted on August 9, 1862, at the age of 36. He was discharged on May 15, 1866, with three years, 8 months and 6 days of service.  

On the 1890 veterans' census, he listed his disabilities as rheumatism and catarrh (respiratory inflammation), although his
obituary added other afflictions encountered during his service.

Born in New York to Epaphrus and Esther Southworth, B. F. and his parents were early settlers of Defiance County. Benjamin's father was also a veteran - of the War of 1812.  He served in Parkhurst's Detachment, New York militia.  So he came from a patriotic family, as well.

Benjamin was an educator, a stock breeder, and an entrepreneur in the county who was well-respected in the community.  In later years, he lived with his nephew, Charles Corwin, son of one his sisters who was deceased.  After B. F.'s death, Charles found two old newspapers among Benjamin's papers - a Boston Gazette and Country Journal, dated March 12, 1770, and a New England Weekly Journal, dated April 8, 1728, yellowed, but still readable, according to the report. These were possibly passed down from his own father and/or grandfather.

When B. F.'s will was probated, his estate was left to his two remaining sisters and his nephew.  The funeral was held at his residence on Water Street and burial was at Riverside Cemetery.  His obituary appeared in the Defiance Democrat on February 2, 1899:

He is buried with his mother, Esther Doud, and Albert T. Southworth (1853 - 1871), relationship unknown.

(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city.  Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle.  The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived.  If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)

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