|Fordham was a member of the Farmer. G.A.R.|
Another New York native who became a resident of Farmer Township in Defiance County was Austin Theodore Fordham. Born in Plattsburgh, New York, on May 6, 1823, Austin was the son of Theodore and Fidelia. In the 1850 and 1860 censuses, Austin was found as "Theodore."
In 1845, he married Adelia Aldrich, known often as Delia, and they settled near his parents in St. Lawrence County, New York. In 1860, Austin Theodore was 37 years old and lived with his wife and three children, Ella A., 11; Sarah J., 9; and Thomas A. 7. He was a farmer.
He was forty years old when he enlisted on December 17, 1863 at Hermon, New York, into Company L, 14th New York Volunteer Heavy Artillery. Instead of being enlisted, it might have been Fordham's good judgement to take the bounties offered to volunteer for the 14th.
FOURTEENTH HEAVY ARTILLERY
COL. E. G. MARSHALL,
To Garrison Forts.
VOLUNTEER WITH THE OLD OFFICERS AND
AVOID THE DRAFT!
United States Bounty, $402.
A State Bounty of $150 paid to every Soldier who Re-enlists, of which $30 will be paid in Advance, and the balance when the Regiment is organized. New Recruits will receive $75 State Bounty, of which $10 will be paid in advance, and the balance when the Regiment is organized. One month's pay, $18, in advance, to all who enlist, and $2 premium. Rations, Clothing, Lodging, and Pay begins with enlistment. No Marching. No Knapsacks to shoulder. The Best Branch of the Military Service.
Headquarters, Recruiting Station, Genesee street, opposite Bagg's Hotel, Utica.
E. G. MARSHALL, Col. 18th N. Y. Vols., Commanking [sic] 14th N. Y. Artillery.
C. H. CORNING, 6th Regular Infantry, Lieut. Col. 14th N. Y. Artillery.
W. H. REYNOLDS, Major.
Capt. GEORGE S. GREEN.
First Lieut. LOUIS FAASS.
In December 1863, Company L was already at Fort Hamilton in the New York harbor, with its major assignment to provide defense for the city of New York. During that time, the unit was assigned to serve with various brigades, with their most known battles being Spotsylvania and Petersburg. Austin was mustered out with his company on August 26, 1865, in Washington, D.C.
Sources cite that it was 1867 when Austin and Adelia moved their family to Farmer Township. In 1870, three children lived with them: Thomas A., 17, a stable boy at the hotel; S. Jennie, 19, a domestic servant at the hotel, and Ida A., 9, a school girl. Austin resumed his farming career and appeared in the 1880 and then the 1890 Veterans' censuses.
By 1900, Austin was 77 years old and still listed farming as his occupation. Delia was 74, but she lived only 3 more years, passing away in 1903. Her obituary appeared in the Defiance Express on June 10, 1903:
At some point, Austin moved in with his daughter, Sarah J. and her husband, Emory O. Stone. It was there he was found in the 1910 census, still in Farmer Township.
Austin T. Fordham, son of Thomas S. and Sarah J. (Roberts) Fordham, was born in Plattsburgh, New York, May 6, 1823, and died at his home in Farmer, Ohio, July 11, 1912. His age being 89 years, 2 months and 5 days.
On September 21, 1845, he was united in marriage to Adelia Aldridge and to this union six children were born of whom two died in infancy. His wife departed this life June 3, 1903. Those left to mourn his loss are two sons and two daughters, nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren and many friends.
In the autumn of 1861, he enlisted in Company F, 14th New York volunteer heavy artillery and served till the close of the war.
In the spring of 1867, he came to Farmer, Ohio, and has lived in that vicinity ever since. When but a young man,he united with the Disciple church, but in later years he joined the Seventh Day Adventists and observed Saturday as the Sabbath.