Adam Funk died 11 July 1923

Adam Funk  was born 17 March 1844 in LaGrange, Indiana, the first of seven children of John Funk and Elizabeth Strine.  John and his brother Andrew had moved to the area in 1837. Their community in the southeastern quarter of Eden township was called Haw Patch, and was described in a History of Eden Township as a broad area of fertile land, with which is distinguished throughout by a rich soil, freedom from marshes, level, or very gently rolling surface, and a perfect adaptability to successful agriculture. At the opening of the country to settlement, it was densely covered by beautiful forests, in which sugar maple and black walnut were most abundant, and remarkably free from small growths, except hawthorn and wild grapes. The abundance of the hawthorn was the most striking peculiarity of the region, and gave rise to the name by which it is so widely known. Now that the forests and the hawthorns have vanished, the region has taken on another style of beauty, and is made doubly attractive by splendidly kept farms and elegant residences, where every comfort possible has taken the place of the hardships of log-cabin days.

 In 1850, the family was still living in Eden Township.  Adam’s father was a farmer, and their farm was valued at $1020.  The family was in the same area in 1860, but their farm was now valued at $6400, and the personal property was valued at $1500. 

When the Civil War started, Adam enlisted on 20 January 1862 in Company I, 48th Infantry Regiment of Indiana.  That unity had been organized on 1 December 1861. 

History of the 48th Infantry:  Forty eighth Infantry. Colonels: Norman Eddy, Edward J. Wood, Newton Bingham; Lieut.-Cols., Melvin B. Hascall, De Witt C. Rugg, Edward J. Wood, Barnet Byrkit, Newton gingham, John W. Leitch;. Majs., De Witt C. Rugg, Benjamin D. Townsend, Edward J. Wood, Barnet Byrkit, Welcome Rice, Newton gingham, John W. Leitch William H. Miller.

This regiment was organized at Goshen in the fall of 1861, and was mustered in Jan. 28, 1862. It left for Fort Donelson on Feb. 1, arriving the day after the surrender. It moved to Paducah thence to the Tennessee River, and participated in the siege of Corinth. After the evacuation the regiment was assigned to the 1st brigade, 2nd division, Army of the Mississippi, and took part in the pursuit of Price’s forces.  

It was in the battle of Iuka, losing 116 in killed and wounded; was under Rosecrans in the second battle of Corinth in October; then moved to Oxford and back to Memphis, where in Jan., 1863, it was assigned to the 1st brigade, 7th division, 17th army corps. It moved to the rear of Vicksburg in March, participated in engagements at Forty Hills, Raymond, Jackson and Champion’s Hill, losing 33 killed and wounded in the last engagement.

It was in the trenches before Vicksburg and took part in the assault of May 22, losing 38 in killed and wounded. It moved to Memphis in August, thence to Chattanooga and was engaged at Tunnel Hill. At Huntsville, Ala., it reenlisted as a veteran organization in Jan., 1864, and after enjoying a furlough, returned to Huntsville in March.

It moved to Cartersville, GA, in June, hunting guerrillas and protecting railroad communications, and then joined the army at Atlanta. It marched to Savannah with the 1st brigade, 3rd division, 15th corps, then moved to Beaufort, S. C., participated in the campaign of the Carolinas to Raleigh, and after Johnston’s surrender marched to Washington.

It was then transferred to Louisville and mustered out July 15, 1865. While at Washington, the 48th received 250 recruits from the 12th, 83rd, 97th and 99th regiments, whose terms had not expired at the time of the muster out of these organizations, and these were discharged with the 48th. The original strength of the regiment was 991; gain by recruits, 603; reenlistments, 284; total, 1,878. Loss by death, 213; desertion, 96; unaccounted for, 199.

Family lore is that Adam was part of Sherman’s March, that he was a railroader, and that he got heat stroke while walking home after the war.  The 48th was part of Sherman’s March, and his group was involved in railroad communications.  It is certainly believable that walking to Indiana in late July and August could result in heat stroke. 

Back in Indiana, Adam enrolled in LaGrange Collegiate Institute.  This college had been established two decades earlier, and included a course of education for women, making it the first co-ed college in the US west of Ohio.  Religious education was stressed.  (Competition from high schools forced the closing of the institute in 1879, and the building was destroyed in a tornado in 1965.) 

Adam married Louisa Josephine Swart on 23 September 1866 in LaGrange County.  They moved west and homesteaded in LaBette County, Kansas in 1869.  (I have not found a homestead record for them.)  When a school, including a Sunday school was established at Muddy Corner in Osage, Adam Funk and I B Swart (perhaps a relative of Louisa) were among the first workers at the school. 

I was not able to find Adam in the 1870 census.  Perhaps they were moving between Indiana and Kansas. Adam and Louisa had six daughters.  Julia was born in 1869 in Indiana, and the next, Rose, was born in 1871 in Kansas, followed by S.E (died young), Maggie, Grace, and Golda.   Adam was listed in the 1875 Kansas state census as living in Osage.  He was a farmer, with real estate valued at $1500, and personal property at $407. 

The family was still in Osage in the 1880 census, but they moved to Montgomery by the time of the 1885 state census.  Adam’s sister Mary Ann (Funk) Mullenax lived there as well. Adam filed for his Civil War pension on 23 July 1889, and eventually was awarded a $50 pension. Louisa Funk died 11 October 1889 in Cherryvale, and was buried at Harmony Grove cemetery in Dennis, Kansas. 

The 1895 state census shows Adam with his three youngest daughters living in the city of Cherryvale.  Adam, Grace, and Golda were listed in the 1900 federal census, which also shows that Adam was a farmer, and owned his own farm, mortgage free.  The three were similarly listed in the 1905 state census. 

Adam moved to Parsons, Kansas, to live with his daughter and son-in-law, Rose and Daniel Vance.  In 1910, they lived at 2501 Belmont.  Adam’s occupation was listed as “own income”.  They all lived at the same place in 1920.  This census records that Adam was able to read and write – and we would have expected that, since he attended the LaGrange Collegiate Institute after the war. 

On 3 December 1920, Adam entered a US National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, at Leavenworth, Kansas.  His age at admission was 77.  His record repeats his dates of enlistment and discharge.  The disabilities recorded when admitted to the home included hypertrophy of prostate, myocarditis, and arteriosclerosis.  He was described as 5’5”, fair complexion, blue eyes, gray hair, can read and write, Protestant, farmer,  residence subsequent to discharge as Parsons, Kansas, widowed, nearest relative Mrs. D J Vance at 2501 Belmont in Parsons.  He was receiving a pension of $50.  There was no date of discharge.  His cause of death was pneumonia following an operation for gall stones and cystitis. Place of death was Kalispell, Montana.  Adam’s property, a book and his pension check, were sent to his daughter. 

So why was Adam in Montana?   His daughter Grace married William King, and they were in Kalispell for teh 1920 and 1930 census.  No doubt he had gone to visit they and his granddaughter Zola. 

Adam was returned to Kansas, and buried with his wife in Harmony Grove in the town of Dennis.  Rose and Daniel Vance are also buried there.  Find-A-Grave lists a Fannie Funk buried in the same cemetery in 1885.  It is likely that she is a family member as there are no other Funks except Adam and Louisa.

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1 Comment

  1. Kim Snoddy said,

    May 31, 2014 at 18:20

    I have been searching for more information on Adam Funk, my husband’s great, great grandfather, for a while. You filled in some of my missing pieces. I am so happy to have found your site!.


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