Department of Michigan
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Franklin D. Eddy
Department Commander 1890-1891
FRANKLIN D. EDDY, a prominent citizen and public official of Grand Rapids, Mich., was born in Rome, N. Y., May 13, 1859, and is a son of William H. and Martha A. (Fox) Eddy, also natives of the Empire state.
William H. Eddy was born in Rensselaer county, N. Y., in 1832, a son of Edward and Susan M. (Hills) Eddy, who were also born in the state of New York and were of English descent. Mr. Eddy was educated in the common schools of his native county, and at the conclusion of his attendance thereat learned the cooper's trade, with which he afterwards connected other various branches of woodwork, being naturally a mechanical genius. At the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, Mr. Eddy manifested his patriotism by at once enlisting in company C, Fiftieth New York engineers, in 1862, with which he served all through the war until the surrender of Lee, when he was honorably discharged, with the rank of sergeant, and had never suffered a day's illness throughout his long term of service. He then settled in Lowell, Mich., in 1866, and was a school director while the new school-house was being built and also interested himself in the rejuvenating of the public I library, always taking an active part in the promotion of public education. He withdrew from active work at his trade in 1893 and became town clerk, and is now engaged in the insurance and conveyancing business.
Mr. Eddy married in 1854 at Rome, N. Y. Miss Martha A. Fox, who was born in that city in 1832, and was of English and German descent. To this marriage were born four children, of whom three are still living, Franklin D., being the eldest; the others are Minnie, wife of Edward Pickard, of Grand Rapids, and Jessie, wife of William Engle, of Lowell. The mother, however, was called away in January, 1889.
Mr. Eddy has been a deacon in the Baptist church thirty-five years; for the last past eighteen years has been financier of his lodge of the A. O. U. W.; and was a charter member of his post in the G. A. R., of which he is a past commander. In politics he is a republican.
Franklin D. Eddy came to Kent county with his parents in 1866, and was educated in Lowell. In 1875 he entered the post-office as clerk, served as such three years, and was appointed assistant postmaster. In 1881 he resigned and accepted a position in the railway mail service, but at the end of ten months ill health forced him to resign again, and in 1882 he engaged in the book and stationery business, and again, three years later, his health failed him and he relinquished the occupation, entering the real estate and insurance business.
In 1886 Mr. Eddy was nominated by the republican party as its candidate for town clerk of Lowell, and was elected by a majority of eighty, being one of the only two republicans elected to office that year. He served most satisfactorily, six years consecutively. In 1892 the republican county convention nominated him for the position of county clerk, his opponent in the convention receiving only sixteen votes out of 108 cast; he was elected by a majority of 801.
He was unanimously renominated for the office of county clerk in 1894 and was triumphantly elected by a majority of 5,834 votes, leading the entire ticket—in fact, it was the largest majority ever given a candidate in the county. His administration of county affairs was of a high order and brought much commendation. He was admitted to the bar as attorney-at-law and solicitor in chancery August 21, 1895.
After the expiration of his second term as county clerk, Mr. Eddy formed a partnership with Fred N. Edie in the insurance and real estate business, but, both being expert accountants, they soon abandoned this line and engaged solely in accounting, taking charge, for the government, of the Big Rapids National bank, and the People's Savings bank at Lansing, and continued in the general accounting business until April, 1898, when the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Eddy engaged with the Chicago & West Michigan, and Detroit & Grand Rapids Railway companies, as assistant claim agent, and was with them when offered the position and appointed as cashier of the post-office, August 1, 1898.
In his fraternal and society relations, Mr. Eddy is very extensively connected, being a member of Grand Rapids court, No. 1765, I. O. F.; Phenix lodge, No. 12, I. O. O. F.; Eddy tent, No. 398, K. O. T. M., of which he was commander; Lowell lodge, No. 38, A. O. U. W., of which he was recorder for thirteen years; Kent camp, No. 2314, M. W. of A.; Eureka lodge, No. 2, K. of P., of which he was vice-chancellor in 1897; Grand Rapids company, No. 6, U. R. K. of P., of which he was recorder in 1898-99; Daisy lodge, No. 48, B. P. O. E., and Perry camp, No. 9, Sons of Veterans. Of the last-named order, which is purposely mentioned last, he became a [charter] member in 1884, and was elected captain of the camp. In 1885, he devised a design for the official sword, which was adopted by the national body. He was delegate at large from Michigan three times to the national encampments; was chief of staff of the commander-in-chief in 1886, and was elected state commander, department of Michigan, in 1890. He has also held other state positions, such as chief mustering officer, judge advocate, and adjutant from 1897 to 1899, inclusive.
In 1898, Mr. Eddy conceived the idea of raising a company for the Spanish-American war, and personally recruited company L, Thirty-third regiment, Michigan volunteers, all Sons of Veterans, who served with distinction in Cuba, and he was also instrumental in raising company B, Thirty-fifth Michigan regiment.
Franklin D. Eddy was united in marriage, at Lowell, in July, 1878, with Miss Caroline C. Booth, who was born in Grand Rapids in 1853, and is a daughter of Eph. J. and Nancy (Chapin) Booth, natives of New York. To this happy union have been born eight children, in the following order: James H., in 1879, assistant secretary to the Wernicke company; Kittie C., 1881; Genevieve B., 1883; William E., 1885; Rubyanna, 1887; Charles F., 1889; Salem C., 1891, and George P., 1893. The family worship at the Fountain street Baptist church, and their pleasant home is at No. 15 North Union street, where they stand very high in the esteem of their neighbors.
Beside the close or secret orders already named, Mr. Eddy is a member of the board of trade, and the Hesperus and Lakeside clubs of Grand Rapids, and was for one year president of the Young Men's Republican club, and while in Lowell was president and secretary of an organization bearing the same name as the latter.
It is likely that Frank died in May 1938 and is buried in the Fulton Street Cemetery in Grand Rapids.
A. W. Bowen & Co., The City of Grand Rapids and Kent County (Logansport. Ind.: A. W. Bowen & Co., 1900)