Amos D. Olmstead. One of the veterans of the late war whose devotion to the cause has cost him many an hour of pain and illness during the years that have passed since that struggle, is he whose name is above. He is a farmer, located on section 30, Mt. Morris Township, Genesee County, where he has eighty-four acres of land which is excellent improved. He was born in Buffalo, N.Y., April 27, 1841, and is a son of Maj. Daniel and Jane A. (Kidder) Olmstead. The former a native of Ithaca, N.Y, and was born March 16, 1810. He was a hatter by trade, and employed in the manufacture of hats in Niagara County, N.Y., and was engaged in improving the same until the breaking out of the Civil War. At the first tap of the drum he enlisted in Capt. Mapes’ Company, known as the Twenty-eighth New York Infantry, serving as a fifer.
Our subject’s father was in many engagements – at Winchester, Rappahannock, Antietam and Cedar Mountain. He was promoted to be Fife Major and re-enlisted in the United States Navy, serving in all four and a half years. In the fall of 1865 he came to Flint, whither his wife and subject had preceded him, and here he engaged in gardening until his death, which occurred December 6, 1879.
Our subject’s mother was a well-educated woman of large business ability. She died April 4, 1888, in Flint. She belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church, but was a heart a Seventh Day Adventist. She was the mother of seven children, four of whom lived to be grown. Her children are named as follows; Louisa J., Hortio G., Charles H., all of whom died when young; Amos D., our subject; William H, Melvine and Lydia. After a brilliant service in the war, William H. came to Michigan, and in company with his brother in-law, Mr. Thomas, started a business college in Flint, known as the Thomas & Olmstead National Business College. The brother died April 6, 1871; Melvine, Mrs. Thomas, died in Colorado, November 20, 1887; Lydia, Mrs. Springer, is now a resident of Alamosa, Col.
Mr. Amos Olmstead was reared in Buffalo until five years of age, and then was on his father’s farm. He attended the district school when a lad, but was early set to work and kept busy both summer and winter. When sixteen years of age he assumed charge of the farm in Pekin, which comprised ninety-six acres, and then January 1, 1863, was married in Cambria, to Miss Nancy R. Cottington, a daughter of Adam Cottington. Mrs. Olmstead’s maternal grandshire, Isaac Burgess, a New Englander, was an old Revolutionary soldier, who died at the age of one hundred years. Her mother still lives and resides on the old place.
Five months after marriage, July 17, 1863, Mr. Olmstead was mustered into Company G, Ninety-seventh New York Infantry. He served in the following battles: Raccoon Ford, the Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spotsylvania Court House, North Ann River, Bethesda Church, White Oak Swamp, and Petersbury, conducting himself as a soldier most valiantly in every engagement. After the siege of Petersburg he was taken sick while on detailed duty and was sent to his regiment and was exchanged from one department to another until he reached the Armory Square Hospital in Washington. He had written to his mother to try to secure a discharge for himself, his father and brother, and she came heroically to Washington, where with some difficulty she obtained an interview with President Lincoln, and was successful in getting her wish granted. Our subject was on his way back to join his regiment when the order arrived for his discharge.
The original of our sketch returned immediately to his home and as soon as able made preparations to come to Michigan, sold the farm for his mother and arrived in Flint, March 13, 1865. He located at once upon the farm, which a few years later he purchased from his mother. Since that time he has made valuable improvements, and has built a very attractive residence, a good barn, and made other changes. He is the father of four children; Frances died at the age of three years; Nettie lives at home, Belle is Mrs. Twitchell, of Flint, and Harry is a graduate of the Flint Commercial College of 1891, and is now located at Jackson.
Our subject has been School Director for three years, and was School Treasurer for several terms. Socially he is a member of Ransom Post No. 89, G.A.R.., and has attended the National Encampment at Columbus, Boston, and Detroit. Both himself and wife are members of the Grange at Flushing, and Mrs. Olmstead, who is a lady of marked attractions, is a member of the Woman’s Relief Corps.
Source: Chapman Brothers. Portrait and biographical record of Genesee, Lapeer and Tuscola counties, Michigan. Chicago: Chapman brothers, 1892.