Joseph S. Lewis, Sr. 

born in Italy, Yates County, New York

died at Westville, Indiana - a brief biography  

 contributed  by  William Strong


Joseph S. Lewis, Sr. was born on March 2, 1818, Italy, Yates County, New York. Father’s birthplace was Massachusetts and his Mother’s birthplace being Connecticut. We have not found his parents names as yet. 

Joseph S. Lewis, Sr., at 21 years of age,1st Army enlistment was on October 21, 1839 in the city of Canandaigua, NY. He was a Corporal in Company “I” commanded by Captain James W. Hill, in the 8th Regiment, commanded by W.R. Montgomery in the Florida Indian War of 1835 to 1845. He was honorably discharged at Fort Brooke, Florida on October 29, 1844.

He married 8 months later (at age 27 years-3months) Lucinda A. Havens (at age 15years-10 months) on June 15, 1845 in Ashtabula, Ohio. Lucinda was born August 9, 1829 in Freedom Township, Cattaraugus, New York. She was the daughter of Truman Havens and Orilla (Fisher) Havens living in Ashtabula at the time of their marriage.

Joseph and Lucinda were living with their 1 year old son, Salinzo W. in Clinton Township, La Porte County, Indiana according to the October 16, 1850 Federal Census (Roll 157, Book1, Page 165a, lines 23, 24,& 25). In their marriage it is reported in both Joseph’s and Lucinda’s obituaries to have had nine children, 5 sons and 4 daughters, but,  three of the daughters dying in infancy.

Sometime between 1850 and 1860 census the family moved to New Durham Township, La Porte County, Indiana. The Post Office was at Michigan City. Likely his occupation was a Farmer. There were four children in the family listed in the 1860 census; Lorenzo-11, Francis D.-8, Milford H.-4, and Milton W.-3.

At age 45 years and 11 months Joseph S. Lewis enlisted in the Army on February 14, 1864 in Westville, Indiana,  to fight in the Civil War. He was mustered in March 7,1 864 in Michigan City, Indiana in Company E, 128th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers-Infantry. Joseph contracted sickness during the war, which made him an  invalid the remainder of his life according to his obituary. After returning from the war, he united with the Disciples or Christians Church of Westville, under the ministry of Rev. Mr. Edmonson.

The family moved to Noble Township, La Porte County, Indiana. The June 29, 1870 Census for Noble Township, La Porte County, Indiana for Joseph S. Lewis indicates five children living at home from ages 5 to 21; Leonard-21, Francis D.-19, Milford H.-16, Joseph S.-5, and Olive G.-10. For some reason their son Milton W., age 13, is not listed in this census.

Lucinda A. Havens dies, March 11, 1895, at age 65. Mrs. Joseph S. Lewis obituary is in the Westville Indicator, Westville, Indiana, Thursday, March 21, 1895. She is buried in the Westville Cemetery, Westville, Indiana next to her son,  Milton W. Lewis. Lucinda’s tombstone simply reads ‘Mother’.

Joseph S. Lewis, Sr. dies January 10, 1898, at age 79. His obituary is in the Westville Indicator, Westville, Indiana, Thursday, January 13, 1898; page 3, column 7. Joseph S. Lewis is buried in the Westville Cemetery, Westville, Indiana. His daughter ,Olive G. (Lewis) Thomas, (1860 – 1943) is buried next to him. His military veteran tombstone is a simple one, that reads: J. S. LEWIS, Co. E., 128 IND. INF.


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