Civil War widow buried in Wayland Twp. cemetery

The cremains of Wealthy Congdon, wife of a Civil War veteran Lyman Congdon, were buried this week in West Elmwood Cemetery, Wayland Township.

Wayland Township Clerk Ann McInerney said local officials received a call from volunteers working with the MIA project to get the ball rolling.

Wealthy Congdon came to Wayland Township via the Missing in America Project organization for the State of Washington. She died Nov. 6, 1917, in Seattle and her stored remains were found at one of the many funeral homes in the city.

Wealthy Ann McClellan was born Nov. 10, 1843, in Galesburg, Kalamazoo County. Her first husband George Sylvester Hooper married Wealthy Ann McClellan after the passing of her sister, Flora Corinne McClellan Hooper on Oct. 16, 1860. Wealthy McClellan and George Hooper married on Dec. 4, 1864.

Wealthy had one child, Fletcher Eugene, born Sept. 22, 1873, at Traverse City. George Hooper’s daughter, Grace, born Dec. 29, 1859, at McGregor, Iowa, was raised by Wealthy upon her marriage to George.

George Hooper died April 21, 1885, in Wayland. Wealthy then married Lyman A. Congdon on Dec. 22, 1887, in Wayland. After Lyman’s death, Wealthy lived first, with her son, Fletcher, located in the 1910 federal census in Balko, Beaver County, Okla.

After the death of Grace’s husband in Washington, Wealthy went to live with her until her death in 1917.

Born in Washington County, N.Y., 42 years old, farmer; Lyman Congdon enlisted in the Civil War on the Union side at Auburn, NY. Congdon enlisted in 1865 and mustered out in Elmira, NY, in 1865. He was previously married to Charlotte Dean, who died Dec. 22, 1883, in Wayland after a long illness.

Lyman was laid to rest in West Elmwood Cemetery, 2nd Addition, Lot Number 515, and Grave #1, following his death on Oct. 6, 1893.  Wealthy has been laid to rest next to her husband.

The Missing in America Veterans Recovery Program (MIAP) is a federal recognized non-profit veterans organization for the identification, location, verification and movement of veterans and their dependents. The purpose of the MIA Project is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations.

The Missing in America organization in the State of Washington organized and categorized over 3700 unclaimed cremations. More than 400 cremains have been identified and found homes with their families such as Wealthy Congdon.

McInerney said Judy Vezzetti, Wayland Township’s Cemetery Genealogist, helped with acquiring information about Wealthy.

Donations to the Missing in Action Project are welcomed.

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