– by H E Woolford, 2000
Josiah was born to his parents Michael (1804 PA-1872 IL) and Catherine Boyer Woolford (May 04, 1806 -October 18, 1905 IL), 24 January 1837 in Fayette or Bedford County, near Cumberland, the beautiful southwest of Pennsylvania. In a notorized statement made 15 March 1912, Josiah states “there never was any public record or any baptismal record of my birth. There was at one time a Bible record of my birth, but it has been lost or destroyed for more than thirty years…”. The 30 July 1860 Bullskin Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania census shows he had sisters Sarah (Elizabeth), Nancy E., Rebecca A., and brothers Jacob (Fred) and Henry.
Josiah was not a large man at five foot seven and three-quarter inches tall. He had brown eyes and dark hair; his complexion was dark (From Civil War Pension records), no doubt from working as a laborer before being drafted into the Civil War. During his life he was refered to as Josiah, Joseph and Joe.
From “GENERAL AFFIDAVIT”, given 21 March, 1907. Josiah could not read or write and never signed his name on any of his documents; they were signed with “his X mark”.
The following was transcribed for him, thus the change in person from “He” to “I”. This is transcribed without any corrections.
“July 16th 1863 he lived about 5 and one half miles East of Pennsville (Fayette County) when draft of July 16th 1863 in Co. I, 62d PA, Vol. Was made in that date, and the day after he went to the post office in Pennsville, PA And received a notice that he was drafted. And returned home and went to visit his Father and was there who lived about thirty miles from there was gone four or five days And came back home And remained until I got notice that we were to (?) in on or about Aug. 10 or 15th at Greensburg (Westmoreland County) for Examination-Then went there and was Examined, passed And was feeling(?) Bad(?) for 10 days as I can remember. Went back home, and Stayed until About Aug, 26th 1863, when I went to Greensburg Stayed there All night And the next day was Sent to Pittsberg Rendez (?) I cannot be Exact as to dates As the notices I received were Either lost or destroyed”
He was received at Pittsbburg Draft, Rendz, Pennsylvania, August 26, 1863and sent to the 62 Pennsylvania Volunteers, and August 29 to the Army of the Potomac. (From a document from the War Department, Adjutant General’s Office.)
The “Declaration for Invalid Army Pension” dated 14 May 1890 at Livingston County, Illinois, states:
“…in the line of duty, at or near a River called Rapidan State of Virginia on or about the first day of August 1863
1. He (Josiah) contracted chronic Diarrhoea caused by the exposure, hardships and poor quality of rations and water, incident to the service.
As a sequel of said Chronic Diarrhoea, an aggravated type of Piles, have appeared.
Applicant is greatly disabled and incapacitated for the performance of manual labor and asks to be allowed a pension upon Chronic Diarrhoer and resulting Piles...”
Josiah was surely in Virginia the end of August, not the first.
16 September 1863 a Dr. Kerr sent him to the hospital.
19 November 1863 he was Honorably Discharged from Hospital Convolesant Camp near Alexandria, Virginia because of Hypertrophy and Valvular disease.
In 1964 Josiah married Maria Sweet (or Swink, or Schwink) in Pennsylvania by Squire Myers. They had a son, James William (Willie) Woolford.
About 1865 the family moved to the Streator area.
29 April 1866 Maria Sweet Woolford died in the Streator area and was buried at Moon’s Point Cemetery.
1872 Josiah’s father, Michael Woolford died and was buried at Moon’s Point Cemetery.
In 1873 he remarried to Christina Ellen Ammons (or Almons), the daughter of Elizabeth (16 June 1817-26 May 1914) also buried in Moon’s Point Cemetery, and Solomon Ammons. Brothers and sisters include: Nicholas Ammons, Mrs. Caleb Bickerton, and Dora Ammons (Mrs. Zeb Skaggs). They had a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth (Sadie). Sarah married a Scholtz.
30 October 1883 Christine died and was buried at Moon’s Point Cemetery.
24 December 1884 he married Catherine Forsythe who was born in Ohio in 1858. Her parents were Joseph Forsythe and Lizzie Cummins. She moved to Streator, LaSalle County, IL area about 1862. Catherine Forsythe was previously married to a Clark and they had a daughter Nora Clark; Nora Clark married a Robinson and lived in Streator in 1909. Catherine Forsythe Woolford also was married to a Cook, and had a son, George Cook, who lived in Streator in 1909. Catherine Forsythe also had two brothers: Jesse, who was in Ohio in 1909, and Frank, who was in New Mexico in 1909.
08 February 1888 Josiah and Catherine had a son, Albert, born at Clark City, IL.
14 May 1890 found Josiah living in Streator or Coalville as stated from “Declaration for Invalid Army Pension” and that he had been working as a miner.
20 May 1900 at Clark City, IL, a second son, Benjamin Woolford, was born to Josiah and Catherine.
26 July 1890, Josiah submitted another “Declaration For Invalid Pensions” and stated his address as Coalville.
On a form from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions sent out 15 January 1898, Josiah lists his address as Clark City.
18 October 1905 Josiah’s mother, Catherine Boyer Woolford died and was buried at Moon’s Point Cemetery.
05 November 1909, Catherine Forsythe Woolford died. At the time of her death she lived at 111 Eleventh Street, Streator, IL. Josiah was living, but not mentioned in her obituary. She was buried at Moon’s Point Cemetery.
15 March 1912 a notarized affidavit finds Josiah in Streator, LaSalle County, Illinois.
A 23 May 1913 notarized document shows his address as “Streator, R.R. #2. His pension at this time was $21.00 dollars a month.
29 September 1921 at 84 years of age, Josiah Woolford died of Chronic Nephritis and old age at 1203 South Bloomington Street, Streator, Illinois. He had been under the medical care of Dr. E. E. Perisho, and was under constant attention by his son Benjamin and his wife Violet. C. M. Finen served as undertaker. He had no estate, no life insurance and left only bills, but all his children were at his bedside. He was laid to rest with his mother, father, the three wives that he had outlived, and, the pioneer founders of the area in the quaint but beautiful Moon’s Point Cemetery in Reading, Livingston County, Illinois.