Christopher William Leffingwell

Page 648-649-650 - Christopher William Leffingwell. The late general Christopher W. Leffingwell was a territorial pioneer in Michigan and in his character and distinguished service and achievements he left an enduring and worthy impress upon the history of this commonwealth. General Leffingwell was born in Albany, New York, September 9, 1808, and in his youth he received good educational advantages as was shown in his subsequent record of success as a teacher in various schools. From the old Empire state he went to Ohio where he studied law and was in due course admitted to the bar. It was from the Buckeye state that he came to Michigan in about 1849, and he made settlement at DeWitt, Clinton county, a pioneer community of no minor importance at that time. He continued in the practice of law in Clinton county until 1855, when he removed to Grand Rapids, which was then a mere village but which had gained its first city charter in 1850. He was one of the leading members of the Grand Rapids bar at the inception of the Civil war, was for some time here associated in practice with Lucius Patterson, and in 1856 he was chosen city attorney, besides which he was among those who early served her in the office of justice of the peace. Although he was more than fifty years of age when the Civil war was precipitated on the nation, he entered with characteristic loyalty and vigor into the military preparations that were being carried forward in Michigan, and in addition to serving on the military staff of Hon. Austin Blair, the war governor of Michigan, he enlisted in a Michigan regiment and with the same saw active service at the front. After victory had crowned the Union arms, General Leffingwell was assigned to supervision of government property in the southern states, but in 1866 he returned to Kent county, Michigan, and settled on a farm in Grand Rapids township. There he remained until the early part of 1871, when he removed to Illinois, where, at Rock Island and Hovey, he passed the few remaining months of his noble and earnest life, his death having occurred July 17, 1871. His daughter Mary became the wife of Daniel H. Waters, who was long one of the honored and influential citizens of Grand Rapids and of whom specific mention is made elsewhere in this work, in the record of the career of his only son, Dudley E. Waters. He was quartermaster general with rank of colonel. He went with his regiment to Washington, D. C., and engaged in the following battles: Bull Run, Williamsburg, Virginia, Seven Pines, Fair Oakes, Antietam and Fredericksburg. He was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers at Lookout Mountain and served until March 1866.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 17 January 2004