Puzzle of William Franklin Hufford, Civil War veteran

In Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, there is a simple piece of granite, marking the grave of a Civil War soldier:

The marker reads:

1847 - 1924
Co. G 114 O. V. I.

Here's a closeup:

The translation is that the man served in the Union Army during the United States Civil War, that he served in Company G of the 114th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

A quick search found that William Franklin enlisted October 29, 1862, and served until September 19, 1965, when he was honorably discharged in Texas. When his first unit mustered out in July 1865, William was transferred to Co. D, Ohio 48th. He served his final three months with the 48th.

The question is, "Was he a descendant of Christian b. 1716 in Schwaigern?"
The puzzle, however, is, "Who was his father?"

According to William's death record, William's father was named Solomon. From the record at the Recorder's Office in Los Angeles comes this information:
Date of birth: July 26, 1847, in Ohio
Date of death: September 6, 1924
Age: 77 years, 1 month, 10 days
Retired Teacher
Spouse: Hattie A. Hufford (informant)
Father: Solomon Hufford; father's birth place unknown
Mother: Unknown
Address at death: 3543 E. 6th Street, Los Angeles
13 years at this address; 14 years in California.
Male, Caucasian, Married
Burial: Forest Lawn, Glendale

There were two obituaries for William. The first was in the Los Angeles Times:

Though small, the obituary establishes that the William who died in Los Angeles is the William from Ada, Ohio.

The second obituary was in the Ada Herald, Ada, Ohio, Sep. 19, 1924:

CLICK to read the text.

Ohio Northern University has a photo of William in their 1909 yearbook, when he was Dean of the Normal Department (i.e., Education Department):

Working the census, William is easy to track back to 1870:

1920 census: California, Los Angeles Co., Los Angeles; ED 261; Sheet 5-B; Line 92; Jan. 6th.
HUFFORD, F. William -- Born in Ohio; 72 years old; living with his wife Hattie A., and daughter Emma O. Living at 3543 E. 6th St.

1910 census: Ohio, Hardin Co., Ada; E.D. 110; Sheet 8-A; Line 24; May 23rd.
HUFFORD, William F. -- Born in Ohio; 63 years old; in his first marriage; married for 38 years; working as a college teacher; living with his wife Harriet A., and daughter Emma O. Living at 236 N. Main St.

1900 census: Ohio, Hardin Co., Liberty Twp., Ada; E.D. 95; Sheet 15-B; Line 52; June 9th.
HUFFORD, William F. -- Born July 1846; 54 years old; married 29 years; born in Ohio; working as a teacher of "Mathem." He was living with his wife Hattie (who had birthed 3 children, with 2 living), and his son Joseph J. Living on Main Street.

1890 Veterans Schedule: Ohio, Hardin Co., Liberty Twp. Page 1; Line 1; June 1890.
William was the enumerator for that district, so we have his signature:

Private in G Co.; 114 Regt.; Ohio Vol. Inf.; enlisted Oct 29, 1862; discharged on July 24, 1865, and on Sept. 19, 1865; served two years, ten months. Second discharge date has a line through it with the notation "transferred."

1880 census: Ohio, Hardin Co., Liberty Twp., Ada; E.D. 101; Page 59; Line 11; June 23rd.
HUFFORD, W.F. -- Born in Ohio; 33 years old; working as a teacher. He was living with his wife Harriet, his daughter Emma (7), his daughter Bertie (5), his brother-in-law Charles JOHNSTON (23, school teacher), and a 29-year-old household servant named Bell POLING.

1870 census: Ohio, Allen Co., Auglaize Twp.; Page 25; Line 36; July 1st.
HUFFERT, Frank -- Born in Ohio, 23 years old, a teacher. He was living in the household of John and Matilda SHERICK, a middle-aged couple. Likely, he was teaching at a local school and renting a room from a neighboring family.

1860 census and 1850 census? He has not yet been found. There is, however, one person in 1850 and 1860 who needs to be ruled out so as to avoid confusion. Here is the wrong match, and just below the two census entries is an explanation about WHY it is a wrong match:

1860 census: Ohio, Fairfield Co., Amanda Twp.; Page 27; Line 26; August 28th.
HUFFER, Franklin -- Born in Ohio, 12 years old. Living in the household of Jacob HUFFER (65, blacksmith, b. Pennsylvania) and Mary HUFFER (51, b. Ohio). Also in household were Enos HUFFER (16, b. Ohio) and Susan HUFFER (9, b. Ohio).

1850 census: Ohio, Fairfield Co., Amanda Twp.; Page 32; Line 11; October 4th.
HUFFER, Franklin -- Born in Ohio, 3 years old. Living in the household of Jacob HUFFER (57, farmer, b. Pennsylvania) and Mary HUFFER (41, b. Ohio). Also in household were John HUFFER (19, b. Ohio), Catharine HUFFER (17, b. Ohio), Lydia HUFFER (12, b. Ohio), and Enos HUFFER (5, b. Ohio).

Franklin HUFFER, son of Jacob and Mary, died on June 16, 1862, at the age of 15 years, 2 months, and 26 days. His remains were buried at Old Dutch Hollow Cemetery (a.k.a. Israel Lutheran Cemetery), located on south side of US-22 just west of Sixteen Rd., in Fairfield Co., Ohio

That information is in two separate publications of the Fairfield County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society:
"Cemeteries of Amanda Township, Fairfield County, Ohio," 1992, pg 139.
"Cemeteries of Clearcreek Township, Fairfield County, Ohio," 1991, pg 61.

Consequently, with the Franklin Huffer on the 1850 census and the 1860 census ruled out as not the same as the William Franklin Hufford who became a professor, we are left with no information about the professor before he enlisted into the U.S. Army.

What is known is that at the age of 15 years and three months, the man who showed on the 1870 census and onward became a soldier in the Civil War. He joined the Union Army on October 29, 1862, enlisting in Company G of the Ohio 114th. Most of the men in Company G were from Perry Co., Ohio, primarily from the townships of Monday Creek, Pike, and Jackson.

In July 1865, when William was transfered to the 48th Ohio, he was assigned to Company D, a company made up of men from Highland and Perry Counties, Ohio.

Considering the two companies that William was assigned to, it's likely that William's pre-Civil War connection was to Perry Co., Ohio.

According to William's death record, his father was Solomon Hufford. There is a possible match to a Solomon with Perry Co. connections. However, if the match is correct, William is a previously unknown child. Seeing that it may be a match comes in two parts and requires some guessing to fill in the blanks.

FIRST: Solomon HUFFORD (son of Daniel, son of Casper, son of Christian) was born in 1825 in Ohio, with family connections in Monday Creek Township, Perry Co. Solomon married Elizabeth DENNISON. The first of their six children (a daughter) was born in December 1848 in Ohio. In 1852, Solomon and wife Elizabeth moved to Tama Co., Iowa. Ultimately, wife Elizabeth had six children; all known; none a William Franklin. On the 1860 census, Solomon's last name was spelled HUFFORT. His religious affiliation was Methodist Episcopal. Solomon is pictured on page 134 of the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY:

SECOND: Solomon HUFFORD had a brother named John H. (page 141 of HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY). John was 8 years younger than Solomon. In August 1862, John enlisted into Company G, 114th Regiment, as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served until 1864 when he was discharged for disability. Company G is the same Company that William served in.

Now, for the guessing:
William could fit as a son for Solomon only if Solomon had a first marriage with a wife who died soon after birthing William. Assuming that scenario, some other family member much have taken over the rearing of William. No "William" or "Franklin" appears with Solomon in 1850 or 1860.

Solomon and most of his siblings were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, as was William Franklin. It was the affiliation of Ohio Northern University. When William F. Hufford was a professor at the university, professors were required to be affiliated with the M.E. church.

The Solomon in question died in 1887 in Iowa. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth by 14 years. An estate settlement or obituary for Solomon might provide additional information.

Until then, here are side by side photos of Solomon and William:

click to email

Hufford genealogy puzzles
Hufford genealogy resources
Search this site