We Were Here

William Kanode
Unknown Publication Date
by Konrad Stump, contributing writer to The Logan Daily News

As men, we long to have a son, not to teach him how to play catch, and not to help him grow into a good, honest man. We long for a son to carry on our name, to ensure that our name is not forgotten. But then there are those who have no children, who have no one to remember them. A daughter can't carry on her father's name, but she can keep his memory alive.
William H. Kanode was born Nov. 20, 1844, in Logan, the only son of Henry and Mahala (Justice) Kanode, or at least the only son to make it to early childhood. William's sister, Lucy, claimed there were six siblings, but only William and his four sisters appear on census records. If there were another child, another son, he would have died before Hocking County started keeping a record of deaths..
Henry passed away sometime between 1855 and 1860, Lucy being born Aug. 29, 1855. William would have been between 10 and 15, just of age for his father to see the man he might become, to dream of the life he might lead, and the children he might have. His mother did remarry, to Henry D. Myers, on Jun. 16, 1862, but they didn't have any children of their own..
By all accounts, William was a good man, brave and well liked by everyone he came into contact with. When he was only seventeen, in September of 1861, he enlisted in the Union army, being part of the 7th Ohio Calvary; he was so young his mother had to give her consent for him to join. Surely she must have believed in the cause to let her only son fight, and she must have spent her nights lying awake worrying about him, not hearing from him for weeks or months at a time..
William fought for three and a half years under the command of Lieut. John Van Pearce. The Calvary formed at Camp Highland, near Hillsboro, and changed three times. The 7th Ohio Calvary was consolidated with the 6th Ohio Calvary and sent to Camp Dennison. The 6th Ohio Calvary detached and formed into the 1st Independent Battalion of O. Calvary, being sent from Camp Dennison to Benton Barracks in St. Louis, Mo. While they were stationed at Benton Barracks, they got word that a serious outbreak of disease had occurred among the tribes of Native Americans west of Ft. Laramie, and were ordered there. They had to stop at two other bases, Ft. Leavenworth and Ft. Kearny, before they reached their destination on Jun. 4, 1862. After this they were consolidated with another battalion to form the 11th Ohio Calvary. They continued west for almost three more years, finally being mustered out at Omaha, Neb. in April of 1865. With each of these incarnations of the Calvary, William belonged to Company C. .
William seems to have been very close with his company, particularly his direct captain, John G. Reeves. Upon hearing of William's death, John sent a letter to Lucy, in which he said that William was "brave, generous to a fault, and a warmer hearted, truer soldier never wore the blue." They had been through a lot together. John tells of an expedition they took to help the troops at Ft. Halleck, during which two of their comrades froze to death, and another where they rode 40 miles in the dark to rescue some of their comrades. It is evident that John trusted William. He said that he always chose William as Orderly to the Commanding Officer, stating that William took the best care of his clothing, and that "his arms shone like burnished silver." John delivered a speech at William's funeral, and referred to him affectionately as Willie..
Perhaps William had seen too much in the war. Perhaps he couldn't find a place for himself in the world, having spent so many formative years on the battlefield. At the age of 35 he was still living with his mother and stepfather, working as a grocer and saloonkeeper. He was still a saloonkeeper at the time of his death. It may have been that his mother was sickly, or he felt responsible for her after the death of his father. It was only shortly after Mahala's death, on Aug. 18, 1882, that William began to forge a life aside from his mother and started going down his own path. He married Mary Ferrell on Oct. 3, 1883, but they wouldn't get a chance to have children and make a life together..
William passed away at the Park Hotel in Magnetic Springs, Ohio, on May 20, 1884, a Tuesday night. He had been sick about two months, but in the last week of his life his health began to decline rapidly. Lucy had come to the Park Hotel, knowing her brother didn't have much time left. She came to his beside. He rose up, called her name, and kissed her. He told her that he was sure he was dying, and she replied that yes, she feared he was. Lucy asked William if she could have a minister baptize him before death, and he said that he would like one. However, the minister lived six miles away, and Lucy feared that he would not arrive in time. William told her, "I will live till he comes." William did live long enough, the Rev. Bowers arriving and baptizing him before he died. William's body was brought back to Logan and laid to rest in Old Logan Cemetery. .
It can't be said with certainty that Mary never became pregnant by William, but no record of a child exists, and William's obituary doesn't mention one. All we can hope is that he was a good uncle, and that his many nieces and nephews carried on his memory. Perhaps a photo exists somewhere, perhaps a memory. He is not forgotten..
Reprinted here with the permission of the author, Konrad Stump.

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