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GAR Obituaries from Balch to Busche

Edwin E. Balch

Edwin E. Balch

"Rites Wednesday for 'Dad' Balch,"
The Elgin Courier-News, November 17, 1931, pp. 1, 3.

Edwin E. Balch, 88 years old, known to many of the older residents of Elgin as "Dad" Balch, one of the few surviving Civil war veterans of the city, died shortly after noon yesterday, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. F.R. Gaffin, 917 Center street.

He was born in Genesee county, New York, September 18, 1843, and had spent his 88 years in comparatively good health, save for the last ten days, when he was seriously ill. The Balch family came to Illinois in the late 40's, settling at Naperville.

When the Civil war broke out, Mr. Balch enlisted in the 36th Illinois Infantry, while not yet 18 years old. He served the full four years, and took part in the major engagements of the western army. While on the staff of General Hooker, as chief of scouts, he was captured by the Confederates and lodged in Anderson prison, eventually escaping. He was one of those who marched with General Sherman to the sea. He was mustered out of service as a sergeant, in 1865. Frank B. Perkins of Elgin is the only other member of the old 36th Infantry.

After the war Mr. Balch married Miss Abbie Church, at Woodstock. They lived at Algonquin for a short time, moving later to Elgin. Mr. Balch having been employed in the Elgin National Watch company. Later he was employed at T.F. Swan on Grove avenue, who at that time owned a grocery store. After several years Mr. Balch entered the grocery business on Grove avenue, the firm known as Balch and Morton. Later the firm became Balch and Colie, located on Spring street.

He abandoned the grocery business, and became a letter carrier, a position he held for 23 years.

Mr. Balch was a member of the G.A.R., Veteran Post No. 49.

Surviving him are four daughters, Mrs. Gaffin, Miss Delia Balch, Mrs. Charles Gregor, of Elgin, and Mrs. Carl Gerlach, of Chicago; two step-sisters, Mrs. Lyman Smith and Miss Susie Beavis, of Elgin, and a half-sister, Mrs. Fred Cole, of Chicago. There are also three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Mrs. Balch died five years ago.

Funeral services will be held from the Norris chapel at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, the Rev. Paul H. Yourd of the First Congregational church officiating. Members of the Elgin G.A.R. will participate, under the direction of Commander E.E. Taylor. Pallbearers will be his former associates from the post office. Burial will be in Bluff City cemetery.