Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - Samuel Steele

Samuel F. Steele

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, Snohomish Co. WA

Unit History

  • 153rd Illinois Infantry A

See full unit history

Samuel Steele
Full Unit History

Organized: 2/27/65 Camp Fry, Chicago, IL
Mustered Out: 9/15/65 Memphis, TN
Discharged: 9/24/65 Springfield, IL

Regimental History


  On 3/4/65 this one year “western theater” unit moved by rail via Lousiville, KY and Nashville, TN to Tullahma, TN. It was then assigned to the defenses of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. In late March three companies campaigned into Alabama. On 7/1/65 the regiment traveled via Nashville and Louisville to Memphis where it was mustered out of service.

Losses for the 153rd were: Officers killed or mortally wounded = 0; Officers died of disease/accidents, etc. =1; Enlisted men killed or mortally wounded =0; Enlisted men died of disease/accidents, etc. =36.

Soldier History

Residence: Warren, IL   Age:15.1 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled/Mustered In: 2/7/65 Marengo, IL   Rank: Pvt.
Discharged: 9/21/65
Highest Rank: Pvt.

Family History


The original birth – to – death biographical profile of Samuel F. Steele was created during the early years of the Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State project. As a result it was limited in both size and the availability of research resources.

The biography which follows was written in June, 2019. Although more detailed than its predecessor it still lacks the depth of more recent additions to this website which draw heavily upon veteran-related military, pension and other documents housed in the National Archives located in Washington, D.C.


  Samuel Ferguson Steele was born 12/27/49 in Springfield Henry Co., MO. His parents were John (b. 1807 Bovina Delaware Co., NY) and Amy L. (nee Kerr b. 8/7/15 TN) Steele. The Steeles were farmers.

In 1850 the Steele family was residing in or near the community of Polk Greene Co., MO. A decade later, in 1860, they were still in Polk, but by that time county redistricting placed that community in Christian Co., Ozark Post Office, MO.

As best as can be determined, based on U.S. Census data Samuel was the second of three Steele Children. Older than he was Robert (b. 1849 MO). Younger than he was Anne Eliza (b. 8/3/53 MO).

 In 1865, during the waning days of America’s War of the Rebellion, 5’8” farm boy Samuel likely lied about his age and joined the U.S. Army as an infantryman.  The seven months Private Steele was in the military - most of them after the fighting had ceased - appear to have been uneventful with disease and accidents providing the only fatalities to befall his unit.  Still, for a teenager who had likely never strayed far from home, the army experience was undoubtedly a “grand adventure.”

  Leaving the military Samuel settled in Wisconsin.  He remained there until 1870 when he moved to Kansas. There, he remained for nineteen years.  In 1870 he was residing and working on his parents' farm in the Nematha Co., community of Deep Rock.   

 On 11/19/73 Samuel wed Lovina Bear/McCann/McCann (b.1850 OH). The ceremony took place in Nematha Co., KS. Likely, the couple then settled on Samuel’s parents’ farm.

As of 1880 Samuel and Lovina were still with the elder Steeles who were then farming in Harvey Smith Co., KS. At that time Samuel listed his occupation as “stock dealer.”  Shortly thereafter Samuel and Lovina removed from Kansas to Indiana. Whys for the move are not known.

The union of Samuel and Lovina produced one child, a son named Samuel (Jr.). He was born on 5/2/80 in Indiana. Lovina died that same year. According to the 1880 Mortality census Lovina died of consumption.

 Samuel, Jr. appears to have been left to Samuel’s parents or others. He does not appear in later census tallies pertaining to his father. There was a Social Security Claim for Samuel Steel whom listed his parents as Samuel Steele & Lovina Bear but does not give a death date.

  In 1881 Samuel remarried to Sadie McDougal (b. 10/16/1865 Saginaw, MI). Sadie died June 25 1883 in Cedar, Smith Co. KS without bearing children.

On 11/120/85 Samuel married for a third, and final, time. The third Mrs. Samuel Steele was Viola P. Cave (b. 11/3/66 MO). Samuel and Viola would produce five children: Viva Dee (b. 7/19/86 Kirwin Phillips Co. KS), Irl Emory (b. 2/9/88 Kensington Smith Co., KS), Bessie E.  (b.1/5/90 Kensington, Smith Co. KS), Della Lone (b. 2/28/94 Kensington Co., KS), and Oscar Kenneth (b. 3/13/02 Snohomish Co. WA).  All survived to adulthood and were living when Samuel passed away. 

As noted by some of the Kansas birth locations for the Steele children, it appears the family resided in more than one Kansas location during their stay in that state. Also noted, is that by the year of Oscar’s birth the Steele family had departed Kansas. 

  In 1889 the Steeles left Kansas and moved to Washington Territory/State.  Although records are unclear where they first settled, as of 1900 they were living in the Ludwig Addition of Snohomish, Snohomish Co. 

Samuel and family stayed  in Washington for approximately three years before removing to the Roseburg, OR area where they were residing in 1907.The U.S. Census for 1910 specified their address as Umpqua, Douglas Co., OR. 

 Exactly when the Steeles returned to Washington is unclear, but an 11/1915 document has them in Machias, a small western Washington community located in Snohomish County. 

By 1920 the Samuel Steele family was living in Snohomish, Snohomish Co., WA. A decade later, in 1930, they were in Gregory Snohomish County, WA.

Viola Steele died on 7/26/39. She was buried in the Grand Army Of The Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery located in Snohomish, Snohomish Co. WA

Following Viola’s passing Samuel, then in his nineties, began to fail in health.

  In January, 1940 Samuel moved to Buckley Pierce Co., WA. Most likely southward move was made so his youngest son, Oscar, could care for him. 

 A few months after the Buckley move, on 3/10/40, former Civil War soldier Samuel P. Steele aged 90 years, died.  He was the last survivor of the Snohomish Morton Post #10 G.A.R. Burial was in the Snohomish G.A.R. Cemetery beside Viola. 


Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
Row: 3
Site: 14

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