Martin Van Buren Heffelfinger

Martin Van Buren Heffelfinger


Birth Date: 22 Aug 1836

Birth Place: Lexington, Morrow Cty., OH

Death Date: 3 Mar 1912

Death Place: Butler, DeKalb Cty., IN

Burial Date: 6 Mar 1912

Burial Place: Wilmington Twp

Occupation: Apprentice, Co K 44th Infantry Indiana

Religion: Lutheran



1860 Federal Census Auburn/Union Township, DeKalb County, IN.


Marriage certificate obtained from Records of the Clerk of the DeKalb County Circuit Court, Auburn, Indiana. Marriage record book #2 page 237. Microfilmed roll M-1, Genealogical Society of Utah ID#1863082.


1870 Federal Census Newville Township, DeKalb County, IN page 16.


Death certificate obtained from Indiana state records. No death record available from DeKalb County, IN records.


Obituary (newspaper not known):

"Thursday Morning, March 7

DeKalb Pioneer Had Lived An Eventful Life

Butler, Ind., March 6 - The death of Martin Heffelfinger, occuring a few days ago, has signaled universal sorrow. A pioneer of DeKalb county, and a veteran of the civil war, he had a large following of friends who share in the sad bereavement. The life of the deceased was indeed an eventful one.

He was born in Lexington, OH Morrow county, August 22, 1836 and departed this life February 3, 1912, age 75 years 6 months 10 days. In 1860 he came to DeKalb county and in July 1861 was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Imhoff. To this union six children were born, three sons and three daughters. The wife and one son have preceded him to the spirit world. In July 1861 he enlisted in Company K, 44th veteran volunteer regiment serving three years, receiving his honorable discharge at Chattanooga, Tenn., November 22, 1864. Some of the battles he participated in were Fort Donalson, Shiloh, Corinth and Chickamauga. He was wounded in the battle of Chickamauga.

On December 17, 1890 he was married to Mae Minnie Winbaugh, of Fort Wayne, and lived on his farm, four and one-half miles southwest of Butler, until about twelve years ago, when they moved in Butler where they resided until the time of his death. One child was born to this union, a little son...A faithful member of the Lutheran church of Butler, and an active member of the Meade post G.A.R. About four and one-half years ago he was stricken with paralysis and since that time has been a great sufferer. But his sunny disposition and ability to always look upon the bright side of life endeared him to his friends, and they are legions.

It can be honestly said of him, he was a faithful soldier , a kind and loving husband, an indulgent father and a true friend.

Fort Wayne friends and relatives of Mr. Heffelfinger, who attended the funeral are: Mr. and Mrs. John Wimbaugh, Charles Wimbaugh, Dr. and Mrs. Pierce, Mrs. A. M. McCaffery, Mr. and Mrs. William McCaffery, Mr. and Mrs. George Thompson and daughter Millie and Miss Jennifer Wimbaugh."


This obituary appears from another newspaper (newspaper and date not known):

"Martin V. Ceffelfinger

Martin V. Heffelfinger, of Co. K, 4 Regt Ind. Inf. Vols. died at his home in Butler at an early hour Sunday morning. He had been in a critical state for over two years, a result of paralysis with complications of diseases contracted in service. He enlisted in the service of his country in September 1861, and was mustered into the Union service, Nov.22, 1861, and served three full years. When the regiment was organized which included the assembly of a martial band he was chosen as ...drummer. In this capacity he served at the battle of Ft. Donelson, Feb...and 16, 1862, and in the engagement a cannon ball went through the head of his drum. He was somewhat excited over the event and was somewhat .........on his drum.

About the time of the battle of Shilo April 6-7, 1862, the martial bands were counted impracticable and Comrad Heffelfinger thereafter carried a musket and met with several narrow escapes from death. In one battel rebel bullet struck the top of a small brass inkstand he carried in his water pocket denting the top in and doubtless diverting the ball from passing through his body.

At another time a bullet went through his canteen, letting the water out which was a serious loss in time of battle. In another engagement while grasping his musket a rebel bullet cut off the index finger of his right hand. In all these hair breadth escapes he maintained his usual equipose and was always cheerful and by his jovial nature often drove care and discouragements away from thos who ...dispositions.

Towering over the ordinary soldier, being considerably over six feet in height he would frequently throw his arm around a comrade and lift him up with a hearty hug, restoring him to jolly good cheer. He often helped a weaker comrade to carry his burden and no sacrifice was too great when he could give help and assistance, either in sharing the burden of dividing the rations with others. For the larger part of three years he was a tent and mesmate with the writer and being six years his senior all of us looked up to "Comrade Mart," as we called him and he was ever ready to help in the time of need.

Like millions of others, he gave some of his best years to his country's service and it may truthfully be said of him "he did what he could." He has been since the war a noble citizen and an earnest christian. He was 76 years of age and was twice married.

He leaves to mourn their loss hid wife and five children, Charles, Bert, Mrs. Aletha Stansberg, Mary Maggines, and Mrs. J. Obendorf. He came to DeKalb county before the war and followed farming until health failed and for several years he has lived in Butler.

He was, while able, a regular attendant at the reunions of his regiment and was always filled with good cheer for his comrades, who all held him in esteem. The funeral took place at 2 o'clock yesterday at his church in Butler. Wm. Ettinger and family of this place, and comrades Phil Plum, F.C. Waterman, and F.W. Willis, also Lieut. Eugene Aldrich, of Pleasant Lake, and Capt. M.S. Willis, of Auburn, the last three comrades having served in the same company, attended the funeral. "

("..." means text not readable)



Martin Van Buren Heffelfinger served Union forces during the Civil War. A member of K Company 44th Infantry Regiment of Indiana, Martin served as a Private from Nov 22 1861 to Nov 22 1864. He fought at several battles including: Fort Donelson TN, Shiloh TN, Chickamauga GA, Stones River TN, Chattanooga TN.


Martin Van Buren Heffelfinger moved to DeKalb Cty., IN in 1860. Source: Newspaper clipping announcing his death included information about his birth place, Civil War service, and pioneer to Indiana information. Newspaper unknown.


Spouse: Ellen L. Imhoff

Birth Date: 26 Jun 1841

Birth Place: Ohio

Death Date: 2 Feb 1882

Death Place: Indiana

Spouse Father: Jacob Imhoff (1801-1881)

Spouse Mother: Jane McKinley (-1878)


Spouse Notes:

Family moved from Pennsylvania between 1830 and 1835 to Ohio. Then moved from Ohio between 1841 and 1845 to Indiana (based on birth dates and locations of Ellen and her siblings).


1850 Federal Census Wilmington Township, DeKalb Cty, IN pages 517-518.


1860 Federal Census Wilmington Township, DeKalb Cty, IN pages 186 and 187.


Death date obtained from husband's veteran record. Ellen's brother Lewis and his wife Mary signed a General Affidavit on 11 March 1912 that stated,

"We were well aquainted with Martin V Heffelfinger late of Co K 44th Regt Indiana. Martin V Heffelfinger was married to Ellen L Imhoff. She died Feb 2 1882. We attended her funderal. She was a sister and sister in law. Martin V Heffelfinger was not married before he married Ellen L Imhoff. He afterward married Arminda M. Winbaugh. These two marriages was his only marriages, Arminda M Winbaugh was not married prior to her marriage to Martin V Heffelfinger. Martin V Heffelfinger served in Co K 44 Ind. Was his only Martin V Heffelfinger and Arminda M. Heffelfinger was nt ever divorced but lived as husband and wife for the date of their marriage to the date of his death. She has not married since death of husband."


Marriage Date: 4 Jul 1861

Marriage Place: Butler, DeKalb Cty, IN


Children: Charles Ward

Ella May

Zephrina Bell

Frank Leslie

Aletha Jane

Burton Roy


From Civil War Times Illustrated Photographic History of the Civil War, volume 1 Vicksburg to Appomattox, page 476. By William C. Davis and Bell I. Wiley Under the direction of the National Historical Society. Blackdog & Leventhal Publishers: New York, 1983, 1984.

44th Indiana at Chickamauga, TN

From The Forty-Fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, history of its services in the war of the rebellion and a personal record of its members. By John H. Rerick. Publisher Lagrange, Ind., The author, 1880. 44th Indiana Troop Movements