General Gordon Granger

Picture courtesy of wikipedia


Did you know that this man was a famous Civil War General and hero who also created the holiday JUNETEENTH which is the oldest known celebration of slavery’s demise in the country?  This holiday is now celebrated in many places around the United States. Oh yeah…he was born and grew up in Joy, New York.

Read all about this fascinating man in the link below:


Recently, his original General Order #3 was uncovered. Read about it here:


Here is one personal account found in the archives of the Wayne County Historian’s office. On May 23, 1967, Martha C. White presented a paper to the Wayne County Museum. In the paper was a sketch of his early civilian life (from Gamaliel Case that was written in the Phelps Citizen newspaper) and later military career (from the Launcelot Granger Genealogy, by James M. Granger). Use the + and – keys to zoom in and out as you read this amazing account here:  Life of Gordon Granger


It is clear from this account that Gordon Granger was a man who overcame great adversity in his life which reads like a combination Shakespearean romance and tragedy.


Gordon Granger was born in November, 1821 in Joy, NY.  As a small child, his mother died giving birth to his sister and he was raised by his grandfather Elihu Granger in Phelps, New York.


From the book “Landmarks of Wayne County 1895”, edited by George Cowles, we know that in 1840 he was the first teacher at Sodus District #16 school located at 5119 Preemption Road in North Rose.

Photo of District #16 school courtesy of Ellis Briggs

The following year (1841), Gordon Granger went to West Point and began his military career. Sometime after graduation from West Point (1845) and the beginning of the Mexican War, he met the “love of his life” in the form of a French Lady from an aristocratic family. They became betrothed but the family would never allow them to marry because Gordon Granger was not rich. His fiance would later become insane apparently because of it. After the Civil War, he finally married and he died at his post of duty at Santa Fe, New Mexico on January 2, 1876.