Fred arrived in New York
harbor in 1862, as a sailor aboard a trading ship. He enrolled in the
Union Navy on May 6, 1862, for three years. His assignment was with the
West Gulf Blockading Squadron under the command of David Farragut,
captain of the flagship, U.S.S. Hartford. Fred's first assignment was to
the U.S. Mississippi. When the Pension Board later asked where he had
resided previous to joining the Navy he replied that he was a salt-water
sailor and had no home or regular post office.
He was discharged from the Navy at New Orleans on May 10, 1865, as a
Boatswain's Mate. He settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and sailed on the
Great Lakes, becoming the captain of the schooner St. Lawrence in
He married Louisa Mathilda Bemis December 7, 1867 in Milwaukee. He had
become a naturalized citizen of the U.S. on September 20, 1867.
He appears to have first arrived in Otsego County, Michigan, in 1872;
with Louisa arriving in 1873. They lived in a cabin on the west side of
the "beaver dam" while waiting for their house to be built. The lot was
purchased in early 1875.
Fred first worked for Smith Kelly and Dwight, and also did some scaling
and hauling of logs for E.A. Fuller but soon went on his own. He
operated his own camps and did timber cruising for other operators and
landowners. He was a walking boss for the AuSable Lumber Company of
Oscoda. After the pine disappeared, he bought and sold real estate.
The first three children of Fred and Louisa are buried at Forest Home
Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Charles was born October 10, 1868 and
died September 5, 1869, of cholera infantum; William was born August 3,
1869 and died 6 days later of convulsions; Frederick, was stillborn on
June 7, 1870. Leonard was born in 1872 and came to Otsego Lake with his
parents. Myrtle, Mertie, Inez, Carrie, Bess and Louis were born at
Otsego Lake. All but Leonard and Mertie grew to adulthood. Buried in
Otsego Lake Cemetery are Leonard, Myrtle, Carrie, Bess and Louis. I was
once told there was a baby buried in the NE corner of the lot. That
would probably be Mertie, born April 10, 1878, death record not found.
Inez is buried at Manistique, Michigan beside her husband, Charles
Fred was initiated on Aug 25, 1885 as a member of Masonic Lodge No. 366
F&AM in Gaylord. There is a picture of him with a group of GAR members
at Bagley Cemetery in Gaylord.
We have records of his brother, Jacob Alfred Segerberg, and nephew,
Charles Segerberg, of Gotland, Sweden, visiting Fred in 1885-1886.
Fred died April 18, 1914 in Soderberg's store at Otsego Lake of a
stroke. His funeral was held in the family home with Rev. A.A. Allington
officiating. The Masonic Lodge conducted the burial ceremony at Otsego
lake Cemetery. His obituary appeared in the Otsego County Herald & Times
on Friday, April 24, 1914, front page: Another Pioneer Gone to His Rest.