Archive:Civil War Pension File, George Whitney
Civil War Pension File, George Whitney
Widow: Rebecca Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 375137 Cert. # 321500
Widow Applic. # 611540 Cert. # 444776
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Private, Company I, 16th Kansas Cavalry
He is identified as George8 Whitney (Nathan7, Nathan6, David5, Nathan4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1). George was born about 1846 in Washington County, Ohio, the son of Nathan and Ann Mary (Hensel) Whitney.
George Whitney signed a Declaration for Original Invalid Pension on 1 Jun 1880 from Miami County, Kansas. He was thirty-eight years old, and a resident of Stanton Township, Miami County, Kansas. He had enrolled on 1 Mar 1864 in Company I of the 16th Regiment of Kansas Cavalry commanded by Captain Abraham Hyde. He was honorably discharged at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on 28 November 1865. His personal description is: 38 years old; 6 feet 2 inches in height; dark complexion; black eyes; and black hair. While in the service and in his line of duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on or about 10 Mar 1864 he contracted measles. While suffering from the measles, he caught cold, causing the measles to settle in his lungs. From the effects of this, he has been unable to perform labor from the date of his discharge to the present time. The disability is termed chronic bronchitis. He was treated in the General Hospital at Fort Leavenworth in 1864 and in the hospital at Paola, Kansas in Apr 1865. Since leaving the service he has resided in Miami and Franklin Counties, Kansas, where his occupation is farmer. He is now totally disabled from earning his subsistence from manual labor. His post office address is Paola, Miami County, Kansas.
George provided a copy of his military discharge. It states that he was a private in Captain Abraham Hyde's I Company, 16th Regiment of Kansas Cavalry. He enrolled 1 Mar 1864, to serve three years. He was discharged on 28 Nov 1865 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, at the instruction of Major General Pope. George was born in Washington County, Ohio, is nineteen years of age, six feet two inches tall, with a dark complexion, black eyes, and black hair. His occupation when enrolled had been farmer.
George was pensioned at four dollars per month commencing 28 Nov 1865 for disease of the lungs. This was increased to six dollars per month on 12 Jul 1882. At that time his lived in Elmdale, Chase County, Kansas.
George underwent a physical examination. He is 6 feet 1-3/4 inches tall, weighs 135 pounds, and is forty years old. The physician describes him as a tall, ill-nourished, emaciated, anemic man. He suffers from disease of the lungs, chronic bronchitis. At this time, George resides in Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas.
George filed applications for increased benefits as he aged and his health deteriorated. In 1888 and 1892 he resided in Elmdale, Chase Co., Kansas, and in 1895 in Emporia, Lyon Co., Kansas. He died 16 Mar 1895.
Rebecca Whitney signed a Widow's Claim for Pension on 23 Mar 1895 from Lyon Co., Kansas. She is a resident of Lyon Co., is 51 years old, and is the widow of George Whitney. George died 16 Mar 1895 of pneumonia, as a result of lung disease. She was married to George Whitney under the name Rebecca Pownall on 30 Jun 1865 (sic) at Franklin Co., Kansas. They were married by Rev. Ellis White. Neither had been previously married, and she has not remarried since the death of the soldier, and is without other means of support than her daily labor. She has one child now living under the age of sixteen: Mary Lula Whitney, born 15 Mar 1880. Her post office address is Emporia, Lyon Co., Kansas.
H.F. Shelden, County Clerk of Franklin Co., Kansas provided a certified copy of the marriage certificate. It reads: "This is to certify that I. E. White, a Licensed Preacher of the Gospel did on the first day of July 1865 solemnize the rights of Matrimony between George Whitney and Rebecca Pownall, both of the County of Franklin, State of Kansas. Ellis White"
Rebecca also provided testimony by Dr. S. L. Brooking of Jackson, Missouri. He testifies that he was present at the birth of Mary Lula Whitney on 15 Mar 1880. He was the family physician of George and Rebecca for several years before and after the birth of their daughter.
There is also testimony from John Renner of Emporia. He has been intimately acquainted with the soldier and his family for over eighteen months, as he was a neighbor. He testifies that they were never divorced, and Mary Lula is still living. The only property owned by the soldier was fifteen acres of land, on which was a three room board shanty. All was valued at about ten dollars per acre. It was mortgaged for one hundred sixty dollars, which was more than it would sell for, and more than it was worth. Rebecca has no income from any source, and she has moved into the city and takes in washing. She has been aided by the county since the death of the soldier.
Rebecca was pensioned at eight dollars per month, with an additional two dollars per month for Mary Lula. She was last paid eight dollars per month to 4 May 1906, and was dropped from the pension rolls because of her death on 11 May 1906.
Note: The 1900 census for Emporia, Kansas shows Rebecca living with her daughter, Julia A. Whitney, who was born in Jul 1878. Julia was too old to collect pension benefits in 1895. The census also says that Rebecca had two children, but only one survives. So, by 1900, Mary Lula is deceased.