Archive:Civil War Pension File, Jacob W. Whitney
Civil War Pension File of Jacob W. Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 860962 Cert. # 631387
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Company I, 49th Wisconsin Infantry
On 15 July 1890 from Dakota County, Nebraska, Jacob W. Whitney signed a Declaration for Invalid Pension. He is fifty-three years old (sic), and a resident of the Village of South Sioux City, Dakota County, Nebraska. He was enrolled on or about 15 February 1865 in Company I, 49th Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged on or about 20 November 1865. He is totally unable to support himself by reason of a broken instep and rheumatism. The declaration is witnessed by J. H. Flower and M.J. Murray.
It appears that the state border was moved, because on 18 March 1891 a History of the Claimant's Disability affidavit was filed from Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa. He is fifty-two years old (sic), and resides at 2007 5th Street, Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa. Since his discharge in November 1865 he has resided in Tomer (sic, Tomah), Wisconsin for about twelve years, and then in Sioux City since then. His occupations have included carpenter, liverman (sic, liveryman), clerk, and now laborer. His disability arises from a broken instep and rheumatism, which were contracted in July 1865 at Rolla, Missouri. The cause was a box falling on him while he was unloading supplies for the fort at said place. The rheumatism was caused by exposure during his service in the army. He received treatment by the regimental doctor at the time of the injury to his instep. The rheumatism has been treated by Drs. Clinghan and Douglass at Sioux City, and had been treated by a doctor in Tomer (sic), Wisconsin whose name he does not recall.
On 13 March 1891 from Woodbury County, Iowa, William McDonald and W. M. Meeks signed a general affidavit in support of Jacob Whitney's pension application. W. M. Meeks is fifty-one years old, and a resident of South Sioux City, Dakota Co., Nebraska. William McDonald is 64 years old, and resides in the same city. Mr. Meeks is a laborer, and worked with Jacob Whitney in the livery business and on the farm, and lived in the immediate neighborhood for twelve years. William McDonald is a painter. Before Jacob's enlistment, Mr. McDonald and he were together all the time. For the past year they have resided in the same neighborhood. Both men testify to Jacob's inability to support himself because of his disability from the broken instep and rheumatism. Jacob is unable to work at all some of the time, and at other times can do only about one-third the work an able-bodied man could do.
Jacob underwent a physical examination to support his application. He is found to be fifty-three years old, five feet seven inches in height, and weighs one hundred twenty-five pounds. As a result of the examination, he is found to be partially disabled by the rheumatism, and not disabled at all by his broken instep.
Jacob did receive a pension. Over the succeeding years, he applied many times for increases in his benefits. Hence, he may be followed concerning his physical condition and concerning his many places of residence.
On 9 December 1892, Jacob W. Whitney signed a Declaration for the Increase of an Invalid Pension from Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa. He is receiving six dollars per month in benefit. He believes he is rated too low for his disability, and now has additional disability from kidney disease, lumbago in the back, piles, and dyspepsia.
On 7 June 1897, Jacob W. Whitney signed a Supplementary Declaration from Archuleta County, Colorado. He is sixty-four years old, and a resident of Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County, Colorado. Added to the previously-claimed disabilities are catarrh in the head, heart trouble, and general debility.
In 1898 Jacob W. Whitney answered two inquiries from the Bureau of Pensions. In one dated 7 July 1898 He states he was married to Emily Wicks and Mary Woodward. He was married November 1859 in Tomah, Wisconsin and June 1871 in Sioux City, Iowa. He seems to state that he was divorced in Sioux City, Iowa in 1894, but the intent of his answer is unclear. He has one living child, Frank D. Whitney, who is the offspring of Mary Woodward.
On 20 December 1898 he answered the same inquiry. His wife's name is Emily Whitney, maiden name Emily Haris (sic). They were married in March of 1885 in Sioux City, Iowa by a Justice of the Peace, and he has a marriage certificate. They have no children. He was previously married to Mary T. Woodward. They were divorced in 1871 in Tomah, Monroe Co., Wisconsin. He has one living child, Frank D. Whitney, who was born in Tomah, Wisconsin in March of 1868.
On 8 August 1904 Jacob W. Whitney signed a Declaration for Increase of Pension from Yavapi County, Territory of Arizona. He is a resident of Stoddard, Yavapi County, Arizona Territory. He still receives six dollars per month in benefit. He states he was born 22 December 1837.
On 10 February 1906, Jacob W. Whitney signed a Declaration for Increase in Pension. He is 68 years old, and remains a resident of Stoddard, Arizona Territory, and his post office is Mayer, Yavapi Co., Arizona Territory. He is now receiving eight dollars per month in benefit. He states that he was born 22 December 1837 in Phillips, Franklin County, Maine. He states that his family record was lost in a flood in Sioux City, Iowa. He describes himself as five feet eight inches in height, with a light complexion, light hair, and gray eyes.
In another Declaration for Pension of 18 April 1907, Jacob W. Whitney resides in Mayer, Arizona Territory. He adds to previous testimony that he was both enrolled in and discharged from the army at Benton Barracks in Wisconsin. He describes his personal appearance at the time of his enlistment as five feet four inches in height, with a light complexion, blue eyes, and sandy colored hair. Before enlistment he was a farmer, and he was born in Phillips, Franklin County, Maine in 1837. Since leaving the service he has resided at Mancato, Minnesota; Iowa; Colorado; and Arizona.
In a Declaration for Pension that he signed on 24 December 1908, Andrew D. Whitney (see note) and Joe Mayer, both Mayer, Arizona residents, witnessed the declaration. No new information is disclosed in this declaration.
In a declaration of 23 December 1911, Jacob Whitney is a resident of Humboldt, Yavapi County, Arizona. He now says that Benton Barracks was in Missouri. He is requesting a pension increase to twenty dollars per month.
In a declaration of 11 June 1912, Jacob now gives his birth date as 22 December 1838 (see note). He again resides in Mayer, Arizona. He received an increase to $22.50 per month, commencing 22 December 1913.
On 14 April 1915 the Commissioner of Pensions was notified that Jacob W. Whitney, who was last paid at $22.50 per month to 4 February 1915, was dropped from the rolls because of his death on 15 February 1915.
Jacob's son Frank must have applied for estate expenses that had been incurred, because there is a letter from him in the file dated 15 August 1915 from Mayer, Arizona to a Mr. Ruffner of Prescott, Arizona. He states that his father died 15 February 1915, and left no widow, nor finances except for a 12 X 14 cabin, an undertaker bill, and physician bills by Drs. Vivan and Southworth.
On 21 July 1920 Mary Shepard signed a Declaration for Widow's Pension from La Crosse County, Wisconsin. She is seventy-four years old, and was born 23 September 1845 in Ontario, Canada. She is the widow of Jacob W. Whitney. She was married to DeWitt Shepard on 18 May 1884 under the name Mary Whitney at Onalaska, Wisconsin by Wm. Anry, Methodist Minister. DeWitt Shepard died at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 16 September 1912. Her address is 611 N. 9th St., La Crosse, Wisconsin. Her attorney supplied the fact that Mary procured a divorce from Jacob W. Whitney in 1881.
Mary Shepard's declaration was dismissed on the ground that it is void. She is not entitled to benefits because under existing law she is not the widow of the soldier. She was divorced from him, and she was never his widow. The claim is regarded as invalid.
- William McDonald is Jacob's brother-in-law, and the husband of Priscilla Whitney, Jacob's sister. William also obtained a Civil War pension.
- Andrew D. Whitney is Jacob Whitney's brother, and is also a Civil War pensioner.
- The Vital Records of Phillips, Maine reveal the year of Jacob's birth as 1838.
- Jacob's grave marker and cemetery record may be seen at Arizona Gravestones.