Archive:Civil War Pension File, John Drury Whitney
Civil War Pension File of John D. Whitney
Applic. # 1198028 Cert. # 954596
Other # C2564533
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Corporal, Company D, 28th Maine Infantry
On 16 September 1897 from Norfolk Co., Massachusetts John Drury Whitney signed a Declaration for Invalid Pension. He is fifty-four years old and a resident of Franklin, Norfolk Co., MA. He had enrolled on 10 September 1862 in Company D, 28th Maine Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. He was honorably discharged in Augusta, ME, on 31 August 1863. He is now partially unable to earn support by manual labor by reason of constipation, general debility and weakness, rheumatism, scrofula, and loss of upper teeth. He was awarded a pension of six dollars per month. Through applications for increased benefits over the years, always paid to him at 182 Union Street in Franklin, MA, his benefit rose from six dollars in 1897 to seventy-two dollars per month by 1924.
In a declaration for increased benefit on 25 February 1907, he testifies that his description at the time of his enrollment was: five feet six inches in height, with a light complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair. His occupation had been farmer. He was born 21 October 1843 at Phillips, ME. Since leaving the service he has resided at Freeman, ME, and since 19 October 1887 in Franklin, MA. In a declaration seeking increased benefits on 26 December 1924, his disability had increased to dizziness, shortness of breath, arthritis, and heart trouble.
In another declaration dated 11 May 1912, he further clarified his residence since discharge from the service:
- Freeman, ME from September 1863 to September 1864
- San Francisco, CA form October 1864 to December 1868
- Freeman, ME from December 1868 to October 1877
- Franklin, MA from October 1877 until the present
In 1897, 1898, and 1915 Drury Whitney answered inquiries from the Bureau of Pensions, which was collecting information about himself and his family in anticipation of future use in providing benefits for himself and his family. The information collected is combined as follows:
He is married to Eldusty Whitney, maiden name Eldusty Peary. They were married by Rev. Enos T. Adams at Strong, Maine on 26 January 1870. Neither party had been previously married. (In one reply, he states that he is the only person his wife has ever married, and he has never heard her express a wish for another.) They have a marriage certificate, and presume the marriage was recorded in the records of Strong, Maine (it was). Their children are:
- Frank Drury Whitney, born 9 January 1871
- Minerva Bell Whitney (now Marshall), born 11 February 1872
- Charles Louis Whitney, born 9 February 1874
- Jonas A. Whitney, born 7 November 1875 (died in infancy)
- Ralph Taylor Whitney, born 2 May 1890
Drury states that he served in Company D, 28th Maine Infantry Regiment, 19th Army, Department of the Gulf under General Banks.
It is interesting to note that the inquiry of 1915 was sent to him at his address at 207 Ferry Street in Malden, MA. This is the only indication that the family resided anywhere in Massachusetts other than Franklin. Why they then resided in Malden I do not know, but Drury’s half-brother Simon W. Parlin and his family lived in Malden at one time, so it is possible they resided with Simon’s family at that time.
Drury Whitney’s Certificate of Death states that John Drury Whitney, a widower, died 18 March 1936, age 92 years, 4 months, 26 days. He was a resident of, and died at, Franklin, Norfolk Co., MA. He was born in Maine, the son of Ebenezer and Dorcas (Drury) Whitney, both born in Maine. He was interred in Franklin.
Charles Louis Whitney, son of Drury and a resident of Dedham, MA, applied to the Veterans Administration for a flag to drape the casket of his father. The application was approved at Dedham.
On 2 June 1936 Minerva B. Marshall signed an Application for Reimbursement of medical, nursing, and burial expenses incurred by herself in the care and burial of her father. The application contains information of interest. Her father died at home and was buried at Union Street Cemetery in Franklin. Her mother was Eldusty Peary of Avon, Maine, and she died 29 November 1935. The pensioner had required regular and daily attendance of another person constantly since 22 August 1927. At the time of his death, Drury Whitney suffered from prostatitis, chronic interstitial nephritis, mitral stenosis, and old age. The bill for all expenses was submitted for $4895.90. Reimbursement was approved for $151.90. (Minerva submitted a charge of $4704.00 for nursing care provided by her. She was reimbursed sixty dollars for that care.)
Copyright © 2009, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group