Archive:Civil War Pension File, Nathan Whitney
Civil War Pension File, Nathan Whitney
Widow: Martha E. Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 624542 Cert. # 639709
Widow Applic. # 651954 Cert. # 458674
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Private, Company E, 16th Kansas Cavalry
Nathan Whitney signed a Declaration of Original Invalid Pension from Franklin County, Kansas on 15 September 1887. He is a resident of Peoria, Franklin Co., Kansas. He had enrolled 1 March 1864 in Company I of the 16th Regiment of Kansas Cavalry Volunteers commanded by Captain Hyde. He was honorably discharged at Fort Leavenworth on 28 November 1865. He is now 50 years old. While in the service and in the line of his duty at Paola, Kansas on or about 20 April 1864, he incurred measles. This resulted in an injury to his lungs, flowed by lung fever about 16 October 1864. This left him with permanent disease of the lung, from which he still suffers. He was treated at Paola, Fort Leavenworth, and Fort Riley, Kansas. Since leaving the service he has resided in Franklin County, Kansas, and his occupation is, and was prior to his service, a farmer. He is greatly disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor. Nathan's claim was rejected because he did not prove that his disability was service related.
Nathan applied once again on 12 March 1890. He is 54 years old, and a resident of Rantoul, Franklin County, Kansas. He is described as six feet two inches in height, with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and black hair. (In a physical examination at age 55, he is described as six feet one inches in height, and weighing 130 pounds.) He claims that while at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the month of June, 1864 he contracted chronic diarrhea and resulting disease of the digestive organs and rectum. This was caused by using impure water and an improper diet. He was treated in camp at Fort Leavenworth for about one month.
Nathan was pensioned from 12 August 1890 at eight dollars per month for disease of the right lung and stomach. On 28 October 1897, the U.S. Pension Agency at Topeka, Kansas informed the Pension Commissioner that Nathan Whitney was last paid eight dollars to 4 February 1897, and was dropped from the roll because of his death on 15 March 1897.
Martha E. Whitney signed a Declaration for Widow's Pension on 23 March 1897. She is forty-six years old and a resident of Peoria, Franklin Co., Kansas. She was married to Nathan Whitney under the name Martha E. Durham on 31 March 1866 by Rev. White at Peoria Township, Franklin Co., Kansas. She has not remarried since the death of her husband, and she is without of support other than daily labor. The names of her children now living and under the age of sixteen are: Laura E., born 11 May 1890; and William G., born 14 February 1893. The declaration id attested by Wesley N. Mace and John E. O'Neil.
A certified copy of the marriage record was provided. "This is to certify I, E. Whitney, a licensed Minister of the Gospel, did on the 31st day of March AD 1886 (sic) solemnize the rights of matrimony between Nathan Whitney and Martha E. Durham, both of the County of Franklin and State of Kansas. E. White". There is also testimony supporting the names and birth dates as previously given of the two children under the age of sixteen.
Martha Whitney provided a detailed deposition on 6 September 1900 from Centropolis, Franklin Co., Kansas. She met Nathan Whitney after his army discharge in November of 1865, and they were married in March, 1866. Neither had ever been previously married. He was about twenty-eight years old when they were married. He came to Kansas in 1857. He lived near Peoria to the time of his enlistment, and then returned there and lived there until he died. She came to Kansas with her parents in 1863 from Illinois. They had lived near Industry, McDonald County, Illinois. They wintered in Leavenworth and then came to Franklin County in the Spring of 1864. After her marriage, they lived on the same farm all of the time since the fall of 1866. It was about three miles nearly east of Peoria. Mr. Whitney was a farmer, and worked at farm work what he was able to do. He died 15 March 1897.
She described Nathan's physical disability after returning from the war. He suffered from a chronic cough, which grew worse in the winter months. She attributes the cough to his suffering from measles while in the service. Martha provided some people who could attest to the chronic cough. They include John Bright, his brother-in-law, who served in the army with him; and his brother George, who was in the same company and also had measles.
Martha testifies that she heard that Nathan's father died suddenly in Ohio of apoplexy, and his mother died of Bright's Disease. She did not know Nathan's parents. She also heard that Nathan's brother John died suddenly while he was away from home, similar to his father's case. Nathan's brother Dennis died of lung fever twenty or more years ago. Nathan has a sister living past sixty years old, and she is a cripple from rheumatism. Another sister died when she was over sixty years old. The whole family that came to Kansas seemed to suffer from the climate.
Martha has traded off the eighty acres she had in Peoria for twenty acres here (Centropolis), and ten town lots. There was a mortgage of seven hundred dollars on the farm, and she was not able to pay even the interest and taxes. Her children Laura E. and William G. are living with her and attending school. There is no market for the lots she owns, and she derives no income from them, except what can be raised from the ground. The house affords her simply room to live in, and is not very comfortable.
On 10 November 1920, the Chief of the Financial Division was notified that the check for ninety dollars in favor of Martha E. Whitney of 1028 E. Elm Street, Salina, Kansas was returned to the office by the Postmaster with the information that the pensioner had died 28 October 1920 (sic). The County Auditor of Salina, Kansas advised the Bureau of Pensions that Martha died 27 October 1920, and was buried in Ottawa, Kansas.
Martha's daughter Laura Taggart of Salina, Kansas applied for reimbursement for burial expenses. Martha died 27 October 1920 at 708 Sheridan St., Salina, KS, and is buried in Howard Cemetery in Ottawa, Franklin Co., KS. Until a short time before her death she lived at the Bickerdyke Home in Ellsworth, KS. Her daughter Laura E. Taggart, wife of Loay Taggart, lived in Salina and handled her mother's funeral arrangements.