Archive:Civil War Pension File, William H. Stees
Civil War Pension File of Bernard King Whitney
Widow, Rosetta J. Stees
Invalid Applic. # 576659, Cert. # 384421
Widow's Applic. # 1037258, Cert. # 791307
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Private, Company K, 30th Wisconsin Infantry
In December 1887 William H. Stees signed a Declaration for Original Invalid Pension from Chippewa County, Wisconsin. He had been enrolled on 14 November 1863 as a private in Company K, 30th Wisconsin Infantry commanded by Captain Strong. He was honorably discharged at Madison, Wisconsin on 4 May 1865. While in the service and in his line of duty at Fort Wadsworth, Dakota Territory on 15 September 1864 he took a violent cold resulting in inflammatory rheumatism for which he was treated for about three weeks at the regimental hospital. He somewhat recovered and did light duty for about two months. While his command was moving down the Mississippi River he took cold again and was placed under treatment for the same difficulty. He was treated by the regimental surgeon until he arrived at Paducah, Kentucky. Since leaving the service he has been employed as a laborer. He is now greatly disabled by reason of his injuries in the service and requests to be placed on the pension roll.
Accompanying the declaration is an affidavit by William Stees concerning his military service in which there is additional information. He is forty-nine years old, and a resident of Bloomer, Chippewa County, Wisconsin. He testifies that his discharge was by means of a Surgeon's Certificate of Disability. After arriving in Paducah, Kentucky he was placed in the hospital and was then soon ordered to Louisville, Kentucky where he was again hospitalized. He was discharged for rheumatism, from which he has been greatly disabled. Since his discharge from the service he has resided in Monroe and Chippewa counties in Wisconsin, where his occupation has been as a laborer. This affidavit was witnessed by William Huntington and Ogden Gray, both residents of Bloomer. The Surgeon General's Office certified that their records confirm the medical information as stated.
Records from the Adjutant General's Office reveal that William Stees' description at the time of enlistment was: age 28; five feet eight inches tall; with a fair complexion, hazel eyes, and black hair.
William was awarded a pension of two dollars per month, to commence 12 June 1886. William would file a number of declarations for increases in his benefit. In a declaration of 21 November 1910, when he was seventy-five years old, more information is revealed. He testifies that he was born 18 November 1835 in Stark County, Ohio. After leaving the service he resided at Tomah, Wisconsin for twenty-five years, and then spent the balance of the time in Chippewa County. His current address is Bloomer, Chippewa Co., Wisconsin. The declaration is witnessed by W.J. Huntington and Charles W. Taylor, both of whom are residents of Bloomer.
On 18 December 1897 William Stees answered an inquiry from the Bureau of Pensions. He is married to Rosetta Jenett Stees, maiden name Rosetta Jenett Whitney. They were married 25 December 1858 by Justice William B. Persons at Tomah, Monroe County, Wisconsin. The marriage was recorded in the family registry. Neither party had been previously married. They have three living children: Frank W. Stees, born 21 March 1860; Rosa M. Stees, born 5 September 1866; and Hattie E. Stees, born 25 September 1869.
In the claim for widow's benefits filed by Rosetta Stees after William's death there is a copy of William's death certificate. William H. Stees died at Bloomer, Chippewa County, Wisconsin on 6 November 1914. His date of birth was 18 November 1835 in Ohio, and he was 78 years, 11 months, 18 days old at the time of his death. His occupation had been retired merchant. His father's name was William Stees, and his mother's name is unknown. Both parents were born in Pennsylvania. The cause of his death was chronic valvular heart disease, contributed to by ascites. He was buried 9 November 1914 in Village Cemetery. The informant was his wife.
On 19 November 1914 from Chippewa County, Wisconsin Rosetta J. Stees signed a Declaration of a Widow for Original Pension. In it she testifies that she was married under the name Rosetta J. Whitney to the soldier at Tomah, Wisconsin on 25 December 1858 by William Parsons. Neither party had been previously married. The declaration was witnessed by D.C. Tallman and J.E. Andrews. Rosetta was pensioned at a rate of twelve dollars per month commencing 7 November 1914.
On 15 January 1915 Rosetta signed a Declaration of a Widow for Accrued Pension. She was seeking the accrued benefit on her husband's pension from the last date of payment until his death. The declaration was witnessed by D.C. Tallman and L.E. Stewart, both residents of Bloomer. With the declaration was an affidavit signed by Rosetta. She testifies that she has no marriage certificate because she never received one. The country was new, and they were married by a Justice of the Peace. There are no records that she knows of or can find. The only evidence that she can provide is an affidavit by the only living witness, Lovisa Myers.
On 23 September 1916 Rosetta provided a statement to the Commissioner of Pensions pursuant to an application for an increase in benefits. She declares that she was the wife of William H. Stees during the Civil War. She is seventy-five years old, having been born 22 January 1841 near Bangor, Maine.
The file contains a copy of the death certificate of Rosetta J. Stees. She died in Bloomer, Chippewa Co., Wisconsin on 6 July 1936 at 1:15 AM. She was born 22 January 1841 in Maine. Her age at death was 95 years, 5 months, 14 days. Her father was Samuel B. Whitney (sic), and her mother was Mary Whitney (sic). Both had been born in Maine. The cause of death was auricular fibrillation contributed to by chronic myocarditis. She was buried at Bloomer, Wisconsin on 8 July 1936. The informant for the death certificate was Mrs. Cy. Taylor of Bloomer.
On 23 October 1936 Hattie E. Taylor, a resident of Bloomer, Chippewa Co., Wisconsin, signed an Application for Reimbursement of burial expenses. The deceased left only a small amount of cash, and no insurance. Rosetta had lived with Hattie during her last sickness. The patient had been nursed during her last illness by Mrs. Peter Schleuk, Mrs. Helen Hilman, and by Mrs. Wilkins.
Copyright © 2008, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group