Archive:Civil War Pension File, William McDonald

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Archives > Archive:Military Records > Archive:Civil War, Pension Files > Civil War Pension File, William McDonald

Civil War Pension File of William McDonald
Widow, Priscilla T. McDonald
Invalid Applic. # 675709, Cert. # 470932
Widow's Applic. # 773170, Cert. # 556126
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.

She is identified as Priscilla T.7 Whitney (Samuel L.6, Jacob5, Benjamin4, John3, Benjamin2, John1).

Private, Company K, 30th Wisconsin Infantry

On 9 October 1888 William McDonald signed a Declaration for Original Invalid Pension from Baron County, Wisconsin. He is sixty-four years old and a resident of the Town of Rice Lake, Barron Co., Wisconsin. He had enrolled in Company K of the 30th Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on 24 November 1863 commanded by Captain John Klatt and Captain Strong. He was honorably discharged at Milwaukee of 30 September 1865. He was 39 years old; 5 feet 8 inches tall; with a fair complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes. While in the service and in his line of duty at Paducah, Kentucky in the fall of 1864 he took a bad cold while on guard duty during a heavy rain storm. This resulted in catarrh and lung trouble. He was cared for as best he could by himself and comrades. Since leaving the service he has resided in different places in Wisconsin, where his occupation has been painter. He is now partially disabled. William was pensioned at eight dollars per month commencing 15 October 1888.

On 1 December 1891 from Dakota County, Nebraska William McDonald signed a Declaration for Invalid Pension from Dakota County, Nebraska in order to increase his benefits. He is sixty-five years old and a resident of South Sioux City, Dakota Co., Nebraska. He is now disabled by catarrh and disease of the throat and lungs, bowel disease, rheumatism, and deafness. William had applied for increased benefits previously in 1890 from South Sioux City and been rejected, so he requests examination by a different board.

William submitted testimony on 31 May 1893 from Dakota Co., Nebraska in a further attempt to increase his benefit. Deafness in his left ear commenced about three years ago and is increasing, and he has been affected by bronchitis since 1884. He testifies that in June 1885 at Cameron in Barron Co., Wisconsin he and his son Willie L. McDonald engaged in raising a restaurant building with jack screws, and while pulling on a lever attached to the jack screw he suffered a rupture low on the left side of his abdomen. No other person was present at the time. He is now totally blind in his right eye, being able to see only light. He believes that all of his disabilities are of a permanent character.

On 14 August 1895 William underwent a physical examination. He was a resident of Sioux City, Nebraska. He is suffering from total blindness of both eyes and infirmities due to old age. He is sixty-nine years old, is 5 feet 6 ¼ inches tall, and weighs 130 pounds.

On 8 August 1899 William answered an inquiry from the Bureau of Pensions. He is married to Priscilla T. McDonald, whose maiden name was Priscilla T. Whitney. They were married 6 September 1848 by Judge Levi Lee at Elk Horn, Walworth Co., Wisconsin. Neither party had been previously married. They have one living child: William L. McDonald, born 10 December 1868 at Tomah, Wisconsin.

William applied for benefit increase in 1897, 1899, and 1901 from Alanson, Emmett Co., Michigan. The Commissioner of Pensions was notified on 26 February 1903 that William McDonald, who was last paid at twelve dollars per month to 4 September 1902, was dropped from the rolls because of his death on 31 October 1902. His accrued pension was awarded to his widow in Alanson, Michigan.

On 6 November 1902 from Emmett Co., Michigan Priscilla T. McDonald signed a Declaration for Widow's Pension. She is seventy-five years old. Her husband, William McDonald, died at Alanson, Michigan on 31 October 1902. She was married to the soldier at Delevan, Wisconsin on 6 September 1848, and has not remarried since his death.

Priscilla also submitted an affidavit in support of her application. She is a resident of Alanson, Emmett Co., Michigan. She declares that neither party had been married prior to their marriage on 6 September 1848, and they were never divorced. She cannot obtain testimony from any direct witness to the marriage because they have died, and there is no record because the records were burned in 1865. She can obtain testimony only from people who knew of the marriage. She declares that her husband left no personal property, and she has none of her own except her household goods. Her son owns the home in which she and her husband lived, and she has no income or means of support. Priscilla received a pension of twelve dollars per month commencing 1 November 1902.

A certified copy of the death record of William McDonald relates that he died 31 October 1902 at the age of 77 years, 4 months, and 28 days in Littlefield, Michigan of chronic diarrhea. He was born in New York, and he was a painter. His father was William McDonald, and the name of his mother is unknown.

Rosette J. Stees signed an affidavit in support of Priscilla's application on 8 December 1902. She is sixty-two years old and a resident of Bloomer, Chippewa Co., Wisconsin. She testifies that she is the sister of Priscilla T. McDonald, and knew William McDonald since he was a young man too young to be married. She was not present at the marriage, but knows them to have been married at Delevan, Wisconsin on 6 September 1848. She knows that neither party had been previously married, and they were never divorced.

Also providing an affidavit in support of Priscilla's application is B. K. Whitney, age 72, and a resident of Bloomer, Chippewa Co., Wisconsin. He is the brother of Priscilla T. McDonald and knew William McDonald since 1846. He and William were in the same regiment and company during the war. He was in the Village of Delevan at the time of their marriage and knows that they never divorced.

On 6 August 1913 Priscilla T. McDonald signed an Application for a New Certificate from Bernlillo County, New Mexico. She is eighty-six years old. On or about 8 July 1913 at the Savoy Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico her pension certificate was stolen. Coming into the hotel a man took her grip, and she supposed he belonged to the hotel. She has not heard of the grip or its contents since. Her pension certificate was in the grip. Her post office address is 906 William Street, Albuquerque, New Mexico. W. L. McDonald witnessed the application.

On 25 September 1916 Priscilla requested an increase in her pension benefit. She is eighty-nine years old, having been born in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine in 1827. Her post office address is 1419 ½ East Missouri Street, El Paso, Texas.

On 23 May 1917 the Commissioner of Pension was notified that Priscilla T. McDonald was last paid at twenty dollars per month to 4 March 1917, and was dropped from the rolls because of her death on 2 May 1917. Her address was 1217 East Missouri St., El Paso, Texas.


The 1870 census of Tomah, Monroe Co., Wisconsin reveals a Mary McDonald, age 20, born in Wisconsin, in the William and Priscilla McDonald household. She appears to be a daughter, born about 1850. Also in the household is Willie, age 1. In the 1900 census of Littlefield, Monroe Co., Wisconsin there are two children in the household of William and Priscilla McDonald. They are: Frank McIntosh, grandchild, born August 1878 in Wisconsin; and Maud McIntosh, grandchild, born June 1886 in Wisconsin. This would make it appear that Mary is their daughter, married someone named McIntosh, and died subsequent to the birth of Maud, but before the pension applications.

William McDonald is buried in Littlefield/Alanson Cemetery, Valley Road, Alanson, Michigan. His cemetery record can be seen at

Copyright © 2008, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group

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