Archive:Civil War Pension File, William Ross Whitney
Civil War Pension File of William R. Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 871780 Cert. # 606614
The National Archives Building
Company H, 14th Illinois Infantry
On 19 July 1890 from Bureau Co., IL, William R. Whitney signed a Declaration for Invalid Pension. He is fifty-nine years old, and a resident of the Town of Wyanet, Bureau Co., IL. He had enrolled on 14 Feb 1865 in Company H, 14th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was honorably discharged at Fort Leavenworth on 16 Sep 1865. He is now totally disabled by piles and constipation. Witnessing the declaration are Monroe G. Whitney and Charles A. Crocker.
A physical examination subsequent to his application reveals that William is fifty-nine years old, six feet tall, and one hundred forty pounds. He is found 6/18 disabled by constipation. He was awarded a pension of eight dollars per month, commencing 22 Jul 1890. He was awarded increases in his pension benefit in 1891, 1904, and 1907, all as a resident of Wyanet, IL.
On 5 June 1912 from Kootenai County, ID, William applied for another increase in benefit. He is eighty years old and a resident of Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai Co., ID. In this declaration he testifies that he was enrolled in the service at Camp Butler, Springfield, IL, on 14 Mar 1865, and was discharged at Springfield on 29 Sep 1865. At the time of enlistment he was five feet eleven inches in height, with a light complexion, blue eyes, black hair, and had been a farmer. He was born 1 Aug 1831 in Tuscawaras County, OH. Since leaving the service he has resided at Flora Co., IL, for three years, and then went to Chicago, where he lived for one year. He then resided at Jefferson, IA, for eleven years, and from 1881 to 1897 at Wyanet, IL. He has lived at Coeur d'Alene, ID, since then. The declaration is witnessed by Thomas Mullen and B. L. Williams.
In 1898 and again in 1915 William answered inquiries from the Bureau of Pensions. The following is a distillation of material from those inquiries. He was born 1 Aug 1831 in Tuscawaras Co., OH. At the time of enlistment his post office was at Princeton, IL, but he enlisted at Peoria, IL. His wife's maiden name was Rebecca Jane Gesner. They were married 25 December 1856 at Princeton by Elder Walker, pastor of the M.E. Church, at the church parsonage. A record of the marriage may be kept in the records of Elder Walker. Neither he nor his wife had not been previously married, and she died in Apr 1909. The names and dates of birth of all of his children are:
- Irena, born 10 Oct 1857
- Eddith, born 21 Dec 1858
- William Ellsworth, born 3 Nov 1861
- Iantha, born 9 Mar 1863
- Monroe Gesner, born 7 Nov 1865
In the inquiry of 1898, William lists Irene, Edith, and Monroe as his only living children.
On 10 Mar 1919 the Commissioner of Pensions was informed that William R. Whitney was last paid at thirty-two dollars per month to 4 Jan 1919, and was dropped from the rolls due to his death on 15 Feb 1919. His address at the time of his death was 910 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, ID. On 28 Feb 1919, M. G. Whitney, Judge of the Probate Court at Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai Co., ID, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions. William R. Whitney had died 15 Feb 1919 and left no estate. He does leave a daughter, Irena, who had lived with and cared for him for over ten years. She has no income, and was totally dependent on the pension income for support. Monroe seeks information about the residual amount which will be payable to Irena at that time.