Archive for the ‘Widow’ Category

The couple married in Springfield, Massachusetts where the former soldier worked as a barber. The veteran was born in Oswego, New York and was previously married. His second wife was born in Richmond, Virginia and she lived until 1936.

Invalid — 806,624 / 806,999
Widow — 1,179,395 / 916,047

RESUME @152417

Marriage License, Loyal F. Friman and Fanny Smith, 13 October 1879
The couple was married in Springfield, Massachusetts on 13 October 1879. The groom was a 32 years old and mulatto born to David and Mary Friman in Oswego, New York. The bride was 26 years old and mulatto born to Walter and Lucy Smith in Richmond, Virginia. The couple resided in Springfield where he worked as a barber. It was his second marriage; it was her first. The officiant was John H. Docker of Springfield.
[Note: This information was taken from a transcript from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, date stamped by Pension Bureau, 30 December 1921 — Leslie]

Questionnaire (Form 3-389), Fannie Friman, 18 March 1915
[place and date of birth] Jan 13, 1845, Oswego, NY
[post-office at enlistment] Oswego, NY
[wife’s full name] Fannie Friman, Fannie Smith
[where, when, by whom] Springfield, Mass by Rev. Docker, October 13, 1879
[official or church record] city clerk’s office, Springfield, Massachusetts
[previously married] “My first wife name Alice Wright died in Springfield, Mass 1877. Cannot give you date of burial”
[present wife previously married] “She was not married”
[living wife] “I am now living with my wife … no separation”
[names and birthdates of children] Lillian Friman born May 9, 1880; Estella Friman born July 16, 1884; Ada Friman born Dec 1, 1890; Loyal Friman, Jr born Feb 1, 1882 died Sep 7, 1882

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Fannie Friman, 24 September 1921
64 years old; residence, 34 Central St, Springfield, Mass
“born October 15, 1857 at Richmond, Virginia … widow of Loyal Friman alias William Shean who enlisted March 8, 1865 at Oswego, State of New York, under the name of William Shean, as a Private … honorably discharged February 4, 1866 … that he served Sargent … That she was married to said soldier … October 13, 1879 under the name of Fannie Smith at Springfield, Mass. by Rev. John H. Docker; tht she had not been previously married; that she had been previously married to Alice Wright, deceased — said Alice Wright, died in Springfield, September 1878 … That said soldier … died August 24, 1921, at Springfield, Mass, that she was not divorced from him and has not remarried since his death … All surviving children are above 16 years of age”

Notarized Statement of Ernest S. Bisbee, MD, Boston, Massachusetts, 24 December 1921
“This is to certify that Loyal Friman was attended by me at 32 Batavia St., Boston, Mass., on August 24, 1921, and that he died on that date of Cerebral Hemorrhage.”
[Note: This statement was written on Bisbee’s letterhead — Leslie]

Death Certificate, Fannie Friman, 23 January 1936
[Place of death] Springfield, Hamden Co., Massachusetts
[Name, residence, length of residence] Fannie Friman; 34 Central Street, Ward 3; 50 years
[sex / race / status] female / black / widowed
[spouse] Loyal Friman
[age] 80 years, 3 months, 2 days
[profession, industry, date last worked, time in this occupation] caterer, own self, October 1935, 30 years
[birthplace] Richmond, Va
[father’s name / birthplace] “cannot be learned” / “cannot be learned”
[mother’s maiden name / birthplace] “cannot be learned Smith” / “cannot be learned”
[Informant] Mrs. Stella Franklin (daughter), 34 Central St., Springfield, Mass
[Date of death] January 23, 1936
[physician] Laurence D. Chapin, MD, 20 Maple, Springfield, Mass
[place and date of burial] Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Mass, January 26, 1936
[undertaker] Ernest A. Byron, 684 State St., Springfield, Mass

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This application is straightforward enough until the officer’s widow reveals family secrets and unconventional living arrangements. Events described in this lengthy pension file include residences in Florida, New Jersey, and New York; the Spanish-American War and World War I; and foreign nationals.

Today’s post includes research notes from documents dated 1927. Earlier posts included research notes from documents dated June 1892-April 1924 and research notes from documents dated 1925-1926.

Invalid — 465,488 / 834,526
Widow — 1,231,070 / —–, Caledonia Ouvert

Deposition, Caledonia Overt, 4 January 1927
“Q. Why are you known in New York as Caledonia Wheaton, and in Asbury Park as Caledonia Overt?
A. It became necessary for me to go to work while living in Asbury Park with the soldier and I started out as a dressmaker. I was recognized by the people who employed me as a white woman. One day at my place of employment someone asked me my name. I said Overt. Then that person said ‘Overt. I know some colored people here by that name. So to avoid all embarrassment after that I went by the name of Wheaton and then I came here to New York City to earn a living. I did not want it known that I was colored for I was afraid that it would make it more difficult for me to get the kind of work I could do and wanted to do.”

“I live alone … I teach piano playing and also rent one of my rooms. When I first came to New York I did dressmaking. Then I did draping and I have done all sorts of work. One time I was in an umbrella repair place and during the World War I was a ticket chopper [?] in the employ of the Interborough. I was first at the station at 155th Street and then at different stations along the line.
John Mansfield [is my roomer] but he is in Brooklyn. He is a very young man … been here for the past 3 months. Before Mr. Mansfield came an Italian had the room. His name was Belsoni. I do not know what his first name is, and before Belsoni was here I had a young German whose name I do not remember. He was only here for 5 or 6 weeks. Before that I did not have anyone. …. Louis Dietz was a white man … [he was here for] something around eight years from January of last year … He is dead. He died here, right in this room, in January 1926. While Louis Dietz was here he was known as Louis Wheaton, He had a wife living but he did not live with here and to avoid all trouble when he came here he took the name of Wheaton … He died under that name and is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery in Brooklyn under that name …. I lived with him as his wife for about six years …. The soldier, did not, of course, know that Dietz and I were living together. I would go down to Asbury Park at different times during the year to see the soldier and my mother would stay a few days at a time. … I just had to make a living. [The soldier] was old and could not work and I had to do something so I came to New York where my chances were better. The soldier died in February 1925. At the time of his death I was living here with Dietz and was known as his wife but not as Mrs. Dietz. We were known as Mr. and Mrs. Wheaton. … I lived with Dietz as his wife until he died. … Dietz and I did not get married. How could we get married? He had a wife living and I had a husband living.”
“When I met Dietz he and his wife were living together in Asbury Park and they were neighbors of mine. …. I would not want it known any where that I lived with Dietz as his wife for it became known to Dietz’s son-in-law it would mean disgrace and perhaps considerable trouble for me. Dietz’s son-in-law and daughter live in Asbury Park and I do not want to have to tell you their names.”

Deposition, Caledonia Overt, 6 January 1927
“I told you my father was Frank Crawford. My father was a white man and his name was Francis Wheaton. He was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the state of Florida. I was born out of wedlock. Judge Wheaton was a Massachusetts man and he later moved to Florida and then he brought my mother and me down there. All this was when I was a little child. My mother and Judge Wheaton lived together in Jacksonville, Fla. and all told [sic], 5 children were born to my mother by Judge Wheaton. All are dead but me and my brother John and I have heard he is dead. The last I heard of him he lived in Peoria, Ills. My mother was married to a man named Hill before she met Judge Wheaton and Hill deserted my mother and she then went to live with Judge Wheaton. My mother for some reason carried the name of Walker and died under that name.”

Deposition, John A. Nelson, 6 January 1927
52 years old; post-office address, 325 West 15th Street, New York City
“I am a foreman in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. I have known [the claimant] for about the past 6 years and I knew her husband the late Louis Wheaton …. I took my meals with Mr. and Mrs. Wheaton … since Mr. Wheaton died I have continued to take my meals here with the claimant”

Sworn Statement, Louis Schmerler, 27 April 1927
residence, Asbury Place, NJ
“has known Mrs. Caldeonia Overt … for sixteen years
[Note: The statement above is handwritten but the statement below is typed on the same paper — Leslie]
O.R. Holters, MD, of full age … resides in the city of Asbury Park, NJ, and has known Mrs. Caldedonia Overt … for several years.”

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This application is straightforward enough until the officer’s widow reveals family secrets and unconventional living arrangements. Events described in this lengthy pension file include residences in Florida, New Jersey, and New York; the Spanish-American War and World War I; and foreign nationals.

Last week’s post included research notes from documents dated June 1892-April 1924. Today’s post includes research notes from documents dated 1925-1926. The final post includes research notes from documents dated 1927.

Invalid — 465,488 / 834,526
Widow — 1,231,070 / —–, Caledonia Ouvert

Death Certificate, Charles Overt, 26 February 1925
[place of death] 1218 Washington St., Asbury Park, Monmouth County, New Jersey
[name] Charles Overt
[residence] 1218 Washington St., Asbury Park, Monmouth County, New Jersey; 25-year resident in the city
[sex / color / status] male / white / married
[wife’s name] Calectonia Walker
[age] about 76
[occupation] retired
[birthplace] Cairo, NY
[parents’ names and birthplaces] unknown
[informant] Calectonia Overt, 1249 Washington St.
[death date] February 26, 1925
[attended deceased] Feb 1, 1925- Feb 26, 1925
[cause of death / contributory] ruptured aneurysm – abdominal / hemorrhage
[physician] O.R. Holters, MD, Asbury Park, NJ
[burial] Mt. Prospect Cemetery
[burial date] March 1, 1925
[undertaker] David B. Reidy, Asbury Park, NJ

Sworn Statement (Form 3-289a), Celedonia Overt, 5 October 1926
53 years old
“I have no middle name … 52 Eighth Avenue, New York City, is my temporary address. My permanent address is 1218 Washington Avenue, Asbury Park, New Jersey. My occupation is teaching music and doing dressmaking. I teach the piano. In New York City I lived with a Mrs. Clara Wheaton. I live there off and on during the year….. I did not serve in the World War in any capacity. My husband did not serve in the World War in any capacity and I did not have any relative serve in the World War in any capacity. My parents are dead. My father was Frank Crawford. My mother was Harriet Walker. I was born in Worcester, Mass., January 14, 1873. I have no brothers and I have no sisters. I had two brothers who died in Florida many years ago. My brothers are not survived by any widows or children. I may have some distant relatives somewhere in Florida but what their names are and where they live I do not know and I have never known. I was born in Worcester, Mass., and my parents moved to Jacksonville, Fla., and we lived there until I was about ten or twelve years of age and then we moved to Paltka, Florida, and left there when I was about sixteen years old and went back to Jacksonville. When I was about 19 years old the family moved to Pablo Beach, Florida, and we were living there when I married the soldier. At Pablo Beach there were no churches or justices of the peace so we were married in Jacksonville which is very near to Pablo Beach. The soldier’s parents must be dead. I never knew them and I have no knowledge whatever concerning them. I do not know the names of his parents. The soldier has no living relatives. He had brothers and sisters but they are all dead. I was present at the burial of two of his sisters who were the last of his family. They were both single when they died. The soldier had no cousins, nephews or nieces living. I do not know of a relative in the world he has living. The soldier was born in Cairo, New York, on February 13, 1845. So far as I know … he lived all of his young life at Cairo, NY, and in that vicinity. I met him at Pablo Beach, Fla., and I think he had been there for 5 or 6 years before I met him. The only persons I have ever heard of who knew my husband before I did is a man named Gibbs and a woman named Miss or Mrs. McBeam. They both lived in Asbury Park, NJ, but I cannot find Mr. Gibbs. … I do not know his first name. He was a very old man the last time that I saw him and that has been two years ago. I do not know where he lived there… He used to come to our house. Mrs. Grace Holliman of 1219 Washington Avenue, Asbury Park, knew him and perhaps she might know more about him than I know whether Mr. Gibbs is living or deas … Miss McBeam also lives on Washington Avenue, Asbury Park, New Jersey.”

“The soldier and I were married at Jacksonville, Florida, on October 19, 1893. We were married by the Rev. Jos. A. Brown, Rector of St. Philip’s Church, at a friend’s residence … I have never given birth to a child or children …. The soldier died at Asbury Park, NJ, on February 26, 1925…. Since the soldier has been dead I have divided my time between Asbury Park and New York City. I have lived only at Mrs. Wheaton’s where I am now in New York City, and in Asbury Park, I take a room at Grace Holliman’s at 1218 Washington Avenue, and then I also stop at Mrs. Schmerler, at 110 Euclid Avenue. Lock Harbor, New Jersey … I knew the soldier’s sisters.”

“At the close of the Spanish American War the soldier and I moved from Jacksonville, Florida, to Asbury Park, NJ, and we made Asbury Park our home until he died.”

Deposition, Richard Gibbs, 8 November 1926
about 71 years old; residence, 121 West 134th St., New York City
“I formerly lived at Asbury Park, New Jersey. My occupation has always been a hotel waiter. I have known this claimant … for about the past 30 years. When I first met the claimant she was in Asbury Park living with Charles Overt as his wife. …. I knew Overt since 1882. I then met him on Staten Island but lived in New York City. He was from Poughkeepsie, NY. He had two sisters there and they died there. He has no sisters living now and he has no relative living that I know of. … About five years after I met Overt he went down to Florida. He went down there with a hotel man named Dick and he was down there for some years and then he came up from Florida and settled in Asbury Park, and lived there until his death… The only wife he ever had was the woman whom he married in Florida. Her name was Walker before he married her. When the claimant came here to New York to live Overt lived with her mother, a Mrs. Walker until she died. Mrs. Walker died about 2 years before Overt died and after Mrs. Walker died then Overt got some man to come there and live with him and to look out for him. … I know his name but I can’t think of it now. …. I last saw the claimant at the funeral of Mr. Overt and have not seen her since.”

Deposition, Grace E. Holimon, 4 December 1926
43 years old; residence, 1218 Washington Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ
“I am the wife of Isaac T. Holiman, a painter. I have known this claimant … for more than the past 24 years and I knew her husband the same length of time. When I met [them] they were living together here in Asbury Park … They lived in the same house with me for a while and then we bought the place and they moved just a few doors down the street. … She was employed in some chocolate factory in Philadelphia and she would come down here at different seasons, most at holidays.”

Deposition, Mary F. McBean, 4 December 1926
64 years old; residence, 1261 Washington Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ
“I am the widow of Florence L. McBean. I first met Mr. Charles Overt … about 1884. He was then delivering coal in New York City in the neighborhood where I lived and he was known as the old bach….He was well along in years at that time. … I came here in 1888 and Overt was there when I left. I did not see him again until about 1894 or 1895, when he came in my restaurant at Asbury Park, New Jersey. ,,, Shortly after that he brought Mrs. Walker to my restaurant and he introduced her as his mother-in-law and in all that time I never saw his wife. I understood that his wife lived in New York City.”

Deposition, C. Virginia Baker, 4 December 1926
40 years old; residence 1233 Washington Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ
“I am the wife of Charles Henry Baker, a hodcarrier. I have known [this claimant] for the past seven years, but I knew her husband … longer than I knew the claimant. …. Mr. Overt was like a saint and he never said one word against the claimant.”

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This application is straightforward enough until the officer’s widow reveals family secrets and unconventional living arrangements. Events described in this lengthy pension file include residences in Florida, New Jersey, and New York; the Spanish-American War and World War I; and foreign nationals.

Today’s post includes research notes from documents dated June 1892-April 1924. Future posts will include research notes from documents dated 1925-1926 and research notes from documents dated 1927.

Invalid — 465,488 / 834,526
Widow — 1,231,070 / —–, Caledonia Ouvert

Claimant’s Affidavit, Charles Overt, 29 June 1892
residence, Pablo Beach, Duvall County, Florida
“Injury to left leg breaking same; also injury to left wrist … about four years ago he broke his left leg and sustained an injury to wrist by falling from scaffold while painting in city of NY”

Marriage License, Charles Overt and Caledonia Walker, 18 October 1893
Groom, 41 years old; bride, 21 years old. Married 10 October 1893 by Joseph A. Brown, Rector

Application for Invalid Pension, Charles Overt, 7 March 1907
62 years old; residence, Asbury Park, Monmouth County, NJ; post-office address, 918 Asbury Ave., Asbury Park, NJ, Monmouth Co., NJ
“enrolled at Kingston, NY … on the 14 day of March, 1865, as a Corporal in Co L, 1st US Colored Cavalry Vols… honorably discharged … 4 February 1866 … that he was born 14 day of Feby one thousand eight hundred and 45”
“Also personally appeared Roderick S. Cottene, residing at Asbury Park, NJ and Samuel G. Kelley, residing at Asbury Park, NJ … [acquainted with claimant] 25 years and 26 years respectively”

Letter from Charles Overt to Commissioner of Pensions, 5 September 1918
“I cannot produce any birth certificates nor any family record … I was born in the Town of Saugerties in the in the [sic] County of Ulster, New York State.
That I lived there with my parents who are dead years ago, and that I lived there with my parents during the years from 1850 to 1860, inclusive. I was always told that I was born in 1846, but what day or month I am not able to positively state.”
“The name of my father was Peter Overt
Mother’s Name was Mary Overt
Sisters were Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary, and Julia Overt
Brother [sic] Name Giles Overt

Letter from [illegible] Rogers, Director, Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce to Commissioner of Pensions, 5 October 1918
“I have below data secured from the Census records of 1850 and 1860

Town of Saugerties, Ulster Co., NY, enumerated Aug 23, 1850
Name Age Place of birth
Peter Overt 43 NY
Mary ” 43 “
Chas E ” 6 “
Giles ” 4 “
Julia ” 1 “

Town of Saugerties, Ulster Co., NY, enumerated June 18, 1860
Name Age Place of birth
Peter S. Overt 52 NY
Mary ” 52 “
Charles ” 15 “

Declaration for Pension, Charles Overt, 12 April 1924
78 years old; residence, 1218 Washington Ave., Asbury Park, Monmouth Co., NJ
“enrolled at Ulster Co., New York … 14 March 1865 as a Corporal … occupation was farmer … that he was born 1846 … since leaving the service he has resided at 1218 Washington Ave., Asbury Park, NJ and his occupation has been carpenter”

Sworn Statement, Charles Overt, 19 April 1924
“Confined at his residence, 1218 Washington Ave. and who solemnly swears that he has been confined to his bed since Feby 27th, 1924 and that Dr. O.R. Holters of 513 Second Ave., Asbury Park, NJ has been attending him since that time.”

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Basic items in this veteran’s application are inconsistent with facts pertaining to the 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry. Perhaps the most glaring discrepancy between the soldier’s 1862 enlistment date and issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation which authorized the participation of African American men in the Union Army. Was this a faulty memory? Did he serve in the 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry or another battle unit? In which regiments did Dobson and Underwood command troops? Did the regiment engage in combat at Saltville?

It’s vital to seek information from other sources such as the National Park Service Soldiers and Sailors Database which has basic information an individual’s service and regimental history. Another source abbreviated as the CMSR could be used to confirm or refute the applican’ts claims. The researcher can access these records on microfilm or Internet Archive or with a fee-based database.

— Compiled military service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops [microform]: 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry (1997). Reel 0001 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Ackess, Alexander – Bom, John H. at https://archive.org/details/compiledmili0001akesunit/page/n5 ). There isn’t a match for Jacob Bayliss in this regiment.

Invalid – 970,262 / —–
Widow — 228,889 / —–, Martha J. Bayless

Declaration for Invalid Pension, Jacob Bayless, 18 July 1890
47 years old; residence, Jonesboro, Washington County, Tennessee; post-office address, Jonesboro, Washington, Tennessee
enrolled 14 February 1862 in Co. A, 1st U.S. C. Cav. commanded by Col. Dobson and the Company by Captain Underwood. I was always a Private … served at least 90 days and was furloughed after being wounded at saltworks in Va from hospital at Petersburg, Va. and recovered from wound until after regiment was mustered out, expected to get discharge now unable to earn a support by manual labor by reason of gun shot wound of right leg, on the inner side of the leg halfway between the ankle & knee, and rheumatism and kidney disease, also frostbite feet”
“Also personally appeared A.M. Stuart residing at Jonesboro, Tenn. and R.M. May residing at Jonesboro, Tenn…. their acquaintance with him for 10 years and 10 years, respectively”

General Affidavit, Jacob Bayless, 20 August 1891
51 years old; residence Jonesboro, Washington, Tennessee
“I was wounded in right leg at Saltville on or about Dec 1864 while in action. I got my feet frostbitten about the same time that I incurred the gunshot of right leg. All done while on [illegible] raid.”

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Martha J. Bayless, 22 February 1896
46 years old; residence, Jonesboro, Washington, Tennessee; post-office address, Jonesboro, Washington, Tennessee
“[the soldier] died November 12, 1895 … she was married under the name of Martha J. Hughs to said Jacob Bayless on the 12 day of Oct A.D. 1871, by H.B. Hancock [?], M.D. at Brown’s [?] Creek, Tenn. … names and dates of birth of all children of the soldier, now living, and under sixteen years of age … Sarah Bayless, born Aug 24th, 1880″
“Also personally appeared Chas. S. Mason, residing at Jonesboro, Tenn., and J.R. Russell, residing at Jonesboro, Tenn. … an acquaintance with her of about three years and about three years, respectively”

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