Elijah and Priscilla Crabtree, Part 4

Continuing with information from Cal Bivens.

Pension Applications
A Civil War pension application was filed in May of 1866 for Priscilla Crabtree, John’s mother. The claim was rejected due to the death of mother, Priscilla in January of 1868. It seems to me that it took an unusually long time to settle John’s military accounts and the pension application.

Elijah had to file for his own, which was done December 10, 1866, the application number was: 138,708. Albert Babcock, a lawyer from Blackberry, in Kane County, was obtained to assist with the paperwork. Milt Thornton and Freeman Woodman made declarations for this filing.

Thornton, a family friend, stated that John had worked for him for a year before his enlistment, and that his wages had gone to support his elderly parents. The same was true of his army pay. He further stated that after John’s death, Elijah had received help from the county and the community, he had 3 cows and a shanty that was built on Thornton’s land. Woodman swore to his acquaintance with Elijah and his knowledge of Elijah’s situation.

An affidavit by Sarah M. Gill and George W. Giggey of Kane County, Illinois declared that they had been for 20 years intimately acquainted with Elijah and Pricilla Crabtree of Kane County that on January 30, 1868 Pricilla Crabtree, wife of Elijah, died at the township of Virgil. They were present when she died and was buried. That Elijah Crabtree “is a cripple caused by chronic rheumatism and that he has no property nor money nor any other means of support.” And that he was entirely dependent upon his son John Crabtree who was a corporal in Company B, 16th US Infantry who died in the service on or about January 1, 1863. The affidavit bore the signatures of both parties – Mrs. Sarah M. Gill & George W. Giggey.

Pension certificate # 129,219 was issued to Elijah, his pension of $8 per month was retroactive to January 31,

Later that year Elijah moved with Arnold and Rachel to Story County, Iowa. They settled in Nevada, in Milford Township. Elijah was working at farming then as best he could.

Richard Kimble and George Giggey swore an affidavit dated January 16, 1869 in Story County, Iowa that they knew Elijah and Priscilla and were present at time of her death and burial. This document was a part of an update required periodically by the Pension Office.

[Richard Kimble (1835-1908), a farmer and stock-raiser had a 365 acre farm. In 1870 he lived at Nevada, Milford Township, Story County, Iowa. He was a neighbor of George W. Giggey. Not far away lived Arnold & Rachel Crabtree and George Shattuck. Kimble was born in Tompkins County, N. Y., in 1835, and was the second of eleven children, the result of the union of Henry and Emaline (Van Vlack) Kimble, natives of New Jersey and New York, respectively. His brother, Albert, was married to Amanda Lucinda Wallace, daughter of Edmund Hay Wallace and Frances Crabtree. Amanda was a cousin of Arnold and Rachel. Richard had lived in Kane County, Illinois and in 1858 was married there to Miss Ellen Mary Robinson (1841-1914) , a daughter of W. H. Robinson, a native of Vermont. They moved to Iowa in 1860 and to Story County in 1868. Kimble raised horses, cattle, hogs and sheep. A son, Clarence A. was living in Keya Paha County, Nebraska by 1890. —1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa.]

Two other affidavits were made on April 28, 1869. One was by Elijah himself, who signed by mark (X). In it he stated that he was unable to get documents regarding his marriage and the birth of his son. He gave his knowledge: he, Elijah, was “married on or about Oct. 6, 1820 at Greenwich, Kings Co., New Brunswick by Parson Schofeld Rector of the Episcopal Church to Pricilla Sharp.” His son, John was born in 1840. He requested that witness statements be admitted in lieu of documents.

The second affidavit was made by Arnold and Rachel Crabtree, of Story County, Iowa. They swore to their personal knowledge of Elijah and Priscilla being married, John being their son and living with them when he joined the service. Arnold signed, Rachel made her mark - X sworn in the office of the County Clerk in Story County.

When his son-in-law, Arnold died, Elijah became the head of the household. This was presumably due to Rachel’s deference to her father.

Last Years
Soon after the 1880 census, some of the family returned to Illinois, settling in Chicago. Elijah died of “old age” there on May 4, 1882 at the age of 89 years 11 months. News of his death was reported in the newspaper, The Globe, of Saint John, New Brunswick [#1168 June 10, 1882]. His death certificate indicates the family planned to bury him at Blackberry.

Rachel Crabtree wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions requesting information on the status of expenses for the funeral of her father, Elijah, the letter was dated January 8, 1883 at Chicago (the amount due was $8.27.

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