Archive:Mexican War Pension File, David Whitney (1827-1912)
From the Mexican War Pension File of David Whitney
Widow: Eliza C. Whitney
Invalid's Application #23631, Certificate #19719
Widow's Application #20005, Certificate #15878
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Company F, 15th U.S. Infantry
On 24 Aug 1887 David Whitney, a resident of Omaha, Douglas Co., NE, signed a Declaration of Survivor for Pension, Mexican War. He has served as a private in Company F commanded by Captain Quarles in the 15th Regiment of U.S. Infantry commanded by Colonel Morgan of Ohio in the war with Mexico. He enlisted at Milwaukee, WI, on about the 15 Apr 1847 for the term of during the war. He was honorably discharged at Covington, KY, Jul 1848. He is sixty-four years old, and was born at Lymon, NH, 5 Apr 1827. He had engaged with the enemy in the battle of Contreras and Cherubusco on 19 and 19 Aug 1847. He is now partially disabled by age (varicose veins and partial deafness). His disabilities were incurred in Mexico on or about 1 Jan 1848. Soon after the above mentioned battle by exposure and hardships he had a long spell of typhoid fever. He has since been partially deaf and in a weakened condition. He marched over a range of mountains to Cuernavaca, about 60 miles, and soon noticed the veins in pain and knotted and red. He is married Eliza C., maiden name Marston. They were married at Neenah, WI, 31 Jul 1852 (sic), and she is presently alive. He had previously applied for a Bounty Land Warrant, and believes his discharge was not returned to him. The declaration was witnessed by Samuel L. Marston and A. A. Parker, M.D.
The Survivor's Brief indicates that David enlisted on 28 Apr 1847, and was discharged on 5 Aug 1848. (Future testimony reveals he was discharged at Camp Butler, OH.) He received a pension of eight dollars per month commencing 29 Jan 1887. His Bounty Land Warrant number was 36522-160-47.
David applied for numerous increases in benefits over the years. In 1895 Walter G. Clark submitted testimony in David's behalf. Walter is thirty years old and has known David since 1876. David is one of the old time residents of Omaha, NE, having settled in the city in 1854. He was at one time a man of considerable means, having an interest in a wholesale grocery house called Whitney, Bauserman & Company. He also owned several pieces of real estate in the city of Omaha. The grocery business failed a number of years ago, and the real property was lost in that failure, except for two acres upon which he lived. He then embarked in the commission business, selling butter, eggs, and poultry. The business was called Whitney and Company, and the other member of his firm was his son, Bert H. Whitney. The business apparently prospered for a few years, but two or three years ago speculation in the products they handled caused them to become heavily indebted to the Omaha National Bank. To pay the indebtedness he finally mortgaged his home. His inability to pay the mortgage caused foreclosure and sale within the last three months, and he now has no real property remaining. A settlement of the affairs of the company resulted in the debt being assumed by his son, Bert H. Whitney. David is about sixty-eight years old, is in bad health, and is unable to earn a livelihood. He is working at his son's store, but his duties are nominal, and he takes up his time there rather than rendering any real service. He has a stomach disease which keeps him awake at night, and he has a nervous disorder affecting one side of his head and one eye, rendering it impossible for him to keep the eye open at times. His head has a very peculiar appearance on one side. It is somewhat mottled and he describes the feeling on that side as though there were worms crawling under his scalp.
In another declaration of 18 Jun 1912 David is eighty-five years old and a resident of Burkett, Hall Co., NE. His description at the time of his enlistment was 5 feet 6 inches in height; with a fair complexion, gray eyes, and dark hair. He was a farmer prior to his enlistment. He was born 5 April 1827 in Lyman, NH. Since leaving the service he has resided in Omaha, NE, for 57 years and Burkett, NE, for 40 days. Later that year he testified he resided in Wisconsin for seven years before moving to Omaha.
On 8 October 1912 the Commissioner of Pensions was informed that David Whitney was last paid at thirty dollars per month to 4 July 1912, and was dropped from the rolls due to his death on 22 September 1912.
On 27 September 1912 from Douglas Co., NE, Eliza C. Whitney signed a Widow's Application for Accrued Pension. She is the widow of David Whitney, who died 22 Sep 1912. She was married to David Whitney at Appleton, WI, 31 Jul 1851. Her maiden name was Eliza C. Marston. Her husband had been previously married, but she had not. She now resides at Gridley, Butte Co., CA. The application is witnessed by John M. Marston and Minnie W. Clark, both residents of Omaha, NE. They are both relatives of the deceased and the claimant.
On 27 September 1912 from Douglas Co., NE, Eliza signed a Declaration for Widow's Pension. She is 81 years old and resides in Gridley, Butte Co., CA. All testimony here is consistent with past testimony. Her husband died at the Soldiers Home in (Burkett) Grand Island, NE. A State of Nebraska Death Certificate was included.
John M. Marston, Eliza's brother, testified from Butte Co., CA, that he knew Rosina Rice Whitney, the first wife of David Whitney. She died in Appleton, WI, in the spring of 1849 or 1850.
Eliza provided a copy of their marriage record. David Whitney of Outagamie Co., WI, and Eliza C. Marston of Outagamie Co., WI, were married at Neenah, WI, 31 Jul 1851 by David Brooks, Minister of the Gospel.
Eliza was granted a pension of twelve dollars per month commencing 23 Sep 1912. On 23 March 1915 the Commissioner of Pensions was informed that Eliza C. Whitney was last paid at twelve dollars per month to 4 December 1914 and was dropped from the rolls due to her death on 20 December 1914.
I do not know how David Whitney fits into the family, and would appreciate any help in finding a connection for him. The following link is to his cemetery record at Grand Island, NE: http://hall.ancestralwhispers.com/cemeteries/grand_island/sscemetery2.html. He died at the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Grand Island (Burkett), NE. You will see that he and the Civil War soldier George Calvin Whitney are buried in the same cemetery.