On 5 February 1930, my maternal grandmother, Henrietta Nolner Rosser Beyer, filed for her widow's pension under the Act of May 1, 1926, giving a pension for soldiers (and their widows) of the War with Spain, Philippine Insurrection, and China Relief Expedition. This started a lengthy process of investigation as to whether she had remarried or not. In 1914, my grandfather, George Purington Beyer, a veteran of the Spanish-American War, worked as a "wood machinist" in a box factory in Birmingham, Alabama. He was in an accident in which his "eye [was] punctuated by a piece of lumber." After five days in an infirmary, he died on 23 Sept 1914 at 10:30 am of a resulting infection and "concussion of [the] brain."
As a child, I remember being told that my grandmother received a widow's pension. I have been going through a copy of her petition file, but it is incomplete. Nearly 100 pages of depositions and research by the federal government. People are interviewed in Louisiana and California, but unfortunately I do not possess any judgement on the claim. With modern technology, it is apparent that she either remarried or entered into a common-law relationship in the late-1910s that ended in the mid-1920s.
For me, the greatest piece of this puzzle is reading the words of my great grandmother and my granduncle and grandaunt as they testified about Henrietta, definitely revealed strained relationships.
This is a copy of her petition for a widow's pension.
Submitted and posted by Ron Setzer