He was born in 1827/32, in Lathvan, Ireland.
place: 3, 7, 12.
date: 3 (33 in 1861), 7 (33 in 1861), 12 (28 in 1860)]
On 23 May 1859, he married Matilda Watson.
They were married by Reverend James McCaskic, of the Southwestern Presbyterian Church.
She was born in 1830/31, in Ireland.
They (probably) had these children:
[sources: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16]
Martha Parks (born April/May 1860, Pennsylvania) (but note that in 1900 and 1910 she reported having had two children, both living--obviously Samuel and Robert)
Robert Parks (born 13 June 1860, Pennsylvania)
Samuel Parks (born 1 August 1862, Pennsylvania)
In 1860, he was living in Sadsbury Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
He was a laborer.
He was living with his wife Matilda and Martha (presumably their daughter).
When he enlisted, he was a farmer, and was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
[sources: 3, 7]
When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 11 inches tall, and had a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair.
[sources: 3, 7 (5'10-1/2", light complexion, blue eyes, sandy hair)]
During the war
He enlisted and was mustered into service as a private in company B on 2 September 1861, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
[sources: 1, 7, 17-18]
He re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer on 26 March 1864, at Warrenton Junction, Virginia
He was enlisted by Lieutenant Brass, and mustered into service by Captain Barnard.
[sources: 3, 7 (30 Mar 64), 11 (enrolled 25 Mar, mustered in 30 Mar)]
He was wounded on 18 June 1864 at Petersburg, Virginia, and died on 23 July 1864 from amputation of his leg as a result of those wounds.
His wife applied for a pension on 19 July 1864, and gave his date of death as 12 July.
He was a private, in company E.
He was buried in the National Cemetery, Arlington Virginia.
[sources: 1 (burial record has 13 July for date of death), 2, 3, 7, 11, 17-18]
On 3 December 1864, his widow, Matilda Parks, successfully applied for a pension.
She was living at 1416 Bedford Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
[sources: 9, 10, 11]
On 26 January 1865, company E published resolutions mourning his death (and fifteen others), and sympathizing with their families.
After the war
On 2 October 1865, Matilda Parks' application for pension was approved, retroactive to 23 July 1864.
She initially received $8 per month.
(The certificate was dated 7 October 1865.)
On 1 November 1866, his widow, Matilda Parks, applied for an increase in pension because of her children under aged 16.
She was living in Parksburg, Chester County.
Her application was accepted on 11 March 1867, retroactive to 23 July 1864.
She received an additional $2 per month for each child less than 16 years old.
In 1870, his widow, Matilda, was living in Sadsbury Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
She was living with their children Robert and Samuel, and two others.
She was a farmer, and owned $2,000 in real estate and $300 in personal property.
In 1880, his widow, Matilda, was living in Sadsbury Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
She was living with their son Samuel, her cousin John Watson, and two boarders.
She was keeping house.
In 1900, his widow, Matilda A Parke, was living in Sadsbury Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
She was a farmer.
She was living with a boarder.
In 1910, his widow, Matilda Parke, was living in Sadsbury Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
She was a farmer, on a general farm.
In August 1916, the postmaster at Parkesburg refused to accept her pension certificate, because it was unlike any pension certificate she had received.
A flurry of charges and counter-charges reached the Pension Bureau, which sent a special investigator.
He determined that a John McIntire had the pension certificate, and returned it to her.
Apparently "village politics" played a role, and enmity between the postmaster and her son Robert was an issue.
(Robert, however, doesn't come off unscathed: he told the investigator that he had lent his mother $25, which the investigator believed was a lie, and "[j]ust to show the fellow's character" the investigator questioned McIntire and learned that Parks told him he had lent her $10, which the investigator believed was the truth.)
She was "living alone in a tumble down old house about two miles from Parkesburg where she will be found dead some day, no doubt", was "mentally deficient", "very infirm", and had cancer in one eye.
But she had enough sense to pay the interest on the mortgage, and take care of herself.
He suggested she leave it at the First National Bank, where the cashier was an old friend, who would take care of her, which she was apparently going to do.
Matilda Parks died on 27 May 1919, of sarcoma of the eye.
She was buried in the Octorara Cemetery, Parkesburg, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
After supplying receipts for all relevant bills, the nurse who had attended Matilda Parks was paid from the remaining pension money that had not been collected, on 18 November 1919.
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233.
(In the roster)
121860 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, microfilm series M653, film 1092, page 794 = 48 handwritten
131870 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, microfilm series M593, film 1324, page 517 = 45 handwritten
141880 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 72, microfilm series T9, film 1114, page 55A = 5 handwritten
151900 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, microfilm series T623, film 1393, page 199 = [illegible] handwritten
(Matilda A Parke)
161910 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 55, microfilm series T624, film 1328, page 196 = 8 A handwritten
17index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania
18index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania
Sources checked unsuccessfully
1850 US census
checked FamilySearch index, 20 October 2011
the only plausible candidate I found is John Parks, 22, born Ireland, with Joseph (65) and Eliza (62). However, he is a weaver, and hence probably not this John (see 1850, PA, Philadelphia, Moyamensing, ward 3, page 389 = 773 handwritten)
1890 US census, veterans' schedules
checked Ancestry index, 5 June 2009
rechecked 20 October 2011, looking for Matilda in Parkesburg (or Chester County)
1920 US census
checked FamilySearch index, 20 October 2011
1930 US census
checked FamilySearch index, 20 October 2011
accessed 20 October 2011
Find a grave
checked 20 October 2011 [Matilda's cemetery is presumably Upper Octorara Cemetery, Parkesburg, Chester County, Pennsylvania]
[1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, microfilm series M653, film 1092, page 794 = 48 handwritten]
[identification is confirmed by the location and Matilda's age and birthplace in the 1870 census]
[1870 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, microfilm series M593, film 1324, page 517 = 45 handwritten]
[identification is confirmed: the names and ages match the names listed in her pension application]
Real estate value
Personal estate value
Father foreign born
Mother foreign born
Birth month if born within year
Marriage month if married within year
Attended school past year
Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.
Male US citizen at least 21 years old
Male US citizen at least 21 years old who can't vote ...
[1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 72, microfilm series T9, film 1114, page 55A = 5 handwritten]
[identification is confirmed by the names and location]
[1910 US census, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Sadsbury Township, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 55, microfilm series T624, film 1328, page 196 = 8 A handwritten]
[identification is confirmed by the location]
[widow's pension certificate file, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 15, certificate WC 57,081]
[transcribed October 2011, from 98 pages on Fold3]
23 May 1859
married Matilda Watson, at Philadelphia, by Rev Jas McCaskic [p.3, 6 (Southwestern Presb. Church records), p.20]
two children: Robert F (born 13 June 1860) and Samuel W (born 1 August 1862) [p.3, 20]
30 March 1864
John Parks mustered as private, veteran, at Warrenton Junction Virginia [p.5]
enrolled on 25 March 1864 at Warrenton Junction Virginia [p.5]
23 July 1864
John Parks died, of wounds received 18 June 1864, near Petersburg VA [Adjutant General's Office (p.5)]
wounded 18 June 1864 while charging enemy works near Petersburg [certificate from Captain]
died 12 July 1864 at Alexandria Virginia according to Declaration for Pension, which is dated 19 July 1864 [sic] (p.3)
died 23 July 1864 at Washington (p.20)
24 July 1864
Captain Matthew Hall certified that John Parks was wounded in action while charging the enemy's works near Petersburg on 18 June 1864, and was taken to the hospital; Hall had seen a notice of his death in the Alexandria papers but had not received any official notice [p.18]
3 Dec 1864
application for pension (#74,341) by Matilda Parks widow of John Parks E 91st PA
Matilda was a resident of Philadelphia, post office address 1416 Bedford St
dated 19 July 1864 [sic] (p.3)
witnesses swearing to her identity and to the truth of her claims: James Stewart, Thomas Love (pp.3-4)
attorney W N Ashman (1307 Chestnut St, Philadelphia PA)
15 Feb 1865
Adjutant General's office replied to Pension Office request, with data summarized above (p.5)
8 May 1865
"14 S.G." [sc. sent request for information to Surgeon General?]
2 October 1865
[circular] 14 S[urgeon] G[eneral] returned with no evidence [p.10]
application for pension approved, for a pension of $8 per month, retroactive to 23 July 1864
certificate dated 7 October 1865
1 Nov 1866
dated 14 Sep 1866
application for increase of widow's pension [p.20]
Matilda Parks, resident of Parksburg, Chester County, age 37
Annie Watson and Rebecca Watson swore to her identity and the truth of her claims (summarized above) [pp.20-21]
attorney W N Ashman, Philadelphia PA
11 March 1867
pension increase application accepted, for $8 per month retroactive to 23 July 1864 and $2 additional per month for each child <16, retroactive to 25 July 1866 [p.23]
certificate dated 20 March 1867 [p.89]
15 September 1866
Andrew Murphy MD (of Parksburg [Chester County] Pennsylvania) swore that he had attended Matilda Parks during the birth of Robert on 13 June 1860 [p.15]
18 September 1866
James F Gayley MD swore that he had attended Matilda Parks during the birth of the Samuel N [??] on 1 Aug 1862 [p.13]
11 Aug 1915
received 13 Aug 1915 by Bureau of Pensions [pp.63-64]
John M Eshleman, the postmaster of Parkesburg PA, sent the Pension Bureau a letter, claiming that Matilda Parks had 'trouble' with her pension, that her son 'people say would like to get the best of the property if he could she says so herself'
he gave Robert the pension letter last winter when he presented 'a paper signed by his mother', but refused to give it to him again 'because his mother said she never signed the letter the last time',
the son has the pension certificate
he asked what he should do with the pension letter
18 Aug 1915
received 19 Aug 1915 by Bureau of Pensions [pp.65-66]
the postmaser (Parkesburg) had received their letter of 12 Aug. After the carrier had twice attempted to deliver the letter, and failed, he went to her address, and found her mentally incompetent to do business. her son Robert was in Parkesburg but did not visit her. She did not know anything about the certificate, and had not seen her son for a year (which is false). he offered to give her the letter if she came to the post office with a neighbor, but the bank refused to cash it without her certificate, and he was afraid she would lose it. he would take the letter to the 1st national bank and let the cashier keep it, so Parks could get her money
19 Aug 1915
Robert F Parker sent the Pension Bureau a letter (p.67)
the postmaster had refused to hand over the pension letter (With the check) despite their presenting the pension certificate as usual
received 19 Aug 1915
20 Aug 1915
the Bureau of Pensions sent the postmaster at Parkesburg a letter with a form to request a duplicate certificate [pp.60-61 + 78-79]
21 Aug 1915
Matilda Parks, 85 years old, Parkesburg PA, applied for a new pension certificate, saying she had never received one [p.43]
Elizabeth McIntire swore to her identity
[As far as I can tell, the Pension Office decided no further action was required--presumably this refers to prosecution of John McIntyre [p.45]
18 September 1915: special examiner George D Sidman gave Matilda Parks her pension certificate, which he had found in the hands of John T McIntyre, a notary public of Parkesburg PA (p.47)
21 Aug 1915
the Pension Bureau sent R F Parks a second letter noting that they had a letter from R F Parks saying that he had the certificate, which implied that they should not apply for a duplicate certificate, which would be issued only if the certificate was lost or destroyed [p.80 + 85]
21 Aug 1915
the postmaster at Parkesburg sent an application for a duplicate certificate signed by Matilda Parks; he had lived there for 25 years and identified her (pp.81-82)
24 Aug 1915
the Pension Bureau sent a letter to the Postmaster at Parkesburg including the letter to her son, asking him to forward it to Norristown if he didn't live at Parkesburg, and asking that he contact them again if she did not receive her certificate within about a week (p.75)
the letter to R F Parks (Parkesburg PA) warned him that not returning the pension certificate to his mother was a misdemeanor under section 4745 of the Revised Statutes, and requiring him either to return to them within five days either a receipt showing he had returned the certificate to his mother or a statement showing that he did not have it and explaining when he last had it and what had happened to it [p.77]
ca 24 Aug 1915
the postmaster at Parkesburg sent a note to the Pension Bureau (received 25 Aug 1915) claiming that the paper Robert Parks had was not the pension certificate: "It is not anything like any one else has [sic], + as I stated in letter of Saturday 8/21/15 was dated in 1863" (p.83)
28 Aug 1915
Robert Parks wrote the Pension Bureau that he did not have his mother's pension certificate. "This is all a base lie." He had it oly when he went to the post office with a note from his mother. She wasn't able to find it on 4 August when the mail carrier brought the letter, but Robert helped her find it and then took it with a signed order from her to the post office, but the postmaster refused to give her the check because (he claimed) it was not the pension certificate, although she had been receiving it. Robert took it to "Mr McIntire the Squire [sic] who had attended to her pension papers for years" and he said he would testify that it was the only pension certificate she had ever had, but the postmaster said "he was liable to testify to anything". The Postmaster refused to discuss this with Robert, ordered him to leave, and threatened to have him arrested. She never had trouble before this postmaster, but has several times since he became the postmaster [pp.93-95]
28 Aug 1915
the postmaster wrote the Pension Bureau that Robert Parks took the only paper relating to her pension that his mother had, and hadn't been to her house since, and had abused him (the postmaster) [p.96]
7 Sep 1915
John T McIntire sent a letter to the Pension Bureau asking for help with her pension, and telling them that he had her 'old pension paper' dated 20 March 1867 [pp.91-92]
9 Sep 1915 [p.56, also pp.71-72]
on 24 Aug 1915 the Pension Bureau sent Robert F Parks a letter telling him he was obligated to give his mother her pension certificate, and requiring that he send them either her receipt for the pension or a statement of what he had done (p.55)
on 25 Aug 1915 the Pension Bureau received a letter from the postmaster claiming the paper Parks had was not the certificate 'as said paper was dated in 1863'
Parks' letter of 19 Aug 1915 claims that the postmaster refused to give his mother the check although they had presented the certificate as usual, which indicates that he has or had the certificate
the Chief Law Division requested appointment of a Special Examiner, and requested that he act immediately, because Matilda Parks couldn't cash her pension check without the certificate
13 Sep 1915 [p.57 + 73]
G D Sidman, special examiner, Philadelphia, was directed to investigate
16 Sep 1915
Matilda Parks applied for an increase in pension [p.98]
"Born in Co Tyrone Ireland 1830" (apparently John Parks, but that's not explicit) [p.98]
16 Sep 1915
Robert F. Parks was deposed by George D. Sidman. he was 55, a salesman, p.o. address 925 W. Lafayette St. Norristown PA. about 10 August, he heard that his mother hadn't received her pension; she said she couldn't find the certificate, but he find it in her family bible, where she had kept it for years, and took it and an order from her to the postmaster, who refused to give him her pension, claiming the certificate was not a certificate. McIntyre said it was her certificate, but the postmaster wouldn't accept it [see pp.51-52]
about 21 August Matilda Parks "through connivance of the postmaster" applied for a new certificate before McIntyre. Robert F Parks advised her to send the old certificate to McIntyre, and she did
about 2 or 3 September McIntyre told Robert Parks he had the certificate in his office
Sidman regarded Parks as having a reputation for being 'Unreliable' [p.59]
17 September 1915
Representative Thomas S Butler snet a letter to the Pension Bureau asking why Matilda Parks hadn't been able to receive her pension (p.87)
18 September 1915 [pp.53-54]
John T. McIntyre was deposed by Geo D Sidman and swore he was 76, a notary public, at Parkesburg Chester County PA. he had Matilda's pension certificate since 31 August, and has now given it to her. Robert asked him for a self-addressed envelope for the certificate, and he received it the next day. he notified the Pension Bureau on 9 September but hadn't received an answer
Robert Parks told him that he had lent his mother $6 and $4.
18 September 1915
Special Examiner George D Sidman reported to the Pension office [pp.49 sqq]
Matilda Parks' son Robert allegedly had her pension certificate and refused to give it to her
He "found the pensioner living alone in a tumble down old house about two miles from Parkesburg where she will be found dead some day, no doubt." (p.49)
Matilda Parks was 'mentally deficient', 'very infirm', and had cancer in one eye (p.49)
Matilda is not mentally competent to transact business. She wouldn't live with him, because she doesn't want to leave her old home. Robert advanced her $25 to be repaid when she received the pension. the pension check for August is at the 1st National Bank of Parksburg, waiting for the new certificate
Matilda said her son had taken the certificate. The postmaster had seen her son with it (p.49)
Robert (in Norristown) swore that her mother had sent it to John T McIntire, of Parkesburg. Sidman recovered it from McIntire and gave it to Matilda (p.49)
Robert F Parks swore that he had loaned his mother $25 since 4 August; Sidman did not believe him. Matilda said Robert had given her $8 at one time, and some more at another time. McIntire said Robert told him he had loaned her $10, in two payments. Sidman believed McIntire's report (p.49)
the problem began when the postmaster refused to give the pension check to Robert F Parks, despite Matilda's written order, because he claimed the presented document was not a pension certificate. It was, though issued in 1867 and dissimilar to the current certificates. He also sent the check to the Cashier of the 1st National Bank instead of sending it to the Pension Bureau, which Sidman told him that he had no authority to do (pp.49-50)
"The trouble is that village politics cut a small figure in the matter, however I think I woke up all parties concerned to the situation from a neutral standpoint" (p.50)
the certificate was left at the 1st national bank, with the pension money on deposit there; the cashier would look out for her
she owned the house and six acres of poor land, worth perhaps $800, with a mortgage for $800, no income except for the pension, but enough sense to pay the interest on the mortgage and support herself (p.50)
20 September 1915 [p.74]
EC Tiernan, deputy commissioner of the Pension Bureau, informed Representative Thomas S Butler (responding to his letter of 18 Sep) that a special investigator had been sent to obtain the certificate from Matilda Parks' son Robert and return it to her [p.74]
25 October 1916
pension increased to $20 per month retroactive to 8 September 1916 [act of 8 September 1916] (p.2, p.27 [certificate])
27 May 1919
Matilda Parks died (p.7, 25, 30)
buried Octorara Cemetery, Parksburg, PA (p.30)
7 June 1919
Matilda Parks (of Trappe [Montgomery County] PA) dropped from pension rolls (p.7)
last paid at $25 to 4 May 1919 (p.7)
8 Aug 1919
Robert Parks wrote to the Pension Office asking whether the balance of 23 days pension would be paid (p.25)
Robert Parks had paid for a nurse for her for 3 years (p.25)
Pension Office received 8 August; Finance Division received 9 August 1919 (p.25)
28 Aug 1919
application for reimbursement by Margaret Dixon, of Trappe, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (p.29)
dated 21 Aug 1919
no executor or administrator, no money, real or personal property left by Matilda Parks
Matilda Parks died of Sarcoma of eye, which began 27 May 1916 (at which point she needed the regular and daily attendance of someone)
Matilda Parks' physician was Dr S B Horning of Collegville PA
she lived with her son
expenses: S B Horning (physician) $150 (paid); Margaret Dixson (nursing) $25 (not paid); Frank W Shalkop (undertaker) $125 (paid); Jesse Kline (livery) $7.00 (paid); Octarora Cemetery $12 (paid) (p.30)
Elizabeth Simms and John S McHary swore to the truth of the claims (p.31)
$20 was available (p.38)
payment was approved on 15 Nov 1919 and passed review on 18 Nov 1919 (p.39)
10 Oct 1919
the pension bureau sent Margaret Dixon a letter notifying her that she needed to supply itemized bills (p.70)
Matilda Parks, widow of John Parks, died on Tuesday at the home of her son Robert Parks, Trappe, in her 90th year.
Funeral on Saturday.
All services at Octorra Presbyterian church and cemetery, near Parksburg, Chester county.
The remains may be viewed on Friday evening between 7 and 9; undertaker, F. W. Shalkop.
I have the honor to return herewith the papers in case Cft. 57.081, Matilda Parks widow of John Parkn [sic], Co. E, 91st. Pa. Vols., and report as follow:-
This case was referred to me for the purpose of demanding and receiving from Robert F. Parks, pensioner's son, her pension certificate, whom [sic] it was said had refused to deliver same to his mother.
I deemed it best to go to Parkesburg first as the logical point from which to start the investigation.
I found the pensioner living alone in a tumble down old house about two miles from Parkesburg where she will be found dead some day, no doubt.
The old woman has a cancerous affection of one eye and is very infirm.
I did not deem it worth while to take her testimony for the reason that she is mentally deficient.
She told me that her son had come and gotten the certificate from her since which time she had not seen it and did not know where it was.
Since the postmaster had seen the certificate in the hands of the son, and not knowing where else it might be, it was presumed he had it yet, so I went directly to Norristown, Pa. and, as will be seen, he swore that his mother had sent it to John T. McIntire, of Parkesburg, to hold for her.
That compelled me to make another trip to the last named place where I went today and recovered the certificate and turned it over to the pensioner in presence of two witnesses.
(See receipt hereunto attached.)
Since Robert F. Parks had sworn before me that he had given his mother $25. as a loan since the 4th. of August, which I felt sure was a lie, I asked the pensioner what money he had given her.
She said he gave her $8. one time and on another occasion gave her some more, but she could not remember the amout [sic].
Just to show the fellow's character I questined [sic] McIntire as to the matter and as will be seen, he swears that Parks told him he had advanced her $10. in two payments.
That is the truth, I have no doubt.
The whole trouble in connection with this matter came about through the postmaster's officiousness in refusing to deliver the pension check to Robet F. Parks upon the written order of the pensioner, urging as his excuse for such action that the document presented was not a pension certificate.
As a matter of fact it is a pension certificate issued under the W.T. Otto regime, in 1867, but because it does not resemble the certificates being issued now, with which he is familiar, he arbitrarily refused it, although I do not see how he could have taken such action.
Furthermore, the postmaster made the mistake of delivering to the Cashier of the 1st. National Bank of Parksburg, the letter containing the check for August payment, instead of returning it to the Bureau with a statement of the facts.
I frankly told him that he had no authority [page 50] for such action, and I believe he would be disciplined by his Department if they knew the facts.
The trouble is that village politics cut a small figure in the matter, however I think I woke up all parties concerned to the situation as viewed from a neutral standpoint.
At the suggestion of the postmaster, in which the son, Robert F. verbally concurred, I suggested to the pensioner that she leave her certificate at the 1st. National Bank and keep her pension money on deposit to use as needed.
This she promised to do and when I last saw her she was going with her neighbor friend to do so.
The cashier, a Mr. Hammill, is an old friend and will look out for the old lady.
But for this fact is [sic] possible we might be justified in demanding the appointment of a guardian for her.
She owns the little place where she lives, a stone house on six acres of poor land, worth perhaps $800. on which there is a morgage of $800.
She has no income but the pension, but has enough sense to keep up the interest on her home and support herself.
I respectfully recommend reference to Consideration of Chief of Law Division.
Geo. D. Sidman
I had juse [sic] 25 minutes to take the deposition of McIntire and get to a train, or wait several hours for another train, hence the bad appearance of same and meagre details.