Civil War Widows
In Petticoat Ranch, my hero Clay fought in the Civil War as did Sophie’s first husband. Research can really lead you into fascinating areas. I saw this head line on a story the other day.
Gertrude Janeway, 93, Is Dead; Last Widow of a Union Soldier
Gertrude Grubb Janeway, age 93, died Friday Jan. 19, 2003, at her home in Blaine, Tenn. She lived in a three-room log cabin bought for her by her husband in 1927. She was the last surviving widow of a Union soldier. Her husband, John Janeway, died in 1937 at age 91. She married her husband in 1927 when she was 18 and he was 81. In an interview in 1998 she said they sparked for three years because her mother would not sign for her to marry. As a Union widow pensioner Janeway received $70 per month from the Veterans Administration until the day she died. Gertrude never remarried and talked all her life about how much she loved John. So that article led me to this one:
Alberta Martin, 97, Confederate Widow, Dies
The person thought to be the last-known Confederate widow, Alberta Martin, was born Dec, 4, 1906, and died at age 97 in Alabama on May 31, 2004. In 1927, at age 21, she married William Jasper Martin, then 81. William and Alberta had one son. Mrs. Martin died nearly 140 years after the Civil War ended.Her marriage in the 1920s to Civil War veteran William Jasper Martin and her longevity made her a celebrated final link to the old Confederacy.And, do you think we’re done yet? No!
Widow recalls marrying Civil War veteran
The publicity surrounding Alberta Martin’s death prompted relatives of Maudie Celia Hopkins of Arkansas to reveal that the 89-year-old was in fact the last civil war widow.
Hopkins married 86-year-old William Cantrell on Feb. 2, 1934, when she was 19.To me this is almost staggering…isn’t it? C’mon! It’s history come to life. Our links to the past seem so distant and, as I sit here typing on my computer, and click around on the World Wide Web–sometimes annoyed because it takes WEBSITES too long to open–I get hit with this. Someone is still alive today who was married to a Civil War veteran. In the historical western novels the Petticoats and Pistols fillies write we have to capture that long ago time. But as long as Maudie Celia Hopkins is still alive, that history is now.Who is the oldest person you know?
Any veterans in your past?
My father, Jack Moore—who never did much traveling at all until he retired, spent a year and a half in Korea. There’s traveling for you. Can your parents remember when the lights went on? My mom and mother-in-law can. Ask them about it. You can see the amazement in their eyes at the miracle of an electric light bulb. At church one day someone mentioned WWII and I asked the lady who brought it up, ‘Did your husband go to war?’ She said, “Everybody went.”
I remember someone saying Laura Ingalls Wilder came west on a wagon train and lived to see a rocket launched into space. It’s just not that long ago.
Tell me what the oldest person you know lived through. World War II? The Dust Bowl? The Depression? And if you don’t know the answer to that, go talk to them. Have you ever heard the saying,
“When an old man dies, a library burns down.”
There is a book in everybody’s story, and a library in an old person’s story.
Who’s the oldest person you know? Tell me about your own living history.
Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series